Hello and welcome, and an especially big welcome to the new followers - I'm so thrilled you decided to come along for the ride. You've arrived just in time for one of my trademark War and Peace length posts!!
I'm sharing a mixed media canvas today which has been a loooong time in the making - not necessarily in terms of time spent on it, but in terms of when I first started working on it (about a month ago) and when I finally finished it (a couple of days ago)... squeezing in a few minutes at a time whenever I could spare them from other activities!
This one was just for me (no DTs, no bloghops). I love playing with mixed media - I love all the texture and dimension, as you may have noticed - and I really wanted to have a go at some of the amazing spritzing and spraying that Finnabair does to such great effect.
I love her new Prima range of bits and bobs for creating dimensional collages, but rather than use lots of expensive stuff on my first go, I decided to go with mainly recycled stuff and household bric-a-brac.
This was the point at which the quote from Shakespeare's The Tempest started rattling around my head - it's just some "stuff", you see.
And this wasn't originally intended for the current challenges, but it does fit rather beautifully into a couple of them...
The layers of recycled material, paint, sprays, ink and texture paste, along with the central word of the quote, make it a perfect fit for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge to Layer It On and Share a Word.
It's also the first outing for a stamp set I really love, and which has been patiently waiting for me to use it - the Grunge Font Alphabet from Kaisercraft.
I'm completely addicted to letters, fonts and alphabets, and I grabbed this glorious stamp set months ago, with great plans for it... and it's taken until now for it to make its way onto a project. It's partly because of its size - for a whole quote in this font, you need a sizeable space.
So this also goes into Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge to ink up the Stamp You Love (But Don't Use). Although now I've tried it once, I think you can look for it to be a regular from here on in!
Since I kept stopping and starting, I ended up taking photos of each stage - partly so that I would have a record of where I'd got to incase something happened to it while it waited for my return (like getting trodden on, for instance... this was my "floor" project for the duration).
So I can give you a pretty good idea of how the layers built up (and also come back myself and check out what on earth I did!).
It started, as so many of these things do, with some corrugated card, some book pages and some netting from a bag of apples (okay, not so much of that before now).
I arranged them around a large (for me - 10 x 12 inch) canvas board - canvas mounted on thin, hard wood, therefore good for stamping onto; and pretty cheap, therefore good for experimenting.
As you can see, the safety pins made a pretty early entrance too - and needed lots of glue and encouragement to stay in place!
Once that was all dry and secure, it all got a coat of gesso. I used the mini-Antiquities mask from The Crafter's Workshop to apply some texture paste in various places. There was clearly some ink left on the mask, as the paste looks a slightly Vintage Photo colour... not to worry, it's all going to get covered up anyway.
Then I started playing with adding other bits and pieces - more "stuff": bubble wrap; some of the cheapo paper flowers from The Range (12 in a pack for £1 I think it is, plus they come attached to little wooden clothes pegs, so you get 12 of those too!); some bark hearts that were being sold off in the local plant nursery's Christmas sale; and some feathers I pulled off some other decorations bought for peanuts in the Czech Republic last summer.
As you can see in the photo above, the quote was already starting to take shape - I knew that dreams, as the most significant word in the phrase, would take centre stage - cut with the Tim Holtz WordPlay die - but I was still playing with how the rest of it would make an appearance.
Here is one experiment - which actually almost made it onto the finished piece - very jagged edged pieces of paper with the words stamped on in Archival Olive. Obviously, I'd've inked and spritzed them rather than leaving them stark white.
Buttons are starting to gather now, you'll notice.
The final bit of "stuff" pre-spraying was some plastic roses bought in what I'd decided was an over-hasty moment... they were supposed to be ivory/cream coloured and turned up in this hideous peachy colour.
But I figured this was make it or break it time for them - a chance to prove themselves worthy of a continued place in my stash!
And yes, they started to disappear very nicely, thank you, under the next coat of gesso.
You'll see the flower's gone missing temporarily. At this point, I was toying with leaving the flowers out of the spraying and having them stay white, as accents against my planned turquoise onslaught.
Another few days passed before I had a chance to come back to the piece... and, to be honest, I was a little afraid of the next step: colour! And lots of it!
I'd gathered together all the spray, inks and paints I had which were in the turquoise, blue or green tones I was after, as well as some white ones to rescue me (especially excited about the new Dylusions White Linen - my passport to Dylusions sprays, as it offers a way to tone them down and give them opacity, while keeping all that amazing blendability and coverage).
But eventually, I had to bite the bullet - or this would have sat on my floor (honestly - you can see the blue rug in all the photos - although once the sprays kick in there's also a big wodge of cardboard underneath) for another month.
And I had a blast!! As evidenced by the fact that I forgot to take any photos as I went along... Pretty obviously the flowers made their way back in there, and I'm so glad they did.
The whole thing went through various stages of brightness, whiteness, shimmeriness and inkiness... and your next view of it is at the point when I'd just dribbled some white India ink all the way down it in various places and blown it everywhere with a straw to soften the effect!
I had decided by this point that I wanted my dreams letters basically in white... so they've had a coat of Picket Fence crackle paint, and then I rubbed Chipped Sapphire onto them, wiping away the ink on the surface with a baby wipe to leave it in the cracks. In the photo r and e are inked, a and m aren't yet...
But I was still in two minds about my sharp-edged other words... everything else seemed suitably swirly and indirect...
I thought about stamping directly onto the canvas, but there's so much texture in the way.
Can't believe how long it took me to come up with one of my favourite things to do - stamping onto tissue paper... I got nice and messy gluing them on, but it was worth it.
One element which I knew would have to wait until after the spritzing was the addition of the seed pearls I'd been hoarding.
Though I'm not one myself, there are some scrapbookers whose work I absolutely love - Kim Price of Inkognito (for pure beauty, and inky effects I'm still experimenting to emulate) and - from the school of glorious embellishment and inky/painty altering - Keren Tamir and Kelly Foster.
To be honest, I can't remember which of these latter two it was that gave me the seed pearl idea... but they're both worth a visit for sheer inspiration!
Anyway, I sourced myself some seed pearls (mainly turquoises, but I've got some white ones up my sleeve too) and I had a lovely time adding them to my little collections of stuff.
I'm also really happy with how those little peach roses have turned out!
I think the dreams letters are gorgeous - the Picket Fence crackle paint worked like a dream.
I had to smile when the Funkies released their inspiration projects for the Frilly and Funkie challenge on Wednesday, and there was Donna - with a canvas and white crackle painted letters right across the middle of it - great minds, you see!
There's also a good chance to see the texture paste script in this photo.
I can't quite work out at what stage of the proceedings I reversed the whole canvas, so that the texture paste writing is now upside-down... ah, well, it all adds to the "dreaminess" of it all!
Some of my favourite bits of texture come from the white netting. Most of our fruit comes in those orange coloured nets (which would probably work out okay), but it was nice to start with white, knowing it wouldn't matter if it didn't quite absorb the inks.
Also it's a finer weave mesh than most of those nets, and pulled apart and frayed to give some really pleasing effects on the canvas.
And boy am I glad I decided to include the flowers in the spraying?!
Those cheap as chips white paper flowers look completely different - but that's the wonder of the heavy spritzing as Finnabair does it - transformation.
And in the end, only the feathers remain truly white and ethereal.
The other elements that, for me, really triumph in the transformative spritzing are the humblest of all - the safety pins, the bubble wrap and corrugated card.
Now, regulars will know I love my corrugated card - and it really delights me in this project!
I'm also really delighted how, with the tissue paper stamping, you still get to enjoy all the texture underneath the letters.
And most of all, I love how the rest of the quote hovers in and out of visibility, leaving the dreams holding centre stage.
Well, I have to apologise for another marathon post - but I hope those that needed to have just scrolled down looking at the pretty stuff; and I hope anyone who has ploughed through has done so because they were enjoying themselves!
Thank you for spending some of your precious time with me here today at Words and Pictures... I really am so grateful for your amazing support.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
From The Tempest by William Shakespeare
I'm entering this in the following:
Layer It On and Share a Word at Frilly and Funkie
Stamp You Love (but never use) at Simon Says Stamp and Show
Anything Goes at Simon Says Stamp with a touch of Tim Holtz in the Word Play die