Merchant Kitty

Crafting resources, classes, and merchandise

Category: Wall Art

Cardboard Mixed Media

Cardboard Mixed Media – Something New, Something Old

I love mixed media.  If you are not familiar with mixed media, it just means no limits on materials and mediums.  You can use paint, ink, markers, pastels, transfers, and you can use canvas, wood, metal, cardboard.  You can layer all the fun elements you have ever loved.  What I love about mixed media is you can just keep layering and it just keeps getting better and better.  I saw this pin with cardboard:

Mixed Media with Cardboard

Mixed Media with Cardboard

I am seeing all these great pressed board embellishments but I can’t find them at my local craft store.  ( the down side of living in a small town.  You don’t get murdered when you go to the store, but the stores don’t have anything fun to buy anyways.  It’s the price you pay.)

I also found this great tutorial working with cardboard:

Experimenting with Cardboard Mixed Media

So I just had to run out and find the nearest hunk of cardboard to experiment on.

One thing I learned is that all cardboard is not created equal.  To make good use of the corregated look, you want your top and bottom layers to not be too thick.  It makes it hard to cut.  Thicker corregation with more ripples also makes your project more sturdy.  Once I removed the top layer of my cardboard, my base was flimsy.  If I was creating a serious piece of art, I would have had to mount it to some pressed board or wood.You need a very sharp blade or you will get jagged cuts.

I will be the first to admit, this is not my best work, but after all, that’s what art journals are for.

20150205_112422 20150205_112626 20150205_112548 20150205_112527 20150205_112513I basically just went around the house and looked for a few odds and ends.

Another new item I was trying out was Pearl Ex powder.  I found a clearance bottle at Hobby Lobby and was curious to see what it was like to work with.  It has been a bit difficult for me to research exactly what to do with it.  I ended up mixing it into some paints, and then I mixed it in with glue.  It is pretty and sparkly, but so far I prefer to by the metallic paint.  A bottle seems to go a long ways, so I will have to do some more research.

The dragon was also a jar of mystery I bought on clearance.  It is called Snow Tek.  I am sure I grossly misused it, but it has been sitting in my drawer for more than 2 years.  It was fun to work with.  The texture is like floam.  It probably IS mico floam.  It was fun to sculpt with.  It dried overnight and holds up well even when thick.  It also paints easily as you can see.  I would definitely try to find something else if I had to pay full price for this product.  It would get expensive quick, and it is not intended for sculpting.  It is really made for adding snow texture to wintery scenes.

While my first attempt at cardboard mixed media was kindof a flop, I cant look at all this great art and give up just yet.  Check out the inspiration!

Something that yields spectacular results with zero investment?  Sold!  Let’s go find a dumpster!

 

 

Pallet Art

I have been busy in “the dungeon” (the garage) preparing pallets for painting.  Pallets render beautiful wood that is perfect for distressed signs.  The older and shabbier the wood the more beautiful it seems to be.  My only complaint would be dis-assembly.  They are an absolute pain to get apart.  I am not a big fan of sawing and sanding either, but even with new wood, you would be in for that.  It’s best just to spend a day committed to being filthy and get it done.

pallet with color wash

Color wash pallet art. Adjust the intensity of the color by adding water.

My favorite way to finish old wood is to white wash or color wash.  I am not very scientific about it I am afraid.  I have become very lazy.  I just wet a paper towel, barely ring it out and dab it in paint and rub it in like lotion.  If you want it darker just get more paint.  If you get it on and decide it is too dark, just make sure your paper towel is wet and wipe it away.  You get a nice color but are still able to see all the wood grain and character flaws that make each piece unique!  If your wood is too new and you are wanting that old weathered look, you can go back over the edges and larger scars with a bit of black (if you do a color other than black).

hand painted pallet art

Free hand lettering on pallet art

Now about lettering…  There are several ways you can go about it.  There is always the vinyl letter standby.  You can rub on a transfer using the freezer paper method. (One thing to mention is that on a dry surface like unfinished wood or color washed wood is that you  cannot wipe away mistakes like you can on a painted surface.  The thirsty wood absorbs the ink readily.  The third way is to free hand your lettering.

Lately I have just been super lazy.  I don’t want to cut or print anything out, I just want to get to it.  So I lightly pencil in my letters.  I don’t worry about the font style or anything like that, just get the basic size down.  There are a few key components to nice free hand lettering:

  1. Keep the aspect ratio correct.  Lower case letters and a little more than half of upper case and tall letters.  All letters keep the same height and spacing.  If your size gets off, return back to the size at the beginning of the word so that it looks like it is on purpose.
  2. Keep your letters on a straight plane.  If you find it is impossible to keep them straight, your only option is to make them crooked on purpose by tilting each letter a different direction
  3. Match your characters.  If your saying has more than one e, then your e’s should look the same.  Lower case a, d, q, o, p, b, & g should have the same roundness and legs or matching serifs (the little marks at the end of the legs)  Lower case r, n, m should also look alike.
  4. I usually rough in my letters, and then go back and fill in thicknesses, fancy curves, and serifs, always erring on the side of less, since you can always make the letter thicker, but once it is too fat your stuck, unless your good at getting the paint off.
  5. Keep telling yourself, you can always paint over it, and many times you can wipe off mistakes with a brisk scrub, and it is just a pallet.  The world is not over if it fails.  Pep talks help me to keep moving forward when I inevitably get to that point where I think I have messed it up beyond hope.  I find myself at that stage in nearly every craft I take on.  “It’s ruined now.  All I can do is try to fix it” And I spend the rest of the time hoping no one sees it until I am able to rectify a colossal mistake.
  6. Take a look at similar pieces and try to see what makes it better than yours.  Many times it is a subtle shadow or an added color that gives it depth that you never noticed before.  If you are all done with your lettering but it just doesn’t have that gorgeous feel, yet you know your letters are well made, it might be that depth that is missing.  I will sometimes take a dry paper towel and rub off a little paint, or water down some dark paint to create shadows under and around my letters.  I might add another color with colored pencil or outline with a sharpie for some stark definition. It might need the color of the letters on the edges of the sign to pull it all together.

Here are some more pallet signs!  Reward for good behavior in the dungeon!

Life is better in flip flops wood sign

hand painted wood sign

20141023_113720

Pallet salvage

Reversible pallet salvage
Happy Harvest/ It’s beginning to look a lot like Chirstmas

 

Key sign with hooks to keep your keys

Key storage Made from salvaged pallets

Pallet decor

This fence like structure created from salvaged pallet wood gives you instant hanging space in any corner

Tune my Heart to Sing thy grace salvaged pallet sign

Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace hand painted wooden sign

A yawn is a silent scream for coffee with coffee hooks

A yawn is a silent scream for coffee with hooks for coffee cups

 

Owl Mixed Media

I got a chance to step out of my comfort zone this week trying to match a nursery for a baby gift.  I generally stick to a vintage look like floral and damask, but this needed some harder contrasts and a whimsical look.  So I took inspiration from a scrap book pad for style direction. The stripes and dots which became the tree came from one of these pages.  I made a quick chevron template from a stripe page.  The flowers were a design based on a polka dot backround in the paper pack. What helped it really pull together was outlining everything with a brown sharpie.Then I cut out coordinating owl shapes from the paper pack and decoupaged them on to the painting.  The eyes were flowers.  I used the Sharpie to write the verse.  Then I hot glued some gems on to the eyes and spritzed opalessence over the entire piece.  Viola!

mixed media owl

Mixed Media Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Paper Dolls

These just do not get old!  So glad I Pinned this idea to do later!  Here are 3 more!

Paper Doll Paper Doll Paper Doll

More Paper Matted Art

I told you I would make more.  Thank you Pinterest for posting how to make these little hangers out of paper clips.  These pieces went much faster since I already had some idea what I was doing.

paper dress paper dressesI am still on a peacock kick and There is just something about this print that makes me think it wants to be a peacock so…

paper peacock featherI’ve got to start using the real camera.  I swear it looks great on my phone! ;)

 

Post Card Painting

Paint post card markings and writing over a painting.

image

Paintings with lettering

To achieve print like lettering on these thematic paintings I used freezer paper, printed the saying in reverse, and transferred them onto the finished painting. Sadly, they were not dark enough to stop there, so I traced over them with a fine paintbrush to bold them up.
Watch out for the edges of the canvas. The wood is concave so that it does not show a crease on your canvas. This low spot on the edges can make the transfer a little difficult at the edges. Try inserting a clip board in between the frame and the canvas on the back side (clip down of course)
20130510_112622

20130510_112555

Patchwork Wall

Whether you like lots of color or more vintage earth tone, we all wish we could get more of those yummy scrapbook papers. With this project you can see it everyday. My friend saw this idea in a salon and we tried it out.

patch work using scrapbook paper

patch work using scrapbook paper

First we simply covered the entire wall with papers, being sure to keep our patterns ungrouped. We were going for a random look. No need to Modge Podge both sides just yet, only the backsides. It does help to dilute your Modge Podge so it is more spreadable and dries more slowly (we were running from the kitchen to the bathroom with every piece of paper)

Applying full sized paper on the wall ensures that the entire wall will be covered.

Applying full sized paper on the wall ensures that the entire wall will be covered.

Don’t worry about small bubbles, they tend to disappear as the paper dries.

Then we tore the papers into assorted shapes, again making sure the layout seemed random and repeating papers every so often to make sure the patchwork had continuity. After the scraps are applied, its time to get your hands dirty and rub on the top coat. This allows the light to be spread out over several pieces giving it more of a wall paper look. I would love to try this again with a pearlized Modge Podge and vintage papers.

Pictures and vinyl stickers give a finished look.  Oops, need to put the outlet covers back on!

Pictures and vinyl stickers give a finished look. Oops, need to put the outlet covers back on!

Mixed Media on Canvas

This was an experiment that I am going to be refining for a future class. It is acrylic paint on canvas over paper cutouts for texture and then silk flowers for the center piece. I used rocks with wire for the centers because that is what I had on hand. I have heard you can use glue in place of Modge Podge. I am not sure if that is entirely true. I had generic glue and not Elmer’s. All I can say is, generic glue does not work on canvas. Next time I will be sure to use actual Modge Podge. Here is the result…
20130520_232429