The focus article for our newsletter, In Touch, features the Studio Line of products. I didn't know if I was the only one excited about this new line and so I asked Cindy if she would be willing to do our feature article this month using them. She graciously accepted and oh WOW, once again she has blown my socks off! If you haven't signed up for our newsletter you might want to do so - simply scroll to the bottom of our home page and you will see the spot to sign-up. We always try to bring you something that will wet your appetite to learn and create!
Today, I also have the pleasure of releasing the Shady Tree Studio images in our store! Nancy Baier has created five images for you to start with. I plan on making a series of framed art for my living room wall using these images. They are so very versatile! Today's project features them in a very "vintage-like" style. Soon I hope to share a very modern look that I have swirling around in my brain. Many days I wish that all I had to do was create - LOL! but instead there is all kinds of other "business stuff" that needs my attention. When I get days like yesterday (the day I created this) I am just giddy inside as the final project starts coming together.
Claudine Hellmuth created an ornament for her Christmas tree. When I saw her project it hit me like a bolt of lighting - PIN CUSHION! I have seen some spectacular vintagey framed art pieces and I guess you might say that it is those pieces that inspired this process.
I once again began this process by stamping a bold Silhouette image (this is the tulip from Kim's Silhouette Blooms II set). These solid stamps work fabulously when working with the Studio Paints and Mediums. As you can see I applied the Matte Medium generously to the stamp surface and then stamped my sticky back canvas.
I then repeated the process over and over until I had the entire surface of the sticky back canvas covered in blooms. Using my heat embossing tool I quickly dried them so that I could move on to the next step. I have found that even when I REALLY heated the surface the sticky back remained fine and intact.
Next I mixed up my paint "washes." I refer to them as washes being they become much more translucent with the addition of water. First I added water to the Traditional Tan paint and applied it over the entire canvas surface. Then I added water to the Modern Red and applied it sparingly in selected areas. As I worked with the red I estimated the approximate location of my tulip placement and brought the red in for balance in the other areas of my canvas.
I am sharing the two pieces above being the one I ended up with on the right was somewhat of a "happy accident." Being a novice with these materials I do a LOT of experimenting as I work through what the materials are capable of doing. Being that the tulips acted in such a wonderful "resist" manner as I applied the paint washes I thought that it would be necessary to apply something over the top to make certain that my stamped tulip and additional layering of paints would work and not be "resisted." SO I applied a layer of gesso over the entire project thinking that it was going to dry transparent. OOPS! Gesso is white - very white and it is used to prime surfaces. EGADS - my beautiful project was on it's way to be nothing. So I ran to the sink with canvas in hand and placing it directly under the stream of water I removed the gesso. What I was left with was a soppy, in fact VERY soppy, piece of canvas. Yet the sticky back was still mostly intact.
Experiment number two - now what??? soppy canvas??? YUCK! So I once again grabbed my heat embossing tool and dried it. Voila - I now had the canvas which is pictured on the right.
This project was about layers and experimenting. Next I applied Palette Burnt Sienna ink (yes, I do use these little cubes to ink my Scrapblocks - they work great) randomly to the Tulle Damask scrapblock. To begin I had cut my canvas to a 6x6 size, Scrapblock size! I created a mask of the tulip using Eclipse Tape and positioned it in the appropriate place on my canvas. First I tried stamping off and then stamping on the canvas. Oops yet again! I needed more ink. So I reapplied the ink and this time immediately stamped my canvas - perfect! (well almost, but you really can't see the imperfections, besides they just add to the wonderful vintage effect - LOL!)
After removing my mask I then stamped my Tulip using Brilliance ink. Many of you have asked me to provide you some information on inks and why I use what I use. I hope to do that in the near future. There is typically some thought put in to which ink I am going to use before I begin. I used the Palette above because I know that it stamps well on fabric. I wasn't planning on using any other mediums over it and so I felt that it would be my best choice for adding the tulle damask pattern. When stamping the Tulip though I wasn't certain where this experiment would lead me. I knew that I wanted to paint the Tulip with the Studio Paints, but I wasn't certain if I would be able to achieve the look I had in my mind and so I wanted some flexibility. I wanted to be able to add either water based products OR perhaps Copics and so I didn't want to paint myself in to a corner, so to speak, and went with the broad-based Brilliance ink instead of Palette.
After stamping it, I did heat set it once again - this part is critical when working with Brilliance in this type of project.
I began painting by adding my first layer of color to the tulip (Modern Red mixed with White). As you can see the Studio paints are translucent and the lines of my stamp image show through and act as a wonderful guide. The layers do show through one another, especially when you thin the paint with water. The fabulous thing about this is that it creates SO much depth to your project. The more paint you add, the more the bottom layer disappears and so by the time I was finished painting my tulip most of the black lines had disappeared with the strategic placement of my paints.
For the foliage I began with Landscape Green, once again thinning it ever so slightly. I used the smallest size brush included in the package of brushes Claudine has put together. I am finding that for the price they are absolutely fabulous! No hairs on my projects and yet easy to clean with each use.
I know that this is an enormous picture, but I really wanted you to be able to "see" the colors and layers in this project. I used the following colors to complete my project: Modern Red, Blank Canvas, Charcoal Black, Dab of Yellow, Smidge of Blue, Landscape Green and Traditional Tan. Some colors were used straight out of the bottles and others were mixed using Claudine's charts as a beginning guide tool. I needed a darker, more yellow green for the foliage and so by quickly referring to her chart I knew to mix Dab of Yellow with Smidge of Blue. I then went off on my own tangent and mixed yet another little puddle combining this color with the Landscape Green. It seems like no matter what artist tools I'm using, be it Prismacolor Pencils, Copic Markers and now Studio Paints I prefer to use at least three colors to create "one" area of color.
Once this was complete I just sat and marveled at the incredible piece of art that was before me. I realized that creating this piece of art is all about teamwork. Teamwork of those who first created and defined the images I was using, those who developed the products I was using and then my own natural curiosity and experimentation. I want to assure you that you too will be able to have some of the happiest of accidents if you just try! I was literally taken aback at how beautiful this came out. My wish is that you can all experience the feelings that I felt as I worked with these products yesterday. It felt SO amazing!
I then used my Tim Holtz ruler to poke the holes in the canvas and used embroidery thread to define the image.
Next the ribbon and button were sewed in to place.
To create the pin cushion backing I simply used a piece of canvas from my days of sewing. (Yes, I have a weird assortment of things in my back room - LOL!) I brushed a wash of the red randomly on this 6x6 piece of canvas fabric and blew it dry with my heat embossing tool. Once again I inked and stamped the Tulle Damask with Burnt Sienna. This time I painted the Silhouette Tulips using Modern Red and once again stamped them randomly on the fabric. Heated the fabric one more time to dry it and ironed it flat using my craft iron.
After removing the sticky back from the front canvas layer I sewed the two pieces together leaving the top edge between the ribbon open. Using Polyfil I stuffed my pin cushion. (They say that human hair is a wonderful thing to add to pin cushions. It is supposed to keep your needles sharp, but being I'm not a hairstyliest I thought I'd best leave my hair intact - LOL!) The opening was then sewn shut and my project was complete.
The edges of this canvas can also be "pulled" to lend a more frayed look to it, but time was now of the essence to just get this done - LOL! I stuck a couple of my "pretty" pins stuck in to my brand new pin cushion and snapped my pictures. Beth was laughing at me - only I would have just the right colored pins to add to my pin cushion - LOL!
So here it hangs in my studio and it is going to make me smile for days to come. I hope that this project inspires you to try some new things in your creative process. Step outside the box; don't worry about the end result. Formulate a picture in your mind and then just start working. You may need to alter the steps along the road to discovery, but sometimes those alterations end up making the project even more beautiful. Believe me when I tell you that for every happy accident there are dozens of not so pretty ones - LOL! Come on and join me in the discovery process of this new line of paints and tools, as well as these gorgeous new Shady Tree Studio images - you might just surprise yourself! -Ellen