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Plastic Doilies as Stencils

I purchased another stash of vintage plastic doilies from e-bay.  I was pretty excited about all the different varieties I received.  A couple were useless for my art as all the portions in between the designs were covered in clear plastic.  I like to use the plastic doilies as stencils and am currently working on a canvas series using them.  I did get enough to make it worth my while so I am pretty excited.

Check out all the detail…

I was kind of excited to see how they would work so I pulled out my art journal, different paints and inks.  This first one had lots of blank space in the design so it would have worked with anything but I tried a spray.

Here is what it looked like once I pulled it up.  Love it!!!

The next one had a bit finer detail and I tried it with a paint dabber.

That didn’t work out so well, haha!

 I stuck with sprays for the finer ones.  Although, it would have worked fine if I had of taken a small brush and paint to it.

I got this really cool, extremely long one that I will be using in my sign but I tried it out here with some paint and my finger.

The last one I tried was to finish a painting I have been working on.  I wanted to add some texture to an urn and used an oval shaped one.

Here is how it turned out.  Not sure yet if I like it as I got a little impatient and didn’t fill it all in entirely.

I am going to share the wealth and put some sets together to sell in my shop.  Last time I put some up they sold in days.  They should be up by the weekend :)

Garden Friend

I finished the piece, a garden friend, I was working on for the back yard.  I took this (plastic coated wire)…

and this (thanks Angelo & Brittany for your old window)…

and made this for the kids area in the back yard…

 Our new garden friend.  I know it seems a little inappropriate with the snow and temperatures and all but I am just trying to bring back the nice weather and think happy thoughts.  Just a heads up if you are thinking of making something similiar yourself.  The wire was a tad difficult to bend so you will have to be patient.  I also had to cover both sides of my pliers with scraps of fabric as it was ripping the plastic coating from the wire.

Time For An Art Journal – Part 2

A while back I started making my own art journal so I would have a place to try new techniques.  The first part of making the journal can be found here.  I finally managed to get it finished.  I gathered all of my papers for the inside, which were comprised of vintage book pages, maps and watercolour/mixed media sheets.  The papers were different sizes and I put them in different directions to add some interest.

I punched four holes through the cover with my cropodile to use as a guide.  Then came the pages, a few at a time. I found two thick blue elastics (on my broccoli, good recycling :) and ran one through the top two holes, going from back to front so the loops were at the top.  I did the same for the bottom two holes.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did break one the first time pulling it through.  I got a little over zealous, haha.  I would also recommend running it through a few sheets at a time so they don’t tear.  I then took a cool looking paint brush  and slide it through the loops to hold it all together.  You could use anything though, such as a stick for a more rustic look or an antique utensil for a vintage feel.


To finish it off I took out my Ranger Melting Pot

I love encaustic so I wanted to try to get the look without all of the work.  Since this journal is just for me, I thought I would experiment.  So, I melted some soy wax chips and applied it to the surface.  I think I put on about three layers with each layer going in the opposite direction.  I love the cloudy look it gave to the cover and not to mention the texture it added.

But after a day or two, once it had completely dried, it cracked a bit :(

For this purpose, I really don’t mind but if you were working on something special, it would likely be an issue.  Sometimes it doesn’t pay to take shortcuts.  I still love the way it turned out, flaws and all.  Nobody is perfect, so neither should our art be.

Texture Technique – More Ways To Use Sludge

Texture Technique – Sludge as paint

The next thing I did with sludge is use it as paint.  I was preparing a painting for my man’s birthday and wasn’t using any papers or anything of the sort.  So, I knew it needed some kind of texture and Sludge instantly popped into my head.

I used it for one of the stripes, otherwise it would been too flat for my liking.

Deer painting using Sludge

Figured this was the closest thing to a deer head he would get into the house (not a huge fan of animal carcasses).

Deer painting using Sludge

Sludge with stencil

For the last piece I used one of my awesome old school plastic doilies as a stencil.  I saw Christy Tomlinson use one in a tutorial and I just had to get my hands on one. I just set the doily down on the painting and applied quite a bit of Sludge to the top of it, making sure I got into every crack and crevice.

 When I carefully lifted it I was totally happy with the chunky remnants it left.  So, I had to do it again, haha.

The finished piece entitled “Home Tweet Home“.  Isn’t that doily image SO darn cute!!!!

Texture Technique – Impressions in Sludge

Anyone who knows me artistically knows I love, love, love texture.  I could just eat it up.  Hey, maybe that is why I love it, because it looks like you could eat it up.  Maybe this relates to my love of food, haha!  I digress. Anyway, I have found this amazing stuff called Sludge.  It is this awesome environmentally friendly product which is basically a by-product of acrylic paint manufacturing.  Just want to give a virtual pat on the back to Tri-Art for producing it since it essentially costs them more to put out then paint.  I picked mine up at Wallack’s in Ottawa, but if you check their website you might find it in your local art shop.  I have a couple extra bottles so I have put some up in my etsy shop here for those who don’t have access to any and would like to try it out.

I am totally loving this stuff, it is so much fun.  It comes in a thin or thick consistency and is made in batches so is usually different colours.  I, of course, love the thick stuff.  It is even a little grainy which I think is brilliant.  I tried a few different things with it so I am doing this post in two parts.

Impressions in Sludge

   The first piece I did with it was a tree for little Molly (a good friend’s daughter). I took a canvas and drew an outline of where I was going to add the paper trunk to later.  I wanted to make sure not to add texture under where the trunk or leaves were going to be because it makes it difficult to adhere the paper to the canvas.

I then applied some sludge quite thickly to the canvas in a few layers.  You have to work kind of quickly without letting it dry so that the texture technique will work properly…



Then I took a wooden stamp (b-day gift, from Tibet, isn’t it cool?) which has quite deep grooves in it, directly into the thick layers of sludge.  I continued to do this all over the canvas.



Until it looked like this.

Sludge Texture Technique

I then let it dry and applied my trunk and leaves with Modge Podge.  I took my Faber Castell PITT pens to outline the leaves a little.  Here is the finished piece.  Don’t the colours remind you of the menu from Le Hibou in my Wakefield post?

I shall be posting a couple more techniques soon ;)

Category: Tutorial  Tags:  2 Comments

Kids Valentine’s Cards

I was asked by Milah’s art teacher to come in and be a guest teacher.  In that Valentine’s Day is coming up I thought it would be a good idea to do cards with them.  I tried to keep it simple and gave them the option of only two cards.  Here is my sample of the most popular one.

I got the template from Skip To My Lou.  I didn’t add a lollipop to mine though.  Just cut out a large circle with a punch for the head.  I also couldn’t find all red brads for the wing mechanism.  The only thing I could find were red brads with letters on them so I bought red glitter glue and had the kids cover them up.  I also had them cut out plain red circles (using the white piece as a template) then had all kinds of self adhesive glitter hearts for them to add a little bit of shine.  Of course some of the kids took the sample and ran with it, as kids do.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the more daring ones come up with things like making the wings flap with a pipe cleaner contraption.  That boy was definite engineer material.  Here are some of the kids in action.

Milah going against the grain and doing her own thing entirely.

Zoe with her cute smile.

Kaitlyn really not wanting to get her picture taken.

Here are a few finished Valentine’s Cards…

Leila added antenna with some black card stock.

I had a great time and hopefully didn’t embarrass my daughter too much, haha!!

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Thought I would do a quick reverse canvas tutorial on a way to change up your typical canvas.  Just turn it around!!  Using a reverse canvas this way is great when you have bulky items you want to add to your piece or like the look of having a built in frame around your art.

So, you take this….

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Then add this with a medium or Modge Podge…

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

It should be tissue paper, a sewing pattern or something equally thin and light so that it easily gets into all the cracks and crevices.  7 gypsies have some amazing tissue papers.

Then you can make this…

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

and this…

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Reverse Canvas Tutorial

You should really use something a little more substantial when gluing larger pieces such as the nest and zipper circles.  I used my trusty glue gun, one of my favourite tools.

I shall be posting a more extensive video tutorial on incorporating zippers into your work soon, so stay tuned…

To see my other tutorials, check the Tutorials section.