Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finnabar Classes

Last summer I was lucky enough to take 2 classes from the amazing mixed-media artist, Finnabar.  I first learned of her when I went to CHA 5-ish years ago. She must have just become a member of the Prima Marketing design team because two of her large mixed-media canvases were quietly hanging in their booth, no big sign identifying them....just these two big beautiful mixed-media pieces.  WHOA, did I do a double take! I had never seen anything like it before. She has a very distinct style that involves adding a lot of texture and 3D objects to her canvases. She often uses her own image as her focal point and creates headdresses with found objects. Basically her philosophy is along the lines of "I have my husband take a picture of me and get 25 prints at the store and there you are".  Check out her blog to see all of her amazing work.  I will be honest I had some of her work on here but it made my canvas look so drag it depressed me. I know that she worked on her canvases for a lot of hours and I had 4 was still depressing...SOOOOO on to denial.

I have taken a few classes with big "celebrity" crafters, both in-person and online, and they are all great experiences, Finnabar was by far the most laid back and coolest teacher yet. She is just a super NICE person who loves to teach and share her art. She now has a HUGE line with Prima under the art basics-Gessos, Mediums, Texture Pastes, 3D Gloss Gel, Modeling Paste; art ingredients that includes Micas, Glitters, Glass Glitters, Glass Beads, Micro Beads.

She has a pretty extensive line of metal embellishments under mechanicals-everything from metal hardware, to gears, to faucets, to jewelry pieces
Mini Hardware 
Rusty Gears
and art basics which include alterable fabric flowers.
Alterable Flowers: White
Under the Finnabair brand there are also rubber-stamps, patterned papers, brushes, texture tools, and stencils.  I used her Butterfly stamps for my January 12 Tags of tag.
Her newest products include art alchemy line which are the most gorgeous paints...a few are below just to tease you with.
Steampunk Copper 
Metallique Gold Rush

Métallique Vintage Rose  
Metallique Light Patina
These incredible Opals that have been screaming my name since I saw them....they seem like the kind of product I buy and then refuse to use because they are too pretty which really makes no sense but, yeah.
Opal Magic Aqua Rose 
Opal Magic Rose Gold 
Opal Magic Violet Gold
Opal Magic Violet Green
Opal Magic Pink Blue
Opal Magic Blue Gold
Oh. My God...these are STUNNERS. I would have added links to these products but either Karma is kicking my butt OR my husband is because my computer has a MalWare issue with something called "EASYSHOPPER" which is ANYthing but easy. The stupid thing adds pop-ups all over the screen so you can't even look at the item you are trying to see. Who would want that service? Who is going to say "Yay, you completely ruined my shopping experience so let me click YOUR link and purchase through YOU! Yes, that is what I want to do!"? Who? I don't get it...unless their business plan is based  entirely on tricking people into clicking on their site because it is confusing as the pop-ups keep showing up. With Jill it was pretty obvious but on other sites it wasn't as clear and I could imagine someone screwing that up but I cannot believe they can make a good living doing this.
This is a screenshot of me trying to shop at  See the shirt I was looking at? Yay, me either. This thing is very difficult to get rid of....I tried.  I usually just hand my computer tno my husband and let him fix it as he understands this stuff much better than I do. I don't want to make it worse but downloading something that will only add more MalWare...which is apparently very easy to do.  I upgraded to the new operating software X El Capitan-which didn't fix it but has left me closing windows left and right because they switched the back page and red/yellow/green buttons around. Why? Why do that? Every time I want to go back a page I shut the window....UGH its so frustrating. 
SO....back to the class. Finnabair offered 4 classes and stupid me I only took 2 (head butting the wall as I recall this).  The classes were designed to give experience with her Finnabair brand products.  This first class was all about her art basics: Black Gesso, 3D Soft Gel, Mica Powders and tons of metal embellishments from her Junkyard Findings.  We also used buttons from her "Ugly Button Stash" as she referred to them. Basically, she had a bowl containing a collection of the ugliest plastic buttons. The thing is, add some Black Gesso and Mica and BAM you have something that looks like vintage metal and the uglier the button the better this seems to work.
We started by adding texture paste through stencils down the center of the canvas. We then used 3D Gloss Gel to glue down some Prima cardboard on the two sides. Mine buckled in this weird way that gave it an almost fabric look.
Finnabair was as surprised as I was about it...too bad I had nothing to do with it and couldn't reproduce it if I wanted to. After that all dried it was time for the Black Gesso, Mica mixed in 3D Soft Gel.
 The 3D Soft Gel was used to glue down the buttons and metal objects.
The paintbrush was glued down as well with the Soft Gel. I added the screw heads down the handle;  they are part of Finnabair's Junkyard line. I LOVE the effect they give anywhere they are used.
We used the 3D Soft Gell and Micas to make our own custom paints and dry brushed the piece. I was all about the purples and Finnabair actually pulled out a plastic bag full of the unreleased silver mica which was just perfection. I took all the pics on the same day....not sure why the colors are so different.

I will post the second project later this week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

12 Tags of 2016: Remix February Edition

The February tag from Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2016: Remix is very pretty. I started out making a bunch of backgrounds but ended up only finishing two tags because I wanted to save the fun backgrounds for other tags.

First....Tim's Masterpiece
You can read more-or to play along- you can see Tim's instructions here.  This tag was all about mixing his Stencil Monoprint technique with Embossed Paste.

My first tag-as you can see-is very similar to Tim's. I like to make one tag that is pretty similar and then play around with other options. This gives me the technique skills and then lets me play. 
I don't always post my exact copies but this one is so pretty I couldn't help myself....and it isn't an exact copy as I didn't have the same stencil, arrows, and flowers Tim used. I also used Wendy Vecchi's Embossing Paste rather than Texture Paste because it is open and I didn't want to open another product.  I think the Embossing Paste may have puffed a little when heated to melt the embossing powder....I couldn't quite decide. 
I really love the shiny look of the gold embossing paste over the embossing/texture paste.  Not that I ever met gold anything that I didn't love but you get my point.  

The shiny gold hearts (on the larger chipboard and patterned paper covered heart) were punched from copy paper run though a laser jet and printed as a pure sheet of toner and then foiled using my Heidi Swapp Minc and Gold Foil. The punch is a Martha Stewart. 

Tim used a spray of tiny vintage flowers on his tag and though I have a ton of vintage flowers, the only ones I had that small are metallic silver and I didn't like the way they looked.  I added a Idea-ology Heirloom Rose and a small bow make with 1/4-in seam binding dyed with Candied Red Distress Spray. 
The Typed Token is attached to the key with metallic red embroidery floss from DMC. The camera isn't picking up how gorgeous these threads are. 

My favorite tag is this pink and gold version. 
Here I used a combination of Victorian Velvet and Tattered Rose Distress Inks and Sprays.  
For the flowers cluster I die cut the flowers from white coffee filter using the Tattered Flower Garland Sizzlet which I  just got...not sure how I lived without it so long because this die makes the tiniest flowers.  I used the three smallest petals for the flowers.  The sprayed the cut petals with Tattered Rose Distress Spray, scrunched them up and used the heat gun to dry them.   Because they are so small, I think if you want to really get them wet with inks, a coffee filter or one of Tim's Tissue Wraps are the best thing to cut them from....tissue paper would have quickly ripped. Using tiny stamens, I cut each in half and used 3 little stamens in the larger flower and 1 in the two smaller flowers.  Simply thread on as many as you like- I used 4 or 5 for each flower- and finish off by adding a tiny drop of hot glue to the back of the final petal right at the hole to hold the stamen in place.  I colored more of the 1/4-in seam binding this time using a combination of Victorian Velvet and Tattered Rose Distress Sprays. I scrunched up the ribbon and used a heat gun to dry it faster (though you can let it air dry). Once dry I made a tiny bow.  I glued the bow to the flowers, cut off the stems and hot glued the entire thing to the tag. 
Again,  the Typed Token is attached with metallic DMC thread, this time in a mauvey- pink. 
For the monoprint, I used the Scribbles Layering Stencil; for the Embossed Paste I used Argyle and Typo was used to add the inked accents (where Tim used the Hearts). All my stencils are the full-sized layering stencils.  

That's if for this month's tag. Now to go and use the 10 other tags I started...what shall I made?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Pretty Paper Valentine

The final two pieces of my Valentine Centerpieces were a sweet Paper Valentine and a lantern.
I am so in love with these.  I cut the heart using a Sizzix heart box that is 1. No longer available and 2. Sucks to put together. I tried everything I could think of, Googled tutorials, and still couldn't make the box look right. But the top made a beautiful base for a Valentine and because it is a steel ruled die I could cut it from a medium weight cardboard.  I covered the hearts with patterned paper, glued a pink doily to the back, added a fun rosette topped with a wooden heart.   The "love" and tiny heart are cut from  Minc Foiled copy paper.  The "love" is actually Heidi Swapp's "lovely" thin die that I just cut off the "LY".  The gold splatters are Heidi Swapp Color Shine in gold. That stuff is my new obsession.
The final piece is a lantern made using another Tim Holtz Luminary 3-D die.  I added the final flower from the Jumbo Tattered Floral die flowers and a leaf from Garden Greens die.  I used vellum in the windows and pearls on the top.  A battery-operated tea light finished of this project and add a fun element to the centerpiece.  I hear the girls used the tea lights as "lighters" during the musical portion of the dinner which cracked me up.  

That is I need to make Valentine's for my son's class.....

Monday, February 8, 2016

Paper Flower Vase

The second part of my centerpiece for the Valentine's Day party was a vase of paper flowers.  I made the flowers using my favorite flower dies- the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers dies. I used the Jumbo die for all 3 of the flowers I used in this vase and the small one I added to the paper lanterns.
I cut flowers from plain tissue papers, patterned papers, metallic tissue, oiled tissue papers, and old book pages.  It is easy to simply layer them up and thread them onto some sort of stem. Here I simply used wire that was curled on one end to keep the petals from falling off. I add 4 or so petals and add a drop of hot glue to the back and smash it all up without burning my fingers, then I add more petals. I end with a thick patterned paper petal.  I used the wire to add whisky by bending it forward.  The M&M's keep the stems in place but look fun and playful.  I hear the girls ate the M&M's and I have to admit I never imagined they would eat them.... I may have dropped one or two and pick them back up and tossed them in a vase.
Each Vase also had a sweet heart cut from gorgeous wool felt that I got from Felt on the Fly.  Felt on the Fly carries gorgeous 100% wool felt. I have been looking for beautiful felt for a few years and am thrilled I finally find someone who carries every color imaginable and is great to work wit
BTS: Ryann helped me by holding up the white board. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine Waterless Snow Globe

I was asked to make the 14 Valentine-themed centerpieces that would then be raffled off as door prizes to 8th-grade girls. I didn't really know exactly how big the tables would be and I wanted to make something that would be a fun and interesting keepsake for middle a big ol' basket of artificial flowers probably wasn't going to excite them.  I played around with a few ideas and settled on a cluster of 4 individual- but coordinated -items with a Valentine Waterless Snow Globe taking center stage.
The snow globes are made with a mason jars with clean sides. It does have a green/blue tint that I wish it didn't have, but the writing across the clear jar was so distracting I hated the way it looked and I couldn't get a wide-mouth clear jar in town.  I cut a small styrofoam ball in half and hot glued it to the lid, covered it with spanish moss and attached all the pieces to this.

I decorated the snow globe with little blue roses made from Tim Holtz Tattered Pinecone die,  felt and paper hearts, a fun Valentine tree with pink pearls that started as a Tim Holtz Idea-ology bottle brush tree.  My trees were misshaped from being in the packaging and I found if you mist them with water and let them dry overnight they fluff up. The pearls are cheap-o plastic pearls colored with alcohol ink.  I cut "Sparkle & Shine" from a WPlus9 die using silver glitter paper.

I wrapped a fun pink tinsel from Melissa Frances around the lid and hot glued it in place.  I tied a seam binding bow around the top of the jar an used glue dots- one under the bow and one on the opposite side -to hold the ribbon in place.  The tags were cut from Tim Holtz die. The bottom tag is cut from patterned paper. I wrapped a pink metallic embroidery floss around the bottom and glued a tiny little gold foiled heart made from a Minc'd piece of typing paper.  The top tag is stamped with a Tim Holtz quote and foiled using a glue stick and Martha Stewart Pink foil.  I die cut a heart from a piece of laminated foil waste (see more about how I made that here). Finally, the silver bell is colored pink with alcohol inks giving it a variegated look I love.

I hear the girls LOVED the snow globes. Mission accomplished.

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