Monday, January 17, 2011

Art Charm Challenge No. 1: Mixed Media Paper

Art Charm Challenges are little bitty charm projects that anyone can do at any time. I'm putting these challenges together for our Art Charms Yahoo Group, in which my lovely co-author Peg Krzyzewski is running a book study of our book, Making Mixed Media Art Charms & Jewelry. The idea is to have Challenges running each month which correlate with whatever chapter Peg is covering that month in the book study.
Chris' first sheet of completed Mixed Media Paper

I'm posting the Challenges here on my blog, so everyone can join in the fun!

Challenges are for folks who don't want to commit to a swap, but still want to try a technique and make a charm or two, and maybe post pictures of their results if they like.

How to do a Challenge?
First, get most, if not all, of your supplies together ahead of time, and place them in a sturdy low-walled cardboard box like the Chicken of the Sea ones you get at Costco. That way, you’re ready to do a little bit on your Challenge whenever you get a free moment.

Too, it’ll be really helpful to find a large flat rectangle of cardboard (like Priority Mail large flat rate box size), and cover it with waxed paper (taped on the back), to give you a portable glue-friendly flat work space.

And now, without further ado, I will introduce Challenge No. 1: Mixed Media Paper.
Chris' Challenge box, filled with supplies for this challenge

For the box:
• a piece or two of cardstock (color doesn’t matter)
• a few paints, markers, gel pens, colored pencils, chalks, crayons (you might want to decide on a colorway before you gather your supplies)
• stamps & inks (if you have them), texture tools (combs, old credit cards, chopsticks, whatEVER!)
• bits & scraps of colorful paper for collage
• any sort of embellishment that will add detail – ephemera, fun fibers, confetti, glitter glue, stickers,
• white glue mixed with water, 50/50
• a couple of large pieces of waxed paper for you to work on.

The Confession:
I didn’t use even half of the supplies I had in my Challenge box – I started out thinking I’d do pink/purple/blue with an Asian theme, then I decided to ditch all the pink stuff and I just worked with the purple and blue.

The Challenge:
First, lay your large pieces of waxed paper down on your flat rectangle of cardboard and tape them to the back of the cardboard. (yes, OVER the waxed paper you taped onto it earlier – this makes cleanup a snap when you’re done!) BTW, you don’t really HAVE to tape the second layer of waxed paper down – especially if you think you might have time to do more than one piece – just crease the edges of the waxed paper over the sheet of cardboard, so it stays put while you work – then when you’re finished embellishing a sheet of cardstock, just lift off the whole thing – loose sheet of waxed paper under embellished cardstock - and set it aside to dry.
Chris' second completed (but not yet dry) sheet of Mixed Media Paper

Next, place a piece of cardstock on your waxed rectangle, and throw as much color, decoration, and detail onto it as you can manage.

It doesn’t really matter in what order you add things – just as long as you’re happy with it! And, since you’ll be doing this in little steps, waiting for layers to dry won’t be such a pain.

• Try adding a little bit of paint and smooshing it around the cardstock with a texture tool.
• Add scribbles of chalk or marker, or stamped images in ink.
• Use diluted glue to paste down scraps of paper, and/or embellishments.

You might want to seal the whole thing with the diluted glue when you’re done. Let it dry and show us the results!

• Before I did my mixed media paper, I decorated some tissue paper with an Asian lady collage stamp using dye inks, then I scribbled on it with metallic pastels and painted over that with metallic watercolors – once this was dry, I tore it into pieces and added it to my mixed media paper.

Mixed Media tissue paper

• I also took a page out of a Japanese book, and used Asian calligraphy stamps on it in metallic pigment inks and painted over that with metallic watercolors – when this was dry, I used the uber cool paper punches to punch out flowers – they’re purple/blue, and really cool looking with all of the different colors and sizes of Asian calligraphy on them. I’m using them as embellishments on the charms.
Mixed Media Asian text paper

Uber-coolio Asian-flower-themed paper punches I used on the Mixed Media Asian text paper - found here.

• I didn’t even bother to mix the glue with water – just kind of mooshed it around with my paintbrush (which was wet from doing the metallic watercolors)
• I mixed the acrylic craft paint with Mod Podge, because I’m going for detail and depth – didn’t want the paint to completely cover what was underneath – squirted a few drops each of purple and blue craft acrylic paint out onto the waxed paper and the dropped a small amount of Mod Podge nearby – used my brush to smoosh the colors and Mod Podge around and apply it to my mixed media paper, which gave me some really neat color variations.
• I started my mixed media papers with stamping – I covered each sheet of cardstock with the Asian calligraphy stamp in one color, then turned the page 90 degrees and overstamped that with a different ink color. Then I added paints, scraps of tissue paper and washi paper, snippets of fun fibers, sequins (thoroughly glued down), and scribbled over that with the pastels and painted over that with the paints – sprinkled some glitter in there too, somewhere.
Inventory of what was in Chris’ Challenge box, clockwise from top left:
NOTE: items I actually used are indicated with an asterisk *
* cardstock
* tissue paper
alcohol inks on glossy photo paper
*handmade paper by Peg Krzyzewski.
*scraps of washi paper from Art ‘n’ Soul.
*pages from Japanese book
*my favorite paintbrush
*acrylic paints – craft, Golden, Lumieres
*Mod Podge gloss
*Ranger Stickles (didn’t use these on the MMP, but will be embellishing punched flowers with this)
tiny blue mosaic/rocks pieces (Peg gave these to me, so I don’t know the name or source)
*Twinkling H2O’s – metallic watercolors
black plastic cup for mixing Mod Podge & water
*pigment, chalk, & dye inkpads
Dreamweaver metallic FX from Art ‘n’ Soul.
*scraps of fun fibers
*Asian-themed stamps
*Caran D’ache metallic pastels
*Cretacolor Aquastic metallic water-soluble oil pastels
Copic Markers
Micron pens by Sakura
Glaze pens by Sakura
Pearl line gel pen by MonAmi
*Kikyou & Sakura (M) punches by CarlaCraft from here.


Leslie Sirag said...

Hi Chris,
I'd have liked to see a completed charm or two. & what abt. those of us who might do this for a swap, but won't bother for a challenge?
Nice writing--very clear.
And please link to my blog, Leslie

Chris said...

Thanks Leslie! Yep, I'm still working on the charms themselves - they're coming together quite nicely, and I will be sure to post a pic of the finished charms as soon as they're done. I'm at the gluing circles stage: I glue a circle from MMP#1 on one side of the cereal-box-type-cardboard circle, and a circle from MMP#2 on the other side, then I'm adding the little flowers on either side. Still to add: more embellishments, and a few coats of sealer - considering doing a coupla coats of Mod Podge followed by two coats of Diamond Glaze. Will also test a new spray acrylic sealer I found at Art N Soul the other day - would love love LOVE to find a sturdy spray sealer!