Friday, 27 March 2015

Just One Product

Hello, Friends!
My beautiful Creative Team prepared a very special post for you all today!
As the girls have been working with my products for some time, I had an idea to ask them what would be the one project that is their favorite, that is always at hand on their desks.
They didn't hesitate and gave me their answers really quickly. :)
So today they are sharing their faves! A really inspiring read!


How can you not love Finnabair's stamps (especially the new range of Cling Stamps)?!
I have chosen to use my stamps on fabric and on primed canvas board, just to see how they would perform.
I have also used 3 different techniques: 1. with archival ink, 2. with Distress Ink and water, and 3. with embossing ink and powder.
All these stamps worked beautiful on these different surfaces and the media I used.

Using a light weight piece of calico , I painted it first with a layer of Art Basics White Gesso and then stamped with Archival Ink, the beautiful figure stamp from Finns “Don’t Forget To Fly” set.
The second piece of calico I did not prime first, just left natural and used the little “Messy” script stamp from the Clear Stamp range, it gave a nice soft effect.
I also used another Clear Stamp with Distress Ink and then misted with water around the edge of the canvas board. The last stamp I used was the Doily stamp, which was embossed in white.

I love Soft Gel for its multiple functions which I can put into use. This is an essential product in each of my projects.
Soft Gel is white in a jar, but becomes completely transparent after drying. It's water-based and permanent.
There are two different kinds: Soft Gloss Gel and Soft Matte Gel. To tell you the truth, I use the one which I find in my stack first. :)

Why do we need it? Here are some uses for Soft Gel:
- It is a great base and sealer for different paints and sprays
- A very strong adhesive
- A medium for image transferring
- Easily mixed with a variety of pigments

I used Soft Gel to create this tag. I love using alcohol inks, but they do not work on paper.
So first, I covered the tag with some paste and then sealed it with Soft Gel. The surface became nonporous and a perfect base for alcohol inks.
All the elements are glued with Soft Gel, especially I like using it with Micro Beads and other Art Ingredients.

The title is also created using Soft Gel. I covered a piece of paper with it, then added some glitter. After drying I used Sizzix die to cut out a word.

I really love all the Texture Pastes from Finnabair, but here I'm showing you the perfect background paste for so many different projects.
It's creamy, light, and so easy to work with. You just apply it like frosting to a surface and it does all the magic!

I let this crackle overnight due to the thickness of the paste. A thick layer gives big cracks and takes longer to dry, and a thinner the layer creates smaller cracks and dries much quicker.

On a tag or layout, the thinner layer is perfect. On this canvas, I was going for a more dramatic look, so I layered it on pretty heavy.
When dry, you can add paints, sprays, inks, whatever you want to accentuate the cracks and add color to the surface. This shows the beginning of the layers of color with a few sprays of Walnut Ink.

Stamped images are so stunning on top of the crackle. The possibilities are endless. It's just the beginning of a whole lot of fun!!!

Modeling paste is all about texture, texture and texture again. :)
What I love most about the modeling paste is the dimensional effect you get.
It is a perfect match for all kinds of stencils. 
You can create your background and build your project. The raised areas created with stencils add some fabulous interest to the project. Modeling Paste is a must have product!

I'm crazy about textures but we need to mention that Modeling Paste is also a perfect base for creating custom-made pastes. You can mix it with all Art Ingredients or with colored mediums such as inks, water based paints or pigments.

It wasn't easy to choose just one product but I finally decided to talk about Clear Crackle Paste as recently, I keep using it more and more often.
Why? I love adding a vintage feel to my works and there's nothing better than delicate crackles on different kinds of surfaces.

Why the clear version of the paste? It's simple really - it allows us to see all the layers and colors underneath.

Clear Crackle Paste is really easy to apply, even when you want to have a thicker layer.
And the thicker layer, the more expressive and beautiful crackles in my opinion. Then you need to leave your work to dry for a couple of hours to get the best result.
When I want my crackles to be more subtle, I apply a thin layer and dry it with a heating tool.

And my favorite trick - whenever I use any colored mediums like mists, water-based paints or even tea and coffee - all the pigments stay un the crackles and make them more vivid and emphasize the beautiful texture.

And now it's my turn to praise my favorite product. :) Stencils signed by Finn distinguish themselves by both design and quality.
I’m under the spell of their versatility, they can do any background, be one of the layers or serve as a finishing touch.
Their patterns are far from sweet daisies, but this is the thing I adore in them the most. All these cogs, nets, broken wires and distressed harlequins make them a perfect choice to use in a bit mechanical and shabby piece.

The stencils are thick which makes them not only perfect for applying pastes or gels, but it also helps when cleaning. They have perfect sizes for both large and small projects. I appreciate them for the fact of not being transparent at all. Looking through their opaque and grey surface at the work beneath is a pure joy as it lets me choose a perfect place to put the media on. They don’t let mists leak through and perfectly stay in place.

You may also use them as a stamp on a damp and thick coat of modeling paste. Anything more to wish for?

Let's talk about Mechanicals, the perfect stunning metal accent to your projects. I love them and use them on nearly all my mixed media projects.
They are very versatile and when used as an embellishment either raw or painted they look 100% fabulous.
I have included a photo which will show you 6 of my Finnabair Creative Team projects which highlight a few different ways I have used them in the past. To me these are always a 'must have' product, always making your projects shine.

Black gesso is a primer just like its white cousin. What made me choose Black Gesso before the white one is that the darker one is a more recent find.
I’ve been dreaming about the product for some time and when a jar of magic arrived I was so eager to try it out. And the product didn’t leave me cold, quite the opposite! It’s got a lovely, creamy texture and it has more tooth than the white one. The end result is lovely matt and almost chalkboard style.

Black Gesso creates an ideal base for pastels, crayons and more and makes the colors seem brighter. It’s also a great base for Mica Powders to show off their shine and lustre.
It’s also fun to work “the other way around” – bringing in touches of light instead of shadow. Finnabair's Black Gesso is heavy body so you can also apply it through a stencil and use it as a dimensional medium.

*  *  *
Didn't I tell you this was going to be an amazing read? ;)
We all hope you got inspired to try new things and create some Art with us.
Of course, the question is: what is your ONE product? Did you find your favorite yet?
We hope you'll share your picks and if you have any questions, my Team is here to help.


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Art Recipe: Flames of Love...

Hi there lovely people!
I hope you are ready to forgive me my absence on the blog in the last days - but i have to confess that working on new classes, teaching in France (huge hugs to the wonderful group from Miramas!) and finally getting ready for Version scrap in Paris took over 90% of my life.
Today I'm back, hoping my new Art Recipe will cheer you up and make your creative juices flowing - just as it made with me! Ha!

I've mentioned many times I love to collect and buy old or interesting objects (or both!) of all kinds. Some of you know the story of two wooden rabbits (!), milk bottles and a crate or my new "adopted relatives" I found in the antique store in Glasgow. One of my big weaknesses are vintage books - especially with beautiful old illustrations, typography, handwritten notes and hard covers which make them perfect for my art journals. I love decorating them and I love creating inside of them, changing these  forgotten, unwanted pieces of paper into something new, artistic and very personal. This is the example of one of "these" books.

I loved this brown cover from the first sight and I was hoping I will find a way to show it natural beauty. Then the idea of using the "flaming heart" came to my mind and the whole process happened very quickly!

I was looking for the colours matching the color of the book and  finally combination of Art Basics Black Gesso and Silks in 2 tones of brown was the solution. To add extra aged look to it I've used Art Extravagance White Crackle Paste - and I loved the effect!

Now the book will turn into something special - the cover is waiting... I'm really tempted to use it as my next journal. Or maybe I should alter it also inside?

Here is my Art Recipe  - enjoy!

Here is the whole process - step-by-step:

1. I've taken an old book with a beautiful brown cover. I loved it so much I didn't want to change it completely - so I've just planned to alter the front of it adding this amazing heart from new Prima "Relics and Artifacts" collection by Sandra Evertson. I've started with Art Extravagance White Crackle  Paste applied with a palette knife directly on the cover. When the paste was wet I've placed the heart directly in it and left it all in a warm place to speed up the crackling process.

2. Next I took some of my Mechanicals - numbers, metal late and cog and some cute screw and nail heads from Junkyard Findings collection, I added some fabric tape to the composition and glued all the metal elements with a bit of Art Basics Modeling Paste. It's great adhesive for dimensional elements!
When the Modeling Paste was dry I've covered the heart and crackled paste with a thin coat of Art Basics Black Heavy Gesso to make it darker and prime it before painting. I dried the gesso with heating tool.

3. When my gesso was dry I started adding some derails: small pebbles, Art Ingredients Glass Beads and Micro Beads. Art Basics Soft Gels are great glues for this purpose - simply apply them in the selected places and sprinkle the beads over. After drying they will be permanent!

4. When my pebbles and beads were securely glued I added a bit more of Art Basics Black Heavy Gesso on the top of them and after a moment I was able to paint the composition with some brown metallic acrylic paint. My choices were 2 colours of Silks: Autumn Leaf and Nutmeg. I brushed them on the top of the heart, metal embellishments and crackle.

5. Final touches were done with 2 colours of Iridescent Silks: Gold and Green. They added extra light and more colour tones to my book cover. After drying I varnished the whole front of the book with a coat of Art Basics Soft Matte Gel for extra protection.

And this is it! I hope you are now inspired to visit your local antique shops of flea markets and "adopt" and old book or two... they will be grateful for changing them into art and giving them a "new life" - I'm sure!

For your convenience here are the products - all available in our Mixed Media Place Store:

I wish you all a great, creative weened - and make sure you will come back on Friday to check out next great tutorial by my amazing Creative Team!
Sending hugs!