26 May, 2014

Studio Monday: Bring On The Wonder

Today, for Studio Monday, I'm happy to present my latest mixed media canvas called "Bring on the Wonder". It's so bright and fun, I am really happy with how it came out. I've also gotten a wonderful response by the lovely people that "like" my Facebook page, I'm overwhelmed, truly. I can't thank everyone enough for commenting. This was just an experimentation, a need for something rainbow in my space, and it turned out prettier than I hoped.

Several of the responses I got asked how I made the piece and for a step-by-step. While I didn't take a ton of pictures during the making of this (and a few got deleted), I have some to share with you today.
This first photo is something I took when I was asked to share a "peek" of what I was working on when I spoke of a rainbow canvas a month or so back. This canvas is 12x15 inches and getting a rainbow blend was a *lot* of trial and error. There are several watercolour paper sheets that I just plain threw out because they didn't work out. In this picture, the canvas is in the process of drying. When it dried, I went after it with water. I misted, I dripped, I just plain threw water at it.
This is after I the water dried and I finally thought of a direction or idea for the canvas. I went online, searched out free butterfly clipart, and printed out several sizes and variations. I was auditioning how I wanted the butterflies to fly and what size I wanted them. Once I'd coloured many, many of them I also auditioned, in this manner, how I wanted the colours to flow. Originally I had the colourway following the background. Then I had the rainbow going down from the top, but finally decided on the rainbow flying upwards so that the colours of the butterflies would match up with their complimentary colours in the background.
Originally I started colouring the butterflies with my Copics, but that was desperately and intensely boring. I mean, mind numbing to the point where I just kept putting it off. Now, I think, it was so hard because I was going in the wrong direction. I got the idea that I would use my Derwent Inktense pencils instead and it when like lightning. The video game that Mike and I are into got an update on Thursday and kinda broke for a while, so we didn't play. I got all the butterflies coloured and re-coloured just in that day because the game was off, lol!
This is the stage where I went through and added more Stickles than ever known to God and man. I mean, this thing is SO shiny its ridiculous! I don't know if I was covering up the black of the butterflies not printing great, or trying to add interest to the butterflies, but it seems to have worked out. I used the large Ice Stickles for the butterfly bodies and then tried to coordinate the colour of the butterflies with Stickle colour. I didn't have the proper blue, so those butterflies just have very light blue on them. This stage took a while, and then it was a matter of making sure not to touch it for a long, long while.
And the final photo for you is the piece up on my wall. I put it over to the right because I'm developing a companion piece for this. I just don't have the proper size canvas on hand.

I hope you enjoyed this canvas, the little peek at how I made it, and this edition of Studio Monday. Thank you for coming, and I look forward to seeing you again!

Supply List for this Piece:
12x16 gesso treated, stretched canvas
Dylusions Ink sprays
Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils
Copic Markers
Stickles/Ice Stickles
Cameo cut silver paper
Prima flowers/butterflies
Clip art on Copic paper
Glossy Accents
Cheesecloth
Rhinestones
Water

05 May, 2014

Studio Monday: Homemade Perler Bead Dots

Welcome to another Studio Monday! Yes, I've jumped on the "Perler beads to enamel dots" train, but a little more carefully than others seem to be taking it. I'd never want to melt plastic in my conventional oven because of the dangers of chemicals in the air and chemicals getting in my FOOD. I'd rather not kill us just for some cheap dots. Instead, since I already needed a non-food toaster oven to cook Sculpey clay figures in, I thought I'd try the enamel dots as well.
I bought one of those big tubs for a few dollars at Michael's, arranged them on a piece of a Tim Holtz non-stick mat, and set them in the toaster oven outside on my deck. Since, even in a portable oven, there's risk of fumes I'm only going to cook non-food items outside.
This is a picture of my second batch after I made a test batch. The test batch came out just fine too, but I figured I'd show you this since it shows how many dots I can do at a time. I can get even more than this actually, too, so it's a lot. For my Black and Decker, $29 model that I got at Wal-Mart the setting 300* for 40 minutes works perfectly. I do them in batches of light and dark dots. I didn't really see a difference in cooking time for the daker ones, or for the clear/glittered beads. They all melted well at this temperature and setting. I am at 7,000ft elevation too, so I'm sure that affects cooking time.
This shot isn't as helpful as I'd like, but this is my batch of half dots. I cut the beads in half with my scissors and cooked them at the same time and heat. As you can see, on a few of them, they melted a little wonky since they were cut a little wonky. I'll be more careful next time. The half dots DO end up smaller though, so that's nice to have various sizes.
I had to get a box to contain them, of course, so I picked up a $2 embroidery floss box and separated them by colour. I love this sight. so much pretty. If you've seen my projects lately, you know I've been using them too, which is always good. Make, use, repeat. I use Glossy Accents to attach them to my projects and that seems to work nicely. There's a crapton more dots in my big 11,000 bin so I will be able to make more dots to fill this up and then some, lol!

I hope you enjoyed this week's Studio Monday and will come back to see how I use up these pretty little dots!