For Dad

I’m honored to be a guest designer for the Mixed Media Mojo Challenge today. This month, the girls are challenging you to create a mixed media piece (more than one medium) with a flower theme in mind – I chose to make a few abstract flowers. There’s even an optional twist – real or faux stitching – I’m sure you can guess which one I applied!

Mixed Media Mojo

I started out wanting to create a card for a friend. But something happened as I was working on my piece. My dad wandered into my crafting office, stopped an said Wow – that’s really nice! THUD….that was me picking myself up off the floor.

You see, my father has NEVER commented on anything I’ve made unless I gave it to him directly….lol! He lingered next to my crafting desk, and continued to tell me how much he liked this piece – it was about 80% done. Maybe it was the flowers? The colors? I was too dumbstruck to even ask why! Who cares why….He liked it, he liked it – he really, really liked it! (channeling my inner Sally Field)

My dad loves flowers – so in my mind – that’s it. Well, I decided right then and there that this would not be a card, but rather a frame-able piece that I’ll give him for Father’s day. He’s hard to shop for – at 83 he doesn’t need much – and did I mention that he liked it!

So here it is – my little masterpiece. This project was so much fun to make, here’s how I did it.

Mixed Media Mojo Flowers Challenge - Ingrid Blackburn

Abstract Flowers Project Instructions

First you’ll need to create a few Wrinkle Free Distress backgrounds – one in Mustard Seed/Spiced Marmalade and another in Tumbled Glass/Broken China/Mermaid Lagoon/Salty Ocean. The centers of the abstract flowers are with the same technique in Hickory Smoke/Soot Black. Once you have those done, free hand cut the flowers and centers. The background was edged in Hickory Smoke, Soot Black and some Paynes Grey Acrylic diluted with water. Brush some Paynes Grey and Silver acrylic paint onto the background with a fan brush. A little background detail was added using the Latticeworks stencil, a Starbucks cup holder and some bubble wrap. Next add a little faux stitching on the flowers and greeting (from the Noteworthy set by Stamplorations).

Add a little basic shadowing under the abstract flowers, paint some stems in Paynes Grey, and add some PG & White splatters, and a little edging in a black and white pigment pen – that’s it! I love the Mixed Media Mojo piece, I wanted to keep it cool – no browns which is very unlike me!

Since I had decided to frame it for my father, it needed a cool matte. Once I settled on the combination of 1/16 white, 3/4 black and 1/8 Brushed Silver…the black needed to stand apart, add to the design and not take away all at the same time – that’s asking a lot!

Enter clear embossing for a subtle tone on tone effect. To get this perfect result with the Tim Holtz stencil, you’ll want to find the center point in your project. Then line up your stencil over the center. That way you can go up and down in perfect unison to get as close to a perfect pattern as possible. Line up your patterns top and bottom and smoosh Versamark to your project. Add Brutus Monroe clear embossing powder – it’s hands down the best powder I’ve used in 18 years of embossing!  And I’ve used many different kinds. 🙂

Abstract Flowers - Mixed Media Project

I just love the end result – it turned out almost exactly as I envisioned…which is rare! I hope you enjoyed it too. It doesn’t matter if you go the more traditional or Abstract Flower route, you’ll have fun creating your own piece. And stop by the challenge blog for sure a few times this month – there’s a new Mixed Media tutorial every week – a true treasure of creative inspirational how to!

So here’s what I want you to do now….go to the Mixed Media Mojo Challenge and give the Flowers Challenge a try – Mixed Media doesn’t have to be crazy involved, you’d be surprised what you can come up with with just some simple things like watercolor, acrylics, stencils and some water. It’s relaxing and you’ll amaze yourself – I promise!

Now click here to visit the challenge and get inspired with all the great projects designed by the UBER talented Design Team!  I’m off to find the perfect frame for this beauty. Now it’s your turn to get your fingers inky –

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Showcasing the Negative

Negative die cuts

When you think Die Cuts, usually you would think about something laying on top of your project, or a paper piecing. But do you ever think in reverse? Today is all about showcasing what’s left over, once you use your die cuts to cut out your images – the negative die cut images. Over at Happy Little Stampers this month, the theme is Die Cuts. Now, normally I’d whip up something way cool piecing together some cool images that pop off your card. I thought it would be fun instead to pop UP my card and show a shadowed negative of the image. Best part – I still have the positive images cut out by my steel dies! That’s for another project….oh wait – I already created it HERE.

Happy Little Stampers Die Cut Challenge

Before I get into the nitty gritty of how easy it is to create this very cool card – be sure to welcome our Guest Designer for this month – Christine.

For this month’s project, I paired up with a rocking HLS sentiment from Everyday Sentiments and a few sparkling clear sequins – I have a great card that’s not only quick – serves double duty – not bad! Here’s how you can create your own:

using negative die cuts

How to Use Negative Die Cuts

  • Emboss your greeting in black first in the lower right corner of your card front – 3 13/16 x 5 1/16″. I wanted something big and bold to balance our my snowflake sky, so I chose Everyday Sentiments by HLS.
  • Arrange your snowflake dies – I used Bring on the Snowflakes by CAS-ual Fridays – , and cut out with your Die Cutting Machine. I got mine in the Holiday Collection from Stamp of Approval, but they’ll be released individually later this year.
  • Remove the dies cuts, leaving only the negative images in your card front

backgrounds for negative die cuts

  • On a second slightly smaller piece – 3 11/16 x 4 15/16″ , sponge your desired colors or use a fun colored piece of card stock. You can do anything here, washi tape, watercolors, solids, patterned papers – it’s literally endless possibilities. I sponged an Ombre look starting with Broken China-Salty Ocean-Faded Jeans-Seedless Preserves and ending in Dusty Concord.
  • Adhere your colored background piece to a black piece of card stock cut slightly larger than your card front – mine is 1/16th larger  – 4 x 5 1/4″

easy christmas cards

  • Now for the fun part – pop up your card front using fun foam, foam tape and dimensionals – I used all three with two sizes of smaller dots. Every nook and cranny was popped up – so nothing droops after shipping. You really want your card to have that full shadow effect.
  • Attach your black card stock to a folded A2 sized card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2″)
  • Add some sparkling clear sequins  by pretty pink posh – and you’re all set!

happy little stampers christmas challenge

And if you used colored card stock or sparkly paper, think of how easy and mass producible this card is!! Now it’s your turn – whip out those die cuts and get in on the action. It’s Happy Little Stampers birthday, so don’t miss out on some great prizes! Can’t wait to see what you create!

Now go get those fingers inky –

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Plus you’ll be added to my FREE Creative Tips E-letter where I share exclusive projects, videos & the 12 Days of Christmas