Using Recycled Materials on Cards

Have you every thought to use Recycled Materials on your cards before? This month over at Happy Little Stampers, the challenge is just that – Recycle. This one threw me. Yes, I could come up with lots of 3D projects, and that was where my head kept going…but I wanted to challenge myself to a card. So what do you use? Well, you can use anything that your recycling!

HLS Mixed Media challenge July 2016

I’m currently living in Germany – and recycling is a MAJOR thing here. SO big, that it’s the #2 country in the world for diverting 62% of its trash from landfills – second only to Austria which diverts 63% of all trash. And it’s no joke over here – our recycling calendar is insane – almost all garbage is separated. (And in case you were wondering where the US stacks up…34% – toward the end of the middle pack)

So, I thought it was appropriate that I add my fair share on this project. With the exception of my card base, and one tiny die cut, all my materials (paper) used on this project are…yup, you guessed it – recycled!

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Be sure to stop by this month’s guest designer – Stephanie Lanzalotto’s blog as well as the other design team members blogs.

Recycled Birthday Butterfly Tutorial

My card front is made of something we ALL have plenty of – a torn up box from Amazon. The base of my painting is the corrugated inside of the box. I tore it so you can see a little more of the texture and character. In order to have the paint really grab onto my cardboard without sinking into it, I first covered it with some clear gesso.

To make the piece lighter, remove one of the slick sides that cover the corrugated part – I used that for the greeting…yup – that’s not card stock – it’s recycled cardboard!

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For the butterflies, I used a page from an old book. I definitely wanted to have some discoloration on the pages. If you don’t want to break apart a book, try newspaper!

  • Tear a piece of the box the size you want and remove one of the slick sides for later.
  • Paint some clear gesso onto your recycled cardboard piece.

Recycled Materials in Cards

  • Cover your cardboard in a few coats of white acrylic paint – this will become the background for your painting.
  • While your white is drying (I sped mine up a bit with a heat tool), stamp your butterfly from the HLS Butterfly Birthday set in Ground Espresso onto a page from an old book.
  • Layer your stamped butterfly over a piece of espresso card stock and another piece from the book – die cut at once.
  • Curl up the card stock and stamped layers a bit. Attach to each other using mini glue dots at the butterfly body.
  • Separate the top and middle layer with a foam dot cut in half. This will help to pop up those top wings.

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  • Once your white is dry, add some pink flowers by thickly applying some acrylic paint with a rounded brush. To get the texture, just keep dabbing in a push down motion and move to another area. I left it rather thick so that it would give the appearance of petals.
  • Add stems with a little sap green mixed with Burnt Umber for an olive green look. I needed to use a smaller brush to keep the stems from being too thick.
  • Allow your flowers to dry – I used a heat tool a little, and then allowed the flowers to dry over several hours. Once dry, they had a shiny appearance.

Painted Mixed Media Flowers - Recycled

  • Stamp your greeting (HLS Doodled Flowers) using Ground Espresso Distress Ink onto the back piece of card board that you separated from the center & front. I used the slick side as the reverse had the imprint from the corrugated part.
  • Immediately dip your greeting into clear embossing powder and heat set. To see how I use distress inks with embossing powders and other embossing techniques – click here for a great video tutorial.
  • Tear closely around your greeting and adhere to your project using Multi Medium Matte or glue (be sure your stems are dry!)

Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media Challenge - Recycled

  • Smoosh a versamark pad through the Patina stencil by Penny Black so that creates a border on your card base. I didn’t want to add too many layers, as the recycled cardboard was heavy enough.
  • Add clear embossing powder and heat set.
  • Adhere your cardboard card front to the card base using glue on the ridges.
  • Go over your stamped butterfly image with a Spectrum Noir glitter pen & Attach to your painted base using foam dots.

Patina Stencil - Penny Black - Recycle

So what do you think? I bet you think twice about throwing out that Amazon box next time…lol! The best part about this Mixed Media card is that the recycled cardboard has such great texture! And to think I usually use it just to add lines with acrylic paints! Thanks for joining me today, I hope I inspired you in some way to use some recycled materials on your cards. I can’t WAIT to see what you come up with.

Join us over at Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media Challenge – now it’s your turn.

Go get those fingers inky –

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Mixed Media Watercolored Butterflies

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Have you ever wondered how to create depth & texture without bulk? You may find that it’s much easier to do than you think – just grab some watercolor brushes, a few stencils, some distress inks and you may just surprise even yourself! This  month over at the Happy Little Stampers we’re challenging you to play around with Wings in your Mixed Media pieces. That could be any way you interpret it. I chose to use the bold butterfly image from Butterfly Birthday set and see if I could make it feel like it was actually fluttering on the paper with some watercolor magic and stencils in the background. What do you think? Did I hit the mark?

HLS Mixed Media challenge April 2016

Be sure to stop by all the Design Team’s blogs to check out just how they created their own masterpieces. I have a written tutorial for you today, and a video for you! It’s a rather in depth project, so I split it into two videos so you can find your place better. Grab a beverage and enjoy the process! Of course if you want to see it in HD, click the link below to view on YouTube.

View Part One in HD on YouTube

View Part Two in HD on YouTube

This card is actually quite simple to do, it does take a little time, but it’s a great relaxing project – especially if you like to watercolor! Here’s how you can create your very own:

How to Create Depth & Texture without Bulk

  • First you’ll want to cut out a few masks. I used the coordinating Butterfly Dies for the Butterfly Birthday stamp set. I knew I was going to be watercoloring right up to the edge, so I found a way around the ‘edge’ you get when using dies as masks – you’ll see it in the video. Cut several masks – I stacked four post it notes and ran it through once since they were so thin – super easy!
  • Stamp your butterfly pattern in a border along your paper. Be sure to overlap them using your masks so that they are on top of each other. I used an image from the Butterfly Birthday stamp set from Happy Little Stampers. I stamped mine in Versafine Onyx Black Pigment Ink on a 12 x 3″ scrap piece of Canson 138# Mixed Media paper. That way I could make two or three projects – depending on how I cut it down.
  • Heat set your pigment ink before going to the next step!

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  • Watercolor your butterflies in similar colors – some vibrant, others more matte. That will allow them to pop and compliment each other. I chose the following watercolors by Schminke – Hordam Aquarelle Artist: Cobalt, Phthalo Blue, Indigo, Paris and Winsor Newton Cotman Ultramarine and Turquoise.
  • Watercolor a light base coat in a watered down wash, then once dry come back to add darker highlights allowing for lightness in your wings. This helps your images to really pop!
  • Once your butterflies are dry, cut your border down.
  • Add a light watercolor wash of Schminke Translucent Orange framing your butterflies. First wet your paper on the half you’re painting, add your darkest color to the border and lighten outward. Try and keep the bulk of the color around your winged creatures.

Mixed-Media-Watercolor-Butterflies-007Mixed Media Textures

  • Once dry, add a light wash of Ochre from the border inward. Try and keep some lightness to the outer border if possible. You want your wings to be the star.
  • While your piece is still damp and drying, ink up a script stamp in Ground Espresso Distress Ink – I used one by Kaiser Crafts and stamp in random spots. Be sure to have your butterflies covered with your masks. With the paper wet, your Distress Ink will blur a bit. If it’s too wet you will lose all detail.
  • Add various textures with stencils to your outer pieces around your butterflies using Wild Honey, Antique Linen and Espresso Distress Inks. I added texture with some bubble wrap & a diamond stencil (Harleen by Winnie & Walter).

CAS mixed media cards

  • Smoosh some Ground Espresso Distress Ink on your craft mat and spritz with water. Use a light wash over your orange at the edge of your butterflies. This will dirty it up a bit, tone down the orange, and help give life and depth to your winged creatures. It helps to make them seem as if they are fluttering. Keep your shadow a bit thicker on the bottom than the top. It’s okay if some touches the script, but you don’t want to wash away all the great texture you created.
  • Lightly Sponge a frame in Ground Espresso Distress Ink and edge your piece in Soot Black.
  • Splatter some Paynes Grey watercolor with a brush.

Depth & Texture in Bulk

  • Allow it to completely dry.
  • Matte onto a black strip and add to a kraft colored base.
  • Stamp your greeting – I used the fun quirky ones from the new HLS set Doodled Flowers – I LOVE these sentiments. They are the perfect size and looks as if I just wrote it myself.

Part of what makes this project work are the complimentary colors. Not just the butterflies, but blue and orange. Other combinations that are great are purple and yellow or red and green. Basically any two colors that are on the opposite of the color wheel from one another. The black really makes it pop and I love the brown and black together. It works!

Well, there you go, not too many steps. Okay – I’ll be honest, this project did take me over an hour to do – closer to two, but don’t let that scare you. It was fun, relaxing and is truly a piece of artwork. I don’t know if the photos relay it well, but the butterflies look as if they’re about to leap off the page or twirling from one side to the other. It turned out better than I could have imagined. So I encourage you to jump on in and try it yourself. Use whatever you have – hearts, Circles, Snowmen, Butterflies – we all have butterflies! Just have fun.

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I can’t wait to see your Winged Mixed Media creations – use texture, embossing, whatever you have. I chose Watercolor, Distress, stamping, and stenciling. The sky is the limit. Jump on into the Mixed Media April Challenge – Wings. I can’t wait to see what you do!

I’m also going to play along with one of my new favorite Mixed Media challenges – CAS Mix Up challenge – if you haven’t checked this one out, don’t wait! This month it’s all about stamping & stenciling – LOVE that!

april

Now go get those fingers inky –

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Mixed Media Watercolor

Mixed-Media-Watercolor-March-2016-HLS

If I were to say Textured Watercolor to you, what would you think of? Mixed Media? Embossing Paste? I have to admit, this month I felt a little challenged when I saw the theme over at the Mixed Media Challenge at Happy Little Stampers – Water. Now you can take this a few ways – water based  techniques or literally create a water scene (Usually what I’d do). SO, I thought I’d give a little Textured Watercolor a shot.

HLS Mixed Media challenge March 2016

To get the water flowing on my mixed media piece, and have a little fun – I whipped out some bright colors, stencils, stamps and a few different mediums. I even shot a real time video for you too – so if you want to see how I watercolored Embossing Paste to create a beautiful textured card, just watch here – or click the link below to watch in HD on YouTube.

Watch in HD on YouTube

The snow is falling as I write this blog post, so it was fun to work on a project that gave me a spring/summer feel. That’s what I love about art, it takes you away to some cool places! Here’s a written tutorial for you too – but the video has much more detail.

Mixed Media: Creating Textured Watercolor

  • Add embossing paste  through a stencil where you want to on 140# cold pressed watercolor or mixed media paper. I used Specimens 12×12″ by The Crafters Workshop. Set aside to dry.
  • Paint over your dried piece with bright vibrant watercolors as in the video. I used Lemon Yellow, Translucent Orange, Magenta, Quinacrodone Violet, Cobalt, Paynes Grey (Schminke) and Permanent Rose (Mission).

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  • Keep your watercolor loose and bright, adding dimension through layers and depth by keeping the darker areas balanced with the light.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Stamp Script stamp in Soot Black Distress Ink in random spots, touching up in spots with water to keep it loose and imperfect.
  • Add splats with a watery Paynes Grey and a paint brush.

Textured Mixed Media

  • Once dry, add a little sponging to the edges and lightly on the sides with Hickory Smoke and Soot Black Distress inks.
  • Secure your project and stencil over it again. Sponge your embossing paste in Hickory Smoke and Soot Black. If not dark enough to your liking, use your Distress Inks in the direct to paper method.
  • Cover your project with a destatic tool.
  • Place your stencil over top your project again and smoosh a versamark pad over your embossed images.

Mixed Media Watercolor

  • Add glitter, then a little clear embossing powder. Heat set
  • Rub over your project with a cloth or paper towel to remove the destatic powder and some of the glitter.
  • Emboss a greeting on a piece of Vellum card stock, tear and add to your project as in the video. I used Everyday Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
  • Add piece to black card stock and trim if needed. If you do trim, add a little black to the bottom as in the video and touch up your sponging.

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And come to think of it – I created another Watercolor Mixed Media piece earlier in the week for my friends Loll & Bonnie’s new challenge too – CAS Mix Up. See that card here. I decided to play along with two other challenges today – Anything but Cute – Color and Mixed Media Mojo – Springtime/Watercolor.

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So grab those bright watercolors, and have fun creating your own Mixed Media piece! I’m sure you’ll get just as lost in it as I did. Till next time –

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Mixed Media Stencil Backgrounds

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 001

I love creating backgrounds for cards – it’s probably one of my favorite things to do…and in the past year, I’ve grown quite addicted to Stencil Backgrounds! This card takes stencils to a whole other level. This month over at Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media Challenge we’re playing around with Stencils. If you’ve taken any class with me in the past year online or watched any of my YouTube Videos – then you KNOW I love stencils.

HLS Mixed Media challenge January 2016

I’m still getting my feet wet in the Mixed Media world, but this Gelli Plate has quickly given me the ability to create some amazing pieces of art. And let’s be honest – that’s exactly what it is – art! I used to spend a crazy amount of money on papers that look like this….now I can create them myself…what? That’s insame!!! Don’t worry – some videos will definitely appear in the future, but for now – just enjoy one of my latest goofing off pieces (I wish every goofing off piece turned out like this!).

Of course for the Mixed Media Challenge, you don’t need a Gelli Plate – just a trusty ol stencil. Use your favorite way to add a medium – gel, embossing paste, ink, sponging, gelli, you name it – they are a tool not just every Mixed Media gal and guy needs – but every stamper!

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Creative Tips on How to Create Stencil Backgrounds using a Gelli Plate

  • Add some acrylic paint to your Gelli Plate – start off with your darkest shade. I used Phylo Blue. Use a brayer to spread your acrylic paint covering it edge to edge.
  • Roll off on a piece of scrap paper and pull off some paint leaving a blue layer around the edge of your Gelli. It took me a bit to get the hang of this.
  • Allow the blue to completely dry, then add some Raw Sienna and cover in the same manner. Remove a bit of it toward the middle, then place a stencil over – I used My Favorite Things Scallop stencil.

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 004

  • Place a piece of copy paper over and lightly tap with your fingers to remove a bit here and there. Remove your stencil and allow to completely dry.
  • If you want to get a feel for what it’s starting to look like, lift your Gelli Plate and see it from the bottom. Of course, don’t place your finger in your creation!
  • Next, add a layer of white. Now, I have white acrylic paint – but it’s lost somewhere in my craft room – would you believe that! I knocked my paint box over and now I can’t find that one all important tube…maybe the cat took it away…yeah – I’ll go with that! Of course, that prompted me to clean my work area today – I think Bria still has my tube…lol! So I used the next best thing – white gesso.
  • Lay a sheet of small bubble wrap over the white to get a stamped impression in white. Tap it lightly in random places to create a slightly stamped circular pattern.
  • Quickly place your piece of paper over – I used 138 lb Canson Mixed Media paper.  Firmly rub the back of your paper with your fingers. I didn’t quite do this quick enough and a little of my paint didn’t lift properly around the perimeter, but that was okay because it created this gorgeous distressed look. I bet I couldn’t duplicate that if I tried!

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  • My Gelli Plate is a 6 x 6 inch one. My piece also measures 6 x 6″. I cut my paper in two (Pained me to do so – it was SO beautiful). This is the left half.
  • I trimmed it down to 5 3/8″ x 3″. That was a happy accident. Originally I intended on 5 1/2 to go top to bottom, but I love the slight 1/16″ border it ended up with.
  • You don’t want to take away from the beauty of the background. So I opted to add a sponged die cut that was embossed in clear. This is the Handlettered Thanks die by WPlus9.
  • To get a similar hue to the Raw Sienna in the project, so I first sponged a piece of white scrap paper with Rusty Hinge, then a bit of Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain Distress Inks to get a matching hue. Distress inks really helped here, as their translucent nature allowed me to build upon previous layers fro just the right color.

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 005

A few clear sequins finished it off. I love the simplicity yet complexity that this card has. I have to admit, some of the creations I whipped up with my Gelli Plate really stunned me. Once I got the hang of it, and that creating mono-prints was about layering and pulling it up together, I really started to have fun! I see a ton of “Gelli-ing” in my future!

So whip out those stencils – take what you will from this project, mono-printing, sponging, color combo, layout, anything and get those stencils out. Add fun stuff to the challenge gallery!

Remember our definition of Mixed Media is – stamps + ink, plus two other elements which add texture and/or dimension. Can’t wait to see what you stencil up!

Now go get those fingers inky –

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