Monday, December 29, 2014

Mixed Media Artist Tip #2- Home Made "Washi" Tape

I've been making my own "washi" tape for some time now (doesn't mean I don't still grab up the real deal occasionally).  The thing is, I'm cheap.  I don't buy washi for more than $1 per roll which means I don't actually buy a lot.  But I can make a TON of my own for about $1 and it's different every time.  So how do I do it?  Keep reading for step by step instructions.

My "washi" is actually (usually) just masking tape.  It costs $.97 for a roll at WalMart.  Sometimes I use paper tape that can be purchased in the medical section, I usually get mine at the dollar store.  I tear off strips of tape and adhere it to a non porous surface.  I used to use my craft mat but I didn't always make all of my tape in one sitting and then my craft mat was occupied indefinitely.  Today I used a cutting mat I got from the dollar store.  These mats come in a  2 pack and can be found in the kitchen section.  A couple nice things about this method is that you can put strips of tape on BOTH sides of the mat AND it's portable.  Here's what my cutting mat looks like with all my strips of tape on it:
So how do I go about decorating my tape?  Well, being the cheap-o I am, I don't just start slathering paint on, that would be a waste!  Here are a few ideas to get left over paint/ink/sprays onto your tape:
put your mat behind whatever you're spraying so the over spray will go onto your tape AND it protects your work surface
put your mat under your project so the paint that goes over the edges goes on your tape
when you're done stamping stamp the extra ink off on your tape
got paint you don't like?  This is the only time I just smear paint on my tape
did you squirt out too much paint? Grab a stencil and a make up sponge and dab that extra paint through the stencil

did you get some new stamps you'd like to try out?  stamp them on your tape, be generous and don't worry about it looking busy, remember you'll be taking the strips of tape off and they'll look amazing!

this is my finished mat

and here's my roll of "washi" all ready to be used

I hope you found this tutorial useful.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"700" Art Journal Page

I have a counter on my phone that counts down the days until I get to be a "Stay at Home Artist".  Ask me any time and I can tell you how many days remain, without looking.  Am I excited?  You bet I am!  A couple weeks ago I hit the 700 days mark and thought it was worthy of an Art Journal page.  I also wanted to practice a background technique that I had recently read about so I thought this would be a good place to try it out.  The background was perfect for journaling, I knew I wanted to do a bunch of that, I had a lot to say, but most of it I didn't want to share so I thought it would be fun to conceal a big portion of it with butterflies (a symbol for change).  I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mixed Media Artist Tip #1- Left Overs

I thought it might be fun to start a new series on my blog with some tips for Mixed Media Artists.  I don't know how often these tips will be posted, I wish I could say that I already have a line up "in the can" but I don't.  It just occurred to me this morning to even share this idea.  You see, most of the things I do are ideas I've gotten from some one else so it would be silly for me to post tips that I know for sure have already been made available.  I'm not saying that my tips are original, I'm just saying that they're tips I haven't seen before.  So... here we go.

Today I'm going to be talking about left overs.  You know, left over paint, modeling paste that you colored, sprays that you want to test to make sure they're not clogged, tape, glue, whatever little bit of something you have left over from a project.  I'm pretty frugal so I usually tend to take out less than what I really need, but sometimes I go over board and that Frugal Frances in me freaks out.  I decided that I needed a place to put all theses little left overs and WaLa my "Bits Book" was born.

The book is a free book I grabbed from the break room at work (it had been sitting there for a year and no one touched it so I claimed it).  It's actually a Harry Potter book.  I'm not a fan so it was perfect! Now, if I'm working on a project and I have anything left over I pull out my Bits Book and smear it in there.

Here are some pictures:

As you can see, I've only used about 10 or 20 pages, this is still a fairly new idea for me.

Left over home made modeling paste

Some left over paint through a stencil

Paint from my brayor when Geli Printing

Checking out a new spray

More left over paint through a stencil over a page that was already painted with a wash

When I first started doing this I had no idea what I would do with these colorful pages, I just knew that the left overs had been saved and not washed down the sink.  Today I started getting some ideas.  
  • The first idea I had was to use them for the backs of my ATCs.  I make quite a few ATCs every month and I enjoy making the backs pretty as well.  I used to cut up my scrap book paper and use it.  Recently I started using old book pages.  Today I realized I could use these beautiful painted or sprayed book pages!  Isn't it funny how the mind works?  One idea leads to another.

  • The next idea I had was to use some of the MANY punches I have and punch out shapes to use in my art journals or to share in happy mail.  I have a whole box full of circles I've punched from various things, why not punch shapes from this?

  • Then I thought, wait a minute!  I have a SILHOUETTE!!!  Then the possibilities became endless.
I hope you found this tip helpful.  if you have any other ideas how these book pages could be used I'd love to hear them.  Thanks for stopping by.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, November 17, 2013

And I Smiled- ATC

I just finished another ATC for one of my swap friends.  It was a lot of fun and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  I used one of the backgrounds that I made throughout the week (I collaged, painted and stamped 3 12x12 pieces of ugly scrapbook paper and cut them down into 48 ATC backgrounds, it was quite the process).  Next I glued down some punched out hearts and shadowed them with a charcoal pencil and did the same with my word art (which came from one of Tangie Baxter's collage sheets).  I inked the edges and called it done.  Sweet and simple.  Love it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Inspire ATC

This may be my new favorite ATC that I've made! I actually love everything about it.
The background is made from torn strips of dictionary paper they I aged with distress ink. I used a few of my favorite stamps and a bit of washi tape on the background then attached my heart which is just a painted piece of book paper. I stamped my word on some left over book paper that was already naturally aged and outlined it with a chattel pencil then used my finger to smear it. I used black ink to ink the edges and it was done.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Merry and Bright ATCs

I made these last week using a kit that was just released on Sunday by CrowAbout StudioB (it's so good to be back on her Creative Team!!

For the background I used a piece of newsprint that I keep on my craft table for mopping up paint.  I glued that to card stock and glued that to chipboard.  The back has a nice piece of scrapbook paper and my ATC tag with my personal information and information about the card.  On the front I glued pieces from the kit Merry and Bright  that I printed out on regular printer paper and traced with a black marker.  I used a white paint marker to make the dotted border.  SO simple, yet so fun.

I put these up for trade this morning on my Instagram and they were snatched up within minutes.  I love my swapping buddies : )

Here are the cards I made:

And here's the kit I used: