Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mixed Media Anniversary Card

Today is our 31st wedding anniversary. Goodness, is it really that long? What a lot has happened since we got married!

Last night, still catching up with myself after my busy week last week, and then having to rest a lot, I finally sat down in my studio and got a card made for my lovely hubby. I originally planned on making something quite simple because of time, but while I was resting, I came across Marta Lapkowska, a brilliant Polish mixed media artist, on Youtube, and some of her fabulous video tutorials on creating texture from anything you could think of – an absolute gift to a complete texture junkie like Yours Truly. and this inspired me to do something a little more challenging.

What fun I had!

26 Completed Card

Here’s what I did, step by step.

First of all, I selected one of my sheets of watercolour paper with stains on it from drying teabags, and tore one out.

01 Teabag Stains

In my stash I’ve got quite a few sheets of hand-made paper which I think were originally part of some wedding service sheets that I collected up after a wedding service once. I knew they’d come in useful for art – they are gorgeously soft and textured. Again, I tore out a piece, to give a nice uneven edge, and I was delighted to find that the tearing gave almost the same edge as the natural deckle edge of the hand-made paper.

02 Handmade Paper

Next came the teabags. I selected a few from my stash.

03 Teabags

I cut them open and put some of the tea on my palette. The rest was thrown away. I should really have a blitz and empty all my stash of teabags (I’ve got hundreds!) and save the tea to put on the garden! Also, the teabags would take up a lot less room without the tea in them. One day, one day…

04 Preparing the Teabags

I mixed the tea with some Polyfilla One Fill, my preferred (cheap) texture paste. It was pretty dry so I added some water.

05 Tea and Polyfilla

I opened up the teabags by tearing them, and saved the cut off strips which were interestingly textured.

06 Opening the Teabags

I applied a few of the teabags to the bottom half of the hand-made paper piece, using soft matte gel medium.

07 Attaching the Teabags

I then applied the tea/Polyfilla mixture in places, to add texture, being careful not to obscure the more interesting part of the teabag layer. I wished I had screwed the teabags up more, instead of laying them down flat, as I would have got more interesting texture that way.

08 Adding the Tea and Polyfilla

After drying this, I thought it needed a bit more texture added, so out came the coarse pumice gel medium – I love this oh-so-gritty stuff!

09 Adding the Pumice Gel Medium

Using soft matte gel medium, I stuck down the teabag stain piece to the top of the hand-made paper, and also added a bit of this gel medium over the textured part, to make sure that it didn’t flake off.

10 Adding the Teabag Stain and Soft Gel Medium

Time for stamping. I am soooo glad I bought my wonderful Tonic Stamp Platform! I’ve never been very good at stamping and this tool makes it so easy. Also, I was able to do several test pieces (e.g. on the left of the picture) to experiment with the layout of the grasses stamps – this set is from Inkylicious, and is “Create a Collage – Meadow.” I did the stamping in several stages so that I could get the layout I wanted, using sepia archival ink.

11 Prepaing the Stamps

I stamped so that the stems of the grasses extended below the bottom of the teabag stain piece, and extended them, and filled any gaps, with my fine sepia marker.

12 Stamping

Here’s a detail shot of the stamping.

13 Stamping Complete

Painting with tea and coffee! I made up some strong tea and coffee for this.

14 Preparing to Paint with Tea and Coffee

Painting with the tea. I used a wide fan brush for this and dabbed it on more or less all over the background piece.

15 Painting with Tea

Using a finer brush, I painted the coffee around the edges and to emphasise some of the texture a bit more. I had to do this several times, drying in between with my heat gun – I don’t think I made the coffee quite strong enough.

16 Painting with Coffee

At this stage I also painted a bit of tea over the teabag stain behind the grasses to emphasise it, as this was getting a bit lost in the design.

I thought the background needed a bit of colour variation, so I used some Infusions. To the bottom left I added some Lemoncello from set 1, and to the right, some Rusty Car from set 2, and these certainly added a bit of richness and depth.

17 Adding Infusions

I felt a distinct need to add a bit of complimentary colour to all this brownness, so I dug out my Crushed Grape Dylusions spray ink and spattered some of that on, and I think it improved it a lot.

18 Adding Dylusions Spray Ink

The edges needed darkening, so I did this with some black acrylic paint. I also added some of this around the texture to emphasise it more.

19 Adding Black Acrylic Paint

I thought the whole thing needed lightening a bit, so I masked off the teabag stain piece at the top, and spattered the rest with white acrylic paint.

20 White Acrylic Paint Spatters Detail

This was the result.

21 Topper Almost Complete

Originally I wasn’t going to put a sentiment on the outside of the card, but there needed to be something to balance the design, so I decided to add one. I went through my pile of rejects and spares from my Infusions mini-album project and found this one that exactly complemented my design. I tore off the bottom and wrote the text using my Uniball white Signo marker pen, and then darkened the edges, especially along the white torn top edge, with tea. I stuck this to the front of the card with regular matte gel medium, dabbing carefully over the text to prevent the water-soluble white from smudging, and afterwards touching this up where necessary.

22 Making the Sentiment for the Outside

To create the card base, I cut a piece of heavy white card and softened the edges with some more tea.

23 Painting the Card Base with Tea

Inside, again using my wonderful stamp platform, I stamped the sentiment with sepia archival ink, using the “Memorable Moments” stamp set from Stampin’ Up.

24 Stamping the Sentiment Inside

To add a bit of interest, I made a couple of wide brush strokes across this sentiment with tea, using the fan brush.

25 Painting the Inside with Tea

I assembled the card using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive which is a really good strong wet glue.

The finished card.

26 Completed Card

My hubby loves it!

Here it is, side by side with the other card I made recently, for his birthday last week.

2 Cards for N - May 2017

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