Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mixed Media Art Snowmen

I love the internet. Where else can you meet crafty people from all over the world and learn about different types of art projects? My friend Jennifer does some amazing mixed media art and she was kind enough to give me a few tips.

Mixed media art is where you use several different types of materials. I purchased a few fun things at a craft store sale and played around with it. 

This project was easy enough to include my 9 year old's "help." She did make an adorable paper girl all by herself. But of course, like everything, I get to clean up the mess!


Tsukineko Fireworks Spray Blue set of 3
Perfect Pearls mists
Faber-Castell Color Gelatos & clear stamp in pinks, greens and orange/yellow. 
White, black, yellow and brown acrylic paints.
 Tulip metallics paint
 Glitter glue
 Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue 
 Regular white printer paper 
 Blue card stock paper

paint brushes
paint sponges
Stencil brushes

Fiskars snowflake punch
Paper Doily
Folk Art Painting Stencil - Curly Tree

Sheet Music, Baby Its Cold Outside, Frosty the Snowman 
The Poem, Night before Christmas. I printed out the sheet music on the blue card stock and poem on regular white paper.

This was the first time I ever worked with Tsukineko Fireworks Spray and Perfect Pearls mists. Wow they are amazing. The fireworks give a really cool effect and are perfect for a background. I just spritzed it on the canvas and waited for it to dry. Once completely dry, I stamped on the curly tree stencil with brown acrylics and then filled in the snow on the branches with Tulip Metallics paint. I punched out some snowflakes on the white paper with the fiskars punch and then glued them on the canvas. I also used my stencils with white acrylic paint to give the back ground some additional texture. 

I used the perfect pearls mists on the blue sheet music for a fun shiny effect. Punching out the snowflakes left a stencil, so I used the paper to stencil on snowflakes in different places. I cut out the snowmen from the paper and added additional white acrylic to make it seem more like snow. I painted the edges black and let it dry.

Hats, scarfs and evergreen trees
I randomly rubbed the Gelatos on the white paper over the poem "The Night Before Christmas." Gelatos are fun because you can blend them in with your finger, or you can wet your paint brush and get a water color effect. After I colored in the paper completely, I laid my doily down over the Gelato colored poem and blotted on the white acrylic paint with the stencil sponge.  I cut out hats, scarfs and tree triangles then painted the edges with black.

Once everything was dry, I glued the snowman and triangle trees together on the paper and used the black ink to stamp in "Snow" or "Let It Snow". Once everything was dry, I painted it over with Modge Podge. I also decided to add a little embellishments like Christmas buttons and gems.

Grade: A
Skill Level: Moderate-High
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: Low
Cost: Pricey $$ 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Creating the perfect picture frames to hang your favorite art

Last year I was happy Hanging Kids Artwork with a bulldog clip. Now I've decided to get some inexpensive frames and hang the kids art on the wall. 

The problem with cheap frames is the flimsy hardware attached. So you'll have to purchase a frame kit that comes with an assortment of hardware including, sawtooth hangers, hanging wire, strap hangers and associated nails.You will also need a tape measure, Philips's head screw driver, pliers and hammer. 

Remove any staples from your frame with pliers. Also, remove any hardware that doesn't look sturdy. Usually cheap frames come with a strap hanger that can be bent with little effort with your bare hand. I personally don't like strap hangers on picture frames smaller than 2 feet wide, I find the saw tooth easier to work with.

Whats great about putting on your own hardware is that you can attach it in the exact same place on every picture frame to make hanging the pictures easier for you. 

I mostly use sawtooth hangers. Use the tape measure to find the center of your picture frame. You can put the sawtooth hanger 1/8 inch to a 1/2 inch below the TOP of your frame, with the saw pointing down. Once you found the correct location, then nail it in. The problem with the nails is that they are teeny tiny and you may have to try to push them in with your thumb a little before you use the hammer because they are a sucker to to hold. You can also try using a tweezers to hold the tiny nail, but I never had good luck with that.

I use the strap hangers on large frames for a sturdy hold. Once they are screwed in on either side of the picture, fish through the picture wire and then twist it around itself. When you put on the wire, make sure to test how high the wire will go once the picture is hung, you want to make sure that taught wire is the same distance from the top of the frame as where you put your sawtooth hanger on the other pictures.

My favorite art is from my kids! I took a photo of all my art on the walls and it looks like i'm using a fish-eye lens. I don't know what is up with my camera, those pictures are STRAIGHT. You'll just have to trust me.