Friday, August 5, 2016

Shabby Garden Barn Doors and Peeled Paint

Hello there dearies! I am back after a month long break and ready to share with you all my newest design. I have been decorating my home and am wanting to put barn doors up in my kitchen and in my bedroom for a rustic vibe. It is on my to-do list but I needed to get the idea out of my head and with the new challenge over at Anything But Cute, I knew this was a win win situation. I give you my version of a Shabby Garden.

The doors are on hinges and open to reveal the secret garden elements inside. 
Lisa the Fantabulous, of Mermaid Crafts, is our hostess for this month at Anything But Cute #16, and the theme is inspired by her mood board of this Shabby Garden. 

Here is what she would like to see: For this challenge, we are asking you to take a stroll through a romantic shabby garden. Create any mixed media project strongly inspired by the mood board. Think flowers and plants in cracked pots, peeling paint bird feeders, distressed timeworn furniture, crumbling statues, soft pastels and feminine accessories. Don't forget to tell us how the mood board inspired your project and have fun!

This is an 8x10 reverse canvas. I used cardboard from a box to cover the front. I cut out the middle with an exacto knife. Then I added a Layer of white gesso and when dry peeled back some of the cardboard. Next came a layer of DecoArt white chalky paint. The inside lip of the canvas was painted with the chalky paint as well. 
While the chalky paint was drying (it really doesn't take long though) I started constructing my barn doors. I used the backing from a calander. The doors got the gesso and white chalky paint base. 

While many people use wax to create the peeled paint technique, I found it didn't give me the look I wanted (I really did try it). I randomly painted chalky paint (Relic and Turquoise) over the white base. Then tried the wax layer. Blah! 

So I re-did it with CHAPSTICK! Yeppers, I seem to have an abundance of Chapstick laying around and liked the smell (hehe!) so I swiped it over the areas I wanted to "crack and peel"! It worked like a charm and you can see the "cracks" it created after I painted over the Chapstick with the white chalky paint. 

After the top layer of paint is dry, take a sanding block and GENTLY sand over the areas you want to distress. This will reveal the colors below and creates a wonderful peeled paint shabby look! TIP-I also used this technique of the Chapstick on my shabby wall shelf in my bedroom! Works great! I also stamped a rose design using the shadow stamp technique. You can see these on the gram and the front and back of the doors. 

Anyway, I used a plain piece of scrapbook paper to make my background. I heat embossed a stencil design and a word stamp from the Artistic Stamper, then I scraped off some of the embossing powder before I used my hearing tool. I used white and grey EP. Then I grabbed a pipette and dribbled my shades of blue from the DecoArt media line and spritzed with water to create a watercolor effect. 

After the background was dry I added some stamped feathers, small flowers and sprigs. I used ink around the edges of the small white flowers to give some added blue color. 
And there you have it! My take on a Shabby Garden. This was a challenge and out of my comfort zone but it was a totally BLAST to design! Hugz and Carpe Diem!
Closed Doors
Sneak Peak! :)
Open Doors!

I would love to share this Shabby design with these challenges:


Some of my best moment this summer are planting new flower beds and learning how to make a butterfly friendly "bird bath" (you add flat marble stones to it so the butterflies can stay above the water)


The Artistic Stamper-Anything Goes

A Vintage Journey-Stencil It
I used the TH flourish stencil on the frame and the background inside the canvas

Mixed Media Place-Be Inspire by the mood board. 
I used the blues and the overall shabby feel of the board and was inspired by the over hanging tree path. 



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time Moves On

Well it sure has been a busy time here at my house. I am painting and designing my master bedroom and is a big undertaking but the end is in sight! I really wanted to share this Time piece and stamping into modeling paste again. Fun stuff, this is sort of where my stenciling brayer technique came from. Anyhow, I altered this cover. It was black and white with a lot of poof to it, like it was stuffed with something and I figured it was TIME to change it. Lol.
I started with DecoArt black gesso, then some DecoArt modeling paste. Waited for it to dry a bit then grabbed lots of stamps and stamped away! Then added some skulls, an old door plate, some gears and some more skulls, and a pull handle. An eclectic mix but it makes sense in my brain. :) Then painted with black gesso again. This is an Andy Skinner technique.
I then applied a wash of Titanium white paint, let it dry, then a wash of my new favorite DecoArt color Prussian Blue Hue! Gorgeous color!!! I left some areas white for a nice ghostly contrast. 
Random spots of DecoArt Q-gold and Red Oxide. The Media line of acrylic paints from DecoArt are awesome sauce for layering. 
You may have noticed I left the drawer pull alone. This is a play on words. My Skellies and other pieces have been "aged" by time and have essentially died but metal stays around a lot longer hence the sentiment "timeless". Although I did apply some paint to see what it would look like, in the end I wiped the paint off.  Multiple dry bushing with Titanium white was done as the last step. This design took time because of the layers of paint and I wanted to try different colors. There was some Phthalo Green-Blue and Titan Buff but I covered those up. 
Hope y'all are having an amazing weekend and enjoying everything you do! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share this altered cover with these challenges: 











Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Steampunk Bee Keeper Bracelet

Another awesome sauce challenge awaits at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge! This month as usual, it is Anything Goes-Steampunk/Industrial! We have some amazing prizes up for grabs but in order to win you have to play. Easy right? Yeppers! I started this process with no ideas and just created freely. Toilet paper anyone? Mine looks a bit different than most. Hehe! It's a Steampunk Bee Keeper bracelet!

I started out with a regular roll of toilet paper (minus the toilet paper) and cut it in half, then used a straight edge to make sure all of my edges were good. Then I grabbed some black Leather Paper from Sizzix (totally loving this stuff!) and ran it through an embossing folder. I glued this to the front of my toilet paper roll and spritzed the back with some water. While it was drying I put a few HEAVY books on it. 
Then I cut out some leftover fabric to fit the back of the toilet paper roll (the side that sits against your skin). That was glued with Tacky Glue, not something that I use a lot but glue that I will totally use again. 
I punched some holes on each side of the bracelet and used waxed thread to create my closure. Very hard to lace this up by yourself but somehow I managed. BTW-I have 7 tattoos. This one on my wrist is the day when I met my husband. V.II.MMX

The lace up step should have been done last as I had to take out the thread in order for the bracelet to lay flat while I used metallics paints, mica powders, LSG sprays and magicals. 

I then added by metal embellishments and glued this with glossy accents as well as using brads to help anchor everything. 

I do believe this turned out okay and may have to try my hand at a few more. Here is a side view. Yes, that is my arm and yes I have multiple scars on both of my arms. Scars always tell a story. :)

I do hope I have shared something new with you and have fun creating! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would love to share this design with these challenges:


Bees come out midsummer in my neck of the woods. 




Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Birds and the Bee's

Hello lovelies! What a whirlwind May was! Whew. Thankfully the warm weather is finally here and I can sit outside and enjoy hearing the sounds of Spring although I don't care for getting stung by wasps. Seems like those critters set up a nice hive in my outdoor umbrella and my dog and I were both stung. Ouch! We are better now and got rid of the hive so everything is good but this helped inspire my design and the theme for this month at Anything But Cute!


I am the hostess this month at Anything But Cute and the theme is: The Birds and the Bees! With the lovely warm weather in my neck of the woods, I am seeing so many wonderful birds and bee's, so I would love to see those in your mixed media makes! Pull out those bird stamps, think of feathers and maybe some honeycomb. Or you could even go for a non-traditional interpretation like a family crest that has a bird emblem on it. The sky is the limit but NO BUTTERFLIES please!

I started with an old red book (I bought a bag of books for $1) and lathered some modeling paste to it, then waited for it to mostly dry then I grabbed a stencil and used a brayer to push the stencil design into the modeling paste. It worked for the most part. I painted it with DecoArt paint then added a layer of crackle glaze. Once the glaze was dry Raw Umber antiquing cream was added then wiped with a damp baby wipe.
Then I traced out my shield pattern onto some thick matboard and played with some chippies until I like the layout. The picture below is what everything looked like before I went to town with the mixed media part. Hehe! 
All of the chippies were painted with white acrylic paint then a layer of DecoArt crackle paint and when that was dry and the cracks showed it was time to apply a layer of Raw Umber antiquing cream and wipe it with a baby wipe. The shield was painted with Tansparent Red Oxide, a layer of crackle glaze and then Raw Umber. 
While the book was drying I worked on the spine piece. I used paper leather and ran it through an embossing folder then used multiple Distress Inks to age it. 
It took me a loooooong time to find an eagle I liked and so this metal pendant was antiqued with alcohol inks, crackle glaze and antiquing cream. The metal  axe looking swords behind the bird were fringed up with alcohol inks and dirt. 
I applied the chippies with Tombow glue and added bronze brads to the shield and built up the bird nest then glued the bird and the axe things with glossy accents. 
The picture above shows the dirty bird with some rusty goodness but I had to change the design because it didn't feel "done" to me. You all know how that goes. So I used the white alcohol inks and paints and was finally satisfied. :)
Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome sauce day! Feel free to see what my lovely teamies have designed as well. Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share this family crest book design with these lovely challenges: 






Anyone that works with red paint knows how messy it gets! My red acrylic paint bottle exploded to top everything off. Hehe! Oops. 




Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sneaky peek-Anything But Cute Tutorial

Hello lovelies! I hope today finds you all in good spirits and with a happy smile on our face! I am sharing a few tips and tricks over at Anything But Cute for our Spotlight Artist post today, using a most wonderful medium for your mixed media makes! Find out more about this tutorial by visiting here! The picture below is just one of numerous ways to use this product. Enjoy!
And don't forget to join our current challenge "Celebrate Your Style" that runs until June 4th! Our awesome sauce sponsors Alleystamp, Emerald Creek and The Funkie Junkie are giving away some FANTASMIC prizes! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mini Anxiety Art Book

Hello lovelies! Today is the middle of the month reminder for our challenge over at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge.  You can create anything industrial/steampunk. Let your mind go and have fun! Here's what I came up with.
 I wanted to share a new idea I had and also tell you a little bit about myself in the process. This idea was generated because of a recent diagnosis that I got. I knew I was having problems breathing and my heart felt like it might run right out of my chest, not to mention the sweaty hands and constant barrage of questions in my head. I felt hopeless and confused because I know I am a strong person. So what in the world was happening to me? My wonderful DH convinced me to go see a Doc. That was an event in itself and a story for another day. The 3rd Doc I ended up going to (all in the same day) told me I had anxiety and was having a full blown anxiety attack. We talked for a bit and she mentioned medication and also possibly seeing a therapist. I declined the therapist and asked if I could do something else. She said sure. So I can up with this idea to do an Anxiety Book. This is a small enough (3.5x2.5) book to carry around with me and I can draw in it, write in it, scribble, or even throw it. Lol! Now you know where the idea came from and here's the process.

I started by cutting some brown leather paper and then embossed it. Then I cut some pages down to size. I don't measure stuff with a ruler, mostly by eyeballing it. I made 4 signatures and then got to binding my book. It took a few mistakes that had to be corrected but I get er done. 

Then out came some distress inks and metal elements. The silver flourish frame was brushed with Frank Garcia Artisan powder-La Chapelier ,as were the gears piece. 

I added some springs the the metal pieces. A couple of stencils from Andy Skinner and some stamps on the inside cover. The corner pieces were bright silver stickers that I applied Alcohol ink to. 

And a small closure that I sewed to the back with a Finnabair mini knob on the front to keep the book closed. Below is a picture of the binding. 

I have only done 1 page in my anxiety book. I used a TH stamp and cut the heart out and raised it with small foam dots. I hand wrote the word Brave in pencil, not totally brave enough to write it in pen yet, but I feel brave sharing this and brave going to the doctor. 


I plan on sharing this design with these amazing challenges: 


I used real hand stitching on the Coptic binding and to add the elastic closure.



Remember to Steampunk it up and have an amazing day! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

Monday, May 9, 2016

Blood and a Zombie Barbie

Interesting title? I think so. I wanted to create a layout that featured an amazing and inspirational lady I know. Her name is Rheanon Nicole, also known as Zombie Barbie. She is a fantabulous and beautiful person, inside and out. She is also a TV Host, a published author (Broken Halo), a model, and a mother. As you can see, she wears many hats! Hehe! So for this layout I tried to include some of her favorite things.

I wanted to only use three colors (black, white, red). She loves horror movies and the horror genre. I started with a plain 12x12 page and then added some black DecoArt modeling paste through a stencil. I marked out where I wanted the picture and kept that spot blank. Then added some Versamark through an Andy Skinner skull stencil and heat embossed it with Snow EP. Next, I laid out some elements I thought would be used, of course everything changes as the process continues. 
The black fabric stuff reminds me of a web so I used it and also threw in some random pieces of red and white thread. The flowers echo the flower headband Rheanon wears in the picture. 
Here comes the pop of color with the red. I used DecoArt media mister and randomly sprayed. The drips were created by diluting the red with water and letting it run down the page. Looks like blood right? That's the idea and keeping with the Horror movie elements. What's your favorite horror movie? I can't pick just one! 
There are about four different stamps used in the background as well. The picture above shows the embossed skull and the brick chippies (those were heat embossed with Snow and Black EP) Fun stuff! 
The cameo necklace is part of an old necklace I tore apart. The blood red flowers were once orangish white, I just sprayed those with red and black paints. The little red stones are Mini Prills. The last bit was to splatter the entire page with black and red paints (I was going for a blood splatter effect). Viola, done! 

I would be thrilled to share this design with these lovely challenges:

I have Blood, Barbie, Black,  and beauty



I am hoping this darker art design is okay since it is an Anything Goes challenge


I used this definition of collage-a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces f paper or fabric onto a backing (I did all three)









Thursday, May 5, 2016

Celebrate You!

Hello lovelies! Today is a super special day because it is our 1st Anniversary over at Anything But Cute! We have an exciting challenge in store this month and want to CELEBRATE! I wanted to create something that I have never tried before and also use one of my favorite movies as inspiration so I came up with this design. Meet my version of Jack Skellington and his dog, Zero!

As we celebrate our First Anniversary at Anything But Cute, we want you to celebrate what you do best...mixed media! This is your chance to do it your way, in your favorite style...so pull out those inks and paints and show us what you're made of! You can make anything you want, in any theme you want and any style you want, just as long as it has some mixed media products on it and no cute images. HAVE FUN!

We have some special treats for you this month. Along with our design team projects, we have invited our Favorite Artists from last year to come and celebrate with us. You don't want to miss the incredible line up of inspiration they have provided for you!! We also have a wonderful line up of prizes from some amazing sponsors...lots of chances to win some goodies, so don't miss out!

I started this design by sculpting Jack. He has a wire armature inside him because I wanted his arms to move and they do, although I did accidentally break his arm off, and had to fashion it back together! Sorry Jack!
I then added his legs, his bat bow tie, his eyebrows, his hands, and got to painting with acrylic paints. 
Zero was easier to sculpt and his collar was painted with red acrylic paint and his nose is orange acrylic paint. Yes, I added shoes to Jack. Hehe! 
I then started on my background while everything was baking in the oven. I tried a tag background with different designs but wasn't feeling it so I decided to create a tombstone. I drew out my shape on regular paper and used it as a template to trace onto thick matboard. I wanted the tombstone to be one sturdy piece to hold all these wonderful elements (I even add a kickstand to the back of the tag so it would stand on its own). The edges of the tombstone are made from a mold (I only used a section of the mold). You can see in the picture below what the stones and bricks are made from: I hoarded some of these foam pieces but for the life of me, I can't remember what art supply they came with. It's left over packaging of some sort. Any ideas? I think it is from dies.
I cut the foam and made my bricks/stone and glued everything (including the molded boarder) with TomBow Multi. Then at this point everything was painted with black acrylic paint. The texture sand in the picture below didn't end up showing up because of where I placed Jack. Oh well. Hehe! 
I used so many different paints and daubers to get the stones/bricks the color I wanted, then I applied white acrylic paint in certain spots to highlight areas. The inside of the tombstone was inked up with a stencil just for some depth. 
Then I started adding all the pieces together one little detail at a time. Some Spanish moss.............
A new clock mold and the pillars are new molds as well. All three were painted grey then antiqued. A few pumpkins, and a black branch looking thing. 
Some pumpkins and art stones that were painted with acrylic paints, a few bats...........
And finally some closeups of Jack and Zero! I did paint Jack's name on the bottom step of the tombstone but you can't really see it. 
Jack's head moves, as well as his arms. 
I know this was a long post and thanks for reading until the end. Don't forget to check out what my lovely teamies have designed! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki
I would like to share this design with: 


My "doll" isn't paper exactly but he's a sort of doll. 

I went LOC with a Halloween design.