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. 


  1. Wow, Niki! LOVE this!
    Especially that modelling paste on the book cover looks so fantastically aged and worn! I especially love that the stencilled on texture only appears partially. That adds so much to the natural aged feel of your fab project!

    Thank you for sharing it with the teams at Emerald Creek Dares AND Our Creative Corner!

    Claudia x

  2. Wow, Niki, this is absolutely stunning!! What an amazing transformation of the book!! I love how you used the brayer to push the stencil design through the paste...I've got to remember to try that!! I love how it looks!! The texture and details are just fabulous!! The bird looked awesome before but adding the white alcohol inks and paint really make it pop!! This is spectacular my friend!! What a gorgeous project!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  3. Ooooooooooh, Niki, this is one of the most beautiful altered book covers I've seen! What a genius idea to use a brayer and a stencil with the modeling paste! I really want to try this since the result is fantastic! I don't know what I love the most here, your amazing textures or fabulous elements! That bird looks awesome especially when you treated it with alcohol inks and paints! Oh, it's a glorious make, my lovely! Lots of love to you! Branka xx

  4. Wow Doc, I am super thrilled about your process shots so I could watch how this amazing book came to be! I can't believe the transformation after your mixed media frenzy on the cover, wow!! Love the red tones, gives it a very regal sort of feel! The brayer trick was genius, love the effect you got using it with a stencil! The tan coloured binding works well, looks like real leather. Well I love it all, oodles of textures and techniques! You are awesome Doc and I thank you for making such an amazing mixed media project again this month!! hugs :)

  5. OMG, this is absolutely amazing, brilliant design and amazing textures. Those reds really sing! Fabulous project, thanks so much for adding it to our challenge at A Vintage Journey! Oh and sorry to read about your wasp sting....

  6. Hi, Niki - LOVE this!! You knocked it out of the park again!! I am so far behind but hoping to catch up soon. Darn RL, lol!
    Hope all is well - xxx Lynn

  7. Gorgeous project Niki, very well thought out and presented. Hugs, Vaerie

  8. amazing mixed media book cover with crackling on your crackle! You know I love this! I believe you had me at the technique with the brayer and the stencil pressing that awesome design into the paste--GENIUS, I say! But then you layer up those beautiful sexy reds and even, better--the crackle! I do like how you added the white to the eagle, although I did like the rust. You"leather binding" had me fooled--so realistic, like a fine old leather book. Your chippies are yummy, as is the shield and the perfect finishing touch is the feather! My, you have knocked this one WAY out of the ballpark, my talented friend! Big hugs!

  9. WOW! This is one fabulous make Niki and what a great choice of theme!!! Love it!!!
    Paper Talk with Samra

  10. Very creative!!! Thanks for joining our masculine challenge.

  11. What an INCREDIBLE Transformation to your book Niki. What LUSCIOUS texture you made on the book itself although so sorry to hear about your red paint disaster! You are right red is messy! And your leather binding is FABULOUS. I think it was super before you turned your bird white but I really do agree that the white just made it PERFECT.

    Thanks bunches for joining our "A Beautiful Mess' challenge at OUR CREATIVE CORNER! j.

  12. What a wonderful project, the texture and colour is especially stunning! Thank you for joining in on the challenge over at Emerald Creek Dares!

  13. Niki, first of all GREAT THEME! Loved this so much and could go on and on creating for this challenge... Secondly, you totally nailed your dymanite Niki style with your take on the bird theme! MAN! What cool embellies you've used and gorgeous painted and textured layers. This is one incredible piece that I hope wins you lots of awards! Biggest hugs, Autumn

  14. This is pawsitively gorgeous!!

  15. Just stunning, love all the work you have put into it
    thanks for joining our challenge over at
    Debbie DT

  16. Congratulations on your win at Dream in Darkness with your Jack! Send me a text when you get a minute...duh, me!

  17. Wow Nikki! I love your mixed media book! All of the different textures you've added on it are awesome! The colours are fabulous together! Thanks for sharing with us on the Southern Ridge Trading Company Blog!
    -Katelyn DT member at Southern Ridge

  18. What an amazing transformation Nikki, love the textures and the eagle is wonderful. Thank you for joining us at Emerald Creek Dares this month! Deb - Emerald Creek Dares DT member

  19. And back with my Southern Ridge Trading Company DT hat on Nikki, a fabulous masculine project, thanks so much for joining our Anything Masculine challenge this month! Deb - Southern Ridge Trading Company DT member

  20. Elegant and Medieval. I was thinking dragons and magical enchanted books. Gorgeous texture on the book and love your shield and design.

  21. Such a cool altered book - like Suzz, my brain went to historical fantasy fiction with all that aged texture and fancy flourishes - and the fabulous jewel at the heart of it all, of course. Magical!
    Alison x

  22. Gorgeous book!! Love that bold red color and beautiful texture. Thanks so much for joining us at Emerald Creek Dares.

  23. Love the colours and texture to your creation
    Thank you so much for entering our challenge over at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog, we hope to see you join in again...
    Hugs Rhonda DT & Owner xxx

    Creative Artiste Challenge Blog

  24. Hello, Niki. My heart is who sang to read your comment about my work .... uauuu ... I was too happy! Thank you! Also noticed some of their projects and they enchanted me ... are very rich in detail and originality - fabulous! Hugs. Marlei
    (I made translation by Google)

  25. Stunning!!! Love your project! Thanks for joining us on the Emerald Creek Dare Challenge Blog.

  26. Fabulous theme Niki! Love it. I love looking at all your creations, so much wonderful variety and perfectly stunning layers and textures! Love that red!!

  27. Oh be still my beating heart!!! Stunningly gorgeous!!! Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey xx