Monday, November 17, 2014

Something old, something new

It's been a busy weekend around here. It started off awesome when I scored big at the local thrift shoppe. Found a lovely copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and an amazing book called The Literary Cat, featuring cat stories by some of the greatest names in English and American literature, as well as gorgeous illustrations. Of course now I love the book so much I find it hard to use it for collage! So off to the thrift shoppe I went to get another book to serve that purpose!

I did find a nice and thick book, this time not necessarily chosen for its title and content, but for the sturdiness of the pages and the sheer quantity of it!I had to make sure I wasn't going to fall in love with the books again :)  Now, armed with all the book pages I could possibly want, I was ready for the fun of prepping it for the projects I planned on doing. I got all my supplies ready for the first stage of preparation - strong coffee I had brewed earlier (and drank most of it of course!), Tim Holtz Distress re-inkers + ink pads, and Walnut ink. I lightly sprayed the pages with a little water, then brushed on the inks and coffee. Not all on the same page of course. Some pages I distressed with coffee, others with the re-inkers, and a few with the Walnut ink.

Now I needed to wait for all the pages to dry before moving on to the next stage. In the meantime I  started going through my stash of scrapbook papers to choose the ones I wanted to go with the book pages. Once the pages were dried, I was ready to adhere it to the scrapbook paper. I tried using Blick's gel medium but I wasn't too happy with the result so I switched to my old trusty Liquitex matte medium, and it worked perfectly!

Once the matte medium had dried completely, I distressed the sides of the scrapbook paper with a handheld Tim Holtz paper distresser tool + Distress ink pads. And then the fun began. Sewing the papers together. I just love love love that part. Sewing can be so relaxing. I just love the sound of the needle threading the papers and it's almost hypnotic to watch it move. 

Now I was finally ready to draw and paint the girls. Love the new techniques I learned with Megan, and I really had a blast creating this project. Really enjoyed the combination of soft graphite shading with touches of acrylic paint to kick it up a notch and bring some contrast. It was also fun to add some elements of decorative painting. I haven't done that style of painting in such a long time, so it was with a certain nostalgia that I painted the little roses and vines. Made me go back to my days of teaching Bauernmalerei, a traditional form of folk art painting from Germany and Austria, as well as One Stroke painting. Those were fun times for sure. I so enjoyed teaching at Michael's and AC Moore! My students were a fun lot and we had the best times back then. Such a shame that this kind of painting has fallen out of fashion and no one is interested in it anymore :( Oh, well, at Chez Scarlett, it is always very much en vogue, no matter what they say!

I let the girl dry completely for a few hours. Those roses and white dots are painted with pretty thick paint so it takes a while to really dry. I needed to make sure of that because the next stage involved gluing the piece to yet another piece of scrapbook paper, sewing it one more time, then adhering the whole thing to a canvas board. I was then ready for the decorating part. Fun with beads, jewelry wire, ribbons, and charms. Ah, so much fun indeed! 

TA-DA! Here she is, all ready to hang and make someone's space really pretty with her sweet face. But make no mistake, she is one lethal girl. Don't be fooled for a second. Her name isn't Poison Ivy without a reason :)

I'm really happy with how she turned out. I was able to achieve a nice and soft vintage look, but still keep it colorful and very whimsical. I think I'm addicted! I just want to make more and more of those! Won't those make lovely gifts for the holidays?

There were lots more going on this weekend. I finished a couple more ornaments and created my first brown skinned cutie, a request from a dear soul sister. Here's a sneak peak at that sweetie. But that's the subject of my next blog post, so you'll have to stay tuned :)

Until then, have a super Monday and remember to stay creative :)