Wild and Free

November 13, 2014

Today I had the moment of discovery that, since I moved a large portion of my workshop up to my living-room for last nights class, I could supervise the children AND create at the same time! What a wonderful discovery! I also left all of my recording equipment downstairs and didn’t feel like lugging it all up the stairs. So I took advantage of creating without an audience.

I pulled out my art journal, gesso-ed up a page, and went to work creating what ever I came up with and just liberated my mind, allowing it to go where it wanted to. The first place it took me was to my sample kit of acrylic paints. I started off creating a sky with shades of blue paint and a baby wipe. Then I created grassy fields using 3 shades of green and a baby wipe. The next thing the page needed were some trees and a berry bush. I then added in some grassy detail work with shade of green, from olive to almost yellow. I added in some tiny red flowers, thinking on Remembrance day. Then I took a break because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do next.

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After a hot cup of coffee, a snuggle with my kids and a bathroom break I came back to the table and decided I needed to add a bird. So I pulled out a bird stencil from folk art. It has a base open stencil and matching detail stencil so it seemed perfect for the job. Then I thought about a title. This one was a little difficult because I couldn’t verbalize the “why” behind this painting. When I looked at the bird I thought “Wild and Free”. Since I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head I decided to run with it.

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Once everything was all dry I went back and added in all kinds of detail with my gelli roll pen.

Looking at the finished project I can say that working in my living room, not having to worry about the kids, and feeling liberated in my creativity, lead quite clearly to feelings of being “wild and free”. My husband asked me, later that evening, why the bird was so angry…I saw his expression as determined, but you can be the judge!

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This spread is not a mixed media piece of art, but I did put it into my art journal so I figured I would slip it into the MM category on my blog.

Thanks for reading!

-Lizzie

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Fix The Clock! #KSDSEPT

September 23, 2014

When I first shopped at Ikea for things to fill my brand new shiny craft room, 5 years ago, I bought this simple clock. From that day forward I had the intention of “fixing” it. Meaning, making it pretty and inspiring. So I stared at it for the past 5 years and have let it be dull. I even let the battery die and never bothered to change it. Why would I look at something so uninspiring all day. Besides, I don’t want to mark time when I am crafting.

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THEN I joined this G+ community called “Kraafters Kommunity” https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/109488046506790209024 and there I found “Kraaft It Live”. During this live show the moderator, Heather, introduced the monthly challenge. The September challenge was to use mixed media in a way you hadn’t in a long time or in a way you had never used it. Many of the participants tried mixed media for the first time, many made card back ground and all sorts of other things. I was pretty uninspired, I mean, I use mixed media in almost everything I do.

THEN, one evening, I was angry because my computer was not behaving in an expected fashion, I was frustrated because I was busy, had a lot on my table and felt overwhelmed! I was running out of time! I had just started my computer on a full system virus scan and knew it would take hours! What could I do that would be productive that I didnt need my computer for? NOTHING! I threw down my note book, gathered my coffee cup and turned to leave my workshop.

It was then that I looked at the clock! My first thought was not “hey I could decorate the clock with this time” it was “YOU ARE GONNA GET IT!” Time was marching, I needed more of it, felt I was wasting it, it was passing so fast and I couldn’t slow it down. So that JERK was gonna get it!

I started with ripping book pages. That felt good!

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I pasted them all down with my Golden Matte medium and then pulled out some stencils. I added green acrylic paint to a bubbly Tim Holtz Stencil. Then I added Brown acrylic paint to a lattice stencil from Prima.

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By this time I had calmed down and the juices had started flowing. The brown and green were a little too intense, angry, if you will. It makes sense though, since I started this project with anger and frustration. I decided that the clock needed numbers, but the background was just too dark. I grabbed my gesso and finger painted around the clock to lighten the mood. I don’t want to feel anger every time I look at it!

I had the jar of left over strawberry milkshake paste from my dolly journal sitting in front of me and figured that nothing is more inspiring, calming and relaxing to me than pink! So I grabbed a Tim Holtz stencil and got to work on the numbers!

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Then I went to bed!

The next day I came and looked at it with a clear mind and calm center. It needed more, it felt too institutional as the lattice came out more in the brick wall category to my mind’s eye. So I decided it was time to doll it up! I pulled out my box of miscellaneous flowers and started piecing things together. I then went to the bird box, as I just love birds. Plugged in my glue gun and got to work creating something of beauty that I would want to hang in front of my face in my workshop.

Here is where I landed.

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It wasn’t until I had put away my glue gun that I realized…I just mix media-ed in a way I never had before!

#KSDSEPT!

Thank-you for stopping by!

-Lizzie

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Curtain Call

November 11, 2014

This morning I am posting a new video on my YouTube channel. It is called “Curtain Call” as well!

This video is my longest one yet. It took me about 10 hours to build this canvas and so I had that much running time of video footage to wade through as well. The problem was that I made so many embellishments for this piece that there wasn’t a whole lot that I was able to cut from the stream. So after chopping what I could, speeding it up to 5x or 10x faster, I still managed to produce an almost 45 minute video.

This was one of those pieces that was inspired by an individual and as I “shopped my stash” I kept finding things that that person would just love. I would find elements, die cuts, scraps, papers, colours, inks, embellishments of all kinds and I ended up with a stack of “love” that was about 2 feet tall! From there I had to sift though to find a common theme. I ended up discovering 2 themes. One was rich colours, the other was show biz. So I purged the pile down to something I could work with and off I flew.

I used all kinds of products in this canvas. The base is a prepped canvas board, that I sprayed with “Mister Huey’s color mists” in shades of red. Then I use Tim Holtz Distress paints across the top of the board in tea dye, antique linen, tattered rose, and milled lavender. Put the canvas on edge and sprayed it with water, allowing the paint to drip and run all the way to the bottom edge. I dried that with my heat gun so that the color variations would stay, rather than blend together, and then added a heavy layer of antiqued bronze distress paint. I sprayed that with water and because it is a heavier metallic paint it didn’t carry as much of the pigment away with the drips. I once again dried that with my heat gun and set it aside for when I was ready to adhere all my other elements to the page.

The rest of this piece will be talked about in the video, so please feel welcome to pop over there with this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h78kOazFmVk

Here is “Curtain Call”

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Thanks for visiting!

-Lizzie

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Create Yourself #KSDNOV

November 22, 2014

Today I had the opportunity to alter something from my workshop! This past summer I started to realize that I never really make art just for me, so I set out to remedy that. I have been making art journal pages, mixed media projects, and altered objects just for me ever since. A few months ago I altered the clock from my workshop, the blog about it is here in the mixed media section of my webpage. Today I altered a head I had just laying around!

Yes! I did say a HEAD! It has been sitting here on my window sill since I bought it as a young adult from a garage sale. Initially I bought it because it made me feel like a grown up woman, to have something “cultured” in my home. As time has flown by it has slowly been forgotten, just a white figurehead sitting on the shelf gathering dust and spider webs!

Well, today that all changed! The challenge for the month of November over in the G+ Kraafters Kommunity is to alter something, that is why I have the #KSDNOV. I didn’t really have anything outside of my “norm” to alter so I looked a little higher, up to the window and there she was, just waiting for me to bring her to life!

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I started this process with the thought of womanhood and had planned to leave her as a “flat” piece. I was thinking I would keep her simple and “raw”. But once I had finished the flat portion of it I just couldn’t stop myself from continuing on to create a very “fat” project. I added leaves and flowers, ribbons and metallic objects, feathers and butterflies.

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I just love how she turned out! My favourite part is that she looks totally different every time I look at her. Her face is shaped in such a way that she looks like a different lady from each angle. Added to that, I left one side mostly “raw” while the other side is covered in flowers.

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I added these ribbons and metallic charms to her hair because I wanted her to “speak” to others. She has inspired me for years and I wanted that to continue as well. They are from a Tim Holtz collection that I picked up quite a while ago and I found them to be perfect for this piece. I actually had trouble limiting it to just 3. They read “life is about creating yourself”, “reality has limits, imagination is boundless” and “dream as if you’ll live forever”.

I also put a neck lace on her. The charm is a clock with the gears exposed. I chose that to remind myself that time is precious, so I better live and be happy in the now.

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I am really happy with her, but feel that she will be getting a couple more little tweeks as time goes by.

Here is the link to the YouTube process video:

Thanks for reading!

Lizzie

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Celebrate!

November 17th, 2014

So last week, after my first ever class teaching mixed media for beginners, I had some requests from my students to show them a few examples of the finished project.

So I decided that I would do a Christmas themed one for them. This one is similar to the “Happiness” journal entry I worked on with my children.

I started the background with gesso, acrylic paints and baby wipes. Then laid down paper letters and spattered more paint over the top. Once it was dry I embellished it with die cuts of Christmas papers, washi tape, an ink pen and border made out of different seasonal papers.

I really like the finished product! It was this project that lead to me to look back at everything that I make, looking for trends, for a style, something that seems to be a consistent theme of sorts. I found the only tie in to be “collage”. Almost every single thing that I have ever made has a collage appearance. I see it in my card making, I see it in my scrapbooks, I see it in my art journals and I see it in my mixed media. So, if you like collages, this is the place to come to for inspiration!

Here is “Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain!”

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Thanks for reading!

-Lizzie

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Bird On The Wind

September 9th, 2014

Here is my most recent mixed media canvas. As I created this piece I had a lot of moments of love/hate. I finished off loving it but it was definitely a challenge to get to “finish”. I learned a lot about water based products, about walking away for a moment, and about persevering even when you want to toss it in the trash. Being artistic is not always an easy thing to do. Some days you just have to go digging for your “mojo” and hopefully everything will work out.

This is the first piece that I ever created in true mixed media style. Most of my other works up to this point had some sort of pre-fabricated image that helped me to determine what colours I wanted to use, what the back ground needed or what the focal points would be. This s my first “true” Lizzie creation.

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Here is the video link to the YouTube tutorial of how I made this canvas:

As always, thank-you for stopping by!

-Lizzie

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The Crackle Painted Frame

October 6th 2014

Today I finished a couple of projects. This picture frame was inspired by the G+ “Kraafters Kommunity” and the “Word Of Inspiration Wednesday” for October 1st. The word was “pain”.

I bought this lovely brown wooden frame for a picture that I had drawn, with the intent of gifting it to my parents in law  for Christmas. I loved the frame, it was the perfect soft brown to go with my rendered drawing.

But then, as I was staring at the finished picture, placed peacefully in its frame, I realized that something was wrong with it. It was missing a certain…character, if you will.

When I think of looking out a window along the coast, staring out at a light house, it is not only the beauty of the scene that I see. I see the strength of a tower, holding up to the test of time. Standing tall against the breaking of the tide. Guiding those on the water to the safety of home. I see the tower standing there helpless to step forward when a ship is breaking upon the rocks.

If you look upon the shores of Canada, you will find hard times, hard people, and a hard won way of life. It was upon the rocks that the people made and lost their lives. Looking out to sea there is not just unending beauty, not just depths of things to discover, but a sense of loss. A sense of how small we really are, how small our troubles in the scheme of things.  No matter what happens in our lives, the tide will come in and go out, never having been touched by our sorrow. But the lighthouse watches, sees us stumble and fall, sees our pain and suffering and stands still like a sentinel.

I put a crackle finish on this frame to pay homage to the pain one would see if they gazed upon the sea.

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In case you would like to see the “how to”, just follow the link provided!

Lizzie