Saturday, March 31, 2012

Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent

... The Project ...

The Following Artist Trading Card was created especially for the new launching of the Monthly Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent Challenge hosted by CS Designs.

The main focal point for this ATC is the lovely Hinata (Japanese Sunflower) and she is one of my original digital designs from my Darlings of the Orient collection.

Hinata has been colored with Prismacolor pencils and blended with odorless turpentine for an overall soft look. The Let Your Spirit Dance sentiment is also one of my original quotes and is part of my new Express Yourself Series.

Since all the challenges at Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent will revolve around recycling and using throwaway items in your art, I have included 3 things on my ATC, that I have been saving for just such an occasion. The yellow panel on the right background is part of an old greeting card, and the color is a perfect match for the rest of my ATC. The lacy white area behind Hinata is a paper doily.

Besides the beautiful Hinata, my favorite element on this ATC is the little cream colored bow above her head. The bow is made from a piece of dried Corn-Husk I saved last summer. I love these little bows as they give such a natural quality to pretty much any paper craft project.

... The Tutorial ...

Corn Husk Bow / How To:
1. Before you use your corn husks in your projects you will want to make sure they are clean. This can be done with plain soap and water either before or after you peel them. After washing and rinsing them pat them dry with a either paper towels or a soft dry cloth.

2. Although you can just rip back the corn hush layers to remove them it is probably not the best method because they tend to shred this way. I find if you take a knife and run it all the way around about an inch from the bottom end of the corn cob cutting through all husk layers, you end up with larger pieces in tack when you take them off.

3. Once you have removed all the usable husk layers, set them aside to dry. You can spread them out anywhere to dry, and an unused counter or on a large cookie sheet set aside somewhere do nicely. It really doesn't take long for the husks to dry and depending on where you live and how hot is it is, thick husks may air dry thoroughly in a couple of days and some of the really thin ones in a matter of hours. Be sure not to stack too many husks on top of each-other while drying as this will slow the drying process and may cause them to mildew before they have a chance to dry thoroughly.

4. Once your husks are thoroughly dry you can store them in a box or a zip-lock bag to keep them dust free.

Additions Notes ...
Bows can be made before the husks are dried, at a later date or a combination of the two. I usually make some before and some after depending on my mood. To make the bows I tear of slender strips from the moist husks. The width will determine the width of your top bow loops. When they are moist the strips will tear off easily. Unless you cut them with the scissors your corn husks will not be uniform all the way down your strip. This really does not present a problem unless you want the perfect bow. In nature nothing is really perfect so I don't tend to get too stressed about this. Since this is a How To tutorial on how to prepare your corn-husks, it does not include instructions on tying bows as that would make this post a mile long. Hopefully, you already know how to tie bows, or will have to learn how to do this on your own. Perhaps this will be a tutorial for a later date.

If you want to use your corn husks after they have dried, you can put them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to make them pliable again and easy to work with. Although the husks start out green, they will eventfully fade to a golden yellow which I think is also wonderful. The more they age the less green they will retain.

Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent Bonus Round

Besides their regular challenge which encourages the use of a recycled element in your projects, the new Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent Challenge will on occasion add a Special Bonus Round with a Prize at the end of the month. This month's Bonus Round is to answer the following question:

What’s the strangest thing you have been hording for the purpose of using it in your art and how do you plan to use it?

Ok here goes. What exactly is that on the left? It is a little container full of broken bits from my Prismacolor pencils. I like to keep my pencils sharp so I’m always sharpening them and because Prismacolors have more wax in them than other colored pencils they tend to break off more easily. As I was sharpening my pencils one day I noticed all the fabulous colors and started putting the broken bits aside with no real purpose other than to somehow use them in my art at a later date. I now know what I want to do with them and if I do say so myself, I think it is a humdinger of an idea.

To be eligible to win the Recycle challenge Bonus Round participants must not only create a project and submit it to the recycle challenge, they must also answer both parts of the question above. Since I am the one supplying the prize for this,, there is really no reason for me to include an answer so have decided to keep you guessing for now. If you would like to know what I plan to do with my Prismacolor bits you will have to comeback again when I post my project.

What's the prize for the Recycle, Re_Purpose & Re-Invent Bonus Round?
It is an original quote created by Yours Truly
 and naturally has to do with Recycling and Art.

I hope you enjoyed the Corn-husk Flower tutorial, and will drop by the new Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent Challenge  blog and see what the rest of my Team created. If you get a chance we'd also love to see what you can come up with.

If you enjoyed this tutorial please leave me a comment so I know you came to visit.

Image used:
 CS Designs Darlings of the Orient collection
CS Designs Express Yourself Series Sentiment

Monday, March 5, 2012

Solitaire The Prettiest Ribbons

I create this ATCs for the new Fashonista challenge at  Art With No Boundaries March challenge.   The theme is naturally all about Fashion and can include the use of fabric, lace, ribbons, safety pins, and snaps etc. The main focal point for this ATC is Solitaire Mummyfied / Ribbons and she is one of my original digital designs from my Solitaire Digital Design Series. I originally created this design for Halloween but I think she is not only lovely to look at but quite versatile and I love using her all year around. She has been colored using a Red Sharpie Marker and her face has been partially covered with a bit of see-through glitter ribbon, I bought a few years ago. The Prettiest Ribbons Sentiment is one of my original quotes from my recently released Express Yourself Series.

I love making my own elements which includes background papers to use in my projects and I made the red and black background behind Solitaire. The flower petals peeking out from behind were punched and recycled from a greeting card that had alot of gold on it.

Background Technique / Embossing Folder Wax Resist how to:
1. Lay a piece of text weight printer paper inside and over one side of a Cuttlebug folder. The side you choose use will produce different results as one side will be a positive of the design and the other a reverse giving you different raised areas on each side.

2. Hold your paper and your folder securely with one hand to make sure your paper does not move and obliterate your pattern. Using a small block of  paraffin wax, or a piece of broken candle rub over the entire area of your paper directly covering pattern on the folder.

3. Once you have the desired wax coverage remove your paper from your folder and paint over the surface with India ink, a watercolor wash or use the Direct to Paper Technique. The raised area of your design which will contain the most amount of wax will repelled the ink, watercolor or whatever you use to wash over your piece. This technique is similar to Batik and you can even distress your pattern a bit by wrinkling your paper before you apply your ink.

4.) Once the ink is dry use a used dryer sheet or paper towel to rub off any excess wax. On some paper this will even produce a bit of a gloss to your paper.

5. To give your paper extra body, especially if you are using text weight paper, you can glue it onto a scrap piece of card stock.

Although you can use pretty much any weight of paper for this technique, the thinness of text weight paper picks up the relief  of the pattern better than heavier card stock. Wax crayons and even Prismacolor pencils which also have a bit of wax in them can be substituted for the paraffin wax for some wonderful results. The example on the top left was done on pink paper  using several  different colors of Prismacolor penciled after which a light watercolor wash was applied.

Final Note: Besides textured Cuttlebug Folders, you can use anything that has a raised texture to create your patterned backgrounds including wicker place-mats or even iron grates. It is similar to the rubbings often  done on gravestones. I also do genealogy so I  have done more than my share of these and love the look of adding color to my rubbings.

The Background on the right was made from a page from an old catalog. The catalog was printed on red paper and I love the fact that it had printing on it and decided to make several background from it.

I Hope you have enjoyed this mini tutorial, if you found it helpful, please let me know by leaving me a comment.

Solitaire / The Prettiest Ribbons has been entered in the following challenges:
Art With No Boundaries March Fashionista Challenge
Always Crafting / Anything Goes 
Inspire Me Fridays / Link Party Anything Goes 
Make It Monday / Link Party Anyrhing Goes 
Smudgy Antics /  Anything Goes    I just recently found this challenge and love the Edginess of it

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Minuet Your heart Can Dance ATC

I created this ATC for the "Let the Dancer In you Escape" Feb challenge on Art With No Boundaries and just now got some time to post it on my Doodle Pieces. The main focal point of this ATC is Minuet and she is one of the new digital design in my recently released Express Yourself Digital Stamp Series

Minuet has been colored with fine tipped Sharpie permanent markers and the "Your Heart can Dance" sentiment is one of my own original quotes also from my Express Yourself Series.

I am a huge recycle fan and I save all my paper scraps no matter how small and the red background is covered with some of my hand drawn doodle art that was drawn with a white gel pen. I find doodling not only creative but very calming and therapeutic and my own doodle background papers are among my favorite to use on my art pieces.

Minuet is playing in the following challenges:
Sentimental Sunday ... Words of Encouragement, when I was younger I couldn`t decide if I wanted to be a Ballerina or an Artist, guess from my blog you tell which one one out. :)

Crafty Calender ... Spring Cleaning ... Using my scrap pieces, check out my doodle paper

If you enjoyed my Minuet ATC,
 please leave me comment so I know you came to visit.