"When Gillian and Leandra asked if I would like to be a guest designer for the autumn semester, to say you could knock me down with an autumn leaf would have been an understatement! I love using PaperArtsy products, the finish of the paint; the versatility of the stamps and oh don’t get me started on Grunge Paste! If I was asked to describe my style I’d struggle but what I do know is I love tones of colour, texture, layers and using fabric; sometimes altogether, sometimes individually".
So here is my first offering, I hope you like it ......
I really like the Paper Mache Hanging Boards from PaperArtsy, they are a good solid base to work with, but I’d just like them a bit bigger! So I made them bigger by removing the string and sticking one large hanging chunky board and two small hanging chunky boards together on the edges using Glue and Seal (any good strong glue will do). I then reinforced the sticking with tissue tape over the joins and then all over the boards front and back and the sides.
Over this I put quite a few layers of Gesso as I didn’t want the tape showing through, I just needed it to strengthen the boards. I then mixed Chocolate Pudding, Little Black Dress and a little bit of Old Gold Fresco Paints to make a darker brown. Using Cut N Dry foam I put the paint mixture on in downward strokes over the board. You don’t want it perfect as you want different tones so vary the pressure you put on the foam as you keep adding layers. It gave a really good worn wood look.
With a really manky stiff dried up brush (I have loads because I’m really bad at cleaning my brushes!) add some light strokes ofSnowflake over the base. Again I wanted to create that weathered old piece of wood that’s been lying around ageing in the elements!
Whilst this dried I started on the plaques. Using some Smoothy Heavy Weight White Stamping Card from PaperArtsy I painted it with VeryBerry and Sherbert using Cut N Dry to apply. Starting with the Very Berry I put the paint on in a circular motion as if I was polishing (doesn’t happen very often on the dining room table but you get the idea). I then added Sherbert and kept adding layers until I was happy with the depth of colour and the shading. I then sprayed the card with water and with some watered down French Roast adding a wash over the top. First I went down with the brush with vertical strokes and then whilst it was still wet lightly did horizontal strokes across to try eradicate brush strokes but leave pools of colour. Dried this and did the same with a watered down layer of Claret.
Using the Ink & The Dog Background Plate 6 I stamped in Claret, it didn’t matter that I missed some of the stamp with paint as I didn’t want an all over coverage. I then cut out the plaque using some really old PaperArtsy dies.
I sanded both of them to create spots where the sandpaper removes the top layer of paper. Using Black Archival Ink I stamped the flourish from HP1005.Once this was dry I went round the edges in Black Soot Distress Ink. Going back to the hanging boards, I mixed Chocolate Pudding and French Roast and stamped randomly over the boards with the text stamp from HP1217.
I also added the splodge stamp from HP1105 in Black Archival Ink around the edge of the boards. I also added some Sapphire Treasure Gold to the edges of the plaque and lightly over the hanging boards just to tie in all the colours and let your brain home in and focus on certain elements of the design, I think it also adds some more texture and distress. I always like to edge my art so it draws the eye in and anchors it, otherwise I find my eyes don’t know where to focus and everything seems to slide off the page like a Dali picture! So to edge the boards and add some texture, I mixed some pinches of Stampendous Frantage in Chunky Black Embossing Enamel, Aged copper Embossing Enamel and Aged Scarlet Embossing Enamel and using an embossing pad along the edge melted the mixture in various places. Being so chunky it doesn’t melt evenly and you can get nice pockmarks of metal.
Using Cut N Dry foam I painted an #5 sized tag on with Mocha Mousse, I left some bits unpainted as I wanted a really rough layer. Over this I added Irish Cream more in the places where there wasn’t Mocha Mousse. Gave it a good sand with a sanding block to bring back some of the base layer and just sort of even it all out. I stamped the button stamp from HP1211 in Chocolate Pudding, once dry I sanded again to knock back the colour and added washes of Vintage Lace and finally Claret. I distressed the edges and adding Walnut Stain Distress Ink.
For the hearts I painted some Grunge Paper with SherbetFresco Paint. I cut out three hearts using this PaperArtsy Die and then smeared on a thin layer of Grunge Paste, not all over as I wanted it really rough like flaking plaster.
Once this was dry I watered down some Vintage Lace and splodged it over each heart letting it pool in places. Left it to dry naturally. I watered down someMocha Mousse and washed it quite heavily over the hearts and immediately dabbed off with a dry baby wipe (I tend to keep my used baby wipes to use in this way). Keep going with adding and dabbing until you get something you are happy with in terms of shabby distressed. Once the hearts were dry I stamped the heart stamp from HP1217 in Coffee Archival Ink and then sprinkled on Pepper embossing powder. As I dried the powder the grunge paper curled, it was a happy accident but I liked how the hearts curved to give some dimension. I edged the hearts with some watered downClaret that I used to wash over the tag.
The layers were beginning to look good, but it still needed something else from a texture point of view. So I stamped the tape measure stamp in Black Versafine all over a sheet of Krunchy Wax Kraft Paper, heated it to seal it and then crunched it up. First into a ball and then into a sausage.
Carefully unfolded it and cut out the strips and added them in places on the hanging boards under the plaques using Matte Medium. I didn’t want them to be too flat so Matte Medium works really well as long as you leave it alone to dry! Two of the strips I pleated and using Matte Medium attached to the tag.
I used a hot glue gun to stick everything down as I wanted to add some height with the layers. Finally I nailed in the corners of each board some black tacks and attached the knotted string using nails through the sides of the boards.
Well I hope you like my first design piece and it’s given you some ideas you can borrow and interpret yourself, can’t wait to see if you are inspired!
Join me again tomorrow night when I will be back with my second project of the week.
Leandra Says: I love your eye for composition and use of textures Jo. This debut GD project depicts your unique style perfectly. Great way to use the Paper Substrates. Fabby.
Gillian Says: J'Adore the amazing textures you have achieved on this project along with those gorgeous colour tones. The layered strips of KWP are brill. I know we are in for a fantastic week ahead, can't wait to see more of your unique style.