Wednesday, 21 August 2019

2019 #13 Mushrooms: Recycled Mushroom Bag with EDY {by Keren Baker}

2019 Topic 13: Mushrooms

Keren's brain seems to sprout ideas as easily as a mushroom growing in the dark! However, this one seemed to have her scratching her head a fair bit. Now I know what her stencilling onto fabric cryptic emails were all about! ~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Keren Baker with you today, and I'd like to share with you a slightly 'marmite' bag that I loved creating using recycled materials. I wanted to try painting on denim and Darcy's Mushroom stencils were perfect for this piece. I've painted on fabric with Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics before, but not on anything as textured or tough as denim, so was interested to see how it would turn out.

To begin, I created a template and then cut out two denim tops from blue jeans, 2 mushroom stalks from white jeans and had a red belt on hand. I'd bought them all from a charity shop.

The first stage was pretty easy. Sponging Snowflake Fresco through PS104 by Darcy.

I began with adding roughly 1:1 paint to Ranger Fabric Medium. It needed a couple of layers. Snowflake is opaque but there is a little 'sinking in' to the fabric initially. Leandra recommended dampening your fabric for small areas at a time when painting fabric, particularly for colouring in a stamped area. 

With a stencil it's hard to limit the damp areas, and I wanted a clean crisp edge, so had to do a couple of layers of paint instead. The fun came next, as I debated how to get London Bus (which is a translucent) onto the base and to still be a bright red. I consulted the oracle again, and Leandra said to mix the colour with a little Snowflake, paint it on and then when dry, add the final colour of pure paint colour, London Bus, on top.

Well it worked. Perfectly! I was only adding a smidge of red. Mushrooms are often red topped with white spots, but I was using a stencil, so rather than paint in between where I'd stencilled, I opted for an illusion of the mushroom. 

So far, I'd used only 3 colours: Snowflake, London Bus and French Roast.


Usefully, the denim provides great texture, so I only needed to dry brush the French Roast colour on and it just did its own thing, gently seeping into the valleys.

Following on with recycling theme, I added some recycled interfacing. Vlieseline has recently brought out some interfacing using mostly recycled products so you can feel good about using it too. 

Truthfully the next part was a nightmare. I do like creating pieces that evolve. The amount of head-scratching involved nearly drove me to throw it in the bin. Trying to work out how to sew the piece up was really hard. I took a few decisions in the wrong order, but managed to solve most of the problems and used the belt as the handle by unpicking some of it and reassigning it somewhere else!

The bag is pretty quirky and so I decided as the bottom was roughly the same size as the top, if I made a bit where it could be folded back, it would make the mushroom, less mushroomy and a little less weird!! In this configuration, my kids are happier to accompany me and the bag.

The inside shows the top mush'roomier' section; suitable for fitting your phone sideways. Due to the slim nature of the inside stalk, not very much will fit in there other than keys and makeup!! You can see my mistakes. Had I made all design decisions in a timely fashion, I'd have hidden the stitches inside!

I wanted to add a little more texture. I'd already stitched around the edges of the mushrooms to help make them more distinct from the denim and give a quilted effect. It did feel fairly finished already, so I simply added some french knots onto just one mushroom and called it done!

It's great having the basic idea of where you're going and making design decisions as you go along, but it would be much less stressful if I'd worked out every layer and order in the first place (but where would the fun be in that!!). I loved stencilling on denim. Due to time constraints I didn't add a layer of Fabric Medium over the stencilled areas once I'd finished, but I'd recommend you did that for keeping the painted areas from cracking and wearing. Stencilling onto fabric is definitely something I want to do again soon, but perhaps onto an already created piece!

Keren x

Instagram: @craftstampink
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Monday, 19 August 2019

2019 #13 Mushrooms: Melancholy Moments with ESC {by Jennie Atkinson}

2019 Topic 13: Mushrooms

Jennie's projects always have a serene, calm to them. I guess her colour palette is very soothing! But when you read through this post and the steps of each layer, it makes you realise the creative details are more in depth than would first appear! ~Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Jennie (Live the Dream) with you today sharing a small panel for our new theme. 

Mushrooms always remind me of sleepy, hazy, autumnal days so I have used Scrapcosy's wonderful mushroom stamp as a centrepiece for this small textured hanging. After my very colourful retro project I am now back in my normal comfort zone of the browns! but they are very good for creating a more ethereal dreamy feel.

I really love this autumn set from Raquel and along with the accompanying stencil are my go to autumn set. The mushrooms have always been fabulous for layering and are easy to cut out, but for this hanging I wanted to stamp on text paper. I have also used another stencil from Raquel along with  a small mini numbers stamp to create the interest behind the main features of the hanging.

I find the easiest way of creating a blended background on grey board is to use the brayer. I coated the board with gesso first and used just two colours of Fresco Finish Acrylics - Chalk and Toffee - working the brayer across the board to get this faux fresco finish.

Once dry more interest was added by using the texture paste through the Harlequinn stencil and adding some stamping with Potting Soil Archival Ink (second generation stamping - ie stamping off first before stamping onto the project). You can see that I first always stamp a little spot which will later be hidden to check the colour ..... which was a good idea as the stamp was upside down!

A technique I learnt from Lynne Moncrieff (Adorn) when using text paper is to give it a light wash with Fresco paint which has been watered down a little. I used Chalk.  This provides a good background for the stamp both in terms of visual quality and to stop the ink bleeding into the paper. Despite being stamped on old text book-paper I have not lost the beautiful detail of the mushroom.

For the collage elements I have used little pieces of textiles and cardboard which have been highlighted with a little stamping from Alison's Autumn Edition Sayings.

I love being able to find a small word from one of the phrases which I then stamp onto old book paper (the edges around the page) and then tear around the phrase very carefully.

Finally I used more texture paste through the stencil to provide an unobtrusive title. I wasn't too sure whether it would sit well over the text paper which hadn't been glued to the edges but it worked very well and a note for the future that the paste is another way of holding elements onto a project!

A small autumnal hanging which could hang anywhere given it's subtle colours. However I think the design and techniques would also work well with orange/red/yellow paints, inks and textiles for a more colourful hanging.

As always thank you so much for joining me and I hope you love using these stamps as much as I do.

Jennie x

Sunday, 18 August 2019

2019 #13 Topic Introduction: Mushrooms

 2019 Topic 13: Mushrooms

Hello everyone, Keren here with a fun-gi topic (I'll try and keep corny puns to a minimum! ). Mushrooms really get a bad rep and many of us limit our usage of them to the good old button mushroom, but beyond that there's a magical world that often seems like someone has dreamed them into existence.

Maybe like me, you didn't realise that there are 15000 types of wild mushroom in the UK alone. They have a unique shape and provide great sources of both nutrition and inspiration. Life may be too short to stuff a mushroom but we'll try and stuff as many mushrooms into this post as possible!

We begin with a gorgeous project from Autumn Clark using Scrapcosy set no 5 featuring a real autumnal vibe and the ubiquitous red mushroom (which is called Fly Agaric).

Mentioning before about what many regard as a traditional mushroom, having grown up reading The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair, my ideal fairy mushroom home would look exactly like this!

Simple can be stunning. The pared back treatment of these mushrooms is so delicate and captures the intricacy of the spines/pores/gills so effectively.

Capturing the essence of a fungi in miniature is a challenge. These next two pieces are just lovely examples of successful reduction.

I could see these decorating anyone's table or mantelpiece and love the mossy bases to give the items a grounding.

Some artists draw exactly what they see rather what they imagine. Ernst Haeckel's art was so full of precision that his drawings are still in text books today. Looking at these beautiful representations, it's hard to believe they are real.

Some artists use comedy and whimsy to great effect and the mushroom shape lends itself to being adapted into all sort of forms.I love the way this artist has created people that 'work' despite having no faces.

This next artist has produced something that reminds me of a political satirist. Don't you love the textures from the mushroom spores that perfectly replicate the hair or the puffy hat from the front fungi who looks remarkably like a senior politician!

The richness of this velvet echoes the velvety texture of some of the mushroom varieties. Beautiful colour differences add to the realism of the subject matter.

This fantasy piece has a real art deco feel. She looks wonderfully mushroom-like yet without oddity.

 Rock painting is nothing new, although the craze to leave painted rocks for others to find is gaining in popularity. This is a clever way of incorporating the shape of the rock to provide the perfect shape for the mushroom cap. 

The richness of colour and vivid shine is so appealing in these ceramic beauties. The wonderful indentations possible with the medium gives realism and the quirky colours are stunning.

You almost think that this next photo is man-made. The mushrooms are such the perfect colour contrast to the background and seem to be coming from nowhere.

We're all about the creative side, and the blogger here has created some intriguing lanterns containing some miniature painted papier-mache and peg mushrooms. I definitely want to make a version of these!

This next perfectly coiffed paper-crafted project combines earthy colours, lots of textures and our hero the mushroom sat front and centre. 

The next set of photos show the awesome detail of these fabulous fungi. Seeing the different colours and backgrounds gives real food for thought when imagining our mushroom projects.

Notice the bokeh camera effect contrasting with the shine and those mushrooms that look so temptingly edible.

These gills look like folded paper. This could be an exciting piece to recreate using old book pages or coffee stained filters.

I included this next picture as an example of the different shapes and colours that are found in the fungi family. It is reminiscent of orange segments and pith; mesmerising!

This photo was snapped in Maui . They don't look real, and yet it's easy to imagine layers of Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics to mimic this effect.

I thought we'd finish with something really beautiful and a little whimsical. These mushrooms are certainly special and a good reminder to incorporate fabric and other textural elements into our pieces of art. Look at the attention to detail and spot the tiny hedgehog resting awhile atop the cap!


I hope you've enjoyed this woodland romp through all things mushroomy!

You're going to love the projects we have coming up for this topic. We are not doing the linked challenge  for 2019, so if you want to create along with us and this topic, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. 

The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world! 

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

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Even though we've been blogging for quite some time only just figured out the followers button, so please follow us to hear about all that is new in the land of PaperArtsy. We'd love to share our ideas with you! Leandra

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

A View from PaperArtsy HQ