was toying with what possible substrates to use... tags (of course), or
an art journalling page? But when I was chopping things back in the
garden I was left with some twiggy branches, and suddenly I knew what I
needed to create a kingdom for my icy king and queen - a reverse
canvas. When I put the stamps in place to see the effect, I knew I was
on to something...
I blended them onto the frame of the canvas, starting from darkest Midnight at the top, down via Paua Shell and Seaglass, on to the earthy Tundra and French Roast at the bottom. I also gesso'd the inner canvas and blended some Midnight into the still wet gesso to start building the skyscape. (The reverse sides of canvases aren't prepped, even if the fronts are, so it's worth a coat of gesso so that they don't soak up all your precious paint.) Don't get too attached to this look...
Okay, now we're cooking (in very cold water!)... time to invite the Ice Queen and King to join the journey. I used a stamping platform to stamp them in a combination of Archival Inks, Potting Soil and Night Sky, and then painted them with the same palette as before, but adding the icy Wolf Eye to the mix. I then stamped again to revive some of the clarity (thank you stamping platform). At first I cut them in these palatial arch shapes...
You can see in that photo (as well as a couple of spoilers for what's coming) that they are mounted dimensionally within the frame. I used the wooden stretcher struts that came with the canvas to support the Ice Monarchs, with an extra little letter cube for the queen's head. Let me share with you the behind-the-scenes glamour!
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have noticed that I'm slightly obsessed with the new Tim Holtz Moon Masks... it was pretty inevitable that one of them would end up being part of my icy landscape, inked and painted onto a die-cut circle just the right size.
Some of them are individually cut to drift down through the moonlit sky...
And this is where things started to get pretty tricky. I wanted my shards of ice to be part of that dimensional look - jaggedly sticking up at different depths within the canvas. But when something is see-through, you can't mount it on wooden blocks like the king and queen. That's not going to look good! I worked out that some of them could be glued to the backs of the Ice Monarchs themselves...
Others are glued to the reverse side of the snowdrift pieces of acetate, sometimes with some twiggy support to help them stay in place, and a couple of foreground pieces are glued on the canvas frame itself. There was quite a lot of clothes peg action needed one way and another!
It was messy and frustrating and a real juggling act at times, but I think completely worth it for the layered effect.
It must be Archival because they need to be smothered in glue to get them to melt into the frame. Careful that the fragile tissue paper doesn't tear...
These phrases are gathered from two different quotes at the bottom of my Eclectica Alison Bomber Winter Edition (EAB05), one by John Burroughs and one by L.M. Montgomery (best known for her Anne of Green Gables books).
... of snowflakes and icy shards...
... and the moonlight.
I haven't made the lights a permanent fixture yet, as I do like the icy look when they're not there at all...
Perhaps in the end I will give in and bore a hole through my canvas to fit them properly and glue them in place, but it's just the work of a few seconds to thread them into position so, for now, they're a removable element. And totally worth it for lighting up the fire of the frost!
I hope you enjoyed visiting this kingdom of snow and ice, and entering the presence of the Monarchs of the Ice.
I'm absolutely delighted with my Jack Frost textured shards of ice - it's definitely an effect I'll use again - and I love the snowflakes, both floating in the air and gathering on the ground. I love how all of it works to echo the intricate snowy designs on the Lynne Perrella figures.
Do have a go with stamping and embossing on acetate - it can really give a different impact to an image, and allows you to build transparent or translucent layers for a lovely sense of depth, especially if you've got a reverse canvas to build it all in.
Thank you so much for stopping by today to see the results of my stamping mash up. I really enjoyed working out how the different designers' elements would work together to tell the story. And I hope you'll be inspired to try out some unexpected stamp combinations to see where they take you. Happy crafting all!
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