If you read my previous post, one of my goals this year was to reinvigorate my art. I've invested in a lot of different supplies over the years, but haven't practiced enough to utilize them or the skills I've picked up in classes. I was quite grateful that Anne, from El Milagro Studios, began posting tutorials and invited us to play along.
I had to break one of my goals, "not to buy any supplies" to get the gloss gel medium, but I felt it was well worth it as I was still using a lot of what I already had. Anne has directions if you'd like the play along, here I'm just showing you my results and a couple of things I've picked up in the process.
First Lesson Learned
No matter how aggravated you get at your child's mess, don't throw everything away. I am not a neat person, but even I have my limits. Unfortunately for my daughter, when I reach my limits, a purge usually follows. She made valentines from foam hearts when she was about 4 or 5, the kind that you had to punch out of the background foam. I had saved the left over outline and they would have been the perfect stencil for this project. Nope, in the last purge not a single piece of foam remained but two of these flowers (you don't know how tempted I was to go the Michael's and buy another bucket of them, $4.99 cheap). I had a small heart cookie cutter so I was able to make a stencil using Anne's directions.
This is what I created following along with Anne using the gel medium and a bin of beads I've collected from leftover projects. Anne mentioned that her beads bled into the gel. I've had the problem with resin as well. There are a couple of types of beads to avoid if you don't want this to happen; color lined and dyed. I'm sure some others will do the same, but those two I know will cause problems. My beads are larger than what Anne used and the effect is much lumpier. In the first heart, I tried to cull out the larger ones; on the second I just let it be.
This is how it looks after a day of drying. It still has a lot of drying time left. The bleeding I'm getting around the edge I think is from the alcohol ink I used on the mat board and not from the beads. I'm curious to see if the white will disappear completely. I don't really like a couple of the beads sticking out, but I stopped myself from picking at them....patience.
Second Lesson Learned
You really do need patience to get good results. I didn't like my background color and squirted diluting liquid all over it and nearly ruined it. I'm not upset about the near mishap, I could always paint over it, it was wasting a quarter bottle of the liquid...not cheap stuff. Of course I had to relearn this lesson with the next project. I didn't let the layers dry completely and nearly ruined my background again....patience (that little white spot in the middle of the page is from the paper coming off on my hands).
This project involved gluing a sheet of paper to the background. This time I spray painted the background lightly with black then overcoated it with Pepeo Setacolor transparent paint in Oriental Red with a very wet brush. I used the same color on a page from an old poetry book I use for a prop in my photos. I adhered it to the mat board with gloss medium/varnish (yep I had gloss medium but not gel, go figure). I then lightly tapped on alcohol ink in Slate to tone things down a bit.
Now I had a dilemma, I didn't have any foam left and I didn't want to use the little heart I had cut out earlier, it was so much smaller than the mat board.
Did I tell you I have a lot of different supplies? This is a die cut board from my scrapbooking endeavors. I punched out a few of the shapes and I had a pretty good stencil. Not as good as the foam, cardboard will not stand up to repeated washing, and it didn't lay as flat so I had to be really careful applying the gel. This time Anne used German glass glitter. Crap, I didn't have that so I used some microfine glitter left over from one of Heidi's projects (she's banned from glitter you know). In hindsight, I probably didn't need this deep of a stencil and could have gotten by with one of my brass stencils (it would be dry by now too, lol). I'm not sure what the results will be, the glitter may not show up enough since it's so very fine.
I'm pretty proud of my control here, there were a lot of open spaces on that board I had to avoid and a very high risk of seepage under the stencil. It's not as smooth as I'd like it, but I was afraid to play with it too much. It would have been easier had I found the quilt basting spray I was looking for (of course I found it AFTER I finished). It's similar to the light tacky spray you use on stencils to hold them down while you paint. But, who knows, it may have damaged the background and I did fine without it. I'll post a follow-up picture when both dry completely (could take awhile, it's pretty thick and it's cold in the house). I'd used the heat gun, but I'd probably melt the gel....patience.
Check out Anne's blog for instructions and to learn more.