Monday, 28 January 2013

Flower Power

    Hello again! - Thank you for being here and a big WELCOME to my new followers!

    I am here to bring you a tiny taste of the spring to come...when we can relax in warmer weather....Today I bring you flowers....and bunting........and mixed media!

     Mixed media is a craft that I had never done and to be honest it frightened me a little. Wondering about what if I get it wrong....but forget all that - There are no rules in craft land...if it works for you and you are having fun then go for it. And of course fun is the key word.

     I was hunting about online for crafts, searching blogs and decided to look for mixed media. Suddenly I found a wonderful tutorial. I really loved the picture the artist made - and I knew my little girl would love it too, so I decided to make it for her.

    I didn't have the majority of materials that the artist was using (what a surprise!!!) so I knew that this was another project where I would have to do a certain amount of searching for alternatives. Luckily, as I watched the tutorial, my mind began ticking with ideas...."I don't have transfers, but I could use my stamps. I don't have that paper set but I do have a scrap box to hunt through....."

     Luck had been on my side earlier when my wonderful husband called me while he was shopping and said "This shop has art canvases for sale really cheap - 99p each - do you want some?" I gave him instructions to buy some of several sizes and then, bless him, he picked up some very cheap (and surprisingly really good quality) paintbrushes too.

     So here we go....I apologise for the very photo heavy post - I thought I would try to do a step by step view of this project....I managed ok- (ish......forgot to pick up the camera a couple of times) ;o)

    The canvas I chose was 8 x 8...a nice smallish size....I covered it with Mod Podge.

      I then stuck some music paper on the board and tried to flatten it as much as possible. There were a lot of wrinkles that would not smooth out but that adds a nice texture. This music paper was part of the Christmas crackers wrapping that our family had on Boxing day this year. Alison and I had half a set each - Please take a look at her blog and you will be able to see how she used part of the paper.

    Once the glue had dried I added a layer of Mod Podge over the top of paper...again trying to smooth out bumps and wrinkles - with not much luck I am like the lines that are around my eyes, I chose to accept them!

     Pale blue acrylic paint for the sky. The paint was covering up the music notes too much when applied with the brush, so I grabbed a baby wipe and the 'smooshing' began.....

      That is much better...the paint is now covering the board and the notes are peeking through...

All done for need to paint right down to the bottom of the board as I am painting grass there when the blue paint has back in a moment after I have washed up the paintbrush and tidied up a little........

     Ooops! Oh no!!! I got so carried away having fun with the next two stages I forgot to pick up the camera!!! So sorry - I got caught up in the creative moment. Anyway, we are back again and the grass was done with acrylic paint. Green and yellow blobs of paint applied straight to the board and 'smooshed' around with the baby wipe. A paintbrush was needed just to add the neat edges and as I applied the paint quite thickly here I swirled the brush through the paint to add some texture.

     Triangles were cut out from scrap paper pieces and the circles cut with a circle punch again from scraps. I bit of twine was glued along the top of the board and all the paper was stuck with Mod Podge. I found a very cute button sewn onto flower shaped material so stuck that to the corner of the board.

     I got some white acrylic paint and began to brush some onto the edges of the bunting......

Just to give it a bit of a distressed vintage look

Some stamping now....I chose some flourish stamps and some DI's - Forest Moss, Stormy Sky and Tumbled Glass

I used the darker blue first and began to gently pat the stamps across the frame. I knew I wasn't going to get a very defined image as it is a stretched canvas frame so it dips in the middle if pressure is applied. Not very helpful when you want a clear stamped image. Luckily here what I wanted was just a bit of detail, not an exact image. I then repeated the image with the Tumbled Glass DI.

Both sides of the picture are done....

The word LOVE is in the original picture and I wanted to have that on my picture - Christy used a transfer, which I don't have but I do have a stamp so that was used instead. However, I was worried about stamping directly on the canvas, especially as it was difficult to be able to press hard enough. It is also something you only get one shot at, and I really didn't want to have to be painting over the stamp mistake. I decided to stamp the word on tissue and then stick it to canvas with Mod Podge....

    Wording done!

The grass is nice and bright - but the colour is too flat. So I get a flourish stamp inked with Forest Moss DI and stamp randomly along the grass...staying closer to the bottom of the canvas to indicate shadows and represent detail in the foreground...

 The Circles are masked and a script stamp is dabbed onto the canvas - again I wasn't going for a perfectly stamped text, just hints of script floating along....

  I then began to add detail with a fine permanent pen. I drew around the bunting, adding in stitching detail, lacy effects or just drawing the lined edge and leaving them plain.

The top of the bunting looked a bit plain to me - so I added strings?...I have no idea what they are but my hand drew them - I accept no responsibility ;o)

   I then turned the flower circles into the centres of flowers...I drew around the flower and added a stem and leaves with the pen, adding in some other leaf effects here and there. I glued a button in the centre each circle and painted the leaves green.

     And here is the finished picture

      I really loved doing this picture. I wish I could claim that the concept of the picture was mine but it wasn't. Like I said earlier, I was inspired by a tutorial that I found online - You should all take a look at the original done by Christy Tomlinson. which is just beautiful....

        ...Of course mine is nowhere near as good. I am not saying just saying that to be modest...I really adore Christy's style of art and it is a style I wish I could do but as we know.... you can try to 'copy' a style but at the end of that day your own style stands firm and refuses to be pushed aside. So I could spend hours trying to replicate that style that I admire, but I have my own.

     Seeing as this is my first ever attempt at mixed media, I am very happy with it and it makes me think that perhaps I could do more and that is such a happy thought!

     Hope you like it - please leave a comment for me if you are here to take a peek. I would love to know you visited!

            Take care!


I am entering this into the following challenges -

Fussy and fancy - Circles
Fashionable stamping challenges - Show some love
The shabby tearoom -  Cute as a button


  1. This is just lovely. It makes us feel cheery and positive just to look at it. Your tutorial is great and we may just follow it for an art journal page. We often get carried away in a creative moment and forget the camera too!

  2. Laura...thanks for the comments you left on my blog this morning. I really appreciate your thoughts and your time to do that. I think this little canvas is absolutely adorable. I love Christy's style and you've done such a nice job on this canvas. Your black pen doodling absolutely MAKES this cute and well done! <3 Candy

  3. What a great canvas... now you've hit mixed media you won't be able to stop, I guarantee it!
    Alison xx

  4. What a fantastic canvas Laura. It's your hand drawing that makes it work really well for me. Hugs, Jenny x

  5. Fabulous first attempt Laura! I especially love your flowers. Nicola x

  6. I love your canvas Laura - especially the doodling and I agree Christy is a great inspiration but you have made this your very own style. I read recently about cutting a block of wood the same size as the opening in the back of the canvas to provide a firm surface to stamp on then you can use it again with the next canvas! Bet your helpful husband could oblige!

  7. What a wonderful piece of art! I love mixed media and your canvas great, I can tell you had a lot of fun with makes me smile too! Thanks for joining us at The Shabby Tea Room!

  8. A fabulous canvas Laura full of lovely bright colours. I love the bla k doodling, it finishes it off perfectly.
    Thanks for sharing some love at Fashionable Stamping Challenges this week.
    Hugs Brenda xox

  9. Such a very lovely work of art!! Thanks for sharing your steps on what you did!! Thanks for sharing your creation with us over at Fussy and Fancy Fridays ! Hope you will join us again!! Smiles and Hugs - *Vicki* ~ DT member

  10. Oh I love this....wonderful, bright and cheery mixed media canvas.

  11. I love your free spirited approach to creating this canvas which looks really lovely! Made me smile as I read the various stages - especially the wrinkly music paper!!


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