Saturday, 23 February 2013

I never promised you a rose garden

    Hello everyone! Welcome to Laurart! I hope you like what I have made today....

    First of all a mention about the title....this and my next post are titles of songs and I have looked to the genre of Country music which I adore. In England, sadly Country music doesn't fall into the 'cool' category. However I never have or will be a 'trendy' person - I like what I like and I was raised listening to the delights of Johnny Cash, Dolly and Porter, Tammy Wynette and all the greats and I listen to them to this day and smile. So this blog is a tribute to one of my favourite songs - In fact my little girl sang it for me at my birthday party in front of a huge audience because she knew I loved it so much.

      So onto the craft stuff - I had been a bit stuck recently - no ideas and the one project I started came to a halt rather rapidly - before it had even really begun. I had recently got my first pot of texture paste and of course impatient me couldn't wait to get stuck in. I grabbed a small canvas, a stencil of some ivy and began to apply the paste.

    I found it a bit tricky - as all new things are. I soon got the hang of it and suddenly after a few false starts I had three corners of the canvas decorated in gorgeous trailing ivy...I liked how it looked but then it dawned on me...I had NO idea what to do next! Do I paint? Ink? Collage?....Oh crikey!!!!

    So I did my usual panic thing of putting it away. Then I remembered that Gesso seems to be mentioned in work on canvas on other blogs I have read - so I slapped some Gesso on hoping that the action of painting would cause inspiration to come flying into the room. Sadly no, there was plenty of paint on the canvas but no ideas to be found anywhere.

    The canvas sat there for several days and I tried not to feel bad about it. I finished some other work and tried to ignore the canvas sitting there. Then I was looking on the internet, hopping around the blogs and I landed at Frilly and Funkie....And there was a new challenge - Layers! Well, I was really happy. The first word had ideas bouncing everywhere as I LOVE layering - Total comfort zone!

    and..."Focus on a single word" - I can do that!...So I glanced at the DT work - WOW! they were ALL amazing and as I scrolled down enjoying every single one I began to realise that I could complete that poor sad little canvas who was currently feeling abandoned....

    Now....I am not too used to doing canvas work. Or rather, I do use them very happily to paint still life with acrylic paints, but the whole collage, stains, inks, tissue, stamps, canvas thing is very new. Although my head was full of ideas I was really unsure how to put them onto the canvas.....

 First I needed to work on the background - I really wanted to use my New Tim Holtz 'Melange' Tissue. So I cut and tore out two pieces and stuck them to the board. After the glue had dried I realised the images were too dark and so I lightened them with a coat of Gesso.

     I desperately wanted to use Tattered Rose (I LOVE that colour!) - In the ideas that were floating around my mind I had visions of pale peachy-pink, beige and green, lace, script, flowers, torn edges, wire, vintage shabby chic. I recently got my first lot of Distress stains -

I am just learning how to get the best effects and I only had Tattered Rose in the stain version so I grabbed the Tattered Rose, Antique Linen and Bundled Sage stains - Deep breath....and here goes....

   I swiped them over the canvas - wasn't even sure if that was how you are meant to do it but I kept telling myself there isn't a wrong way! Tattered Rose in one corner, Bundled Sage in the opposite corner and Antique Linen over the rest. Blended it all together with a large soft brush...I liked that a lot so it was a good start. I put it aside to dry and then began to work on the layers.

  •    Card covered in Tattered Rose stain and then stamped with script in Gathered Twigs
  •    Card covered in Tim Holtz 'Melange' Tissue paper and covered with Antique Linen stain.
  •    Card covered in Antique Linen stain and stamped in flourish stamp in Antique Linen
  •    Card made using wrinkle free distress with Tarnished Brass/Bundled Sage/Antique Linen Stains and then cut into heart shape and stamped with script in Gathered Twigs
  •    The word 'Promise' embossed on card and covered in several applications of Antique Linen stain, cut out and stuck onto card stained with Tarnished brass/Bundled Sage/Antique linen wrinkle free distress and edged with Gathered Twigs

    There were other layers too...
    Layer of embossing paste
    Layer of Gesso
    Layer of tissue
    Another layer of Gesso
    Layer of Stains
    Layer of stencils using DI's
    Layer of script stamp


After constructing all the different card layers, the canvas was dry and I began to add some more canvas decoration. I stencilled some ivy using Bundled Sage DI. I then stamped some script across the canvas with Gathered Twigs DI. I then blended a little bit of Gathered Twigs across the embossing paste ivy leaves to emphasis the texture.

I began to arrange the layers....adding some crochet lace first around the centre of the board...It looked too bright and new next to the other colours so I dabbed on some Antique Linen stain to give it more of a vintage look and then applied it to the board.

The layers took shape and I began to add in some flowers. I decided to add some roses but these were too pale so I applied some Antique Linen stain to the craft mat, spritzed with water and dabbed the roses in the liquid. I also did some smaller roses at the same time. A twig heart and some rusty wire and I had done the canvas!

     I do hope you like it! Thanks for stopping by...I hope you are having a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned.

I am entering this into the following challenges -

Frilly and Funkie  - Layer it on and share a word
Anything challenge - Vintage shabby chic
The Artistic Stamper - Hearts and Flowers
Stampavie  - Lots of Layers
Tim Holtz  - Tattered floral challenge


  1. Hi Laura, this is just so beautiful. I love the colours, they are my favourite too. And I really enjoyed reading about how you thought it all through...
    Dot x

  2. Wow, this is beautiful! I love the soft colors, gorgeous layers, inking, the grapevine heart... it doesn't look as though you were 'stuck' at any point! So glad you persisted and shared this beauty with us at F & F! Hugs, Rebecca

  3. Just spectacular! Such a lot of details amazing how much work you have put into this piece of art! Fabolous!XOXO

  4. Oh, Laura! Not only do I love your art, but your taste in music is impeccable!! I, too, grew up on Johnny Cash and prefer country, cool or not. This canvas is Drop Dead Gorgeous!!! I wish I could come over and you could teach me how to make something this amazing {sigh}. Thank you SO much for sharing and putting a bit of beauty in my day. nise

  5. I remember that song well. Mum used to play it non stop and now I'm singing it in my head again:) Do I like it? No... I LOVE IT!!!!! Isn't it fabulous when inspiration finally hits and boy you have really done this 'poor little canvas' proud. So glad you enjoyed this too. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie, hugs Jenny x

  6. I'm can't be cool either, lol. I was brought up on country music as my dad loves it and I still enjoy it now, though I have a very wide & varied taste in music now. Your canvas is stunning, I love the colours, textures, stamping and every gorgeous detail. Alexandra x

  7. I do like it Laura and I'm so pleased I'm not the only one struggling with working with all these gorgeous new products but you've done a brilliant job and I'm inspired to have a go. My first attempts with the paste didn't go well and it put me off but I shall have another go. I just wish I could find a class to join and learn the techniques but thanks so much for giving so much detail and pics in your post.

  8. Really beautiful... I love every single layer, and the final composition is absolutely delightful. Gorgeous colours, and yummy texture... and you're right - there is no wrong way! Only playing, experimenting, discovering!!
    Alison x

  9. Gorgeous work Laura ! I love all the layers you've created and the colours are stunning ! Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie. Sue C x

  10. This is gorgeous Laura. Love all the layers and those flowers are gorgeous. Great colour combination!

  11. Oh I remember that song so well. And your tag is every bit as memorable. Really pretty.

  12. Oooh! How gorgeous....thanks for playing along at The Artistic Stamper this month.
    xoxo Sioux

  13. Another beautiful piece Laura! I love the soft colors and details. So gorgeous!

  14. Another stunning project - totally amazing!
    Thanks again for playing along with us at Stampavie & More this time.
    Good luck.
    Debs xx

  15. I love this! and thank you for joining in The Artistic Stamper Challenge this month :)

  16. This is such a delightful piece of art, Laura! One would never know that you struggled with it and it was certainly worth persevering! You have used all my favorite colors of distress ink and oh my, the heart and flowers are just fabulous. So happy that you played along with us for our recent challenge at Frilly and Funkie!


  17. This is gorgeous Laura, lovely layers of subtle colour x

  18. Hello Laura...I popped over here from PAper Profusion on her recommendation and I love what I've found! I've just been surfing around now in your blog for ages. I love how you take us through your thinking process for each makes it seem achievable for someone like me who so far has just looked ! When you said "there is no wrong" that just rang a bell for me so now I'm going to give it a go! You use my fav colours, like you I love flowers and I just adore how you put everything together! Looking forward to seeing what comes

  19. Laura, Have to admit, I have been over to this project more than once. This project is inspiring. Put together perfectly. The muted colors really make the piece.

    Take a peek at my Tattered Floral entries:
    Rose Box -
    Lunch Bag rose -

    Best of luck in the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals challenge.


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