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Welcome

Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art. I have giveaways of my art and lots of free tutorials. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TWO ALCHEMY THEMED ALTERED BOOKS WITH VIDEO TUTORIALS & NEW COLLAGE SHEETS

I thought I would start easing into the Halloween season with two Alchemy themed projects.  Both feature altering books where I've used egg shells to create a texture on the cover of the books.
The first altered book features a dragon’s eye surrounded by its scales.  Two holes cut into the pages on the side of the book, accommodate small tins filled with tiny bottles containing substances the alchemist would use in their quest to transmute elements into gold.  Faux suede cord wrapped around the book keeps the dragon contained and the tins in place.
The second altered book is an alchemist workshop.  The texture on the cover is created by applying paper clay stamped with an Alchemy themed rubber stamp and egg shells.  Accenting the cover are collaged celestial embellishments.  Standing guard above is a chipboard dragon coated with egg shells.
By folding and cutting the pages in the book, you can create architecture.  Inside the book is distilling equipment made from bottles, a working hourglass and all kinds of bottles, bowls, candles, a scale and weights and other items that would outfit and alchemist’s workshop.


NEW ALCHEMY THEMED COLLAGE SHEETS
Almost all of the images I’ve used on the books are from two new alchemy themed collage sheets.  The sheets are loaded with alchemy charts, architectural elements, bottles, distilling equipment, books, dragons and more.
ALCHEMIST’S WORKSHOP

ALCHEMY THEMED ALTERED DRAGON BOOK
with
EGG SHELL TEXTURE
and
HIDDEN DRAWERS

VIDEO TUTORIAL
Below is the dragon’s eye I used in the project.  Feel free to use it in your art.

ALPHA STAMPS SUPPLIES USED TO CREATE THE DRAGON BOOK

ALCHEMIST’S WORKSHOP ALTERED BOOK
with
EGG SHELL TEXTURE COVER






VIDEO TUTORIAL

Below is the alchemy manuscript I used in the project.  Feel free to use it in your art.

ALPHA STAMPS SUPPLIES USED TO CREATE THE ALCHEMIST’S WORKSHOP BOOK

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FREE COLLAGES FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE

Recently I redecorated a guest bedroom and needed more artwork for the walls.  I created these three pieces that I framed.  Each piece is 8” x 10”5.  I thought maybe others would like to use them, either to frame or as part of a project.  Feel free to save the images for your personal use.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Steamtown & Time Machine Shadowbox Made from a Cigar Box – Plus a NEW Collage Sheet & Digital Image Set

It’s another glorious day at the main square in Steamtown.  The astrolabe is a popular place to gather.  Looks like a man with a steam powered back pack is ready to take off and there is a boy on a bicycle who is launching into the air.  
You can also see two young girls riding around on a steam powered Victorian version of the Segway.

Out in the suburbs of Steamtown a drama is unfolding behind an innocent looking Victorian façade.
In the library, Henry and George await the return of their colleague Roger.  Unbeknownst to the men, something else has moved forward in time.  Not to worry as Amelia makes short work of the problem using her trusty umbrella, dispatching the creature to the year 2015, where it is now staring in a movie titled “Jurassic World”.

On the walls of the library are pictures of some of the lovely ladies of Steamtown.
In addition to the two Steampunk themed projects there is a new “Time Machine” collage sheet and digital image set.  Most of the images you’ll see in the new project come from these new image sets and also from my other recent Voyages Extraordinaires image sets.
In the post below I’ll walk you through how I created each piece and have included the list of supplies I used.

This sheet includes all kinds of goodies to create your own time machine.  
This digital kit includes all of the images on the collage sheet and some unique to the kit.  There are 58 images in total with 24 images that are in a small and large size.

Digital files can be resized, rotated or flipped as needed.  The files are in a .png format.  PNG formatted files have a transparent background making it easy to layer an image over other digital images.  You can open .png files using graphic programs like Photoshop Elements.  Digital collage sheets and digital images can be saved to your computer and printed as many times as you wish.

STEAMTOWN - Tutorial
The base of Steamtown is made from a piece of wood I bought at the craft store.  The edges are painted and papered.  On the top is a collage of paper from the Carte Blanche Junque Gypsy Scrapbook Paper 
I attached the boy and girls on the bicycle to the base using small square beads that are glued to the back of the pieces and then to the base.

ASTROLABE CLOCK
The astrolabe clock is made from laser cut wood. 
To create the clock patina, I started by applying a rust treatment to the clock.  I’m not going to cover the rust treatment in this tutorial as I have two other tutorials devoted to this patina technique.  If you missed them they are:
Next, I rubbed on some Inca Gold Gilders Paste and then some Patina Gilders Paste.  The final touch was to paint the indented numbers on the wood with gold paint. 
The base of the astrolabe is made from a round wooden plaque.  The edge is painted and once again I used the Carte Blanche paper on the top.
The stand is a candlestick holder painted gold, rubbed with Patina Gilders Paste and accented with diamond tape.
I cut a notch in the top of the candlestick holder to hold the clock.
The mechanical looking piece on the circle of the clock is made from an optometrist lens from my stash, gears and wings from the Steampunk Shapes Set, a Victorian bicycle charm, brass leaves and a rondelle.  The two pictures below are views from the back and front of the piece.
In the center of the clock is the astrolabe.  I used gears from the Steampunk Shape Set – Hot Air Balloon and a clock from the Steampunk Shapes Set – Hats for the 3 center pieces.  The larger outside piece is made from multiple layers of paper cut to fit inside the hole in the clock.  I used the hole of the clock as the guide for size.  The trick is to find pieces that fit snugly inside the other piece.  Each piece is glued in place (with E6000) at an angle to the previous piece.
You can see in the pictures how I have attached the optometrist glass mechanical piece to the clock.  The main reason I used the brass leaves was to give me a surface to attach the piece to the clock without getting glue on the glass.
To the handle of the optometrist glass I added a watch hand that goes through the astrolabe and is decorated with a small sun disk from my stash.
To the base I added a chipboard key (from the Shapes Set) and brass gear.  At the bottom of the clock I added wood swirls and a piece of filigree.

Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for the Astrolabe

BALLOON
The balloon is made from the Steampunk Shape Set – Hot Air Balloons.  The paper behind the balloon and the banner on the front is from the Sweet Paris 8x8 paper set.
At the top of the balloon and on the basket, I added brass gears, a clock button and a key.  The basket and balloon are connected using eye pins glued to the backs of each piece.  Other options are string, thread, toothpicks or ribbons.  Hanging from the bottom of the basket is a piece of Dresden from my stash.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for the Balloon

BOY ON BICYCLE
The boy on the steam powered bicycle and the umbrellas are from the Voyage Extraordinaire Digital Image Set.  The umbrellas are connected to each other and to the bicycle by a thin wooden skewer. 
At the top of the umbrellas is a wooden light bulb, a fuse from the Time Machine collage sheet, a hitch fastener and a bronze hand.  I trimmed the bottom of the light bulb so it would fit into the hole in a rondelle.  I then folded a bail and glued it into the hole in the hand.  The bail gave me a way of attaching the gizmo to the umbrellas. 
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for the Boy on Bicycle
Voyage Extraordinaire Digital Image Set – Boy on Bike & Umbrellas
GIRLS ON BICYCLE
The frame of the bicycle is made from swirls that are part of the ClockworksLaser-Cut Wood Embellishments.  I used the same rusting technique on the swirls as I used on the clock.
I painted a variety of pieces from the Steampunk Shapes Sets.
Next, to the larger swirl, I started attaching the pieces I painted and at the top left, a bronze gear.
I then added the smaller swirl to larger one to serve as the handle bars.  I also added a game spinner and a furniture nail (with the pin removed).
I continued to build up the bike with a bicycle charm.
For the gizmo that comes off the back of the bike, I started by gluing a beehive box foot to a metal gear.  I used the box foot as it will fit over a piece of the swirl so that I can attach the gizmo to the bike.  I used the gear to give me something to glue the bottle to.
I glued together a metal gear, 3 spinners, a rondelle and a bead.
In a domed apothecary bottle I assembled some rondelles and watch parts from my stash.
To the open end of the bottle I attached the brass and spinner piece that I previously assembled.
Lastly I glued the bottle to the box foot and brass gear and then glued the box foot over the a piece of the swirl at the back of the bike.
Next, used a pair of chipboard wings from the Shapes Set to serve as a seat or place to stand.

At the top of the handle bar I attached a scissor charm to server as hand holds (the blades of the scissors fit nicely on each side of the handle bar) , a beehive box foot and a pair of binoculars.
I then added more stuff!  More gears to the top on the handle bar with a hitch fastener, in the bottom middle a handle turn and on the front wheel a brass propeller and bead.  I also added a gear on the back side handle bar and a gear on the back side of the back wheel.
The final touch is adding the girls to the bike.
Alpha Stamps Supplies for the Girls on the Bike
Clockworks Laser-Cut Wood Embellishments - Swirls
TIME MACHINE - Tutorial
The Time Machine shadowbox is made from a cigar box.
I started by inking the edges of the box and then papering the parts of the inside of the box that would be seen once I added all of the other elements.
For the lid side, I added parts of the library image from the Time Machine digital image set.  
Next, I framed images from the Voyages Extraordinaires image sets.  The frames are from the Antique and Elegant Frames digital image sets.  The chairs are from the Days Gone By digital image set and the clock is from the Time Machine Collage Sheet.  I popped up the pictures and the chairs from the wall using double stick tape.
The curtains are from the Side Curtain with Fringe digital image set.
On the inside of the box I added the library image.
For the time machine, I printed the image twice.  One of the images I used as the main image and the other one I cutout pieces of the image that I popped up from the main image to create depth.  I cutout a piece of the door and attached the dinosaur to the back of the door.
To further embellish the time machine, I added the Junkyard Findings Water Pipe Parts as well as gauges from the Steampunk Elements image sets.
You can below how the pipes, gauges and door with dinosaur are attached. 
To add further dimension I added Glossy Accents to the gauges to give them a domed and glassy appearance.
Also note how I added the handle and gear to the pipes.  To create the space for them I used several layers of double stick foam tape to pop the time machine out from the wall.
For the dinosaur, I used multiple layers of double stick foam tape behind the right side of the door (only) so that the left side is flush with the time machine and the right side is popped out.  This makes it look like the dinosaur is pushing the door open on the right but the door is still on its hinge on the left.
When I cutout Amelia I cut away the walking stick that is in her hand.  I glued the miniature umbrella behind her body and hand, then used a fine point black pen to widen the part of the stick that goes across the skirt of her dress to match the width of the umbrella shaft.
DINOSAUR
Below is the dinosaur image I used.  Feel free to download the image and use it in your art.  It is sized to fit the dinosaur is sized to fit the time machine on the collage sheet or the large one in the digital image set.
The final touch was to add the men.  Also note that I used the same curtains that are on the lid side of the box.
The Victorian façade is from the Time Machine digital image set.  I printed it twice with one copy being reversed.  I glued one copy to a piece of lightweight chipboard and cut it out.  Next, I cutout the other copy and glued it to the back of the chipboard.  The reason for reversing one of the copies is that the façade is not perfectly symmetrical so if you don’t reverse the second image they won’t fit together as well.
For the astrolabe at the top of the house I started by bending an ornament hook.  Note in the picture below that the second hook is the one that is bent and the first is how it looked before bending.  
To the hook I attached a brass gear and a clock button.  I attached a button to the back as well.
The other pieces of the astrolabe are a clock from the Steampunk Shapes Set – Hats and a white ring that I painted a copper color and then brushed with Patina Gilders Paste.  
I then glued the hook into the ring at an angle.  You can now see why I bent the hook to make it larger so that it would fit snugly inside the ring.  Next, I glued the ring inside the clock.  
On each side of the clock I attached memo pins.  I poked the pins through the top of the façade to hold the astrolabe in place.
Below the astrolabe is a gizmo piece from the Time Machine collage sheet.  I used Gloss Accents to make each of the gauges pop and small copper beads to dress up the gizmo and to hide the small white areas that were too small to cutout.
To give the façade more dimension, I printed a third version of the façade and cutout most of the windows and doors, attaching them to the façade with double stick foam tape to pop them up. 

The final touch are the lights which are from the Voyage Extraordinaires images set.  I then glued the façade to the front of the cigar box.
Alpha Stamps Supplies Used for the Time Machine
Gilders Paste - Copper