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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 as well as miniature. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cigar Box Art - Third Set

Here are some cigar box labels for you to use in your art.  To download an image, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.  I’ll be posting more cigar box labels and other related images throughout the month of December.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tutorial – Aging and Crackling an Image using Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film and Ranger Distress Crackle Paint

When I was designing the ATC below I wanted the image of Botticelli’s Venus to have the look of an aged crackle painting.  The problem is that the crackle techniques and products, with which I’m familiar, would cover the image when painted over with crackle medium and paint or crackle paint.  I had been working with Grafix Rub-Onz for a while and I got the idea that maybe I could achieve the effect I wanted by first crackling paper and then applying a rub-on over the crackled paper.  It worked!  Not only does is look aged but also has a worn texture.

Step 1 – Crackling a Surface Using Ranger Distress Crackle Paint
You can use any crackle method you choose but I find when working with small projects the Ranger Crackle Paint works the best because it gives you fine detailed cracks.  If you use something like Delta’s Crackle the cracks are too large.  Ranger Crackle is also nice because the paint and the crackle medium are all in the same bottle so it’s a one step process.  With other methods, you must apply the crackle medium first, wait for the perfect level of dryness and then apply paint.  With Ranger Crackle, just paint your surfacet; let it try and you’ll get a great result every time.  Distress Crackle Paint comes in a large variety of colors.  You can use this technique on any surface that the paint sticks to.
  • First, stir the pot thoroughly as the crackle component of the mixture tends to sink to the bottom of the container.  I use a popsicle stick.
  • Apply a very thick coat to your piece stroking in one direction.  Try not to over stroke the same area if possible.  In other words, go over the same area as few times as possible.
  •  Let it dry and you should get a nice detailed crackle effect.
Below I used the color “Antique Linen” to crackle an ATC size piece of white cardstock.  Crackle paint and cardstock color combinations give different results.  For example, if you use the crackle color “Picket Fence”, which is white on black cardstock the end result will be a light blue.
TIP:  Crackle paint is a use it or lose it product, as it slowly dries out once you open the container.  I check my containers every so often and add water so they don’t dry out.

Step 2 – Create a Rub-on Using Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film
I’m not going to cover the steps to create a rub-on as they are covered in the tutorial “How to Create Your Own Grafix Rub-Onz.  Here is the link http://artfullymusing.blogspot.com/2010/12/tutorial-create-your-own-rub-ons-using.html

Step 3 – Apply the Rub-on To the Crackled Surface
  • Once you have created your rub-on, separate the transfer film from the adhesive film at the edge. 
  • Place the image (sticky side) on to the crackled surface and using a popsicle stick, rub the image until you can lift the transfer film.
  • Once you’ve removed the transfer film rub the image with your fingers to press the rub-on into the cracks.
  • You’re done and ready to embellish.
Rub-On

Rub-on Applied to the Crackled Cardstock

Finished ATC
More Examples of the Technique
Rub-On
Rub-on Applied to the Crackled Cardstock

Rub-On
 Rub-on Applied to the Crackled Cardstock
You can purchase Ranger Distress Crackle Paint at http://www.franticstamper.com/search.asp?keyword=crackle&sortby=0&catid=591

The Grafix website where you can find sites to purchase Rub-Onz Transfer Film


Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Faberge Egg ATC

I'm working on a series of four Faberge Egg ATCs and this is the second in the series. To see the first click here.  The engineering on this one was more complicated than the first as I wanted the white swan to appear in the middle, whether or not the egg is opened or closed.


I purchased the German Scrap (black swan, laurel leaves, and decorative gold piece under the white swan) from Collage Stuff.  I added the gold to the black swan using gold Rub’n Buff.  I purchased the metal charms & findings from Fancifuls Inc.  I purchased the metal picture frame from Ebay.  I painted the metal items first with black, then lightly with gold, then I applied gold Rub n’ Buff.  The point of this process was to give them dimension.

Cigar Box Labels - Second Set

Here are some cigar box labels for you to use in your art.  To download an image, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.  I’ll be posting more cigar box labels and other related images throughout the month of December.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Thinking Out Of the Box - Book ATCs - Medieval Times Knights

This ATC book titled “Legend” is connected using two ribbons that run along the back of all of the cards. 
The arches behind the woman in the first card, are a rub-on I made as described in the tutorial “Create Your Own Rub-ons Using Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film”The lance is made from a wooden skewer with a pen nib attached to the end. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cigar Box Labels - First Set

Here are some cigar box labels for you to use in your art.  To download an image, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.  I’ll be posting more cigar box labels and other related images throughout the month of December.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thinking Out of the Box - Book ATCs - Geisha Themed

A fun take on ATCs is to create a book out of multiple cards.  The Asian inspired ATC book below is titled “Rivers and Mountains” and is made from playing cards.  Each card is attached to another card with jump rings.  When creating the book I first laid out the cards side by side and taped them down with low-tac blue painters tape to keep them in place.  I then collaged, stamped, embossed, and added rub-ons and dimensional embellishments. Next I punch the holes in each card and attached them with jump rings.  Lastly, I decorated the front and added a ribbon to tie the book together when closed.  The book folds like an accordion to close.  This is just one of several ways you can create a book.  To give you lots of ideas I will be posting other types of ATC books throughout the month.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tutorial - Create Your Own Rub-Ons Using Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film

In the ATC below, the image of the woman is a rub-on I created using Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film and my printer.  If you are like me you have lots of images on your computer that would work great as rub-ons.  It is difficult to achieve a good result with many of the other transfer methods available such as packing tape, gel mediums etc.

I’m going to outline how to use the Rub-Onz Transfer Film so you’ll have a general idea of how it works before investing in the product.  I’ll also give you some tips that you won’t find in the product instructions.
The product comes with two 8½” x 11” (letter sized) sheets; one sheet is an adhesive film with a blue backing and one sheet is a white frosted film.  The purpose of the process and sheets is to transfer the ink from your printed image to an adhesive that you then apply to your project.


Step 1 – Print Your Images
Print your images on the rough side of the Rub-Onz film with your printer set to “Photo Paper” and the resolution at the maximum setting.
TIPS
OPTION:  Instead of printing the images you can use a rubber stamp to stamp the image and inks (pens, markers, alcohol inks etc) to color the image.  Use an ink like Staz-On for stamping.  The steps are the same regardless of which method you use (printing or stamping).  You can also print some and stamp some on the same sheet.  Make sure you complete all stamping, printing, coloring etc. before moving on to the next step.
·   Try to fill-up the entire sheet.  The product is not terribly expensive but it’s not cheap either.
·   The sheet you print your images on is not the sheet that is used to apply your image.  You are going to be transferring the image to an adhesive sheet so the image will be reversed.  If the direction of the image matters, either reverse your image before printing or change your printer settings to “Mirror Image” before printing.
·    Trying to create a transfer of text does not work unless the text is part of an image or the text has color behind it.  Plain text has no ink around it so there is nothing to stick to the adhesive.
·    If your printer feeder does not handle the sheet of film (one of mine did not) you can tape (removable double sided tape) the sheet to a piece of heavier paper and it should work.
Step 2 – After printing, wait approximately 15 minutes for the sheet to dry.  The time will vary depending on the dampness of your climate.  You’ll then apply the adhesive film sheet from the blue sheet to the printed sheet.  Start by taking the blue sheet and separating the blue side from the clear side at a corner.  Only separate a small part of the sheet.

Apply the clear side of the sheet which is coated in an adhesive to your printed sheet.
Slowly pull back the blue sheet and press the clear adhesive side onto the printed sheet.  You want to avoid creating bubbles between the sheets.
Continue until the entire clear adhesive sheet is applied to the printed sheet. 
Rub the sheets together and smooth out any bubbles.  I like use a brayer.  If you can’t smooth out the bubbles, cutout your image and try again.  The closer a bubble is to an edge the easier it is to smooth out.



VERY IMPORTANT
Once you start applying the adhesive sheet you cannot stop and you can’t lift it and shift it.
Step 3 – Cutout your image.  The transfer film has a slight sheen so cut your images as close as possible.
Step 4 – Separate the transfer film from the adhesive film at the edge
Tips
·  If you can’t get the films to separate, shift to a different edge and try again. 
·  If the films separate improperly, press them together, move to a different edge and try separating them again.
Step 5 – Place the image (sticky side) on your project and using a popsicle stick, rub the image until you can lift the transfer film.



To checkout more techniques using Grafix Rub-Onz Transparency Film click here http://artfullymusing.blogspot.com/2010/12/tutorial-aging-and-crackling-image.html
Below is the Grafix website where you can find sites to purchase the product.