-->

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season


Sweet Christmas Themed ATCs by Various Artists

The sweet Christmas ATCs below are some I've recieved in swaps from various artists.  Enjoy!
ATC by Gina Peake
ATCs by Alice Hyde
ATC by Kris Dickinson
ATC by Julia Zieman

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Angel Shrine & Tutorial

My final Christmas project for you is an Angel Shrine.  Angels are one of my favorite art subjects.  The Paper Mache Cathedral I used for the piece is approximately 8” tall by 14 ½” wide.  It’s ¾” thick which makes perfect for cutting niches.
The shrine comes already hinged and the large size means there is lots of room for all kinds of embellishments!
TUTORIAL
I decided to showcase the center section by using one of the frames from my Antique Frames Digital Image set
After sizing, printing and backing the frame with cardstock I placed it on the shrine and traced the center section.  I used the trace marks to determine where to cut the hole.
Next, I cut holes in the sides and the center.
At this point I knew I wanted to use a tissue paper technique to add texture to the shrine. I had not decided on how to color the shrine so I started by painting everything white.  By painting it white, I blocked out all of the color of the paper Mache so that whatever coloring product I choose, it would not be altered by the color of the paper Mache underneath.
Next, I applied crumpled and torn tissue paper to all the surfaces of the shrine using Mod Podge.  Just as with the color, I hadn’t decided what parts of the shrine would be covered with paper and what parts wouldn't, so I textured all of the areas.  It’s so much harder to go back and texture something later if you change your mind.
To color the shrine, I first started with Patina Gilder’s Paste.  Since I was covering such a large area I thinned the paste with Mineral Spirits and then applied it to the shrine.  I chose Patina Gilder’s Paste as opposed to paint, as it was the perfect color to complement the images.
Next, while wearing a plastic glove, I used my fingers to apply Silver Gilder’s Paste (without thinning) to the raised areas.  This gives the shrine metallic highlights.
Finally, I repeated the process with Inca Gold Gilder’s Paste.
To add more texture, color and to create a frame effect, I attached teal mica using Glossy Accents.
To continue the frame effect, I added red microbeads and gold ribbon.  I attached the images inside the niches with foam core tape to pop up each image and create more dimension. 
 
The fabulous large gold Dresden medallions at the top of each shrine section come in a set of 8.
Each of the side sections are decorated the same with instruments, roses, tassels, a die-cut dove and gold stars.  The die-cut dove is painted gold and then brushed with white Gilder’s Paste.  I attached all of the embellishments using E6000 glue.
In the center section, the images inside the niche are attached with foam core tape to pop them up.  I also attached the frame with foam core tape to give it depth.  At the top are star wired sprays and red glittered sprays along with die-cut angels and a bell.  The angels and the bell were first painted gold then silver microbeads were added.  I also added teal microbeads to the angels.  I brushed white Gilders paste onto the bell just as I did with the doves.
Alpha Stamps Products Used In This Piece

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Wishes Shadow Box Book with Tutorial

In this piece, Santa’s just been down the chimney delivering toys to all the little girls and boys.  As soon as I saw the Tim Holtz Christmas Wishes Worn Book Cover I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I thought this book would make a great shadowbox book with a vintage fireplace scene surrounded by toys from Santa.
On the inside cover I made a frame paper and by braiding the mini pine and berry garland with the tiny red tree garland.  The “Night Before Christmas” poem on parchment is just something I cooked up for the project.  Please feel free to download the image below and use it in your artwork.
Making the Shadowbox
The shadow box is made out of pieces of chipboard.  Two of the pieces measure 6 ½” by ¾” and two pieces measure 4 ¾” x ¾”.  These measurements create a box that just fits on the inside back cover of the book.  With the depth of the pieces being ¾”, it give you room on the other side of the cover (where the poem is) for bulkier embellishment and still allows for closing the book.  I painted the edges of the chipboard then covered it in paper from the St. Nicholas paper pad.
Next, I glued the pieces together and then backed the box with more paper from the paper pad.
The final step was to glue the box into the book.
The Chimney
The chimney is made from chipboard.  Two of the chipboard pieces measure 2” x 1 ¼” and two pieces measure ¾” x 1 ¼”.  I inked the edges of the chipboard then covered it with paper.
To create the look of snow on the chimney, I first used white paint.  The paint was almost dried out which made it easier to apply it thickly.
Once the paint was dry I used Glossy Accents to add an icy look.
The final step was to attach Santa to the chimney and to glue the chimney to the top of the shadow box.  I used color pencils to make his suit a darker red.
The Inside Details
At inside top of the box I used a combination of borders that were in the paper pack and ribbon.  I added toys, stocking and the clock images that came from various collage sheets.  Hanging from the fireplace are mini stockingornaments.  I also used various buttons and holly picks.

The logs are made from sticks and topped with orange and red Dazzlers (from Glitter Art Institute) to look like glowing embers.
 
The fireplace mantle is a chipboard die cut that I covered with paper.  I also cut an extra strip of chipboard for to create a top to the fireplace.  This gave me room to put items on the top.  I used 3 layers of foam core tape to attach the fireplace to the back of the shadow box and to make it pop off the back.
This completes the happy Christmas scene!

Alpha Stamps Product Used For This Project
Santa's Toys Collage Sheet - Santa climbing out of the chimney
Christmas Dolls Collage Sheet - Doll in green dress
Mini Pine & Berry Garland - Braided with the red tree garland to form a frame
Iced Cookies Buttons – Gingerbread man

Monday, December 2, 2013

Edwardian Themed Christmas Ornaments

The ladies from my Parfumerie Collage Sheets are on display in these Edwardian Themed Christmas ornaments.  I love the non-traditional soft pastel colors from the Cherish 6x6 paper pad that I chose for these ornaments.  
The base comes from a set of layered chipboard ornaments.
The white poinsettias are from the Season’s Greetings Vintage Dazzlers (layered glitter stickers).  The cream resin sparrow is colored gold using Gilder’s Paste.
Alpha Stamps supplies used for the ornament pictured above:
The sparkle on the snowflakes (cut out of the Cherish papers using a snowflake punch) and the leaves comes from Diamond Stickles.  To give the snowflakes more support I glued together 3 layers.
 Alpha Stamps supplies used for the ornament pictured above:
I thought the pleated ribbon was a perfect accent to the round ornament.  Just as in the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” doorbook, I added sparkle to the chipboard snowflakes with Diamond Dust.
Alpha Stamps supplies used for the ornament pictured above:
I attached the smaller punch out star to the larger star using a chain and added a Fancy Chipboard Star Cut-out for more detail.
 Alpha Stamps supplies used for the ornament pictured above:
 Alpha Stamps Products I used for all of the ornaments:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Here come sassy ladies in their fur coats and baby it’s cold outside!  I imagined that these ladies are out shopping, meeting friends and having a great time in the wintry holiday weather.
This piece is made from a door album with the pages hinged together to create an accordion folded display.  I love using architecture for a backdrop.  By hinging the doors together rather than assembling them as a book, it allows for the use of large dimensional embellishments, plus you can see everything at once.  I’m thinking this would make a great display on a mantel piece or bookshelf.  
I also decided to go with nontraditional holiday colors and a design that was more winter oriented as I can image leaving this up beyond Christmas.  I took my color inspiration from the door book and the Glistening 6x6paper pad with its blue, grey, tan and cream color scheme; a perfect way to show off lots of snowflakes.
NEW COLLAGE SHEET
You’ll find the sassy ladies I used on my new collage sheet titled “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.  As always you can find this and my other collage sheets and digital image sets at Alpha Stamps.
Design Details and Paper Embellishment Tutorials
In addition to walking you through the construction and design of each of the doors, I will also cover how I created the paper embellishments.


The size of each door is approximately 10’5” x 7.25”.  The set comes with six doors and each door has a different design on each side.  My first challenge was to choose the sides I wanted to use for the front and to narrow it down to 5 doors (I like odd numbers).  Next, I laid them out in order and marked the placement of the hinges.  Using paper weights helped keep the doors from shifting as I marked the holes.  I placed the hinges so that they covered up two of the three holes in each door.  I used embellishments to cover up the remaining hole.
I punched the holes and attached the hinges to the doors with brads.  To dress up the hinges I added a brass snowflake charm to the brads (before inserting them into the holes).  I only added the charms to the brads that would be seen after all of the embellishing.
 Alpha Stamps Products That I Used on all of the Doors
Door #1
The bulkiest embellishments I used were bottle brush trees.  Before attaching them to the door, I cut away almost half of the base and the bristles on the back of the tree.  These mods allowed the trees to sit flush against the door.
To make the ladies pop, I used a frame and paper cutting technique.  First, I resized and printed a frame from my Antique Frames digital image set.  The frame is round in shape but I enlarged it and stretched it into an oval.  Next, I cut two different pieces of pattern paper from the Glistening paper pad.  The pieces are slightly smaller than the frame.  One piece serves as the background (tan and white snowflakes) and the other serves as the piece that curls out of the frame (blue grey snowflakes).
Using an X-acto knife, I precut lines in the center of the blue/grey paper to facilitate tearing.  Only cut the center section of the paper and not towards the edge where the fame will cover the paper.
Next, I flipped the blue/grey paper over and glued it to the tan/white piece.  Glue only around the edges of the paper.
Glue the frame to the paper.
Tear back the pieces of the blue grey paper.  Tear off the excess at the ends and curl the paper over the frame.  I also inked the edges of the paper.
Now the frame is ready to attach the images of the ladies.  I finished dressing up the piece by adding the miniature pine cones and ribbon.  Also notice that this door has openings cut in the top which allowed me to attach a clock to the backside of the door.
Alpha Stamps Products Used for Door #1
Door #2

This was one of my favorite doors because so much of it is cutout.  On the backside of the door I attached a scene of blue curtains and a table from the Fully Furnished digital image set.  On the table is a Christmas tree.  This is one of the tree charms you saw me use for the Advent Calendar project.  I used foam core tape on the window scene to separate it from the door adding depth and creating space to accommodate the tree charm.
The swirls at the bottom are painted blue then coated in Twinklets Diamond Dust (one of my favorite products) using Glossy Accents. 
The wreath and gold bird at the bottom are from my Bejeweled collage sheet.  I added depth to the jewels in the wreath by applying Glossy Accent.
Alpha Stamps Products Used for Door #2
Door #3
Of all of the doors this one is probably my favorite design.  I think it is because of all of the snowflakes.  Some of the snowflakes and the birds are from the new collage sheet.  Again I’ve used a frame from my Antiques Frame Digital image set to accent this lovely lady.
One type of snowflake I used was made from chipboard.  I painted the snowflakes blue and coated them in Diamond Dust (using Glossy Accents) to give them sparkle.
The tassel at the bottom is one that I made from the paper pack.  Below is a quick video showing you how to make a paper tassel.
Alpha Stamps Products Used for Door #3
 Door #4
I attached several different types of snowflakes to this door including the paper snowflake sprays before attaching the image of the lady with the hatbox.  After attaching her, I added more snowflakes to finish the door.
The snowflake looking sprays are made from paper.  Below is a short video on how to make them.
Alpha Stamps Products Used for Door #4
Door #5
This is probably my favorite door as I love its color and style and of course the cutout at the top.  The sassy lady sitting on the hatboxes in the snow is perhaps waiting for someone to come home and let her in?  To this door and the first door I attached chipboard lanterns.  The candles in the lantern are made from beads and the flame is yellow paint.  The snowflake sequins are attached using Glossy Accents.  I used my finger to apply paint to the raised areas of the wreath and attached gold beads and a reindeer button.
On the backside of the door behind the cutout I attached the grill work piece that came from the transparency version of the Round Things collage sheet.
Alpha Stamps Products Used for Door #5
 I hope you enjoy this project and stay tuned for more seasonal project ideas and tutorials.