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, March 22, 2017


Once again I have a mask-themed project for you.  I’ve created 8 different masks that are showcased on lovely ladies from the twenties which you can find on a NEW collage sheet titled "Vixens".
And to show off the masked beauties, I’ve constructed an Art Deco style gatefold album with a bit of a twist. Because of the shape of the cover, the pages are attached at a slight angle with each page overlapping the next.  Art Deco style is all about geometric shapes which I mimicked by using three different metallic Dresden borders, paper, and thin line stripe tape. Because of their geometric shape, brass seashells also add to the Art Deco feel of the book.  
Don’t worry about how to recreate the shape of the book, as further down in this post, there are templates that you can download and use.
To construct the masks, I’ve used images from my NEW Butterfly Masks collage sheet and a NEW die-cut ATC Sized Mask set.
I had so much fun loading up the masks with brass, feathers, beads, faux pearls, rhinestones, acrylic, and tulle.  The chipboard masks can be used alone or stacked for a layered look.  Another layered option is to combine the paper butterfly mask images with the chipboard.

This sheet is packed with jeweled butterfly masks.  There are a total of 32 unique masks.  Many of the masks fit the women on the “Vixens Collage Sheet”.
This sheet contains 9 sultry women from the 1920s.

 Feel free to download this template.
I used the template above to cut out the front of the book using metallic paper from my stash.  I used silver and gold line stripe tape which worked great for creating geometric designs on the three pieces.  
Next, I glued the three pieces together.
To make the spine, I cut 8 pieces of copper paper.  Each piece measures 4” long x 1 ½” wide.  I scored two lines ½” from each edge. I folded the paper along the scored lines which created a ½” spine.  The size of the spine is determined by the thickness of the embellishments you intend to use on each page of the book.  The number of spine pieces depends on the number of pages.  My book has 4 pages on each side of the book so I cut 8 spine pieces.
Next, I cut the cover in half.
NOTE: The following steps apply to both sides of the cover.
I attached one of the spines to the back of each side of the cover and then covered the backs with metallic paper which hides where the spine is attached.
I cut 8 pieces of cardstock measuring 4” tall by 3” wide to serve as the pages.  Make sure you always use an even number of pages. 
I attached a cardstock page to the first spine and attached a new spine to the back of the first page.  Continue this process until all of the spines and pages are attached to the covers. 
Notice that since the front sides of the cover are at an angle, the pages will also be angled, which I think gives the book more interest.
For the back of the book, I used the same template pieces as I used for the front.  After the pieces were assembled, I glued the last spine on each side of the book to the back side of the back cover.  I covered the back side of the back of the book with more metallic paper to hide where the spine is attached.  I decorated the edges of the back pieces with  3mm Thin Gold Stripes Paper Tape.
At this point, the book is assembled.   The pages on each side of the book will alternately overlap as you can see below in the finished book.  I covered each page with decorative paper which hides where the spines are attached.
Notice below how each page is at an angle and overlapping.
To further decorate the front of the book, I added various metallic Dresden borders and brass shell filigree pieces painted to match the metallic papers.  The silver shells, parts of the Dresden and the large acanthus leaf in the center are painted using Pewter Liquid Pearls.  
In order for the book to open, I glued the large shell in the center to only the right side of the cover and the mask is only glued to the left side of the cover.

I covered the inside pages with decorative paper from my stash.  To each page, I added a lovely lady from my new Vixens collage sheet wearing a mask.

The base of the masks is made from either die-cut chipboard masks or masks from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet.

For the mask below, I used an image from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet and added various heart filigree and bead pieces.  The beads are attached by using heart stick pins.  For the final touch I added red rhinestones.
For the mask below, I used an image from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet and applied Glossy Accents to add dimension to parts of the mask.  Behind the mask, I added gathered sparkly tulle (I wrapped the wire around the tulle to create the gather).  To the top, I added wired faux pearls beads and in the center, a flat backed pearl.
For the mask below, I used an image from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet.  I attached acrylic and gold sequin leaves to the back of the mask and used Glossy Accents to add dimension.  To the center and edges of the mask I attached green rhinestones.
For the mask below, I used an image from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet and attached white and black feathers behind the mask.  To the image, I added faux flat backed pearls and rhinestones.
For the mask below, I used an image from the Butterfly Mask collage sheet and Glossy Accents to add dimension to parts of the mask.  Behind the mask, I attached teal feathers and to the front, I added a piece of metal filigree painted a copper color and added teal rhinestones.
For the mask below, I used two die-cut masks from the ATC Masked Set,  one layered on top of the other.  The masks are covered with paper from my stash.  To the front of the mask, I added brass feathery scroll filigree and silver pearls.
To make the curved pieces on the top like you see on Venetian masks, I cut two pieces of decorative paper in the shape of an elongated triangle.
NOTE:  The best cutting method is to fold the paper in half with the blank sides of the paper in the middle.  When you cut the triangle you will be cutting both pieces which ensure that they are the same size.

Glue thin wire between the two pieces which allows you to bend the triangle into the desired shape.  I painted the edges of the triangles using Victorian Gold Metal Patinas paint and glued a silver bead to the end.  I attached each triangle to the back of the mask and bent them into the desired shape.

NOTE:  it’s easier to bend the triangles if you do a little pre-bending before they are attached.  If you want to scale this technique up for a larger mask, just use a heavier wire and/or you can use two wires instead of one.  When using two wires, instead of gluing the wire in the center, glue each wire towards each edge of the triangle before gluing the two pieces of the triangle together.

For the mask below, I used two die-cut masks from the ATC Masked Set, one layered on top of the other.  The back mask is covered with decorative paper and the front is painted.  To the back of the mask, I added sparkly tulle and gold metal swirls.  To the front, I added a piece of filigree and black flat backed pearls.

IDEA:  Another mask option is to combine a butterfly image from the collage sheet with a die-cut mask.  I did not make a version like this but I think the combination would look great.

Notice on the back of the book I have added more geometric shapes.  You’ll find the template for these shapes on the same sheet as the cover and back templates.
To create the metal mask below, I used Florentine brass leaves and a large connected brass leaf.  I glued each piece in place one at a time until I had the desired design.

Masked Set – ATC Size
Large Shell or Acanthus Leaf Charms – Raw Brass
Brass Feathery Scroll Filigree
Acrylic Leaves in Tin
Florentine Brass Leaves
Large Connected Brass Leaves
Colorful Heart Stick Pins
Lightweight Hearts
Tiny Mixed Size Flat-Back Pearls
White Pearl Mix in Tin
Tiny Gold Line Stripe Tape
Tiny Silver Line Stripe Tape
3mm Thin Gold Stripes Paper Tape
Gold Dresden Langette Borders
Mini Floral Dresden Borders – Antique Gold
Tiny Dot Dresden Borders - Gold
Liquid Pearls - Pewter
Metal Patinas – Treasured Heirloom – Victorian Gold

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


The new Graphic 45 Midnight Masquerade paper collection and the Taj Mahal Triptych are the inspiration for this colorful piece.

The scene depicts costumed masked ladies reveling the night away; who wouldn’t want to go to this party!  

I think my favorites are the metal masks which are decorated with paint, rhinestones, glass glitter and feathers and the colorful steamers made from a high quality double sided dual color heavy weight crepe paper that can be stretched (not the thin kind you buy in rolls for parties).

I've also created a NEW collage sheet "Bejeweled Moons" to compliment this project.

This sheet contains 25 unique moon designs. The large moons are repeated with one facing right and one facing left.  There are smaller versions of each of the moons with some duplicates.

The base of the piece is made from the chipboard triptych kit picture below.
Sale-Now Shipping-Graphic 45 "Midnight Masquerade" 12 x 12 Paper pad Cardstock Collection
I started by covering the front and back of the triptych with the Graphic 45 papers.
I cut the 6 x 6 diamonds texture sheet in half and painted each piece gold.

To add sparkle to the frame pieces, I attached rhinestone chains.  The chains come in four colors (I used 2 of the colors, ruby and aquamarine) and bend easily to conform to any shape.
To the top of the chipboard diamond sheets I added chipboard Fleur Border pieces painted purple.
The moon is from my new Bejeweled Moons collage sheet.  The image of the moon was made up of rhinestones, to create more sparkle and dimension I added real rhinestones, placing them over the rhinestone images.
NOTE:  If you don't have rhinestones or they are not the right color, you can use Glossy Accents to create dimension.  If you have clear rhinestones, you can paint them with Alcohol inks which will change the color of the stone without losing the transparency and sparkle of the rhinestone.

I added the images to the pieces before using E6000 to glue the pieces together.  

I’ve used and Embossed Gold Mask with Feathers on the top center of the triptych.  Parts of the mask are painted teal, red and blue.  I also attached plum and yellow rhinestones and some plum and teal feathers. 
On the bottom center of the triptych is a Large Fancy Silver Mask Charm to which I adhered teal, red, purple and gold glass glitter. 
NOTE: I used a straight pin to gently remove the glitter from unwanted areas of the mask.
The streamers are cut from sheets of crepe paper which are double sided with two shades of the same color.  The paper is from the Crepe Paper Sampler Set which includes twelve 5" x 5" sheets (in different colors).  After cutting out strips of paper, I gently stretched the paper and twisted it before gluing it to the piece.  I anchored the side streamers using two different silver mask charms.

NOTE:  The paper only stretches in one direction so test it before cutting the strips so that they will stretch.