Friday, 25 September 2015

SeaShell Mixed Media Canvas

Hi there Antony here... well at long last the summer holidays are finally coming to a close. I for one love to keep mementos from them. In previous years before my two sons came along my wife and myself travelled to America and collected over the years quite a collection of bits and bobs. So a few years ago I made a wooden unit with shelves, glazed it and ever since it has hung on a wall at the top of our stairs, a beautiful reminder of all the special times we had shared together. So this year rather than make a wooden unit I thought it would be nice to turn it into a mixed media project. Whilst on this years family holiday my 2 son Lucas and Hayden searched the beaches for shells, pebbles and washed up pieces of slate... oh and even more shells!

The products and materials I have used for this project are:- Pinflair Glue Gel, Pinflair Bookbinding Glue, Pinflair Black Decorative Paste, Pinflair die cut card shapes, Pinflair Liquid Buff-it and Craft polishes in various colours, A4 computer printer paper and some rustic string... As well as the shells, pebbles and slate!

Step 1 I firstly created the base or canvas for the project. I used 3 pieces of heavy duty cardboard measuring about 22cm square with rounded corners and stuck them all together using Pinflair Bookbinding Glue. Then using some standard A4 computer printer paper, I screwed it up and then stuck it on top of the card board using the Bookbinding Glue again. The screwed up paper created a beautiful unique base texture. I then let the glue dry for about 45 minutes.

Step 2 To enable all the paints to work well and stick on the shells, slates, pebbles and pieces of slate I washed them all in soapy water.

Step 3 Going back to the canvas and screwed up paper, I used a piece of sandpaper and sanded off all overhanging paper. This method of removing the overhanging paper gives a really nice clean finish and is also a lot quicker and more acurrate than using scissors or indeed a craft knife.
I then stuck together 3 heavy duty cardboard heart shapes. Next came the fun and some what difficult process of arranging the slate pieces on top of the cardboard hearts, so they looked as natural as possible, but at the same time so you could still see they formed a heart. When I was totally happy with the arrangement I glued everything in place with the legendary Pinflair Glue Gel!
Once the Glue Gel had set I used a sponge to apply Silver Buff-it craft polish to highlight the textures on the slate.

Step 4 Back to the canvas again. This time I painted the whole thing black using Pinflair Black Decorative Paste, but you could also use acrylic paint or black gesso. I used a sponge to apply the black paste, far quicker than using a paintbrush. Next was the turn for all the shells and pebbles... but not the slate pieces! The paints take quite a bit longer to dry on the shell and pebble, but you can speed up the process by using a craft heat tool.

Step 5 To add some colour to the canvas I used Pinflairs Liquid Buff-it colours using the Dry Brush Technique (see an old post for decorating a canvas bagfor more details regarding this technique) I used 3 different colours, Ice Blue, Peacock Blue and Caribbean Blue. Once the Liquid Buff-it had dried (which only takes a few minutes) I then used a sponge and lightly went over the textured surface with Pinflair Buff-it craft polish. This helped highlight the raised area of the screwed up paper texture. I used Silver, French Lavender and Blue from the Buff-it craft polish range.

Step 6 I then painted 4 large slate pieces with Caribbean Blue Liquid Buff-it and stuck them down to the canvas using Pinflair Glue Gel. I then left the Glue Gel to fully dry and then used a sponge and applied a small amount of French Lavender Buff-it craft polish to highlight the slates texture. Finally I punched 2 holes through the canvas so that I could thread some rustic string through it later for hanging purposes.

Step 7 Then I started to arrange all the blackened shells, pebbles and the slates I had arranged into the heart shape. I laid it all out dry until I was happy with the placement of everything before sticking everything into position with Glue Gel.

Step 8 I then left the Glue Gel to dry overnight and then the following day I started to paint all the shells and pebbles with various colour of Pinfalirs Liquid Buff-it. I painted dry on dry paint and also used the dry brush painting technique and even lightly sponged on the paint to create a beautiful mix of colours across the shells and pebbles.
When the paint had finally dried I used Silver, Copper and French Lavender Buff-it craft polishes to highlight the textures on the shells and the pebbles.
To finish off I sealed all the paint work with Buff-it Sealer. If I had only used Liquid Buff-it I wouldn't have needed to seal it. But because I used the craft polish I thought it was best to seal it, as I will most likely hang the plaque in our bathroom were moisture could ruin the finish.

I then used some rustic string and threaded it through the holes that I had punched through the canvas earlier. I knotted the ends so that you could see them from the front of the canvas for a truly rustic finish.

This type of mixed media canvas can be created from any bits and pieces you find whether it be from a holiday or everyday items from round the house, shed garage or even your garden. Give it a go... you will be addicted before you know it!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony

Saturday, 12 September 2015

New post update!

Hi there crafting friends! Antony here with an update regarding our next blog post!
Firstly you may have noticed that we didn't do a post last week. The reason was a good one honest... it was that the school summer holidays!

So what better way to kick of the holidays was for mine and Samantha families to finally meet. You may not know but Samantha's family live in the west of the country in Bristol whilst mine live in the east of the country just outside of a village called Stotfold. 

It just so happened that my family and Samantha's were both heading to the south west and to the beautiful county of Cornwall.

We all met up at the Eden Project. My  family had stopped over in Bodmin so our journey would only take about half an hour. When we left our hotel that morning the heavens really did open and because of this it effected the journey time for Samantha and her family from Bristol. The driving conditions were really bad, so slow driving was the order of the day!

Any how by the time me and my family arrived the clouds had blown over and the sun was finally shining! By about 11:30 Samantha and her family arrived.
All our children instantly hit it off really well! Samantha's eldest son that came had hurt his foot so was doing a very good impersonation of a pirate and had to hobble round all day on a pair of crutches (poor thing!) My eldest Lucas and Samantha's Jacob and Ethan ran round together for hours chatting about Star Wars and Lego!
I think both mine and Samantha youngest ones, Hayden and Bella got on the best... Hayden followed Bella round all day... literally, by holding her reins!
We spent the rest of the day together and got to know each others families really well.

The two families at the top of one of the domes.
From left to right:- Jacob, Ethan, Samantha, Bella (in front), Zach, Lucas, Natasha, Hayden (in front)
No Me...I was taking the picture!!

Samantha was the photographer for the next one!
From left to right:- Hayden, Me!, my wife Natasha and Lucas in front.

All the children playing within the bamboo, think they're all there!

My Hayden found a new game... following Bella round whilst holding onto her reins... cute!


So what with the holiday just about over, here at 2 Crafting Minds blog we have a birthday just round the corner.... Samantha is going to be 40!
So what better a project than a plaque to celebrate Samantha's 40th!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!
Samantha and Antony

Friday, 11 September 2015

Happy 40th Birthday Plaque

Hi there our crafting friends, Antony here for this weeks extra special post!
As you can see from the title it's a very special Birthday for my blogging partner Samantha.
Samantha as you may have noticed produces some amazing unique work, so the plaque I was going to make as a birthday gift was going to have to be good! 
I wanted this plaque to have a meaning to Samantha, so I had to collect together a few facts. This was made quite easy really, because we chat on a weekly basis about the blog and obviously we talk about our families and life in general.
 So with all the research done it was time to put paintbrush to cardboard and polymer clay to silicone mould to produce this special plaque for my bestest blogging friend!

The products used in this weeks post are Pinflair Liquid Buff-it paints in various colours, Viva Decor silicone flower, angel wings, leaf and button silicone moulds, Pinflair Buff-it craft polish, Pinflair Metal FX Paste, Pinflair Photo frames, Pinflair Bookbinding glue and Glue Gel, a sheet of Angel hair, a sheet of heavy duty cardboard, black acrylic paint, a few stencils and finally some rustic string!

Step 1 Firstly I stuck together 2 of Pinflair oval photo frames using some Bookbinding glue. I then stuck some Angel Hair (which is a type of flattened textured thread) onto the surface of the photo frames, again using the Bookbinding glue. I then stuck the two sheets of rectangular backing card for the photo frames together and again stuck Angel Hair on top of it.

Step 2 After the bookbinding glue has dried on the photo frames, cut the Angel hair material out from the aperture using a sharp craft knife.

Step 3 Place the oval photo frame onto the backing card covered with the Angel Hair and using a pen and the oval frame as a guide, draw the shape of the oval onto the backing card. I then used a stencil with text on and placed it on top of the backing card with the oval drawn on it. Now using the a palette knife, apply the Metal FX Paste through the stencil, making sure that you don't go beyond the oval shape you drew on.

Step 4 Taking the oval photo frame with the Angel Hair on, I placed it on a flat surface. I then positioned a floral stencil and using a palette knife applied the Metal FX Paste through it and then let it dry. Once fully dry I then stuck it onto the rectangular backing cardboard using Bookbinding glue. Finally I painted the whole lot black using acrylic paint.

Step 5 Using a large template of the letter "S" I cut the shape out from some heavy duty cardboard using a craft knife.

Step 6 Using some polymer clay and the silicone moulds I made 7 smallish flower heads, 1 large flower head, 2 angel wings and 1 button. Whilst the polymer clay was baking I covered the letter "S" with some Metal FX paste and pounced the palette knife over the wet paste to give it some texture and dimension. When the polymer clay had cooled down I then pushed the 7 small flower heads into the Metal FX paste and then let it dry and harden. Then I painted it all using black  acrylic paint.

Step 7 Now I had all the main elements of the plaque I positioned the "S" into position on top of the oval frames and glued it in place using Pinflair Glue Gel. This helped support the "S" in the middle as well as sticking it to the photo frame.

Step 8 Now came the fun part!... adding some colour. I know Samantha loves purples and pinks, so using Pinflair Liquid Buff-it I started to paint. To create the look you can see in the photographs I used the dry brush technique (please see Canvas bag decorating post).
I also painted all the polymer clay piece using Liquid Buff-it. When everything was dry I used some Pinflair Buff-it craft polish in various colours to highlight raised areas on both the main plaque and on all of the the polymer clay elements. 

Step 9 After letting all of the elements dry, I then started positioning the polymer clay pieces onto the plaque. When I was happy I glued them all in place using Glue Gel. When the glue was dry I punched two holes in the top of the plaque and threaded through some rustic string so that it could me hung.

The Meaning of the elements in the Plaque

 As I mentioned I wanted this plaque to be very personal to Samantha, so I made sure that all of the elements I had used had a meaning.

The "S" is obviously for Samantha
The 7 small flowers on the letter "S" represent the number of people in her family
The button with the string represents her close tie with her husband Joe
The angel wings represent her creative free spirit
and finally the large flower head at the top left is for my friendship with my bestest blogging friend.

So all that's left to say is hope you
Have a Great 40th Birthday Samantha!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!