Friday, September 29, 2017

How To Create A Grungy, Rusty Background

I love all things rusty and corroded. There is just such history there. Thankfully you can speed up the age of time with some great mixed media products. I have provided links to some of the things I have used and by clicking on them, I do get a small commission, but that helps me to bring you new ideas and how-to posts!

Watercolor paper is pretty important here because we are going to get things wet, multiple times, so a good, sturdy base is a must. Plain card stock just will not hold up very well. I began by adding Distress Ink colors Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso, working from lightest to darkest as I moved out from the center.

Next, spritz it with a spray bottle. I really love the spray drops that the Tim Holtz Sprayer makes. From a fine mist to larger drops. This step really starts adding that time worn feel to your background.

Dry thoroughly with a heat tool to set the colors and keep them from running together to make ink mud and get ready for some smooshing!

Now comes the really fun part! I used a variety of Distress Oxide inks to really add that aged look. For this project I used Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, and Black Soot, again using the lighter colors mostly in the middle and keeping the darker colors out to the edges. To smoosh the ink, stamp the pad on a silicone mat, spritz with water, dab a plastic baggie or sheet into the ink, smoosh onto background.

I dried with my heat tool, then added drops with the spray bottle, gives it a nice soft, worn look, plus adds fun oxidized areas.

To add an even more aged look, I used the Finnabair Rusting Paste. There are two sets. This basic set and the corrosion set.

I stamped this Angie's Guy stamp, from Unity Stamp Co, and used my watercolors to paint him in. I then used Gathered Twigs to ink the edges and finally added more of the rusting paste, to age the paper.

Next I added the rusting effect to some metal gears I have stashed away.

A bit of burlap and a sentiment, from the Angie's Guy kit finished off my card. I am all ready for a dude's birthday! 

You can use these same techniques to make other projects that aren't old and grungy looking. I made a set of wall decor using the same techniques, but with bright colors.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Total Eclipse

I was lucky enough to be able to experience the eclipse last month in the band of totality, with my mom and step dad. It turned out to be a perfect day. We found (at the last minute) a winery to set up camp near the center of the totality band, up on a hill, with clear skies. We set up at a table they had out for us, complete with special eclipse wine glasses, with eclipse glasses tucked inside. We even got a tasting flight included. We were tucked in at the edge of the vineyard, with it's grapes near ready to pick. We were able to get some fantastic photos of the event. We shot from first shadow until the sun was complete once again. I have to say, the 2 minutes of totality were the fastest two minutes ever and was so much more amazing than I ever dreamed.

I put together a compilation photo of the stages of the eclipse and decided that it would look amazing on a galaxy background. I tossed in some of the different stages to have better views. I've included links to some of the supplies from (I am an affiliate member and receive benefits from use of the links) Here are the photos. I think I jumped up and down, squeeing, when I saw those solar flares in the back of my camera!

To make my background I started off with a piece of watercolor paper and gathered my other supplies.

I started applying Distress Oxides randomly around the paper. I used Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, and Picked Raspberry

It doesn't need to be all neat and pretty, as most of it will be covered up with the blackness of space.

Next, I gave it a good spritz with the Tim Holtz spray bottle. I like that you can get a very fine mist as well as larger spatters with this bottle.

It makes for some really cool texture!

Then I began the task of covering most of the color up with Black Soot Distress Ink. We want it to look like space with bits of galaxy and nebulas peeking out, so don't worry about covering too much up.

I then went back over with some of the Black Soot Oxide. I found it to be nice and dense and really added to my spacey look.

Spritz again to activate the water reactive properties of the inks, giving cool spaces and textures.

The last step is to add the stars by splattering white spray ink or watered down white paint all over. This last step is what really takes the piece from looking like a mess to really cool. I used Dylusions White Linen spray

I added my photos, some Tim Holtz ephemera, flair from A Flair For Buttons, wooden stars, and a Silhouette die cut eclipse embellishment.

There you have it, a cool galaxy layout for a seriously cool moment in my life. 

Did you get to experience the eclipse? Be sure to document this momentous occasion!