Gardenpinks' Blog

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Archive for the tag “crackle effect”

Altered wooden words

I’m sure you have all seen those wooden words that seem to be everywhere; they usually come as a blank for anyone nifty with their hands to turn into a decorated masterpiece. Like many I have hankered after some of these words, I could see them painted, stamped upon and hanging on a wall so I was very pleased when our daughter ordered some from a wholesaler. There was a whole range of sizes from the small ones measuring around 12 inches long or less right up to the huge ones of nearly 24 inches long and around 15 inches tall.

We thought that crafters would love to get their hands on these but when they were on sale on our daughter’s stand many folk were stumped about what to do. Oh if the words were already decorated then these folk would buy them! So we set to decorate them; I had a 14 days and ten words to do something with and my mind went blank. I could think of ideas of what I would like but would the general public like the same thing??

The blank wood was in fact MDF (medium density fibreboard), usually this is very smooth and takes paint well but these shapes had been laser cut and I soon found that paint would not flow onto the surface easily or smoothly. The heat created by laser cutting had brought the resin to the surface causing a resist especially along the edges. All the pieces had to be sanded with fine sand paper, wiped down and a couple of coats of gesso then painted over all surfaces. Using gesso was a learning curve in itself…it is a sticky medium that is not very opaque, it dries very quickly and it gives a ‘tooth’ to the surface which meant that when applying paint over the top the paint didn’t go on as smoothly as I expected. I was fast hating these wood shapes!

The first one I completed I decided to cover with stamped tissue to overcome the streaked look of the paint; this was one of the huge words!

Base coat of gesso with pink acrylic paint and then covered with stamped tissue

This one didn’t turn out so badly and soon found a new home plus I had an order for a different colourway for a girl’s bedroom…phew!

Not wishing to do the same for all the word shapes I had to come up with another idea and for the next two HOME words I decided to sponge paint on to avoid brush marks and streaks and do some stamping:

Acrylic paint sponged on and stamped using Stazon ink

Similar to above

These words would be considered to be in the mid range size – round 12 inches long by around 10 inches tall. The most fiddly bits to paint were the edges as these two words were approximately 1/4 inch thick and there were too many edges! On these I used the same shades of paint for the edges as were on the surfaces so I didn’t have to worry if my hand slipped 🙂

I abandoned doing any stamping on these two shapes although if they had been destined for my home I would have done some stamping on them but felt that perhaps the general public wouldn’t like it so went with a crackle theme. Diluted PVA was used to create the crackle effects and, again, the paint was sponged on for the base coat and brushed on top of the PVA glue.

Diluted PVA glue was used between the coats of paint to achieve the crackle effect.

I still have a humongous word shape to complete – DREAM – to date it has been sanded, a coat of gesso and white acrylic paint sponged on, to finish I am inclining towards inking it in shades of pink and then stamping fairies all over it…but I might change my mind!! The words for my own use are still languishing in their naked state and one day, perhaps, I will do something with them 🙂

Have you done anything with these word shapes? Would love to see, leave me a link in the comments section.

Thank you looking x

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Junque..

Junque Journal

First my apologies for an out of focus photograph! Like my last project, the canvas collage, I have two people to thank for inspiring me to start creating the junque journal.

Nancy showcased a journal she had created especially for a competition and I have to say that when I first saw her delightful project I had never heard of junque journals – I know I must have fallen asleep when they came about – so off I went in search of junque journals. Not only was I intrigued but these projects spoke to my soul and I knew I had to create one at least. I loved the idea of somewhere to store all those bits and pieces that we keep but have no definite place of their own; the other thing that drew me in was I could use papers, charms and other ephemera that I had collected but didn’t want to use on a card that may end up being thrown away.

Besides all the ‘usual’ craft culprits that we hoard I also hoard notebooks.. doesn’t matter if they have been used for other purposes I just rip out the used pages and keep the rest of the book with no real purpose in mind and this journal of mine was one such. It had been used by one of our daughters when they were at school and I rescued it from the rubbish where it had been consigned during one of the girls’ tidy ups.  Its original duty was as a cash book, it then became a scribble book and has been turned into a storehouse for my squirrelings!

The second person who inspired me was Billie with her virtual challenge of using paint; the covers of this book were ideal for painting and I also wanted to try, yet again, creating a crackle effect using pva glue…something I hadn’t been able to achieve to date.

too much crackle effect

I put on a base coat of raw umber acrylic paint and left it to dry thoroughly, then a coat of slightly diluted pva glue was added but before the glue dried out completely (whilst still slightly tacky) I added a top coat of dark blue acrylic paint – remembering to apply this in one loaded brush stroke at a time in the same direction. Boy oh boy did it crackle!! Huge chasms appeared but I was delighted because it actually worked and I realised what mistake I had made; the pva wasn’t quite diluted enough and was too thickly applied in places – never mind I had the back cover to experiment on and this turned out better.

finer crackles

Not only were the crackles finer but were certainly more pleasing – here I used burnt sienna as a base coat with flesh as a top coat. The mistake here was the top coat was a little too thickly applied in places but heck it pleases me and I finally got crackles, my technique just needs refining! Now this probably isn’t quite what Billie had in mind but I enjoyed slapping the paint on… the only problem was my impatience whilst waiting for the paint to dry as I wanted to get on with it all.

Following the tutorials for creating junque journals I next strongly secured the signatures – sections of folded and stitched papers – so that they didn’t tear or come adrift once the journal started to fill up. Yay I could use up some of my ribbon and I could attach some handmade charms made with that ever growing collection of beads.

ribbon and charms

I find it very difficult to use ribbon in card making; on everyone else’s cards that piece of ribbon finishes off the whole but on mine it looks like an afterthought and never seems to be part of the whole but this journal was an ideal way of using some of it up.

So what to put on the front?  A title? Now I am not an orginal thought person and so my title reflects what the journal is about….a repository for what others may deem as junk!

decorated wooden letters

Using wooden letters to create the word ‘junque’ seemed like a good idea. Some letters I applied Versamark embossing ink and then applied UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) and heated to melt; two or three coats of UTEE was used and then a final coat of gold embossing powder. To other letters a product called Stamp and Bond by Stampendous was applied over Versamark and heated until it became sticky and then foils added. Before adhering the letters to the front thread was put through two charms and the ends of the thread were glued to the back of two of the letters. Two strips of embossed aluminium tape were adhered top and bottom of the front cover but I couldn’t stop there…..

clay buttons

I had the good fortune of meeting a delightful lady who is talented at making decorative ornaments and coasters from clay; when Kate rolls the clay out she does so over a piece of lace which leaves a nice lacy effect in the clay. These buttons were made from scraps of her lacy clay and I couldn’t resist buying them and where better to use them than on my journal where I will recall her every time I look at the book. (A little aside here..if you click on the Kate link you will see her craft stall and I am directly behind her with my back turned!!!!)

So that is the outside complete and now to the inside:

inside cover

Part of the instructions in creating a junque journal is to crumple pages and ink them then add papers to some pages and finally to start assembling all the bits and pieces to go inside but that was taking too long and I was becoming impatient. I wanted to start adding ‘things’. So a few pages were inked, some papers came out that I had hoarded and then I started going through folders, file boxes and elsewhere looking for all my treasures. Where I unearthed this Rune of the Peat Fire from I know not where and it is looking a bit tattered and crumpled at the corners so its new home will stop any further deterioration.

theatre tickets

Earlier this year we had a surprise gift of tickets to see The Searchers live at a local theatre; what a great evening that was. Two of the original group (from the 60s!) were still going strong and in fine voice considering one was now 70 and the other 67!! The theatre was packed and not with just old fogies but everyone was joining in the songs and getting up and dancing! What wonderful memories these tickets will bring and the sentiment..a rub on..fitted perfectly “The Older The Fiddler, The Sweeter The Tune”!

Leslie's card

The journal is a great place for storing these lovely mementoes from dear friends; Leslie sent this card with some stamps I won and a blending pen. The saying above the card came from one of the places Leslie visited while doing her day job – “Life doesn’t have to be Perfect to be Wonderful”. On the opposite page is a pocket holding a receipt and other reminders of a wonderful stay we had at the Chateau Impney in April 2010.

hand made background paper

One of the many sheets of paper I created using a crumpled up sheet of copier paper and then inks or paints wiped over to highlight the creases. In this case I used some Twinkling H2Os on a piece of sponge and a Brilliance ink pad – Galaxy Gold with a small rub-on in the top corner.

inked pages

And, finally, inked incomplete pages. The edges of the all the pages have been inked with various colour inks and some pages have been swiped with the ink pad but nothing else as yet has been added to the pages. This is an ongoing project that I am not in a hurry to complete as I’m enjoying the journey.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post x

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