Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rusty Steampunk Santa Star

I was browsing the decoart blog and saw this mixed media project by Elly Pirally and recognized the Santa as I have the mold already. Here is a link to the project tutorial on the Decoart blog and you should check it out! Decoart Christmas Star mixed media project by Elly Pirally.

I made my Steampunk Santa Star using the same colors. Instead of using eggshells, I used a wooden star and covered it with some rusty looking scrapbook paper using matte medium. I used turquoise sculpey clay in the Santa Mold. The big gear in the middle is a plaster gear from a gear mold I have that you can get here. I painted it with Modern Masters Iron paint and used the rust solution on it afterwards. The large gear has real rust now because the paint has iron in it. The Santa has the faux patina created with decoart products. (See the tutorial by Elly Pirally to see how to create the Santa!) The only thing I did different on the santa was to use sculpey bake clay.

The smaller gears were cut out of craft foam sheets with the Tim Holtz "gearhead" set of dies.

The snowflake is a wooden snowflake I painted and antiqued with English Red Oxide antiquing cream from decoart.

The project is pretty large, more than 1 foot wide. It will be great for hanging on my front door instead of a wreath at Christmas time. Too bad I finished it after Christmas! So many little time!

The Santa mold is available on Amazon here.
The gear mold is available on Amazon as well.
The modern masters rust kit is available here.
The decoart supplies can be found here.
Tim Holtz gearhead dies

Thanks to Elly Pirally for her great tutorial and inspiration and for the decoart blog and a shout out to Andy Skinner Techniques as well!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Making simple plaster cast embellishments look like old vintage treasure!

I made some plaster cast objects to use as embellishments for some Christmas projects. I tried out some DecoArt products and Andy Skinner techniques to make them look old. I also used some Modern Masters patina products that I like to use on little embellishments. I wanted some vintage treasure!

The plaster casts are inexpensive and are a fun way to try out various painting techniques on a 3-D surface. I've had these inexpensive plastic molds for a long time. They can be used to mold chocolate, but I use them with plaster.

I love Modern Masters patina products. I hadn't tried them on plaster objects before. I have tried it out on little plastic toys and the results were awesome!

I painted a few of the objects with a base coat of the Modern Masters copper paint and let it dry. Then I painted a second coat, and while it was still wet, I sponged on some of the green and blue patina solution. The paint must be wet or the reaction won't take place. It will start to react right away but will take some time before the reaction is complete. You can see a spot where the copper paint was dry so the reaction wasn't happening. I had to put on more wet copper paint and drip the solution on again.

Here they are after the reaction solution has completely worked it's patina magic. It turns out differently every time,  just like natural patina.

Who would ever guess this isn't real metal. Looks like something very old from an old world Christmas celebration long ago.

I noticed the other day in Hobby Lobby, they are selling a small Modern Masters "kit" with the copper paint and 2 patina solutions for $19.95. I have larger bottles I ordered online, but the kits would have been perfect!

Here's the whole bunch all together. They look great! Ignore the rusty Santa in the corner for now. I will show you how I created him later in this post. 

So now that I experimented with the patina effect on my plaster embellishments, I decided to use Decoart products to make some more objects look old.

I decided to seal my plaster santa with some Americana gloss enamel before I started the aging process. I thought I could make this color look like a patina eventually. It looks like plastic now, but it will look better soon.

I love the Deco Art Media line of paints. They have so much pigment and are awesome to work with. My favorite! I watered down some Phthalo Green Blue and brushed it over the top and wiped some of it off.

After that dried, I covered the whole thing with Deco Art Media Antiquing Cream, English Red Oxide that I just got and was excited to try out. I let it air dry completely. After it was dry I wiped some of it away with a damp paper towel. I only used a tiny amount of water because I didn't want to remove too much. The Deco Art Antiquing Creams are another favorite! Thanks Andy Skinner for all the demo's in how to use it! Check out his tutorials on youtube or the Deco Art website.

Starting to look cool, but a little too colorful to be old. I added a little watered down yellow iron oxide and let it dry. I made the Andy Skinner "dirty wash" with Ultra-matte Varnish, paynes grey, and quin-gold. It toned down and unified the colors, and made it look a little rusty. Look up Andy Skinner and his tutorials on using Deco-Art media products! They are so fun!

Then I dry-brushed on a very tiny amount of gold metallic paint to make it look more like metal. Mr. Santa is looking good! I love how all the layers make Santa look interesting and old.

I was happy with Mr. Santa so I decided to try the same type of technique on 2 other objects.

I decided to add a little clear glitter to the Christmas Tree to see what would happen. 

I decided there was too much rust on this santa, so I dry brushed on metallic gold instead so it matches the other Santa.

This is kind of fun because there is no wrong answer. You can just paint over the top and change your mind. No pressure! Just playing with mediums and techniques! 

So for my skinny santa,  I decided to try some color as I wanted these to look more like wood.

So I just painted with cream, a metallic red, and a yellow, and mixed the cream with a little of the red for the face. The acrylic paint seals the plaster so the next steps won't sink in to the plaster. I like painting plaster as it doesn't have to be perfect, we're talking grade-school fun.

After the paint was dry, I covered the entire object with some fragile crackle medium. I just used some that I had, but any type of fine crackle medium will work. I let the crackle medium air dry for a long time, the jar says 12 hours, I think I let it dry overnight. Then I used the Media Antiquing Cream again, English Red Oxide, again, letting it dry completely before wiping most of it off. I LOVE how it seeps into the crackle and makes Santa look like carved wood with old varnish! I love crackle.

I couldn't see Santa eyes, so I used a little watered down paynes gray to dot his eyes, and shade under his nose and mouth. Don't water the paint down too much, more like the consistency of ink. I use my fingers a lot to dab off the paint if I get too much.

Trust me on this next Santa. He looks pretty bad right now with my grade-school paint job. It's ok, I promise, although I wasn't so sure at the time. But since I'm just playing with cheap-o plaster objects it doesn't matter, just having fun!

Time for the crackle medium. I had to let it dry a long time. Patience....

Whoa, look at him now! I forgot to take photos of all the steps on my colorful Santa, but after the crackle, I used the Antiquing Cream again the same as before. Then used the "Andy Skinner" dirty wash to tone down the colors to make them look old. I wiped it off in places so there was more color in some places. I used a little watered down paynes gray to shade around various areas, I always end up tapping the shading with my fingers so it's not so harsh. Then I dry brushed some metallic gold on the ribbon, and hat, and the fluff on the gloves. Then the wreath looked boring, so I added some red, green, and yellow dots. When it was all dry, I used some Tim Holtz glossy accents on the wreath and sprinkled on some clear glitter, just on the wreath.

So my santa went from grade-school craft project to respectable vintage santa. I thought he was a goner, but is now looking all vintage and cool! The antiquing medium hides the "can't color in the lines" areas.

I couldn't leave my patina objects alone while I was waiting fo another object to dry, so I dry brushed on some metallic gold. I just used my finger with paint, then I wipe most of it onto the counter, then lightly buff it over my objects where I want it. You could dry brush with a paint brush but then you would have to get up and wash brushes, and all that. It works.

I think this little star santa is my favorite of the bunch. I'm going to use him on a project. He looks very metal like he was a little copper santa up on a roof for years!

I added a little metallic dry-brushing to the leaves. I crackled a few of them to see what happened.

So here's my whole group of faux metallic, patina's, wood cut, rusty objects made from cheap plaster molds using Modern Master paint effects, and Deco Art media acrylics, and some random crackle medium.

I enjoy trying out techniques and mediums with these little dimensional objects just for fun. I've had the santa mold since probably the 1980's. The trees and leaves I got more recently so they might be available online somewhere. I get molds at the craft store where they sell chocolate molds, or online from amazon or ebay. They are usually around $3.00 or so. Plaster is cheap too.

So I hope you have enjoyed my play time, even though it was a long post, I think it's helpful to see the steps to realize that it just takes a lot of little tiny steps to produce these fun results and if you goof up, you can pour some more and try again. It's pretty fun.

What hasn't been fun, is I've been stuck all weekend with a broken heater in my house, so I've had no heat for a week now! It's been 55 degrees inside the house for a week. Sometimes it's warmer outside than inside the house. I put a space heater near the kitchen table and have been having some fun painting in my coat.

The part to repair the heater has been ordered but won't be in until tomorrow, with the delay over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope the part comes tomorrow. Don't know how much more of this freezing I can take.

Anyway, I have enjoyed being distracted by my little paint project in the cold!

I will use all of my items on some fun Christmas projects but haven't decided what they will be yet. I don't plan out too much in advance but just like to see what happens. I hope to post my projects as they happen!

I use the same techniques on steampunk projects so this is good practice for trying things out!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Halloween "Spooky" cabinet - Following the Emma Williams Project Tutorial from

I've taken a year-long break from posting any projects to this blog. Instead, I spent some precious time with family and I got to play with a grand-baby every day! I put away all the little trinkets for a time and just enjoyed the family while they were nearby.

All those Halloween projects have been enticing me to get out the collection of spooky stuff and make some of those projects all the talented artists have been posting tutorials for.
I was so excited by the Halloween tutorials on the Tim Holtz website, especially the "Wicked" project by Emma Williams. If you want to follow her tutorial like I did click here.

Here is how mine turned out! I didn't have all the supplies, but it's very close! Her tutorial was easy to follow. I especially love the new Tim Holtz curly sizzix thinlits die! I didn't have the Tim Holtz pumpkins so I just used some small floral pumpkins. JoAnns only carried a few Tim Holtz Halloween items. It's hard to find Tim Holtz supplies unless I order them online. I was happy to find the little domes!

I used 2 owl feet I had on the front corners of the box.

For the back of the box, I wanted it to lean back a little so it wouldn't tip over so I made a little stand that sits a little lower than the feet. I made a "spell book" by wrapping some "Spell Book" paper over a wooden book shape. I glued it to the back to make a stand.

I had lots of fun making Emma's project! You should make one too! I love the new Tim Holtz wooden boxes! They are so handy and lightweight. They look awesome without having to do anything to them. I also love the Tim Holtz Halloween washi tape, and the bones!

I love fall and Halloween projects. Glad I got to share a crafty project again, even though it's not my project, I love it just as much. Thanks to Emma Williams for her great tutorial!

There are so many fun tutorials and projects to try. =)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Belated Final Compendium of Curiosity III Tribute Project

What a fun and life changing experience it has been to have participated in the Compendium of Curiosity iii Challenges this past year and a half! Thanks to Linda Ledbetter and the Curiosity Crew for the Adventure!

In the middle of my final project, I was rear-ended in my car at a stop light and became a little injured so I was unable to complete my final challenge project on time, but now that I'm feeling much better, I wanted to post my finished project!

"It came from within her"

No this isn't the title to a 1960's bad horror movie, but is a tribute to what I have learned from the Curiosity Crew , all the participants, and the wonderful techniques and challenges from the Tim Holtz book "Compendium of Curiosity iii". Hope there will someday be another book!
Throughout these somewhat challenging challenges I have been inspired to push beyond, through the blank stare into my pile of craft supplies, to find the curious and artistic inventions within me. I have learned that it is best to do what I love, and just create whatever I feel like and then the project speaks!

Through the challenges I have learned that when you speak from within, the projects connect with others.

I have learned from your examples of perseverance through the many artistic challenges, your failures that turned out to be victories, and the sometimes accidental greatness! I have marveled at your genius and creativity, and sometimes over-the-top impossible projects gone crazy! You are my people! 

My project is a reminder that we are all powered by something within, and from there springs forth who we are. Let it shine! Whether it sparks you to bake, run a marathon, be a friend, tend a puppy, take photos, grow a garden, take a nap outside...whatever it is...let it be...and let it be you!

Thanks to Tim Holtz and team for their techniques and products! 

Thanks to the Compendium of Curiosity sponsors! 

From the side view you can actually see the technique from Challenge #34 which was the final challenge, Layering Stencil: monoprint from page 48 of the Tim Holtz book Compendium of Curiosity iii.

Here's how the project started. A box from JoAnns. It came as a set of nesting boxes. I had a set of battery led lights on a thin wire I got last Halloween or Christmas. The switch lets you choose continuous light mode, flashing light, or pulsating which happened to be great for a beating heart!

The paper mache heart was from Hobby Lobby. I had always admired the silver steampunk heart in the box project from Tim Holtz and wanted to make my own version.
 I cut a hole in the heart, be careful!
 Painted the heart black.
From there I used whatever I had. Some wooden bits from Hobby Lobby. A plastic jar that looked like a lightbulb from Hobby Lobby. The heart has gear dies cut from foam, glued on, painted, and antiqued. I used Ranger distress paint, distress inks, alcohol inks and Decoart media products for the entire project.
The plastic letters were from hobby lobby. The domino has alcohol ink. The "within" are "thickers" glitter letters colored with alcohol ink. The "from" are tiny American Craft wooden letters.
Since the battery pack is glued on the back, the project was back-heavy and wanted to tip backwards easily, so I glued a black rock to the bottom front to balance the project and make it stable and sit solid.

Besides the heart, my other favorite technique is the "lightbulb".

I printed the moon man on ink-jet acetate. I cut it out but leaving it a thick handle piece of acetate the width of the bulb base. It will look like a sucker with a thick long acetate stick. That way I could use that "handle" to manipulate the acetate inside the light bulb and it keeps it in place as well. To get the acetate inside the jar, just curl it a little and fit it up inside, then the acetate springs back into shape and you can use your acetate "handle" to move it around to face the direction you want. It's very cool looking in person and a little creepy as moon man's eyes follow you around from any direction. 

I made the moon man's collar from cardboard and foam dots punched with a small paper punch, glued on, painted, and antiqued.

There is a tiny fawn resting on some bright green moss. The deer symbolizes the birth of my beautiful children and their children. The inside of the box has metallic cardstock on the back, and stenciled burlap glued on the the inside sides.

I used alcohol ink on the domino and the glittered letters. The from is painted with peeled paint distress paint.

To those of you artistic people who may be going through some hard times, I promise you that if you remember that you have something within that will help you make it through, you will be victorious in that challenge. It is better to focus on a creative outlet than to let the hardship take over. Use that hardship to express yourself through your creativity. Make that statement through your projects that you have it within you to persevere. 

I am happy to say that the "Compendium of Curiosity iii" challenge helped me to rise above and find the inner me artistically...and that has brought me peace. Most of the time I create projects that help me...but this time the project is for all of you!

My moon man lightbulb shines down on you all and says "Thanks!"


"It came from within her" movie.

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