Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Art Edition

Today I’m sharing a little about stepping outside of my comfort zone in regards to my Mixed Media Art. My usual styles of creating are using darker hues, vintage grudge, steampunk, doodling, fluid art and abstracts. A few months ago, I made the decision to step out of my zone and explore different ways of creating mixed media art and my journals. The piece below is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page I

I had created these two pages on one example of a background for a friend to see. I had put it aside for a while knowing I would come back to it eventually.

Last week I opened the book to complete these pages without any thought as to where they would take me. As I got to what I thought the final layer would be, I was discontented with it. There wasn’t balance. I was completely unsettled.

I shared photos of the pages to my friend and she told me to keep what I had-in so many words… Normally I would but I just couldn’t let these pages stay as they were. I decided to step away from my work desk and went in the kitchen to fix a glass sparkling water. I stood in the kitchen for a bit and started having a conversation with myself. Yep. I talk to myself.

My thoughts included: Why are you not happy with these pages? What is your problem today? -laughing. What do you want to express? What do you want? Then it hit me. I wanted to go all out and get girly with it. Yes, girly.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page

I marched back to my desk, sat down with determination and grabbed a box with embellishments and chose the “Sweet” embellishment to cover up the word, “Love” and proceeded to add a few other mediums-including more doodles. These pages are completely out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I created it and the story it tells is a good lesson learned.

What are ways you step out of your comfort zone when creating art? Or do you ever step out of that zone? How have you grown as an artist?

Stephanie

A Weekend of Mix Media Art

 

The past few months I have been experimenting outside my norm of creating and this weekend I decided to go back to my roots of creating Mixed Media Art. While I enjoy learning new mediums, there are times I need to be surrounded with familiarity.

Mixed MEdia Collage 3-21-20

I created a master board specifically for my mixed media projects this weekend and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I will use these pieces to add to my Altered Art Book Journal and I still have a few left overs to make a few more ephemeras.

Furthermore, I created a mini notebook for my junk journal and hand-stitched the spin and added a couple of embellishments to the notebook. This piece will be tuck into a small pocket to take out and jot down notes and such. The pages are coffee stained and I used scrap pattern paper for the cover. The thread I used was gifted by a friend whom I’ve been encouraging to venture into junk journaling. I knew that this medium of creativity would be something she would be highly interested in because of her love of reading and history.

Two of the background pieces I made will be for later projects and there here is a piece I am hand-stitching. I do have a sewing machine but there are times I want to be in the present with my thoughts while creating and slow stitching is the perfect past time to do so. I will be stitching around the whole paper. The stitch will create a board to compliment the black coloring I will add.

 

The master board was created on a large size watercolor paper. The first step I took was to draw a grid with pencil because I used several colors of paint for the first layer and the grid gave me a sense of placement. Then I took scrap paper and dictionary paper and created a collage. The last step was cutting the board to the sizes I wanted to use for my projects. I used Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks and Tombow Watercolor Markers for my inking and doodling.

ANB11

Left Over Pieces

Be sure to check out Before the Second Sleep’s blog post about new wings and ephemeras.

I hope you all have a creative week ahead and please be safe. -Stephanie

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Happy Mail Haul

I am thrilled to be sharing a happy mail haul with you all! A dear friend and fellow papercrafter of mine sent me goodies to create with! I could barely contain my excitement when her package arrived this past Saturday, knowing it was going to be filled with so many fantastic materials to work with. So much in fact, I starting using them that very day.

Below are pictures of some of the mixed media projects I put together. She sent me some adhesive measuring tape and washi tape that I absolutely adore. Those were the first to be used and then I used a speckled button and a metal vintage style key.

 

I create a lot of tags and ATC’s because you can use them for all sorts of mixed media projects. On another note, I’m a history enthusiast and that includes art history. People say Artists Trading Cards started in the late 20th Century but in fact they go much further back than that. I will be blogging about that one day soon.

One can get really creative without having to break the bank from buying craft and art supplies. Most of the items she sent me are thrifted and from things she had been collecting. The materials I used from my own stash are mostly scraps and cut outs from bigger images. The floral arrangement on the Happy Easter Tag is from a Hallmark card bought at the Dollar Tree.

Be sure to check out my friend’s website HERE! 

I hope everyone is having a safe week! Be well and God bless.

Stephanie

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

A History Glance Of The First Valentine’s

Valentines 9

In America before the mid 1800’s Valentine’s Cards were handmade including real lace, ribbons and what-not. If you do a little research, you’ll find all sorts of stunning handmade vintage cards online. Maybe you even have one passed down to you.

Then the whole mass production of card making by machines came about towards the end of the 19th century and they arrive in abundance to retail stores making Valentine’s Day- most likely- the biggest card selling day of the year.

Lets back track a little to an earlier time in history. Valentine’s Day goes way back to even the Roman times, but who knows, maybe even earlier.

Valentines 8

Did you know that British Library in London houses the oldest known to us humans, surviving Valentines? From what I learned it is a poem composed in French in 1415 by Charles Duke of Orleans to his wife, which he sent while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Wow, now that is some Valentine’s card! Can you imagine? Then again, it is said that Saint Valentine himself actually sent the first valentine so who really knows. The important thing to remember is that the tradition of expressing one’s special greetings and love is a really old affair.

Let’s get back to card making, shall we? This year I decided I wanted to make a few Valentine Cards with the focus of personalizing each one and blending my style with what I know each persons’ interest. What fun that was and I want to encourage people to consider making your Valentine’s to love ones and friends. They are much more appreciated and from the heart. They also carry on the traditions of the old arts and give you a sense of calmness and a moment of slowing down in this fast-paced world we live in. Happy Valentine’s Day! -Stephanie

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“No copyright on images infringement is intended” Used for blogging about history purpose only.

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

Thoughtful Thursday

Finding Dora MaarLast week I did a Cover Crush of a book I am very interested in and decided to request it on NetGalley and I got it! A big thank you to the Publishers and NetGalley for giving me a galley copy which I will be diving into soon! I can’t wait!

Here is the link to my short video on paper crafting  at my Layered Pages Facebook Page that I mentioned I would be filming yesterday morning.  I hope you check it out. Last night I was having so much trouble shooting the video with my phone and it kept cutting off but there is enough footage for you to see what I have been creating…my phone is old. I’m going to try to use my daughter’s nice camera next and hopefully I can use a tripod. How is it that kids always have the nicer stuff? Ha! Anyhow, there was so much I wanted to say but didn’t get a chance or show an example project of what I made out of a couple of my master boards. Below is an image of the tag I made and I still had scraps left over! So much fun!

Tag 2

 

 

 

 

Collages & Master Boards

Last night I was making paper collages aka master boards for my mixed media projects and I was thinking of maybe making a book on my designs. Then I got to thinking that Amazon probably already has tons of books on collage designs. Haha! Sure enough, they do. Though I do think that some other art books I’ve blogged about has this subject. Gah, it’s one of those weeks.

While I have my own technique and style, I thought it would be fun to check out other designs and see what people are up too. So why not blog about them? Maybe they could help inspire someone wanting to get into collage making.

For those of you who are not familiar with master board, it is a term many mixed media artist use that is taking a larger piece and creating a collage-if you will-and cutting it down to different sizes to use in other art projects. At least I think that is what it means? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I only have heard the term recently.

The last few days I have been paper-crafting like crazy because I’ve spent so much time on my slow stitching, quilting and textile pieces, I ran out of paper collages for my journals, pouches, envelops and note cards. I forgot how addicting it can be. I love it! Alas, I need to get back to my quilting. Not complaining.

This evening I will share more of the paper collages I have been making via video on my Facebook Page. I can’t wait to show you those pieces. One of them I made over the weekend and blogged about yesterday, I cut it down to size and used in a really cool collage. It turned out fabulous! Some of the best work I’ve done in a long while. -Stephanie

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If You Can by Hollie ChastainIf You Can Cut, You Can Collage: From Paper Scraps to Works of Art by Hollie Chastain

If You Can Cut, You Can Collage is specially designed for people who feel like they can’t make art. Want to know a secret? You can! You just need a little inspiration, instruction, and confidence.

Collage is a wonderful creative outlet, particularly for people who want to make art, but don’t feel they have the skills or confidence for other endeavors. You can still explore and experiment with color, composition, and various themes and end up with exciting and often unexpected results.

If you Can Cut, You Can Collage takes some of the mystery out of collage through easy illustrated pages that show you the basic techniques of collecting and cutting imagery, composing and adhering compositions, and then provides a wealth of exercises that get readers going on their own creative projects.

We’ll get you started with simple, focused, projects like making a collage with only circles, where you’ll learn important concepts like how to create a focal point, how to use repetition successfully, how to achieve contrast, balance, symmetry, and more. You’ll be incorporating vintage ephemera, typography and lettering, and even urban and found materials in no time!

Paper Collage Chinese StylePaper Collage Chinese Style by Zhu Liqun Paper Arts Museum

This beautifully illustrated guide to Chinese paper collage art demonstrates the techniques and philosophy behind this creative and fun art form.

Paper collage art has a special charm. It can be as exquisite as oil painting or as freehand (xieyi) as ink wash painting. A paper collage art is a perfect mean to express humor and romance, demonstrate subjective perspectives and emotions, record special moments, and depict favorite scenes.

Collage Art teaches you how to pick up some magazines, newspaper, and color paper around you that are no longer needed and put your ideas onto a piece of paper.

You can create some decorations for your desk, bedroom, office, as well as some collage crafts for your friends on festivals and weddings. These collages not only present your unique style but also will also get lots of compliments!

The Collage Ideas BookThe Collage Ideas Book by Alannah Moore

Collage allows your creativity to run riot. It lets you juxtapose disparate elements, styles and media against each other and create something entirely novel, bizarre, arresting, beautiful, ironic or unsettling. Old and new can be fused together; digital and hand-produced can be combined. What you can create with collage knows no bounds.

Expertly curated with an eye to the fresh, the exciting collection of new collage ideas will inspire collage artists at every level, from those dipping a toe in the art form to experts.

Collage Imagery 2: A Collection of Photographic Images for Use in Personal Art by Catherine Anderson looks amazing as well!

Saturday Sunday: Mixed Media Textures

Adding Textures To Your Art Backgrounds/For Mixed Media Projects

Collages/Journaling/Canvas

Paris Pages I

 

This blog post is getting a late start today. Yesterday afternoon I had an accident and broke my little toe so badly I had to put it back in place. Alas, that delayed finishing my journaling pages I am blogging about today and writing this post.

Paris clothes shopAdding texture to your art projects is a lot easier than people may think and is so much fun to play with. There really is no wrong way of creating texture. You just have to experiment with what works. That is part of the fun. Today I am showing you three pages I created using several scraps from my mixed-media supply stash.

I am out of white gesso so I mixed in white acrylic paint with the clear gesso and it worked out great. That was my first layer of paint to cover the packaging I used as my pages.

Paris is a good ideaThen I started with my layers and paste for texture. Below is a complete list of the materials I used. It looks like a lot-yeah it is-but it is all from what I have on hand.

Using the coffee grounds and coffee for texture and staining was marvelous!

Two of the pages were a little dark to me so I took the baby wipes and rubbed it on the areas I wanted to lighten. I also used the baby wipes to blend the distress crayons.

The darker layers of two of the pages represents centuries of old building changing companies over time…

Paris signThese pages are my Paris Pages and I am thrilled with how they turned out! No, I have never been to Paris but it is on my bucket list and I love reading stories that take place in that city. Please excuse my blurry images. My camera has been giving me fits! I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about creating with textures, please feel free to ask me. -Stephanie

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Supplies Used:

White & Milky White Acrylic Paint

Clear Gesso

Mod Podge

Ranger Texture Paste

Tim Holtz Distress Crayons

Coffee-for staining

Coffee Grounds to mix with Texture Paste

Scraps of pattern paper

Artist Painting Brushes

Crafting Paint Pink Roller

Napkins for background

Baby Wipes-No harsh chemicals/Alcohol Free

Resistance Canvas Embellishments

Tim Holtz Brick Stencil Pattern

Printing paper for words

Envelope

Up-Cycled Packaging Cardboard