Michelle G Brown | Mixed Media Art

Faux Dichroic Glass

This article has been written for us by Linda Giese

Making faux dichroic glass is a little smelly and time consuming, but a whole lot of fun and endlessly creative!  Whenever I get out all the stuff I never want to stop.  I keep adding more elements, trying new color combinations and when something works particularly well, I want to do it again before I forget what I did.

coloured glass

There is a little planning in the process and a whole lot of serendipity. I’ve been surprised more than a few times with how a particular embossing powder acts on the surface.  Some spread into flower blossoms and some leave airy spaces while others cover everything you did before.  The Asian text loses the paper and leaves the beautiful lettering.

So let’s get started.  I use my 44 year old electric frying pan for my heat source.  I learned the technique from a friend with a hot plate.  We set the glass on a craft sheet, but often burned our hands or dropped the glass using tongs.  I tried to find an inexpensive used hot plate to no avail, so looked for another option.  One more of my small appliances is now dedicated to my art.  I tried putting my glass pieces on a craft mat, but soon had powder and beads all over my pan.  I also burned my fingers and dropped a few pieces.

Frypan to make your own coloured glass

I tried aluminum pans, but most had patterned bottoms so the heat was uneven and parts of the embossing powder took forever to melt.  My little foil boxes work so well.  I can pick them up easily and keep most of the powder inside the boxes. I can also easily remove the finished pieces while leaving others in place.

The other materials you will need are sea glass, clear embossing ink, clear ultra thick embossing powder, assorted colored embossing powders, a small spoon for adding new elements and a toothpick for moving things around.  Optional extras are microbeads, glitters, shiny papers and foreign text.

materials needed to make your own coloured faux dichroic glass

The sea glass can be clear or colored, but should be nice and flat.  If you can get real sea glass with the smooth edges, that would be ideal.  But I often uses the bag of sea glass from the craft or dollar stores.  I prefer the bottle of embossing ink with the dauber top to the pad.  I feel I have more control and get better coverage.  I found my shiny papers at the dollar store as holographic tissue paper.

The process is quite easy.  I heat the frying pan to between 250 and 300 degrees fahrenheit   I tear some pieces of aluminum foil and fold up the sides, pinching the corners for open boxes, trying to keep the bottom nice and flat.  I put embossing ink on one side of the glass and dip it in the clear ultra thick embossing powder.  Put the glass, powder side up, in the foil box and into the heated pan until it melts.

Now it is time to have some fun.  Add some papers (save the text for a near the top layer)or add microbeads, or colored embossing powders a bit at a time with a very small spoon.  Let each layer melt before adding more.  Don’t add too much powder at a time. Whenever you want something to show through, add more clear embossing powder on top.

I keep preparing new pieces while waiting for others to melt.  You will know it’s all melted when the whole top is shiny.  You won’t have to add any more embossing ink after the first layer because the wet powders will grab the additional layers.  Leave the pieces in the pan as you add things and remove when they are finished.  The top edges of the foil are cool enough to carefully lift out of the pan, but be aware that the glass will be very hot!  Let it cool before you touch it.

materials needed to finish your own glass

Now that you have a nice array of beautiful pieces, what do you do with them?  Most of mine are made into pendants.  I also crochet gold thread (just a chain stitch) for the necklace when I sell them.  I use 24 gauge wire, cut a piece, make the top loop, wind randomly and tighten.  Sometimes I use my gold pen on the edges and or back.  I tried the metal tape around the edge, but wasn’t pleased with the result.  I also like making the smaller pieces into pins.  I glue them (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue) to small pieces of mat board and embellish them.  I adhere a pin back.  You can also use them on a mixed media canvas or board.

faux dichroic glass pendants and brooches

Let me know if you come up with more ideas for additions or uses.  Have fun and be creative!

Hugs, Linda


Linda Giese has an altered book in the Autumn 2012 issue of Art Journaling.
 She welcomes emails, questions and comments at linda.giese@yahoo.com




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Documenting your Creative Process with an Art Journal

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There is nothing more frustrating to have created a wonderful mixed media painting or when you have mixed paints to create new, wonderful colors, and then not being about to repeat the process or outcome because you can’t remember what you did in the first place. That’s where an Art Journal or visual diary can make all the difference. By jotting down a few key steps and materials you used in your artwork, in creative journal, you will have a reference when you are looking for ideas or wanting to replicate a certain technique.

Have an art journal at hand to note down colours and materials used

Tips for using your Art Journal

Here Michelle shows you her art journal and the kind of things she documents.

Here is the final mixed media painting Ocean that Michelle was creating while documenting the process steps and the acrylic paints used.

tip in swap spread with "Ocean" as the theme

When you compare the initial sketch at the top of the page in the art journal, shown above, with the finished piece, you can see the sketch is only a rough outline of how the final piece turns out. That’s fine. The art journal is to simply document any thoughts and ideas that you have at the start. then you can show the layers, as you have added them. Note that paints or mediums you have used.

When selecting a book to use as an art journal, consider the different types of mediums you are most likely to use and choose one with paper that matches. Here I’ve used a visual journal, which is great for sketching and adding little samples of paints and adhesives. Some inks and too much paint will run through the pages, so keep the paints fairly dry.

I tend to use both sides of the pages but will always start an important piece of work on a new page. That way I have a nice clean sheet, without any lumps of bumps underneath the paper. Then I can use the backs of pages for straight sketched or to develop and document ideas for future projects.

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Faux Stitching

This article is written by Dawn Stegall of Faithfully Yours

I don’t know about you, but I love the look of stitching on my craft projects.  However, I really don’t want to drag out my sewing machine. Actually to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to take the time to learn the proper needle to use, tension, etc. So instead I prefer an easier and quicker method.

Supply list:
• serrated tracing wheel
• gel pen, markers, pens
• soft surface (mouse pad, etc)

Step 1: Create Holes

Using tracing wheel, create your holes where you want your stitching to be. I traced around the border of my patterned paper.

 Mixed media art technique

I have a clear 6 inch ruler I like to use as a guide. Be sure to press hard enough to create the holes. This is why a cutting matt will not work, you need a softer surface to create the holes.


Step 2: Faux Stitch

Using gel pen or marker of your choice, “connect the dots”.  I keep the ruler in place and simply draw a line.

Mixed media art technique

Close up of “stitches”.

Mixed media art technique


Super simple, yet effective!


Method 2:

Use a marker and draw lines freehand to create your own faux stitching. I like to use glaze pens as they dry with a slightly raised surface. This gives your stitches a more realistic look. Note: for this method do not use a ruler as the pen tends to bleed under the ruler leaving smudges on your finished project. (plus allows for a more realistic hand stitched look)

Sample card:

Notice the striped panel of patterned paper from the tutorial above. Inside the card I used method two and drew the stitches freehand with a glaze pen. Under the circle, I stamped a sentiment on the inside of the card.

Mixed media greeting card

Mixed media greeting card


Dawn Stegall strives to be a good steward while remembering God in her scrapbooks.

For a free guide and weekly inspiration visit http://www.FaithfullyYours.net




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Five Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

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This article was written by Martice Smith II

Use these simple approaches and general advice to get your artworks exposed so others can be inspired and get to know you and your creations. These tips will help both new and experienced artists!

Five Ways To Share Your Creativity & Get Discovered; Illustrated image

1. Above all, be true to YOU

Create what makes your heart sing and be happy doing it!

When you’re doing what’s fresh, interesting, and authentic to you, you make it that much easier for the marketplace to find you. Yes, it’s that simple!

2. Process is messy

Be open about what you’re working on.

Now is not time time for toiling away in your studio with absolute secrecy. Ask for feedback – don’t take it as criticism. Look at it as gathering information.

• Collaborate on a project with another artist…try asking someone whose work you admire but is a contrast to your own artwork.

• Discuss or teach a class, highlighting a simple technique.

• Share sneak peeks of your works in progress, your ideas and even what you’re learning online. Accept that, over time, you will evolve as an artist and learn to embrace change.

• Keep people “in the loop” of the changing influences that relates to what you’re working on.

(For example, show a new color palette of colors you mixed yourself; explain why the #2 fine-liner paintbrush is better for drawing your stylized hair strands; or provide a quick review on chisel tipped paint markers.)

The creative process is messy and should be fun!

3. Document

Even if your eyes will be the only eyes to see it, always take a record of what you are doing.

• Photograph of your work at different stages in your process or shoot a video of you working. (You don’t need to be all tech-savvy – just use what you have and start there!)

• Give people the experience of how you shape your art work by showing them behind-the-scenes; see how they react to it. Sometimes, you really don’t know what you have until someone’s spark ignites a new perspective. You’ll never know what stage in your progress will inspire or resonate with someone else.

4. Celebrate other people’s successes

That’s right – this article is about others just as much as it’s about you… It’s perfectly fine to celebrate your accomplishments but when your friend says that she just sold her painting, express your genuine excitement for her AND take it a step further by sharing her great news with your audience as well.

Teaming up with another artist to spread the word about each others’ recent success, instantly makes a greater impact.

This can work as an opportunity to visually show what inspires or influences your own creations. Not only will you pique the interest of others with this new artist, but your friend will be so grateful that you shared in her success.

5. Let go of crutches and PLAY!

I love covering a journal page with my graffiti handwriting. Seems like I can’t get away from it…or can I?

Lately, I’ve been making an effort to leave the scribble scratch behind (or cut back on it!) just to see what other direction I’d take.

During my printmaking challenge, I used a variety of found materials (sticks, yarn, bottle caps, etc.) to re-create the grungy, uneven texture that I love. What a surprise that was!

• Push yourself to try new tools and experiment with unfamiliar techniques.

In conclusion, creativity is not an antisocial act. Let go of your ego and remember: there is no one-size-fits-all plan for everybody. Flow with whatever’s good for you.

Be open to sharing your process and allow for the possibility of people to have an ongoing connection with you and your work. All you have to do is show your work.

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I invite you to join the Uneek Art Letter, my monthly newsletter, that offers more art biz tips and advice that will keep you in front of the right people.

What are some ways you like to share your creativity?


Mixed media artist and designer, Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio , based in Kansas City, Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Her stunning illustrations reveals her love for fashion, typography and wildlife- using a combination of analog and digital techniques.

Martice also contributes as an article writer for the Creating Mixed Media Art website.

You can see more of her work via her Facebook page or her blog.




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