Don’t Forget the Embellishments!

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This article is written by Laura Shelton

Hello all! It is wonderful to be back here writing articles for Mixed Media Arts again! Hope you have been being super creative, and I really hope that this new articles gives you some new inspiration to make a lot more neat things! Today I am going to talk about embellishments. We all love them, buy them, and even stockpile them. At least I was, and spending way more money than I wanted on them!

 

Embellishments

Embellishments can run into quite a bit of money, at least mine did, until I made a decision – I decided that any embellishments I wanted, I was going to make myself…no small undertaking, and needless to say, my embellishments fell off a bit, lol! That was, until I just made up my mind, and really got serious about it… Now I would rather have my own, handmade embellishments than anyone elses!

Embellishments

The first embellishments were a bit primitive as you can guess, but as I went I picked my battles, and then things started coming together. Above is an extra large journal page using modeling paste for the lighter sections of the piece. Below you will see an album that I made, where I utilized what I call a “bead tail” coming off of the back of the album, and attached with a handmade bead I made recently

Embellishments

Toward the front, you can see that the closure is made of a vintage bead earring attached to a pendant jewelry finding…on the other side of the album, for the second part of the closure, I have another handmade bead mounted, and it is all held together with a reddish/purple leather cord. The closure alone really dressed up the album a lot!

Embellishments

Other embellishments I have made are more suited for your art journal. There are many, many times that I will use an ATC (Artist Trading Card) embellishment for an embellishment to dress up an art journal page or maybe a mixed median art piece I am working on. These are some of my really old ATC examples, and they have been used at some time for an embellishment.

Embellishments

There are so many things you can make from paper and paint.

Embellishments

What I also enjoy is making embellishments out of beads and old jewelry findings! I have a ton of old beads and fittings from all of the broken necklaces, bracelets and earrings down through the years. I am so glad that I held onto all of them because they are perfect for making your own unique embellishments! Some that I make regularly are what I call my “bead tails”.

These are basically just strings of glass beads, faux pearls, and other stones that I thread onto a heavy string, and then place a charm at the bottom of the string. These end up being the decorative touch that I add at the back spine of my prayer and scripture books that I make, as well as any other type of book, album or anything that is made that way.

A perfect example is the bead tail at the back of above album. These bead tails seem to add so much to a project! I wouldn’t know how to finish out the albums without adding them! Seriously though-embellishments can make or break a project, at least in my mind. Even if you just string a few beads together and maybe add a little fancier clasp to your project, you will be amazed at the difference just a little addition can make!

Embellishments

This is Hester, the Court Jester –  she is just one of several art pieces I have made. I can write about them next time!

Laura Shelton

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Storing your Gelli Arts & Gel Press Prints

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When you get into creating your own background papers with monoprinting, whether you are using a homemade gelatine plate,  a GelliArts plate or a Gel Press one, once you get started, the prints start flowing!

Before you know it you have  H-U-G-E pile of gel prints!

Storing your gel press monoprinting gelli arts gel press gel prints

When it comes time to use your some of your beautiful papers, it gets frustrating when you have to shuffle through a large pile of printed paper and deli papers. Here Michelle talks about her approach to sorting and storing her gel prints, as inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

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I hope you find this simple concept easy to adapt to your own gel prints storage. It can even be adapted to all of your scrapbooking and ephemera papers. You can always create more categories to sort but remember that if you make your system too complicated then, you’ll be less likely to use it, so keep it simple when you are getting started with sorting and storing your gel prins. You can improve on your storage system once you have a simple system that works for you.

If you are looking for ideas on using your lovely printed papers, see What to do with your Gel Plate Prints for inspiration. Having your own, unique gel prints allows you to create simple pieces that will always have a personal touch, because the printed papers are originals.

Happy creating,
Michelle

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Mixed Media Art Tools

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This article is written by Michelle Brown

Here in the Mixed Media Art community, we like to encourage people who are just starting out in mixed media to get their hands dirty as quickly as possible; to do this we don’t suggest long lists of tools, materials and supplies. We prefer to start with the least amount of stuff and only buy what we really need. We also don’t need expensive tools to get us going – there is NOTHING worse than spending lots of money on supplies and then not wanting to use them in case we “ruin” or “waste” them. We know – we have all been there! And worse than worse (is that the correct expression?) is not using supplies due to not wanting to waste them, only to find out (months later) that our supplies have dried up or been stored incorrectly and they are useless anyway! On the agony!

So enough of the delay and hesitation – the best way to learn and improve our mixed media art skills is by playing and practising and actually MAKING ART! Who would have thought? ;)

 Tools

Here Michelle runs through a basic list of tools needed to get you started in many types of mixed media projects.

References:

Creating Layers Online Tutorial

Making Memories foam stamps (Apparently this stamp set is now discontinued – sorry!)

Impasto Medium

We would love to hear what you think! Do YOU have any thoughts on what you would like us to show you?

Leave a comment below!

Happy creating.

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Adding Maps to Your Artwork

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This article is written by  Anjuli Johnson

Mixed Media map collage with chipboard elements
I am such a map fanatic. I can’t explain why, there’s just something about them that sparks my interest. It could be any type of map, too; historical, topographical, maritime charts, star charts, it really doesn’t matter. I’m hooked. So, when I was asked recently to create a collage for a missionary who had been serving in Eastern Carolina for the past 18 months, I knew I needed some maps to showcase the cities where she had been assigned to serve. I had to find maps of three cities in order to complete the piece that was forming in my head. Luckily, finding maps to use is pretty easy.

There are multiple places you can find maps online. There are several Etsy shops that sell different sized prints of various cities in different formats and colors. This might be a good idea if you want something really big, but for the purposes of collage work, I needed something free that I could print off myself. Google searches are always a good idea, but some of the best places I have found maps, both for this project and ones I’ve done in the past, are libraries. Most local or state libraries have digital collections of maps that are provided free to the public and can be downloaded or printed. I have found so many maps of the same city from different time periods that I could stay busy looking at them for years- it’s fascinating to see so many in one place!

mixed media map collage art using maps of various cities

Since I was focusing on Eastern Carolina for this piece, the maps I used were from UNC Libraries map collection.
Love it! Once I found the maps I needed, I downloaded them and printed them on 4*6 photo paper. The background, however, I printed 18*24 on a large format printer and used it to cover the entire 12*12 canvas. I made sure to spray each one with Krylon acrylic coating to make sure the ink wouldn’t run as I worked with the paper.

So there you have it! Is anyone out there as obsessed with maps as I am? I’d love to see what projects you’re working on!

map collage using mixed media techniques to include maps of North Carolina cities

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Anjuli Johnson is a Mixed Media Artist from Raleigh, NC.  She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since.  She loves all things mixed media- paper, paint, pens, wire, gears, clay… the list goes on and on.  She is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.  To see more of Anjuli’s art and techniques, check out her website at www.thefarpavilion.com  and like her Facebook page TheFarPavilion   Follow her on Instagram and Twitter as well.

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