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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ATC Holder

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This article is written by Anjuli Johnson

My youngest sister begins high school next year.  Part of her curriculum as a member of our church will be what’s called early morning seminary.  It’s a religious class where high schoolers study the scriptures for about an hour before school.  Intense, I know, but it’s actually pretty fun, too.  One thing they’ll be doing is memorizing 25 specially chosen scriptures throughout the year.  It’s called scripture mastery, and all the students are encouraged to reach this goal.  As I was thinking about my last sister joining the ranks of early morning seminary students, I thought I’d mark this milestone by making her something extra special to help her with her scripture mastery.  An ATC card holder, with 25 separate slots for 25 scripture cards seemed the perfect idea.

ATC Holder made with Prima’s Archivist paper line.

I have been working on the cards gradually and have a few completed, but I knew the holder would be the most important part.  If I’m successful and she ends up really liking it, she might carry it with her to seminary on a daily basis, so I knew it couldn’t be too fancy.  It had to be sturdy and easy to work with, and hold the cards well so nothing would fall out or get lost.  I found this tutorial on pinterest, and after tweaking the size and measurements, I made the perfect size holder for 25 cards.

I began by making the individual envelopes.  I knew I’d be using thick paper (prima’s archivist line of patterned paper- love it!!) and that I’d have more envelopes than the tutorial called for, so I wanted to see how thick the envelopes together would be so I would make the cover the right depth to fit them all.  Using my paper trimmer, I cut strips of paper 9” by 4 ½”  and scored them at 3” and 6”. Folded and glued each envelope was 3” by 4 ½”.  I did this 25 times.  I also used a circle punch to put a half circle cut into the top of each envelope.

Each envelope will hold one ATC card or tag.

My cover is also a bit different than the original tutorial.  She says you can use cereal box cardboard- I knew that wasn’t going to be thick enough if I wanted my sister to be able to use this every day, so I decided to use thick box cardboard.  I needed my cover to be able to hold more than the original, too- after seeing all my envelopes together, I knew I needed the cover to be 2 inches thick to comfortably fit them all.  My modified cover measurements ended up being 14” long and 3 ¼” wide, with scored lines at 2”, 4” 8 ¾”, 10 ¾”.  This is the point to decorate the cover, before anything goes into it.  I painted the cardboard black and added some paper and tissue tape for a cool but clean and simple look.

Next, add in the envelopes.  I glued them in one at a time, starting at the back of the cover and then one on top of the other.  When you open the holder the envelopes fan out like an accordion, so I only glued the bottom half of each envelope, to make sure there was some slack when the holder is open.

The latch for the cover was the trickiest part- I didn’t want the long string wrapped around a button like in the original tutorial, so I used some metal findings to create a knob for a loop of elastic to fit around.  A bit of metal glue later, and it’s a great closure that will keep all my cards snug and secure.

So there you have it!  A perfect little hide away for any special ATC’s you have or want to make- flashcards, memory cards, picture cards, tags- the possibilities are endless.  And I would love to hear all your ideas!!  Please share in the comments what kind of cards you would stock your ATC holder with.

Measurements and components of this ATC Holder

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Author bio: 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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Creating Your Own One of a Kind ATC Backgrounds

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This article is written by Shari Welch

I came up with this tutorial out of need. I needed to find a way to produce a series of artists trading cards with the same background color scheme, with each one being an original little piece of art in itself. I needed to get these out soon so I had to be creative with my time as well. GelliArts gel printing plate to the rescue!

Those of us who have used a Gelli plate will admit, it is VERY addicting. A few of the many facts I love about the gel plate is that it is reusable and cleans up easily. If you haven’t used one, the link below takes you to the Gelli Arts website. Their site will give you a better understanding of what the gel printing plate is, and what you can create using it. Besides instructions, projects, and a You tube video, you can order a plate too. www.gelliarts.com

I thought that I would print up two or three pages. But like I said, it is very addicting.

gelli plate, printed papers, and stencils

Materials I used:

  • 8×10 printing plate
  • Rubber brayer
  • White card stock 8.5×11 (cut to 8×10 after printing)
  • DecoArt acrylic paints
  • Yarn, texture tool, cut out decorative paper
  • Flower masks and stencils by Heidi Swapp
  • Stencils by Tim Holtz
  • Stencils by Prima

This template shows 8 artists trading card that can be produce out of a single gel print page if you are using the 8×10 size.

ATC template

I had a fall color theme in mind, so here are the two finished ATC background sets I choose. I still have a lot of gel prints left for yet another project. I won’t complain.

Pic of 8 ATC cards
ATC cards 2nd sheet
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Shari Welch is a mixed media artist living in Denton Texas. She is known for using reuse and recycle materials in her artwork. She volunteers for SCRAP Denton where she is on the education committee, teaches workshops, art camps, and performs art demos. She is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys helping others discover their creativity.

Shari studied graphic design in Portland, Oregon before moving to Denton. Besides writing for mixed media art, she is currently a blogger for DecoArt, was featured in Mixed Media May, and has been in a number of art shows in her hometown of Denton including GDAC “It’s in the bag”, Thirty for thirty art show, and 3arthwurks gallery show.

You can see more of Shari’s artwork at www.facebook.com/my.altered.life
and on her blog shariwelch.blogspot.com

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Making Greeting Cards from Recycled Art Scraps

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This article is written by Laura Shelton Thykeson

I know that there are many, many artists that make their own beautiful and original greeting cards for all occasions, and they have so many creative ways to do it! I love the variety and beautiful cards I see out there. I wanted to write a short tutorial for those who may be just beginning to venture into this fun field and are maybe looking for some easy tips and techniques.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

The card I have made may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love mixing up colors, textures and designs to really make for an interesting card to look at. It has several elements, but it is really easy once you know the details and instructions.

Materials

Below is a list of supplies you will need:

  1. Blank watercolor card w/envelope, or a piece of cardstock if you would rather work with that. You will have to cut and fold your cardstock over in half to make the card shape.
  2. Bits and pieces of our recycled art, old art journal pages, paint splattered pieces of papers, collage material, pretty paper napkins, stamps (optional), any 3d embellishments you choose. (I chose the yellow sunflowers for added texture, ribbons, buttons, sequins, etc….
  3. Coordinating scraps of “stencil play” pages, scraps of cardstock that may not be your favorites and you won’t be using for anything else.
  4. ATC’s in abstract, colorful and textured designs, or even postcards you have made that you don’t mind cutting up to reuse

Instructions:

  • After you have chosen your blank watercolor card or made one from cardstock, take your colored papers and glue and layer them on the front page of the card to start your colorful background. This is layer 1. I used a piece of brown paper, with a stencil design of a tree that I had been playing around with in an old art journal.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Once that is dry, open up your card and spread glue or your fav adhesive all over both sides of the inside pages of the card. Then take the paper napkin and lay over the glue, pressing and smoothing to get any wrinkles out. It is ok if you have some wrinkling, because the texture is always nice, but for this card I wanted it smooth. Let this dry well.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Using your choice of stamps (optional), or if you prefer your own handwriting, add some cool sayings or words on the inside of the card.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • I also ran across another old ATC size scrap of art that caught my eye, and using decorative scissors, I trimmed all around the edges of the card to give it some interest and texture, then glued it to the right side page of the inside of the card to finish it out.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Now, take any old ATC’s, collage papers, gelli print papers, etc and cut them into triangles. Take these triangles and glue them to the corners of the front of your card to add more color and texture. If you are using an old ATC, cut it first in half, then cut the two halves into triangles by cutting from opposite corners to make the triangles. Also add some stamped words.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • At the bottom of the front page of my card, I cut small strips of abstract, glittery watercolor paper scraps I had painted a long time ago, and glued them on as stems for the 3D yellow sunflowers that I added at the last minute.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

This is a really fun and easy way to make a unique and interesting card for any occasion! Using different papers, napkins, stamps etc, you can fashion it to fit any occasion. I really hope you have enjoyed learning how to recycle scraps into something both unique AND useful!

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Laura Thykeson has been totally immersed in mixed media art for many years. She discovered altered books and art journals about a year ago and have been hooked ever since! She has always loved mixed media art because of the variety and the “no rules” aspect! Laura lives in Granbury, Texas USA.

You can see more of Laura’s work at Taz’s Corner

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