Clock Work Inspiration Canvases

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This article is written by Peg Rounds

Some days just don’t go right and other days do

There are some days that everyone has things that just don’t go right.  I know I sure do, but I sometimes need to make it a point to stop and think that every day isn’t like those days.  I decided to create these inspirational canvases so that I can see them and remember that there will be good days and not so good days, too.  These are really fun to make and can be done with any inspirational reminder that you may need so be sure to make some of your own and place them where you can see!

Begin by painting the canvas with a base coat.  This will be the paint color that shows through.  Allow it to completely dry.

Next, die cut a piece of acetate with a die cut machine to create the stencil pieces that you will be placing on the canvas.  Spray each piece with Easy Tack by Krylon so that they can be easily removed.  Place them in position on the canvas.

Die cut acetate to create a stencil

Dab paint, using a second color of paint, into the open areas of the stencils so that the paint gets into the smaller areas.

This is the second step to painting the canvases.  First use a dabber brush to dab paint into the open areas of the stencils after they are applied.

Now, paint straight brush strokes across the entire canvas from top to bottom to cover it.

Allow the paint to dry and carefully lift upward on the edges of the stencils to remove them.

Lay those aside and begin the work on the spiral pieces that will be the inside springs.

Start with a piece of jewelry wire.  The length will depend on how large you will want the spiral,

Curl one end of the wire using a pair of pliers,

Create a loop in the end of a piece of jewelry wire.

Continue to wrap the wire until you have all of it wrapped into the spiral.  As you work each new wrap should lay beside and against the last one.

Wrap the jewelry wire so that it creates a spiral

Take the pliers and grasp the center of the wire and lightly pull it up and outward to create the pieces that have sprung.

Pull the center of the spiraled jewelry wire out.

Age the coils by applying a patina to them.

Allow them to dry slightly and sand them with a fine sand paper to shine them up a little.

Create the second canvas in the same way, but when creating the coils do not pull the centers outward or patina them.

Finish both of the canvases by adding the inspirational message using wooden letters and attach everything with glue.


Peg Rounds has been seriously creating many types of art since 2007.  Her focus has become mixed media, card making and jewelry making.  She is often found on social media sites pegscraftingcorner where she enjoys sharing all that she has created.




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Radiant Neon Amplify! Imagine® Crafts Product Review


This article was written by Martice Smith II

Looking to add a little extra oomph and intense color to your mixed-media creations? If so, you might want to try out these awesome, easy to use product by Imagine® Crafts. They’re called Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers and I recently had the opportunity to play with them.

I received eight beautifully vibrant, colors: Electric Yellow, Electric Coral, Electric Orange, Electric Blue, Electric Purple, Electric Green, Black, and White.

photo example of Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts

These paints are so versatile and I had such a great time playing with them. I always like to push the boundaries of an art supply, just to see how much I can do with it. So, today, I’m sharing a few techniques, anyone can do – no skill-level required!

Here are some of the ways I played with the new Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers:

1. I used them on my 8×10 Gelli Arts – Gel Printing Plate. I wrote in scribbly letters to create a graffiti look.

Smooth application of Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts on a Gelli plate

2. Drew simple shapes, straight from the paint bottle + introduced another color. Use the paints like watercolors!

These are water-based pigment inks, meaning, I can water them down a bit. Doing this allowed me to paint with them as if they were watercolors. However, they did appear to mimic the look of soft and chalky pastels rather than radiant, neon colors. To get the neon effect, just keep adding layers of the same paint color.

Use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers like watercolors.

3. Use them with a stencil + a foam pouncer to add a textured border along the edge of a page in my art journal.

Use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers with a stencil and foam brush.

4. Add dimensional texture.

The instructions say to shake bottle vigorously before each use. One thing I discovered while shaking the product was, after I removed the cap, the paint would ooze out of the nozzle before I was ready to paint! Ooops! Oh well…that glob of paint was applied in another area.

This means I had to be extra careful when adding smaller details, like dots.

To create dimension, use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers to add dots.

Other facts to know about the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers:

Drying time: Dries within minutes, depending on how much paint you squeeze out.


I like to retain as much dimensionality as possible. After drying, I was surprised to see how well these Radiant Neons held up! My art journal is packed with many different material and I was worried that it would flatten out over time. I was glad to see that that hasn’t happened!

Paints are flexible when dry – they will not crack due to heavy handling.


Very smooth to the touch. The texture stays round, even in my journal. It hasn’t flatten out over time.

Vibrancy of color: 

Strong and very bright on both light and dark colored surfaces, which I love!

Maintenance + clean up:

The Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers have a NO clog tip but I do recommend wiping the tip before placing the cap back on.

Store them upright to prevent paint from oozing out of the nozzle.

Applied too much paint onto your page? No problem! Take a wet paintbrush and gently lift the color from the page. Use a paper towel to dab excess water.

I hope this review encouraged you to try new techniques and to especially incorporate the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts into your next project!

Disclosure: These products were supplied by Imagine® Crafts for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt. 


Mixed-Media artist, designer, and instructor Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio, based in Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Specializing in mixed-media illustrations, Martice’s love for fashion, typography and wildlife are infused with a combination of traditional and digital art techniques. Discover more tutorials on her blog!




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Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates

This article was written by Martice Smith II

Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates


Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates, tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

Supplies to gather:

  • cardstock or cardboard
  • dried baby wipes or paper towel
  • craft foam (with adhesive backing)
  • glazing medium (DecoArt)
  • heavy-bodied acrylics
  • foam brush
  • brayer
  • scissors
  • IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher (optional)

Handmade printing plate by artist Martice Smith II. Tutorial: 'Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates'

1. Create a printing plate with craft foam.

Cut shapes out of the foam, peel off the paper backing and adhere them to a piece of cardboard (or cardstock) to make a printing plate.

Handmade printing plate, with circles and paint by artist Martice Smith II. Tutorial: 'Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates'

2. Add paint to the printing plate with foam brush.

Baby wipe printed with handmade foam printing plates'. Handmade printing plate on cardstock by artist Martice Smith II.

3. Stamp onto dry baby wipe.

Repeat the design by rotating your printing plate.

Use a brayer for a crisp impression onto the surface. Let dry for one minute.

4. Apply a glaze over the paint. 

Mix one part glazing medium to one part of the heavy-bodied acrylic color of your choice. (I applied DecoArt’s Banana Cream -Yellow, mixed with DecoArt’s Glazing Medium

Dip brush into water and then into the glazing mixture.

Apply a generous wash over a section of the baby wipe, using a clean foam brush.

There are many benefits of using acrylic glazes as you build up layers and texture on delicate surfaces. This method is great because it offers a very graphic way of featuring a stamp’s design. Layers of visual texture can be achieved without the bulk and concern of ruining a delicate surface.

Glazing medium allows you to work with the acrylic paint longer and creates layers that are slightly translucent. Although the glazing medium changes the paint color slightly, it’s very cool to see how the paints interact! Experiment with different colors to find your favorite color combos.

Adding paint to handmade stamp; painting dots with handle end of paintbrush; Tutorial: 'Handmade Foam Stamps & Printing Plates'

5. Add paint to another stamp. 

Using a foam brush, apply a mixture of one part glazing medium and another color of paint.

Stamp onto the paper, repeating the image a few times.

Try this! Use the handle end of a paintbrush to add dots, in varying sizes.

Adding paint onto handmade triangle stamp; stamping randomly onto baby wipe.

6. Add another stamp design.

Mix up a new color with more glaze, apply the mixture with a foam brush and press the stamp onto the painted baby wipe.

Continue layering the background with overstamping to get a look you like.

Try this! For dimensional texture, outline a few of the shapes with an IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko).

Happy stamping! Be sure to share a link to your creation, down in the comment section!


Photo of artist Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio, based in Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Specializing in mixed-media illustrations, Martice’s love for fashion, typography and wildlife are infused with a combination of traditional and digital art techniques.

Be sure to join the Uneek Art Letter, -Martice’s monthly newsletter- that offers art biz tips, advice and more digital goodness that will keep you inspired to be the artist you envision yourself to be!




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Mixed Media Mermaid Painting

This article was written by Michelle Brown

I’ve signed up for a tip-in page round robin with one of the groups I belong to over the internet. We are to create a layout of 2 pages each month to send to another on our list.

Last month the assignment theme was mermaids and sea creatures and I had heaps of fun creating this layout. I also love the method and formula that seems to be developing for this project and that’s what I wanted to share with you today.

mixed media art with mermaids

Firstly I take a piece of water colour paper and tape it to a backing sheet, covered in cereal box plastic (as shown in MMA Tips Video #1), add some ephemera with PVA glue then cover with a layer of gesso.

ephemera and gesso base

Then I started adding acrylic paints. I was after an effect of looking up into the sunlight from depth of the ocean, so I wanted to use teals and blues and phase them into white. I build up each layer, blending al title between colours and allowing it to dry a little before I add another layer.

white, blue and greens paints

I painted the rock for the mermaid with  a little brown and dark blue. I avoided using black as I wanted it to be dark but not too solid, so the brown and navy washes worked well.

blues and browns for rock

I found a great quote via Google and typed in up in nice font, printed it out then for it into strips. These got stuck onto the background along with the mermaid, with gel medium. The mermaid image was found over at Paper Street Supplies (no longer available.)

computer generated text to add to the story

Then some more blues were added to make the border darker and stencilling, with white paint, and highlighting words, with water coloured pencils, were added.

paints and pastels

After varnishing the layout, I realised it needed a few highlights, Since I couldn’t find my gold thread to add hand stitching, I chose to use a textured stamp and add a free area with Gold Brilliance ink. I heat set the stamping  with a heat gun as I was worried it may not dry properly over the varnish (and I was in a hurry!)

gold highlights added

Then I cut out the pages with a cart knife and metal ruler, added gold edging with metallic pens. i also added a few little gold sticker and some german scrap to finish it off.

right side of layout

left side of layout


Michelle Brown is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with you to allow you to express your own creativity. Michelle understands that many of us have an inner need to create. By learning a few basic techniques the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone! You can see more of her work at Mixed Media Art.



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