July 27, 2011

keep calm and crackle on...{tutorial}

I've been seeing crackling on many projects as I browse through blog land. I love the aged look it gives.. but living out in the North, 2 hours from the nearest city I don't have access to crackle mediums.. I figured there had to be a way to add that magic texture to my projects, with things I had in my stash at home. A few searches on the internet and I found out yes, I can give things a vintage, aged finish with just a few items I have on hand.. Boy was I ever excited.. a little doubtful.. but jumped head first into trying.
I bet you're asking what DO I need? Just 3 simple items : acrylic paint, white glue(such as Elmer's or craft glue...not Tacky glue.. for some reason it doesn't work.) and a sealer.

So how does it work? It's pretty simple.Not to mention fun.
First start off with an item you want to crackle. In my case I started with a Tattered Angels frame.
Choose two colours of paint.. one darker than the other.. more on that in a minute.

Start by painting the colour you want the cracks to be.. in my case I used an acrylic paint in a 'Country Maple" -a nice dark brown.. Allow to dry completely.

Once dry apply a nice layer of white glue. The deeper you want your cracks to be the thicker you should apply the glue..for thinner more delicate cracks apply it thinner. Apply the glue in the direction you want the cracks to appear...(I'm still playing around with this effect..not quite sure if it's true or not. More playing to be done :) )

This is the brand I have on hand.. ( you might have different results with other brands of white/school glue. Let me know, I'd love to hear from you..and see your results.)
Allow glue to dry to a 'tacky' stage.. not quite dry..about 3 or 4 minutes depending on drying times...different brands will vary.. In the mean time pick your contrasting top colour.

Once glue is at the tacky stage apply your contrasting top coat.
Some things I have learned:
Apply the paint in one stroke, not too thickly.
Don't go back and forth over the paint..It will result in no cracking.
After a couple minutes the cracks start to form. This method produces more of an aged, shabby crackle..unlike crackle medium which is more even and has smaller uniform-ish cracks.
Let the top coat dry completely.Once dry I usually antique it a bit more with some Distress Ink along the edges..sometimes on top of the paler cracks(if I use a lighter colour to begin with). Once it is shabbied up the way you want I suggest sealing it..Modge Podge is perfect.

This is what I use.. it adds a nice dimension to it as well.. use whatever you have on hand, just to help preserve the crackle of your artwork.
It takes some practice to get it just how you want it.. but that's half the fun.. playing around and figuring out what you like or dislike.. it works well on most surfaces.. even fabrics!!
The finished product..a little glaze on top and voila.. a nice aged piece to add to a card..be on the lookout for that post soon:)

Go on; Give it a whirl..
Let me know how it works out for you.. link to your project post in the comments section and I'll drop by and leave some love.. and please pass along any of your tips that you come across while playing around.. I'd love to learn more.
Happy crackling!

July 23, 2011

make art...


I'm finding inspiration in all sorts of places lately; pintrest, tumblr..from interior design programs to home renovations.. new recipes and yummy things to cook and bake...so much inspiration..feeding my artistic soul...

 I can spend hours online reading and pouring over images.. it's refreshing.. I'm finding my elusive mojo.. Once again I'm thoroughly enjoying creating all things. I have so many projects on the go at once. I'm sure you've noticed by my obvious absence in posting lately.. a few posts coming up..excited to share some quilt blocks for my Art Quilt project. A few cards(as a request of a dear, dear friend of mine.) to make.. Anxious to use my *new* Waltzing Mouse stamps(yes, I took the plunge..held off as long as I could..) a tiny tutorial or two...fun things to express my new found crafty self..

Today I'm here to share quilt block #2.. yes you read that right.. I've skipped over the first one I made.. you will see why in a future post(soon). It will make sense I promise.

So many ideas for my art quilt.. I spent some time writing them all down in my art journal.. I keep it close.. use it when I see interesting things online.. I always forget the ideas...say to myself "oh, I'll remember this, that or the other" then poof! It's gone and I'm on to something else.. Can't wait to see them all completed, together.

I've decided that a majority of the blocks will have some sort of theme and word scheme. I've chosen a bunch of words that I use for my daily life.. things I strive for, things I love. Words to live by...
My little frame.. I'm ever so proud of it. See that crackling? I love the aged look..it reminds me of an old garden bench...The best part of it? No need for those crackling mediums..you can do it at home with a few simple ingredients! I'll have a small tutorial on that my next post.. you won't be able to stop yourself once you start..
And there she is.. in all her glory...bits and bobs used.. scraps of this and that..leftover pink trim..scraps of chipboard stamped and antiqued using Distress Inks..french bookprint..handmade fabric pompom... so much fun and a few techniques learned making this block. I hope you like it.
Before I go:
                                                              {from Pintrest}
Off to make some more art...be back soon,