Friday 31 July 2015


Happy Friday, dear Readers!
I just love how my Creative Team girls find their inspirations literally everywhere.
Today we meet with Monika who decided to celebrate the season in the most creative way. Just see for yourselves and feel invited to create with us!

I love summer. Always have. As a child, I loved the warmth, the freedom and the fireflies. As a teenager, I loved the freedom from school and long, lazy days spent by the pool. In my youth, summer always symbolized freedom.

And even now, as I look longingly out the window at the beautiful July day, summer is freedom. Summer is freeing. There is more time (longer days!) and more happiness (how hard it is for me to be sad when the sun is shining!). There is tanned skin and sun-kissed hair. There is warmth and joy and a slowness that calms everyone just a little bit.

Here you are… my summertime inspired canvas!

First I applied White Texture Paste on my wooden frame. I let it dry overnight and I got a beautiful antique-looking, crackle effect!
In the meantime I started work with my base. I used a piece of paper from Vintage Vanity collection and I used Modeling Paste with Grungy Grid stencil.  It took me just a short moment to dry the texture with my heating gun.

Then I used Newspaper Black Resist Canvas. I cut it into small pieces that I stapled together. I added some pieces of paper and lace.

I decided to decorate with Micro Beads and Glass Beads.
I also couldn't do without a small accent with the wording. I used Messy stamp and stamped it here and there with back Archival Ink.

I used some Mechanicals elements to create my little watch. A small metal brad was just perfect to put everything together. I glued my watch to the canvas using Soft Gloss Gel - a medium that will surely keep it in place.

Finally, I reached for Color Bloom mists but instead of spraying them, I used a paintbrush and very gently applied the colors - a mix of turquoise and mustard with a hint of black pepper (splashes with black Ecoline watercolor). ;)

I hope I made you feel like celebrating the season. :)
Happy summertime creating!

Materials used:

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Never Happened

Hello my Friends!
Today I'd like to share with you my recent journal pages - a very simple, spontaneous, spur of the moment spread.
True raw emotional journaling, simply to let off steam.

I was acting really quick here - no fancy techniques -
- just one cut out photo, tiny tags that were lying there on my desk -
- color smudges with watercolor pencils and a very soft pencil + some Distress inks pads stamped directly onto the page.

Then some wild splashes with Indian ink and a touch of Honeycomb stamp here and there.
That's it. That was enough.

Do you do that too from time to time?
Do you draw/paint/journal/scrapbook without much thinking, just raw emotions, no need for perfection?
I hope you do. I strongly recommend it. ;)

Lots of hugs to you all

Monday 27 July 2015

Spread Your Wings Academy vol.3

Hello everyone,
We hope you remember that it's time for our monthly Mixed Media Academy! :)
We've already had fun with backgrounds and played with stencils, today we'd like to show you some creative ways to use STAMPS.

We'd like to encourage all of you to experiment and Spread Your Wings! Whether you are a beginner or a well-seasoned artist, whether you're planning large scale creations or simple modest ones - we hope you'll find our ideas, tips & tricks inspiring!

I love journaling, but I have to work in layers. A good way to do that is to add some Modeling Paste at the very beginning and stamp into it while it's still wet. Then stamp on top of it with white acrylic paint and archival inks as another separate layer.  Here's an example.

I started with a journal and some Elementals Canvas Resist Borders. I used the scrap portion of the borders and some paper strips for my first layer.
Next a layer of Clear Gesso in parts of the page. Add a layer of Modeling Paste with a palette knife like overlapping your papers and borders in spots. Apply it like a swirling cake frosting. Let dry for a few minutes and then stamp into the paste with a Cling stamp that you've lightly sprayed with water. Add images in the paste all over with different stamps.

When dry, spray with different colors of bright inks. Be careful to dry in between sprays, but let them run together in spots as well. You can see that the inks go down into the stamped paste and create a really great contrast.

My next step was to tap white acrylic paint onto the stamp using a piece of a foam square. Make sure you spray the stamp with water and clean before the paint dries. These great Turquoise Rubber stamps clean up wonderfully with water and a scrub-mat or old terrycloth towel. 

Finally I started adding white pen marks, stenciling and black archival ink stamping for more contrast.
This is the background for your 2 journal pages. You can now add stencil paste, journaling, pictures, beads, mechanicals....whatever you like. The really bright background colors leave plenty of room for different ideas. Or just leave it as it is.

Hi everyone ;)
It's Marta here! I am so very happy to share with you my two funky ways of using stamps.
I have also a sneak peak of finished journal using my tricks.

My first tip is TISSUE STAMPING.
You will ask why ?
It's for those who are afraid that the stamped image won't be perfect on the project, or you are not too sure where to stamp it. By having stamped image on the tissue you can try here and there and decide where to place it ;) by glueing it.

My second idea is STAMPING ON WOOD.
Those little wooden pieces are from the backing of most canvases.
I've been collecting them for ages! You may remember my recent 'Dream On' canvas in which I am creating the whole background out of those wooden pieces.
You can add them to every project - journal, cards, canvases - it could make a perfect title.

And here is a sneak peak of my journal page ;) I hope you will find some inspiration today !

Today I would like to share with you a technique I have seen shared quite a number of times via different tutorials over the past few years and one I have even shared myself on my blog before.
HOWEVER, this one is different as I wanted to attempt it with Art Ingredients Mica Powder this time, and guess what? It was a 100% shimmery shiny micary (yes of course it is a word, right?) success.
With such a small amount of mica powder on your brush you can make such a gorgeous colour and then once you place that added background stamp, the final touch is perfection. 

So let's begin, time to talk stamping into UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel), prepare to be amazed. 

Step 1 - Die cut in thick card your shape and give it a nice coat of Art Basics Heavy Black Gesso. 

Step 2 - You will need to Versamark your shape and emboss with Black UTEE three times. Yep, 3 times, you need a nice thick coating. By three times I mean heat emboss three individual times, emboss and heat, emboss and heat, emboss and heat. 

Step 3 - Versamark your shape, in order for Mica Powder to stick. Take your Mica Powder and a soft brush and lightly randomly brush your colors on, a choice of three colors seems to work the best

Step 4 - Ink up your stamp with gold ink, very important not to miss this step as you will need to work fast for step 5. 

Step 5 - Using your heat gun once again melt the UTEE on your shape, once you see it starting to become liquid immediately pick up your stamp and stamp into your shape. Gently remove stamp, look what you now have!!! 

I love stamps! They are versatile and can change the mood or the look of a project totally. While my favorite medium to use with the stamps is Jet Black or Watering Can Archival Ink, there’s way more mediums you can stamp with.

I created these simple little ATCs by stamping with three different mediums. 

They all give a different, specific look none of which is quite as detailed as the one using ink. But these kinds of images are perfect for backgrounds or just as the vocal point in a CAS style card.
As the mediums are wetter than normal, regular ink, the images also look wetter. That is to say they have a watercolor look to them. 

1) The first background is made by stamping with mist. Just spray some mist to your craft sheet or a piece of plastic and use that pool of mist like an ink pad. You can use just one color in the stamp as mixing two would only result a mixed colored mist pool. This is the smudgiest of the three.

2) The second background is stamped using watercolor pencils. First add a touch of water to the stamp either by misting it delicately or rubbing the surface with a wet finger. Then color the stamp using the pencils.
You can mix different colors as you can add them individually. The outcome is the most detailed as this techinique has the least amount of water involved. 

3) The third background is made using Gelatos. You have two choices – either add some water first to the stamp and then color or vice versa.
As the Gelatos are creamier, heavier than water color pencils they might need an extra touch of water to really transfer the image. Like with the pencils, you can again mix colors within one image as you add each color on its own. 

To unify the three I then added stamping also by using Archival Ink. What’s you favorite medium to use with stamps?

So here we are - we all hope you enjoyed today's post and that we made you run to your desk and stamp your hearts away.! ;)
Don't hesitate if you have any questions to ask us and -
Please, feel most welcome to show your projects in our super friendly and creative Finnabair & Friends Open Studio group on facebook. We'll be looking forward to seeing you there!

Finnabair & The Team

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