Saturday 31 December 2016

Ambassadors' Faves 2016

My Dear Readers -
- last hours of 2016 - my wonderful Brand Ambassadors gathered round to have a very special blog post meeting - the last one this year.
We can't imagine a better way to end the year than with beautiful art inspirations so I asked this fantastic group of Artists to
sum up their creative year
to choose 3 artworks that for some reason were special to them in 2016.

I'm sure you will love this post packed with so much gorgeousness!
What were your favorite creations this year? We'd love you to share with us- make sure you drop by Finnabair Open Studio facebook group and leave a trace there.
And now - enjoy this amazing art gallery of my Ambassadors!

I'd like to share three different projects that best represent my artful year 2016.

One of many special artworks that are really close to my heart, is this Mixed Media Altered Clock Photo Frame.
This Metal Clock Frame is one of my faves! I truly enjoyed covering it with layers and layers of Finnanair's mediums and paints!
I'm often inspired by my own old projects and it's one of them!

This Mixed Media Notebook turned out to be one of my largest projects of the year.
The notebook has a lot of pages and dividers which I have used to show my workshops students dozens of mixed media techniques. I am really proud of it!
The third project I chose is a Mixed Media Layout. I love working with old photos and I particularly love working with the dark backgrounds. Here is the best example of what I get when I combine these two of my favorite things! :)
This photo of my young grandmother awakens bright and warm feelings in me, I have tried to express them with the vibrant paint colors!

Here are my favorite 2016 pieces:

On a personal level, a lot changed for me in 2016.
And it seemed that somewhere halfway, I had to put that in my art journal. With lots of layers and lots of cracks.

But what makes this page so special is that I used the rusted washers my youngest son purchased and rusted himself as a birthday gift for me and that it was the finishing touch I was looking for.
It's also the first page in that journal and coincidence or not, it was also the start of a new chapter in my life!

2016 is also the year of change on an artistic level. And that is why I like this little tag so much: it got me back in touch with watercolor. I guess I also need to thank Prima for that, as the watercolor videos that kept popping up in my instagram feed really got to me! Anyway, I've been practicing watercolor techniques for the last couple of month and I'm eager to learn more and more to incorporate in my mixed media creations.
2016 was a great teaching year. What can you ask for more than that awesome opportunity to travel and meet lovely people?
I expressed my gratitude by sharing the secret of my little heart during a lot of those classes. But if you too want to know how I make it, make sure we meet during one of my classes in 2017!
I wish you a very happy New Year, lots of love, warmth and light. xoxo

'Time on the Wings of a Butterfly' is one of my absolute favorite canvases. It shares with you a rare instance when everything all came together in a flash of luck.

With the release of the Metalliques and Opal Magic Paints, metallic color became even more magical.
The colors you can achieve on Black Gesso with these are nothing short of amazing.
I used the Iron Orchid moulds to create wonderful pieces that blend perfectly with all the metal ephemera from a tiny lightbulb and a keyhole, to a heart brad and a pen nib.
Adding color and contrast just makes me happy. Time passes quickly on the wings of a butterfly, and we must be ready to grab those moments when we can.

My Steampunk Box is a fun piece where I got to put everything from my stash of wonderful metal pieces into a project.
I love Steampunk. Having said that, I used the Mechanicals Heart as my center, my main place in my creating. I tried to show that the Gears were always turning in my head with ideas for my Art. The Keys are there to remind me to stay true to what I love. And the watch parts, clock hands, and the Butterfly remind me that time flies.
The dusting of Mica Powders onto the Black Gesso background gives it a cloud of magic appearance.
The Treasure Key Box started out as just a key, but what do you do with an elaborate key? Put it on a box that you can store all your OTHER key creations in, I guess. :)
I was really caught up in making cold connections with metal pieces and adding metallic colors with Mica Powders to Mechanicals. The stamps on the box were perfect for creating a background.
This one key led me to creating many other keys as pins and necklaces using the same great products.

As many of my creative friends and followers may know I am a HUGE huge fan of Finnabair's Heavy Gesso.
It is a 'go to' product for me with many of my creative projects, so I would love to share with you 3 projects that I created recently, where I have used this fabulous gesso.

First is a canvas I painted using both the Black and White Heavy Gesso.
I have applied the gesso using a combination of paint brush, foam roller and palette knife.
I wouldn't call myself a painter, this painting is a bit of a 'translation' of what I have been creating in my art journal, and I very much enjoyed the process of creating what I do in my art journal on a canvas.

My second project is a small air dry clay dish. I would love to be able to create with proper clay and fire, but that isn't possible at the moment, so I satisfy myself with creating small bowls and dishes using air dry clay.
With this particular dish I sealed the underside with the Heavy Black Gesso and then sealed the inside surface with a thinnish coat of the Heavy White Gesso. I then finished the dish by embellishing it by hand drawing some freaky little people using a Signo gel pen.
My third and final project is a little bit of creative fun I had using some bark that I found at the home of a friend, on Christmas Eve.
To create a surface for me to draw on, I first applied a thick coat of Heavy White Gesso with a paint brush. Then to complete, I hand drew some fun peeps with a black Signo gel pen. These were then coloured using Prima Tropicals Water colour paint.
Well that is it from me for now, I do hope you enjoy what I and the team are sharing with you today!
I wish you all a safe and joyous New Year, Louise xox

So hard to choose my 3 favourites!
I do feel that all our makes are unique and special...
But I managed to make my decisions and for today's post I chose 3 pieces that are quite important for me.

First to share is a set of tiny mixed media assemblages.
Those are most definitely my favourite things to create. I call them 'Tiny Art'.
I enjoy creating on small surfaces - it's quite challenging but also such great fun!

My second share for you is an altered frame. I love how you can turn an ordinary dollar store piece into a unique and special art piece. I always try to encourage all of you to recycle and resuse items that are no longer pretty or that went out of fashion.
We can work magic with some simple items, just like here... a simple plastic frame.
My last piece is a special small canvas.
Why do I like it? Simplicity is what I also cherish. Paint tubes, canvas and some colour... not much is needed to create a meaningful project.
I hope you had a wonderful, creative year... I wish for 2017 to be full of art, passion and love!
Hugs, Marta x

I chose these three artworks because of what they mean to me and how they make me feel.
Each one of them is more than just a project, it has special memories attached to the making of it or the topic and works as a jumping off point to my memory.
What these three also have in common is that there's more people connected to each one than just me. They spark a memory of togetherness, a connection.

The snowy card started as a simple demo sample. I got asked to create something winter-like and use a couple of specific products (Mica Powders, Snowflake Paste, gesso). While I was then demoing the card during a craft fair in Finland, people loved it so much both on site and on Instagram where I shared the samples, that I redid the card back home and also recorded a tutorial to go along.

I chose this card because of the enthusiasm it caused and created among other crafters and how that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The layout has a sort of similar story. It's a workshop sample, made while I was keeping workshops in Uppsala, Sweden. It combines some of my favorite mediums and materials as well as one of my favorite topics, my darling husband. It also serves as an example of my love to keep workshops, to meet people and to (try to) inspire. I'm so thankful to get to keep workshops and also grateful for my husband to being so supportive.
The third project is a minialbum or more like a cover of one. It's done for a monthly series called "Inspired by" that my darling friend Marsha and me do. These posts and topics are always something I really look forward to. They are my playtime and they can be anything. I can do as much or as little as I want.
But the main reason why I chose this as my third special project is the connection between Marsha and me. How I feel close to her at least once a month even though we live in different countries.
For my part I want to wish an awesome, artful new year 2017 for you all and thank you for the splendid 2016! It's the people (and art) that matter! Hugs from Finland!

Choosing just 3 pieces that are special to me turned out to be more difficult than I thought...
However, it's easy to say which ones I like more - these are the ones when the final result made me happy and even surprising. :)
Here are the artworks I'm especially proud of.

What do they have in common?
- Layers, stamping, atmospheric photos, limited palette and... painting with coffee. :)

The first work I chose to share today is my 'Inwardness' layout in which I used all my favorite techniques and supplies.

You know how much I love art journaling and here's a spread I'm really fond of. An old book, a vintage photo (Finnabair's Ephemera are just perfect inspiration) and a lot of mixed media always make my heart sing.
Last but not least, my Wanderlust canvas inspired by 3 words that always resonate with me: Explore - Dream - Discover

Don't you just love the passion that you can feel in all my Ambassadors' voices? :)
Even though their styles are so different, their genuine love for Art and endless creativity are exactly the things we'd like to wish you in the New Year! :)

Hugs & Happy 2017!
Finn & The Team

Friday 30 December 2016

Altered Muffin Tin

Hello Dear Ones!
Time for the last Creative Team project this year! It's very exciting as thanks to John we have an art trifecta of altered baking tins together with Olga's magical last year's Lunar Eclipse and my own Season of Mists
Will you be spending the last hours of 2016 creatively? :) I hope you will! Feel inspired by today's post, look around your house and alter your heart away. ;)
Turning the everyday ordinary into something extraordinary was my thought process with my latest project, my Altered Muffin Tin.
I was wondering down the aisles of the thrift store and saw a pile of muffin tins for only $1 a piece and picked them all up. I organize many of my embellishments and found objects in muffin tins in my studio for easy access and wondered what I could create with one of them for a project.
Here I've created a video tutorial showing how you can create your own Altered Muffin Tin.
The tutorial takes you through the step by step process of making your own altered masterpiece including how I created my own custom colors of texture pastes.
The video tutorial is only 6 minutes long so you can spend more time creating! :) Enjoy!

I began by creating texture in the background of each of the tins using the muslin from the Fabric Pack with Sculpture Medium mixed with Heavy Black Gesso which adds color while creating the shaped texture at the same time. If you want more of a matte black finish, you can quickly paint another thin layer of Heavy Black Gesso. This will also help firm up the fabric.

Next it's time to start coloring the fabric and adding additional texture to the muffin tin.
I used different colors of blues with metallic highlights in this piece, and highlighted all of the pieces with copper and purple Mica Powders. This color palette was also used for all of the Mechanicals embellishments after applying a base coat of a Heavy Black Gesso.
For adding texture and color onto the muffin tin, I created a mixture using Graphite Texture Paste as the base and then added Steampunk Copper Metallique Paint with Rust Mica Powder and mixed well. I randomly applied the paste mixture onto the muffin tin with a palette knife.
While the Paste was still wet, I sprinkled Glass Glitter and Micro Beads randomly for additional color and texture before heat setting.

You can use the same texture paste mix for adding the embellishments to your piece. For embellishments that are a little more difficult to place with a texture paste, I like to use Liquid Fusion glue. If you haven't used this glue before, it is absolutely amazing for mixed media! What makes this glue different is that after applying the glue, it can be temporarily heat set so you can continue working on your project and once fully cured over night, it is like cement and even bonds metal to metal. This glue is perfect for jewelry as well.
The possibilities of this project are truly endless and that's why I love the versatility of altering muffin tins because they're available in so many different shapes and sizes.
This would be a great project to use as a calendar if you're using a muffin tin with 12 spaces. Simply replace some of the embellishments with pictures and you have an instant dimensional keepsake shrine.

I hope that you enjoyed this Altered project tutorial and video and that it's given you some inspiration to try creating your own!
Please share your Altered Muffin Tin boxes with the Finnabair group on Facebook, or with myself using the "ArtNewWave" tag on social media channels.

Products used:

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