Saturday 30 September 2017

Fall Is In The Air

Hi all!
I know my super talented Creative Team members are able to deliver great projects every time... but today we have a special treat for you! Not one or two, but five (!) creative ideas from John, who is taking all the best things from the Fall season and taking them to the next level - check it out!

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I have to admit, Fall is my favorite season of the year – the changing colors of the leaves, the crisp mornings, and for those of us here in the States that also means Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Instead of presenting just one project this month, I wanted to share with you a variety of Fall themed projects to show you just how easy and versatile it is to use the wide range of Finnabair products!
Many of these techniques can easily be adapted to so many different projects through out the year, just change the colors.
Many of the items that I’ve used in these projects can easily be found at most craft stores pretty inexpensively.

Magical Pumpkins
What says Fall better than pumpkins?! I’m the first one in line at Starbucks at the beginning of each September to get my hands on a Pumpkin Spice Latte and Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete until a nice slice of pumpkin pie for dinner. Of course there’s always pumpkin carving for Halloween. 

To create a more 'traditional' pumpkin, I started by making a custom color of orange by mixing Red and Yellow Rust Pastes together. Using a brush, I stippled the paste onto the pumpkin and then heat set.
Next I highlighted the pumpkin with Yellow Rust Paste, then dry brushed with Sparks Ginger Magic to give some shimmer and shine to the pumpkin.
To finish the pumpkin, I painted the stem with Metallique Dark Forest.
For a more 'fancy' pumpkin that has some real glitz, I mixed together Pumice Stone Effects Paste with Brass Patina Effects Paste and Rust Mica Powder to create the base color and texture.
While the paste is still wet, I first generously sprinkled Gold Mica Flakes and slightly massaged them into the paste to ensure that the were adhered.
I then added Bronze Micro Beads to add another touch of metallic color to the pumpkin.
Spooky Skull
For those who are looking for some spooky fun for Halloween, one idea would be to decorate an inexpensive plastic skull.
For a base layer, use a brush to stipple on Snowflake Paste and heat set.
Once dried, I dry brushed Violet-Green Opal Magic over the Snowflake Paste.
Using my finger, I highlighted the skull with Antique Brilliance Amethyst Magic Wax, followed with Metallique Brushed Iron Wax.
To add a little more texture to skull, I used Snowflake Paste as an adhesive to hold the Art Stones in place.
With a detail brush, I then colored the Art Stones with Metallique Dark Forest.

Itsy Bitsy Spider
I found this inexpensive wood box at the craft store with a spider cut out in the front, but when I saw that it also came with a LED light that changed colors I just had to buy it!
For this project, I painted a quick base layer of Black Heavy Gesso, followed with a layer of Sparks Raven Black and a highlight layer of Sparks Iris Potion.
Along the base and top of the box I spread Graphite Texture Paste and heat set. Once dried, I dry brushed Sparks Fairy Wings to add a little more color and shimmer to accent the spider.

Hocus Pocus Bottle
For those of you who follow the Finnabair blog on a regular basis, you know that I have a little bit of an obsession with decorating bottles! Many people like to create 'Magic Potion Bottles' for Halloween, but I wanted to decorate a bottle that I could use as a decor piece through out the year. And for those of you who are curious, this is an empty Jack Daniels bottle (no, I didn’t drink it LOL). 
You can use any bottle for this project, I just happened to fall in love with the shape of this bottle. And because of the shape of the glass, I decided that I wanted to have some of the glass be exposed but you can most certainly cover the entire bottle especially if the shape isn’t as interesting as this bottle or you need to cover up blemishes or labels.
Because I wanted to leave some of the glass exposed, I used painter’s tape to mask off areas of the bottle that I didn’t want to be colored and textured.
To begin decorating this bottle, I used a palette knife to spread an even layer of Graphite Paste directly onto the glass and then added the paper clay embellishment (centered).
While the paste was still wet, I sprinkled Pitch Black Glass Glitter followed with Bronze Micro Beads and then heat set.
I colored the paper clay embellishments and lace piece (around the bottle neck) with a base layer of Metallique Black Berry, then highlights with Metallique Steampunk Copper.
And because EVERY project needs a touch of the fabulous waxes on them, I added Antique Brilliance Amethyst Magic Wax then a light highlight of Copper Mica Powder.

I hope that these projects have inspired you to create your own decor items for the home to help celebrate Fall!


Products used:

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Mica Powders Hacks - video

Hi my dear ones!
Do you know how many possibilities you have once you have jars of Art Ingredients Mica Powders on your table? Can you name a few?
Making some paint using Soft Gel as a base?
And what about adding Mica Powder to your wax or embossing powders?
All sounds great, doesn't it... but have you ever tried to make your own metallic gesso? All you need is your favourite colour of Mica Powders and Art Basics Clear Gesso as your base - here is the video with this recipe and few more ideas which I've done for Prima Live on Facebook. Enjoy!

Do you feel you need more ideas? No problem! Check out these 2 videos I've made for you a while ago! I hope they will be helpful!

Sending you warmest hugs and see you soon - I wish you a wonderful, creative time!

Monday 25 September 2017

Ambassadors in Innisfail :)

Hi again, my creative friends...
Sometimes life is writing the most unusual scenarios. When over 2 years ago  Andrew and I were looking for our new home we found a place named Innisfail - a lovely georgian house which had stolen our hearts right away. We could picture our future life in this place, we were inspired by history, the amazing interior of the house and the unusual name of it... it took us a while to find the meaning of it, though!

"INNISFAIL, a poetical name for Ireland. It is derived from Faul or Lia-fail, the celebrated stone, identified in Irish legend with the stone on which the patriarch Jacob slept,
when he dreamed of the heavenly stairway. (Genesis 28:10-22)

The Lia-fail was supposed to have been brought to Ireland by the Dedannans, and set up at Tara as the "inauguration stone" of the Irish kings. Innisfail was thus the island of the Fail, the island whose monarchs were crowned at Tara on the sacred inauguration stone."

Doesn't that sound just perfect for us? For years I was dreaming about living in an old building, real historical place - this was one of the reasons we decided to move to Ireland of course! Now we are surrounded by old walls, which keep us safe, we have our own red stove which keeps us warm and we are literally breathing history every day! We are in LOVE with the place we are blessed to be in - we are transforming it step-by-step, adding our personal touches to it. If you'd like to see a bit ouf our journey - glimpses of everyday life, but also our travels around Ireland (but not only!) you can check our Instagram account - Innisfail_house. We will be happy to see you there!

My super talented Brand Ambassadors got together this month feeling inspired by the legend of Innisfail - aren't they just amazing?! ;)
The Artists today decided to highlight my Stone Effect Pastes. These pastes come in three varieties: Pumice, Limestone and Concrete and are just perfect to turn ordinary simple objects into structured magical pieces of art...

I love how the old churches and buildings from the past have such great texture and color.
The years treat their wonderful nooks and crannies by adding moss and patinas to the worn edges and shadowed doorways. The sunlight in the evening makes them a contrast of lights and darks that draw you in and intrigue your senses.

When Anna first moved into her home at Innisfail, she went on a trip around the neighborhood. I loved the pictures of the ancient buildings with all the amazing aged and patina-looking walls.

In making this little bit of Art, I used a simple wooden birdhouse, and made it into an ancient-looking chapel. This piece is my attempt to duplicate the wonderful look of vintage buildings from her beautiful Irish countryside.

This little house sits on our cafe table in the sunroom. At different times of the day, the sun will enhance the colors and metal paints in various ways.

You turn it one way and you see the bright blue shine, turn it another way and the brass paint is gorgeous.
It's a reminder of a simpler time in history. Sometimes that sounds like a wonderful dream...
Choosing from Stone Effect Pastes, the Concrete Paste is first applied using a palette knife and a stencil. More Concrete Paste is added around the base.
The Limestone is randomly slathered onto the roof for more texture.

I used Patina and Rust Pastes along with Metallique paints to add color to the entire house.
Mechanicals embellishments are painted and sprayed with Mica Powder sprays until I get the colors I want.

I was absolutely delighted when I read the story/legend meaning for Anna's house and how perfect that it was about a stone!
With that in mind, it was even more wonderful that we could then use this as creative inspiration using Anna's most wonderful Stone Effect Pastes.
This month I would like to share with you a clay plant pot I created that has been finished using Finnabair's fabulous Stone Effect Pastes and Emerald Green Art Alchemy paint.

I love the glazed pot look you can get using the wonderful Art Alchemy paints, but thought it would be cool to add a touch of grunge with the Concrete texture paste.

After the clay pot had dried I sealed it with Heavy White Gesso.
I applied a coat of Art Alchemy paint before applying a coat of the Concrete paste. When the paste was dry, I applied another coat of the same paint.

On the inside of the pot I applied a final coat of 3D Matte gel medium to seal it and prevent any moisture from watering the plant and water soaking into the pot and destroying it.
When the pot was completely dry, I planted it up with a miniature variegated Jade plant, added some black pebbles around the base, and a little Japanese ornament.

Are you familiar with the Pixar's "Ratatouille"? :) The key phrase in that is "Anyone can cook". When crafts are concerned, I'd like to twist it to "Anything can inspire". Like the cook in the film, I'm a firm believer of that phrase. You really can find inspiration anywhere.

When Louise suggested this topic, I was so excited! There was so much to be inspired by in that word - Innisfail. You could use the story, the material (stone), the connection to Ireland...
I decided to go with the first image that I had in my head after reading the Wikipedia article and about the legend. The first image was an angel guarding a stone. I guess that was the connection to the patron saint that led me to the angel and well, stone is quite obvious.
As the whole thing was connected to Ireland, I just needed to use the greens in somewhere and added some Art Stones for texture and colored the background with several colors of green.
I also used the green shade of the Antique Brilliance Wax ('Lucky Emerald') to age my page a bit, although the old book pages I used were tinted from the beginning.
The book papers seemed appropriate as the background, like the central composition is raising from the legend and stories.

Personally, I'm blown away with the creativity of my Ambassadors - love their interpretation of the story, love the projects they've made... Same inspiration, so many different interpretations!
I hope you feel inspired too...
Sending you all warm hugs

Friday 22 September 2017

Beating Of My HeArt

Hello lovely readers!
If you've ever tried making art, you know perfectly well how it can help you to forget about the gloomy rainy day outside and escape all the worries of the world, right?
Karolina's new creation is such a beautiful example of this moodbusting role of art, we hope it will make you smile and inspire you to grab some paints right away! :)

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Hello dear friends.
Somehow autumn days arrived really fast this year. I love golden autumn, the smell of leaves and the sense of silence after summer's color explosion. But where I live, the weather recently have been really cold and rainy. I've been feeling lethargic and completely lacking in energy so I decided to recover by making art filled with life and colors.
With Agnes Obel's music on, holding a brush with Mica Powders in my hand, I expressed the beating of my heART...
Every time I create with Mica Powders, I'm pleasantly surprised by how easy it is. It's just enough to sprinkle some of your favorite shade of Mica Powder on your work and spray it with water - that's it!
The colors perfectly blend with each other and you can make your own customized shimmering color sprays - isn't that a great idea?

You can also mix Mica Powders with Gloss gel medium or Heavy Body Gel and then you will get a sort of an invisible paint with a beautiful gloss. It will look great on any kind of backround, both light and dark. So much happiness in one product! ;)
Contrasting colors always bring a lot energy into the work, projects become lively and I prefer to control this effect keeping the contrasts in balance - to do that, I rely on the oddness principle.
I simply add color in several places and when I feel there's too much of it, I add Heavy White Gesso and soften the result. It's a simple trick that makes your piece look more coherent.
Choosing the color palette for this piece, I went for optimistic tones of different Mica Powders that you will find listed below. It made me feel invigorated and instantly cheered up. :)

As for embellishments, my heart was created using both beautiful ready made elements like Finnabair's Mechanicals and recycled ones.
I really like to use all kinds of found objects, I think that they bring my creativity to life. That's why I collect old things always having in mind that one day they might find their place in my art.
Another product that I always have on my desk is Modeling Paste. When used with stencils, it allows you to get very clear patterns and it's also a great adhesive to glue small embellishments like for example Art Stones that are just perfect to fill in empty spaces in your project and add some really beautiful and original textured effects.

Heavier decorations can be glued with 3D Matte Gel - this medium will secure them in place and you won't have to worry anything will ever fall off.

And now, please enjoy my video! :)


I hope you will feel inspired with my HeART today, especially when you feel sad, worried and overwhelmed -

- all you have to do is to grab a paintbrush and some beautiful colors of paint and find comfort in artmaking...

Happy creating, everyone!

Products used:

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