Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finger Painting Art

I am not a good painter. I have no artistic technique or skill with a brush.  This limits me in the type of art/pictures I can create.

I make collages, sometimes they look good and other times I create a mass of ugly.

Using a pattern I am pretty good with fabric painting. I can use chalk and a template and make something pretty good looking. I will cover this in another blog when I work on this type of project.  I have some very cool templates to share.

Now saying I am not a good painter is true. But I am very good with my hands or my fingers if you will.  I can create some beautiful items with my fingers. 

This weekend I had an idea and tried a new project.  Through trial and error I learned what to do, what not to do and I am finally pleased with my technique.

Now I need to get some black gesso and make some more.  Here is what I did, using my fingers and metallic powder, mica powders and a workable fixative.

I used one of my favorite brand of templates.  I didn't get the best photograph of this work. While it isn't perfect, I finally perfected the technique.

 Here is my first effort and I learned several things. 
  • Using workable fixative improves the results, the large pear created the effect I wanted.
  • If you don't use great care the metallic and mica powder will color the page where it is unwanted, lower left.
  • I experimented on the grapes trying to find the best way to work with the powder and the template.  On this template making a hard line with the grapes did not look good.  A blurring on lines worked better as you can see with the grapes on the left side of this picture.   I experimented with more than one color and shading and learned, what not to do - don't use different colors. Shade brighter from one angle.
  • The grapes are too round on this template and I won't be using them in the future.  The pears and leaves turn out lovely.

Below is a Christmas Cone tree I made from one of my pieces of art. The art actually turned out pretty well but was on construction paper.  I decided to glue the paper to a paper cone I created.

When I get a black canvas and make another 'piece of finger art' I will share with you. I will also try to take pictures of both the steps and my fingers.
Part of crafting is practicing and learning what works and what doesn't.  I consider my efforts successful.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Christmas Trees for Mantel & Tablescape Home Decor

I love crafting, especially for the holidays. I try to give as many handmade gifts as possible. I believe handmade imparts to the recipient the thought, care and love.  Or in other words, I love them very much and want to give something from my heart and hands.

This year I am working on items for craft shows as well.

Until I can purchase a new digital camera we will have to deal with my unsteady hands and camera phone. 

Yesterday I made Christmas trees and wall art.  Today I will cover the corded trees. 
The primary hazard of this project is burned fingers, usually my left thumb. :)

For several years I have made the following type of décor.
This is an easy project.
You need:
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Cording
  • Styrofoam Cone
  • Optional:
    • Christmas ornaments, stars other misc. décor

Above are examples of Styrofoam cones and cording. The picture on the right is incomplete. 
Aside from hot glue burning your fingers the two most difficult parts of this project are adding additional cord and finishing the top of the tree.
Steps and Tips.
  1. Start making the tree at the bottom. I use the hot glue gun to melt a cord size place on the bottom of the tree.  Do not make the melted space vertical but at an angle, this will make wrapping cord easier. Then put a daub of glue in the melted part of the cone and place the end of cord.  Hold until secure.
  2. Run a bead of hot glue right along the bottom edge. If right handed, use left thumb to hold cord at start of wrap along the bottom. Try to make the first wrap right along the bottom edge.
  3. When you reach the start of wrap you will slightly slope cord. Continue gluing and wrapping cord around the Styrofoam.
  4. When you reach the end of a spool use the hot glue gun to make a depression in Styrofoam and embed the cord end with glue.  When you start a new spool, be sure the cord has a very small piece of tape on the cord so it does not unravel.  Glue the start of new spool over the embedded end.
  5. When you reach the top of the cone you have two options depending on your choice of finish.  No matter the choice you make, you once again must identify where the cord will end. Wrap with a small piece of tape and cut the cord. Make another depression using the hot glue gun on the very top of the cone, which is flat. If you use an ornament make the depression larger. You can do this by gently moving the hot tip in a circle to widen for an ornament. Add hot glue and either tuck the cord end in the top or fill with glue and push the ornament in the top.
In this picture you can see I hadn't decided if I was going to use an ornament or not. Here are some pictures of different sizes with and without ornaments.
The green and gold tree in the back is a different project and I will cover in another post.