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Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Courage Board



Getting started on this was actually the hardest part of the whole thing for me.  This was another case of researching a project so much that I actually became fearful of trying it.  I seem to do this a lot – I look at other people’s creations, research how they put it together, what items they used, what adhesive, etcetera until I literally have so much information I scare myself into never trying it. I sort of stun myself into inactivity (I need to think of a catchy name for this “disorder” so when it becomes the syndrome du jour it’ll be easy to say & maybe I can brand it - tee hee).



It was one blog post that finally gave me the push I needed to go ahead (I wish I could remember who’s blog it was, but I was participating in a blog hop and it was about 2 months ago – from now on I’ll write this stuff down!).  The woman on the blog had made a beautiful frame for a picture of her and her husband.  I recall that she used a lot of sprays but I don’t remember what brand she used.  I do remember being impressed at how cool everything looked, even the every day items like a paper clip, once it was all gussied up. 

So, I am going to finally play with some of my stash. Let me tell you, I have been collecting, and hoarding, these objects for years.  I used to buy game pieces and the like off eBay back when you could get good deals on other people’s junk, the stuff no one wanted but figured they’d try and sell.  Now everyone is trying to get $90 for a set of Scrabble letters.  Once I bought 15 pounds of game pieces from a guy for $18.  I had planned on making a 3d mixed media piece at some point so all my goodies sat in their drawer, waiting for me to occasionally come and check them out to see if I could use anything on something I was working on.  As soon as I got the game board, (I love FreeCycle!) I knew that is was time to just do it.

I Used:

  • “Courage” rubber stamp is from Wendy Vecchi’s set called Heirloom Art,  LCS103
  • Ranger Archival Jet Black Ink
  • Golden gesso
  • 1 quarter piece from a game board (amazingly strong!)
  • The embellishments were a lot of stuff I have just collected.  I used dice, dominoes, some funky game pieces that I don’t even know what game they came from, small plastic bowling pins, plastic bone, various wooden chockies, a little paper umbrella, beads, a few pieces of Grunge Shapes, shoe erasers, plastic flower, the little things that hang off key chains, various wooden pieces, some small filler beads and more.  You need to FILL the frame – you want is as chunky and full as possible.
  • Distress Paints in Fired Brick, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire & Mustard Seed
  • Golden Acrylic Paints in Titanium White, Quinacridone Red, Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium & Phthalo Green
  • Fireworks Ink Sprays in matching colors
  • Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Iridescent Gold
  • Krylon Spray Gesso


close up of the goodies
I began with the quarter game board. I gessoed it and while it was drying I started to go through my stash & pit out items I knew I wanted to use.  Then I started to glue – I use Crafters’ Pick glue and I love it – it is the best white glue I have ever used.  So I glue and glue and glue.  


view from the top (there was much more added as the project progressed)
  

Then I started to gesso over the objects.  This was a LOT harder than I thought it would be. I figured I could just use my paint brushes to get into all the nooks & crannies but some spots were very hard to reach. Plus at one point I got paintbrush fibers all over everything & I mean it looked like a paintbrush exploded.  Well I didn't want to use a good paintbrush with all the smooshing and jamming it into the underbelly of the embellishments, so I used a cheap one (and I hate those sponge brushes - they seem to soak up more paint than they actually leave on the surface).  I couldn't get the "hairs" off so I resorted to just putting the whole thing in the kitchen sink and rinsing - lightly - I didn't want all the embellishments falling off, just the paintbrush hairs. After complaining, my honey remarked that he had some stuff in the garage that they use on cars in a spray can – grey primer.  COOL I thought since they paint cars after they primer them this would work out fabulously.  

Nope.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING stuck to this grey stuff.  Not acrylic paint, not sprays, nothing.  So, now that it is all grey and unpaintable I sigh, deeply (so I don’t throw the whole thing out the window) and get my gesso out again.  I have already used a TON of gesso and now I had to try to cover all the grey.  After a few days of gessoing, drying and gessoing again I still had the same problem – I couldn’t get into the hard spots.  I started researching – there HAD to be spray gesso! And there was!! I wasn’t too thrilled with the reviews I read about the performance of the product, but I felt since I really just needed the board sprayed a few times it would be OK.  Then I tried to find it.  Michaels™ didn’t have it, I found it online, but I wanted it NOW.  Since my other half was going to Wal-Mart I figured I’d give him the info and see if it was there. . . . .(hear that Jeopardy theme? That's me waiting for him to come home) . . . . .

YIPPEEE!! They had it!! He also bought me 2 spray glosses in matte, which I totally appreciate, but I need one in glossy.  But, hey, I got the gesso!  Since he has more experience with spray paint than I do – ahem – I asked him to do my board.  It came out FABULOUS!!!I didn't take a picture of the board happily gessoed because I figured you all know what white paint looks like.

Now I can color!! I had originally wanted to use sprays on the project, but I don’t have any Dylusions sprays yet (they are on their way as I post this) and the sparkly sprays I do have just didn’t cover enough fast enough.  So I broke out my acrylics.  The colors are very vivid, too vivid for this project, so I just added Titanium White and toned down the paint until I liked the color.  Then, as I was painting, I occasionally dipped my brush into some clean water and made the paint thinner so it would drip into the hard to reach places.  I did one color a day so I could get a little mix of the colors but not a whole lot.  I also added some Fireworks Spray mists, with a paint brush, to each color once it dried – I used whatever color mist I had that closely matched the color I painted in acrylic. Once the painting was done, I took a piece of white card stock and stamped my “Courage” stamp on it in the Jet Black Ink (I actually put a lot of thought into what quote I was going to use.  Since this quote really speaks to me and I had found the courage to finally do this project, it was a perfect fit!) I took my Distress Paints and smooshed a color (use one color at a time since you don’t want your final color to be muddy brown) onto my mat, spritzed with water and put the stamped paper in the paint making sure I had the correct color in the correct space.  After I was done, I spritzed the whole quote with water again and let it dry.  I cut the quote down to size, clipped the corners with my corner rounder and attached it to my piece with gel.  I then lightly spritzed the whole thing with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Iridescent Gold.  


 These two pictures are actually just 2 different ones I took - I think one is with the flash & one is without just to try to give you an idea how sparkly this is.  I really like how the paint looks worn in places (the blue domino at the top is a good example).
 
As you can see I did add some "filler" beads to the board as I went along but all of the big pieces are in the same places as they are in the first pictures so you can compare




and get a good idea of what items will look like, depending on how you color them of course.  I think it is so cool how some of the texture really held up considering how many coats of primer and gesso there is on it.  If you look close you can still see the diamond pattern in the Grunge key & between that & the heart you can see a bit of mesh I put on.  I had put these number beads I had, where the number is raised from the bead base, and I can actually still count them from 1 to 9 - not so much in the pictures, so don't strain your eyes, but in real life.
A close up of the quote
I wish you could see how shimmery it is in person – it’s so hard to get pictures of shimmer.  I think this baby is going up in my art room!  It was well worth the effort and I can’t wait to start making another one. . .hmmmm. . .I wonder how much spray gesso I have left. . .

I am happily entering this piece into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, the theme is anything goes :) as well as
Crafts - Too Challenge You, where the September theme is texture (I think I got that - LOL)

25 comments:

  1. wow this is really beautiful t=you did a great job on this one.......
    MaryR

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    1. Thank you Mary - it was fun :) glad you like it xo

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  2. Turned out fab! I know the feeling tho'...aacckkkk not what'll I do?! Wished mine would turn out half a good as yours did! :)

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    1. Thank you Nan - nice to know I am not alone with the "so much info I can't do anything" feeling :)

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  3. Wow a wonderful creation - I love how you have used all the elements and ended up with such stunning effect - I love the the texture and vibrant colours!!

    Thanks so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

    hugs
    Heather xx

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    1. Thank you Heather - despite the set backs it really was a fun project :)

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  4. Wow! Christi, you DEFINITELY achieved texture, lol. A fab project, just right for our challenge and I love the glimmer mists as an example of Twist 2. For a blog called 'Art without anxiety' you surely gave yourself a headache but I'm loving the outcome - a happy accident as we say. Dead kewl!

    Thanks for sharing your twist on our challenge this month over at C2CU (Crafts-Too Challenge You). Chris xxx

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    1. Thanks Chris - Yeah, I like the happy accidents - dead kewl :)

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  5. Don't you just love it now and want to start another! I stopped by to thank you for the nice comment on my Mixed Media Halloween mirror and was so thrilled to see this! I love all the fun items you added. This is so awesome and I love it!

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    1. Thank you Terry - I so appreciate you taking the time to comment! And I hope my followers will take a moment and check out your amazing Halloween Mirror - go here to see this awesome creation http://terry2dogs.blogspot.com :)

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  6. That is a Cute Idea, I Used to work for micheals, so have pleanty of Craft Stuff, Been cleaning out my house, good idea for my Daughter & Myself

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to pop by, sis :)

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  7. Great Idea, Wow, Cleaning Out My House.. So keep this in mInd :)

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  8. I love this! I loved it even when it was gray!

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    1. Thanks Kathy - I could of left it gray, too - maybe next time :)

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  9. Wow, this just blows my socks off! This is totally awesome Christi, I love it! ~Diane

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    1. Thanks Diane!! Better get your socks back on, it's COLD out - LOL :)

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    1. Thanks hun - I appreciate you for taking the time to comment :) Hope you are feeling better xo

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  11. I've been wanting to try that technique too. hopefully someday
    Great results!
    hugs Lynn

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    1. Hi Lynn! Just dive right in - it really is a lot of fun (and now that I have my spray gesso I am good to go!) Please let me know when you do, I'd love to see your work :) xo

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  12. this rocks sister great work ... keep it up MLLH&R

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  13. i love the concept and use of the materials ...great thinking and strategies <3

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