Thursday, 30 June 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gifts: Painted Canvas

When giving gifts for the end of the school year, be sure not to overlook the school's office staff. These folks are the ones dealing with sick kids, kids with attitude waiting for the principal, irate parents, injured sports stars and everything else.

This piece is for Mrs Ward. She works in the office at my children's school. I feel like she is one of my closest friends as I have spoken to her so often over the last few years its disturbing. Her sense of humour and calm demeanor has maneuvered our family through many mini crisis. We appreciate everything you do!

How To Make The Canvas:

  1. I used a 5x7 white canvas as the base of this project.
  2. Print off a silhouette image of your choosing. I used this cute bunny from a Gecko Galz digital stamp set.
  3. Spray the entire image with Tattered Angels glimmer mist. I chose a dark blue as I was doing a night scene. Once it is dry apply mod podge lightly with a fine paint brush and sprinkle mica powder where you want to highlight the image. I used a sparkly teal and an opal colour to give it a shimmery moonlit look.
  4. I covered the entire image with glossy accents and allowed it to dry.
  5. Using a black alcohol marker I retraced the original image to make it pop from the background.
  6. Carefully I removed the canvas from the wood base and placed it in an altered frame I had painted blue.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gifts: Fairy Garden Stone

This is one of my favourite fairy silhouettes. It's funny to have a favourite, but I do. I tend to collect fairy images. It reminds me to believe in magic. Not that I believe in fairies....but rather I want to believe in the wonder and what ifs of fairy lore. 

My daughter has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. She thinks of everyone that touches her life and wants to thank each and every one of them. It's an admirable quality I think, though it does force me to come up with more gift ideas. 

This garden stone is for Miss Pickstock. She is more than an EA. (Not that being an EA is not heroic enough), but this particular one has been there for my girl at every corner of her academic adventure. She dried many tears, covered many injuries and helped to mold my daughter into the beautiful young woman she has become.

How to make a fairy garden stone:

  1. I used a digital image from Gecko Galz and printed it on white copy paper using my inkjet printer.
  2. Using spray adhesive, I glued the image to a ceramic tile that I had covered in Gesso. 
  3. I used multiple colours of glitter glue to fill in the separate areas of the image. 
  4. Allow to dry fully and then cover the image with glossy accents.
  5. Once the glossy accents dried, I used a black alcohol marker to trace all the lines in the original image. This made the black ink sit on top of the glue and give a very rich stained glass feel.
  6. Flat Backed marbles were covered with Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam and glued to the edge of the tile to create the border. 
  7. After the glue dried and the marbles were stable I dripped more Glimmer Glam on top of them.

Voila...a sweet fairy accent for our wonderful Miss Pickstock.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gifts: Mixed Media Subway Tile

This next gift is a bit messy to make but very fun. I wanted to create a unique piece for the special education teacher at my childrens' school. Over the years she has advocated for my children so many times. It almost makes me a bit remiss to be losing the amazing team member as my kids head of to high school and special autism programming.

Mixed Media Subway tile:

  1.  The base of this project is a white subway tile from Lowe's. I picked up a case of these some years back and have never regretted the purchase. They were on sale for 19 cents each. Seriously. What can you buy for 19 cents these days. 
  2. Apply a very thin coat of gesso to the tile. Be sure to keep from going over the same area multiple times as it will actually just take the gesso back off the tile. Let the first coat dry and add a second thin coat of gesso. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Using your spray inks (I used my Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists) put a few splashes of colour on the tile. Be sure to make it random. Try using a couple of coordinating colours.
  4. Once dry glue a ripped piece of corrugated cardboard down. Be sure to expose the cool wavy pattern. Carefully gesso over the piece. Allow to dry.
  5. Glue your favourite metal embellishments to the tile. I used some pretty pieces made by fabscraps. Coat these pieces with gesso and allow to dry.
  6. Spray the piece gently with your glimmer mists. Once this layer dried I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam to create some intense colour splatters. You can use alcohol inks, paints, glue...whatever you like to add interest to the background.
  7. Using the same colours of Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam I painted the chipboard cut out "Heart and Soul" (Fabscraps). When it is dry go ahead and glue it on top of the tile. 

Tada. Great job!

A special thank you to the Amazing Ms. Hannah. Without your persistence and encouragement my children would not have been afforded the opportunities that they were. I will be forever grateful for the role you played in the lives of my children. God Bless. -Tracy

Monday, 13 June 2016

Mixed Media Basics Lesson #1: Gesso

This is the first in a series of mixed media tutorial that I will be doing to help creatives that want to jump in to creating mixed media masterpieces but are not sure where to start.

I think it is important to use the materials that you have on hand when you are first beginning as you may find that it is not for you, and there is nothing worse than spending your craft budget on materials that you won't use again.

A quick search on Pinterest or Youtube will yield a swathe of recipes for Gesso, texture paste, mod podge, paint sprays and more. Though sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy the product ready made rather than buying jugs of the ingredients, if you have everything on hand it makes sense to make your own pastes and sprays.

So let's begin on our mixed media exploration. Lesson 1: Gesso

When you are feeling comfortable be sure to create this project along with me.

You can get the free image from Gecko Galz here

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Masculine Birthday Card Using Gecko Galz Images

My Stepfather's birthday was last week. In my efforts to get the kids out the door, pick up cake and icecream and run an errand on the way to the party, I left his card on my work table in the studio. You would think that after taking the time to make a homemade card I would have remembered to tuck it into my purse. Nope, not me. He has not seen it yet, but I hope you enjoy this masculine Birthday card.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Father's Day Card #3 Using Gecko Galz Images

This is the third and final card that I created for Father's Day. I love the dark colours and textures. Be sure to experiment with different weights of paper and distressing to create the look you want.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Father's Day Card Using Gecko Galz Images

This is another sample card that I made for the Gecko Galz Man O Man theme for June. If you have not got around to submitting your projects I encourage you to post it before you forget and give your lovely creation away to a Father somewhere ;)

I love the whole 1950's era for Dad's. Cool cars and smart looking outfits make it a vintage crafters dream era. I hope you enjoy my card.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

My Grandma's Teacups Mixed Media Basics Lesson #1

This is the first in a series of videos introducing the basics of creating mixed media projects. Be sure to subscribe to the Youtube channel to be notified as soon as the next episode is posted.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Gecko Galz June Theme: Man O Man

Can you believe it is June. Holy time flies. I only have a few more weeks before not one, but two of my little ones graduate and are off to high school. I feel like I just finished my Mother's Day projects and here we are quickly approaching Father's Day.

The theme therefore for the Gecko Galz Challenge is quite timely. "Man O Man". Post pictures of your masculine cards, layouts or otp projects to the challenge facebook group for your chance to win fabulous prizes from the Gecko Galz shop. Gecko Galz Challenge Group

Here is an example that I made using Gecko Galz Images.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A healthy crafter is a happy crafter.

Usually the winter months have me curled up in my cozy craft room making cards and layouts. This winter however I was forced...uhmmm....encouraged to attend physical therapy sessions which involved allot of gym time. This eventually branched out into time spent doing yoga and time spent doing treadmill and floorwork. I have not felt this strong in a long time.

As the days get warmer so does the gym. I am feeling the urge to take this fitness spree to the great outdoors.

My new friend Yasmin has a great video to get you started being fit this summer. Remember your water and sunscreen along with your tunes.