January 26, 2016

"Never Give Up" - Mixed Media Canvas

Hello everyone! I wanted to share a special mixed media canvas with you today titled "Never Give Up".

I made this canvas for the Words and Paintery contest for January, 2016. Here is the inspiration board:

The words on the inspiration board reminded me of several poems I wrote almost 15 years ago. After reviewing some old poetry, I ran into the poem (the one on this canvas) titled "Never Give Up", written in April, 2003. At the time, the word art in the poem was actually a metaphor for any of my undertakings – at the time I had no idea actual art would be a part of my life. The main point of the poem comes down to this: positive encouragement from others keeps me going today so that I can have even better tomorrows. Here is a close up of my poem on the canvas:

The steps I took to prepare my canvas with the layers of texture are below:

1)  I began with a 12 x 12 inch canvas and primed it with Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso. I already decided on a basic layout for my canvas and poem, so I marked some points for reference.

2)  To adhere the yarn, I used Liquitex Matte Gel medium. Then I let it dry.

3)  Next, I used Tim Holtz Crackle Stencil with homemade modeling paste (see gabriellepollacco.blogspot.ca for the recipe). I used a heat gun to dry it.

4)  I used some Distress Crackle Paint in spots around my textured areas. Unfortunately, I bought the paste in the clearance section and when I applied it to the canvas I noticed it was not nearly as thick as my previous Distress Crackle Paint. I had a feeling that the crackle would not be very sufficient. I applied it anyway to see what it would do. I was not too thrilled with the result for what I wanted. That is when I decided to use my Golden Crackle Paste. Since it has to air dry to get crackles in it, I could not use a heat gun. I do, however, like how it holds nice peaks; so I decided to apply it with a spatula like modeling paste. I only let it air dry for several hours before I became bored and used my heat gun! I was okay with this since I used the crackle stencil earlier.

5)  When it was dry, I applied Golden Glass Bead Gel in random spots. I then used a heat gun to dry it.

6) To prepare the different mediums for paint, I topped it all off with a coat of Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso and dried it with a heat gun.

Next came the fun part! I used a ton of different sprays and paints to layer and mix the colors on my canvas. (To see the list of inks I used, see the bottom of this blog entry.) For each different section of color, I would first put the darkest color where I wanted it then I would apply any lighter colors slightly overlapping the darker one.  I always use a heat gun between layers of ink once I got the shades I wanted in each color. 

When all of my inks were applied, I used my acrylic gesso to dry brush over some of the most prominent texture areas (mainly around the yarn), dried it, and added gold over those areas.

I resized my poem to fit on my canvas using my Silhouette Portrait. I used the sketch pen in black to write the poem on 140 pound watercolor paper. I went over the letters with a black sharpie,"Peacock Feathers" Distress Ink Pad to add color to the edges of the papers and attached the papers to the canvas with double sided foam. Finally, I distressed the edges of the entire canvas with "Vintage Photo" Distress Ink Pad.

List of sprays and paints - From the bottom section of color to the top:
1) Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Empress Gold"
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Color Shot - "Bit o' Bubbly"
2) Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Antique Gold"
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Spray - "Cattail Copper Brown" 
3) Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Dark Teal"
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Spray - "Tibetan Poppy Teal"
Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Cobalt"
4) Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Spray - "Red Hot Poker Orange"
Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Empress Gold"
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Color Shot - "Bit o' Bubbly"
5) Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Cobalt"
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Color Shot - "Blue Hawaiian Blue"
Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Glistening Waves"
Prima Color Bloom Spray - "Frost"
Tim Holtz Distress Paint - "Picket Fence"

Thank you for visiting my blog today - I hope to see you back soon! :-)

January 18, 2016

A Messy Person's Mixed Media Solution: Fisher-Price Pool Table

My analytical, problem-solving, and engineering side of my mind has finally paid off in a big way in my mixed media journey; my 1990's Fisher-Price Pool Table (the hockey table that I use for mixed media is on the other side of the pool table) that converts to a hockey table and ping-pong table is IDEAL for drips, spills, glitter and embossing-powder mishaps, and leaking spray nozzles!

When I started using sprays and watercolor paints on a small scale, my "scraproom" was a spot on my bedroom floor.  I sat on top of an old comforter with the hockey-table top on the floor. If you don't believe me, check it out yourself.  (How did my picture of my bedroom floor get more views than any of layouts?!? haha!! Sad but true.)

After a few months, I became much more involved with sprays and inks. One afternoon, I watched my paintbrush in my hand bump into my brand new, full bottle of Raspberry Heidi Swapp Color Shine. Time seemed to stand still as I watched the ink pour onto my Fisher-Price table and onto my comforter that was sitting over my white carpet.

It was absolutely a miracle from God that the dark, raspberry ink did not leak through the comforter, although the comforter was soaked with ink through both sides! Somehow I managed to move off my comforter just enough to lift it up and catch the raspberry waterfall. I concluded that an angel must have saved me from having my carpet look like an episode of "Dexter", as the raspberry color definitely looked like blood.

I made some room in the basement then looked at the old, yet very sturdy, Fisher-Price Table. This durable and sturdy, child's high-tech, 1990's toy is an amazing solution to a messy, disorganized, and clumsy scrapbooker! Just LOOK at the amazing design: it comes equipped with "pockets" (made for pool balls originally) to catch the potential disasters! Even the table top sits on a secret compartment; any larger spills flow into the pockets and drain into the enclosed compartment under it!

To top it off, the embossing powders, mica powders, loose glitters, and paper shavings from distressing the edges of paper can be easily brushed into a pocket with my old makeup brush.

My conclusion: sometimes the solution to a problem has been right under a person's nose the whole time (possibly even collecting dust in the home).

By the way, I have already patented a version of this table for scrapbookers and mixed media artists. It will be available in stores by next year. ;-)

January 17, 2016

"Sparkling" Layout - VIDEO TUTORIAL

My newest layout is titled "Sparkling", and it is my entry for the More Than Words challenge for January 2016. I have also uploaded a video tutorial for this layout.

For the word "personality", I knew exactly what I wanted to do to show my own personality on paper. I am a very vibrant and colorful person. People have described me as perky and bubbly, so I chose the word "Sparkling" for my title and definitely had to add a lot of sparkle to my page!

I am also an analytical person - almost to a fault. I came across Prima's sketch for June of 2015 (shown below), and I knew that was what I wanted to use for this challenge.

The circles definitely show how I analyze things in life - overanalyzing causes me to go in circles!  I have a B.S. in applied mathematics and I minored in computer science, so for much of my life I have thrived on analyzing. However, this personality trait of mine has been one of the most difficult things for me to overcome in my scrapbooking mixed media journey. It is very difficult for me to stop overanalyzing when I work on a project. When I begin overanalyzing, I know I need to step away.  

I used my Silhouette Portrait to cut the title I designed in the software and to cut the fun circle frame around my selfie. For this project, I used Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso, Liquitex Clear Gesso, and Liquitex Glass Bead Gel. The roses around the picture are from Wild Orchid Crafts, and the other flowers are from Prima. All of the sparkles, gems, and gears used on this layout were random things I had in my stash from Michael's.

Feel free to watch my video tutorial at your convenience - I hope you enjoy it!  As always, any comments, questions, or suggestions are encouraged.

Here is a close up and an angle view: 

And lastly:

Thank you for viewing my blog, and have a lovely day! 

January 07, 2016

"Hopeful" Layout - VIDEO TUTORIAL

Hello everyone! I would like to share my newest layout with you today: "Hopeful".  At the bottom of this post is my very first video tutorial.  In the future, I will probably be making adjustments to my tutorials, since I literally just learned the software.

I used my Silhouette Portrait to cut some designs I made for this layout: the title "Hopeful", the black leaves, and the white flourish border on the right side of the page.  I used the black sketch pen with my Silhouette Portrait to write the caption at the bottom.

I use Silhouette Studio to design and cut almost all of my pieces that may resemble chipboard.  For example, I designed the black "chipboard" leaves in Silhouette Studio. Before cutting, I duplicate each leaf one time so that I can make them a bit stiffer by gluing the two together after cutting and coloring them. They're made with 140 lb. watercolor paper and cut on my Silhouette Portrait. I usually color all of my pieces the color I want before I glue them together.  The reason is that when I glue them together before painting them, particular paints or mists have trouble adhering to some glue that may have come out onto the front of the paper.  In this example, I used Ranger's Distress Paint in "Black Soot" to color the leaves.

Before I made the video for this layout, I already had some flowers prepared.  All 3 sizes of small roses are Wild Orchid Crafts flowers in white.  To make the pink roses, I used Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Color Shot in "Cosmopolitan Pink".  As for the purple flowers on the page, I first misted them with Ranger's Perfect Pearls Mist in "Grape Fizz" then, while wet, I used Prima's color bloom spray in "Pressed Petal".  After all of the flowers were dry, I added some Liquitex acrylic gesso over the raised surfaces. The larger purple flower is a Prima flower and the larger white flower is a KaiserCraft bloom.

"Hopeful" Layout Video Tutorial


You can see the dimension in these angles.

At the bottom is the small caption, "you never know what tomorrow may bring".

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the tutorial!  Any feedback would be appreciated.  Have a lovely day, and thank you for visiting!


My name is Jessica McFall, and I want to welcome you to my very first blog! As I take my journey through scrapbooking and mixed media, I invite you to check out my layouts and any photo or video tutorials that I will be posting.

I would love to see your comments and look forward to any advice that you may have! If you can think of something that could contribute to my layouts or want to discuss something in a project, then please leave me a message in my comments section.

When watching any video tutorials that I post, remember that I have never taken an art lesson; therefore, my techniques may not be the "proper" or best way to complete a task. I might as well be finger painting (which is always a blast!). So I hope my methods and techniques will give you a laugh as well as provide you with helpful ideas. 

Hope to see you back again soon!