The Road Less Traveled


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vintage Palette Antiques Your Art - USAQ Tutorial # 6

BLOG HOP!  After reading my blog, you will see a link to Lori's blog below.  Click on it and see some more WONDERFUL Vintage Art!!!



Folio Cardstock (USAQ) (The palette shows wonderfully on both light and dark cardstock)
Paper Towels

Simple Painted Background with paint sponged on stamps and stamped over dried background.

Using USAQ's Vintage Mica Color Palettes, brilliant backgrounds can be created easily to enhance any type art you create.   The Vintage Palette is a new, unique color mix that adds rich, shimmery hues.  If you look at the palette below, you might think there is a silver color, but actually it is a shimmery taupe hue called Aged Champagne (What a perfect name!).  The blue is Shabby Blue, and the Purple is Stormy Sky.  The color descriptions match the shades so eloquently!

There is a touch of sepia color infused with all shades to give it that vintage "POW" of antiqued color. 

OH, I ADORE this palette and will use it alone or with my other Mica Color Palettes!  Shimmer is rich with all the little particles of mica, without looking too gaudy.  It reminds me of old vintage items found in an antique store.

The backgrounds in these photos do not show the shimmer of the mica color paint, but be asured, you get such richness with little glimmers and shimmers of color that even create a metalic look.

This is using the Vintage Palette to enhance a collage.  I took a collage and enhanced the background, sign and part of Anthony Bourdain's chef jacket with various colors in the palette.  The result was so cool!  I did some straight painting and some dry brushing (taking your brush with barely any paint on it - almost dry - and then pulling the brush over the area you wish to paint.  The result will be soft, textured lines of color).  I didnt' use the paint on Anthony's face, I left it as is.  I sealed this project with PPA.

Below, I used a Perfect Brush (3/4" size) and did broad strokes with the bristles saturated with water and color from the Vintage Palette.

Again, this photo does not show the shimmer, the shimmer will be muted just slightly as it is watered down but still enough to enhance and create such a wonderfullly antiqued look.

I did use another Mica Color Palette to get a more yellow-gold tone and then lightly went over the gold hue from the Vintage Palette.  The blue from the palette and Seagreen Blue as well as Vintage Red mixed with the Sepia Veil added custom colors I wanted for the look.  Don't be afraid to mix colors and play!  The well in the middle of the palette is made just for that reason.  The words are a rub on that can be applied after the piece dries. 

Anything is possible if you think outside the box!!!  For this piece, a tribute to my artist/carpenter father who passed in 2005, I created a background on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock using USAQ's Texture Sponge.   After creating the background, I cut and then scanned in the paper on my computer and did a digital collage!!  This was so fun to do!  And best of all, I still have the original paper to use for another project!

You can almost see the shimmer and glimmer on the top of this canister in this photo, but in real life it is magnificent!  Did I paint over metal??  No!  I painted on cardboard container that I received a sample of Crystal Light's new Power Drink!!  If you saw this in person, you would swear that this is metal not cardboard.  It has hues mostly of Copper Pipe but then Sepia Veil and the Moss Green to give a patina look.  See how these palettes transform your art?!  Look at the gold and the Sepia Veil in the palette, how cool is that?  The paper to the left is where I wiped off my brush and when you look at that, you could use it for art too.  It has little flecks of mica dancing on the surface.

Backgrounds are just one way to use these palettes, there are tons and tons of other ways to paint, enhance, and explore the expression that is your art.

Now join the blog hop and follow this link to Lori's page.  Keep clicking the links to see the wonderfully beautiful Vintage Art from all the USAQ DT!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

USAQ Tutorial #5: Creative Color with Perfect Pigment

"More color, unspoiled by meaning and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."  - Oscar Wilde

Playful Post It Note Holder

Color makes me sing, makes me happy.  If we all lived in a world like the movie Pleasantville, no color; I would be so sad.  Of course in the movie, color came alive and so did the people!  I'm one of those who walks into a beauty store and wants to buy all the shades of eye shadows because they are pretty!!  Color is rich and beautiful and makes any work of art come alive.

This tutorial is using a fun, easy technique to use color overlay.  We will use the Perfect Pigment kit, sponging colors and then over stamping on top. The Studio Canvas surface is ideal for this project and many others. 


Perfect Pigment Kit (USAQ)
 Perfect Pigments in a variety of colors
  Mixing Cups
Studio Canvas (USAQ)
Pefect Brushes (USAQ)
Rubber Stamps
Velcro self-adhesive circle hook and loop
Pattern of Post It holder (Donovan Templates has a lot)
Paper Towels
Computer - opptional

1.  Cut canvas to size.  I cut my canvas to 8 1/2 x 11 and printed the outline of the Post It holder on the back.  The front side of the canvas is a beautiful, pre-primed white so there is no prep involved before painting.

2.  Using the sponges in the kit, sponge various colors of Perfect Pigment onto the canvas.  Don't worry about placement, the pattern is on the back.  Remember your color theory where red + blue = purple, red + yellow = orange, and so on.  As you sponge and overlap colors, you will create new colors!  I use Metallic Gold Light as an accent on top of all the colors, randomly sponged here and there. 

3.  Using a wood or unmounted rubber stamp, use Purple Mist and sponge some color onto the stamp and then stamp it onto the canvas where you just painted.  Repeat the process and fill the area.  Once the paint is dried, turn the canvas over and fill in open, white areas with Metallic Gold Light and a few other colors so the inside is as pretty as the outside.

4.  Once the whole piece of canvas is dried, cut out the pattern.  PPA is a great adhesive to mount the Post It notes on the inside middle of the holder.  Fold up the bottom and top.  Remove the first backing exposing sticky material from one Velcro hook and loop (keep them stuck together for placement) and stick to the top of the Post It holder where the little circular curve is.  Remove the second backing, leaving the hook and loop together and close the Post It holder in place.  This will ensure you have the hook and loop in a place where they will line up again when you open and close the holder. 

5.  Add a bead or two and fibers to the front.  This idea can be used for a bigger size, to create a purse or even a vest.  I could also add magnets to the back so it would stick to the fridge or even fibers on the inside top to create a Post It necklace - or create a photo brag book necklace! 

Here is the backside and the inside of the Post It Holder.  The inside gives you a glimpse of what the canvas looked like before I stamped it.  The backside shows how the piece looked after I stamped it.  Perfect Pigments are PURE liquid acrylics.  They flow, and are made without fillers so you get the brightest, cleanest pigments possible.  Because they flow so smoothly, every brushstroke is consistent and uniform.

Save all your scraps because they can be used for other projects!


We have a Guest Designer  in the house!!!  Lori describes her style as grungy/shabby chic!  You can visit Lori's blog here:
A wonderful artist you must stop and see, along with the other outstanding creative forces behind USAQ DT!!!  - Find their links to the right under USAQ DT!

More Fab Art from Lori on her blog!

Do not let these paints fool you!  You can go as heavy or as light handed with painting as you would like to.  The paint stays flexible (perfect for working on t-shirts), and on the canvas surface any project is pliable so one can use it to make home decor' items.  Here is a tole painted flower.

Here are a couple more samples of art done with Perfect Pigments.  I did a technique that I used with preschoolers and tempera, just replaced the tempera with Perfect Pigments.  Using a rubber band to cover cardboard and squirting out the PP colors, makes a cool effect. 

Lastly, a painted the canvas, stamped on it, printed on the canvas and painted on the printed pic.

Monday, August 2, 2010

USAQ DT Tutorial # 4 - Totally Organic With Mica Flakes Kit

Texture and color drives my love of these highly pigmented mica flakes.  Very organic in look and nature, mosaic in shape and feel.  The Mica Flakes Collection Kit takes mica tiles to another level!!  Wow, I am in love!!

Here is a look at this rockin' (literally) kit!  Look at all the jars of highly pigmented mica flakes to choose from, 16 in all.  In addition you will receive PPA Gloss, 2 scoops, a high grade artist brush, and the tin to hold it all in.
To me, the brush itself is the price of admission.  Good grade brushes make all the difference, not having the right tools can make creating a chore, designing difficult.  USAQ carries several sizes of Perfect Brushes and the quality is phenomenal! 

Get an early start to Christmas present making. Completing gifts now lets you enjoy a worry-free holiday to enjoy entertaining, pageants, Caroling, and other fun holiday activities.

My project for this tutorial is a votive decorated with Pinata inks and mica flakes.  Flowers or other accents are fun to create, if you want to keep it holiday related, a poinsettia can be done instead of the flower.  The flower is made with mica flakes on Folio cardstock, and then die cut with a hand cutter like the Cuttlebug.  The center of the flower is added after cutting to define the floral look.  The combination of Mica Flakes and Pinata Inks add shimmer and glow to create an amazing gift!


Mica Flakes Kit (USAQ)
  Mica Flakes
  PPA Gloss
  Litte Dipper Scoops
  Fine Detail Brush
Folio Cardstock, any color you choose (USAQ)
Pinata Inks - 2 colors (USAQ) - Saphire Blue, and Senorita Magenta used
Krylon Gold Pen
Glass Votive Holder with Votive Candle
Small Block of Wood
A scrap piece of White Felt
Hook from Velcro Hook and Loop
Die Cut Machine and Die (I used a flower shaped)
Craft Glue Dots

1.  Create an applicator to apply your Pinata inks.  What I do is glue a strip of the "hook" (the grabbing part of of Velcro) part from a strip of Velcro Hook and Loop onto a thin side of wood.  I think it is something like 1-2" by 3-4".  The Hook from the Velcro will hold a thin strip of white felt. 

Here is a picture of my applicator, the scrap of felt already has alcohol ink on it.  You would place a clean piece of felt on the wood block.  You can see the little "hook" teeth on the Velcro strip. 

Image shows adding alcohol ink to felt.  Bring tip to felt and lightly squeeze.

2.  Take the first color of Pinata ink, adding 2-3 drops on the right side of the felt that is attached to the wood.  Add the other color of Pinata ink to the left side of the felt so that each color is next to each other side by side.
3.  Alcohol ink dries quickly so you will be able to work each side without smearing what you have done.  To design the votive with the ink, start with the Krylon pen - shake it well, remove the cap and run free-form lines and small dashes on the votive.
4.  Next take your wood applicator and apply ink in random patterns that overlap on the votive.  Turn the wood applicator to the left and to the right so that one color overlaps another color.  I used magenta and blue and formed purple where the colors overlap.  The more you tap over an area, the more pattern you will get.  As you play you will get the feel for how this works.  (There is a chapter in my book that shows how to apply alcohol inks to shrink plastic)   Apply ink to all four sides of the votive and even on the bottom.
5.  Starting with one side of the votive at a time, place the votive on its side.  Squeeze PPA onto the bottom part of the votive in a wavy line.  Scoop one or more colors of mica flakes and pour over the area.  Let dry and tap off excess flakes back into their jar.  If you have several colors mixed up, I store them in a separate container with a lid.
6.  Repeat #4 only do another wavy line just above the first area of flakes that have dried.  Find a contrasting color to accent the first color(s).  Follow the same directions using the scoop (or your fingers) to sprinkle the flakes on the area.  Let it dry.
7.  Keep turning the votive and do the same pattern on all four sides.  On the Folio Cardstock, brush PPA all over the surface and sprinkle colors of flakes all over the cardstock.  Add a little more PPA and sprinkle more.  Let dry and run the Folio Cardstock through your Cuttlebug to cut out a flower.  Attach the flower with a Craft Glue Dot.  Put the votive candle inside and light!

Make an assembly line and design several votives at a time.  A small amount of Pinata Ink goes a long way as well as the Mica Flakes.  With the Mica Flakes Kit, you have so many colors to make many gifts.

Below is a nature piece.  I love how the flakes look like sky, earth, or even water.  I first applied Duo Glue to black Folio cardstock.  I used both Jewelz Mica Pigmented Powders to decorate the background before adding the mica flakes.  There are a couple jars of finely crushed flakes that give a soft but textured finish (Not as fine as glitter) but like sawdust.  I adore the gold that is finely crushed. 

Another Christmas idea is cards or decorative art.  Here I took a paper mache' star which can be made into a removable ornament.  The ornament is done in cinnamon flakes and a chipboard star is added with the finely crushed gold to accent the star.  The background is finished like above with Duo Glue and mica pigmented powders and also Gildenglitz to give that shimmery, festive look.  A gold cording and a chipboard sentiment is added.  The gold swirls on the chipboard was added as well.