Tuesday 10 January 2017

Mission Inspiration: January 2017

I just finished my Mission Inspiration page for January 2017 and wanted to share it as soon as possible.  There has been a slight change to the prompts this year; eight instead of ten, with the addition of colour prompts and some words to inspire.  You can join in with the challenge here.  I had a ball creating this page, the word prompts: Genesis, regenerate, determination, hope and resolve are perfect for this time of year.  They also fit in with one of my resolutions: to craft and blog every day when I am not at work.
Step 1
Step 1: Glue torn fragments of junk mail.  The colour prompts were yellow, dark and light blue so for this step I went through an art catalogue and cut out all the samples of blue and yellow media.  The maps are from a cruise brochure which came through the door a few days ago.  As I had prepared the focal point of the page in advance, the maps reminded me of birds migrating with the seasons.

Step 2
Step 2: Add strips of ribbon or trim.  This step gave me the opportunity to use some items from my stash which I had almost forgotten that I have.  The blue Magic Mesh by Dottie Ann was purchased along with 11 other colours nearly ten years ago and never used. The ric rac ribbon and the grosgrain ribbon in the same tone of yellow are by American Crafts and happened to be at hand.  I toyed with the idea of adding some strips vertically as well, but decided to leave the textural elements in a horizontal only to tie in with the later addition of the focal image (step 5).
Step 3
Step 3: Cover with gesso or paint.  For this step I used Acrylic paint in Pthalo Blue, and Fluorescent Blue mixed with white to make a lighter shade.  The yellow is Yellow Ochre.  I did thin down the paint slightly by spritzing a small amount of water onto it before using a 1" flat brush to add first the dark blue, then the lighter blue tone randomly, drying each layer in between.  The yellow was added in a 'sunray' pattern (using the brush sideways on) behind where I was planning to add the birds as I didn't feel that they would show up well enough against blue. 
Step 4
Step 4: Add secret journaling.  The journaling is so secret that it barely shows up in the photo; I wrote Lose weight, eat healthier, blog more, craft more along the top section of the mesh which goes across the page.  As I was intending to cover it by the focal image, it doesn't really matter; I know that it is there!
Step 5
Step 5: Add a focal point or image.  I had already stamped the Bird Row stamp by Claritystamp onto a separate piece of Sheena's stamping card using Watering Can archival ink.  They were coloured to resemble Blue Tits in keeping with the colour prompts, first using distress markers and a water brush, then using the matching distress crayons to add texture and depth.  Fossilized Amber was used for the belly, Blueprint Sketch for the wings and tails, Chipped Sapphire for the head detail, Black Soot for the beaks and eyes and Ground Espresso for the legs.  The 'branch' was painted using Ground Espresso watered down with a water brush and then over stamped in the same colour distress ink using the Birch stamp from the Pine & Birch set designed by Tim Holtz for Stampers' Anonymous.  Once they had been cut out, the image was added to the page.
Step 6
Step 6: Add drips or spatters.  The masks that come with the Bird Row stamp were very useful at this point.  Each bird was masked off, before watered down Pthalo Blue acrylic paint was spattered over the page using the Spatter Brush by Ranger (designed by Tim Holtz).  The more water that was added and the closer to the page that I held the brush, the bigger the splashes became.
Step 7
Step 7: Make marks with paint or ink.  I decided to imitate the effect of the mesh and the whiteness of the page which was still visible through it in places for this step.  I used the 'wrong end' of a paint brush to pick up white acrylic paint and dab dots onto the area above the birds.  My only regret is not using a smaller brush as I feel I was a little too heavy handed here.
Before the final step, I decided to add the words given in the prompts as well as several phrases from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk sticker book.  As there are five birds, I chose to include all five word prompts, which I printed off using my Dymo Letratag in different sizes and styles.
Step 8
Step 8: Add a frame or border.  The mini tag stencil (THS044 - Tracks) by Tim Holtz was the perfect choice for me.  It ties in with the bird image.  I used a make up sponge and white acrylic paint to lightly dab through the stencil, sometimes creating a wider border, sometimes a narrower one.  In places, I chose to leave a gap in the border too.  I really look forward to the next Mission!

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