I turned 50 back in 2015 and first started my blog one week before the event. Today happens to coincide with my 1800th blog post. Back then, although I was heavily into paper crafting, mixed media was not something I had ever really tried. This is the story of my first ever canvas for the #ClarityOpenDayFestival this weekend.
I had had some small 5" x 7" canvas boards sitting on a shelf daring me to use them for over a month at the time - this was before Clarity canvas boards - this would work great on a Clarity A5 canvas board. Then I saw the Clarity challenge for August 2015. My choice was a no brainer - horizontal line - Stencil, Stamp, Grunge Paste!
So, where to start? A coat of Titanium Buff acrylic paint never seems to hurt from what I've seen, so that was my first job. Then I mixed Fired Brick, Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain Distress paints with some grunge paste - still a bit light, so I added a drop of Walnut Stain re-inker to darken things up and scraped it onto the canvas in the top left and bottom right corners through the Brick Wall stencil. Adding liquid colour meant that the grunge paste became a little sloppy and bled under the stencil in places - but that just added to the grunge effect as far as I was concerned.
OK. So far so good - winging it seemed to be working. I remembered a Gelli Plate YouTube video of Barbara Gray's that I had seen and decided to use my Birdhouse and Garden stamp set from 'In the Classroom'. The verse also seemed to fit as I was making things up as I went along. I added some of the trailing foliage using Coffee Archival ink and then felt that a little extra colour was necessary. The sunshine stencil seemed ideal and a little orange would fit perfectly, so... Dried Marigold for the first layer (using my trusty Claritystamp stencil brushes), then Spiced Marmelade coming in from the outside of the stencil and Rusty Hinge at the outer edge.
I used baby wipes to remove the ink from the bricks - oops, not quite
dry, yet more texture! I then dragged some of the same colour distress
inks in from the top right hand side of the canvas to add balance. I
followed this up by taking the Walnut Stain ink pad along all four edges
of the canvas and lightly dragging the colour in towards the middle of
I stamped the verse in Coffee archival ink, but this time I heat embossed it using clear detail embossing powder - not quite straight - drat! Maybe the birds would add a finishing touch and draw the eye away from the slight wonkiness of the verse. Note to self - do not press on too hard when adding small stamped images to a canvas - even if you do want to heat emboss them. The first bird came out a bit more of a blob than a bird; time to read over the verse several times, take a deep breath and avoid making the same mistake again. Stamping the birdhouse into the bottom left hand corner was the final touch, as I felt that the canvas lacked a little balance. I didn't heat emboss this time as I liked the look of the texture of the canvas through the stamped image. So there you have it - that was my first canvas and my first ever entry to the Clarity Challenge; life really did begin at 50!