Monthly Archives: August 2012

Still Looking!

Are you CREATIVE? Do you like SURPRISES? Do you want FREE STUFF? If you answered YES to those questions than I have a job for you!!!  You have a few days left to apply for a position as a Guest Designer for Home and Garden Welcome!  Check out the information here to learn how to apply!

All applications due Midnight August 31st, so you still have time!

 

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It’s in the bag!

What do you think of when you walk through the scrapbook isles and see all those packs of heavy weight double sided papers?  When I found this paper pack from Graphic 45 I thought FASHION!

The antique houndstooth, botanical harlequin and antiqued look of the papers were perfect for my ‘pleather’ technique. So I set out with some of my favorite papers in the pack and got my pleather on!  Once all my pieces were dry I began some trial and error cutting and piecing and created this charming handbag.

This beautiful handbag fits nicely on your shoulder and would make a fantastic accessory to WOW your girlfriends on your next night out.  Surprisingly durable this bag will definitely carry all your evening necessities.  Roomy enough to hold a wallet, compact and your cell phone you will have everything you need right within reach.

Add the beautiful embellishments and you are sure to fall as deeply in love with this bag as I have.

Act now and this one of a kind piece of art can be seen on your shoulder next time you head out!

~Happy Crafting!

Nikki

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A ‘pleather’ you can love.

Pleather.  That cheap, plasticy leather look-alike that every child of the 80’s should remember.  Your dreams will always be haunted by images like these:


Not to fear.  I will replace these haunting images in your dreams with an entirely different pleather, one you will love to make and love even more to use!

The ‘p’ part of my pleather comes not from plastic but instead from paper!  Yes, you can create a leather-like material with items you probably have already in your craftroom.  If not, what you need to gather is a bit of cardstock (plain or printed work well), some acrylic medium, a brush, an old credit card and/or  brayer and a non-stick work surface.  I use Liquitex, you could use Golden gel medium, or any other artist quality acrylic medium.  The key features to look for in your medium is a semi-self leveling fluid that dries clear and flexible.  I don’t care for Mod Podge for this technique but if you love it, use it.
Begin by selecting your papers.  I have done this with cardstock, mid-weight patterned scrapbooking paper, even book pages!  If you are going to use lighter weight paper you will want to glue together several pieces of paper to get the strength you want.

Lay your paper on your non-stick work surface and apply a generous coat of your medium spreading evenly with your brush.  If you are using light weight papers once you spread the acrylic gel you should lay another sheet of paper in the medium.  Repeat this process for 3-4 layers of paper.  Finish off with another coat of the gel.  At this time you can experiment with different surface finishes.  I found spreading the gel with an old credit card creates a very smooth finish, while using a brayer gives more of a ‘distressed leather’ look.  You could even experiment with other surface techniques to find your favorite.  Let the medium dry completely. (For this project I wanted a little added strength to the ‘wrong side’ of my cardstock so I layered a rice paper sheet on the back of the page, then finished the front of my paper.)

Once your acrylic medium is fully dry turn the paper over and repeat the surface finish on the back side of the page.  Even if you are not using a paper with a pattern on the back coating both the front and the back will add the extra body you need to create the leather feel.

Once your paper is completely dry carefully peel it off your non-stick surface and start creating! This technique is great for adding accents to a masculine scrapbook layout or for your decor and art journal techniques. If you try share some of your creations here with me!

This is a braided ‘pleather’ piece that I will share with you all soon!
Happy Crafting,

~Nikki

 

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I’ve not gone away…

Hey Ya’ll, Just a quick note to let you all know that I have not disappeared! I am still crafting, but not a voraciously as usual. An awful summer cold has hit our household.

In the meantime, keep the applications coming in for the Guest Design Team. I am truly amazed by the talent of those who have already applied. What a great display of your creativity! The choice is sure to be difficult.

Happy Crafting!
Nikki

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Learning how to make ART!

Check out my new video you YouTube, then check out my downloadable art classes!

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Introducing the September Mystery Kit

It is that time once again, time to introduce the Mystery Kit for next month! Visit Home and Garden Welcome to purchase your September craft kit and maybe you could win!

As the calendar changes from August to September the temperatures begin to cool and the trees begin to change. We transition from the hot days of summer to the cooler autumn. Bring together your friends and family and celebrate the comforts of home and the joy of a rustic life.
And there is still time to get your August Mystery Kit and create something wonderful! Visit Home and Garden Welcome to purchase your Mystery Craft Kit for your chance to win!

Happy Crafting!

~Nikki

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Latest Project

A while ago a good friend of mine gave me some little metal lunch boxes that I had no idea whatI was going to do with them.  Well, mid-August in Michigan can mean that weather patterns change and we have a few days that get a fall-like feel.  That got me thinking about the next big holiday coming up (one that we really celebrate, that is).  Not Labor Day but Halloween!  Thank you Craft Wars for giving me the inspiration.  Looking at one of the little lunch box and the paints I had out on my desk I decided to make an altered album from the lunch box.

Here is the box before:

And here it is after I got to work on it.  I am not sure as of yet if this will be an art class or not.  Let me know if you would like to have step-by-step lessons on how to create your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucked inside is a mini album ready to add pictures.

 

The pages area all made from my perennial favorite – chipboard layered and folded together then decorated with scrapbooking paper and paint.  The cover of the album is a spooky headstone that holds a tag hidden in the back.  The final ‘page’ of the album holds a little surprise for those brave enough to reach the deepest part of your album.  It is an adorable pop-up bat silhouetted against a harvest moon.

I hope this inspires you to create something fun. Shop for all your crafting supplies at Home and Garden Welcome.

Happy Crafting

~Nikki

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New Downloadable Collage Class

Are looking to learn some new collage techniques or maybe just the basics of composition and layout?  This downloadable art class is just for you!  Learn how to select and prepare tree bark to accept your mixed media art, techniques for developing your background and photo transfer techniques. You will work with several different mediums including acrylic gels and epoxy resins in combination with paper, paints inks and more.

Visit Home and Garden Welcome to enroll in the downloadable Collage Composition on Tree Bark.

Love the art but don’t want to do the work?  These pieces are available for purchase from Home and Garden Welcome.

“Home” ~Mixed Media Collage by Nikki Gillette

Or

“Escape” ~Mixed Media Collage by Nikki Gillette

 

This tutorial is divided into 3 self paced lessons.  The first lesson explains how to find and prepare your tree bark for creating your collage.  In the second lesson you will learn how to develop a balanced paper pieced background using paints, inks, gel mediums and of course paper.  The final lesson will cover a couple of photo transfer techniques and applications for using epoxy resin in your art work.

Anyone who enrolls in the classes I encourage to share their artwork with us!

Happy Crafting

~Nikki Gillette

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Sneek Peek!

Sneek Peek!

Watch tomorrow for the complete collage as well as a link to the page where you can learn how to make 2 beautiful mixed-media art projects on tree bark.

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by | August 12, 2012 · 10:19 PM

Collage on Tree Bark

This is a basic collage using layered paper and paint.  The collage is composed on bark from an old oak tree that fell in our front yard.  I am currently writing a downloadable art lesson detailing the step-by-step process involved in making this collage as well as another collage that is a current work in progress.  Keep your eyes open for a post featuring the other collage and the downloadable class available from Home and Garden Welcome.

Can’t wait for the class to have this in your home now?  It is available to purchase from Home and Garden Welcome under the One Of A Kind Art tab.

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