Here at Anything But Cute we love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional artists, and you just never know when we might be giving out something special to a talented mixed media newcomer.
Make sure to put 'newbie' after your name in the linky so we know who you are.
(new refers to 'new to mixed media' NOT 'new to our challenge')

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spotlight Artist - Alison - Drink a Magic Potion

Hello Everyone!

I am really excited to be here today to introduce you to a very special guest, Alison Bomber. I have been following Alison's blog - Words and Pictures, for quite some time now and I am always blown away by the amazing and creative techniques that she uses in each and every project. I have so many of her posts bookmarked, I had to start a new folder just to keep track of them all! I am just so honoured to have her here with us today to teach us just a little of her expertise in the mixed media arts!

Now buckle up because this is going to blow your socks right off!!

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be here at Anything But Cute.  I was so excited when Pamellia invited me to be a guest, but also a little daunted since the amazing team here produce such outstanding creations.  Pamellia also said that I could make anything I liked - no limits - which is always slightly terrifying... but as soon as I saw the beautiful moodboard for this month's Making Magic theme, I knew that it would be inspiring my project.

So I offer you my mystical magic potion bottles - handed down from white witch to white witch along with the spells for making dreams come true and making time stand still.  (You might want some magic potion of your own to get you through the lengthy post!)

It was very hard to get a decent photograph of these, especially since we've had so much horrible weather here in the UK - with all the shimmer they change in every different light angle - but I hope you'll be able to get the idea as we go along.

I started with some vintage glass bottles.  I managed to get a job lot on Ebay for a good price, working out at just less than £1 a bottle (well, I thought it was good).  

The first task was to give them a couple of coats of gesso so that any media I applied would take on the surface.  (I had a few on the go at once - I like that as it takes the pressure off, and I now have a number of very different looks ready to share soon over at Words and Pictures!).

I then wanted some crackle, so I applied DecoArt Media Crackle Paint in various thicknesses over the bottles.  I got some great cracks and, to be sure they wouldn't start flaking off, I sealed the whole thing with the DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish before continuing.

I stamped one of my favourite branches and then got busy with some spritzing.  I thought I'd start with a layer of the DecoArt Media Sprays - they give good coverage and are permanent once dry.

After that I gathered some of my Silks Acrylic Glazes - various blues and greens as well as the Emperor Gold - and started applying them over the spritzed crackled bottles.  At some point I also did some glazing with a Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze.

I'm afraid I wasn't paying too much attention... I was just layering up shimmering colours adding depth and shading.

I also used Treasure Gold in Florentine to highlight some of the texture - both the crackle and, of course, the fabulous embossed writing on the sides and reverse of the bottles.

The photo in the moodboard which really captured my heart is the tiny golden droplets of dew on the leaf, so I wanted to try to echo that.  I had the branch stamped, still visible under all the layers, since the Silks are highly translucent, so I thought that might be the key.

I mixed up some of the Emperor Gold Silks paint with DecoArt Liquid Glass in a fine tip applicator bottle and tested out the results on a spare bit of card.  As you can see, there were various mixtures - some with Glossy Accents, some with Wild Honey Distress Reinker, and all sorts.  (If you look closely, you'll see that there was more than one application on the bottles themselves too, but that's the joy of mixed media experimentation.)

I started by following the stamp with the fine tip applicator to create the branches - a happy accident that it echoes the veins on the leaf in the moodboard photo...

And then I added "berries" where each of the flower heads had been, and sometimes several berries all in a cluster.  I'm sure they are also in the recipe for the magic potions!

I'm really happy with the dimension I ended up with, though I wish I'd managed to recapture the most translucent mixture - ah well, maybe next time.

The gold wire continues the look of the vines and branches, swirling up around the necks of the bottles and disappearing inside.

It's the last of my hoard of golden notebook rings, ripped out and preserved from some old reporters' notebooks.  I've only got plain metal and white ones left now...

I added the Remnant Rub-Ons words - can't have a project without words, can I now?

I washed over them with one of the lightest Silks colours so that they would blend into the background.  

A final dusting of Treasure Gold for extra gleam, and we're pretty much done.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing how my magic potion bottles came to life.

As you can see, there's plenty of experimenting, trial and error - it's always the great "what if?" for me... but when the sun finally came out to make those berries gleam, I thought it was worth it!

Thank you so much to Pamellia and the team for inviting me along this month.  I had so much fun with these, and thanks to the moodboard I went in lots of new directions I might otherwise never have travelled.

That's the whole fun of a challenge I suppose!  I hope you like them - it's always great to hear what you think - and if they've inspired you, you've still got nine more days to come and play here at Anything But Cute.

Alison xx

HOLY SMACKEROONIES!! I've been scrolling up and down for a coon's age!! These are just amazing aren't they!! Alison has really captured the colours, the textures and the spirit of Georgie's gorgeous mood board! Thank you so much Alison, you are truly an inspiration!! 

I do hope Alison has inspired you to head to your craft room and get messy!! You still have until September 4th at midnight to get your entries in! We can't wait to see what you come up with for our MAKING MAGIC CHALLENGE!

Happy Crafting from the Anything But Cute team :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Feature Artist for Making Magic - Welcome Mayoori!

Hello Everyone!

Cec here and I am so excited to finally get the chance to introduce you to our Feature Artist for August. She was the winner of my Make It Maculine challenge in June. Welcome Mayoori Jain of Butterflies N' Buttons!!

Mayoori is a master at mixed media and while I was in love with her masculine project, which is why I chose it, I was blown away with the depth of her talent when I went back to her blog to have a closer look at all her creations.  There I found a variety of altered art and layouts that oozed technique and texture.  I recommend you spend some time lurking around her blog and be prepared to be as inspired as I am.

I think you will all agree that Mayoori is a creative force to be reckoned with and I am so impressed with the project she put together for our current challenge Making Magic! Feast your eyes on this!! Mayoori has altered a journal cover that now bears no resemblance to its original form but captures the texture and colour of the mood board beautifully.

Hello ABC fans and followers.

I am Mayoori ,living in beautiful Seattle city with my 2  loving teenage daughters and very supportive husband.  I have been scrapbooking since 3 years, trying all the styles, learning from fellow crafters . Since few months I have been trying mixed media projects and I am thoughly enjoying it.

Today I am  sharing this journal cover.I am  really excited to be part of this very interesting and challenging mood board put together by Georgie.

The idea is to create magic through art. I have used an old wooden paint brush to make the wand.

 hot glued a big bead to the the top and the bottom.

 then drip the hot glue making some patterns and embedding some small beads for more texture

 Painted the the wad black with the black gesso.

applied some golden paint and some metallic copper paint

applied some black crackle medium , once dried applied green and golden paint.

I stencilled an old cardboard and then cut two corner pieces out of it. Then added an embossed chipboard.

Hope you will like it.
Please visit my blog - Butterflies N' Buttons

WOW, this transformation is stunning and the elements Mayoori used to make it happen are fantastic from the paint brushes to make the wand, those gorgeous filigree corners and all that texture and glitter.  She has definitely made a magical project and sharing her creative process is such a bonus to all of us.

I hope that seeing Mayoori's wonderful creation will inspire you to join us for our current challenge...

You have until the 4th of September to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Creating

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WINNERS - Challenge #3 - Summer Romance

Hello Everyone!!

Samra here with the winners of the Summer Romance challenge. I would like to thank all 44 wonderful participants for joining the challenge! To say that it was difficult to choose the winner and runner up, would be just barely scratching the surface of truth! 

So much creativity, texture and summery beauty at one place!!!  I felt like I was in Summer Romance heaven… so without further ado...

I would like to introduce to you the winner of the challenge:

WINNER - Natalia#38
I chose Natalia's tag as the winner because of the incredible textures and such gorgeous composition of embellishments. This tag also has a vintage feel to it and to me looks like it was salvaged as a piece of treasure from the bottom of the sea. It definitely is a piece to treasure!

Congratulations Natalia!! Pamellia will be contacting you via email to send you your personalized winner's badge and details about being our Feature Artist for the next challenge.

And now for my Runner-Up

RUNNER UP - Elena #31
I chose Elena's tag because of the wonderful shabby chic and so very romantic feel to it. The textured background and layer upon layer of wonderfully arranged embellishments with such fine attention to every little detail made this tag very special to me.

Exceptional New Mixed Media Artist

We have seen so many wonderful entries by artists trying out mixed media for the first time, it's so exciting and what a pleasure to watch as they grow and blossom with their new messy art craft! This month we want to give out a special award to just such an artist. She has entered into every one of our challenges so far, and her skills and techniques are both stunning and amazing! Congratulations Annie!!

Now on to our DT Favourites

Marta #37
Branka's Favourite - Marta's altered wooden box looks like a pirate chest pulled out from the deep sea! It's full of fantastic details, perfectly blended colours and amazing textures! I love the addition of micro beads and cheese cloth and that awesome vintage spoon on the top of this beautifully designed piece!

Cec's Favourite - I also chose Marta's altered box because it sparked my imagination and made me think that it was a personal treasure pulled from the bottom of the ocean when they found the Titanic and that it is full of love letters.  All the shells and gorgeous texture she used just add to the feeling that it lay undisturbed for years.

Georgie's Favourite - Elena #31
From the moment I laid eyes on Elena's tag I just fell in love with this ethereal, rustic underwater scene she created. The embellishments, layout, texture and depth in general is purely breathtaking. I love the way the aqua beads fall over shells as bubbles, the brown intermingled with the blues and the odd glossy enamel dot floating upwards. Every detail is a hit for me!

Niki's Favourite - March #7
I chose this canvas duo because it reminds me of the bottom of the ocean and the vastness of undiscovered possibilities! The texture that abounds in this make is truly exceptional and so well designed, and there are so many textural layers. I just want to reach out and touch it!

Pamellia's Favourites

Anne R #28
Anne's piece is one of those projects I really wish I could touch. There is just so much texture and she used her finger, of all things, to create that stunning background! I just love her 3d shells and the use of beads for bubbles! A stunning underwater scene!

Ros Crawford #34
I just melted into this piece when I saw it. There's such a calm serenity to her colours and textures. I love that she used a shower scrunchie as one of her elements, and those waves just swept me away to a place I might never come back from, if it were real!

Sara Emily's Favourite - Joi # 44
I loved my teamie's choices , but Joi's painting really stole my heart!  I was really swept away to the beach and felt so much romance from this scene. Additionally, I loved reading her story--how she is neither a beach goer nor does she consider herself a romantic person. You couldn't prove that by this amazing artwork!

Honourable Mentions 

It's such an impossible task to choose only one favourite from all the gorgeous entries, so here are some projects that we wanted to honour for their beauty and design!

6. tofa/Rupa            11. Julia Aston           12. Jane's Journal           14. Kerstin

17. Patti Painter      21. Strangely Creative       25. Irena's art           29. Candy Blake

A huge congratulation everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who played along with us last month and don't forget to grab your badges! You earned them!!

There is still plenty of time to enter Georgies's current challenge MAKING MAGIC! We can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

Hugs to all, from the 'Anything But Cute' Design Team