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')

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Spotlight Artist - Sara Emily - Playing with Perfect Pearls

Hello!  It's Sara Emily here, and I'm delighted to be presenting this month's Spotlight Post which is Playing With Perfect Pearls Powders!

There are lots of mica powders and sprays on the market, but for this post I'm going to focus on Perfect Pearls Mica Powders. I'm not claiming to be an expert on Perfect Pearls (hereby referred to in this post as "powders"), but I did want to share with you a few of the results of my playing and combining them with different products I had on hand. This is by no means conclusive, as I did have to limit the length of my post. And some of these ideas have  already been used: I've just changed them up a bit.  I will try to give credit where credit is due. See that "open here" warning on the one pot?  Despite that warning, I still opened one from the wrong "end" while making my samples, and my Closet and I are "Forever Violet"!  It is a long post, so please cancel the morning chores, grab yourself a snack and a beverage, and sit back and relax.

Since we're coming up on my favorite season--Halloween and fall, I concentrated on making some samples that would lend themselves to this time of the year and beyond into Christmas.

I'll start with a variation of a technique I saw on  Annette's Creative Journey, which she learned in Tim's Creative Chemistry 1 class. Thank you for the inspiration, Annette!  I started with some leaves cut with Tim Holtz' Movers and Shapers die and white card.  First I spritzed them with Distress spray in Rusty Hinge.

While the spray was still wet, I sprinkled the surface with powders in Forever Green and Lemon Sparkle. Next I lightly spritzed with water, allowing the colors to blend a little.  I love how the powders leech out when wet and blend into the Distress spray. Finally I dried with my heat gun.

I used Walnut Stain Distress ink on the edges of one of the leaves to show how you can finish these off for a project.  Wouldn't these look great in a fall arrangement or on a Thanksgiving card?

I took that same technique and extended it to a masterboard.  I started with a Manila file folder and spritzed with Rusty Hinge, and sprinkled with Forever Green, Perfect Bronze, and Perfect Copper powders, spritzing with water and drying as above. Then I blended Vintage Photo Distress ink over the surface, spritzed it with water and dried once more with the heat gun to get that Vintage distressed look I so love.  This can be embossed, stamped, die cut or  some stenciling added as desired.  The color combinations are endless.

Here's a a masterboard using the same technique, but this time I used Hickory Smoke and Evergreen Bough Distress sprays and Heirloom Gold and Pewter Powders. The colors remind me of mercury glass, which I collect.

I decided to make a faux mercury glass ornament for my Christmas tree, and pulled a paper mache' star from my stash. I gave it a coat of gesso, sprayed it with Hickory Smoke Distress spray, sprinkled with Heirloom Gold and Pewter powders, spritzed with water and dried as above. Isn't it crazy how Hickory Smoke looks almost eggplant in color when it's wet, but dries to a smokey grey?

Well, it's not exactly mercury glass--more like pewter. Perhaps good for a Thanksgiving project, when I bring out my pewter serving pieces.  The true test will be when it hangs from my tree with all those lights glinting off these shimmery surfaces. The shimmer is lost with my photography!

Here's a fun little Halloween background using a ghosting technique. This is an old technique, and I've seen and used it plenty of times, but I just thought it would be fun to make something for Halloween.  This just involves dusting a little powder on black card and inking a stamp with Versamark. When you make your impression on the powdered card, the ink lifts off the powder.  Give it a little spritz of water, and the powders blend ever so slightly over the negative space created by the stamp and seals the powders, so they won't wipe off. Ghastly!

I love this next discovery--I call it Warts and All (pardon me if you've seen it before; I haven't). I smeared Gel Medium over black card and also a card I coated with black gesso (to see if there would be a difference), sprinkled with powders  ( Forever Green, Perfect Bronze and Perfect Copper) while the gel is still wet.  I blasted it with my heat gun until bubbly.  Perfectly creepy!

Here is a recent project I did using this same technique along the top and bottom of the tag. You can visit my blog here if you would like to see close ups.


I also used the powders on the background, by spritzing Hickory Smoke distress spray through Tim Holtz' Shattered stencil, sprinkling on Pewter, Forever Green and Forever Violet powders, spritzing with water to blend and seal and then blending on Vintage Photo and Cracked Pistachio Distress inks. For the faucet handle, after coating with gesso,  I used Ranger's Vintage Photo Distress Crackle paint and Heirloom Gold, Pewter, and Perfect Copper powders sprinkled on while while the paint was wet.

The spiders and toadstool also were painted with powders mixed with Perfect Paper Adhesive in Gloss. The drops were made by slathering some texture paste through a Prima stencil, and while wet, adding a mixture of black UTEE and Pewter powder.  I blasted with my heat gun to melt the UTEE.

Not one to waste one drop of my effort or product, after removing the stencil from the background, I made a second card. I laid a piece of card over the "dirty" side of the stencil and ran my brayer over it to achieve this result.  The shimmer did not photograph well, but it looks great in real life.

I tried the "warts and all" technique on a chippy bird that happened to be flying by. I used Forever Violet, Pewter and Heirloom Gold powders, and once dried and warty, I blended on some Black Soot Distress ink. This feels so creepy in real life.  Imagine this on a witch die cut!

Next, I experimented with UTEE and embossing powders mixed with the powders. Using Tim's Movers and Shapers die, I cut a lantern from a scrap and a second from copy paper to use as a mask. (oops, the globe portion of the mask didn't make it into the photo) I masked my lantern so I could just ink the globe with Versamark.  I mixed Lemon Sparkle powder and clear embossing powder and applied this over the Versamark, and heated until melted. Next, I masked off the globe, and mixed black UTEE with Pewter. I inked the unmasked portion with Versamark and added the powder mixture and heated until melted.  I repeated two more times to build the layers of the top and base of the lantern. When cooled, I cracked the UTEE and wiped on some Caramel alcohol ink.

Here's a few more embellishments I made using black UTEE mixed with Heirloom Gold powder. I've seen this done in a similar manner on Eileen's Crafty Zone; I just mixed my UTEE and powders for some of mine.

I started by cutting a key using Tim's Hardware die, punched a couple circles  to make coins and pulled a random chippy from my stash. I inked my key with Versamark, added UTEE and heated.  I repeated with the UTEE two more times.  While the last layer was still molten, I added Heirloom Gold powder.  I inked my stamp (Stampers Anonymous) with Brilliance Black Lightning, heated the key and pressed the stamp in the hot enamel. When cooled, I removed the stamp. I decided to mix the UTEE and the powder to use on the coins and chippy. The results are almost identical and it's a little less fussy. If you are not going to stamp, you might want to choose the sprinkle method, because the shimmer seems to "float" in the enamel, as you can see in the third photo below.

With the UTEE/powder already mixed up, I decided to see what else I could do with it. I embossed black card with a Tim Holtz Texture Fade and swiped my Versamark pad over the raised areas. I covered the card with the powder mixture and tapped off the excess.  I heated with my heat gun, then repeated with more of the mixture a few more times in random areas to get variation in texture.  I can see many different uses for this using various embossing folders and color combinations for the upcoming holidays.

Here's a recent project I made using my powders in some of the techniques I've shared above. For the larger frame (Ornate Frame die), I used Brushed Pewter Distress Crackle paint, sprinkled it with Forever Violet powder while wet, and allowed it to dry.  For the smaller frame (heat embossed Hampton Art image), I painted the leaves with a mixture of Perfect Paper Adhesive and Forever Violet powder. Inside the card I used the ghosting technique and a Stampin' Up image for the sentiment. Click on the link if you would like a closer view.

Are you still with me? I would like to share one more technique with you using Perfect Paper adhesive and powders.  I mixed the adhesive and Forever Violet powder on my craft mat, and swiped it through Tim's Halloween stencil. I removed the stencil and washed it immediately.  This stuff dries fast!  I allowed the tag to air dry and this is my end result.  It's really pretty in real life.  Lesson learned from this experiment is to be careful not to be too frugal with the powder.  The more you add, the stiffer your paste will be, and you'll get a "cleaner" result. If you use a stencil where you can reverse the image, it's fun to take a second sheet of card, place it over your gluey side, and roll a brayer over it to transfer the color. Pick the stencil up, and you will be rewarded with a fantastic texture.  I didn't work fast enough with this particular trial, so I couldn't get a photo. Below is a quick sample I made to give you an idea.

I hope this post has inspired you to dig out your Perfect Pearls Mica Powders and give them a new life on your next project!

There's still time to join in the fun of Niki's recycle/restyle challenge--Mixed Media Makeover! You have until the 4th of October to play.  You'll find all the challenge details and lots of inspiration from myself and my brilliant Teamies by clicking on the challenge link.  

Thank you for sticking by me through this gruesomely long post! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Feature Artist for Mixed Media Makeover - Welcome Nataly!

Hello Everyone!

Samra here and I am so excited to finally get the chance to introduce you to our Feature Artist for September. She was the winner of my "Summer Romance" challenge in July. Welcome Nataly  of My Scrap Dessert!!

Nataly is an amazing crafter. Her work brings so much inspiration and attention to detail is immaculate! Textures that she creates in her projects are out of this world and color palettes she uses are so captivating...

I think you will all agree that Nataly is a creative force to be reckoned with and I am so proud of the project she put together for our current challenge "Mixed Media Makeover"! Feast your eyes on this!! What a breath taking work of art!

Hi! My name is Nataly and I was honored to be the featured artist at Anything but Cute. It's the inspiring place where people create the most beautiful things, isn't it?
A few words about myself.

 I'm from Ukraine. I live in Kharkiv with my husband and my cat. I'm a teacher with the heart of an artist. My craft experience started a couple of years ago. I love creating everything: albums, tags, cards, notepads, layouts. But my favourite style is Mixed Media with no doubt! I love playing with texture pastes, paints, sprays, embossing powders, stamping... You're welcome to visit my blog where you can find some more information.
For this challenge  I pulled out a photo frame I  didn't want  to complete for a long time  because I was not happy with it at all)))))))))) I didn't like the way it had turned out to be...
Here it is
Looks not very nice, isn't it?
I made up my mind to give the second chance to this photo frame.
Would you like to see how it looks now?

Looks quite different and now I can say I'm completely happy with my new photo frame!!!!
Here're some more close ups:

And now I'd like to share some pics of the process in case you'd like to give the second chance to your old photo frames))))
Are you ready? Let's get start it!
Firstly, remove all embellishment and then apply a thick coat of texture paste. The next step while the texture paste is wet take the wide brush and move it gently on the surface of paste making the texture of wood. It's very easy!

When the texture paste is completely dried, paint it with acrylic paints. I usually use more than one color.

Let the paint dry completely. The next step is to cover with one more layer of paint of contrast color. Wait only for 3-5 minutes. This time don't let it dry completely.

Using the baby wipe, gently remove (wipe out)  a bit of  wet paint so you can see  the wood  texture begins to appear.

 After the paint is dried, I randomly sprinkled the embossing powder here or there and melted it.

Now it's time to play with  Magicals from Lindy's. And It's my favourite part! Play as much as you want to achieve the color you will be happy with.

Then add a bit of stamping and decorate the frame! Give the final touch by splashing randomly white paint over your project.  So the project is ready!

I hope you feel inspired. Thank you! You still have time to join the challenge this month
I hug you all, Nataly

WOW, is about all I can muster! My vocabulary escapes me ...Just as I said earlier, the textures and color palette she uses in her work are out of this world and so captivating!

I hope that seeing Nataly's wonderful creation will inspire you to join me for our current challenge... Mixed Media Makeover!

You have until the 4th of October 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 Crafting

Saturday, September 12, 2015

WINNERS - Challenge #4 - Making Magic

Hello Everyone!!

Georgie here, and wow.... seriously you guys... this has been one on the hardest things I've had to do, and I know a lot of teams say this when picking a winner etc, but seriously, it is! The work you've created is just out of this world and I want to say a huge thank you to all have played along in the challenge theme (and a big thank you to my teamies for their superb creations too). I never intended to set an 'easy' challenge and I'm scatterbrained by so many creatively amazing entries. :) Thank you!!

After a lot of going back and forth, here is my winner:

This page completely stole my heart! I created the mood board because of my love of these colours and the theme because of what it can represent! Sanderijn's use of texture, layers and colour has completely blown my mind and the play of light with the colour in the background and the sparkles is beyond magical!!! If you can, go and check out her close ups for this scrap-page - I promise you won't be disappointed!!

Congratulations Sanderijn!! 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 - 15. Heather

This trio of ATCs have captured a look of old magic, and the set just look completely breathtaking together. I love how Heather used embossing folders for the background and then added acrylics to get the colour. The little vintage images add that air of old mystery to them, and I also get a Lord Of The Rings vibe from them too. I understand completely why Heather doesn't want to let these go, shame though as I so need them in my life! :) Please go check out the other two ATCs, it's a complete magical pick me up!

Now on to our DT Favourites

Branka's Favourite#17 Sanderijn de Bruin

I love this magically beautiful scrapbooking layout with all those shimmery elements against the black background! So many fantastic details and amazing textures creating a brilliant composition! A stunning way to showcase that awesome photo! 

Cec's Favourite - # 24 - Irina R.

I chose this assemblage project because the glass lake as she calls it reminds me of a magic crystal and just draws one right into this piece of art.  I love all the bits and pieces she added to the inside and outside of the frame and the shimmery colours makes it all pop.

Niki's Favourite -#6 Lisa Minckler
When I first saw this canvas I was enthralled with the dark beauty of it and the imagery pulled me in. I really enjoyed reading about the message behind this design and the purple ribbon is something that most people know. The texture in this design and the sentiment tugged at my heart because this subject matter hits close to home. Thank you to Lisa for bringing awareness to such a wonderful cause.

Pamellia's Favourite - #37 Mac Mable

I was completely captivated by Mac's project!! The colours are so rich, the whirlwind of golds and greens seem like they come straight from an enchanted forest and the textures just whisked me away to a magical land!! Mac really captured so many of the wonderful elements from Georgie's mood board, I just love it!

Samra's FavouriteLisa #35
The Fairy's wand is what stole my heart! I pay attention to little details and you definitely need a wand if you are going to make some magic :) Of course all the texture and gorgeous composition follow along. 

Sara Emily's FavouriteLisa #35
Lisa really caught my attention with her magical forest, complete with a sprite and her magic wand! I fell in love with the hanging vines, the Skittles and oh MY, the magical sparkle and shimmer!  And she was able to capture all the magic with her camera! Well done!

Honourable Mentions



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 Niki's current challenge MIXED MEDIA MAKEOVER! We can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

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