Winter Wishes with Emerald Creek & Eileen Hull

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and welcome to my stop on today's blog hop with Eileen Hull and Emerald Creek! Eileen, Kim and the teams have created a fun blog hop challenge to kick off the Winter season and holiday festivities... we're bringing you Warm Winter Wishes!

For my project, I've created a winter-themed mini art journal using one of Eileen's Scoreboard Dies and plenty of embossing powder

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

To show you more about how I made my journal, I've put together a little tutorial.

Starting off, I used Eileen's Sizzix Passport Book die and cut the covers, spine, and several inside pages.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I set the inner pages aside until I was ready for them, then attached the covers to the spine with a strong glue. When it was dry, I pulled out a few collage papers and adhered them onto the front and back covers with matte medium.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-2-3---Gwen-LafleurNext I took my Winter Cardinal & Holly stencil from StencilGirl and stenciled in a few places on the front and back covers using gold texture paste. You could do this with an embossing ink and embossing powder, of course, but I knew I was going to be using a lot more layers of EP and doing quite a bit of heating and I'd lose the outline of the design if I didn't use a texture paste that wouldn't melt. Once I had it the way I liked it, I let it dry.

With the stenciled texture paste dry, I used some Marabu Art Crayons to add a few spots of color in the background, blending them out with my fingers. I also added a bit of a frame around the edges of the cover with StazOn ink pads in brown and black.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-4-5---Gwen-LafleurI also pulled out some bronze acrylic paint to integrate some of the background elements.

Finally it was time to start embossing... I used a VersaMarker and embossing ink to trace around the outside of the holly sprigs and coat the background, then I coated it with Vintage Beeswax Baked Texture embossing powder. I let it cool, then repeated the process to make sure the coat was nice and thick. It also tends to smooth out more and give better clarity to the layers underneath when you add 2-3 layers of the Vintage Beeswax. I also used my heat gun to re-melt the Vintage Beeswax and embed some small metal star embellishments in a few places on the front cover.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-6-7---Gwen-LafleurNext I used my VersaMarker to color the berries of my holly design and used a tiny spoon to scoop in some Chinese New Year Classic embossing powder, tapped off the excess and put it back in the jar, and melted it. Then I repeated the process inside the holly leaves and used Patina Oxide Baked Texture embossing powder as my green color.

With the front covers done, I turned it over and painted the inside covers red, then used clear embossing ink through my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil and embossed that with Charred Gold Allure embossing powder.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Once I'd finished all of the paint and embossing on the inside and outside of the covers, I took the inside pages and attached them through the die cut holes in the spine. I just used some waxed linen thread and lined up two pages stacked inside of each other with each set of holes on the spine and then ran the thread through the holes so I could tie it on the outside. This is how it looked inside:

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-9-10---Gwen-Lafleur

Above, you can see where I pulled the threads through to the outside of the spine and tied them off. I repeated it until I had all three mini-signatures attached.

For the finishing touches, you can see below where I wrapped some fabric around the outside of the spine to cover the threads, then I used some washi tape on the inside to cover where the covers and spine are joined together.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-11-12---Gwen-LafleurVoilà! A finished mini winter art journal! I just took a scrap of red sari ribbon to use as a closure for the book when I'm not using it. Here you can see the finished insides and outsides of the book:

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

That's it for my project today... now for all the details on how you can get a chance at the big giveaway! To join in all you need to do is follow along and comment on every blog. If you play along and link up your own creation using Eileen and Emerald Creek products, you will get 2 bonus entries for the draw. Contest Closes on Sunday November 25th, with the Winner announced Cyber Monday!
 
The prize includes an Eileen Hull Journal Die and a $50.00 gift certificate to the Emerald Creek Shop.

Make sure to go through all of today's blogs for lots of inspiration and more chances to win!


An Artist Book Cover with Stencils and Embossing Powder

Hi all, and welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Emerald Creek! At this point I don't think that it's really any secret that I love me some embossing powder. It's such a versatile medium, and you can use it in so many different ways! Of course, embossing powder also pairs perfectly with stencils, so I was thrilled to hear that StencilGirl and Emerald Creek were teaming up to do a second blog hop (we also did one in December of last year. If you missed it, make sure to check that out too for even more inspiration!)

This time around, I decided to decorate the cover of a handmade artist book that I've been working on. I wanted something that was extremely textured and grungy, and yet still fit with the overall theme of the book, which is courage.

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I also put together a short tutorial so that you can see how to recreate these effects in your own projects. Ready?

To start, I coated the cover with black gesso, let it dry, then used a gold texture paste with my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil to get the flowers onto the background. You could do this with pigment or embossing ink and embossing powder, but I knew that I was going to do quite a bit of layering and melting in the vicinity of this design and I didn't want to lose the crisp lines, so I used the texture paste instead.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the texture paste was dry, I took out some scraps of tissue paper, matte medium, and a brush, and started laying the foundation of the texture in the background. It doesn't really matter what the pattern is on your paper, (or if there is one!) as it will all be covered up in the end. (Old sewing patterns also work great for this.) 

I coated the background in matte medium, scrunched up some tissue paper and then coated the back of that as well, and then laid it on the wet background, manipulating it with my fingers as I went so that I created lots of peaks and valleys with the paper. I kept doing this until most of the cover was coated, leaving the flowers peeking through.

I worked fairly quickly at this point - this was partly to keep myself from overthinking the positioning of the tissue paper, and partly because I needed the matte medium to be wet for the next step, which was the application of a lot of Baked Texture embossing powder.  I started with Rocky Road, sprinkling it around the edges and right along the areas next to the flowers - I wanted something very textured and crusty looking, and this was the perfect way to get that look. I tapped off the excess powder and returned it to the jar, then I used Dirty Sand, making sure to leave some areas open, then repeated one more time with Chunky Rust. I put the extra powder back in the jar each time so that I could use it again later.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the entire background had its first coat of powder, I pulled out my heat gun and went to work. I kept it pretty close to the surface so that the medium and powder would bubble as it melted. The effect you achieve with this is fabulous! (Just a note that you may have heard from me before, but because you're heating acrylic mediums here, you get fumes. I always cover my nose and mouth for this process - I even have a respirator in my studio for really extended embossing sessions!) 

After the first layer was melted, I took out Ancient Amber, Deep Sea, and Patina Oxide and alternately re-melted the surface with the heat gun, sprinkled powder on the hot surface, and then heated to fuse it into the surface. The result is a gorgeous, mottled look that you really can't get any other way!

Once I'd gotten the texture I wanted in the background, I pulled out a blend of gold leafing flakes and applied some on the background, then used some gold wax from PaperArtsy and applied with my finger on the tops of the texture - it adds depth and shine, all at the same time.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-5-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I used Seth Apter's Never Again stencil along with clear embossing ink and Charred Gold embossing powder to add a few words into the openings of my flowers.

To this point, I'd done a pretty good job of adding the grunge factor, but I needed some boho - bright colors to the rescue! I used my Posca paint markers to color in the flowers. I like to add in a few shades of the same color or two similar colors and blend them with my finger while they're still wet.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

I also pulled out my Marabu Art Crayons and added bits of color into the background, using my finger and a water brush to spread it out a bit.

Finally, I took some Emerald Creek Fleur brads, poked holes in the cover with an awl, and then inserted them to give a subtle, decorative touch to the cover. I used my finger to wipe a bit more of the gold PaperArtsy wax over the surface - the raised design on the brad really picked it up beautifully!

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

Voilà ! The finished cover!

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Book-Standing---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a good sense of the amazing texture you can get by using embossing powder in your mixed media work:

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project... I know I did! Of course, now for the part you've all been waiting for!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive $50 in Gift Certificates to Emerald Creek and StencilGirl® Products!

SG and EC blog hop GIVEAWAY image
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment; the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, August 21st at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on the StencilGirl® Products Facebook page and Emerald Creek’s Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22.

Make sure you check out all of today's posts for lots of fabulous inspiration!


Mixed Media Texture with Baked Texture Embossing Powder

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of using embossing powder in my mixed media artwork, so when Seth Apter asked me if I'd be willing to do a project showcasing his seven new flavors of Baked Texture embossing powder from Emerald Creek, I jumped at the chance!

When the long awaited powders finally arrived, I dove in head first and explored. One of the results of my playtime, er... experimentation was this mixed media panel that uses all 7 blends and a variety of different techniques.

Textured-Circles-Mixed-Media-Panel---Gwen-Lafleur

I took some photos as I worked so that you can see some of the ways that I used the Baked Texture powders. To start, I stenciled elements from Seth's Numbers stencil with pigment ink, then added Ancient Amber and heat embossed it. I repeated this randomly across the background (keeping mostly toward the edges since I knew I was going to cover the center,) and making sure to wrap some of the embossing around the sides of my cradled panel. I also used a VersaMarker to edge the panel, and I added more EP and heat embossed that as well.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

For the next layer, I randomly stamped some circle patterns from two of Seth's PaperArtsy cling rubber stamp sets onto rice paper using pigment ink. I did them one at a time - stamping one pattern and embossing, then repeating with the other pattern. I used Chunky Rust with the larger stamped circles and then using Dirty Sand for the smaller design. I then tore the paper into strips and collaged sections onto the background of my panel using matte medium, making sure to layer some of it over the embossing that was already on there since I wanted to start to build up layers of texture.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I set the panel aside to dry, then moved on to the circular elements that I knew I wanted to have running down the center. I took several different sizes of chipboard circles and painted them with different colors of Seth's PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the paint was dry, (which is important because the embossing powder will stick to wet paint and you may get embossing where you don't want it,) I ran the edges of the circles across an embossing ink pad (above,) and then ran them through a pile of Ancient Amber.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-5---Gwen-Lafleur

Above, you can see that I heat embossed the circles - I love the effect of the embossed edges! A few of them I just coated completely for some variety. When I'm working with smaller items like this, I have a set of long copper tongs that I use to hold the piece that I'm embossing so that I don't burn my fingers - super helpful!

Next, I went back through and used some of Seth's latest stencil designs from StencilGirl to add patterns to the tops of my circles using pigment ink and then Chunky Rust and Patina Oxide powders.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-5a---Gwen-Lafleur

At this point, my circles were ready to add to the panel, so I set those aside and went back to work on prepping my background which I coated with a brown glaze. I applied it, let it start to dry for about a minute or so, and then used a baby wipe to take some of it back off, leaving it darker in the crevices of the texture I created with the embossed stenciling.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the glaze was dry, I placed my circles down the center of the panel and glued them in place, then started coating the background in embossing powder. For this step, I started from the outside and the sides of the panel and worked my way toward the middle. First, I coated sections of the panel with embossing ink and then used Vintage Beeswax on top, repeating this process twice to get really smooth coverage.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the Vintage Beeswax is melted, you can see how the texture and color from the background layers still really show through! I continued the same process, adding ribbons of color moving toward the middle with Patina Oxide and then with Deep Sea.

Next comes my favorite part... this was what I knew that I wanted to do the very first time I ever saw Rocky Road - I wanted to create some serious texture using acrylic mediums. For this section, I used High Solid Gel and a small paintbrush to apply the gel around the circles throughout the entire center section. I used a very thick, stiff gel medium because I wanted it to hold its shape so that I would get more exaggerated peaks and valleys in my texture.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

I coated the gel medium section with Rocky Road and then heated it at very short range. Any time you emboss with a wet acrylic medium, especially with the heat gun so close to the surface, you're going to get lots of bubbles. (And fumes! Keep your mouth and nose covered, especially if you do this for extended times like I did here - I have a respirator that I keep in my studio for serious melting and bubbling.) It's going to smell pretty funky, but the texture... oh is it ever worth it. Amazing. (At the bottom of this post there's a link to a video tutorial where you can see this process in action.)

Below, you can see how I went back in with a VersaMarker and lightly brushed ink over the surface of the embossed area...

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-10---Gwen-Lafleur

I added a light sprinkling of Chunky Rust and embossed, repeated with an even lighter sprinkling of Patina Oxide, and then added a bit more Rocky Road on top. I kept sprinkling and heating until I was happy with the results - I think I had at least 10 layers of embossing powder on this section! When you look at it up close, it's a really cool effect.

Finally, it just wouldn't be one of my pieces unless I added some funky boho touches, so I dug through my stash of Turkmen jewelry parts and added some buttons and other cool bits on to some of the circles, finishing with a Turkish glass nazar bead in the center of my focal point. I used a touch of black wax around the edges of the panel to frame it, and that was it!

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-11---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a better sense for the different textures you can get using the Baked Texture powders... they're so addictive!


Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Also, not too long ago I did a video tutorial using Baked Texture powders and another Emerald Creek embossing powder, and in that video you can see the live-action version of how I use embossing powder with acrylic mediums (it's fun just to watch that stuff bubble on camera!) Check out that blog post for the video as well as the three samples I shared.

Sadly, this brings us to the end of our week-long celebration of all things Baked Texture, but hopefully you've picked up tons of ideas and inspiration for how you can incorporate these amazing embossing powders into your own mixed media work! If you missed them, make sure to check out these four posts from this week, each with lots of amazing inspiration and fun techniques for you to try: