Friday, March 23, 2012

On randomness, stencils and kraft issues- a Punky Scraps challenge

So it's time for the Punky Scraps "Get Picky"challenge.
This is usually the week I freak out trying to incorporate all the different elements Team A picks.
Yes I KNOW I don't have to pick all 10 but therein lies the challenge!

I'm a little insecure about what I came up with this week:
The Get Picky challenge items for this month are: kraft cardstock, a self portrait, 3 of something (cameras), masking and something red, metal (tiny attacher staples), something lucky (dandelions), fabric (ribbon), something pleated (ribbon) and stitching
I believe the biggest problem with this page is that the kraft paper- while awesome- is too dark for the Tattered Angels mists.

This is the mist color combo I used (I LOVE these by the way):
My Tattered Angels "Patina" bottle is getting dangerously low.
It's so hard to find!!
I like that the Sunflower color dripped in the bottom of the page and turned gold but the Frozen Lake color lost all it's luminosity.

I literally just added the black stitching and dandelion stencils after letting the page lie still over night- not sure if it's "rescued" but I certainly like it a lot more.
Here is how the page looked yesterday:
First draft. I shot this and realized it needed something
else. Not sure my solution helped the overall color problem.
I must admit- the overcast day lighting does not help.
In a somewhat related note- I'm in love with "The Paper Company" kraft cardstock!
I got a pack of 50 for 2 dollars at Joann's and the quality is really cool- darker, more rugged (sounds like a gorgeous man huh? laughing!!!)- perfect for mixed media experiments such as this.
And it's 8 by 11 so no measuring and cutting needed. WIN!
I'll use both kinds and call myself HAPPY!

Here is an alternate page to see if I could "lighten" the design up. I like the texture but the paper curled up so the second layer of mist went on wrong.
Crafter's Workshop "Squircle" is hella awesome!
Question for you experimental crafters- how the heck do you keep your cardstock from curling? I get curl no matter what I do- heat it flat, put a book on top over night- nothing works. 
Do you guys iron your pages while still wet?

The Crafter's Workshop "If You Believe" 6x6 stencil was hard for me to use as an outline because it's so delicate and flexible the stencil would slip around while in use.
Next time I'll use double sided tape to keep it still.
I decided to color the words in with a yellow neon highlighter and added Glossy Accents to see if the phrase would pop out more and it did.
I lack the design vocabulary to critique this.
It's not bad- it's just not what I call successful.
Has the same ever happened to you? The elements are all there but yet- it lacks.

What I learned:
Kraft sucks up color like no other card stock so choose bright or paint dense formulas.
Crafter's Workshop stencils are fantastic just remember the artist tape.
Take risks more often.

What I need to learn:
How to mix gel medium or whatever so my gesso is thicker- tips anyone?
How to get maximum stencil madness with minimum paper curl!

WHY is everyone staring at Lola?? Clueless Mom adventures.
MuChOs SmOoCheS!


  1. You know, I really, really love this page. It jumped out at me the minute I saw it.....It's just perfect! :) NICE work! :D

  2. I'm with AMY...LOVE!THIS! I need that stencil and one of my favorite elements is the crazy stitching! I can't believe you are even doubting this?!

  3. Really beautiful, I agree about the paper, I've had run ins with this and my tattered angels mist, however, I think it gives the subject and style a really pretty grungy look! Would love to meet up and craft/scrapbook one day!

    1. Oh heck YEAH!!!! Please don't let my scrappy desperation deceive you! I am NOT completely deranged! I need a scrap buddy STAT! :)

  4. I totally love it!!!! I have a love/hate relationship with kraft. I love it, but every time I use it, I find I am trying to "lighten it up." And you are soaks up everything. Mabe instead of gesso, try just white acrylic paint. It isn't as wet and is thicker, so that may help. Oh, and the only way I keep my papers from curling is to use actual canvas or watercolor paper if I am going to go crazy with the wetness....

    All that said, I LOVE your page!

    1. Thanks darlin'! It's especially hard right now with the trend towards all white backgrounds when using stencils. I find myself loving the full color effect but ALSO the minimalist all white background style so it's a FIGHT in my brain when I'm forced away from my first choice. I'm glad I was forced to grab the kraft paper again- I don't have a set style yet so it's good to get out of my element and try something new.

  5. I LOVE this page! The stencils are super cool and the addition of the black stitching and the dandelions was a fabulous idea! I don't have any tips for preventing page curling. =( I also don't have any tips on mixing gel medium and gesso. If I want something thick I usually grab modeling paste. I have a new favorite product for adding texture, Goosebumps by Tsukineko. It's available in 3 finishes, clear, matte and shimmer. It comes in a spray bottle, but you can also use a paintbrush for application. =) Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. A HA!!! This is something I've been thinking about for a while- I've seen those sprays in stores and wondered if I should pick them up. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Not only do I think this layout is successful, it is fabulous! I love the way you added the glossy accents to the title, such great texture! I have the same frustration with Kraft. I use it in practically everything I do, it just has such intense absorbency it always seems to mute colors a little. Regardless, I love this layout Michelle!

  7. It works really well Michelle.

    I've got the same curling problem to the point where I struggle to get it flat enough to photograph it at times so any tips you pick up would be very welcome.

    I'm yet to step down the medium road but I can see it on the horizon.

  8. Oh Michelle, this is spectacular on many levels. Adore the eclectic yet clean feel - love the addition of the dandelions - and the pops of red drawing your eye about the page are wonderful.

    A tip I got on SNR a long time ago for curling pages is you must do to the back what you do to the front for the most part. This works especially well for misting. What I do is mist up the front of my page - heat dry cuz' I'm impatient like that :P - and then lightly mist the back with water - heat dry again. This evens it out for the most part. Does it stop the curling completely - no, but its cut down a lot.

    I don't know about making gesso thicker, but I do know you would love to play with heavy gesso or super heavy gesso! This stuff will rock your gesso loving world for real. And I'll second what Dana said about the Tsukineko Goosebumps. Fun stuff for shiggity.

  9. Psssttt.....go check out my blog!!!

  10. You are so hard on yourself. This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Stop critiquing...and have a lollipop with Lola :)

  11. I dunno, I thought your page looked for sure great! fact I was sitting there admiring your stitching, wishing I even knew how to use a sewing machine..then I moved on to the rest of the blog and was surprised you didn't like it! The thing I usually do with craft paper is to randomly apply gesso before any stenciling or coloring. As for the paper curl, I do the heating on both sides thing too or I lay it btw 2 books..either way the paper is somewhat curled but less enough that I can work with it. I'm babbling, hope this was helpful!

  12. Thanks for the tip on The Paper Company kraft card stock! I use kraft a lot, and I know what you mean about it just sucking up color and wetness. I like using acrylic paints and a cosmetic sponge for stenciling on kraft. Your glossy accents on the title is cool! I think I'm going to have to break down and get some! Great job on the challenge! One of the things I love about you is your hung ho attitude that you will incorporate ALL 10 picks! Cute pic of you, too, btw!

  13. This is super cool Michelle! I really love the misting and the funky stitching! :) Nothing to feel insecure about...I love that you are experimenting!

    I love Maya mists because the colours are brighter and more vibrant and doesn't get "sucked up" by the kraft cardstock. You use way less mists too. And I don't have a problem with paper curling with Maya mists. With Tattered Angels, the colours are more subtle and you need a lot for the colours to show. I usually use them for a light shimmer on projects.

  14. Um WOW i totally LOVE it... awesome inspiring art!!!

    i use washi tape to hold my stencil as not so sticky and i also washi tape my cardstock down and leave it there to dry. less curl. otherwise i do this sort of stuff on much thicker cardstock like a chipboard - no curl.

    and that stitching is to die love crazy random stitching of any sort!

    a smokin hot page!


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