Archive for April, 2007

Book Cover Background

Grab a pile of books, sorted by category if preferred (ie., art books, books on the craft of writing, garden books, an author’s entire collection of writing, favorite books, most recently read books.) Photocopy the covers of the books you choose. Cut into pieces and fit together on one page. Then either photocopy again for a solid background or simply attach pieces individually with adhesive. Adjust these to make any size background for ATCs, collage or multi-media art.


Background of Labels

If this doesn’t make you feel like a trash collector, nothing will!

Collect a variety of labels and miscellaneous pieces of paper — labels from canned goods; new clothing tags; sales receipts; panels from boxes of dry food such as pasta, cereal or pudding; packaging from tissue paper, toothpaste, soaps; any other unusual items that come to mind. Arrange on heavyweight paper for a totally original background, rather like a personal journal of paper consumption. Glue with YES adhesive.

A second option is to fill in a large piece of sturdy paper or matboard with your ‘paper-abelia’ patchwork. Then cut into smaller pieces of background. This could even be used for ATC backgrounds if you are careful to get several different labels on this small scale projects.

Mulberry Print

Mulberry paper can be used many different ways. The paper is not color fast and so makes some fantastic prints. This technique is easiest to apply on small projects such as Artist Trading Cards, but can be adapted to work with other sizes by overlapping edges or layering.

Cut a piece of mulberry paper slightly larger than paper to be printed. Place mulberry on top of solid paper. Dampen, but do not soak. Let dry, then pull two papers apart. There should be a pattern from the mulberry paper imprinted on the plain paper.

Now try making a negative print. Using temporary adhesive, affix object to paper. Try key, leaf, coins, etc. Then repeat procedure from above paragraph.

Try using two different colors of mulberry paper for variety.

From Scrapbooking to Mixed Media

Many items commonly used in scrapbooking can also be used in collages or mixed media projects.

faux wax seals
antiqued tags
serendipity squares
ribbon scraps
corrugated cardboard or cardstock
hanging charms
color blocking designs
paper clips, plain or circular
sheets of cork
paper piercing
hanging picture(s)
shrinky dink plastics
mulberry paper
a ‘to-do’ list for a bit of journaling
a picture photo-copied on vellum
‘quilt’ page with paper cross-stitched together
crackled with UTEE
definition taken from dictionary

Embossed ATCs

Cut out 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ card from mat board or other sturdy background or use a playing card covered with several layers of white gesso or paper. Let dry if you have used gesso. Dab thinned acrylic paint (half paint, half water) onto card using wadded plastic wrap. Use 2 or 3 colors and cover much of card. Then emboss the card, using a contrasting embossing powder. Use a large-patterned stamp or a large stamp covered with words. If using words, stamp in lines as if the marks are being read, upside down, right side up, or a combination of both. Using a medium sized rubber stamp with a simple image, stamp once over the embossing. Add vintage or found object for final layer.

Scrap Paper Embossing

Using matte acrylic medium, adhere newspaper print, ad copy or telephone book page (white or yellow) to heavyweight paper for the background. Add tiny pieces of contrasting scrap paper with UHU glue stick, overlapping some of the papers.  Cover at somewhat more than half of the surface. If necessary, smooth the small pieces on the surface with a brayer. Let dry completely.

Stamp with Versamark clear stamp pad. While still ink is still wet, sprinkle rust colored embossing powder over stamp ink (or use whatever color you like.) Shake off powder residue that did not adhere to ink, then use a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. Move heat gun over the surface until powder turns shiny. Add ephemera to the embossed collage. Consider vintage cherubs or children, image transfers or cut out words.

Bizarre Mix and Match Collage

(The background idea is loosely adapted from a creation from ‘Al-Pha-Bet-i-Ca’ by Lynne Perella, pg. 45.)

Crumple a piece of paper — newspaper or plastic wrap or white tissue, even aluminum foil. Smooth and copy on a printer, using the print for the art project. Or try covering any of the prepared materials with a piece of vellum and copy to get a spooky look. Attach paper to a surface, already prepared — painted, antiqued, etc. Use something with heft — mat board, canvas, etc.

Now comes the fun part so grab the attention of your Muse. Try adding unexpected combinations together — the more unusual partners, the better. What about a black/white paper or bright ribbon ‘weaving” on a piece of vintage floral wallpaper? Or a forest and lake photo background covered with pix of nuclear energy reactors and a light green sun?  Remember, odd is good.

Using two pieces of paper (use a fun paper), cut flaps in the top paper like a jeopardy game screen. Set up a game where life from 1977 (30 years ago) is compared to 2007. Try comparing gas prices, before and after results of a sports record or the price of a home or stock in the stock market.

There are innumerable combinations. Bambi and his mother with a tornado in the background. A collage of church doors below steeples and people carrying golf clubs and fishing rods sneaking out the door. (What would the church sign say?) Or the Grand Canyon or other natural chasm with a tight wire ending mid space and a tight rope walker near the end of the line.

Mix or match. Make a series of collages. Think of your own ideas. Remember. Crazy is as crazy does.