Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crayon Art Canvas Instructions - Learning Curve to Something New

A few months back, my BFF and Jilliene Designs colleague, Maggie Donoso, came over for a crafty playdate and introduced me to the  crayon art she had found on Pinterest.

She made a few of those adorable canvases for Christmas gifts this last year including one for me- which I treasure!
(The expression "I love you to the moon and back" is one of those shared memories that great friends develop over time.)

I tried my hand at crayon art and it was frustrating for me.  I gave my first project an hour and then decided it wasn't my thing and put the canvas aside.  I had thought I would have better control of the melted crayon when using my heating tool, so I  tried something different than the dripping crayon motif.  What I got was a random mixture of colors that were muddy and uneventful.

I had lightly adhered the crayon bits I wanted to melt with a glue dot and then proceeded to melt them with my heating tool.  I hadn't anticipated that my heating tool with it's light flow of air would push the melted crayon to and fro.  What happened was that the wax blew away from the target and left me with "bald spots"  I had envisioned a "thickish "layer of wax like icing on a cake.  I had hoped that the colors would gradually flow into one another creating movement and harmony.  Yoda would say; "grand ideas, they were," but alas, this was not the way crayon art worked.

Once my canvas hit that point of no return where the colors became muddy and and the texture changed from fluid to "icky" (I think that is the correct industry term), I elected to put the project aside for a rainy day.

Then yesterday, I disappeared in the world of Pinterest and came upon this fun piece of art:
My creative juju kicked in and I thought I'd pick up that old canvas and try something new.  My idea was that I would create circles of chunky melted crayon and then add more crayon circles layers on top so that it looked kind of like the yellow flowers in the artwork above. (Now I see that it is ribbon, but at the time my excitement prevented me from actually looking at the details.)

1. First I commandeered my kids crayon bin and found the colors I wanted to use.

2.  Next I lightly hammered the crayons so they were in chucks thinking that this would help melt in a lump form.

3. I was concerned about controlling with the heat so I went to the kitchen and gathered some cooking tools to assist with the project.
I grabbed a glass baking pan to support the canvas, a pot holder (which was quickly exchanged for silicone tongs) and 2 circular glass items which I hypothesized would help melt the crayons in neat circles.

4. Next, I stacked the crayon chunks in their spots.

When I tried to hold the small glass bowl with the pot holder, I found that the edges of the pot holder were too long so I switched to the silicone tongs.

5.  My first attempt at melting the crayons was a useful "learning experience".  I realized I was going to need wax paper between the bowl and the crayons else the crayon wax would stick to the glass.
6. The wax paper was an improvement but I found that the wax did not melt evenly and it mixed with the existing wax on the canvas.  I allowed the wax to dry before I removed the wax paper.  If you look at the yellow circle on the lower left (in the photo above) you can see that there were clumps but there was also disbursement beyond the bowl circle "mold" because the melted crayon blended with the existing wax on the canvas.  At that point, I realized that stacking another layer of crayons on top of the first wax circle would replicate this same issue. Now what will I do? Another idea had been brewing in the back of my mind while I had been trying to fix the circle issue.

I thought it would be cool to layer paper flowers on top of the crayon circles.  I love the look of stacking circles to create a flower so I pulled out my punches and my scraps and I got to it.
7. I crumpled, inked, cut and frayed the edges of the circles to create interest and used foam dots in between the layers to add to the dimension.  Then I dug through my buttons, beads, found items and metal embellishments to find the right center piece for each flower.
8. I new what I wanted to title this project as I looked at my work table with chagrin so I sat down at the computer, found a font that would fit the look and printed out "Life is messy".  I made sloppy cuts when I trimmed the words to match the motif. I then inked the edges and modge podged them to the canvas.  I also tore some of the wax off of the canvas and inked those spots for more interest.

And there you are.  An afternoon in my creative laboratory, experimenting with that and that - one idea turning into another.  Its a magic formula - a little inspiration, a couple scoops of random materials, a touch of trial and error and out comes a bit of art.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fun Valentine's Projects Brought to Us by Crafting Superstars

Do you subscribe to the Craft Gossip blog?  I have to tell you, it is a must have! I get their daily emails that include quick summaries and links to fabulous craft projects posted on blogs all over the internet.  Subjects vary from quilting to upcycling to scrapbooking to cooking.  I am posting some links and photos of some of my favorites Valentine projects- partly for you and partly so I won't forget about them!  (I can fall victim to the out of site out of mind syndrome if not carefully kept in check.)

This simple Valentine's Garland Project comes from Just Crafty Enough.
Step by step instruction with loads of pictures will assist you in decorating for your v-day event!

Holy Cow!  This Valentine Fortune Cookie Project is the COOLEST February 14 idea I have seen this year!  Brought to us by PaperVine.

Darling, darling, darling!!!  I just love these sweet Valentine heart barrettes!  These cuties come from Purl Bee along with step by step instructions.  Reading this made me to drop everything and spend the day being crafty.
Um YUMMY!  This truly sweet pound cake is made with love.  Brought to us by Boulder Locavore.  Find the recipe here.

This last project is too cute to forget!  I am going to do these Valentine's twig arrows with my kids to distribute in their class on Valentines day  Created by "homework: today's assignment to be inspired"; be sure to visit to see more inspiration!