2014 Inspiration

Our first crafty afty of 2014 was to start our inspiration board for 2014. Before Christmas we were set a little homework, to think of a word to inspire us for the whole of 2014. It had to be a maximum of 6 letters and pick up our spirits each time we see it.

I went through the usual words dreams, family, love, joy, peace, create but I wanted one a little more personal to me. Throughout my life I have never backed down on what I want to achieve, even when people have knocked me down I just keep trying, you could call it determination or been stubborn. Both words are too long so I hit the thesaurus and a few words stood out “spunk” and “mettle”

This is my board so far, we get to finish it off next week with embellishments made with the melt pot. I’ll take you through the different stages below.

Kingfisher background

Kingfisher background

We used an oversized A4 canvas board which was already treated with gesso (bought for around £2). The one tip we were given whilst creating the background was to make sure each layer was dry before we did the next. This did not take long, as each layer was thin and dried within a few minutes (or speeded up using the heat gun). The first layer was to apply a base coat (best to start with light colours and get darker with each layer). I started with an acrylic off white. The next layer was using a technique called dry brushing with about 3-4 different colours. You use a wide thin brush with a small amount of paint, dab it on a piece of scrap first to get rid of any excess and then just swish back and forth across the board. My board was to go horizontal and I wanted my background to look like grass and reeds. I used yellow, two different greens and a brown. Before the next stage we had decide our letter arrangement so we could build the design around this. I decided to put my letters onto a stick so my board was quite open to where the details of the next layers could go. Some of the other ladies in the group used square blocks with wooden letters. The 3rd layer was stenciling with distress inks. I used a vine type stencil with green and brown ink. You can be quite bold here, in fact I think the bolder the better.

inspire board

Stages 1-3 of inspiration board

The next stage was very delicate we had to stamp onto tissue. We used ordinary klenex tissues, split so you just have 1 layer. This just about covered the whole board. Using stazon I stamped some grasses, reeds and flies onto mine. I also added a zentangled kingfisher which you may recognise from my last post. Taking the picture I took of my kingfisher drawing I resized and printed it onto the tissue. Yes this did work, I was amazed, using masking tape and attaching the tissue onto 200gsm card and put through the ink jet.

For the next stage, stage 5 we got to use the melt pot. Using cosmic shimmer beeswax granules, once melt we brushed some into the middle and corners of the board and layered the tissue on top, using the heat gun as you go cover the entire tissue with melted beeswax. Start from the inside and work out and then once done just go around the edges of the board to give a bit more thickness and texture. I used the same technique for the kingfisher, finishing it off by going around the edge of kingfisher to add texture. I then just used a copper and green Ranger perfect pearl powder around the edge of the board. This is as far as we got in our 3 hours craft session but I did manage to glue my stick to the board and paint and decorate my wooden letters.

Here is my word, painted first with copper metallic acrylic paint, grunged up on the sides with green and black distress ink. I finished them off with some flitter glu and Yorkshire dales flakes.

2014 inspirational word

2014 inspirational word

Here is Dianes board on the left, to show you a different approach. The small square blocks are just painted and stamped on. Her wooden letters will be placed on these blocks.

On the right is my mum’s board to show another way of adding a longer word to the board.

Next week we will get to finish our boards with lots of embellishments.

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