Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MIX-Ability Challenges

Over the past weeks I have enjoyed playing the Mixed Media Challenges over at Splitcoaststampers. These challenges are designed to make mixed media simple and approachable, and to inspire stampers to experiment with medium from their stash. 

A "medium" can be any of the following:
  • Pencils - wax, oil, watercolor, graphite/charcoal, chalk/pastel
  • Pastels - chalk, oil
  • Markers - watercolor, pigment, water-based, acrylic
  • Pens - ink, glitter
  • Pigments - Gelatos, watercolor crayons, metallic rubons
  • Paints - watercolor, acrylic, oil, poster, tempera
  • Inks - dye, chalk, distress, reinkers, pigment, hybrid
  • Powders - mica, pigment, chalk
  • Sprays & airbrushing
  • Dimensionals - embossing paste, gesso, fabric, found items, papers (collage, piecing) & ephemera, foils
  • Heated elements - encaustic wax, embossing  
      A "mix" can be any two or more of these items or others.

MIX 10 Challenge-Circle Flowers

Challenge: Hand cut (no dies!) circles from paper, fabric or anything else and make them into flowers and then add glitter to make them sparkle!

I swiped several distress pads across the card base to create the background. The flowers are created with texturized paste paper I recently made. The stem and leaves are recycled security envelope liners. Lots of tearing, scrunching and folding paper.  This was so-o much fun!...pure playtime!


MIX12 Soft Landings My Friend

Challenge: Add a POP of color from across the color wheel. I also challenge myself to pull out a couple stamps I had not used before.
I used distress inks to stamp and color the feather and then clear embossed.  Highlights were colored with Inktense pencils and then wet a paintbrush to create a watercolor effect. Wow that yellow Inktense did give a pretty pop of color. Highlighted the feather's spine with a Signo white pen.
I covered moth and feather with gel medium and let it dry. Created the background with blue and green distress inks. I swipped inks on craft mat and moistened. Card stock was placed face down in ink and repositioned a few times. Dried with heat gun.
I tested several other methods of creating the floating skies and could not achieve any as effective as the distress inks. I was pleased with how the gel medium protected the images from the background ink.
These stamps are large! I had to create a 4x7 base to achieve the floating effect I desired. But it will be well worth making a special envelope.

   MIX 13 Challenge- Use 2 mediums and include some hand drawn doodling on your project 

This is my first ever hand drawn bird or anything on a card! I am so excited! It was so much fun!!!
I used Dylusion mists for the background above the ground. And stamped the Stampendous leaf with Ranger archival black ink stamp. I stamped a 2nd generation image from each inking to create a layered appearance and finished with white Signo pen squiggles on the leaves.
I used Inktense pencils to color the ground and bird. It is a great way to have a little more control when  watercoloring. Love the strong pigmented colors...only wish I would had started with a larger set of colors. I had fun using a slightly wet brush to rub off small droplets from the tip of the pencil to create the small dots on the bird's body. White pen squiggles again.
Handwritten sentiment banner edge is outlined with Black Faber Castell's Pitt big brush pen (India Ink). Stardust Gellyroll pen adds a touch of sparkle to the flowers.

Signs of Spring 

MIX14 Challenge: with a little springtime inspiration we are to step out of our comfort zone and create ART using at least 2 different coloring media.

I am still waiting for spring to arrive here. So I dug deep to think of happy spring time icons that are meaningful to me and came up with: newly leafing trees, linens blowing dry on the clothesline and bluebells.
For this project I covered a 5x7" canvas with gesso and used acrylic paints for the background. 
I love texture and wanted to try some new textures on the canvas. I wadded up some tissue paper and glued it on top of the gesso at one end. At the opposite end I wrapped bandage material across the canvas and painted it.

Once dry I challenge myself to not settle for what I thought the layout would be and turned the canvas to each side thinking about how I could use that side. Talk about moving outside one's comfort zone. Finally I decide to use the canvas upside down from all my thoughts during the beginning prep LOL!
I decided the tissue paper texture could serve as layers within the tree branches and would provide a place to hang my sheet. I started with creating the tree branch using embossing paste with stencil. I colored and added leaves.
I outlined a mask for the flowers. Since it had no interior lines to work with I just went with whatever came to mind. A few bleeps along the way but I just added another layer of colored over those 1st editions.
I ended up coloring with most everything in my stash....acrylic paints, watercolors, dye inks, liquid pearls, pencils, markers...What fun!  I am not yet calling this finished-- I want to let it sit a spell.

Are you starting to create some mixed media cards? These challenges are a great place to start with other stampers! The mix ability challenges are great fun and the talented hostesses provide lots of great inspiration. You can click on to the link on the right to connect to the MIX-ability challenges at Splitcoaststampers.









  1. Jan I really like the cheerful colors and mixed materials you used in your challenge projects!

  2. Oh my goodness...these are all wonderful. I have not tried mixed media or art journals but my six year old grandaughter loves the look. I save posts for her to look at and then she will try some of your ideas. I am so far behind in posting to her blog for her!!! Bad grandma!

    Will come back to this post as I want to take some notes of what you have tried out for techniques!


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