Mixed Media Morsels & more

Tips, Ideas, and Inspiration

In my Mixed Media Morsels YouTube video series for 2020, I am creating a small, fabric-covered traveler’s notebook-style journal, and altering the pages of a checkbook register sewn inside it. The series is called Mixed Media Morsels Motivations, and I’m providing one motivational quote each month so that everyone participating can use it on their journal page. For the month of January, the quote is about losing our fear of being wrong.

January’s page

You can click the following link to my YouTube video, to see how I created this page: MMM Motivations, Page 1 – Lose Our Fear

We all sometimes experience the fear of doing something the wrong way, or feeling that others will think we are doing it wrong. In creating art, it can be a paralyzing fear – one that has the capability of keeping us from creating at all.

The good news is that we have the power within us to choose to say no to that fear. It can be challenging to do this, especially if you haven’t done it before, but it works! It’s easier than you think to make the decision to not let fear have the upper hand. Art should be a fun, completely enjoyable experience, so if you’re not having fun, or you’re finding that you can’t even begin, take a moment, think positively, and say to yourself, “Fear has no place in my art. I’m going to enjoy this process, no matter how it looks in the end. I have these art supplies and I’m going to have fun playing with them.” If you’re not happy with how it’s looking, don’t forget that in mixed media art it’s all about the layering, so add more layers! Glue a scrap of paper here and there, add a bit of paint, stamping or stenciling, until you like it. Maybe it needs a border or a focal image. You can use stickers, magazine or book images, etc., but whatever you do, just start and don’t give up. The more you practice playing and just enjoying the process, regardless of the outcome, the easier it gets. Remembering that mixed media art is not meant to be perfect helps, too. It’s a messy, fun playtime, and if you think of it in that way, and keep a positive attitude, you may find yourself relaxing a little and enjoying it more.

So, let go of that fear and just play! You’ll be so happy you did.

See you next time!
Cat

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A few days ago, I had fun creating in the old book I’m altering, making a page that featured a large, colorful butterfly. This page came about because I had some small, water colored paper scraps that I just couldn’t throw away. I had saved these beautiful scraps to hopefully use in a mixed media art project, but for several months I kept moving them around my desk because I was working on other things and hadn’t had an opportunity to get to the scraps project yet. So, as I was tidying up, I came across them once again and decided to just sit down and create something with all that color. I turned on my camera and you can check out my YouTube video here if you’d like to see my process.

I received a few questions about how I had created the butterfly, so I’d like to share that information in this post.

I drew half of a butterfly on a piece of printer paper, then drew some shapes inside the wings. I cut out the butterfly and the shapes and then transferred the image to a piece of slightly glossy black paper that was included with a stencil I had purchased. I used a white china marker to outline the butterfly on the black paper (a white crayon can also be used) and then I cut it all out again. I was able to use my fingernail to easily scrape away any of the remaining white wax from the slick, black paper I had used.

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I lightly traced the butterfly onto my book page before I painted the background color. As you can see in my video, I added some stenciling to the background and collaged the colored scraps inside the pencil lines I had drawn on the page. Next, I used some gold paint and stamped some floral images on the black butterfly outline, then adhered it over the top of the collaged pieces.

This was a simple page, but it had a very dramatic effect, as the black outline of the butterfly made all those little scraps burst with even more color! I don’t think I will ever tire of experiencing the joy of seeing what can be created with scraps – it just never ceases to amaze me!

I would like to share a little of my joy with you, so I’m offering a free template of my hand-drawn butterfly so you can create your own project. Click here to print it out. Be sure to print “actual size” if you want your butterfly to be the same size as mine.

Also, stop by and check out my Facebook group, Random Remains REVIVED! and share what you create with your scraps. You’ll find lots of inspiration and some really nice folks there, too! 😉

Until next time,
Cat

 

It’s been a while since I posted here, and that’s because I spend a lot of time at the end of each year with my family, doing fun holiday things together – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope you have enjoyed your holidays and are excited to see what the coming year will bring. I know I am!

I would like to personally wish each and every one of you a very happy and prosperous New Year, one that’s filled with many blessings and joyful times with family and friends.

See you in 2019!

Cat

Recently, I sat down to create a birthday card for a dear friend. We have known each other since 1st grade {a VERY long time!} and I enjoy creating unique cards for her. This one was inspired by my recent creation for my YouTube video Morsel Mash-ups Challenge #9, in which I had painted a stamped image from Dina Wakley’s “Scribbly Birds” stamps set. When I created my card, I picked a different bird, but painted it the same color. For the card’s background, I went through my pile of gel prints and found one from a couple of years ago. I didn’t have any immediate plans for it when I created it, but I held onto it, and I’m glad I did!

Here’s a short video, just for my blog followers, showing my process in creating the card front:

 

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To finish it off, I adhered hand-lettered words, and then matted the card front with dark green card stock, to give it a nice frame on the white card base.

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I love how the card is bright and whimsical, yet it has a vintage-y feel.

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One of my favorite things to do is just ‘be still’ for a few moments and watch wild birds in nature. I know that my friend enjoys doing this as well, and I hope her birthday is filled with joyful things!

Before I go, I also wanted to share a video of a song entitled “Be Still,” by Hillsong Worship. I love this song and I hope you will be blessed by it as much as I am.

Take care, everyone! 🙂
Cat

I really enjoyed creating some altered tea bags in my recent Mixed Media Morsels, Dessert #9 video on my YouTube channel. It was my first time altering tea bags and I found it quite fun! I also did a Second Helping” video, where I explained a little more about different tea bags and how they stain, as well as some other information about how I empty them and then use them in my art.

I used one of the tea bags I altered as my focal point for this month’s tag. Once again, it was a very simple process.

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For the tag’s background, I adhered a napkin with a glue stick and then sealed it with Collage Pauge.

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I loved how it had a simple linen look, with a red border at the bottom, matching the tea bag perfectly! I used a hole Reinforcer sticker by Tim Holtz on both sides of the tag.

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Even though I liked the simple aspect of the napkin, I felt it needed a little something else, so I stamped some text on it, which gave it some added interest.

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I made sure to catch the tea bag’s string in with the ribbon and sari strip that I tied onto the top, which lifts the little tag and allows it to dangle. I added a couple of dots of glue to hold the string in place and then stamped three curly doodles around the edge of the tag.

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This is an awesome way to use something different in your art, and the best part is that it’s something that most of us already have in our homes. And if you’re not a tea drinker, there’s a good possibility that you know someone who is, and maybe they would be willing to save a few tea bags for you. Also, if you don’t drink tea, you might consider brewing some to stain papers, fabric, or laces, which are perfect to use in vintage-style junk journals. Then you’ll have the bags to alter as well!

Those of you who know me, know that I’m more of a coffee girl than a tea girl. But I’ve come to realize that tea does have its place. 😉

See you next time,
Cat


Check out my Amazon store to see products I use and recommend.

I had so much fun creating some little vintage-style tags from product packaging in my Mixed Media Morsels, Dessert #8 video. I really loved each one, but the little girl with butterfly wings was my favorite, so I decided to make a similar one for this month’s tag.

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I also thought it would be fun to insert a video of my tag-making process for my blog followers. I hope you enjoy it.

After filming, I added a bit more embellishing in the top left-hand corner of the tag,  using up some older items from my stash. I also colored the little girl’s hair bow very lightly with a Faber-Castell Pitt pen.

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I really enjoyed creating this tag to add to my tag book – that little girl is just too adorable! It has been very easy to add a new tag to my book once a month and I’m thrilled with how it’s filling up. I hope you are making some tags and creating your own tag book along with me! 😊

See you next time,

Cat


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Creating simply sounds so easy, doesn’t it? The problem is, we make things more difficult than they need to be. I’m just as guilty as the next guy for getting in my head too much when I get ready to create something, and I have to make a conscious effort not to do that. Limiting your supplies is a good way to simplify a project and not feel so overwhelmed by the creative process. Pick out four or five supplies and commit to using only those things. This will help you to loosen up and play more freely, and you may be surprised by what develops!

When I was creating my Mixed Media Morsels – Dessert 7 video for my YouTube channel, I added one of my tissue box flower embellishments to a simple black and white tag I had created a while back. I loved how it looked (see pic below), so I decided to create a similar one to show the simple steps I used… and also because I wanted one to put in my tag book this month, lol!

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The tag base I used in my video was purchased as a printed tag with the text already on it. The new tag I made started as a blank one, so I covered it with text by using a stamp and some StazOn black ink.

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The next step was adding the napkin, which I adhered with some Collage Pauge (Matte). I also colored a plain white reinforcement sticker with a black Faber-Castell Pitt pen, and I adhered it to the hole in my tag. I love the effect of adding a napkin over printed text or music; this works best if you use a napkin with lots of white space.

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Then I added my phrase, taken from the Tim Holtz Small Talk sticker book. I outlined the phrase with a gold Painters pen and a black Sharpie pen. I also used the Painters pen to draw a thin, gold outline just inside the edge of the tag.

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I used the Pitt pen again to blacken the tag’s outer edge and then adhered the flower I created with some punched tissue box pieces and a silver sequin.

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Lastly, I pulled a yellow ribbon through the tag’s hole and tied it with a piece of baker’s twine.

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So simple, yet really pretty!

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If we make a conscious effort to create simply, it will help us to focus better and understand what we’re doing, as well as build our confidence. So let’s shove that nagging fear aside and make things that are simply beautiful!

See you soon,
Cat


Check out my Amazon store to see products I use and recommend.

I really enjoy using everyday items to make marks in my mixed media projects and I’d like to show you another way to use the handmade stamps I created in my Mixed Media Morsels, Dessert #6 video. The tag I have made for the month of June features a simple leaf stamp I made from ordinary fun foam, and instead of using the leaf as a focal point, I created a colorful background, using just that one stamp and several colors of Ranger Archival Inks.

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I wanted the colors of the leaves in the background to be somewhat light, so after inking up the stamp, I stamped it a couple of times on a sheet of printer paper before stamping it onto my tag. I really like how the paper turned out!

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I decided to use a couple of stamps from my stash to create the focal point. Using my water brush, I wet the tissue around the stamped images, making it easier to tear them out. Tearing the images helps them to disappear once they are adhered. If your images are cut out, rather than torn, they will have sharp lines that will be more obvious when they are adhered to your project.

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The border is a hand-drawn line with black dots, made with a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Marker. I added a few more of the black dots later, along with some additional white dots using a Posca paint pen. My tag needed a reinforcement sticker on the hole, so I used some of the purple Archival Ink to color an ordinary white one, then applied it to the tag once it was dry. Voila! No longer ordinary, now it’s a custom, matching sticker!

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I adhered the stamped tissue paper images with Collage Pauge. You can see how the tissue virtually disappears – I love that! After it was completely dry, I colored in the butterfly stamp with paint pens and I’m very pleased with the simple beauty of it.

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Sometimes finding joy in ordinary things just means you have to look at them in a different way – a way other than their intended purpose. That’s what I have found in using common household items as mark-making tools in my art – like making stamps with fun foam, using an empty tape roll or jar lid to make circles, bubble wrap to make dots, or a piece of shelf liner to make cool patterns. I like thinking and creating outside the box and believe me – it’s joyful! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by,
Cat

P.S. I have just listed a second set of mark-making tools in my Etsy shop. There is a limited number of these sets, so if you’re interested in getting one, don’t wait. I have a special bonus coupon code available just for my blog followers. Use this link to receive 15% off my Mixed Media Mark-making Value Pack – Set 2. The code (MMVPSET2) will be automatically applied at checkout and it will be good through July 7, 2018 unless these value packs sell out before then. Thanks so much for following me!

{UPDATE: 15% OFF COUPON IS NOW EXPIRED.}


Products I use and recommend: https://www.amazon.com/shop/cathand

After getting some computer issues straightened out, I can finally share my tag that showcases my YouTube video for Mixed Media Morsels, Dessert #5. In this video, I altered some clothing and product tags, creating tiny houses out of some of them. I really love them, so while I was crankin’ out little houses, I decided I wanted this month’s tag to be a house as well… a bird house, in fact!

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Here’s how I did it: I wanted a “wooden” bird house, so I started by painting my tag with a mixture of brown and yellow acrylic paint, not caring if the tag was covered entirely. Surprisingly, leaving some areas white caused the brown painted tag to look like weathered wood!

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My next step was to stamp the tag with a wood grain pattern.

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I painted another piece of card stock for the roof, adhered it, and then I drew some lines with a brown Faber-Castell Pitt pen. I used a grey Pitt pen for the shadowing. The circle in the center was punched from brown card stock then shaded with the grey Pitt pen. The perch was punched with a regular hole punch and painted.

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I used some painted book text and music papers, along with some dies, to cut out the leaves and my little bird. I adhered them with a glue stick and then shaded and highlighted them.

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The words were handwritten on a scrap of tan card stock, then cut out and outlined with a brown Micron pen. I also added some tiny lines here and there to give them a bit of a worn, wooden look. Then I “nailed” them to the bird house.

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To complete the tag, I added a reinforcement sticker to the hole and tied on a piece of jute. As you can see, my little tag book is coming right along.

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Creating this tag was so much fun! I appreciate your stopping by and taking a look.

See ya next time,
Cat

P.S. If you’re looking for products I use and recommend, you can check out my Amazon shop here:  https://www.amazon.com/shop/cathand

 

 

“Play is the highest form of research.” George Bernard Shaw reminds us that, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Hmm, maybe these guys were secretly mixed media artists, LOL!

It’s so much fun to just play — paint, scribble, stick down papers, etc., with no expectation of the outcome. It can be very disappointing when a project doesn’t turn out the way we envision it, so we should let go of all those preconceived ideas and just play! Finding out what will happen when we don’t think about what we’re doing can be very surprising and exciting!  🙂

This month’s tag for Mixed Media Morsels, Dessert #4, was quite an enjoyable play time for me. I used my Derwent Inktense pencils to make a colorful watercolor background for my tag.

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Next, I used a piece of small bubble wrap and some white acrylic paint to stamp some dots onto the background of the tag. Something as simple as this step really makes such a huge difference in how the piece looks!

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I penciled in my quote, using a few of the lettering techniques I covered in my recent YouTube video. If you missed it, you can click here to watch. I then used a black UniBall pen to thicken the script lettering and my Faber-Castell PITT pens to color in the partial block lettering. The highlighting and doodles were made with a white Posca paint pen.

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I added a black butterfly and some stars – both are Remnant Rubs by Tim Holtz . Then I tied some colorful eyelash fibers on the top. While I was at it, I also added fibers to the first two tags in this series, ‘cuz they looked kinda nekked.  😉

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Mister Rogers said, “Play is the work of childhood.” So we all need to find the child inside of us, keep the research alive, and keep ourselves young — in other words, we need to PLAY!

See ya next time,
Cat

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