Friday, August 29, 2014

The Twinery - You Hold the Keys...

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's my last Friday as Guest Designer on The Twinery blog - I've had so much fun this month working with these beautiful twines.

I know what you're probably thinking as you look at today's project...there she goes with those same colors again! I've reached for this color combo a LOT this summer...don't know just happened. But in my defense, all the projects I've shared lately in this combo have been meant to send to other people...this project is for me to keep and display in my craft room. So what better place to display something in colors that seem to come natural to me? :)

I started out with the desire to make an 8" x 8" canvas...until I discovered that I didn't have a blank canvas in that size sitting in my stash. And as I've admitted before, patience is not one of my strong points, especially when the creative muse decides to show her face! So, I took matters into my own hands, and made myself a sort of "watercolor panel" (that's not the right term, but I don't know what else to call it - it's like a canvas panel, only made with watercolor paper) by using wet adhesive and a brayer to glue together three layers of 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. (I can hear the watercolor purists out there gasping...but it wasn't the most expensive watercolor paper brand, so if you break it down, it cost me less than the purchase of a canvas panel - even more of a savings if you factor in that I purchased a large pad of this paper with a 50% off coupon.)

This is when I thought this would be an experimental piece...I had no idea if this would work the way I envisioned. That's why I don't have any stepout photos - and I should have made some anyway - because it would have shortened the explanation a lot. So in lieu of photos, here's a written explanation of how I made this piece. Feel free to skip over the next few paragraphs if that's not of interest to you...I won't be offended, I promise. :)

The first step to the background was to stick a few random pieces of dry wall tape to the watercolor paper, then gesso over the tape to make sure it was secure, as well as to make sure it would accept water-based color mediums. I randomly gessoed the rest of the surface, leaving some areas clean, so they'd accept the color mediums in a different way.

Next I sprayed on a few different Flat Fabio sprays, and then mixed Merci Beaucoup Mint Flat Magical powder with gel medium, and applied it randomly with a palette knife. The tan areas are colored using Cafe au Lait Flat Magical powder, only this time mixed with water and applied with a watercolor brush. When this all dried, I distressed the edges of the panel, and went over them with Black Soot Distress Ink and an ink applicator tool.

Next it was stencil time. I used a circle stencil with modeling paste in two corners, and let it dry (love that when dry, it picks up the color of the water based medium beneath it - in this case, the sprays and the colored gel medium). Once the modeling paste dried, I accented the edges of the circles with a black Stabilo All pencil to add depth.

I sprinkled on some of the same sprays to form random spots/splotches - and did the same with a white ink paint pen. The white streaks are from running the edge of a palette knife through a pool of white ink on my craft sheet (made when I got the pen primed for dropping splotches - can't let it go to waste!) then running the inked knife edge onto the canvas.

As a final step before embellishing, I wrapped a few pieces of Cappuccino Solid twine around the piece, to break up the large square a bit and help center the eye on the embellishments I planned to add.

Now it's time for the embellishing fun. I wrapped two old clunky metal keys with The Twinery's Caribbean Solid and Caribbean Stripe twines, using craft paint on the portions I couldn't wrap. (Delta Ceramcoat Turquoise was the perfect match for the turquoise key) - then realized they didn't look finished until I added a little tassel to each one. I had die cut the word "you" but it looked a bit lightweight next to the heavy keys, so I pulled some Charcoal Solid twine, and glued it to the die cut it looked more proportional...

Next step was to add a large floral cluster at a slight angle across the center - I had a digi collage I'd made up a couple years ago, and wanted to find a place for it among the flowers. I tucked a few loopy bows of The Twinery's Caribbean Solid and Lilac Stripe twines among the cluster...

Twines:   The Twinery - Caribbean Solid,  Caribbean Stripe, Cappuccino Solid,  Charcoal Solid,  Lilac Stripe
Stencil:   The Crafters Workshop Mini Circle Explosion
Dies:   Simon Says Stamp "you"';   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves
Flowers and stamens:   Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts           Pearls:   Recollections
Vintage Image:   digi collage made with images from
Sprays:   Lindy's Stamp Gang Flat Fabios (T-bird Turquoise, Pink Ladies Pink, Raspberry Lemonade, 
Pop Rock Purple, Frenchy's Pink Pouf)
Paints:   Lindy's Stamp Gang Flat Magicals (Merci Beaucoup Mint, Cafe au Lait);  Delta Ceramcoat Turquoise;  white
Miscellaneous mixed media supplies:   Cold press watercolor paper,  drywall tape,  gesso,  modeling paste,  gel medium,  Dymo label,  Uni Posca white pen,  Black Soot Distress Ink,  cheesecloth,  Stabilo All pencil,  Prima edge distressing tool 

Thank you to Julie and The Twinery's Design Team for the fun month as Guest Designer, and thank you for stopping by for a visit today.  Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. This is oh so beautiful, gorgeous flowers and wonderful textures on your background, and love the colors!

  2. So beautiful! Love how you used the twine


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