Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tips and Techniques Thursday

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my continued discussion about powdered pigments, aka Pearl-Ex and Powdered Pigments, to name a few.  Last week I talked about binders and how to make the powdered pigments adhere to your surface.  Today, I'm going to give you a few techniques to try at home.  They are not new, but as always, they are oldies but goodies.  

A technique I like to use for applying mica powders is to stamp a fairly solid  image using VersaMark ink (or a clear embossing ink).  Then, I use a small paint brush to dust various colors of mica powders (powdered pigments) onto the image.  The powders will stick to the Versamark ink.  Brush off the excess powder and spray lightly with a spray fixative. Most of the colors work best on darker surfaces, like black, navy, or burgundy.

Another technique is to run a length of double-sided adhesive along the edge of your work, or wherever you want to use it, and dust the adhesive with mica powder (powdered pigments).  It will stick beautifully to the adhesive.  If it seems to be rubbing off, I use a light spray of fixative to keep it in place.  If you have a die cut machine, or even decorative craft punches, you can cut double sided adhesives through the machine or punch and use the shapes to adhere the powders to, also.  I recommend using the types of double-sided adhesives that say it is alright to use with punches and dies so as not to gum up your tools.

A pearlescent paint can be made by adding your powdered pigments to liquid adhesives, such as Sakura's Crystal Lacquer, or white glues like USArtQuest's Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA).  There is no recipe.  I simply like to mix a very small amount of powder into a bit of glue, then I use a paint brush to paint (or color) my stamped images.  It helps if you use open designs and heat emboss the image with embossing powder and your heat gun.  The embossing creates a bit of a "well" or barrier to keep the liquid from running outside the lines.  

Well, that's it for this week.  Stay tuned for more about powdered pigments in the future.  Until next week, thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tips and Techniques Thursday

Can you believe another week has gone by, and it is time again for a few tips and techniques.  

Today, I want to address powdered pigments.  Working with powdered pigments, or mica powders, can be a lot of fun and add so much to your work.  But I am asked quite often to explain the difference between Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls.  Pearl-Ex, by Jacquard, is strictly mica powder.  It contains no binder, therefore, needs some sort of binder added to it.  Binders come in many forms.  One such binder is gum arabic, which is usually in powder form.  Mix your mica powder with 2 parts water to 1 part gum arabic.  Mixing in a water bottle cap or jar lid is usually sufficient, unless, of course, your are going to paint a barn.  Okay, all kidding aside, use small amounts of each because they will go a long way. 

Perfect Pearls, by Ranger, contains the binder already mixed into the jar, along with the mica powder.  Perfect Pearls can be applied simply by adding water to it.  No gum arabic is necessary.  Just dip a wet paint brush into the powder and paint away.  When dry, it should be set and need no fixative (such as Krylon Workable Fixatif) to keep it from rubbing off.  The binder takes care of that.

Besides gum arabic, white glue, Perfect Paper Adhesive, PVA (bookbinding) glue, Diamond Glaze, Crystal Lacquer, shellac, glue stick, Future brand floor wax, and any other adhesive will work with your mica powders.  Stirring the mica powder into the adhesive first will give you a paint mixture that can be brushed on with a paint brush.  Again, no fixative is necessary because the glue(s) are acting as the binder.

Next week, I will cover a few more things about powdered pigments, and give you a few fun techniques to try.

Until then, thanks again for stopping by, and have a wonderful week.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vintage Hawaiian Adventure

Aloha everyone.  Barbara here, back with my second design team project for The Robin's Nest.  When I saw the Tropical Flowers Glitter paper, with it's bright orange and golden yellow colors, and plumeria flowers beautifully glittered throughout, I could not help but think of Hawaii.  Everything is so warm and colorful there, and The Robin's Nest papers are perfect for this page layout.

I began with the Tropical Flowers Glitter paper as the backdrop for my page layout.  I wanted to bring in the blue to complement the orange color, but I did not want to cover up the beautiful Tropical Flowers Glitter paper.  So I cut the center from the Glitter Teal card stock to make a frame.  This allowed me to use the center portion of the Glitter Teal card stock for die cutting an ornate frame (pictured below) for my main image, and a few other die cut pieces to use to further embellish the page. 

I love dimension, so I ran the ornate frame through an embossing folder, highlighted the high spots with a dry brush technique using off white acrylic paint mixed with a bit of Sakura Crystal Lacquer.  The Crystal Lacquer made the acrylic paint slightly transparent, which is the look I was going for.  I also added the same paint/Crystal Lacquer highlights all around the blue postage stamp edge frame, as well as the embossed oval backdrop (pictured below) using the same dry brush technique.  I cut out the word "Hawaii" and the Hawaiian totem image from a box of Hawaiian candy packaging.  You can also see in this picture where I added some metallic teal dew drops to the frame using the Dew Dew Glue.  These little glue dots make it especially easy to add your dew drops to your art.  I think it really added that touch of bling.

To make the golden yellow flowers and leaves, I used a bit of the distressed honeycomb paper, die cut the leaves, and folded them as shown.  The Robin's Nest paper is so nice, and it holds its shape so well, that when you unfold the leaves, they do not collapse.  Really terrific!!!!

Folded die cut leaves

The tiny little rolled flowers were made by loosely cutting out a circle, then spiral cutting into the circle.  Then, roll the flower up from the outer point of the spiral to the inside.  Add a touch of glue to the center, and when the glue dries, you can manipulate the tiny petals a bit to "ruffle" them.  

Pictured below, you can see the dimension in the leaves, as well as the tiny rolled flowers.  They are so easy to make, and oh so much fun.  The blue flowers are from the local craft store.

Folded die cut leaves and spiral coiled paper flowers

 Robin's Nest Products Used:
Tropical Flowers Glitter 12x12 paper
Distress Honeycomb12x12 paper

Glitter Teal Cardstock
Metallic Teal Dew Drops
Dew Dew Glue
I hope you enjoyed my project for this week.  Please be sure to visit The Robin's Nest for more selection of their beautiful papers and embellishments.  You will not be disappointed.  And don't forget to check out The Robin's Nest Monthly Page Map Challenge for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from their online store.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful week.