Thursday, February 10, 2011

Playing with texture and photo transfer

I'm a bit behind on posting this week.  It has been a busy week, but part of what has slowed me down was my discovering some new blogs that have fascinated and inspired me.  Translation:  I have spent more time reading other blogs than posting on my.  But in the end it is all good because I am still on target for my goal of completing one project a week. 

This week I wanted to try out texturing a canvas with Molding Paste.  I was inspired by one of my new blog obsessions, Design Mom.  The thing that really drew me into this blog was that this mother of 6 has recently moved her family to France for a year.  She and her husband both work from home and have always wanted to live abroad, so they decided to just do it.  I so wish we could have lived abroad with our kids, so I anxiously await each new post to learn about their experience.  But let's get back to the focus of this post.  While reading Design Mom's blog, I found this Abstract Art for Kids project, which was written by Dani Henriksen  who writes one of my other new blog obsessions, Pineapple Paintbrush

This project totally inspired me and I immediately ran out and bought some molding paste and canvases.  And this week I put them to use making projects for an upcoming activity with the young women at our church.  

Here are my supplies:

Since it was my first time using molding paste and I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it, I ended up buying the cheaper store brand. 

Don't be shocked by the price tag on this molding paste. I try to always use a coupon for my art supplies, and used a Hobby Lobby 40% off one for this jar of paste.  I bought the large jar because I knew I would be using it a youth activity and wanted to make sure I had enough to play with it on my own and then with my young women.

For this project I decided I wanted a flat canvas instead of a wrapped one.  So I bought packages of these: 

Because I get multiple Sunday papers, I was able to use the same 40% off coupon for these.  I just had to stand in line 4 times that day.  Luckily there were 5 different cashiers working up front and none of them seemed to notice or care that I kept coming back. 

Yesterday I pulled out my supplies and went to work.

I started spreading the paste with a pallet knife I found in an old art kit I bought.
I knew that kit would come in handy one day!

Once the canvas was completely covered, I used some old beads and a cookie cutter to create the texture.
I really liked how the texture turned out.
The Abstract Art article at Pineapple Paintbrush said to let the molding paste dry overnight.  I, however, have a serious problem with both procrastination and patience, so I just couldn't wait.  I pulled out my blow dryer to help speed up the process.  Then I moved on to painting the canvas with metallic gold paint. 
Once again, I loved the result.

While the paint was drying, I got back on my computer to prepare the next step of my project.  I wanted to make an ink jet transfer to put on the canvas.  I had read about this process at More Than Photography.  

The first step in this process is to print out a mirror copy of the image you want to transfer.   Our young women are divided into three age groups--12-13, 14 -15, and 16 - 18.  I plan to make a picture for each age group that contains the name of the group and their class symbol.  These will then be used in our New Beginnings Program later in the month where we will be highlighting our youth program to all the girls who will turn 12 this year.

Here is the image that I am working with: 

I got a JPEG copy of the Rose--the class symbol the Mia Maids (our 14 and 15 year old girls)--from Jenny Smith.  I then pasted it into a word document and flipped the image horizontally.  The text was created as Word Art and also flipped horizontally.  I then printed the document in the BEST mode, and allowed it to dry for a couple of minutes.

The next step is to apply Mod Podge, or any other decoupage medium, to the printed side of the image. 

This is what was in my craft box, so this is what I used. 
The image is then placed onto the canvas, and rubbed to make sure it adheres completely.   I used my fingers and also a rolling pin. The texture on my project made this a little tricky.  My first attempt at this process probably should been done on a non-textured background, but apparently I don't like to do anything the easy way.

Once you are satisfied that the contact is as good as you're going to get, you should walk away and let it dry.  The above article says drying time should be at least 20 minutes but for best results you should let it dry overnight.  Hmmm....guess which time frame I decided to follow? 
After about 20 minutes, I started to remove the paper.  This is done by wetting the paper and then using your fingers or a damp sponge to rub the backing off of the mod podge image. 
I started to rub with a wet sponge...
Because I chose to start rubbing right at the minimum wait time, this ended up being a drawn out process.  Turns out it wasn't dry enough to remove properly and parts of my image came up with my paper.  Of course it could have also been the fact that I didn't follow directions exactly.  Instead of spraying the paper down, I just used a wet sponge. 

So let's review--today you've learned that I am an impatient procrastinator who is bad at following written instructions.  Add that to other personality traits this blog has highlighted and I am probably the only impatient procrastinating ADD instruction ignoring hording crafter you know.  So glad this is recorded for my posterity!

But getting back to the problems I had removing the paper from my image.  Take a close look at the center of the flower and you'll see what my above personality traits caused--a spot where the image completely came up:
When this happened I waited a couple of more minutes, then used a blow dryer to hurry things up a bit (because even when I mess up, I still can't be patient!) and then started rubbing again.  

Here is my finished project: 

I don't love it, but I did learn a lot that will hopefully make the next two more successful.  I plan to do them at night and then leave them alone until morning.  I will then actually follow the directions and see what happens.  How smoothly that goes will determine if I keep this one or redo it.   Either way, I'll post the results.

Well, I am out of blogging time this morning.  Tomorrow I'll show you the projects my young women completed last night. 


the momma-kana said...

I LOVE LOVE how that turned out! It looks great. Very vintage and "in". I for one am glad you did not follow directions exactly. It looks beautiful

The Artisan Mama said...

Thanks Makana!

Dani said...

Oh my goodness, that is fabulous. I have never done an image transfer like that. You have inspired me. You took my project and stepped it up a notch - amazing!

The Artisan Mama said...

Thanks Dani. You have no idea how much that makes me happy!