Sunday, July 31, 2011

Project 26: Mixed-Media Collage

This weekend, the one and only Tim Holtz was at Scrapbook Island, a San Jose scrapbooking store. Tim Holtz - creative director of Ranger Industries, the guy behind my favorite products - alcohol inks, distress inks, and an arsenal of mixed-media tools and inspiration. Here, in person - and not only here, but teaching a four-hour workshop! For the craft fangirl, this event was on a par with going to that Duran Duran concert as a teenager. And the sixty other cheering, boisterous ladies in the room felt the same.

The workshop theme: breaking through creative blocks. We started with four blank canvases and in the course of four hours, created this:

The finished collage
All the credit for this post goes to Tim, who walked us all through this project step by step - ever so patiently and incredibly enthusiastically.

Tim Holtz teaching the Creative Blocks workshop at Scrapbook Island
There are a ton of fun techniques in this project to get the creative juices flowing. This project uses a range of Tim Holtz and Ranger products (of course!). Rather than list them all here, I'll list the products used in each step.

We started out with a 6x12 inch canvas and three mini canvases: one rectangular and two differently sized squares, along with a bag of goodies and metal embellishments: a mini broken porcelain statue, game pieces, foliage, hinge clip, pen nib, glass bottle, glitter, wire, keys, lock, metal borders, and more.
Place the mini canvases wherever you like on the larger canvas, leaving enough room between the canvases to add a paper border.
Mark the canvas placement with a 4B graphite pencil.
Using a ruler (here, the Tim Holtz Tool Design Ruler), sketch in lines connecting the the canvas squares, in any pattern you like.
Lay the canvases on pieces of cut-up dictionary paper that are sized a few inches larger than each canvas.
Using an adhesive (here, Claudine Hellmuth Multi-Medium) spread glue on the face and sides of each canvas, then stick each canvas down on the center of each paper.
Fold up the sides of the paper and pinch the edges.
Tear off the edges, then spread adhesive on the wood canvas backs, pressing the dictionary paper down onto the backs. We now have some lovely wrapped canvases. Set them aside to dry for a bit.
Taking scrapbook paper (here, from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology collection), tear off paper to fit inside each area you marked (except for the canvas areas, marked with an X). Use the ruler as a guide for tearing. Note that no scissors are used in this project!
Here's the set of torn papers, in a map, ruler, and letter motif.
Glue the papers down with Multi-Medium and let dry for a few minutes.
Turn your attention back to the dictionary canvases. Take a Distress Ink pad and tap it with the foam end of a Ranger Ink Blending Tool. Then rub the ink into the paper with the tool. 
Build up several layers of different colors for an antiqued effect. Keep a few white spots, as in the center of the paper here, for a mottled and more authentic look.
Spray the canvases with Perfect Pearls Mist for some colored glittery shine. Set the canvases aside to dry.
Apply Idea-Ology Tissue Tape around the edges of the canvas, and ink with Distress Inks to antique.
Rub the graphite pencil around all the borders and use your finger to smudge the pencil, blurring the edges of each border.
Glue the canvases on with Multi-Medium.
For an optional layer of texture and interest, melt beeswax in a Melting Pot and spread a thin layer on quickly with a brush. It'll look opaque as it dries, as here, but if you're using colorless beeswax, it'll dry clear, giving the a dimensional look to the layers below.
Using acrylic paint (Adirondack Paint Dabbers, here), smear dabs of paint over the beeswax to add more interest. You can also use small dabs of paint to antique the embellishments, culled from meaningful scraps you've collected, or as here, from a collection of Idea-ology Findings. 
Position your embellishments and glue them on with Multi-Medium. Tell a story if you like - this one seems to involve a cryptic tale of keys, locks, time, and maps. Or heck - just play.
Creative blocks unblocked - thanks, Tim!