Tag Archives: tutorial

Re-post – Gel Skin Art


Here is a re-post of the “skins”, I made a while back.  Thought you would enjoy a 2nd go round on reading it and for the new subscribers and visitors.

The skin with the beads, is my favorite.  I’ve been tearing that up and using it in my work for about a year now. Here is an example of how I used it recently in my coffee filter art piece; see post here.

First up was Golden’s Self Leveling Clear Gel and the Clear Tar Gel.  I took a palette knife and spread a good amount on some freezer paper.. like frosting a cake.

I sprinkled some finer glitters and shiny things like colored micro beads, sequins or whatever I had.  The self leveling gel and the tar gel had the same results.  I think I will try mixing color into the gel to make it a solid color, then adding the pretty shiny things.  Adding snipped colorful fibers or fabrics would be an interesting effect, don’tchya think?  I’ve done it and it is.

Then I took fluid acrylics and dropped dots all over a sheet until it was crowded and ran a knitting needle around it making swirls and shapes.

I also took blobs of paints at the top of the freezer paper and spread them downward, but they came out too thin.  Not so great.  Using heavy body paints might work better.  But, still interesting and one of a kind.

Once they are dry, you can peel them off of the freezer paper.  Now what do you do with them?  How about adding them to a collage page, journal page or  cut into strips or chopped up to put into some dryer sheet collage art cloth… see my tutorial here on how to make it.

I haven’t been back up in the studio since before vacation.. sad.  I’ll get up there, get my creative juices flowing and be back with some fun stuff.

Thanks for stopping by?


Mixed Media Art Page on Cape Cod


Well, it’s good to be back home… as Dorothy says “there is no place like home” and it’s so true.

We had a great time this week on Cape Cod.  One of our favorite spots to visit.  We’ve been going for years, whether to rent or stay in a condo we once owned.

Between taking long walks, playing some tennis, hitting the beach, riding our bikes (killer 15 miles, I might add.. ouch on the tush), eating great food and a visit to the excitement of Provincetown, I was able to get in a day of art.

I brought with me a small art bag which included Bristol paper, Portfolio Oil Pastels, watercolor paints, fine line black markers in case I did any drawing.. (I didn’t) and a glue stick.

I was inspired by the art in our condo bedroom.  So, I visualized a page with colors and smudging of oil pastels, took some pictures as I created it and this is what I came up with…

I started with a blank page and just made colored squares with my oil pastels and started to rub each section with my finger to smudge them.

After rubbing them, I put a black border around each square.

Then rubbed the borders in for shadows.

I wanted to add something to the page, but I didn’t bring anything else with me.. so I ripped a page out of a magazine and crumpled it up.  Then I scribbled oil pastels in columns and took a damp paper towel to rub it all in..

Then tore long triangles.  The idea was to make paper beads.

I used a pencil and my eyeliner stick to roll the beads on and adhered them with my glue stick.  Then I further painted them with my water color paints and did some drippings on the beads.


Here they are.  Now what?

I decided, just for fun to smash the beads and make them flat and put them around the edges of the borders.  Just having fun with what I had in front of me. Not sure I LOVE this piece, but it was a fun process.  I can imagine an entire page of these smashed beads.  They look/feel so organic and natural.  Something about the torn paper.

I worked on the colors of the squares, rubbing further and taking away the center colors a little.

Here is my end result… FOR NOW.   Back in the studio, I may play a bit more with it.  Maybe some fabric and fibers… maybe a transfer on top.. maybe rip it up for other projects…. endless, I tell you.. endless…..  what do you think?

I have to get back in the groove here at home.  I think I’ll be doing laundry until 2012.  Back to work tomorrow.. ugh.. I can see about 300 emails waiting for me.. damn.. where are those ruby red slippers when I need them.. I’d wish to be back on the Cape.

Thanks for stopping by.


Mixed Media Collages/Used Coffee Filters


I’ve found some time to sneak up in the studio here and there with really no plans to make anything specific.  Maybe that’s the best way to approach art.. no thinking…. all intuitive.

These collage pieces started out as just bristol paper that caught some splatter paint somewhere along the line.  So, I decided to smoosh some paint around them for backgrounds.  Then I kept going.. Let me show you.. relax, sit back and enjoy...Click any picture to get close ups and to see more details.

Here is one large bristol page the I split into two.  As usual, I’m using my teal colors… I used stained music papers, paint, gel skin with glitter and beads (see link below)… rubber stamps, paint, Portfolio Crayons.

Remember this POST, when I made the skins?  I am still using the beaded skin I made.  You’ll see some of it in the collages here.  Rip a piece here and there.. adds so much to your work.

So, I challenged myself to get away from the teal colors and went with this….

Mauve’ish background, lace papers, my handmade polymer clay embellishments, swirl stencil, painted fabric strips, fabric flower in center of doily.

Now on to the used coffee filters.  This is so much fun, you can paint, collage and sew them.

Here’s what I did:

- Take used coffee filter or even take a new one and dip it in instant coffee, dry.
- Rubber stamp a woman’s face and color it as you like.  I used Prismacolor pencils and Portfolio crayons.
- Raw Sienna fluid acrylic background with music paper transfer.
- I ripped the filter to accommodate the stamp, as it wasn’t that big.
- Spray with fixative so colors won’t smudge.
- Glued the filter to a paper doily.
- Painted the edges of filter with crayon and the doily with copper.
- Ripped masking tape into strips and painted them copper and glued in a cruciform shape.
- Used my Citra solv paper for collage
- Added lace to bottom and top of collage.
- Rubber stamps, paint, by handmade polymer clay embellishments.
-  Lastly I added my beaded gel skin and a teenie tiny polymer clay heart in her hair.  I just love that effect.

Here are a couple of other coffee filters that I stamped, painted, collaged and sewed on.   Note:  I but gel medium on the front and back of these to make them stronger before I started to glue and sew on them.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them yet, but you’ll be the first to know.

If you have any questions on this post, please contact me; I’d be happy to answer and help.

As always, my friends, thank you for stopping by.


Mixed Media Collage Tutorial


I so enjoyed the 3 day weekend that just passed.  I was hot here in Mass.  A little too soon for me, but that tends to happen here.. not much of a Spring and then wham.. summer.  Give me a cold rainy day and I’m happy.  Strange, I know, but very comforting to me.  Whatchya gonna do?  Make art… that’s what… and that’s exactly what I did.

Here’s a tutorial just for you on how I made a collage on Bristol paper.  I started out thinking I would work on 3 collages at the same time.  Two on Bristol paper and one on deli paper.  The idea was to work on one while layers on another were drying.  Well, I started out that way, but there was too much going on and I couldn’t keep track of all the steps of the techniques.  I ended up focusing on one page for now.

You’ll see that I tend to lean more towards the teals, as in my other work too.  See this post and you’ll see what I mean, jelly bean.

Golden Gel Medium
Bristol paper 11″x14″
Golden fluid acrylic paints
Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints
scrap ephemera
polymer clay handmade embellishment (gotta have the clay in there)
lace papers
ink jet image transfer
my own hand carved rubber stamps
Portfolio Oil Pastels

Let’s start by showing you some of the handmade stamps I made.  Ok.. let me also tell you how I (bleep swear) at carving.   So they are not perfect and my back and neck  and eyes were sore after hours of carving, but they are my own originals.  Now, if you want to see some beautiful hand carved stamps.. go visit Autumn Hathaway’s website.. she is the queen of carving stamps.  She even has her own stationery line.  Gorgeous!

Here are mine.. aren’t they cute?  The pink ones are the ones I did this weekend and my own designs.


So, I started with the paper and scraped down some turquoise paint with a credit card.

Then added some Quin Azo Gold…

I used a little of the studio paints for patches of red.  More layers of turquoise and then I gave the entire page a wash with Titan Buff.  Ahhhh.  Let dry.  Actually, let all layers dry one at a time.

… and now, my friends… I begin the fun process of collaging.

I start the design using one of my stamps (love saying that).

STOP!  Wait a minute.. what time is it?  Did I forget to make dinner?  Um, ya, I think I did.  Ah, heck…. everyone for themselves; leftover night.

Continuing………. More of my stamps, scrap papers, corrugated cardboard from a coffee cup sleeve; stamped with red.

Added an ink jet image transfer from a transparency.

More papers, and stamps and lace papers.  Lace papers just melt into the collage when you use gel medium.

Here I put a strip of masking tape to protect the page from paint so I could put in a black and white stripe… then pull of to reveal a perfect line.  Love this.. makes me happy.

Here’s what it looks like before I start using Portfolio crayons.

I rubbed the black crayon around the edges.  I also used orange, teal, yellow and white crayon around the page.

Here’s the final.. I added a handmade polymer clay embellishment on one of the leaves. Also added a piece of my handmade tar gel skin with beads and glitter (right next to the spiral lace paper).  I cut about a 1/2″ from all around the edge of the page and snipped the corners.

Here are a couple of closeups…

There you have it.  I’m going to shoot for different colors on my next collage.  Ones that I don’t usually use.

Hope you enjoyed my tute.

Don’t forget to rate and  “like” me if you enjoyed this.

Thanks for stopping by.


Re-Post: Polymer Clay Artist Trading Cards


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mommies out there.  I hope your day is spectacular.  Pamper yourself; you deserve it!  I plan on it.  Well, that’s sort of a lie; I’ll be helping my daughter move out of her dorm for the summer.. but at least I get to be with my family.  That’s enough for me.

(click picture to enlarge for details)

I was going through some of my blog posts and thought I would re-post one of my favorite tutorials I shared with you about a year ago, since some of my new subscribers may not have seen it.

ATC’s are one of my favorite art pieces to make and share with others.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE POST.    I hope you enjoy or re-enjoy it.

As always, I thank you for stopping by and subscribing.

Judy ♥

In the Studio – Tutorial & Give-a-way!


It’s still darn cold here in Massachusetts.  We are all wondering where Spring is.  We’ve taken 1 step forward and 5 steps back.  I wouldn’t doubt if we went from cold to hot and have no Spring at all.

Well, I’ve been sneaking in some art work in the studio and made a little tutorial for you.

You can see from my photo below what I used for materials/tools – palette paper, acrylic paints, Staz on ink pad in brown, Portfolio oil pastels (optional), Wood Icing,  drink coaster (I’ve been collecting them from restaurants for years), blending tool, Stampbord shapes.  Also not shown below… cheesecloth and gel medium.

Note: Click on all pictures for details.

I started out by taking a piece of cheese cloth layed out on palette paper and spread it with Golden Gel Medium… let dry.

It will rip right off the palette paper with no sticking.

Rip it to the size you want and paint with acrylics.  Here I used raw sienna and turquoise.  Set aside to dry.

Take a coaster and spread it with Wood Icing.  Let dry. and do the same with the small shapes of Stampbord.  I only iced 2 shapes for this piece.

While the Wood Icing is still wet, you can stamp shapes into them; I chose not to for this project.

Once dry, I scraped into the Wood Icing with a sharp tool to make designs.

I painted the coaster and smaller shapes with Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold fluid acrylic.

Once dry, I spritzed them with Walnut Ink and rubbed into the surface.

Then I took the blending tool and brown Staz On ink and rubbed the edges of the shapes.

Oooooo… ahhhhhh… McDreamy.

Now, take the smaller shapes and spray more walnut ink to get into the scratch grooves you make and wipe off the raised areas.  Paint with acrylics or use Portfolio crayons to make beautiful colors.

Here is what I ended up with.  I scratched some circles and painted them and put some splashes of red in there to make them pop.  I also did a little rubber stamping on them.

I glued the cheese cloth on the coaster the added the finished Stampbord shapes.

Here is my end result.  Coaster measures about 6″x4″.

I love the colors of this piece.  Makes me happy.  So happy, that I am going to give it away.

Leave a comment here and pass it along to a friend to also leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner in one week (Wednesday, 4/27).  Make sure you leave your email address so I can let you know if you won.

Thanks for stopping by and playing along.


In the Studio…& and a little surprise


Yes, I’ve been up in my studio again having fun creating.  I seemed to have push through my “rut” of not getting up there.  So, a few leftover nights and take out, got me out of the kitchen to spend time creating.  I just made the decision to not think about what I should do rather than what I WANT to do.. and that is to forget about chores and putting in extra hours in the office and concentrate on feeling good about my art and doing something about it.  Well, at least for one weekend anyway.  I think we all deserve that, don’ t you?

It’s still “wintery” here, so I will continue to hibernate, as they say in bear language.  What better way to enjoy a cold day than to be in the art studio.

Let’s start with my birds.  Well, you all know how much I love the birds that visit me by reading my few posts here and here.  They’ve inspired me so much that I’ve decided to create some of these little creatures with polymer clay.  I wanted to share them with you.  They are such a joy to make.

Ready?  Lots of pictures ahead…  Click each picture to enlarge.

This little fella is about 3″ long, 1″ thick.  I have him sitting on a wooden post that’s also about 3″ tall and 1″ round.  Painted the stand with a teal acrylic paint and rubbed some white over it.  Then gave the bottom and top edge an Inka Gold rub (love that stuff).

I’m loving the spiral wings.  This bird is about 4″ long.  I put gem stones on the eyes and a small heart on it’s back.  I’ve been making a lot of teeny tiny hearts for my birds.

Now these little guys are my favorites.  They are so tiny.  They all measure about 1″ long and 1/2″ wide.   I put the tiny hearts on their backs and one of them has hearts for wings. These hearts range in size from 1/8″ to 1/4″.

A gather of hearts and birds, above and below.

and now………….a little surprise………….. my first video on how to make my little birds.

Enjoy and thank you for stopping by.

Collage Redo


I just had to…. It was bugging me for over a week… the last post I did with my final collage was really bothering me.  I put it away for a week and took it out again.. I still didn’t like it.. too busy.. just too busy.  I felt like the transferred queen and the polymer clay face were fighting each other and the embellished metal piece to the right was just too much.  I got some advice from some artistic souls and I was inspired to attack it… gently that is.  Well, no …not really.

Here is the one I posted last week that I thought was final….

I needed another set of eyes to look at it.   I ask my husband and he says.. “ohhh.. nice”.. hmmm, that’s it???  I work for hours on this and I get a “nice”??  Men… do they really think about those things?  I mean, it must be like asking them “do I look fat in these pants”?   The safe answer is “no, honey, of course not”.  Ok… I’ll accept that.   I think if I asked him to really take the time to look at it, you’d know what he’d be thinking… NOTHING…. of course unless the Patriots are on the t.v. and they are winning .. ….fuh-get-aboud-it.   Then I asked my 16 yr. old daughter and she says  “that’s pretty cool” (as she lifts her head up from texting or watching some stupid reality show.. I mean really… REALLY? I’m going into my woman cave… make your own dinner!

Ok, that’s it.. I’m going in for the critiques from other artists.   Am I ready for that?   Well, I’m glad I did.  Amy told me that the blingy thing on the right was the first thing she saw.  I knew it.  I put it away in the closet.  That will be my “what not to do” collage.  Then my friend, Raine (and I can’t link to her, cuz she ain’t got a blog YET), looked at it and said it seemed too busy and little too much of this and that.  Yes, finally, I knew I had to change it.

I ripped off the embellished metal piece with the black fabric down to the bare canvas.. what a mess (it was secretly fun).  Then I went over it using the same method I used to make the bubble texture and then painted it the same.. see the tute here.  I also ran a black ink pad over the high peaked bubbles.

Ripped off the polymer clay face and replaced that with another piece of CitraCollage (see in the same tute above).

Then I added 3 of my handmade polymer clay buttons to replace the black fabric and embellished metal.

I painted black and white stripes on the sides and stained with walnut ink.

Here is the final final and some details.

So what do you think?  Better?    Thanks, my friends.

Happy Halloween!!!


Final Mixed Media Citra Collage


Well, here I am again to show you my final mixed media canvas, as a continuation of my blog post last week.

I’m tellin ya.. I had a dog of a time with finishing this piece.   Don’t ask me why.. just slap on an image and call it day, right?  Wrong!

My first problem was I tried to work on it at night.. no daylight, after my full-time job, dinner, dishes… What am I crazy?  Don’t answer that.   But.. no pain, no art.  Is that what they say…  pain, gain.. tomayto, tomahto.. you with me?

I decided to choose an image of a queen.  Now, the quest to find a copyright free image.  Thank goodness for Karen’s Whimsy.  A great site for images, free to use as you wish.  I found my queen..c’mon your majesty…let’s get transferred.

So, to bottom line this frustrated artist’s story… I transferred the queen image 3 times.  Let me tell you.. it was ugly, people.  The two before the successful one were done on cheap printer paper.  Rubbin off the backing paper after the medium dried?  It came out, but not as clear as I would have liked it.  Not my favorite way to transfer.  I never seem to get all the paper off… and just throwing on a coat of gel medium doesn’t make it much better.   I ended up ripping out the two layers of medium; again, ugly and frustrating.   My third try was done with an inkjet transparency.  I don’t know why I just don’t do it this way.  It’s practically perfect every time.  Note to self:  “Judy, use transparencies”.

Ok, here is the undone canvas I left you with last week:

.. and here is the final that I just finished today.

As you can see, I’ve added quite a few more enhancements:  I took another piece of my citra solv magazine paper (tutorial in last week’s blog post) and transferred the queen on it (using inkjet transparency and Golden Gel Medium, Semi-Gloss).  I also transferred some roses on my music paper and also under my polymer clay face.  I rubber stamped in a few places with titan buff acrylic paint.  Also added some foil melts.. fun.

Here are two details pictures:

There you have it.. citra collage papers used on a mixed media canvas.  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and the final result.  I did enjoy creating this piece.. bloopers and all.  Lessons learned.. I love that.

Thanks for stopping by.


Mixed Media Citra Collage Tutorial


Last year about this time I did two posts on the beautiful Autumn that we had… you can see the posts HERE and HERE.  Well, that was last year.  This year is a different story.  I have no pictures because the colors are dull this year.  The summer was so hot for so long, the trees just got too stressed and couldn’t generate enough chlorophyl.   I guess that’s like us really isn’t it.. sometimes?  Dontchya think?   Let’s hope that next year it comes back in full force with beautiful backgrounds.

Speaking of backgrounds… I wanted to show you a very cool technique that’s been shown here and there using CitraSolv.  It’s a degreaser used for household cleaning.. well, check it out HERE.  Then check out the CitraArt HERE.  Pretty darn cool if you ask me.. go ahead ask me… .. It’s funny you should ask… Yes, I thinks it’s so cool that I made a mixed media canvas collage with it.

Let’s start from the very beginning.. …(wait do you hear Julie Andrews?)  Sorry.

I looked all over for a bottle of Citra Solv.. nothing in the local stores even though the CS website listed the retail store locations.  So, I finally found a bottle at Vitacost.com.   Citra Solv works well with the National Geographic magazine pages the best, as it is contains a clay coating used for the crisp images the magazine is known for.

Moving on….

Here are the steps I took to make my Citra Backgrounds.  Start with your bottle of Citra Solv and a Nat Geo magazine. Now, you may want to work with a window open or go outside.. it’s not a terrible smell.. just a very STRONG orangey odor.  I got sick of it after a while.

I put my CS in a small plastic spray bottle instead of using a brush.  I thought it would be easier to spray.  I started to use a small plastic “solo” bathroom cup and a brush to spread it on and this is what happened…

Ummm.. apparently the plastic in the cup did not agree with the CS.  However, this plastic spray bottle is fine…

Let’s begin… can you stand it????

Open the magazine to some colorful pages and begin to spray.  Spray, turn to next colorful page.. spray,  next and so on…  now don’t be stingy with the liquid.. if it’s drippy that’s ok…

See how it begins to “melt”.. oh so fun.

Spray all the pages you want and close the book and let it sit for a while.. at least 15 minutes.. if you don’t see a change when you open the page.. spray some more and close the mag… some pages are better than others…. BUT oh look and see some of my results…

Do you see where I have the pencil pointing above?… I saw a face in that blotch and I started to enhance it further.  Look for images and play.

Above, I started to rubber stamp and play with the face.

So, there you have the way to make the Citra Backgrounds.  Now, let me show you how I applied it to a new mixed media canvas piece.

I started with a blank canvas, put down some fluid acrylics, letting each layer dry.  Then on the far right I put a large strip of heavy acrylic paint.

I let it dry then put my heat gun to it really close.  This will make the paint react with the intense heat and start to bubble… I got this technique from Gary Reef.  You’ve heard me mention him before.. such a love; you can see the video HERE.

Look at that beautiful texture.  I’m excited now.  When you are happy in bubble town, let it cool down (that rhymes, by the way).

I painted the white with gold acrylic paint and heated it again causing more bubbles… and then another layer of gold…

Once the paint was dry and cooled, I put random ripped masking tape over the gold.

Then painted it red then pulled the masking tape off revealing the gold underneath.

I DIDN’T LIKE IT…I needed to tone down the red.. just wasn’t working for me.

So, I painted the gold over it…..

Close up below.. love the texture…

OK… let’s get on with using the Citra Backgrounds….

So, here you can see the citra pages on the left and going up and on the top… Did a little rubber stamping on them and “antiqued” with some brown shoe polish around the edges..  On the bottom is a ripped resin music page.  It’s coming along, but still needs some lovin.

Ah Huh…. one of my favorite techniques.. pushing molding paste through stencil… Here, I tinted molding paste with black acrylic paint.. and mixed to make a black paste.

A little boo boo on the top left of the fleur-de-lis.  I’ll need to let it dry and redo that section.

Below is a picture after the fleur-de-lis was done and I added some gold trim along the red strip, hand made polymer clay embellishments, ribbon and gold paste that I rubbed over the molding paste design.  People, I’m just in love with Inka Gold waxy paste by Viva Decor.  I can’t get enough of it.

Here is the last picture I took.  At this point I’ve added, black tissue paper, black stenciling, fabric, lace paper and I blinged up a boring metal pendant.  However, I have to admit.. I know it’s not done.. it still needs a final image above the music paper.  It’s look very royal.. maybe a queen?  Beeswax?    What do you think?

I had so much fun creating this piece.  Hope you enjoyed the post and tutorial as much I as enjoyed creating it for you.   I’ll show my final canvas in my next blog post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Judy  <3