Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Creativity Takes Courage

For the project today I wanted to experiment a little with Distress Spray Stain.  Yes, I've used it many times but I have never really been a "spray" girl because (to be honest), it's just too messy.  My desk always seems to have multiple projects going on which makes it very plausible that over-spray could go right onto whole different project.  Anyway, today I decided to see if I could create a background and keep it all on the craft mat.  Let me show you how it went...

I started by cutting a piece of chipboard  5 x 6 1/2" for a foundation.  I also cut a few pieces of my FAVORITE Ranger Mixed Media paper 5 1/2 x 4 1/4".  I only need one good one so I thought I better cut at least 2 to have something to choose from (keeping fingers crossed).
I placed the cardstock on the center of the craft mat and sprayed a few colors of Spray Stain: Shaded Lilac, Twisted Citron, Worn Lipstick, and Squeezed Lemonade to be exact.  To be quite honest, the sprays look just like spray on paper (duh).  The only reason the yellow is more liquid is that my nozzle was a bit clogged so it came out in a stream.  That look is another reason I have stuck with the Distress Stain with the dapper top.  I feel like I have more control and I can get an all over color rather that this sprayed look.
Okay, how can I make this work...?
I decided that adding more water may be the key so I used the Distress Sprayer and slowly pulled back on the trigger to allow the water to dribble out onto the cardstock.
Now I like where this is going.  I started drying it (but not all the way).
While it was still wet I sprayed a bit more stain/color on the card (especially at the edges), adding worn lipstick over worn lipstick or twisted citron over twisted citron, thus keeping the colors "true".  Of course there is overspray onto other colors which worked out great.  I then dried it with the Heat It tool.  I do think that drying between layers was important to the overall outcome.
Once I was satisfied with the experiment, I choose a card for the project.  I stamped it with an image from the Sideshow stamp set in Archival Ink.  I also added random numbers using another image from the same stamp set.
I drew a box with my go to black marker.
Then colored it in with the Picket Fence Distress Crayon.
Small Talk stickers make an easy sentiment.
To create the foundation, I used the chambray from the Textile Surfaces pack (it also comes with 2 colors of linen - 6 sheets total).  The Textile Surface are self adhesive, just peel away the backing paper and add it to the chipboard.
Cut away any excess.
I stitched around the cardstock (the stitching seemed like it went with the chambray background) and then added it to the foundation chipboard with Scotch Brand foam tape.
I chose three idea-ology Nailheads and rubbed them with Distress Paint Pumice Stone to take away the "new" shine.  They are glued in place with just a small dot of Glossy Accents.
This is a quirky stamp set so I felt I needed to add something odd to go along with it.  I chose a line cut from a notebook.
This is my first time using a new Display Hanger (you get two in a pack).  It also comes with the epoxy piece that fits into the metal label.
Again, I cut a line from a book for the label space.  You might think I am spending a lot of time looking though books for words, but more often than not I have one page of a book on my desk and I have a little challenge with myself to find the words I need from that page.  I have been cutting words from the same page for a couple months now.  No digging or searching...just the one page that has good color, good font and a small text size.
So here is the finished panel. 
I love how the background worked out.  Yes, I think I need more practice to really get the technique down.  For the most part, I just needed the water to create the puddle like background instead of the "spray" look (I personally like just hints of the spray look).

maybe today's post should have been called #keepingitreal...
Now carry on,


  1. Oh this is fabulous and your sprayed backgrounds are just stunning Paula! Inspired use of the Picket Fence Pen to create the inner of the box! and those hangers are now on my list of Wants! A wonderful project - please spray some more! Jennie x

    PS I have to admit to spraying into a cereal box as I can't get it to stay in the area of the mat. Even with the box I manage to get it in places I would not have thought possible!

  2. I'm with you on the over spray. I move everything out of the way before even attempting to use sprays. I love the display hanger! Beautiful project!

  3. Beautiful piece Paula, I like when you experiment. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Paula, your posts always make my day. Love to follow along as you experiment. This one turned out great. Love the stitching and nail head details.

  5. Yes... it does take courage ! I'm kinda with you on the spray stains ... I need a little play time. I so love how YOU play... it turned out awesome !

  6. I think the great thing about the sprays is that you never really know where they will end up - but having ruined a few 'other' projects I now use an old pizza box as a 'spray booth'. I love how your experiment turned out though, the colours are wonderful in the background!

  7. Well I am glad you persevered, it's turned out brilliant! I always spray on a large bit of cheap paper, it can be die cut if some of the overspill has turned out looking cool. I have to say I MUCH prefer the sprays over the old stains, you have more control, that's true, but almost all of my favourite vintage colours turned bright green. I got in touch with Ranger and got some replacements, but sadly they turned green again. I think the chemists at Ranger should really revisit them! Sorry, but I was quite upset at the time as I wasted a lot of money on things that are now gathering dust in a box....

  8. Artists are supposed to embrace "messy" (?) but I DO NOT! The solution for me when using spray stains is to place the piece in the bottom of my laundry sink (which is real deep). Clean-up is a snap.

    Love your artwork and L-O-V-E that stamp set. I like cutesy as much as the next but these images really speak to me. So glad they're available!

    Ditto Astrid, many of my stains have gone bad (including replacements) and I am hesitant to purchase any more so I just use my ink pads in ways that can mimic this effect.

  9. As always an inspired and inspirational project! Your use of Distress crayons Picket Fence is extraordinary and so clever! I confess : I sprayed also the window of my kitchen with Distress sprays! BArbara

  10. Love this piece! I am on the fence over the sprays. I feel like I have more control with the dabbers and the stoopid spray parts are forever clogging even when I wipe them as Dyan and Tim both suggest. Ahhh, the artist life is HAAAAARD!!!

  11. I love that this guy had a heart! :-) Sprays are messy, but they are sprays... nothing sprays like a... spray. That said, I use a gift box (you know, like a proper gift box that your grandma gave you pajamas in) for my "spray tray"... Bonus: 2-in-1, right? The 2"-high sides have been perfect for overspray.

  12. Lovely project Paula! The sprayed background is perfect for the stamp you've used. I keep wanting to get my hands on that fab set! I also like the way you created the little panel to highlight the text. You have such great ideas! Toni x

  13. Fabulous Paula, love the background you created with the sprays and it compliments that wonderful funky stamp perfectly! Love the addition of the text fragments and Small Talk stickers. You have given me the courage to use my Distress sprays more as I rarely use them, time to get courageous and messy! Deb xo