Friday, April 17, 2020

Wishful Thinking

Hello friends,

I posted a photo a day ago stating that my ode to Collage Paper was still going on!  Well it has been a fun week in studio creating with it (I'm not sure I'm done yet), making another Collage piece with a grungy background.  Follow along and I'll show you the steps.
(click on picture to enlarge)
I'm starting with a large Vignette Tray (6 x 12") that I have turned over to use the back side.  I used Collage Medium to adhere pieces of Worn Wallpaper to the surface then added a layer over Collage Medium over the top to seal (do not skip this step).  Let dry.
Today I'm using Botanical Collage Paper for the big flowers.  I used a Detailer Water Brush to draw a line of water around the flower that I wanted.  The paper easily pulls apart along the water line.
First, add Collage Medium to the surface where the flower will go, then lay the flower directly into the glue.  It is very important that there is CM under all areas before you start the top layer of glue.  Collage Paper is porous but it will never become as translucent as it could be unless there is glue underneath.
For the top layer of Collage Medium, working quickly, start from the center and work your way out to the edges of the paper until it is secured to the surface.  This is the best way to avoid wrinkles.
You can LIGHTLY rub the Collage Paper into the surface IF there are any white areas. You need to be very careful not to tear the Collage Paper as it will be at its weakest stage until the CM dries.  I find it helps if you make sure you have a bit of glue on your fingertips so they do not stick to the surface.  If they stick, you can rip the paper.  We all know Collage Medium is very fast drying when it comes to paper to paper contact, so this step must be done right away or not at all.
You can see in the next two pictures how translucent the Collage Paper has become over the patterned Worn Wallpaper.  Having a patterned paper background, even if it is subtle, can make all the difference in the final outcome.

Once the Collage Paper is dry, lay a stencil (Rosette) over random parts of the surface to add more pattern.  I'm using Crackle Texture Paste to add more visual texture.  Much of the center will be covered with a collage so I'll concentrate on the edges.
I'm using the tray horizontally so now I'll add a few numbers here and there using the Digits Layering Stencil.
The Texture Paste dries pretty quickly, about 30-40 minutes is usually good where I live in CA.  Drying time will range depending on where you live.
Once dry, I scribbled Walnut Stain Distress Crayon on my glass mat then picked it up with a damp paintbrush to color over the paste.  I also scribbled directly over the edges that did not have paste.
The last thing I always do when using Crayons is pounce over the surface with a wet wipe.  This takes away the brush strokes and gets rid any super dark areas.
This is the finished left side of the tray.

For the next step you will need a few colors of Distress Crayons to color the flowers (I'm using Seedless Preserves and Fossilized Amber).  Scribble a bit of color onto each petal as shown.
Then take a small brush (damp) and blend the colors together, still keeping it sheer enough to see the patterned paper underneath.
I chose Peeled Paint and Pine Needles to color the leaves in the same manner.  Your colors will fade slightly (or maybe I should say become more mellow) as the crayon dries.
I used a cotton swab to color the berries.
Now that the flowers are done, I'm turning my attention to a simple collage for the center of the tray. I need a focal point and I have chosen one of my favorite Found Relatives.  I cut away the card background using scissors and a cutting knife (between the arms and the body).  I love this lady because of the hat and flowers! So, so fun to color with the Distress Crayons and the Detailer Water Brush.
dress: faded jeans, peeled paint
flowers: aged mahogany, worn lipstick, peeled paint
buttons: peeled paint
hat: brushed corduroy 

Now to choose some Distress Embossing Glaze.  I made a swatch book so I can easily see what color would look best.
I thought this would be the perfect phrase to use during this time of social distancing and self-quarantine.  As for the glaze, I used the Distress Embossing Dauber to quickly rub across the surface of the Quote Chip then poured the glaze particles over the top.  Melted as usual with an embossing gun, you get this great pebbly texture over the surface.
Adding the brown from the Distress Crayon fills in the gaps in the glaze. The black dot on the end is just my mark to add a Hardware Head later on.
This card is from the Urban Layers pack. I stamped an image from Faded Type (CMS397) with Embossing ink, then added Peeled Paint Glaze over the image and repeating the embossing technique.
So here are all the the pieces I think I might use in the collage:
Found Relative
Butterfly and Private Collection - field notes ephemera
Transparency slide - vintage
2 hour time limit - Urban Layers
Buttons - vintage
Quote Chip
Lined card - Urban Layers
Metal Gate - painted white then Alcohol inked with Mushroom
green threads
Start the bottom layer by adhering the Metal Gate and the ephemera.  The 2 hour time limit has been added with thin Foam Squares - as you know, I like Scrapbook Adhesive brand.
I added the lady with double stacks of regular Foam Squares so she is higher than the 2 hour time limit.  I also decided to add the tiny key around her wrist.  Kinda like she has the key to get out of the gate but she can't leave (her face says it).
Now add the Transparency slide (because her face is saying it all - very transparent - like I'm waiting to leave!), buttons, Quote Chip, Stitched Scrap and the green string.
Here are some close up shots of the collage elements.  You might notice I ended up coloring the transparency slide - it was just too white and stuck out like a sore thumb.
I added the Hardware Head to the end of the Quote Chip and the Stitched Scrap (so easy to use)...take out of bag, glue on project, done (no sewing involved).
And of course, a little Clippings Sticker sarcasm underneath.

(click on photo to enlarge)
The Collage Paper Flowers become part of the entire collage even though they are in the background.

This is an absolutely doable project for any level.  The Collage Paper/Crackle Paste background is what makes the simple collage work.  The background technique could be used on a myriad of different projects and with so many variations...skys the limit really.

Tim had a Facebook Live last Saturday where he talked about and demoed Collage Paper.  If you missed it, you can catch the replay HERE.

Have a great weekend .  I'll be "staying home together".
now carry on,


  1. The layering is exquisite and the techniques so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your talent...

  2. This is gorgeous, the prettiest grunge around! I love that you shared the step outs, thank you! Always a treat seeing your beautiful creations xx

  3. I have some ordering to do before I can get creative. I LOVE THIS PROJECT.

  4. Absolutely stunning collage Paula - love all the wonderful techniques and thank you for sharing them x

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your creative process. Absolutely stunning art. Feeling very inspired to try these techniques. xx

  6. Love everything about this collage, Paula. So much grungy goodness!