Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"If you want to be happy, BE" canvas inspired by Christy

 Wow summer sure sped by! I hope you all had a lovely summer and are enjoying these crisp fall days. I love fall! Too bad it's followed by winter ...blech. I propose starting a movement to ban winter. I'd be quite happy doing spring, summer, fall....SPRING! But alas, living here on the Rock, I doubt that will ever happen . Oh good thing about winter is that it encourages nesting...and a girl who nests gets lots more scrapping done!

A few weeks ago I helped my daughter re do her bedroom { read ...she started it, got bored and too busy with university restarting so guess who got stuck with finishing it????? And I had no choice as all her "stuff" was piled in our bedroom and we were tired of burrowing through the tunnel to find our bed each night...think "Hoarders"!}. I always like to do some sort of handmade decorative piece for a room and really enjoyed Christy Riopel's article in the summer edition of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine. She had an awesome article teaching how to paint faces from photos on canvas. I couldn't wait to give this a try! Check out Christy's blog HERE for lots of awesome ideas and tips. She's a very creative lady!

Here is Chelsea's pretty room after 'we' finished. At almost 21 years old, she had certainly outgrown the bright turquoise and purple walls of her earlier teenage years. This grey and soft blue colour scheme is so much more suitable for a young lady.

Ah no...the canvas propped up on her headboard is not the canvas I did . We'll get to that in a minute. Speaking of headboards...isn't that a cool one? Hubby and I made it several years ago from an old door we rescued from a house that was being torn down. A bit of crown molding , a piece of pine shelving and a coat or two of paint and viola! Awesome unique headboard ! We also did one for our room.

So on to my canvas. {I apologize up front as I forgot to take photos as I was going along...stop chastising me KELLY ! LOL} I started by following Christy's tutorial in the Canadian Scrapbooker magazine and painted Chelsea's  face. It was so easy to follow and I was pleasantly surprised that it actually turned out looking like my daughter! Next I mod podged wrinkled up tissue paper onto the surrounding canvas, then added some shapes with stencils and molding paste.I followed this by randomly adhering chipboard pieces, embellies, wood pieces and flowers on the canvas.
And then I made my big mistake!!!!

I had a picture in my mind but it really wasn't translating to the canvas and I couldn't figure out how to include Chelsea's red hair as I wanted to use the cool greys and blues that were her new room colours. First I decided to paint a wild, Medusa looking hairstyle using dark versions of her colour scheme...and I absolutely HATED it!!!  Sorry for the crappy pic { I saved it from my phone } but that's OK cuz it's so ugly I'm embarrassed for you to see it anyways !!!! LOL I only show it so you can see that even something ugly can be salvaged!

"Oh Cr#p"  I thought " Now I've gone and ruined it!!!" I was peeved at myself and all I could think of was all the embellies I had "wasted 'on this canvas that I now wanted to chuck in the garbage. Plus I was really pleased with how her face turned out and was afraid I wouldn't be able to replicate it again on a new canvas. I walked away. Then I took a photo and sent it to Kelly and my friend Susan with hopes that they might see what was wrong and guide me in a new direction. I listened carefully to their awesome suggestions, took a big breath, and......PAINTED the whole dang thing over with gesso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! { except for the face}. Sometimes you just gotta go back to square one and start all over again.

So I ditched the paints and dug out my inks and sprays instead. A lot of what I disliked on the original was the heaviness of the paint. The inking and spraying allowed me to build up the colours a little at a time and the light airy concept that I had originally had in my head all along slowly came to life on the canvas...PHEW!!!! I was so relieved to be able to salvage it! 

As a final step, I asked Chelsea to pick a quote that she liked to add to the canvas. She really liked this quote by Tolstoy. I gessoed the chipboard letters and added some sprays to blend in with the original canvas. Little hint: use Glossy Accents or similar glue to adhere those chip stickers as they'll only fall off the canvas if you don't!

A close up of the texture that the crumpled tissue paper added.

I used a combo of chipboard pieces,wooden pieces, metal charms and paper flowers.

A Tim Holtz stencil with molding paste.

Close up of a letter and also a Heidi Swapp stencil with molding paste.

I'm happy to say my daughter LOVED it !

Thanks for popping by today! Toodles!