Tag Archives: mixed media

New Year Card for 2016

Here are the results of what has become an annual ritual for me – designing a card to celebrate the New Year!

New Year Card for 2016
New Year Card for 2016

This year there are three versions of the card – see my Pinterest board for a peek at the other two variations.

Making these designs was kind of an involved process. The first thing I did was go through some monoprints I did back in the 1990s that I thought would make good backgrounds. These prints were “rejects” that I didn’t think were interesting enough on their own but I thought might be good as part of a collage some time in the future. Next I used some archival dye-based ink (Ancient Page and ColorBox Archival) to stencil designs on top of the background pieces. I chose this ink because it was translucent and I wanted the backgrounds to show through a little. Most of the stencils I used on the backgrounds were from a series that I cut out back in September consisting of designs inspired by a mid-century modern building I saw on a trip last summer.

I drew a set of retro ornament shapes and cut them out of more monoprint scraps, and stenciled on them with some commercial stencils of geometric design. I thought they complemented the mid-century modern look quite well. I don’t know many more times I can go back to the well of inspiration that is retro ornaments – I have yet to get tired of them!

The next step was to scan the background pieces into the computer and work on them a bit with Photoshop. I altered the colors a little bit on some of these to make them better backgrounds for the ornaments. The real life pieces will be used later in some art projects. I got some more use out of the backgrounds by making them into header images for Google+, Facebook and Etsy – I like to change those seasonally and without the seasonal references I won’t have to change these headers for awhile!

Monoprint leftovers with stenciling on top and a little bit of computer enhancement and collaging.
Monoprint leftovers with stenciling on top and a little bit of computer enhancement and collaging.

Next I scanned in the ornament pieces separately and used various Photoshop tools to trim around them and enhance the color a bit to make the stand out better against the backgrounds. I added a drop shadow and a grunge border and exported each composition as a JPEG to import into Illustrator. The card text and further details were done in Illustrator with the addition of the yellow texture imported from Photoshop. The texture was created with a technique I wrote about in my article Analog to Digital: Waste Paper From Stamping Projects Can Enhance Photoshop Art.

The next step is to get these printed and mail them out ASAP!

Make a Shadow Box Ornament

Shadow box ornament featuring a Santa rubber stamp
Mixed-media shadow box ornament by Carolyn Hasenfratz.

The Holiday 2015 issue of RubberStampMadness is out and I want to let you know about it because my article “No Ordinary Ornament” is published within! If you want to read it check the newsstand at your favorite craft retailer or go to the RubberStampMadness web site to order a copy. My four-page article contains step by step instructions and templates which you can copy and enlarge. Here are some other highlights of the holiday issue – Current Issue.

Some of the rubber stamps I used in my samples are from other stamp companies and some are of my own design and are available in my online store, Carolyn’s Stamp Store.

Decoupage Gift Box

Upcycled Decoupage Gift Box
Upcycled Decoupage Gift Box

I repurposed this gift box into a nice storage box by doing some decoupage work on the lid. First I glued down antique imagery. Next I rubber stamped harmonious images onto gold and white tissue paper with Staz On permanent rubber stamp ink and glued those pieces down. After that layer was dry, I brushed varnish over the whole box top for durability.

Check out my Pinterest board for sources of free images to download and print out – Free Graphics and Fonts.

Sleep Pillows

Hand sewn eye pillows filled with sleep-inducing herbs. Pillows are
constructed with flaps that snap in back to make them easily refillable.

Fabric squares on front are rubber stamped, then appliqued and embroidered. Made from recycled fabric by Carolyn Hasenfratz.

Stamping on Tissue Paper – Part 1

Stamping on tissue paper can be very useful for planning out rubber stamped designs. This arrangement was made while I was designing a stamped border of hand carved rubber stamps for my kitchen, to which I’m trying to give a Santa Fe look.

rubber stamping on tissue paper
Rubber stamping on tissue paper is a great way to plan projects.

You could use plain ordinary scrap paper and not tissue paper, but tissue paper has the advantage of being transparent. Transparency is a great aid to planning designs in which the paper bits might overlap, since you can see the orientation of the design below through the translucent paper. In the example below, I am upcycling a worn out and cracked wooden cutting board. I filled in the cracks with spackling paste, sanded, and am in the process of building up the design with sponging, stenciling and stamping. I will put cork strips on the bottom to make it into a trivet.

Some of the stamp designs you see above are available in a smaller size in my shop – check out my Petroglyph Rubber Stamps.