Acrylic

Palm Frond Stencil Art with FolkArt Color Shift Paints

In my last Blog Post I talked about attending the 6th annual Prime Networking Event. The event was educational, informative, had great food and drinks and free product samples provided by this year’s sponsors. At this event, bloggers, designers, authors and brands in the craft industry came together to network, make new partnerships, and learn about new product information. Afterward, the event attendees were encouraged to try out and create art for the Favecrafts Best Blogger Craft Event.

One of the sponsors was Plaid, who supplied a wonderful assortment of their water-based, non-toxic FolkArt Color Shift Paints. These paints indeed do shift color and luminosity with light. In low lighting they produce a soft shimmer and in bright light the color is just stunning.

While the paints can be applied to any number of surfaces and base colors I noticed they have the most impressive result when painted on a dark or black hued surface. Keep in mind each color will dry a bit different from how they look wet. In some cases becoming brighter and in others softer when dry but any color will end up having a metallic shimmer, reminiscent of a lovely mica coating.
The bright and cheerful color selection of the paints made me think of Spring and with the trimming of my plants to encourage growth I got an idea to create a quick and easy stencil art.

Supplies:
FolkArt Color Shift Paints in Yellow Flash, Green Flash, Aqua Flash, Blue Violet Flash and Pink Flash
10×20 Canvas
Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint in Black
Mini Paint Roller
Plastic Salad Lid
Gloss Varnish
Palm Fronds or other fresh plant trimmings

I started with applying a coat of black acrylic paint to a 10×20 Canvas. I made sure to get good coverage of paint and let it dry as per manufacturer’s instructions.

To be able to turn fresh palm fronds into flexible yet not brittle stencils I placed them between two pieces of parchment paper and then placed several heavy books on top and let it sit overnight. This way they would be easier to lay flat and yet still be green enough to not break with repeat paint applications.

*In more humid climates you might need to let the plant material sit for 2-3 days pressed by books.

A single use plastic salad container lid got a second life as paint pallet in this project. The lid being flat with some grooves around the edges makes a perfect paint pan to apply paint to the roller and catch any excess paint in the groves. I squeezed out a little of Pink Flash FolkArt Color Shift Paint and moved the roller back and forth to get splotchy coverage, I didn’t want to over-saturate the roller with paint so I used a little at a time.

*A plate or nonstick craft mat will also work.

I placed the pressed palm frond on the canvas and rolled the paint coated roller over the frond carefully. I did not use any temporary adhesive to keep the frond from shifting as I didn’t mind if I got a little paint seepage around the frond as it gave it a softer edge to the painted image.

I then carefully removed the frond to see how the paint application turned out.


I blotted the roller lightly with a paper towel to remove any excess paint. I then added a little of Blue Violet Flash FolkArt Color Shift Paint to the side of the pink paint on the pallet and moved the roller back and forth to get splotchy coverage, making sure once again not to over-saturate the roller.

Using the smaller palm frond as my stencil I applied the Blue Violet Flash paint with the paint covered roller carefully. As you can see in this photo the Blue Violet Flash paint turns a gold with a blue hue on the black painted canvas.

I repeated using the palm fond as a stencil with the other FolkArt Color Shift paints until I covered the canvas and let it dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. To enhance the color and help the metallic shimmer become a touch more intense I applied a coat of gloss varnish and let dry.


I had noticed that when I used the same two palm fronds as my stencils without cleaning them there was at times slight paint transfer if I flipped over the frond quickly enough and used it as stencils before letting the paint dried. So using another black painted canvas I repeated the same paint application process as the previous piece. This time I got even more paint transfer and slight blending of the different FolkArt Color Shift paints, creating a variant of the original project.

After creating my two canvas pieces I noticed the Palm fronds were covered in paint but looked too good to throw away! I put them back between the two piece of parchment paper, with books on top to fully dry out so I could use them in future art projects!

I really love the vibrancy of color and shimmer created by Plaid‘s FolkArt Color Shift Paints and  I look forward to using these paint in future projects.

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Clay

Feather Inspired Boho Necklace with Sculpey Soufflé

In January I traveled to the Creativation Trade show, in Phoenix, Arizona. Held by Association For Creative Industries or AFCI, during the show I was invited to the 6th annual Prime Networking Event. At this event, bloggers, designers, authors and brands in the craft industry came together to network, make new partnerships, and learn about new product information. The event was Educational, informative, had great food and drinks and free product samples provided by this year’s sponsors. After the event attendees were encouraged to try out and create art for the Favecrafts Best Blogger Craft Event.

One of the sponsors was Polyform Products, who supplied a wonderful kit including a Sculpey® Bead Making Kit and three half bricks of Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed.

The Souffle clay colors of the kit reminded me of the feathers of the Great Green Macaw. In particular the neck and chest feathers, in tones of green, black and fluffy white, that many Macaws can be seen preening while relaxing. This color inspiration helped me visualize a Boho necklace, faux leather in style, since Souffle Clay once baked in an oven has a matte finish, somewhat like leather.

Supplies:

Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed
Sculpey® Bead Making Kit
Ceramic tiles
1 Coffee Straw
Pasta Machine
Paper Towels
Metal Spacer Beads
Cone Tin Beads
Toothbrush
Darice 100% Natural Hemp Cord, 20 lb. Assorted Brights
Cord Faux Suede Olive-Brown 3MM

Working with the Sculpey Soufflé I quickly learned it is softer than most polymer clay, requiring little to no conditioning. Using the cutting blade, included in the bead making kit, I cut each brick in half, saving half of each clay brick for the second part of the project. I rolled out each half brick of clay with a pasta machine (devoted to craft use only) set on the thickest setting.
Using the Skinner Blend technique, which creates beautiful gradients in clay, I blended two of each color of clay. Now having pieces of clay with blends of green with black, white with black, green with white, I cut out 14 feather shapes using the cutting blade. I didn’t need to use a template because I wanted the organic look of naturally fallen feathers. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each feather. To give detail to the clay feathers I used the needle tool, included in the bead making kit, to draw on the clay, not going too deep but just enough to get create lines as shown in the photo above.

I placed a paper towel on a ceramic tile and carefully put my detailed feather pieces on top. I bent and curved the feather to give them a more natural flow. I baked the clay feathers on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions.

To condition and roll out polymer clay easier I use a Pasta Machine I got at a kitchen supply store. It also happens to have two noodle cutting rollers, that normally I ignore when using for clay. However the Fettuccine noodle roller was about to become very handy for the next part in my project.
*The use of a pasta machine with noodle cutting rollers is not necessary if you rather cut each strip out by hand.

I rolled out the reserved half bricks of clay with the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Then I ran each portion of clay through the Fettuccine cutting roller, making sure to run the white, then green and black clay last to avoid color transfer of clay. Each strip of clay was easily textured with a tooth brush to emulate the appearance of leather. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each strip of clay.

I crumpled two paper towels into rolls and placed a third paper towel on top of a ceramic tile. I carefully placed my strips of clay on the paper towels. I baked the clay strips on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions. Sculpey Soufflé once baked is more flexible than traditional polymer clay allowing for long and/or large art pieces to be created, yet be still resistant to cracking and breaking.

I cut a 24 inch portion of Faux Suede Olive-Brown Cord to be the start of my necklace. I cut a 10 inch portion of green Natural Hemp Cord and attached it to the suede cord using a Lark’s head (Cow Hitch) knot.

I slid a metal bead onto the hemp cord and did a overhand knot at the end of the cord. I repeated this on the second portion of the cord.

I added an additional 10 inch hemp cord length to the suede using a Lark’s Head knot, adding metal beads and securing them with overhand knots. Adding another hemp cord length I slid metal bead further down the cord, towards the Lark’s head knot. I did an overhand knot, slid on a strip of baked polymer Souffle clay and secured it with a overhand knot. I repeated this process for all of the other cured clay pieces.

I slid on three Cone Tin Beads on each side of the suede and did a simple slide knot to finish the necklace.
I am now a huge fan of Sculpey Soufflé, with its flexibility and matte finish it allows this cascade of cord, clay and metal beads to be lightweight, durable and fashionable!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!