Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So Thankful + a quick altered flower tutorial

Thanksgiving is next week, and it’s the time of year when we’re reminded to be thankful for all the positive things in our lives. In honor of the holiday, I created a project and wrote this blog post for the Creating Keepsakes blog last week.

The things I’m thankful for in my life fall into two major categories: the “Big Things” and the “Little Things”. Some of the Big Things I’m thankful for include my wonderful family, our good health (knock on wood), and the roof over our heads. Some of the Little Things I’m thankful for include my morning latte and newspaper ritual, the sweet purring of my cats, and the rare moments when every piece of clothing in our house is laundered, folded and put away. I find that when I’m mindful of these big and little blessings in my life, the not-so-perfect aspects of my life don’t seem to matter much at all.

Two of the things I am MOST thankful for are my darling daughters. I count my blessings for them every single day.

For this layout I wanted to create a blank canvas to which I could add splashes of happy colors. Here's a little tutorial on how I altered the paper flowers, roses, etc.:

1. I started with a swatch of burlap and some leftover patterned flowers and wood embellishments.

2. I grabbed some gesso and a paintbrush, then I coated the burlap and flowers with the gesso. I gave the wood pieces a subtle white-wash.

3. I coated all the flowers completely, but I let a little bit of the natural color of the wood and burlap to show through.

4. Once the gesso was dry, I sprayed the flowers with spray ink. I sprayed them right over the painted burlap so that it would also soak up the pretty colors. The water-based spray ink beaded up on the gesso and resisted it a bit, but after a couple coats of spray ink, I was able to get a nice color. You just have to let the gesso and spray ink dry in between coats.

5. I added some smaller white roses that I spray-inked to match the rest of the bunch. The spray ink on the plain white roses appears much more vibrant than it does on the gesso/sprayed flowers, but I kind of like the mix of vibrant and more subtle hues. For a little extra sparkle, I coated a few of the flowers and some tiny white roses with glitter.

This is a great way to alter some of those patterned embellishments (flowers, chipboard embellishments, alphabets, etc.) that don’t quite fit your taste or match your other page elements. Just paint over them with gesso (white paint will also work in most cases), then spray, paint or ink them whatever color you want!

I have a challenge for you for the rest of this month. At the end of each day, think of THREE things you are thankful for that day. It can be Big Things or Little Things. Either way, the process of ending the day with gratitude is sure to brighten your outlook and lift your spirits!


Tamika said...


Romy said...

Such a gorgeous page for that photo of your beautiful girls. I love the touch of burlap!

Art Gal said...

Thanks for the tutorial. your work is so beautiful and creative, it's great to see how you achieve your vision.
Sharing your talent is truly a mitzvah!

Bonnie said...

Fabulous idea!!
My 3 things: My health, my life experiences, and my family.

Patricia said...

thank you for this beautiful tutorial.. this page is beautiful.. Like very much the colors...