Hey Crafty People!
Today I’m sharing the second part of my Level 2 assessment, if you haven’t seen it already part one is here.
This task is rather different than anything I would usually share on my page/blog; I got to try out lots of new things but also, I used so many of the same skills we have focused on throughout both Levels 1 & 2.
I want to start with a little bit of back story about the drawers that I have upcycled here; they belonged to the Nana of my husband, a woman who meant so very much to us and who very sadly passed away recently. She was a constant light of fun, love & silliness and life will never be quite the same without her.
Mary was loving, nurturing and so supportive. She enjoyed various crafty pursuits herself and was always so encouraging. The last time I spoke to her she had called me to thank me for a card I sent her in the post as a surprise, I am so grateful that I was able to put a smile on her face and that is exactly the reason I fell in love with card making; sending out your art, your love, and it bringing a smile to someone’s face, a warmth in their heart. I know that she would be so happy to see her trinket drawers put to good use and she would love that I tackled them! They can now sit on my desk and be a constant reminder of the very best of this world.
Mary Davies1939 – 2020
When I got the drawers they were covered in several layers of gloss paint, so I knew that I would need to do some work on them before I could start the fun stuff!
I cleaned them down and then coated the front of each drawer with white Gesso which is a primer that would help the multiple layers of mediums that I was planning to add. It has the consistency of really thick or heavy acrylic paint and it’s really, very easy to use. I let the first coat dry, then added another.
Other than the front panel, each drawer was still wood with just a little varnish and I decided to leave those parts as they are. Even with a sealant on, the constant stresses of being pulled out and pushed back in they would end up getting bashed about! The same goes for the outer, section that houses the drawers, I left this just as the cream gloss it was and concentrated only on the drawer fronts.
Cohesive Colour Scheme
I knew that I wanted each drawer front to be unique, but they also needed to work as a whole piece. Also, I chose a colour scheme that I would enjoy because these will be sitting right in front of me every time that I craft.
This is really an important thing to consider when making any sort of ‘set’, you can give each individual aspect its own identity and style whilst maintaining an overall impression that they belong together. Of course there are other ways to do this, utilising different design components, but giving one clear colour scheme is definitely my favourite. This is seen across a lot of my work, including my Level 1 Assessment, part one of my Level 2 Assessment and in sets of Christmas cards I made for example.
I think that stencils are one of the most cost effective supplies, in terms of how much you can do with them. I used several stencils throughout this project, with a number of techniques to show off how versatile stencils really can be!
Technique: Pastes of any sort!
I used a couple of different paste styles on this project, but I barely scratched the surface of the huge range of pastes that you can get!
You can get a completely different look using texture pastes of any sort; I used two of Nuvo’s Crackle Pastes, the dark grey one is Wrought Iron and the other is Russian White. They make such a dramatic effect, but you can vary how pronounced the cracks are by the amount of paste you add; thicker layers produce bigger cracks! I used these pastes in another AECP post here.
Another of my favourite pastes is Nuvo’s Glacier Paste which gives a gorgeous metallic sheen that I love applying through the Milky Way stars stencil from Altenew.
Altenew also have their own Texture Paste which is deliciously thick, and oh so easy to spread! The best thing about using ‘plain’ texture pastes is the ability to add any colour or medium you want! Try adding alcohol Reinkers to get custom coloured paste, or add glitter to get a sparkly paste!
I used two of my Altenew stencils to add paint to these drawers too! They are great for giving you a quick & easy way to add great texture when used in the background, like these golden marks I matched with the beautiful stamped floral image.
I also used paint through the Mega Bloom stencil to give me a more abstract floral for another of the drawers. Once the paint I applied through the stencil was dry I went back into add more details without the stencil. (I’ve also done a more intense version of this techniques recently, with this same stencil! Check that out here.)
Technique: Ink Blending
Whilst I didn’t add any ink blending to these drawers, I did add lots of examples of this technique in Part 1 of this Assessment. I used the same stencil and inks to add four different effects to my handmade envelopes.
These are just some of the techniques you can use with a stencil, there are so many more!! In one of my other Level 2 posts I used a stencil in a negative masking technique, you can check that here.
Stamp Layering With A Twist
One of my favourite techniques that I tried on these drawers is using one of the Painted Ladies Butterflies along with Versamark and Perfect Pearls!
I stamped the solid layer onto black cardstock in Versamark and added Perfect Pearls over the whole image using a brush. (*A little goes a VERY long way with these, so you only need to just barely touch the powder with your brush before swirling that across the stamped image.)
Then I took the detailed layer and stamped that over the top of the solid pearl layer, this lifts most of that pearl from the areas it touches! I love the look you get with this! It’s another way to use your supplies to stretch their use!
TIP! Perfect Pearls need to be set with water in order to be permanent, I find the best way to do this is spritzing water up into the air and wafting the stamped image through the water as it falls. I usually do this 2-3 times to make sure that I’ve got good coverage, but this way you avoid any big water droplet marks on your image.
The Finished Project!
I am absolutely delighted with the finished project! They make me smile every single time I see them! There are a few important details that I want to point out and explain:
- ‘Hello Happy’ because this is my happy space.
- I used my Cameo 4 & software to digitise my signature that I add to the back of my cards, then cut it out. So that’s my actual writing!
- Positive Affirmations remind me that I am capable and that I can aspire for the future that I want to build for myself & my family.
- The stars & moon with Mary’s name are a tribute to her.
So that completes my Level 2 Assessment submission! I have included lots of info about some of the techniques covered in Levels 1 & 2, along with some of my favourite tips and hopefully lots of inspiration too! The further into my AECP that I have gotten, the more determined I have been to not only succeed, but excel. It feels incredibly strange to even ‘voice’ that, but this programme has honestly helped to build my confidence so much. I absolutely adore spending time creating, I sit at my desk with my favourite music playing and I sing & create in a way that soothes my soul.
I never expected that I would be making video tutorials, I had no confidence in my own ability, but in a way that is why I want to do this all so much now! I want to help others to find the creativity within themselves, inspire them to do what makes them happy and give them the confidence to explore the techniques that intimidate them!
Now that I am here, I am looking toward my own future in a way that indicates a completely different mindset, and I can’t wait to see what challenges Level 3 & beyond will bring!!
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