Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Starfire and Crystals (mid-month post for Rhedd's Creative Spirit DT)

Today I am sharing this little wall hanging, created on two 5" x 7" canvas boards. These are quite easy to find in various shops and are fairly inexpensive , I think these came from The Works but I have also seen them in The Range.  I have also shared this over on Rhedd's Creative Spirit as the mid-month tutorial - do pop along and see the other DT pieces and maybe enter it yourself?

It took me a while to work out just what I was going to make, and as usual the finished piece is totally different than what I started with in my minds eye!!

I was going to paint the boards with acrylics, but after I decided on the main image I was going to use I thought I would like to enter this in the Dylusion's Challenge page on Facebook - each month they set a challenge with different 'rules' for April it is to use Blue, Red and Stars.

Once I'd decided what my theme was going to be I applied DecoArt Texture Sand paste through a star stencil to one of the canvas boards, and then allowed it to dry overnight.   You can use a heat-gun to dry texture pastes, but sometimes this will give you a different finish effect. They can puff up, go extra smooth or crack a little - this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is worth being aware of. I found an interesting blog post where the blogger had compared the different results, here:

Next, colour. As the boards are already primed with double gesso I decided to go straight in with ink sprays. I used London Blue and Black Marble. I wet the boards first and then applied the inks, letting them merge into each other, I tried to keep the darker areas to the edges by spraying the black in this area, and the blue more to the middle, although on the 'star' board a little streak of the darker colours has run through the middle - I actually like this although I was trying to avoid it.

Once the inks had dried I applied some Rub'n'buff in Gold Leaf lightly to each of the textured stars.   This gave just a hint of a gleam and at first I was happy with this. As the rest of the piece evolved I decided to add a small amount of gold glitter glue on top. I crossed my fingers that I wouldn't have to start over, and when the glitter glue was dry in was relieved with the results - the two combined mediums gave a slightly muted appearance, with just a touch of glitter.

I typed out my chosen quote 'Until you are broken, you don't know what you are made of' in a Word document and played around with the size and font until I was happy, and then printed onto white card. I then stamped my image 'Survivor', one of Dyan Reaveley's newer stamps (and one I just had to have as soon as I saw it!!) using Archival Ink in black.

I coloured the stamped image with Dylusion's Cherry Pie in a water brush, this was on the body and parts of her hair, and when dry I used a couple of promarkers in oranges and yellows on the east. I fussy cut her, and cut the quote into individual words.  I used Tattered Rose Distress Ink to colour the words and then edged with Brushed Corduroy - this worked fine for me, but as they were printed not stamped they do bleed a little, this will either suit your project or ruin it completely, so do check you are happy, I know some people will seal printed pieces with hairspray, to stop this bleeding, but I haven't tried this - yet!!

I then tried to work out on my layout, so I placed 'Survivor' towards one edge on the lower board, and then played around with where the words of the quote would fit. Once I was happy with this I decided that it would use some tiny gemstone chips that I've had for ages, and arrange them in lines as if they were radiating from her. I used Finnabair's 3D gel to position them on the canvas boards. (In this picture the gel is showing up as white but it does dry clear and transparent)

Whilst the crystals were drying, I decided to use some sealer on the coloured image and the quote, but (stupidly!) placed them on some cardboard packable to do this. The sealant ran over the edges and, if I hadn't realised and moved them sooner it would have totally stuck the paper to the cardboard.   I usually do anything like that when the pieces being sealed are in their final position, or on some plastic or polythene that they won't stick to.  I hadn't done them in situ as I hadn't wanted to seal the whole board, just the stamped and printed bits.

I have used a Crop-a-dile to punch holes into the boards and then add eyelets, and then used some chain to fasten the two together, and to create a hanger.  The final touch was just to edge the boards with a little black Archival ink, and also a few glitter glue swirls alongside the crystals.

I loved this image from Dyan Reavely as soon as I saw it, with having Fibromyalgia, most days throw up their own challenges, and this reminds me of a strong woman who has come through a lot; teaming it with quote really spoke to me, and in the same way that little boys are made from slugs and snails in the nursery rhyme, I see this survivor as being made from Starfire and Crystals, but only realising when she has come out on the other side of her battles.

Thanks for reading,  I hope you like this as much as I do.

Steffi :o)

I would like to enter this into the following challenges :

A Creative Need - Collages - here

Mixed Media - Creative Gym Exercise 6 - Words and Letters - here

Stamp and Create - April Anything Goes - here


Artful Times - Challenge 78 Tattered and Torn - I interpret my 'Survivor' as having been tattered and torn with her battle scars - here


  1. What a fantastic project and tutorial...there's a couple of comments for you over on the blog...xx

    1. Thanks Sandra :o) I shall pop and have a look xx

  2. Wonderful wall hanging! Thank you so much for sharing and joining us at A Creative Need! We hope to see you again soon!

    1. Thank you so much Deena - I intend to keep talk part :o)

  3. A brilliant tutorial for your lovely wall hanging. Thank you for joining bus on Artful Times with a very different interpretation of tattered and torn.

  4. Beautiful page! Thank you for sharing your process and joining the Mixed Media Place challenge!

  5. These are awesome! Thank you for joining the Mixed Media Place Gym!

  6. Great work! Thank you for joining our challenge at Mixed Media Place!

  7. Wow what a really strong and powerful bit of artwork and its so personal to you - it really gives out a clear message. Great work and well done to you! cx

  8. I recognised this as one of Dyans images straight away and I love how you have made these canvasses.
    Great work. Thanks for joining us at AT
    Hugs Neet xx