Soooooooo ... this post is part journaling and part craft blogging. I've been thinking about this project for quite some time now and never really found the right inspiration or the right time to do it. Well everything all came together over the last couple of weeks.
So now that I'm healing physically, getting stronger, and feeling better than I have in years, it's really time to face the heart brokenness and nurture the healing process there. As I was walking this journey over the last couple of weeks, I saw the unique A Stitch in Time ... with a Twist Challenge hosted by Sue over at Frilly and Funkie and everything sort of came together. Over the last few years, I had been thinking about how some of these really industrial-sized hurts take some industrial-strengthed mending over a great deal of time. In my mind's eye, I saw wire being used to stitch the broken heart together. As I thought about the time it takes to heal, I began to envision the springs of a clock as the wire thread and the hands of the clock as the needles used to do the stitching. So when Frilly and Funkie's challenge came along, I knew it was time (no pun intended) for this project.
It has been an inconvenient time to be so terribly inspired to create:) Last week, I started teaching classes again for Fall semester at our local university. I have been very busy. I'm still working 3 times a week with a personal trainer to build up my strength and stamina. In the meantime, I crammed as much creative energy into every tiny bit of free time I had over these past few days. And it has been awesome!!!! As I've made a beautiful mess downstairs (trying all sorts of different techniques and ideas to bring what was in my head to life in mixed media), I've also made a beautiful mess unraveling the angry tangle of my heart. It's been such a tiring, but very good experience.
To top everything off, my daily devotions (from In Touch Ministries by Dr Charles Stanley out of 1st Baptist Church of Atlanta) over the last two days have really just confirmed that this is the right project for the right time. Monday's devotion was entitled God's Gift of Forgiveness. Here are some highlights: "Motivated by love, God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven. ... God’s will is that we, as forgiven people, show mercy to those who wrong us—to the same degree that He forgave us in Christ. ... Depending on how much hurt we’ve experienced, we may require time and healing before we can truly forgive. " Today's devotion was entitled A Lifestyle of Forgiveness. I think you get the picture :)
Thanks for letting me share with you a little of the "behind the scenes" details for this project. Now on with all things crafty!
The project: (I apologize for the picture heavy post!)
I started with an old, rusted, broken, plywood-backed clipboard that my mom found buried in my dad's stuff this summer. When she saw it, she knew I would appreciate the vintage"found treasure" underneath the cobwebs and dust.
When that dried, I wanted to add some crackle paint over the background to give it a more rustic feel, so I swiped on some Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint over various parts of the clipboard (even managing to smear some on the rusted clip at the top). It gave a really nice fine crackle finish to the painted portions. I wasn't really happy with my black and white background, so I began to add some color. I mixed matte multi medium with Fossilized Amber Distress Ink and Brushed Corduroy (LOVE this color combo) to create a warmer vintage feel to the background.
Now to add my elements. I began with finding my clock. Tim Holtz has an entire page of clock faces in one of Ideology Paper Stashes. I grabbed that page and found a clock face to use. I cut it out and then rummaged in my craft stash to find something to serve as the frame for the clock face. Unbelievably, I found a metal ring that was the perfect size. I used alcohol inks to grunge the gold colored ring and then adhered it to my clock face with matte multi medium.
I wanted something 3-dimensional, yet cut-able, for my heart. A cork square was perfect. To go along with the stitching idea, I decided to cover my heart with fabric. I remembered I had some burlap "paper" in a dark red from Christmas. I cut out my heart shape (including the "cracks) and covered it with the burlap paper. I didn't like the rough cork edges on the outside of the heart, so I spread on a thick layer of modeling paste around the outside edges. (I really liked the rough cork as the texture for inside the "cracks" of the heart. When that dried, I added some blots of Ginger alcohol ink in areas around the modeling paste edges and then used matte multi medium mixed with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink to add overall translucent color. A black Sharpie pen was the a great way to add some bold outlining to the burlap paper surface.
I have a clock and a heart ... how do I use the clock hands to sew up the broken heart? Back to my rummage in my stash. I found a suitable-sized big and little hand for my clock and some heavy gauge black jewelry wire to serve as my clock spring/thread. I added a few small gears to the center of my clock face and I was in business. After wrapping the jewelry wire around a paint brush handle (to create the "springs"), I started to map out the path that each of my clock hand needles would take for their respective heart cracks that needed mending. I used a my trusty black Sharpie to make the "holes" where the needle entered and existed as it slowly sews the heart back together. I didn't actually "sew" with the wire :) I cut small pieces of wire to create the stitches and lightly tapped them into pre-cut holes across the "cracks" to make my wire stitches. Then I attached a "spring" section of wire from the clock to the heart (one for each clock hand and respective crack). At the end of the row of stitches on a given "crack", I created a hole for the clock-hand needle to come out for the next stitch and a new hole on opposite side of the crack where the clock-hand needle would stab into the heart to create the new stitch. Fun!
I began the job of choosing my letters for the phrase "time mends broken hearts) and started placing them on my the clipboard background. I realized that the corners looked a bit empty. A ha! I can use my new Tim Holtz Mixed Media framelits to create a sort of "caging" around the edges. I grabbed some silver foil cardstock and cut out four of the honeycomb framelit corners. I ran them through my Xyron Creative Station to put some adhesive on the back of these intricate diecuts. Nice. I added them to the four corners of my clipboard. I used a Black Soot Distress Marker to create shadows on the clipboard within the honeycomb pattern. Cotton swabs were used to smudge the marker and helped me wipe away any excess color. Awesome!
Ok ... the corners don't look so bare now :) On to the letters for my words. I used some foil covered chipboard letters for the word TIME. Again, I wanted a more rustic feel to them, so I covered them Ginger and Latte alcohol inks and then embossed them with Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powder (that I applied in small sections with Ranger Ink's Perfect Pens). They were a little dark. So I gave them a white "shadow" with a white Sharpie Acrylic Paint Pen (great tool!). I came back with some matte multi medium mixed with Antique Linen Distress Stain to tone down the white paint.
I took the letters from Tim's Alphaparts and painted them with Antique Linen Distress Paint. Once that was dry to the touch, I applied a thick coat of Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. After it dried, I grabbed some Cranberry alcohol ink and applied just a drop at the corners of the letters. The ink spread through the cracks of the clear crackle paint. I learned to apply small dots of alcohol ink with the tip of a toothpick (instead of applying directly from the bottle) a little too late to be more deft with the ink application :). A Black Soot Distress Marker was used to give some shading around these letters.
Finally, I decided that I wanted my heart mending to be "motivated by love". I took some of Tim's grungeboard letters for the word HEARTS and painted them with Antique Linen Distress Paint. I used Coffee archival ink to stamp some of the letters with quotes involving Love from some of Tim Holtz stamp sets. I embossed the stamped sentiments with clear embossing powder. The letter "e" was stamped with a clockface. I used some of Tim's Remnant Rubs (again involving Love) on the remaining letters. Distress Markers were used to give a little color to the letters and a black Sharpie was used to give most of them a quick outline. I did a layered presentation of the letters and adhered them to the heart with multi medium.
I think that's it! I apologize for the very long post. Forgive the typos. I will try to edit it tomorrow. Since this mixed media project was such a labor of love, I'm going to enter it in a few challenges.
Frilly and Funkie's Stitch in Time ... with a Twist Challenge
Craft Stamper Magazine's 'Take a Technique': Pens and Pencils Challenge
We Love to Create Challenge #17 : Anything Mixed Media/Creative/Inky Goes
Mixed Media World's: Gorgeous Textures Challenge
Art Journal Journey: Time
Hopefully, you've had some time to create heart-felt art this week. I'll try to catch up on my visits Crafty Blogland visits this weekend. Hugs to you all -- Mary Elizabeth