Thursday, May 5, 2016

Anything But Cute Challenge #13--Celebrate Your Style!

Hello crafty friends! It's time for our new challenge at Anything But Cute where the challenge theme is Celebrate Your Style! I'll give the challenge details in a minute, but first here's my mixed media make in my favorite grungy style.

As we celebrate our First Anniversary at Anything But Cute, we want you to celebrate what you do best...mixed media! This is your chance to do it your way, in your favourite pull out those inks and paints and show us what you're made of! You can make anything you want, in any theme you want and any style you want, just as long as it has some mixed media products on it and no cute images. HAVE FUN!

We have some special treats for you this month at Anything But Cute! Along with all of our Design Team projects, we will also be featuring projects by several Favourite Artists from this passed year that we have invited back to celebrate our first anniversary with us. You will not want to miss the incredible line up of inspiration they have made just for you! We also have an amazing array of prizes from three wonderful and generous sponsors...Lots of chances to win some goodies, so don't miss out!

Well, I sure did have fun making this grungy steampunky card for my friend and teamie, Niki's birthday! I used 9 12 different mixed media products (not including different colors,) and that's just for the background panel! The colors look just a little different taken under the Ott light as opposed to outdoors on an overcast day.

Here are some close ups of the background panel, and I will list the steps  for making this below them. This is not my own recipe, but I read it somewhere on the internet at some point.  I did add some of my own steps to personalize it, however. Sorry, I didn't take an process shots for this, but if you scroll down I do have some step out photos of how I made the gears.

 Background panel
1. Apply Elmer's glue randomly and let dry.
2. Mix white acrylic paint with a few droppers of Antique Linen Distress ink refill and apply with a foam brush.  Let dry.
3. Swipe with Distress inks directly from the pad: Weathered Wood, Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain. I do this vertically so it resembles wood grain or perhaps a copper roof. (Which do you think it should be?)
4. Wipe with dry paper towel to blend colors, again, vertically.
5. Turn panel over and score vertical lines; I did mine randomly.
6. Coat with watery gesso and heat dry.
7. Swipe on additional Distress ink: Rusty Hinge, Ground Expresso.
8. Wipe once more with a dry paper towel.
9. Add Distress Crazing medium thickly, like peanut butter, over entire panel and let dry.
10. Add DecoArt Crackle Glaze thickly around edges and let dry.
11. Apply DecoArt media paints (forgot what colors), Antiquing Creams and  Distress Crayons-neutrals on midsection until happy with color.
12. Add Glass bead gel at top and bottom where man will stand and let dry.
13. Add DecoArt Quinacridone Gold, Cadmium Orange paints and Distress paints: Rusty Hinge, Cracked Pistachio and Ground Expresso over dried bead gel.
14. Apply DecoArt Ultra Matte varnish over entire panel. Sit back and be amazed at how it finally turned out, because it looked terrible every step of the way!

I cut two of Tim Holtz' Umbrella Man  from grunge paper covered with foil tape. I cut the umbrella, hat and coat from one and embossed the pieces with Artful Muse (gears), Pocket Watches and Love (lace) embossing folders . I added alcohol inks in Mushroom, Ginger, and Caramel, drying between colors. Next, I added Copper Mixative and let dry. I painted with Ground Expresso and Black Soot Distress paints. I dried partially and buffed to get the grungy metal look. For the background man, I  sanded then painted with Rusty Hinge, Cracked Pistachio, Hickory Smoke, Ground Expresso and Black Soot Distress paints. As before, I partially dried and buffed between colors. I adhered the  pieces and edged with Black Soot Distress paint. I saw the Umbrella man with his jacket flapping in the wind somewhere in blogland, and I just had to borrow that! How fun!

Here's how I made the ticket: I embossed card with Tim Holtz' Playing Games embossing folder and fussy cut. I swiped with Walnut Stain Distress ink, added Glass Bead gel randomly and dried. I added DA media paints in Burnt Umber and Antiquing Cream in Patina Green. I punched a hole and used Tim Holtz' cracked glass technique for the gear's aperture. I backed it with white paper to show off the color.

The small tag was cut freehand and embossed with Tim Holtz Patchwork Texture Fade. I swiped it with Ground Expresso Distress ink and blended with Frayed Burlap. I used Glass Bead Gel and paints as per the ticket.

Small ticket: I stamped with Tim Holtz' Odds and Ends stamp and heat embossed with Ammo Camo  powder, blended with Vintage Photo DI and edged with Ground Expresso. I fussy cut, distressed and stamped the quote in Archival Potting Soil. I made it into a little interactive feature on the card.

Now it is time to make my gears; my favorite part! I made some of the gears with paper clay and a mold and some are chipboard.

I covered with Sand paste and dried.

I gave them a coat of black gesso.

And as if by magic they became rusty! I simply used all of the paints and alcohol inks listed above. I used alcohol inks and sand paste on the chain as well.

In the end, I added a tiny bit of Buttercup acrylic paint to the gears and umbrella man to add some light amongst all that dark.

I would like to add my grungy card to the following inspiring challenges:
Mixed Media Place April Challenge Creative Gym #18 Be Patient. The Best Things Happen Unexpectedly I had to be patient to wait for the results of my 14 steps to make my background!What a pleasant surprise!
Emerald Creek Dares B's Buttons, Brads, Bears, Butterflies... Use a B thing. Ok, I'm getting silly here, but how about ball and chain? And Gears rhymes with Bears, doesn't it??
Die Cut Divas May Day Photo Inspiration I was inspired by the colors and shapes of the buttons.
Cards Und More Challenge #157 Focus on Die Cuts My stamping is on the ticket and the ticket itself, Die cut is Umbrella Man.
Thank you for stopping by today and for all your wonderful comments! I do hope you will visit us at Anything But Cute for our birthday celebration!
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily

UPDATE: I'm so honored!
So Excited! November 2015 Peace On EarthFAB 3Top 3 badge

Top5 badge



  1. You can turn your hand to so many styles, Sara Emily, but this grungy, rusty, textured, mixed media piece is certainly worth celebrating. Fabulous rusted verdigris on your cogs and clocks and that background is simply amazing.
    Alison x

  2. So much work and detail was put into this grunge masterpiece! Very nicely done Sara Emily!
    Paper Talk with Samra

  3. I don't have words to describe this, Sara Emily!! The only thing that keeps popping into my head is wow!! This is yet another of your posts that I'm bookmarking for future reference!! The background looks absolutely amazing!! I want to try it!! The gears are perfect!! Every detail is spectacular!! I absolutely love this!! It is grunge perfection!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  4. OMG, Sara, you have certainly outdone yourself with this masterpiece of art! Woooow, it's only I can say! It's a breathtaking, brilliant and spectacular grunge card! So many stunning details to look at and I really want to try that amazing technique you used on your background! You are such a super talented and super creative, my friend! Niki is going to treasure this piece, I am sure! This is definitely my new favourite of yours and I can't take my eyes of it! Bravo!
    Huge hugs! Branka xx

  5. I don't think it would matter how many 'O's and 'W's tha I put in the word WOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!! It still wouldn't accurately describe how much I love this card! What a lucky duck our girl Niki to have such a work of art displayed somewhere in her studio! You have really gone all out and shown us all the most amazing SARA-LIKE bits and bobs...your incredible textures, your amazing techniques, your versatile use of mediums and of course, your unmistakable sense of style and balance!!

    Thank you so much Sara Emily for putting your heart and soul into this piece to help us celebrate our first blogiversary. Thanks actually for putting your heart and soul into every piece that you do, you truly are an inspiration and I can't believe I'm lucky enough to call you a teamie and a friend! Here's to another year full of inspiration and friendship! big hugs comin at ya :)

  6. I would like to share Pamellia's WOW too, this really is a truly magnificent piece of art Sara, I love everything about it - from the fantastic wood grain (or yes, it does have a copper roof look about it too), to the verdigris, rusty cogs to the beautifully crafted umbrella man - every single detail is an absolute delight to behold. Niki is one very lucky lady for sure!!

    I just wanted to say thank you too, for making me feel so welcome on the team, for your friendship and also for your wonderfully inspiring art!!! Hugs, Anne xx

  7. I think that "wow" is the most appropriate word for this - maybe even WOW WOW! I am not really a grunge person but this is absolutely beautiful - downright gorgeous. Your chain is beautiful - looks like old beads found in a shipwreck. How did you know how to do all of those steps???? This is so substantial looking I felt that it just had to be a box! How can grunge be beautiful - you sure make a beautiful grungy card!! I agree with Anne - thank you so much for all the inspiration - listen to me, I am old enough to be your Mother - you are awesome!
    sandy xx

  8. Okay, this is my absolute total fave of your because I have it in my hands and can feel it and touch it and drool over it! Hehe! It does sit in a place of honour on my art desk so I can stare at it. Hehe! I love every detail and to top it off was the wonderful surprise of the little tag! I pulled it out and read the sentiment and was gobsmacked at the little hidden gem. Stunning and fun and so very very sweet of you to send me. Now that I know where you got the gear mold, I'm going to get it as well!

    This past year of getting to know you and bouncing ideas off of you has been a delight. I never would have thought I would make such a wonderful friend through art but I sure did! You are amazing, a wonderful mom and a delight! Huge hugz to you muffin! Cheers and Happy Anniversary! ~Punkin

  9. No wonder you think I live 48 hours in one day! My projects don't involve all of this hard work!!! Wow, I bet it took hours to achieve this level or richness/age/patina! Dang girl! I'm in awe of your experimental spirit and feel I should devote myself more to these fine details. This is the coolest thing EVER! And I have to know where you got that mold! COOLNESS! You really worked it well. I love the layers, especially the hidden message on the tag - so cool! I couldn't be happier than to call you my teamie! Happy anniversary of blogging with Anything But Cute - you are such an asset to the team. Big hugs, Autumn

    1. Oh my gosh! Wow look at you go! So so happy to see you among the top at mixed media world! What awesome recognition!!! Hugs, Autumn

  10. I'll say FAB-U-LOUS too!! An incredible make Sara that is so much more than a card! This should definitely be on display all year round. Amazing detailing, rust and so much more. LOVE your hand made cogs!!! They are BRILLIANT! Seriously fantastic make. Nicola x

  11. A super project Sara and I adore the way you have styled your umbrella man. A really cool touch.
    Julie x

  12. You just never cease to amaze me with how much 'stuff' you put on everything - your rusting is unbelievable - it looks just like it's rusted metal - I really need to sit down and play using some of your wonderful instructions for rusting - this is gorgeous Sara Emily!

  13. so much technique detail sara - this is epic - I love it all!!! You are one very clever lady! Hugs Rachel x

  14. What a brillaint project...those gears are awesome. So much texure and attention to detail...I love it x

  15. I think whatever words I choose to use here they will never express how I felt watching this come together! This really is wonderful (see...can't sum it up at's far more than that!) I am going to bookmark this - no! no! definitely couldn't see myself attempting anything as brilliant -just to come and gaze at! Err, my birthday is...nah! only kidding! Big hugs, Chrisx

  16. Just amazing!

    So glad you joined us at Die Cut Divas.

  17. This is sheer gorgeousness Sara and totally your style. Love the grungy layers and fabulous elements you have included some of which are spookily sitting on my desk at the moment xxx

  18. This flipping rocks. You have the patience of a saint... and an enviable supply list! The details on this card are just awesome...

  19. This is absolutely fantastic! There are several new techniques that I have learnt. Could you let me know the brand of the mould for the gears? As I am always on the lookout for things to use on male cards. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment!The mold is Mod Podge and I picked it up at Micheals. :):)

    2. Thanks Sara for the information - just have to track one down in Oz

  20. Wow, that's really beautiful, love the rust and texture effects, fabulous!!!

  21. Absolutely fabulous...a work of art. Thanks for playing along with us at Fab'n'Funky Challenge. Pat K x

  22. Amazing texture thanks for playing at challenge MIxed media place

  23. This is awesome. Many thanks for the recipe for the lovely background. I am just wondering about the role of Elmer's glue. Does it have any bearing to the finished project? Or could that step be skipped?

  24. ohhh yea!!! Definitely you and yummily delicious!!!
    Totally awesome Sara Emily!! You really showed your true style- Love!!! xo

  25. WOWZERS! This is the most Amazing tag! Absolutely Awesome!

  26. It was such a treat to read your post and learn about the steps, Sara!
    A fantastic and gobsmackingly brilliant grungy design! Wow! LOVE love love it!
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges AND at Emerald Creek Dares!

    Claudia x

  27. Absolutely fabulous. I love this!

    Thanks for sharing at FabNFunky.


  28. Wow, that's an absolute work of art! Gorgeous detailing and the inky and crackled finishes. Grunge perfection! Thanks so much for joining us this week at Fab 'n' Funky for our '3+ Layers' challenge. Hope we'll see you back again soon. Hugs, Wends x Fab 'n' Funky DT

  29. This is amazing! I love all the rustic texture and work you put into this, it was worth it!!! Gorgeous! Thanks for joining us Die Cut Diva's.

  30. Woooow Sara what a awesome piece so grungy and rusty once again big WOOOOW 💕 LOVE. Hugs Aisha

  31. This is my favorite of all the DT projects, Simply spectacular! And Happy Anniversary!

  32. Amazing, love all the grungy details...beautiful. Thanks for joining us on the Emerald Creek Dare Challenge.

  33. Oh, wow, this is amazing! There's a ton going on here - I definitely have to re-visit this post for your techniques listed above - thank you for sharing! Glad to see how your mod podge molds turned out since I just bought a few sets and can't wait to try them...this looks like a great set to have on hand. Love this so much!!

  34. Stunning tag Sara, with all lovely texture gorgeousness!
    Thanks so much for joining us at Emerald creek dares.

  35. Love this so much! Amazing texture and color, so gorgeous! Love the various gears and the magic you worked on this! Thanks so much for sharing!~kim

  36. OMG! Lovelovelove this!!! It must have taken you forever & what an amazing result! Love all that texture & grungy steampunk is my absolute favorite. I've had my eye on molds like that & now I know I'm going to have to have them. Thanks for sharing all the details. Saving this post so I can revisit to try out some of your techniques.

  37. The aged patina on every piece of this is phenomenal! And every piece looks fantastic in the design! Fantastic piece of art!

  38. Congrats on your Top 5 win at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk Challenge! You know I LOVE this piece!

  39. Big congrats, my friend, on your soooooo well deserved Top 5 win at SD&A SPC! Your piece of art is absolutely fantastic and you know how much I love it! Lots of love to you! Branka xx


Thank you for leaving your comments...they mean so much to me.