Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mixed Media Canvas on Reverse Canvas-A Vintage Journey

Hello friends! It's time for our newest challenge at A Vintage Journey,  and this time the super talented Tracy is our hostess. She has chosen the theme 'All Squared Up', and this is what she says about that: 

Whether a frame, embellishment, die cuts, drawn square, doodles, or windows, let's see where inspiration takes you, let's get all squared up and show how creative those right angles can look!

Show us your squared up pieces in a vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

Here is my mixed media canvas on a canvas on a reverse canvas! Ha! Ha!
Proceed with caution-long post!

To prepare, I threw all my square canvases of varied sizes into a pile--the largest one had just been found 2 for 50 cents at a yard sale--quite rough, but I saw potential as a reverse canvas. I wasn't sure where I was going with this yet, and initially thought I would use just one canvas. I also found some square embellishments and Tim's paper with squares on it in my stash. Another yard sale yielded some contractors screen of some sort with squares! And a squared stencil--a clearance find at a local craft store. My square goodies were piling up! I hope I give you an accurate description of how this came together. I made it so long ago, I've forgotten most of what I did, and I didn't take very good notes. But I did take some photos along the way to document the progress.

Because of the rough edges of the larger canvas, I added masking tape to give a smoother surface to start with and glued on these gaudy embellishments I've had hanging around forever. I gave it a coat of black gesso and then realized I hadn't added the screen. Distress collage medium adhered it perfectly. Next I used Golden crackle paste and my stencil around the edges of the largest canvas and painted the mid-sized fabric covered canvas roughly with black gesso. This reveals the subtle square pattern of the weave. I eventually painted the back of the reverse canvas with gesso, too, letting some of the colors of the original 'artwork' show through.  I find it pretty ironic that the original artwork says 'calm', and I've created something so far from calming. (No photo of the completed back; it's pretty boring.)

I painted the large frame with Viva Rusty Paper and smeared on Prima Patina Effect Paste-Blue. I carried theses colors around to the back as well. Did you notice the squares on those gemstones? I didn't before I painted them.

Check out the squares in Tim's Dapper paperstash! And the city blocks--more squares! I used Burnt Umber and Quinacridone Gold DecoArt Media paints around the edges adding water to allow the color to seep onto the paper and then adding more randomly thickly just at the edges and blasting with the heat gun for bubbling. I splashed on some more watered down  Burnt Umber, and finished up with more Patina Effect paste.

The tiny 2 inch square canvas was covered with another design from Tim's Dapper Paper Stash, painted with clear gesso. This is one of those small square patterns in his stash I never know what to do with. It didn't quite fit the canvas, but I'm ok with it. If you hadn't noticed there are squares in this design, too--so subtle. When dry, I aged it with  Faded Jeans and Frayed Burlap Distress inks. It looks as if I've used some of those DecoArt media and Distress Ground Espresso paints on this, too.

For my focal image I discarded my initial idea of using my new Seth Apter Broken Maze die and instead used that on another project. You can see how that went by clicking HERE. I went with Tim's Detailed Butterflies, Mini die cut to grace this canvas. To texturize him, I swiped on Grit paste and gel medium and added color with Distress paint, Faded Jeans and DecoArt Quinacridone Gold --neat and watered down. I added some touches of the Patina Effect paste, to tie it into the rest of the piece.

Some bits of chain colored with alcohol inks stand in for the butterfly's body and antenna. I added some stamping in Rusty Hinge (marker on stamp)  with Prima Net and Wire Stamps (more squares!).

Well, that's all for me! Please make sure you stop by the blog if you haven't already to see all the amazing inspiration from the rest of my talented teammates for our 'All Squared Up' theme! Then get to work on your own square inspired project to be in the running for a fantastic prize package of mdf and mini shapes  from Tando Creative. The Creative Guides also pick  3 Pinworthy entries who have their work pinned in our PINTEREST gallery and are invited to be our Guest Designers! I hope you'll play along--I can't wait to see what you'll create!

Sharing with:
Country View Challenges-July - Things With Wings
Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #38 - Altered Embellishments

-Deep Ocean Challenge- #158: "Lots of Layers" I've layered my canvases.
-Dies R Us-Challenge #76 - Layers I've layered my canvases.
-Mod Squad-Mark It, Stamp It I used Distress marker on my Prima stamp.

Thank you for your visit today and for all your lovely comments! Your visits and comments inspire me to create even more!
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily

Products used: Black gesso, Viva Rusty Paper, Prima Patina Effect Paste-Blue, Prima Net and Wire Stamps  Golden Crackle Paste, Distress Collage Medium-Matte, Distress Grit Paste, gel medium, Heidi Swapp stencil, Tim Holtz Dapper Paper Stash, Detailed Butterflies, Mini Thinlits, Distress paint: Faded Jeans and Ground Espresso, Distress ink: Faded Jeansand Frayed Burlap, Distress marker: Rusty Hinge, Ranger Caramel and Mushroom alcohol inks, DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paint: Burnt Umber and Quinacridone Gold.
From my stash: canvases, gemstones, masking tape, chains, contractor's mesh.


  1. Wow Sara Emily, you really squared up for this challenge and how brilliantly it all came together. I love the papers and timeworn effects and the amazing colouring and textures. The gems are very unusual and frame the piece beautifully and that butterfly is ultra stunning. You rocked this challenge theme xxx

  2. Wow!! You certainly did square up for this Challenge and you did it beautifully Sara!! I love all the textured surfaces and the colours are fabulous!! That gorgeous butterfly is the perfect focal point! Love this!! Have a fabulous day!! xx

  3. A gorgeous creation, which is so beautiful with many layers and textures!! Thanks so much for joining us at Dies R Us for the 'Layers' Challenge!!

  4. You are quite the visionary in realizing the value of junk found Sara Emily! Your rusty bits are wonderful as well as the layering of your canvases and fun squares on the edges of the largest - a perfect 'square' project! Julia xx

  5. Grunge tastic Sara! What a fabulous design - I just love all your aged textures. I love a reverse canvas and you have done a great job with this! Happy weekend to you my friend xxxx

  6. Oh wow, this is absolutely amazing, Sara Emily!! Wow!! The texture is phenomenal!! I love, love the rusty patina look!! The bits you added are so fabulous!! And wow - that butterfly is spectacular!! So stunning and inspirational, my sweet friend!! I love, love it!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  7. Unbelievable! You amaze me my friend! This is simply fantastic! The repeating square elements bring such a cohesive beauty and your gorgeous layering adds the wow factor! Love that you centered the design around that fantastically rusted butterfly. That one organic shape brings everything to life. A true work of art! Hugs, Autumn

    1. Congratulations on your top 3 at MMMC! This is such an amazing project, so worthy of the spotlight! Hugs, Autumn

  8. Stunning, stunning, stunning Sara!!! What a fabulous transformation, I just love the rust and patina, the square looks fantastic and the butterfly and body are gorgeous - may need to 'borrow' the butterfly body idea - love that!! My new favourite of your work! Hugs, Anne xx

  9. oh my goodness - I adore what you have done here Sara - so much gorgeousness! Brilliant! Hugs rachel x

  10. This is beautiful. I love everything about it, a true work of art. Great take on the challenge, thanks so much for playing along with us this week over at the Mod Squad!!!
    Judy~ Challenge Host

  11. What a brilliant canvas Sara Emily, wow, amaing textures and colourings, and that stunning butterfly is just the perfect focal point. Such a wonderful interpretation of the theme!!

  12. Oh I so want to come and play with you! Your creations are always so interesting.

  13. Wow, Sara Emily! You have perfectly put together so many squares! Fantastic project!

  14. WOW! This is just beautiful ... great job! Thanks so much for playing in our ‘Layers’ challenge at Dies R Us! Please come back again soon!

    Darlene (DRU Blog Leader)
    DAR’S CRAFTY CREATIONS Please come for a visit.

  15. Brilliant industrial grunge! The fabulous rusty textures and colours give this so much tactile delight, and the butterfly is amazing, hovering over that cool altered design paper. Love it!
    Alison x

  16. You perfectly fit the theme, so many squares and so many details to look at!It's amazing!

  17. Fantastic - talk about Steel Magnolias - this is called "steel butterflies"
    Sandy xx

  18. You really embraced the squares and did them absolute justice with this project ! Sara Emily. Love all those layers of 'squares' and the continuity of rusty grunge, texture and detail throughout. Fantastic .
    hugs x

  19. Wow, Sara Emily! That blue butterfly just POPS as though lit from within. So many gorgeous details here, and the texture is amazing. You are sooo talented! xo

  20. Wow, this is awesome, Sara Emily! You took the square theme and ran with it! Love how this all came together and I love how your butterfly matches the outside frame. Clever idea for the body of the butterfly, too. So glad you mentioned adding masking tape to rough edges on the canvas - wish I had thought of that on a past project, but will remember for the future. Hugs!!

  21. oh my soul! beyond words just how much I absolutely love this stunning project.. thank you so very much for sharing it with us at Mixed Monthly Challenge!!

  22. Gorgeous piece , I adore how you used squares in your piece and the rusty elements are perfect with the touch of turquoise, fantastic squares around the frame too. I love the inside decoration and your textural butterfly. Hugs. Tracy x

  23. Wow, so many squares! I love your rusty look, the stamps and the butterfly x

  24. What a fabulous canvas Sara, so many gorgeous layers of canvas and texture and paint, love how you used the unloved embellishments around the edges, they look fabulous now that you have grunged them too perfection! A wonderful interpretation of the challenge theme, thanks so much for sharing it, Deb xo

  25. totally fabulous details and yummy colours and textures for Tracy's squared challenge Sara xxx
    Love it !!!

    Hugs Annie xx

  26. Great make Sarah. Love all the grunge and the industrial frame. Thanks for joining in with us at Country View Crafts.

  27. Love the Decoart paint around edges I just may have to buy some now, thanks for playing around at Mixed Media Monthly. Glenda

  28. This is astounding and I absolutely love what you find in your sales! AMAZEBALLS! So much detail to take in make my eyes happy! Dearie, you have totally out done yourself with this divine art! I don't even have the words to express how gorgeous and wonderful and fantabulous this is. Totally gobsmacked! Hugz to you muffin!~Punkin


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