How do I use this thing? (and some ICADs)

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I came across this 3D stencil in one of my (many) boxes of craft supplies and thought… “What the heck?”  One of the prompts for last week’s ICAD Challenge was “ivy”, so what better time to experiment.  I recently started playing with gesso, and figured that would be as good as anything to stencil with, and then figured I could just paint over the relief for a cool design.  Not.

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The gesso (surprise, surprise) seeped under the stencil, despite at my best attempts at taping and holding it down.  I ended up with a bunch of big blobs.  So, I thought, maybe I can just trace the stencil on top of the gesso like any other normal stencil.  Of course, it’s not a normal stencil, so when I tried to trace inside the openings the foam kept moving and that was a disaster, too.  I tried a trusted Sharpie, but it didn’t work too well on top of the gesso, so I just resorted to painting inside the stencil as well as I could (given my level of frustration and disappointment at this point) with my handy-dandy acrylic paint.  I threw a random quote on it from my collection and was about to call it a day.  But…Image

I had all this paint left over on my plate and this frustrating foamy stencil that I still didn’t know how to use.  So I did a little more experimentation and used it as a STAMP.  And I LOVED it!!!  I made two more cards with it that way.

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And then I just wanted to use up the rest of the paint, so I did the one below.  I used the sewing theme again (which I love), and experimented with some new, metallic thread and a zig-zag stitch.  So, here’s the last one in this “series”:

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So, I guess that what started out as a big mess turned out okay.  It usually does.  (And, if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.)

And here are some other bloggers who are doing ICADs (it seems like the numbers are growing like weeds- really pretty, interesting weeds).

http://livingadreamlife.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/icad-25-happy-birthday-eric-carle/  – I had no idea it was Eric Carle‘s birthday… I’m seeing a Carlesque ICAD coming up in my future.

http://sitscrapandrelax.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/icad-20-24/  – I just came across this blog and love it.  This series is really neat, she calls it her “She Art”.  The last two are portraits she learned how to do by watching an instructional video on YouTube.  How cool is that?!

Oh… and how DO I use that thing???

Mandala Monday

Shoot!  I thought I uploaded this before but it didn’t take.  Better late than never…

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Here’s my contribution for today.  I was expecting a long day at work and then had to go get a new phone (an excursion that I had no idea would take 3 hours!).  So, I decided to try to make an electronic mandala on my phone.  I opened up my Pic Collage app (a favorite) and imported some pictures.  I started with 4 ICADs I’d done last week  with similar materials/techniques (all starting with a failed attempt at using a 3D stencil with gesso).  I used those as the 4 “corners” of my circle.  Then, I cropped a photo I took yesterday and made a kind of star design using several copies of it.  The photo is kind of a funny story:  I got this pinata for my parents’ surprise 50th Anniversary party at church.  When I went back the next day, I happened to notice it hanging from a stick outside the dumpster.  I guess the sexton couldn’t bare to chuck it.  I call it “Resurrection of the Backyardigan”.

The mandala came out somewhat psychedelic looking, but the shape is strangely appealing to me.  And I was able to use images of a few cards that I didn’t really like to make something pretty interesting.  Mondays are always so hard to find time to really concentrate on anything, I’m starting to think I should actually plan ahead a bit and make my mandala on Sunday (and then just post it on Monday).  That wouldn’t be cheating, would it?