Tag Archives: paint

How Do I Know When it is Done?


About a year ago, when I first started thinking about being creative every day, I was very excited about collage. I saw a lot of mixed media art that I loved and wanted to emulate in some way–not to make the same projects, but to take the idea of creating something new out of disparate parts and make my own projects.

I wasn’t sure where to start, so I just dove in. I painted a canvas with a an abstract grass and sky theme.

painted canvas

I really liked this canvas, and I didn’t want to mess it up by just diving in with no plan, so next I spent some time experimenting. I glued yarn to a practice canvas I had laying around. I tried a couple of different glues to see what would hold the buttons best. I got out a few different colors of yarn and experimented with making the trunk. I tried crocheting a trunk, but it came out too big with the multiple yarn colors I wanted to use, so in the end I decided to just twist the colors together and glue them down that way.

I worked on this over several weeks, working for a bit, then leaving and coming back the next day. The original plan for gluing the yarn down was  to make the roots relatively shallow on the canvas, trailing off, with a huge tree above with lots of button leaves. When I stepped back and looked at it after I got most of the yarn in place, though, I realized I had done it completely backwards–the long branches were in the green ground part, and the shorter roots were in the blue sky part of the canvas. D’Oh!

I certainly wasn’t going to try to take the yarn off and re-glue it. After I thought about it a bit, I decided that long roots are better anyway–much of a tree really is in the root system. So, I started gluing on buttons.

collage in progress

I  really enjoyed the process of coming back to this over and over again, sometimes stealing just 10 or 15 minutes out a busy day to glue on some buttons and look over the project. Sometimes the canvas would sit for days at a time without me looking at it all (which reminds me of the need to get more of a studio space than the corner of my dining room table…), but I found that valuable, too. When I came back, I had fresh eyes.

This week I got it out and looked at it again, and I find myself not sure what the next step is. Is it done? Does it look a bit barren at the bottom? Should I put a few button-leaves along the trunk?

current collage

I am not sure if it is done or not, but I don’t see anything that it needs, if that makes sense. Always before I would look at it and think it needed more leaves or something at the ground level, but now I look at it and nothing jumps out as necessary.

I am still pretty new to collage, so I am not sure exactly what I want, but I am enjoying the process!

Making Things: Christmas Decorations


Warning: this is not my most successful project ever. I like it, but there are issues.

First, why I am making Christmas decorations in January: I was too busy in the last few months of the year making gifts to make any decorations. I am trying to do some quick and easy decorating projects now, because I can put decorations away until next December, but I can’t bring myself to store the perfect gift for someone for months on end. If you look at my post from yesterday, you’ll note I made a Christmas gift for my friend Andrea in August and promptly gave it to her. Yesterday, I finished my gift for my friend Billie and today I drove over to her house to give it to her, even though I will see her tomorrow at the office (I worked from home today). Look at how pretty it is:


Now that I have demonstrated that I can do a successful project, it is time to move on to today’s project.

Despite my lack of time to actually make any decorations, I had all sorts of projects I wanted to do. I even started one in December, based on this pin. I painted a canvas green and picked out papers, snowflake stickers and ribbon. Today I assembled the project, and it sort of worked, but I had issues with the glue. I am not sure if the problem is the green canvas or the homemade Mod Podge, but as you can see, the glue residue is visible around the trees:


I am not an experienced user of Mod Podge, so can anyone help me here? Should I have left the canvas white? It seemed like too much white. My homemade Mod Podge is just thinned down glue, is that the problem? Is there a better recipe, or should I just pay the money for the real stuff?

I do like the look of the canvas. I may hang it despite the glue residue. Or I may try to get the glue off some other way (a pencil eraser didn’t work). I want to make at least one more to give to my aunt for Christmas, I think, but I want it to look better before I do that.

Any suggestions?