Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mixed Media - Vintage Paris

 These mixed media panels of vintage Paris were created last spring and used in the dining room for awhile.  As I was cleaning out and sorting treasures, I came upon them again.

Since my short obsession with French themes has passed, these will go to the booth for sale.

However, I will show you just how easy you can replicate the look.

The hardest thing is the waiting, waiting, waiting for each element to dry.

Cut two pieces of masonite to the size you wish.

Two coats of gesso on both sides.

On the front spray with turquoise paint (I forget which color it was.)

Tape doilies in a pleasing pattern over the panels.

Lightly spray copper paint over them

Shadow around the doilies with umber paint with the flat brush half loaded.

Mod Podge old book pages around the edges and arrange squares of the pages for photo backgrounds.

My travel stickers, old photos, and postcards were scanned into the computer and printed out on plain paper.

I do not use originals in my mixed media pieces.

I chose photos of people who looked vintage European.

Though I am sure they were American!

 When you receive your bills each month in the envelopes with the little windows, tear out the windows.  Here I distressed the paper around the windows with liquid distressing ink and placed them over a photo with Mod Podge on just the edges. 

You can add confetti inside or any other elements.  I chose a glitter crown here.

Another woman looking out her little window.

She is not a happy camper!

In all my collection of vintage postcards I could only find one slightly French, but written in English.

I chose it for the florals and the cursive handwriting.

 Again I did not use the actual postcard - just a copy of it.

I distressed the edges.

To make an uneven tear, use a small paintbrush and "paint" with just water where you wish to tear.

Let the water really soak into the area, then gently pull apart.

Mod Podge on some French landmarks and some PARIS tags.

Add some more photos.

All the time I was adding elements to the pieces, I would spray some walnut ink and daub some distressing ink to make each panel old-looking.

I sanded parts of the panels.

In other words there was a lot of distressing going on!

I have a book of luggage tags from Dover Press.

Notice the circular patterns raised on the surface?

I collect drain covers and use them for adding modeling medium.  I mix the paint in with it and spread it through the drain cover with a palette knife.

It takes days for this stuff to dry, but it is worth it.

The backs are left plain.  You can see where I wrapped the newspaper around the edges.

Mostly to disguise the effects of a dull jigsaw blade on masonite.

Some of you may be asking, "What is masonite?" 

It is pegboard without the holes basically.

Useful in many situations.  I keep a couple of sheets handy.

So we went over to visit France (or the ex-pat Americans in Paris!).  We played with distressing ink, gesso, Mod Podge, and modeling medium - all gooky and messy and fun to use in projects.  These two panels would  make great cabinet doors.  You would need to reinforce them on the back side with a frame.

Okay, lesson for today is over.  Class dismissed.  Go forth and create!

See y'all!

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I'll be at Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday Link Party


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  1. Two of my favorite things: Paris and mixed media! Great post, Donna. T.

  2. Donna, Very creative. Great job...Connie

  3. This is a creative piece! I'm sure someone will snatch it up pretty quick from your booth...:) Thanks for sharing the tutorial on how to create one.

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  4. That is a wonderful piece of art Donna! You are one talented lady. Love it!

  5. So many cool things to eye in this piece. A person could stand and stare for sometime with those intriguing pictures of sourpuss as well as the handwriting. I love things with handwriting on them! I was happy to hear your suggestion for tearing. I have never tried wetting the place I want to tear. When I tear thick scrapbook paper, it nearly wears my little bony fingers to the nub. I'll try the Distressed Donna method in the future and save my bony fingertips from an early demise.

  6. I love looking at mixed media projects. It's so interesting to hear the process described. I never would have guessed you used a drain as a pattern/mold! Fascinating!

  7. I'm just stopping by to Say G'day from the Say G'Day Saturday Party. Have a beautiful day and see you again soon! Gloria @The Resourceful Gals

  8. That is really cool! That would be a great idea to do for someone for their wedding anniversary or birthday :) Thank you for linking this up at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  9. Donna, You're not going to believe what I bought at an estate sale today. I'll give you a hint: it starts with an "L" and stands about 22" tall. It is brown now but will be painted a pretty color very soon. Woo Hoo!!! Connie

  10. Really lovely, Donna! I love it :-)

    With A Blast

  11. Never in a million years would I have thought to tear out the windows of my mail. You are a genius! Look at all this great stuff I have been missing!


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