Sunday, March 27, 2011

VOLUNTEERS you know who you are...PLEASE

Check with me on times and such for the shows!
email me maryjomcgraw@aol.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am trying to get more info on the blogs



So I am taking existing info,updating it and posting it here. Let me know what you think. Later this year I am going to make the final jump and do some online classes so keep checking back. It may happen sooner than I think!


Unique Antique

I LOVE a vintage look. Truly, brown is one of my favorite colors right after any shade of green. Lately I am looking for a bit lighter look and white antique is just the ticket. Since a bright white overlay does not take the vivid qualities of color away like more neutral antique agents do, I tend to use it with pieces I want to keep clearer and cleaner looking.

Most antique processes need to be applied at the end of a project and using white is no exception. I do not usually start projects with any antique methods in mind. Each piece seems to determine what it needs along the way. When I think a piece needs a more cohesive feel then I bring out antique techniques.

My main white antique medium is good thick gesso which can be applied over many surfaces including beeswax. Over heavily embellished areas I apply the gesso full strength. thick and gooey to fill textured areas.
This takes a while to dry and looks like frosting since gesso dries to a matte finish. Thick gesso can also be used as a glue for layers of glitter or mica flakes.

Apply gesso thinned with water over surfaces you want to show through. Allow the gesso to bead up on slick surfaces as it will dry in those little beads leaving a haphazard charm. You can gain control somewhat by wetting the surface first with water then applying the thinned gesso. Blot excesses with paper towel.
Gesso can also be applied by spritzer bottle which can give a fine mist of white similar to falling snow.
Mix 1 part gesso to 3 parts water and rinse the spritzer immediately following use.

When I am not sure if I want something covered wet gesso can be washed away by loading the surface with lots of water. This of course will not work on paper substrates so I apply Micro Glaze wax to paper surfaces I want masked.

Lightly brushing very thin gesso over dry surfaces is attractive. Old newsprint or any type of collage surface is enhanced with a thin layering of white.

If you are not a huge fan of pure white tinting gesso is really easy. A single drop of dye reinker or fluid acrylic will do it. Go slow here or else you'll have a thick pastel color instead of a tint.

Crackle paints are a great way to antique projects. Each type has specific directions so a good deal of testing is required. I like the spray varieties and have had good successes especially on outside edges. As with all spray paints masking is crucial.

White paste shoe polish is another favorite since it is easy to control. It does not have the thick snowy quality of gesso but is excellent on paper. I use it in altered books where a thick paint application is usually not advisable.
Shoe polish does have a distinct odor because of the solvent so let the project air out for a few hours the smell will quickly fade. This is not archival in any way and there are times I just don't worry about it!
Try a bit of white antique on your next project, it is vintage and unique.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TODAY Wed March 16th

Hey Gang, today is Stamp Club for the Downtown store on Monroe....If you have Carving stuff bring it we will be carving stamps! These will be fairly simple stuff you can carve with an exacto knife I will have extra tools on hand but you will need to bring or purchase carving material we do have speedy cut and other items. If you have nothing bring an old pink or white eraser. See you at 5:30pm

Saturday, March 12, 2011



Crazy House 947


The look of crazed porcelain or old barn paint is a look I love!
For this book I used Golden's Crackle Paste.



There are definitely techniques and other mediums you will want to try with this paste so here are a few tips.

Use a palette knife to spread the paste evenly.

Spreading the paste very thin(1/8 inch or less in thickness) will dry quicker and give a crazed porcelain finish.

Applying it thicker, say to a 1/4 inch thickness will take up to 24 hours to dry and give a much deeper crackle.

Layering over an uneven surface of dry light molding paste or heavy gels will vary the surface leaving uncracked areas.

Paint over the dry surface with any glaze or acrylic paint let rest for a few seconds then remove the excess with a rag to accentuate the cracks.

Dark paint colors are best to accent the cracks.

Rigid surfaces are best for obvious reasons. Bending the crackle finish could pop off the paste.

Do not use a heat gun or hair dryer to speed the drying time it could impact the final finish. A fan is a good alternative.


On this altered book I started by spreading the Crackle Paste over a surface of uneven light molding paste on the front cover and a thin coat of the Crackle Paste by itself on the back cover. I left a fan on the book overnight so it would be completely dry in the morning. After applying a thin coat of fluid acrylic(Quinacridone Crimson) I rubbed away the excess paint to reveal the fine cracks then added a coat of navy blue shoe polish paying special attention to the spine. Add a bit of pale green spray paint to the edges of the book and splotches to the front and back covers. Glue on a few embellishments to the front cover to finish the cover of this house book. Now the real work begins inside!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Visual Journaling Tues ..Wed Studio Play March 8&9


Visual Journaling CDA Creative Element 4:30pm-7:30 pm Tonight using Stencils in your Journal. I will bring a variety of stencils pen and a bit of paint. You bring scissors and a glue stick. See you there! Call for info 208-667-0813

Wed Studio Play on Monroe. Exploring how to use various mediums including Soft Gel only $10 Come on out and try it before you buy it!