I love visiting art museums! I get so inspired by looking at the color combinations and textures. Even though my art is very different from those on display, I find that nearly every visit sparks something in me to create. Recently I visited an art museum in Evansville, Indiana. I absolutely fell in love with a piece there, Y’do IV by Cassandria Blackmore. I loved it so much that I had to snap some photos of it and turned it into the wallpaper on my phone before getting back to the car!
The piece is several feet long and features a mix of blues and greens (my all time favorite color combo) blending and fading under a piece of cracked glass. The glass is reverse painted on glass before being broken and reassembled. It includes some grouting to join the pieces back together. (Click on the image above and then click again on the new page that opens to view a larger image.)
I was so fascinated by the piece. I stood there for a very long time studying it. I couldn’t resist and did an art museum no-no and touched it. Emma and I were entranced by it. My oldest daughter Anna, a self-proclaimed non-lover of art was also drawn to it and its message.
Everyone has a personal shattering point. The way put our pieces back together actually makes us more compelling and interesting. -Cassandria Blackmore
Goodness, isn’t that the truth? In the moment we are shattered we think we will never put the pieces back together. It is hard and complicated. Once we do though, there is beauty. I knew I needed to capture my feelings and honor this piece of art by creating a tag to try to capture the feel of it if I could. I tried several different combinations of techniques to get the look I wanted and to have the added texture of grout along with my “glass”.
Begin by blending Cracked Pistachio, Tumbled Glass, Peacock Feathers, and Blueprint Sketch onto a tag (or card front, journal page, etc) using an ink blending tool.
Mist water into your hand. Flick the water onto the tag to create water spots in the ink.
Blot the excess water with a dry cloth. Dry the tag with a heat tool.
Place a second inked tag onto your craft sheet. Place the Shatter Layering Stencil over the tag. Secure the stencil to the craft sheet with a bit of washi tape.
note: In the process of inking the stencil (which is needed for the featured tag) you will ink a second tag that can be used for a second project. You could skip placing the extra tag underneath the stencil and just wipe away the excess ink on your craft sheet. I like the two-for-one aspect so I recommend the second tag.
Tap over the stencil with a clear embossing ink directly from the ink pad. Ink the stencil and tag very generously with ink. You will need to work quickly through the next few steps so that your embossing ink is stays wet long enough to emboss both tags.
Sprinkle clear embossing powder over the inked tag.
Melt the embossing powder with a heat tool. Set the tag aside.
Place the stencil on your craft sheet embossing ink side up. Secure in place with washi tape.
Place the tag (the original tag from step 1) face down onto the inked stencil. Rub your hand over the back of the tag to transfer the ink onto the tag. Wipe the excess ink off of the stencil.
The ink is clear so it will be very difficult to see.
Sprinkle Distress Embossing Powder (I used Pumice Stone) over the tag. The powder will stick to the embossing ink transferred onto the tag from the stencil.
Melt the embossing powder with a heat tool.
Place the stencil back on top of the tag. The design on the stencil should match up over the lines of embossing powder. Secure the tag and stencil in place with washi tape.
Ink over the stencil and tag again with a clear embossing ink tapping the ink pad directly onto the tag and stencil.
Use an embossing ink pad or pen to touch up the places on the tag where the tape was.
Sprinkle clear embossing ink over the tag. The lines of Distress Embossing powder might get some clear powder on them, but for the most part, they will covered since the stencil covered them during the second inking.
Melt the embossing powder with a heat tool.
Use an ink blending tool to rub Distress Ink (any color that you want to accent your “grout” with) over the tag, with an emphasis over the straight lines.
Lightly mist a cloth with water.
Buff over the tag with the cloth.
The cloth will pick up the ink that is on the embossing powder area. The dark ink will stay in the grooves.
Tear a strip of vellum to about 3/4″ x 6″. Use letter stamps to add a sentiment using Coffee Archival ink. Brush the edges of the vellum with a brown Distress Ink (I used Ground Espresso).
Place the sentiment strip along the left side of the tag. Add a small strip of Tissue Tape over the top of the vellum, wrapping it around to the back of the tag.
Place a round Index Label seal sticker (shown in the next photo) between the Tissue Tape and vellum strip. Add a Tiny Attacher Staple near the bottom of the Tissue Tape. The staple will adhere the vellum strip to the tag. Ignore the hole and craft pick for now.
I photograph these tutorials as I make them up. Sometimes I after I photograph things I decide they need something more. That is the case with the following photos. I embellished the tag and photographed the process and then decided to add the vellum and round label. The finished embellishment cluster will look like this, with the vellum and round sticker. Imagine you see those as well as you look through the photos below… 😉
Adhere a round open Sprocket Gear to the front of the tag over the Tissue Tape.
Adhere a Mini Gear in the center of the Sprocket Gear.
Pierce a hole through the center of the Mini Gear with a craft pick.
Bend a medium Game Spinner so that the arrow end is pointing upward. To bend, hold the round center of the Game Spinner between your thumb and pointer finger. With the other hand bend the arrow end upward. They bend very easily.
Place a Long Fastener (brad) through the hole in the center of the Game Fastener.
Place the prongs of the Long Fastener through the hole in center of the Mini Gear. Flatten the prongs of the brads on the back side of the tag.
Add a Remnant Rub word to the front of a Monocle.
Add a Mini Clip to the jump ring on the Monocle.
Slip the Mini Clip over the arrow end of the Game Spinner. Flatten the Game Spinner more until it touches the top of the brad.
I love using Mini Clips as jump rings. With the Mini Clips you get a ton in a package, way more than you probably need as paper clips so it is fun to find other ways to use them. I think using them as jump rings for charms adds a bit of fun and something a little unexpected.
A fun highlight of this embellishment cluster is that it swivels. As you move the tag around the Game Spinner with the charms hanging from it turn freely. So fun!
The embellishments are fun, but the real focus here is the background. It is no secret, I love clear embossing powder. It is one of my go-to supplies. In this case it gives me the glossy look that I was after.
I love that I was able to capture the grittier texture of grout by using Distress Embossing Powder. Imagine doing this same technique with a stencil with squares for the look of artisan glazed tiles… or maybe this Shatter stencil with earthenware colors for the look of glazed pottery… so many possibilities!
One takeaway from this tag that I would love to share with you is to be open to inspiration in many places- in this case, in a gallery of fine art (or remember the time I was inspired by my bedspread?). When something speaks to you, ask yourself how you can capture that feel in your style of art. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to try to capture it! I went through four different tags trying different ways to “grout” until I got the look that made me feel like I had it. What if you fail? It is just paper and ink, throw it in your scrap bin to die cut later and try again. You may discover something really awesome in the process!