One of the things I hope I have shown so far with the Medicine Cabinet Mixed Media series is that you should ask yourself “what if?” and “could I use that to make art?”. After all, it is just paper and ink and paint. If you end up with a fail, you really haven’t lost much. Throw the fail in your die cut bin (ink and stamp fails make the coolest die cuts) and move on. Maybe if you are lucky, you might discover a cool new technique or a new art tool. Sometimes you have to try again if you get a fail until you end up with a win.
Today’s post is one of those where I got a fail, and then another. I was bound and determined to create a background with ink and gauze. It took me three tries, but I finally got it! I am sharing all three tries so that you can see what did and didn’t work and why.
My first thought was that I could simply spray Distress Stain onto gauze…
lay a tag onto the wet gauze, rub over the back…
and get a transfer of the design. Did it work, well yeah, kind of, but it really wasn’t as bold as I wanted. The gauze really soaked up the stain quickly and locked it into the center layers making it too dry to do a transfer.
The solution, I thought, was to use paint, theorizing that it would not soak up as quickly. I scribbled out a puddle of paint onto my craft sheet…
placed the gauze onto the paint and flipped it over…
and then placed the tag onto the gauze, running my fingers over the back of the tag to transfer the paint.
Did it work? Well, kind of, but again, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Again, the paint soaked into the gauze quickly locking in the center layers. I also didn’t like that the paint wasn’t distributed evenly over the gauze. The gauze was too soft to scribble the paint onto it directly, so I decided to try the theory on a stiffer surface.
I grabbed a paper towel and scribbled paint onto it. I pressed a tag down onto the paper towel and lifted it off. I got a decent imprint but wasted quite a bit of paint by applying it to the paper towel.
I was bound and determined to succeed with gauze but had used all that I had in my medicine cabinet. I went to my car to check my first aid kit. Hooray! I found one packet of gauze. I had better make it go further so I used only a single layer.
Since I was only using a single layer of gauze, I felt that I might get some spray through so I placed a tag below the gauze before spraying it with Distress Stain. I thought if I was lucky I might get two imprints from the single piece of gauze.
I placed a second tag on top of the gauze and ran my hand over it to transfer the design.
When I separated the layers, I discovered I finally got a decent image. It was on the bottom tag! I finally got the pattern from the gauze by misting through the gauze as if it were a stencil. The top tag’s imprint was poor because again the gauze was so absorbent that it just wasn’t wet enough to transfer.
Out of four tags, I think they are all usable for backgrounds even though they weren’t all the imprint I wanted. The “rejects” will go in my scrap bucket for die cutting. The gauze will be saved for another project. The “winning” print will end up as a finished tag. Wouldn’t the “winning” technique be cool with a fabric like cheesecloth with a larger weave? I am excited to try that and have cheesecloth on my shopping list for my next fabric store trip.
By the way, the faux washi tape shown above… it is from my medicine cabinet too and is coming soon!
PS. I will be back Tuesday with another installment of this series. If you have missed any of the techniques up to this point, you can find them all in the Basics 101 gallery.