Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas is Coming Mixed Media Envelope with Karen Bearse

Karen here today with a grungy, metallic, mix media envelope. There are tons of layers on my project and I have to say at one point this was a hot mess but just adding & adding really got this project through the uglies. I will do a bit of a tutorial but the key to this kind of art is to just play & play.

Am I the only one who every year is totally shocked that it is December? I just can’t seem to get in that Christmas grove at the beginning of the month. It may be I grew up in snowy Montreal where the cold knocked the season into me.

Living in Virginia winter doesn’t really hit until later, last week it was 72 degrees. This year I am trying to get with the program by using art to kick me into the spirit. This envelope will go in my ongoing art journal. I am up to 95 or so art journal pages which you can see on my Instagram @karenbearse #100daysofkarensart. It is going to be a big book!!! Grab a coffee, tea or hot chocolate & let’s see how this page got built!

I started this page with product. New product can be a great inspiration and I had just bought an order with some of Seth Apter’s new dies, stamps and stencils and of course my Southern Ridge Trading Chippies. Along with Tattered Angels paints we have a match made in Christmas land. The thing to note is my stamps & stencils are not Christmas yet can be transformed to be just that.

My base began with a printed envelope, add modeling paste through a stencil using a spatula or old hotel card. The idea I had was red, yellow & gold for colours. Once the paste was dry I spritzed with some yellow Glimmer Mist. Taking Grit paste & adding red Glimmer Glam to it & putting it through another few stencils was the next step. The white of the paste turned my red into a pink but adding more of the Glam on top would make it red. At this point yuck. Covering the page in gesso helped give me a new starting point. It had the added bonus of protecting my envelope when I started adding water.  

Add in Glimmer Mist using a small paint brush a bit of colour at a time & spritzing with water to dilute the colour. I used reds & plums at this point & then added in some navy. The key to this was spritzing with water & letting the paint run, dry, repeat until a nice base is built.

Next came copper paint applied with a hard foam to just hit the high points of the page. This is my favourite technique and the metallic just adds such shine. At this point adding some random stamping helps add another layer of interest.  Just pieces of stamp using Archival Ink which is water proof.  Now it was time for some contrast and to help the texture come alive. For the letters I outlined them with a stabilo pencil, wet with a fine brush to activate the lines, but it was very harsh so smudge with a finger to get a softer yet dramatic look. Taking a Distress Crayon and outlining the piece with more smudging really helps the page to pop. I liked it so much I randomly added it through the page, smudging to soften as I went. Layers, layers help get rid of the uglies.

Time to embellish! First up SRTC chippies and Emerald Creeks Soft Fallen Snow embossing powder. I don’t know how they do it but my snowflakes look like they have real snow on them! I also added some copper paint with my finger for that grungy look. I simply love these deer & can’t stop using them! A quick swipe of gesso (so as not to lose the details) followed by some Iridescent Shimmer emboss and copper paint distress just gives this chippie an elegant feel. Adhere to page with a strong glue like glossy accents.

The inside flap of my envelope was sad & lonely and needed a quick fix. I painted on Marigold Glimmer Mist and had the bonus of a dirty brush which created a peachy colour in spots. Once dry a bit of stamping with Archival Ink. I added my die cut image which had been painted with Glimmer Mist. Distress Crayon smudged around the edges for the win. Using the “begin” stamp was intentional to remind me to get on the Christmas list doing!

Voila!! Now I have this cool shimmery envelope for my art journal or December Daily. I am going to add lists in the pocket of our highlights from the holiday, what we are grateful for & maybe a few pictures. Thanks for joining me today. I hope this post brings you some Christmas spirit.

Southern Ridge Trading Co. Supplies Used:

Other Supplies Used:

- Tattered Angels: Glimmer Mist- Pomegranate, Black Cherry, Marigold, Icicle Blue
Glimmer Glam-Roses are Red
- Seth Apter dies & stamps by Spellbinders & Impression Obsession
- Seth Apter stencils by Stencil Girl
- Emerald Creek Craft Supplies: Embossing Powder - Soft Fallen Snow and Iridescent Shimmer
- Golden: Light Molding Paste
- Ranger Ink: Distress Grit Paste, Distress Crayon-chipped sapphire,
Glossy accents, Archival Ink- jet black, cobalt
- Stabilo pencil
- Recollections: Envelope

Please join us for our monthly contest where you can win some wonderful chippies! You can find the contest info here. Happy Holidays!!!

- Karen


  1. Mixed media is so fun! Getting some great ideas gifts!

    1. Thanks Alice, Glad I could inspire you! Have a wonderful holiday.

  2. Mixed media is so fun! Getting some great ideas gifts!

  3. I just love how textured this is.

    1. Thanks Seth!! You line makes it easy to create!