Let It Snow

Image showing the completed Let It Snow artwork.
Let it Snow Sign Mixed Media Sign Board 6″ x 16″

Happy New Year!

Well we didn’t get a white Christmas this year, but we did wake up to a winter wonderland on the first day of the year! What a way to start out. It’s so pretty and peaceful (and let’s be honest, even better to be on vacation so I didn’t have to venture out into it very far!).

I also received my box of new design team goodies from TCW. Boy are we spoiled! The most exciting part for me was the new stencil butters and the new stamps and stencils, not to mention more matte medium gel which I have used more of this past year than ever!

To celebrate the new supplies, of course I had to dive right in. The irony is that several of us chose the same stencil using our new stencil butters, so I realized I had to do something different.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I always have gloves, but I don’t have any mittens. However, when I saw the new TCW2193 Snowy Mittens Sign Stencil, I just knew I had to use it. In addition to the adorable mittens, I knew I wanted more snowflakes in the background, so I also used our TCW720 Snowflakes stencil.

To start, I used clear embossing fluid with a dauber bottle for the snowflakes stencil. I applied white embossing powder and heat set it using my heat gun. This formed a resist of snowflakes in white on the white mixed media board.

Next, I sprinked Colorsparx powders in Cerulean blue, turquoise, and orchid randomly all over the board, then spritzed it with my Ken Oliver Spritz bottle. Just look at all these beautiful, deeply pigmented powders all mingling together in the water spritz. Yummo! Again, I dried it with my heat gun.

Close up image showing embossed snowflakes with multiple colors of ColorSparx powders sprayed with water.
ColorSparx powders activated with water spritzer over embossed snowflakes

Here’s a close up image of the dried ColorSparx powders over the white embossed snowflake background. I really love the effect it gave to both the snowflakes and the background, definitely a technique I will be using again!

Close up image showing the white embossed snowflakes on the mixed media board, with the ColorSparx powders dried by the heat gun.
Close up image showing the dried ColorSparx powders over the embossed snowflake background.

In order to be able to apply the mitten stencil over the ColorSparx powders, I knew I had to seal them somehow. The snow we had was a very wet and heavy snow, which made me think of replicating a ‘wet look’ somehow. TCW9006 Gloss Gel Medium was the perfect solution.
Recently, I learned that you can apply mediums to a gel plate, then lay it face down with the medium onto the substrate. This enables you to apply the medium without smudging or reactivating and moving the water soluble product below. In the following photo, it shows my catalyst spreader being used to apply the gloss gel medium to my Gel Press six inch square Gel Plate.

Close up image showing the mixed media board in the background, with the gloss gel medium, catalyst spreader, and 6 inch gel plate ready to be placed onto the board.
A 4mm catalyst spreader was used to apply gloss gel medium to the gel plate.

I repeated the gel plate process until the entire mixed media board was covered with the gloss gel. I dried the gloss gel medium with my heat gun to set it, then let it cool a while before I continued.

Now, it was time to add my adorable knitted mittens to the sign. Using a cosmetic sponge, I pounced vertically up and down to lightly apply the TCW9001 White Gesso through the TCW2193 Snowy Mittens Sign Stencil. I used my heat gun to dry the gesso, being careful not to overheat the gloss gel medium so that it did not bubble up.

Close up image showing the snowy mittens stencil applied with white gesso and a cosmetic sponge to the mixed media board.
TCW9001 White Gesso was pounced through the stencil using a cosmetic sponge.

And now for the gloriously creamy, incredibly smooth, easy to use stencil butter. You guys have to try these, they are so easy to use and the vibrant colors are just amazing! I decided to use the Fuschia Stencil Butter with a palette knife held at a 45 degree angle. Working slowly and smoothly, I applied the Fuschia stencil butter to the mixed media board over the stenciled mittens and snowflakes. Just look at that gorgeous deep pink color, isn’t it fabulous?

Close up image showing the Fuschia Stencil Butter applied to the stencil using a palette knife.
I attached permanent botanical foliage to the grapevine wreath around the wired stag’s head.

My friends call me the “Texture Queen”, because I love to manipulate mediums to see what I can get them to do. One of the techniques I love to get into my works is 3D dimension. If you use a heat gun to dry modeling paste, you can experiment with how close you hold the heat gun to the modeling paste. Holding my heat gun about 2″ from the modeling paste allows me to get it to dry, then bubble and puff up, giving a raised, bumpy effect, kind of like puffy paint.

I often use this technique to introduce a 3D aspect into many of my works. So of course I wanted to try it with the new stencil butter, to see how it would perform. As you can see in the following image, it performed absolutely perfectly, giving me a bubbly look, as though someone had thrown wet snow onto the letters.

Close up image show 'it' and 'S' dried and puffy.
Some of the leaves on the wreath were also dry brushed with TCW9001 White Gesso.

As a last step, I really wanted more contrast around the letters to make them stand out more on the sign. Using black water-based ink and a paintbrush, I washed the ink over and around the letters. The ink sinks down into the valleys of the letters and around the edges, helping the letters really pop out against the background. If you accidentally apply too much ink, you can remove it very lightly with a damp paintbrush. The mountains of bubbles in the modeling paste are very fragile as they are hollow. If you touch them too hard, they will collapse down, and it is almost impossible to get them to rise again because the modeling paste has already been dried.

The finished "Let it Snow" sign board displayed so that the whole completed sign is visible.
The completed “Let it Snow” sign.

Want to see a quick video? Hop on over and watch my quick fly-by video on my YouTube Channel.

Until next time, happy experimenting and happy day!

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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