By Judi Kauffman
I am here today to show you how to incorporate Shimmer Sheetz into mixed media artwork.
I’ve noticed that most mixed media projects include almost exclusively rusty metal, found objects, lots of layering and textures, but rarely anything that sparkles. In other words: Old valued over new, bumpy over smooth, torn over hard edge. In other words: Not particularly my style or preference. I love color, I love artwork and objects that reflect light.
This brought to mind something my grandmother used to ask if we were doing something only because that was the way it had always been done, what was expected: “Where is it written?”
Where is it written that mixed media can’t have glittery, shiny elements and bright colors? After all, the books and articles I’ve read about mixed media usually say “go with the flow, be true to your muse, let out your inner child, there is no right or wrong!” (My inner child likes charm bracelets and big earrings, thank you!)
I incorporated quite a bit of Shimmer Sheetz and even though I often sand the surface to tone it down, this time I chose bright Ruby Gemstone and let it provide a LOT of sparkle. Depending on the way the light hits it, there are shades of orange and purple along with the ruby red!
But I could have used only the tiny little ovals (the small pieces at the left of the project that are the leftovers from the vertical strip sewn down at the right side). Or only the two horizontal bands that look more like ladders. Or just the stems! (A little or a lot, there is no right or wrong – I’ll say it, too…)
Yes, there are some torn papers, but most of the pieces were die cut or carefully cut with ruler and straight edge.
No instructions today – this is FYI (For Your Inspiration). Everyone has different collage papers so my mixed media project could not be precisely duplicated, nor is it my hope that you try to replicate it.
THINGS TO NOTICE (AKA Design Strategies)
Allow elements to overlap.
Include some subtle sparkle along with the Shimmer Sheetz to tie things together. The skeleton leaves are silver metallic. The origami paper strips have metallic gold AND metallic silver in the printed pattern, along with a bit of purple that is an exact match for the cotton cord. Accidental? No. Intentional.
Use an awl to pierce holes and sew some of the elements in place.
Make sure to include some diagonals for motion (stems and skeleton leaves).
Add elements that are transparent as well as opaque.
Back the Shimmer Sheetz with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape prior to cutting. This makes it easy and fast to adhere the large strips and small leftover pieces!
If you plan to display your work, start with a substrate that fits a standard size frame or shadow box rather than an odd size or work directly on a stretched canvas and allow the collage to extend onto the sides.
Use the same idea to make mixed media cards instead of art to display.
Experiment in your art journal!
If you have not previously die cut Shimmer Sheetz, review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial. A metal adaptor plate or Big Shot machine with Precision Base Plate is required.
Elizabeth Craft Designs:
Sewing needle with big eye