Saturday, 25 May 2019

Emergency Call - Altered Box by Natassa Blazaki

Hello lovelies! It’s Natassa from Art Recipes and More and today I’m back with a new project for Andy’s blog.
This time, I chose a creepy theme, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for murder”. It’s been many years since I saw the movie, but you know how it goes. Once you’ve seen a classic you never forget about it lol
So, let me show you how I turned the packaging of a bottle of whisky into a grunge wall telephone- secret mobile charging box!

As a first step, I created a skeleton hand. I made the armor with craft copper wire and built the bones on it with polymer clay.

Then, I created a variety of textures on all sides of the box, with Modeling and Sand Paste and a couple of Andy’s stencils.

I took the biggest of Andy’s Acrylic Phone Dial sets by Tando Creative and painted it by applying several layers of Media Fluids, Traditions, Interference and Shimmer Mister.

I painted the box, by combining Chalky Finish in a green color and Traditions Quinacridone Gold and Raw Umber.

Next, I applied some Americana Decor Crackle Medium, mostly on the upper part of the box. After it was completely dry, I applied on top of the medium a layer of Chalky Finish “Heritage”.

I continued by dry brushing several layers of greens, yellows and purples in various tones.
When I was happy with the colors, I glued all the decorative elements.

Inside the big box, I placed a smaller box as a base for the mobile to sit when charging. I opened two little holes at the back side of the big box and on the top of the smaller box, for the charging cable to pass through.

Below, you will find a full list of materials I used for this project.
I really hope you enjoy this one!

 Big hugs to all

You can find Natassa Blazaki - Art Recipes and More in:

Mixed Media Stencil 8”x8” Made to Measure
Mixed Media Stencil 12”x3” Incognito


Chalky Finish Heritage
Chalky Finish Enchanted
Americana Decor Crackle Medium
Matte Metallics Aged Bronze

Traditions Warm White

Traditions Raw Umber

Traditions Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide

Traditions Quinacridone Gold
Traditions Dioxazine Purple
Media Shimmer Mister Violet
Media Fluid Paynes Grey
Media Fluid Acrylic Titan Buff
Media Fluid Acrylic Primary Yellow
Media Fluid Acrylic Hansa Yellow Medium
Media Fluid Acrylic Interference Blue
Media Modeling Paste Black

Other supplies

E6000 glue

Craft copper wire
Polymer clay

Flat brush 1”

Flat brush ¼”

Fan brush

Palette knife

Small piece of sea sponge

Friday, 26 April 2019

Egyptian Scarab by Natassa Blazaki

Hiya all!
This is Natassa Blazaki from Art Recipes and More, happy dancing today as it’s my debut in this amazing and super talented Creative Team.

A dream come true for me, because I finally get to work for one of the most brilliant teachers in Mixed Media, Mr. Andy Skinner! He’s the reason I’m constantly obsessed with achieving maximum texture and grunge effects in all my projects!
One more thing you need to know about me is that I’m fascinated by ancient cultures and myths, especially Greek and Egyptian ones. You’ll notice that in several occasions I create projects that are my interpretations of well-known ancient symbols and objects. 

Exactly the case in the project I’m presenting you today. Originally, I was inspired by an assemblage that Andy made a while back in February, using a computer mouse and some Costa coffee stirrers. So, I decided to use a broken mouse too. I broke it a bit more and then transformed it into an ancient Egyptian Scarab.
Really hope you like it.

As a base I used an oval canvas, I bought from a craft and school supplies store near my house, nothing fancy. 
For the feathers, I created a base I cut from cardstock. First, I painted it with DecoArt Matte Metallics Aged Bronze and when it was dry, I run the piece through an embossing plate to create some texture. Then I stamped on it with black Archival ink and stamps from Andy Skinner’s Stampendous Steampunk set.

I covered the whole piece with Media Antiquing creams in Patina Green and English Red Oxide. Dried well and wiped off with a damp cloth. Then, I sealed with Media Ultra Matte Varnish and dry brushed with DecoArt Traditions True Gold. I fussy cut all around the edges of the cardstock, to make them look like wings. Also cut another smaller set of wings and placed on top of the first piece to give some dimension. 

Because the antiquing cream colors were a bit dull when dry, I enhanced the Patina color by painting on top of it with Media Shimmer Mister Turquoise, and the Red Oxide color by rubbing some red Archival ink on top with a small sponge. Also used some Traditions Warm White, to paint one more row of feathers between the red and the blue ones.

On the canvas, I created some texture with Media White Modeling Paste and Andy Skinner’s 15 x 15 stencil Whirlpool. I used a combination of Traditions Warm White, Raw Umber and Media Fluid Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, to make the surface look like lime stone. Because the assemblage was very colorful, I needed a subtle background to balance it.

I pressed one of the stamps on a piece of polymer clay and used it as an embellishment on top of the mouse. To create some more texture, I applied Media White Modeling Paste all over the mouse with a palette knife. I painted the mouse with a mixture of Media Shimmer Mister Turquoise and Media Fluid Acrylic Titanium White. Then I “aged” the bright blue color by applying a thin coat of Media Fluid Acrylic Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide. Some final touches with Tradition True Gold, mixed with Matte Metallics Aged Bronze and done!


I’m sure this is going to be an adventurous and amazingly creative period for me. Thank you so much for having me in your team!

Until next time
Happy & Creative days to all!

You can find Natassa Blazaki - Art Recipes and More in:

Andy Skinner
Stampendous Stamp Set Steampunk
15 x 15 stencil Whirlpool

Matte Metallics Aged Bronze
Traditions Warm White
Traditions Raw Umber
Traditions True Gold
Traditions Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
Media Antiquing Cream Patina Green
Media Antiquing Cream English Red Oxide
Media Shimmer Mister Turquoise
Media Fluid Acrylic Titanium White
Media Fluid Acrylic Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
Media Ultra Matte Varnish
Media Modeling Paste White

Other supplies
Black Archival Ink 
Red Archival Ink 
Embossing folder 
E6000 glue
Chipboard elements
A piece of A4 cardstock 200gsm
Oval canvas 30x20 cm
Polymer clay
Flat brush 1”
Flat brush ¼”
Fan brush
Palette knife
Small piece of sea sponge

Monday, 22 April 2019

Media Board - Book Panel - Brenda

I have been having fun with chipboards for this project. I love layering up greyboard shapes but sometimes they end up protruding too high especially if you want to use some in a journal or on media boards. So for this project I have soaked some of my Andy greyboard shapes and pulled them apart and it's amazing how you can then play with distressing the layers of the greyboard and even get to put some back together again to create different shapes as I have done here.

I am using a piece of greyboard cut to the size I want as a page for the Andy book I am making.

I took my chosen greyboard shapes and soak the ones I wanted to split into thinner pieces and distress. These can be dried with a heat gun.

I split the industrial wings into 4 pieces and took the two thinnest ones for this project. When they were dry I glued them together to create a new shape with a hole in the centre and added the very distressed heart. I decided to use a retro palette for the rest of the colouring up.

There are more details and photos over at Bumblebees and Butterflies if you would like to see how this came together.

Thanks for stopping by.

hugs Brenda xxx


Andy Skinner stamps - Stampendous - Curiosity and Unexplained

Andy Skinner greyboard shapes - Tando Creative - Industrial Wings, heart and miscellaneous pieces from kits.

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - cerulean blue and prussian blue, quinacridone red, carbon black, cobalt turquoise, transparent red iron oxide, titan buff, yellow oxide

DecoArt Media Speciality - white gesso, white crackle paste, matte medium, heavy gel medium, 
ultra matte varnish.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019


Hello!  It's Candy and this month I'm delighted to share my Mixed Up Mixology Frame using Andy's Ministry of Mixology Kit.  I totally LOVE this kit!  So much comes in it and I added a few of my own metal elements from my stash.

I wanted to bring a little bit of shabby chic into this otherwise industrial style kit.  Don't get me wrong.  I love industrial.  But I also love vintage and shabby chic and like to insert it into my pieces when I can.  So, I hope you can get the vibes as you look at this wall decor piece.

The shutters are off the charts genius! They actually are attached so that they can open and close.  Anytime I can have interactive pieces on in my art, I am thrilled!  It adds so much more to the dimension, texture and just FUN of a piece.  It makes you just want to touch it and play with it.

Let's explore how this all came together because I think you would have so much fun making one of these as a wall decor piece or even as a fabulous frame for a photograph!

Here is how this project began ... very simple and straightforward.  There are a lot more pieces that come with this kit but I was trying to possibly place some of the larger pieces first and get a feel for a design.  This kit is made from a pressed hard board and very sturdy grey board laser cut pieces...tons of them! 

First thing I did was create a little 3D shelf using a couple of pieces of scrap chipboard cut into 1" x 4" pieces.  They were glued together and painted first with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver followed by light sweeps of Carbon Black to tone down the silver.  Next I used one of Tando Creative's Clock Hands to create a unique design on the front of the shelf.  I painted it in the same colors and glued it to the front of the shelf.  I used two metallic corner pieces underneath the shelf to help brace it in place.  So ... what is going to sit on the shelf?

How about some shabby chic industrial flowers? I picked out four various size little glass vials that would stagger on the shelf.  Next I painted a little wooden skewer with DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Worn Penny.  You will see some metallic flower petals and leaves mixed in with some grey board gears and screw tops from this Mixology Kit.  I painted all of the pieces separately and then glued them together.

Most of the painting of these I did with my fingers because I totally love the feel of actually touching the elements as I am coloring them.  I can also control how much randomness of color and shading I want on each peace as I am working with my fingers.  You will see the base colors vary as to the contrasting colors on the finished flowers when they are put together.  The colors I used to create my little shelf garden are DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold, Metallic Silver and Carbon Black mixed with the DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Worn Penny.

I glued all of the vials in place along with the cork tops from the vials.  I love how this little shelf turned out.

Here are the other pieces that I used on the Mixology frame.  Almost all of these were from this kit except for the Andy Skinner Bike Chain and the metal pieces I used to embellish.  All of these pieces were pretty much painted using my fingers and with the same colors mentioned above.

Now for the actual frame base.  I began by giving it a coat of DecoArt's NEW Chalky Gesso in Beige.  I am in love with this new product and use it a lot as a base coat.  It flows on so smoothly and gives the base a nice chalky finished feeling.  No need to sand or have a lot of brush strokes showing with this! It comes in a variety of colors but the beige was a perfect base coat for my frame.

Next I mixed more of the DecoArt Chalky Gesso in Beige with DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste.  It worked beautifully!  I used a small piece of a sponge and pounced the mixture all over the frame.  I kept layering more texture and grittiness by pouncing with the sponge.  This gave my frame a gritty, stucco look that I was going for.  I used the sharp end of my paint brush and added crack lines into the wet Gesso/Texture Sand mix.  I heat set it to dry.

I base coated the shutters with a light coat of the DecoArt Chalky Gesso in beige and then lightly brushed over them with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber.  

Using my fingers, I wiped on a layer of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Blue Green Light.  I sanded off some of the color, allowing the Burnt Umber underneath to peek through.  Then using my finger, I added touches of the Chalky Beige Gesso to blend the colors together even more. In this picture, you can also see the little prongs on the insides of the shutters that fit into little round attachments that allow them to swing once they are attached to the frame.

Here is the genius contraption that fits behind the frame to allow the shutters to move.  It also gives even more stability to the frame itself. I painted the contraption with the colors I used on the frame base.

I used the pouncing method again to add more color to the frame base.  I wanted this piece to resemble an old cracked stucco wall you might see in Europe.  I pounced over the beige base with a combination of the beige gesso and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Ochre.  The brown in the cracks and shading around the edges of the frame is DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber.  I added touches of the Chalky Beige Gesso over the cracks to blend them in with the background even more.  Then I glued the shelf in place in the lower left corner.

In the upper right corner, I added a photograph of Salvador Dali looking through a looking glass.  I thought the suspended dimensional metal looking glass in front of the industrial pieces was fun.

 Here is another close up at some of the many elements on this frame.  The "metal" grey board pieces work so perfectly with the real metal pieces.  You will also see Andy's rusty wire winding it's way through a lot of these elements.  The patina look on the weathered silver time face is embossing power that was added and heat set in place.

More of the elements of this kit combined with real metal pieces. 

I stuck a large ampersand symbol that was heat embossed using a patina embossing powder in the center of the frame along with a couple of empty vials.  You could easily insert a photograph in there and use this piece as an extravagant picture frame ... not another one like it in the world!  That is the beauty of mixed media.  It truly is YOUR art, YOUR imagination and YOUR creativity coming to life!

Here are the supplies you will need for this Ministry of Mixology piece:

  • Rusty Wire

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Glue (I used Fabri-Tac) but any clear drying glue will work
  • Hot Glue
  • Metal Pieces: Butterfly, Pen Nib, Key Hole, Key, Magnifying Glass, Mini Light Bulb, Sewing Machine Bobbin, Flower Petals and Leaves, Number 8, Heart Charm
  • Mini Glass Vials
  • Paint Brushes
  • Sponge (for pouncing color onto surface)
  • Patina Colored Embossing Powder
  • Embossing Ink Pad