Saturday, 16 March 2019


Spring is just around the corner. 

The birds know it and I can hear them singing outside even though the skies are grey and the wind chill is ridiculously cold at the moment.

I am anticipating the warmth and sunshine of Spring and it is invading all of my creative thoughts these days.  Thus, I created this lovely shabby chic vintage style wooden suitcase.

DecoArt is releasing a new product called Chalky Gesso.  It comes in several colors including White and Beige.  I chose White Chalky Gesso as the basecoat on my wooden suitcase.  This Chalky Gesso is amazing!  It is a cross between Gesso and Paint; thinner than gesso but thicker than paint.  It goes on smoothly and doesn't leave a lot of brush strokes or a need to sand. It works on all sorts of surfaces: wood, metal, paper and the results I have had with it are amazing!

First I removed all of the inexpensive bright fake silver "metallic" hardware and replaced it with my own antique bronze hardware at the end. Where I had removed the hardware, I used wood putty to fill the holes and then I sanded everything down to create a smooth surface.

Next I brushed the DecoArt White Chalky Gesso over the entire suitcase and let it dry.  Then I lightly sanded again to get a really smooth finish.

I wanted a darker color basecoat as I intended to crackle the surface.  So a coat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber was applied followed by a generous coat of DecoArt Weathered Wood.  Let the Weathered Wood air dry so that the crackling will work correctly.

This petite suitcase was screaming "PINK!" for the top color.  So I mixed DecoArt Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Red and Titan Buff to create a soft pink that I then brushed over all of the exterior and the interior walls and edges of the suitcase.  It did not take long at all for the crackling effect to begin.  Let the paint air dry.

 I did some sanding around the edges and randomly on the surface to scuff up the suitcase and give it a real weathered, worn, vintage look. I then poured more DecoArt Chalky White Gesso onto my craft mat and randomly wiped it onto the surface of the suitcase to tone down the pink and allow the wood grain, crackling and texture to really be revealed.

DecoArt Media Matte Medium is an excellent glue and sealer.  It dries clear and quickly.  I added some cardstock and dictionary torn scrap onto the top of the suitcase and brushed Matte Medium under it and over it to seal it.  You can heat set this.

One of my favorite Andy Skinner Stamp sets is Industrial because I love all three of the background texture stamps.  I stamped this one in a darker brown permanent ink randomly on the top of the suitcase.  Then I added a little bit of water to some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber, dipped my fingertip into the paint wash and rubbed it along the edges of the suitcase; blending it into the pinkish tones of the suitcase basecoat.  This defined the edges as well as added more of an aged appearance.

I then added a few more white highlights using the DecoArt Chalky Gesso and a baby wipe and randomly adding it to the top of the suitcase.

The next layer on the top of the suitcase was added with more stamps from more of my favorite Andy Skinner stamp sets; Shabby Chic and Textures.  I stamped the cafe stamp in the dark brown permanent ink.  The script stamp was stamped with a combination of black and dark brown ink.

Color! Color!  Now we need a POP of color!  I mixed DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff to create a soft teal color and stenciled it randomly onto the top of the suitcase through Andy Skinner's DecoArt Halftone Stencil. I then used this paint to edge the suitcase top using my finger just as I had done with the Burnt Umber Paint wash.

The teal pulls everything together.  It frames the top of the suitcase, give a real "upmf" to the top and provides the perfect contrast for the embellishments that I will now add to the top.

Time for the fabulous Matter Medium again!  I added some antique lace, washi tape, German Scrap, a big cut out bee (I had found while surfing the internet), paper scraps, scrunched up cheese cloth, and even some of Andy's Rusted Wire underneath the bee.  All were held in place using Matte Medium!  

I had a little plaster frame in my stash of stuff.  I painted it with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue followed some light wiping of DecoArt Chalky White Gesso to soften the color.  Next, using my finger I highlighted the raised areas of the frame using my finger to apply little touches of the DecoArt Metallic Gold Paint.  Then I added the rub on "B" to the frame and this embellishment was ready to put in place.

Just as I had done with the "B", I altered the appearance of the rub on letters by scratching some of the black lettering off.  This makes the letters look even more worn and really does change their appearance.  I love this technique!

I applied antique bronze metal corners to the top of the suitcase using DecoArt Media Matte Medium. I've seen crushed glass in some mediums you can buy.  It's expensive.  So I decided to try mixing some Silver Crushed Glass with some Matte Medium and brush it onto a couple of places on my suitcase top to see if it would stay and be a neat way to add some subtle shimmer and light to the top.  

IT WORKED PERFECTLY! I wish the camera could catch the sparkle of the Crushed Glass better but trust me, when the sun catches it, it's awesome!

Here is the hardware that I installed in place of the original fake silver "metallic" hardware.  This is so much more vintage looking and gives a wonderful, warm shabby chic vibe.

The interior was finished off much in the same was as the basic exterior.  Then I added appropriate card stock to the bottom and top of the suitcase.

This project was so much fun to transform from a plain little wooden suitcase into something beautiful and fun and worth to hold lovely little vintage laces, handkerchiefs or other prized trinkets. 

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Paint Brushes
  • Baby Wipes
  • Small 1 3/4 x 2" Plaster Frame
  • Rub On Letters and something to scratch them with
  • German Scrap 
  • Washi Tape
  • Bee
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Antique Lace
  • Metal Corners
  • Metal Hardware Hinges and Handle
  • Sanding Block
  • Craft Mat
  • Permanent Dark Brown and Black Ink Pads

About the Artist: Candy Colwell

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Sacred Secrets Shrine by Fiona Randall

Good Morning and welcome to my blog post for March. I've been playing with my favourite Rust and Patina techniques Plus a new one which will be revealed at a later date on Andy's Sacred Secrets Kit.

Washes of Paynes Grey and quinacrodone gold applied over texture sand paste give a truly authentic rust effect to the Individual pieces within the kit. The background and insert of the flaming heart uses a new technique with Quinacrodone Gold and Prussian Blue Hue. To achieve the patina effect on the elements a base coat of Metallic Gold mixed with Raw Umber was applied to give a bronze effect.  Patina Vintage Effects Wash was then applied and wiped back. Some stamping on the frame using my favourite stamp from Andy's Textures stamp set with Watering Can Archival Ink completes the project.

Thanks for Reading.

List of Products Used.

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Prussian Blue
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Gold
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Raw Umber
DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste.
DecoArt Vintage Effects Wash- Patina.

Andy Skinner Textures Stamp Set.

Misc. Archival Ink Pad- Watering Can.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Altered Sketchbook by Hannah Oxberry

Hi guys, welcome along to my blog post for March! I've been playing around with textures recently so wanted to share a great way to incorporates different textures in your designs.

Here we have a sketchbook that started out with plain kraft covers. I have layered the covers with scrunched tissue paper and washed Prussian Blue over the surface, a boarder of Paynes Grey adds depth and dry brushing the covers with White Gesso adds the highlights.

To the centre I have added a really textured and rusty clock dial, with a flaming heart sitting in the middle. 

Textured Sand Paste gives such a great base to achieve a true rusty look. Layers of washes add the depth of colour and finishing with Quinacridone Gold give a great rust ping. I have added an acrylic disc behind the clock dial to offer another texture to the cover, while the flaming heart features crackle glazes. A couple of rusty bolts link the foreground to the background.

Layering is key when it comes to achieving a grungy background. The scrunched tissue adds a tactile feel, the washes pool in the crackled areas while the dry brushing really highlights the peaks of the texture. The paynes grey boarder frames the covers and stamped images add another layer of interest.

You can watch a video on how to achieve this rusty effect by heading to Tando Creative Zone, please note you have to be a member of the group to view.

For a full step by step tutorial please check out my blog.

Thanks for reading!

List of products used:

DecoArt Decoupage Glue Matte
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Prussian Blue
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey
DecoArt Media Gesso White
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Oxide
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Gold
DecoArt Media Modeling Paste
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmium Red
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Medium Grey Value 6
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Crackle Paste
DecoArt One Step Crackle

Andy Skinner Steampunk Stamp Set

Misc. Tissue Paper, Versafine Onyx Black, Acrylic Disc

Friday, 1 March 2019

'Tagtastic' Eternal Tag by Nikki K.

Good Morning all,

I'm really happy to be on Andy's blog today sharing a tag I made in blues and greens, with just a touch of Rust.  The tag is from Andy's Tagtastic Kit, and I wanted to give it a different look.

I embossed the tag with a script embossing folder firstly, then painted it white.  On top of this I added several colours of blue-greens, in layers and washes, to build up the background.  Some Patina Antiquing Cream was splashed over to give a matt aspect.

I used one of Andy's stamps, Texture, to stamp the background with, and also some script.

The Heart was given a similar treatment to the background, layering colours and stamping, and then each piece was edged in white to give definition.

The bolts, screws and book plate were given a rust treatment, and then antiqued.  I ran some white round the edge of the tag with my finger.  A bit of rusty wire was added as a little hanger, which I kind of bent into the top of a heart shape.  The label was stamped and aged with a wash of colour.

I hope you like it, don't forget to check out the rest of Andy's team's work on the blog.

Best Wishes,

Nikki K.

Products Used:

Texture Stamp Set
TagTastic 2 Tando Tags set.
Andy Skinner Industrial Elements (bolts/washers, bookplate)

Andy Skinner DecoArt Media Line:
Pthalo Green Blue
Pthalo Turquoise
Quinacridone Gold
Antiquing Cream - Patina
Tinting Base
Raw Umber
Yellow Iron Oxide

Other Products:
Archival Black Ink
Rusty Wire.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Andy's Techniques.

Hi everyone Dee here with a couple of tags showing some Andy's techniques. Before I was lucky enough to meet Andy I took one of his online classes called Timeworn I loved this class and it introduced me to some of his amazing techniques. 

In this tag I used some paper that I had printed from a gel plate print you can just see the image to the left hand side of the tag below the rusty tin star. The bingo embossed numbers that look like painted Tin are from Andy's timeworn online class.

This tag was made using embossed card glued to a Tando tag once dry washes of prussian blue hue were used to colour the tag. lots of dry brushing was used to highlight the pattern. The edges were edged with fluid acrylics along with a bit of texture sand paste to give it a grungy feel.

My Tin star was made with Pableo clay and a mould once dry I painted with fluid acrylics and a slight bit of embossing powder. I collect powder rust and i glued this onto the star as well you can just see the patins of the embossing powder and the rust.

The above photo shows the painted tin bingo numbers more closely along with the number plaque at the base of the Tag. This was created with texture sand paste Tando board off cuts and Andy's stencil industrial elements.Fluid acrylics were used to paint and Ferro paste was used around the edges.

The plaque on this tag was created the same was as above again using the industrial elements stencil was used. Hannah Oxbury's rusty wire was used to circle the centre piece.
I hope you enjoyed the tags don't forget to checkout Andy's timeworn online class.
that's it for today folks 
Cheers Dee x


  • Texture Sandpaste
  • Fluid acrylics
  • Crackle paste