This is a new piece I started last Saturday. However, I wasn't liking it that much and it didn't feel done to me, so I set it aside for a few days. Then I came home from work on Wednesday and decided what I needed to do to finish it. I was happy to be working on art in the evening after work, because I haven't done that in a long, long time. Most days, when I get home from work, I'm so tired I don't feel like doing much of anything. Perhaps some of you can relate that?
After I added the shapes to this piece, I found I liked it much better. This collage was done on an 8x10 piece of chipboard. Normally I use frozen pizza cardboard for most of my bases, but with this being a larger collage, I wanted a sturdier base that wouldn't warp. First I punched out various shapes out of junk mail cardboard -- the ads that aren't in envelopes, and glued those down on the base. (I started out with a different idea of where this piece would go, and soon enough, realized it wasn't looking that way at all. Does that ever happen to you?) I was going to cover the shapes with a piece of crumpled tissue paper, but instead used a piece of scorched paper made with copy paper.
I made some pieces of scorched paper a long time ago, and never used them. So I decided to use one on this piece. Scorched paper is easy to make. You just take regular copy paper and scorch it with a vintage iron. This piece was crumpled and then scorched for more texture, but you can scorch uncrumpled paper also. I use a vintage iron because it gets much hotter than the irons made today, and it's necessary to use a very hot iron to get the scorching and brown color. I found my vintage iron at a yard sale for $2.00. Lucky me!
After I glued down the scorched paper with matte Mod Podge, I then tore up a napkin and glued down parts of that, and also torn music paper. Then I stamped on the scrolls, birds, and text. Then I rubbed brown shoe polish (the kind in the round tin) all over the piece. I wanted even more texture, so I brushed on gel medium thickly in random directions. After that dried, I rubbed more brown shoe polish over the whole piece. At that point, I set it aside for a few days.
Then I came back to it and finished it, by adding the shapes, the heart, and the key. For the shapes I punched them out of paint chips. The green shapes were distressed by sanding and using an awl and a dress pattern tool, then rubbed with brown shoes polish. I really like the look distressed paint chips give. I outlined the shapes with a paint pen and a black Sharpie.
You can't tell in the scan, but with the real piece the outlines of the shapes glued down first, under the paper, show up in a sublte way if the light shines on it right. Anyway, the steps used in making this piece were simple ones. I was happy to do stamping on this, because so often, I forget to make use of my stamps. And I have far too many neat stamps that I have yet to use even once. Isn't that crazy? Unfortunately I tend to collect them more than actually use them.
So all in all, I'm happy with how this turned out. And for the most part, I enjoyed making it and it wasn't a struggle. I think setting it aside and coming back to it later was helpful and the right thing to do.