DIY Fall Leaves

DIY Fall Leaves

With fall in the air, I decided I needed some fall leaves just in case, a stash for my art journaling. Now I could have gone to the store and bought some already made cutouts but as any good artist/crafter knows why do it the easy way when we can make a big mess and do it the crafty way!!!

Thanks to my wonderful husband I have a Cricut machine, so I thought okay, I can do this, I’ll just use the Cricut to cut out some leaves for me, but first I needed the right colored papers. Now did I go and just buy some scrap paper? Well of course not that again would have been easy. I instead set about to make my own fall colored background.

To do this, I grabbed my pad of 9 x 12 Canson watercolor 140lb cold press paper, my brand new distress oxides in “Wild Honey” “Frayed Burlap” and “Candied Apple” and set about making a fall inspired background on the watercolor paper. I used a dabber and just kept blending, adding some water, drying and then blending some more and below was the results of that labor.

Then I set the paper on one of my heavy duty Cricut mats and found some free leaf layouts in the Cricut Canvas program, and set about to cut them out. Now, this is where I developed a momentary love/hate relationship with my Cricut because my paper looked so great and the machine took the first pass and in the end didn’t cut all the way thru the paper, so I thought OH NO it’s ruined and made another sheet and tried again. Again I had the same issue, the blade didn’t cut all the way thru. This was a learning experience for me for next time to be patient and do a trial run on blank paper to get the settings, but you know how we artist crafters get when we are excited.

So there I sat with two sheets of half cut leaves, and I thought okay nothing is every ruined I got this, I took out some small scissors and trimmed out the leaves, and success I had my leaves. At this point, I felt they needed a little something extra, so I got out one of my brown archival inks and went around the edges of all the leaves, and voila! I had fall leaves I love that will now go into my journals and happy mail for fellow artists.

I’ll list the links to some of my materials below in case you want to give these a shot on your own! You can even print and trace your own leaf shapes if you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette machine.
Happy Fall!

Watercolor Paper Pad

Wild Honey Distress Oxide

Frayed Burlap Distress Oxide

Candied Apple Distress Oxide

Brown Archival Ink

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Inspiration at the Antique and Vintage Market

Inspiration at the Antique and Vintage Market

Fall is a busy time of year here in Florida. Most of the year it is hot & humid, so we stick to our air-conditioned interiors and then a magical time of year happens. Florida Fall! Those few days in November/December we get cooler weather, and we all emerge from our homes to weekends full of art shows, craft fairs and vintage markets surrounded by holiday cheer. I love this time of year because it’s where I get a lot of inspiration.

This weekend my husband, mother-in-law and I went to the quaint town of New Smyrna Beach to the Antique and Vintage Market. It was a smaller show, but that made it nice an relaxing to walk thru. There were lots of small shops along the way too to duck into, and my brain was just on overload with patterns, colors and gift ideas for the coming holidays. Below are a few photos of the market area, and a cute picture of a mini Volkswagon van turned into a cooler, which is one of my favorite vehicles. I dream of a Volkswagon van a traveling art caravan!

After walking around for a bit, we did what any good shoppers do. We ate and refueled at a local treasure the Cork Screw restaurant and again inside my brain went into overdrive with the creative wine bottle chandeliers, murals, exposed brick walls and funky Florida atmosphere.

After we had full bellies, we hit the streets again where I found my ephemera treasures for this trip.

My first find where these two vintage photos. Typically I shy away from things like this but these two girls just something about their images called to me, and I thought they would make perfect scans for art journaling. Then I became fascinated by what could the history of the images be. I did some research and thanks to Wikipedia learned that these images were what was called “cabinet card portraits” and after some sleuthing, I figured they date to the 1860s-1880s. So now I sit and wonder, who were these woman, how old were they, what must their lives have been like? What story do they have to tell and that, right there is where inspiration comes from for me.

Cabinet Card Portraits

Now after those treasures I thought okay I’m doing pretty good today and then I stumbled on some tables with books. In one pile I saw this pitiful small brown book the cover was beaten, missing the back cover, pages browned, and I thought aww it needs a good home. It is an old Nursery Rhyme book. Again what is the history, where did it come from. There is no publish date, faded names on the inside cover are all but vanished, but I did find a publisher name. New York, Leavitt & Allen. So to the Wiki I went again and found there was a company in NY Called Leavitt & Allen and it existed about 1856, so again here is this treasure from the 1800s, what story does it have to tell and so my inspiration grows there.

The real story behind this weeks post is when you feel uninspired, and you don’t know what you want to do, get out of the house or studio, go for a walk, see some nature, walk a museum or market and let the world speak to you.

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