Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart

I truly adore all things Autumn. The gentle turn from warm, summer days to the relief of a welcome cool breeze. Not only does it feel good, but it's also so beautiful to look at - all those golds and oranges, deep reds of the leaves...I could go on about the smells and the sounds of crunching leaves, too - I love it all! 

To be honest, my art is rarely seasonal. I may make a shift from lighter, softer colors to deeper blues and berries, but they always just fall into the category of colors I love - some variation of blues, purples and teal. 

I decided to go for it, though, when Scrapaholics Scrapbook Supply posted a moodboard for October. The design team was asked to give it a go and lead the inspiration for customers who may want to participate, so I dove in. And while I was a little outside my comfort zone with the colors, it came together quite easily and I was able to express all the feelings I get about this beautiful season. 

And now, the recipe...

I started off with an 8x10 canvas primed with white gesso and added some texture with modeling paste through a stencil. Up until a year or so ago I really just dove in and let the piece come together as I felt in the moment - it's part of my playful and experimental nature to do that! - but I've started planning my pieces more often, even if I stray from those ideas in the process. 

So next I gathered some elements - tags, frames, laser cut chipboard from Scrapaholics and die cuts - that I thought would work well for the focal point and played with the arrangement. When I reached my AHA! moment, I snapped a photo and moved everything to the side. 

Often I will add some elements in before I add paint and other color, but since all of my elements had the colors and fall-themed aesthetic I was going for, I wanted to add some color in the base to just frame where my focal point would be. 

Now, guys - I'm not some pro colorist or anything, however - it's important to mention that while I'm playful and will try most creative things at least once, I wasn't in the mood for "mud". You know how some colors just don't mix well and you're left with a mess? Yeah - that. Oranges and golds and tans seemed a daunting trial to me, so it's important to be slow and patient when using a palette you're not sure about. Since I was using fluid media (spray ink applied with a brush and watercolor paint), I needed to be extra careful to allow for drying. 

Luckily for all of us it worked out, though I have to add a laugh - I shared the unassembled canvas with a good friend, with only its speckles of texture and this orange, oatmeal and gold coloring & she was more than a little concerned about where it was headed. 

Next came the fun part - adding my main elements. I adhered my ephemera using strong glue and foam mount tape. I wanted to have space behind the elements to tuck things here and there, so I needed them raised up. Next I pieced in some  natural excelsior (looks like straw) and white & gold flowers from Little Birdie - those were so perfect for this piece!

Usually I am one to paint or heat emboss my chipboards, but for this canvas they looked so beautiful raw and plain so I let them be. I added some texture and interest with art stones, gold microbeads, glass art pebbles and more paper foliage tucked into random spots that needed something. 

I was also SO happy to find the most perfect sunflower beads in my "junk stash". People, I've had these beads for about 2 years from a random haul of stuff someone sent me. Get a box and store that junk, they finally worked on something perfectly! 

Finally I just new she was done. I heat embossed the last chipboard piece, "grateful", in a gold embossing powder and attached it. I love the words Scrapaholics cuts custom for me - I have specific font styles I love using and specific words and Tracey is always happy to make it happen! 

For more artwork and other inspiration, I'd love to have you follow me on Instagram - Candle & Mirror Creative.

Also, you might want to check out Scrapaholics Scrapbook Supply, as well - we've got a design team blog that's in full swing, we have a new open studio group for customers to share their projects and for us to all inspire one another and, of course, their easy-peasy website where you can order your chippies and just run with it. Their Facebook page is a one-stop-shop to access all of this, though, so head over there.



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