52 Creative Weeks: #1

I finished up my first 52 Creative Weeks project yesterday and it was so refreshing to give myself a bit of time here and there to plan and work on the project.  For this project, I decided to snap a few photos and share a bit of a tutorial with you, something that I will try to continue doing as the year goes on and I continue my 52 Creative Weeks.  


My original plan this week was to use some floral embellishments I've had lying around my studio along with some other supplies that have been gathering dust to create some tiny portraits.  But I ended up with something just a bit different:  


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Today I'm going to show you how to make the tiny framed flower piece.  These are quick and simple, something that you can do with your kids for gift giving or as a tiny something to spruce up your space--if you're like me, you always need small knick knacks here and there to fill in space.  


For this project I just used:  flower embellishments, watercolor paper, Staedtler fineliners, E6000 glue, roll on glue, wooden photo frames, gesso, acrylic paint and some old paintbrushes.  


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1.  I marked off some 2.5 x 3.5 inch areas(the size of the openings in my photo frames) on my Arches hotpress watercolor paper.  Really, you can use any old paper as long as it is fairly sturdy.  


2.  Next, I used my Staedtler fineliners--one of my favorites to use in my sketchbooks--to draw in a three flower stems with little heart shaped leaves.  Make sure you leave enough room to glue your flower embellishments on.  


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3.  Add a drop of E6000 or the glue of your choice to the back of each flower and then press them into place on your paper.  After they've dried, you can cut our your 2.5 x 3.5 piece.  


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4.  Now since I've added these flower embellishments, I know that I won't be using the glass in my frames.  But I want to make sure the piece is still fairly sturdy, so I'm going to use some roll-on Martha Stewart craft glue to adhere my tiny flower garden to a thin piece of cardboard that I had in my studio--you can use anything for backing, as long as it will make the piece a bit sturdier.  If nothing else, you can cut the backing off an old notebook or notepad.  


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5.  While I'm waiting on the glue to dry, it's time to work on the frames.  I've got a bunch of these tiny frames lying around my studio that I picked up a few years ago for about $1 each.  Although I don't dig the reddish wood, it's an easy fix with some gesso and a couple of coats of pretty acrylic--yes, I believe that anything can be fixed with a quick coat of paint!


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6.  First I add a couple of layers of gesso, which gives me a nice light base before I paint these in shades of blue.  


7.  I paint the frames my chosen shades of blue and then after waiting for them to dry, I use my Dremel to sand down and rough up some of the edges.  So you've got the blue paint, but then you can see bits of the white gesso as well as bits of the original red tint of the wood.  


8.  And now that everything is dry and ready to go, it's time to assemble the frames with the tiny flower garden you've created:  


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Voila!  A quick and easy gift or your own tiny flower garden to get you through these cold winter months.  


All told, from planning to gathering my materials around my studio to finishing up, these took me just about an hour or so.  And while it doesn't seem like a lot of time in the grand scheme of how many hours I worked last week, it was enough time for me to relax into enjoying something simple and creative.  And it sparked some new ideas too.