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New Year, New Projects

I’m working on a new project for the next video installment with the Shawn Petite Creative Team. My video will post on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. I wanted to do something New Year inspired... mixed media... experimental... you know, something I've never done before. I will share a little tease of the project here, but be sure to check out either Shawn’s YouTube channel, or Chestnut Grove Studios channel on the 20th to see the project reveal and full tutorial.

Part of the inspiration is to put out into the universe some “words” to focus on for 2021. Not resolutions, but words to remind me to put 2020 in the rear view mirror, and look to new habits that will allow me to grow as an artist, wife, mom and friend.

A quote by Anne Frank also provided some food for thought on ideas to incorporate in my words for 2021... “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.”

The words I chose are:

Finish, (also the title of a great book by Jon Acuff)

Persist, (who hasn't done this all year, but we must continue)

Healthy, (being home more has resulted in more than a few extra pounds)

Create, (I resist the creative process because I am afraid to fail)

A big blank canvas can be really intimidating, but a 2” x 4” tag is pretty easy to tackle.

I started by taking some wood block number stamps and just stamping “2021” on one side of each tag. Next I stamped one of my 2021 words on the other side of each tag, all with black ink.

I used washi tape, distress ink, stencils from Shawn's website, and paper scraps to add interest to the tags.

Finally, I used scrap ribbon and cord from Christmas presents to finish off the tags.

One of the components of the bigger mixed media project is a thin piece of copper sheet, (36 gauge, I bought a roll at Hobby Lobby). I am experimenting by adding a homemade patina to the copper called verdigris. Verdigris is a blueish-green encrustation on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation. What?!? I’m not a chemist!

Well here’s the deal... 3 household ingredients later, and I have “verdigris” on my copper.

Step 1: wash your copper with dish soap, and use gloves or paper towels when rinsing so you do not touch it after

Step 2: dip your piece of copper into a shallow container with distilled white vinegar

Step 3: using tongs or a gloved hand, remove copper from vinegar and lay in the bottom of a plastic or glass container

Step 4: sprinkle table salt onto copper

Step 5: add a small open container containing household ammonia to container with the copper, and seal

Step 6: let rest 30 minutes to 2 days, depending on the amount of patina you desire

Step 7: remove from container and let air dry

Step 8: gently wipe with a damp paper towel, or use steel wool to take off more verdigris and restore some shine

Step 9: spray with a fixatif that has the sheen of your choice, (matte, satin, gloss)

Before & After: this piece of copper sat in the "amonia aroma chamber" for about 6 hours)

I cannot wait to reveal the finished mixed media project! It is hanging beside the window over my desk in the studio to inspire me throughout 2021. I hope it gives you inspiration to create a project that inspires you to achieve some new habits this new year.


P.S. Remember ~ some of your best days are ahead of you!

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