Saturday, 1 February 2014

Playtime with UTEE!

Hello from Magpieheaven where I've been flapping experimental wings and altering!!! May's beautiful matchbox here inspired me to take my first look at the great challenge over at Altered Eclectics and to have a go at 'altering' a humble piece of cardboard packaging! I should like to enter it for the 'Altered Eclectic Anything Goes Challenge'.
 I had always wanted to have a go at using UTEE, but I thought I needed a Melt Pot. However, a chat with my helpful and craftily experienced friends on Twitter soon put me straight. With many safety warnings ringing in my ears, I sallied forth with heat-gun and glistening UTEE grains. And did I have fun!
I started tearing layers from my piece of cardboard. Then out came my favourite Fresco paints. I was going to indulge myself with my greens and blues.

I used Nougat at the centre, blending into Antarctic, Lake Wanaka, Space Cadet and finally Inky Pool at the very edge. I added just the merest hint of Hey Pesto to give a translucent hint of green. I then stamped over with Artistic Outpost text from Birds of a Feather in black Archival and three Lynne Perrella crowns (LP011) in Wendy Vecchi Cornflower Blue. I then added some Grunge Paste Chicken Wire stencilling and some blended Treasure Gold in White Fire, Green Amber, Aquamarine and Classic.
Now it was time to play with UTEE. I don't know if the photos will do this justice, but I really loved the results of this 'play'! I die cut an oval of Paper Artsy Smoothy card and painted it with a similar blend of colours as those on my corrugated card. I then stamped the image from LPC)12 on it in black Archival and heat set. Now with the wise words of Lesley Ebdon ringing in my ears to 'Be careful, if you touch, it's like hot jam', I coated my image in Versamark, sprinkled it with clear UTEE and - holding my oval with craft tweezers - heated from underneath. When one layer had cooled, I added more Versamark and sprinkled and heated again. The colour was subtly changed and I loved the way that this was beginning to  an resemble an enamel miniature - one of my favourite things! It was getting late, so I didn't want to experiment with more layers. I just added a little gold UTEE around the edges. I then die-cut some leaf shapes with a Paper Artsy die and coloured them with Antarctic and Hey Pesto, stamping Lynne Perrrella images on in Cornflower Blue. I used Clear UTEE on these too, edging them wIth some Shabby Blue Frantage. I painted a little resin rose with some Antarctic and then Treasure Golded with Aquamarine with White Fire. I took two Prima butterflies and painted with Paper Artsy Frescos and then sprinkled UTEE while they were still wet.
Lesley had described how she liked to put UTEE'd pieces in the freezer and then crack them. I was too impatient and it was the early hours so I just twisted and folded and created the impression of slightly cracked porcelain.

After a night's sleep I returned to my altered cardboard and decided it needed more. I recently saw a wonderful idea on Alison's Bomber's 'Words and Pictures' for making 'wordy' embellishments with those little glass nuggets you can use in flower arrangements. Luckily I had some and a beautiful Christina Rossetti poem.

I fixed my nuggets with some Heavy Gel Medium when I first got up and then went out for the day with my daughter in Rochester where she studies Fashion. In future I will give the page a wash of paint to add colour, but this was my first play with the idea. It didn't stop pouring as we wove our way through the quaint little high street, but the day was bliss -  a lovely lunch, a trawl of charity shops for anything 'vintage' and lots of laughter. That evening I was able to add my finishing touches. My altered canvas was beginning to capture the theme of raindrops, I think!
I added some punched out leaves and roses covered in Treasure Gold too! When I covered my leaves with the UTEE, I made a little drip over the edge. I love to watch drips slither from the tip of leaves or the spokes of an umbrella on a wet day!
Now I have my altered cardboard on a little easel above the mantelpiece. It reminds me of a lovely day in the rain with Matilda, my daughter.
Thank you so much for dropping by Magpieheaven today. I hope that whatever you do and wherever you are, you have a lovely day!

21 comments:

  1. As usual, a beautifully poetic piece of writing Julie Ann. Made me smile imagining you tearing into your corrugated cardboard. People who don't do altered art would just not get the need to change a bit of packaging. It is all so beautiful and the concept of the raindrops adds that special touch. A bit ethereal, as I imagine you to be. Loved looking. X

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  2. Wow, Julie Ann - this is fabulous - you really embraced that UTEE. I may even have to find my tubs and play with it again, not done any for ages. I have some of those glass drops too (somewhere!) - can't have read that post of Alison's properly.. great idea!

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  3. A masterpiece Julie Ann! So lovely that it reminds you of your rainy fun day and that you had so much fun making it! Chrisx

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  4. Glad you had fun and found a way to use your UTEE without a melt pot. Love corrugated as a base layer, great to tear the layers away isn't it.

    Great make - Sam xx

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  5. Your so talented Julie Ann ! Isn't it great that no piece of cardboard goes to waste with us crafters.
    Julie xx

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  6. This is beautiful julie Ann. Love the utee miniature,

    Lucy x

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  7. That's great, a wonderful piece of art.

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  8. WHOOT, WHOOT, WOW Miss Julie Ann, this is fantastic, you had me at the cardboard :O), I can relate to Mays box inspiring you it is gorgeous, well Missy your playing turned out brilliantly, love all the drips, and you know how I loooooove the rain, I love all your glossy faces, the colors are blended so beautifully, the honey comb looks fabulous, and I too loved Alison glass beads, what a superb piece of art from some cardboard.. I'm so happy you had a wonderful day with your daughter, and now have this to remind you of it, I can't wait to visit your nest, praying that will happen one day, have a wonderful weekend my dear sweet Cuz, ((( BIG HUGS)))..

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  9. Stunning project as usual! Love all of it - especially the UTEE effect and that wonderful chicken wire texture. Claire x

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  10. Gorgeous colours, beautiful stamps with the UTEE only adding to the overall beauty of the piece. Glad you discovered the pebbles as they really are a nice addition to highlight words or spotlight a certain area of a stamp.
    I must dig mine out again - like so many of us I have phases and had a phase of wanting to use them all the time and then became bored with them but maybe the time has come to dust them off and bring them out into the daylight.
    Thanks for sharing such beauty with us.
    Wishes
    Lynne

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  11. Very lovely and fun project.

    Hugs diane

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  12. This is gorgeous so many different techniques and elements - brilliant. TFS @ Altered Eclectics this month
    Elaine aka Ellapu

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  13. Wow.. this is totally gorgeous, Julie Ann. The texture that you created with UTEE is fantastic! Love it. :)

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  14. Absolutely delicious - ticks so many boxes for me (colours, corrugated card, gorgeous texture) - a real beauty... and so happy to see the beads!!
    Alison xx

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  15. Stunning... WOW...Love all that fabulous texture..Love how you used the UTEE.. and the glass beads.. Wonderful love it all...Thank you so much for taking part in Altered Eclectics this month....Hugs May x x x

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  16. Love rain so enjoyed your interpretation of raindrops on your page.

    So glad you enjoyed playing with UTEE it is a wonderful product. Your page as usual is awesome :-) xxx

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  17. Fantastic page! I don't have a melt pot either and use the small aluminium molds of commercial cakes (think Jam tarts) when I need to pour my UTEE. Safety warnings also apply!

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  18. Gorgeous altered cardboard! Love every element of it! Thank you for playing along with us at Altered Eclectics.

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  19. Wow wow absolutely stunning, I love the background, you always inspire me with your awesome backgrounds. All the embellishments the little pebbles are beautiful and I'm happy you've enjoyed the UTEE play, I always try and use embossing on my creations, I still love the magic of the embossing enamel melting. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann xxxxxxxx

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  20. Wow! Your altered cardboard piece is beautiful! Thank you for playing along with us at Altered Eclectics February Challenge.

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