Just in time for Mother’s Day this weekend, I wanted to share with all of you this mixed media collage I created featuring the Stitches line of paper from Authentique Paper. This is a fun, versatile line of papers created with a sewing theme in mind but I thought it would lend itself to the perfect project for Mother’s Day and show a different way that this line of paper could be used to celebrate perhaps one of the most important women in our lives, our mothers.

Originally I had developed this project to teach as a workshop this Spring, but sometimes life happens and the workshop ended up falling through … I had almost forgotten that I had even created this project until going through my pictures on the long flight home from teaching in Tokyo (more about my trip in a future post) and realized that Mom’s Day would be a great time to share it with everyone – my take on mixed media with a touch of shabby chic.

To create the background for this project, I adhered the Stitches One paper onto an embroidery hoop that I’d picked up at the craft store and then trimmed the excess paper using the hoop as my guide. To add some texture and to cover up the wood of the hoop, I liberally spread Plaster Paste from Finnabair around the hoop and carried this onto the background paper.

To add pattern and dimension to the background, I used a variety of different papers from the Stitches line mounted onto matte board, edged with Delicata Pink Shimmer from Tsukineko. Plaster Paste was used to adhere the background patterned elements onto the main background paper of the project.

Because I added ‘extra’ Plaster Paste onto the background elements, the excess paste was pushed to the sides of each piece, which then provided the perfect adhesive for holding down some great inclusions including mica flakes and micro beads to add some shimmer to the project. I then heat set the paste using a heat tool which allowed me to use Metallique Soft Satin paints to add color to the paste.

Now the REAL creativity could begin! For the focal point of the project, I used a resin frame from Prima Marketing around one of the Stitches Nine papers – you could easily substitute a picture of your beautiful mother here (or any other image). I used Metallique paints to color many of the elements used for this collage on both the elements and the frame itself.

As I often tell my students, sometimes the ‘devil is in the details’ which is half the fun of creating a mixed media piece like this because you discover some new hidden treasure each time you look closely at the work. Here you can see that I incorporated a couple of details like adding antique buttons and an oversized safety pin.

The bottom third of the collage holds a variety of different elements including an old zipper attached to the inside lip of the frame, an old pocket watch (with Stitchespaper for the background), a thimble, flowers, buttons and part of a measuring tape. All of these elements just add to the sewing theme of this collage.

Because I had an ’empty’ spot on the left side of the collage, I decided to have a little bit of fun and wound a bobbin with embroidery floss and thread it through a needle. Not only did this element give another dimension to this piece, but it also visually draws the eye from the top to the bottom of the collage.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing this mixed media collage that I created for Mother’s Day, and I hope that it’s inspired you with some new ideas and techniques for your next project.

Keep creating!