Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ugly Duckling #3

Okay so if you have been following my posts this week I am in the process of showing you how I made some of my "ugly duckling" canvases more appealing.  Old to new.  Repurposed.  So on and so forth.

Today is the third "re-do".  It started out as this small 4x3 canvas.  Are you seeing a theme here?  I don't do small canvases well I think.  Not enough space for mistakes, abstracts? I am not sure.  But here I am again looking at another small canvas that needs new life.

So here is my butterfly.  Not horribly ugly, but not very interesting either.

My first step was to add some warm colors to the canvas.  Red, orange, yellows.  No rhyme or reason.

After it dried, I decided to turn the canvas the other way.  At this point I was thinking a heart.  I like hearts.  I paint them a lot.  I have them in quite a few of my canvases.  And well, this is February, the month of love, so why not another heart?

Then I thought of putting words inside the heart.  So I gathered a bunch of words I liked and assembled them on an acrylic block.  I then put something behind it to absorb the pressure and stamped.

Total FAIL. Ugh. Really?  Half the words did not show and they smudged.  Now what?

I decided to add more layers. Right? Because layers can cover it and make it look like it was on purpose.  So I used a number stencil thinking "how do I love thee, let me count the ways?" and used white paint.

 I then sketched out the heart.

Still, I wasn't loving the lack of contrast.  I decided to add some texture.  Used bits of the leftover dress pattern from previous ugly duckling re-dos and adhered it with some gel medium on bottom and top.

I liked the textured and just added splotches of teal paint for a beautiful contrast.

Still, it needed a focal point.  So I added the word love. It was small enough to fit and clearly belongs in a heart! :)

I then went around the edges added a bit more paint for contrast and interest.

What has been your favorite ugly duckling redo so far?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ugly Duckling #2

If you have been following my ugly canvas redo is my second one.

I am not sure what I was thinking with this 6x6 canvas.  I wanted a bird in a cage, and then just kept trying to make it interesting, but it ended up being too busy and nothing really meshed together.

I started out with some cobalt teal paint and a pallet knife.   I scraped to allow the yellow and layers to be seen.

I then added some leftover dress pattern for the bottom.  At this point I was thinking of an outdoor scene.

I glued the tissue down with gel medium.

I then painted a couple love birds and a heart.  I stamped on some words and letters.

I am liking it much better!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My ugly ducklings...

Everyone has things they have made that they don't like.  I have LOTS! Because I don't want to waste a perfectly good canvas, I took four canvases this weekend that I have deemed ugly ducklings and challenged myself to re-do.

Here are the four little things.  Bless their little ugly hearts!

Today I will show in a photo tutorial how I changed one ugly butterfly into a charming house.

Here is my butterfly gone terribly wrong.  I feel it needs explanation but all I really remember about this was wanting to incorporate texture. Hmm.

I stared at this canvas for awhile trying to creatively think of way to delete the ugly butterfly.  I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the center of the butterfly is a strip of canvas that juts out on top of the canvas.

I finally decided to take some old dress patterns and adhere them with a gel medium to give the whole canvas texture, and "hide" the butterfly body somewhat.

After that dried I decided to use the body as a slant of a house roof top. I then tore some vintage wallpapers and started gluing down.

After I glued the papers down I just added paints, stamps, lettering and a key for the door! Voila!!

What do you think?  Challenge yourself to make something "old", "new" again!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Chocolate Day..I mean Valentines!

How about toasting your loved ones with an amazing Chocolate Brownie Souffle for dessert? Yum!

I did just that this past Sunday for family dinner and I thought I would share the recipe because it is easy and you can do it ahead of time.

I would like to say where exactly I got the recipe from, because I should, but I don't know. I think it may have been Southern Living, but I can't be sure.

Chocolate Brownie (Freezer)Souffle

1/4 cup butter
2 (3 ounce) dark chocolate bars (I used a combination of Ghirardelli and Valhrona because it is what I had in my pantry)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Irish Cream Sauce:
3/4 cup French Vanilla ice cream (melted)
3 tablespoons Bailey's irish cream liqueur
1/3 cup whipping cream, whipped

1) Gather your ingredients

2) Butter bottom and sides of 8 ramekins; sprinkle with sugar. Set aside. I did more because I had 14 people for dinner.

3) Melt 1/4 cup butter and chocolate in a saucepan over med-low heat.  Add flour, stir until smooth.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly..  Gradually add chocolate milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in salt and vanilla.

4)  Beat egg yolks and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale (about 2 minutes).

5) Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot chocolate mixture into yolk mixture; beat at medium speed until blended.  Gradually add remaining hot mixture, beating until blended.  Let cool 5 minutes.

6) Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold one-fourth of beaten egg white into chocolate mixture.  Gradually fold remaining egg white into chocolate mixture.

7) Carefully spoon mixture into prepared ramekins.  Cover and freeze until firm. (I did them the day before)

8) Remove souffles from freezer and let stand 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tops are puffed.  Cut a slit in top of each souffle and serve immediately with Irish Cream Sauce.

Irish Cream Sauce:

Place ice cream in microwave bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds or just until melted.  Stir in Irish cream; fold in whipped cream.  Store in refrigerator.

Remove from oven, cut a slit in the top and eat up! I did two kinds of cream ~ one with Baileys and one without.

These are so easy and so, so good! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How I did it...Creative Corner Inspiration

I posted a picture on Instagram and on my Kirsten Reed Designs Facebook page of a piece I created this week.  This is a short pictorial "how I did it" for you to watch my process. (I apologize again for the poor quality camera photos, I must remember to bring my REAL camera in the art studio when I decide to paint!)

(1) First, I selected a variety of vintage wallpapers, ephemera, sheet music, etc.  I tore them to assemble a loose collage.  I then glued these papers to my canvas.  When I say I glue them, I basically decoupage them.  Glue on bottom and on top.  Dry it.

(2)  After the papers are dry I decide what kind of color palette I am going to add to it.  I chose pale greens, desert turquoise and mix between the two for this piece.  I used a sponge brush and palette knife to apply randomly.  At this point I still had no "image" in mind.  Sometimes, my pieces will sit as a background for days or weeks until I decide to use it or have an idea for it.  In this case I decided to sketch a girl and remembered a saying I had seen that I loved.  I thought this was a beautiful message.  I imagined my girl wishing on a butterfly.

(3) I used a marks all pencil and sketched my girl.  Any pencil will do, charcoal too. Just whatever you you are comfortable with.  I am not an artist and can't draw, that is why I like to keep my pieces whimsical and light.  I like them to have an easy going feeling to them.

(4) The rest is history. I just added more layers of color to the background and filled in the girl with color.  I used acrylic paints.  Some cheap paints, some Golden fluids.  I used a couple of sprays too ~ adding in yellow and magenta.  I have learned to add warm colors after the cool colors dry so you don't create mud. I also used Faber Castell pens for highlighting and a black pen to define things.  Then I stamped on the saying I wanted and sprayed the entire piece with a matte fixative.  I decided I didn't want my girl to be in clothes ~ it felt too confining for the piece, so I made it look like she was coming out of a garden, or perhaps a waterfall? :)

Visit my Instagram site and see this piece for yourself ~ the quality is a bit better!  I hope you enjoy it and go create something beauty FULL!