I can't tell you all how many times when people see something new that I have done, they immediately say to me "That was easy for you."
While I appreciate that others think that creating nice things is not difficult for me, I can't help but think of all the hours of unseen work and schooling that I have invested in myself to get to this point. I have always maintained that every new project teaches me something, and some of them are really a new adventure. Especially when working with a new product or technique (or both!) and exploring the properties and limitations of it, and the fun, new opportunities that it can offer. That to me is one of the most exciting parts of designing. But mastering a new product or technique usually requires a little bit of practice, and that can be just as much enjoyable as the final phase of creating.
A year or so ago, I experimented with a new product developed by renown decorative painting artist Margot Clark which Margot calls "Margot's MUD." I even did an article in Creative Woodworks and created some simple bell ornaments using Margot's techniques. (SLD390 Decorated Bell Ornaments)
MUD is a textured paste developed by Margot that air dries or can even be kiln fired (Margot also works with fired glass). The difference with it from other texture pastes that I used is it dries hard as a rock – even when air dried. It doesn' chip or flake off and is odorless and cleans up with water.
I loved working with the MUD, and really thought about a lot of applications for using it. I had thought of many different applications for using it in my designing, but I haven't had as much time to use it as I would have liked.
Margot has wonderful tutorials and videos available on her website (http://www.margotclark.com) which show how to make anything from beautiful ornaments:
To lovely note cards:
All which use the same SIMPLE techniques she developed. I invite you to go to her website and watch the demonstration video on the home page (it is only 5 minutes long) and see just how EASY and FUN this technique is. By following a few simple steps, you more than likely will be hooked – just as I was! I couldn't wait to try some of these techniques on my own designs and share them all with you.
When thinking of a couple of new designs for autumn, I knew that I wanted MUD to be a part of them. I had only touched the surface of what the product would do and I thought of several new ways to use it to make my projects much more exciting and elegant. So I pulled out my kit and began "playing in the MUD" again. And I am having a grand time doing so!
Yesterday in my post I showed you some adorable witches boots that I have been working on. I mentioned that there would be some "surprises" that would be revealed along the road to the completed design. One of the surprises was that I want to use MUD to embellish them, and make them look unique. I had pictured them in my head a long time ago, and so far they are coming out even better than I planned. But I want to be sure that by the time I apply the MUD flowers to them, I felt really comfortable with what I was doing. So I took the day to experiment and play and I practiced making flowers on some colored cardboard.
I started out with single flowers, and worked my way up to different combinations and sprays. In a couple of hours, I felt that I was getting a bit better, and things were really beginning to look good.
I even made a 'mock up' of my shoe shape, to experiment with some of the patterns that I thought would look nice.
Margot offers the MUD Kit for a very reasonable price. See product HERE. But I had purchased the MUD kit/DVD combo kit (See MUD DVD Combo kit here) Which has a wonderful DVD which shows step by step ways to make all kinds of flowers, as well as designs, techniques, and other information about the product. It is really a great set and it really does include ALL you need to get started. I love when things are this easy.
So today will be a bit more "playing" for me, and then I will be finishing off my shoes and hopefully my other project using the MUD texture past. I am finding that the more I practice with it, the more fun I am having and the better things are looking. I am more excited than ever and I hope you all get excited as well.
I invite you to take time and stop over at Margot's site and watch her short video. It is amazing to me how such a simple technique can produce such outstanding results. I love that most of the flowers don't even require a steady hand, as the 'wiggle' you have when applying the product only makes them look better. In fact – the less fussy you are, the better the results!
Today will be another FUN day for me! I truly LOVE this part of my job and I love sharing when I find something that I think everyone can do. I can't wait to show you all tomorrow!
It is overcast a bit today here, with the sun peeking in and out. I went out last evening and Wow! It was darn right chilly outside. Autumn is definitely knocking at the door! It makes me happy though, as it is my favorite time of year! :)
Have a fabulous Tuesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"