Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Phoenix Rises from the Embers by Alan Scott

This project has a journey. It started off to being this very paper orientated and was going to utilize the backing paper that was used in a package that I received.

Unfortunately (to some this may sound kinda daft but to those who know what it's like will understand), we lost a friend. Let me start off by saying she was a cat that we got from the rescue centre in the cold month of February 2012. She was a fiery little critter right from day one, she was independent and had a swagger about her, as she knew she was just a cutie. But she gave us back unconditional love, as well a lot of happy memories. Her name was Mia and I have included a photo of her as she has inspired me in the making of this project.
MIA 2010 - 2013


She died of F.I.V. which is the cats version of H.I.V. The vets told us that she probably was bitten while she was in her original home. We can be thankful that she did not suffer a long prolonged bout of illnesses - she first fell ill 3 weeks ago and we took her to the vets and they kept her in for 2 days as she had lost a lot of weight. Then when I felt that she was still not well, we again took her to the vets. It was there that they told us her blood count had gone from a normal healthy cat to 21. They said that in a week her blood cell count at this rate would be at best 8 to 10. That meant that she could not fight the infection that had taken hold of her marrow. So I had to take that awful decision to ask the vet to make sure Mia was in no more pain and suffering. So on the 22nd August at approx 10.45pm, Mia was released from pain and suffering.
So what or how did I start this project and what did I use? Well as per usual, 90% of the items I used were from That's Crafty! If I didn't have a product name that they carry, I can tell you that they will have an alternative to most of the materials or equipment used.



Silver Card
Cricut Cutting Machine
Art Nouveau Cutting Die
Brown Wrapping Paper
Sheet of Bubble Wrap
Crafters Workshop 12 x 12 inch Template - Paint Lid (use any you have)
Wooden Paint Mixer
Black Indian Ink and Pen
Cosmic Shimmer Mist - Bronze and Green
NeoColour Wax Water Blend Sticks (a good alternative)
Print out of a Bright orange image
JustRite Font Collection
Artex or Heavy Texture Medium. i.e. Embossing Paste
Print out of a Dolls Face from my Altered Art/Mixed Media Collection
Old USED Store Card


This was the brown paper that was used in packaging. PERFECT for a base layer! When dry a nice interesting texture. To be added to by using a Artex medium!
This is where the OLD store card come in. It is a lot easier to spread over the surface. It also works with paint! To help with the paint a layer of white Gesso is used.
Using the selected colours placed onto a painters paper pad. This helps with the mixing and clean up!
Our good old friend the bubble wrap was used on the wet surface. This bubble wrap is the large version. 

The photo on the right shows the finished surface......... or is it? Only time will tell... Okay you got it.. ITS NOT!
Using a gold paint and the Paris Map, selected areas of the stencil are used to lay down colour. It is not an IN YOUR FACE layer but it has subtle tones when placing more layers. You don't have to have the whole page covered with your stencil. Be selective.

The next layer is going to be a brighter colour using a 12 inch template. Any one will do and it doesn't have to be a 12 inch if you're not able to have one like this in your collection. We don't stress or worry, we adapt and use what we have, adding to our crafting stash as and when we can afford it.
This is the colour I picked for this layer. As you can see, I did not use all of the stencil and as you can see, I have also gone 'off the page' with some of them.
Now to colour the cut out I made from the Cricut Art Nouveau Collection. As it was a glossy surface, I thought these would colour better. The photo on the right shows the finished sections.
Using the larger of the same style stencil, I went around the edges. Then using the smaller stencil and a purple and yellow acrylic paint, I started to lay down some colour.

I was now going to start on the centre of the project. This is where the face and the fire would be. So using a thick gold textured paint and the credit card, I started to lay down some colour.

To give a bit of 'Bling', Mica Flakes were used. This is the very first time I have used these. I bought them way, way back when they were first introduced to us on a TV show.  The photo on the right show the finished layer of gold.

I wanted to lay down some black ink. I honestly don't know why I wanted to but this was the outcome. To say I wasn't happy would be an understatement. So it was back to the reclaim drawing board! With a dropper, I placed some ink into the centre of the circles and then tipped the page up and let it run down.

Using a small brush, I took some different acrylic colours and placed dots along each of the drops. I was still trying to find a way to recover from the black circles! Using the thin liner pen/brush, I went over the dots of colour so that it looked as if the dots had a coloured shadow on them. The mistake was starting to correct itself at long last.

This is when I now wanted to add the fire. I used the wax sticks first and then (sorry forgot the photo) I used matching Gelato sticks to give the impression of fire. When they were rubbed in and blended, I took a water spray and just put enough water down so that it started to drip.

Now for the FIRE. I took a digital paper that I have in my digital stock and compressed it from 12 inches to A4. This caused it to become something different. Then after printing it out, using a pencil, I started to draw flames free hand. These would be ripped out free hand. Using a complementary ProMarker, the white edges were coloured.

We sometimes have happy accidents when something goes on that we didn't expect. This was one of them. When I added the varnish to the die cuts, the varnish mixed in with the alcohol inks, causing it to become a deeply coloured varnish. 

I did not like the way that the face looked when all the varnish and alcohol mixed in. So using a craft knife, I scrapped away as much as I could and then laid down a base coat of acrylic paint so I could then glue an image of a head into that space. To help decorate the head, I used the coloured pearlescent pva glues to give some detail around the top frame and the neck region.

Once the face had been glued into place, you can see by this photo how the flames and the colour of the head are working well together. This was very much a pleasant surprise!

As in last weeks project, the good old JustRite Font sets came into play. As I was going to be using the Distress Inks pads, I used a waterproof ink and Archival fits that brief.

The selected Distress Ink Pads. They work well with the final project and they don't look as if they are just stuck on. I didn't take great care and composure when I was laying down ink colour, in fact it was on this case 'dip' and 'blod'.


There you have it, what I hope is a fitting tribute to a lost friend.

Any questions please send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.




  1. A fitting tribute and a great make x hugs x

  2. So sorry about Mia. I do love your journal page though.

  3. Really sorry to hear about your lovely cat Alan but you've created the most gorgeous tribute to her. Wonderful paint effects and detail.


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