The new 7gypsies Architextures Collection is a great new assortment of vintage inspired products you can craft with, but did you also know the Mixed Media secrets behind it? We will tell you the secrets, but first let’s break down the basic definition of Mixed Media. Mixed Media is simply defined as the use of multiple media in a piece of art. Pretty simple, huh!!!?? People are using this term very, very loosely to cover just about anything that is not a traditional scrapbook layout, card or journal and even with that there are mixed media layouts, mixed media cards and mixed media journals. So, what truly is Mixed Media then? Well, we are going to define it this way… Mixed Media is the art of mixing different medias together using a variety of techniques to create a unique piece of art that is like no other. The nature of Mixed Media is that no two pieces can be exactly alike, simply because the medias, the surfaces and the techniques slightly vary from person to person and even project to project. To define it a bit more… Mixed Media is the art of layering different medias together to create a dimensional art piece. This is the definition we are going to work with today as we divulge the Architextures secrets, as we walk you through a traditional Mixed Media Project.
Step 1 – Start with Surface – with Mixed Media just about anything can be the surface an old clock, a stretched canvas, old book or even a jean jacket. There are no real rules with mixed media and that begins with the surface.
Architextures Secret #1 – the collection offers a variety of mixed media surfaces including Artboard, Ledgers and Journals. These items were created because they are very cool to look at, but they also double up as Mixed Media Surfaces that you can use time and again, gather enough to teach a class or start with a strong surface that will stand up to one or many mixed media techniques.
Step 2 – The First Layer – now, there is no steadfast rule as to what you do first, but after much experience watching the process some form of gesso or textured medium is applied – there could be a lot of it, there could be a little and how it is done… there are about a million techniques. The idea behind this layer is to set the stage for adding texture, create an overall background, start the color story and to get things going. The trouble with this layer, that the artists and designers don’t always show in their videos, is that there is a drying time required and it can be as much as 24 hours.
Architextures Secret #2 – The 7gypsies Architexures Bases were created to help speed the process along. These textured, dimensional pieces can be used as they are, torn apart, separated into smaller sections, painted, distressed, etc. They are adhesive and you can prepare them your way and then apply to your surface and depending on the texture, if the surface is wet or how you are adding it, you can use the adhesive back or you can add additional adhesive or a top coat. No longer is a 24 hour wait time required. Just open the package, distress if you wish, apply, you are done.
Onto the next layer…
Step 3, 4, 5, 6…. – The Next Layers – Let’s call these steps unlimited and again there are no rules; the only real rule is there are no rules and you can layer, layer, layer. The layers can be paint, mist, ink, paper, masks, stencils, die cuts, fussy cut pieces, lace, ribbon, fabric, etc. The key here is creating more texture and dimension and this can be a bit difficult if all the items are relatively flat.
Architextures Secret #3 – The Junque and Tin Tiles both give you texture and dimension without being too thick and too dimensional. They can be cut, die cut, torn, distressed, painted, inked, stamped, stenciled, etc. and then one or many can be added to your art piece. The adhesive will hold it in place or you can add additional glue to help it stay where you want it. The pieces are made to look like the real thing too, so instead of having to create a brick wall with stencils, medium, paint and inks, you have a brick wall background to add that you can then distress your way.
Step 7 – The First Style Layer – What is a ‘style layer’ you ask? It is the start of bringing the theme and personality of your piece to life. The backgrounds take a bit of a backseat once this layer begins, but in the end the entire composition is so perfect together. So this layer is all about adding details here and there and stamps, rub-ons, more paint, mist, ink, ephemera pieces and embellishments are the perfect options. The application of this step truly depends on the layers you have already created, but the idea is there, to then add the first layer of details.
Architextures Secret #4 – The Parchment Rub-Ons were designed for this phase of the process and will rub on to a range of surfaces. Parchment Rub-Ons are a bit different than traditional rub-ons in that they look more like a distressed stamp and add a nice layer of detail. You can easily cut them into smaller sizes, wrap them around the edge of your project or layer them one on top of the other. The Parchment Rub-Ons also come in a wide range of sizes from tiny pieces to as large as 7″ tall. So adding a nice large rub-on to your piece adds a nice additional layer.
Step 8 – The Next Style Layer – this is where the fun begins and the personality of your piece begins to shine through. You might want to already know what you are going to use for Step 9 before you do this step (ok jump over and read it, we will wait). So this step is all about preparing the base for the focal point. Maybe it is flowers, maybe it is selection of ephemera pieces, could be a few stickers, a laser cut piece, die cuts, fussy cut pieces, etc. These pieces can be part of the focal point or they can be a background for it.
Architextures Secret #5 – The collection is filled with papers, stickers, labels, ephemera and other decorative items you can use for this layer and don’t forget to look at the packaging, each item in the line has a great printed background and icons on the back you can use in your art, there is virtually no waste.
Step 9 – The Focal Point – Every great room has a focal point, maybe a portrait over the fireplace, an amazing sofa or vintage art piece on the wall. Many mixed media pieces end with a wonderful background and they go no further, that is sometimes referred to as modern art and they are stunning. In the true sense of our Mixed Media example, we are going to take you to what we consider the “end” but remember there are no rules, so you just paint over the whole thing and start over, so don’t let our silly little rules cause you any distress. Finding a focal point such as a photo or embellishment can be a bit tricky as it represents your work of mixed media art.
Architextures Secret #6 – Finding a focal point can be very difficult and so Architextures created a huge selection of them with the nicknames – Trinkets, Treasures and Findings. These little gems represent a wide variety of themes that represent so many different things that we are sure you will find one or a combination that will help you tell your story. Each piece was inspired by the original item bringing with it a nostalgic feel that sets a wonderful tone for your piece. The items can be used just as they are or you can distress them to suit your color and style needs. So an old lantern might be the perfect focal point for an outdoor or woodsy piece, old doors can represent travel to far off places or when a one door closes another opens, or a vintage mirror could reflect how your are feeling or reminding us to look in the mirror and remember how special we are. Each piece has so many different meanings and represents the past, future and the present.
Secret #7 – all the surfaces have dimension, color and a bit of personality, but they can all be altered to fit your needs.
Secret #8 – the mess of a true mixed media project can be reduced, we cannot say that there will be no mess, sorry guys crafting is a bit messy, but you will eliminate some, if not most, of the mess.
Secret #9 – Oh, the time you will save! The little tricks and details let you achieve the look you want, without the need to wait for lengthy dry time.
Secret # 10 – Architextures is just fun – you can start with a focal point, which helps set the tone for your pieces and the creative juices seems to come quickly and in abundance. The “Architextures Creative Effect” does not affect everyone the same and if you are not inspired by them, please stop using them immediately, but we hope this is not the case as the collection has something for everyone.
Crew Member, Ewelina is going to take you through the mixed media process her way, remember there is no right or wrong, the layers can be simple or elaborate, the colors can be those of your choice, the design and style are up to you, but the process of layering and texturing is a lot of fun and the new Architextures Collection.
STEP 1 – find your surface like one of the pages from the many journals and books in the collection.
Step 2 – Create a background with paints, bases, ink, mists.
Step 3 – Add art from the Parchment Rub-Ons behind or in front of the bases; with Architextures you can create the layers any way you wish… the rules get even easier.
Step 4 – Cut out pieces that will go behind your focal point(s) and using textured pieces from the Junque packs, words cut from the packaging, papers and more, there is no limit, but let the pieces show a bit and distressing them adds a nice touch.
Step 5 – Choose or add your focal point or points. So a photo might be the focal point and a set of pens support it or you might choose a Treasure to make it your focal piece. So many options… it is just amazing!
One of the goals behind the Architextures Collection is to make the mixed media art ‘easy’ and ‘less messy’.
7gypsies Architextures Mix&Match book – Bee
7gypsies Architextures Parchment Rub-On – Inspire
7gypsies Architextures Junque Pack – Parlour
7gypsies Architextures Tall Base – Fence
7gypsies Architextures Trinkets – Ink Pens
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Merlot Gold, Choco Covered Strawberries and Afraid Of The Dark
Altered Book Cover
old hard-cover book
7gypsies Architextures Parchment Rub-On – Inspire
7gypsies Architextures Junque Pack – Parlour
7gypsies Architextures 8×8 Paper Pad
7gypsies Architextures Tin Tile – White Wash
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Merlot Gold, Black Cherry, Afraid Of The Dark and Graphite
Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam Roses R Red
hot glue gun
water spray bottle
So, you have seen two very different projects that sorta, kinda follow the steps, ok… so… there really are not any true steps, but you have the idea and you know a bit more about why some of the items in the Architextures Collection were created and if the art itself does not win you over, the way it simplifies mixed media might do the trick.
Have a wonderful Mixed Media Moment or two or three or four….