Second Floor Challenge #2: Use Something New

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in 2nd Floor, Art Journal

Today is the second Second Floor Challenge. Julie and I are so amazed by the response and the awesome things you showed us wether officially in the link list or in the private Flickr Group!

This time the challenge was to use a supply from your room you never used before. Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you.  The prompt is simply meant to get you started.  The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you.

Click here to see what Julie did.

So I first was looking around in my craft room and one of the supplies that I snapped right away were my Letraset Aquamarkers.

Aquamarkers are water based markers and I have to admit I have them for over a year and not even unpacked them – it was about time!

First of all I unpacked them…and actually tried them on some different surfaced papers …well that is not really even getting into the first floor…that is more like taking something out of your mailbox and sniffing in the envelope before you actually enter the front door.

After playing around a bit I finally took out a Mistable Paper – a paper by Pink Paislee that is coated with a Resist and to which I know the Aquamarkers as a water based color medium would work on. I applied different colors and blended them with a brush.

mhhh – ok…fine…..it worked, but it wasn’t really pushing me out of my slippers…so time to take it up to the second floor.

I used a Crafter’s Workshop Template over the background and sprayed it with Ranger’s Color Wash, then stamped it, applied a paper stencil on top which I had also unused and forever in my stash and put some white gesso over it.

After it dried I applied some of the water markers to a craft sheet and with a wet brush I picked up the paint and painted the gesso areas…BOY….that was UGLY…I totally disliked the result and I was about to give up and cheat…yep. Not lying here…I was thinking, if I would just pick another supply I haven’t used yet, you might never know…LOL. But ok…if you put yourself out there- you’d better be honest…so ….ok…I fell down a couple stairs, but let’s try to get going. TACKLE those stairs….

So I applied the markers directly to the gesso and AHA- better with the outcome of the paints- but boy….STILL UGLY!

I started to get a bit annoyed…and angry…with myself…I felt a bit like Anette Bening in American Beauty where she starts crazily cleaning the window repeating “I will sell this house today” besides I was mumbling through my teeth “I will tackle those markers today” Take a look here to imagine how I felt:

I applied a stamp over…mmmhh- that tied it a bit together and actually I started to like SOME parts of it.

Wait a second….some parts….mmmhhh – ok – so I just cut some circles free hand out.

And I remembered that I actually liked the look of the Aquamarkers on the watercolor paper – so decided to do a background which I later on applied to my artjournal.

I actually like my journal page…LOL- especially since I …and now you…know the story behind it ;)

What I learned from this challenge

  1. I do not like the fact that I, the person who loves paint media has unused paint media in the studio- what a waste. This will not happen again ;)
  2. I realized though that there is paint media that I get only luke warm with.
  3. The darker colors spread nicer over porous surfaces then the lighter colors
  4. Although water based, sprayed with something else water based, doesn’t reactivate in a huge capacity as other water based reactivated media.
  5. When I applied white gesso on top, the gesso picked up some of the Ranger Colorwash but it didn’t pick up the Aquamarkers.
  6. I was never able to really put my finger on it, but now I know for sure I do not like muted colors too much.
  7. I also learned – or better finally I know for sure- that I do not like harsh marker lines- I like it blended.
  8. If something doesn’t work as a whole …try to break it down…cut it in pieces.
  9. Keep going…the outcome might be still fun…especially because you remember the  process itself.
  10. While just playing, even if it doesn’t go the way you think, you might have some other cool ideas for different projects.
  11. I really love watercolor paper ripped and with the watercolor effect – I think I will use this again!

Wow…actually not too bad what I learned…I hope  you enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with too.

If you decide to play along with our Second Floor challenge (we’d love to have you) please leave a link to your blog or wherever you decide to share your project!  Of course, I would love it if you’d share a line or two in your blog post or flickr photo comment about something you learned from the project.  (If Julie and I have done this linky list correctly, when you leave a link on Julie’s blog it should show up on this blog and vice versa.)

If you’ve made something for the Second Floor “Use Something New” challenge, leave a link!



If you’re not up for sharing 100% publicly, we have set up a totally private flickr group.  It’s a way of sharing within a safe space. If you want to join the flickr group, you will need to e-mail us at (secondfloorchallenge AT gmail DOT com) and we’ll send you an invitation.

have a wonderful day

hugs

Nat

Nat

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Comments (25)

  • Eliza

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    I was really looking forward to your next Second Floor challenge and this one is sooo exciting!
    I keep having this conversation over and over again – people buy wonderful tools and supplies and then…put them on their shelves and just look at them. but really…this is JUST paper and JUST paints (or whatever). they are there to have fun with! aren’t they?
    I totally love what you created today! and the advice about cutting pieces that didn’t quite work out – brilliant!

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      yep- LOL- I tell my students all the time that they should either try it before they buy it or if they buy it – use it- but sometimes I do not live up to my own words ;) You know the old water-wine thing ;)

      Reply

  • Nancy Sapp

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    Nathalie – GORGEOUS lay-out! I LOVE, LOVE those watercolors that you used & then cut the circles!
    Awesome.

    Reply

  • Carolyn Dube

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    Thank you for such generosity in sharing your process. I read and reread your post today because it has so many parts that spoke to me!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I will sell this house today…LOL…love that movie.
    Interesting to see what you learned and glad that you stuck with it Nat.

    Reply

  • Lisa Flaherty

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    A great lesson to just…keep…pushing! How else would we ever reach the second floor?? You’ve proved that the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole. I love those circles! Thank you for sharing your process and being an inspiration to me!

    Reply

  • S Mellows

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    Referring to your #7: By coincidence, I was working with markers last night on ATCs. I was laying down different colors in stripes; separate stripes and layered on top stripes. I didn’t like how they were not blending. I used a white prisma color pencil over the top of the stripes which both blended and slightly muted the colors. I liked the effect. The white disappeared and the colored stripes looked like a foggy landscape which I liked. Never know until you try something! Thanks for your blog!

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      Nice advice of using the white prisma color pencil – I have to give that a try next time :) Thank you!

      Reply

  • Marsha.

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    Oooh, not bad at all!!!

    Funny thing (because you know I always have one :-p): My mom bought a set of Aquamarkers at a local (cheap) bookstore. The fact they sold them there should have made me suspicious! I tried them anyway, on ordinary watercolor paper and I didn’t like the way the water muted the colors :-). Honestly: I’ve had better results with my really cheap no brand watercolor pencils! So what’s the deal with these? I’m wondering if I did something wrong… Does Letraset recommend a special kind of paper for them? The results on the mistable paper look better to me…

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      mmmhh- that was the only thing I would not find with my aquamarkers- the color were not super vibrant but not too muted either- I think there are different packs though with color range- I have a very light color set, so maybe that is why?

      Reply

      • Marsha.

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        Yeah… I that’s what I thought too. I’ve looked at packages with the new Flexmarkers and the colours in there don’t appel to me either… But I know there are loose Flexmarkers available that I do like. There is another thing that occured to me when I went to look: almost all tutorials on the net are about colouring in (Magnolia type) stamped images. If that’s what the Aquamarkers are most used for, I can understand the need for muted colours :-).

        Reply

        • Marsha.

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          Appel = appeal…
          I’m sure there are loose Aquamarkers too, with more vibrant colours. Just not in the sets.

          Reply

  • Riikka

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    I just love the outcome but also how the stages look! Nice!

    Reply

  • Violet

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    I love how you changed a failure into a HUGE success. Love the final page!

    Reply

  • lynnmcmvt

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    Both your challenge and Julie’s remind me that patience with what we’re doing is the key! SO often I do something and say ugh, I hate this, and then just walk away or paint over it completely, when there may be something that can be done to make the piece (or pieces!) something I like! Thanks for sticking with the process and showing us the whole thing!

    Reply

  • lynnmcmvt

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    Thanks to you and Julie for reminding me that PATIENCE and being open to possibilities can make something I hate work for me! I like how you each let us in on the parts you hated and how you didn’t just start over and pretend nothing happened. :)

    Reply

  • zoegakatten

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    This inspires me so much…!!! I love that you and Julie put this together and I love your journal page!

    Reply

  • zoegakatten

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    I am soooo inspired by this…! I love that you and Julie put this together and I love your journal page!

    Reply

  • Miae

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    This challenge inspires me! I love how your project turned out! I can only hope…but I plan on having a go:)

    Reply

  • Dolores

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    Love the outcome of your page at the end although there were some parts that I liked in between. Can’t wait to get out some of those supplies that I had to have but then they don’t get used.

    Reply

  • Mona Pendleton

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    Thanks so much for the fun challenge :) So happy to put those Neocolor 11 crayons to good use!

    Reply

  • Eniko Farkas DeLisle

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    Nathalie, I loved that you cut out the pieces that you liked and re-purposed them, and I really appreciate that you explained the whole process you went through so beautifully! I really felt your frustration as well as your satisfaction when you “figured it out”. For my 2nd Floor Challenge, I decided to scrapbook with some really busy prints from Graphic 45…the ones I usually just look at for inspiration & then put back in my paper stash. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply

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