Engraving Tool: Mixed Media Ocean Treasures

mermaid mixed media

I recently enjoyed being a student in the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 103.  I had taken courses 101 and 102 previously, each time immensely enjoying the process and play involved, and learning about how to mix various products and colors so as to not “create mud,” but to create something wonderful.  I find the process of creating to be most therapeutic, and my Pazzles Creative Cutter certainly brings me to the next level, combining a variety of techniques, tools and Pazzles Craft Room designs to create art to decorate my home.

My Ocean Treasures piece was inspired by the latest mermaid design in the Pazzles Craft Room, created by Miss Kate. This cute mermaid caught my eye, however I wanted her sitting on a rock, so I needed to perform a little “surgery” in my InVue software.  Using the scissors tools, I could swap the body of a seated mermaid with the head and arms of the one I preferred. I also found a wonderful assortment of rocks and ocean themed designs in the Pazzles Craft Room. Engraving round metal jewelry blanks with appropriate quotes seemed like a good solution for my vision of golden treasures, thanks to the Engraving On Sequins video in the Craft Room, I was able to do this with ease. To make the letters stand out,  white picket fence distress crayon was smeared over the letters, the excess rubbed off with a finger. The smudged appearance gave the illusion of being made old by sand and water.

The rocks, sand, mermaid and scalloped shell were cut from watercolor paper, using the Pen Tool with drawing pencil for the mermaid’s face.  Various distress inks and texture paste colored with distress ink created the look of the rocks and sand. Watercolor pencils were used to color the hair and face of the mermaid, with ink blended in the background for the skin colors. The mermaid’s tail was cut from glitter cardstock. The fish, plants and sea creatures were cut from translucent yupo paper, a synthetic paper that is great for using with alcohol inks. The creatures were drawn on the yupo with pencil in the pen tool, and then cut. Yupo cannot be torn, but it cut very well, using just a bit more pressure and longer blade length than smooth cardstock.

Painting on canvas is a fairly new experience for me, so I prepped my canvas with mermaid ocean scene mixed mediawhite gesso and remembered the words of artist Dina Wakely who has said she feels that seeing the “hand of the artist” in the painting is significant, so creating texture with paint and brush is important. I used distress paints in my creation, but any acrylic paint can be used. I created masks for the clouds and seagulls using Post it note tape, cut with my Vue .  After removing the masks while the paint was slightly wet, I smudged the edges of clouds, birds and sun for a subtle effect.  Glitter bead paste applied over a wave stencil cut from Pazzles stencil plastic created a white cap effect on the water surface.  After the paint dried, gel medium was used to glue down all of the pieces and as a sealer. Texture paste tinted with distress inks to look like sand was put on with a palette knife and fingers, to hold the coins in place. Adding foam dimensional adhesive to the backs of the coins provided stabilization and allowed them to be angled on the canvas, for the appearance of being stuck in the sand on the ocean floor.

Mixed media art techniques and the Pazzles Creative Cutter team up well for creating original art pieces. This project was fun to create and it will add a dash of whimsy to my newly painted guest bathroom. We can create many different types of art and home décor items, just by exploring all of the things our Pazzles Creative Cutters can do.


Pazzles Craft Room Files Used:
Mermaid-Mermaid Miss Kate , Mermaid girl, sea shell top Mermaid
Tidal pool —rocks, plants, starfish. Sand mound anchor and bottle,coral sand dollar
Animals-crab,starfish, angelfish tropical tang, sea gulls
ribbon banner– for dreams and soar quotes.
Font for ocean quote Calisto MT

Pazzles Engraving Tool
Pazzles Pen Tool
11 x14 canvas
White gesso, texture paste, gel medium and glitter paste
Pazzles Stencil Plastic
Translucent yupo paper
2” post it note labeling tape
Watercolor paper
Distress paints, ink, and crayons
Ink blending tools
Alcohol ink and blending solution
Assortment of brushes, palette knives, baby wipes




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