Monday, December 29, 2008

Textures and Techniques with Claudine Hellmuth

Claudine Hellmuth’s Textures and Techniques DVD produced by Creative Catalyst Productions will have you creating fun backgrounds that you never thought possible.

Claudine Hellmuth’s style of teaching is always fun and imaginative which is totally captivating. At the end of this 2 hour DVD I found myself saying, “It’s over already?” The 5 projects that Claudine teaches in the Textures and Techniques DVD are easily recreated with only a few supplies which you can find listed on the back cover of the DVD.

The DVD is broken up into 3 main sections; Techniques & Projects, Special Features, and Help with this DVD. In the Techniques & Projects you will be able to view all of the techniques and projects individually or as a whole. You will find things like Bloopers, Other projects, Introduction, and Look What’s Coming in the Special Features section. Navigation Tips can be found under Help with this DVD. One of the other very nice features of this DVD are the Hot Links. You will occasionally see a small hand icon pointing to the words ‘Technique Menu’. Clicking on that button will take you directly to that technique or project which is very helpful when you need a quick review.

While viewing the DVD, Claudine makes you feel like it is just you and her in the classroom and this is what made me want to get started on my first project right away. While keeping the DVD player close by, I used her Cigar Box project as the starting point for my project. Instead of a cigar box though, I used a wooden box that some Prima flowers came packaged in. I painted a base coat on my box to start with then used the Peeling Paint technique on the inside and outside of the box. On the frame of the box I decided I wanted it to look very worn so I repeated the Peeling Paint technique several times while using a different color paint each time. This gave the frame a look which I felt reflected the style of the collage.


On the inside bottom of the collage I used some word paper with the Peeling Paper technique which not only gave me a horizon line but continued to solidify the distressed look of my collage.


Once I completed all of the techniques on the box, I then used foam tape to mount the smaller helicopters and a piece of wood was placed behind the larger helicopter to give it the greatest amount of depth and also make it the focal point in my collage. In the Cigar Box project, Claudine shows how to make a plexi glass cover for her collage, but since I was using this old flower box, it already had a plexi glass cover that I was able to simply slide into place.

My son has been wanting me to make a collage from these pictures we took earlier this year, and I think he is going to be very pleased with the look that I was able to achieve using the Peeling Paint and Peeling Paper techniques that Claudine demonstrated in this DVD.

Title: Helicopters Collage
Products used: Patterned Paper (Karen Foster)
Claudine Hellmuth Textures & Techniques DVD (Creative Catalyst Productions)
Acrylic Paint (Golden & Liquitex)
Wooden Box (Prima)
Petroleum Jelly
Foam Mounting Tape (Scotch)

Ever have an idea but it doesn’t turn out exactly how you wanted? Well, that is sort of what happened with this next project. For the background of my collage I used the Peeling Paper technique on Sticky Back canvas. The paper I used was some music out of an old song book and once the technique was finished I proceeded with the Peeling Paint technique. Claudine suggested that a coat of Gel Medium be used on my Peeling Paper background prior to the doing the Peeling Paint technique since paper is very porous. Once these two techniques were completed I was looking forward to trying the Caulking Transfer technique. It seems all image transfer techniques that I have seen require the use of laser copies. Since we do not own a laser printer and the closest office supply store is over 25 miles away, it has not been convenient for me to try this type of a technique. When Claudine mentioned that magazine clippings and ink jet copies could be used for her Caulking Transfer technique, I was all ears! I wanted to add a bit of color to my background so I used an ink jet copy of a holly leaf for my transfer image. Since I did not have the caulking I used Gel Medium as an alternative as suggested in the DVD. Once you have placed the image, face down, into the caulking (gel medium), Claudine strongly suggests that you let it dry overnight, but, if you just cannot wait, a heat tool can be used to dry it. Of course I couldn’t wait and used the heat tool on my image. It peeled off nicely except that it blended into my background a little more than what I had wanted. (Caulking Transfer image is in bottom left corner behind the black flourish image). I think this was a two-fold problem; 1) my background was too dark for the image, and 2) I should have let the image dry overnight and possibly gotten a brighter transfer. Either way, I was still thrilled with my results and the fact that now I can easily do image transfers using basic household items!

Claudine also demonstrates how to do a Heat Transfer onto plexi glass using a laser image. Since I did happen to have this sheet of images printed with a laser printer I decided to try this technique on the front of my transparency. The image transferred exactly how it was demonstrated in the DVD. I was very pleased with the end result of my card even though my caulking transfer was not as vibrant as I had hoped. Now I just have to figure out who I will send it to this holiday season.

Title: Gift of Christmas card
Products used: Claudine Hellmuth Textures & Techniques DVD (Creative Catalyst Productions)
Sticky Back Canvas (Claudine Hellmuth)
Cardstock (Prism Prismatics)
Patterned Paper (Flair)
Acrylic Paint (Golden & Liquitex)
Gel Medium (Liquitex)
Stamp (TAC)
Ink (Encore)
Embossing Powder (Stampendous)
Petroleum Jelly
Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)

Using all of these textures was so much fun, but there was one more that I really wanted to try – Textured Paint. Claudine suggests using Titanium White in the tube or jar because of its thickness, but all I had was White Gesso which I used for this technique. I used a piece of Prism cardstock for the base and once I had my cardstock painted with the Gesso I used a spatula to create swirls in the paint and finished by writing, “With this ring, I thee wed” in the background.


After my Textured Paint background was dry, I went over it with diluted acrylic paint to give the background some added color. Once that was dry I used Distress Inks around the edges to add a more aged look to the paper. I also created another background using the Peeling Paper and Peeling Paint techniques on a piece of Canvas pad. Once all of my elements were completely dry, I assembled my layout. I love how all of the elements worked so well together to create this layout of my grandmother and grandfather’s wedding.

Title: With This Ring, I Thee Wed
Products used: Cardstock (Prism Prismatics)
Patterned Paper (Tinkering Ink)
Claudine Hellmuth Textures & Techniques DVD (Creative Catalyst Productions)
White Gesso (Liquitex)
Canvas Pad (Fredrix)
Acrylic Paint (Golden & Liquitex)
Petroleum Jelly
Distress Ink (Ranger)
Heart Button (Dove of the East)
Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)

What more can I say? The projects were clear and concise and very easy to understand. The production of the DVD was of the highest quality making you feel like you were sitting right there with Claudine while she was teaching. The Hot Buttons are a fantastic addition to the DVD, making it easy to review techniques without having to stop and start the DVD numerous times.

Whether you are a collage artist, scrapbooker, altered artist, or crafter, you are sure to find inspiration in the Textures and Techniques DVD by Claudine Hellmuth, produced by Creative Catalyst Productions.

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