Monday, March 4, 2013

Unfound Door Canvas

Hello everyone! We are focusing on 'numbers' at Simon Says Stamp and Show this week. Fabulous challenge theme, I love using numbers and number type of themes, journaling lists etc. on my projects. Don't miss the very creative projects of my team members.

I was planning to do a tag, but another idea jumped into my head and this project really had a mind of its own and wanted to be a canvas (30x20 cm) instead.

I was thinking about numbers and the number 'nineteen' literary jumped into my brain. If you visit my blog often, you might now that I love books and to use text type of elements on my projects. I read a large variety of books, from many different genres and authors. One of my favourite series of books are the Dark Tower books by Stephen King, in which the number 19 plays a pretty important role, as well as other numbers - time, distance, 13, etc. I used a line from the books at the title of my canvas: 'a rose, a stone, an unfound door' and all the details have a symbolic meaning: numbers, a door, New York, roses, keys, compass, train track, clocks, arrows, gears, 'destiny' Philosophy tag, circles, glass balls, journey embellishments.

I was so into this project, I totally forgot to take a single photo of the different steps.

For the background, I used a really fun transfer technique. First, I painted the background with blue and red paint dabbers (Aqua, Pool, Stream, red). I scratched into the paint to add more texture. When dry, I used a number stencil and applied a mix of modeling paste and brown paint through it, creating dimensional numbers. I left the paste to dry.

Several years ago I did a layout about reading these books and then I had written a list of words from the books in a Word document. I flipped the words and printed them on an ordinary printing paper. A medium-thin layer of multi-medium was smeared on the canvas and I pressed the printed papers into it, burnished them down carefully and left for a short while (1-3 minutes I think). Pull off the paper and quite a bit of the text has been transferred to the canvas. I used a little bit of water and my finger to rub away some of the white paper that was stuck too, but left quite a bit of it, since I thought it added a nice sort of dreamy quality to the background.

I added quite a bit of stamping on the background, placing a book underneath it to give support.

Around the edges, I used Rangers Emboss-It dabber and embossed a frame with Stampendous Antique Silver powder, very cool stuff. I also die cut gears and flourishes from grungeboard and embossed some of them with the silver powder and some with Ranger's Rust Antiquities powder. The story has a sort of grungy, distressed, worn down feeling to them, with a bit of industrial steampunk thrown in.

Time plays a major role in the books, and time has gone quite funny and unpredicatable. To add more dimension, I painted a small canvas (2x2 in) silver and black and mounted a clock and three game spinners on top.

Three different number 19s are on the canvas. This one is from the Tim Holtz Grungeboard Digits set. The letters were painted black, coated with Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint, left to dry and then Brushed Pewter Distress Stain was applied on top.

These numbers were die cut from grungeboard with the Cargo Stencil  Numbers die, painted red and a bit of silver around the edges, stamped and coated with Glossy Accents.

The canvas is called 'Unfound Door' and doors are central to the story. I stamped Tim Holtz subway stamp on cream mat board, and embossed with Rust powder. Brushed Pewter Distress Stain was swept across it to add a more metallic feel. The door was embellished with a number die cut from grungeboard with the Word Play die, painted silver, distressed, inked with Black Soot and coated with Glossy Accents. I also used a pen nib and a Philosophy tag, which also happens to have numbers. I attached the door with hinges to the layout.

When you open the door you find the dark tower. I stamped one of the houses from Hero Arts Newspaper Skyline stamp on tissue paper and glued to the canvas with multi-medium, adding a bit of white paint around the edges to make it stand out more. Roses were painted very simply with red acrylic paint. The stamped sentiment comes from Darkroom Door.

Roses are also very important in the books, and these were made with the Tattered Pinecone die and red kraft-core cardstock. They were sanded to reveal the kraft core before rolling them up. I also added some silver paint as well as a bit of Dry Distress Stickles Rock Candy glitter, which doesn't show so well on the photo. The sentiment was printed and placed inside and ornate plate.

The arrow was cut from grungeboard, painted red and a bit of silver, stamped repeatedly with a word and coated with Glossy Accents.

I found three flat-back glass marbles on my desk and they were perfect for the canvas since glass balls also feature in the books. I adhered them with glossy accents on top of important words. They function as a magnifying glass for the words.

I hope you will join us this week and show us your projects on the 'number' theme. As always, our great sponsor Simon Says Stamp gives a $50 gift voucher to one random participant.

Thank you so much for the visit!

Happy stamping!


Stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: Psychedelic Grunge, Remnants, Stuff to Say, On the Railroad, Elements of Time, Warehouse District; Hero Arts Newspaper Skyline S5573; Darkroom Door Doors
Dies: Sizzix: Word Play, Cargo Stencil Numbers, Mini Old Jalopy & Arrow, Tattered Pinecone, Mini Flourish, Mini Gears, Hardware Findings,
Ink: Distress Ink: Gathered TwigsRanger Emboss-It dabberStazon Jet Black
Paint: Adirondack: Pitch Black, Silver, Stream, Aqua, Pool; Jenni Bowlin Chili Powder, Brown Sugar
Stain: Distress Stain Brushed Pewter
Embossing powder: Stampendous Aged Silver Embossing Enamel; Ranger Rust Antiquities embossing powder
Glitter: Dry Rock Candy Distress Stickles glitter
Crackle paint: Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint
Surfaces: Tim Holtz Idea-ology grungeboard, Grungeboard digits; Core'dinations Tim Holtz kraft-core cardstock; cream mat board, canvas
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Word Bands, Pen Nibs, Ornate Plates, Game Spinners, Sprocket GearsTimepiecesLocket Keys, Philosophy Tags, Long Fasteners; Canvas Corp 2x2 canvas; 7Gypsies arrow photo turn
Stencil: The Crafter's Workshop Mini Numerals
Adhesive: Claudine Hellmuth multi-medium matte; Ranger Glossy Accents


  1. Anna-Karin...your canvas is so wonderful! I love your take on this theme and how you've utilized so many numbers into your piece. Love the background color! Love all of the random stamping! I also love the "metallic" elements you've added and the splashes of red! Nice job! <3 Candy

  2. ROCKING AWESOME!!! What an amazing canvas...every centimeter! Love all the number and stamps and then the opening door, quoted from a Door! Too clever! Super fabulousness here!

  3. Hi Anna-Karin, love your canvas, the randomness if the numbers/text in the bacground is fabulous. I love the number 19 running throughout and the one with the crackle ka fabulous. Love your hinged piece and the ornate plate and fabulous text housed inside. Adding the roses is perfect. A wonderful, dimensional, well thought out textural piece. Tracy x

  4. This is beautiful, I love Stephen King books too, he has always been one of my favorite Authors. This canvas is rockin cool!!!!

  5. Stunning details and stunning design. love how you explained the different techniques. The quotes are beautiful. Love the secret door and what is behind it too!

  6. You totally outdid yourself!!! GORGEOUS!!! LOVE all the details!

  7. Love the canvas. The colours and textures are scrumptious. Thanks for all the great techniques.

  8. Stunning canvas, Anna-Karin! Love it very much! The colors are amazing and all those details! It's really pretty! Hugs, Sandra

  9. Awesome canvas!!! So many great details :)

  10. Wow!! Stunning canvas, Anna-Karin! The layering and embellishing is just perfect :)

    Simon Says Stamp!

  11. Wow! This is wonderful and a fantastic inspiration piece!

  12. Totally gorgeous, Anna-Karin! Love all the details, especially the door and the word stick across the numbers.

  13. Gorgeous Anna-Karin, you are such an inspiration to me, thanks so much.

  14. This is so beautiful love the metal pieces!

  15. Astounding work... every tiny detail is a treat, from the awesome different textures on all the numbers, to that fabulous background, to the opening door, to the wonderful sentiment in the bookplate, to the fabulous embossing - and the piece as a whole works just brilliantly - this is another huge WOW for me!!
    Alison x

  16. What an awesome piece of art with so much texture and so many details to discover. Not to mention those stunning colors ... Suzanne

  17. This is so perfect! Love all the tiny details & how you used each one for a specific reason!

  18. This is really a fabulous collage!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!