The minute I opened my jar of Dina Wakely Crackle Paste, I knew wanted to use it for a Valentine’s Day project. Somehow I felt that it would work well in a heart shape with pink shades, and represent how the human heart stays whole and strong even though it may have cracks and scars from a lifetime of emotion.
I tested the paste on several kinds of paper—it worked great on cardboard, cardstock and heavy colored paper, especially black. On shiny surfaces, it cracked and peeled off. When I tried it on red tissue paper, it shriveled the paper too much. For this piece, I selected a small piece of heavy orange paper, and, after taping the corners down, pulled the crackle paste through a harlequin stencil using a big plastic flat-edged spatula.
Some of the paste leaked under the stencil…mostly due to the fact that I was hurrying. It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough time—I hurry because I am excited and impatient when I am in the “art zone.” Once the paste dried, it didn’t matter—the smears added to the textured effect. I decided to cut it into a heart shape.
For the background, I used Derwent blocks in shades of pink, red and orange on a white journal page. After smearing the color with a very wet paintbrush and mushing it around, I added some white Crayola slick stix to soften it in the center.
The paper I used was a little too thin—next time I would use a true watercolor paper so it didn’t buckle. I considered ironing the page, but was afraid that the I would lose the design and it would bleed off like when you iron the wax out of batik. I did hurry the drying along with a blowdryer, which helped flatten it a bit.
Once the background was dry, I added a variety of stenciled images with a Faber-Castell white PITT pen. The effect was soft and watery, which was just what I wanted. I used the chakra pocket stencils, mini damask, the edge of the Balzer deco doily stencil and sections of the garden gate.
Next, I “auditioned” the orange crackle heart on the page to see if I liked it, and to see where I wanted to glue it. After deciding on placement, I added some brown chalk ink to the heart edges to age it, and smeared a bit lightly over the stencil to add to the aging and enhance the crackle. I also tore the background page out of the spiral journal, trimmed the torn edge away and added a strip of solid orange paper on the side.
A favorite Rumi quote seemed to be just the right words for the page. After I selected the types sizes and fonts I wanted, I printed the Rumi quote out on Avery clear mailing labels and applied them to my page.
My thought for Valentine’s Day is that everyone should celebrate self-love, and not be afraid to chase their dream, go after what they love, and follow the little voice in their head that is whispering the way.