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Old 01-08-2016, 06:57 PM   #1  
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Default Mixed Media is Messy!

I probably should have put post in the Mixed Media forum but it tends to get overlooked. And I wanted to vent a bit, and find out how others keep from making messes ... or is it just me???

I've dripped dirty paint water on my clothing (twice!)
I've splashed dirty paint water on completed Christmas cards. Argh!
Gold Glimmer Mist and water spritzing creates an overspray that reaches uncovered areas of my desk.
I splattered more black paint on my computer monitor (18-24" from my project) than I was able to get on my project using the tap-your-brush paint splatter technique. Yes, my technique obviously needs work.

I'm wondering how others deal with the messy mediums.
Do you change into painting clothing? Do you wear some sort of smock or apron over your clothes? Do you clear everything off your desk before messy work? Or do you cover the items with a tarp-like object when you spray and splatter?

I'm thinking about buying one of these. It is the economical version for only $2,249:

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Old 01-08-2016, 07:34 PM   #2  
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LOL! Not laughing at you, but with you, I hope!

My cousin actually built one of those contraptions for her air-erasing. I can guarantee her version cost much less!

Consider getting a cheap drop cloth or shower curtain and a box or plastic tub, and placing them as far from your desk as possible. I have a larger, but shallower plastic tub, almost like one of those under-the-bed boxes, but half the size. I line the bottom with something disposable for easier cleanup. My tub has a lid so I can store the drop cloth and disposable liners inside when not in use, and I prop the tub on its side to store it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:10 PM   #3  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissa59View Post
Do you change into painting clothing? Do you wear some sort of smock or apron over your clothes?
Wait - do you mean CLOTHES? Or do you mean our PJs? Please clarify

Quote:

Do you clear everything off your desk before messy work?
I don't know what these words mean
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:31 AM   #4  
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Too funny!!

I'm a messy stamper so the mixed media mess is one of the things I love.

Blue - I'm with you - what are these CLOTHES she speaks of? I thought PJs, Sweats, and my grungy robe are the official stamping uniform

The bottom line is my table is my workbench and any over spray, splatters, etc. will get cleaned up at some point. However, I do make sure I move any finished items out of the way but everything else is tool and I don't try to keep them pristine. I do clean up stencils, tool, brushes before any junk is permanently set.

A couple of hints for things I don't do - LOL

Cut up a paper box for misting - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdxyHZJ5Jmw
Buy a cheap plastic table cloth that you can drape over your workspace
Keep a stack of newspapers in your stamp room to cover the floor where you are working
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:20 AM   #5  
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Mixed media is messy, but it isn't my workspace or stuff getting messy that bothers me (I just clean it up when done) - it is getting my HANDS messy that bothers me! And, yes, I know those can be cleaned up, too, but I think I just don't like the feeling of all that stuff on me. I have always been sensitive to touch and textures. However, every now and then I ignore that annoyance because there will be something I want to make or some idea that I just have to try and that over powers my aversion to messy hands.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:40 AM   #6  
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Several years back when my desk was only a few months old, my husband noticed bits of paint and dried glue on the surface and had a fit. My response was "what exactly did you think would happen, I'd sit here doing nothing except look at my new desk? Crafting is messy business and those spots are badges of honor and mean my new desk is loved! It's my space and your negativity isn't conducive to creativity". My response didn't go over well but I just shrugged and told him not to come into the room and look anymore.
I found a partial multi-pack of student poster boards that had never been used and started using them as a cover for the top of my desk. I like it better than brown craft because I now have a place to test colors before using on my projects.




and it covers up just how messy the surface of my desk really is now....
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:48 AM   #7  
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I use thin, old plastic picnic table covers (disposable tablecloths are cheap) to cover both the table and floor if needed. And I wear an apron or an old man's button down shirt with sleeves. Go to a thrift store and buy a very loose-fitting mens dress shirt if you don't already have something like that at home. They have racks of them at the Goodwill by me.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:43 AM   #8  
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Mixed media is messy, but it isn't my workspace or stuff getting messy that bothers me (I just clean it up when done) - it is getting my HANDS messy that bothers me! And, yes, I know those can be cleaned up, too, but I think I just don't like the feeling of all that stuff on me. I have always been sensitive to touch and textures. However, every now and then I ignore that annoyance because there will be something I want to make or some idea that I just have to try and that over powers my aversion to messy hands.
We keep a box of disposable rubber gloves in the garage I "appropriated" some for my craft room. I don't like wearing them but on the rare occasion when I need to keep my hands from being the color of the day I'll use the gloves. Maybe they would help you. They are super cheap.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:03 AM   #9  
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I have old clothes and an apron and a spray box and gloves and something to cover my table with.

And still, last time I went to have my hair done, my hairstylist said "Do you know you have paint in your hair?" I suppose that means I ought to wear a shower cap as well. !
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:35 AM   #10  
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Originally Posted by UnderstandBlueView Post
Wait - do you mean CLOTHES? Or do you mean our PJs? Please clarify
OMG! How did you know?
Seriously, both "clothes" splashes were on a pair of lavender pajamas, at two different painting sessions. (how embarrassing to admit publicly!)
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:32 AM   #11  
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I love the idea of a men's oversized button down shirt from a thrift store. Having a couple on hand would be ideal -- maybe even a flannel shirt for the winter.
Or maybe just a nice painting night gown! LOL

The fold-down box in the video looks like a perfect idea, as I need something that I can move out of the way that won't take up a lot of space.

I'm not worried about my table, which is actually a contact paper covered door, but I do need something to cover my monitor. I'll be on the lookout for a cheap-o tablecloth.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #12  
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I haven't had much luck with that splatter technique either!

I bought a cheap white cotton chef's apron on Amazon that I try to remember to put on anytime I am applying gesso, paint or whatever.

I doubled up two Trader Joe's paper shopping bags and cut one side out and lay it on its side as a "spray booth." Still going strong, but I can just recycle it when it's totally covered in splatters and spray ink.

I have a vintage table across from my craft "table" (an old metal office sideboard from the 50s) that I cover in the brown paper that Amazon uses for packing material. I seem to have a continuous supply That way, I don't have to worry about paintbrush swipes or spray ink and can even rub my fingers on it when they get all inky. When I'm not worried about getting things "dirty" I'm having more fun. Then just throw it in the recycle bin.

Even if you have a small card table or side table that you can cover and just go to town, I think you would find it very freeing!
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:00 PM   #13  
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Yeah, I guess part of my devil-may-care attitude comes from the fact that my worktables are both heavy duty foldout banquet tables. Plastic. I can scrub pretty much anything off them. I don't have any furniture that I have to worry about, so it doesn't really matter if I make a mess. I don't like messing up my clothes, though. So, apron and already-ruined shirt underneath.

If I had nice studio furniture, it would be a whole other story. Which is why I don't. My studio is too small to really be able to be neat in, there's always stuff on top of stuff when I'm working. That's the reality. So I live in the reality.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:43 PM   #14  
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I have a complete wardrobe of ruined clothes from house remodel. I'm pretty good about dropping out of 'public clothes' before I touch anything.

I have nice tall boxes I use for spray boxes. I also take a lot of them into the bathroom that is tiled to the hilt (if it's raining or windy). Spray paint comes off of tile better than any other porous surface with Comet.

If windy, never spray paint paper outside near the house. Cause that paper lifted out of that box and swack! up against the house with bright, reflective, metallic paint face onto pretty redwood siding. That might have been a day I created my own swear words.

Any newspapers, magazines (I get a lot), old Rand McNally atlas', any free paper becomes my drop cloth. I use the wood stove as a spray station with lots of papers to cover it. I am now seeing gold and sparkly stuff about 4 feet up from surface. How does that get up there?

Bought a steam mop with a steamer head. It cleans up all kinds of over sprays, spills, grease and oils, you name it. Love that thing. No chemicals required. Pour the water in, it boils it and shoots it out the head. Best mop for tile or hardwood floors.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:05 AM   #15  
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If windy, never spray paint paper outside near the house. Cause that paper lifted out of that box and swack! up against the house with bright, reflective, metallic paint face onto pretty redwood siding. That might have been a day I created my own swear words.
I'm going to start a new thread that will include my own experience with spray painting inside the house. It was a gift, I was in a hurry, it was Christmas: all I can say is six pairs of shoes got an ivory speckled paint job.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:21 PM   #16  
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[QUOTE=poppydarling;21152105]I haven't had much luck with that splatter technique either!

I bought a Kemper Splatter Brush and it changed my life. LOL It works so well. Just remember to stand your card/project on it's side in a box so any drips to NOT fall on your project. I'm going to attempt to put a photo on here.

http://www.amazon.com/Kemper-1198-Sp.../dp/B001DUT0S4

Well, couldn't put the photo in, but there is a link.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:38 PM   #17  
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I can relate! Two days ago, I was holding a full paint pot in my left hand while painting with my right... so into it... then the thought crossed my mind that I was feeling a cool and wet spot on my left leg. Seriously, the thought occurred to me quite a bit of paint before I actually looked. Bright blue paint puddled on my leg.

Sometimes I do something stupid, and sometimes I rise above all expectations. Mixed media is definitely messy to begin with, and I managed to make it even worse!

To address your specific question, yes, I know it's unusual, but I do like to start with a cleaned up work space. In this case, I actually had been thinking right from the beginning that I really was keeping it very tidy, cleaning as I went, and making an effort to not be messy. I think my downfall was the paint pot (Dylusions acrylic paint) that I wasn't used to using.

I also do have a stack of old jeans and tops specifically for wearing while making messy art. The trick is changing into my "okay to get messy" clothes . If spraying or splattering, I at least lay out a few paper towels in front of my permanent desk objects.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:05 PM   #18  
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I'm going to start a new thread that will include my own experience with spray painting inside the house. It was a gift, I was in a hurry, it was Christmas: all I can say is six pairs of shoes got an ivory speckled paint job.
I just cannot bring myself to "like" this post. Can we please get an "I'm so sorry" button!?!

In your new thread, do we get pictures ... maybe the shoes or at least the project?
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:18 PM   #19  
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I have that spatter brush - love it!
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:58 PM   #20  
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I just cannot bring myself to "like" this post. Can we please get an "I'm so sorry" button!?!

In your new thread, do we get pictures ... maybe the shoes or at least the project?
I wish I could tag people This was a few years ago and previous to a remodel that removed the splatter evidence into a dumpster. I may have kept some of those shoes but I'd have to look for them...but the gift was given and enjoyed, so that's the good thing.* And really, aren't the pictures in your imagination better than what I could produce?

* My former boss is Jewish and very artsy and loved wine so I made her a DIY menorah out of recycled wine bottles Hey, they look really cool, check them out:

http://www.brit.co/diy-menorahs/

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Old 01-10-2016, 07:12 PM   #21  
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Fortunately I craft in the basement. Most of the floor is either speckled epoxy or ugly peel and stick tile so spatters, dropped ink pads, etc. don't matter. I do change clothes before I start creating. I use a spray box, but spray still goes everywhere. The powder watercolors seem to be the worst for trying to coat everything on my craft table.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:46 AM   #22  
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-I try to wear the same clothes ( or PJs) for crafting. Particularly if I am working with acrylic paint or gesso. I have two fleece pullovers dedicated to the cause. Same with PJ bottoms
- I try to clean up before and after working on messy projects;
-I bought a box of disposable latex gloves at Walgreens. They really help because after working on something messy, I can strip them off and touch other things with clean hands- no unintentional paint transfer
-My table is completely covered with resin paper or packing paper. So when I clean and need a "clean" surface, it is easily replaced.

-Having said all of that, I just have given in to the fact that despite my best efforts, messes are inevitable. I have had more accidents that I can count: spilled gesso, dropped ink pads, paint all over my keyboard, knocked over paint water, spilled ink spray, glue bottle top not securely replaced and glue everywhere. Most recently, I knocked an entire jug of hot tea on the floor. Stained the carpet beautifully!
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:56 AM   #23  
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Having said all of that, I just have given in to the fact that despite my best efforts, messes are inevitable. I have had more accidents that I can count: spilled gesso, dropped ink pads, paint all over my keyboard, knocked over paint water, spilled ink spray, glue bottle top not securely replaced and glue everywhere. Most recently, I knocked an entire jug of hot tea on the floor. Stained the carpet beautifully!
Sadly, I inherited that same Klutz-O gene. I think it came from my paternal side.
Only difference is, I replaced my 25-year-old carpet with cheap peel n stick tile, so I'm not too worried about the floor.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:21 AM   #24  
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Love, love, love throwing paint as I call it! It's my passion so to me it's normal.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:29 PM   #25  
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I just told I another thread what. Did today and Melissa directed me over here! I loved reading this! My story: I have the smock for painting and mixed media. I have the plastic drop cloth for my area. I even have a homemade cardboard box with three high sides for sparing mist. But I usually do not take the time to get them all out. Today, using masking fluid with a toothbrush, not only did I ruin a new top ( yes a sweat top), but got it all over my desk. I am still cleaning little "bugers" off my table! I should have let it dry on my top, but instead tried water right away. Wrong! LOL

Also, I usually ruin a card or panel that I have sitting aside. Why haven't I learned m lesson. I am glad I am in good company!

Now, to go check out that splatter brush!
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:21 AM   #26  
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Wait - do you mean CLOTHES? Or do you mean our PJs? Please clarify


I don't know what these words mean

You crack me up! LOL
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:08 AM   #27  
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okay.. I belong here... I think.
For attire I have 3 categories. Jammies, bummies and 'people can see me' clothes. Since I live in the boonies and no one ever comes to see me un announced, I'm pretty safe in either jammies or bummies. I usually reserve jammies for writing (I am an author and I freelance), bummies for housework/ crafting.

My new studio has flare carpet squares so if I do drop something, we can always pull a square up and replace it, though I've been lucky so far. I have a huge 4x8 work island that is pretty scrubbable thought I do have my craft mat. I also keep a 3-sided box for misting/ splattering mess.

And I keep a junk journal pad handy for swiping excess paint off my brushes/ sponges when doing projects so nothing goes to waste.
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:06 PM   #28  
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With my February 2016 Tim Holtz tag done (scheduled on the blog for Monday), I'm looking at starting an 'on-going' project. I think is going to be it. And I'm thinking a western theme.

Who wants to get messy with me?
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:30 AM   #29  
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With my February 2016 Tim Holtz tag done (scheduled on the blog for Monday), I'm looking at starting an 'on-going' project. I think THIS is going to be it. And I'm thinking a western theme.

Who wants to get messy with me?
I want to get messy! I started an art journal and did several pages but got side tracked. I'd like to jump back on that project and maybe start a new one.

Please post your ongoing project process in a thread in the mixed media forum, which is a sub-forum of the techniques forum. Maybe if more of us do that we can breathe some life into that part of SCS which appears to be a ghost town.

Yes, it's a selfish request. I've been wanting to find a great mixed media forum to get ideas and exchange information and since so many of us dabble, I figure we might as well make our own here!
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