Warm wax and watercolors = Oh My!

I saw an image on Pinterest of a watercolor painting done over outlines made with craft glue.  I have seen some encaustic mixed mediums but had never tried it with watercolors myself, so here is a look at my first attempt.  I’ll have to admit that this is a little addictive! And practically fool proof.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Step 1

I used 140 lb watercolor paper, my Purple Cows Melt Craft Iron on low and some dark blue and black encaustic paint.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Step 2

Using the stylus or pen tip on the craft iron, I started to draw a flower. You could easily trace a design onto the paper in light pencil then just draw over the pencil lines with the warm wax paint.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Step 3

And on it goes. In this image you can see the way I set the craft iron tip onto the wax kind of sideways so I can watch the wax draw up into the center slit of the stylus tip. That’s how I can tell if I have enough paint to work with.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Step 3a

Like working with a dip pen, I just keep filling the tip and adding lines to my artwork.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Step 4

And here is the finished flower with some fun lines to work with. Anything that is unpainted with wax will be filled in with watercolor.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Leaf 1

Now I’m starting another one–the is the beginning of a leaf.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Leaf 2

Like the flower before, I just keep adding lines and texture with the wax.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Leaf 3

Here’s my leaf after the wax paint and before the watercolor.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Leaf 4

Now I’m starting to add some watercolor. My favorite part of this project is the way you can let the paint “rest” in between the lines of wax. This gives you some really fun options for color mixing and dimension with the watercolors

Encaustic Watercolor Project Workbench

The workbench and stacks of projects underway.

Encaustic Watercolor Project Finished

And here they are–some of the finished pieces. I absolutely love this technique. Next I’m going to try some of these with white wax paint to get a totally different look!

I am seriously in love with this technique and if you haven’t tried painting with warm wax here are some tools to get you started!

Purple Cows Melt Craft Iron

Encaustic Paints and other supplies

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Easy Patriotic Doily Banner

This is a really quick and easy way to create a fun garland to add some color to your holiday decor!  I used the Tonic Studios Doily Circle Die to cut the pieces, painted them with a mixture of acrylic paint and Mod Podge so they would be “flexible”, then folded then over a string and stapled them into place.  So EASY!  Check out the images for the details!

Tonic Doily Circle Die Cut pieces

I knew I would need loads of doilys, so I used magazine pages — they are thin enough that I could cut several at once!!

Red Painted Tonic doily die cut

I used a combo of acrylic paint and Mod Podge and painted both sides with a couple of layers so the finished doilies would be flexible and plasticy because I would be using them outside of a picnic table.

A pair of red painted doily die cuts

I like the way the print from the magazine pages shows through giving the pieces some texture. Since I painted both sides, I used parchment paper (like for cooking) to dry them on, they peel right off when they are dry!!

Tonic Doily die cut banner is super easy to make

After painting some each of the colors, I folded them over a string and stapled them so they could slide along the string. I love how this gives the table a little festive fun!


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CHA Designers getting cozy with Encaustics

Last weekend CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) hosted a Designer Retreat in Canada and one of the classes featured Purple Cows Melt Craft Iron and Encaustic Paints taught by the uber talented Nancy Donaldson.  Here are a few of the highlights in photos!

Nancy Donaldson instructs the Purple Cows Encaustic Class

Instructor Nancy Donaldson getting the encaustic class started

Designer creating with Purple Cows Encaustic Paints and Melt Tool

Layering bits and pieces of ephemera with Purple Cows Encaustic Paints and Melt Craft Iron

Purple Cows Melt Craft Iron at work

More layering with the Melt Tool and encaustic medium.

Designer working with Purple Cows Melt Craft Iron

The Melt Craft Iron with the mini iron tip is great for spreading the encaustic medium and attaching collage pieces.

Purple Cows Encaustic Class Participants at work

Everyone was getting creative with warm wax! This looks like fun!!

Projects created with Purple Cows Encaustic Tools and supplies

And now for the finished projects. . .

Encaustic Project with ephemera and gold foil

Encaustic Project with ephemera and stenciled gold encaustic paint

Music background with gold encaustic paint accents

This one has some sheet music as a background with gold encaustic paint accents

Encaustic project with lace

I love the addition of the lace texture on the side of this project

Encaustic Project with texture

Another project using textured additions

Encaustic Project with polka dots

And the last one has fun color layered with the ephemera. Love it!

For more amazing encaustic images check out Nancy’s blog HERE.

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Tim Holtz Tools — Start Summer with the Right Tools

7 piece Tim Holtz Tool Set

We love these tools in the pasture.

They are the perfect way to jump start your summer creativity–and you can win a set!

We are giving away 10 sets of Tim Holtz tools Purple Cows Customers. This set includes the new 9.5″ Titanium Shears, 5″ Titanium Snips, Retractable Craft Pick, Scratcher and Knife with replacement blades, and the best selling Paper Distresser =  $60.00 Value! Check out Tim’s Website for great ideas and inspiration.

Every purchase on our website completed before the end of May 2014, will be entered to win one of these 10 sets.

And with free shipping during the promotion, it’s a win-win!! So stock up on your Replacement Cutting Blades or Laminator pockets to win!

Winners will be announced here on June 1, 2014.

Good Luck!

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See Purple Cows on Scrapbook Soup

Julie and Paula at Scrapbook Soup Tomorrow–Friday, February 28, 2014, the Scrapbook Soup episode with the Laminated Ancestor Cards featured will be airing on the Scrapbook Soup website.

This project is perfect for a rainy/snowy day–and great for young and old alike!

laminated Ancestor Cards

Small cards with information strips on the back and corresponding photos on the front

Memory making laminator project
I stuck mine on a ring and keep it on my coffee table

Check out the Step by Step Instructions here and don’t forget to check out the video!

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Laminator Glitter Hearts

A little laminator Love!

laminated-hearts-hangingSo I wanted to add a little valentine love and use up some glitter and this is what emerged!  I started with Purple Cows Hot Pockets and Laminator, Spray temporary adhesive, glitter, Purple Cows Laminator, Tim Holtz Shears, a tagging gun, ribbon and some Sharpies.

laminated-Hearts-SuppliesFirst you need to laminate some hot pockets with glitter sprinkled inside.  I opened up the pockets, sprayed them with a shot of temporary adhesive spray and sprinkled the glitter.  (On a few I used the Clearsnap smooch spritz, but I learned that you have to give this plenty of time to dry before closing the pocket or the liquid will seep out onto your laminator rollers–kinda messy!) Close the pockets and send through the heated laminator on top of a plain sheet of paper.  If you try to laminate this without the extra paper, you risk having the glitter sheet get wrapped around the laminator rollers!

Laminated pocket with glitterNow using the sharpie, trace a heart shape.  Place the glitter sheet with the traced hearts into a new laminator pocket and using the carrier paper again, send the sheets through the laminator again.

Traced Hearts on glitter laminated sheetNow you can cut these out and punch a small hole in one of the upper curves or centered on the heart.  Now for the epiphany!!!  I wanted to attach these hearts to a ribbon for a garland, but I didn’t want to tie them on individually:  Enter the tag gun.  I recently purchased one of these for attaching some sequins to a tablecloth (best $15 I ever spent).  It worked like a charm and the long tags went well with the clear hearts to make them look almost like they were floating in air.tag gun for garland making

laminated-hearts-attachmentFinished Garland

laminated-heart-garland-flatHappy Laminator Love Day!!


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4 days to Save

Save 50% on nearly every product in our web store AND get free shipping!

It’s a great chance to pick up some of the Tonic Studios Simplicity Punches.  Great for card making and for gift giving.  Sale ends 12/6/2013.


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Merry and Bright Holiday Cards

More great projects from The Robins Nest design team.  Today’s cards come from Dawn Barrett and feature the Tonic Studios Simplicity Doily Strip Punch.

Doily Strip Ornament CardDoily Strip Holiday Card I love the way the strip punches are used on these cards–and punched out of glitter paper=brilliant!!!  Click here for the original post!

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Stunning Winter Layout

The designers over at  The Robin’s Nest  have been playing around with the coordinating Tonic Simplicity Punches and Dies.  Today’s gorgeous layout comes from Marilla Lopes.

Tonic Border Punch and Die LayoutIn addition to the beautiful papers from The Robin’s Nest, she used the Tonic Studios Simplicity Daisy Strip Punch and Daisy 2 Square and Circle Dies.  She also used some plaster which give it such fantastic texture!  Click here for the original post.

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A Quick and Easy Ornament

Quick and Easy Wood OrnamentThis is a really simple, but fun and easy ornament to make using a wood heart and Purple Cows Encaustic Tools and Paints. (Available at JoAnn’s Stores)
I started with the plain ornament and chose two coordinating printed papers.

Ornament step 1

Next I traced shape of the heart onto each of the paper.  (If the shape is not symetrical like this heart, be sure to flip it over to get the right shape for the other side)

Tracing the shape on printed paperUsing clear encaustic medium and the Melt Craft Iron with the mini iron tip, I placed the printed paper heart on top of the wood and dripped some wax in the center.Dripping wax on ornament before spreadingNext I spread the medium covering and permeating the paper, which sealed the paper to the wood.  Repeat for the other side of the heart.  Next I used the stylus/pen tip and added wax embellishment to the floral side by choosing similiar color paints and tracing the paper design. (I told you it was easy) Iphone4-029To finish up I added some gold encaustic paint to the edges with the brush tip.  On the chevron side I did a zig zag outline and some dots with the stylus tip to create a border.Iphone4-031The hole was punched using my Cropadile.  Add a piece of ribbon and – Voila!–

quick and easy ornament!!

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Encaustic Painted Cards en Masse

For our fabulous encaustic displays for JoAnn’s we created a whole bunch of cards made using the tools and supplies featured.  We started with David Tutera Cards and Core’dinations shaped tags.

Blue-Encaustic-CardsEncaustic Paint colors used:  Dark Blue, Blizzard Sky and Gold.



(Is it possible to enjoy the project without getting it all over your fingers?)


Added some gilded burlap, an encaustic enhanced paper rose, CraftGeek wire shapes and ribbon.

Encaustic Flower CardVoila!  Check your JoAnn’s store to see if one of these projects is displayed on the Create with Wax Endcap.



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Encaustics at JoAnn’s

Encaustic-Endcap-at-JoAnn'sHave you seen this display in your local JoAnn’s Store?  There are about 200 stores nationwide that have it.  It’s the perfect spot to grab everything you need to get started with Encaustics in your mixed media work.

Encaustic Quick Start Guide

Encaustic artwork is a fun medium and great for creating gifts — perfect for the upcoming season– so check it out now and get warm for the holidays!Have you started to experiment with wax?  We want to see your projects and feature your art on our site.  Leave us a comment or send me an email paula@purplecows.net.


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