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Collector of Memories Frame

By: Bumblebees and Butterflies
August 25, 2016

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Collector of Memories Frame
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I love collecting little embellishments whether they are made from glass, acrylic, metal, wood or a card, they enhance any project and add an atmosphere to help tell the story behind it. I also like printers trays, collecting small items of vintage ephemera, curious and old collectibles that represented a moment in time in someone’s life. So I thought I would combine my love of these things and make a mosaic frame using small pieces gathered from all sorts of places.  Some of which are modern in that they are easy to buy on-line from those auction type sites etc. but given the rusting treatment they can all combine to look aged and like timeworn found trinkets.

I also need to tell you that I am an intuitive artist and throughout this project (and most of the others I make) I instinctively changed course and added in more layers than I had perhaps intended. I have highlighted these to you and if you follow these process steps I am sure you will do the same. Enjoy and have fun.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Magenta
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Glaze - Clear
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Medium Grey Value 6
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Translucent White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Payne's Grey
  • Water Spritzer
  • Sanding Block
  • Mini Misters
  • Paint Brushes
  • Sizix (Tim Holtz) Easel Die
  • Various other embellishments to alter and add to the mosaic shapes
  • Walnut Stain Distress Ink
  • Metal embellishments for rusting
  • Sizzix (Tim Holtz) Flourish embossing folder
  • Sizzix (Tim Holtz) Mosaic Bigz die.
  • Mount and cardboard for die cutting


Begin by cutting two of the mosaic frames and a back board the same size from mount board.

Instruction #1 - Step 171
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Cut another mosaic frame the same size from card and run through an embossing folder. I used the flourish as I could run it through twice once top and again on the bottom to create the embossed design.

Instruction #2 - Step 292
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Use texture sand paste and a palette knife randomly around the edge of the frame and a little around the boxed areas. Heat dry or leave to dry naturally. Add some transparent crackle glaze randomly around the frame and also leave to dry naturally.

Instruction #3 - Step 3
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Make up a mister of Titan Buff acrylic paint (I used 15 drops of paint in the Ranger mini mister) and another of Quinacridone Magenta (10 drops of paint) and use them with dabs of Yellow Oxide on a brush and a water spritzer to create mottled pastel colours over the frame and dry.

Instruction #4 - Step 459
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At this point I could see my crackle glaze layers had been too thin in most places, so I brushed on some more and left it to dry. Repeat the colouring up in this step again as required.

Mix small amounts of the Quinacridone Magenta and Yellow Oxide separately on your mat with water and use a brush and a water spritzer to let the deeper colours mix and dribble through the crevices of the embossed design. This takes several repeats of dripping and drying to get the required effects.

Instruction #6 - Step 580
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Create a more vintage look by dipping small areas into a watery walnut stain distress ink wash on your craft mat, let it move around and dab away areas that need removing before drying with a heat gun. Use the inky wash on a small brush and add bits by hand if you need more control over it.

Instruction #7 - Step 631
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While you are waiting during drying times, gather your metal embellishments and give them a thin coat of White Gesso.

Instruction #8 - Step 760
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Next paint your metal pieces with Raw Umber and Medium Grey Value 6, blending in places. When dry, give a few areas a coat of Payne's Grey and when that’s dry paint it all with Quinacridone Gold. I always end up ‘playing’ with the layers and here I added a little Translucent White and then a wash of Quinacridone Gold over that.

Instruction #9 - Step 8
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Alter the other embellishments to fit in with the overall look. Rub in a little Quinacridone Gold and dribble some in the holes of this number plaque.

Instruction #10 - Step 968
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Finish this monocle with some remnant rubs.

Instruction #11 - Step 1065
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Colour up the little bottle with a thicker wash of Quinacridone Gold and rub Walnut Stain distress ink into the cork stopper.

Instruction #12 - Step 11
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Also colour the sides of the glass dome and sides of the base with a little Quinacridone Gold wash to vintage it up and adhere a photo to the base. I love adding vintage photos as they are often the focus of the story behind the project.

Instruction #13 - Step 12
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Rub a little Translucent White acrylic paint over the typed token to make the word stand out.

Instruction #14 - Step 13jpg
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Add a sticker and epoxy overlay to the cash key.

Instruction #15 - Step 14
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Finish the frame but adding some dabs of watery Quinacridone Gold in the boxes, spritzing with water and heat drying while also adding some remnant rubs.

Instruction #16 - Step 15
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Cut a small easel die cut in mount board and adhere to the back of the frame to allow it to stand.

Instruction #17 - Step 16
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I hope you like this very girly pink frame and all the altered trinkets. You may notice some embellishment changes at the end but I did warn you at the beginning I will instinctively change things around and mix them up as I get through the processes and as usual, this happened. Enjoy!

Instruction #18 - End of post photo
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Beautiful - wonderful frame theme and lovely colors!

Kathy C Bradley

August 25, 2016

What a lovely project, Brenda! And such great use of that die (I have it too but haven't played much with it yet)! Brilliant aging techniques too - and I am amazed by how well the gorgeous pink colours go with the rusted "found objects". LOVE this! Claudia xx


August 29, 2016

Just ADORE!! gorgeous colour, love, love xx (p.s. Ive just bought some deco art crackle paint.....youve inspired me to try it xx)


August 29, 2016

So pleased to be here with my standing frame and trinkets xxx

Brenda Brown

August 30, 2016

Wow Brenda - such a beautiful feminine project - I adore it - gorgeous! hugs rachel x

Rachel Fisher

August 30, 2016

I absolutely adore this project. The embossed flourishes give it such movement around the edges and then there is the play of very strong geometric objects (circles and squares) in the center. Wow! What a composition. Then there is that lovely crackle and the fluid inky goodness. And finally I'm over the moon for the finishes on your embellishments. Love it all!! Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth

August 30, 2016

A truly stunning and very beautiful artwork!!! Thanku for wonderful tutorial and inspiration Brenda. Nicola x

Paper Profusion

August 30, 2016

Wow! This really is so beautiful! x


August 30, 2016

Absolutely love it Brenda ! Corrie x


August 30, 2016



August 30, 2016

Wonderful creative process Brenda, you make all the messy look like so much fun :D XXX


August 30, 2016

Brilliant Brenda, love your chosen colours. Great idea for using that die too. Happy crafting, Angela x


August 30, 2016

This is so beautiful Brenda, so much texture and detail and the colours are so femine and pretty. Just love it. Fliss xx


August 30, 2016

Ooops ! My mistake, just realised its a bigz die not framelits. Fabulous way to use though ! Xx


August 30, 2016

Fabulous project Brenda, Thanks for the step by step process and inspiration. Avril xx

Avril B

August 30, 2016

Vibrantly Unique Memory Keeper with such a Luscious Victorian Flair Brenda. Just WONDERFUL. Xj.


August 30, 2016

Gorgeous frame Brenda. Love the colours and thank you for the step by step. Hugs, Sylvie

Sylvie Collet/Nefertiti

August 30, 2016

I love your use of texture and color. Love this. You did an excellent job. It is beautiful. Thanks


August 30, 2016

Your standing frame is a real stunner Brenda! I love the textures you created, the beautiful colours and the gorgeous distressed embellies! Your attention to detail is so evident here! Anne xx

Anne R

August 31, 2016

Simply GORGEOUS ! A wonderful project!


September 1, 2016

I love all the little embellishments you've added to this piece & the colours reminded me of a stiched piece I did many moons ago.....must dig it out again! Sally

Sally Miller

September 2, 2016

Beautiful frame and love how you made all those embellishments look so old and very vintage. I am inspired to give these techniques a try. TFS

Barbara Rankin

September 5, 2016

Glorious work from Brenda - stunning use of colour and texture - as always a delight to see her creativity in action. Alison x


September 6, 2016

Amazing work, Brenda! I love the pink tones, mixed with the rusted, aged elements. Your instructions are so easy to follow, and I will be pinning this for future inspiration. I just left a nice long comment, but lost it. Hopefully this will stick. Hugs!

Sara Emily Barker

September 6, 2016

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