Hello arty crafty friends! This week in ‘Crafter in the Spotlight’, I bring you the story of another talented crafter Apeksha Jain, from Pune. Presently a homemaker and a full-time crafter, Apeksha has worked in the IT industry for about a decade. She started crafting full-time, only after she became a mother of a beautiful girl.
Apeksha likes to explore various craft styles and has tried her hands at various things from painting, mixed media to murals and more. Apeksha loves adding details to all her projects and believes that patience is the key to successful crafting.
Read along to find out how crafting works as a stress buster for Apeksha, how did she get into crafting, what inspires her, what are her tips for fellow crafters, her favourite quote, how would she contribute to the crafting world if she had magical powers? Catch a glimpse of a step by step project by Apeksha and don’t forget to leave your good wishes for her in the comment section.
Rashmi Closepet M.D Itsy Bitsy: Tell us a bit about yourself & your background?
Apeksha Jain: Hi All! I am Apeksha Jain from Pune. I am a homemaker and a mother to a beautiful daughter. I have about 10 years of work experience in the IT Industry as a Software Engineer. As a hobby, in the past 17-18 years, I have tried out various crafting styles like Decoupage, Sospeso, Fabric painting, Coffee painting, Mixed media, Murals, Semi Tanjore paintings, etc. After having a baby, I have taken to full-time crafting. It’s been 2 years now and I am completely loving and enjoying this with all my heart.
RC: How did you get into crafting?
AJ: Crafting has been my passion since the very beginning. I never had to put any extra effort to start crafting – it has always been around me. I enjoy painting, exploring new techniques and up-cycling discarded products. I absolutely love collecting and hoarding crafting materials and have lost a count of what’s in my stash now!
I draw a lot of inspiration from other crafter’s creations and it always encourages me to try something new. I visited the Itsy Bitsy store at Phoenix Mall in Mumbai and went bonkers seeing the super awesome collection. The beautiful tutorials on Itsy Bitsy’s blog have given new wings to my creativity and with all materials easily available at IB’s webstore, I have been able to create a lot more.
RC: What is your favorite type of craft?
AJ: My personal favorite is Decoupage and I experiment a lot with it. Since the time I got introduced to Little Birdie Chalk Paints and Decoupage glue, I am literally glued to Decoupage.
Lately, combining Decoupage with my painting skills, I have picked up a new technique called the “Faux wood effect”.
RC: What are your favorite products at Itsy Bitsy?
AJ: I wish I could name only one single product. Itsy Bitsy is a dreamland for all the crafters including me. I love the Chalk paints, Color Splashes, Tinted Metallic Paints, Decoupage glue, decoupage napkins, Texture Tack, embellishments, pattern papers, ribbons, sequins, Mixed Media Paste – trust me, this is simply an amazing product and I am totally in love with the dual functioning this paste serves as a gesso and modeling paste. I can go on forever and ever as the list is endless.
RC: If you had magical powers, how would you contribute to the crafting world?
AJ: If I had magical powers, I would utilize every scrap around the world and convert it into something beautiful using my crafting skills, teach little kids how precious our resources are and what wonders we can create using them. Crafting is fun, not a burden and when you make something beautiful, it can make someone smile.
RC: Your prized possession in your craft stash from Itsy Bitsy?
AJ: Chalk paints, Mixed Media paste and Decoupage glue.
RC: How would you describe your style of crafting?
AJ: I have no particular style. Creativity comes with a free will and the power of imagination. Working on detailing and having patience while working is my key to happy crafting!
RC: How do you organize your time for crafting?
AJ: Where there is a Will, there is a Way. Crafting to me is the most relaxing way to let go of my worries. Being a mother, my first priority is my little one, and with a supportive husband, I can easily take out 2-3 hours each day during night to work on my hobby and continue creating wonders which gives me so much relief and happiness.
RC: Tips for people who want to craft
AJ: Don’t hold yourself back. Have patience and love whatever you are making. Get your basics right and rest you can do easily. Enjoy Crafting!
RC: Your all -time favorite quote?
AJ: “There is only one person who can set limits to your growth. And That’s YOU. For things to get better, you need to get better.”
Here is a gorgeous project by Apeksha & the step by step procedure:
Faux Wood Decoupage Technique
Hello Everyone. Today I have created a Faux Wood Decoupage project using Little Birdie’s Chalk Paints, Mixed Media Paste and Decoupage glue. Most of you might be aware how to do simple Decoupage but when combined with Chalk Paints and given a faux wood effect, it changed the entire look of my project.
Let’s see how to go about it…..
Take a 4mm MDF Plank and rub it with sand paper on the sides to make the surface clean and even. Gather all your supplies which you need for this project. I took mixed media paste, decoupage glue, decoupage napkin, brush, scissors, water, pallet knife and chalk paints which match the design on the decoupage napkin. The project is to make MDF look like a faux wood just by using chalk paints.
Take Little Birdie’s Mixed Media Paste. It has got a very unique quality and acts both as a Gesso and a Modelling paste. MDF has a smooth surface so we need to give it a little texture using a pallet knife…this is just to break its smoothness. Here, the Mixed Media Paste will act as a Gesso to give texture. There is no need to give any particular texture. It can be as random as you want.
Once the gesso is dry, start using chalk paints. There is no need to prime the surface before using these paints…that’s a bonus! The area where you want to do the decoupage should be kept empty.
Now start with the lightest shade of chalk paint and move on to the darker shades gradually using dry brush technique over the texture. I started with “Tattered Lace” Chalk Paint. I intended to do some Decoupage where no texture is given, so applied the lightest shade of chalk paint on that area as well. Do not forget to paint the sides.
Next step is to keep on building layers after the base colour dries up. I used the dry brush technique on areas where Gesso (Mixed Media Paste) was applied. My next color was “French Rose”, you can play around with the colours as you want. This is a beautiful shade and I loved the effects it gave. Use both horizontal and vertical dry brushing and again do not forget the sides. Leave the area where you intend to do the decoupage.
Moving on to darker shades now, after “French Rose”, I applied “Lagoon Breeze” with dry brush, then “Drift Wood” and then “Charcoal” Black. Once I was happy with the effects achieved, I peeled off 2 back layers from my 3-Ply Decoupage napkin and placed at the center and made sure, the arrangement and color combination looked good. Then I applied Decoupage Glue (Glossy) on the entire surface where I wanted to stick my decoupage design. Quickly yet carefully, before the glue started drying up, I placed my napkin, removing any bubbles formed beneath. I used a cling wrap to remove excess wrinkles and bubbles to make my project look smooth.
Once everything was in place and the glue dried up, I applied one more layer of Decoupage Glue-Glossy to seal my project and give it a neat finish. I did some stenciling using Mixed Media Paste and stuck some MDF sentiments and embellishments to give my project its final look!
Here are a couple of Apeksha’s other awesome creations:
Many congrats Apeksha for being the CRAFTER IN THE SPOTLIGHT – ITSY BITSY !
You will receive Rs.500/- Itsy Bitsy gift voucher & a Crafter in the Spotlight badge, which can be proudly displayed on the side bar of your blog and other platforms. Looking forward to many more creations, Happy Crafting!