10 Creative Things to do During the Big Game

Just because today is the biggest football game of the year doesn’t mean your passion for mixed media has to get pushed aside. Au contraire, creative friends! We think this grand event is the perfect opportunity for taking on a few artistic projects and feeling a sense of accomplishment, which will be a nice counterpoint to feeling bloated and regretful after eating all that guacamole.

Here’s a list of 10 mixed media-related things you can get done during the game, without missing any plays or the commercials or the half-time show:

1. Snacks are ready . . . the game is on! Colorful papers abound. What better time to cut and tear and add decorative papers to your stash. Don’t fret if you fall in love with the opposing team’s colors. No flag on that play!

2. Up your game by preparing colorful background papers before you need them, or create colorful giftwrap. Cover your coffee table, grab your gel plate and some paints, and get printing! You can create the half-time show!

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Every game needs color commentary. Make monoprints, using techniques found in the article “Hand-Painted Papers” from the November/December 2016 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (art and photos by Elizabeth St. Hilaire).

3. Stitching adds great texture and interest to all kinds of mixed-media art, and it doesn’t have to complex, and it shouldn’t look perfect. That’s why this game is the perfect time to grab some fabric scraps and start stitching. Use embroidery thread, sewing thread—anything you like—and make a few rows of straight stitches. You’ll have those pieces to use later for collages, book covers, art journal pages, and bags.

It doesn’t matter if your stitches are as straight as the 50-yard-line—just keep stitching to make beautiful marks on fabric. Blair Stocker used boro stitching techniques to make this stitched paintbrush roll-up, featured in the November/December 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (art by Blair Stocker, photo by Sharon White Photography).

4. When it comes to making handmade books, a little repetitive work is a necessary part of the process. But let’s face it—some repetitive tasks are more interesting than others. Folding lots of pages for signatures to sew into book covers is necessary, but we wouldn’t call it a fulfilling undertaking. So while the refs are sorting things out between plays, grab a bone folder and put that puppy to work. You’ll have at least a couple of books worth of pages by halftime.

5. What better time than the Super Bowl to flip through issues of Cloth Paper Scissors and tag the projects you want to revisit? Taking the time to identify the projects you want to tackle (pun intended) gives you a leg up when you find yourself with some time to create.

There never seems to be enough time to do everything we want, but identifying favorites helps narrow the field.

6. If you’d prefer a more enjoyable repetitive task, may we suggest making wire-wrapped bead drops? Bead drops can be used in tons of mixed-media jewelry projects, and you can also use them as charms for books, 3-D elements for assemblage, and more. Amass a bunch o’ beads, grab a couple of jewelry pliers, some wire, and knock yourself out.

7. Practice your lettering. Having a journal or a stack of paper at the ready affords the perfect opportunity to squeeze in time for your favorite activities. Add some pencils and pens to the huddle and you’re good to go. Touchdown!

A simple black marker and watercolor paper are the perfect players in the hand lettering game. Check out the techniques in Lettering Lessons 2017: Volume 9, by Kari McKnight Holbrook (art and photo by Kari McKnight Holbrook).

8. Practice is an essential part of any creative discipline, but sometimes you just want to get right to the fun stuff. Sitting down to draw is enjoyable, but it’s easy to forget to do some warm-ups that could give your skills a big boost. In the article “Let Go and Draw” in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, Carla Sonheim has fantastic techniques for drawing exercises that you can do right from your sofa, like blind contours and drawing with your non-dominant hand. With the latter, you can even keep a tight hold on the remote!

In the article “Let Go and Draw” in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, Carla Sonheim shows you how to turn simple drawings into color mixed-media artwork! (Artwork by Carla Sonheim, photo by Sharon White Photography)

9. Have you discovered some of the incredibly fun new art apps? These allow you to do a number of creative digital things, including draw, paint, add patterns, work with filters, and much more. This is a perfect time to download a couple of apps and see what they can do for your art practice. Spoiler alert: In the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, we show you some fantastic mixed-media projects that start with images created on art apps. Stay tuned!

10. If you’re looking for a game day plan, start with pages from a cast-off book. Grab a pencil and circle words and phrases that jump out at you, or that have special meaning. Rachel Hazell uses found words and phrases to tell a story in her handmade books, and you can find out more in her article “Books that Speak” in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. The next time you’re looking for inspiration, start with words. Score!

Get in the game with inspiring words, as Rachel Hazell did in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors (art by Rachel Hazell, photo by Jenn Guneratne).

Looking for more ways to feel accomplished and organized? Make yourself a planner from scratch, using the great techniques in this article by Erin Zamrzla! 

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