Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Glitter Ornaments

I didn't create this technique but thought it looked so cool I just had to try it.  And it's super easy!  Keep this project in mind if you are looking for quick, inexpensive, handmade ornament gifts.

Here's the supply list: clear glass ornament (the ball shapes are easy to find but I found this neat light bulb shape at JoAnn Crafts), Glossy Accents, water, small container for mixing, and glitter.  Any kind of glitter will work.  I used Martha Stewart glitter - the colors I used for this project were Turquoise and Golden Beryl.

First mix some Glossy Accents and water.  Glossy Accents is a clear dimension gloss medium - also can be used for glue and sealer.  I used about a teaspoon of Glossy Accents to a half teaspoon of water. You just want to thin it down a bit.  After it is mixed take the top off the ornament and pour in the liquid and swirl to coat the entire inside.
After it's coated let it drain out for a few min.  Then pour in glitter and move the ornament around while you are pouring. After that set the ornament aside to dry for about an hour.
While waiting I decided to take alcohol inks and color the silver top of the ornament.  I picked Sailboat Blue and Gold to go with the ornament colors.  To put alcohol ink on an object (not glossy paper or flat surface) wad up the felt and squeeze a lot of ink on the tip of the felt.  Then dab over the surface.  Note - your fingers will get really inky so you may want to wear gloves. 
I took the inked felt and dabbed it around the silver top.  I let this dry.  And when the ornament was dry I replaced the top and hung it on the tree. 
One of the best things about this project is the glitter is on the INSIDE of the ornament and won't rub off!  Cool huh?
Wishing you a sparkley Christmas!

Friday, November 29, 2013

December card making classes

People that know me know that I love making my Christmas cards.  Sometimes the hardest part about creating a Christmas card is the design.  After I have the idea I'll do a few samples and then it's assembly line time. 
If you want to make your own cards this year and don't know what to make you may be interested in these two holiday card making classes.  I'm teaching these classes at  Artist and Display in Milwaukee.  Please check with the store to sign up.

First one is Sunday December 8th and the main product used here is alcohol inks. Alcohol inks are so easy to use and they dry very fast so these cards will be very quick to make...but they look like they took a lot longer! With a plethora of ink colors available you'll be able to customize the ornament and tree any way you like.

Second class is Saturday Dec 14th and involves heat embossing and rubber stamps (shown below). I'll  go over the basics of using embossing powders and the heat gun.  The stack of presents card is really fun to color in. 
Both of these are short classes (1 hour and 1.5 hours) so they can easily fit in to busy holiday schedules. And a great way to give yourself a break and create something fun.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Make Your Mark event @ Artist & Display

This Saturday I'll be at Artist & Display doing a hands on demo for their Make Your Mark event. At this twice a year event the store is filled with demo tables.  People can go from table to table to try out some neat art supplies and make a project or sample at many of the tables.  And best of all it's free!
Saturday, November 9th
11am - 3pm
At my table we'll be coloring some stenciled stained glass images with tri tone colored pencils and marvy le plume markers .  The pencils and the markers would also work well for coloring in a rubber stamped image.   This event is great for kids and adults.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween tags (part boo)

The Tim Holtz Sizzix "Apothecary Bottles" die was the main item used to make this tag.  The mini glass bottle is from Tim Holtz Mini Corked Vials (Idea-olgy series) and contains newt eggs (aka green glass beads). 
So my fellow Hogwarts/Harry Potter fans, when creating these bottles I was thinking of what bottles would possibly be in Professor Snape's Potion 101 class.  Please note that these Spider Webs are (of course) 100% organic.  Only the finest materials used at Hogwarts!

I used the die to first cut the bottle shapes out of patterned paper.  Then I cut them again out of vellum.  I glued the vellum onto the paper shapes to give the bottles a frosted bottle look. The die cuts the bottles, labels and corks separately.  I used Distress Inks "Vintage Photo" on the edge of the bottles to give them a "been on Professor Snape's shelf for a long time" look. 

for this next tag I used the coolest product ever...spider web in a spray can! Okay so it's a type of spray paint but it looks like webbing.  I used "spider silver" on black paper.  I purchased the paint at  Artist and Display.  Honestly, once you get this paint you'll want to cover lots of stuff. It's soo fun to work with!
For the final look I didn't want to cover up the background at all (like I did with the apothecary bottles) so I painted a spider on the tag.  When the spider was dry I used Glossy Accents to give his body a dimensional look. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween tags (part 1)

Getting in the spirit of Halloween with these two tags.  I like the whimsical look of the Cauldron Tag.  The frog and the potion bottle were buttons - I cut off the button part on the back so they would lay flat. The background was done with Distress Inks and then splashed with water.  A pack of patterned paper (Recollections "Haunted Manor" paper pad) was used for the mini tag embellishment and the words.

The same patterned paper book provided the background paper in the Skeleton Tag as well as words cut from one of the papers.  The skeleton key and skull are grungeboard pieces painted with Distress Paint-Brushed Pewter.

Patterned paper is a great way to create embellishments as well as borders for your cards/tags in addition to just being a background paper.

Another Halloween tag is in the works...with a Harry Potter movie as my inspiration...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Celebrate Autumn Tag

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons of the year and I just had to make a tag to celebrate. 
The quote used here is a rubber stamp from Whipper Snapper Designs and is one of my favorite quotes about autumn.  The tree branches rubber stamp, used for the background, has been in my collection for many year and is from Rubber Monger.
The leaves were cut using a Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves Die. I used alcohol inked paper for most of the leaves - love all of the color combos you can get with the inks. 
Also found some old needle point canvas and since the odds are slim that I'd actually use the canvas for needlepoint I decided it would make great leaf material.  This is also where the "don't throw anything out 'cause you might need it!" comes into play. Although I try not to let the studio supplies get out of hand (emphasize "try") I find it helpful to keep boxes of odds and ends to use for embellishments...or leaf material!
I colored the canvas leaves with Distress Ink Vintage Photo. Distress inks were also used to color the background of the tag and color the edges of the quote piece.
Next on the agenda is getting in the spirit to make some Halloween tags...stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

autumn watercolor card demo

I'll be at Artist & Display this Saturday for a card making event.  If you're in the area I encourage you to stop by and have fun with art supplies and making cards.
At my table I'll be demoing watercolor crayons - which are so cool to use with rubber stamps.  Mist a rubber stamp lightly with water, take the crayons and scribble all over the stamps (mix colors), and if desired mist again with water then stamp onto paper.
The result is a beautiful soft water colored image. Love this technique with leaf stamps because it's so easy to create colorful autumn leaves.

So it's kinda like going back to your childhood and playing with crayons...and who doesn't love crayons? You will love the results from using these watercolor crayons with rubber stamps...and you get to take home a completed card. 

Saturday October 5th from noon to 3:00pm.  Hope to see you there!  Here's a link to the store for directions and more details.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

celebrate autumn - art demo at Artist & Display

I'll be working at Artist & Display on Sunday Sept 22nd from 1pm - 3pm doing a demo of  Twinkling H2Os.  Everyone that stops by can create their own autumn colored tree using these shimmery water color paints.

If you've never worked with Twinkling H2Os or if  it's been awhile and you need a refresher I encourage you to stop by. These paints are easy to use and in a very short time you'll have your own autumn tree creation to take home.

The tree image has been printed onto watercolor paper. You add the leaves. 

You could make a Green Bay Packers themed tree...or a spooky Halloween themed tree. 

The photos don't quite capture it but these paints just shimmer in the light. 

All supplies are included...and it's free!  So come on over, grab a paintbrush, and let's celebrate the first day of autumn.

here's a link to the store.  Hope to see you on Sunday!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Art in the garden - glass totem

I've seen many of these glass garden sculptures or "garden totems" as they are called in local art fairs and I just had to create one of my own. Decided on a blue and green glass color scheme (favorite of mine).  A cobalt blue glass vase that I've had for years was the starting point.  
Some family and friends would be surprised to learn that I used some of my Coca-Cola glasses.  The bottle green color of the glasses works great with the overall piece.  
I purchased two small glass saucers and a green wine glass from a local thrift store (Goodwill) for under $2.00 total (gotta love that).  Thrift stores are great places to shop for glass sculptures like this.  All other items, including the glass gems and beads, I had around the house and/or studio.  

I used a tube Loctite clear silicone waterproof sealant to glue all of the glass pieces together.  I did this in stages in order to keep it stable.  Started by gluing the cobalt vase to a glass plate and let it dry overnight.  Then each day I added another piece ending up with a wineglass at top.
I really like the strands of glass beads and glass gems for extra bling.  
 Once it was done I let it set for 4 days to completely cure before I brought it outside.  I love how the sun sparkles on the glass.  The sculpture has becomes a focal point in the space.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Art in the garden - glass flower

I love how glass art looks in the garden.  I've seen these glass flowers at art shows and thought I'd try my hand at making some.  My tiny garden really doesn't have much room for more garden art but I thought I'd squeeze in another piece (or two) of garden art.
First I searched for small bowls or plates that could be stacked together to create a pleasing arrangement.  All of these pieces have similar color tones.   Most of these pieces came from my husbands grandparents.  The small glass cup is too small for a wine glass...maybe it was used for Sherry? I think the bowl on the bottom is actually an old glass cigarette dish!

I glued the pieces together using Loctite clear silicone waterproof sealant. This type of sealant comes in a small tube and must be used in a well ventilated area.  Open up those windows!
After the pieces were glued together I took an old spoon, flattened it, bent it, and then glued it to the back of the stack of dishes.

The flower part is done.  Now to work on the stem and leaves.  Fortunately my hubby doesn't mind shopping for art supplies IF it's at a hardware store.  He picked up a small piece of copper pipe and flexible copper tubing.   I bent the copper tubing into leaf shapes and my husband used a rivet gun to attach them to the copper pipe. We also crimped one end of the pipe to hold the flower.

After I put the newly created flower stem and leaves into the ground I just slipped the end of the spoon into the crimped end of the pipe.
Voila! My glass flower is now blooming in the garden

This is a great project to reuse old glass dishes that hold a special memory... or maybe didn't sell at that last rummage sale (lol).  I am working on another glass garden art project.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

summer dreams...

our dreary weather lately sure has me craving for some sun and warm temps.  So I decided to take a break from my gardening work and retreat to the studio to see if I could infuse some summer into my day with some summer themed cards.
First I went through all my paper scraps and picked ones that make me think of summer.  I also grabbed some rubber stamps with a tropical/nautical theme. I rummaged thru many art supplies and picked out a few I haven't used in quite awhile: vellum paper, eyelets, and my crop-o-dile tool (for setting the eyelets).

I stamped the beach scene stamp on vellum using Archival black ink.  Then I turned it over and colored in the image using copic markers.
The copic markers flowed over the vellum paper and gave it a watercolored look (kinda hard to see in the photo).  Using eyelets, I adhered the vellum piece to a white piece of cardstock (which really made the image stand out) and then on colored cardstock and finally glued to a folded card base.
added some lettering and the card is finished.  I did the same thing with a lighthouse rubber stamp.
When coloring the sky I left blank areas as clouds. Everything was colored in on the back of the vellum.
I used eyelets and layered this image onto cardstock and then onto a folded card. 
So even though it's cool, cloudy (and starting to rain again) I have a bit of the tropics in my studio.  And I know a few people who will appreciate getting these summer inspired cards.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Faux stained glass suncatcher

the inspiration for this project is about two things I am missing the most lately...sun and flowers!

Actually it all started out when I was at Joann Crafts buying items for a class and saw this square acrylic block (normally used with unmounted rubber stamps) in a discount bin for .25 cents!    Good grief, I can't pass that up.

I used a hand held Fiskars drill to drill a hole in one corner.  Then I placed Peel Off Stickers (flower and leaf images) onto the block.   Peel off stickers are laser cut outline images and can be used with most paper crafts and non porous surfaces like glass and plastic. The outlines are great to color in with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or what I used here...Sakura Glaze Pens.

The raised outline of the stickers holds in the ink from the glaze pens.  Glaze pens have a pigmented ink that flows quickly from the pens and dries to create a stained glass effect.

It works best to place the piece on white background and hold it up  to check to see if you've colored in all of the areas. 
The ink is very fluid and I usually just tap the tip of the pens on the plastic to get it flowing.  You can also add a few colors together and the colors will blend together before drying.
Just a few more details and then I added a ribbon to hang in the window.
and even though we didn't have much sun today...I still like how it looks in the window.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

tattered floral challenge

Tim Holtz issued an art challenge to create something using his Tattered Florals Die.  
Flowers AND an art challenge? Bring it on! 
I really enjoyed this project.  Since my blog is so new this is my first blog art challenge.  So excited!  I am very happy with the results of my project.  The flowers are now "blooming" in a glass jar (jar was colored with alcohol inks, of course) on my desk.  I created small butterflies out of one of the flower dies and attached them with wire to hover over the blooms. Also had enough petals to create a flower pin for my jacket.  

Below are photos from my studio on the project.  First let's set the stage with the necessary equipment (photo at left).  It is also important to note that no household budget was harmed in the making of this project. All of the supplies were in my studio.  I can't always say it's worth noting ;-)
I had some mixed media papers that I created and was holding on to for...well, something.  I just couldn't bring myself to use up the papers.  Ever had that problem?  Reluctant to use some supplies?  Decided that this project challenge would be the perfect time for me to go through all of my fav papers and use them! Wow, felt so good to go thru and actually USE these papers.
Also had scraps of muslin and pieces of denim (from old bluejeans) and wondered if they would work in the die? Yes! the tattered flowers die worked beautifully.  Love how the old faded denim flowers look!
I used Distress Reinkers mixed with H2O in Mini Misters to spritz color on the muslin and denim blooms.  Some papers were inked with Distress Inks.  Now I had a garden full of flowers just waiting to be put together. 
But first, had an idea to create butterflies for the flowers. I used the small flower from the die and cut out one of the petals. I punched a hole and added wire for the antennas and to attach to the flower. Used game spinners for the body of the butterflies. (Game Spinners - Tim Holtz Idea-ology)
Next I punched holes in all of the blooms using a small awl, added wire for the stem plus a round brad for the center of the flower.  The brad had a ring that I used to wire the butterflies. The main wire was wound around a chopstick and covered with tape.  (note to my husband...we need to go out for Chinese food again to get more chopsticks!).  I wanted floral tape but didn't have any.  What I did have was some Tim Holtz Tissue Tape - with a Christmas design.  Hummmm.  I wrapped this around the wire and chopstick then colored the tape with Distress Stain (Peeled Paint).  You couldn't tell it was Christmas images! And now the flowers were sturdy enough to stand up in a jar. Leaves were cut from leftover scrap from the flower die cuts.
This challenge really made me think of using the tattered flowers die in new ways.  Especially using denim fabric.  I just love the texture and worn look of the denim petals.
I chose bright colors since I am longing for spring and with the amount of snow outside now it seems like spring is still far away.  These colorful flowers make me smile and I'll enjoy them for a long time.  So I'm going to upload my photos and blog to Tim's site and enter the challenge.  Winner gets a wonderful goodie bag of stuff from Tim Holtz (wow, that would be so cool!!).  Wish me luck!