Tuesday, November 27, 2012

experimenting with encaustic

that's what i love about encaustic painting... it's an experiment every time.

it's so relaxing to paint and melt and carve and layer without really knowing exactly where you're going with it.

wax is pretty forgiving too. if you don't like it, use the heat gun to morph it into something else.

this is a small piece i created over the weekend. it reminds me of coral reefs under the sea at sunset.

there's a piece of dotted scrapbook paper underneath the first layer of yellow wax and i used pan pastels to add extra color.

i was trying to get a nice impression of little circles across the bottom using a strip of sequin waste as an embossing stencil, but it kept coming out wonky. so i decided to just embrace the wonk and continued to dry-brush the wax one layer at a time over the little tidbits until they were built up nice and high.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

how to use gold mica flakes for greeting card backgrounds

mica and glitter greeting card

this week on cool2craft, it's all about sparkle and glitter! on my segment, i show you how to enhance a simple stamp image like this pear, and then make it literally pop out from a gorgeous panel of gold mica flakes.

click here to watch the whole episode any time this week on the cool2craft channel.
click here for my project instructions, and click here to watch my video segment on youtube.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

how to recycle old christmas cards into gift tags

one of my craft how-to video tutorials was featured today on a show hosted by my friend rebecca on the mom tv site - how to make an easy holiday gift tag using upcycled christmas cards.

i've been saving the christmas cards i receive for many years...i re-purpose them into new handmade cards and tags. 

my favorite way to do it is by punching out random parts of the card and creating little window pane mosaics.

click here to watch my video for making these gift tags.

click here to see a recent window pane greeting card i made.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

how to make a frosted leaves centerpiece

make this decoration for your holiday table with fall leaves collected from your yard or neighborhood. i love using the extra-fine glitter so it sparkles and looks icy cold.

click here to watch my tutorial video - here's the supply list:

autumn leaves
decoupage medium
tacky glue
paint brushes
white and silver glitters
"icy crystals" floral stem
wire and wire cutters

this was fun and easy to make—i love how it looks on my table!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

seaside soiree souvenir tags

i just made 40 of these little souvenir tags for the attendees of the 3rd annual seaside soirĂ©e mixed media art retreat in southern california next month, hosted by charity wings and sponsored by several of your favorite art and craft manufacturers.

there are still a few open spots, if you'll be in the area, click here to check it out! wonderful sponsors and instructors in a beautiful seaside setting.

your registration fee will benefit good causes too—the charity wings art center and the scripps institution of oceanography.

i used some of the tropical travelogue papers from graphic 45 along with dimensional shell stickers from k & company. seaside is everyone's best side!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

re-covering a mini notebook

last night was our monthly get-together with my arty crafty friends. we had fun at uni's house eating and yacking, oh and also collaging and stamping new covers for mini notebooks.

i worked with vintage sheet music, distress inks, and a few of my favorite stamps, all sealed with mod podge.

i used a multi-color ink pad for the fleur-de-lys stamp, and then coated it with dimensional magic for a raised glossy effect.

next month is at my house, we'll be playing with heat-embossing stamped images.
perfect for my purse at just 3.5x4.5 inches.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

fusing ribbon to organza

this week over at the play date cafe, the inspiration colors are plum, fuchsia and wisteria.

the panel on this greeting card is made from thin hand-dyed fabric that had been torn into ribbon strips. the fabric has a little velvet and some metallic thread running through it. i fused the strips to a piece of clear organza with lightweight fusible interfacing.

the background is a textured tissue paper called maruyama. i embellished the card with buttons and some trumpet and seed beads strung on a thin wire.

Friday, November 09, 2012

painting on smoothfoam—plus a giveaway!

we creative junkies in the designer crafts connection are playing with smoothfoam!

when you're done here, click either "hop forward" or "hop back" under the designer crafts connection logo in my sidebar to visit the next blog with a fun project. look for the same logo on their sidebar and keep on hopping!

smoothfoam comes in sheets and balls and it has a really nice surface for painting and gluing, but it's still soft for cutting and poking holes like regular craft foam. i used the 2" balls to make little holders to display the greeting cards you receive. super easy and cute!

1. stick the end of a skewer or paint brush into the hole at the bottom of the ball. this makes it easy to spin between your fingers as you brush on the craft paint. depending on the opacity of the paint, you may or may not need two coats. 

2. while the final coat of paint is still wet, sprinkle fine clear glitter all over it, tap off the excess, and pop the skewer into a glass to let the ball dry.

3. carefully slice a line in the top half of the ball with an exacto blade; the length of the blade is the perfect depth for holding a card. carve the line a little wider and use the tip of the blade to dig out a little of the foam.

4. glue some ribbon and bling around the center seam of the ball.

5.  glue a circle of pretty paper to a large metal washer, then glue the ball to the center of it.

to enter the giveaway, leave a comment here on my blog, and also leave a comment on as many of the other blogs in the designer crafts connection as you want...a comment on each blog equals more chances to win a selection of smoothfoam in a kit to make an adorable snowman! 

follow the designer crafts connection on facebook, and check out smoothfoam on pinterest for more ideas, too. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

improvisational piecing

this is something i started many months ago and i really want to finish it...improvisational piecing is pretty fun, you just cut and stitch and design as you go. i'm combining hand-painted fabrics with commercial fabrics and we'll see how it all ends up!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

pears and polka dots

i'm having fun today with clear microbeads, gold mica flakes, a multicolor ink pad, a dauber, clear gel glue and dimensional gloss medium!

i found a new weekly craft challenge blog that i like called the play date cafe. this week's color palette to work with is cinnamon, squash, vanilla and sage.

this 3.5" x 5.5" card was an experiment in surface design using the circular shape of a small fingertip dauber sponge and pigment inks. press hard for darker color, press lightly for a hint of color.

i've also been obsessed with pears these days...eating them, drinking the juice, as well as stamping and embellishing them in my work.

i just love the pear shape, don't you? click here to see my video tutorial to learn how to make the pear embellishment.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

national novel writing month

november has been deemed by the literary world as a time to write...and i'm going for it. i've always enjoyed writing in general, for both business and pleasure, but this will be my first time venturing into the land of the novel.

i joined nanowrimo for some motivation. their challenge is to write 50,000 words in this one month, without editing, just freeform writing...that's over 1660 words per day.

i have begun today so far with just under 400, with more thoughts swimming around in my head to noodle on and write down tonight. the nanowrimo site has word count tracking, online tools, and meet-ups to join other writers in your area. i'm hoping the whole process will be rather meditative. we'll see if i can keep up!

in the meantime, i wanted to share my re-do of my artist trading card wall in my studio. i took the handles off my atc trays and nestled the trays all together on the wall with velcro® brand sticky back™ tape. the whole grid measures 3 feet by 7 feet. it's 252 little bits of pure inspiration.

i just love the impact it has on me. this is the wall i face when i'm on the computer. not only is it a treasure trove of beauty, color and texture that i've collected over the last few years from over 200 talented artists and crafters around the world, it's like those people are right here with me, prompting my imagination. it also reminds me that for every one of these cards that i have, i made a card for someone else.

it's a creative collective energy wall...i just love it. i'm finding it's a great place to rest my eyes while i'm thinking about what to write, too.