Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oh Goodness, This is Some Fun!

I treated myself to a little shopping trip and splurge at Hobby Lobby last week. I found myself in front of an entire end-cap of Ice Resin products and a free project sheet by Jen Cushman, one of the Queens of Ice Resin. I'm such a kid about art supplies...the sparkly packaging was just more than I could resist.

I bought a variety of bezels and filled them with small pieces from my stitched paper stash.

I coated the cut papers with paper sealer, placed them into the bezels, filled them with Ice Resin, and waited overnight for them to dry. The result...  a handful of sparkly smooth objects, just begging to be made into funky adornments!

These pendants would be cute on a charm bracelet, necklace,

or earrings on simple hooks.

I used a variety of brass blanks along with more bezels to create this chunky charm bracelet. To create the enamel look on the blanks, I coated each piece with Iced Enamels medium, added a sprinkling of the Iced Enamels Relique powder, and heated the pieces with my heat gun. Once dry, I sealed each piece with Ice Resin.

Once you get rolling with these products, you will see so many ways to use them. I love the ability to make an inexpensive and personalized piece of jewelry that looks so unique!

I could include a detailed tutorial here, but if you want to try your hand at creating some Ice Resin jewelry, your best bet is to check in with the experts ... visit or Jen Cushman.

Hope your weekend is a happy and craft-filled adventure!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer is Fluttering Away

Finally we've got a day under 80 degrees! I feel the last few days of summer slipping away and I am so ready... ready to be rid of mosquitoes, ready wear bulky sweaters, and ready to quit shaving my legs so often!

I hope you'll take a moment to head over to the Yasutomo Niji Creative Collective blog and check out my Yasutomo Creative Team post for today. Here's the project I'm writing about.

Yasutomo Creative Team members will share new project tutorials every day, so sign up to follow and be inspired!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Experiment: Ruffled Gelli-Printed Deli Paper

I could not decide where to begin this morning, so I just started stitching paper. Simply touching the papers in my scrap bin got my creative juices flowing. I decided I wanted to work with my gelli-printed deli paper scrap pile. I started by ripping all the pieces into strips.

When I make gelli prints, I always use deli paper to clean off my gelli plate between colors. I also use the deli paper to experiment with an idea before using the "good" paper. As a result, I've got quite a stash!

I stitched each strip side by side onto a plain sheet of deli paper. Once the sheet was filled, I cut it in half and stitched the two halves together to form one long piece. I then crumpled and un-crumpled the piece several times. The result reminded me of a wonderful ruffly skirt.

I am excited about how I might use this technique in my work. I see more experimenting in my future. I also see more Gelli printing... my stash is now running low!

Gelli printers...How do you use your printed deli paper stash?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

ReWork Your Work

Sometimes I make something that just doesn't work for me. Like this collage. I like it, but never really want to hang it anywhere. I think it might be a bit gloomy. It's been in my studio closet, waiting for a transformation.

Last week, a friend asked me to make a collage for her sister, who is turning 50 this year. I decided to use this old collage as a base for something new and more cheerful. I started by adding layers of paper.

I added some personal information by typing family names and other details onto scrapbook paper. I love this old typewriter. It belonged to my grandfather!

The collage seemed rather cold, so I scrubbed in some quinacridone and raw umber with a dry brush. I then used acrylic glazing medium to thin and smudge the brown tones into the crevices of the collage.

I'm still layering and thinking about the final result, but so far I like what is happening.

The old collage is quickly disappearing, but the green tones and funky shapes peek out here and there.

How about you? Do you keep your old "ho-hum" pieces? What do you do with them?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Create Was GREAT! And other news...

Life has been a bit crazy lately. After a year of staying home and focusing on art, I realized something important about myself. I don't like being home alone. I found myself getting lonely and sad. So... back to work. I just started a new day job as a Kindergarten assistant at the elementary school only a half mile from my house. I was a little nervous about taking the job. I knew I'd love the crafts, story-telling, and those great school hours and vacations. But... would I lose my mind with 20 five-year-olds? I've never worked with that many children. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try.

I have not lost my mind yet. And to my very happy surprise... I absolutely love it! The experience has been so encouraging. Already, I've learned three things.
1) I need routine. It gives my creative side permission to be free.
2) Never quit trying to find the right path. Keep tweaking and trying new opportunities. Keep what sticks.
3) My creative path will be unique. What works for other artists might not work for me.

After starting my new job, I got to take a quick break and head to Chicago to teach two classes at CREATE!

I was so pumped to find this fabulous suitcase (on clearance at Marshall's!) for all my art supplies. Although I forgot to pack underwear (and had to make a skivvy run to Target), I did manage to fit all my supplies into this big boy.

CREATE was a wonderful experience!  I met such creative, interesting, and fun women who loved getting messy as much as I do!

I was also very lucky to have two sorority sisters from my University of Illinois days in one of my classes and a very special helper along for the ride - my husband, Chris.

After a few days at CREATE, we headed into the city for one more day of fun before heading back to reality.

We walked to Navy Pier and rode the Ferris wheel. 

We stayed the night in a boutique hotel downtown, The Monaco. Such a cute room!

When we got home, I was delighted to be greeted with a big box from Yasutomo! I was recently honored to be included in their first design team. As a member of the team, I received a bounty of beautiful art supplies. I am charged with creating projects with these supplies for the next six months. How lucky can a crafty girl get?! 

Happy fall to all!