Thursday, August 10, 2017

Color Pencil Guide

Looking for help with coloring stamped images with color pencil?  Good news!  My new guide and tutorial "How to Color: Colored Pencil Basics for the Crafter" is now live on the Favecrafts website!

This article is totally STUFFED with great information, including basic color theory, pencil strokes, color layering steps and more. Best of all, I've also included a step-by-step tutorial to help you in your journey.

Please check it out...and leave a comment!

How to Color: Colored Pencil Basics for the Crafter


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Decoupage and Beer

It isn't often that "decoupage" and "beer" come up in the same sentence. However, this is one of those rare occasions when the combination is perfectly logical!

Empty beer (or other glass beverage) bottles are some of my favorite items to repurpose. While there are multiple techniques and mediums that can be used to transform a simple glass bottle, one of my all time favorites is decoupage!  I love the simplicity of decoupage and that it is a relatively inexpensive craft for all ages and skill levels.  Decoupage mediums like Mod Podge make it super easy since you can attach and seal using the same product.  Paired with torn book pages and printed paper napkins, and embellished with beads, buttons, and/or silk flowers, this project becomes the perfect mixed media vase for all those beautiful summer flowers!

I like to get  an early jump on the holidays and have already made several for gifting. These would also make great craft fair items.

So sit back and enjoy a summer brew...then hop over to the Favecrafts site for a full tutorial with step-by-step instructions!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Living in the Moment

Hooray for today! Summer is still here and I'm loving every magic moment that presents itself.

Living with dogs for over 25 years has taught me more than just how to teach a puppy to sit and stay. Dogs, you see, have mastered the art of "living in the moment".  This skill is counter-intuitive to our deadline driven society and, sometimes I even think, to our human nature of planning ahead and dwelling on the past.



In reality, every day is a treasure of its own, to be savored and enjoyed to its fullest. Sometimes that means stopping whatever we are doing and just being still. Quiet the brain, relax and focus on the moment instead of the "next" and the "next", ad infinitum.  It means it is sometimes okay to just "be". That is the only time the "off" switch appears so the creative side of my brain can actually turn off, even if just for a few minutes or hours.

And that's why I love summer so much.  There is so much magic in so many warm moments.  After I take those little "just be" breaks, the "creative" cranks right up again into high gear. I find I am refocused with a clearer vision. Deadlines also transform into exciting challenges instead of exhausting drains.  That is mighty powerful stuff!

Meanwhile, I'm still glowing from my latest projects and published articles and tutorials for Favecrafts.com.


As promised, here is the link to my recent tutorial published on Favecrafts.  This tutorial features THREE projects and three different approaches to decoupage on wood hangers!

The projects are SO much fun to do and sure to brighten up anyone's closet.  A great project to encourage kids to hang up their coats and clothing items--especially if they decoupage their own personalized hangers.

These decorated hangers would also be a perfect gift item either given as a set or accompanying a special item of clothing.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Summer IS my Inspiration!

I can honestly say I'm not a fan of winter.  During most of the dark, colorless weeks, my creative work becomes a cozy blanket filing my life with color when snow and cold prevents me from even wanting to go outside most day  But summer is different.  Summer is FILLED with LIFE--and it fills my senses to overflowing!


Windows open wide, I love listening to birds singing, motorcycles rumbling and the sounds of children laughing. The colors of nature...and just the warmth of the sun on my face is truly intoxicating. These gorgeous summer skies and gentle breezes tempt me daily to close my eyes to deadlines and just escape outside to soak it all in!   And...it is especially difficult to stay focused indoors here in Chicagoland when temps hover in the low to mid 80s and humidity is moist enough to soothe but not be uncomfortable.


But all of that sensory information also serves to inspire.  Despite the distractions just outside my window, my creative soul just can't stay quiet and I continue to draw, create projects, write articles and tutorials...and meet my deadlines.

My most recent articles and tutorials on the Favecrafts site are on decoupage....which is one of my crafting favorites!  I will be featuring a a different decoupage tutorial on each of the next few posts so please bookmark my site so you can see them all!


First up is an exciting "How To" Decoupage Guide"  that is jam-packed with information!  In this guide you will learn how to successfully decoupage on glass and other hard surfaces, as well as see lots of examples to get YOUR creative juices flowing!


Leave me a comment and let me know how you love to spend summer!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

VIP Favecrafts Best Blogger contest is LIVE!

Do you to love to upcycle, recycle...and decoupage!  Well, here is the perfect project for you! Not only have I created a whole new purpose for coloring book pages, the results are stunning!

But...I really need your help!
This project has been entered a contest over at Favecrafts and every vote counts!

Please vote for my project!  Here is the link:
https://www.favecrafts.com/voting/Blogger-Contest-2017 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Planted Decoupage Flower Pot

Spring is in full BLOOM! The pure AWESOMENESS of spring has definitely arrived now in all of North America!  Snow and winter grey fuzzies have been replaced by Pantone's beautiful leaf green, accented by splashes of every color of the rainbow. Every tree, bush and plant is exploding with flowers and color. Southern areas are already enjoying their first harvest while the areas further north are in tulip and daffodil heaven right now.  

For those of us with spring allergies, whew....we are in full blown sneeze, itch and drip mode, the ants they are invading and yes, rainy days and mud-filled back yards are also part of the deal. But that's such a small price to pay because the air is absolutely golden and the world is filled with LIFE again. 

With spring, comes renewed opportunities for outdoor patio time, as well as starting those flower seedlings or herb gardens inside to brighten up our home interiors.  What better way to enjoy our plants than by creating a spectacular hand crafted pot for display!  



Many of us wonder what to do with the coloring pages we've finished, but wonder no more! Use pages you've already colored, or take this as an opportunity to sit down and do more coloring so you can make my Bloom Where You Are Planted Decoupage Flower Pot project. This beautiful decoupage craft is lovely for spring, gift giving occasions, crafting with kids or grandkids, or almost any rainy day. Stay inside and make something bright and cheerful. Once you've finished this lovely coloring page project, you can plant something inside. Jump over to the FaveCrafts site for instructions and let your creativity (and your flowers!) grow with this beautiful project.   


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mixed Media Recycled Box for Pet Lovers!

Do you love mixing media AND repurposing items as much as I do?  I'm not sure if it is the accessibility of materials, being frugal or having a social conscience about landfills but there is just something about combining recycling with mixed media that gets my creative juices flowing!

So here is a fun way to recycle bits and pieces in your craft "stash" to create a little treasure box, using easy peasy crafty techniques!  While the example below sports an image of a kitty, feel free to use your favorite dog image instead!
Note: This project was published in the recent spring issue of "Just Mixed Media" magazine (Scott Publications)

  

Materials you will need:

Empty small  metal, cardboard or paper mache box of your choice
Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps: Uh Oh #A7510
                                                               Rosie & Bandit #F7531
                                                               Fur with Brains #B7506
Clearsnap: Colorbox® Archival Dye inkpads (Wicked Black, Saddle, Pumpkin Pie, Squash)
                  Art Dauber
Beacon AdhesivesZip Dry® Paper Glue 
                                Gem-Tac® Permanent Glue 
                                Fabri-Tac® Permanent Adhesive
Acrylic craft paint (white)
2" chipboard circle
Scraps of white and black cardstock
Ribbon or other fiber trims of your choice
Printed text scrap from book, newspaper or magazine

Instructions:

1.  Using Art Dauber, apply thin coat of white paint to chipboard circle; smooth edges and dry. Stamp the Kitty in black; dry.  Dab black ink around edges to grunge; dry completely.
2.  Measure and cut one strip of printed text and one strip of white cardstock to fit around the sides of the box. Take each strip and crinkle it in your hand; relax strips and lay flat on your work table. Using Direct-to-Paper (DTP) technique, apply Saddle to to text strip and Pumpkin Pie to the white cardstock strip. Glue crinkled text strip to box.
3.  Stamp "Fur with brains" on white crinkled scrap; trim and attach.
4.  Apply Squash DTP to remaining printed text scrap. Measure around the lid and hand tear scrap to fit. When dry, attach to lid with Zip Dry.
5.  Measure and cut a strip of black cardstock to fit around side of lid; attach. Cut ribbon to fit and attach with Fabri-tac.
6. Glue stamped chipboard circle on top of lid as shown, using Gem-Tac.
7. Stamp "Uh Oh" on ribbon scrap; attach to top as shown.