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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Create a Beautiful Christmas Card with Spellbinders Build a Wreath

I know it's only March, but it's never too early to get a head start on making Christmas cards, I can't even say that with a straight face...I am always the last one to get cards sent out...I am vowing that this year will be different...so I started early.  This card turned out so nicely that I wanted to share a couple tips and tricks that will let you create a beautiful, dimensional Christmas card with Spellbinders Build a Wreath die template. 

Layer 4 pieces of coordinating cardstock (Christmas colors). I used 3 solids and 1 patterned paper. For a variation, you could create this card in light blue, white and silver.   

Use the die template to cut 3 layers for the wreath. Tip: for a more realistic wreath, use 3 different shades of green. 

Lightly stencil all the die cut pieces with white ink (to mimic snow or frost). 

Assemble the 3 die cut layers together with foam squares...this adds dimension between the layers.  

Next, build your wreath by layering all the die cut branches that are included in the set.  Layer the pieces on top of the wreath using tape roller to affix them to the wreath. 

Next, affix small clusters of small gem stones or beads to create "holly berries."  

Then, use foam dots to place the wreath on your card base, then finish with a small red bow and a stamped Christmas greeting.  

After, I'd finished the card, I "dusted" it with some additional white ink on the edges of the branches and holly leaves.  This is a fun card to make because it's dimensional, and your friends will love getting this card...it's pretty enough to use as a Christmas decoration.  

Now, will I find the motivation to create more Christmas cards between now and December?  It's doubtful...It's spring outside...I'd rather be outside enjoying the daffodils and dogwoods...When do you usually get started on your Christmas cards? I should develop a plan this year to keep me on track. 

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you've picked up a couple tricks that you can use when you create your Christmas cards.  


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March is National Craft Month: We Made Vintage Paper Rosettes at Melrose Vintage in Phoenix

March is National Craft Month, so I thought it would be really fun to spend some time at Melrose Vintage in Phoenix teaching a few friends how to create vintage style paper rosettes.  My friend, Giussepina "Josie"  Cirincione and I arranged some time with the store, and set out to have a rosette class.  

Teaching vintage style paper rosettes fits right in at Melrose Vintage...in fact the owners Diane and Wendy Christensen make beautiful paper rosettes to use as decor in vignettes at the shop.  And, Melrose Vintage is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen, It's a real feast for the eyes. They specialize in antique furnishings, luxurious fabrics and bedding, jewelry and amazing paper crafting.   

Their shop is so beautiful, I just want to share a few photos to let you see how amazing it really is.  

It's such an interesting place, thanks to Wendy and Diane, they are always remixing the beautiful antiques and furnishings and bringing in amazing new finds every day.  And since it's spring, the shop is filled with heirloom roses that they grow on the property...

I have never really experienced anything like Melrose Vintage before, and should you plan a trip to Phoenix, it should be on your "to do" list if you like beautiful things, vintage furnishings, or paper crafting. Melrose Vintage is a beautiful experience.   

Our plan for this class was simple: to demystify some of the techniques used to make beautiful rosettes.  
All of the techniques used are really simple, accordion folding, pleating, assembling, and the skillful mixing and matching of colors and patterns to create rosettes that really pop!  

And it was "open" workshop...once some of the techniques were explained and we'd created a rosette or two, everyone was allowed to create as many rosettes as they wanted with the paper and supplies we'd provided.  

Our projects turned out beautifully!  

We had a group of "makers" who really liked trying cool color combinations and cool patterns!  

Each rosette was stunningly beautiful and expressed the personal style of each student.  

All it really takes is a little time and thought about how to mix color and pattern for beautiful results.  

We were really lucky to have a great group, who really wanted to learn and to try new techniques.  

And two of our friends were visiting the Phoenix area from Spain and Seattle.  Here are Sue and Diane...

Sue owns a mixed media store in Spain and Diane is a well-known artist/teacher in the US.  it was great to have them join us.  
 During the class, they asked the question, "how big can you make these?"  Of course, no challenge goes unheeded among crafters, so Giuseppina "Josie" set out to make a super-sized rosette.  

By using six sheets of 12"x 12" scrapbook paper, she was able to create a rosette that was two feet across...it looked really cool!  

She stood up to the challenge and created one amazingly big paper rosette! 

When Josie, Sue and Diane had finished creating the gigantic rosette, Sue and Diane decided to do something really special with it.  It seems one of their life-long friends, who lives in Phoenix suffers from Alzheimer's disease and recently moved into an assisted living facility.  They were going to take the rosette over to her as a gift to hang in her new home.  To me it was really touching. I love it when the things we make can make other people happy and I know this really big rosette will bring their friend some happiness every time she sees it.   

We really had a nice time, and made some wonderful memories...and it seems that "Josie" and I will be teaching Vintage Paper Rosettes at Melrose Vintage again soon...we got a number of calls from others who would like to learn how to create rosettes. It's a real pleasure getting to share our love of crafting with others.  We're looking forward to teaching this class again soon.  

Thank you for stopping by...make sure to create something beautiful today!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Teaching Creativity

One of the really fun things I get to do is travel to art retreats and weekend gatherings where artists and crafters gather to create. The events are often held in some of the most scenic places in the world.  
Yesterday, I went to Rio Rico Arizona, to a retreat held by Arizona Scrapbooking.   

It was truly one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen, it was high desert, the clouds overhead looked fake.  

The mountain landscape was inspiring. 

We were right on the Mexican border, it was amazing.  

When I visit retreats and art gatherings, I like to teach "creativity."  I go with a plan, projects, and supplies, but I like to let students create their own "works of art."  After-all, students attend retreats to learn how to create and to be inspired.  All too often, instructors go to an art or craft event with a project that requires their students to "paint this here, stamp this there, stick this here" type of  project that doesn't really let a student explore his or her own creativity or learn new techniques.  Instead, the student ends up with a knocked off copy of whatever the instructor chose to create that day. 

Yesterday, I went in with a plan  to let students explore making handmade DIY cards with some craft papers and die templates.  

 The cards they created were amazing...as you can see below, two different students, using the same materials, created very different projects.  Both are very beautiful, and each represents how the student interpreted the the supplies and instruction they received.

This card is decidedly vintage, with inked, distressed edges and a lacy doily, while the card below...     

is crisp, clean and simple. 

Both are very elegant and show a great use of the supplies provided to create a tiny "work" that is personal and expresses the unique creativity of each student.

I feel really luck to have the opportunity to teach "creativity." It's really rewarding to see how other artists create and I am always inspired whenever I see how students work and create.  I love the creative process.  
It's always really fun...new friendships are forged and old friendships rekindled as we create together.     

And, we always make time for a little silliness...

Thank you again Arizona Scrapbooking for letting me visit to teach a little creativity at your art event!  


Friday, March 7, 2014

Mixed Media Canvas-ICE Resin Paper and Vintage Images

This is a "Friday Flashback" of a previous post...it's a mixed media canvas from a couple years ago.  
I like how the elements of this piece work together.  

I used a few vintage postcards and images, papers coated with ICE Resin, and a few found objects, 

to create a mixed media canvas that recalls a seaside vacation.  When lightly applied to paper, ICE Resin gives paper a translucent, glowing look. 

I liked this one so much, just wanted to bring it out again...partially because I'm thinking about a vacation at the beach too.  

Thank you for stopping by today!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

March is National Craft Month!

March is National Craft Month....I kicked off the month long event by teaching a workshop at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale Arizona.

Frenzy Stamper is known in the Phoenix area for it's mixed media classes.   

I'd been looking forward to working with the artists at Frenzy Stamper for a long time...a workshop there was a great way to kick off National Craft Month.  

I taught a class on how to create an embossed copper tag deck.  I created this project a while back but I'd never taught it as a workshop before.  You can see more images and details in this earlier post...

Since I knew the artists who frequent the shop liked mixed media, I wanted to show them some cool techniques using leaves and modeling paste to create background textures.  

We started the day creating textured background images in modeling paste by impressing leaves, burlap, combs, and strings into the modeling paste.  Then we adding color with acrylic paints to really bring out the textures.  

It was really interesting to see everyone's textures come to life with color!  

In fact, the texture sheets were so beautiful, they looked as if they could be framed and used as art.  

Each student's texture sheet was different and each amazing.  

We cut pieces of Kraft*Tex and copper sheet to use as mats behind die cut pieces of the texture sheets we'd just created. 


The layered effect is beautiful.  

And then we used bits of scrapbook papers and printed ephemera to create mini collages.  

Each collage was different, and interesting...

Some students brought copies of family photos to use in their collages.  Jill brought color copies of photos of her grandchildren.... 

to make her art personal.  

The results were amazing!  

It was great to kick off National Craft Month with a workshop at Frenzy Stamper!  I've got a busy month in store with more workshops and classes.  

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you will be inspired to create something beautiful!