Friday, September 25, 2015

Color Burst: Painted Butterfly

I sat down to work on some projects for upcoming classes...and I accidentally painted this. it was just a simple butterfly that I was watercolor doodling.  

I added some Speedball Ink with a fine detail brush and it really started to come alive for me.  I literally just "scribbled" with the ink and the brush around my watercolored butterfly.

I have to be honest, I completely and totally "lifted" the technique from my artist friend Dakri Sinclair. She's my neighbor and we had a little paint date recently.  I picked up a few tricks. 
Dakri and I go way back...when I was just out of high school, I worked for her mother, Angie Sinclair, who was also an artist, a creator, a writer, a dreamer and a fact my experience with Dakri's mom, Angie, has in many ways been my inspiration as I've started on my own "solo-preneur" journey this year. I am over the moon that Dakri and I have been able to reconnect after all these years.   

I was completely mesmerized as I watched her paint this piece.

Dakri's finished piece is just amazing!  If you'd like to see a little more of what she does, click on the link here to visit her etsy shop.  Her style is magical!

As I scribbled with the ink and fine detailed brush, I realized that my little 5"x5" butterfly painting would make a great card.  

I added a layer of cardstock behind it, popped on a couple of sequins, and called it done! To me, this card is fresh, simple, and if you've used Color Burst, you are gonna want to try this! 

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you've found some inspiration that will help you along on your creative journey! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Die Cutters Wanted!

Hey, I am looking for a few good die cutters and card makers for a special project!

Send a photo or two of your best cards featuring die cuts to

I can only choose a couple to work with me on this little project so show me your best stuff!

Good Luck!

Color Burst and Jamie Dougherty's Newest Bloom Girl

You know I get super excited about Color Burst...especially when see it paired with something wonderful! 

Today, designer Milagros C. Rivera creates a beautiful art journal spread with the newest Bloom Girl from Jamie Dougherty!  I met Milagros this summer and was instantly entranced by her style.   

She shares her process to create this Color Burst journal spread today at Jamie Dougherty Designs...please go have a look, because you'll want to get the stamp and create this for yourself! She shows stenciling techniques, printing techniques, and shows how to color with Color Burst!  
You will love Jamie's new Bloom Girl too!  She's called Goldie.  

If you really like this project, Milagros is going to teach it LIVE tomorrow on Periscope at @jaylynnscraps at 10:30 Eastern.  (if you don't have Periscope, simply download the app to your smartphone and follow @jaylynnscraps to see the broadcast.) It's super easy and lot's of fun because you can chat and ask questions live during the broadcast.  

Don't you love this?  Make sure to visit Jamie's blog too so you can see step by step how Milagros uses the new Bloom Girl and Color Burst! 

Thank you for stopping by today,

Monday, September 21, 2015

Color Burst Kids Party! Inspiring Young Artists

Last year, when I started working on the development of Color Burst, I knew there was something really special about the way the product worked...the bursts of color are fun to watch and fun to make.  And, of course, I used Color Burst with some "focus groups" to gauge user response.

I tested with local paper crafters, artists, cardmakers and kids!  I found out that kids really like the stuff!  My first focus group, my nieces and nephew, could not get enough of Color Burst...I even started recruiting friends with kids to get their response...and boy, did they like it!  

And, over the summer as I've been out on the road teaching, kids and tweens are showing up in my classes in increasing numbers...which makes me really happy...inspiring young artists is one of the greatest things we can do.

Even really little kids "get" Color Burst... 

If you haven't seen Color Burst yet, here's a quick video where you can see how it works.

So you can see, it's pretty cool stuff that will let you create lots and lots of watercolor looks in a variety of ways. And, here's another part of the "back story." Art therapists are using Color Burst in their therapy programs with kids and senior citizens...I've been overwhelmed with some of the stories that I've heard.  With Color Burst, nearly anyone can create something that's beautiful and it's so "instant" that it sparks a conversation that enables the therapist and client to begin the work of what art therapy is all about. 

So, over the weekend, I got an email with some photos of a Color Burst Party for kids.  I could not have been happier.  It's almost like a "dream come true" kind of day for me because I am really passionate about kids and art!
Kids gain lots of skills when they create, the learn to communicate, they gain self confidence, they develop pride and self worth...just from the simple act of making art. Here are a few of the pics, so you can see how much fun they had. 

The idea was pretty simple, an art day for the kids, centered around a birthday party.

And they created lots of Color Burst art. 

They even used a few stencils. 

You can see, they created lots and lots of really cool art. 

And it's not so much "what" they created, but it's the fact that a few 8 and 9 year olds got to participate in the "creative" process. 

They had lots for creative, watercolory fun. 


And, each kid at the party got to create a photo frame as a souvenir of their day of art at a birthday party.  They even used my 8"x10" Mixed Media Art Board for the project.  

Pretty cool, right? 

I am so glad to learn that kids love Color Burst and that they're finding fun ways to create and share their art.  And, having a kids Color Burst party?  That's the coolest idea. 

If you've not heard of Color Burst or any of the products I mentioned in this post, please see my catalog page here.  And if you'd like to find any of my products, please check with your local retailer or refer to the Wholesale Inquiries page, our reps and distributors will be more than happy to help you find a retailer in your area. 

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you'll be inspired to create some art...hey, get the kids involved too!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Color Burst October Creative Exchange at The Arts Alliance

It's a full day of Color Burst adventure at The Arts Alliance October Creative Exchange in Mason, Ohio! And, I couldn't be more excited! It's my first time to offer workshops in Ohio! Over the summer, I've received lots of questions about if I had anything scheduled in the Cincinnati's your chance. 

Here are the Details:
Saturday October 3
9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
The Arts Alliance
The Snyder House at Cottell Park
5847 Irwin Simpson Road
Mason, Ohio 45040

And, you can still sign up! 

This workshop will be very intimate due to the small size and you'll get plenty of personal, hands on instruction with using Color Burst. You'll get a big dose of watercolor technique, color theory, layering color and stenciling. 

Here's a link with all the details.

I hope to see you there! It's going to be FUN! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Makers Wanted!

Hey, I'm looking for a few good makers...

Have you ever wanted to be on a design team? Or, be part of a creative team that let's you work with new products and do your own thing?  Would you like to create art to be used for trade shows, print publications and online publications?

I'm currently on the hunt for a few good artists, designers, crafters and makers who love to create! If you're a DIY-er, you'll love this opportunity.

What I'm looking for:
1. Mixed Media Artists, who like to paint, collage, create assemblage pieces.
2. Paper Crafters, whether it's stamping, cardmaking, scrapbooking, you'll love working with my new papers, stamps and ink pads. 
3. Watercolor Artists, if you're an accomplished painter or a budding watercolorist, I'd love to see what you can do with Color Burst!

I'm really looking for artists with some "out of the box" ideas, a "can do" attitude, and willingness to try new things...creating without boundaries. 
Are you good with social media? 
The ability to share content and ideas is really important to everything that we do today.  If you'd like to be part of the team, be good on social media.  Do you like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Periscope and Facebook?   I'd like to find team members who are comfortable with all social media platforms.

...and this is a "low stress" gig...I'd only ask that you provide content a couple times a month, we can determine the need on a case by case basis.  In return, I'll provide you with product, inspiration and techniques for using my product lines. 

What I'd like to develop is an organic, fluid, growing, creative team composed of artists with diverse backgrounds who love to create for the joy of creating..."art for art's sake."

I'm also on the search for a team coordinator. Do you have DT experience in your past?  Tell me about it. The perfect candidate will be a motivator, a cheerleader, and will have the organizational skills required to help me manage a growing team of artists and makers.  Sound like something you'd like to do?  Tell me about your mad skills as a team leader! 

...So, this is a pretty big undertaking and I'd like to get started as soon as possible.  

Send an email to and tell me about yourself and why you'd like to be part of our maker team!  Include any links that you think are pertinent, instagram, youtube, facebook pages, pinterest, and links to your best work online!  I can't wait to see what you've created.  I'd like to get a good representation of what you do! Do you teach?  Let me know about your teaching gigs. You can tell me anything that you want that will make you stand out from the crowd. You really want to grab my attention? Make and post a YouTube video about why you'd like to be on my team!  

I'll be accepting submissions until the end of September, so get busy! I cannot wait to see what you've created.  
And please let me know if you have any questions...I'm always happy to help. 

Thank you and good luck! 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Watercolor Cards with Color Burst

This year, I've been traveling across the USA, Canada and the UK teaching workshops with a new watercolor medium called Color Burst! I am so happy that it's a product that's easy to use and that everybody  likes it.  For the most part, I've been teaching watercolor technique classes... 

So, today I wanted to take a few minutes to show you some projects using the techniques I teach in my workshops.  I've created a few handmade watercolor cards to illustrate the techniques.  These are simple cards, without a lot of embellishments or sentiments. I prefer "blank" cards, a handwritten note is much more personal.  

If you've taken a class with me, no doubt, you'll recognize some of the techniques. To get started, I whipped up some stitched card bases by sewing pieces of canvas, burlap, Kraft*Tex and watercolor paper to kraft paper cardstock. This cardbase is simple, and conveys an authentic "handmade" look.  

This first technique is easy, a stamped image, colored with Color Burst, and a simple watercolor landscape painted behind it. The landscape doesn't have to be overly complicated. It's basically a few blobs of paint blended with water. Since it's the background, it doesn't have to be perfectly in focus and overladen with details. If you've taken my workshops, you have all the "tools" to do this.     

This next technique is really's a watercolor resist created with Versamark ink and white embossing powder. Simply stamp, and emboss with a heat tool, then randomly wash a Color Burst (I used Indigo and Ultrmarine Blue) background over the embossed area. The water and Color Burst won't stick to the embossed stamped area. It's simple and elegant. When you give this handmade watercolor note card to someone, they will think you're an accomplished watercolor painter. 

I've taught this little watercolor painting about 1,000 times this summer, it's wet on wet watercolor painting.  The trick to this is making sure that your paper is wet enough to let the Color Burst blend easily, but not wet enough that the pigment bloom. Who wouldn't love to receive a tiny painting on a note card? This little painting only takes about 10 minutes to paint. It's very artsy...let the paint and the water do the blending work for you. The paint will always "find the edge" of the water.     

The next two cards could not be any easier, simply stamp an image on watercolor paper with permanent ink, then "color" with Color Burst.  Coloring for adults is so popular now, take your coloring to your cards. You'll get the same "therapeutic" benifit, and make some lovely cards in the process.  

For me, simple is best, don't worry about adding a lot of embellishment to this type of card.  Let the color and the stamped image stand front and center.  

I've even slipped in a Christmas card, I am not pushing the season, but it never hurts to get an early start. And, again, simple is best...I used 2 colors, Terre Verte Green and Alizarin Crimson; I used muddy water for the shadows. 

I hope you're inspired to create some watercolor cards...the techniques are simple and the "handmade" look is very elegant. When you give these cards to friends, they'll think you're a master watercolor painter, and you should not tell them any differently. 

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.  If you create some watercolor cards, I'd love to see them, post them on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, and make sure to tag @kenolivercrafts so I'll see them. 

until next time,

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday! 

It's one of the rare weekends that I am home in Indiana...

 I've literally been on the road since the first of the year teaching and sharing art all over the USA, Canada and the UK...

 I'm taking some time this weekend to get ready for fall...I plan to spend a little time at the potting bench too...

 Fall is the time to plant daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus for next spring. 

Enjoy your weekend!