Saturday, November 2, 2013

CRAFT NIGHT OUT!

I am so flattered by all the people that have requested a Craft Night Out. I have finally made it happen and I am over-the-moon excited about this opportunity! I decided to start with paper embroidery. It's perfect, just before the holidays and works great for those that have never touched a needle and it is a great extension for those with traditional embroidery skills. We will make some one-of-a-kind gift tags, greeting cards and even stitch the front of a journal that you can keep for yourself or gift someone for the holidays. The venue I have booked is Luther's Table in Renton. It's a great location that will allow plenty of space for crafting and if you work up an appetite they have a full bar and menu available. Space is limited so get your tickets here. Craftnightout.brownbagtickets.com

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Me vs. Zombie

My son has been enjoying the game Plants vs. Zombies. This inspired him to want to be a bucket-head zombie for Halloween this year. While we were discussing the options of how to do it he decides that wrangling up a couple card board boxes and a bag of balloons would be enough to create his vision...errr...excuse me. He thought it would be enough for ME to create my vision. How could I let my kid down, right? After all he apparently believes I have some crafting super powers.(He might be right.) I did need to add some Mod Podge, tape, newspaper,and a bucket to the supply list. I built the base structure on a cardboard box (making sure it fit my sons head) using balloons and masking tape. Once I had the overall shape of the head I went old school using paper mache. My version of paper mache is newspaper drenched in Mod Podge. It's much faster and needs less layers. Once the form came together I needed to figure out eyes. I bought 2 foam balls from the toy section and slipped them into some opaque white tights. I pulled the tights through 2 holes in each eye socket and tied them off on the inside to secure them. When the mask is on my son can see through the nostril holes. We added a $3 suit jacket and a tie from the Goodwill to finish it off. It's been a ton of fun. I've also kept my "super-crafter" title with my kids. Happy Trick-or-Treating!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Just a Glimpse

Another glimpse of my design work. I like to throw it in here and there just to mix it up a bit. These are designs I created for the Mass and Mid-Tier retail markets. I think no matter where my creativity takes me I will always be creating printed graphics. After all, where else can you illustrate with glitter?!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Epson LabelWorks Ribbon Printer: MUST HAVE!

I was recently invited to a craft party at Ugly Baby and LaRu (check out this awesomely crafty store in Seattle at the Pike Place Market. uglybabyandlaru.com) to test out the Epson LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit. When I first heard that there was even such a device I was THIRLLED! I was a little concerend I might just be excited about a sparkly new gadget though and it might not live up what I had built up in my mind. It LIVED up! IT WENT BEYOND! and now I MUST purchase one! There are so many icons, emoticons, font choices, ribbon colors, and borders that you can truly customize your ribbons for packaging, gift wrap or craft projects. It is incredibly easy to use and one of my favorite features (beyond its large assortment of icons and font choices) was how easy it is to change the ribbon. You can switch out the ribbon colors in a snap. Literally. You just pop out the ribbon color you are done with and snap in the new color you'd like to use. It's VERY user friendly. I was able to customize this mirror project just by printing out the letters vertically from the Epson Labelworks printer and feeding a little extra ribbon out between letters. Notice the cute little kitty icon? YEP! That's from the animal icon library. My overall opinion on this is "GO GET ONE!".

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Print, Stitch, Stuff

My kids and I recently had a week vacation that was ideal to test out some homemade screen printing. I asked my son to draw his favorite animal. He drew a thorny devil. We traced it onto some chiffon fabric and placed the fabric in a embroidery hoop. After that we painted Mod Podge on the fabric everywhere we did not want ink to come though. Once it dried we added some screen printing ink and I cut a cereal box up to make a squeegie. The print worked great. Since we had a 7 hour drive home I decided to add some embroidery details. The possibilities are pretty endless with this. I can't wait to start another one!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Glass Etching Delight!

I once heard that glass etching was really easy. For some reason I fought that concept and kept putting it off thinking there would be a lot to figure out. I WAS SO,SO WRONG! I decided to pick up a package of good ol' Martha Stewart's Glass Etching cream. It is BEYOND EASY!!! I tested it on a jar I had at home with some masking tape and followed the directions on the package. IT WORKED! EXACTLY HOW SHE SAID IT WOULD! Thanks, Martha! Since I was planning a little craft-luncheon with my mother-in-law and some of her friends I thought this would be the perfect project. IT WAS! I grabbed some stickers and boarders (from the scrapbook section) and some glass coasters. The ladies LOVED IT! My daughter (6) also did! She used heart stickers and peace signs to decorate a $1 store candy dish. GO GET THIS PRODUCT! It's WORTH IT! (at $24 a bottle it is worth digging up a coupon though) **************** Now of course you don't think I would just buy a packaged product and be content with it's intended results do you?? I wanted to see what this cream would do on colored glass. I bought an inexpensive glass candle holder and put one of the stickers I had found on it. It was a BIG FAIL! I also tested the curing rate at different times to see if that would make a difference. Nope. It still failed. Just listen to Martha and follow her instructions on this one.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Design. Create. Repeat.

So, it may seem confusing at times trying to understand what it is I actually do. My passion in general is creative development. My bread and butter is graphic design and my unstoppable urges usually fall into all things crafty. I spend a significant amount of time doing freelance graphic design. Once again I thought I'd show you a bit what I do beyond crafty-goodness. Here are a few of the posters I have designed. Needless to say there are many more where these came from.

SOLD! To the HIGHEST BIDDER!!

The Cedar River Montessori Auction has come and gone. With the flash of a numbered paddle and some quick talking by an auctioneer the masterpieces created by 5 different classes have found new homes. I was pleased to hear that the art raised a record amount for the school. The kids pride showed in the finished work and I was happy to be part of it's success.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wonders of Water

Yep. It's another class art project. I can't get enough of them! One day I might get myself to just go get a ceramic bowl and put the kids hand prints on it. Until then I'll stick with my crazy ideas. (Or at least see what happens when they sell at auction in 2 weeks.) When I work with a class I first talk to the teacher to see if he/she might have a specific theme to their year or studies. This teacher happen to be focusing on water. All things about waves, ocean, sea life, etc. She also mentioned that she thought it would be cool to do a large painting of something water related. I was inspired and after a couple weeks of research and planning I came up with this composition. It was a great way to have the kids (ages 3-5) each apply their own piece (the mosaic fish) and also work collaboratively to make everything else come together. The response has been wonderful for this piece and I am excited to hear how it goes over at the auction. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Won't you be my neighbor?

I want to live in this neighborhood! For this auction art project I loved the idea of each student creating their house and together the class created a whole neighborhood. The kids knew the shape of their house and knew what they wanted it to look like. It was execution that seemed a bit of a hurdle. After all, they are only 3-5 years old. I decided to simplify the process. The kids are great with scissors and they definitely know their shapes. This made sense to use cut paper. In order to give the piece an finer art quality I decided to use tissue paper. I bought a canvas and had them cut the shapes and details of their home out of tissue. As we mod podged the pieces of their homes to the canvas I was informed of all sorts of stories. I would ask what color their house was going to be and often I was told that it wasn't a "house". It is a "secret agents office" or "This is a "french food place". I also got a toy store. The stories became more and more interesting and the artwork started representing the stories the kids were telling me. It was AMAZING! Of course the Secret Agent Office is solid gold. Why wouldn't the toy store be bright pink? And, well..the French resturant. Do I need to point it out? I am so excited about this piece that I am sharing it a bit early. I have outlined all the shapes that the kids cut and glued down with a fine sharpie. I will also be labeling each building to personalize it to who created it. The labels will read things like "Sophia's French Cuisine, Marley's Toy Store, Office of Secret Agent Caleb and Oyer Mansion (enter if you dare) so that the parents will see what part of the neighborhood their child contributed. I will try my best to resist bidding on this piece. No promises though. UPDATE! The finished piece!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Millefiori Mirror

Millefiori is Italian for "Millions of flowers". This is a technique that comes to life as you layer and roll different colors of clay together creating a "cane". It's also done in glass. I had never tried either medium but I was pretty sure it would make a great auction project. I pulled the basic supplies together. A pasta maker for rolling the clay out, a long razor blade, a baking matt and FIMO. The kids and I discovered the process together. I learned quickly that the easiest way to somewhat maintain consistency is to control the color palette. The kids had 5 colors of clay to work with. It was their choice as to what colors and pattern they created within those 5 color choices. Some would even borrow others work and add to it. It was a great collaborative project. Once the canes were completed I sliced them and baked the pieces. The 3rd year kids in the class placed the pieces into a mirrored frame. I poured a 2 part epoxy over the pieces to complete the project. My favorite moment while doing this project was when the teacher approached me and said,"You've done this before. right?". HA!! My response was, "OF COURSE I haven't!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paper Messay

Yep. That headline is correct. "Paper Messay" This project has to go down in the books as my messiest project yet! I have a class full of fearless artists in my after school arts program. We had glue from head to toe! Also, I was feeling adventurous and let them use the bleeding art tissue to color their hot air balloon. The end result was really cool. I'm pretty sure their hands will be flesh tone again sometime before they start high school. (They are currently in 2nd and 3rd grade) Sorry parents! Over all this project was a blast and the kids really got into it.
We taped a balloon to a disposable drinking cup for our base form and covered it in the newspaper and diluted Mod Podge. After the base dried we covered it again with the bleeding tissue soaked in mod podge. The kids added rhinestones, silk flowers and streamers as a finishing touch. I HIGHLY recommend table covers and floor covers for this project. A well ventilated area would be a big perk too.