Thursday, November 13, 2014

8 Bit Madness!

My big 4-oh is just around the corner. I decided to host an 80s themed night at a local 8 bit arcade to celebrate. I requested my guests to dress up. I designed these quick costumes for my kids and some of their friends. After all, you can never have too many pacman ghosts, right? Super quick and easy! I even included a pattern for you to make your own too! NOTE: On the pattern I suggest felt. Use cotton with heat and bond if you plan to make the shirts washable.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Faux Batik

Not to be confused with real batik (hot wax, silk and dye) this faux batik method is really fun and great for all ages. It's a basic resist process but instead I used Elmer's Blue Gel Glue for the resist and acrylic paint for the color. We designed tote bags using this technique. Here's how we did it: I provided tote bags with some prepared art for those that did not have the inspiration to draw their own image. Put a piece of cardboard (cereal boxes work great!)inside your bag to prevent the two sides of the bag from sticking to each other. You can tape your art to the cardboard so that it stays in place while you work. Once you have your art in place trace your drawing with the Elmers Blue Gel glue. Once you have outlined your art with the gel glue be sure to let it dry. The reason for the blue glue is so that you can see your lines after it is dry. Also,the gel glue doesn't run. The glue does take time to dry. Try to resist squeezing thick amounts of glue. Remember you just need a thin layer of glue to cover those fibers so that the paint can't get to it. You can use a paint brush for the glue if you prefer. You can always use a hair dryer to speed up the drying time too. Next up, the paint! Using some basic acrylic craft paint, fill in all your areas with color. Feel free to paint right over those dry glue lines. They should do their job and resist the paint. Once your paint is dry (really dry) you will need to rinse the tote to remove the glue. Acrylic dries pretty fast but I prefer to wait 24 hours before rinsing out the glue. Rinsing out the glue will lighten your color a bit (be sure to keep that in mind when painting. Darker color and more of it is best). When you rinse the glue don't be afraid to get in there and scrub it. The glue is washable so it comes off best in warm water. When you have all the glue removed toss your bag (or garment) into the dryer for a full cycle to set the paint. You can also iron it if you prefer. Now your project is compete! This is great for parties, camps and even a quiet night in. For those still craving more, add some embroidered details to spice things up.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Big Props!

As a designer who has spent the majority of my career in the world of branding and marketing I am my own personal branding nightmare. My creativity tends to soar when faced with a challenge. I have yet to find a limit to what I might attempt when filled with inspiration. This is great for me as a creative professional but try to make a business card. Sheesh! This is why I have started leaning on "Creative professional" or I guess I might as well just say it like it is "Creative Junkie full of ideas for anyone willing to listen". For instance, you can now add "prop and set design" to my resume. I had a great time creating these for a dance recital. I find that working with props can give you a chance to try out just about any skill you have and even force you to dabble in new ones. These featured props were a process of good old fashioned painting for the rocks, Some image magic and large format printing for the Eric statue and some image transfer techniques for the contract.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wise Craft: Wood Embroidery

I was recently introduced to the book "Wise Craft" by Blair Stocker from my friends at Seattle Handmade. There are SO MANY great ideas and inspirations in this book! The author of this book is also doing a craft contest. I LOVE a good contest or challenge to keep the creative juices flowing!
I was inspired by the sewn furniture project.(Page 155) I have a case of unfinished wood frames (Craft hoarders unite!) and loved the idea of embroidering them. I think this $1 frame now looks like a million bucks and it was SO FUN! Here's what I did: First I drew the detail I wanted to embroider. Second, I called my neighbor who hoards machinery like I hoard craft supplies and asked if I could use his drill press. He said "YES!". After drilling I base coated the frame with a bright green acrylic then cut colored tissue and mod podged it over the painted frame and holes. I use tissue because it has nice clean edges and I prefer the translucent look to acrylic layers. Once the mod podge dried I began stitching. I used a basic back stitch. Voila!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Yep! It's another CRAFT NIGHT OUT! I'm looking forward to seeing you all!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tissue Transferring

For the most part I am pretty brave when allowing kids to do group art on one canvas. I have had those moments of being nearly complete though when the next to last little artist comes up and decides to smear orange and purple paint across the entire piece. This of course results in many sad little artists and me trying to scramble and figure out a solution. This time I decided to try a new method. I created a tissue transfer technique that lets the kids create with less stress of "messing up" (their words not mine) and I can also create a final composition based on the final art provided by the kids. It's really simple and the finished result is fantastic! Just use white gift tissue. Nothing fancy, just basic gift tissue. Color on it with Sharpie. Yes, Sharpie. You want the permanent ink so that it holds it's color. Once the drawings are complete cut them out along the edge of the color. Paint a canvas with your desired base color and once it is dry, mod podge the tissue drawings onto your canvas. Add any final line art to finish your art then cover with a final coat of mod podge. I use the gloss mod podge because it has a more vibrant finish. The matte tends to be a bit foggy. I did this with two classes this fall. Both classes were 1st-3rd graders.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Craft Night Out: DIY Rubber Stamps

Our first Craft Night Out was a wonderful success! What a great group of creative people to spend an evening with! I had so much fun I am doing it again! This time we will be making our own custom rubber stamps. If you have a name that you can never find spelled correctly, this is a great opportunity to finally have your own personal stamp. It you are an artist that would love to reproduce your artwork as a stamp, this is also a great opportunity for you OR if you just want to stamp a little luv around Valentines day, COME ON DOWN! Be sure to purchase tickets through the BrownPaperTickets link to reserve your space. Space is limited and can only be guaranteed with a pre-purchased ticket.