Thursday, March 31, 2011

O Dick Blick How I Love Thee

One of my recent online shopping excursions was to Dick Blick. Dick Blick is like dreaming about heaven except that they sell tons of art supplies. They have an old fashioned paper catalog which I love, an online store, and brick and mortar stores all over the country. The selection and quality is rather impressive.

They have some nifty sizes and shapes for canvases and canvas panels. Got me some brushes and drafting tape. Can never have enough drafting tape!

This is the assortment of canvases and canvas panels I got. The 4" x 4" ones are super cute! The 10" x 20" and 15" x 30" are pretty cool! I like how they look quite a bit.

Oh happy day! One word. Ink. Nuff said!

Look at them all! Oh so pretty. One cool thing about Liquitex inks is that they are pigment colored. The same pigments that are used in artist paints. Very deep, rich colors. No pastels here!

Dick Blick also has a fabulous supply of Gessoes and Gel Mediums. Oh they have a package of 3 different waxed threads - pretty much the same as waxed Irish Linen.  And a decent size bottle of India Ink in black.

The Gel Mediums I got were textured ones except for one. Black Lava is so cool! It has ground black flakes and some look like silver glitter when it's wet.

I also got the Fine Natural Sand Gel. When it dries, it's a glossy sand texture. You can color the sand gel. Gotta try that!

White Opaque Flakes just sounded so cool that I had to get some just to play. There's opaques flakes in this bad boy and you can add paint to color them. Can't wait to play with these!

The last one is Matte Gel. He sounds so drab compared to his friends. But he's got jazzy friends so it's all good.

I have started the first in a series of projects using all of these goodies! I'm waiting for things to dry and one final order to be delivered. You hear that USPS? Start moving my package like you're Kevin Harvick moving Jimmie Johnson out of the way at Fontana!

Chances are some time over the weekend, this project will be revealed. If it's not completed, there will be some teasers pics posted! I'm sooo excited about this series of projects!

Until next time *

What can you do with a canvas?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cricut Circle Meetup

THE beginning of March led me on a road trip to Atlanta. Why Atlanta? To attend a Cricut Circle Meetup!

There were several firsts at the Atlanta Cricut Circle Meetup. First off, we were treated to some brand new Circle bling! The flair on the right is something that will be happening at all Circle get togethers. There are 50 different pieces of flair. How cute that I have a Georgia one. Sure hope we have a South Carolina event. Ooh a North Carolina event would also be fabulous!

The little navy guy on the left is the Circle Charm for the first year of the Circle. The same color charm is used for the whole year so you have a long time to get one! Provo Craft told us what color will be coming out with our next year. I'm sworn to secrecy! But I'm am telling you, most girls will love it.

There were lots of other goodies, too! Some of us even scrapbooked a little. You could hear the hum of Cricut die cutting machines all day long.

These wooden cut outs are only available at Circle events. The one on the left is the Circle logo. The one on the right is the Cricut logo. And in the middle is the Eiffel Tower from French Manor which was the first Cricut Cartridge sent to Circle members. I haven't decided what to do with the yet. Paper? Ink? Paper? Glitter? Ribbon? Bling? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

At all Circle events, we're asked to make our own unique Calling Cards. This shows you all of the ones I received. Sadly, I think I missed some people as there were about 40 of us there and I don't have 40. Kinda sad about that! Some of them were truly amazing and took quite some time to put together. Hey, mine isn't in this photo!

Mine is in this photo! Along with the sock monkey one my friend Kendra (aka the Scrappin' Cricut) made.

I also have Susan's and the amazing box she made for everyone at the Meetup! Turns out Susan lives in the development next to me! It truly is a small world. Crazy that I had to go 3 1/2 hours away to meet her!

My Calling Card is the Georgia one. The pieces are on black cardstock from Close To My Heart. I used the 50 States Cricut Cartridge to make the Cherokee Rose (Georgia's state flower) and the Georgia in the center with a pewter brad. Georgia was cut from Taffy cardstock from Close To My Heart and sprayed with Terra Cotta Color Wash and Copper Perfect Pearls Mist from Ranger.

And finally, there were prizes galore! I think everyone got something. There were some HUGE prizes and some small prizes. One lucky gal one a Cricut Imagine! Her reaction was truly amazing. I was so happy for Amy to win. She was one of the folks who helped arrange the Meetup. That's not why she won it. The prizes are given away completely randomly. Our Calling Cards were put in a bowl and our cards were drawn we then went to a bowl and drew a number. That number was written on a prize. I won prize 22 which was the Cheerful Seasons Cricut Cartridge from Creative Memories. Notice the big 22 written by Shannon from Provo Craft on it? Pretty cool prize if you ask me!

There was other HUGE surprise for us. A little lady named Teresa Collins paid us a visit. I'll tell you about that fabulous woman later this week! She gave us an incredible project. It was another first!

Until next time *

What goes round and round? The Circle!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Studio Space

I am frequently asked about my studio space. Lots of people know I relocated last year to South Carolina and built a new house. In said house, a planned studio space was built. I honestly thought it would be more than big enough. I felt like I would have extra room to grow and space to spread out. Boy, was I wrong! My quilting doesn't fit in the room at all. My computer desk and printers aren't in there either! The walk-in closet is stuffed to the gills. The studio its self has cathedral ceilings and I have things going up to where the wall bends. Some things are pretty close to the ceiling. If I ever build a house again, I now know I need a space double this size to really do what I want to do. Scary!

Today's peak into my studio is my work table. It's our old dining room table. We've had it for well over 10 years and it's pretty beat up. It's not so spiffy for dining on any more. Sadly, the leaf doesn't fit in it in the studio, but I am saving it for a day when I have the space.

In case you haven't figured this out, I like to play with ink. Ink is messy. There's no way around that especially when you're spraying ink all over the place. So I took a suggestion from my friend Kendra and covered my table with clear vinyl from Wal-Mart. It was something like $1.97 a yard. It took 2 yards. I am going to get some more so I can cover things on the table so they don't get inky.

The vinyl is so easy to clean up. Baby wipes. Paper towels. And I'm all done! When it starts to look funky and the inks are't easily cleaned up, I can replace it for cheap which is perfect!

There are some things that are always on my work table. That is their home. It's things I use often and need within easy reach.

Are you ready? Here we go!

To my right is my pen holder from Club SEI. You, too, can purchase this if you become a member this month! Don't laugh, but I also put my iPhone in it so I know where it is. I certainly don't want my iPhone inky! I also keep a pair of scissors in it.

Behind the pen holder is a set of attached buckets from Hobby Lobby. The buckets are metal and sort of look like a rustic copper.

They hold my glue pens, exacto knives, paint brushes, painting tools, and dry erase board markers, eraser, and cleaner.

Behind the copper buckets is this super cute little drawer cabinet from Hobby Lobby. It's filled with my collection of tags from Staples. Yes, Staples sells tags. They call them Shipping Tags. They're fairly inexpensive and for those who don't have a scrap or stamp store they work very well! I don't believe they are acid free so don't put them directly on your photos. They work the same as the ones I have purchased in scrappy stores!

The majority of my button collection sits straight across from me. The only buttons not included in this collection are the ones from Close To My Heart, Papertrey Ink, and DeNami Designs. Why are those separate? They come in little bags and are available in a variety of colors. I restock them when necessary.

My buckets are filled with buttons from wherever! I collect them from everything you can imagine. I have some from old clothes. I have purchased mixed bags of buttons. Some are retired colors from Close To My Heart. Some are from fabric and quilt shops. And others I have no idea how they stumbled into my life. I am grateful that they found their way to my studio though. A girl can never have too many buttons!

And to the left of my Buckets of Buttons is this really cool, metal, square bucket stand I got from Hobby Lobby. I have absolutely no idea what they call it or what they designed it for, but it sure is cool! It holds my collection of tags. I have manilla tags, white ones, a pile of colored ones, a bunch of stamped and printed ones, and I recently added some really cool black ones that have a finish on them that doesn't hold ink unless you get out your sander from Tim Holtz, but they sure are fun and funky!

Next to this stand are two glass penny candy jars. They are from Wal-Mart. I have seen similar ones at more expensive stores, but why spend $20 or more each one when they are about $5 at Wal-Mart? That's money taken out of my creating budget and who wants that? Not me!

They're basically scrap jars. One holds ribbon scraps and I have lots of them! The other one has random buttons, brads, paper flowers, and miscellaneous random embellishments. You know the kind of thing you think you use up and them discover you have one or two left. Or when you drop a container of brads and think you found them all and then miraculously you find a few on the floor squished in the carpet 3 months later. We've all be there! Just another reason I dislike carpet in my studio. Allergies, sand (I don't have dirt where I live. It's all sand like the beach and there's no water for miles! WEIRD!), pet fur, and ink all don't agree with carpet.

And last but not least on my left side are two more containers from Hobby Lobby. First there's a super cute metal bucket that has a divider up the middle of it so it's like there's two pockets inside it' It holds my American Crafts markers and my Pixie Dust from Pink Paislee.

To the left is a mini library card catalog drawer from - you guessed it - Hobby Lobby. (There's a Hobby Lobby about 2 miles from my house and I have to drive by it to go anywhere. It's also the only craft store in my area.) This holds my Liquid Appliques, box cutter, and my Sharpies.

I just discovered I don't have a photo of the whole work table! I will have to take one and add it later.

Until next time *

Remember, a girl can never have too many buttons!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

O Luminarte Where Art Thou?

ONE word...Luminarte!

What is Luminarte? It's only the coolest thing to happen to ink since Tim Holtz! And I love Tim Holtz and all his inky goodness so this says a lot.

Recently, Joann's had all of the Luminarte products they carry on sale. Oh happy day! Add a coupon for free shipping to tax refund season and it's better than Christmas morning. No really it is. Stick with me on this.

First up, I added a serious collection of Radiant Rain Shimmering Mists to my inky goodness. They are available in 24 colors. Looks like I got most of them and I wasn't even trying. I just got one of every color Joann's had on their website.

What is Radiant Rain Shimmer Mist? It's a watercolor in a spray bottle with mica to give it some sparkle. Remember, I like bling and sparkle. Add some ink and viola it's my little version of heaven.

What can you do with them? Spray anything that will stand still long enough! Use a stencil or a mask and you can create your designs. Heck, use a stencil or a mask or both on plain cardstock and you've just created your very own, one of a kind paper! You can also apply the Shimmer Mist with an eyedropper, sponge, paintbrush, feather, cotton ball, cotton swab, or whatever you find.

You can use your heat gun to speed up drying time. I like to leave my ink spritzed goodies to dry overnight or at least 8 hours. I do use the heat gun also. Lots of times papers, tags, and chipboard will curl from the moisture. The longer they are left to dry, the flatter they tend to be.

Up next are the Radiant Rain Color Concentrates. What's the difference between these and the Shimmer Mists? These come in a bottle that is capped with a dauber. You smear these all over. They are available in the same 24 colors as the Shimmer Mists.

And lastly, I got several Twinkling H2Os. They are available in 73 - yes, you read that right! - colors!!! You simply add a smidge of water to them and you have pigment shimmer paints.

Until next time *

What girl doesn't love a little sparkle?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Atlanta...What Else Is There to Say?

I recently went to Atlanta for a Cricut Circle Meetup. More on that amazing event in another post. No trip to Atlanta is complete without a visit to Archiver's!

"What is Archiver's?" you ask. It's the national chain of scrapbooking and stamping supplies! It's a paper crafter paradise really. So many of us don't have a LSS (local scrapbook store) and shop online. Archiver's now has online shopping!!!! Yippie Skippy! It's a paper and stamp candy store.

Yup, you guessed it, I did a little damage. Got lots of things I have never seen before and a few I have but need more of. A girl can never have too much paper, right?

I stumbled upon iridescent pigment ink pads from Inkadinkado. They look so sparkly! Several background rubber stamps from Hero Arts. Full of flourishes and scrolls and the like.

Chipboard galore! Mini chipboard banners from Jenni Bowlin. And from Fancy Pants Designs I picked up a set of Ribbons Edge Banners from their Artist Edition line.

One thing I picked up to learn more about was something called Chip Art from Melody Ross. I asked around about these as they are a brand new product. Well, they are meant to be embossed with several different tools from Melody Ross. Something to look for in the future!

I also stocked up on a pile of stickers, 3D stickers, and die cuts from K & Company, Creative Imaginations, Hambly Screenprints, and TPC Studio.
Well, that's about it from my Archiver's Adventure! I am hoping to go back to Atlanta soon. I'll definitely have to make a pit stop and see what's new!

Until next time *

Get Inky!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome to the Beginning

THIS is beginning of my blogging journey into a new art form I am expanding into. Don't worry I'm not leaving my paper and stamp collection behind! Can you imagine?

What's new you ask? Plenty!

For starters, I will be going back to school for the umpteenth time. This time I will actually be studying things I LOVE and not things I can deal with. It's time for me to do what I wanted to do in high school but chickened out of. I'm giving myself a second chance and I have been met with criticism along the way. Hey it's my life and I have the right to be happy. Don't like it? Piss off!

So what will I be studying? I'm finally going for my bachelor's degree! My major is Fine Arts Technology. What's that? Fancy words for Media Arts which encompasses graphic design and so much more. I'll also be taking several photography courses to complete my art requirements.

I'm going for two minors. I'm not 100% sure about one of them. One will require me to work my ass off and I am fully prepared for it. The minor I am 100% comfortable with Music. My original plan in life was to go to music school in NYC or LA. Well, I left New York state last year so I'm pretty sure I won't be going to NYC. My decision to FINALLY study music was an easy one. I do have a ton of things to relearn, but I am already preparing myself for this. Piano lessons start soon!

My second minor - the one I'm not 100% sure about - is Creative Writing. It definitely goes along with Media Arts and Music. I'm going to take the first couple of classes and see how things go. If I love it, then I'll be a double minor. If not, oh well. I need the writing for the required writing portfolio anyway. Maybe I'll find the happy inner me once again!

What else is happening....

Well my studio is 99% done! FINALLY! I only moved last April. No more necessary trips to Ikea up in Charlotte. I do need to grab something small from Target tomorrow. If they were open now, I'd go over.  But for some reason, they don't stay open 24 hours like Wal-Mart which kinda stinks for us night owls.

I'm so close to being able to play in my studio that I have gotten myself decorations. Most of them are functional. I took some inspiration from Tim Holtz and a little from Teresa Collins and a tad from my own personal tastes and needs. Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart have lots of great things for this purpose!

Don't worry there will be about a million pics when all is said and done. I'd take some now, but the table is kinda ummm covered and looks like a paper factory exploded. I need to make it all pretty and document it so I have proof that once upon a time you could actually see my art table!

My new art adventure....

Ink. Canvas. Some of my favorite words.

Stay tuned and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Until next time *

This was my Declaration.