Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I never got around to making Christmas cards this year...(gasp) so I sent out store bought ones. I like to think they were nice and everyone enjoyed them, but I was feeling a little guilty about it, I even had a couple of emails saying we really look forward to your cards every year....now I was really feeling bad.
I have a friend who sends out her cards after Christmas...she says it gives the recipient time to enjoy and read them after the rush... hmmmmm, I think it’s a good idea. So, I have decided to send out New Years Cards...they are more like a little one piece banner....so festive...
I am mailing them in those padded mylar envelopes that are metallic...I picked some up at the Container Store..but they are available everywhere...
The banner piece itself is approximately 10 X 7 inches...I used what I had on hand to make this. No trip to the store was required other than for the envelopes..
I used one of the vintage images I have collected. The one used in this project came from the Graphics Fairy...If I have an original, I always make copies and use those.
Supplies I used for this included the following items:
• Art Glitter in the following colors:
• #79 black ultrafine opaque
• #89 martini ultrafine transparent
• #32 true blue ultrafine opaque
• #291 fire engine ultrafine opaque
• #708 ramosa microfine transparent
• #158 mellow yellow ultrafine transparent
• #611 vintage glass glitter antique silver
• Art Glitter designer dries clear adhesive
• Art Glitter metal tip
• chip board 10X7 inches
• pattern paper to match vintage image
• scraps for the pleated flowers
• crepe paper (flowers)
• 6 buttons
• linen string
• rayon ribbon
• 1/4 yard beaded trim
• jute webbing
• 18 inches wire
• maya road chipboard stars
• Tim Holz memo pins
First, I cut the banner piece out of chip board and covered this with the cardstock. The patterned paper is layered over this foundation piece, I just trimmed 1/4 inch around the entire perimeter and then adhered it with a glue stick. I also layered a piece of jute webbing...I found this in the upholstery supply store...I am not sure what my original intention was for this..but it works on this...this will need to adhered with a strong liquid adhesive.
Once these are all assembled, I top stitched around the perimeter on top of the patterned paper about three times on my machine...it was a snap...I stitch on paper all the time...I love the extra dimension it gives a project...it doesn’t have to perfect...so no worries if you aren’t an expert seamstress...
Adhere the glass trim to the back side of the banner piece...after you have finished stitching...
The vintage postcard is then adhered to the top with foam tape. I glittered around the edges using the art glitter metal tip and designer dries clear adhesive with the vintage glass glitter...I just can’t get enough of this...
The snowman’s hat, buttons and the little boys shoes glittered with #79 black. For the snow #89 martini applied again with the designer dries clear adhesive...I actually mixed the black (#79) with equal parts of #32 (true blue) together to get the right color for the little boys clothing...I love the results...using the metal tip on the adhesive. I mixed #291 (fire engine) and #158 (mellow yellow) together for the hat and stocking and used just the fire engine red on the scarf...I am really pleased with the results of mixing some of my own colors....
I then made some flowers to adorn the lower part of the banner with some scraps...and also crepe paper...Thread the buttons with linen thread and adhere to the centers.
The little stars come from Maya Road...they have great chipboard pieces...I am a big fan ...these were glittered with the same black and blue mixture I created for the boys clothing ...and also with the vintage glass glitter in antique silver...I did use one big star that I adhered to a memo pin...
Finally punch two holes in the upper corners & thread wire through them....I strung a big crystal on the wire at the top...add a bow made with the crinkled rayon....on the right side...ta dah...you are finished!
Wouldn’t this be fun mail to receive....I wrote a little note on the backside...and signed my name...it is like a little piece of art!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Today, I'd like to introduce you to my second tutorial for December using http://www.artglitter.com/ products, namely Fantasy Fiber in Shimmering Pink to make the wings of a butterfly. The previous tutorial featuring Fantasy Fiber is here
Equipment and Supply List
Teflon coated paper or parchment paper
Art Glitter Fantasy Fiber - Color - Shimmering Pink
Embroidery floss and thread
Dresden (gold petite fleur-de-lis 1/8 inch trim)
5 velvet leaves (I had on hand thanks to Debby Harriettha....thank you Debby!)
Frozen Charlotte bisque doll head or any other doll head (approx 1 inch in diameter)
Organza or other transluscent fabric as backing to Fantasy Fiber
Embroidery and beading needles
Sari silk fiber remnants
3 inch wide wired ribbon (for the top right and left wing parts)
Fabric Glue - optional
Embellishment for body of butterfly
1. Follow these instructions (from Art Glitter.com) to create a sheet from Fantasy Fiber:
"Set Teflon coated iron to medium or polyester setting. Place three to four layers of film or a small amount of fibers on parchment paper. Lay another piece of parchment or non-stick pressing cloth on top. Press with iron firmly for 3-10 seconds. Lift parchment to reveal a totally unique sheet of fabric! The more layers /fibers you melt together, the stronger the fabric sheet. You can die cut it, use a hand punch or scissors. Soon you will be able to predict the outcome of the bonding procedure, allowing you to create colors and textures you never dreamed of before. "
2. Bottom wings - pin a piece of organza or other translucent fabric to the sheet of fiber and free motion stitch around the piece create the bottom part of the left and right sides of the butterfly wings. You could also trace or draw the wings on first. I just did it 'free hand' as I sewed.
3. Take a long piece of sari silk ribbon and twist it to create 'piping', affix it to the edges of the wings and machine stitch it onto all edges of the wings.
4. For the top part of the wings, I repeated Step 1 but this time attached a wired 3 inch ribbon to the wings...experimenting here as I went along. Next time I will probably use the wired ribbon for all parts of the butterfly wings as the wire enabled the wings to be shaped further and adds a nice dimensionality to them. I also like the translucency of the fantasy fiber sheet as it allows for the 'swirls' of the ribbon below it to shine through.
5. For the body of the butterfly I machine stitched several times over another piece of fiber - just to create a base.
6. Sew the tops of the wings to the bottom of the wings.
7. Taking 3-4 inches of German Dresden border at a time, I adhered the border to the edges of the wings using a tiny bit of fabric glue to keep it in place.
8. Once in place, I machine stitched over top of it. This is a little 'tricky' because if you aren't careful the gold paint can separate from the base of the Dresden. If so, you can touch it up with a gold leaf pen.
9. Using a blanket embroidery stitch, I embroidered around all of the edges in gold. I've also started to do some cris cross embroidery stitches in between the blanket stitches. If you look closely, you can see this part of the butterfly is still a work in progress.
10. Attach the bisque head to the body - trial and error here. because there were holes in the neck and top of the head of this doll head, I threaded a wired 1 inch wide ribbon through from top to bottom and then sewed it firmly to the back of the body. I wanted to avoid using any glue wherever possible. Experiment with your own creativity to determine the sturdiest way to do this.
11. Sew the five velvet leaves onto the body and wings.
12. Stitch beads onto the edges of the wings.
13. Add some seed beads to a ribbon by stitching them on and then wrap the neck with this ribbon for added stability.
14. Create a scarf or 'hat' with ribbon remnants wrapped around the bisque head and secure it with a few wraps of embroidery floss around the neck to hold it in place.
15. Using whatever you have on hand for a body as an embellishment, attach it over the existing 'fiber' body - a great place to use your imagination.
This butterfly still has a bit more beading to go and....who knows what else?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
If you’re looking for a great last minute gift, you should check out my video for my Glitter Decoupage Ornament Kit.
This pretty project is really fun, easy and perfect for both beginners and seasoned crafters. It’s actually one of the only projects I’ve designed that can be enjoyed and successfully finished by adults and children alike.
It’s a simple technique, but the reason it all comes together in the end is because of a thin layer of Art Institute Crystal Glitter—this last step creates a very satisfying shimmery finish. (It’s very important that this layer remain very thin—dip a wet brush into the decoupage medium to make sure it doesn’t go on too thick.)
I could explain it all in words, but my short, how-to video is really the clearest, fastest way to learn how to make them. You can watch it here:
The kit comes in 3 different color choices, so there’s something for everyone.
If you want to buy the kit, you can order it here: http://makegreatstuff.com/glitter-decoupage-ornament-kits/.
If you want to make something similar on your own, you’ll need the following: paper mache ornaments, decoupage medium, decoupage paper, a craft brush, Crystal Art Glitter, and a yard or two of narrow satin ribbon.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 18, 2010
If you don’t have scraps of Fantasy Film, you can use fresh film. Just iron at least 3 pieces together to cut into two 1.5” x 8.5” strips.
Art Glitter Fantasy Film scraps
Designer Dries Clear Adhesive with Ultrafine Metal Tip Attached
Art Glitter Ultrafine Opaque Glitter #65 Old Gold
Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent Glitter #85 Crystal
Iron set at High
Bakers Parchment Paper
1/8” Hole Punch
Ruler, Cutting Board, Xacto Blade
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Stick
Wired Cord or Ribbon
Small Paint Brush and tray for glue
Finger Puppets, candy or what ever you use to fill your box
First I put dots of glue around the fairy’s dresses and covered with Old Gold glitter. After that dries paint on a coat of Designer Dries Clear to back side of wings. Let dry. Paint another coating on and sprinkle with Crystal glitter while glue is very wet, white and shiny. Let dry completely and brush off excess glitter.
I cut four 11” strips of my silver cord for each box. Soon I discovered that it frayed on the ends. So I dipped each end into some Designer Dries Clear adhesive immediately after cutting them before they had a chance to fray and set aside on some wax paper to dry.
Start to layer scraps of film onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Try to get a nice variety of colors and fill in blank spaces as best as you can.
Cover with baker’s parchment paper and iron for a few seconds.
Lift up film sheet to see holes. Sorry this is blurry, had to take it with the flash off to see the holes.
You can go back now and put more film down where needed. I didn’t worry about getting every hole covered, just most of them. You probably have a pretty thick sheet now. Make sure all pieces are ironed very well. You will want to flip it over and iron both sides. It will be warm, almost hot. If it starts to bend, iron again and let it cool flat.
Using cutting mat, ruler and xacto blade slice 1.5 x 8.5 strips. You should be able to get 7 strips with a little left over that can be used on your next sheet.
Take two strips and make an “X” with them. Since this film has been ironed a lot, the overlap won’t create a very good bond so squeeze a good drop of hot glue between them. Make sure your X is centered well, then cover with parchment paper and iron square in middle, on both sides. If a little bit of hot glue squeezes out, let dry and roll off excess.
Bend up the four edges at the square base. At each end bend a 1” section away and cut corners off to make a triangle point.
Punch one hole at each corner of box side, and another hole at center of triangle. Repeat with 3 other sides. The placing of these holes does not have to be exact.
Weave cord through the two bottom holes on 2 box sides that are next to each other, tying them together. At top holes tie excess cord into a bow. Repeat on opposite corner. Tie other two sides in same manner, excluding making the bow. Instead feed excess cord up through hole in the triangle of the same box side.
Slide a jingle bell down cord sticking through top of triangle and tie a knot to keep in place. Then wrap excess wire around base of jingle bell. Finish with other 3 sides and fill it up!
Easy to execute, but hard to explain. I hope with the help of the photos it makes sense! I can’t wait to give them away, but shhhhh, my co-workers won’t get them for a few more days!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
My two previous posts this week feature 3 digital ATC's I created using images from Tumble Fish Studio.
Today I focused on the one image I hadn't worked with and discovered two 'new' techniques while experimenting.
Materials and Supplies:
Digital ATC transferred onto Inkjet Fabric Sheet
Computer and Printer
Print digital ATC onto fabric.
Iron a fusible fiber onto the fabric ATC
Begin machine stitching with different colored threads
Using pieces of Art Glitter Fantasy Film - "Krista's Eyes" already heat set (instructions for this are available here) position it over the fabric and machine stitch around it.
Trim edges of the fantasy film outside of the stitching.
6. Edge stitching with sari ribbons, other hand-dyed fibers, laces.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more experiments!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Hello...my name is Connie K. and this is my first project for Art Glitter as a guest designer…but by no means is it my first project using Art Institute Glitter...I am usually sparkly everyday…
I wanted to make a Christmas project that was fun and had some vintage elements in it…I love to use re-purposed objects in my designs and try to included them in any of my projects when possible.
Most of these items are easily found where ever you may live…
So here we go! Gather up your supplies..
Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive
Art Glitter Metal Tip
Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent …
Art Glitter Vintage Glass Glitter …
611 Antique Silver
18 inch paper mache cone
8 inch chipboard circle
10 inch scalloped cake circle…Wilton
6 large chip board snowflakes…Maya Road
22 gauge silver wire
Folk Art Acrylic paint white
1 ½ inch wide ribbon about a yard
Glimmer Mist Tattered Angels …pearl
Color Box Chalk Ink … creamy brown
Decorative Garland..found at Michaels
Ivory crepe paper (vintage)
Vintage Wall Paper
Glue gun for assembling all the pieces
Liquid adhesive for the wall paper..I used Beacons 3 in one
I first covered my cone in the vintage wall paper...you could use scrap book paper, or anything you have in your stash...even heavy weight wrapping paper would work great.
I then painted both of the chipboard foundation pieces and the snowflakes with Folkart acrylic paint and set them aside to dry. The edges of the snowflakes were distressed with Color Box Chalk Ink in Creamy Brown. Once they were dried I lightly misted the snowflakes and chipboard bases with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Pearl. I love this color..gives a nice pearlized glow to everything…swoon.
Next, you’ll want to thread two pieces of wire through the top of the cone ...first pierce a small hole at the very top…we will be attaching the snowflakes to these in awhile.
Adhere the cone to the smaller of the chip board circles and then both of them to the large scalloped edge piece. I used a glue gun for both.
Cut a piece of crepe paper about 24 inches long…glue to the base of the cone with liquid adhesive, gathering as you go. Once this is in place you can edge this ruffle with Art Glitter Vintage Glass Glitter in #611 Antique Silver. I used the Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive, with the Art Glitter Metal Tip...fabulous…You will be raving about this…it really is fabulous!
Now it is time to start embellishing with Art Glitter.
I used the Art Glitter Ultra Fine Transparent in #89 Martini on the snowflakes and the circular bases. Brush on Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive with a foam brush and sprinkle on the Art Glitter. Once the snowflakes are dry, I went back and added some of the Art Glitter in #611 Antique Silver...on the tips of the snowflakes. You can adhere a big rhinestone in the center of each snowflake for extra blingage!
One snowflake gets adhered to the top of the cone on the front and the other from the backside. Attache the other snowflakes to the two wires pulled through the top of the cone…with the wire sandwiched in between.
I found a piece of garland at Michaels that I liked, and cut it in pieces to add around the base…I found it was easier using smaller pieces than wrestling with a long unruly one. This was glued in to place with my glue gun...
The reindeer was a vintage ornament I had in my stash, it was silver plastic... not really enough wow factor for me...so I glammed it up using Art Glitter Vintage Glass Glitter in Antique Silver, adhered with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. Now that’s more like it!
I then added a bow... that picked up the colors in the garland and paper I used... added a little more Art Glitter Antique Silver Vintage Glass Glitter to the edges and some on the leaves of the garland. I am loving this...
I hope you enjoyed this project and make something sparkle today…
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
One of the most satisfying aspects of the creative process is transformation--when our humble caterpillar projects evolve into gorgeous butterflies.
In truth though, transformation is not easy to achieve. But with a little practice, you can learn to create this effect in your work much more often.
And for you Art Glitter lovers, I’ve got the perfect Art Glitter-based holiday project for learning more about this process.
The Byzantine Baubles Ornament Kit
These ornaments pictured here are examples from my Byzantine Baubles Ornament Kit.
Making this kit will carry you through a genuine transformation process–each step evolves the project from its humble, brown kraft paper origins into its final, bejeweled, glittery wonderfulness--it’s truly a great example of how lots of small details create a final result that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts.
A how-to video is available to people who buy the kit, but I’m sharing all the steps here along with some of my best design tips and tricks in order to inspire you to start your own wonderful versions of this project just in time for the holidays.
To make this kit you’ll need: Paper Mache Ornaments, Metallic Paint, Transparent Ultrafine Art Insitute Glitter; Art institute Dries Clear Glue, The Art Glitter Ultrafine Metal Glue Tip, German Dresden Trim; Glass Pearl Cabachons and a paintbrush.
Paint all your ornaments first and let them dry thoroughly. I like to use metallic paint and I usually use two coats.
Decide where you’re going to dry your ornaments before you start painting—I like to stick a tack in the side of my worktable.
Practice drawing lines and dots with the ultrafine metal glue tip on scrap paper before you start working on the actual ornament:
Get a feel for the tip and the design you want to make. I provide a template for my looped design in my kit, but you can look in pattern books for other inspiration.
If you work out a pretty design that you like first, it'll help you use your glitter wisely and figure out what part of your pattern should be in what color before you start on the ornaments themselves.
Simple is best. As you can see on the Byzantine Baubles ornaments, I use a simple all over loop pattern with gold dots.
Filling the space with a repeat pattern is a great way to make your final product look good-- don't worry if your drawn lines and shapes aren’t perfect--the repetition of the pattern and the gorgeousness of the glitter hides all kinds of imperfections.
Once you’re ready to work on your ornament, it’s best to work in stages:
If you’re using a multi-sided ornament like mine, draw your glue pattern on one or two sides and then sprinkle your glitter before the glue dries.
If you’re working on a round ornament, pick a section that’s small enough to be comfortable working on, and do the same as above.
Once you’ve sprinkled your glitter on top of your wet glue, you’ll notice extra glitter seems to stick everywhere on the ornament—even the non-gluey areas. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to brush off the excess glitter after it’s dry.
Hint: You might actually find it easier to work on more than one ornament at a time because it will help you resist the temptation to continue working on the wet one.
Once you’ve created the entire background pattern and it’s dry, you can brush off the excess glitter with a (dry) paintbrush:
Now you’re ready to add your second color. For the Byzantine Baubles Ornaments, that means adding a simple glue dot inside each loop of the pattern.
Again, it’s better to work on only one or two sides at a time so the glue has a chance to dry.
Don’t forget to resist the temptation to brush off the excess glitter until the glue has dried.
Once you've covered your entire ornament with gold dots and brushed off the excess glitter, you’re ready for the next step.
Your ornament should be looking pretty snazzy at this point, but these next two simple steps are key to making the ornament look like something else—something more exotic than it is—this is what makes it feel transformed:
By wrapping strips of traditional German Dresden Trim around the center of each ornament, it starts to look like a jeweled encrusted secret box or a Christmas-y version of a Faberge egg.
We can reinforce this feeling by adding oversized, flat backed glass pearls (cabachons) to three sides of the ornament, (just glue them in place with the glitter glue). The glitter, the trim and the pearls all work together to create an over the top fancy feeling that’s perfect for a Christmas ornament.
Now the ornament is done. It’s thoroughly transformed from its original state—kraft paper? Whaaa? Who knew?
We’ve elevated our project by combining materials in a new way that creates something larger than the sum of its parts. This in turn sparks the imagination of the viewer to connect our design to other images, ideas or feelings in their experience--personal memories or shared cultural symbols and objects.
All of this happen in nano-seconds—and most of the time, as the viewers, we’re not aware of it. And it might sound high-falutin’ but I believe that creating connections like these in our viewers’ minds is what makes good design good—and when you’re developing a craft project, that’s what you’re doing—designing.
More Design Tips
Things to consider if you’re developing your own ornament designs based on what I’ve been teaching here:
Keep your design and palette simple.
Use just a few colors for an elegant feeling and lots of colors to create a riotous, party feeling. For these ornaments, I stuck to a narrow palette--I use one bold color for the paint and the main glitter and use gold as the accent.
I then echo the gold from the glitter in the trim and the pearls—if I had used white pearls, for instance, it would have looked weird and detracted from the design.
So before you discard an element that doesn’t seem to work, ask yourself if it’s the size, the shape or the color that isn’t right—change one thing and it might be perfect.
Repeat shapes and lines—I repeated a lot of circles in my ornaments—the looped pattern, the little dots, the round pearl cabs—balancing repetition with slight variation creates visual interest and harmony at the same time.
Constantly strike a balance between variation and repetition:
When I first added trim to the middle of my ornament, I instantly loved that it created a closed box feeling because it created more story, which in turn created more visual interest.
But by repeating the gold color of the dots, I also kept the “visual interest” under control because it was connected to the other elements of the design—too much harmony and a design gets sleepy—too much variation and everything looks choppy and confusing.
I hope this project has provided you some ideas about how you might create transformation in your own artwork, design, and craft projects.
If you’d like to order this kit and download my step-by-step how to video, please click here: http://makegreatstuff.com/byzantine-baubles-ornament-kit/
What do you think about these ideas about the role of transformation in your art making or crafting? Does it seem crazy or are you intrigued? Please share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Thanks to for everyone turning in applications for future guest designing spots. If I haven't replied to you yet, sit tight, I'm getting there! And if anyone still wants to apply please do!
It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our three new guest designers for December, January and February:
Sarah Bush is an artist and creativity coach living right outside of Manhattan. She was designer and Creative Director for a retail entertainment venue for several years where she designed hundreds of craft and art projects that were then re-created and customized by thousands of beginner and experienced artists and crafters alike.
She has a blog called MakeGreatStuff.com dedicated to helping you live your life as the artist you are.
Connie K. Casement
Thirteen Things About Me
1. I make a mess when I create.
2. Green is my favorite color.
3. I love to go thrifting …flea markets …goodwill …estate sales …etc.
4. I have an ongoing obsession with interior design.
5. I am a mother, sister, wife, girlfriend and daughter.
6. I believe you can never use too much glitter!
7. I make the best Margaritas ever.
8. I love making something out of nothing.
9. I have always been creative...it is genetic.
10. I can’t sleep late.
11. My favorite beverage is green iced tea…
12. I drive a convertible.
13. I was named after my Dad.
For more fun with Connie K. visit her blog: http://connie-k.com/
Trudi Sissons is a mixed media artist and amateur photographer living in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada.
She was fortunate to grow up in a family who always placed a high value on Fine Arts and credits her parents for encouraging her to embrace a crayon early on! Her work has been featured in several publications and her current interests include exploring digital work in textural applications and surface design. She currently works on five creative design teams where she creates illustrations digitally.
For more information, visit her blog at www.twodressesstudio.blogspot.com
Thursday, December 2, 2010
You see the glittery goodness?
That’s what I love about the holidays-the glitter.
I really have to try this year, to make my Xmas cards early. I have to. So I’m trying to find some holiday inspiration, so I can make these cards and send them out!I did order some new stamps from stampin up. But I hate waiting for things to come in the mail. I’m off to Michael’s today, since I have some last minute supplies to purchase for a kid’s party I was hired to do tomorrow.
What else? I hope to have my Christmas inspiration, so I can get cracking this weekend!