A little birdie told me

My Art Journal sessions are broken up into four weeks. Each four-week session is themed. These cute little birds are from Art Journal-Fly Away where we worked with creatures that had wings.

These background pages started out with just a few stripes of acrylic paint colors and some water. Pretty darn boring! But we learned to work it into a beautiful background to display our winged birds on.

46837251_376650572878949_8810066711190437888_n
DecoArt acrylic paints spritzed with water.

Combining other mixed–media products with stamps, stencils and more, we were able to create the most beautiful backgrounds.

46674498_1408885969248475_4999577481435414528_n
Die-but bird added to background.

It’s just so much fun and very relaxing to just sit and play with no end-game in sight. Your page may never be done or it can feel complete in a quick 10 minutes.

46831078_514706902340165_3997412472834228224_n
Die-cut birds stacked atop each other create a colorful scene.

Art Journaling requires no art background, just a willingness to express yourself while playing with paper and paints.

Loving this art journal thing!

Teaching classes at the CoBACH center in Brighton came to an abrupt halt back in October when the center was closed for building maintenance. With no word on when it might reopen I decided to try the classes in my  home. I won’t lie, it’s been cozy but it’s also been fun and rewarding.

My most popular has been my Art Journal sessions. I never thought I could enjoy something as much as this form of free-form crafting. It’s a way to incorporate products you most likely already have and chances are haven’t used much.

46908439_500055770485192_7238801111186931712_n (1)
From Art Journal-Fly Away

My Art Journal classes are offered in four-week sessions. Each week I teach a different technique and the students play with that technique, experimenting to make it their own. They’re able to see how other products they may have at home or items found around the house can be worked into their art journal.

46749255_298615010758190_2666618900573061120_n (1)
It’s fun to watch the students grow each week and become a little more free in their interpretations of the projects.

We’ve had to limit class size for these but hopefully the CoBACH Center will reopen early next year and I’ll be able to accept additional students. The sessions have continually sold out.

46514346_2186175118080873_7437119220330004480_n (1)
Heat guns, acrylic paints, tissue papers, glazing mediums and more!

In the meantime we just keep plugging along having a grand ol’ time right here in my living room where I set up extra tables, push the furniture back, put out the chocolates, and we all get nice and cozy to play and socialize.

Creating is good for the soul

I never claimed to be an artist. I couldn’t tell you which colors will play off each other nicely, how to draw a face, the fundamental concepts of composition and design (heck, I don’t even know what that means!). What I do know is how to sit and create (play with my stuff).

41653805_2146693705560030_7032134302879973376_n
Such a whimsical beauty from Funky Flora Art Journal class.

I also know that when I take the time to sit, create, and play, I can lose myself for hours and totally forget about the world around me and just totally relax and let go. It’s something I feel a lot of us feel guilty about the taking the time for. We need play time, whether that be creating art, gardening, cooking, reading. We just need it. It’s good for the soul.

41676294_2146693508893383_7621633910174121984_n
I love the vibrant yellow used on the background of this Funky Flora Art Journal page.

Getting back into teaching forces me to sit and play with all my pretty (and ugly) papers, paints, inks, tools and all those products I bought and can’t remember why. Those who attend my classes are also forced, if only for two hours, to sit, create, play, and socialize. I actually call it creative playtime for adults. They make new friends, they get messy, and they relax and have fun. Some even continue with playtime once they leave class because there is homework – if they choose to do it.

41763971_2146918155537585_1037228589029785600_n
These hexagons were all cut by hand from photos – The creativity is amazing!

I’ve been teaching Art Journaling and Scrap your Stash at the CoBACH Center in Brighton; hoping to develop even more classes soon. I am a member of the Brighton Art Guild. Yep, thrown in there with all those talented, crazy-good creatives. It’s been wonderful.

41663736_2146918095537591_3197411501841317888_n
Using what’s in your stash. Mix and match papers and embellies with some technique.

Join us for an upcoming class; we’re always looking to make new friends. Check out my offerings in my online store. To see an even greater sampling of student works, stop by my Facebook page. Give it a Like!

 

It’s creative playtime for adults in these classes!

mug for blogIt’s been nearly two years since I’ve taught classes in our studio/shop. I enjoyed the break but recently felt that urge to jump back in. I’m happy to say a terrific opportunity just opened up and I’m taking it.

I’ve joined the Brighton Art Guild, a group full of so many talented artists, and a perk of membership is the availability to use their classroom alongside other teachers from the Guild.

I’ve been able to prepare for a couple of classes quickly and you’ll find them listed here: Linda’s Shop.

It’s quick and easy to purchase a class and you’ll also see the dates, times, and supply list. All of these classes are currently taught upstairs (there is no elevator) in the CoBACH Center. You’ll also find a link to the Brighton Art Guild; be sure to check out the great classes from other instructors.

My first offerings are Art Journal Adventure, which is a four-week series. We’ll play with paints, inks, stencils, gesso – all sorts of fun stuff. It begins Tuesday, July 24. It can be messy so be sure to bring an apron or wear an old shirt.art journal 4

Scrap your Stash is a very popular offering because it uses stuff you already have in your stash! We make one 12X12 layout using your papers and embellishments. 20150314_225852It sometimes is an original layout, at other times Pinterest-inspired. The point is I show you how to make your stash work for you. We alter paper and learn to create many of our own embellies for these designer-style pages that usually use only one or two photos. The first Scrap your Stash class runs 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 30. There is a Scrap your Stash Marathon scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 as well.

Join me in some creative playtime and help spread some happy scraps! Look up class offerings with dates and times at Linda’s Shop and Follow me on Facebook by liking my page for the latest updates.

 

 

Just a note…

20141126_151719Thanks for stopping by on this wonderful Thanksgiving day! This is my last post as guest designer for Dreamweaver Stencils this month. I enjoyed my stint this month and had so much fun playing with Dreamweaver Stencils.

The Dream Team challenge you to be especially “Thankful and Thoughtful” during this month. Link your creations with this theme in mind on the Dream It Up! blog using the Inlinkz tool and you could win the stencil of your choice. A bonus stencil of our choosing could be yours for using Dreamweaver product(s) in your artwork.
Today I want to share a technique to make another art journal background, but this time we’re going to cut it up and make mini notebooks from it that will fit in your purse or pocket! How cool is that – and just in time for gifting.
I started with Dreamweaver embossing paste, this beautiful Zen Flower Stencil and watercolor paper.
linda_neff_dreamweaver_stencils_notebook
After my paste dried I colorized the background with Ranger’s Distress Inks, dried and continued to dip and spray until the color was just as I wanted. I added more color by rubbing in some Adirondack Dye Ink using another Dreamweaver Stencil, Tapestry, that is a big favorite of mine.
20141126_143124
After the Tapestry Stencil I used some Aqua ink and rubbed it through Dreamweaver Stencil, Vintage Decor (click here to see how I used this stencil to turn an old drawer into beautiful home decor storage).
20141126_143520
I added some images and text with rubber stamps then more color sprays and blotting to get this final look. This turned into a beautiful art journal page but I’m still cutting it up!
20141126_143950
The art journal page is used to cover salvaged chipboard. I connected the two by running the journal paper through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station, stuck it to the chipboard and used another journal section to cover the inside and the back cover as well.
20141126_150612
Once the covers were covered I punched the binding holes with my Zutter. The inside pages were cut about 1/8″ smaller than the cover on both sides and bottom.
20141126_151148
The covers are so pretty – I really enjoyed this project. I gave no thought as to how they were cut, I just cut them to a size I wanted to use. Once bound they make a perfect little stocking stuffer, thank you gift or something pretty to keep for yourself!
20141126_151706          20141126_151747
By the way, the Dream Team are very THANKFUL when our followers are THOUGHTFUL enough to leave us a nice comment on our posts! Here’s the “A” team lineup for this week.
Link your own project using this link:  An InLinkz Link-up

Beginning with a vision

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI’m trying to get a jump on the new year with classes and projects that will be happening at Green Door Studio and wanted to share a peek at a new Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop we’ll be offering each Thursday.

I love Pinterest for all the inspiration, knowledge and beauty that can be found there. It is so easy to lose an hour or two or more surfing the boards. The Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop is taken from a myriad of tags pinned in my board: Tag- You’re it!

Each week I’ll select a tag from the board and teach the techniques involved in creating it or we’ll make something up and show you how you can recreate that tag with other materials and techniques to make it your own, which is what I do to this tag.

Linda_Neff_Green_Door_Studio_Tag_Xyron_3

For those of you who may not be aware, my daughter Rachel and I opened Green Door Studio in September. We offer a variety of arts & crafts classes for individuals or groups such as birthdays or bachelorette parties and  work or church groups. We also upcycle and refurbish furniture pieces and home decor items as well as offer custom furniture painting. We’ve taken advantage of both our talents and passions and located them in one brick-and-mortar location in Brighton, Mi.

I’d appreciate if you jump on over to our new site and click ‘follow’ (down in the lower right-hand corner) for our blog posts. You’ll find posts covering all sorts of things from furniture redo’s to class offerings, tutorials, yummy recipes we’ve tried and more! From the blog, you can also sign up to receive our newsletters which are sent about once a week. The newsletters usually contain a list of upcoming classes, events or happenings in and around the studio. And, if that isn’t enough information for you – ‘like’ our Facebook page. Rachel does most of the posting here about new furniture pieces that have come in or have been finished and are available for sale. You’ll also see her babies show up quite frequently there. She works a lot from home and I’m usually in the Studio. We’d love to have you stop by if you’re in the area – coffee is always on! And, if you’re not close by, please stop by the blog or Facebook pages for the latest news and happenings at Green Door Studio!

Visit our Green Door Studio blog for more info on the Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop that utilizes gesso, color spritzes, ink, stamping, Xyron, die-cutting and distressing.

Getting ready for the 1st Snow

1379330_10201327703969440_1970198601_nXyron has teamed up with Maya Road (one of my favorite companies) for a wonderful blog hop this week. Maya Road shared so many fantastic products with us for the hop that it was a pleasure to create this project.

I live in Michigan and I’m in that crowd of others who rush outdoors to take a ton of photos when we receive our very first snowfall of the season. It’s true – we rush outdoors to take all those photos because it’s so beautiful and three months later we’re wishing it would all just quit and go away!

I always say I’m going to scrap those photos or share the beauty with a relative who doesn’t live in Michigan, but they usually just end up sitting in my computer with the thousands of other photos that never get printed. This year will be different. I made this ‘1st Snow’ mini album to hold all those photos. I started with the Maya Road 5X8 3-ring Chipboard Tab Book and painted the pages with some homemade chalk paint I had left over.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book

Quite a few of the Snowflakes Mini Chipboard Set were painted in the same color and then embosssed in a Crafter’s Companion 6″X6″ Embossalicious Embossing Folder – Let it Snow. After the snowflakes were embossed they were glazed with some dark brown acrylic paint. I rubbed it in with my fingers and wiped the access off with a baby wipe. This allows the paint to settle into the textured areas.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_3Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_2

The next step is to run the snowflakes through the Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker facedown. This puts the adhesive on the top surface so they can be sprinkled with Art glitter Ultrafine Crystal Glitter. I love this technique for applying glitter because it gives a nice smooth finish for the glitter to land on rather than a raised trail of glue. The Xyron Clear Hold glue from the Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit is perfect to hold gems in the center of each snowflake.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_4Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_5

A few of the snowflakes were used to decorate the adorable Maya Road Vintage Linen Burlap Bag used on the front cover. Title letters were painted with Adirondack Snowcap Acrylic Paint Dabber and treated as the snowflakes to add a layer of glitter. I then brushed on some Xyron Clear Hold glue to the tops of the title letters to add another layer of chunky glitter, Art Glitter Krystallos Shard Glass, to simulate fallen snow resting on the ledge.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_6Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_7

All the backgrounds on the pages are created by stamping with Wendy Vecchi and Tim Holtz stamps and Adirondack Snowcap Acrylic Paint. I brushed the paint onto a non-stick craft sheet and stamped into it to pick up the paint and then stamped onto the page. Be sure to wash the stamps immediately before the paint dries. This added a nice soft look to all the pages. Several sentiments were stamped onto High Gloss Cardstock by Crafter’s Companion.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_8Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_11

Xyron High Tack Adhesive Dots proved very useful in attaching the chipboard snowflakes and the title. With the two sizes – 3/16″ and 3/8″, it was very easy to place them in narrow and thick areas.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_9 Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_10

The interior pages were dressed with sentiments, snowflakes and few embellies – kept light so the photos become the center of attention.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_15 Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_17

Several sentiments are attached with the Teresa Collins Stapler on the outer edge so photos can be tucked under the loose edge. The journal card is hinged with the arrows from the Maya Road Vintage Kraft Star & Arrow Pins collection.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_16 Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_14

Pretty ribbons adorn the rings that hold the book pages together – Alterable Scallop Trim by Maya Road and May Arts Krinkle Ribbons.

Linda_Neff_Xyron_Maya_road_mini_book_13