Savoring every page …

So I come in the back door like I do every day from work, drop the keys in the watermelon dish, empty the lunch bag and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and then look to see if there is any mail on the counter for me. There usually isn’t. But today there’s a large manilla envelope along with a bill. I’m opening the bill and see the large envelope is from Stampington and I’m thinking it’s a catalog from CHA and then … the flutters start in the stomach. I realize I didn’t order any catalog and I remember the company sends a free copy of the magazine your art work is published in.

I let the envelope sit there until I made my cup of coffee, grabbed my glasses, and could sit in peace to open the envelope, all the time wondering … “did a piece of my work really get published?” It was late winter/early spring when I submitted several pieces for review and haven’t heard anything since. And, if a piece is published, which piece is it? The anticipation was killing me; I couldn’t take it any longer. I took my coffee outside and sat in my favorite spot as I gently peeled up the flap on the envelope, read the letter of congratulations and pulled the magazine out. Sommerset Studio – my favorite. I started with page one and slowly turned each page in anticipation of seeing my work in color print – and which piece would it be? What would it look like in the magazine and where would it be?

I was totally excited to see my large “Beauty” piece is the one they opted to publish. And, it’s on page 14! and page 15! and page 16! OMG! I’m not one to get overly excited but I’ll tell you I was jumping up and down screaming inside! Now, to all you previously published artists I may seem a little silly, but I don’t care – I love Sommerset Studio and to share my art work in this magazine is a dream-come-true!

I haven’t shared this piece earlier, I’ve been keeping it under wraps but I’ll show it to you now! It’s a favorite of mine – a piece I created just for me, not a class, not for submission. A friend suggested I submit it, but it was so large I wasn’t sure I wanted to box it up and send it but I did – and I’m so glad (I’ll share details of how I created it in a later post)!

The magazine is Sommerset Studio for Sept/Oct 2012. Run out and get your copy when it hits the newsstands. And, oh yeah, I am so totally doing autographs!

It’s clearly a cover-up …

I’ve spent the better part of the day playing with rubber stamps, inks, paints and Globecraft Memories to create this cute little piece of wall art. Globecraft Memories makes these great bubbles and frames that protect dimensional memorabilia but I created dimensional art to display in mine. Here’s how:

Supplies: Globecraft Memories globeframe, Ranger Paint Dabbers in Aqua, Butterscotch, Espresso, Willow and Gold; Claudine Hellmuth Studio Gesso, Inkessentials Glue N’ Seal (matte finish), 5X7-inch canvas panel, Studio 490 stamp (LCS048) A Form of Art, Crafty Secrets stamp (SS15) Material Girl, Ranger Archival Inks in Coffee and Sepia, Ranger Distress Inks in Antique Linen and Walnut Stain, Designer Dries Clear (Art Institute Glitter), embossing folder, envelope punch, wire, dimensional foam dots, needle and six mini buttons.

Prepare the background canvas by painting with Aqua, Butterscotch and Willow paints; spritz with water and blot randomly with paper towel; let dry or heat set. Brush the painted piece randomly with Gesso, ink script stamp with Sepia Archival Ink and stamp into wet Gesso. Be sure to immediately wash your stamp before Gesso dries.


Emboss Globecraft Memories outer frame with embossing folder. Paint with Willow, randomly brush on gold paint and let dry briefly. Go over with Espresso paint and rub into design; wipe off with damp paper towel then rub with gold paint and wipe away gently. Paint smaller decorative frame with same paints and techniques; Set aside to dry.

Stamp images on white cardstock with Coffee Archival Ink; heat set. Cut all images out using detail scissors. Hand write or stamp jewelry tag with phrase. Using ink applicator, ink all pieces with Antique Linen Distress Ink and edge with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.


Emboss punched envelope with embossing folder and ink with Antique Linen Distress Ink then edge with Walnut Stain Distress Ink; fold and wrap with ribbon. Wrap stamped thread spool with thread and weave a needle through. Adhere six mini buttons onto stamped and inked rectangle.

Lay out finished images onto background (I used a vintage postcard) until you’re happy with the arrangement. Attach dimensional foam pop dots to back of some of the images to layer and stack. Fit into Globecraft Memories bubble and frame, glue frame pieces to bubble and bubble to background with Designer Dries Clear and use binder clips or clothespins to secure till glue sets.


I stamped a quote with Coffee Archival Ink onto tissue paper, tore it out and adhered to the canvas with Ranger’s Glue N’ Seal. Punch two holes in top and add wire to hang. Tuck a little secret note into the envelope, edge the canvas lightly with gold paint and hang to enjoy!

Breaking into YouTube

So, today started off a little shaky. I accidentally set off the fire alarm at work this morning. It was so very loud, and of course it was the first day of the boss’ vacation. The firemen were very understanding …

But, even that little embarrassing incident couldn’t cloud my enthusiasm to get home and get through dinner so I could post my very first video! I filmed it one day last week and it took a couple more days to figure out editing and then about a week of playing around in the computer to figure out narration – whew! I think I finally got it last night but it was way too late for posting. I wanted a clear head so it looked like I knew what I was doing.

It has been suggested by friends and students that I make some videos. After all, I love to watch how-to videos on YouTube and have learned some very interesting techniques from artists I would never have an opportunity to meet in person. So I set off last week to create my first one not knowing it would take so much time – big learning curve!

Because I am so computer illiterate on certain aspects it has taken me over a week to film, edit, narrate and finally post in hopes of getting some Youtube likes! Figuring out the editing and narrating were the hardest. I pulled many a late night trying to figure out the narration – oh, I knew what I wanted to say, but getting the recording to work and then not to work was tricky to say the least. I’ve gained a whole new respect for all those artists who regularly post new videos. I’m hoping it gets easier and quicker with each one.

The video was filmed with my Flip – I love that little camera. One thing you’ll notice in the video though, is the closeups are a little out of focus. Something I didn’t know – Flip doesn’t auto-focus; I know that now so please excuse the bit of blurry parts this time. I moved the film into MovieMaker for editing and narrating and I had never used that program before so it was a little intimidating and confusing, but I finally caught on – I think.

The technique shared in the video is gesso and alcohol inks on embossed foil. It’s become a favorite of mine since Robin taught it to us during one of our monthly Cracker Jack Stampers meetings.

I really liked the results I got that night (left) and have since used this technique in several of my classes (below) – thanks Robin!

Check out my video to learn how to achieve this technique and leave a comment if you like!