Project-packed weekend retreat sends ’em home happy, glittery & de-stressed!

Ive had a few requests to share pictures of the projects I taught at my first Fall Art Retreat held at Cottages at Sunset Shores. I was so pleased with the comments and feedback I received from the students. Everyone had a wonderful time, Vivian fed us so very well, the cottages are adorable and the craft room offered us plenty of space. Best of all – everyone completed their projects! Of course, we all know there are certain projects that are ever-changing. We add a little something here, change a little something there; but for the most part the projects went home complete!

I planned three projects to keep everyone busy throughout the weekend but still allow a wee bit of down time for Saturday afternoon. They really had no clue as to what the projects were. They trusted me and signed up sight-unseen. I dropped little hints every now and then, but no major announcements. They were given a supply list to bring (mostly consisting of tools) and I supplied the rest.

We started Friday evening with the beginnings to a Vintage/Shabby Chic coin envelope mini book with tags. This project would teach a plethora of techniques and carry into Saturday to finish up. We worked on that till nearly 11:30 p.m. then did some stenciling on their Vintage window frames so it would be dry in the morning. I had a selection of different sizes of Vintage window frames so they were able to select a style and size best suited to fit their space at home.

The window project also taught several techniques using gesso, stencils, acrylic paints, ultra-thick embossing enamels, dry embossing, tissue printing and using manly tools like power drills and screwdrivers! I must say, the group took their windows up a notch! They all turned out so beautifully. I love when students have enough time during class to experiment with techniques and the freedom to play and that’s what this retreat weekend was all about – time to experiment and play.

It took all of Saturday to finish up the windows and coin envelope books and we tossed in a make-n-take provided by Globecraft Memories using Piccolo Charms and Piccolo Enamels.

We finished the weekend off by making an ornament from Globecraft Memories using Art Glitter, Crafty Secrets, Piccolo Enamel Powders and some beads.

I don’t know who had a better time – the students or myself! I’ve already selected the dates for the Altered Vintage Winter Mystery Retreat to be held at Sunset Shores Feb. 22-24. Watch for more info to come.

Here’s the pics: click on any them for a closer view.




Candy Spiegel tells you all about her altered window on her blog. Hop on over and see what she has to say!

Fall workshops are just around the corner …

Even though temps are still pretty high around here my attention is focused on Fall – Fall workshops that is. I’ve been working on several projects this summer that will be offered this Fall as workshops and I wanted to share some sneak peeks with you all. My calendar is being updated as workshops get confirmed so check back often.

The first is this Christmas-themed configurations tray using Graphic 45 papers, Art Glitter, Globecraft Memories and Xyron. Go figure! I managed to work them all into one project that I think you’ll love to display each year during the holiday season. We’ll work with acrylic paints, inks, embossing powders, fussy-cutting, glitters and so much more! I’ve titled it “Compliments of the Season.”

This next workshop, “Glimmers of Hope,” came about as I was designing a project for the Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Want2Scrap Blog Hop recently. The project received so many nice compliments (thank you to all of you for those!), and is able to work so nicely into a workshop. I’ll teach you how to turn a Graphic 45 plain craft-paper box and accordion book into a beautiful keepsake. Once again, we’ll use those gotta-have-’em papers from Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Ranger products – more technique!

Who doesn’t love hand-made ornaments? These cute little globe ornaments from Globecraft Memories are so much fun to create with. You can put just about anything inside them – they’re not just for the holiday season! This workshop will really get into fussy-cutting using some Crafty Secrets cut-out sheets. We’ll add some bling, by way of Art Glitter and Want2Scrap and you’ll be able to play with the new Piccolo embossing enamels from Globecraft Memories too! Join me in this “Victorian Gewgaw” workshop.

There are a couple more in the works still. As soon as the samples are done you’ll find them here so check back often! Any of these workshops can also be scheduled for private groups of six of more in your home or other location. Contact me via my email:  to make arrangements.

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!