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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Let it snow!

Howdy! It’s really cold this week here in Michigan, which led me to create this Winter-themed configuration tray. You like?

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Our Xyron Design Team is sharing 30 days of Holiday Projects with you and I’m up today. I’ll tell you, I absolutely love this Bundled Up Crate Paper line! The retro style and colors are just so cute!

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I started out with a blank Tim Holtz Configurations Tray and before opening the package experimented where the die cut pieces would lay; then I took a picture with my phone so I could recall the placement. I’ve also learned to circle the layout of the box I want to use on the package insert. These are hard to get back in place where you wanted them without a map of some sort so this works for me.

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Then I painted all the box edges with white acrylic paint, including the large outer box and let them dry.

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After measuring the boxes and recording the dimensions I cut all the papers and placed them in the boxes to ensure they fit before applying any adhesive. Trust me, it’s so much easier this way and really doesn’t take that much more time. After trimming any pieces (and there are always one or two that need trimming), I inked all edges – even the die cuts – with Ranger’s Old Paper Distress Ink.

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Then, all the box papers go through the Xyron with permanent adhesive. I used my Xyron 9″ Creative Station by lining up the pieces across the loading tray. This box is so easy to assemble with the Xyron adhesive on the back of all the pieces! So it costs about $2 to put all these papers through the Xyron and about five minutes to tuck them into the boxes versus the time it would take to use a different adhesive – love it!

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You’re probably wondering how I will know where all those papers go. Cell phone! Yep, remember the photo I took in the beginning? I just open it up and follow my little map.

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The papers are in and I’m thinking it’s needs some more bling. I’m thinking glitter on the box edges so pull out Xyron Clear Hold Adhesive from my Xyron Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit and a small paint brush. I brushed the box top edges with the adhesive and dipped them face-down into a tray of Donna Salazar clear transparent glitter.

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Pretty, pretty! This added just the right amount of glitter glistening snow.

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The boxes are held in place with Xyron’s 3/8″ Adhesive Dots. I used two on most boxes and 3-4 on the larger boxes.

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The die cuts are given a little extra dimension by adding Xyron’s Black Foam Squares to the backs.

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Here’s the finished piece and a close-up. Be sure to check out the Xyron Facebook Page for so many festive ideas from my other Xyron Design Teammates.

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ATC’s dressed for the holidays

ATC’s are just not my forte. I keep trying but I’ve never been quite happy with the finished results. The Cracker Jack Stamper’s that I’m part of have been swapping ATC’s recently and every time the sign up sheet comes around I swear I’m not going to participate again, but when that paper lands in front of me I pick up the pen and sign my name once again.

These are my attempt at a holiday-themed ATC for this months’ swap. I’m not afraid to show my failures!

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They started out as watercolor paper die cut with Tim Holtz’ ATC die. I needed eight so cut 16 pieces – front and back. They are brushed with one coat of Gesso and left to dry.

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Then they’re painted with red paint and left to dry before adhering a torn strip of patterned paper with a Xyron Glue Stick.

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A thin coat of soft gel medium, colored lightly with a touch of black acrylic paint to make a tinted glaze, is brushed on. While the medium is still a little tacky I randomly pressed down some gold leaf to add a touch of bling – it is the holidays after all!

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I typed up a saying – “And she wore holiday dressings” and printed it out on plain office paper. I trimmed the sayings down and inked the edges with Ranger’s Archival Black ink before running them through the Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker.

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The saying is split and adhered to each ATC then the ATC’s are brushed with a thin layer of soft gel medium tinted with Ranger’s Adirondack Metallic Gold paint dabber. I used a baby wipe to blot and gently wipe away some of the gold layer; I wanted just enough left to add a slight sheen.

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I prepped eight Dress Form Hangers from Maya Road by tying a piece of Maya Road Twine Cording around each one and trimmed the ends.

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To complete the look, I stamped the other eight blank ATC’s with a label stamp, wrote my info on the back and ran them through the Xyron 9″ Creative Station. Then I matched them back-to-back with the finished fronts.

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I finished them off by edging them with the gold paint dabber and added the cute paper clip!

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I took them to Club and exchanged them with the others. Though I don’t love them I’m not ready to give up yet! I love a good challenge so keep watching for that perfect ATC from me!