Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!
I love this time of year - carving the pumpkin, roasting up the seeds, seeing my kid get all into the whole dress up thing! It's so much fun to just "take it all in".

It should be a nice night for the tricksters. This is the first year my daughter will not be trick or treating. She will be dressing herself and the dog up in costume to greet the kids that come to the door. .... that and she wants to teach me Jak and Daxter on her Playstation. Should be interesting -- these thumbs aren't into that whole gaming thing. Where's the joystick? LOL

I hope you have fun tonight!!

BUT... before that .... I hope you drop by the studio today before I close at 4pm. I have some of these super cute layouts for your kids to create and place a photo of their Halloween experience in -- it comes complete with a 8x10 frame to display it in. Kits are $8

I also have our remaining Halloween Papers and embellishments 25% off today and next week Tuesday - Thursday (before I have to leave to host the London Retreat Weekend on the 6th)

We have some Basic Grey papers, rub ons and stickers, some My Little Yellow Bicycle Glazed papers and some American Crafts Halloween Papers too! Drop on by and sa HI!! Love to see you.

I have chocolate goodies for those who come in today -- it is Halloween after all. Muahhhhhh!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ask Karen (and Tim)

I was in the States on Tuesday (as you know) picking up some fabulous Distress "stuff" for the London Retreat Class and I JUST REALIZED that I didn't post an "Ask Karen". So sorry.... but better late than never? :)
I wanted to share a video with you that Tim Holtz did a few months ago using Distress Inks and Perfect Pearls -- I have Tim on the brain as I prep for this class :) I love how he shared with his viewers that he discovered ways to use Perfect Pearls with Distress Inks by accident while he was "playing" with the product. SEE!!!! Get out your messy bits and play! You never know what will happen. Quite often you will discover a happy mistake! Who would have thought Distress Inks would pick up the powder.... and.... well just wait until you see what he did next!!
I know I have mentioned this many times... its good to know how products react with water -- we discussed this last night in the Canvas Class too -- Distress Inks React with water! This is just one more cool way we can use that knowledge to our crafty advantage! Gotta Love it!!
I will definitely be playing with this technique!!
If you have any questions about these techniques or any of the products you see out there -- go ahead and ask!! I will post responses to your questions on Tuesdays - Promise :)
Enjoy the video!! Get out and play!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Studio Closed Today... off to get some treats!

Hi all! I just wanted to remind you that the studio will be closed today -- I am off to my depot in the States to get some more great product and class materials for the upcoming London Retreat and the studio too!

I will re-open the studio tomorrow at 11:30 for regular studio hours.

Also tomorrow -- our Timless Moments Canvas Workshop. I have two spaces available. Please email me today if you are intersted in coming. Love to have you join us.

See you tomorrow! I hope there are no lines at the border today......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Graphic 45 Christmas Card Workshop

Hello Bloggers!
If you follow us on Facebook you will know that I completed the cards for our upcoming Christmas Card Workshop! ... all made with the Graphic 45 Christmas Papers, lots of ink, stamping and yes, perfect pearls and distress stickles too! -- oh so Yummy!!

Join us in the studio to create these cards on Saturday November 14 from 11:30 - 2pm.

Our card workshops are "all you can create" meaning you can work at your own pace and create as many cards as you like during the workshop (working on two at a time, most people finish 8-10 cards each workshop they attend). It's a lot of fun and you can learn some great techniques in a social card making atmosphere! Gotta love that!! Hope you can join us! Workshop fee: $20

Contact the studio to make your workshop reservation.
THIS JUST IN (updated Sunday evening - 7pm): another card workshop will be held Tuesday November 17 from 6:30 - 9pm. If you can't make it on Saturday, I hope you join us on Tuesday evening.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Timeless Moments Canvas Workshop

Hey bloggers.
I am here to announce an upcoming workshop happening in the Studio NEXT WEEK - Wednesday October 28 from 6:30 - 8:30pm

On request, I will be teaching the Timeless Moments Canvas Class that I taught at the Peterborough Retreat earlier this month. If you would like to join us. Please let me know. I have two more canvases available right now - but can get more if I know by Saturday that you're interested. Call the studio 519 954 6620 or email me

Looking forward to creating Canvases with you!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yet another great way to use Sticky-Back Canvas...

I was surfing the internet one day and came across an idea that intrigued me. Someone used Crafter's Workshop templates as an embossing template and the back side of sticky back canvas to secure it. Oh gee, I wish I bookmarked that idea so I could give the designer her props. If someone finds it, let me know!!

Anyway -- armed with this idea .. I decided to play! Out came the Sticky-Back Canvas from Claudine Hellmuth and the Crafter's Workshop templates.

Take a piece of Claudine's Sticky-Back Canvas and remove the backing. Place on your workspace sticky side up. Choose your favourite Crafter's Workshop template and lay it over the sticky canvas. Press it firmly in place.

In a tray (to make it easier on you), sprinkle your favourite embossing powder over the template.

Then lift and remove the excess embossing powder.
Save the remaining powder for a future project!

Remove the Crafter's Workshop template and then,
using your heat gun, heat set the embossing powder to the canvas.

And yes, here you see me using perfect pearls! Funny how these turn up in every project!

Once the embossing powder is set... brush a complimentary Perfect Pearl colour over the exposed sticky portions of the canvas. Lightly spritz with water to set the powder.

And looky looky..... a custom textured fabric-like piece that you can use in your projects! Looks fantastic! I am super impressed....

....Impressed enough to use this technique for my Dollar Store Project. Here's a sneak peek of what I am doing for those interested:

We will be trying this as a group at the Dollar Store club too. AND.....

Mark your calendars. I will be teaching a "Crafting with Crafter's Workshop Templates" workshop next month and this will be one of the techniques I will be showing. I hope you can join us!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ask Karen: "Stickle Mania...."

Hellllllooooooo Blog people! It's Tuesday and time for another edition of "Ask Karen"
I have had a LOT of questions about Stickles lately.

So -- Here's the 411 on:
the Difference Between Regular Stickles and Distress Stickles.

Essentially this is it:
Regular Stickles are made with metallic Glitter.
Distress Stickles are made with bits of Mica. Yes, Mica -- a rock mineral that ground down to a powder form also makes up what we know as "Perfect Pearls".

Both types of Stickles add a glittery effect to our projects however, Distress Stickles also add a texturized sugary effect -- a direct result of the mica bits that are added to it. Tim Holtz (the product designer, guru, creative genius), also equates it to a broken glass-like effect without the glass. (depending on the thickness)

Distress Stickles are meant to be "spread around" to "sugar coat" an image. We used it in the layout class at the Peterborough Retreat to get a sugary effect on the clouds. I love how it looks (here's that layout to re-fresh your memory).

How to use -- blob it out onto the area you want to glimmer and then spread it around with your fingers or even the nib of the bottle. It's all good :) It will look a little "mucky" when you apply it BUT... it will dry flat leaving only the glimmery mica behind. It will dry in about 15 mins depending on how thick you apply it -- but.. unlike regular Stickles, you can take a heat gun to it. It won't blister with heat.

Mica is a rock mineral -- individual sheets of Mica are shiny/glimmery... BUT stack those glimmery sheets together and they will appear dull. Keep this in mind when using Distress Stickles: The thinner the layer, the shinier the effect.

So - if you are looking for a vivid glitter accent - Regular Stickles will work marvelously!! If you'd like a textured glimmer that's a little more subtle (and even inkable) try some Distress Stickles. You'll LOVE them!!

We'll be using the Distress Stickles in our classes at the London Retreat next month and at different workshops in the studio this fall. I have lots of them in the studio right now including a re-stock of the ROCK CANDY DISTRESS STICKLES (the clear version of the product).
The price came down thanks to the US Dollar -- so get them while you can at $2.99/bottle!!

Need a little Tim inspiration? Here's a blog entry he did a year ago (almost to the day).
Thanks for the amazing products Tim!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We have an official Crop Poster


Go Scrapping is hosting an "I AM A CANADIAN SCRAPBOOKER" Day Crop at the Hespeler Arena Auditorium on November 28!! I hope you can come!

I got the official okay from Canadian Scrapbooker to use their logo on our Poster as this crop has so much to do with them. Yippee!!

HOW SO DO YOU ASK?? Simple! I am being published in the upcoming Winter Issue of the Canadian Scrapbooker and I want to celebrate!

I will have a limited number of issues of the Winter edition of the Canadian Scrapbooker that I will be selling at the crop for $10 -- That's approximately $2 off the $11.99 list price!! AND I will be giving away a one year subscription to the Canadian Scrapbooker to a lucky Canadian Cropper! Fabulous, isn't it??

Wait!! That's not all!!
The Canadian Scrapbooker is publishing Christmas Cards that I made using some fabulous SEI papers and embellishments. Are you ready?? Have you guessed?? YEP!! SEI is sponsoring a make n take that day so everyone attending the crop will have the opportunity the create one of the cards published in the magazine!! How amazing is that?? Thanks SEI!!!

I'm so excited!!

Get your tickets!!
Tickets are on sale at the Go Scrapping Studio and at Simply Scrapping in Cambridge.
Tickets are $50 and include your meals, some treats, make n takes, and your chance to win some fabulous door prizes including that year subscription to the mag. -- and don't forget your cropping space from 10am - 8pm!
Judy and Sheri from IN A PINCH DESIGNS will be there with as selling their fabulous kits and doing free make n takes as will Lucy from SIMPLY SCRAPPING!! A great day will be had by all!!
See you there! It's going to be FUN FUN FUN!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trick or Treat...

I know, I know... a little early BUT I wanted you all to know what was happening in the studio this Halloween!

I have a limited number of these fun frame kits available for Halloween. Bring your kid trick or treating at studio on Saturday the 31st and pick one up to take home so they can create a little something to commemorate the evening OR stay and create the layout with us -- something fun to do with the kids while they wait for the festivities.

Let me know if you are coming in by October 29 to guarantee a kit or two for you. Kits are $8 and include the 8x10 frame.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Ask Karen" ... image transferring

I'm a little late with the Ask Karen today... sorry about that. I was creating it!
I got back from a nice Thanksgiving weekend and set out to create a mini tutorial for today's "Ask Karen" question: What's the easiest way to do an image transfer?

I know there are various methods floating around out there... some are easier than others. I personally have never been able to get the "packing tape" transfer to work properly so I don't use it in my artwork -- what I do use, however, is Matte Medium.
Matte Medium is fabulous -- and versatile. You can transfer images on a variety of surfaces while using it. For the purposes of this tutorial, I used Sticky-back Canvas.

Choose your image. I chose this fun photo from a stamping ad in one of my favourite magazines. Magazine images transfer VERY well... as do any photocopied images. Whatever image you choose make sure it is toner based. An ink-jet image won't do... take your favourite photo to a copy place and photocopy it before use.

With a paintbrush, apply a generous layer of Matte Medium to the surface of the canvas and to the entire surface of your image. Place it face side down on the canvas and rub in place making sure the entire image is stuck to the surface without bubble areas.

Let Dry -- Take a heat gun to it to speed along the process if you like.

Once dry... wet your finger or spritz the image with a little bit of water. NOT TOO MUCH... just enough to wet your finger to loosen the pulp. Rub lightly in a circular motion. The paper pulp with loosen and rub away from the image that remains. Be patient!! a light hand prevails. Rub too hard or too vigorously and you risk removing the image below.

Once the pulp is removed... I like to seal the image with a coating of Matte Medium. It dry clear with a matte finish! :)

Once the image is dry... zap it with the heat gun again if you like....

get out your paints!! You can spruce it up with paints, inks.. whatever you like. Have fun embellishing.
I made my canvas image into a card embellishment. Whatcha think??
I'll be offering a image transfer in the studio soon. Email me if you're interested! :)

Question 2: Diane emailed and asked how she can adhere glitter to a stamped image.
There is a GLUE PAD out there. That would be the easiest way to do that. Apply the glue just like any other stamp ink, stamp your image and then sprinkle the glitter on it. Pour the excess glitter onto a scratch sheet to save it for another project and "voila"... one glitter image.

You need to make sure the GLUE PAD is good and juicy for this to work AND that you are stamping on a firm surface to ensure a nice evenly stamped image. I might be inclined to spray the glittered image with a spray fixative... but that may not be necessary or even work depending on the fineness if the glitter. For best results -- try using on glossy paper.
I haven't played with this in a while... you're inspiring me to get out the glitter! :)

Thanks ladies!! Bring on the questions... I will answer more next Tuesday on "Ask Karen" !! hehe

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I think the sentiment in this cartoon says it all... so much to be thankful for -- one day to express it just isn't enough..... especially when I get emails like this:

Hi Karen:

I just wanted to give you a quick shout to let you know how much I enjoyed the retreat. It was awesome and I am so glad I finally had the opportunity to attend. Being beside the window with that gorgeous waterfront view was an added bonus and you sat us with 2 of the best tablemates anyone could ask for.

I have my notebook, address book, post it note holder, card and In A Pinch make’n take all sitting on the dining room table and I find myself going to have a look quite often. I just love them. Your class was one of the few that I have ever taken where I came away with items I will actually use and I know I will use the techniques you showed us as well. Love, love, love them!

Everyone in the group was super friendly and that was certainly appreciated by a first timer to your retreat. I am looking forward to attending another down the road.

Sure wish I lived closer to your Studio!

Thank you Diane - and everyone else who comes to my studio, retreats and events throughout the year. I am truly thankful for you all. I have said this before, and I'll say it again: you are the reason I do what I do and the reason I love it so much!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

fuzzy spiders, mobiles and wall hangings....

Welcome to the Dollar Store Club!

This month's crafting adventure revolved around Halloween!! The girls were set loose from the studio last month armed with the instructions to create something -- anything -- for Halloween using dollar store items. They could have chosen costumes, decor, anything.....

The ladies got pretty creative. We had 3 mobiles complete with fuzzy spiders, bats, witches and ghosts, an etched candy jar and a couple of wall hangings. It's all good and pretty "bat-acular" :)
I love show and tell!! It's fun seeing how people create,

This is the little loot bag that we created in our mini class after show & tell last night. Sue had mentioned to me that she had never used Alcohol Inks so... I thought we could get those out and create a fun witch hat for the little gal. I think they turned out pretty cute :)

Next month the girls are to create something with "leaves" in it. The leaves can be in a pattern, they can be floral, they can be anything. The only stipulation is they create something with leaves on it and use at least one dollar store item. Can't wait to see what they create!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

London Retreat Classes

They're Here.......
The Retreat Classes for Go Scrapping's London Retreat November 6-8, 2009.

Are you ready?? Retreat goers are encouraged to register for their classes early as these classes are on a first come, first serve basis.

All classes require you to bring a "basic class kit" (trimmer, scissors, wet and dry adhesive, pencil, eraser, ruler) and any addition materials can be found in the class descriptions below.
Every retreat guest has the opportunity of taking one of these classes as part of their retreat registration. Additional classes may be purchased too. The prices for each class are listed in the description. All additional class fees are payable when you arrive at the retreat.

To register for your classes.. simply email me your selection. It's as simple as that. I will send you a confirmation email once I have received your request.
Happy Selecting!!

Distressing the Holidays - 10:30am
Designed by Tim Holtz, instructed by Karen Ellis

It's gonna get messy!! This class is for all those "technique crazy" ladies out there who would like to play with a little "ink"! Oodles of techniques using Ranger products will be shown as you decorate the front and back cover of this cute Grungeboard Mini Album. As the title suggests, this is a class that Tim Holtz designed and taught for retailers at CHA this summer. If you love technique classes, this ones for you!!

Class Fees: $25 as an extra class, $5 as your complimentary option.

Please bring: Your basic Class Kit and Distress Ink pads (I used Fired Brick Red, Brushed Corduroy (or Walnut), Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint (Green), Weathered Wood (Blue). Bring a nice assortment or share with a friend)

Family Love Layout- 1pm
by Karen Ellis

A fun fall coloured layout to showcase your family photos. We will be using papers from Harmonie -- a Canadian Company (out of Quebec)!! I will be showing you how to create fun embellishments with alcohol inks and glossy papers and you will be getting to use paint in a new "journalistic" way. Not too much messy stuff -- just enough to get you interested :)

Class Fee: $15
Please bring: Your basic Class Kit, Vintage Photo Distress Ink (or similar brown ink for edges) and 4 black & white or sepia photos of your family. Sizes shown are 4x6 (3 portrait, 1 landscape)

Christmas Cards - 2:30pm
by Sheri East of In A Pinch Designs
Ho Ho Ho -- Sheri is thrilled to bring you four Christmas cards that friends and family will love. Sheri chose to create more of a rustic look using distress ink, buttons and jute however, she couldn't help herself and added just a little bit of bling

Class fee: $15

Please bring your basic Class Kit, Vintage Photo Distress ink by Ranger, blending tool by Ranger or make up wedge, and Crystal Stickles by Ranger

2010 Calendar Gift Set - 4PM
By Karen Ellis

I love Graphic 45. Here is another class I designed with this fabulous paper: A bound 2010 Calendar and Note Book Set. The gift set class went over so well in Peterborough I just had to make the calendar into a set too! I think you're going to love love love it!!

I will be teaching lots of ink blending techniques in this class and using some fun templates from Crafter's Workshop too!

Class fee: $16
Please bring your basic class kit, 3D foam dots, vintage photo distress ink (and fired brick red too if you have it)

I will be emailing all our retreat guests these classes so they have them on file.