Thursday, February 25, 2010


Have you got your next issue of the Canadian Scrapbooker yet? I know people who have subscriptions have started receiving them...

Okay... so turn to page 21....

Yes, you might see some familiar people there....

Yes, we've BEEN SEEN!!

Here I am with some of the ladies who were able to join us at my "I AM A CANADIAN SCRAPBOOKER CROP" last November. I'm so excited that this picture made the issue! What a GREAT keepsake of the event!!

Thank you Canadian Scrapbooker!! We LOVE YOU!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Everyone knows I need Therapy........ :)

I have been busy busy busy.... getting things ready for our upcoming retreat at the Nottawasaga Resort at the end of the month.
But, I haven't forgotten about my blog peeps!
I have some FUN things planned for the retreat (and the blog) and I am biting my lip trying hard not to spill the beans.
If you are attending the retreat... you will be getting another email from me soon - and if you're not? (What? you're not??) There is still a LITTLE bit of time to get in on the action for this and our Stratford Retreat at the end of March. For information CLICK HERE.
Back to the planning........

Monday, February 15, 2010

We Have a Winner!!

Thank you to everyone who has dropped by my blog on their journey around the world on their Magic Carpet!! And thank you for leaving a comment and saying HI! I have LOVED visiting other blogs and getting to know some of the FABULOUS creative bloggers out there!! Very inspiring.

As you know, I had a give a way on my blog for the ONE WORLD ONE HEART event.
drumroll please.......

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:16
Timestamp: 2010-02-15 23:14:45 UTC

which means.. our winner is:
LINDA who posted: Wonder pendant is beauitiful, very apt too, Linda:) Please enter me into the draw, and do come and visit at..

Congratulations Linda. I will be in touch for your addy and will send this off to you. Enjoy!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Spring Thanks...

A little too early? Nahhhhh! :)
I created this card yesterday in the studio using a couple of new to the studio stamps that I got to play with. LOVE this bicycle from Inkadinkado and the Eifel Tower from Stampabilities. See that tower? I wanted it to be part of the background so I stamped with Weathered Wood Distress Ink.... The Bike was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink and then I added some glossy accents to make it pop!
There is no pattern paper on this card. I created the background image using Distress Inks the way Wendy Vecchi did (with pigments) on her Valentine tutorial on yesterday's blog. Here's that link. I can't wait for her stamps to arrive so I can play Studio 490 style too!
Thanks for the inspiration Wendy!
This thank you card will be part of the March Card Workshop Offerings.... Contact me for more info.
Off to create some more!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ASK KAREN - Paper Bleaching

Okay.. here it is as promised. Sorry about the delay - let's pretend its Tuesday, okay? *smile*

Over on my Facebook Fan Page, Wendy wanted me to tell you about beached paper after she saw my post about the tag I created using the items sent to me from my Valentine. (If you haven't already.... please become a fan -- it's a great way to get info about what's happening at the studio while following this blog at the same time.... I digress....)
Bleached paper .... is bleached paper. I literally raided my cleaning closet, poured a little bit of bleach into a cup and, using a paint brush, I painted bleach onto areas I wanted to highlight on my stamped image. The image is stamped on cardstock -- BUT not all cardstocks/cardstock colours will work. Test your cardstock with a dab of bleach before you set to work on your project. If the bleached area turns white.... you're good to go :)

Okay... on with a similar project....

Stamp your image onto cardstock using Archival Ink. Archival Ink is important as it is oil based and will not smudge or blur when you add water or other liquid over it.

Then... go ahead and ink it up with your favourite coordinating distress inks.

I love what Alexandra did on my valentine and I will show you the steps she took here too... so this is a little bit of me and a little bit of her.

Her next step was to add.....

YEP! You guessed it, Perfect Pearls. She mixed some Perfect Pearls and water into a Mini Mister and spritzed her image. That's what I am doing here too.

Using your Heat Tool, dry the image..... now get out your bleach!

BE CAREFUL.... Remember we are using bleach. Make sure you are working on a bleach friendly surface... and that you are using your Craft Sheet so you can protect your work surface. If you are messy like me, you might want to go put on an apron -- okay, I think you get the idea... *smile*

Dip a small paintbrush into the bleach and "paint" the areas that you would like to highlight on your image. In this case, I am bleaching the flower. The beach will remove the pigment in the paper as it dries. The more bleach (ie: right after you dip it into the bleach) the whiter it will turn. Play with the bleach strength to get you desired result.

You can leave it this way... BUT... that's no fun! Now that you have removed the pigment from the paper -- go ahead and add some distress ink colours to it.

I have done that here using Cut N Dry Nibs. I love these tools ... I dip them into my distress ink pads to pick up the ink and I can add ink to small areas -- very cool! I use these while I tint my black and white photos too... This looks a little rough at first but you're not done!!

Change paint brushes or get out your water brushes and paint plain water onto the areas you coloured with distress inks. NOTE.. you don't need too much water. Spritz some on your CRAFT SHEET and dip your brush into that. Remember Distress Inks react with water.... when you apply water with the paint brush it will blend the colours nicely!! It's all good!

Keep going, adding and touching up colours and blending them with water until you are satisfied with the results......

Now go ahead and add it to a tag or a card or your layouts. I just wouldn't put bleached paper onto pictures -- I think you'd agree that those reasons are obvious. :)

Here's my new tag I made... I think I will put it on a card. It would make a great "All Occasion" Greeting.

NOW, I just showed you how to paint the inside with bleach... you can also do outside, thin stamped images with bleach too.
Take a look at this background stamp -- heart themed of course!! I made a bleach stamp pad by layering lots of paper towel in a tray and pouring some bleach on it... enough to soak the paper towel without puddling. Then... use that as your stamp pad and stamp the image as you normally would. MAKE SURE you wash your stamp well immediately. :)
Think of the possibilities.... Have fun, Go make Art!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Some Market Finds....

I know, it's Tuesday.... and it's ASK KAREN day... but I will have to post that tomorrow. I was in the States this morning to pick up some CHA orders (nope, no stamps yet.... I'll let you know) and was a little late getting back to the studio. I'll get the ASK KAREN stuff together and photographed when I get to the studio tomorrow and will post if for you then.... Sorry dedicated fans :)

BUT... I do have a little something to share with you.

I was in Barrie Sunday to watch the SuperBowl with my Dad .... but earlier that afternoon I skipped out to do a little Antique Market Shopping at the 400 Market. I was THRILLED to see the amount of PostCards, Vintage Photos and Ephemera they had there. Yep... I will be back.

Check out the stash I did pick up:

You'll see lots of fun turn of the century (as in 1900) postcards, a Music Book, promo materials for a builder in the 50s, some buttons, charms, ephemera, old stamps -- YEP I got a hull. I can't wait to look up some of those postcards online and get a little history on them. That's my favourite thing about collecting them: finding ones I like and then learning about them - THEN I will scan and make art with them. Yippee!


I have been searching for the perfect book to create an art journal with. I wanted to have the spine say something that reflected what I want to put on the inside. I've been looking on and off for a few months and then presto!!!

The spine reads: A Woman's Heart and other Stories (De Maupassant - c1951).

How perfect is that for a personal journal? SOLD! It had to come home with me.

And look at what else I found!!

My mother remembers this book ... and I have heard it mentioned by others. Many women were introduced to their "monthly bill" via this informational pamphlet by Kotex. LOL, gotta love it! Do you remember it?
I LOVE this page -- on the left things you can do when you have your period, on the right -- things you shouldn't do! Basically you can clean yourself but don't do sports. WOW... how fun. The how to attach your pad to the belt page was a memorable one too! :)

I may be showing my age now but... I wasn't given the above like my mother... I was given this:

LOL..... Maybe I should have used this book for my journal -- NAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Enjoy! Now go make art!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Thanks Valentine!!

I received the most beautiful card in the mail yesterday from Scotland! No, not Scotland, Ontario... I mean Scotland - Scotland ... in the UK!

My Valentine, Alexandra, sent me a beautiful Valentine card as part of a Valentine Swap on the Wendy Vecchi Yahoo Group I'm a part of. (I will ask her if it's all right to post her Valentine here .... and will post it on the 14th if it's okay) Anyway, along with the fabulous card, she sent some pre-stamped GrungePaper (stamped with some of Wendy's stamps), a tag, some paper and a stamped piece of cardstock ... The cardstock was stamped with the same rose image that she used on my card.
Excited to receive my first swap item from this group... I thought I'd create something with the items she sent.
THANK YOU VALENTINE!!! I love it! This was the first time I bleached my paper.... fun technique! Thanks for the inspiration!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

More GrungePAPER stuff

WEll, its been a week of Grunge for me :)
I was commissioned to add flowers to a vase for my neighbour's friend's mother's 78th Birthday. WOW, that's a mouthful! hehe

My neighbour gave me a vase and said that he wanted something floral on it to decorate it up (he is going to fill the vase with goodies for her and do it right up...) So... something cheery.... something floral... Okay... I'm on it!

out came the GrungePAPER and my trusty Big Shot Machine - cause paper flowers just weren't going to do! I thought this flower die would be PERFECT for this project so I die cutted the grunge and set to work!

Time to add some ink!
Okay, no surprise here... except maybe the fact I didn't use Vintage Photo or Frayed Burlap for this project (shock, gasp, horror) -- I chose Broken China, Dusty Concord, Mustard Seed, Dried Marigold & Peeled Paint (can't WAIT for the new colours to come in) and inked those flowers up!!

I stamped some of the flowers with Jet Black Archival ink and glued them together. I added glue to the centre of the flower to prepare for the next step.
FlowerSoft! Yes, I saw this on another blog (I linked it in my Ask Karen Grunge Post) and thought that would make a nice touch here So... I added some FlowerSoft to the centres of the flowers and tapped away any excess I had. -- *mental note: WOW... I need a manicure!*
I wanted these to be a bit "blingy" ... or should I say "frosted" so I added Rock Candy Distress Stickles to them..... Note I am applying it with my finger (tap tap tap.....)
And here they are.... lots of flowers drying almost ready to be applied to the vase.
And cause I love them so much... here's another view.... hehe
Once dry, I attached the flowers to the vase provided with Glue Dots and added a few Liquid Pearl "dots" for a little interest.

I took this over to my neighbour and he said it was PERFECT! Just what he was looking for. I hope it is! But -- If it doesn't work, just a hint..... I'll take it! I think it's pretty! hehe

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A little Heart....

Tonight we had the monthly meeting of the DollarStore club.
I love this group of girls.

We missed a couple of ladies this evening but there was lots of eye CANDY to be had - *wink* Candy, get it?? I was a Valentines month project after all. *smile* brings a tear to my eye --Oh wait, that was Sheri! :)

This Heart Canvas is what I made for my project this month. Its base was inspired by a canvas Donna Downey created for her CHA Booth last month. In it she used tags to add texture to the canvas background. I was inspired. I got out my tags that I picked up in the business section of the dollar store and decorated them with reinforcements to create some added texture and then adhered them to my painted canvas (painted with Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Paints).

....and then I painted, and dripped paint and painted some more ... and then went and heated up the wax!! Yippee!!

I covered the entire surface of my canvas with beeswax and then fused it on with my heat gun (I covered it in two layers, fusing between layers) From there I started adding my embellishments: the words, the flourishes, etc and fused them to the canvas with the wax as well.

The next step involved another one of my favourite products: Perfect Pearls. I dusted the canvas with Smoke Blue, Pearl and a metallic Perfect Pearls .. I lurve the effect!

I took the handle from a pot I had collecting dust in the back room, shaped it with brute force (hehe... leave it to me) and then strung some beads on wire to add a little pizzazz.

I like how it turned out... Hope you enjoy :)

Thanks for a great night ladies!!
Can't wait to see what you do with something from the Kids aisle next month!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Hello Bloggers!
It's Tuesday and time for another ASK KAREN post.

I received an email yesterday from JO asking what you can do with GrungePAPER.
Yes, PAPER - Not GrungeBOARD. There is a difference.

GrungePAPER is thin - at least half the thickness of GrungeBOARD (...not that I measured or anything) and as a result is VERY VERSATILE. You can ink it, and sand it and die cut it, and paint it, and spray it and emboss on it... cover it with anything (with the right glue -- do you know about 3N1? LOL) BUT because of it's thin... you can also emboss it with your embossing folders. YAY... textured goodness!! and manipulate it well cause it does hold it's shape. You can also use it in your die cutting machines and punch it with your punches!!

Jo also wanted samples (picky picky - hehe)... well, samples I can do cause I use the stuff all the time... and so do many many other people in the blogosphere! I am happy to provide links to their work for you too. The possibilities are endless.... and I mean that.

Many of you know that I participated in Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas.

This is Tag Number 12.. I created the roses using the GrungePAPER. We did something similar to this at the London Retreat -- but there we used GrungeBOARD. TRUST ME.... Paper is easier to work with and looks far more delicate!

LOVE this TAG!!

This year's Nottawasga Retreat (you know, the one inspired by ArtyJen's work) also has a class in which I used GrungePAPER.
The wings on this Canvas are created with GrungePAPER. Here I inked them with Distress Inks, stamped on them with Archival Inks and then added some Rock Candy Distress Stickles to sugar coat them. See how they are molded to add dimension? The GrungePAPER will hold that shape. Very cool.

Can't you just see how you can use it on your layouts too?

Eileen, one of my bloggy friends made a wallet with it -- LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out....

Wendy Vecchi (stamp designer and artist) uses GrungePaper in everything she creates with her stamps. Here is the link to her Blog where she displays samples using her stamps (yes, that are coming in the store as soon as the post people deliver it) and how she uses them with GrungePAPER. Keep scrolling... oodles and oodles of GrungePAPER projects here.

Here is someone who created bookmarks with them:

Here's a little tutorial on how to use Wendy's flower stamp with the GrungePAPER and flowersoft. It's pretty!!!

And here is a FLICKR post that I found using the GrungePAPER and Alcohol Inks and Sticky Back Canvas. Gotta love that!! I am going to have to play with this technique too!

I hope this helps you out JO!
For all of you out there that are interested - I do carry this in the Studio.
I have 12x12 Sheets (3/pkg) for $7.25 and there is a new size coming in from CHA- he (Tim Holtz) is now selling it as 6x12 sheets (6/pkg)... Smart move... especially as most of us cut it up and run it through our die cutting machines. This size is perfect and takes up less space. I'll let you know a price when I get it in ... but it will probably be about the same.

Go ahead, make ART!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Nottawasaga Retreat Classes!!

Well ladies.... here they are. The Classes that will be held on the Saturday of the Nottawasaga Retreat February 27, 2010. Can't wait.

These classes are available on a first come, first serve basis to our retreat guests.

My classes are available at the studio - contact me for details.

Retreat guests are entitled to take one complimentary class at the retreat (to a max of $20). Please note that the Canvas will have a $5 charge even if chosen as a complimentary option. Please email me with your class selections. More than one class is available to take -- the class fees listed will be applied and are due upon arrival at the retreat)

OKAY... without further ado...

10:15am Alice in Wonderland Bracelet and Brooch Set
Designed & Instructed by Karen Ellis

Come create with Karen. Use Memory Frames to make your own custom Jewelry. We will be tinting black and white public domain images from the fabled Alice and Wonderland books with distress inks and some Cut N Dry Nibs and decorating them with some fun charms and buttons.

Please bring your coloured inks. Distress Inks blend the best. I used Vintage Photo, Broken China, Scattered Straw, Aged Mahogany and Fired Brick Red. (Browns, Blues, Reds and Yellow) Also bring Black Ink to stamp with too!

Also required, needle nose pliers, wire cutters and your fine motor skills!
Class Fees: $20

1:15PM Graphic 45 Christmas
Designed & Instructed by Karen Ellis

I love Graphic 45 Papers. This Christmas layout is all ready for you to add your photos and even your own title. Every student will receive their very own coordinating sticker sheet to do just that!

Class Fee: $16
Please bring: Your basic Class Kit, Vintage Photo or Frayed Burlap Distress Ink (or similar brown ink for edges), & some pop dots. Photo mats for 1 5x7, 2 4x6 and 3 2.25x2.25. Note: we will be glueing ribbon. Please bring a good glue that won't bleed through ribbon (like 3N1 Glue) or lots of glue dots.

2:30 His & Her Birthday Cards
with Judy Beeksma (In A Pinch Designs)

Happy Birthday!!!-- Judy is thrilled to bring you four Birthday cards that friends and family will love - 2 are perfect for girls and 2 are perfect for boys!

Class fee: $14
Please bring your basic Class Kit, Black and Brown inks, Pop Dots, a glue pen if you have it for glueing fine details and your favourite adhesive for attaching ribbon.

4PM Enjoy the Journey Canvas
by: Karen Ellis

Have I told you how much I love Graphic 45 papers?! Here is another class I designed with this fabulous paper: A 12x12 canvas wall hanging.

Think of it as a layout you hang on your wall! This canvas was inspired by my Blog Friend Artyjen's winning project for UK based Stamper Magazine. It uses Distress Inks, GrungePAPER, distress crackle paint... It's all good! (*please note: the Key will vary)

Class fee: $25 ($5 as a complimentary option)Please bring your basic class kit, 3D foam dots, black Archival Ink and your distress inks. I used Tattered Rose and Frayed Burlap. Please bring a Black and White photo 2.5"x6" or 3"x6" the image in the photo is 2.5"x6"