Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Door Canvas

Okay -- this was fun!
Last night the girls and I had a great time making this silly Halloween Burlap Canvas that I will be hanging on my door this evening in time for the Trick or Treaters!

We created this Halloween bomb during my ustream broadcast so you can see how it all went together on the recorded video found below ---  just scroll down a tad ...if you dare! *wink*

All the foam bits were cut using my Brother ScanNCut machine.  The ScanNCut has a really fun selection of Halloweeen cut files pre-programmed and ready to go.  Just choose the image, size accordingly and cut away!  Brilliant!   I am in the process of filming how I cut the pumpkins in this piece -- stayed tuned for that video in an update shortly or subscribe to our youtube channel to get notified when it posts.

In the broadcast I mentioned that I'd provide the link to the youtube video I used to learn how to tie the hangman's noose.  Here's that link:How to tie a Hangman's Noose .  What a great source of giggles.  I'm still a little surprised I was able to remember how to do it and show you in the broadcast as well!

Have fun creating your own treasures!   Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Proud Canadian

I went to bed the day of the shooting at our National War Memorial and Parliament Hill dreaming of a project...  a patriot project for me to do on my Thursday night broadcast. The events of the day hit me hard, as it did most of us Canadians, and I knew that no matter what I created, it would be something to honour the two soldiers who died that week and the country that I love.

As I mentioned in the broadcast, Susan Pickering Rothamel from USArtQuest posted an art project on Facebook that featured an intricately cut maple leaf.  I knew that I wanted to do something with a maple leaf and, with that in mind, decided to cut the word PROUD from one (thanks for the inspiration, Sue).

I did not show on air how I created the leaf so I thought that I'd share that process here for those interested:

  1. Pick a recently fallen leaf and let dry over night.
  2. iron the leaf between two pieces of wax paper with a craft iron (if you use your regular iron, be sure to protect it by placing another cloth between it and the wax paper while ironing).  My iron was on a high setting
  3. brush the leaf on both sides with some PPA (Perfect Paper Adhesive).  Let dry before turning and applying the medium to the other side.   Be generous with the application.  You can use a heat gun to speed the drying process if desired.  (soft gel medium can also be used)
  4. Once the medium is completely dry, place it on the standard ScanNCut Mat and load into the machine.
  5. Press the Pattern option on the homepage and select the fonts - specifically the stencil font.
  6. Type and Set the word PROUD.
  7. Size it to the width of your leaf minus an inch.  ie: if your leaf is 4 inches wide, size the word PROUD so that it's 3" wide.
  8. Scan the leaf on the mat then move the word PROUD so that it's centered on the leaf image displaying on the screen.
  9. Cut the image.   I had the blade set to 2 for this project.
  10. Once cut CAREFULLY remove the leaf from the mat using the spatula tool that comes with the ScanNCut machine.  If you treated your leaf with a thick enough coating of gel, that will protect it and your mat during this project.
Note: if your leaf has large veins, you may have to use an exacto knife to score them.  The number 2 blade setting is deep enough to cut the leaf and thin veins but not thick ones.  I chose to use the 2 setting instead of something higher because I wanted to cut with caution .. I didn't want to cut through the mat in the thin areas of the leaf.   Determine what works for you and go from there.   Prep a couple leaves just in case if you wish.  HAVE FUN!

Here's the broadcast recording.  Enjoy... and remember to love - not give into hate or terror.  Peace to you all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stained Glass Mosaics

On Saturday Stephanie Howe taught a class at the studio on how to use Stained Glass pieces to create fun Window Mosaics!

Love how these artful pieces turned out.  They're gorgeous!

 Although I wasn't in the studio while this class was on, I heard so many wonderful things about it... AND...  I have to say I was honoured that one of the students used one of my pieces of art (in this class the Stacked Birds Gelli Collage) as inspiration for their window.   How fun is that?  Thank you!

Thanks Stephanie for a wonderful class and Toni for looking after the studio and the students while I was away at the CreativFestival.    A creative weekend was certainly had by all!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Abstract Poppies during a shocking day

We had an Abstract Peeps - Gelli Printing Collage class in the studio today.  As we created art, we listened to the news about the shootings on Parliament Hill. 4 of the girls created peeps (mostly representing family and friends, Gerri and I created poppies - thinking of our soldiers, war memorial and government and everyone else we know and love in Ottawa - They were all most definitely on our minds.    Shocking day.  

Keep your families close tonight and say a prayer for Peace.

In the heaviness of the news - we did have a LOT of fun creating.  THANKS GIRLS - you are AMAZING!  Here are some of their creations in various stages.
and my pooch Mozart (aka MoMo) kept a keen eye on the progress.
Thanks  for a GREAT day ladies....  we sure needed that distraction today!  xoxo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Store Banners to spice up the street view!

New Banners for our windows came in today!   Love this new look...  and check out what my coop did today too - used the ScanNCut to cut vinyl lettering for across the top of my window frames!   Yahoo!

Friday, October 17, 2014

I have LOTS of new and exciting products coming to the studio VERY SOON and I have to make room so I thought that I would offer a VERY BIG SALE to help me do just that!

50% - 80% Off
Select Merchandise

for example:
Almost All Stamps 50% - 80%
ColourArte Primary Elements and Silks single jars 50% off
Distress Inks, Paints and Stains - 50% off
Distress Markers only $2.00 each
Sketch and Go Books- 60% off
Stretched Canvas - 50% off
Scrapbook Paper - .25 each
Embossing Powders 60% - 80% off
Jewelry and Metal Art Products - 70% off
Art Creativity Kits and Storage Boxes - 50% off

How does all that sound??
We are busy updating the online store to represent these prices.   They will finalized this afternoon.
Sale ends next Saturday OCT 23, 2014

Online Customers, please note:  It will be difficult to keep the quantities available for these items up to date/accurate in our online store as we have a manual inventory system.  We will pack orders as they come in and refund any item no longer in stock.   Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monoprinting fabric... oh yeah!

Looks like I may have inspired these sisters. *smile*
Deanna came into the studio to paint some Quilter's Cotton so she can make a rag quilt too...  and Nancy?  She spent the afternoon painting with us!  LOVE!

Wonderful to have you girls here playing in the studio!

Hope you're all doing something creative this evening!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Cozy Piece of Art

I had fun this week creating a monoprinted rag quilt for a class that I will be offering here at the studio.   This 3 part class will include printing the fabric using Gelli Plates and Stencils then we will be cutting and piecing it together to create a very cozy work of art!

This is a basic quilt that anyone can do!!  You don't have to be as precise as a more elaborate edged quilt which, in my opinion, makes it all the more fun!

Items used for this project:

More on when this class will be later -- look for info on our calendar.


Saturday, October 04, 2014

From a Stamp to an Embroidered Image - Using the new Brother Dream Machine

I am so excited to have the new Brother XV8500D - the Dream Machine - arrive in the studio.   There are over 100 things this machine can do but one I am extra super excited about is the new scan and embroider feature.  YES!!!  You can now scan in your stamps, doodles, line art, illustrations, etc and create an file in just a couple steps.  This boggles my mind and I had to play!

I mentioned this new feature to Catherine Scanlon when she was here a couple of weeks ago and told her I was dying to try this with some of her stamps so it's only fitting that my first project on the machine is using one of her stamps from Art Gone Wild.  The card to your left was created live on USTREAM Thursday night.   The flower image is one of Catherine's stamps embroidered on a fleece backed piece of muslin and then painted with Derwent Inktense Pencils.   LOVE!!!  To see how this was done...  be sure to scroll down to watch the recording of the broadcast.

Since I was unable to broadcast the process involved to create the embroidery, I thought I'd step it out here.  The entire process, including the embroidery for this card took 5 mins!   Yes!!   I told you it's mind boggling.  My head is spinning with possibility.

Here's how it's done:

Turn on the Dream Machine and Select Embroidery on the home page.  Once in the Embroidery area, select MY DESIGN CENTER to get to the main design screen.

Stamp your image onto a flat card and fasten to the scanning hoop with the green magnets provided then load the hoop into the machine.
Press the Scan/Import Button and then select SCAN, then OK, and the machine will automatically scan the hoop surface.

Once Scanned, press LINE to select the line art function. (no fill)

Drag the Red Box Frame to that it surrounds your image to capture it. Press OK twice

Press SIZE and using the arrows on the screen, reduce or enlarge the size of your image as desired. Once finished, Press OK then SET
If there are any lines you would like to erase (or anything you'd like to add), this screen is where you would do that.  When done, press PREVIEW

Select stitch type - in this case, single line embroidery (middle button as shown).  OK twice

Slide out your scanning hoop and slide in your prepared embroidery hoop.  For this project I layered Sulky Tear-Away Stabilizer, High Loft Fleece and some natural muslin.

Center your image on your hoop.  Press the Camera Icon and then OK. The machine will read what's on your hoop and show it on your screen.   Using your finger or stylus, move your image in place.  Then select EMBROIDERY

 With the pressure foot in the down position, press the green start button and the machine will begin embroidering your image on the hoop.
 Voila!   It's ready to remove from the hoop and paint!
So much fun....
I had to do more......
Hope Catherine likes her HAPPY MAIL to arrive soon *wink*
...and yes, 
that is yarn couching, 
and automatic stippling.....   
Oh yes, I think I like it!   

This thank you card was also created on ustream using the Dream Machine and some Derwent Inktense Pencils.  I will be forwarding it on to Quilts of Valour (QOV) so they can use it to thank the generous people who create quilts for our injured Canadian soldier and our Veterans.  Please feel free to watch me colour this card recorded live, in real time on  And be sure to check out the QOV website for more information on their organization.

Have a creative day!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

ScanNCut in Sleepy Hollow

 Judy came in the studio to play today.  Her family really gets into the spirit of Halloween and goes all out with parties and decorations.

The Halloween theme in her house this year is Sleepy Hollow.  Today's project:  A flag for the front of the house.  LOVE how it turned out.

She (and Jen) cut the words, Sleepy Hollow...., out of a heavy card using the fonts already loaded in ScanNCut Canvas and then Judy sponged black gesso through the template on a pre-painted piece of burlap.  

The girls did a Google search for Silhouette Headless Horseman and saved a silhouette drawing of the horseman they found on Pinterest (drawn/pinned by Donna Cash).

They imported the jpg image of the horseman into ScanNCut Canvas, deleted the outline around the image using the subtract option and saved a 12x12 version for the ScanNCut onto a USB stick.

The file was taken to the ScanNCut machine and cut out of heavy black cardstock. Judy then set to work sponging the black gesso through the template onto the burlap.  (She is saving the cut out to create a framed piece for inside her home.   She plans on mounting it on a fun textured orange piece of paper before framing it!  So much fun!!!) 
I think this turned out fabulously!!!!!
Thanks for coming in the studio to create today, Judy.
I hope you had a creative day too!!