Jun 24, 2011

This mess is now on Etsy

I decided that a person COULD have too many game pieces after all. So it is time to share them with my fellow crafters. I made up several different types of packs and will have them on Etsy as soon as I am finished with this post. If you are not sure what to do with game pieces, check out this video How to Make Scrabble Tile Charms or the Super Simple Stamped Butterfly Pendant video.



Jun 21, 2011

Working in the Garden

My garden finally has stuff growing in it! I wanted to show you pictures but realized you wouldn't get the full effect unless you saw the "before" pictures. So here are some pictures of my garden and of our new shed that we are in the process of turning into a working space.

We built the hoophouse/greenhouse last year from info and instructions provided by The Door Garden website. But ours didn't cos $50 likes his, but around $150. We replaced the plastic this year and will replace it again within the next year with something a bit more see through. But, it works well enough for us to grow lettuce, spinach, carrots and beets.

Inside of greenhouse


We are working on turning the shed into a small office space. We have added the vintage windows and will add trim, shutters and a cute portch. I will post more photos when it looks a bit better and when the garden actually has stuff growing in it.


Jun 13, 2011

Colorful Collage Makeover

In this episode I re-work an old collage into a new one using brighter, bolder colors and different materials. Some of the materials used for this project include:

  • Old, ugly collage on a 12x12 canvas
  • Gel medium
  • Acrylic paint
  • Portfolio brand oil pastels
  • Scrap paper
  • Stencils
  • Sharpies
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Heat gun
  • Lace
  • Tissue paper
  • Stewart Gill paint
  • Black and white images
  • Makeup sponges
  • Scissors

About 1 1/2 years ago I made these darker collages while in a class. I spent quite a bit of time on them but never really fell in love with them. Then, a while back I found them again and decided to see what I could do with them. Having used Portfolio brand oil pastels in a class a few months ago, I decided to use these to brighten up my collage. After completing the first one I continued on the complete the other one that I had attempted at the same class.




In this series of photos you can see one of the collages at the beginning and middle stages. The last photo is the same collage. I just collaged and painted over it!

Jun 07, 2011

Scrapbook Paper Listed on Etsy

I promise I am still here. Actually, I have recorded two shows and am in the process of editing them. I have to try and squeeze it in in between running my daughter to volleyball practices and training for another off-road sprint triathlon.

In the meantime, take a look at the scrapbook paper I have listed on Etsy. This is all brand new paper from my craft store that I moved into my home studio. I desperately need to move the paper out to make room for more storage space.

May 17, 2011

Using Alcohol Inks with Wood Glue

I recently participated in a "technique fat book swap" where each participant shared a techique of their choosing. This swap was hosted by Belinda Spiwak through the mmartfriends yahoo group. Originally I had said that I was going to show the technique "burning wood glue with alcohol inks." I ended up not doing this, although I still want to try. I didn't do it because of the simple fact that if I tried to burn the glue and ink my paper would have caught fire. "Duh," I thought to myself. So I enede up just painting the wood glue on the paper and then adding the alcohol inks.


I really like how the inks spreads out in the circular pattern with the antennas coming of the edge. Pretty cool, huh? I haven't received my fat book pages back but I will post a few pictures when I do.


Here is the info I included with the pages I sent:

Alcohol inks and wood glue

This is a super simple technique that creates some very interesting backgrounds. To make this you will need Adirondack alcohol inks, wood glue, and watercolor paper. Paint the paper with wood glue and then add drops of alcohol ink. As an alternative you could then use your brush to mix the ink in with the glue. Or, how about mixing batches of ink and glue together and then painting with it? I love how the glue hardens when it dries giving the paper a bit of sturdiness.


May 03, 2011

Busy with Encaustic

Just this last weekened I was a vendor at the Country Chicks show just south of Olympia. This was a last minute event for me and although I have plenty of inventory I wanted to make a few new things just for this event. I decided on a few encaustic collages with a shabby chic/vintage feel and a few re-purposed vintage jewelry necklaces. Both were fun to make.



This one below turned out to be one of my favorites even though I wasn't in love with it to start. It always suprises me how I can start working on a piece and bit by bit it evolves and turns into something I like. That, I think, is one of the greatest things about making stuff.

My husband worked in my space on Saturday while I took my youngest daughter to a volleyball tournament so I am not sure how many of these sold. I am sure I have a few left which is good since I have the perfect spot on the wall in my kitchen for them!

Apr 26, 2011

Folded and Pamphlet Stitched Journal

In this long overdue show, Michelle shows you how to create a journal using a simple folded paper technique and a simple pamphlet stitch. To follow along gather up your supplies.

  • Three large sheets of paper 18x24 or so (I used watercolor paper)
  • Paint (watercolor and acrylic work well for this, I used Stewart Gill paint)
  • Waxed linen thread (better) or embroidery floss (ok)
  • Book binding needle or embroidery needle
  • Awl
  • Ruler
  • Paint brush and mark making tools like stamps and plastic shaped objects
  • Fabric to cover journal
  • Awl
  • Paper towels
  • Heat gun or iron to speed up the drying process
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
Also, check out Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker for a great source of inspiration for filling your journal.
Apr 11, 2011

Back from ArtFest

I am back from ArtFest. There is a lot I could say about it but I am a bit too tired right now do spend the time writing about it. Instead I will post a few photos and get to work on editing the show I recorded a while back.

The first photos are from the Lynn Perella class I took. There are both photos of my collage at various stages. I still have more work to do.


These next photos are from pieces I made in an encaustic class taught by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.

Mar 31, 2011

Getting Trades Ready for ArtFest

I am getting my trades ready for ArtFest. Last year I traded charms. They were really cute and everyone seemed to like them This year I wanted to do something different. I finally decided on making up some paper packs that have lino prints of some of the linocuts. I just finished carving the owl today.

Mar 29, 2011

Colorful Wet Felted abd Needle Felted Beaded Cuff

I finally finished this cuff that I have been working on over the last two months. I am in love with it!



I started with a piece of gorgeous purple, green, and turquoise felt that I had made a while back when I was experimenting with a way to create felt quickly with water and my dryer. After cutting a piece to twice the size I needed I needle felted various types and colors of yarn down onto the felt. It was very random. My idea was to create something in an organic manner, just kind of letting the materials guide me.


Once I had the yarn down I decided which half would be seen and worked on that half. I sewed over bits of the yarn with embroidery floss. Again, I just kind of looked at the piece and choose a spot that looked like it could use some detail. Working this way is a lot of fun because it releases me from any pressure that I have to do something a certain way. I also sewed embroidery floss in various areas in different patterns. I then added the beads, using the areas defined by the yarn and by the color of the felt to guide me for bead placement. I used a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles of beads which I think gives the cuff a ton of interest and a bit of sparkle.

Then I folded my fabric in half to give it a nice thickness and to hide the backside of my random stitching and beading. To finish it I sewed embroidery floss around the edge. I just grabbed the floss and cut a length and started sewing, sometimes going back over areas that I had already done. Again, I didn't plan how I wanted to edge to look but just went with the flow.



Finally I added a button that I had to hold it closed. I have a stash of buttons that I made a while back that are not finished, just plain white. I grabbed one of these and painted it to tie in with the colors of the cuff. I sewed the button on, made a hole on the other side of the cuff and it was done. It was a lot of work, but I am thrilled about how it turned out.

(Podcast coming soon, I promise! It is already recorded, just needs to be edited and posted)