Happy New Year!

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Jan 012012

*CLINK*   Here’s to a extremely creative and healthy 2012!  May all our good intentions be fruitful and our resolutions strong.  The store is currently undergoing a few upgrades so bear with us as new software (and maybe a new look) is installed.

Here’s to you all!

Canvas To-Do List

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Aug 312011

I love that Accucut dies does such a fantastic job with canvas. The album was cut with one of their flower dies, stitched and punched before all the fun began.

Each page was primed, front and back with 2 coats of gesso, painted and embellished. A good base coat of acrylic paint, my preference being Reeve’s artists’ colours sets the background for both Glimmer Misting and Luminarte’s Twinkling H2O’s. Anything you use on paper may be used on fabric so stencil, glue, spray, punch, all these techniques will work. Machine sewing however, on primed canvas, can go horribly wrong. Broken needles, sewn finger (yes, I learned the hard way), giant holes are just a few of the less than stellar results. Unless of course, that’s what you’re aiming for. Just have a care if you want to sew on primed canvas, I recommend pre-poking the holes with a pin and hand sewing. Kinda like sewing leather.

Have fun and enjoy

What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

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Aug 282011

Woohoohoooooo!!  School is  back in session and life can go on.  To celebrate a successful first week back at school, I’m going to share something I Did On My Kids’ Summer Vacation. Totally inspired by Graphic 45″s Wizard of Oz inspired papers and Halloween, I had to make another witch’s boot.


This particular boot has been in the hoard for a while and when those papers came out, it was clear why :) Coming up, as soon as there are some good images, will be lots and lots of canvas love.

The Magic of Oz is here

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Jun 162011

Die cuts, stamps and paper pads are all in and are uploaded to the website.  Click here to view.  Individual papers are on their way and will be uploaded as soon as they come in.

Keep checking back for more scrap candy.

New Product In!

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May 112011

Brand new Pink Paislee has come in and over the next day or so, we’ll be adding new My Mind’s Eye.  They’re all perfect for those summer and July 4th photos.  We’ve also got in Luminarte’s Twinkling H2O’s and Radiant Rain Color Concentrates – those are the daubers.  Check them all out at the shop.

Check it out!!

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Apr 142011

YEAH, we got the cover!!

To find out how we made the boot, check it out here

To get the rest, you’re going to have to get the magazine from Altered Arts :)  It totally Alice and it’s totally Graphic 45!



Card Calender Part 2

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Apr 012011

Apologies for being late with the post, a couple really cool things that can’t be spoken out loud yet have happened and caused a little bit of a tizzy over here.

…to continue with the project, when we ended the last post, there should have been 15 envelopes with the front covered with inked paper, the gummed flap covered with a strip of paper and 12 of them should have a ruled sheet adhered to the back of the envelope.

Take the 12 with the ruled sheet and using a calender stamp or die cut, designate each one to be a month of the year.  This where you can use your stash to embellish the front of each envelope as much or as little as you want.

Of the remaining 3, using what ever scrap alpha stickers or stamps you have, label one for “Christmas”, “Birthday” and “Thank You”.

By all means, you don’t have to stop here, if you make bulk Valentine’s Cards for school or if you have a generic seasonal card that you make in bulk, add an envelope for that too.

In my “Birthday” envelope, I put generic birthday cards that I make for the other kids in my daughter’s and son’s classes.  At the beginning of every school year as soon as the class lists come home, I figure out the number of kids in each class and make half that number in birthday cards.  That way when a birthday party comes around, they’re already made and just have to be labeled and signed.  Same goes for the “Christmas” envelope  – put in Christmas cards for swaps, classroom sharing, extras…

If you are not able to obtain chipboard in the correct dimensions, you can stop here.  Go to an office supply store and get a 3″ ring binder and with the help of a standard 3-hole punch, you can store your envelopes in the binder.  Otherwise…

To make the covers, paint both chipboard sheets front and back and again, using your stash, stamps, whatever is on hand, embellish the front.  You need to paint both sides because the paint will cause the chipboard to expand so if only one side is painted, it will bend and will not lie flat.

Once they are dry, using your favourite binding method bind the entire album together.  When the cards go in, the whole thing can get a little bulky so at this point, I like to add some ribbon, roughly about a half yard, to tie the album together to keep the whole thing nice and tidy.   To make sure your holes line up hold both covers together and punch 2 holes using a Crop-a-dile.  Cut the ribbon in half and tie each piece to a cover .

All done!


How do you store your cards?

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Mar 292011

So, you’ve been on a roll and there’s a box full of beautiful hand made cards on your desk.  BUT…when you need a card fast, do you rush out Target because you can’t find what you’re looking for?  This week, we’re going to fix that by making a card calender AND, hopefully, put a big ding in that stash.  We’ll be taking this in steps with a little more progress each day this week.

This is not your ordinary card calender, we’re talking BIG, colourful and organized!  So, in case you’re asking “Wench, what’s a card calender?”, a card calender is basically an envelope album where you track, store and sort your cards by month so not only do you know how many you’ll need that month, but you also have the occasion and the date at your fingertips.

Supplies needed:

Fifteen 9 x 12 envelopes – landscape oriented.  That is, the gummed flap is along the long side of the envelope
Fifteen sheets of paper of your choice
Two 9 x 12 sheets of chipboard
Calender stamp or calendar cards
Dark brown or black ink
12 sheets of ruled paper like notepaper or student foolscap pages
embellishments, rubons, stamps, ribbon, alphabet stickers/rubons – bring the stash!

Scissors/paper trimmer
Favourite binding tool – we used a bind-it-all
Double sided tape or your favourite DRY adhesive


From each sheet of paper, cut one piece that is 9 x 11.5 inches and one piece that is 1 x 10 inches.  Ink the edges of the larger piece and adhere it to front of the envelope so that the top edge of the paper lines up with the top edge of the envelope and there is a half inch gap on the bottom.  Wet (or lick) the gummed strip and stick the smaller piece to it.  This is to make sure that you don’t ever seal the envelope shut :)!

On the back side of the envelope, glue the ruled sheet on to it, any direction is fine.  This side is where you will list your monthly card details;  Who, When and What.

Tomorrow we will work on the front and find out why there are 15 envelopes when there are only 12 months.

Stamped images in Modeling Paste

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Mar 242011

This is all about making clean stamped images in some sort of medium. There were a couple attempts to stamp into modeling clay and while you can get really clear impressions, you still have to go in after and add colour and paint doesn’t adhere well to fired clay. We tried laying the texture paste down and letting it surface dry and then stamping into it but that was too unpredictable. Finally we came up with layering the modeling paste directly onto the stamp and then peeling it off when it dried. We also tried building layers of modeling paste but one good layer works the best and is actually the fastest. It is an easy clean up, just wash your stamps as usual and let them dry. Arylic stamps clean up easier than rubber though so if you’re just wanting to try it out, use an acrylic stamp.  I’m using one from Marah Johnson’s Unity Art and Soul set.

Lay your stamp on a plastic bag or something flexible that will allow it to stick to it.

Ink your stamp in the desired colour(s) and let the ink dry. If the ink is not dry, your finished image will not be crisp. You only need to leave it for a few seconds

Next, with your favourite tool – pallete knife, popsicle stick, index finger, spread a thick coat of paste over the stamp. The paste has the consistency of cake frosting so it will spread very easily. You want to lay enough down so that you don’t see any of the stamp. Try to make the layer as evenly as possible so it dries evenly. If you are using an acrylic stamp, feel free to let the paste spread over onto the packaging, you can trim the excess away after.

This is where you have to eyeball, too much and it will take much longer to dry, too little and the finished image may have gaps in it. The layer will actually shrink as the moisture leaves and the paste hardens, so if it isn’t thick enough, it could tear when you take it off the stamp. Leave the paste under a fan or in a well ventilated area to harden, I’ve found that heat has very little impact in speeding up the drying process. After a few hours, it should be surface set where you can touch it. A rule of thumb is that if it feels cold, it’s not set yet. To help speed up drying, when the image is surface dry, run your nail under the edge of it to release it slightly. This will provide a space for the moisture still in the paste to escape.

When you’re ready to release the stamp, just slowly peel the stamp back. If you’re seeing that the paste is not completely dry as you’re peeling it back, press the image back on the stamp and leave it for another hour or so.

Once it’s off at set, use Tonic scissors to trim away the gnarly edges. The dried paste is actually quite flexible and can be painted over or stamped again.  If you adhering it to a porous surface like paper or material, acrylic paint is actually the best adhesive since the paint will bond to the paste.

Have fun!  There will be lots more examples of this next week in other projects.

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