Erin Keck

5 Feb

Erin Keck is going to be visiting and teaching at Blue Twig Studio again this year. We loved having her here last year and we are thrilled she agreed to come back again this year. Those of you who have taken classes with her know how awesome she is, but for the rest of you, I thought it would be good to get to know her better. ~Deb

 

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Hi Everyone, I am Erin Keck. I was so happy to come and teach at Blue Twig Studio last year. I met so many friendly, wonderful, and amazing artists while I was there. I am very excited to be returning in March to share 5 completely new workshops.
As many of you know I live in Pennsylvania. Last year was my first trip to Colorado and I absolutely loved it. The mountains were something I had always seen in pictures but really never imagined how huge until I saw them in person. I mean we have mountains in PA but nothing like CO.  All I could say was, WOW!
In PA I live in Mechanicsburg which is not far from Hershey, PA, known for it’s amazing Chocolate, Yummm!
I live with my wonderful and supportive husband, John and our furry four legged buddy, Jaxxon, a mixed Labador Retriever that we adopted from a shelter 2 years ago. All of our four children are grown and finally out on their own. We have one Grandson 3 year old, Konnor who I have the privilege of taking care of every Tuesday for a day we call, “Konnor and Mimi Tuesdays.” Those who I am friends with on Facebook know of all of the escapades I post about each week.
So, let me give you some brief insight on myself and my love for art. I have always loved making things. My mother was very creative. She taught herself how to do mosaic, and sew, embroider, really all sorts of things. She was a collector of Antique Buttons and at times created beautiful mosaics using them. My father on the other hand was more of a tinkerer. He actually fixed office machinery all of his life. That was back in the day before computers. Typewriters, telephones with cords, adding machines were used. Oh no, am I giving away my age? LOL.
Anyhow, perhaps that is where I got my love for Steampunk Style Assemblage Art. I love the way industrial items such as gears, and light bulbs, and other mechanical objects can be added and embellished to create unique Art. Now, whether the apple fell far from my tree? I would like to think that my children have grown to appreciate their creative energy. My daughter especially has a lot of talent in her concept of design and creativity. My sons are wonderful at giving me feedback on my work and ideas that I would never have come up with. Even my Grandson loves sitting down and creating little works of art, such as our latest project of making snowmen out of tube socks. (Sorry, gotta brag.)
konnor1
I am a Hair Stylist by trade, which I was in business for 25 years. I made the decision about 8 years ago to start doing my art full time. I got to a point with my Art that I needed to make a decision as to which passion to put all of my energy into. Art was definitely that passion. Hair styling was my job but Art was my Love. With the help of a very supportive husband I was able to make that change.
A bit of how I got into Steampunk Assemblage Art. As I mentioned earlier I have always loved making things. I have played with several different mediums. I did flower arranging, wedding floral in particular, I loved it and still do. I especially like creating the flowers from vintage wedding dress scraps and reusing them to make a special keepsake bouquet. I have also done a lot with antique buttons following in my Mother’s footsteps of using them in mosaics and then also incorporating them into jewelry work.
I have always had a love for clocks, especially the old mechanical clocks where all of the gears moved. I decided about 10 years ago to create a clock that gave the illusion of the gears moving. In order to do this I came up with the idea that I would make it from nothing but gears. I knew metal gears were not an option as they were not easily available and besides the clock would be far too heavy. I decided to seek out someone to fabricate wooden gears for me.  Once I had my gears I created my first Steampunk Clock. I did not have the horologic training to build a mechanical clock nor did I really desire to learn that aspect. I wanted my clocks to be battery driven. So, as I built my clocks I gave the illusion of movement through balance and dimension. I incorporated bits and pieces from antique clocks to also give the illusion that there is movement. My original clocks got my name out into Galleries and on the web. I began adding found objects to give my clocks themes.
Eventually I made the decision to make the investment into a laser machine to be able to create and produce my own original gears. I now share and teach how to make my clocks throughout the US. I will actually be doing a clock workshop at Blue Twig studio using my original acrylic gears that will be embellished by hand painting on them. The “Spyro Doodle Clock” workshop which is named because the gears reminded me of the old Spiro Graph pieces and we doodle on them with Oil Based paints. Blue Twig studio is actually the only physical store that I allow my gears to be sold in. Blue Twig will be carrying not only the wooden gears but also they will be introducing my colored acrylic line. I do sell my Complete Clock kits but only to students who have taken the clock workshops where I show how the clocks are assembled.
 I hope you will join me when I come to teach at Blue Twig Studio. The other workshops that I will be teaching are…
“Vintage Tin Art Babies”. In this fun workshop we will create adorable one of a kind dolls using vintage tins and antique doll heads from Germany.
I will be teaching “Faux Tin Types and Reproduction Frames”. In this workshop we will create Photographs that resemble original tin types through a process using your own modern day pictures. We will also create Picture frames with an antique style.
Another workshop being offered is, “The Steampunk Airship Chime”. We will create a a chime style mobile with airships that we will design from vintage light bulbs and jewelry findings.
The final workshop I will be teaching is my popular “Pop Top Bead Bracelet”. In this workshop we will learn how to create 3 different style beads using bottle caps. You will be able to add your beads to a bracelet to create the most unusual and adorable Charm Bracelet.
Wait until you see all of the fun items I am bringing to help us create in class. Plus, don’t forget all of the cool items that Blue Twig offers that will also help in embellishing these projects.
I am so looking forward to my visit with Deb and everyone at Blue Twig Studio. I hope you can join us!
Directions to live by: “Scrap it, Recycle it, Assemble it. Repeat if necessary.”
One last word… Go Broncos!
me
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Join me at Art & Soul Retreats 2016
http://www.ArtAndSoulRetreat.com
Blue Twig Studio Colorado March 2016
Beadfest Philadelphia 2016
Pacific northwest Art School WA August 2016
www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org

Visit my Etsy Shops
http://www.EKSupplies.etsy.com
 www.EKCreations.etsy.comTake a Look at my Steampunk Clocks here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ek-creations/sets/72157623105465808/

“If you can dream it, then you can create it! ” EK

Conte pencil review

29 Jan

Guest blog post by Design Team member Pat Mathes

Comments in italics by Deb

 

This month, Deb gave me the Conte a Paris pastel chalk pencils.  Happy, happy me!  I love working with pastel chalk pencils.

 

Any time you start working with colored pencils of any type, whether they be pastel chalk or wax-based, you should make a color chart of how the colors look on paper.  You can’t always go by the color of the pencil itself as it often is different when applied on paper.  Another thing to keep in mind is that the paper you are using will also have an effect on the way the color looks.  So it is always good to have a sample piece of the paper to see how the color works.  Here is a picture of my color chart with the Conte pencils, a set of General pastel pencils and a couple of others.
Picture 1

 

Pastel chalk pencils are wonderful tools of art to work with.  They blend easily, both with other colors and single color.  They can have very vibrant colors – I was surprised at the intensity of the color in the Conte pencils – or they can be muted and pastel.  The Conte colors I was given are very strong colors and I found that when I used them on black, I did not have to undercoat with white like with other brands or with wax-based colored pencils.  They feel like cream as you are layering them.  Once in a while I got a gritty feel to the point that felt like it was scratching, but used an emery board and lightly sanded it off.

 

As you are blending with the Conte pencils, you can mix two colors and using the lighter one, make the two blend together.  Or you can use two colors and then use white to blend them.  You can use white over a single color to blend it, and then use the color over it to highlight parts.  I learned to use the pastel pencils instead of graphite to shade zentangle drawings in some organic pieces.   This technique can make some beautiful pieces on tan and gray papers.  I teach this method in Experience the Blues, coming up in March.   (Pat teaches a number of classes at the shop)

 

The first project I undertook was a wonky house picture I have been wanting to create.  I had seen a couple of them done by other artists and they intrigued me.  I thought the chalks might work with it so started with a simple sketch of a street scene.  Once I had a light graphite sketch on paper, I started layering colors.  The first time around was just putting color on the page.  I then sprayed with Krylon workable fixative.  This is a re-workable spray that eliminates smudging and protects the work you have already done.  You always want to use the fixative in a very well-ventilated area.  During the winter, I walk into the garage to use it.  One that dried, I then started working on layers and blending, highlighting.  I will warn you working with chalk is challenging in one big way – it is easy to smear on your paper.  That being said, you will be blowing on your paper a lot.  I have large fingers so it isn’t easy for me to blend with my fingers – I use a blending tool like with pan pastels, or a cotton swab.  I have some cosmetic swabs that have a paddle end and a pointed end.  I also lay a paper under my hand as I work so that my hand doesn’t smear.  I do tend to hold the chalk pencils about half way back on the pencil so it doesn’t smear as badly.  The good thing is that you can use an eraser on chalk.  It will take most of it away, and the eraser can be used to highlight areas and bring the color of the paper through.  Once I had the colors the way I wanted, I sprayed again with the fixative and let it dry.  I then took a black Stabilo All pencil and added some outlines, and a water brush to make it messy looking.  I didn’t want straight lines.  I was using it as kind of a dimension tool.  It is difficult to use other pens on top of the chalks – you can do it in small areas, but it can clog the points.  Sometimes with using fixative, you can use pens but the fixative does also clog the nibs a bit. (unfortunately a lot of things clog up the tips of pens)
Picture 2

 

Next, Johanna Basford’’s coloring book, Secret Garden.  I picked a floral page and started coloring the page entirely with pastel chalk pencils.  What a relaxing, wonderful evening that was.  Again, you have to be very careful about smearing.  Definitely a paper under your hand.  I always work from the left side of the paper to the right (I am right-handed).  That helps eliminate some of the smearing. Once I had an initial layer of color, I applied fixative to preserve to that point.  I then started shading and highlighting with the pastels.  In this one I used the black pastel chalk to lightly outline some areas to give weighting and dimension.  For the final touch, I applied some gelly roll highlights to flower centers.

 

Secret Garden page

 

The last project I worked on black artagain paper.  I drew a butterfly with White Signa Uniball pen (another great product).  I then used the pastel chalk pencils to shade, color and highlight.  I even used some black pastel chalk to clean up a couple of areas and to see if it would stand out when I scanned the photo.  The pastels work well on Artagain paper.  The big thing I realized with the Conte pencils was that I didn’t have to do an undercolor of white to make the colors come through.  They are intense and vibrant enough to show up on the black.  Note: When I used General pastel pencils on black, they were much more muted and I put white under them and still they were muted.  The picture did not have the vibrancy of the Conte pencils.  So working on black, I will definitely use the Conte pencils in the future.  In the pictures below, the floral one is done using the General’s brand of pastel pencils, and the butterfly is with the Conte brand.

 

Generals chalk drawing
Butterfly

 

 

My final thoughts on the Conte a Paris pastel chalk pencils.  I really like them.  The only downfall I had with them was that gritty piece once in a while that I had to scrape clear.  But that was just a minor inconvenience. They go on easily and blend wonderfully.  The intensity of the colors made me very pleased.  I will be looking to purchase some additional colors of these.

~Pat

 

Thanks Pat for a fabulous review of these pencils. I don’t think a lot of people have heard of them before. I haven’t played with them yet, but I certainly intend to now that I see such a glowing review.

I do have Conte pencils in the shop, as well as General’s chalk pencils and the Stabillo All pencils. All are great to use, each giving you different results. And with any chalk or pencil art, the workable fixative is a must.  I apologize that all these products are not on the website, however you can always call me and place an order. :)

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Painter’s Pixies

28 Jan

Guest blog post by Design Team member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb

 

Blue Twig Assignment for January

This month, Deb gave me a package of Painter’s Thread Collection called Painter’s Pixie Embellishment Pack made by Tentakulum.  This is a great little package that contains all kinds of fun fiber to play with including, textile cards, Threads, Crocheted beads, silk rod and silk trim material. (Each Tentakulum packet is different, with different fibers or trims or ribbons or buttons, etc)

kit supplies

Figure 1 – Painter’s Pixie Embellishment Pack

What I love about products from Tentakulum are how all the fibers are hand dyed in wonderful colors that go perfectly together.  In this picture you’ll see that I already started pulling layers of silk off the Silk rod.  You should be able to pull off three or four layers from the rod.
Now, what kind of design was I going to create using the kit?  One criteria I gave myself was to somehow find a use for all the different embellishments in the kit.  With that in mind I decided to look through my collection of stencils for design ideas.  The silk from the silk rod reminded me of feathers.  Luckily I had a small feather stencil that I had bought from Blue Twig Studio (we do have LOTS of stencils).  I also thought that somewhere along the line I might have to needle felt the feathers to the fabric so I chose a section of felted wool as my backing.  This will allow me to stitch easily into the wool with whatever threads I’m using. (great recommendation)

First step was to transfer the design onto my background fabric.  I have discovered that the best way to transfer the stencil design onto whatever fabric I’m stitching on is to use the PanPastels Chalk pads (love the PanPastels).  I simply load up a cotton applicator with the chalk from the pad and rub it into the fabric.  Figure 2 below shows the images of two feathers that I transferred to the wool felt piece.

stencil template in chalk

Figure 2 – Stencil image transferred with chalk

Next, I used the cotton thread from the kit to stitch along the outline of the feathers so that if I lose some of the chalk while stitching I’ll still have the design to work with.  I used a simple back stitch for the outline.  Next, I pulled some of the silk from the rod and basted it down onto the wool felt with the cotton thread.  Once I covered the image, I took my piece over to my needle felting machine and felted down the silk.  You don’t have to have a needle felting machine to felt you can also use a hand needle felting tool to felt the silk down.

After the silk was transferred down I decided it needed some color so I took some of the silk trim and cut off some fuzzy threads.  I then felted these threads into my feathers.  Then, I took some of the cotton thread fiber and did a satin stitch around the top of the feather.  To create the vein of the feathers and to add some feathery details, I used the brown six stand silk floss using simple straight stitches.  Once again I felted down the thread to mesh everything together.  Finally, I decided to attach the crocheted balls to the feathers and the design was complete.  Unfortunately I didn’t find a use for the textile cards but I’m sure I’ll use that in some other creation.  Deb has all sorts of fun fiber products to play with to make simple but fun designs. (There is a 4-session class starting the end of Feb called Stitch Play to teach you lots of fun stitches and how to use different types of threads and fibers in your work)

painter's thread feathers

 

Figure 3 – Tentakulum feathers

~Venisa

Thanks Venisa for showing us a cute project to do with the Tentakulum packs.  I can’t wait to see it in person. It looks yummy.

Tentakulum has lots of different types of hand-dyed kits (inluding these Painter’s Pixies). They also have individual fibers, threads, trims, silk hankies, etc. All are hand-dyed with a Painter’s color palette (like Klimt, VanGogh, O’Keefe, Picasso, etc), thus the reason they are called Painter’s colors. All the products from a particular artist can all be blended together easily, but because they are hand-dyed with a variety of colors they don’t look all matchy-matchy.

There are a few Tentakulum products on the website, however it is best to call the shop if you are looking for them so I can find exactly what you are looking for. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

Stazon Studio Glaze review

12 Jan
Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Terri Ayers
Comments in italics by Deb

I think this is the first time I’ve received my surprise pack of goodies from Blue Twig Studio that I didn’t add more colors to the collection! It is very hard to resist the temptation of adding more! Review items this week were: Stazon Studio Glaze in Blue Hawaii and Cactus Green, Stazon Cloudy Sky solvent ink pad, and an Artist’s Cellar stencil. (all the Stazon products come in a variety of colors and you know we have a gazillion different stencils to use)

 

IMG_2996

The Stazon Studio Glaze is a thick glossy paint in a narrow-tipped tube that is created primarily to work on non-porous surfaces such as glass, ceramic, resin or metal but it also works on porous paper and modeling paste. There are techniques to use a layer of gold on glass and then apply color for a tumbled glass effect and also of using the black color as an outline and filling in with color similar to stained glass. I just focused on the colors I had on hand. I first used them on a ceramic tile applying with a brush. I also colored some glass beads. I used the glazes on a glass container painting stripes on another project. I did two layers of this and it was still fairly transparent. I alternated application methods using a brush and a blending sponge. I experimented with the glaze on various surfaces: paper, plastic buttons, glass beads, a ceramic bisque turtle and Tim Holtz resin roses. I used the glaze on a mixed media art piece by applying the glaze to modeling paste birds, this really made the birds pop as they had a glossier look than the acrylic paint. I also applied little dots all over the piece with a toothpick. I finished the art canvas with a few dabs of the Stazon ink over the stencil. The gray color is perfect for shading and adding a subtle hint of distress.

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More about the studio glaze… The paint is in a squeeze bottle and comes out easily to cover in paint stroke movements. It can be applied this way somewhat thickly and dries very glossy. It is not self-leveling and sometimes can come out of the tube in a quick blob! I preferred squeezing a small amount out onto my craft mat and applying with a brush (good to know). I found the best surfaces to reflect the vibrant colors of the glazes was either the white tile, the non-porous surface pieces or the modeling paste. It wipes up with water or a baby wipe as you work, but when it dries, it is permanent. Working on the ceramic tile, it was similar to working with alcohol inks, but it dries permanent with out needing a sealant, if you apply straight from the tube onto paper, it will also provide a nice effect.

These products would make a great addition to your art stash. I would like to add a white and black glaze to my collection. Hope you are able to try these out and have fun with these products.

~Terri

Thanks Terri for another great review and samples. I enjoy seeing how the different products can be used. It makes it easier to decide if I would like the product or not for myself.

Products can be purchased at Blue Twig Studio.

Note that Terri is teaching a monthly mixed media technique class at Blue Twig Studio on the 1st Wed of the month. This is a great way to try out new products and techniques while creating something fun! The birds shown above are a sneak peak of a bit of the canvas she is doing in Feb. You can register at the shop or by visiting this link

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Mini Gelli Plates Review

7 Jan

Guest Blog Post by Design Team member Pat Mathes

Comments in italics by Deb

This month I received my packet late due to weather and home issues, so I am a little late in getting this done. When I did receive my packet, it was a pack of the mini gelli plates – the rectangle, hexagon and oval – and a mini brayer. I am still so much in the learning state of the gelli plates. (there are several sizes and shapes of Gelli Arts® plates available) I have finally gotten more comfortable with the larger plates, but now the minis? Well, they are new enough there really wasn’t a lot out there on the internet yet showing uses for them so I started working with mine to see how I could use them.

gelli oval minis

With the mini gelli plates, you actually mount them on a clear acrylic block or a cd cover or sturdy plastic of some kind. They are small and you actually use them in a stamping manner rather than laying flat. So the backing is important. (if you are careful you can just pick them up with your hands to stamp with them)

The first thing I learned is that you don’t use very much paint – just a couple of drops. You don’t want a thick layer because it will run with the stencils more on the smaller plates. The second thing I learned is that it was easier with the mini gelli plates to put the stencil on the actual paper and then use the gelli plate on top of it. I would then use the ghost print on another place or another page.

I just kept playing around with them – I was using heart stencils and red, pink and white paint since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I really liked the effect I was getting on the black paper. The paper in the middle below was one that I was using just with random stamping with the gelli plate and stencils. I didn’t actually do any projects with these – they would be so easy for you to personalize, maybe with a picture of a loved one, in an art journal page, or a scrapbook page. Just remember to always use all the paint on the gelli plate and the brayer on additional sheets of paper. I do that and then later use that paper as a collage piece for something else.

by Pat Mathes

by Pat Mathes

 

This is something that will take a lot more playing around with – I can see the middle piece used on a greeting card with maybe just the word LOVE on it. I actually took some cutouts from another gelli printing and glued some hearts on as a collage – maybe pictures of your loved one mounted as collages on them. I think one of the main things is that you can actually work on these in a much quicker time than the larger gelli plates and with not as much room needed. They are still kind of messy, but I didn’t find them as messy as the larger plates. I did read that someone used the rectangle plates and made a planner journal with them – hmmm.

Last, but not least, I took the rectangle plate and one of my art journals and used the rectangle plate to put some simplistic houses , one of the hexagon pieces that I had placed earlier ended up being the sun. This is a very simplistic page, something like a child might do, but the message is sincere. Happy New Year to one and all and MAY YOUR HOME BE FILLED WITH LOVE, HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY IN THE NEW YEAR.

by Pat Mathes

by Pat Mathes

 

~Pat

Thanks for a great review of these Gelli Arts minis. I love using my Gelli plates, and I do have several sizes and shapes to play with – although my favorite is still the 8×10 size. There are so many options with the prints you can make – from collage to art journaling to cardmaking to scrapbooking to mixed media to your own personal fabric (yes you can print on fabric too). So much fun and so many options. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Final days of the 365 day challenge

31 Dec

Well I have reached the final weeks of the year. I have managed to create a postcard every single day this year. There were a few days that the postcard example was quite minimal and not really very good. There were days when I went to bed and realized I hadn’t done my postcard so had to get up and scrounge in the studio for something I could use. There were days when I used the postcard for another challenge as well. Sometimes I really didn’t like what I did, but I shared it anyway because it was about the process not the product.

But I am happy to say that I did finish the year!  Did you complete your own 365 days of art challenge?

I hope you enjoy the final days of my challenge. Apparently this was a month of shiny stuff. Lots of photo paper, yupo paper, glitter and sparkly stuff – which doesn’t really photograph very well.

 

I have enjoyed doing the 365 days of art challenge the last couple of years. I have managed to do ‘something’ every single day for my challenges. I have learned that it is important to do something creative or artistic or playful every day – it really does feed the soul. I have learned that just finding a small amount of time every day is possible – so I wonder what else is possible?

However, I am not going to do this challenge again. Or at least not every single day. While I am happy to have done what I did do, it isn’t really serving me any more. The little bits of fun I have every day is fun – but it isn’t really making art. I really want to be able to make more art in the upcoming year. And to do that, I have to devote more time and attention to actually making art, not just filling the time with something playful.

What does that look like? Do I commit to making art every day? Every week? Every month? I’m not sure I can control it that much. Or I’m not sure I want to control it. I’d love to have it be more fluid, more natural, more exploration and experimentation and just following my heart. This is part of my word of the year too. Devoting more time to making art is a part of it.

Did you get a postcard from me this year? I did send out a few random postcards over the year. I know my intention was to send out LOTS of them, but I didn’t really do that. If you want one of my postcards, I am happy to send you one. Just send an email to dlprewitt@hotmail.com  with the subject line POSTCARDS, and give me your full mailing address and I will send you one.  Or you can leave your info here if you want. :)

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

Why I chose ME for my word of the year

29 Dec

Every year I choose my word of the year. Or I should say it chooses me. It is usually quite clear by the middle of December what my word for the New Year will be. It helps focus me and guide me and inspire me over the course of the year.

 

Happy-New-Year-2016-Text-png-Free-Download3

 

 

This year I had a bit more trouble deciding what my word would be. I had a great list full of words – each of which would be a good choice for me. But for some reason I couldn’t really narrow it down. There just wasn’t one word which said ‘pick me pick me’ (ha ha – my word is me).

When I decided to choose the word ME, it was because I noticed that a lot of the words on my list were really personally motivated words. Words like: healthy, mindfulness, gratitude, create, art, abundance, self-care, balance, home, grow. These are words for ME! So it made perfect sense to just choose the word ME, so that I could encompass all of these other words as well.  So this year I am setting aside the time for ME!

Is choosing ME being selfish? Maybe….but I think the word selfish gets a bad rep most of the time. It is OK to take care of yourself. It is OK to be happy. It is OK to do things you love. It is OK to be the best you there is.

 

inspirational-quotes-6

 

 

So the New Year will bring me the opportunity to focus on me. On what serves me, what feeds me, what helps me, what motivates me, what inspires me, what makes me happy, what helps me grow.  Following Your Bliss seems like such an overused phrase – but I think it applies here.

 

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What word have you chosen? Please share.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Dylusions and Distress Sprays and texture

23 Dec

Guest blog post by Design Team member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb

I got some wonderful products to play with this month from Blue Twig Studio. Deb gave me two bottles of the Dylusions Ink Sprays and two bottles of the Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains. I’ve used the Dylusion Spray Inks before and absolutely love them so now I was given the opportunity to compare them to the Distress Spray Stains. They are both Ranger products so I wasn’t worried that they wouldn’t blend well with each other. In the past, I’ve sprayed the Dylusion Inks over stencils designs that I first created by spreading Light Molding Paste over the stencil. After it was dry I went to town spraying color after color on the design. I decided for this month, I’d do the same thing with the Dylusion and Distress Inks but use them across a variety of molding pastes. I also decided to add some white paint spray from DecoArt called Shimmer Mister.

I pulled out the different pastes I had collected including, Fine Pumice, Coarse Pumice, Natural Sand, Fiber and, of course, the light molding paste. Golden produces a variety pack of different pastes so you can try a lot of different types to see what you like. There are also a variety of pastes available from Liquitex. (I do have a number of different paste products from Golden and Liquitex , but they are available in-store only)  The colors of sprays I had to play with was Bubblegum Pink and Crushed Grape from Dylusions and Mermaid Lagoon and Lucky Clover in the Distress sprays. (there are lots of colors in both Dylusions and Distress sprays)

What did I learn? Well, I found that all the pastes did well with fine detail stencils except for the Coarse Pumice. I had the hardest time spreading the Coarse Pumice over the fine detail stencils but it did fine over the less detailed stencils. That said, I loved the result from the Coarse Pumice the best.

I used a variety of different stencils (you know we have a gazillion stencils to choose from) to first lay out the designs I wanted to spray. Remember to let them dry for at least 10-15 minutes or so. It doesn’t really take long in this dry Colorado environment. I happened to be at Deb’s store while I was creating the designs and she wanted to know how each ink dripped down after being sprayed. So, she grabbed the Dylusion Ink and I grabbed the Distress Inks and with a paste stencil design propped up we sprayed at the same time. The Delusions had a much more powerful spray and the ink dripped down the stenciled design nicely. The Distress sprays had a much more finely mist spay and the ink didn’t drip down all that much. Of course, you can spray the Distress inks multiple times and get more of a drip. On several of the stenciled designs, I first sprayed the white Shimmer Mist paint and then sprayed over this with the inks. I also sprayed first with the inks and then spritzed it with the DecoArt white paint. One key step to take if you don’t want the colors to fade in the sun, you need to cover the design with a Glaze. I used the Vintaj Glaze.  (there are numerous Glaze products you can use) The results are shown below.

fine pumice paste

fine pumice paste

 

fiber paste

fiber paste

 

coarse pumice

coarse pumice

 

natural sand paste

natural sand paste

 

molding paste

molding paste

 

As I’ve mentioned above, I love the texture I get with the Coarse Pumice and can see using this texture if I need to create an impression of rocks. (all the texture pastes are pretty cool though)

I think I’ll convert some of these into small Thank You cards. On the Natural Sand one, I cut up the design into segments and then glued them to some Black Paper Card Stock. Then, I attached several of the segments with jump rings and made Christmas ornaments. For the Fine Pumice design, I grabbed yet another stencil and traced out the design on the back and then cut out the pieces. I again glued this to Black Card Stock and cut out certain sections of the design and turned it into a Christmas ornament as well.

ornaments

ornaments

 

I think in the future I’ll probably just randomly cut up all the stenciled designs and create a mosaic. There are a lot of options with the inks but what I like the most in being able to blend the colors together. Have fun playing.

~Venisa

 

Thanks Venisa for another fun tutorial. I love all the textures you created. And of course, playing with color is the BEST part. :)

Venisa’s samples are at the shop if you want to see them in person. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

 

My Word of the Year 2016

20 Dec

I don’t do New Year Resolutions anymore. Instead I choose a Word of the Year. The Word finds itself into all aspects of my life – sometimes in ways that are unexpected. I’ve been doing it for quite a few years now and can say that it has been quite rewarding to do.  Usually I have clearly decided my Word of the Year by this time. But this year I haven’t really been able to zero in on my word quite so easily.

I’ve been searching and paying attention to words, but nothing has been super obvious to me. I’m not sure why I make it so difficult to choose my Word of the Year? Do you have the same problem?

 

So I am just picking a word. One of the words off my list. And that is going to be it. I know I can change it later if I want to.

me

My word for 2016 is ME.  I want to spend more time working on ME. From exercising more, to eating better, to making more art, to getting more sleep, to doing more of the things that I love to do. We often put ourselves near the bottom of the list – everyone else comes first. But you really can’t be there for others if you are not taking care of yourself first (there is a reason the flight attendant tells you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others).

 

So now I have made my decision. Have you made yours? Please share below and let’s see if we can support each other during the upcoming year.

 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue  Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Weeks 45, 46, 47 of 365 days of art

15 Dec

Weeks 45, 46 and 47 are here for you to enjoy. At least I think those are the weeks we are on. Maybe it’s 46, 47 and 48????  LOL

 

 

Are you keeping up with your own 365 days of art challenge? Share how your progress has been going.

Will you be doing the challenge again in 2016?

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

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