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Bringing you Mindy Lacefield

7 Jun
I am so happy to be able to bring in Mindy Lacefield to teach at Blue Twig Studio this summer. I hope you can make the time to take a class from her. We are so lucky that she has agreed to travel to Colorado and teach here. It is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.
She is super sweet and you will absolutely adore her. This interview will help you get to know her better.
~Deb
serendipity 2011 459
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.
-I live in central Arkansas out in the woods with my husband, Tim and two poodles Merlin and Sammy.
 
 
Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?
-I always drew as a child and felt at ease with a paper and pencil. But I guess my priorities and interests became more focused on basketball. I played all the way through middle school to college. I never thought I could be an artist. I always thought I had to go to university and major in something practical and get a “real job”. Luckily with the internet and social media I was able to create and sell art online and begin to make a living doing it. I picked up a paint brush about 10 years ago when I saw the full moon over the Pacific ocean. I realize now it was God calling me to Him and to reach out to others through painting and teaching. The path He has laid out has become so clear and I am so grateful to connect with other kindred, creative spirits on this journey.
 
Is your family artistic?
-Yes, in fact my uncle is a wood carver and ventriloquist. He made several puppets from wood and has performed at craft shows and other area shows. I also have two cousins who are highly artistic.
How long have you been teaching?
-I have been teaching for about 5 years.
 
How did you get started teaching? 
-I went to an art retreat as a student. One day while we had some free time, a sweet girl came up to me and asked me if she could sit and watch me paint for a few minutes. As we sat there, I thought why not lead her through some of the reasons why I put different colors in the face and where to apply them to achieve depth and dimension. Afterwards, she went back to her table and created the most amazing face based on my instruction. I was floored and instantly addicted to teaching. After that, I began inquiring about teaching different places and others starting reaching out to see if I’d come be a visiting art teacher.
pixiedustlight051 - Copy - Copy
 
What is your favorite class to teach? 
-I love teaching how to paint faces and how to make discoveries along the way. Making mistakes is key in finding your voice and own joy in painting.
 
What is your favorite art medium? And why?
-I love acrylic paint. I love that it dries quickly. I also love bleeding tissue paper, watercolor pencils, and stencils.
 
What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?
-I taught last May in a huge red barn in Nebraska. So inspiring and full of nostalgic energy!
 
Who is your favorite artist? Why?
-Anne Patay. Her work is full of beautiful marks with such an incredible energy and depth.
 
Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?
-Two of my favorite quotes are:
“It took me 4 years to learn to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child” – Picasoo
“Art is not about thinking something up. It’s about getting something down.” – Julia Cameron
 
Where can people find you? 
instagram: mindy_lacefield

~Mindy Lacefield

 

divinemagic049 - Copy - Copy - Copy
Mindy will be teaching a 2-day workshop at Blue Twig Studio – Aug 19th & 20th – Inner Radiant Child. Use this link for more details about the class. It is going to be so much fun! Space is limited so be sure to get registered early.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Artist Interview with Ingrid Dijkers

10 Apr

 

ote cover

 

Ingrid Dijkers will be visiting Blue Twig Studio and teaching some absolutely fun classes in June. These are just a few interview questions to help you get to know her better. Of course, you can visit her website and get to know her better. I’m sure you will agree that her style is most amazing.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.

 

I was born in Breda, the Netherlands and immigrated with my parents at a young age to Canada, later immigrating to the United States.

 

Currently I live in Plymouth, Michigan.  It’s a small historical town of 10,000, outside of Ann Arbor.  We have lived in the city for about 35 years.  When we first moved here it was just a small quiet town on the edge of nowhere, which really appealed to us.  Over the years the outskirts have grown and developed, resulting in a lot of change.  The whole mentality of the small town has all but disappeared now and now we are in the midst of getting our house ready to sell and plan to move to a new small town to recapture what we miss so much.

 

Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?

 

Both my parents have their Masters in the Fine Arts, so I had exposure my entire life.  My real interest started developing when I was in college though.

 

What is the earliest memory you have of anything art related?

 

I must have been around 3 or 4 years old at the time and my Mother let me help her paint a little bit of the sky of a painting she was working on.  It was larger than me ,which I was most impressed with.  The painting was of a cathedral in the town that I was born in, in the Netherlands

 

Is your family artistic?

 

My parents, as I mentioned above.

I have 2 daughters that really have no interest at all … my husband either, yet they are all so incredibly supportive of what I do.

 

Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?

 

I dropped out on my way to a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree.  While in college I realized that the degree was of little significance to me and I was more interested in pursuing a direction of my own.  In all this time, I have had no interest in going back to school.

 

How long have you been teaching?

 

About 9 years now.

 

What is your favorite class to teach?

 

Anything related to Journaling, but I am interested in expanding … perhaps doll making.

 

What is your favorite art medium? And why?

 

I have dabbled in so many mediums throughout the years, honestly I can’t pick a favorite.

 

Where can people find you? Facebook, blog, website, Instagram, etc.

 

WWW.IngridDijkers.com

WWW.IngridDijkers.blogspot.com

Ingrid Dijkers on Facebook

 

 

These are the classes Ingrid will be teaching and the links to the website for more information. I hope you will be able to find one or more that appeal to you and get registered for them. They are filling up quickly. All 3 classes are all-day classes, so be sure to bring a lunch/snacks with you. 

I absolutely adore her art and creative spirit. I hope I will be able to sit in on one or more of these upcoming classes.

 

ote edges

Over the Edge – June 3rd

 

Mandala Journal 5

Mandala Journal – June 4th

Dijkers,Ingrid.RabbitHole3

Through the Rabbit Hole – June 5th

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

PanPastels

2 Apr

Guest blog post by Design Team member Terri Ayers

Comments in italics by Deb

Pan Pastel projects

 

PanPastel Colors are professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a unique pan format (cake-like). To me they are like applying eyeshadow to your desired canvas.  PanPastels are easy-to-use, blendable, paintable, quick-to-use, erasable, versatile (works well with other media), easy to control, low dust, portable, stackable, and very addictive!  They come in 80 colors plus a handful of pearlescent and metallic colors, as well as a blender and some mixatives.

PanPastel Colors recommended uses are:

  • Block-in color – quickly & cleanly for underpaintings, washes & toning paper
  • Layering – build up thin layers & glazes of color multiple times without overfilling the paper’s “tooth”
  • Apply controlled marks – from intense strokes to delicate marks, for painterly effects
  • Mixed Media – combine with other artist’s media & experiment with a variety of surfaces for new creative effects

I experimented with the 5 shade set that also contains few of their Sofft tools for application and blending.  I can never stop at just a few and have added more colors to my collection as well as more tools and applicators.

There are numerous videos on the Internet about how to use PanPastels and many that amaze me at what can be accomplished with this fairly new art medium.  There are many fine artists that use them for portrait and landscape artwork.  I focused on the mixed media arena as that is one of the many areas where I like to play.

Here are 3 techniques that I experimented with.

 

 

FullSizeRender (7) Versamark background wash

First I  embossed a piece of cardstock with a texture folder (Tim Holtz), then I applied Versamark to the entire front surface. Then I  applied 3 different colors of  PanPastel as a background wash.  I sprayed a fixative over the top (outdoors for good ventilation) to seal the work.

FullSizeRender (4)Texture paste and stencil

 I used a stencil (Wendy Vecchi) on cardstock to apply PanPastel then kept the stencil in place and applied Ranger Transparent Texture Paste over the top of the PanPastel. (Stencils are a great way to use PanPastels.)  Just to add a little flair, I spritzed some water and added a sprinkle of ColorBursts powder.  The paste did not resist the Colorburst, so be careful where you sprinkle!  The nice part of the texture paste is that it will hold the PanPastel color firm and there is no need to use a spray fixative.

IMG_3265Stencil and modeling paste

I did a light background wash on card stock and then applied modeling paste through a poppy stencil.  After allowing the paste to dry, I painted on the PanPastel to the top of the paste and inside the image and then sprayed with a fixative.  After drying, I then applied more color for shading and enhancement and followed with a final fixative spray.

FullSizeRender (6)

 

I am working on a mixed media piece on a canvas board using the PanPastels, stencils, tissue, embossing paste, stamping and maybe a few other art tools.  This project will be offered in one of our Exploring Mixed Media classes that take place on the first Wednesday of the month.

IMG_3268

The PanPastels can be used over canvas, paper, cardstock, gesso, matte gel medium, and with encaustics.  It can be used to distress, add shadows, stamped with and incorporated into other forms of mixed media.  It can be used in coloring books and is great for card-making and scrapbooking.

I really enjoyed this product and now have added more colors to my stash.  The Sofft tools are very helpful and durable and hold up better than cosmetic sponges (even though they look like they are cosmetic tools).  Mistakes are easy to remove with an eraser.  If multiple layers are used, or the surface will be touched; it is recommended to use a Spray Workable Fixative.  I think it would be really awesome if they came out with a mini pack like an eye shadow case so that I could have all of the colors at once and take it on my travels! (That would be awesome to have!)

~Terri

Thanks for another great demo Terri. I’ve always loved how easy the PanPastels are to work with. Even though they are a chalk product, they don’t have that gritty feel that most chalks do. They are super soft and a little bit goes a long way. They blend nicely and you can create depth with layers. You will love them!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

 

 

 

Distress Products

5 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Pat Mathes

Comments in italics by Deb

 

The items in my packet for February were Distress products  (by Ranger)- Ground Espresso Distress Marker; Vintage photo distress ink pad; Fossilized Amber distress spray stain; Ground Espresso distress paint and Carved Pumpkin distress stain.  I already had quite a few different Distress ink pads, and bought some distress paints recently.  So I combined it all together to do this post.  I will apologize in advance for the extensive use of the words “spritz” and “mist” but I did do a lot of spritzing and misting while preparing these pieces.  It is important to have a blending tool to use these inks in the following ways.  So sit back, look at the process and then have FUN!!!

Distress 1

Distress ink is formulated to give an aging effect on paper, fibers and photographs.  The inks are reactive with water and will travel on the paper.  The inks stay wet longer so you can blend with them.  The inks are not permanent, and you can go back and mist them and reactivate them or water spot them.  You can get a great look by letting it all dry, then spatter it with some pretty good sized drops of water and just let it sit.  The water splotches left by doing this make a pretty cool background effect.

The distress inks are a lot of fun to work with.  Here are some pictures of the work in first stages:

Distress 2

The top left picture was first misted with Fossilized Amber spray stain.   I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it.  When that was dry, I put some Ground Espresso distress paint and Mermaid Lagoon distress paint on an acrylic block, and using a sponge, sponged the paint through a stencil.

Bottom left picture was first stamped with white acrylic paint.  The top stamp was full strength, and the bottom one was the ghost image of what was left on the stamp, making a nice contrast to the first stamp.  The acrylic paint acts as a resist and retains its color.  Then I used the blending tool and laid down a background of blended ink of worn lipstick and weathered wood.  I took Fossilized Amber distress stain and put it on an acrylic block, spritzed it with water and laid the piece down on it to take up some of the color.  I then let it dry.

The third piece was an accounting paper tag.  I crumpled it in my hand, and then while still crumpled, I took the walnut distress ink pad and ran it over the creases.  I spritzed it with water, let it run in the creases, and while still wet, placed it between two pieces of parchment paper and ironed it out.  I used Fossilized Amber spray stain and gave it a spritz.  Then took the blending tool and weathered wood ink pad and stenciled the dots.

The fourth piece has a background of blended ink using the blending tool.  I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain from the dabber bottle on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it in a couple of places.  I took a stencil and using the blending tool and the vintage photo ink pad, sponged the image.

Here are the pictures of my finished pieces.  I used black ink for the stamps used, except for the tag with the tulip.  There was other wording on the stamp I didn’t want to use, so I used the distress marker and colored the stamp.  The wording on the “Delight” piece was enhanced by the Distress marker.

Distress 3

 

You can stamp the ink pad on an acrylic block and mist it, then lay the paper down on it and sop up the ink.  You can use as many colors as you want as long as they don’t get mixed up and make a mud color.  You really need to be careful with the colors.  You could also do them individually and use a heat tool in between.  This method makes a really nice blended background.  You could then put a stencil on top of that and spritz it with water and careful lift it up, leaving the ghosted image of the stencil on the blended background.  You can also do the same thing with the distress stain in the dabber bottle – only you really don’t have to mist it – you can use it full strength.  You can also take the liquid stain and put it in a mini mister for better control.  These products are transparent in nature, so you can really do so much with them.  For instance, if you have a really bright scrapbook paper and want to tone it down a little, you can use the blending tool and ink pads and apply directly on the scrapbook paper.  It tones down the color, lets the new color shine through.

Pictures 4 and 5 are very interesting uses of the distress ink pads.  I had already done these background pages but since they use this product, I am sharing them.  First, take gesso and apply through a stencil and let it dry.  Then use the blending tool and the ink pads, and cover the background – these are done in two colors.  Once you have the background in, take another stencil and lay over the stop.  Spritz water through the stencil, let it sit a minute and then take a damp paper towel and blot up some of the ink background.  These make beautiful backgrounds.  Picture No. 5 is a finished piece using this process.

Distress 6

Another great way to use the distress ink pads – Blot your stamp on an Embossing ink pad, lightly blot it off and mist with water.  Then stamp it on distressed background and watch it wick, giving it a watercolor effect.  You can also do this with the stain.  I did a couple of pieces here – I didn’t use the embossing ink first – just stamped it on the ink pad and spritzed it lightly.  The image on the top is full strength and the one on the bottom is the ghost image.  I just used a white background, but the potential for some beautiful pieces is definitely in this process.  Another tip for this one, even after it is dry, you can use a water brush and move some of the ink around if you have a darker area or one that didn’t wick much.  I really like this process.

Distress 7

Last, but not least – a journal page.  First, using white acrylic paint, I did three images on the two pages and let them dry.  I then took the Carved Pumpkin spray and sprayed it through a stencil on the upper right corner.  Once that dried, I used the blending tool and the mowed lawn ink pad, and did a blended ink over most of the two pages.  You can see that in some instances, I used a heavier hand with the blending tool, making a darker shade of the ink.  I sprayed some more Carved Pumpkin on the left side.  Then I used the Mermaid Lagoon distress ink on the bird stamp and stamped the image.  I used the Walnut Stain ink paid and inked the large flower stamp – I did very very lightly spritz it with water before stamping to give it a slight watercolor effect.  The face was stamped with Ground Espresso paint on tissue paper and applied with Matte Medium.  I put a little gesso under the image to break up the green a little.  Also, you can see on the top left portion and the bottom right where I used the large water splotches to give a different effect.  I then took the vintage photo ink pad and the blending tool and distressed the edges of the pages.

I don’t show much use of the marker in these pages – I did mix it in with the Walnut Stain ink pad to make sure I was getting the large stamp covered, and used it on the Delight page when the stamp failed to give a proper image.  I like the fine tip on the Distress marker, but I find the brush end is a bit firm.  Again, these are water based markers, and I am more likely to use Tombow markers because I like the brush ends better.

 

All in all, I love the Distress products.  I had not used the stain or spray stain before.  They are quite easy to use.  There are so many ways to use these products and they are a lot of fun to work with.  It is not a messy product to use.  I will definitely use these more and more in the future.

~Pat

Thanks Pat. That was an awesome demo of the various Distress products and the different ways they can be used. I really love how your journal pages turned out. I’ve had fun playing with the spray stains – but then I am a spray fanatic. Of course, we carry a good selection of Distress products of all kinds. They are designed to play well together. If you are looking for a particular Distress product and don’t see it on the website, just contact me as I very well may have it in stock, but not have it listed on the website. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

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.

IMG_2992 IMG_2991 IMG_2990
IMG_2994

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

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

 

 

 

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