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Seth Apter

23 Jun


We are so lucky to have Seth Apter visiting Blue Twig Studio to teach for a few days. Seth is a wonderful mixed media artist with a fun style that I absolutely love. He graciously agreed to teach here, even before meeting me or visiting my shop (we have since met a couple times). I am very grateful to him and I know that everyone will make him feel very welcome when he is here.
me and Seth
Here we are at CHA. 🙂
Here are a few questions and answers to help you get to know Seth a little bit better.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  I am a mixed media artist from New York City. When I am not making art, you might find me teaching, designing products or writing. And you will often find me online, managing all of my social media sites that go hand-and-hand with being an artist these days.

Have you always made art? When did you start? What made you start? I came to art later in life. Although I always loved art, I had no interest in being a maker until a random and serendipitous meeting with an artist in 2000 introduced me a whole new world.
What is your earliest art related memory? My earliest art memories relate back to the art projects that I made in grade school, including what was my first collaboration in 4th grade when I made a poster with a classmate for a reading program.
Do you have an art degree or art credentials? I do not have an art degree and my “training” has been limited to individual workshops with artists I admire and a series of courses at the Center for Book Arts in NYC.
How long have you been teaching?  I have been teaching just over 4 years, having taught my first workshop in NYC.
What is your favorite class to teach? Don’t tell the other workshops, but my favorite class to teach is 52 Card Pickup. It is a fun, free-spirited workshop and one which always seems to bring smiles to the faces of the students.
Do you have a favorite art quote or words of advice? My mantra these days is “You’re only one layer away from magic.” That is the beauty of mixed media!
Where can people find you?
Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself.
Seth Apter is teaching 4 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Here are the links (shown below each class sample photo) to the classes on the website so you can find out more details. There is still room for a few more people in the classes – but don’t wait too long to get registered!
Photo Op 1
Photo Op – Sept 16th 10-1
Background Noise – Sept 16th 3-6
52 Card Pickup – Sept 17th 10-5
Mixed Media Dossier – Sept 18th 10-5
These classes all look fabulous and I can’t wait to see what all the students create!!!
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

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.
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.
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Interview with Serena Barton

2 May

I’m super excited about bringing in Serena Barton to teach this summer. While I’ve never been able to fit one of her classes into my schedule (perhaps I’ll take a class when she visits), I have visited her classes and observed her working with students and the art produced was stunning. I have gotten to know her personally while attending art retreats and she is a wonderful person and I know you will learn lots from taking her classes. Here is a little information about her personally.

head shot

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

I live in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Eugene, OR. Even though I’ve mostly lived in Oregon, I love to travel in the U.S. and overseas.

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

I made a lot of art as a small child and continued through elementary school. I also took acting classes and started acting in local plays. This took over from visual art for many years. I started seriously making art again 20 years ago, after my first life-changing trip to Italy.

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

I remember making art with a friend when I was about 2 ½. She was a few years older and she told me I scribbled. I hotly denied it and then looked at my paper. I saw that I did scribble and felt bad. Of course now scribbling is an important element of my abstract work!

4. Is your family artistic?

My father was what was then called a commercial artist. He made exacting designs for collages, companies, etc. He left behind a whole lot of little tiny tools for precise and literal cutting and pasting. One of my maternal great grandmothers painted some and hooked beautiful rugs from rags. My daughter is a photographer, jeweler and collage artist.

5. Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?

I am a self-taught artist. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s in Counseling.

6. How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching about 16 years and leading creativity groups for about 20 years.

7. How did you get started teaching?

I started with adding some creativity groups to my counseling practice and then went on to teach studio classes.

8. What is your favorite class to teach?

I really don’t have a favorite. I love to teach techniques and even more, I love to encourage and inspire my students in any medium.

9. What is your favorite art medium? And why?

Currently my obsession is with oil and cold wax on wood panels or paper. I love the way the oil/wax mixture can be manipulated, textured, incised, and yes, scribbled on. I love working intuitively, not knowing where I’m going. The paint and I work together until things come together in a way that speaks to me.

10. What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?

Our local public libraries offer free art classes to the community and I’ve taught two of them. One was encaustic assemblage and one was “Layers of Memory” that I”ll teach at Blue Twig. The students were a blast and made some greats work.

11. What is your favorite artist? Why?

I have many favorites. At the time I got really intense about learning to paint I learned a lot from the French 19th century painter, Edouard Manet. His brushwork brings me to tears at times.

12. Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?

My advice is, “Just Keep Going.” Sometimes our work looks awful when it is partly finished. Leave it for a bit and then come back to it. It may turn out to be your favorite in the end.

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

I’m on Facebook, at, and I have two blogs,, and I’m also on Pinterest. Next project will be Instagram.

I’ve also  written two books, published by North Light. You can find Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and Wabi-Sabi Painting with Cold Wax on Amazon or purchase from me at our classes at Blue Twig. (I’ll bet she would sign the books for you if you ask nicely!)

14. Anything else you want to share?

I’m excited about my first class at Blue Twig! I know Deb from art retreats and I can’t wait to see her store and meet my students! I love to teach and provide lots of individual attention.


Serena will be teaching 2 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Please be sure to get registered early if you are interested. The links are included below.



Transformations in Oil and Cold Wax – July 15th & 16th (2-day workshop)



Layers of Memory and Imagination – July 17th



Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918



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.

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


Through the Rabbit Hole – June 5th


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918




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.


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!)


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!


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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






Faber-Castell product review

2 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb


Blue Twig Assignment for February

This month, I got several items from Deb to try out including a set of a new kind of cardboard stencils from Faber Castell and some dimensional paint also from Faber Castell.  The set of stencils are simply called Mixed Media Stencils and contains 10 different stencils at a very reasonable price.  There are several sets of stencils and Deb gave me Set 102 to play with.  The metallic paint is called Texture Luxe and comes in Copper, Silver, Gold, and Pearl.  It’s basically an opaque paint designed to work with Stencils and is Permanent.  I’ll say right off the bat I tested it on fabric and washed it and it didn’t wash out. Yay!!! (good to know!)




Figure 1 – Set of Stencils and dimensional paint from Faber Castell


First I’ll talk about the Stencils.  I read that some people first coat the cardboard stencils with a glaze to help them last longer.  I actually did this but after using several stencils I decided it wasn’t worth it because the paint actually did a good job of coating the stencils.  They are also very strong and I had no problem using them over and over again.  (Side note:  Deb actually told me that I didn’t need to coat them with glaze but I had to see for myself.  Guess I could have saved myself some time if I listened to Deb in the first place.)  (Ha Ha – you should always listen to me. At least that is what I always tell my husband. )

What I loved about the set of stencils was that you can get 10 really cool stencils for a very decent price.   So if you didn’t have any stencils and wanted to try them out this is a great investment. (Plus once they are all coated up with paint and paste and stuff, and not really usable as stencils anymore, you can cut them up and use those pieces in your art!)

I spent most of my time using the Texture paint.  It has a very buttery texture and was easy to apply.  I tested it on paper and fabric as you’ll see in the next figure.  On paper it came out very crisp but my first attempt on fabric I had some leakage under the stencil.    You see that my next attempt came out better but I still had some leakage.

GetAttachment firstattemptflowers

Figure 2 – Texture Luxe on Paper and Fabric

On my second attempt I tried to stitch around the petals of the leaves to see if I could make them stand out.

As you can see in Figure 3 the stitching didn’t quite show up that well.  This is the piece I test and you can see that the paint stayed on perfectly.   I decided that the dimensional paint would be good on T-Shirts but that I’d have to make sure I had a stencil that really stayed down on the fabric.  (You may want to try to adhere the stencil down with a temporary spray adhesive like 505.) 




Figure 3 – Second attempt at Texture Luxe on Fabric with a close up of some added stitching 


You’ll see in Figure 4 that when I used a very tight stencil I got a very crisp image with no leakage on fabric so I know it’s possible to do.



Figure 4 – Texture Luxe with Stencil



Figure 5 – Texture Luxe on Hand Dyed Duck Cloth

Finally, I decided to stencil the flowers on some hand dyed duck cloth that I had previously dyes.  I really love how the copper color popped on the fabric as shown in Figure 5.  I’m thinking of leaving this just as it is and either adding it to a collage piece of maybe even sewing it onto a canvas bag.  I will definitely look into using some of the pearl colored metallic paint and add my own color to the paint.  I can see that with this technique I can make some fun pieces to add to other types of art projects.  I also can see getting some more stencil sets because they have such a great variety.


Thanks for another great product review Venisa. I always love seeing what you do with the products. I love the Faber-Castell products, and the stencil sets and Texture Luxe are great! 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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


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



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.)
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!
Join me at Art & Soul Retreats 2016
Blue Twig Studio Colorado March 2016
Beadfest Philadelphia 2016
Pacific northwest Art School WA August 2016

Visit my Etsy Shops
 www.EKCreations.etsy.comTake a Look at my Steampunk Clocks here

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

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


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. 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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


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)



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

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.


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


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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




Fun with Foils!

4 Dec

Guest Blog Post from Design Team Member Terri Ayers

Comments in italics by Deb

Fun with Foils!

Foil adds such a shiny and glamorous touch to your art projects and come in a wide range of colors. I recall visiting a home in the Parade of Homes this year and seeing a fun wall piece that used a quote that was foiled. Certainly classy home décor pieces can be acquired with the foiling process as well as adding a lovely touch of bling without the mess of glitter. (glitter is fun but not always practical)


I have been intrigued by what can be done with foils and have seen a few how-to videos and been curious to try my hand at experimenting with them. Opening up the treat bag for November was a fun surprise to see 3 different brands of foil and some adhesive to experiment with. I also had some supplies on hand to try things with as well as making a $20 purchase of a budget laminator.


Foils are a thin film that can be adhered to paper or objects by adhesive, pressure or heat pressure application. I used most of my applications on Neenah white cardstock and tried to apply the Pavelka foil to a slab of Sculpey clay, (which did not work for me at this trial.) I will credit YouTube videos of Lisa McGuire Ink for some of the application methods. Other methods were my trials of various adhesives on hand.




The 3 brands of foil used were Deco Foil, Lisa Pavelka and ClearSnap Designer Foil and I received Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller. For all techniques please put the pretty shiny side up (where you can still see it) when doing your project (yep – this is the #1 mistake people make, putting the shiny side down instead of up).




The additional products in my personal stash used were: Zig 2 way adhesive glue pen, VersaMark stamp pad, Stampendous clear embossing powder, Stampin Up Heat & Stick Powder (Ranger has one also) and some Framelit dies.

Cold adhesive techniques

An easy method was to use the adhesive dot roller on paper. Then simply press the foil over the top and rub with your finger and quickly lift the tape off pulling away from you. It’s just like ripping off a band-aid, only painless! This leaves a dotted decorative strip of bling. Another similar method was to use a strip adhesive. This gives a slightly raised look and feel to the project. I also found the glue pen very easy to use. I could draw a swirl or leaf and stem and let it dry about 30 seconds. Then I placed, pressed, rubbed and lifted the foil. I did try this with regular liquid glue. It worked but was a longer and messier process. You have to wait until the glue is nearly dry yet still tacky and use a small amount of glue (not my fave method).




Heat adhesive

The glue activated powders work for foiling. First use Versamark to stamp an image then apply the heat powder to the stamped area. Shake off the extra powder and use a heat tool to just melt the glue powder (just a very short time). Then quickly apply the foil while it is still warm and press, rub and peel. Voila!

Embossing powder technique using the laminator. Note on the laminator: I let it heat up about 10 minutes to get it nice and warm.

Stamping and embossing powder.

First use Versamark to stamp an image then apply the embossing powder to the stamped area. Shake off the extra powder and use a heat tool to melt the powder completely. Then put the item on a piece of tracing or parchment paper with the foil on top of the image and the top of the parchment folded over the top of the foil piece. Let it run through the laminator and it will come out of the back in a few seconds. Wave it for a few seconds and remove the foil.

Die cutting and embossing powder.

I took a 3×5 or so area of white cardstock and applied the Versamark and then embossing powder to the whole area of the paper. I heat set it and then ran it through a BigShot die cutting machine to cut the word “merry” and ornaments out. I then ran the word and ornament cut outs through the laminator with the foil covering the cut-outs and enclosed in the tracing paper. They came out very nice!




Laser jet printer techniques.

I did not explore this technique as much as I would have liked, but will share a fun demo in the store when I get my new laser printer up and running. For a quick trial I used a laser printed image (darkest is best). Please note: an inkjet printed item will not work. I heated up my regular iron and applied the foil over my logo (below) and the word “merry” (above photo).




I used a medium setting and placed the foil over the printed area and used the tip of the iron to rub over the foil. It worked to a degree. There were some areas where the foil did not adhere and I felt it did not have a finished look. Using the laminator in place of the iron will give a more uniform and professional look to the project. Foil is placed over the image and it is sent through the laminator. The possibilities are endless! There is a new product on the market that has great reviews, the Heidi Swapp Minc machine (hmmm – sounds interesting). It is very much like the laminator and very specific to foiling projects. Alas, it is much more money! I did find my laminator to be quite sufficient.

My favorite uses and products.

All of the foils worked for the projects and methods. I found that I liked the Deco foil the best. It adhered well and the price is great! The adhesive dot roller was quick and easy and provided a fun texture. The glue pen was so easy for free-hand images as well as drawing a quick line. I prefer using the embossing powder to the heat-n-stick powder; I felt the embossing gave better adherence than the heat-n-stick product.





There are many more ways to explore foils and hope you get the opportunity to give them a try! Thanks for providing the foils for me to try, Deb and Blue Twig Studio!


Thank you Terri for another great review of products. Knowing which products are easiest to use and the results that you get is always helpful. And who doesn’t love adding a little shine and sparkle to their projects? Blue Twig Studio has fun foils and adhesives and embossing powders – all so you can add a little bling to your project. 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918



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