Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stencil Giveaway

StencilGirl Products is celebrating their 2,500th Like on FB. To celebrate, they have announced a surprise giveaway. One lucky person will win all 3 of my newly released stencils. You can see the designs at the bottom of the following image.

To be eligible for the win, go to this post on the StencilGirl Products blog and leave a comment sharing what type of stencil-related projects you would like to see posted on their blog. Comments close Friday, August 2nd at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced on their blog on Saturday, August 3rd.

Don't want to wait? You can but my stencils here through StencilGirl Products and later this month directly from me through the blog.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


My experience at CREATE Mixed Media retreat last week in Somerset, NJ was just as I had expected: inspirational, exhilarating, and just a bit exhausting. As they say in sports, I left it all out on the field. Between Friday at 9am and Sunday at noon, I taught 4 workshops and participated in the Artist's Fair, selling my wares. There is nothing quite like spending that many hours focused on art with so many people who are just as passionate about it as I am.

I think the following images speak for themselves...and they definitely say CREATE!


jane, me, and kecia

joanne and jen

michelle and i
photo by michelle ward



we did it!

artist in action

making layers

dark and beautiful

gonna give you my awl
photo by andria kaskey

can you play the accordion?


it's all good

guilty of making art

guiltier of making art

guiltiest of making art

let the sunshine in

future art

photo heaven

pure joy

Artists' Faire

the view from my table

jenn and maggie from interweave/cloth paper scissors

stencil debut

from a distance: my tables

shop till you drop

Friday, July 26, 2013

On Your Mark...

On Your Mark...Get Set...Go!

Today's artwork and tutorial were inspired by one of Spellbinders' newest die sets - Gold Majesty Circles - and uses 3 other Spellbinders die sets as well. I am pretty much a grungy guy but can also really appreciate the classic and the ornate. And this set of dies hits that mark.

I used several dies from the set, along with a sheet of Pearl foil, to create this dramatic frame.

Just had to rough it up a bit by running a piece of fine grit sandpaper over the surface. It adds a bit of age and history to the piece. And really highlights the embossed surface.

I needed a focal image to highlight in this frame and I found the perfect image in my stash: a withdrawn German 100 Mark banknote from the early 20th Century.

When I first looked at this image, I thought it seemed too cheeky to be used on currency. But in looking more closely - several times - I am pretty sure what we are seeing are unfurled scrolls! LOL!

I created a ring using two dies from Spellbinders Circles One set which I planned to use to highlight the image of the face on the paper.

Needing some details to add to this piece, I cut corners using Gold Corners One...

...and one section cut from the same Pearl foil using the new Noble Rectangle die set.

I went hunting through my piles of hand painted paper and found the perfect color match for this piece. I wrapped it around a piece of book board to create a stable backing.

Time for glue. Putting the pieces together is always my favorite part!


Supply List

Spellbinders Paper Art Supplies:

GC-001 SpellbindersTM Grand Calibur® Machine
S4-409 SpellbindersTM Shapeabilities® Imperial Gold Majesty Circles
MD1-007 SpellbindersTM Media Mixage Circles One 
S5-190 SpellbindersTM Majestic Elements Noble Rectangle
S4-393 SpellbindersTM Imperial Gold Corners One
F-102 SpellbindersTM Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils

Other: watercolor paper, book board, ephemera, gesso, acrylic paint, acrylic glaze, adhesive, brush, sandpaper

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I am officially a StencilGuy at StencilGirl. I have designed three stencils for StencilGirl Products and just unveiled them at CREATE Mixed Media Retreat this past Friday. They are large (9"x12"), of very good quality, and filled edge to edge with stencil goodness.  

Special thanks to my pal Michelle Ward who snapped this picture and who is a StencilGirl herself.

The amazing Mary Beth Shaw, the brains behind StencilGirl Products, has somehow managed to expedite production. Originally my stencils were going to be widely available in early August. But I am happy to say that they are here NOW!

Head over to this link at the StencilGirl website to purchase one, two, or all three. And while you are there, check out the other available stencils from some of the bestest artists around.

My stencils will also soon be available for purchase directly though my blog. And I will have a bunch with me to sell at the Shopping Extravaganza at Art Unraveled in just over a week.

And please...if you do buy and use my stencils, I would love to see what you create with them. I will include them all in a blog post in the near future.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I recently had the pleasure of taking a workshop from Anna Dabrowska aka Finnabair aka Finn aka creative genius. 

You may know Anna from her spectacular artwork that graced the cover of November/December 2012 issue of Somerset Studio.

Luckily for me, Anna traveled from Poland to the USA to teach and stopped off at Little Bird Creations Studio in NYC. The workshop was called Grungy Spellbook and Spellbook Pages. And Finn absolutely cast a spell over me.

She generously provided us with so many art supplies and materials that we were all able to leave with a doggy bag of treasures - all of which were designed by Finn herself.

Finn's creative style really resonated with me as she takes whatever object she is working with and alters it to make it her own. Look at what she does with simple thread here...

We used one of the books that Finn designed as the basis for the project. We created front and back book covers using the embellishments that she provided, objects that we brought (my usual stash of rusty washers, watch parts, gears, etc.), and paint. And more paint. We ended up with a garden of textural delight.

Although the idea was too add the objects to a relatively small section of the book cover, I got possessed and obsessed and couldn't stop. I ended up filling up almost the entire front cover.

Happily, I gained control of myself for the back cover and was able to be less impulsive. This allowed me to actually create a design for the embellishments.

After we finished the covers, Anna took us through several different techniques to create the inside pages for our books. When they were completed, the idea was to cut them in half and glue them in on facing pages. 

In the end, I decided to leave my pages uncut and outside the book. Call it an artist's prerogative.

Finn was a wonderful instructor, really bringing out the creativity in everybody. She provided helpful and honest feedback in the most supportive of ways. And she shared an endless number of techniques that I know I will adapt in my own artwork.