Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Going Off Grid

It is with excitement - and a little bit of fear - that I will be going off the grid, offline, and off social media. For 12 days. Not as an experiment but as a refresh and reboot.

The longer I have been working as an artist, the less time I have to make actual art. Ironic, right? Between travel and teaching, blogging, product design and promotion, writing, online shop keeping, answering emails, and everything else....who has time to actually create? Don't get me wrong. I truly love all of that. I really do. But I have come to realize that I also need to find make time for art. For me. It's all about balance.

So starting February 22 I will be an artist in residence at one of my most favorite places on earth - the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico.

Starting that day, my focus will be on filling up the creative well and making art. After all, I did say that 2018 is all about change.

I will be teaching a one-day workshop toward the end of my stay and visiting a few local friends - so I may pop-up on social media at some point. And, because I am not sure I can handle the withdrawal, I may just pop-in to say hi once or twice on social media.

Until then, happy creating to you all. And here's to hoping you find your balance too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Bakery: 1

It has been so exciting to see what all you creative people out there are doing with Baked Texture, my new embossing powder for artists from Emerald Creek. My hope with these powders was that people would find non-traditional ways to use them. And you haven't disappointed. Here are some of the beauties I have come across online this week. Click each link to see more...

Jenny used Chunky Rust to create this textural tag. And in the technique video that follows, she shows how to use Tim Holtz's new Distress Resist Spray to create the effect.


Claudia used each and every Baked Texture flavor to create a Baked Texture sample box filled with tester tags. As can be seen in her post, on the back of each tag is a sample of each powder on black, white and kraft colored card stock.


Sandee used Patina Oxide, Deep Sea and Chunky Rust on the mug and, in a genius move, Vintage Beeswax on the pencil. Check out a surface detail below.


Tracy paired two stamps from one of her new AALL and Create stamp sets with Vintage Beeswax. She created the center butterfly by stamping into a puddle of the embossing powder and the bottom butterfly by coating vintage paper. 


Heather used all 7 of my new Baked Texture powders to create this incredible tag.

The texture she developed is spectacular and in her step-by-step video below, she shows how to use vegetable glycerin (yes) and other adhesives to create her magic.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Apter's Chapters: Respect

I have been wanting needing to write something about respect. About support. About sharing. And about caring. More and more I hear stories about artists, crafters and designers being copied, taken advantage of, cut down in an online comment and/or treated with a general lack of respect. And like so many others in our community, I have been the recipient of these types of treatment as well.

It has long angered me when I hear one creative talk down about another. The fine artist who puts down the mixed media artist. Or the mixed media artist who minimizes the crafter. Or the _____ who puts down the _____ (fill in the blanks with what you have experienced). How about respect and inclusivity instead?

At Creativation in January, the annual trade show in Phoenix for AFCI, I had the pleasure of seeing and talking in depth with a large number of creative people - many of whom you all know and admire. Wish it weren't the case, but I heard the same stories over and over about struggles with the companies they work with, challenges with their peers, stealing of ideas and creative content, and the like.

Happily though, there was also a feeling that 2018 is the year to change that. To use our voices to stand up for ourselves. To get back to our roots in order to find the love of creativity again. To say no to the things that don't fit with our personal beliefs and to say yes to all that does. No coincidence in my mind that this seems to be mirroring what is happening in a broader way in our world.

Perhaps it is naive, but I believe that we should all support and lift each other up. To me, there is more than enough to go around for all of us. Rather than coming from a place of (unhealthy) competition and a sense of division and threat, I believe it is far better to work together, to support each other, to respect each other. This is what will lead to each of us growing, thriving, and obtaining our goals as artists and as people in general.

A simple equation in my mind. And one that is very effective and powerful when put into action.

Hoping you will use the comment section to share your thoughts and experiences, whether negative and traumatic or positive and uplifting. But always with respect.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Baked Texture: A Day in the Life

I want to share my gratitude - and an update - about your response to my new Baked Texture embossing powders from Emerald Creek.

I cannot be more thrilled with the enthusiasm and excitement that you all have shown since I announced the opening of pre-orders in late December 2017. 

In the following segment of Make it Artsy, released in August 2016, I put out into the universe my goal to "bring embossing back" and, thanks to you, EP posts are popping up everywhere.

These powders can be used in the traditional way - stamping with an embossing pad. But they were designed for so much more, including mixed media techniques, surface texture, and faux encaustics. 

Given the enthusiastic response to Baked Texture, Kim at Emerald Creek has literally been working day and night to fill orders. These powders are artisan blends and take time to create, jar, label and ship. Many powders are customer dyed. They are packaged by weight, so every jar is individually weighed. And all this is done the old fashioned way - by hand.

(thanks @nicolewrightdesigns for this shot)

Once they get to me, I am a one man band and I organize and package orders from my own online shop for shipping. That is the easy part. Walking all the packages to and waiting in line at a NYC post office...well, not the glamorous side of the biz. Thank goodness for iTunes and ear buds.

This is all done with love and excitement and appreciation and happiness. 

As a result of the enthusiastic response, we are behind in shipping - even working as fast as we can. Those of you who are (im)patiently waiting for your order, please know I want to get it into your creative hands as soon as I possibly can. I received a shipment of powders on Tuesday evening and many orders went out yesterday and today. The next shipment is due to me tomorrow and more orders will go out then. After that, I will be sending out any outstanding orders the first week in March and we expect to be caught up.

This of you who haven't yet ordered Baked Texture, you can get it directly from my online shop or visit Emerald Creek's website for a listing of US and International vendors (in the process of being updated frequently).

Thursday, February 1, 2018

2018 Workshop Update

Why do I love teaching art workshops so much? I get to travel all over the world, hanging out with creative peeps, make art, and learn a ton. Oh...and I get paid. The question is why WOULDN'T I love to teach workshops!

My teaching schedule is about to amp up and I would love for you to join me for some creative fun. You can check out my workshop page for all the details and/or read the highlights below.


The Ink Pad
New York, New York
February 2 - Radiant Rust - workshop full

Betty's Creative Studio 
Greensboro, North Carolina
February 6 - 52 Card Pickup - workshop full
February 7 - Mixed Media Mashup - workshop full

Donna Downey Studio
Huntersville, North Carolina
February 9-11 - Table of Contents - 2 seats left


Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Taos, New Mexico    
March 3 - Deck of Enchantment - 5 seats left
email me at for info and to register

The Queen's Ink 
Savage, Maryland 
March 9 - Radiant Rust - workshop full
March 10 - Abstraction Reaction - workshop full
March 11 - Get Baked! - workshop full


The Ink Pad
New York, New York
April 13 - Mixed Media Revolution - workshop full

Pratt Institute
New York, New York
April 28 - Creating an Artist Folio - registration open


Lexington, Kentucky
May 9-12 - Library of Memories - registration open

Everything Scrapbook & Stamps
Lake Worth, Florida
May 19 - save the date
May 20 - save the date

Quilt & Surface Design Symposium 
Columbus, Ohio
May 28-June 1 - Table of Contents - registration open


Quilt & Surface Design Symposium 
Columbus, Ohio
June 2-3 - For Your Eyes Only - registration open

Idyllwild Arts 
Idyllwild, California
June 15 - 52 Card Pickup - registration open
June 16-17 - A Book of Moments - registration open 

Visions of Australia
Hornsby, New South Wales Australia
June 30-July 1 - A Book of Moments 
email me at for info
registration open


Fibre Arts Australia
Ballarat, Victoria Australia
July 5-9 - Table of Contents - workshop full

Fibre Arts Australia
Lismore, New South Wales Australia
July 12-16 - Table of Contents - registration open


PaperCraft Clubhouse
Westbrook, Connecticut
August 11 - save the date

August 12 - save the date

Clipper Street Scrapbook Company
Langley, British Columbia Canada
August 17 - save the date
August 18 - save the date
August 19 - save the date


Burritt's Rapids Community Hall
Burritt's Rapids, Ontario Canada
The Exquisite Corpse
A 5-day retreat with Holly Dean
September 3-7 - registration opens 2/15
email me at for info

Shake Rag Alley
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Table of Contents
September 21-23 - registration open


A Work of Heart
San Jose, California
October  7 - save the date
October  8 - save the date

The Art is You Movement
Masterclass Series
Ogden, Utah
A 5-day retreat with Sharon Payne Bolton
October 10-14 - save the date
Registration Opens May 30

Artistic Artifacts
Alexandria, Virginia
November  16 - save the date
November  17 - save the date
November  18 - save the date