Archive for February, 2009
GRASONVILLE, MD – Wednesday afternoon – Yesterday’s Laugh & Craft creative playtime was GREAT! Gail, Margie, Candace J & Beth are beaming over their stenciled plaques.
At the start of the creative playtime, I shared my designer secrets for perfect stencilling (it has something to do with cosmetic sponges) and everyone practiced the technique. The first step in creating these plaques is to base coat. Always, always, paint the back of your project. You wouldn’t believe how many rolling of the eyes that I get when I ask and sometimes plead with my creative playmates to paint the back of their projects. Really, it only takes a few minutes and what’s the first thing that most people do when they are presented with a present or are checking out your handiwork – they LOOK AT THE BACK or they TURN IT OVER. I don’t know why, but since they do, you always need to paint the back or bottoms of your project.
Next, pick your stencil. I like the stencils that have the thinnest material. I don’t know what millimeter measurement they are, but those that are the thinnest work the best. (FYI – it is usually the more expensive stencils that are the thinnest.)
On these projects where we included stamped letters, we first stamped the lettering onto blank paper and then cut around the word so that we could place it on our plaque to determine how we wanted to stencil around the lettering. Then after the stenciling, we came back in and stamped the letters (some were stamped with paint and some with ink.)
I know that there are fabulous stencil brushes that the finest of stencil artists use. When I am using stencil paint cremes (Delta Creative), I use a stencil brush BUT when I am stenciling fast and furiously with acrylic paints (Delta Creative or DecoArt) and know that I need great results every time, I use a cosmetic sponge. The key is to load the cosmetic sponge with a little paint and dab, dab, dab it on your paint palette to evenly distribute the paint and then dab, dab, dab it over your stencil. This is really hard to explain in writing so you’ll just need to stop by one of our free make-it and take it stenciling demos to learn in person! We’ll see you soon at the Studio! PS. We have just added Laugh & Craft to our Wednesday nights so stopy by at 7 pm and join in the doy-it-yourself creative fun! >>Tiffany
GRASONVILLE, MD – Friday morning – I just had to share this quick story that I thought was funny. On Wednesday nights, the Design Studio is open from 7 – 9 pm. We usually see anywhere between 5 and 12 customers on Wednesday nights but for some reason, this last Wednesday was unusually slow. One of our regular creative customers came in to work on a mosaic lazy susan that she is making for a gift. She said that it had been really hectic when she left home with her 3 year old screaming as she walked out the door to come craft with us. When she first walked in she seemed a bit on overload and took several phone calls on her cellphone shortly after her arrival. Then, things quieted, so she, Candace and I were all busy working on our craft projects listening to Enya music in the background. About 8:15, an epiphany came over her as she announced “Oh my God, I am so relaxed, I think I better head home and climb in bed!” Which she did. So, I just wanted to let all of you know that sometimes we have Laugh & Craft and sometimes we have Relax & Craft. Hugs! >>Tiffany
LOS OSOS, CA – Friday morning – It seems like weeks since I’ve been here to post (sorry about that Tiffany!) 1st. I have been busy cleaning the studio with the help of granddaughter Savannah (she is on break and home visiting from boarding school). I love it when she is able to help me. She is such a great cleaner-upper. She will do anything that needs to be done. She even helped paint the outside of the studio awhile back. I was able to grab her away from friends for a couple of days to help me with some of my projects. I’m just noticing the studio seems to really have a lot of dust especially since our fruit tree orchard is right outside the window. It is something I will have to address in the future. Savannah was able to dust everything and get the shelves back to normal – if that’s possible!! We also removed a table for extra space. There is actually a corner we could dance in. The studio is looking great!!
2nd. I taught my mosaic brick class last night at my studio. Everyone enjoyed the easy-to-do technique. Everyone always has fabulous results. These bricks make really cute door stops or mantle sitters or table art and best of all – anyone can create this do-it-yourself art! Here’s a photo of Savannah and her friend Kendra with Kendra’s brick. Great job Kendra!
3rd. Savannah and I were also able to cut and clean over 600 soda cans to be ready for making into recycled art and jewelry. My hubby Harold cuts the tops and bottoms off with the band saw – yes, that would be 1200 cuts! – and Savannah and I cut and cleaned them. We then sort them into colors and sizes, place a clean paper towel in between each can and stack them for storage (see photo at left). They are then ready to be cut and shaped into fabulous creations. I make all sorts of jewelry items and wall art from my recycled soda cans! Here are a few examples of what I make with them! PS. I have some of my one-of-a-kind SodaPoppy jewelry available to buy on-line today at the Inspired at Home website. Yes, with over 600 cans needing this preparation, it has been awhile since we had done it not to mention where they were being stored – namely everywhere in my design studio!!
Oh I also gave both my dogs (Dewey and Coco) a bath today! So . . . see, I haven’t been doing nothin’. Just busy with stuff!!
Have a fabulously creative day! >>Heidi
GRASONVILLE, MD – Tuesday morning – Every Tuesday morning, we open up the studio for Laugh & Craft. It’s a time for the girls to get together and have some creative fun. Some of us craft on our own projects-in-process, some sip tea and some just laugh!
Each week, I start Laugh & Craft by teaching a crafting technique. This week’s technique was Texture Magic. For those of you who have never worked with this product, you really must try it out. This is a dimensional paint/paste/glue made by Delta Creative that comes in a tube. And you can use it in a hundred different ways. You can stencil with it, embed in it, slather it on, marbelize it – the list goes on and on.
Our Laugh & Craft take-home project was a small votive. Everyone was able to search through the embellishments at the Studio to find exactly what design elements they wanted. Next, you lay blue painters tape (aka low-tack tape) on the surface. In this case, it was straight lines on one side of the votive. Then, you use the palette knife to spread the texture paste over the surface. Next, you embed your “found objects” into the paste in the pattern you desire. Take care to be sure you don’t lay the embellishments over the area of the tape or when you pull the tape off, those embellishments will pull right off too! You have to work fairly quickly as the paste will start to dry in about 30-minutes. (I know, I know, that seems like such a long time to work on such a small area, but we do get to chatting and laughing and before you know it 30-minutes have gone by — you look down and you only have 3 pieces embedded.) Once everything is embedded, carefully lift each piece of tape, one at a time. You should now have four crisp edges in the paste with fun stuff embedded. Let your item lay flat to dry overnight and tomorrow you’ll have a useful, creative hand-made to enjoy in your home (or give as a gift.) So now you know what you’re missing on Tuesday mornings at the Studio! Join us! Best of all – Laugh & Craft is free! >> Creatively yours, Tiffany
GRASONVILLE, MD – Tuesday morning – Wow! Just had to let you all know how much fun Heidi, Tiffany and I had trying our Skype the other night. We have a weekly phone call with Heidi every Sunday but it is so great to hear her and SEE her, her husband Harold as he walks by, her dogs and anyone that stops by her house. It is almost like living near her and stopping by in person. I had never seen Heidi’s new house and she did a “virtual tour” of her house by walking through the house with her laptop. We got the tour from her living room to her studio. Heidi lives on the West coast and Tiffany and I are on the East coast. It is so cool to be able to be more a part of each other’s life through Skype. You have got to try Skype out on your computer. We first discovered it when we participated in the Eckhart Tolle class on the Oprah website. I have always been resistant to computers but Skype just makes it seem so personal. We are going to try and talk Mom and Dad into getting Skype so we can see each other. They don’ t travel much anymore and what a wonderful way for all of us to communicate and see each other. >>Candace
GRASONVILLE, MD – Monday night – OK, so it’s a slow news day for the Creativity Sisters. Heidi is busy re-organizing her studio and Tiffany is where she always is – on the computer working on websites and such — so I thought I would talk about me! My spirits were lifted today. What is it about getting a new hairstyle that just lifts your spirits? My hairdresser talked me into trying to do something different with my hair and since I have had the same style for years I said yes. Of course, as with all changes in hair styles, it takes a while to get your hair to grow into some new style especially when it is as short as mine. Anyhow, I am sporting a new, spikier look that is longer. It is still not where it needs to go but it is fun and much less matronly. I need a fresh look at me and at life. Change is fun — hard at times but fun. But when your hair looks good it changes your whole outlook on life. So I spent today with a new attitude. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. 🙂 >> Candace
GRASONVILLE, MD – Sunday Morning – While the other Creativity Sisters are busy tending to their magnificent physical and spiritual gardens today, I have been busy this morning cutting up catalogs and magazines. It’s my recycling project! I will be teaching an Inspired at Home class in Life Mapping in April, so before the catalogs go into the recycling bin, I am cutting out words and pictures that my students will use in creating their Life Maps.
For those who may not have heard of Life Mapping, it is a process of helping you to set your intentions. It can be about setting the intent to live your life in happiness, financial abundance, perfect relationships, business building — or whatever positive changes that you want to bring about in your life. It always helps when you can visualize and bring feelings to the emotions behind what you are trying to positively create. So, Life Maps are usually filled with images, words and whatever it is that helps you to focus your positive intent.
One of my favorite play tasks each week is to go through Candace’s catalogs and cut out words and images in preparation for class. One of my favorite catalogs to shop and clip is Gaiam (www.gaiam.com). They have FABULOUS eco products, empowering words and great imagery which I can’t wait to see incorporated into Life Maps.
Candace and I have used Life Mapping as we launched the vision for Inspired at Home. We each have a bulletin board in our offices that first started with an Intention Statement and we keep adding empowering photos and imagery to help us expand our positive focus on building Inspired at Home into the grandest business that we can envision. I also have a bulletin board where I collect my intention statements.
The Creativity Sisters subscribe to the daily “A Note from the Universe” www.tut.com – if you are not familiar with this site – be sure to check it out! My board is filled with the daily Notes. >>Tiffany