"No Place Like Home" A Fresh Coloring Book for the Home Lover

"No Place Like Home" A Fresh Coloring Book for the Home Lover
This Coloring Book was featured in the TV show Make It Artsy

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book Review: The Curated Closet


How familiar are we with the-full-closet-but-nothing-to-wear feeling? I struggle with this a lot. Recently I began to notice that my newly teen daughter who just started shopping for her own clothes, starting to struggle the same way. I knew we both needed help beyond just re-organizing our closets. 

Anuschka Rees' book The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal style and building Your Dream Wardrobe is a 270-page, full-color step-by-step guide and a road map to discovering your personal style, building a realistic wardrobe in a varied color palette, creating outfit formulas, composing a closet and how to be a conscious and disciplined shopper. 

Full of beautiful photographs, creative exercises and step-by-step instructions to overhaul your closet and refine your personal style, this book is a great gift for anyone who feels overwhelmed and dissatisfied with their closet.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Coloring Book On TV


Earlier this year, I traveled to Cleveland to shoot a few segments for the upcoming brand new Make It Artsy TV show. In the video above, host Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and I explore the magic of light and shadow using watercolors on a page from my coloring book, “No Place Like Home”.
There’s more. From me and lots of cool projects from various artists like Dina Wakely, Seth Apter and more coming this September to PBS! Check your local listing and tune in starting September 29th!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gingerbread House Tutorial



Every Christmas, we buy at least one gingerbread house kit for the kids to decorate. They just love getting creative, putting their own personal touches to the project. My favorite part of the process besides taking hundreds of photos is helping myself to the candy that come in the kit for decorations and watching my kids sigh as they tell me, "Put that gumdrop back down, Mommy!!! You are eating our fence!" Making a gingerbread house out of chipboard is my way of having my candy and eating it too. If you too are drawn to candy and eye candy as I am, follow along.






To make the gingerbread house, you'll need these dies by Tim Holtz: Sizzix Bigz Die - Village Gingerbread, Sizzix Bigz Die - Enchanted Doves, Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Holiday Words #2: Thin along with Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Village Dwelling.

To diecut the Village Dwelling, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on a Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pad - Extended, lay the Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Village Dwelling blade-side up. On it lay 13" x 6" thin chipboard (I upcycled a used envelope) and cover with the other Extended Cutting Pad. Pass the whole Sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.


Create the same Sizzix Sandwich using Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads- Standard and Sizzix Bigz Die - Village Gingerbread and Sizzix Bigz Die - Enchanted Doves, out of similar chipboard. You will need to cut multiples of the Village Gingerbread pieces.

To diecut the the word Joy, create this Sizzix Sandwich: on Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform For Wafer Thin Dies, lay a Standard Cutting Pad. Lay cardstock down and place the word joy from Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Holiday Words #2: Thin blade-side down on it. Cover with another Standard Cutting Pad and pass the whole Sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.
Cut the word into a strip with scissors.

To assemble the Village Dwelling, follow this PDF of instructions or refer to the instructions in your die package insert. Assemble the walls but stop before you attach the roof, portico roof and chimney. We will decorate those with the Village Gingerbread diecuts.
 

To dress up the Village Dwelling as the Village Gingerbread house, refer to this PDF of instructions or package insert. Here's the assembled roof and portico roof.


Once the Village Gingerbread house is assembled, attach the vine piece from the Enchanted Doves set and the word Joy as shown.
 

Because I'm working with upcycled chipboard, I applied a coat of gesso to prime the surface for coloring. If you are not working with chipboard, you may not need to do this step.


Color the Village Gingerbread and all its detailed decorations with PITT Artist pens or your favorite brush pens, markers or any paint medium you like.



Here are the side and back views of the Gingerbread house, complete with decorations.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and would take time to play with these dies.
 
Supplies: 
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Extended, 1 Pair
Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies
Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White and Gray)
Others: cardstock, chipboard, Stamper's Big Brush pens, Metallic PITT pens, paint brush, adhesive, gesso, scissors



Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win! 



Toil and Trouble


Summer's now done and Fall is here. Autumn decor is on the store shelves and kids are starting to plan their Halloween costumes. So, why not start creating a few Halloween cards?


On this card, I used the following dies from Tim Holtz's Fright Here, Fright Now collection for Sizzix: Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Damask, Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 3PK - Mixed Media Halloween, Sizzix Bigz Die - Lost Zombie and Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Halloween Words: Thin. 


To diecut the bats and the sentiment, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform For Wafer-Thin Dies, lay another Sizzix Accessory Standard Cutting Pad. Place the bats die from the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 3PK - Mixed Media Halloween and Happy and Halloween from Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Halloween Words: Thin, blade side up on the Standard Cutting Pad, place cardstock on top of the dies and cover with another Standard Cutting Pad. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.

Cut the sentiment into strips with scissors.


To diecut the zombie, create the following Sizzix sandwich: on a Standard Cutting Pad, lay the Sizzix Bigz Die - Lost Zombie, blade side up. Place cardstock on top and cover with another Standard Cutting pad. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.

To emboss the damask background, place a 5.25" x 4" piece of white cardstock inside the Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Damask. Place the folder between a pair of Standard Cutting Pads on the embossing tab (Tab 2) of the Sizzix Accessory - Multipurpose Platform, Standard. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.

Color the embossed damask piece with Gelatos colors or colors of your choice. Very gently sand the embossed surface and clean off any dust. Run a black ink pad across the embossed surface.


Using the Bats diecut as stencil, apply Whipped Spackle or another texture paste on the top right corner with a palette knife. Let dry thoroughly.
Color the zombie with various shades of green Gelatos colors. Next, color the sentiment: yellow for Happy and purple for Halloween.


Fold black cardstock to make a 5.5" x 4.25" card base. Attach the embossed damask piece at about the center of the card front. Attach the zombie as shown.


Attach the sentiment to finish.
I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial!
 
Supplies:
Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Damask
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 3PK - Mixed Media Halloween
Sizzix Bigz Die - Lost Zombie
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Halloween Words: Thin 

Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform For Wafer-Thin Dies Sizzix Accessory - Multipurpose Platform, Standard
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard
Sizzix Big Shot Machine only (white and grey) 
Others: cardstock, adhesive, Gelatos, palette knife, ink pad, Whipped Spackle, sanding block



Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win!  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Under The Tuscan Sun


This was my first time reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes although I have heard about it for a long time. I have also read many mixed reviews over the years. Some people loved it and some didn't. I knew I had to read it to see how I felt. 
As the author herself says in her twentieth anniversary afterword, 'How to sustain a book that has no tense plot, an unforeseeable resolution, and not even an "I survived" motif? Well, I thought, let's just go a little against the grain. I quit worrying about conflict/resolution and character development requirements. I'll try, I told myself, simply to re-create this place in tactile, evocative words. The writing was spontaneous.' 
So if you enjoy poetic sensory eloquence, you'll love this memoir of an American woman buying and renovating an old villa in Tuscany and how she weaved herself into the layers of the local culture and cuisine.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Natural Color


In Natural Color, author Sasha Duerr says, "Making natural color from scratch is much like cooking - it's the same process of using recipes, finding the right ingredients, experimenting, and timing." She chose to make her natural dyes from seasonal weeds, food-by-products, and common everyday plants that can be found in your own backyard, kitchen or local florist and yield gorgeous colors. Citrus peels, pine cones, seeds, leaves, fruits, flowers, roots, pits, barks can all be made into fashionable dye colors without harming the environment. Based on the seasonal availability of her dye plants, the author divided her projects into sections by season. Brush-lettered chapter headings, gorgeous photographs of ingredients, process and projects and the how-to techniques of natural dying make this book a must-have for a versatile crafter's library.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016