Making Greeting Cards: Tips and Tricks

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Handmade Greeting CardGreeting cards are so fun and quick to make as Melanie Statnick who is a published artist/writer will attest. She has a happy and whimsy style which she uses to create art daily from her private studio. As a result of having to send cards to each other with her mum and the fact that she loves to send gifts, happy mail, post cards and handmade cards, she wants to get in the habit of snail mail again. You too can do the same and this is how she says you can do it just the same way she does it:

  • Hand fold 140lbs cold press watercolour paper into a card shape.
  • Open to lay card flat and spray with your favourite then air dry or dry with heat gun.
  • Cut the card stock paper to smaller size to centre in the front of the card and glue. Stamp all four sides of card stock. Stamp image of 2” art squares. Glue squares to cardstock.
  • Stamp your greeting on top and bottom of watercolour card.

Using Pitt Pen Big Brush Markers colour in the stamped images. Add Stickles in your favourite colours and washi tape to the edge.

You have finished making your card and you can make many more to use them as gifts.

Happy creating!

Being Creative with your ATC Backgrounds

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Creating Your Own One of a Kind ATC BackgroundsBesides being a mixed media artist as well as writing for mixed media art, Shari Welch also enjoys helping others discover their creativity. She has been in a number of art shows in her hometown of Denton where she also volunteers on the education committee, teaches workshops, art camps, and performs art demos. At some point, she needed to find a way to produce a series of artist’s trading cards with the same background colour scheme while being able to make each an original little piece of art in itself.  On the other hand she loves Gelli plate because it is reusable and cleans up easily. As a result she tried to print out GelliArts gel printing plate and this is how she did it: -

Materials used

  • Flower masks and stencils by Heidi Swapp
  • DecoArt acrylic paints
  • 8×10 printing plate
  • Stencils by Prima
  • Rubber brayer
  • Stencils by Tim Holtz
  • White card stock 8.5×11 (cut to 8×10 after printing)
  • Yarn, texture tool, cut out decorative paper

With template in hand, you can create a colour scheme and print out sets of ATC background. However she says that from http://www.gelliarts.com you can get a better understanding of what the gel printing plate is, and what you can create using it. On the same site, you will get instructions, projects, and Youtube videos.

Making Handmade Halloween Decorations

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Do It Yourself Handmade Halloween DecorationsKim Kelley is borderline obsessive about her crafting and her art. She loves to learn and explore new techniques and hopes that any art she creates leads someone to find their inner creative artist. She is in love with Halloween projects and she wants to create something special for her BUNCO party. The idea she wants to use is that of decorating a skull. So what got her inspired? On what she had seen, real flowers had been used but she needed to use something that would last so she though using fake ones would do.

She picked up onStyrofoam skulls which she could use to stick the flowers in where she wanted. She ended up pulling all of the stems out once and starting over wanting a different look. She did not like the way the stems showed from the back, so she added a thick, almost cheesecloth material hanging from the flowers and draping down the back of the skull. She glued one of the glitter spiders to the skull and one to the top of the highest flower and took her glue gun and created strings of webbing all over.

She had an inspiring project and she advises that you free off from your comfort zone, start using your imagination and exploring an anything that goes through your mind set.

Get Discovered by Sharing our Creativity with others

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Five Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered“Creativity is not an antisocial act”. Let go of your ego and remember: there is no one-size-fits-all plan for everybody. Flow with whatever’s good for you”. This is according to Martice Smith who has established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer having receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree.  The following are some of the approaches she advices every artist to use to get their works exposed so others and who will get to know you and your creations: -

  • Be true to yourself by doing that which interests you and that which you consider authentic to you.
  • Be open about what you are working on by collaborating on a project with other artists, sharing sneak peeks and ideas of your works in progress and also highlighting various techniques.
  • Take records and document what you are doing. You can photograph your work at different stages to give people the experience of how you shape your art work.
  • Celebrate other people’s work by teaming up with other artists to spread the word about each other’s recent success. And finally push yourself to try new tools and experiment with unfamiliar techniques.

In summary Martice acknowledges that being open to share your process while allowing for the possibility of people to have an ongoing connection with you and your creativity makes you grow as an artist.  Let people know what you have to give them.

Mixed Media Art Tags from Scrap Papers

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Using Scrap Papers to make Mixed Media Art TagsTamara Dinius who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and chocolate lab believes that mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression. While to her Mixed Media is all about creativity, she know too well that Mixed Media Art Tags are created using scraps of papers, old art work, music sheets, and other items that add texture and depth to the tags.  And how does she achieve all achieve all this?

  • Add the assorted scraps to an old manila folder. Besides, any type of adhesive medium will work.
  • Add the scraps to your manila folder in a haphazard manner and once dry, layer a glaze of paint over the top to tone down the first layer.
  • Use a stencil and acrylic paint to create additional depth and interest to your tags. On this, use a paint color that is dominant in your scraps of paper.
  • Using your favorite stamp and ink pad add additional interest by stamping your project. You can also add acrylic paint using stencils or other items.
  • To finish, use additional fabric and papers to back the tags. Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the perimeter of the tag. Punch a hole and add your ribbon. Your tags are now ready to use as luggage tags, gift tags, decorative tags, or other item.

That’s it!

Making Card Pockets

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Altered Library Card PocketMelanie Statnick the published artist/writer has a lot of her artwork in art galleries and shops extensively in NC with international private collections. She is one person who misses to have library cards in the back of books with memories of having to look up books in the card cataloguing boxes being so clear in her mind.

She altered paper library pockets with Silk Acrylic paints. She then painted the first colour coat onto the pocket first, then used a paint brush to apply the second colour to the applicator and rubbed it over the stencil onto the pockets in a circular motion.  Drying the paints is the next step while adding some stamps and paper collage sheets and embellishments using a gel medium or mod podge. To outline the images you will use black Pitt pen, white get pen and then add some Stickles.  Valentine theme will come in handy to stuff the pockets with. They are best for sticking a magnet strip on the back or onto your refrigerator to leave notes for your sweetheart.With her happy and whimsy style, Melanie creates art daily from her private studio. From her website of http://www.melaniestatnickart.com you can get and learn more about Melanie.

Making a Customized Grunge Mat

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A Custom Grunge Mat for Framing Mixed Media ArtAnjuli Johnson began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since. Since she loves all things mixed media- paper, paint, pens, wire, gears, and clay she is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.  Being a new home owner her head is full of plans for how she can update and improve certain things… new tile in the bathrooms, different coloured accent walls, perhaps some new kitchen cabinets at some point and of course, a brand new art studio.

While looking for décor ideas before deciding what she likes and want to incorporate in her home, she has been spending months scouring Pinterest and internet images and many of the gallery walls caught her attention.  She knew she wanted to frame some small art pieces rather than photos and the position was to be on the outside of the mat, rather than having it framed underneath. She also wanted to do a whitewash grunge type of effect rather than having a plain white or black mat.

So what did she do?She used the cardboard insert from the frames she bought as mats and used gel medium on book pages to transfer text onto the surface.  Once the medium dried, she dipped her fingers in water and rubbed off the excess paper to show the bottom text transferred to the cardboard.  She used watered down acrylic paint as a wash and applied several coats until it was the colourshe wanted. She did let the cardboard dry in between before adding watermark stamped images in a few places to complete her mixed media mat.