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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bursts of Color Light up the #Cre8time Sky

Hello Everyone... WE are just over two weeks until the new year - I cannot believe how fast 2014 has flown by. This month's challenge theme is "FIREWORKS" for the Reader's Art Quest at Unruly Paper Arts and is perfect for getting ready for the shiny new year. I have created a painting using a myriad of supplies that I haven't used in ages and just had fun with the inspiration provided.

The Unruly Paper Arts Reader's Art Quest "FIREWORKS Inspiration photo and color palette, are full of bright bursts of color much like you see when fireworks light up the night sky.


I came across a stash of some old 16x20 illustration boards that were screaming for some attention. I turned on some tunes and just threw some inks and paint and made the colors fly. I added more details with markers and colored pencils.

The brush nibs of the markers and texture of the colored pencil strokes are a nice contrast to the drips and splatters - all reminiscent of a sky aglow with bursts of light.

I hope you enjoyed my project and that you are inspired to join us in this month's Reader's Art Quest. I would love to see what you create. Please leave me a comment with your link.

Happy Creating! Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday too! :) Sb

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wrapping Around a Christmas Tree... Quick and Easy Holiday Decorating with Foamology™

Welcome to another special Designer Crafts Connection Challenge - using products from Fairfield World. We have been challenged to share quick and easy holiday decorating ideas featuring Foamology™ by Fairfield line - peel, wrap, stick, done! I have dreamt up a holiday tree assemblage so easy that even my Scoutie "Elf on the Shelf" sitter could make.

With the holiday season fast approaching, It seems I have less and less time to get ready for the holidays and decorate - especially this year because I'll be traveling for our biannual Christmas trip to visit my grandmother. 

Cold and flu season seems to be hitting early here where I live in South Florida, as I have spent the first week of this holiday season with the cold and flu... and down for the count. Which means nothing has gotten done and this elf is way behind! 

So I have about an hour or so to put up a little bit of festive decorations from the time my husband leaves for work to between the time I have to go to work. And this is going to be quick and easy tree then I'm going to make with Design Foam with Stickybase™ Tiles, a roll of festive wrapping paper left over from last Christmas, and some removable glue dots.

The Design Foam with Stickybase™ Tiles couldn't be easier to decorate with or to create a sculptural wall hanging. 

The lightweight, easy pull-apart soft tile shapes have a sticky backing - you just tear apart, wrap fabric {or paper} around them, then peel off the backing to secure it leaving the center area open to layer or mount onto the wall. Easy Peasy!




Ready to stick together!

This being a seasonal project and that have a textured painted wall, I'm going to assemble the shape layers using the exposed adhesive, but mount the base pieces to the wall using removable glue dots {lots of them}.

I am combining both the triangular assortment and also the assorted rectangles and squares of Design Foam with Stickybase™ Tiles. I pulled apart the triangles first so I can determine what way I want to organize them before I start covering them. Once I have an idea of the design that I'm going to create with and how I will need to use the varying squares or rectangles for filler. I can use the rest to make faux gift packages using leftovers of old wrapping paper saved for crafting purposes to complete the scene.

I have a small little area between my sofa and TV {once I move a surround-sound speaker stand} that I'm going to stick my assemblage to the wall. It will be perfect! A fun and festive way that we can celebrate Christmas and not have to drag out all the Christmas decorations and trimmings.

I assembled my shapes on the floor to figure out way I like them best. To keep things in order once I start wrapping the shapes, I labeled each shape what layer they were on. And I also took a picture of my design and each layer as I disassembled it to have as a reference when assembling on the wall.

Then I set off work with some Christmas movies on TV and wrap wrap wrap each little shape {this was the most time consuming part as I had to wrap about 40 shapes}. I cut the paper to fit with an extra 2" around to wrap up the sides; peel off the backing... and it's just as easy as that!

The gold shapes are covered with a crinkled section of gold sparkly hologram wrapping that will be my gold star tree topper.

Thanks for visiting! CLICK HERE to jump over to see what other designers made with their Foamology products and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! :) Sb

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 24, 2014

Toorkey for Tacos! Elf is Cookin' Up Trouble with Deflecto Wet Erase Signs

Greetings Friends! It's the last Monday of November and time for another Deflecto USA Ambassador Design Team Challenge. This month's Challenge theme is "Fanciful Frames". I will be sharing a couple of posts this week sharing a variety of Deflecto Frames, Signs and Wet-Erase Chalkboard Signs which are sleek and modern, yet so much fun!

For more information on the Deflecto line of products,

This month the Deflecto USA Ambassador Design Team is sharing a variety of creative and imaginative uses for the Deflecto "Fanciful Frames" challenge so you'll want to CLICK HERE to jump over to the Deflecto Craft Facebook Page to see more of the teams creations.

My first project sets the scene for my first official "ELF" prank starring my handmade SCOUTIE Elf. She is cooking up trouble in the kitchen during Thanksgiving preparations trading off turkey for tacos - LOL!

The Deflecto Wet-Erase Sign Item Number MINI-M-KR is perfect for adding a sign in a snap! These cute Black signs mounted to a Mahogany easel come in a three pack and measure 5 7/8" x 9 1/2" x 5 1/4".

I created a fun Mexican themed sign using the assorted color pack of Deflecto Wet-Erase Markers - the colors are vibrant and matched my decor and papier maché bull perfectly.

Ready for MORE??!

I am in a group online called The Documented Life Project where there are loads of talented artists sharing their work using the weekly prompts. I was inspired to display this C.S. Lewis quote that had been beautifully illustrated in an art journal spread created by artist Sherrinda Williams Ketchersid. My penmanship is not as nearly as nice as hers, though my rusty modified calligraphy worked nicely with the chiseled tip of the Deflecto White Wet-Erase Marker.

For this project I used the double-sided Deflecto Wet-Erase Sign Item Number ELE-M-ME - a beautifully designed, 7 7/8" x 9" x 2 3/8" Black removable sign mounted within a Mahogany base. The removable sign makes message changes easy using the non-smearing, fast-drying Deflecto Wet-Erase Markers.

The Chalk markers clean up quick and easy with a wet paper towel and water, then followed with a dry cloth - and they leave no ghosting. The ink is opaque and bright and does not require multiple coats - that's a timesaver.

The black board of this display is stiff and durable and can take the wear and tear of lots of erasing and re-decorating. I put it to the test, too... I started and erased quite a lot more writing than I kept!

Inspiration that's right at Home!

I added a little decorative black and white washi tape to the wooden frame to help balance all the black and white... it did the trick. Best part - the other side is ready to go to make a list, jot down reminders or add another inspirational quote. CLICK HERE to jump over to the Deflecto Craft Facebook Page to see more creations to inspire you with Deflecto "Fanciful Frames".

How would you decorate with Deflecto Wet-Erase Signs?

Thanks for visiting! Please join me the LAST MONDAY of each month when the Deflecto USA Ambassador Design Team will have a new Deflecto product challenge to debut.
 :) Sb

For more information on the Deflecto line of products,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anybody Seen an ELF... Anything But a Card Challenges No. 41 "ANYTHING GOES"

Good Morning Everyone! The holiday season is fast approaching and I haven't begun my handmade holiday cards and gifts... how about you??!

Today begins week number 3 of Challenge No. 41 at Anything But a Card Challenges! If you missed the amazing creations by our team of designers when ANYTHING GOESCLICK HERE to view week one designers, CLICK HERE to view week 2 designers.

The current Challenge... is OPEN! We all love a good prompt to inspire us and let us stretch our creative muscle. With the holiday season fast approaching... we want to see what you're creating! For Anything But a Card Challenges No. 41 is ANYTHING GOES. Share you're creations, whatever it may be... scrapbooking, collage, ATCs, tags, art journal pages, altered shrines... whatever tickles your muse and her fancy!

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Prior to Halloween I received some Smoothfoam doll heads for a creepy project... then one day strolling Pinterest, I found myself swimming in Christmas pins and how people creatively prank with these mischievous elves. Since then visions of sugarplums have been dancing in my head and designs on making my very own "Elf on the Shelf" sitter.

You know one of these... I had to go to an actual Hallmark Store yesterday {a rare occasion} and I spied a real one in the window...


I've never seen one of these in person, only all the photos online - and I'm glad I saw it after completing my HANDMADE version because I'm so proud of myself!! My little elf is more than twice as large as the name brand... and I think so much cuter, too!

This project was a labor of love and at each step I was totally consumed in the process. Please CLICK HERE to view more details. I think I will make a little skirt for my scout later, but for now I'm totally loving her creeping me out sitting next to the TV.

My Handmade "SCOUT" Elf is
already getting into mischief!

Supplies used: Poly-fil Poly-Pellets Stuffing BeadsCrafter's Choice Dry Polyester Fiberfill, and oly*fun™ - all from Fairfield World. Other supplies used: Smoothfoam baby headSuper Sculpey polymer clay; Faber-Castell Gelatos; Faber-Castell PITT pens; Faber-Castell Gesso; Sewing Machine; Water Brush; Tonic Scissors and Beacon Fabri-Tac Adhesive.

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Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you'll join in and play along with me at Anything But a Card Challenges. I look forward to seeing your creations. Sb :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

HARK... an ELF is Born for the Fairfield World Handmade Holiday Challenge with Designer Crafts Connection

Welcome to another special Designer Crafts Connection Challenge - using products from Fairfield World. We have been challenged to make handmade holiday gifts or decor featuring Fairfield World's Poly-fil line - fiberfill, batting, poly-fil beads, pillow inserts, and more I had my visions of sugarplums dancing in my head and designs on making my very own "Elf on the Shelf" sitter.

In today's project I have used Poly-fil Poly-Pellets Stuffing Beads, Crafter's Choice Dry Polyester Fiberfill, and oly*fun™ - all from Fairfield World. Other supplies used: Smoothfoam baby head; Super Sculpey polymer clay; Faber-Castell Gelatos; Faber-Castell PITT pens; Faber-Castell Gesso; Sewing Machine; Water Brush; Tonic Scissors and Beacon Fabri-Tac Adhesive.

Join us today November 7th through 14th for this special Fairfield World Handmade Holiday Challenge. For this event there is a fabulous giveaway too {please scroll down for Rafflecopter entry info}.

To begin, I ventured over to Pinterest to look up some elves for reference to sketch out a quick pattern for the body, arms and legs. The official "Elf on the Shelf" is a simple shape, that's full of personality and my Smoothfoam baby head is perfect to create my own little mischievous elf to have some holiday pictoral fun.

I primed the head with gesso and then mixed up a nice skin tone with peach and several pink Gelatos blended with a bit of watered down gesso. I built up the color in layers until I arrived at a nice skin tone. When the base color was completely dry - I used a sponge dauber to apply some Gelatos to create rosy cheeks. 

Now to brink my ELF to life... she needs a face! I painted a base layer in the eyes with the large white Faber-Castell PITT pen, then added blue and finally the black accents and eyelashes using PITT brush pens. The fine tip of the brush nibs came in really handy in working on such small details.

The final touch is magenta PITT brush pen added with a water brush to control intensity of red on the lips. Now with the face done, I set this aside to dry and I have a second baby head wrapped in plastic wrap to buildup some dimensional hair using the Super Sculpey clay. I did this by rolling out thin coils and layering in curl shapes around the face and ears. I did have to bake this to harden per instructions on package. I stained the polymer clay hair with a combination of brown Gelatos. The clay did make my head a bit top heavy, but I sorted that out when I fashion the body and fill with the stuffing beads.

The body and clothing came together really quick and easy using oly*fun™ and a combination of machine sewing and Fabri-Tac adhesive. The arms and legs are filled with the Crafter's Choice Dry Polyester Fiberfill and the body filled with the Poly-fil Poly-Pellets Stuffing Beads, so she will be sitting pretty and not topple over. I think she needs a skirt. When I construct the skirt, I will use this to add a bit more weight to her by making the skirt filled with more of the stuffing beads.

My Handmade "SCOUT" Elf is
already getting into mischief!

CLICK the BOXES below to visit each stop on the

Fairfield World Handmade Holiday Challenge...

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Don't forget to enter to win the fabulous prize from Fairfield World!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks so much for visiting! For more ideas and inspiration follow the Designer Crafts Connection "Handmade Holiday" Bloghop by selecting hop back/forward on the logo below to enjoy all of the wonderful creations. Sb :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cool2Cast takes a Plain Jane Kraft Journal to Old World Charming!

Hello everyone! Welcome to a special bloghop celebrating the launch of the new e-book "Cool2Cast" - a collaboration between Tiffany Windsor and Bella Crafts Publishing. "Cool2Cast" is filled with tips, techniques and project ideas for jewelry, home décor and other embellishments using Cool2Cast, as well as a gorgeous gallery of project images to inspire you. 

I have been a follower of Tiffany Windsor for years over on Cool2Craft and I love her Cool2Cast casting medium. Her new book inspired me to combine my love of moldmaking and casting with altered books... and I've transformed a plain jane kraft journal into something with old world Italian charm.

You don't have to make your own molds like I do. Cool2Cast has loads of ideas and inspiration using the Cool2Cast medium for a plethora of art projects using shapes from sorts of fun items we all have in our crafty stash. I couldn't wait to use Cool2Cast in my existing Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Mold Rubber molds. Cool2Cast is a fiber plaster medium which brings a whole different feel, texture and effect to my stash of molds - and totally expands their use. What I really love is that it sets up really fast unlike paper maché casting and paper based air dry clays. 

For my book I started with a plain blank spiral bound journal book. This particular one has a window already cut out of it and that's what I plan to house the casting in. 

Since the cover made of craft paper, it's already primed and ready to go. I grabbed my three metallic colors of Ranger Distress paint and which have a dauber top, and I quickly painted the cover and around the edges, on the inside of the window and around the edges on the inside of the cover. When I am all done, I can go back and line inside cover with a pretty paper. 

In just a few minutes the paint is dry and I'm ready to move onto my molding the Cool2Cast centerpiece. 

I grabbed my Amazing Mold Rubber texture plate that I made from molding a vintage glass tile. I place the cover over it to decide what section of the design I want to have featured in my window. On the inside of the cover, I applied some removable blue painters tape to protect it from the liquid Cool2Cast from sticking. When it hardens, I plan to gently pull the cover off and place the casting back into the window after sanding/painting. 

In hindsight - I really needed to protect the front of the cover and do this process I'm in reverse so that don't bend the casting in handling. Then I could have just mounted a piece of cardstock directly to the back of the inside cover to secure in place after it was hardened. Not a problem though, I got the results I was looking for... and the cracks that I created in my clumsiness actually added to the old world charm of my finished book. 

I used some bags of glass beads to way down my cover so when I pour the Cool2Cast mixture it would not seep under the edges of the book cover. 

In a Ziploc baggie I prepared a small batch of the Cool2Cast following the easy instructions - which is a 2 to 1 ratio of the casting medium to water, mixed to a pancake batter consistency. When ready, I snipped off the corner the baggie and squished onto my mold. 

I used a small rubber spatula to spread the mixture around evenly and then I let it sit to harden for about an hour.


This created thin casting since I matched the thickness of the cover - next time I would go over and add second layer of Cool2Cast to reinforce it as I remove it from the flexible mold. I was so excited to see the result I really wasn't being as gentle as I should have been. It's all good though!

After sanding the edges slightly to square it up to fit back in the cover, I mounted a piece of chipboard {painted to match} as a backer and glued in place. I brushed on the same colors of the Distress Paint to give my Cool2Cast mod texture a nice matching patina. 

I applied some coordinating metallic trim to line the edges and metallic bronze photo corners to finish it off add a little extra bling and interest. 

Now I have a beautiful book ready to go that I can customize for a gift or I can use this as one of my many art journals in rotation. I really love the option of using the Cool2Cast because it gives a more natural and distressed result when used in my Amazing Crafting Products molds as opposed to the using resin that I normally use {that gives you such a perfect and pristine casting}. The Cool2Cast insert really looks like it's a piece of old antique weathered ceramic tile. 

I really love the finish on this and I'm looking forward to doing it again with couple more of these books in my stash! I have loads of my existing molds Amazing Mold Putty molds filled with Cool2Cast to have embellishments at the ready for inks and sprays and use in my mixed media projects. Thanks for visiting!  Sb :)

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The following is a list of participants for our blog hop today with their names and websites. All you need to do is click on the participant’s website and that will take you directly to their website for more ideas and inspiration! 

ALSO... be sure to drop by - Tiffany is hosting a huge giveaway that you don't want to miss!!!

"Cool2Cast" Book Launch Bloghop Participants for Nov. 6th

Susan Brown --
Anita Scroggins --
Rita Barakat -

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