Craft With May no rules, just happy crafting Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:35:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 stash winners, videos, and here goes nothing… Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:35:34 +0000 First up – email me if your name is below – it means you won one of the random “share my stash” boxes!

Holly Denghel
Delana f.
Laura Mooney

I met with the flooring dude (13yrs of being my studio carpet = current carpet is DEAD) and “between 5-14 days” from now the flooring goes in. BEFORE that happens? Well before that happens I have to have my studio 100% clean, empty, sorted, and painted. I am at the point now where a) the $ to do this project from a job I did finally showed up and b) I needed the push to get this DONE. Nothing like handing your money over and saying “let’s do this” to a third party to add the needed pressure! Ha!


I will be back with a project or two this week/weekend and also? If you’re interested in product videos you’ll want to watch my YouTube channel! I have plenty of videos here – with new ones coming every 3 days or so. A lot of the new videos are product “first look” and review type videos which basically is me testing out and giving my first impressions of a product. Hero Arts Ombre ink, more from Ranger, Prima, Faber Castell, and more coming! (These videos are shot/in my computer… nothing new being made in the studio at this point!)

Have a GREAT day – I’ll be back tomorrow!

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Winners + RANDOM Happy mail post! Wed, 25 Mar 2015 02:58:11 +0000 Long story short: I’m in the home stretch of the “cleaning & sorting” phase of moving every single item OUT of my studio. Want the long version? Stay tuned next month I will begin posting a weekly studio progress series!

My point: I just noticed the prizes sitting here… as in… I FORGOT TO DRAW!! So, to draw numbers and the winners are:

Keetha Mosley – my class + random stamps/stencil goodies
Joanne Rosario – Simon Says Stamp stamps & dies
JBarnes – Hazel & Ruby big washi tape assortment

Email me ladies and let me know which prize you won + where to ship it!! I will get it out ASAP!

But wait, there’s more!! I have stamps, dies, and assorted goodies and supplies enough to fill 2-3 flat rate USPS boxes that I will ship off to lovely blog readers here. One catch and I’m SO sorry – all my give-aways are international friendly normally – it would be 4x the rate to ship these boxes overseas so unless you’re willing to chip in for that kind of shipping this is a USA addy give-away please. So I don’t forget to draw for a week (egads where does time go?!) this give-away will be open until Thursday (march 26th) morning and winners will be randomly drawn and contacted. To enter for your chance to win one of these boxes of fun goodies just leave a comment here! Would you share them with friends? New and building a stash? Just want some fun crafty goodness? Let me know and good luck!

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Art Journal in flight (video tutorial) Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0000 022

National Craft Month is a great reason to collaborate – and I’m here today with Nichol Magouirk doing art journaling and having such fun. Check out Nichol at her YouTube channel (one of my faves!) as well as her blog here. As I type this I’ve got no idea what she came up with today – we both just decided to art journal and play today and link up to each other. How fun is that?!

I took flight with the final page in my small art journal – and oh what fun I had!


I filmed my whole process – in fact I made this page as I took breaks from cleaning and sorting here in the studio. Multi-tasking at its best! Here is the full video tutorial of how I created this page:

link to YouTube


Supplies Used: 

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One stamp (what way?) Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:00:28 +0000 069

When I get a new artsy stamp, I like to play around with it and figure out how it works best. See how it looks stamped, what colors work well, and what I like.

#1: Plain black archival ink


First up, I always try archival ink in black. It’s a good primer for a new stamp and also is really basic. I definitely like how this looks!

#2: various colors of ink


I put a bunch of distress ink colors onto the stamp (I used mini pads directly onto the stamp) and misted it with a bit of water before stamping. The blended watercolor look is cool, but not strong enough to really become a focal point image.

#3: black embossing powder + blended colors


I like parts of the color and parts of the black stamped image, so I stamped + embossed (black powder) the stamp onto specialty stamping paper. Then I rubbed mini distress ink pads directly onto the stamped image. Finally, I blended the colors a bit using a water brush.

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The great part about this? Use a cool stamp and you can just attach it/make it the focal point for a card! I really like how this one came out, and I look forward to playing with this stamp a lot more!
supplies used:


Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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Unbreakable. Sun, 22 Mar 2015 09:00:45 +0000 I’m playing with new Faber Castell clear gel medium stuff (video coming to YouTube next week) and I am also trying to work out ways to work in my art journal and have an area be left totally clean. This isn’t the technique/look I was going for but I’m getting closer to what I want. bit by bit. NO pressure here in my journal – I just play.


My word is inspired by the new Netflix show Unbreakable. I watched it all very quickly as I worked so it isn’t surprising the word wound up in the journal. The show is funny and light – I wish it had gotten a bit deeper though. Could have been just as funny but with a bit more meat if that makes sense. The overall message is a real good one – she’s not a victim, she’s not going to give up or let life break her. She’s going to get up and go at it again. and again. Put in the work and make her dreams a reality. Love that!

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the view from here at my desk. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:23:27 +0000 IMG_0762\

Last Saturday I packed up and went down to Scrapbook Territory (Berkeley, CA) to teach a sold out Art Journaling workshop with Miss E and Scrappy dog too. I loved sharing my ideas, seeing people take things and run in their own directions too. Your journal should be a FUN place.


I expect I will be back at the shop soon for more classes – we had an absolute blast!

Speaking of classes…


That is a view of my desk last week and a page coming soon to my current on-line class. This is your LAST CHANCE to register for the pre-registration price of $35- this four month long class is an absolute deal.


The numbers on how many videos, PDF files, projects – it just keeps going up! You don’t want to miss out if you scrapbook at all – this is a huge and fabulous class if I do say so myself. Click here to check it out and register.

For now I’m back to work on more pages for class, more projects for here at the blog, more videos for YouTube, and more fun in general! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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So, you’ve got fifteen minutes… Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:13:16 +0000 045

A few things:

1. I have some lovely new supplies I really wanted to use

2. There were 16 minutes until I absolutely HAD to leave to get the kids

3. I really wanted to try and see what would happen if in this time crunch I also turned on the video camera

link to YouTube

Know what? This was fun. It got me using some brand new things, mixing it up, and getting loads of new ideas.

You’ll definitely be seeing more from me with this Archivist line as well as these stamps and watercolor pencils!
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5 minute creative exercises to keep things moving Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:08:34 +0000 081

This tag with a face? I’m not sure where I’m heading with it. In the background you see my desk and my vacation album in current progress. Right now I just counted and there are over 20 “must complete soon” projects sitting around in some state of progress from a product pulled to feature all the way to “waiting to be photographed”.

So how on the busiest days do I keep finding minutes to work and create and play? I utilize small pieces of time. Instead of sitting and surfing social media for the few minutes between an appointment and picking up the kids (for example) I might:

  • Pull out paint or paste, a few stencils, and cardstock and just stencil quickly a few backgrounds for later play.
  • Take one paste/stencil/stamped background and add color (ink, watercolor, paint, mist…)
  • Pull out photos and decide on a design for a layout
  •  Take out a commonly used punch or die cut and punch scraps of paper
  • Add stitching or pen work to finish off a project
  • Flip through older stickers and find inspiration for a project – start setting it up

The list goes on and on! By thinking about those tiny bits of time between the crazy rush, I find sometimes as much as an hour in a “there is no time to create today” day. The benefit as I see it, is that my brain is happy (yay! crafting!) and when I do have time to actually sit down and craft it isn’t like I haven’t been keeping active so I won’t experience crafter brain freeze where I just don’t know where to start. I’ve already got stuff in the works.

Do you have tricks and tips for using small amounts of time? I’d love to hear them!

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Gesso: what is it and what are my favorites? Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:45:15 +0000 I get a lot of questions about pastes and paints and things – today I want to take a moment to chat about gesso. Think of it as primer or thin white paint. You’d put it down before you got working, or use it when you want a very smooth blendable white paint someplace. Generally speaking, I don’t like it for anything that has me wanting significant texture or full thick coverage. Generally speaking, white paint will work just as well.

I use gesso for:

  • primer/base layer on art journaling pages
  • primer/base layer on canvas projects
  • base for watercolor projects where I want to be able to blend a ton
  • cover metal and plastic embellishments I want to re-color
  • in small amount for a streak/bit of white paint effect without a lot of wet medium
  • to mix with mist/color medium for a loose color wash paint

When doing side-by-side tests I could really see a difference in quality and effect for what I do with different brands. There are two stand-out favorites that are my recommended choices:

Art Basics Heavy Gesso (Prima Marketing)


This product is heavy, meaning it is quite thick and works great with stencils – the only gesso that I like with stencils. It is great mixed with color mediums, but because it is thick it is not a great choice for a thin primer layer in my art journal.

Dina Wakley Media Gesso (Ranger Ink)


This is my go-to for my art journal, and of the thin/traditional gessos it was by far and away the best. Love that it is small, and in a little tube for easy use.

Here are links to videos of my two favorite gessos:

link to YouTube

link to YouTube

Got questions? Ask away! I’m happy to chat with you about this or any other medium. I will continue my mixed media explorations on YouTube as well.

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Hawaii layout with Hero Arts stencil & stamp Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:13:53 +0000 051

Today I’ve got a quick & easy layout tutorial featuring a Hero Arts stamp, ink pads, and a brand new stencil too. This tropical stencil is the perfect size for a card background – but I think if I use it twice (so it goes across my layout) it will make the ideal scrapbook page background too!

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First up, I taped down my stencil and applied paste to it. I did this twice so that the stencil design would stretch across the middle of my layout. Note that there was about a 1″ gap in the middle – but that is ok! It doesn’t matter because there will be a photo covering that part.

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Once I had that done, I used a paintbrush and a bit of water to smooth out a few edges to make the edges of the stencil a bit more gradual. Love this design!

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The hardest part: I let this dry totally, and then let it dry overnight underneath some heavy (wood mounted stamp) blocks. Next up: I took my ink pad and rubbed it lightly over the stencil, as well as along the edges. Once that was done, I also stitched along the edges of the design.

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Ready for more inky goodness, I broke out my mint ombre ink pad and stamped some leaves!


Note that the big leaf isn’t a Hero Arts stamp… I don’t know whose it is! It is on an unmarked block. I really am enjoying these ombre ink pads and you can see (above) the slight change in color that makes for a blended look so easily. I will be doing more projects and a video on these new ink pads next week.

Back to the layout – just a few embellishments added and bam! Look how those stamps, stencil, and ink pads got me into a fun layout in no time at all.


Supplies Used:

I hope you enjoyed this quick layout tutorial and that I’ve encouraged you to bust out some stencils, stamps, and ink and get crafty today!


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