Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Believe in Christmas Magic Canvas

I hope your holidays were magical and this time finds you & your family healthy and happy! I have a post up on the Southern Ridge Trading Co. blog today. It is a very special canvas made for my sister-in-law and her boyfriend for Christmas. I put a photo of my kids to give the idea of what it will look like. Hop on over to the blog to see the close up. So shimmery & shiny. 

Wishing you a fabulous New Year & all the best for 2017!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holy Crow Christmas is Coming!!!

I have an art journal page over on the Southern Ridge Trading Co. blog today. I don't know about you but life seems to get busier and busier. Once again despite my warning myself last year to get ahead for Christmas... all of a sudden we are 11 days away and I am trying not to freak out. I altered an envelope which will go in my #the100dayproject art journal book. It is an attempt to kick myself into Christmas mode.

It is messy & shimmery & metallic. Sadly photos do not do it justice. The idea is to put lists and quotes & photos from this years Christmas in the envelope to have as a keepsake or time capsule. I have a tutorial so if you would like to make your own messy page hop over & check it out.  

If you would like to see all the pages from my #the100dayproject click on my Instagram link to the right or #100daysofkarensart. I hope you have the chance for some art this holiday season!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Inspired by...Social Media

Hello Inky Friends, welcome to fall. I know it is snowing in some places and almost December. Christmas music is playing... but our weather is behind this year & it still feels like fall. So when in Rome...

Continuing in my series of Inspired by... I took a different approach for this post. How many of you go onto Facebook or Instagram and see all kinds of cool art? Do you get excited and think I want to do that? This happens to me all the time, very rarely do I act on it but I do get inspired to create something usually. As I was scrolling Instagram the other day I thought what if I just create a list of things that are amusing me visually & then made my art journal based on the list? So I did! 

My list of Inspiration: 
-crackle stamp
-postage stamps
-real leaves
-vintage photo 

This was a fun exercise that I will be exploring more in the future. I ended up with a page that is quite different from what I would normally do but is 100% mine-fun! I am entering this page in the Frilly & Funkie Challenge. The challenge is Bountiful Harvest using the rich hues of autumn. I have to add that one of my favorite parts of this page is the vintage photo added of my mother when she was 6 years old. Just makes me happy! I hope you have time to get some art done today.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let's Make a Necklace With Resin!

Hello Inky Friends, today we are making a necklace with resin! First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all of you In the United States. May it be filled with family friends, turkey & stuffing! 

I have a tutorial up on the Resin Crafts Blog using their amazing new 10 minute setting FastCast resin. This product is incredible and takes the long set time out of the game. 

Here is the necklace you can make, colorizing it however you choose. The beauty of this is if you need a necklace for say Thanksgiving dinner, whip it up in an hour and bam you are ready to go. Matching earring would be quick too! You can find the blog post here. Great for Christmas gifts too!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Resin Crafts Playing With Paper

Hello Blogland I am on the Resin Crafts blog playing with paper. I have an easy tutorial on how to make book page dividers using resin paper. 

Here is one I made for my art journal, love that it represents a snap shoot in time, helps me to put my art journal in context. These pages are stunning up close. I hope you give it a try, you can check out my post here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Journal Your Christmas Album Cover

I have a tutorial up on the Southern Ridge Trading Co. Blog making a Journal Your Christmas - JYC album cover. I took a class years ago from a good friend of mine Deborah Mahnken, we made a mini album, book style. I had added some photos, etc to the inside but never finished decorating the cover. There is a challenge on the blog every month & this month is all about winter or Christmas- come on over you could win free chippies!!!

Here is my finished cover. I used lots of Emerald Creek embossing powder on this. Winters Mistake & Soft Fallen Snow are perfect to add those snow like elements. Creates this light fluffy emboss with glitter- too cool! I am also entering this in the Emerald Creeks Dare contest this month. Come on over & play you can find the current challenge & the chance to win a $50 gift card here.

 As you see it is my book from 2013. I will be finishing up the insides over the Christmas Holiday. Do you have unfinished projects that you would like to get done? All forward movement counts so if you need some inspiration to pull out that unfinished project... You will find a full tutorial with lots of step out photos, over on the SRTC blog. Check out the new holiday chippies. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Frilly and Funkie Guest Blogger

Hello Blogland, today I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for Frilly & Funkie. Sponsored by the Funky Junky Boutique there is great inspiration and challenges with product and design spots to be won! You can find my guest spot here. I highly recommend you stop on by and play. Pamelia is the host & the theme for this challenge is What A Mesh! The challenge this time is to use any type of mesh (crinoline, cheesecloth, tulle, burlap, canvas etc) in your vintage or shabby chic project. You can find this challenge here.


My art journal page was designed to go in my on going spiral bound junque journal. To see more of this journal check out my Instagram (link on the side bar) #100daysofkarensart. The fun thing about this project is I can use all kinds of substrates.

One of my favorites is Crescent medium weight Art Board. I used the backside as I wanted to use molding  paste so I saved the front side for inks. This board is perfect to hold up to heavier pastes yet The Cinch can easily punch through it for the spiral binding.  

I don't know about you but I tend to over do things. I am picturing my friends laughing at this statement as the words come out of my mouth. When I was given the challenge "what a mesh" I had an immediate thought of what mesh I wanted to use. Next came color & ideas, finally theme. As I sat down to create however it became I could use a mesh stencil, with actual mesh & oh look I have chipboard mesh!!! The wonderful places my brain goes! Ok let's go!

Start with a layer of gesso, to give the paste something to grab onto, as the backside of the board is untreated. Once dry, anchor the mesh with a thin layer of molding paste. Let this dry. I usually have multiple projects on the go at one time so I am not waiting on drying paste which can take quite a bit of time. Next layer was through my net stencil with more of the light molding paste. As this board is going in an art journal I use light so it doesn't add physical weight to my piece. I also added some crackle paste just with a spatula in random spots. I am a tad obsessed with crackle right now, love the effect in can bring to a piece. Let dry completely- do not use heat gun.

Time for color! Adding Glimmer Mist & Glaze in blues, purples & green seemed a good place to go. I wish I had taken a pic at this point because my project looked like a hot mess. Mix media tip: just keep adding layers. Almost all my pieces have a case of the uglies at some point. I made a glaze using paint & acrylic glaze- 50/50, covered the whole piece, waited a few minutes & wiped some of it off. This help blend my color together in a cohesive piece but still let the multiple colors show through. Then went in and added back glimmer glam on the crackle spots which most of the color had lifted off. Much better! Once that was dry I dry brushed some metallic paint on the high points. This gives amazing shine to the piece.  

Time for embellishments. I didn't take step-outs of these but rather did close ups of how they look on the finished canvas. The seahorse was die cut from corrugated cardboard with the top layer pulled off, gessoed, and painted with glimmer glam. Glitter glass & microbeads were added using decoupage glue. The metal helm looking gear was added using glossy accents. For the cattails, simply add multiple colors of glimmer glaze. Glitter glass was also added with decoupage glue.Once the canvas was assembled all that was needed, more microbeads. 

Here is a close up where you can see some of the mesh in the piece & the rusty helm. I debated adding some fishermen netting with some shells & still may try that out to see how it looks. I have to say this is one of my favorite art journal pages & I may have to turn it into a canvas. Thanks again to Frilly & Funkie for letting me be a designer for this challenge. I hope you join in the fun!   

Crescent Art Board 5x7
Tattered Angels- Glimmer Glam & Glaze
Southern Ridge Trading Co..- cattail bushes chipboard
Finnabair for Prima- acrylic metallic paint, Mechanicals, microbeads.
DecoArts- crackle paste, Americana acrylic paint
Sizzix -Sand & Sea Die
Netting from fruit package
Hipstamatic & RhonnaDesigns- photo editing

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Winter Snowy Art Journal Page

Hello Inky Friends, I have a winter snowy art journal post up on the Southern Ridge Trading Co. blog. It is starting to get colder in between the heat waves we keep having here in Virginia. Today it is going up to 80 degrees & I have plans to garden-crazy! It is my turn to start the challenge this month which is Christmas & winter. I did a winter page with a hint of Christmas for my first post of the month. Did you know you can win $20 worth of chipboard lusciousness every month on the SRTC blog? You can join in the challenge here.  

My page is in my ongoing spiral art journal for the100daysproject. You can see all my pages on Instagram @karenbearse link on the side, under #100daysofkarensart.  This was created on the backside of another page which was made using multiple phone book pages glued together with a glue stick. A coat of gesso helped tone down the phone book but let some of the pattern show through. Painting was done with Glimmer Glam & Glaze for both the background & the chipboard pieces.

Add in some snowy looking heat embossing powder & a charm dangling from wire.

Don't forget some splatter with white acrylic paint & some sequins but just a few. 

To add in that Christmasy feel let's add a wee reindeer, some ornaments & random stars.  These Art Stones look like snowball mounds! The colors for this page were inspired from the Words & Paintery Challenge Blog. My title was cut from denim jean material which was part of this months theme. Come join in their monthly challenge!

Have a lovely inky day!

Southern Ridge Chipboard- Cedar Trees, Snowflakes 713
Tattered Angels: Glimmer Mist & Glimmer Glam
- Rubber Moon & Stampotique Stamps

- Emerald Creeks Charm

- Sakura pens

- Prima: Art Stones

- Sizzix: Word Play & Carnival die,

Friday, October 21, 2016

Butterfly Scrapbook Layout looking Rusty!

I have a post on the Southern Ridge Trading CO.. blog today and it is rusty & grungy just the way I like it! 

 Here is a sneak peak. For the full layout you can check it out here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Playing with Chipboard & Crackle Paste

Hello Blogland, today I am playing with chipboard & crackle paste over on the Southern Ridge Trading Co.. blog We are making this cute frame that is actually very simple! I am also entering this in the Frilly & Funkie Monthly challenge. The challenge this month is "going in circles" brilliant! The big question is... is this frame funky or frilly or maybe a little of both!

I used quite a few, fun chippies on this frame which has a picture of my daughter when she was just a wee toddler. We are also playing with crackle paste & doing a fun embossing technique. I hope you come along and play! 
***Excited to report this project won the challenge at Frilly & Funky. I will be on their blog as a future guest designer. Yay. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Inspired By... Athanasia Papantoniou

Hello Blogland, today I am inspired by the wonderful art of Athanasia Papantoniou, who is a member of the Finnabair creative team as well as quite a few others. 

Here is the art journal page that inspired me.To expand on the thought of "Inspired By" if you are like me you get to see all the wonderful creative art out on Instagram, Facebook, blogs... Quite often I see art that completely inspires me to make the project or learn the technique. It is rare that I take the time to follow through on that brief flash of excitement! 

I made the point of following through on this one. In my busy schedule of designing it was a nice change to be the student. I did change the page up quite a bit, but do you thing it is a copy or different enough to be simply inspired by? 

I can't quite decide! Athanasia's blog post has a full tutorial & she also made a video so please go check it out here & hopefully you will play along!
You can find more of Athanasia's work on her blog Me and myself.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Art Journal Challenge Using Ann Butler Designs.

Today I am playing with Colorbox Crafter's stamp pads & Unity stamps both by designer Ann Butler. Her ink pads are unique as they are designed to work with fabric, wood & more. I of course must try & play to see what else they can do. I wanted to use them on paper but was in a mood for watercolor. What if I used them completely differently then what they were designed for? I was in for a pleasant surprise.  First here is my art journal page.

 The journaling is about our lack of planting this year. We have had a small veggie garden for the last 4ish years but realized that we tend to take vacation during the main harvest days. This spring we were super busy & decided to take the year off. In the end we couldn't take vacation- brilliant planning! This did make me realize just how tasty our homegrown tomatoes are and I really missed the ability to just go pick what we wanted for dinner. I am entering this page in the Word's & Paintery challenge (info at end of post). My photo journaling has the colors & quote from the challenge in it.

 Quickie tutorial. I took the back page of an art journal piece that had a newspaper base. Glued down pieces of paper that came home from school with Korean writing on it. Selected Colorbox colors that were similar to the challenge. What was awesome is even though these colors were not quite right when I mixed the brights with Desert Sand color they were exactly like the ones in the challenge!

I swiped the ink pad on a piece of deli paper & misted some water to use the inks as a watercolor. The technique worked surprisingly well and created a total watercolor look that was BONUS... waterproof when dry! The great advantage to this for future consideration is being able to have a permanent water color base on a project -hummmmm. To darken the colors just dry & add another layer of color or add less water to start with. 

For my embellies I simply stamped a few of Ann's 1" Diamonds & Plaid stamps by Unity onto book paper & punched a circle out of them. These were adhered & edged with distress crayon. Add some random stamping & finish off the piece with faux stitching. I wanted to stitch but that would have ruined the art work on the back of the piece so I heat embossed another of Ann's stamps with black and voila stitching!

My colors & theme were inspired by the Words & Paintery September Challenge. If you want to play along click on the above link, you have until the 15th of October to join in. Happy crafting!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Want To Ride My Bicycle DIY

Today I am up to something a little different. I was given this super cool wood decor bicycle by Southern Ridge Trading Co.. to decorate. Inspiration is a funny thing sometimes. I could not figure out what to do with this project. A trick I have learned over the years is, when faced with this dilemma, rather than sit & stare at it is to move on to other things. That way my subconscious can do the work of figuring it out while I am getting stuff done. I set the bike up in my kitchen so I would see it a lot throughout the day. It took longer than usual, over a week for my subconscious to work out an idea. 

Here is my finished project. Sadly in my rush to get it in the mail I did not take a great picture. If you are at the Great Canadian Scrapbook Carnival in Calgary this weekend it will be on display! Lots of shimmery goodness right here. Head over to the Southern Ridge Trading co.. blog to see more. Also while you are there participate in our monthly contest to win chippie$$$!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Guest Blogger for The Crafter's Workshop!

So excited to be a guest blogger for The Crafter's Workshop! I have been a big fan of their stencils for ever and now I get a chance to share on their blog! I have a tutorial up with lots of pictures so go check it out!!! This project looks complicated but I have made the steps easy so you can make an up-cycled brush, pen, whatever holder too!

I have another post this month so keep an eye out we will be playing with canvas!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cute SeaHorse Pen Holder

Hello Clay making fans, today we are putting together a cute seahorse pen holder. I have a full tutorial on the Resin Craft blog

This is a simple technique to achieve and a great way to make things like teacher gifts as you can customize them! Go check it out on the Resin Crafts blog!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Seth Apter Journal Play

How do we create a grungy, metallic art journal page?

Seth Apter has a line of stencils, stamps, and die cuts. I have taken a few classes with him & not only are his products unique and different he is a super nice guy and really good teacher! You can buy his products directly from his shop or in your local scrapbook &  paper arts stores.

The start of the adventure...

  Let's start with corrugated cardboard. Inexpensive & easy to find! Add a coat of gesso, lots of stenciling using flexible modeling paste. To get an idea of what this will look like go here. Once this was dry it was time to add some paint. I used DecoArt Media fluid acrylics and painted the background in varying colors of blue/teal, using a bit of Paynes grey with the blues. Once that was dry some random stamping in archival ink gave nice interest & texture. 

Have you always wanted to learn how to shade? 

 Using a fine brush I painted darker on the sides of the raised areas, blending the paint with my finger as I went. This gave some nice depth to the images. Using a hard piece of foam I hit the high points of the stenciled areas with Metallic Luster, this is one of my favorite techniques! Just adds that wonderful, shiny, metal look that is nice & grungy. I used a quote stamp of Seth's as a focal point. His products fit into each other which is too cool, leaving all kinds of options. 

Time for some die cuts! 

I had cut a bunch of shapes from gelliplate papers. Choices.... In the end I was feeling circle-ish. I simply took the 2 inside circles from the Robo Ring die, placing one inside the other and cut. This left me with 3 circle rings and a middle full circle, which I did not use. I stamped on these with archival ink. I also cut the same out of cardboard- about as thick as a cereal box. The trick is to run the die cuts through the machine 2x- as in forward and back (leaving the sandwich in place so the dies do not shift) to cut this heavier material. 

After distressing the edges so no cardboard shows through simply glue down the cardboard circles with a strong glue. I left off the pretty tops to keep the excess paint from getting on them. Fill in the circles with DecoArts crackle paste. When dry the paint on the bottom layer shows through the cracks. 

Let's add a pop of color!

I used fluid acrylic which is enough to color the paste but once dry doesn't cover the crack effect.  Once that was dry I glued my gelliplate cut-outs on top. 

Adding paint on the inside of the circles gave it that depth. Almost done! Adding a key after wrapping a copper metal coil around it and a tag that was painted and stenciled with the word enter. Voila! The tag covered the back pages tab which I had found distracting.

That's it! This was a super fun page to work on, although with all the modeling paste etc. I would work on it, set it aside, work on it. Tip: have a few projects on the go to prevent staring at wet paste willing it to dry faster. You do want to let these pastes dry naturally for maximum effect. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Leave me a comment if there is a project you would like to see on my blog!  

Seth Apter:
  die by Spellbinders- Robo Ring
 stencils by Stencil Girl:
-numbers, story time & urban outsiders 
stamps by Impression Obsession:
-context, journal coins & pattern play
DecoArt Media:
 Fluid Acrylics- cobalt turquoise,  cobalt teal, paynes grey, 
quinacridone burnt orange.
 Crackle Paste   
Metallic Lustre- copper kettle
Americana Acrylic- Lemon Yellow
Ranger: archival ink- jet black
Daler Rowney- black acrylic ink


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