Upcycled Holiday Shadowbox

Roberta Birnbaum Ann Butler faux quilting upcycled resin craft

Today on the Ann Butler Designs blog I have a wonderful (and easy) project using Ann’s faux-quilting stamps, and resin.

I love the wood packaging that Recollections uses for their embellishments and thought it would make for a wonderful starting point in my project.  I also wanted to use the little wood pieces that came IN the packaging 🙂

To read all about my featured post today, please click HERE

Thank you for stopping by today!

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Networking Really Works!

Networking really works!

I have proved this time and time again over the past few years and never is it more evident than when I attend specific networking events organized by a city’s Chamber of Commerce, or my own Craft and Hobby Association.(CHA). Networking really works

Of course I always knew this, but when you really put yourself out there and do it right, it pays off in spades (and hearts and stars and moons and…).

Not just the physical face-to-face networking, either.  I recently participated in a wonderful Arts Symposium called ‘Creativity Connected‘ and the resulting contacts and PAYING jobs are beyond my wildest expectations.

One large order was negotiated  right at the show. When I returned from another wonderful networking and learning experience – The CHA Designers Retreat), I had two messages waiting for me. Both of them basically said, “I saw your booth at the show, and even though you weren’t there at the time , I want  you.”networking really works

So what does this say?

It confirms for me that I can sell myself even when I am not there. It means my 6-foot table spoke for me. And it has also made me rethink my approach to craft shows because 9 times out of 10, I actually make more money through these networking events!

The importance of presentation

This is what my set-up looked like, nothing fancy, but it worked:

networking really works

I placed my business cards at both ends of the table. All pertinent information was highly visible and easy to read. I wanted it to be a true representation of me, my style, and what I have to offer. I wanted my sense of humour and passion to shine. Perhaps that is why I was able to attract people and get business even when I wasn’t there.

Which brings me to business cards:I have several. Because I wear many hats I like to tailor my presentation ( which includes my personal appearance and artistic display, and resume) to my audience, because the audience DOES change. Will I be selling or just displaying? What am I promoting? What is the purpose of this show and what do I hope to accomplish?
These issues are all taken into account when I prepare for a show.

And with each show, or symposium, or workshop, I learn. I also like to walk the floor and really take notice of what everyone else is doing. What stands out? What pushes me away?

I try to leave a lasting impression.

I am thrilled when I get a call or email from someone who met someone I met at a show. The person I spoke with was thinking about me and promoted ME. Now that’s what I call networking!


Gel Press Gel Plate Decor

Today I am participating in the monthly hop with Designer Crafts Connection featuring the Gel Press gel plate. I am happy to share with you THREE Inspiration ideas using this handy gel printing plate.

gel plate

Please visit the GelPress website for instructions on How to use the gel plate

gel plate

Inspiration #1 – Create a beautiful background for a frame.

For this frame I made a print with the GELPress printing plate using an assortment of DecoArt® Multi-Surface Acrylic Satin Enamels and a funky texture roller. I used regular printer paper, by the way. While it was drying (which didn’t take long) I added LittleB adhesive ribbon to the lovely Deflecto® frame. I punched holes in my paper where the ‘bolt’s have to go through and then inserted the paper into the frame. The final touch was using some great wood sentiment pieces from Michaels. (Already painted and perfectly colour co-ordinated!). – yay! gel plate

gel plate

Inspiration #2 – Make a SUPER quick and pretty greeting card

For the card I chose a heavier card stock with a bit of a sheen. It was very easy to place the card on the gel plate and achieve a pretty print. It’s amazing how little paint was needed! To finish the card I added a wood sentiment which I painted with black pearl and then I gave it a coat of sparkle nail polish.

gel plate

Inspiration #3 – Create a pretty magnetic cover for a return air vent.

Did you know that you are supposed to cover one of the return air vents depending on the season? We have done this for years and it really impacts the efficiency of our furnace.  When it gets cold you cover the top vent so warm air doesn’t escape, and in the hotter months you block the bottom vent so cold air doesn’t escape and the hot air releases at the top. We have tried all different configurations of cardboard pieces, tape, mini-magnets to achieve this but the aesthetics are terrible.

So, about 2 months ago I spot this big roll of paintable magnetic sheets  and I yelled “EUREKA!”.  I definitely would have preferred a larger gel plate for this project, but I made do with the one I was given and I’m very pleased with the results. I had to apply the gel plate to the sheet in order to maintain control.

TIP – Keep one of the plastic protective sheets attached to the gel plate ( i.e. on the bottom). It is much easier to place the gel plate and handle it by grabbing the edges of the plastic sheet.

Please be sure to check out all the great projects at Designer Crafts Connection!

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Creating with Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

Today I am creating with Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements! Wow – did this ever push me out of my wheelhouse, but I’m very happy with what I created. The DCC (Designer Crafts Connection) is sharing wonderful designs using Rebekah’s kit and I’m happy to be a part of this great group.Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

Fabric Elements is a fabulous product line developed by fellow CHA designer, Rebekah Meier. If you are not familiar with the product, please check it out at Rebekah’s Etsy store (rebekahmeierdesigns). You can also find more information at Rebekah’s website, www.rebekahmeier.com.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

The kit included a lot, but it didn’t include the one item I fear the most – a sewing machine! 🙂 JUST KEEP IN MIND: I started with plain canvas fabric.

Sewing, working with batting, rotary cutters and straight lines is just not what I do, but I was up for the challenge and basically followed the kit’s directions. Frankly I am shocked my sewing machine didn’t just laugh at me, but it was still working and didn’t let me down!

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

Most of the extra items and tools I worked with to make my mixed media collage using the Fabric Elements kit.

When I read the instructions the first time I knew I’d have to read them a few more times and I still messed up something but I’ll leave it to you to figure it out ( *I think I hid it pretty darn well, though).  I didn’t realize ‘how involved’ it was going to be, but once I got started I discovered that I was REALLY ENJOYING myself!

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

With printed tissue paper (provided by Rebekah), paint and stencils the collage starts taking shape.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

This is a great photo of one of my relatives and I don’t have a clue who it is. I thought it would be even more beautiful with some added colour.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

EKTools markers are amazing. Who needs special markers to colour photographs?! I don’t. By drawing on my teflon sheet, adding a little water and using a brush I was able to achieve that gorgeous rose background, and other enhancements.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

Check out the heart! It’s painted batting! — who knew?! I LOVE this effect.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

Little lace flowers cut out of a larger piece plus white pearl beads plus glue = a crazy easy flower embellishment on the heart. I also painted the edges of the heart with gold acrylic paint.

Rebekah Meier Fabric Elements

The heart at the top encased in green shimmery organza was first embossed then painted.

Make sure you visit the DCC blog to link to all the designers projects using Fabric Elements AND enter for your chance to win a FANTASTIC PRIZE from Rebekah Meier Designs.Fabric Elements

Have I inspired you today?

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Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

Painting with Therm-o-web DecoFoil™ and DecoArt® acrylics takes your artwork to a whole new level!

Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

“All Around Me” Mixed Media foil and acrylic on canvas board.

Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

I love the media fluid acrylics from DecoArt® and the Dazzling Metallics™ really add oomph!

Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

A fresh canvas board, acrylic paints, a palette knife and good brushes

Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

It’s amazing how versatile a palette knife is. 90% of this painting was done with only the knife.

Painting with Thermoweb Foil and DecoArt

Using DecoFoil™ transfer sheets and adhesive glue I was able to add foil highlights.

Please note: This is a sponsored post. Therm-o-web and DecoArt have provided product in exchange for my creative ideas, views and opinions. 

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