Sunday, July 31, 2011

String Art Embellishments

Does anyone remember Spirograph?  I think I still have a few pieces in a drawer somewhere.  My kids loved it and so did I!  We would make the most amazing patterns by just putting a colored pen in a hole in a clear plastic cog like disc and going round and round and round and round a larger disc.

August 1st, is First Monday, when CHA designers in the Designer Crafts group post projects.  Our theme this month is "Favorite Techniques" and, although, I love lots of different techniques, this kind of string art has to be my all-time favorite.  Probably because it reminds me so much of the Spirograph patterns we used to make.  Take a close look at the flower-like embellishments on these scrapbook pages and on the front of the card.

These are string art embellishments, created by wrapping a notched flower shape with metallic or plain thread in one or more colors.  After the shapes are wrapped with thread, different sizes can be layered to make the more intricate looking shapes.  It's very easy to do and, I have to admit, quite addictive because once you get the hang of it, you're successful every time and there's so much you can do with the embellishments.  I made the one below into a book mark, but it could just as easily be used to decorate a gift bag, gift box, or hang on a tree.  You can even put a small photo in the center.

 You can use punches to create the shapes, but they are quite expensive.  I have a die that I use, but you can also cut around a circle with decorative edge scissors to create the notches for stringing.  Any kind of circle with notches would work for this technique.  Spellbinders' Nestability™ dies with scalloped or pinked edges work well.

I'll post instructions on a separate page and I may be able to package some pre-cut circles for my website, Craft Lane Designs if you would like some.  They're not available right now, but I'll try to have a selection ready by the time we announce the "Giveaway" winner on August 15th.   You'll have to let me know though if I need to do this, cutting more than a few is pretty time consuming.

So, you may be wondering, what is the giveaway this month........  I posted a photo a couple of days ago, but here it is again

There are two Marvy embossing punches, a large tag punch and a McGill folder and small envelope punch.  I also include a few extra "goodies" too, but they will have to be a surprise.  

Enter to win by hopping forward thru the Designer Crafts Blog Connection via our logo (mine is in the sidebar to the left) then leave a comment here on my blog about which technique is your favorite and which project you liked best.  The designer with the most votes will also win something.  The winner will be decided by a random drawing and announced on August 15th, so y'all come back now...........

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Feeling punchy?  If you are you're gonna love the giveaway I have for August.

These are great big punches!  Two embossed leaf punches and a tag shaped punch from Marvy Uchida, and two McGill button punches.

The Designer Crafts Connection theme for August is all about our favourite crafting techniques.  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with, so check back on First Monday, August 1st (OMG that's in 2 days!),  and I'll let you know how you can enter to win!  The weather may not be cool here in Texas, but our projects will be!  Y'all come back now.......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mixed Media

If you follow what is happening in the Arts & Crafts Industry, you'll know that Mixed Media is the latest trend.  The question on everyone's mind however, is "what's Mixed Media?"  Like any self respecting person living in the 21st century, I "googled" it and came up with these definitions:

 Mixed Media (I think this was from Webster's dictionary):
A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media, 
such as ink and pastel 
 or painting and collage, that are combined in a single composition.     
and this from the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
            A term used to describe works composed of different media. The use of mixed media began around 1912 with the Cubist collages and constructions of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and has become widespread as artists developed increasingly open attitudes to the media of art.
Essentially art can be made of anything or any combination of things.   
You'll notice ONE BIG THING about this definition - mixed media is nothing new! I moderated a panel discussion on this very topic at the recent Craft & Hobby trade show in Chicago last week and one thing really stood out:  There are no rules and it's cool again to be a "crafter" and go wherever your creativity leads you.  A fusion of different skill sets or disciplines opens up a whole new world of opportunities.  You can combine quilting with yarn and/or paint, make canvas collages with paint, paper, photographs and a whole array of embellishments, or add silk or ribbon flowers to an accessory for your favourite sweater, dress, or jacket.  There are no limits, only endless opportunities to explore. Kathie Stull, who owns KS Productions, produces 9 different "how to" craft shows for PBS.  She showed the following project photos to the audience which had been featured on her shows.  There are shows on jewelry/beading, quilting, sewing, crafting and home dec as well as Scrapbook Soup.  Can you guess on which show the projects were featured?  
There isn't a prize involved here, I just wanted to illustrate how similar, yet how diverse crafting has become. For great mixed media ideas, samples and tutorials, check out Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog.  Julie and I host the new TV show, Scrapbook Soup together.  Before adding this hosting duty to her already full plate, Julie was a frequent guest on Scrapbook Memories.  I love her style and energy and we complement each other very well, at least I think so.  I just have to try not to be her mom, since Julie is the same age as my daughter.........LOL   Julie is definitely putting "art" back in the arts & crafts industry, but I'll write more about that later....... Y'all come back now............

Yours truly,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

CHA Summer Show - 2011 #4 of 4

This is post #4, so you may want to read posts 1 thru 3 first.  It's the nature of the blog, that you always get to see the last post first............  In this post you'll see some individual projects in addition to project displays and new products.


New tools from Imaginisce, the d•stress and iPunch


The Prima booth continues to offer flowers and foliage, paper and embellishments.

A new product line from We R Memory Keepers

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak into the world of the Craft & Hobby trade show.  No doubt you'll be seeing some of these products in your local scrapbook and craft stores over the next few months.  Hopefully you will already have found a little inspiration.

Don't forget to check your local PBS station to find out when Scrapbook Soup will start to air in your area.  The show will also start to air on BYU (Channel 374 on DirecTV).  You can also see segments on YouTube.  Put Scrapbook Soup in the "search field".

Have a great weekend!  Y'all come back now........

Yours truly,
Julie :)