I Won!

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Happy chilly Monday readers, today I want to discuss something I won off an Instagram giveaway; a master art class! How cool is that!  An incredible mixed media artist Jane Monteith @janelovesdesign held a giveaway and I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the winner. The class is focused on texture and collage and when signing up to win the class we were asked what we would be looking forward to learn from the class? I had no idea how to answer that question as I am a self-taught artist and have no formal training; I am 100% a student of the game. With no idea what to expect from such a class I answered honestly, and I am so glad I did! The layout of the program, the functionality of the site, the overall design, and most importantly the content, are all top notch and so beautifully done. Jane is so pleasant to watch and listen to and as she says in the beginning of the video when getting started she decided to leave the video/ process somewhat raw so you can get a real feel of her process, not just the technical aspects behind it. That element makes the videos so pleasant to watch and it leaves nothing to question, it’s all out there in the open and I love that! Thank you Jane!

Now full disclosure, I have not been going at the pace the class has been going, but rather keeping my own pace. But WOW, I am only a portion of the way through the class and I have already learned so much about different paints, finishes, and mediums it’s crazy! I love it when I can learn some of the science behind the products that aid us in creating. I find it fascinating to learn how certain chemicals in products react to others or how you can use them with others to create something entirely different. I am not even done with my master class yet and I have already created a piece that I am super happy with, and proud of! If you want to see it you will either have to wait until I post pics of it on my Instagram (@ChristeenStStudios) or be part of Janes Facebook group, which I do believe is for us exclusive members of her class! (I’m smiling while I type this part cuz its fun being part of something exclusive, wink wink).

As a self-taught artist, I very much appreciate Jane’s decision to leave the video raw, and not overly edit it, because it is something I have always wondered; how does my process compare to other artists, especially successful artists like Jane Monteith. Not that it is necessarily a good thing to compare yourself to anyone, but as part of a learning curve, it is something I have always wondered. Truth is, there is not a method that fits every artist or project for that matter, nor is there a super formal way to do things that will make you more of a professional artist, it’s just what works for you in your space. This was nice to see, as a self-starter one cannot help but be curious; is there is some magical formula art school teaches you on how to approach and start your artwork. I am getting an up-close look at Janes work and process, which is equally amazing, but it gives the student (myself) an in-depth look at another artist working habits and like I said process. As noted earlier, many times we think that a professional artist has to have super professional techniques and methods to creating. However, Jane takes me back a bit when saying don’t really think about it. As a certified over thinker this goes against the very grain in which I live LOL!!!! Hahaha! But really, she is so right about not thinking and just sort of doing. Abstract art is very much that; just doing. Which is perhaps why, as an over thinker, it is the hardest part for me, but I’m learning to be more and more comfortable with the idea of just letting my mind stop and my artistic autopilot take over.

Furthermore, as a self-taught artist it is courses like these that really help push us into the next level of our art journey. It certainly has helped me step my game up. I have taken several courses like this in the past and none of them were as clean, clear, and well thought out as this one is. I have no idea about costs or anything like that, but I can certainly say that this class would be a great investment for those looking to step up their texture game or are interested in starting collage work. I cannot wait to share with you what else I learn from finishing this course and what I end up creating! A big thank you to Jane Monteith for making me her giveaway winner, I am truly grateful, blessed, humble, and happy! Christeen

Solitude

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, I hope your weekend was fantastic and today finds you well! First off, as I write this I realize you will be reading this after the fact but none-the-less I write it still. This week we celebrated World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and as I reflect on the therapy session I just finished as well as it being WMHD (World Mental Health Day) I cannot help but be in a mental health state of mind.

Today my story starts with Pablo Picasso and one if his many famous quotes, “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” I feel great solitude today, and many days. I am not typically lonely, and I am not even here alone, yet I am alone to a degree, and then I think about mental health, my session this morning, and those who are lonely, and are depressed over their loneliness. Although I am lucky enough not to suffer from depression, I understand that feeling, more so today than in the past. Solitude does something to you, I am not sure if I can even put words to that, but it changes you in some unseen, intangible way. I think this is different for everyone, for myself, it has caused great self-reflection. I am not saddened or depressed about my solitude, but today I understand why people feel this way about solitude, especially if there are people around you all day, yet you are still alone in a sense, as I am most days.

Like Picasso’s saying, in my solitude I find myself busy and accomplish great work. If I am not working on a project or commission, I am conducting some kind of experiment or as Picasso would also say, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Being busy in my time of solitude, serious work is accomplished and I think this is a great perspective to have. Many people are lonely even when surrounded by others, but what if we were able to change that perspective; solitude equates to loneliness. I believe it is human nature for us to tie solitude and loneliness together, but what if we could change that. For instance, it was Henri Matisse in the early 1900s that once said when “Starting to paint, I felt gloriously free, quite, and alone.”

However, I think if we shift the perspective and use solitude as a time of self- care, and focus on ourselves, then solitude does not have to be such a bad thing, or a sad thing. I personally enjoy my solitude. I can get lost in my own little world, allow my mind and anxieties to escape and let my soul rest, or dance, or do whatever it needs at the time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were the solution to loneliness caused depression?

Unfortunately, it really isn’t that easy is it?  Many mental health issues are far more complex than a simple perspective change. However, I have learned through therapy that sometimes a perspective change can open your eyes to something that was right in front of you. Moreover, my Dad always used to tell me that sometimes “it only takes that one sentence, that one line, to change someone’s life.” Therefore, today, in honor of WMHD I thought I would share this with you, and who knows, perhaps what I shared today will resonate with someone. As I wrap up this blog post, I leave you with a few things to remember on WMHD; self-care is not selfish, and please remember, you have compassion for others, have compassion for yourself. Christeen

missing nikki atc

Creating from the Soul

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello all my wonderful readers, hoping you all are creating today!

Today is a very somber yet distinct day for me; it is what would be my late sisters 40th birthday. Her name is Nicole, she passed away nearly 5 years ago this November, and even with therapy it does not get easier with time; it only gets, different. Needless to say, the week leading up to today has weighed heavily on my heart and mind and has shown through in my work as an artist. I honestly did not even realize it at first.

A little background, I love of making Artist Trading Cards (ATC). This is such great way to challenge myself, share my work, network, and just get to create without worrying if someone is going to buy this piece or not. There is no pressure, just to do whatever comes creatively natural to me. I put a lot into my ATC’s so they do take time and I had volunteered to make several of them so I did have plenty of work to do. Ok, so no one but my husband knows this but I end up being so fond of the ATCs that I make I started to make two of every one I do. If someone asks for something Wizard of Oz themed, I make two of them, one for them and one for me! Lol I did not always do this, but I started to make cards I knew I was not going to give away, so problem solved if I just make two of them, hahaha. Ok so anyway, as I was busy, working on several different cards at the time, my brain was able to let go and I just went on autopilot. This is where my soul takes over and my brain rests, and it is the most pure form of creativity that I have ever experienced! Really, creating from the soul, heart, subconscious, whatever it is that you call it, is the most direct reflection of the artists most inner self. I know this as I have experienced it.

The story starts when I began to create an ATC where the theme was ‘surprise me’. So I started in, not thinking, not planning, not organizing, just going, led by instinct, which if you know me, you know this is not at all like me. When I began the card it was for someone who requested to be surprised, but as I got further and further into project I realized more and more of what this was reminding me of; my late sister. She was notorious for being a lover of the color purple, and she always had these striking full brown eyes and eyelashes. This card I made without intention; a little girl angel, on a purple background, with purplish wings on purple clouds. The little angel has these full eyelashes that are so familiar.

The end of the story is of me reflecting off of the experience when I was done with the card and really stood back. All the signs were there in hindsight, but not fully realized when I was in my zone. This was my inner self speaking to me, or perhaps my inner self just speaking out, to anyone in particular. Moreover, the card is lovely, it absolutely has my touch, completely reminds me of my sis as a little girl, who is in heaven, and came from a place I cannot describe other than my soul. Lastly, I made a card with no duplicate; my subconscious knew who this card was really for the entire time. I experienced possibly the purest, rawest emotional expression an artist can have. That is powerful.

I look back on this past week, on today, my sister and it is these experiences that shape us. I wish I could have these experiences without the hurt, without the loss, but unfortunately I cannot change what has happened, so I have to embrace the fact that I am who I am today because of these things.

We grow as people because of the journeys our lives take. We grow as artists for our ability, weather to ourselves or to others, to express where that journey has taken us.

As I stare at this ATC that will forever be on my desk I leave you today with this; do not be afraid to let yourself go, to go on autopilot and let your inner creativity take over. We need this ability to express ourselves just as a singer needs to sing, or a needle needs a thing. Much love everyone, see you next week! Christeen

Is It Almost Halloween or Christmas?

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, its October, and I’m getting ready for Christmas. Wait, what? Yes that is correct, it’s nearly a week until Halloween and I’ve been working on getting my online gift shop ready for the Christmas shopping season starting in November. I find this crazy, as this does not even mention how many other makers, artists, and crafters say I’m late and should have been doing this in September! WHAT!!??

None-the-less, I’m happy to be so busy. I’ve had an influx in sales, which of course is wonderful, so between commission work and preparing for the shopping season, I have plenty to do, multiple projects goings, and boy does my studio show it! My desk is full of things, different things, some things I need right now, other things I will need eventually lol. This is not my usual work habit, as I like clean, tidy, and organized. Buy hey whatcha going to do right!

This reminds me of a crafty post one of my art BFFs posted, “You can’t expect me to be creative and organized!” LOL I love that, as I feel this sums up my working space right now. But that’s ok, I feel it’s like a badge of honor, having an unorganized studio because of all the work I’m doing. I will take that any day over having a clean studio because I have nothing to do!

In addition, I wanted to bring light to the subject that the holiday shopping season is a very big deal to us makers, artists, crafters, and those of us that make handmade goods. So many of us depend of the holiday sales to help jump us into the New Year. So today, although this is a short and sweet blog post, where I will leave you is planting the seed to shop small business, to shop handmade, to shop local this holiday season. It means more to the maker than you could probably ever realize, and the money is truly being spent in a place that really does appreciate your business! Christeen

Unfinished Projects

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, happy Monday in the studio.

Today I want to talk about all those unfinished projects we have piling up, you know that corner or closet that is full of things unfinished. Yes all artists, makers, and crafters have them. I certainly have my fair share of incomplete works that never saw fruition. Regardless of why they were never finished, the fact is they are there collecting dust, taking up space, but more so than that, those unfinished pieces keep yelling at you from across the room, screaming!

I don’t know about you, but this is certainly the case for me sometimes; those pieces are a constant reminder of what I haven’t finished, what I gave up on, what I was incapable of accomplishing. Every time I see them, I am immediately reminded of my limitations and failures. I think of revisiting those pieces and say screw that, let’s get this done! But then I remember why I couldn’t or wouldn’t finish that piece and once again I’m staring at that damn screaming pile of projects, unhappy they never reached their full potential, staring back at me; judging me. Moreover, at this point I am feeling defeated once again. Thus, the cycle continues, I save my mental health, give up and walk away from the pile. It’s not going anywhere and I save it for another day; to attempt and conquer what will surly have grown into a mountain.

I’m sure we have all been in this situation at least once, and it’s ok if you have been or are in this situation. If we are not striving to do things we have never done, we will never learn, and I realized my mindset was all wrong. This situation shouldn’t be looked at as a pile of failures, but a pile of attempts, experiments conducted to gather data. Moreover, I have said it once, and shall say it again, as long as we learned something from the experience, it was no failure.

Today I’m going to leave you with that old saying, ‘shoot for the Moon, even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars’. Christeen

While I’ve Been Away

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Wow does time fly! Welcome back readers to my blog, I have to acknowledge my absence since March. First, I am very happy to announce a big part of why I have not posted any new blogs in a while is because Christeen Street Studios has officially moved. While it seems I shall never get finished moving in and everything put just how I want it, I am back to work creating new things in my new studio and have new stories and experiences to share.

This brings me to my next reason for having stopped blogging; I felt what I was blogging about was, well what everyone else is blogging about. I actually read a crafters blog back in March and I was surprised about how similar our blogs were. Then I saw this was an old blog back from 2009! That really got me down and honestly, I completely lost all motivation to continue writing. However, after a while, as I thought more and more about it, I knew I needed to get back at it and continue to share my experiences and my work. Not to mention I have had a few friends and family members ask me several times when I was going to get back at it. To my surprise, they actually missed my blog. Say what now!?

Well, here I am avoiding the sweltering heat in my studio and blogging instead.

So what to talk about?

What have I been up to?

Well I’m glad you asked! First, I’m super happy to say I finally got to try my hand at using epoxy resin to make things. It is a ton of fun, incredibly detailed, and wow can things go wrong fast! In addition, like everything else there is a learning curve to it. Epoxy resin is a chemical, so there is much to learn about, like how the resin reacts to other materials, and to itself; too little hardener and it will not cure correctly, too much hardener and same thing! Its tedious work but once I can manage to get it down I will have amazing creations to share with you all. Unfortunately, so far my resin and hardener mixes have not exactly been ideal and let me just say we have some limp bookmarkers on our hands lol! I’m sure I will figure something to do with them, but more about resin later.

I also finally got my Facebook business page up and going, you can find me @ChristeenStreetStudios

I’m getting ready to hold a photoshoot for a 3 piece series I’m incredibly happy with. The series focuses on texture, dimension, the three astrological elements (sun, moon, and stars) as well as the three major metal elements (gold, silver, and copper). However, taking good photographs of art, at least for me, is harder than actually creating the art itself ha-ha! Nevertheless, I’m getting there. This reminds me of a popular real estate broker Ryan Serhant, he has a saying that is pithy and well, excellent to try and adopt; grow always, in all ways! I love that! Part of what I do, or at least what I am striving to do as an artist is grow always in all ways! Therefore, if I need photos taken, then I’m going to have to learn how to take really good photographs! So until then, I guess you will need to continue to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and everywhere else I’m on, that you probably haven’t even heard of lol. So check out my feed, I’ve snuck a few photos of work in progress in there!

Although you may already know these next things I’ve been up to from following me on social media, I will say briefly what I’ve been up to is work! Commissioned art! Yes, paid art jobs! I know right, I’m happy too! I have had a commissioned triptych, two commissioned pieces for a special effects artist, I completely refinished a canister for a client to match their space, and among other things…drum roll please… I was asked to create background art for an upcoming E-book! I was and am so excited, humbled, grateful, blessed for these experiences. Every project I do I learn something, and am so happy to be working during this difficult time in our country. But before I get carried away, I will save all these stories for another day and blog spot.

I thank you all for taking the time to read my posts, please feel free to leave me a comment, you can always subscribe to my blog and get them right in your inbox! Also, please if you’re not already; don’t forget to follow me across the various social media platforms

@ChristeenStStu

@ChristeenStStudios

@ChristeenStreetStudios

Im also on some less popular social sites;

DeviantArt

Behance

Reddit

Thanks to HootSuit Blog (2018) for providing the social media Icons

Use Only as Directed

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Happy Monday readers, I hope your day is nothing like the cold gloomy weather outside. May you find a ray of sunshine to warm your soul! The topic at hand today is a little bit of a crossover, artistically speaking. I want to talk about using things in your art, craft, or hobby that are not intended for certain applications, but are amazing when applied outside of their purpose. Now I’m sure we have all done it a few times, using something that’s not really meant to be used in that way, but really does work great. So today I am going to share with you some ‘not what its intended for’ products I regularly use in my art; nail products.

That’s right, nail products, I said it, and you read it right. I regularly use nail supplies in my art. Nail art is something very close to my heart as my late sister was a master. She could pretty much do anything you desired on your nails! In the wake of her passing, in her honor, I took what I knew from her doing my nails all those years and relentlessly watched YouTube videos to teach myself how to do professional nails. I must admit, I have gotten pretty good, just don’t expect me to be quick about it, as it takes me most of the day to do a full set on myself lol. Before I go any further wanted to shout out to an organization called Young Nails. All those YouTube videos I watched were Young Nails Nail school videos. You can literally tune in and learn everything you need to know from the masters themselves. Not only did my late sister believe in their products, but so do I. More than the wonderful products they provide, they single handedly help those looking to learn or imporve their skill; a priceless service. I have so much love and respect for the Salo brothers, and the entire YN crew. Alway much love and respect for everything they do.

Ok getting on with it, let’s talk about what nail products transcend their intended purpose. First and foremost, if you know me in any capacity you know I love glitter, as glitter is my favorite color ha-ha. Nail glitter is pretty much the best glitter I have used in my art. For one it is intended to be mixed with an acrylic and monomer. Now I’m no professional, but basically the way I would describe it, is that the monomer melts the acrylic powder so you can form the nail or spread it over your nail. Thus, nail glitter is pretty sturdy stuff, and is meant to be able to withstand harsh chemicals and filing. I have used some craft glitters that have broken down when I used them with certain chemicals. One time I was experimenting with protective finishes. I put a brush-on finish over some dried paint and glitter, the paint was fine, however the glitter seemed to melt a bit…in a bad way, and was no longer glittery, but more so looked like a lump on my canvas. Not only does nail glitter stand up to pretty much anything, but also it seems the variety of nail glitters are vaster than craft glitters. I visited my local Michaels craft store last week and they only had the basic colors, and standard course grain glitters. I also visited my local beauty store (Ulta) and I was able find any color nail glitter I could imagine, as well as different grains, like fine, ultra-fine, course, super chunky, or confetti, you can even find nail glitters with shapes in them like stars. Now I am not saying these things cannot be found in a craft glitter, but the availability and selection of nail glitter versus craft glitter in –stores are very different and there is no guessing when it comes to nail glitter, you know it’s tough, has an unbeatable sparkle quality and, in my experience is simply superior than craft glitters. Furthermore, since nail glitter is meant to be sealed, you do not have to worry about it losing its luster when top coating your piece, it stays sparkly and not all craft glitters do. In fact, some become dull and no longer sparkly when you apply certain top coats over them like spray sealers or varnish. Something I use frequently when making greeting cards is nail glitter, or a glittery acrylic powder. I mix the glitter or acrylic with some Mod Podge and I can then embellish anything. It dries hard, sticks very well to pretty much any surface, and does not bleed into paper. Now not to say you cannot get similar effects with other products, like heat embossing, which is mesmerizing by the way, but sometimes your project needs something else, or you do not have other materials to get such an effect. In any capacity, nail glitter is a great product for using in art, and can also serve as a substitute if needed.

Now let’s talk about hydro dipping. We have all seen it, where you take paint, float it on top of water and then dip an object in it. The design of the paint is left on the surface of the object, and it’s very cool to watch. This same thing can be done with nail polish. Nail polish is typically a lacquer, so the consistency is different from say an acrylic craft paint. It’s more fluid, lighter in weight, and dries much harder. You can take your nail polishes, sprinkle them on top of some water, and dip objects into it for super cool designs. You can even use this method for your actual nails too, as it creates an awesome marbled effect. 

Nail art tools are more items that transcend their intended usage. I have a set of nailbrushes that are supposed to be used for gel applications. One end is a brush and the other is a fine point with a little ball on the end of it, which I call dotters. The set comes with different size brushes and dotters and I have two sets, one for nail applications, and one for art applications. I use them all the time for many different things. I like them because they never lose their brush bristles, easy to clean, and withstand chemicals. They also are really cute looking as they have different colored handles, I know I know, but they look good sitting on my work top, I’m just saying lol.

Today I shared just a few of the things that crossover into different art forms. So next time you find yourself needing something, extra, or you do not have what you think you need, don’t go out and buy more stuff; try using something NOT as directed. Until next week, Christeen.

Collaborations

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, it’s Monday and that means a new blog post. I have been working on a collaboration with three other amazing artists that I’d like to share with you. I am working with a lovely lady whom you should be familiar if you recall my blog titled ATC. Tinna Marie also known as @Antionias_Heartistry on Instagram; Tinna Marie organized the collaboration. We also have with us Jen from @Paint.Pour.and.More from IG who is a talented and successful fluid artist. Lastly, joining us is Cyndrya from @CyndryasCrafts on IG. Cyndrya can make amazing things with yarn and crochet, my personal favorite is her crochet flowers, and as you all know I am on IG @ChristeenStStudios.

Now that the gang is all introduced I want to start out by saying that it so wonderful to be working with such a talented group of women, and how excited  I am as we come closer and closer to the giveaway. Our collaboration is a fun way of sharing a little bit of our talent with our followers. However, I will keep the details of the giveaway quiet, sorry guys you will just have to wait until the giveaway is officially announced. Moreover, this collaboration is a way to help each other reach new audiences and grow their brand. For me personally growing my brand is perhaps one of the most important things to me right now. Being able to be accompanied by three other amazing talents is not only a bonus in-of-itself, but also a boost in confidence. Now back to the giveaway; this being the first one I have been a part of, the idea of the event has motivated me, sparked new ideas, and is challenging me as an artist. Giveaways and collaborations are a great way to help promote your brand as well as promote the artists you believe in. However, the real reason this collaboration is more than just four like-minded artists working together, is because it is yet another example of how important community is to an artist. Without wonderful people like these, networking, self-marketing, and self-advertising would be more difficult than it already is. I know I have talked about this in multiple posts now, but that is because it is so important, and has been such a major part of my own art journey that certainly it must be something that I share.  

In order to evolve, an artist or not, you must keep learning and trying new things, new experiences help us grow, in all ways. There is a TV show character that has a saying that goes something like ‘grow always, in all ways’ that really nails it on the head. As an artist, I want to keep trying new things and challenging myself. Working in a collaborative project is a great way to accomplish that. Therefore, until next week, I encourage each one of you to challenge yourself by working in a collaborative effort. Good luck 😉  Christeen

#Monday

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers and happy Monday, I must apologize for my two-week blog break. I felt I needed some time to gather new material to discuss. Not trying to dive into it too deeply, thinking about mental health, I find reading through some quotes is always pleasant and sometimes uplifting; everyone needs a little bit of uplifting now-and-then. That’s when it hit me, the light bulb clicked on above my head and I had my blog! No literally though, someone walked in and turned on the light. Hahaha, lol ok ok, I just had to! I wanted to share a little bit of some of things I have saved for myself for when I need it most. The following are quotes and sayings, mostly from famous people and artists I found on Pinterest. Over the months I have created a board full of these tidbits that I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to check out my board and many others @ChristeenStreet. For the sake of this post I selected a few of these quotes that pertain to art, the struggle of being an artist, or they just really resonated with me. Enjoy!

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul—and you answer (Terri Guillemets)

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but rather their inward significance (Aristotle)

You are bigger than what is making you anxious (Unknown)

Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it (Salvador Dali)

I don’t think there’s an artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing (Francis Ford Coppola)

Prove yourself to yourself, not others. (Unknown)

I don’t want my life to imitate art, I want my life to be art (Carrie Fisher)

We fall. We break. We fail. But then, we rise. We heal. We overcome. (auxx.me)

Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are forever affected. (Elizabeth Brown)

The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to (Frida Kahlo)

In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. (Vincent van Gogh)

The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen. (Rumi)

To live a creative life, we must lose fear of being wrong. (Joseph Chilton Pearce)

Art is to console those who are broken by life (Vincent van Gogh)

You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself. (The Wizard of Oz)

I am just striving to be more like me than I have ever been. (Unknown)

Until next week, Christeen

Card Making

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Happy Monday readers, I hope the day finds you well. Last week I featured a wonderful artist Tinna Marie, how we came to meet as well as Artist Trading Cards. This week our art journey’s, or as she would say our heART journeys bring us together again with an incredible package that she sent me full of all sorts of things. Many of which are things needed to do stamping and embossing for greeting card making. Before I go on, I have shout out to Tinna Marie again for sending me such a wonderfully jammed packed box of goodies, much love and respect! This box of goodies contains some things I have been eager to try to step up my card making game.

Let me start off by saying there are so many things to try and tools to use when it comes to stamping and embossing; just card making in general can be overwhelming, or if you’re like me, have no idea where to begin. Luckily, Tinna Marie sent me what I needed to get started, and started I did!

Stamping is self-explanatory; however, today it is much more advanced than your grade school days. There are so many tools available it’s hard to keep up, and perhaps impossible to be knowledgeable about it all. The clear stamps and stamping blocks are simply amazing. Moreover, I understand now what all the rage is about the Misty boards and I absolutely want one.

Embossing is an entirely new process for me. Breaking it down, it is commonly used with stamps, embossing ink or an embossing pen, and embossing powder. Concisely, you apply the ink to your stamp, stamp your card as desired (or use your embossing pen to draw a design), and then sprinkle the stamped area with the embossing powder. Tap off the excess powder and what is left should be stuck to the stamped area. Take a heating gun and heat the stuck on powder until it is virtually melted in place. It is mesmerizing to watch, and provides results that do not flake off like certain glitters and adhesives. You can pretty much get every color imaginable as well as glitters. Moreover, embossing not only provides a permanent touch to your card making, but also a dimensional one. This is great for adding texture and dimension to your hand made greeting cards or Artist Trading Cards.

Today, I have clearly refrained from going into too much detail about the processes behind stamping and embossing, and that is on purpose. I am a newbie when it comes to these things and by all means am not qualified to teach anyone how to do it. However, using both stamps with ink and embossing, I can see it clearly provides great details that are hard to achieve without them. For years now I have used Mod Podge and nail glitter to embellish my handmade greeting cards, however it is hard to add much depth and fine detail. I also very much like that with embossing you can get different finishes, such as high gloss or matte, the options are nearly endless!

I felt this blog was important to share as it is my journey expanding to new ventures, and it is another very real example of what it means to be in an art community. However, I’m off to create ATC’s and greeting cards so until next week! Christeen