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Monday, May 2, 2016

SHARING ART PROJECT STORIES, IMAGES, AND TIPS


SHARING ART PROJECT STORIES, IMAGES, AND TIPS

by Lynne Suprock


I have had a blog hiatus here in Simply Pretty Stuff land.  I had been on a how-to blogging role, while on the Amazing Crafting Products team, awhile back.  However, life spilled over a bit this past year... like too much fizz from a root beer float.  The fizz does taste good and is easy to enjoy, leaving to the wind any "to-do" list in the wings.  However, there is a sticky mess that eventually occurs and so, some days, a lot of work, sigh.

There cannot be the sweet, without the sticky sometimes...the belly aches....the clean up.  But life is like that, right?  There are choices needing made, there are responsibilites at hand, and there is the want of balance with it all.

So these past months were filled with sweet inspiration and blessings indeed......creating Art, publishing, teaching and connecting.  But on the flip side was there were dark days, emotional family storms, and loss of a very precious one, who had not had the chance at life's very first breath.  There are no words for this.  There is no forgetting this.... but as I said, life is about balance and memories, whether they be happy or sad, are part of what we strive to balance in our lives.

OK...........so, upon my return to blogging, I have decided to begin a sharing journey.  I already get to do some of this through my work published in Stampington Magazines.  I embrace their dedicated and hard working editors, as they allow me a platform to share my work in such an inspirational way.  Special thanks to them always!! (here is a link to their FREE projects) 


I also share when I teach.  Thanks to the Art-Is-You Mixed Media Retreats, I have been excited to teach on both East and West Coasts, and have been able to meet and surround myself with extraordinary people, teachers and students alike.  Thanks always to Sal and El for those opportunities. (Here is my link to the Fall Retreat.) 


Awhile back, as mentioned, my blogging became a vehicle for sharing projects through the ACP team.  This was great fun and insightful to me. I became more comfortable with videotaping how-to's and the applications which allowed yet another form of artistic freedom. Thank you Susan Brown to make this learning and sharing possible. (Here is a link to the ACP blog with lots of inspiring ideas.)


I think it also very important to mention that I was also lucky enough to discover a different type of sharing in the past two years. It was an eye-popper for me, truely.  My first event was on a whim, but gosh, it is now a must for me to seek out  art nourishment for my soul.  What is better than being in a group of like minds, all gathered with the intent to create?  It never occurred to me to take this time for my own self, to discover even more about my art journey, and how to BREATH as I do it.  We all need to breathe.

Well then, my first art camp, as it were, was with Coleen Colquhoun and Heather Brauner over in NJ.  We made dolls.  It was my FIRST art away from home sleep over (hehe) and doll making experience, and I loved every minute.  I look at my Minerva Penelope Shea doll every day.... I do. Colleen will also be teaching in Stamford, CT this fall, at the AIY retreat.  


My second experience found me at ReMe, with Jean Skipper, Jodi Ohl, and Teresa Zurku, taking charge of a fun filled week for a dozen art sisters in flip flops!  It was where I went, not as a teacher, but a total student and groupie, just relaxing, creating and sharing tricks, tips and snippets of my own life with others who enjoyed doing the same, enjoying GREAT food and a few fun cocktails.  


My most recent experience was with a couple of famous, famous, did I say famous? doll gurus, Marlaine Verhelst and Ankie Daanen, at art sister, Annie Hesse's beautiful art home, in Florida.  I came home with one beautiful doll completed and another as soon as my feet hit the ground off the plane!




So here we are.  You guys are out there creating somewhere, and we connect either by design or serendipity.  The thing is that we all matter, we all make a difference, unless we choose not to..... So, from here on in, take some of what I intend to artfully share .....a few images, project inspirations, and some tips, to maybe start a dialog.....with me or with others, and what would be great is to pay it forward, somehow making your difference as you go, as well. xoxo

OK Let's Share:  Prepping For These Enamel Candy Coats

Wow, I have been making little books since 2007.  They were rudimentary at first, and have evolved using whatever media I could experiment with at the time.  These have been one of my favorite things to create since having a shelve of teeny weeny miniatures for my doll house, oh... about 102 years or so ago... only I like much more to wear them now.  I will most likely talk a lot about a lot of the books that I make in my studio.  You will also see a few glittery things, tiaras maybe, and definitely recycled ammo.

For this particular project, I would like to say, that I brought the idea to a friend in a brainstorming session.  We made quite a few samples and ended up co-teaching several classes together, while I wrote the steps creating the book,  she helped me create the beautiful enameling- trial and error and lots of fun. I love the look of these little gems.  They look like candy.  





SOME TIPS:  Before enameling, this or any other piece of copper, cut out the copper using a jeweler's saw. Use your dominant hand and keep your wrist limp as you move the blade up and down.  Be sure to match your blade with the gauge of copper. Sand the copper, and then wipe clean with alcohol, or use a product called Penny Brite, before applying the enamel with a sifter.  ALWAYS WEAR A MASK WHEN ENAMELING because you do not want to breath in the fine glass dust. 

Follow me on FB where you can instant message me with any questions.  

Stay tuned for Lesson Two with more stories, images, and tips throughout the weeks and months ahead. 













Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lynne Suprock: A Mixed Media Expose

Mixed Media Work:   Hours of What if's, 
Days filled with Dreams, Mountains of Ideas, The Fits of Creative Hoopla, 
and The Privilege....

of creating.  

I am one of the lucky ones.  In a period of life, where I can get a second chance to change the world on yet a different platform.  It doesn't happen like this usually, so I am indeed....lucky.  

I have been blessed to discover others with this sense of passion that believe the same about art.  We may sometimes find ourselves walking on different paths to get to a similar place, but that's quite OK.  Some walk quietly while others beat a drum.....some work hard to earn a living at art, and some create in their precious moments in between family, school or other jobs, but either way, it is with that same amount of passion.  Like a flower, starting from a seed, however long ago planted, and now must take the time and make the room to grow.  Yes, I said, "must."  There is a sense of urgency, but at the same time a sense of wonder and calm as art transforms us and gives us the strength to bloom as we reach life goals. 

 Most of the people that I have met, both artists and students, are the kindest, smartest, bravest, hardest working, and definitely most creative people - ever.  I never imagined, and now am honored to be among...


Simply Pretty Stuff began in 2007, with a click of a button to get that business name and the necessary tax ID.  Gulp.
Family and friends have been nothing less than supportive and encouraging from those early days forward.  It was a bit overwhelming with all that needed to accomplished, and all of it seemed to be needed to be done all at once! To make some kind of difference in the world, using art now as my venue, I had to exist beyond craft or hobby; I had to invent, create, and prototype, so that I could  teach and help others realize their own potential in the creative process.  Well, mostly I had to, at some point, get out of my basement!  I worked three years there before finally getting a dedicated work area of my own.  Time flew.

In my opinion, sometimes creating or buying art heals, sometimes being in a room with creative people with like minds heals,  sometimes just working with your hands and making something out of nothing heals, and for me, the healing part of the equation is key.  The healing is about writing, teaching,  helping, and it is about the sharing. 

On any night, you may finding me inventing or reinventing in the studio when the neighborhood is asleep.  Its summer now, so the spiders cover the screen door to my space.  I don't mind them.......from a distance.  About midnight, they are hard to dodge so it is not a pretty sight when I have to get back out that door.  ick.

I tell you this because many of my art brothers and sisters are also up creating during the wee hours.  The mind is always asking "what if?" so we keep on going.  Resin needs poured, hinges need reworked, clay needs shaped, metal needs soldered, and wait.....the kiln needs to cool!  It is somewhat comforting to know that during that time, if needed, you can FB or call a friend who is not sound asleep like the rest of the world.  Just knowing that makes me smile.  Okay, and knowing others may think this a bit too crazy, also makes me smile.  Not so crazy for me I guess, if you actually know me.  Back in the day, my preferred clinical shift was always 2-12 AM, when I was most energized and efficient. Some things don't change.

Eight years have passed and lots has been published, much has been taught, friends have bonded.  I have never worked so hard and loved every minute.  However, the path is forking again and I see some new ideas ahead.  I have a sense of urgency this time to gather all the threads of these two "helping" worlds and bring things a bit forward.  It is time to concentrate on that business aspect of the path as well.  Some changes are ahead and I am challenged and inspired to do so.  I had just read a friend's post today, which made me think a bit and then respond.......
"to know what calms or inspires us is like having a superpower that not all folks have or can manage"

Reach out your hand, in whatever walk of life, past or present, and help others find their superpower, so that they can know calm or be inspired.  Mixed Media has helped me find my superpower so that I can bring some calm and make a bit of difference in someone else's world.

If you'd like to see the mixed media art that inspired me to write and teach, here is a sample of what I have worked on to create, mostly in the last 4 years.  It is not all of it, but enough of it to look at without putting you to sleep.  Now get a bit of your art on!  xo







Vintage Jewelry Boxes

Vintage Jewelry Boxes
filled with little girl and wedding memories......



My original re-do box tutorial, done a blog post ago, used an old jewelry box and a vintage image of my grandmother's wedding day.  I repainted and waxed that piece using the Annie Sloan Chalk paints from my stockist friend, Debbie Gemmel, who carries the line at Five and Divine in Fairfield, PA.  I just loved how the  colors and adding the image completely changed the piece into heirloom couture.  Below is the finished box along with an image of the collection of unpainted, and in need of repair, boxes. 

The base paint is "old Violet" with a second coat of a water application of "French Linen" A final clear wax coat gives the piece a nice sheen and a protective coating.  The image is one from my Grandma Rose's wedding day, which I edited in Photoshop, placed in the space, and topped with Amazing Casting Transparent Resin.





Revamping these requires a little bit of cleaning and elbow grease, but the results were impressive.  The piece seen below is a little treasure chest with a gold inlay resting beneath the image.  It is my art girl box and it makes me smile.



I enjoy these jewelry box remakes so much so that I feel they would be a fun class to teach.  I welcome your input..... and perhaps we can work on some special family boxes so that you can have as your very own too!  xo



Friday, May 29, 2015


How To Preserve Wedding Memories On A Vintage Jewelry Box Using


Two generations ago she blushed and said "I Do" to the man of her dreams.  Barely a woman herself, she became a most loved and cherished mother, having 4 children, each the apple of her eye. This was my gramma Rose.

I loved hearing the stories about my Rose's life.  Her determination, love of family, savvy, and in later years, her strength and constitution, utterly amazed me.  Yes, I love the stories because I was such a little girl when she died.  I never really knew her, so I cherish and preserve what I do know and have learned about her.

Fast forward to this vintage picture.  It is Rose's wedding day.  I decided to incorporate it into my ACP project.  Every time I put a piece of jewelry in, or take one out, I will see her picture and it will make me smile.


Here are the steps for making the picture:
1.  Select a favorite vintage picture and size or crop to fit niche in wood.
2.  Make a laser printer, toner, transparency
3.  Decorative trim cut, if desired.  ( Mine is straight edged)

Here are the steps for the box:
1.  Reclaim an old wooden jewelry box with some type of depression or mirror. (Apologies for not getting a "before" picture)
2.  Remove the mirror carefully ( if still in place)
2.  Clean wood with soapy water.
3.  Slightly sand wood
4.  Use Annie Sloan chalk paint in choice of color.  My color is French Linen. (I use the Annie Sloan brand because coverage is better than other paints and it adheres without priming)
5.  Once this solid coat of paint is dry, choose another color of paint thinned with water, to create a wash.  (I used 3 parts water to 1 part paint in Old Violet)




6. Quickly brush on and pat dry with cheesecloth.
7.  When dry, use a bit of clear Elmer's glue to the back edges of the picture transparency.
8.  Smooth picture onto wood
9.  Outline the picture in the clear glue to seal any cracks around the inner edge of the wood, where resin could seep out.




10. Allow 24 hours to dry
11. Mix equal parts of A and B of the Amazing Transparent Casting  Resin.
12. Pour the resin carefully over the picture in the niche.




13. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
14. Adding decorative knobs is optional.


I liked how this yard sale box was the perfect stage for these vintage photos of my grandmother.  With a little chalk paint and Amazing Casting Resin, a memory is preserved.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

 Creative Rocks And Gems You Can Make Out Of 

By Lynne Suprock



Lynne Suprock here and I am so excited to share a little inspiration with you once again!  This one comes from a long standing love of rocks and geodes.  

 


When our son was small, my husband and I began a collection of rocks and minerals that we found around the yard, at the beach, or after an excursion to the gem and mineral show in our local area.  We named and displayed our finds,  but as time passed, moves happened and our child grew up.  The rocks were packed away. 

 Every once in awhile though, I Would find myself at the beach, or at an art show ... Collecting once again.  However, now The prize evolved into a few sparkly Druzy stones, which I adore. :-)
After having opportunity to experiment with Amazing Crafting Products, it donned on me to replicate the shapes of some of these stones with Amazing Mold Putty and recreate my own colors and shimmer with the ever truly amazing casting resin!  A bit of glitter or Alumidust in the mold, and voila ...Semi precious stones and Druzies take form!


I used the Dremel to make the holes for findings and attached some of the stones to pieces of copper.  

I am Excited and pleased to share these project how-to's in both this Spring issue of 












So go ahead, create your own gems and rock inspired jewels, using a little imagination and some Amazing Crafting Products.

Blooming Colors On Glass Make Amazing Flower Vases

Blooming Colors On Glass Make Amazing Flower Vases




Hello sunshines! I am anticipating dozens of brightly colored zinnia blooms from my garden this summer.  My seed packets have been waiting all winter to be planted, and it’s almost time.   Before the flower cutting begins, I decided to make a few special vases in which to soon put them.

I began by choosing three awesome Alumilite Amazing Casting Product Colorants, one for each of three vases.  I mixed the Amazing Casting Resin with those colorants and Alumilite Pearlescent Powder for a little shimmer.  Then I poured and swirled each of the color mixtures into little jars.  The results were quite AMAZING, of course!  Watch this quick little tutorial.  

Click Here







Friday, March 6, 2015

Making a Plaster Cameo Using Amazing Casting Products

Making a Plaster Cameo Using 



Today I would like to share a fun tutorial using Amazing Mold Putty to create Cameo wall hangings out of Plaster of Paris.  It is my tutorial this month as a member of 2015 The Amazing Casting Products Design Team.

You will need:
  1. An item you would like to mold for a wall hanging.  I selected vintage plaques that I found at a flea market.  
  2. A non stick craft mat
  3. Amazing Mold Putty
  4. Amazing Mold Release Spray
  5. Plaster of Paris
  6. Water
  7. Wooden stir stick
  8. Large container for mixing plaster
  9. 20 gauge wire, 2" per plaque
  10. Round nose pliers to bend wire
  11. Matte gel medium
  12. Paint brush for gel application
My plaques have quite a bit of chipped, peeling paint going on. This will add to the distressed look that I am after when the mold putty conforms to the chipped texture of the pieces.


Amazing Mold Putty comes in Part A and Part B.  Mix equal amounts of each into one ball of uniform color.  Work quickly because the Amazing Mold Putty will begin to set after several minutes.  To keep mold putty from sticking to jewelry or finger nails, you can wear gloves.  However, the Amazing Mold Putty is non toxic.


Next press the Amazing Mold Putty onto the front of the piece that you wish to mold.  Make sure you cover the complete piece.




Let the piece set up, then demold to show the cameo mold.  Lay the piece, mold side up on a flat surface and mix up a little more of the Amazing Mold Putty.  This time ,shape the putty into a long noodle piece to completely surround your item.  Attach the noodle to the existing edge of the Amazing Mold Putty on the front of your plaque.  Let set.


       
Apply a light coat of Amazing Mold Release to the demolded piece.


Mix the Plaster of Paris with water according to the directions on your box.  Directions may vary by manufacturer.  Stir with a wooden stick.  Work quickly because the plaster will become warm and start to thicken in a few minutes.  Pour the plaster into the mold, filling to the edge of the mold putty. 


Bend the wire with pliers and position into the back of the poured plaster.  Let your project sit over night, and if your mold is thick, two nights in a warm, dry room.  The drying process is hastened if there is air movement over the piece, such as with a fan on low.












If you do not let the piece completely dry, it will break apart when you demold it..... which is just what happened with this one!  Uh oh! Oh no!


This one dried for two days.  Once taken out of the Amazing Mold Putty, coat with acrylic gel medium.  Let dry.  Your piece is ready to hang!


I love the white bisque look of plaster.  However, you could also paint your piece with assorted acrylic paints or add highlights with a metallic paste.  Enjoy experimenting with Amazing Casting Products, such as Amazing Mold Putty in your mixed media projects!



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ring Of Resin Pendants

Ring Of Resin Pendants


Hello fellow crafters and art chix!  Lynne here today with a few of my favorite and fun pieces of hardware inspired jewelry using Amazing Casting Products

On any given day that I might need birdseed or plant food,  I will take some extra time to stroll through those hardware store aisles, looking for potential creative props or parts for my next project. Today, I found some of these.....



And made some of these......


Of course, I used all of these Amazing Casting Products to create the combos in these funky and colorful pendants.....





I mixed half of the pendant molds with clear resin and let dry.  Then came back and added a bit of colored resin or a few colored dots of resin and let dry.  It took a bit of dry time to achieve the layered look, but I love how it turned out.  In the end, I drilled some holes and added the beads and chain.


What can you do with your Amazing Casting Products and a few parts from the hardware store? 














Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bling Bottle Bottoms Dipped in Amazing Casting Resin

 Amazing Inspiration for Bling Bottle Bottoms:   


Time to ring in the new year with some new jewelry inspiration. In a recent tutorial post, I demonstrated how to add a little extra bling to wine cork necklaces by dipping the pieces in Amazing Casting Resin.

See tutorial refresher at  http://amazingmoldputty.blogspot.com/2014/12/take-your-corks-for-swim-faux-wax.html

Today I would like to share a little inspiration for creating glass bottle necklaces with an encaustic waxed layered look.  Mine also hold a little bit of summer sand and a few choice, whimsical words.




Amazing Casting Resin is the perfect choice for adding a little something extra to the glass! By
adding a drop of Amazing Crafting Product Colorant when mixing, the resin can closely resemble paraffin or beeswax. However, unlike wax, the Amazing Casting Resin adheres to this bottle glass necklace very well.

This waxy effect is achieved by making a mold of the glass bottle bottom, using Amazing Mold Putty.  Once the mold is firm, submerse the bottle into a bit of colored resin that you have poured into the bottom of the cured mold.  Dip bottle into the resin several times, then suspend for several minutes to let the excess drip off.  Sit the bottle on a non-stick surface, and let the resin completely harden another several minutes.




Complete instructions for these yummy necklaces can be found in this Winter's issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine.





Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ringing In The Year
Doing More Of What Makes You Happy!
A post by Lynne Suprock




This October, Sallianne shared the heartfelt inspiration behind what will be the 2015 ART iS YOU mantra.  Many of you know that one of our treasured art sisters, Allison Stilwell, passed earlier this year, but left us with memory and the hope to live what we love....do more of what makes us happy, and to grow and blossom in kindness.

 I do often wonder why we lose sight of what is wonderful in our lives and neglect the happy.  Are we too busy, too fixated, too sad or angry about something?  Do the worries overcome us? Have we lost something, or someone, or ourselves? As many of us know, life is just too, too short for all those not being happy moments. 


 While we live and breathe, we have been blessed with the potential for doing wonderful and great things.  No one accomplishes their best or can help others to rise above, if they are sad or unhappy themselves.  What should we do to get out of that funk?

So the answer just might be to find what makes us happy and do more of it, right?  We want more of the kind of happy that is like the flame that kindles our heart, or like the rain that washes us anew.

While much can be said about being happy, what makes one person happy is not always the same as what makes another happy.  As well, doing more of what makes you happy doesn't actually mean, having more of what makes you happy.   You have to find the happy, engage the happy, and then spread it all around to other people in the hopes of making them happy too.  Doing more of that kind of happy is a good thing.


OK so maybe happy also comes with a few indicators.  Let's review.

There are various levels of smiles that can most certainly occur. On a happy scale of 1 to 10,  the grin, comes in at a 1, and the uncontrolled belly buster laugh scores a 10.

There might also be the warm, wonderful feeling of serenity, or even the explosive nature of excitement, as if a child at an amusement park, that comes over a few happy people. 

Happy makes for more productive moments, more enjoyable moments, and more special moments, that remain with us and become some of our most wonderful and precious memories.

And I think we can all agree that happy makes us feel better generally.  If we need to heal or regroup, we do better if we can find and surround ourselves with what makes us happy.

A few of the things I do this time of year to make me happy include quite a few right brain endeavors.....photographing winterscapes, singing those holiday carols (off key, of course), cooking something new, petting and snuggling with my cats, visiting friends and family who I don't have time to see much the rest of the year, and organizing, organizing, organizing.  (oops that is definitely left brain happy!)


one special happy snuggle kitty

What I plan to do in 2015 is a bit more art related happy.  I am going to play with my paints for a change, and seriously begin sewing again.  I will make pilgimages to see art sister friends, support new art girl businesses, and visit my grand baby.  I am going to play the piano when I cannot sleep, and I am going to throw out ALL the shoes that don't fit, and Zentangle some of the pairs that do.  I am going to make art from the heart gifts and continue to give them away to those who could use a smile.

Most times, hands down, I definitely find my happy when I teach.  That's why Art Is You, in fact, is one of my happy places. Where better to pass along your happiness than at an art retreat, either as student or teacher, embracing the moment and sharing oh, so much, with kindred spirits?  

So what are some of the things you do that make really, truly make you happy? Can you do more of it, and how do you pass it along?

Share some of what you do to make you happy and try to do MORE of it in the coming year.    








FB Designer's Challenge

Jewelry Designer's Challenge 

I don't exactly respond to all my emails or scan FB every day.  Sometimes I spend a couple hours and do a catch up with it all thing.  I have even toyed and still talk about getting off the FB wagon due to all the time it eats up.  As well, there is a dark side of FB fever too.  And I just won't get into that here.....
So last week, I did miss the initiation of one cool shout out for sharing between creatives.  uh oh.  It just so happened I arrived a couple days late on the scene after being nominated by art sister Cat Kerr.  The rules were established by Donna Greenberg.  They go something like this......
"Post one of your jewelry pieces on your FB page, one per day, for 5 days in a row (does not need to be new: can be a design you made in the past)  and nominate another artist each day to continue this challenge."
What a NICE thing to see and do on FB I thought.  Seeing everyone's creations, made me so very happy and lucky to have so many creative women as my friends....virtual or not.
OK, Easy Peasy, I thought.  Well, since 2007, I made, and sold, published and taught how to make, lots and lots of pieces that I love.  How do I choose?  Then, there is the, "My heavens,WHO do I nominate?" part.  Oh my gosh, there are dozens of artists that immediately come to mind.....all very talented indeed.  These were hard choices.
So, here I am 4 days into my challenge (and a sneak peak at Day 5 enamels) and each piece shared so far, still brings a smile to my face.
I wanted to put my choices here on the blog to share, just in case, you are practicing FB in moderation this week too.  Enjoy and grab some cocoa and seek out the others... :-)