I must admit that as a crafter of over 3 decades it is challenging to find new products that blow me away. My 2019 list of My Favorite Things are not all new things to the craft industry. The items I have listed are currently my “go to” things this year. Most are new, but not all and there is one that might surprise you! Here is the direct links to each item. To see them up close, in action and more information please check out the video I created for you!
Rinse Well The most go to thing on my desk to clean my brushes!
Ultra Mod Podge This is a multi-purpose medium! It is a glue, sealer and can be used to paint pour. I like it because I can use it as traditional Mod Podge and get no brush stroke marks.
Dina Wakley Media Journal The paper in this little journal is amazing! It is super absorbent with wonderful texture and thickness.
Make Art Station I think it is the magnets that set this apart for me. They don’t pinch!
Simon Hurley Stamps Not only are these super cute, but they also can work with other sets in his line.
Archival Mini Ink Pads The best waterproof ink pads around and in the perfect size for my over crowded craft room (my real estate in my studio is super valuable!)
Dome Ink Blenders Not only do they leave no harsh lines I like them better than blender brushes. They are cheap and can be used with a multitude of handles.
Catherine Pooler Mini Ink Pads Once again the size is what gets me! Take the best colored ink around and put them in an easy to store container. You will want the refills for these!
Etchall Stencil Spray I like this better than the trending Pixi spray because I can actually find it and it’s not sold out. I have been using this for years!
Tri-Blend Markers I appreciate that this solves all my shading questions in one marker! No longer trying to match and buy three markers. Tri Blends take the guess work out of it.
I hope you enjoyed this year’s list! Now, I want to know…what are your favorites for 2019? Tell me in the comments!
I created some pretty awesome textured backgrounds with stencils recently and wanted to use them, so I created three tags! To create the backgrounds I used Colorburst and modeling paste over a stencil. You can see how here:
After I die cut the tags I added my stamped Rita Barakat images to create these:
I used alcohol markers for the skin and hair. Here is how you can use copic markers to create skin tones and hair!
For each tag I added a little glitter and glitter drops to finish them off!
These tags were created for a swap! I am super happy with how they turned out!
Have you heard of the Lovely Legs stamps? I saw them about a year ago and thought they were pretty cool. I hesitated purchasing any at that time because let’s face it, I need stamps like I need a hole in my head. A year later I see several sets that I just could not pass up. Here are two projects I made with two of those stamps.
Mama You’ve Got This
There is something beautiful about a woman breastfeeding that I adore. When I saw this stamp I had to have it. Of course I could not get away from my bright colors and shaded it accordingly.
Our Differences Are Beautiful Art Journal Page
I thought I would use this stamp first on a card, but it ended up in my art journal. I used the 6 by 6 Dina Wakeley Art Journal. I gessoed the pages first, layered on paper, adhered collage paper, painted some more and white gessoed an area for my stamped image. Once the gesso dried I stamped my image and water colored it in. I used the pages to clean my brush and put the title in the opposite corner
I have two other Lovely Legs stamps that I purchased that I will share soon!
This is a post I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s not exactly arts and crafts, but it is creative and will help anyone who wants to showcase their projects online in the most eye pleasing way. Please use the information I am about to share with you as you see fit and evolve it into what works for you. I am a bright colorful crafter and I like my photos to reflect that. If you prefer muted tones you may need to modify these suggestions with a clean and crisp approach.
In conjunction with this post, I am participating in a collaboration between Plaid and Rita Barakat. Plaid is used in preparing my frames for my photos. Rita Barakat is used as the product feature in the examples.
Playing it Safe — A White Background
A white background is always the safest route to go and I rarely veer from it. It reflects light beautifully and makes your project pop. I use two pieces of white cardboard that I found at the dollar tree. This two dollar shadow box works better than the one I spent over $100 on years ago.
Three Rules to Photo By
Always take your photo in natural light. I use a window with the curtain drawn on the back of my house out of direct sunlight. Artificial light and/or direct sunlight can wash your project out.
Use a white background facing your light source to bounce the light off of and land on your staged photo set. Whatever your light is bouncing off of is the tint your picture is going to have. This is why I set up a poster board not only under my project, but behind it too. What your light is bouncing off of, is more important that what is under your project and seen in your picture. If you want to use a different substrate other than white go for it — just make sure your light is bouncing on something white in the back drop.
Turn your flash off. If you take the picture and it comes out a little dark, it is better to add a back light in your camera app than putting the flash on.
Take It To The Next Level -Frame It!
Now it is time to add more visual appeal to your project photos by utilizing frames. There is no need to drop a lot of money on this. You can find frames perfect for this at the goodwill. Use them as is, or sand them down and paint them. The frame should reflect your style. Not only do frames add interest to your project they also draw the eye to the focal point — your project.
I decided to use the following as frames for my photos and customize them with paint.
I like these pieces because I can showcase both my project and the products I use in one picture. I also painted them according to my style. I use a lot of blue in my art. Yellow is my favorite color. Gold is great for the holidays and Fall and Winter. Black is a great way to ground a picture. I chose to paint the four nesting squares those colors. The shutter is also a wonderful back drop in a picture that can frame a project. I went with a shabby chic vibe on it and will share more on that later.
How To Use Frames
Now is the fun part — using the frames in your photos. Here are a few examples of how I used the nesting square set to showcase Rita Barakat dies.
In the above examples I am focusing on just the die cuts. I start off with one frame and get more creative as each picture progressed. Do you see how the focus always stayed on the die cuts?
The black solid backdrop is a wonderful element to make the die cut stand out.
To feature both project and products used to create the piece (these are the colors and brush colors I used on my frames) is easy to achieve in one photo when using frames.
You can showcase several pieces of art and the products in one picture by using different sized frames.
Don’t be afraid to stack the frames for visual interest. Have fun with it and let your creativity soar!
Using A Shutter As A Frame
Basically all a frame is for is to draw the eye to the focal point of the picture. You can create frames without using them. I love this shutter I found through Plaid. I wanted it shabby chic in a beautiful sea foam color. To create this style first paint the shutter white. Let it dry and paint it seafoam. Sand the edges to distress it and the white pop through.
You can place your project on top of the shutters for a flat lay photo.
However, I much prefer taking the picture at an angle.
This is a great example of how to take a picture on something other than a white background. The reason this works is because I have a white poster board propped up behind it reflecting the light from my not so direct sunlight window.
There are three examples on how to stage a photo with the same materials.
How To Edit a Photo
This is tricky because it really all depends on what you like and your style. I usually amp up the backlight, add a touch of saturation and a tad of sharpness. Though recently I have discovered “presets” that you can purchase for a few dollars from professional photographers on Etsy. Basically you need to down load the Adobe Light Room App on your phone for free and add the purchased preset. Each purchase I have made came with clear instructions that were easy to follow. I suggest searching “presets” on Etsy and buy one that catches your eye.
Always always ALWAYS watermark your photos! The bottom right corner is where I like to put mine because they are usually square. I do it in a way that if someone actually has the audacity to steal my photo and chop it off it looks different, thus making it easy to legally prove it is mine.
Also, a lot of people will browse your posts and only pay attention to the picture. It is nice to let them know your name. They can enter your name into a search engine to find more by you and possibly follow you on your creative journey. Companies also like to re share photos and if your watermark is not on the picture when it gets to their platforms no one is going to know who created it. You worked hard on your project, you should get the credit for it — especially if the company is not paying you.
In addition, never give a company a photo without a watermark — even if they ask for it. You will be asked! A lot of times in the past I have happily sent it to them. Now I am seeing my art work pop up on company sites, helping them sell product and I have nothing in return for it. Now, if they want to buy a picture from you, you should consider that for the right price. Think about how long it took you to take the picture (your time). How much did you have to spend to stage it? Did you hire anyone to help? Add that all up and double it. That is a good starting point.
Lastly, I never sell a photo if I can’t use it with my Watermark on my sites. It really does them no good to limit this because by me sharing it is free advertising for them.
Take everything I just stated and morph it into your style. Use this as food for thought. We all are different and have different view points. What makes art so incredible is that nothing is wrong. You just want to make sure you are showcasing it in a way that does your piece justice and stays true to you!
I certainly hope you found this post useful. I must confess that I worked super hard on it for several months and had a blast. Will you consider subscribing to my blog and sharing this with anyone you think would find it helpful? Thank you so much for doing so!
Flowers are pretty and they smell heavenly, but I have a black thumb and have a hard time keeping them alive. As a kid my Dad used to have me pull the weeds that grew up in the cracks of his driveway. I never understood how they would repeatedly come back with no water, constantly getting run over by cars and not to mention the pavement that was on them.
As I grew older I started to respect the weeds more so than the flowers. Flowers are fragile and sensitive. Weeds are stubborn and persistent. If a rose does not bloom it requires a change of environment. Weeds just grow. Pull them out by their roots and burn them. Chances are they are going to grow back. I want to be a weed!
Be A Weed — Not A Flower
In a field of flowers I want to be the weed that blooms where ever it pleases regardless of the conditions. I had to document it in my art journal and reflect on it when life gets tough — and life always will have hard times.
For the sentiment, I wrote it on a piece of Tissue Paper. I did a white wash with Gesso and water in the spot the sentiment would go. Once it dried, I used Collage medium to adhere it. By doing so it allowed the background to pop through and blending in nicely.
A new player in the craft industry is Rinea Foiled Paper. I discovered this small business about three years ago and have been hooked ever sense! As a design team member I have played with this paper a lot. This year I have done videos for their channel and wanted to share a few with you.
Distress It with Alcohol Ink
This is my favorite substrate to use alcohol ink on. It creates the most amazing distressed look.
My favorite 3D embellishment to make with Rinea Foiled Paper are flowers!
Die Cut It!
Rinea Foiled Paper die cuts beautifully!
Ink It Up!
Lots of people don’t know you can ink on it too!
What is Your Favorite Way to Use Rinea Foiled Paper?
Or maybe I should ask, how would you use it? I hope you enjoyed this video round up of some of my favorite ways to use Rinea Foiled Paper.