Monday, May 31, 2010

Folder Frenzy

For this Tuesday's Learn at Lunch, Jenn will be demonstrating how easy it is to create your own embossed paper with the Cuttlebug and various embossing folders. The folders are A-2 card sized, so I often think of them as the perfect background for your focal image. But Jenn, clever one that she is, used bits and pieces of embossed papers and created this adorable frame! I wish I had thought of that! What a wonderful way to use up bits and scraps!
For more brilliant ideas, be sure to stop by the shop on Tuesday between 12-2 and see what else Jenn has dreamed up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fun with Michael deMeng!

We had a wonderful series of workshops last week with artist extraordinaire Michael deMeng. He has developed amazing techniques for mixing and working with paint to create unique and unusual effects. In fact, most of the "rusty objects" were neither old or rusty. Fascinating!

At the end of each workshop, Michael lined up all the pieces (finished or not) and offered his critiques - in a helpful, not critical, way. I LOVED this because all of the pieces were so incredibly different, and it was good to see them all and hear what each student was "thinking" as she worked on her piece. Michael then pointed out little details that we wouldn't have noticed otherwise. It was a very validating way to end each day.

At the meet and greet Tuesday evening, Michael shared stories of his travels to Mexico that have so inspired his art recently. It was a cross between a travelogue and a ghost story. Fun, fun, fun! It is a privilege and an honor to bring such a diverse group of talented artists to Northern Virginia. And we have much more to come this summer! While I believe (and, of course, I'm not biased at all.....) that we have the most talented group of local instructors assembled anywhere, it is a different experience to take a workshop with visiting artists - one you shouldn't miss!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ah Memories!

Do you remember much about your graduation? I have vague recollections about the actual ceremony when I graduated from high school. Mostly I remember that my dad gave me a "toolkit for girls". All of the tools had pink handles and were labeled: "hammer", "screwdriver", etc. My memory from my college graduation ceremony was that the Chicago Bulls were in the playoffs, and they kept interrupting keynote speaker Studs Terkel to announce the score. I'm sure this year's crop of graduates will have their own special memories. Why not make your card to them special, too? This card features stamps by Penny Black. For the FREE make-and-take on Thursday, you'll make the card in blue and orange. But it could be easily adaptable to any combination to match the school colors!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Learn at Lunch Demo on Tuesday

If you stop by the shop on Tuesday expecting us to have our usual Learn at Lunch demo, you will likely see this instead. We will not be hosting our regular demo feature because we are delighted to be hosting Michael deMeng for a series of workshops. Tuesday is his Cave of Pages class, and Wednesday is his Chunky Loteria Cards workshop. It is certain to be a messy, free-flowing and fabulous time! Demos will resume on Tuesday, June 1. Jenn is looking forward to showing you embossing with Cuttlebug then!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes!

Claudine Hellmuth is here this weekend and we are having a ball! She is teaching 14 different techniques, each with their own tag that can be turned into a book or just a handy reference. The pace was perfect - there was lots of learning but even more fun! I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard!

So, here's some behind the scene "footage" from the store. One of our friends, Chrisi, snagged this old microfiche cabinet for us to store our card samples in. We try to take them down when we're out of the supplies needed to recreate the cards and keep them organized in the back so that we can pull them out again when the supplies are restocked. We have thousands of card samples - literally. So imagine my dismay when I couldn't open any drawer but the top one!!!!! It wouldn't close all the way, so for "safety purposes" none of the other drawers would then open. Charles and his wife Deirdre were shopping and he saved the day (and the card samples)!

Great guest artists, great guest shoppers, great stuff to buy.....great, great, grrrrrrrrreat day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monochromatic Magic

I love the simple elegence of monochromatic (one color) cards. But creating them, especially when trying to incorporate decorative paper, can be tricky. That's one of the reasons I love the cover-a-card background stamps from Impression Obsession. You can create "background paper" to match whatever color scheme you want! And, even though they are large stamps, they are super easy to stamp when you use the rocker block. We finished this card with one of the new sentiment stamps from Just Rite (another company that's all about customization). Come play with us and see how much fun these stamps can be! All day Thursday, and it's absolutely FREE!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What's the score?

We are often asked, "Which is the best scoring board?" And the answer is, "it depends on what you're trying to do." To make it easy for you, we'll have all three at the Learn at Lunch demo this Tuesday from 12-2 so you can try them all out. My favorite is the Scor-it. I think it gives the crispest score. Some people really love the ScorPal because it makes creating multiple score lines very easy. And the Martha Stewart score board is the easiest for creating envelopes! In addition to perfect accordion folds, scoring is also nice for decorative embossing (like the sample shown here). Jenn made all these raised lines then filled in with flocking. Fun! We hope you can stop in and give it a try for yourself!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All About Embossing

There are two different kinds of embosing: one is "wet" embossing using a heat gun and the other is "dry" embossing using a brass stencil (or the newer embossing machines like Cuttlebug). For Thursday's FREE make-and-take card, we're making use of both! I love the added texture an embossed background makes (and we have lots of different Cuttlebug embossing folders in stock right now). I also love colored embossing powders - a wonderful opaque look on dark colored card stock, and a really nice change from the "usual" gold or silver powders. Note - this card is for a baby girl, but we have the corresponding baby boy collage available for purchase in the shop if that suits your needs better.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Surely It's Spring!

Although you might not have known it by the temperature this morning. Brrr! Join Jenn tomorrow to bring back that spring fever with this fun demo featuring new templates from Magenta. Use different direct-to-paper techniques to create fabulous cards (or even scrapbook pages - these templates are the perfect size for either one!) Come and see all the different things you can do!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can't Stop Coloring

I love to color. I find it a very relaxing way to "spend time". I color on airplanes, in waiting rooms, and I'm looking foward to some beach time - a perfect place to color. This paper from Prima makes coloring easy! It comes in lots of different patterns, and it's a fabulous watercolor weave so it accepts color beautifully - watercolor pencils, Copic Markers, or even a water brush and ink pads (which is what we're doing for this Thursday's FREE make-and-take). Stop in and pick up a brush.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stop and Smell the Flowers

OK - these flowers don't actually smell, but they look so lifelike! If you've never played with Flower Soft before, you definitely need to make it a priority to join us for our Free Learn-at-Lunch demo on Tuesday from 12-2. And, if you've played with the original Flower Soft, but haven't tried the Ultra Fine version yet - well, again, you need to join us. For detailed stamps or small spaces, the Ultra Fine Flower Soft is spectacular. And, if you haven't had your fill of Flower Soft, you many want to come back on Thursday, May 6 for Marilynn's Flower Soft workshop. It really is a lot of fun!