Art Journal Sneak Peek

Vintage Summer by Jen Cushman

I’ve been in my studio finishing up some projects and tying up loose ends at work before I head off to teach at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. I’m teaching four classes from June 4th through the 8th. While online registration is now closed, you can still sign up on site if you’re going to the show and looking for a class or two to fill in between all that great bead and jewelry making supply shopping! Actually, I have a list this year of things I’m needing to buy for classes and I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite vendors again. The easiest way to see what I’m teaching is to follow the Meet the Teachers Link and click on my name. It will take you to the workshops with days and times.

I’m always thrilled to be at this show. Some of these faculty are people whose work I’ve admired immensely as I was learning and growing in my mixed-media jewelry making. I love seeing the new work these talented people bring to the show. It’s so inspiring be there amongst the best of the best!

In between packing and making some more class samples for my students to see, I was also working on a little project for Jenn Mason, Director of Content Marketing at F+W and editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. She and mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer are hosting a new online weekly show called The Mixed-Media Workshop. While I’m not appearing on the show in person, I am giving a little instruction as part of my magazine column The Mixed-Media Metalsmith. Most of the art samples are already waiting for them in Loveland, Colorado where the filming studio is located. This journal (sneak peek top pic) and a few other cast resin pieces were out the door today. I’ll let you know when the segment airs, but if you see any PR for shiny things then you know you’ll be seeing some of my casting work.

I’m planning to take a bit of a break from blogging this summer. I’ll be checking in here and there, and definitely be on my social media, but the kids are home for summer break AND I’m going into my office for all of July to write my next book on Iced Enamels. For those of you who’ve done book publishing before, you know it’s a pretty time-consuming undertaking. While I’ve gotten pretty good at juggling work and family and teaching, book writing is something that requires my full focus. After the Bead and Button Show, I’m home until CREATE Chicago the middle of August — the perfect time to write, write, write, edit, take photos, edit photos and write some more. Thankfully, most of the art pieces have already been completed over this past year.

I hope you stay with me through the next few months. I promise, I’ll have lots of new information and new art content to share when I get to the other side.

Here’s wishing you a truly ARTFUL day!


I’m an honorary Stencil Girl today

I’m thrilled to be a Guest Artist today over on the Stencil Girl Products blog. (NOTE: I was originally scheduled for press today but the post was inadvertently published last Wednesday while I was teaching in Miami. Below is the permalink to it though!) I did a little tutorial and made a mixed-media collage piece. I challenged myself to move a little bit outside my comfort zone for this post by working in a more neutral color palette and using a soothing nature themed stencil. I’m pretty happy with the results.

Here’s a quick sneak peek. To read the full post, hop on over to Stencil Girl Talk now.



Oodles of Doodles with Faber Castell

ice resin faber castell blog hop

Welcome to the joint blog hop with Faber Castell and ICE Resin. I’m pretty jazzed for this tour because I fell hard for Gelatos when Faber Castell first introduced them a few years ago at CHA. (Craft and Hobby Association winter trade show). I adore using them! The colorstick tube is easy to hold and creamy consistency of the pigments glides on your substrate like butter. Gelatos are highly pigmented so it doesn’t take much to get a luscious colored surface. They are so much fun to work with that even my daughter began coloring with mommy using Gelatos when she was two years old. (We even had a project/article together in Create with Me, a publication through Stampington & Co. which sadly is not being published any longer).  The best thing about Gelatos is that a little swipe of water with a paintbrush and you’re able to get a great watercolor effect quickly and effortlessly.

As much as I like playing with Gelatos, I decided for this particular hop I wanted to explore doodling and ATCs. PITT Artist Pens are perfect for journaling and fine line doodles. I used to doodle all the time in high school while I half-listened to my teachers, but then I just stopped. It wasn’t until I met mixed media artist Dawn Devris Sokol, author of the fab book Art Doodle Love, that I was inspired to take up doodling again. I also picked up Zenspirations by my friend Joanne Fink and learned through her words of wisdom how to take my doodles up a notch. My doodling style has emerged as I’ve explored art journaling as well. I tend to work quickly with lots of energy, not worrying about perfect lines, instead attempting to capture a feeling with these little sketches of mine.

I hope you enjoy this little stepped-out tutorial today in honor of the hop.

Supply list:

Tape runner or glue stick, vintage sheet music or paper, cream colored acrylic paint, PITT Artist Pens, Gelatos, scissors, silicone craft mat from Imagine Crafts, paintbrush, chipboard for ATC base, StazOn ink, ICE Resin.



Step 1: (I had some business cards that I had made from Zazzle. These are called Chunky Cards and are the exact same size as ATCs and used these as my substrate). Create ATC base 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. Use an ATG tape gun (or whatever glue you prefer) to adhere vintage sheet music and dictionary paper to the card. NOTE; This ATG tape runner is a tool I used constantly during my scrapbooking days. It doesn’t see much action now that I’m doing jewelry, but I highly recommend this tool to any paper crafter).


Step 2:  Use your scissors to cut paper to fit ATC.


Step 3: Paint a quick wash of cream colored acrylic ink onto the paper. You want the images/words underneath to peek through for a mixed-media look, but still create a nice base to begin doodling on.

FaberCastellStep4Step 4: Using the direct to paper technique, apply brown ink to the edges of the cards. You can skip this step if you like, but I like the distressed dimension the brown adds.


Step 5: Begin doodling on the ATCs. If you don’t know where to begin, start with some circles and lines to get your brain moving until instinct kicks in. Don’t judge your doodles. Just play and have fun!


Step 6: Ahhh, they are starting to take shape. To add a wash of color, swipe the Gelatos gently across the edges and paint quickly with just water on a paintbrush. This should be quick, giving the cards a subtle color wash.



Step 7:  When you are pleased with your doodled ATCs, it’s time to apply ICE Resin. Place cards on your silicone craft mat. Measure equal portions of Part A Resin to Part B Hardener of ICE Resin and mix thoroughly for a full two minutes. Place disposable gloves on hands and use a piece of sponge to paint resin onto paper.  (Here’s a tutorial of making resin paper on the ICE Resin website). Let dry for 8-12 hours.


Step 8:  If you want to add any dimension to your cards (here I added a little metal charm and washer for the center of the flower) place onto the wet resin now. ICE Resin makes and excellent “glue”, as objects will permanently dry and adhere as the resin cures.


I hope you enjoyed this oodles of doodles tutorial with Faber Castell pens and ICE Resin. Be sure to check out the other amazing artists on the hop to glean inspiration. Also, be sure to comment on the blogs for a chance to win a giveaway.

Here are the links:

Friday May 16
ICE Resin: Jen Cushman (You are here!)
ICE Resin: John Creighton Petersen 
Faber Castell: Mou Saha 

Monday May 12
ICE Resin: Kathy Cano Murillo
Faber Castell: Jill Foster

Tuesday May 13
ICE Resin: Jennifer Priest 
Faber Castell: Jen Matott

Wednesday May 14
ICE Resin: Tatiana Allen
Faber Castell: Rita Barakat

Thursday May 15
ICE Resin: Jamie Dougherty
Faber Castell: Tiffany Johnson



Comment on the blogs for a chance to win!

ice resin faber castelll blog hop prize

The blog hop projects will end on Friday but you have until midnight Eastern time on Sunday, May 18 to post a comment. Winners will be announced Monday, May 19.  Win aDesigning with Gelatos kit OR a  prize pack from Ice Resin (a Resin Plunger, a Bezel, Medium and a Relique). 



Miami here I come…


I’m off to Miami, Florida to teach a three-day ICE Resin and Iced Enamels Master’s workshop for the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild May 16-18th . In addition to teaching, I’ll be giving a presentation to the guild the evening of the 15th on the subject of “My Artist’s Life: Art, Family and ICE Resin Juggling Act.” I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking over the years on writing, business and creativity and I always enjoy it. Sure the butterflies hit those few minutes before each talk, but once I get into the groove, the time flies by and it’s always a lot of fun being in the moment.

I’m fairly certain the workshops are full. However, you can always check out the SFJAG website and see if there is a spot left. Last time I spoke to the organizer the two-day resin was full, but there were two spots left in Iced Enamels on Sunday. I really enjoy teaching at guilds because the classes are usually more intimate and folks are really looking to go a little deeper into their work.

I’ve been doing my best to get some studio time to make some new pieces of jewelry to sell at the event. I made 20 new necklace and the same number of earrings. However, I won’t be able to bring that many with me, as it looks like some of the pieces are going out the door to editors before I can get them to my upcoming retreats. I did manage to grab this pic of a bunch of them layered on my vintage dress form. I like the abundance of this photo! I just wish I could keep up that kind of production. (grin).

I’ll be taking a little break from my blog while I’m away. Do be sure to check in this coming weekend as ICE Resin is participating in a blog hop with Faber Castell. Keep an eye on the ICE Queen eZine for more deets. My day to go live is May 16th.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day!


Faber Castell and ICE Resin blog hop begins

ice resin faber castell blog hop

The Faber Castell and ICE Resin blog hop begins today with some fabulous artists and inspiring projects. Be sure to check in each day this week on the ICE Queen eZine to see the day’s participants. I’ll be ending the hop on May 16th here on my blog, along with some other great folks. I wanted to give you a sneak peek to entice you to come back for me when the time comes.




Blog Hop winner


Congrats Kelly Flaherty, you are the winner of my blog hop prize. A signed copy of my book Explore, Create, Resinate; Mixed Media Techniques Using ICE Resin. You’ll also get one of our Art Mechanique Hobnail bezels and a 1oz ICE Resin to play with at home.

Thanks everyone who joined in our collaborative blog hop between Stampendous, ICE Resin and Imagine Crafts. I want to give a shout out to Laura Kelly, social media coordinator from Stampendous, for creating an amazing header graphic and also for doing such a wonderful job organizing the hop. Also thanks to my right hand woman Carol LaValley, content coordinator for ICE Resin. Both of these ladies worked diligently to make a great hop filled to the brim with talented artists and projects. I had a GREAT time seeing all the gorgeous projects the artists made.





Stamps and ink and ICE, oh my!


Little known fact about me: I was a rubber stamper long before I was officially a mixed-media artist. My journey in the crafts industry began in 1999 when my son was born and I was a stay at home mom for six months. I joined a local MOMS Club and met a mum who was a Creative Memories consultant on the side. That’s how I got hooked on scrapbooking.

However, after a couple of crops, I grew tired of the rules and began to bust out artistically on my cardstock. That meant using non acid-free materials, ripping paper, using rubber cement for glue, sanding my photographs, adding stamped images and watercolor paint. Ahhhh….the freedom! Little did I know it was my birth as a mixed-media artist. I thought I was being my usual crafty self while getting out of the house for a couple of hours with my new girlfriends. Despite the fact I received fewer and fewer invitations to crops as my inky, paint-y, chunky layering style emerged, I managed to catch the eye of the owner of a local scrapbooking store. She asked me to teach a class. Soon I was a paper arts instructor.

Stampendous Blog Hop Jen Cushman

{NOTE: Keep reading to the end for a giveaway!}

I started working with resin in 2006 after taking a workshop with Susan. I also signed up for a semester of silversmithing at my local community college. Thus my love affair with metal and resin began, and has pretty much dominated my creative life ever since. However, the techniques I use for mixed media — stamping, painting, doodling, layering, inking, etc. – all come into play in just about everything I create.

I truly {heart} how beautifully Stampendous stamps — especially the new charm size for jewelry– and Tsukineko StazOn ink and ICE Resin come together like a perfect storm of crafting perfection! Hopefully you’ll get dozens of new ideas and inspiration on this blog hop from all the amazing artists taking part.

Stampendous SteampunkCharms

Unfortunately with my schedule I wasn’t able to do a tutorial for the hop. However, I did make a necklace using the ICE Resin/Stampendous/Tsukineko trio. I can tell you the inspiration came from the fab Steampunk stamps. The story in this piece is the feeling of  being whisked away to Paris in a dirigible by a dashing raconteur. This man is definitely NOT the guy a lady settles down with, but he is for sure Mr. Romance.



This necklace features one of our large Art Mechanique hobnail circle bezels. This Stampendous set called Steampunk Charms is full of great images to use inside our bezels. And, of course, StazOn ink is a must because it’s a solvent based ink and won’t run when you pour ICE Resin on top of the stamped images.

I love Steampunk and have for a long time. The only thing that bothers me about the aesthetic is the limited color palette of browns, blacks, bronze and gold tones.  Color is tantamount in my work.  For this piece, it comes in our Art Mechanique glass glitters and amazing shattered opal inclusions.  Of course, I also used Iced Enamels. My work wouldn’t feel complete without it.

Stampendous and ICE Resin Jen Cushman Necklace Detail

As always with any hop, I like to do a giveaway as a thank you to all the new folks who are dropping by and learning about my work for the first time.  Leave me a comment about your favorite Stampendous, Tsukineko ink or ICE Resin product and why you like it and I’ll be giving away a copy of my book Explore, Create, Resinate and a bezel and ICE Resin plunger.

After you leave a comment, be sure to hop to the other blogs for more inspiration!

May 1 – Thursday:  Jennifer Dove *Rhea Weigand * Misty Grosse * Tatiana Allen *Linda Lucas *John Creighton Petersen

May 2 – Friday:  Jennifer Dove *  Kristine ReynoldsPolly Hendrickson * Jen Cushman {you are here}* Cathy Andronicou * Sharon Morrison

May 3 – Saturday:  Asia King Debbie Cole Jamie Dougherty  “Maureen Cronin  

May 4 – Sunday:  Kristine Reynolds Lea Kimmel * Candy Rosenberg * Carol La Valley * Naghma Husain * Baerbel Born