For the Love of Lariats

heres one of my ice resin lariet necklaces Lariat necklaces are hip and edgy. They never go out of style because they are the ultimate in cool yet casual jewelry. I can just as easily wear one with a little black dress as I can with a white t-shirt and my favorite boyfriend jeans.

Last year, I saw a gorgeous dream catcher made my über talented friend Karen Michel on her Instagram feed. The long, luscious and colorful ribbons inspired me to look at my fiber stash. That made me pull out a box of already collaged ICE Resin bezels and my bin of metal components and cold enameled odds and ends. I spent the most glorious afternoon just tying and wrapping and creating about a dozen lariat necklaces. The more I made, the more excited I became with my creations. It’s crazy how my necklaces look nothing like Karen’s dream catchers but that’s how inspiration works. The spark of an idea, or a thought, or a question leads my brain to leap to another thought and then I’m off building a bridge to a new-for-me idea.

I took some of my favorite pieces and created a workshop called For the Love of Lariats. I’m finally getting a chance to teach it at the upcoming CREATE mixed media art retreats. Chicago in the next few weeks is my first stop for this brand new class, which is is filling up with only a few spots left.

Students will spend a day learning how to add color to metal with Iced Enamels, in addition to making some beautiful ICE Resin bezels. For those who want to try their hand at metalworking, we’ll be cutting, punching, doming and dapping bronze sheet metal. For people who just want to continue adding color to metal and digging deeper into Iced Enamels, I have a lots of premade metal blanks to use as a substrate. Finally, I’ll be teaching how to tie and twist and reinforce fibers to create a strong yet elegant lariat that can be double and triple wrapped or worn long and lean. There is going to be a lot of instruction in this class, but I’ve left ample time for exploration and play. I believe students are going to be surprised with how much completed work they will walk out with at the end of the day, in addition to new ideas to try at home.

When I was teaching earlier this summer at the Charity Wings Art Center, I wore one of my lariats. Jennifer Priest, our Social Media Coordinator, spotted it and suggested we do a little video. Always game for some fun, I stood in the metalworking section of the art center and started talking. It’s a one-take, one-hit wonder. Check it out.

I’m teaching other ICE Resin classes at the CREATE events. If you have a minute, head on over to Interweave’s website to check them out. Registration is still going on now.

JenSig

Summer & Sonoran Living

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Just wanted to let you know I was recently invited to return to Sonoran Living with the fab Terri Ouelette. This was my third appearance in the show and it fun to return. I felt pretty comfortable on the set this time around.

I went on to show people how to make simple but pretty bangles using the faux Druzy technique that Susan Lenart Kazmer developed for her book Resin Alchemy. All it takes is a bezel, ICE Resin and some glass glitter.

Take a look at Sonoran Living on ABC 15 in Phoenix to the crafty segment when you get a chance.

I’d love to show you some more behind the scenes shots but I’m on my summer vacation with my family and updating my blog from my phone is not the easiest thing to do.

I hope you are having a terrific summer so far and finding a little time to get your craft on.

Happy Independence Day!

fourth of july inspired necklace with ICE Resin and Craft Attitude

Here’s wishing you a Happy 4th of July. I hope you are getting a long weekend to have some good quality time for family, creating, art, friendship or even just enjoying the warm summer days.

We’ve got people coming to the cabin this weekend, so I’m all ready for a house full of family and friends. I so love days like this; BBQs, mojitos with fresh mint that I’ve grown, homemade potato salad and lots of yummy fresh-picked corn and sweet watermelon.

I’ve been looking forward to our town’s July 4th celebration for weeks. It’s a total small town party! We head down to the community park, spread out blankets, bring our picnic basket and then listen to the band play live music while the kids run around at our feet playing with each other and all the new friends they just met and formed instant bonds with.

Weekends like this I forget all about work. I don’t even think about art or crafting. Deadlines just have to wait. Is it like that for you too? Or are you like some of my fellow artist friends who juggle day jobs and art and use these long weekends to “catch up” on their creative work?

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Just a quick little note on the necklace above. I recently participated in a blog hop with Craft Attitude and made some fab pendants using their film that I printed on my home ink jet printer in ICE Resin. In case you missed the post, here is the free tutorial. Because I tend to work on multiple bezels at once, I had quite a few finished focals. I finished this one into this patriotic necklace using a vintage World War 2 poster image along with some of our glass glitter, crystal beads and bronze wire. This is the necklace I’ll be wearing for tonight’s festivities.

 

Craft Attitude July 4 Blog Hop

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I’m so jazzed to have found a new-to-me product that works Awwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeesome with ICE Resin! (Can you hear the song in my voice??? Seriously, it’s a high-pitched squeal). It’s called Craft Attitude and its a transparent film where you print images from your inkjet printer to use in your mixed media, jewelry, paper arts, craft fashion or home décor projects.

Normally, images printed from an ink jet printer will smear when resin is applied. That’s because with ink jet, the color ink feels dry to the touch but actually sits on top of the paper. Anything wet will cause the ink to run. That’s why when I teach workshops and write articles on ICE Resin, I direct people to print images from their ink jet printers but then take them to a local copy shop to get copies made with toner ink. (You can use a laser jet printer too.) I even do this for my transparencies/acetate images. BUT, I was able to print onto Craft Attitude from my ink jet printer and use it right in our Art Mechanique bezels with ICE Resin without having to seal first. You have no idea how exciting this is to me!  I could wax poetic about this discovery, but I won’t since today is really a blog hop/free tutorial. I’ll save my resin and Craft Attitude findings for a future post.

Let’s get to the project!

“She Slept Through the Festivities” necklace

Supplies: Jewelry Attitude printable film, ICE Resin, disposable cup and stir stick, Art Mechanique Hobnail bezel Medium Shield, Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain, 18 gauge blackened steel wire, 20 gauge bronze wire, Art Mechanique jump rings, blue crystal beads, copper heishi spacer beads, scraps from your paper stash, vintage royalty free image.

Tools: Wubbers baby round nose, Wubbers chain nose pliers, Wubbers extra large round mandrel pliers, steel bench block or anvil, ball peen hammer.

Directions: The first step involves some basic Photoshop Elements skills. Search for royalty free images on the Internet that you can save to your computer and create a collage sheet with in Photoshop Elements or your favorite digital imaging program. NOTE: If you are publishing or selling your work, it is important to use your own images, works that you have permission to use or vintage images in the public domain. For more information on images and copyrights check out this .pdf from the United States Copyright Office.  A good source for royalty free images on the Internet is the Graphics Fairy.

I create my collage sheets by opening a new 8.5 x 11 file in Photoshop Elements. I then open the image I want to use and resize. I copy the image, cut it and then paste it into my new file. I resize the image so it’s smaller and will nicely fit into a bezel for jewelry. I do this multiple times with multiple images until I create a full 8.5 x 11 collage image sheet. If I’m printing something with words on it, be sure to flip the sheet horizontal so the words/image prints backwards.

Cut image from Craft Attitude to fit inside the bezel.

Cut image from Craft Attitude to fit inside the bezel.

Rummage through your paper scraps to find something interesting to "back" the translucent image. Here I chose a paper scrap with vintage sheet music. The reason I used scrapbooking paper is that I wanted smaller music notes that what I would normally find in vintage sheet music.

Rummage through your paper scraps to find something interesting to “back” the translucent image. I do this for visual interest and to add another layer of mixed media to my work. I normally would have used vintage sheet music, but this bit of 7Gypsies scrapbooking paper fit the bill nicely

Mix ICE Resin according to manufacturer's directions

I tend to collage and work on multiple bezels at once. Here you can see the image I used for this project, as well as some others in various stages of the process. After you’ve placed your images into the bezel, mix up at least 1/2 ounce of ICE Resin in a disposable mixing cup with a craft stick for a full minute. Slowly drip the resin into the bezel using the craft stick and fill bezel to the top, letting it form a nice round dome.

gather chain and wire and jump rings

After your bezel is dry to the touch (8-12 hours later) and feels like glass, gather supplies to finish the necklace. Here I used Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain, but altered it to add the necessary blue to the project for Fourth of July.

disassemble pices of the chain

The Industrial Chic chain comes with the brown rosary chain and a pretty end piece of red rosary to hang down the back of the neck. I used my round nose pliers to open the links and separate these pieces to use in future projects.

Use your Wubers mandrel pliers to form a Shepherd's Hook clasp from 18 gauge blackened steel wire

Use your Wubbers X-Large Mandrel Pliers to form a Shepherd’s Hook clasp from 18 gauge blackened steel wire. Lightly work harden the middle of the clasp by lightly hammering it on a steel bench block. Alternatively, you can use a lobster clasp and attach it with jump rings. Add a jump ring to the end of the pearl chain to hook the clasp.

Remove about three inches of pearl chain from the necklace so you can create and add a blue crystal bead link

Use your round nose pliers to remove about three inches of pearl chain from the necklace so you can add a touch of blue.

You can make a wire bead link from 20 gauge bronze wire, metal heishi spacer beads and blue crystal beads.

You can make a wire bead link from 20 gauge bronze wire, metal heishi spacer beads and blue crystal beads.

create a bead link with blue crystal beads, metal spacer beads and bronze wire

Use your round nose pliers to wire wrap a 4 inch piece of wire. Make a wrapped loop at one end and then thread a blue crystal bead, a metal spacer bead,  blue crystal, another washer, blue crystal, metal spacer, blue crystal and then make a wirewrapped loop on the other end to close off the link.

Using round nose pliers open each the end of the pearl rosary chain and attach blue bead link. Attach Craft Attitude and ICE Resin focal pendant to the center of the necklace using a jump ring.

Wear your pretty and patriotic necklace to your Forth of July gatherings. Just don’t be a party pooper like our vintage gal here and sleep though the festivities.

(Note: Image originally painted by Illustrator James Montgomery Flagg for a World War 1 poster called Wake Up America. )

Here’s a few more finished pics that I hope inspire you to play with Craft Attitude and ICE Resin!

Jen Cushman patriotic necklace

 

 

 

Jen Cushman necklace

Bead and Button Show Wrap Up

Well I made it to Milwaukee and back for the annual Bead and Button Show. This jewelry show is really a crème de la crème where hundreds of the world’s top instructors in metalworking, silversmithing, beading, fine silver, chain maille, stitching, foldforming, etc.  come together. It’s an amazing show that goes for 10 full days from beginning to end. People come from all over the world to take classes and shop the event.

In addition to teaching, Susan and myself had some really great meetings for ICE Resin. We also went to dinner with some of our wonderful amazing artist friends such as Mary Hetts, Anne E Mitchell and Richard Salley, and ran into dozens of other friends at the convention center for 10 to 15 minute catch up on our lives sessions. These little impromptu gatherings are some of my favorite parts of the shows always.

The event is so busy that it’s hard for me to snap as many pictures or do quite as much social media on the spot as I would like too. However, I did want to show you a smattering of fun photos from the week.

Here's our ICE Resin booth looking all pretty and ready to go right before the Thursday night opening night of shopping. Misty Grosse, our Booth Manager and Cindy Moss, Director of Sales and John Petersen from the 2015 Creative Team did an AMAZING job with set up. Susan and I were teaching classes and at the Meet the Teachers event so the booth was their baby from beginning to end. All I provided was a little creative direction.

Here’s our ICE Resin booth looking all pretty and ready to go right before the Thursday night opening night of shopping. Misty Grosse, our Booth Manager and Cindy Moss, Director of Sales and John Petersen from the 2014 Creative Team did an AMAZING job with set up. Susan and I were teaching classes and at the Meet the Teachers event so the booth was their baby from beginning to end. All I provided was a little creative direction.

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A close up of the booth with our sign and more goodies on the tables for purchase.

A close up of the booth with our sign and more goodies on the tables for purchase.

Here's a selfie taken at Meet the Teachers right as the door opened. I love getting to talk to people about my work. I forgot to take a pic of my table with all my necklace, earrings and cuffs laid out. It was an abundant amount of work for me.

Here’s a selfie taken at Meet the Teachers right as the door opened. I love getting to talk to people about my work. I forgot to take a pic of my table with all my necklace, earrings and cuffs laid out. It was an abundant amount of work for me. The lighting is always so bad in the hotel rooms!

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Luckily my dear friend Suze Weinberg took a pic of my earrings on their sweet little cards made by moi and posted it over on her blog. If you really want to see this year’s Bead and Button Show head on over to Suze’s blog for three full days of Bead and Button. Impressive Suze!!!! http://www.suzeweinberg.typepad.com/

 

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Me and Susan Lenart Kazmer hamming it up in front of Anne Mitchell’s booth at Meet the Teachers. It was the end of the night and Anne needed to excuse herself and asked us to briefly watch her stuff. Of course Susan and I decided to be silly so we took this selfie and then posted on Facebook that there was a 15 minute only clearance sale of Anne’s work. Thank goodness no one actually stormed the booth looking for it or we’d have been in trouble. It’s A LOT funnier than it sounds at 10:45 at night with only 15 minutes left to go of the event and after being up since 6 a.m.

 

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Our team — Cindy and John — ran hour long demos with a Make ‘N Take in the area right outside the show floor. There were only 26 seats available for the MNT and the ladies lined up 20 minutes before the event to get a seat. We were full. It is so gratifying to see the overwhelming response to our Iced Enamels program.

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Speaking of John Petersen here we are in the booth. This man is sooooo darn funny that he can make me laugh and laugh and laugh like a girlie teenager again.

My Saturday class that I love to teach called Layers and Depth. My students here are learning how to use Iced Enamels in our gorgeous Art Mechanique hobnail bezels. They had the best time playing with color!

My Saturday class that I love to teach called Layers and Depth. My students here are learning how to use Iced Enamels in our gorgeous Art Mechanique hobnail bezels. They had the best time playing with color!

Speaking of luscious color, this is one of the large hobnail hearts that my student did when she applied the base layer of color with Iced Enamels. This is our Raspberry Pink with our brand new Carnelian orange. It feels so 1960 retro -- bright and happy. I adore it! I wish you could have seen the imagery she went on to layer on top of this but I forgot to get a pic of the final piece. Oops!

Speaking of luscious color, this is one of the large hobnail hearts that my student did when she applied the base layer of color with Iced Enamels. This is our Raspberry Pink with our brand new Carnelian orange. It feels so 1960 retro — bright and happy. I adore it! I wish you could have seen the imagery she went on to layer on top of this but I forgot to get a pic of the final piece. Oops!

 

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.

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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