Craft Studio Tour

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I can’t believe that we moved into this house two years ago this month! I’d say it is past time to give you a craft studio tour, but it has taken a while for me to pull things together!

My studio is right off of our kitchen, so I spend a lot of time in here and I also feel very fortunate to have this room so close to the central hub of our home. When we moved into this house, I replaced many of our interior doors with old 5-panel doors that I brought from my last house. The doors had been in the attic of our 100 year old Victorian, and I sent them straight to the moving truck when we left. This windowed door came from my grandparents’ old farm house before it was torn down about 12 years ago.

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In December I made a daytrip to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile with my friend Laurie Willison, and I feel in love with this felted rainbow garland.  I thought this would be perfect to drape over the inside of the window. The felted dove and fig leaf ornament find was icing on the ROYGBIV cake. (Genesis 8:11) So hard to photograph things resting on or through glass!)

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Come on in, and I will show you my space… It is definitely meant to be functional for me and that means I have a lot of my stuff visible so that I will use it, but I do try to keep things picked up and somewhat organized since it is open to our kitchen. This is also something that has come together over a long period of bargain hunting. :)

Over the last twenty years that I have been stamping, my creative space is constantly ebbing and flowing … For several years I was in an unfinished basement on a folding table and then I moved to a closet – literally sitting inside a closet, and I didn’t enjoy crafting any less back then.  My hope is that you’ll find snippets of rooms you see and find a way to make whatever space you have a happy place for you!

My studio in the Victorian was actually open to the kitchen – no door closure to hide the mess. I shared shared the transitions of that space several times on my blog over the last 10 years. I started with this room and a closet and completed a renovation to that house in 2013 – you can see my built-in desk from that renovation on this post. You can see a tour of that home including the full office here – The office photos are near the bottom, and you’ll notice how I’ve re-used many of the same pieces in my new office area.

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When you come into the office and to the left, I have my work desk. This was the piece that took the longest for me to procure after we moved in. The desk in my old space had been built-in, so I worked for almost two years in this house on a folding table that was lifted on bed risers from Walmart.

I’m 6’1″ tall, and I really prefer to have something I can stand at to work with drawer space close at hand, plus my husband had given me this rolling bar-height stool for Christmas several years ago. I didn’t want to replace it. The desk also needed to be black, and I wanted it to be on casters.  I wanted something moveable this time.

After searching high and low for almost a year and a half, my husband convinced me to try a workbench from Home Depot and a tool chest – this is two separate pieces. His rationale was that it would let me get comfortable and afford me time to look for something perfect, and then move this to the garage for my outside, messy projects when that happened. I’m not looking anymore. This works really well for me!

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This hotmess is where I sit to color and create! I have a lot of tools right at my fingertips.

My Copic Markers are stored in Color Cubbies from a company called Studio 3. Sadly, they are out of business, and I feel fortunate to have procured all that I need for my space. My friend Brett at Stamp-n-Storage makes a beautiful, similar product for Marker Storage. You may store Copic Markers in whatever way works for you. I prefer to have them in a flat position so that I can see the cap colors and numbering system.  Here, I have extra spots for a scale to make Copic refilling quick and easy, ink pads, tweezers, MultiLiner ink pens… lots of fun stuff!

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Just to the left of that workspace is a shelf that holds a few things I’ve made and extra supplies. It’s cluttered but functional. My goal is to add a small wall storage shelf for some of these items – eventually I would guess that I will clear some of them out all together. Organization is an on-going process… always evolving.

The wooden bins on the bottom row are Magnetic Die Totes from Stamp-n-Storage.  (You can read a Splitcoast Product Focus review of that product here.) The clear tote holds newer stamps and supplies I want to use soon! Always something fun waiting for me in that bin!

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On the left side of the white shelf unit, I have attached three racks from Ribbon Roll Control. I have had these units since we did a Product Focus review for them at Splitcoaststampers almost five years ago! They have held up beautifully. I love the clear acrylic and the functionality.

 

 

 

 

refill-storage-webviewOn the opposite side of the room, I have my Roskog Ikea cart that holds clear acrylic Copic Various Ink Refills. These were storedisplay units, and I’m happy to have them! The cart also holds some shipping supplies and a small tray of wood mounted stamps.

 

The black cabinets were salvaged from an office that my mom and I worked in back in the 1990s. The drawers hold some papercrafting items, as well as general house stuff – batteries, packing tape, old cell phones, etc. I wish I could tell you things were in alpha order, but they have been helter-skelter so long that everyone in the house is very familiar with batteries in row 2, 8 drawers down… LOL

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I picked this clear acrylic stair-stepped holder up at a jewelry store that was closing last Christmas for $2. Score!

 

 

 

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The ink pad storage is from Stamp-n-Storage. I painted mine, and provided a painting wood tutorial here. Lots of knick knacks here… The picture frame is wrapped with strips of fabric. The chicken acrylic painting was a 30th birthday gift from my friend Jenni Horne – way back when I was 30 – long before either of us blogged or shared online. #treasure

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The revolving card display was a Pottery Barn purchase 5 or 6 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally, as I come back toward the door of the studio, I have Stamp-n-Storage Paper Holders waiting to be fixed up, painted, etc… but still fully functional! I do have an idea for these with the Tommy Art Paints I shared last week, but this gives you a nice before for the coming-soon after! LOL

The sunflowers were my first (and thus far only) attempt at acrylic stilllife painting from last summer. My nephew is making a frame for me… at least I hope he is still making a frame for me!  I need to put another bug in his ear.

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The island in the center of the room service a host of purposes, and probably my favorite is the slide-out desk and chair at the other end for my daughters to sit with me or for visiting stamping friends.

I’m working on another organization post to show you some of the hidden tools and my solutions for more cluttery supplies, so I’ll say I’ll be back soon with updates, painted pieces and ideas for stamps, embellishments, supplies, etc.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

 

Rested, Refilled, Ready and a FREE class with me!

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If you follow me on Facebook, you know my very first crafty act of 2017 was to clean and refill my entire classroom set of Copic Markers – 872 Sketch Markers… ready for awesome students…because all of my students are amazing! #truth

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I did a short marker cleaning and refill video last month that you can find HERE. If you are wondering how long it took for me to get these babies whipped back into shape and ready for student hands, I was able to watch 2.75 seasons of Longmire on Netflix while I worked. I love that show… It’s the perfect blend of John Wayne meets modern day cultural issues. I’ve binged the entire series, and now await the 6th and final season. (sad face here)

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So, now things are all ready to go, and right after CHA, I’m taking the show on the road. I’d love for you to come and take a Copic class with me soon! My upcoming locations are:

  • Portland, OR – February 17 and 18
  • St. Louis, MO – March 3 and 4
  • Richmond, VA – March 17 and 18
  • Vancouver, British Columbia – April 21 and 22
  • Orange, CA – May 5 and 6

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Speaking of classes… if you live in the Portland, OR area, and would be intersted in taking a FREE class while I’m in Portland to learn about Tommy Paints – that I blogged about last week – please leave me a comment, and I’ll email the information to you.

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The class is in Vancouver, WA on Friday, February 17th from 5:00 – 8:00pm with instruction, product information and two fun projects! And, IT IS FREE! Hurry! Space is limited!

See you soon!

Beauty from Ashes – Pantone Color of the Year 2017

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He gives beauty for ashes. ~ Isaiah 61:3

Sending a simple note of encouragement today, it doesn’t even matter who it is for… I don’t know many people right now who don’t need a smile and a friendly hello, a nod of assurance…let’s make a collective effort be the smile. be that nod.

It’s a new year and time to explore new trend, this month the Copic team was challenged to explore the Pantone Color of the Year 2017… And, the Copic match for this year’s color is the beautiful YG25!

I always find the color of the year inspirational, and apparently so do many other people because we will soon find it splashed everywhere!

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From the Pantone website, a little explanation to this year’s color selection… encouragement and reassurance. I like that!

And, I certainly like looking at this beautiful color palette in the dark days of winter!

 

 

 

FullSizeRender_1Here is how I made my card: After I had stamped my flower images from Beautiful Things set from Verve Stamps, I stamped a single flower on XPress It Mask It Film and trimmed. I use Staz-On to stamp on the film – only because my Copics will never touch the actual mask.

 

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I apply the cut mask over the flowers stamped on my base layer of cardstock – XPress It Blending Card. The Mask It Film puts a tight seal around the edges of the stamped image, allowing me to get a crisp airbrush halo while keeping the flower itself clean.

 

 

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When finished airbrushing the background, lift the film and continue with your card. Personally, I color the flowers with Copic first, and airbrush last, but wanted to show you the white flowers so you can see the crisp, clean contrast.

 

 

FullSizeRenderAfter coloring and airbrushing, I applied my image panel to a black cardstock border and popped it up on Foam Mounting Squares – a fun new CHA product – to mount to the card front in apple green.

 

 

 

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Give it a try… share some encouragement with the Color of the Year and link me here so I can see it! I know it will make me smile!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Amazing *A* Decor with Tommy Art Paints

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Home from CHA today! It’s always wonderful to see new products and connect with so many crafty people. Crafty people are good people.

I also loved learning more about a new product from Imagination International – the Copic Marker people – called Tommy Art Paints. It’s a line of fluid Italian chalk paints that applies and dries so smoothly. And, it comes in over 30 rich colors!

I had made this ‘amazing a‘ to take with me as a classroom sample for our Copic Marker workshops, but I thought you might like to see it!

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I started with a bare wood accent letter from Hobby Lobby and seriously in less than 30 minutes had this cute accent for my daughter’s room! Here’s how I did it:

  1. With a clean 1″ brush, coat wooden letter with Cream Tommy Paint – allow about 5 minutes to dry.
  2. Rub a small amount of Neutral Wax over the edges of the letter with a brush or soft cloth. This allows for a buffer between the layers of paint without damaging your initial layer of cream paint.
  3. With the 1″ brush, coat letter with Vintage Green Tommy Paint – allow about 5 minutes to dry and repeat a second coat of Vintage Green – allow 5 minutes to dry.
  4. With green paint dry, sanding block (I used the same one I use on paper) and lightly brush edges of the wood letter to remove the green paint and expose cream paint below.
  5. Rub small amount of  Neutral Wax onto dry wood piece a soft cloth – allow to dry and buff to sheen with a clean, soft cloth.

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The felt flowers were cut from an assortment of florals dies – I had borrowed the dies from a friend, and I believe most of them are from MFT or Papertrey, though some may be retired. The felt is from Taylored Expressions – it’s beautiful quality and you can see how crisp and clean the cuts are on the felt. The dainty word ‘amazing’ is from  Amazing Adjective dies – Verve Stamps!

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This was a project that we completed at a marketing event last Thursday night at CHA. I started with two plain pieces of smooth MDF and created ALL of the texture and wood grain that you see with 4 colors of Tommy Paints, Neutral Wax, a piece of sand paper and the orange impression tool on the top right. I really like these products, and ordered more colors today so that I could show you a tutorial or two!

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Here is my finished plaque – the “thankful” is a textured Volcano Paste that I put through a stencil with a palette knife – love the raised look and feel.  This project took about 25 minutes start to finish – even with the dry time.

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I am looking forward to painting all-of-the-things now that I know how beautifully these paints perform! I have aspirations for some furniture that’s in my basement, as well as some crafty gift items…. Given a free day, what would you like to paint?

Be Still and a Winner

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Between weather, back-t0-New-Year reality and CHA prep, the first few weeks of the new year have felt like a 4-day whirlwind! I thought things would slow down post holidays.

seasons givings blog photoThank you to each and everyone of you who participated in the Season’s Givings Blog Hop. I loved reading all of your responses. It sounds like we have a lot of great creative things planned! Congratulations to my winner Felicita Johnson! And, the best of luck to each of you on your crafty pursuits in the New Year!

 

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After days of weathermen prepping all of Kansas for the 2017 Ice Storm, we woke up to this yesterday. Luckily, the temperatures never stayed below 32 long enough for my area to receive significant damage. Though much of our state wasn’t so lucky… It did give me time to do a little stamping.

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The feathers, dies and sentiment are all from Taylored Expressions. This would be a good resolution for myself the New Year – this and actually sending cards I make!

Stamps: Light as a Feather (stamp and dies) and Be Still – Taylored Expressions

Dies: Build a Tag 4 – Taylored Expressions

Cardstock: Sugar Cube – Taylored Expressions

Ink: Jelly Donut, Blue Corn and Sprinkles – Taylored Expressions

 

Seasons Givings Blog Hop

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Such a treat to be joining an incredible group of women for the 5th Annual Seasons Givings Blog Hop! So much thanks and appreciation to Latisha for putting this together each year and for inviting me to participate! It’s always fun for the bloggers and the hoppers, and it is especially fun to host a give away on each and every blog listed below… Just our way of saying thank you to each of our faithful readers and paper crafting community! So, thank you so very much for stopping by!

If we haven’t crossed paths before, my name is Lori Craig. I am very blessed to work with some amazing people in the papercrafting industry. Day-in-and-day-out, I am starting my tenth year as the advertising manager at Splitcoaststampers.com – the largest online resource for stamping and papercrafting with forums and the largest cardmaking gallery in the world.

I also have the pleasure of being a Copic Certification and Workshop Instructor for Imagination International – the North American distributor for Copic Marker! This will be my 8th year with Copic, and I love traveling around the country and spending my time with people who are just as crazy about color as I am! Maybe our paths have or will crossed soon! :)

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Today I am sharing two one of my favorite projects from 2016… First, this is a card that I made as a guest designer for Verve Stamps back in the spring. The set for this card is called Beautiful Things. The flowers and the sentiments are just perfection. Orange (Copic YR04 – single color blend here!) is a favorite color, and I consider kraft cardstock to be the perfect backdrop for almost everything! :)

Copic Wide Roses Lori Craig

And, second favorite would probably be this one. I made these cards using a Copic Wide marker back in the spring to free-hand florals. (Original post and step-outs are HERE.)  I loved the richness of the red and the acrylic look that I got with my Copic Markers hand-drawing these flowers. I also loved the crisp black mats. Clean and simple.

Check out my giveaway! 

And here is a photo of my giveaway… I pulled out a few of my favorite things from Imagination International (the Copic Marker people!) because that is the one manufacturer I work with most frequently!

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  • an awesome grid paper journal – I personally love these… I shared about them HERE … 6×8 square grid Red Rubber SenseBook 
  • two Sepia Multiliners – for journaling or sketching – water and Copic safe
  • X-Press It foam mounting tape and double sided tape – for card making and papercrafting
  • PLUS $25 to spend at Imagination International Inc. for Copic Markers or any of the products in the III store! 

To enter my giveaway, just leave me a comment and let know what type of crafting or hobby you plan to enjoy through the new year…especially if you are exploring something new-to-you!  :) Edit to add: I’ll select a winner on January 8th. 

After you leave me a comment to enter my drawing, visit my dear friend, co-worker and Splitcoaststampers partner in crime: Lydia Fiedler!  

If you are jumping in mid-hop, the full list of participants is here: 

Thank you so much for stopping by and

have a wonderful, blessed New Year! 

Refilling Copic Marker with Help of a Small Scale

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I cannot believe it is the end of 2016… I just can’t believe the year went by so quickly, but it was a good year for me. I will trust that 2017 brings just the perfect plan for growth and joy.

Today I’m sharing this birthday card that I made for a special friend – a Christmas birthday! The digital Arranging Roses image is from Power Poppy and colored with Copic! I print my images with an HP LaserJet – mine is about 5 years old, but this is the current version.  The printer feeds card stock and the ink is Copic compatible. I do have another printer for color prints and photos, but this printer is my office workhorse. Very happy with it!

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I am also sharing this video on refilling Copic Markers. Refilling markers is not something I enjoy, but I do appreciate that it can be done. Before finding Copic, I’d ran myself through several different sets of different kinds of markers. Way back then… almost 10 years ago… the ability to make even my coloring look good and the quality of the product was such an appeal. I enjoy my markers just as much today as I did back then!

Highlights from the video are that I use a jewelry scale to weigh my markers to help determine ink fullness. This is the scale that I’ve used for 3-4 years – it’s $7 and I don’t think I have ever even changed the batteries.

A few quick links from the video:

And here are just a few resources from Copic for refilling… also, I’m here if you have questions! I do love talking about color! :)

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I haven’t shown the booster method here, but I find it very helpful if you have shaky hands – the needle insert helps steady your hand-to-hand contact with the ink bottle and the marker.

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And just a quick graphic that lets you see how many refills you could expect from one bottle of Various Ink. WOW, right!? That is a lot of coloring!

 

 

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Just a few more details about my card… If you peek at the original digital image, you’ll see it is a full vase image, but I’ve sized the image and situated the buds to take center stage. I do love that about digital stamps!

IMG_2734I used a handful of Copic Markers on this image, literally. Here’s a snapshot so you can see color selection.

 

 

 

 

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The sparkly silver paper was cut with an MFT Scalloped Rectangle frame – the paper is from Stampin’ Up! And, the dotted lattice embossing folder in the background is from Taylored Expressions.

And, one more bit of information, our new year of Copic class locations is up for your planning purposes… Check out our schedule, and I hope you can join me fore more tips like this in 2017! 

I hope this has been informative for you! I’ve loved putting it together. I have another post with a very special group of blogging friends tonight at midnight, so please check back… lots of prizes… 

Stay warm and safe over this holiday weekend and have a happy New Year!

The Week of Joy

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This is one of my favorite weeks of the year! The stress of Christmas is behind – for the most part. The new year lies ahead… The kids have another week or more off from school, and it’s just a laid back time around our home. It’s just a time of low-key JOY for us!

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I wanted to share a few last minute tags that I created last week before we left to enjoy our Christmas with family!  Easy tags that I dressed up with some simple stamping and foil accents!

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This simple one ended up being a favorite.. I started with the Build-a-Tag 5 from Taylored Expressions and stamped with snowflakes from a retired set called Winter Wonderland in Salt Water Taffy TE ink.  Then instead of writing a to/from on my tag, I just a J (for Jen!) from Silver Deco Tape from Imagination International with a “J” die from the Poster Graphic Alphabet dies. I love the decorative flair to these letters!

DTG2510S-2 This 1″ glitter Silver Deco Tape is just wide enough that you can cut narrow dies with it! I adhered to a scrap of paper and then ran it through my Big Shot. And then I glued it to my tag with Glue Marker.

 

 

DFT610A-2To finish off my tag, I ran a strip of decorative Foil Tape down the left side of my tag. Love the rainbow of colors in this tape collection!

 

 

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Next up, I used a My Monthly Hero Kit from Hero Arts to stamp a few poinsettias and the same Build-a-Tag 5 die from Taylored Expressions with a strip of red foil to add a little glitz.

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Finally, a replay of the tags I showed you last week with a hint of chocolate colored Decorative Foil added – yes, I said CHOCOLATE FOIL. Yum. This was a gift for my brother and he commented on how cool this tag was… I call that a win!

I’ve been trying to spend some time in my craft room during this week of joy! Of course, that had to start with a little bit of cleaning and organization after the Christmas crafting marathons… Tomorrow morning I’m going to the duck blind with my husband … definite JOY!  I don’t have a hunting license for this season, and I’m not buying one for just one day… so I’ll be taking photos and possibly watercoloring a landscape… If I come up with anything inspirational, I’ll be sure to share! 😉

I do have another paper project to share in a day or two, and I’m participating in a very fun project over the weekend, so stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by… Wishing you continued Christmas blessings and JOY …

Season’s Greetings


Seasons Greetings Rounded Tag Top Lori Craig

I’m having a wonderful week prepping for the holiday, and I wanted to share a quick tag project I did early in the week. There is a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group at my church, and we are a long past the preschool stage at our house, but they graciously invite me to be a mentor mom… I love these moms, their tender hearts for their children and the fellowship we enjoy. I wanted to take each of them a small token of love…

Lori Craig Pine Cone Centerpiece

I also love decorating with pine cones…. This is a centerpiece I made for my dining room table… It has some large sugar pines from California, along with shed antlers that my daughter and husband found laying in a field, some faux-evergreen and some glassy tiffany blue ornaments. It’s all arranged in a box my husband made from barn wood off of the barn on our property in Missouri. It’s become a special part of my Christmas!

Seasons Greetings Bags Lori Craig

I love this Simply Stamped Pinecones set from Taylored Expressions. I had my doubts about it being simple, but it really was… I would not pull your leg over something like that… I stamp for fun, not frustration. Easy peasy to line up! Love.

Seasons Greetings scallop tag Lori Craig

The pinecones were stamped free-hand (without aMISTI) and it was easy! The ink colors I used were all Ranger Distress Inks:

  • Old Paper – bottom layer
  • Brushed Corduroy – middle layer
  • Walnut Stain – top layer

I did use a MISTI to line up my sentiments.   This scallop bottom tag is Gift Card Holder Tag from Reverse Confetti, and the round top tag is Build-a-Tag 4 – it is my favorite in the collection. So easy to use! The gift bags were something I picked up after last Christmas for $.10 each… score.

Seasons Greetings round top side Lori Craig

Finishing cut out cookies today, and a party with my BUNCO girls tonight! I have another card to share tomorrow after my party. Have a GREAT day as you finish your Christmas prepping and partying… Tis the Season!

New Year • New Copic Classes

With the temps hitting -9 here this morning, I’m more than ready to head to Phoenix after the holidays for CHA and our full 2017 Copic class lineup! The Phoenix certification and workshop classes –have been open for registration for several weeks, other locations were opened this past week, including Atlanta, Minneapolis, Portland, and Houston.

You can see ALL class locations and dates for 2017, for both Copic Certifications and Copic Workshops, HERE on the Imagination International, Inc. site.

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We are featuring three new Copic workshops this year! The planning for this set of classes has been particularly fun, and I think people are going to LOVE these classes: Coloring Animals, Coloring Landscapes, and Hand Lettering. Click on each link for more information about that particular class. 

My personal spring schedule is several sets of Standard Certification, Intermediate Certification and Flowers classes:

  • Portland, OR – February 17 & 18, 2017
  • St. Louis, MO – March 3 & 4, 2017
  • Richmond, VA- March 17 & 18, 2017
  • Vancouver, British Columbia – April 21 & 22

I will also teach the new workshops in Orange County, California the first weekend in May. I’m excited to be visiting some new cities and meet a lot Copic students! Mark your calendar now, and save the dates!

 

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