Friday, February 28, 2014
If you are not familiar with the Toy Fair, it is the show where imagination comes to life in various products from action figures and dolls, video games, electronics, educational, creative products, crafts and more.
In continuing to highlight the show, I'd like to introduce you to UGames and My Studio Girl. A company with products that will appeal to children, teens and adults alike. To spark creativity and unite families together with fun artsy, crafty interactive products.
After meeting the group at UGames and My Studio Girl, along with the fabulous Barbie Davalos of Grand Avenue PR, I'm now a huge fan of the My Studio Line of arts and crafts kits. These kits are geared to spark the imagination and bring out the artist in your child or teen.
As an adult artist, my memories of childhood continue on in my work and my life. I'm an avid collector of children's novelties, artwork and storybooks. In 2005 I wrote and illustrated the children's book, "Star and the Milky Way Cafe". Star is a little girl who lives in all of us, she is you, she is me. This paved the way for my next book, "Altered Art Circus" published in 2009 by Quarry Books. Altered Art Circus is an arts and crafts book with a colorful circus theme, with each project telling a story. Easy project for kids to do, and inspiring for adults. After seeing the selection of kits in the My Studio Girl line, I was transported back to the imaginary world which lives in my crafty book.
The themes of the kits, their style and quality instantly grabbed me. I really couldn't pick a favorite kit. The fox girl which is apart of collage canvas art kits was beyond adorable. I could see kids creating a wall of fox art, each telling their own stories. I can't wait to create my storybook canvas using some of these fabulous kits. Then I can ask: "What did the fox say"?
After my excitement of this set of products I was introduced to the sketch portfolios series which combines various drawing and coloring techniques. This is perfect for enhancing a child's drawing and coloring skills. Its a great companion for rubber stampers and mixed media artists wanting to learn fun illustration. So easy to use and no drawing experience neccasary. I'd like to use these kits in my mixed media illustrative collages.
Best Friend Dolls and Hang Abouts. These are by far the cutest series of felt and fabric stitch kits I have seen, I especially love the doll and owl ones. I can't stand the cuteness here. You don't need to be a sewer to enjoy these. If you are an adult wanting to get into the art doll trend these kits could be the perfect beginner for you.
Now we all know how much I love clay and paper mache. So this set of products is no surprise, The Paper Mache and Artist Model Kits. Need I say anything more? I love the Japanese Girl, my favorite paper mache kit, followed by the owl and the dog. Just too, too cute for words. I can't wait to show you my version of the Japenese Girl with the help of some fabulous kids.
My Studio Girl is definitely a line you will want to know more about. Stay tuned for some product reviews, projects and creativity coming soon revolving around My Studio Girl.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
This is the show where imagination comes to life in various products from action figures and dolls, video games, electronics, educational, creative products, crafts and more.
As an all in one creative arts guru with various industry titles, going to trade shows is apart of the job. But going to the Toy Fair is my favorite one to attend. I get to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, review products, and consume all the new trends.
Over the next few days I will be showcasing my favorite companies and products at the show followed by a series of product reviews. Some of these reviews will be interactive and some will be filled with eye popping photos allowing you to escape your world for a few minutes and enter their worlds. My intent is to introduce you to new companies filled with products that will appeal to children, teens and adults alike. To spark creativity and unite families together with fun new interactive products.
My first Toy Fair company to showcase today is Educational Insights. A company where education meets fun, they are creators of unique toys, games and classroom tools for today's kids. Their products are built to inspire kids to learn and create while having fun at the same time, making them the perfect companion to parents and teachers.
At the show I had a wonderful opportunity to tour their booth with an extremely helpful and friendly staff which made my experience even more exciting. This really made their products shine even more for me. With so many fun products I had a hard time picking some of my favorites to highlight for you today. I want to start with the first series of products I saw, "Chet the Cat"!
Chet the Cat is a series of products for kids ages 3 & up, which introduces them to a world of baking and cooking. A great way to explain what is in the kitchen and a way to keep the kids busy while you are cooking. This series of products also sparks the imagination and propels creativity. It builds interaction, social skills and enhances technical skills.
This is a series which comes to life with a whimsical storybook character named Chet and his friends which is easy for young children to relate too. As a children's author and creative adult, I was instantly drawn to Chet's overall look and storybook magic. As an educator I was drawn to its interactive qualities.
The next product I came across was Dinosaur Puppet-On-A-Stick, all I can say is I love this. I was drawn to its color, look and theme, Dinosaur! One of my majors in college was Social Studies, which required many trips to the museum and led to my fascination with many decades in history. One of these decades is the age of Dinosaurs.
I am apart of the museum group and frequent many museums and centers. At the The Museum of Natural History I can be seen wandering through the Paleontology area getting inspired by all the dinosaur remains and fossils.
Seeing this fun product appealed to my explorer side, creative side and theatrical side. This is a great product for playtime, parties and a fun gift. This series of interactive puppets aid in expression and
Now I have to mention the fun and adorable series of games; "Kitten Caboodle" and "Diggity Dogs"! Can you guess which one is my favorite???? If not, I will reveal it, Kitten Caboodle. As a cat owner of a large Maine Coon Cat named Lucky, I was destined to find this product.
Besides the great theme, Kitten Caboodle is a go-fish type of game with a cat theme which features photo's of real life cats which were chosen from a contest the company held.
Its a game which promotes the art of "Good Sportsmanship, along with practicing matching, memory and counting skills. A fun game to involve the whole family.
Some other products available through Educational Insights are: Nancy B's Science Toys, Geo Safari (Love the Talking Globe & Motorized Solar System), The Riddle Show and Surf Side Scramble Game.
I look forward to sharing with you more of their products and their interactive fun which will make your buying experience much more exciting. Stay tuned for future giveaways and new products via companies, my affiliates and myself.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Create coffee filter valentines from hand dyed coffee filters and crepe paper . Created using Rit Dye, then embellished with Kewpie ephemera from Lisa Kettell Designs Cupieology, Scrapbook paper from Crate Paper, tinsel glitter, wire and bakery twine. This piece was inspired by vintage valentines and carnival colors. My fave project to share with you!
The material list and step by step directions for this project can be found in my Rit Studio at:
Here is a glimpse at the finished coffee filter Valentines (Kewpie Valentine). Some where basic circus themed and others a mermaid themed.
I hope you have been inspired to create some fun valentine's of your own. Remember visit the Rit Dye Link at http://www.ritstudio.com/2014/01/24/diy-coffee-filter-valentines to view my coffee filter dye technique and the coffee filter valentine project instructions.
Magic and Joy,
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Gather everything you can get your hands on! RAID your sewing box, button jar, garden shed, toy box, packaging, lace, old material, twine, Lisa Kettell doll parts!! Tim Holtz metal pieces,...
Canvas, gesso, acrylic paint, string glue, I used Ranger's Glossy Accents, spray bottle with water, perfect pearls, mini misters, distress re- inkers (there are a lot of pearlescent mists out there but I still love to make my own), cheap paintbrush with long soft bristles ( to get into the most impossible places), gilding wax, Tim Holtz distress paint, I used the metallic ones, Distress glitter or glitter of your choice
Start by painting the canvas with gesso, let dry or if you are like me grab your heat gun!
Using gesso, collage papers, lace, material, ... down to make your background, just for a bit of textured interest.
Leave to dry or... Yes! Grab your heat gun! Just be careful not to bubble up the gesso unless you like that look, which I actually do.
Start adhering all your precious finds, make a design that pleases you but don't overthink it! Go with your feeling! Remember to incorporate you Lisa Kettell Design doll parts, they give it that special touch!
Leave to dry! This time keep your hands off that heat gun! I leave it for a few hours or overnight because that way I can't get impatient!
Okay, if you are anything like me, get up at 5:00am to continue! Seriously I did!
Now cover everything with gesso, get into all the little nooks and crannies to get every little piece of surface covered. Now you can reach for your trusty heat gun or leave to dry.
Assure it is really dry, unless you want gesso in your paint ( yes, I got gesso mixed in my black paint, but it actually looked good because it gave it depth)
Paint the whole canvas with acrylic paint of your choice and color, I used Adirondack paint dabber black, but by all means experiment with you favorite color.
You really need to be patient, get into every single spot, turn the canvas around to see it from a different angle, tilt it now and again to find all the white spots that you missed!
Heat gun! Or leave to dry.
Now come the metallic distress paints! Shake well, the mixing ball is in there for a reason! Unscrew the top( dabber and all) there should be paint in the part you screwed off, this is all you need, shake the top to splatter paint onto your canvas, use one or more colours.
Spray with water to let the paints react, move and tilt your canvas for drip page effect. Dry with heat gun. If you see pools of colour you don't like then just dab with paper towel.
Pearlescent spray: put one dropper of Distress Ink re-inker into a mini mister, add perfect pearls, as much or as little as you like, I just use the tip of my scissors as a scoop and I usually add 2 scoops. Fill with water, not all the way up, leave a little space, it will help with the mixing.
Shake it shake it shake it ( like a Polaroid picture!)
Mist onto your canvas as you please and again move and tilt for drippage effect.
You probably will grab for your heat gun right now... Your good!
Who has time to let things dry??
Rub some ( dry) perfect pearls onto the raised areas, I used a few different colours, be sparse, you really need a little! I use my finger tips and just use what is in the lid.
Buff up with a cloth or piece of kitchen paper. You can also ad some gilding wax here and there.
Add a small word that pleases you, cover with Glossy Accents.
I glittered part of the moon. Glittered the pearl I put in one of the shells
I added a metal phrase at the bottom.
Love & Peace
Hope you enjoyed Tanya's project for the LK Design Team as much as I did. Visit her site for more amazing works.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
"Here is my second creation for the design team at Lisa Kettell Designs. For this piece I was inspired by Lisa Kettell's love for the circus, carnivals and all things kitschy and fun! If you look closely you will see one of her handmade cupie doll heads used for the little girl taking a ride on the elephant.
She is having a great time at the circus drinking soda pop, and eating a cupcake all while still being able to hold on to her glittery balloons.
These carnival cupie heads, as well as more great faces/doll heads are so fun to work with and are available for purchase at Lisa's
To make this piece I used:
- Cupie Doll Head, Lisa Kettell Designs
- Green Stars
- Pearl Pins (2), Lisa Kettell Designs
- Cupcake Holders
- Vintage Cupcake Toppers
- Bulb Ornaments
- Vintage Cracker Jack Prizes
- Costume Jewelry
- Vintage Yo Yo w/ Vintage Button (tree topper)
Thank you so much for your inspiration!
How amazing was Caroline's design team project? I just loved it. Look for more projects made by Caroline coming soon. You can purchase charlotte head embellishments in various sizes and styles in my artfire store:
Friday, January 10, 2014
I ripped the original pages out of the book and replaced them with chipboard pages that were layered in vintage ephemera.
The pages where glued and stitched into the book using my double button technique. I coated the covers of the book with handmade paper rosettes and vintage bingo boards.
The front cover was further layered with a vintage party image from my collection which is available on the mixed collage image cd. I further embellished the covers with lettering, card stock shapes, buttons, gilding, ink and German glass glitters.
I'll share more sneak peaks of the book and inside pages soon. I hope this project inspires you to create and recycle some discarded books in your collection, the possibilities are endless.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Its the start of another week, looking outside at 8 inches of snow, the colors of Christmas are slowly fading as we enter a new year. This propelled me to take a visit to a land filled with color. A place where rainbows are permanent fixtures in the sky. The sound of calliope music and fairy flutes echo in the air. Arrivals of flying vessels sailing into port can be seen overhead and unicorns pull ornate carriages on land and always greet you with a smile.
You might be wondering what this enchanted place is called, not many know of its secret location. I was lucky enough to stumble upon the map to find this enchanted land which led me on an incredible journey where I made lots of friends along the way to this place they call Kaleidoscope Forest.
At the edge of Willow Cove there is a spectacular lighthouse standing several stories tall, illuminating glowing radiant beams of light across Willow Point, Willow Sound and Sierra Bay. On Saturday Morning at precisely 7am a rare beam of light eminates from the lighthouse onto a secret gate that glows a glisting gold. It stays this glistening gold color for 1 hour, then it begins to fade into blue, purple, then brown and poof its gone. This is the only time frame you have to arrive at the glistening gold gate in order to enter Kaleidoscope Forest from the Willow Point location.
Once the Keeper of the Gate and his gaurds approve your visit, you may enter through the gate and begin your journey to Kaleidoscope Forest. About a 1/2 mile down the main path, unicorn rides and floating boats are waiting to taxi you around the forest and its surrounding villages. There is even a series of tours you can take, the best one is Jolly Clover Tours which starts at 11am til 5pm. I picked this tour after reading the reviews in the Scopey Times paper and Scopey Guide book. Scopey is the nickname given to Kaleidoscope Forest by the locales.
I just can't explain to you the breathtaking view all around Scopey. Tree's made of stained glass, giant rose gardens and large glowing lanterns. Unicorn lessons, Mer-tailing lessons at Skully's in Rainbow Bay. Capsule launches and flying vessel air ship dining and hovercraft book lounges complete with coffee, cocoa or tea elixirs.
Day One was overwhelming, so much to see, do and explore. But first I needed to check into my hotel, The Carnival Wiltmore Hotel which over looks the whole City of Scopey and Rainbow Bay. Conceirge checked me in and my brought my bags to my suite which had a hanging boat waterbed with adjustable controls. My tea table was in a corner nook to the left that edged part of the crystal like cliff over looking the enchanted Pickering Alley similar to an indoor shopping arcade.
I sat down at the table and looked over at Pickering Alley, reading my area newspaper and guides deciding what to do first. Finally deciding on exploring the Alley with lunch at Tinkerbink's Tea Room and a day of shopping.....
(Note: All photos colored in and digitally enhanced by me. Some of these images in their raw state are available on my collage cds?