Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A little something just for me! Polymer Fairy Houses

So, I've been running non-stop this year, and haven't had time to make many of the ideas rattling around in my head- so I took a day, and made something just for me!  (Well, something I've been wanting to make, and something that I could share with Sculpey too.)  As many of you know, I am on the Sculpey Design team.  They are a wonderful company to work with, and I enjoy all the challenges they give us!  They have been really a great source of inspiration for me, and I hope to share the fun with all of you!

I am fascinated with tiny.  Small is BIG right now.  Gnome homes, fairy homes, fairy furniture, fairy doors.  But I have loved fairies since I was a little girl.  I always liked small.  Barbie furniture, elf furniture, sleeping bags, elf toys and elf gardens.  I loved to re-purpose things even then to make tiny things.  Spools and clothespins were always handy, lids and sewn little cushions and tables and chairs.  Oh and tiny containers!!! Sigh....

So as a way of rewarding myself for not overeating this holiday season, I headed for clay.  I spent a glorious fairly uninterrupted day making these little fairy cottages.  Just for me.  They serve no purpose, other than to make me happy.  And they do!

If you would like to make your own fairy cottage, I spell it out step by step, with tons of photos over on the Sculpey Blog.  Jump over if you wanna see!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I've been up to lately!

It's been a whirlwind of travel and business upheaval! I no sooner get home from travelling and teaching, and I open a hearbreaking email that CREATE has chosen to no longer put on it's retreats.  Which really suck, as I love love loved them!  Great professionally run retreats.  Maggie Reinholtz, Sally Slack and Jeannine Stein, and before her Jenn Mason hold the bar high for anyone wanting to put on a well run event!  They all worked so very hard, and it just burns my biscuits that some suit somewhere didn't appreciate how life-changing these events can be, and can just axe a fabulous program!

That being said- if you want venues to continue in your neck of the woods yall- you have to attend in large numbers!  Bring every friend, sister and cousin you can round up!  Next year, I'm already slated for Dublin, OH, Minneapolis, MN, Stamford CT, and Petaluma CA.  You can bet those venues will fill immediately with their limited seating!

So, as teaching is a huge part of my income- I spun my wheels for all of 5 seconds, and jumped at an opportunity I have had on the back burner.  I have always wanted my own space in an antique/art boutique.  My favorite place is "Harry & Annies" in Washington Courthouse OH.  (Bonus, it's side by side with my Mom's favorite place "Memories Gate".)  Because I have been on the road so much, it's been an impossible dream.  So- I made a call, signed a contract, and began gathering art and antiques I've had around the house for a long time.  I also made a few purchase at a local auction or two, and when I was on the road to TN to see family.

Mike hasn't been able to get down to see his family for about 2 years, so after a couple days home (not near enough to unpack) we loaded up the car for a week in TN.  A great time was had by all, Mike, his Mom and I went to several thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales, and I found wonderful bargins for my shop space!  At night I would work on paintings and developing future classes for next year.  We ended the trip with an early Thanksgiving dinner!

We headed back up to the cold northern tundra, and on the way, stopped in to visit with the stellar gang at DecoArt!  I have been playing with their new Media line for several months now, and could not be happier with what I have discovered.  The new mediums and the new fluid acrylics are really something!  I will be posting more on that soon!  (with some videos!)  After an awesome tour of the factory, and realizing the line was so much more vast than I realized, I couldn't have been floating anymore!  My brain hurt all the way home with ideas!

The next day, we ran down to Harry & Annie's and set up the booth, taking a full blazer and a full pick up truck.  It felt good to get the shutters out of the garage!  Racing home, we realized we had to stop at the grocery- usually not a problem, but oh-la-la it was Wednesday night...5:30 pm Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  You can figure how that went!  One poor woman was asking Mike how long she would have to thaw her 21 pound turkey before she could cook it the next day...I think she almost cried.  Mike being the kind heart he is, took her over and showed her the fresh turkey breasts, and told her 2 would feed her guests....Home to make pumpkin roll and fresh cranberry sauce...

Thanksgiving came and we had a wonderful day!  Grandma Waller was able to make the car trip in fine fashion from the nursing facility where she is recovering from a broken femur.  Uncles and Aunts stopped by, and hearty games of SLAP were played!  Food was eaten, thanks was given and the day ended way to quickly.  Poor Mike had to go in to work early in the day, and ended up working a 12 hour shift but at least he got dinner first.

The day after Thanksgiving was spent at home, organizing, and unpacking and making art.  No shopping was done!  It was delightful!

The next day was back to my booth, as things had wonderfully sold, and I needed to add inventory!  After that about 15 errands were completed, and several to-do's marked off my list!

Now I am happily catching up on life.  Organizing and hoping for a slower pace, where I can enjoy family and friends! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Inspiration on the road!

So I was going to post a little project I had designed while I was away on a visit to the family. However, on a stop to rest our legs at the Berea KY Arts and Craft center, I ran across the most fascinating artists polymer cane work!  Artists James C. Rich and Diana Smith Thomas's work bewitched me.  I don't know them and have never met them but I looked and looked and looked at their beautiful work, and made an agonizingly difficult decision of which pieces to purchase.  I finally settled  on this beautiful delicate pink pair.   If you want to see more you can visit their web site at or you can visit their facebook page at

I love love love finding new polymer clay artists, and their beautiful work, and I am THRILLED that it was SO available and SO visible at a wonderful travellers rest spot!  Maybe we as artists need to find more unexpected places to show our work:)

Friday, November 14, 2014

What a long strange trip it's been!

Wow!  What can I say?  My bestie Jen Crossley and I have crossed over 7 thousand miles together since September 15th!  (Not counting her flight over from Oz!!)  We did over 2,800 of them in the car!

Here is the catch up scoop!

We started off with 4 days at The Country Living fair in Columbus, Ohio.  Setting up a 10 x 10 booth, manning it for 3 full days, then tearing it down!  Sad to say, the crowds were really really down this year.  But we had a great time with our pals Shari Replogle, and Paula Marquis.  We loved seeing our friends Lisa Ohmer, Jenni Bowlin, Jeannie & Dallas Carter! 

We had only hours to tear the booth down, and then pack for the rest of our events.  We tore through the house like mad women, and packed up suitcases.

We had NO sleep at all, and then before we knew it, we were on the plane to Dallas Texas for the CREATE retreat! Aunt Annies Pretzels and copious amounts of coffee were the rocket fuel that propelled us that day!

 Dallas Create was a fantastic hit!  The students were awesome, and worked hard to make beautiful art- here is just a portion of my Gelli-Print Joy class, hard at it!

I  was informed this week- quite sadly, that the CREATE retreats are no more.  The suits at F&W have had their beans counted, and, as per normal, we artists have fallen short of some magical mystical math equation.  It was such a wonderful ride!  I am proud to say I taught for each and every Create Retreat except for the very first, very small one in Chicago.  It was a pleasure and an honor to work with the Interweave staff, particularly Maggie Reinholtz, Sally Slack, Jenn Mason, and Jeannine Stein. 

t was a royal treat and downright blessing to spend so much time up close and personal with so many wonderful artist-students.

I do have to say the Dallas hotel was really "out there."  It was the Night Hotel, very artsy, and very dark!  Even in the brightest part of the day, it was dark and illuminated by neon and blue/green/red chandeliers!  

 The best part is getting to pal around with your buds!  Natalie Kalbach and I shared our deep fear and loathing of bugs, and fondness for our mutual friends Joe Rotella and Joe Morgan!
Weird! it was all a bit much trying to eat your eggs in the morning to the 2 inch diamonte studded hot pink and gold chairs lit with blue neon- but it WAS heaps of fun!

Jen and I will NEVER forget that all the beds were lit from underneath!

Our roomie Jen Cushman looked quite fetching lit from the floor!

After teaching, we spent an amazing day with our dear friend Magdalena Muldoon!   How much fun it was to tool around the beautiful city with someone who lives there and loves it!

Before we knew it, we were heading home- pretty pie-eyed and exhausted, but cheerful and looking forward to our next event!

Dingy me, I was lucky enough to write an article for Cloth Paper Scissors (which will come out in January) and in our haste packing for Dallas- it went to Dallas with us!  So as soon as we landed, we had to turn around and go to the post office to ship the article and all it's step outs and finished pieces!  Here's a sneak peek!

Well, that's it for tonight, I'm turning into a pumpkin!
Stay tuned- same bat time, same bat channel, for more of the exploits of Jen and Kari!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come and Play- Comment to Win!

Hello my darlings!  I have been on the road NON-STOP for 5 weeks now, and am struggling to keep up with the e-world.  Seems half the time, my smart phone and smarter tablet refuse to play nicely with the hotel wi-fi's. But I really really wanted you to know about this uber cool prize package!  And of course I want you to know about the awesome Art Journaling Retreat happening in November!
All this yummy arty goodness could be yours just for playing along!  You must comment on THIS page to win-  reply to this question "What would YOU like to see/make/or do at your dream art retreat?"   This drawing will end on Sunday night Oct 19, 2014 at midnight EST- and winners will be announced Monday Oct 20, 2014.

I have to tell you- if you would like to have lots of one on one time with instructors- come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!
If you would like to find new ways to use your current products- come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!
If you would like to have minimal supplies to bring, but tons of supplies to try out and play with supplied for you-  come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!

The very talented Jodi Ohl, Jen Crossley and Jeannine Stein will be there to play with me, and help to make this a once in a lifetime retreat experience- make sure you check it out.  It is one for the books, one not to be missed!

Make sure to click the blog hop button up above and to stop by each blog and comment to try for all the different prize packs!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Special Art Retreat coming to Austin Texas!!

  Hello Everyone!  I'm posting from the road, so please forgive the weirdness-

But this news is soooo exciting!  A brand new, exclusive retreat!  If you have ever been a bit nervous about attending a big retreat- this charming 'boutique' retreat is for you!  Smaller in attendance size only- with all the bells and whistles of a bigger retreat!  National and International Instructors, Wonderful classes, plenty of one-on-one instruction, and loads of goodies- this is sure to be a can't miss event!  People are sure to be talking about this retreat for years to come- make sure that you are on the inside circle!  This is one of those ground floor events that change the face of things to come...

I am proud to be participating in this NEW retreat upcoming VERY soon,  November 2-5 in Austin, Texas brought to you by the editors of Cloth Paper Scissors and the event team at F&W Media, who host retreats such as Create in NJ, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle.    The uber talented Jodi Ohl, my best bud Australian artist Jen Crossley, and the editor of Cloth Paper Scissors, Jeannine Stein will join me to give you 2 1/2 days of classes, treats, inspiration and more during this  inspiring event.  

***Did I mention that all the wonderful food and lodging at the beautiful resort are included?***


to learn new, exciting techniques from some of the best artist-instructors in the country, in a beautiful, relaxed environment. The Retreat at Balcones Springs near Austin, Texas, is the backdrop for two and a half days of classes focused on painting, collage, image transfers, bookbinding, and other techniques that will take your art journaling to a new level.

Instructors Kari McKnight Holbrook and Jodi Ohl will introduce you to new ways of working with a variety of journaling styles and materials that will add dimension, color and depth to your art journals. With Jen Crossley you'll learn how to make a beautiful metal journal necklace, perfect for making notes or sketches anywhere. On the last day you'll take the pages you've been working on and bind them into a gorgeous book, with easy instructions from Cloth Paper Scissors Editorial Director, author and book artist Jeannine Stein.  In addition, you'll be treated to fun activities, presentations, and other surprises, while being inspired by the peaceful surroundings. We hope you'll join us for this amazing opportunity. Sign up now, registration is limited!

I'll be focusing on teaching you all about different types of paints, and how to mix colors with confidence!  Next we'll move on to how to create beautiful art, even with previous art disasters!  Rescue techniques for even the ugliest duckling!  Please consider joining us, as this is sure to be a once in a lifetime event!

Monday, July 21, 2014

CREATE Chicago Here I come! New Stamp patterns!

Hey gang!  I'm so excited that the next CREATE Mixed Media Retreat is just around the corner!
Chicago (actually Lisle, a suburb of Chicago)  August 13-17, 2014

 If you’ve never attended a mixed-media event before, CREATE is a good place to start.  I took my friend Shelly to her first CREATE in NJ a couple weeks ago, and she is going gangbusters!  Her art has grown tremendously, and she's found a rekindled passion for working creatively! Not to mention she's met a whole TON of new art friends!  
This is my 4th year of teaching at CREATE Chicago and I am looking forward to it. Come join the party! Teachers travel in from all over the world to teach classes on bookbinding, art journaling, mixed-media sewing, jewelry making, collage and more. Visit the site to learn more and register quick, space is limited!

This year at CREATE, I am introducing a couple new stamp patterns, (and will have them with me at vendors night!)- I know you are going to love:  So hot they are not even up in my etsy store yet!  Both are the 8.5 x 11 size and they make BEAUTIFUL backgrounds!  

The first is "Vitamin C" it is based loosely on what Vitamin C looks like under a microscope!
The second is loosely based on what a certain wood cellulose fiber looks like, and I call it- "Natures Crochet."
Hope to see you there!

CREATE in NJ report

Halloooo!  (My favorite greeting to shout to my bud Jen Crossley on skype!)

Well, it's been a mind-blowingly busy week or two!  A WONDERFUL trip to NJ to teach at the CREATE Retreat there.  Was so happy to take my friend Shelly Grim with me!  The 12 hour car ride just flew by, we didn't even turn the radio on once!  Matter of fact, we actually reached Somerset before we realized it, and got to spend an extra day resting up and running last minute errands on the dreaded jug handles of NJ!  Just so happened, another good friend of ours, Barbie was in town for work, and we got to have a lovely dinner out with her!

My students were wonderful, and they created some wonderful wonderful art!  Friendships were begun, and healthy lifelong addictions were started!  (Not saying who Shelly Grim, but someone came home with a brand new Bernina!)

Many of you said you wanted a visual record of the gallery samples-

Here is the link where to go to purchase the webinar, with supplies explained & where to get them, step outs of the process, and over 75 inspiration photos all detailed for you:)

I've already have several contact me and say they really appreciate being able to look at the step by steps at their leisure:)

Since I got home, I have been dealing with a painful torn and a- braised cornea.  I've had to limit computer time- reading with one eye makes me nauseous:(  A quick ER trip and it seems to be healing but too slowly for my taste!  I want to turn this train around and fast!  Been happily painting away with one good eye-(just not outlining, because my depth perception is off!)  I am getting ready for my local class on Saturday at Red Letter Journals.  It will be a bittersweet class, as our beloved local store is closing the next day!  We want to go out with a bang!  (Plus there will be fabulous sales for my students!)  There are still a few spaces left if anyone is interested- easy sign up on my etsy store.

 I've been working on step outs for this workshop, and trying to relax.  But today all my bank cards were frozen due to suspicious activity.  Sigh...  Off to the bank to work this out...

Winner Winner!

Hey Gang!  Happy to report that Kit Cochran from WA was the winner of my blog giveaway!  Kit if you are out there- please contact me with your snail mail details!  Kit will be receiving a copy of my Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video!  If you didn't win, but would like a copy- here's a link for a digital download for instant satisfaction!  If you're like me and want a hard copy, here's a link for the hard copy!

Thanks for playing!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Local Grove City, Ohio Workshop

Howdy all!  I'm really excited to teach a local workshop.  I travel so much, and it's WONDERFUL, but I do like to give back to my hometown as well!  Oh to sleep in my own bed after a full day!

(I didn't even get a chance to post here before I got inquiry's from my Etsy peeps, but YES- if you are from out of town, you can still come in and take this workshop.  Email me for hotel suggestions if you wish!)

Click here if you are interested in more info about painting with me, (and sampling some of my FAMOUS pumpkin roll) on July 26th, 2014 in Grove City, Ohio!

I love fall, and getting ready for the harvest season can never start too early for me!  Think apples, pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and cornstalks!

Lunch is included, plus MOST supplies.  You can sign up and register in my Etsy shop.

These are just a few examples- plenty more will be on hand for your inspiration that day!

A little something for everyone- no matter where your skill level, no matter your style!

Just while writing this link, I got 3 sign ups on Etsy- Hurry, seating is limited!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

So Happy to be coming back to Dallas!

Join Kari this summer and CREATE something NEW!

Kari McKnight-Holbrook, the instructor you know and love from the Great American Scrapbook Convention, will be back in Dallas teaching at the NEW mixed-media retreat, CREATE Texas September 17 - 21!

Join Kari for classes like:

1e521c589400c83d5fbc3910179ecc66_McKnightKari.FauxFaces.2-Lg 06f8cfe5766952e226b044c5397d5c64_McKnightKari.Frumpy.1-Lg d67963ad5150a9ac9840b46781413759_CrossleyJen.BirdsBlooms.1-Lg d12102189207655c1c272d1143a23e92_McKnightKari.Gelli.1-Lg
 Frumpy To
Bound Birds
& Blooms
Print Joy


At CREATE Mixed-Media Retreats artists of all stripes come together to get messy and share "a-ha" moments as they learn about mixed-media techniques in friendly, hands-on workshops. The teachers are renowned artists who provide an inspiring, unforgettable art experience. You'll experiment with combining materials like paper, cloth, photographs, metal, and found objects to make fantastic, one-of-a-kind designs.

CREATE is also a fantastic opportunity to shop! Attend the Artists' Faire on Friday night at CREATE to buy original art from your instructors and fellow attendees, as well as to stock up on unique supplies for your own artwork.

Explore the hobbies you love-or try something brand new!

At CREATE Texas, you'll choose from classes on:

•    Bookmaking & Art Journaling
•    Printmaking & Surface Design
•    Mixed-Media Stitch
•    Collage & Assemblage
•    Mixed-Media Jewelry

Space in each class is limited, so click here to browse the full schedule and reserve your seat today!


CREATE Mixed-Media Retreats Sponsors:

bernina logo89b9375190d7e4daad347f7e5ebd68ca_Fiskarswebready Ranger_LogoHR

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adventures in Jo-Ann's


So yesterday, I was helping my friend Shelly prepare for her first CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreat.  I suggested we run to JoAnn's Fabric to pick up a few supplies.  

I wanted to make sure that I grabbed the new copy of MINGLE Magazine.   Have yall seen the new
MINGLE magazine yet? You can run get your copy here- fully fantastic with all sorts of party and event ideas!  I'm so thrilled, it has an article by my friend Ricë Freeman Zachary on Art Is You.  If you have ever been curious, Art Is You is more than just an art retreat. It is an embracing, trans formative life experience.  Ricë says it so much better - I'll leave the fancy 'splaining to her.  I'm just THRILLED to be called part of the Art Is You family, and will be teaching there again next year.  Jump over here for a peek on the blog, and here for more info on how you too can be a part of this fantastic event!

Art Is...You - Your Mixed Media Art Retreats

So- wanting to support my friend, my events, my trade mags and my crafting industry has all paid off!  I am scurrying back and forth gathering a creative stash when what to my wondering eyes appear? 

Nothing other than MY OWN VIDEO!  There is was in all it's glory, Backgrounds to Bindings on the shelf proud as can be!  Okay, I have to admit that I got goose pimples!!! Having a product of mine on the shelves of a major retailer has always been a huge goal of mine- a career bucket lister you might say!  I could have been knocked over with a feather- I ran to tell Shelly, and tons of giggles ensued as we tried to get a photo of me with it on the shelves. (I was just the wrong height for the shelves, and certainly the wrong width for the camera-lol!)   I am so grateful to Interweave and Cloth Paper Scissors for taking a chance on me.  Pop in here for a video sneak peek, and see the reviews from other customers.  Here if you want to purchase a video and have it sent to you.  Or visit this site if you would like to download it instantly.

If you are interested my stamp line, used in the video, please visit my etsy store here.

If you are interested in a more in-depth step by step webinar download on the lettering technique used in my video, with over 75 photos and written instructions, called "Delectable Doodles and Beyond" please visit here.


So-if you have read this far, I thank you! And as a little bonus- if you comment on THIS POST, I will be doing a drawing for a "celebratory happy dance" giveaway!  On July 20th, I will do a random drawing of the people who have left comments.  If I have more than 100 comments, I will give away 2 prizes:)

IF you already have one of my videos, THANK YOU! Mention that in the comments and what your favorite tip was, and I will send you one of my stamps!  IF you have one of my stamps, mention that in the comments, and  how you've used it and I will send you a video!

If you don't already have a stamp or video, please mention something YOU would like to learn in a video:)  Thank you all again!  My Heart is so full!

***edited July 21, 2014  Congratulations Kit Cochran from WA state- you are the winner winner catfish dinner!!   Please email me with your snail mail details!