Cricut Expression Giveaway

The excitement is building 
as we are just days away from the 
official kick-off of the 
Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop 
Cricut Expression Giveaway. 

Cricut Logo

Over 40 Professional Designers
of the Arts and Crafts Industry have joined together to create a year-long hop known as the 

Designer Crafts Connections Blog Hop.

It is goal of our hop to inspire, share our expertise and our creativity with you, our blog reader.  

Once a month, all of our members will post a themed project on our blog and you are invited to hop along for inspiration.  

Our theme for next week is weddings, however, you may find some great ideas for any type of party.  My project will be perfect for weddings and will also work great for other events.

You will love seeing what each designer has in store! 

So, how do you visit all the blogs on the hop? Just look for the blog hop logo on the right-hand column on my blog.  It looks like this one below: 

When you get to the logo in the right-hand column, just click on the words "Hop Forward" to move forward in the hop and click on the words "Hop Back" to move backwards to the previous blog.

Make sure to join me on Facebook 
You will be the first to learn of blog posts, news, and announcements.
Join Now by clicking the link above or on the side column. 

Cricut Expression Giveaway

We are kicking off our hop on 
March 3, 2011, 
with a Cricut Expression Giveaway.  
USA Addresses Only

How do you enter?
Just come back here on March 3, 2011, to find out.  

Mixed-Media Shoes at CHA

The Art to Creating Mixed-Media Shoes
Like most women, I love shoes.  That passion comes through in my work.

Viva Decor hires me to create a showpiece for their booth at the 2011 Craft and Hobby Trade Show and Conference.  We discuss a few ideas, and decide upon wedding shoes. I love shoes and these are fit for a princess wedding.

I love working in mixed-media and making three-dimensional pieces provide me with the artistic challenge that I crave.  The first step is to create a pattern that is large enough to fit a woman.  While these shoes are about a size six, they are far too narrow for a human foot.  The toe box, had to be narrow to give the shoes a more attractive line.  

Pattern making is trial and error.  I draw my pattern and then copy it to another paper, assembling it from this second paper.  This goes on until the pattern is just the way I want it. 

Water color paper is my favorite material to use when working on a three-dimensional project.  Since I have to stamp on this paper, normal water color paper is not an option.  So, hot-pressed water-color paper is the key.  

With pattern in hand, I cut the pieces from the water-color paper.  Now is the time to stamp and apply ink to the toe box.  This won't be possible after the shoe is assembled. 

Knowing that these shoes need to be sturdy because a polymer clay heel is going to be attached, I glue a piece of flat metal in between the soles of the shoe.  This also gives the shoe added weight so it is more pleasing to hold.

While I can use double stick tape to assemble the shoes,  Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue® (ILoveTOCreate) is always my choice when working three dimensional.   It helps the paper bond and gives it a strong, yet flexible body.  

The heels take a few days to make.  I start with a paper pattern and create the heels in four sections.  The low setting in the toaster oven allows me to use polyester fiberfill to hold the heels so they keep their shape.  The next step is to bond the for pieces together using more clay.  The process of applying clay and baking is a process that takes a few days.  I am applying many layers until I reach the heel thickness that is pleasing to me.

I sand and polish the heels by hand and it is time to apply the Pearl Pens by Viva.  I also use their inks to give the heels more of an Italian, old-world feel.  Viva Decor's glass crystals complete the shoes. 

I create polymer clay and fabric flowers that embellish the shoes and create  bows that embellish the heels.  Knowing that these shoes are going in the mail to Viva Decor and then they are shipping them to CHA, I start to worry about the clay flowers breaking and the bows becoming wrinkled.  So, I decide to attach them with Velcro's new line of thin fasteners.

I photograph the shoes with the embellishments and then remove them for shipping. They are then attached when they get to the show.  

Make sure to sign up for my free newsletter and join my blog.  Visit often, love seeing you here!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!  

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In with the new - out with the old

New Look 

After attending the sessions at the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Trade Show and Convention, and reviewing the style of work I am now creating, it was time for a change.  I wanted a logo that reflected a more fashion-forward look and feel.  

Yes, it's just a slight alteration, but I feel the updated look is more in line with  who I am.  So, my website, blog, and twitter pages all have a slightly new look to them.  I love it and hope you do too.

I've also added a few more photos in the slide show on the Index Page of my website,

The mixed-media shoes in the slide show were created for Viva Decor's CHA's winter booth.  These shoes were created from watercolor paper the heels from their polymer clay.  Many people ask me if you can wear the shoes, and my answer is always the same.  No.  While they seem "life-size" when looking at them, they are more narrow than the human foot.  The long, narrow silhouette adds to the beauty of the shoe.  

The shoes took a week to complete.  The heels actually took a few days to make because they were created in layers.  

Hope you enjoy seeing them!