Friday, August 22, 2014

Whooo Hoooo - More Stencil Blog Candy!!!


It's time for some more StencilGirl Stencil Blog Candy!! Whooo Hooo!!  But this time it involves two blogs.  Kate Palmer, also known as Sparkle Tart, because she has "never met a sparkly product that she didn't love", has written a blog post today show how to use my StenDoodle technique with Copics!! Kate is an amazing mixed media artist and crafter and loves color as much as I do.  She also has an AMAZING blog!  You can see the StenDoodle post  -

HERE.  

What do you need to do to have a chance to win these amazing stencils?  It's very easy. 

1.  You need to either subscribe to our blogs or "Follow" our blogs.  


On the left side of my blog are options to either "Follow Me" or to "Subscribe" to my blog.  Just pick your fancy. 


On Kate's site - there is a bar across the top of her site that says "Follow By" - again, just pick your fancy.  


2.  You also need to leave a comment below on this blog post. AND you need to leave a comment on Kate's blog by clicking on the link above, or by clicking HERE When you leave the comments, please let us know how you are "Following" us! 



That's it.  
Easy Peasy.  
Contest is open to everyone.  
The whole world.  
Every country! 
Even the USA, Brasil, and Australia!
LOL!  

By the way, the amazing stencils in the photo above are all made by StencilGirl Products.  These are the rest of the stencils that were sent to me as doubles several months ago.   The Blog Candy includes...Fossil Fish and Mini Tower Stairs both by Mary Beth Shaw, Leaf Poetry and Valentine of Mine both by Margaret Applin, Waves by Terri Stegmiller, as well as some masks from the Swallow, Rabbit, and Leaf stencils.  

Contest ends on Friday, September 5, 2014.  Winner will announced on September 8th.  Kate and I need the two days since there is a 13 difference between us!

Good luck everyone!

Hugs from Brasil - 
~Michael

Thursday, August 21, 2014

StencilGirl Products/Viva Las Vegas Stamps Blog Hop


Good morning everyone!!  Hope everyone is checking out the amazing Blog Hop going on over at StencilGirl Talk with Eileen Hull Designs.  The projects are amazing!!  

And the GIVEAWAY is fantastic!

Here are links for the 4 days so far - go check them out and leave comments so you have a chance to win!

Day 1CLICK HERE


Day 2CLICK HERE


Day 3CLICK HERE


Day 4 (Today)CLICK HERE

Next week is another Blog Hop but this time I am participating!!  It's a week long Blog Hop between two of my favorite companies - StencilGirl (of course) and Viva Las Vegas Stamps!  If I lived in Vegas, I would be so broke!  LOL

Anyway, just a head's up to mark your calendars for next week.  Every day will be new 5 artists with 5 projects.  You can leave comments each day on all the blogs for a chance to win an amazing GIVEAWAY at the end of the hop!  

Hope to see you all there!

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Apologies...and a StencilGirl Stencil Contest (Soon)!!!


Hey everyone.  

I cannot believe that I have not posted to my blog since July 4th!!  A month yesterday.  Crazy.  I've even gotten a few emails from some of my followers asking if I am okay.  All is fine here in sunny - but windy - Sao Paulo.   I have just been really really really crazy busy!  

About a month ago I made a baby album for a close friend of ours.  It's a lot of work but totally worth it in the end. After I showed it to a few people we started to get calls and emails asking if I was going to do a class on the album in the store. Hmmm, never really thought of this but why not!!  Problem is I never realized how many people would want to take it AND how much work went into cutting all the papers, etc. for each kit!  But, it's kept me busy and I was able to earn a little money here!  

I am hoping to get back on track with the blog very soon.  And, to make sure you guys do not forget who I am....I am going to have another StencilGirl stencil contest VERY SOON in conjunction with a really cool blog in Australia!! 

So - keep your eyes on your blog feed or email for the announcement!!  

Many hugs!!

~Michael

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July America (And A Card)



I miss the 4th of July.  In NYC.  The 4 day weekend.  The empty streets. The ease of getting a table at a cafe.  The amazing fireworks display put on by Macy's.  Just writing this reminds me of every July 4th evening since the year I moved into my old apartment building in Astoria.  The roof had a perfect view of the fireworks.  Every July 4th, around 9pm, Ruy and I, as well as most of our neighbors in the building (Marcia, Agnieszka, Diego, Eloah, Raquel, and others) and, at time, our BFF Joanie, would gather on the roof of the building to watch the Macy's fireworks.  It's not as if they were exploding over our heads but we had a great view without the crowds.  And it was just such a Queens thing to do on that night. 
Funny thing is, Brasil is playing today in the World Cup and if they win, there will be plenty of fireworks in the sky here also. Okay, this is Brasil, there will be plenty of fireworks in the sky whether they win or not.

But, I still miss New York City, and all my old peeps from the building on 48th St.!!  So, to all my friends and family back home in America - Happy Fourth of July!!  Happy Independence Day!!  Enjoy your BBQs and beach time.  

Below is the step by step for the card.  

Also, stop by the StencilGirl blog today to check out another cool card that I made for the summer - just click HERE!

Step By Step:

Step 1 -  Make the background by blending Ranger Distress Inks in Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Stormy Sky, and Weathered Wood with an Ink Blending Tool and 4 pieces of the blending foams.  I started with the Spiced Marmalade and worked my way up to the Weathered Wood blending as well as I could.  Instead of me doing a step by step for this, check out this great VIDEO by Anya Schrier that shows you how its done and what I used for inspiration and guidance.  

Below is how my background came out.  


Step 2Lay the City Scape Stencil over the blended cardstock so that the bottom outline of the city sits so you can see your colors underneath.  You will be covering this area with black paint.  Secure the stencil with removable tape (optional).  Using a makeup sponge (or applicator of your choice), adhere the black paint so that it covers the whole bottom of the blended cardstock.  You might have to do two coats.  Heat set between coats if necessary.  When dry and very black, remove stencil.  Your piece should look like the bottom photo below.


Step 3 -  For the "fireworks", I used parts of two different stencils - Circle 9 and Border Circles, both by Michelle Ward.   Using painters tape, I masked off the parts of the stencils I wanted to use for fireworks. Starting in the upper right corner, I placed the design where I wanted it, squirted a bit of the white paint on my craft mat, and dabbed it through the stencil using a makeup sponge. Remove the stencil.  Heat set.  Move to the next section.  Do the same until you get the design you like.  

Some hints - work slowly.  Use very little paint on the makeup sponge.  You can add more, but you cannot remove it once it is down on the paper.  Lift the stencil carefully and make sure that what you just painted is dry BEFORE you lay the stencil down for the next section.  


This is how my piece turned out after all the parts were applied with the paint.  


Step 4 - Layered my card on a light blue glimmer paper and then again on a grayish paper.  As much as I wanted to do red, white, and blue, it was not going to work for this card.  Then I added some Bling and Crystal , True Blue, Lavender, Orange Peel, Firefly, and Yellow Stickles - hey, these are fireworks!! There needs to be color in the dark sky! 

The inside says "Happy 4th of July"!



Well, hope you liked this easy card.  Supplies used are below.  

Happy 4th of July everyone (in America).

Don't forget to stop by the StencilGirl blog today to check out another cool card that I made - just click HERE!

Hugs!
~Michael
White cardstock 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" (because I know I will layer it for a 5" x 7" card)
Craft Mat
Ranger Distress Inks in Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Stormy Sky, and Weathered Wood
Ranger Blending Tool with 4 blending foam pieces (one for each color)
Crystal, True Blue, Lavender, Orange Peel, Firefly, and Yellow Stickles by Ranger
Bling
Black acrylic paint 
White acrylic paint
Make up sponge or other applicator for the paint
Removable tape (optional)
Painters Tape
Heat Gun


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Brasil - The "Mercado Municipal" (Municipal Market) in Campinas


For me, one of the best things about living here is the Mercado Municipal. Every major city has one.  If you love food, or love to cook, this is the place for you.  One stop shopping.  Fresh fruits, fresh fish, fresh spices, fresh meats, you name it.  Most of the local restaurants will get a lot of their ingredients at one of these markets.  

The mercado municipals in large cities, like São Paulo City or Rio, are enormous.  Others, like the one we went to in Campinas yesterday, are about the size of a Costco. The market in Campinas was opened in 1908 and is the oldest "shopping center" in Campinas, has 143 shops, 98 in the main building and 45 stalls in the outer buildings.  Where the fishmongers are now is the platform next to where the railroad tracks used to be.

Dried beans and more dried beans.
Every type of bean you can think of.

Sausage, bacon, dried meats.
You name it, they have it.  

Every spice you can think of.
Every dried fruit and nut you can think of.
Hot Sauces and Soy Sauces!!

More bacon and linguiça, which is what Brasilian sausage is called.
And there are so many different linguiças, it's crazy - fresh, smoked, spicy, pork, beef, even chicken. 

Fresh fruit.  Every type of fruit you can think of.  And about 4 different bananas at any given time.

Fresh veggies.  Fresh eggs.
This cauliflower, which was bigger than my head, cost only $2 US.

Sardines. About $3.50 US for 2 pounds.
I never even knew sardines came this big.

More fish. 

The fish guys always love having their photo taken with a giant fish.

More fish.
Man, I took lots of photos of fish.

But the best part of the Mercado Municipal was finding this giant gourd at an African religious store.  The seeds are dry inside and the gourds here are used as part of a brasilian instrument called the Berimbau.  

But not me...I am going to sand this baby down, make a hole in one side, and the StenDoodle the heck out of it.  This will be the world's first StenDoodled Birdhouse.  LOL

I put Tim's scissor in the photo so you can get an idea of the size of this gourd.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post.  Let me know!!

~Michael