Friday, December 12, 2014

Hanukkah Card With StencilGirl Stencils



Hello everyone.  Today is a double whammy day.  I have the above Hanukkah card here on my blog and two other cool, mixed media type of Hanukkah cards on StencilGirl's blog!  3 cards in 1.  

Please click HERE or the photo below to check out the other two cards (but not until you check out this card first - LOL).


The cards look like a lot of work - but they aren't.  But I do love the colors and the designs.  

Step by Step:

1.  Cut the dark blue cardstock for card base.  Cut silver cardstock and adhere to dark blue cardstock.  Set aside.

2.  On a piece of scrap white cardstock, trace 1 of the large "candles" and 8 of the smaller "candles" from the Shattered stencil. I suggest using a pencil to trace and then go back with a permanent marker afterwards.

Using the different elements on the Shattered stencil, design each of the "candles" with a pencil.  Then trace with the permanent Marker.

Then color them in and cut them out.


3.  Take the white cardstock and draw a light line at 2 3/4" from the bottom.  


4.  Apply some small pop dots to the back of each candle.  Starting with the center candle, align it in the center along the line you drew.  Then adhere the other 8 candles. Trim off the bottom of the candles.  Then erase the pencil line.


5.  After looking through my stencils for something to use as the candle flame, I found it within the Peacock stencil from the January 2014 StencilGirl Club kit.  Traced it 8 times.  Colored them in, cut them out and adhered above each of the candles.  Then adhered the white cardstock to the silver cardstock on the card front.



6.  Applied stickles in colors that matched the colors in my candles.  Allow to dry.  

Card done!!



Supplies Used:
9" x 12" Peacock Stencil by Jessica Sporn for StencilGirl Products (Jan. 2014 Club Kit)
Dark Blue Cardstock - 7" x 10", scored at 5" for card base
Silver Cardstock - 6.75" x 4.75"
White Cardstock - 6 5/8" x 4 5/8"
Pencil and Black Permanent Fine Tip Marker
Ruler
Small Pop Dots
Stickles 
Marker of your choice (I used Tombow)

Hope you guys love the card.  Remember to check out the cards on StencilGirl Talk. 

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Monday, December 8, 2014

Artists Give Back - Amazing Auction - Get Your Holiday Gifts NOW!!


Hello everyone.  Are you looking for a one of a kind, fantastic piece of art for a holiday gift?  Or are you the type that loves to just help out for important causes?  

Well there is an amazing auction going on that was started by the fantastic Jessica Sporn -  to help raise awareness about female genital mutilation and to help bring an end to this ceremony imposed on young girls. 





All proceeds from this auction will be donated to http://www.pastoralist-child-foundation.org/, an organization devoted to educating and empowering girls with vital information needed to resist FGM and forced early marriages, and to adopt safe and peaceful Alternative Rites of Passage to womanhood.

There are currently 47 pieces in this auction including books, clothing, jewelry, and amazing pieces of art by some very very talented artists including Jessica Sporn, Jodi Ohl, Ronda Palazzari, Kirsten Reed, Judy Shea, Dina Wakely, France Papillon, Pam Carriker, Jill Meyer, Mary Beth Shaw - and many many more!!

Although I was asked to participate in this auction, I was not able to.  But I will next time.  I hope you can stop by, check out the items in the auction - maybe place a bid!! 

Or two!! 


If you cannot bid, please share this blog post or the auction site and spread the word.  The auction runs from today through December 12th!  

Until next time!

Hugs from Brasil - 

~Michael

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Trip to the MDF (Kaisercraft) Store


Gosh, I meant to do this post last Friday. Where does the time go?  Anyway, while all of my American friends and family were having feasts for Thanksgiving and, since this is not a holiday that is celebrated here and we have no one to celebrate with, we went shopping. 

If you are a crafter, you probably know the Kaisercraft brand.  If you are not a crafter, Kaisercraft is an Australian company that manufactures small craft items made from wood, as well as stencils, papers, stamps and more.  But they are really known for their wood products.  

We have a town about 20 minutes away, called Pedreira, which is also known for their stores selling MDF wooden products.  Pedreira probably has over 200 different stores just selling MDF products that range from small little dollhouse pieces all the way up to pieces of furniture. Some of the stores are small little shops and others are huge warehouses.  It's crazy!! 

Arts and crafts is huge here in Brasil and painting MDF pieces, especially boxes of every size you can think of and then applying papers, stencils, and textures, is the norm here.  And, as a crafter, one can get dizzy in some of these stores!!  

Below are some of the photos from one of our favorite stores - Vitrine.  They even have a Facebook page.

This is just one aisle.

Another aisle in the back of the store.

Can anyone say IKEA?  

Boxes of every size possible.  These small boxes are normally painted and given as wedding and baby favors.

Some of the unpainted furniture.

One side of the store is just painted and finished furniture that you can buy.

Dollhouses and everything you can think of to put into one.
So, who is planning a visit here soon?  I will take you to Pedreira if you bring me a package of Double Stuff Oreos.  LOL

Until next time!!  

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael
  

Puppy Update and Client Madness

Hey everyone.  Sorry - it's been a crazy time and, as much as I have wanted to blog, I have been crazy busy with other things.  Like puppies!!  And emergency, last minute projects for clients.  Puppies are doing well. Sunshine, Cappuccino, and Whiskey have all opened their eyes.  Just waiting for Latte to open his now!


As for the clients, last Friday we had someone stop over asking if I could make a signature book for her nephew's wedding. 

Sure I can. 

She wanted something simple.  25 black pages inside. Simple silver/white/black look. When did she need it by?  3 days later!  I was able to pump this out in less than an hour!! 

Below are photos of the front of the book and the inside cover and first page.



Then, not more than an hour later, another customer stopped by asking me to make some Christmas cards for her.  She told me she wanted 6" square cards but she wanted the front to look like a closed box, where the 4 sides interlock with each other.  

Um, okay.  

I told her that I would figure out how to do that.  She wanted 20 cards.  I told her I would need at least 2 weeks to get them done. She needed them within a week because she was leaving for holiday and begged me to try to get them done sooner. (Brasilians love last minute projects.)

After checking Pinterest (my daily addiction), I found someone that had made a template for the card.  Easy peasy.  Next up was to get the production line moving.  

The production line of the 20 cards.  

The 20 cards done!!  
The final card with the photos of the two dogs.
Inside is just white cardstock.
20 cards done by Wednesday night.  2 days ahead of schedule.  Just so you know, the client has yet to pick them up!!  So much for needing them quickly.

Now I am working on some new holiday cards to get out to family!!  

Have you guys started or finished your holiday cards yet?  Just curious. Well, until next time -

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bella Was Pregnant! Who Knew?

Bella with her new babies - Sunshine, Whiskey, Cappuccino, and Latte (we think)

Good morning everyone.  I had done another card yesterday morning but did not have time to write up anything about it because my day went haywire in the afternoon.  

We have puppies!!

As many of you know, we have 3 dogs.  Sasha (a pitbull,) and Max and Bella, mixed mutts from the streets.  Both rescue dogs.  Well, long story short - I wanted to get Max fixed as soon as we got him.  But we didn't.  Then Bella went into heat right when I was leaving for NY.  Ruy did his best to keep them apart but apparently it didn't work.  LOL.  It seems that Bella had gotten pregnant while I was away.  Yeah, I know, it's not just her fault!  

When I got back here to Brasil the first thing I said to Ruy - after I saw Bella - was that I thought she looked pregnant.  Her nipples were larger, her belly was bigger and hanging down.  He told me there was no way she was.  

A few days ago I went online to ask Uncle Google how to tell if a dog is pregnant. Bella pretty much had all the symptoms.  One thing that Uncle Google told me was that about 2 days before giving birth, she would start to "nest" in her comfort zone.  Well 2 days ago she went into her house and pretty much stayed there all day. Again I told Ruy that I think she is pregnant and going to give birth.  He told me "no way is she pregnant". Yesterday she would not come out of her house at all.  At one point Ruy went to the back to check on her and I was upstairs, when all of a sudden I heard "oh my God!".

Well, Ruy cannot tell me that I am crazy anymore.  Because he went to the back just as she was giving birth to puppy number 1. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 came right after.  What a wild ride.  

I video taped her giving birth to puppy number 3, which is below.  Some might find the video gross but I think it is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.  It still amazes me that she knew exactly what needed to be done.  She cleaned the sack away from the baby's face to get her breathing. She bit the cord away so that she could get her to one of her nipples.  Just amazing!!


Anyway, Momma and babies are doing well.  We put them in a big box in the store since we are there all day.  I will post photos as they grow.   

Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Fowl Play" Holiday Card No. 2


Happy Tuesday everyone.  Yeah, it finally rained.  Not much, but a bit.  So, everyone in the states must be enjoying the short week.  Where is everyone going for Thanksgiving?

Today's post is another Christmas card using the Fowl Play stencil designed by Andrea Matus DeMeng for StencilGirl Products. Again, this card is easy peasy!!  


Step by Step:

Cut a piece of red cardstock 8.5" x 5.5", score at 4.25" and fold in half. This is your card base.  Cut two pieces of white cardstock 4" x 5.25". Adhere one piece to the inside of the card to be written on.    

On the other piece of white cardstock, lay the stencil on one side of the phrase and, with a dauber and black ink (I used Black Soot Distress Ink), daub the bird stencil outline.  Now clean your stencil, flip it over, and do the other side.  

Again, trust me on the "clean your stencil" part!!

Die cut the Traditional Ornament (98917)by Memory Box from red cardstock, and the Snowflake Ornament (98231)by Memory Box from gold cardstock.  Adhere the gold snowflake to the ornament front. Adhere the ornament to the card front.  Glue 3 crystals to the ornament front. Stamp a phrase on the bottom.

Adhere the white cardstock to the card front.

I then went over the birds with a Clear Wink of Stella Brush Marker to give it a big of shimmer. 

Supplies Used:

Fowl Play by Andrea Matus DeMeng for StencilGirl Products
Traditional Ornament Die (98917) by Memory Box
Snowflake Ornament Die (98231)by Memory Box
Red, gold and white cardstock
Black Soot Distress Ink by Ranger and a Dauber 
3 Crystals
Merry Christmas Phrase (mine came from a set called "Just To Say...(D1629) by Close To My Heart
Clear Wink of Stella Brush Marker

Make sure you give this card to someone special in your life!!  

Hugs from Brasil!

~Michael

Monday, November 24, 2014

Today on StencilGirl Talk - StenDoodled Ornament and Necklace


Happy Monday everyone.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was overcast and muggy here all weekend and, as much as we wanted it to rain, it didn't.  We NEED rain so badly! But I got a few cards made for blog posts, and that's a good thing!  LOL

Today I am over on StencilGirlTalk - showing a step by step on how to make the two pieces in the photo above.  Both are StenDoodles done in some heart bezels by Spellbinders. One is a Christmas tree ornament and the other is a necklace.  

Hope you can pop on over and check the post out.  Leave some comments and tell me what you think! 

Just click HERE

Hugs from Brasil -

~Michael

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Fowl Play" Holiday Card No. 1


Happy Sunday everyone.  It's a bit overcast here today and I am really hoping it rains. We are having a major H2O shortage and we can REALLY use the rain here!  

Today's post is another card with a stencil - the Fowl Play stencil by StencilGirl Products.  Not only do I love this stencil but I love the name even more.  

Fowl Play....what a great play on words here.

Several holiday cards popped into my head as soon as I saw this stencil.  Today is the first card.  I'll have other cards this week using the same stencil.  

Instead of my usual step by step with 32 steps (LOL), I am going to give a short paragraph of how I put the card together with a list of the supplies used should you want to try it yourself.  These cards are not difficult at all and I am sure many of your family and friends would love to receive one of these cards!

Step by Step:

Cut a piece of red cardstock 7" x 7", score at 3.5" and fold in half.  This is your card base.  Cut a piece of black cardstock 3.25" x 6.75" and adhere to card front.  Cut two pieces of white cardstock - 3" x 6.5". Adhere one piece to the inside of your card.  

On the other piece of white cardstock, stamp the sentiment in the middle.  I used Barn Door Distress Ink by Ranger.  Lay the stencil on one side of the phrase and, with a dauber and black ink (I used Black Soot Distress Ink), daub the bird stencil outline.  Now clean your stencil, flip it over, and do the other side.  

Trust me on the "clean your stencil" part!!


Adhere to card front.  Adhere a red crystal in each corner.  I also applied Orange Wink of Stella to the beaks and tips of the feathers and Clear Wink of Stella to the rest of the birds.

Supplies Used:

White, Red, and Black Cardstock 
Black Soot and Barn Door Distress Inks by Ranger
Dauber
Orange and Clear Wink of Stella Brush Pens

Hope you guys liked this card!  Let me know.  
Hugs from Brasil -
~Michael

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cosmopolis Street Art


Just a cool photo of some cool street art on a textured wall here in Cosmopolis, Sao Paulo, Brasil.  Some might call it graffiti, some call it dirt, but I call it art!

What do you call it?  

~Michael

"You Mean The World To Me" Card



Hey everyone!  Well, I am back in Brasil.  I had a great two months in NY and will blog a bit about my trip in a few days. Got out just in time as the cold swept down as my plane left.  As much as I loved being back home, it was very hard for me to do much crafting since most of my stuff was here. But now, I can get back into the groove.  

One day when I was hanging at The Ink Pad NYC's best rubber stamp store) - I saw the phrase used in this card and knew I had the stencil to go with it when I got home. This is a VERY simple and easy card to make to show someone you care about just how much you love them - no matter where in the world they may be.

Step by Step:

1.  Cut a piece of dark blue cardstock 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" and score in half. This is your card base.  

Cut 2 pieces of cardstock 4" x 5 1/4". Stamp the phrase on the bottom of one piece. Distress the edges of the other piece and adhere to the inside of the card.


2.  Adhere the stencil to the card front with painter's tape.  Make sure you put a piece of tape between the two globes so that you only emboss one of them.  Using black embossing paste and a palette knife, apply the embossing paste over the stencil.  Smooth out, remove excess.  Remove stencil carefully and clean immediately. 



Place embossed piece to the side and allow to dry completely.


3.  Adhere the cardstock to the front of the card.  I also went over the phrase with a clear Wink of Stella brush pen. 


4.  Sign and give to someone special!

Hope you enjoyed this card.  

Hugs from Brasil -

~Michael

Supplies Used:

Phrase - You Mean The World To Me (1170E) by Catslife Press
Dark Blue Cardstock - 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" scored in half
White Cardstock - 2 pieces at 4" x 5 1/4"
Vintage Photo Distress Ink and Applicator
Matte Black Embossing Paste by Dreamweaver
Palette Knife
Clear Wink of Stella Brush Pen

Friday, November 7, 2014

StenDoodled 2015 Calendar with StencilGirl Club Stencils



Hey everyone.  I am on the StencilGirl Blog today showing how I transformed one of those $1.50 two-year calendars that every craft store has, into a one of a kind StenDoodled calendar.  But I used only stencils from StencilGirl's Monthly Club!  Come check it out - HERE.

For more info on the monthly kit, which includes stencils only available through the club, click HERE!  If you LOVE stencils, you will want to check it out.

Hugs!!

Michael

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Great Classes At Great American Stamp Store

So many stencils and markers!!

This weekend I taught some classes at Great American Stamp Store in Westport, CT.  The morning class was an Intro to StenDoodle class and the afternoon class was a Memory Box Holiday Card class.  We had so much fun. I was very lucky that my BFF Sue drove me up there, hung out while I gave the classes and then drove us back.  I did not ask her to do this but when I mentioned to her that I was going to take the train, she almost slapped me. 

Of course the StenDoodle class was a very quiet one because everyone just zones and zens out while doing this technique.  For this class we made an ATC and 4.5" card using Art Squares from Inchie Arts (my new favorite product).  I really think everyone loved it and everyone made different and fun cards.

This is me talking about what to look for in a stencil when doing StenDoodle.



 

The Great American Stamp Store is located at 8 Church Street South in Westport, CT.  They have walls of wood mounted rubber stamps, clear stamps, pens, markers, stencils...the list goes on and on.  And, they have more punches than I have ever seen in one store. Trust me, if they don't have the punch you want, it isn't made!  LOL  

Below is a photo of Judy.  She and her daughter Jaime own and run the store. If you have never been here, it is a must if you are in the area or are planning a road trip. 


Everyone working hard.  You could hear a pin drop!

Here are some of the creations everyone made.



Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos of the afternoon class.  I know...bad!  But it was a nice class.  I even had one person in the class who had never made a card before.  

Now to prepare for my classes at the Ink Pad in NYC this Tuesday and Saturday! 

Hugs from NYC!
~Michael

Friday, October 17, 2014

Have You Ever Seen A StenDoodled Elephant From Marrakech?



I betcha that title caught your eye!!  I am on StencilGirl Talk today with a project that has been bugging to get out of my head for weeks - Marvin the StenDoodled Elephant from Marrakech!  LOL

This stencil called "Elephant Parade" is part of Nathalie Kalbach's newest release for StencilGirl Products.  When I first saw the stencil online, this is the project that immediately jumped into my head and I had to get my hands on it.  I am thrilled with how it came out and hope you can pop by StencilGirlTalk to see the step by step and show StencilGirl some Love!

Just...click...HERE!

Thanks and Hugs from New York

~Michael

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Inchie Arts/Art Squares/StenDoodle Technique

Card by Lisa Lee of Inchie Arts using StenDoodle with stamps!

Good morning everyone!

I have recently become friends with Lisa Lee, the owner of Inchie Arts, which is a company that makes Art Squares.  Art Squares are 4-ply mat board that you can pretty much use for anything!  You can use it with dry or wet products - use with sprays, texture pastes, inks, markers, paints, pen and pencil.  Just about anything!  It does not warp and keeps it's shape.  I am in love with these Art Squares.  They also come in several colors (although I am partial to white since I add so much color) and they start at 1" squares and go up to 4" squares.

Today Inchie Arts is participating in a blog with CardMaker Magazine and one of the projects that Lisa does uses a 4" Art Square with a twist on my StenDoodle technique. Hope you guys can show some love, check out the blogs, and leave comments!!  

There is also a giveaway to win some Art Squares of your own to try! 

To get to the blog hop, either click on the photo at the top of this post or click 


Hugs from New York City!

~Michael

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Memory Box Holiday Card Classes in NY and CT


Hi everyone.  I have been lucky to have some stores ask me to do some classes for Holiday Cards using Memory Box dies and stamps.  All the info is below and I really hope some of you can join me in this fun and easy class!

Memory Box Holiday Card Class with Michael 

Join me as I show you how to make 4 (maybe 5 depending on time) Holiday Cards using dies and stamps from Memory Box .  The above card is one of 4.  You know that NOW is the time to get started and once you take this class, you will be able to make dozens in very little time.

All you need to bring is double sided tape or a glue stick, and a Zig 2 Way Glue with the Chisel Tip.

To join me, call one of the stores below to reserve you spot!

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 1:15 pm - 3:15 pm
The Great American Stamp Store
8 Church Street South
Westport, CT 06880
203-221-1229
www.greatamericanstampstore.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Ink Pad
37 Seventh Avenue (Corner of 13th St.)
New York, NY  10011
212.463.9876
www.theinkpadnyc.com


Thursday, October 30, 2014 - morning and evening classes
Scrapper's Playground
785D Deer Park Avenue
North Babylon, NY 11703
631.539.9888