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Cross Country Clearprint

I’ve been looking to get back into some art shows and projects, and I recently came across a collaborative sketchbook project hosted by Chartpak called Cross Country Clearprint. Like the Sketchbook Project (which I also signed up for again this year), you receive a sketchbook in the mail – but it’s not all yours. Each artist adds their own entry, page by page, as the book gets mailed to different participants. What’s also unique is that these are vellum sketchbooks, not paper; so there are some fun things you can do with heavier materials that don’t hold up the same on regular paper.

I got my books in the mail last week – yes, books – they send you a blank one to keep for yourself as a gift, which made my day. I’d like to say I spent the week dreaming up the perfect submission and carefully pouring my soul into the artwork; but between work and life I glanced at it longingly between other tasks before finally grabbing it and scribbling in my entry today (the due date).


I opted for ink – Prismacolor Scholar markers – since it’s quick and there’s no dry time. I took shots of the drawing before and after adding color.

There were some amazing entries in this little book: painted seascapes, elaborate tattoo designs, a friendly parrot, and some colorful abstracts. I’m glad I stumbled upon this unique project and tucked my art inside a little book packed with talent. I’m eager to see it all together when the book is finished, and hopefully take some ammo and inspiration to start working on my Sketchbook Project book.


Mod Podge Glitter Shoes

I always wanted to jump on the bandwagon of glittering some shoes with mod podge – but I never really had a reason, or saw the point in buying a new pair. Until…

my be-studded black Aldo flats began losing their studs [1] . They’re too comfortable – and relatively new – to retire so I got rid of the rest of the studs and added a little mod podge [2]. Then, since I wanted a multicolor-purple, I mixed some red and blue glitter with an equal amount of matte mod podge [3] (glossy would work too, depending on how flashy you are at heart). All you need to do next is paint it all on with a foam brush [4] – I suggest at least 3 full coats – and Voila! updated sparkly flats [5]. Yay!

Be fashionable, my friends.


Shaving cream marble prints

Shaving cream to make art? Yes, please! Back in high school we would design patterns using different watercolor washes and textured grain, salt, chemical solvents, and –  yes – shaving cream. I did a simplified version of the shaving cream patterning with my students as a final fun project before winter break.

This is what you need: 

  • trays/tubs that are relatively shallow – you won’t be filling them up with the shaving cream and super-deep ones will get messy
  • food coloring (liquid, in the squeeze bottles)
  • lots and lots of shaving cream (I bought value packs at the dollar store)
  • heavy paper (card stock or other heavyweight paper: not construction paper or computer paper)
  • popsicle sticks/any kind of thin, disposable sticks
  • another empty tray or just a clear working space

This is what you do:

  1. Fill the tray with a layer of shaving cream, so that the bottom is lined – again, don’t fill up your tray
  2. Squeeze a few drops of different food coloring around the tray. Don’t over do it, however tempting, or you will end up with swamp-colored shaving cream (happened multiple times in my class)
  3. Hold the popsicle stick/toothpick/whatever vertically, and gently swirly/make patterns in the cream. Don’t try to mix it in! If you do this carefully and slowly you can make cool designs like so: [pictured right]
  4. Carefully place your paper on top of the shaving cream. Press down gently – you just want to make sure it is touching the design, but you don’t (and shouldn’t) push your paper all the way to the bottom of the tray.
  5. Peel the paper off and set it down (shaving cream side up!) on the empty tray/clear working space. Using a clean popsicle stick, wipe off the excess shaving cream. Only the pattern from the coloring will remain.

And that’s it! Let it dry completely and you can color/draw/paint on top of your designed paper. Here are a few examples we made:

And yeah, it’s pretty much just patterned paper, and one handprint…everyone thought the paper was too pretty to draw over :) You can use multiple pieces of paper in one tray/design. When the colors start getting muddy etc. you can add a little more shaving cream and re-swirl, or change out the shaving cream completely.

Bottom line: fun and easy way to use your stuck-indoors time over the holidays. And it’s really not as messy as it sounds…just make sure you’ve got a sink nearby :)


Button-infused iPhone Case

What do you do with a jar of buttons and a jar of Mod Podge? Make an iPhone case, of course!

1. Coat your case with lots, lots of Mod Podge;
2. Arrange your buttons;
3. Overlap MORE buttons
4. Finish with clear acrylic glaze or craft spray to set it all in place (I used DecoArt’s Gloss Glaze on this one);
5. Dry overnight and accessorize :)

xoxo | z

Bird Pendant iPhone Case

So I haven’t made a new iPhone case in awhile, and there are a few craft ideas I’ve been wanting to play with:

1. Using my small brass pendant blanks
2. Using glitter with Dimensional Magic
3. Using book pages as a background for an iPhone case

[top, left]: I painted the inside of the pendant blank with craft paint and put a bird on it. I added Dimensional Magic to set this all in, and set this aside to dry.

[left, middle/bottom]: Cut out some book pages and basically matte mod podge’d them to death on a clear iPhone case. If you do this with a clear case, you can podge the pages on to either the front or back depending on how you want it to look (both views are shown.) I chose to do the front because I wanted to paint some clouds to go with my bird.

[top, right]: I secured my bird towards the top and painted swirls with the Dimensional Magic; quickly, I added glitter and blew away the excess (I don’t recommend tapping/turning because the Dimensional Magic can lose its shape/design.) Of course I added some matching bling as well.
*Note: I later re-coated the glitter part with more Dimensional Magic to keep it from chipping. If you use this glaze/glitter combo, I highly recommend doing the same to keep the glitter on.

[bottom, right]: Completed whimsical little bird case! Don’t know how well these would sell, but definitely keeping it for my own use. Plus it’s an easy case upcycle for your own phone if you have some glitter handy, because it’s mostly just a bunch of stuff happily coexisting in one space for no reason other than they’re all the same color. Yay!



Summer Update

It’s been one eventful summer! Glitzcraft had it’s first major event: a 2,000+ person conference. That’s our booth in the picture; isn’t it pretty? In a sea of vendors distributing pamphlets and educational resources we definitely stood out :) And if being a vendor wasn’t enough for one weekend, I got to decorate the stage for the actual conference:

I wish I had better pictures of the rest of the room, with the lights dimmed – there was a red&purple ambiance set on the walls with gel up-lighting (you can see it on the curtain backdrop, which was all black.) There was also a gift table with some pretty Chinese paper lanterns that I offset with red glowsticks to match the rest of the lighting & decor but I’m not sure I caught pictures of those either…it was a pretty hectic day. Oh well. Use your imagination.

I’ve done little art production outside of the conference prep – and updating the etsy shop with leftover goods – but one of the ArtHouse projects I signed up for a few months ago launched an online tumblr gallery for The Things Found Series – Vol. 1: The Fridge. You can see my entry here.

Oh, and I tweeted about my latest starry night spin off about a month ago:

Haven’t decided what to do with this one yet…the rest of the paintings are going up for sale though. The rest of the summer was spent in between weddings (3 weekends in a row!) Saying goodbye to old friends, making new ones, working, not working, and basically trying to piece my life together in between. And as I write this I am getting behind on my editing work, so ciao for now! There’s more to come :)



DIY masquerade mask with ribbon

It’s summer! Which I wish meant vacation…but it mostly means graduations, weddings, TV rerun marathons, and more weddings. With an upcoming masquerade party coming up I scoured the net for the perfect mask…and came up with some over-the-top Cirque du Soleil style masks a little over my budget (like, hundreds of dollars over. But one can dream.) I’m also a huge fan of Earthbound masks: affordable, appealing, and any store that lets you buy patchouli incense and dance chains while you walk past a sandbox of hermit crabs is pretty sweet in my book. So I was pretty sad when my local mall shut down its Earthbound (where will I go to fulfill my psuedo-hipster fantasies now?)

With no time nor money to spare, I set to make my own mask with whatever supplies I had on hand. I managed to make mine with paper, ribbon, Mod Podge, and a few odds and ends I found at home.


 1. I cut out a simple mask shape out of sturdy white paper (if you plan to do this, you’ll need something heavier than basic computer paper so it keeps its shape.)  Measure where to cut the eyeholes on your face and cut them out.

2. I lined strips of ribbon side by side on one side of the mask, securing it with Mod Podge – only as a glue, not a sealer – sealing Mod Podge over ribbon can ruin the shimmery texture. I did, however, put some Mod Podge all over the back side of the ribbon, pictured here, to make it easier to cut the shape out after it dried (especially the eyeholes!)


3. After the Mod Podge was completely dry, I cut back around the mask shape and the eye holes.  Voila!





4. Time to decorate! I simply tied together a few more pieces of ribbon into bows, and secured it to one side with hot glue. Also found some spare gemstones to add some sparkle.





5. That’s pretty much it! I found this orange wire in a plant vase…no idea what its original function was, but it was durable so I decided to use it as a holder for my mask since it already matched. Oh, and I tied more matching ribbon onto the bottom. If you’re making your own mask and don’t have obscure sparkly wire in your household plants (and I am really sad if you don’t have such miscellany in your life), use ribbon to decorate a popsicle stick, or glue two pieces of ribbon to the backside of the mask and tie them to secure it on.
I decided to keep this one simple…but maybe next time I’ll run across some feathers and have fun with those :)

xoxo | z

mA – calligraphy.

More opportunities are coming up – glitzcraft has event booths booked for the summer! I went crazy at a Michael’s sale this weekend and stocked up on canvases, so it’s time to paint – ’cause like, it would be nice to have an art vendor booth with art actually in it. This is the process on my first painting in an experimental series of calligraphy (and otherwise hopefully marketable) oil paintings:

1. rainbowetic placement of color

2. chemical spray to splatter & drip said color (yes, just like the crayons)

3. cool faraway shot after more spraying and blending

4. added some definition to the lettering and swirlyness


I’m planning on a few more, probably with less colors (not everyone enjoys decorating in rainbows as much as I) as well as a couple of miniatures and some multi-panel pieces. Stay tuned!


The Early Bird

This is why I’m always late to work.


Collaged iPhone Cases

Lots of things are evolving in my life right now, and iPhone cases are no exception. It started with a series of decisions that led me to change jobs, and along with that, my entire schedule. I eventually stopped making the “fine art” cases for Etsy as the painting process was taking too long. I also had to let go of a few other commitments I thought I’d be able to make, like the ArtHouse Sketchbook Project – a show I’ve participated in before and loved. I carried my sketchbook around faithfully for months, but rarely found time to pull it out and work on it. My mind needed sleep. It was a losing battle. Deadlines passed, and I had to accept the fact that I simply couldn’t produce art as much as I could before. I have a grown-up job now…who knew? I am, however, still committed to making the Etsy business a success, and it is still in full motion. (Having an awesome business partner helps :) ). In fact, we have our first event as vendors coming up this Friday! Excited and nervous, I knew my contributions this week would have to be altered a bit so that they were still good quality, but less time-consuming. So I took to my stash o’ crafty stuff and started putting things together – and I have to say, I quite like the result.

Not typically my style, but there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple. Well not too simple…I did cave in and throw glitter on these. But you all saw that coming, right?