Friday, June 16, 2017

How does your garden grow? An AIRs Challenge produces Garden Markers

At the Imagine Crafts site one of the AIRs design team challenges for June was to create a project using something other than cardstock to stamp on. I’m just getting my herb garden going to I thought I’d create small name tags made out of plastic stakes (Dollar Store again) to identify my herbs. StazOn ink is my go to ink when I want something that won’t disappear with the blazing sun and torrential rains of South Carolina where I currently live. Guests are always curious about all the herbs I grow and use, this way they can read the names, pluck a little off and enjoy the herbal scents while they await dinner.

Skill: Beginner
Time: 10 minutes per tag ( not including drying time)


Step one: Prepare the plastic surface by wiping each tag lightly with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. 

Step two:
Use a mini alphabet stamp set and StazOn Jet Black ink to stamp the name of the herb, allow to dry.

Step three:
Using a different color of StazOn ink, begin stamping designs and patterns onto the plastic randomly. Allow drying time.

Step four:
Using a large dauber, apply different colors of StazOn ink; apply Clear Embossing Powder and carefully heat set the colors. This is plastic so take care not to get the heat tool too close or hold it on one spot too long or the stake will melt.

Step five:
Apply a clear sealant to the stake with a product that will withstand the elements outdoors, allowing the drying time stated in the instructions. Insert it into the ground near the plant.

If you would like the supply list please visit the Imagine Craft Blog.  I hope you're taking time to get out and enjoy the beginnings of summer.  Thanks for stopping by ~ Hugs ~ Renee

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Tangerine Master Board Becomes an All Occasion Card~ an AIRs Project

Like most crafters I have a stash of cards that can be used at a moment’s notice. When I make master boards I generally make a few cards or ATCs with whatever remains after I complete the main project and into my emergency reserve they go.  Our color challenge for the AIRs design team at Imagine Crafts this month was “Tangerine”, a cheerful color of summer, so I decided to make a master board combining all the different shades of orange that I have on hand. Objects in nature are never a single flat color but generally an eye pleasing combination of multiple shades of one color, including tangerines. This card has a nice masculine feel to it but can also has a feminine side to it with the addition of some paper flowers in the upper corner.

Skill: All levels
Time: 1 hour


Step one:  Create a monochromatic master board using different shades of orange.  Spray water on a piece of Mixed Media paper, this one measures 11” by 14”.  Lay a stencil or a piece of laser cut paper on top of the wet paper and with a large dauber begin pouncing different colors of orange inks through the design.  Keep blending the colors through the stencil, spraying more water during the process if necessary. The wet paper can be blotted off onto another piece of Mixed Media paper which almost has the same effect as a Gelli Plate design. The stencil can also be wiped off with a baby wipe onto the paper so that none of the ink goes to waste; this creates additional self-designed papers to be used later. Dry the paper with a heat tool.

Step two: Cut a piece of the master board measuring 2 ½” by 3 ½” (standard ATC size). Decorate with a bird die cut that also came from the master board paper, Washi tape and stamp a sentiment, heat emboss with clear embossing powder.

Step three: Mat panel on black, gray and orange cardstock.

Step four: Mat the entire panel onto black cardstock and then mount onto patterned paper.

Step five: Glue the finished panel onto a blank white card. Color a few paper flowers with ink, spritzing water on them then blotting with a paper towel until the desired color is achieved. When the flowers are dry attach them to the upper corner of the card with a strong adhesive.

Here is the list of supplies that I used:

Supply List
Imagine Supplies
StazOn-Jet Black
Memento Luxe-Morocco
Brilliance-Pearlescent Rust
VersaMagic-Mango, Persimmon
Radiant Neon-Electric Orange
Memento Marker-Teal Zeal for eye color
Clear Embossing Powder
Large dauber

Other supplies
Stamps-Sizzix Bird Talk
Die-Sizzix Alterations “Bird Talk”, Big Kick machine
Washi Tape-Idea-ology Sketchbook
11” by 14” Strathmore 140 lb. Mixed Media paper
Cardstock-black, gray, orange, laser cut paper
White blank card measuring 6 ½” by 5”
Heat tool
Baby wipes
Paper towels

Thanks for stopping by today, I always appreciate your visits.  Why not leave a comment so I know you were here?  Have a great day, hugs ~ Renee

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Summer Loving Calendar Page

Summer is right around the corner and a wonderful time to be creative. This mixed media calendar can be placed on a bulletin board or if you like to art journal it can be a project created right inside your journal as a two page spread. This project incorporates all kinds of techniques and textures then there’s the added fun of writing each day’s activities in the small woven calendar boxes. If you do one for each month of the year and then bind them together it makes a wonderful, reflective diary to look back on later.  You can find a supply list on the Imagine Craft Blog today.

Skill: Intermediate to Advanced
Time: 2-3 hours


Step one: Prepare the background paper.  The substrate for this particular calendar is an 11” by 14” piece of Strathmore 140# Mixed Media paper that had been used to blot off ink from a stencil used in a previous project. The technique is similar to using a Gelli Plate, allowing previous projects to blot off the ink rather than wasting it.  At the top of the paper apply Memento Luxe Teal Zeal ink onto the paper, spray with Bahama Blue Fireworks! Craft Spray, spray water on top of that and allow the colors to blend together.  Apply additional sprays of water and let the inks run down the paper. Use a heat tool to set the color and dry the excess. Next apply Memento Luxe Morocco ink to the bottom of the paper with a large dauber. Deepen the color by applying Radiant Neon Electric Orange on top of the Morocco ink.  Spritz with water, allow the inks to mingle together, blot slightly with a paper towel, dry completely with a heat tool. For the last layer of color apply Memento Luxe Dandelion to the center part of the page, spray with water and allow the color to blend and run. Dry.

Step two: Use removable alphabet and number stencils for the date and season. Place the words and numbers where desired, use gesso or a texture paste to get the most out of the stenciled words. For this project the Graphite texture paste is reminiscent of a paved road. Very carefully lift the stenciling pieces straight up and wash them thoroughly to remove all of the paste. Allow the texture paste to dry thoroughly so as to avoid smearing it.

Step three: Die cut the butterflies from coordinating patterned paper, set aside. Stamp the Julie Nutting dolls with StazOn Jet Black ink, color them in with Memento Markers, and cut them out.

Step four: Make the woven mat for the calendar days by cutting 5 strips of paper, in this case a piece of a master board from another project, to measure 1” by 7 ¼”. These strips will be woven across. Then cut 7 strips of the same paper to measure 1” by 5 ¾”, these strips will be woven down. It helps to cut a piece of scrap paper and use a tape runner to stick the tops of the strips down. It not only makes for a more solid piece for the actual calendar but keeps the strips of paper from shifting while being woven together. Adhesive tape can be applied on the backside along the way while weaving to hold the pieces down flat. When finished weaving determine the days of the week and the number of days in the month so the calendar is accurate for each month.

Step 5: Using a strong adhesive, adhere the woven calendar.  Add some Washi tape here and there; glue the butterflies across the top on with On Point Glue. Add some butterflies to the skirt and shoes of the doll on the right.  Glue the stamped dolls down on either side of the calendar.  Ink the edges of the mixed media paper with Brilliance Pearlescent Rust ink.  Stamp the days of the week, if desired, at the top of the calendar.

I'm also submitting this to the Craft Stamper Magazine "Take It Make It June Challenge" which is Anything Goes.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Be sure and follow the link to the Imagine Craft blog for additional information and inspiration. Just tell them I sent you.  Have fun creating! Hugs- Renee

Monday, June 5, 2017

Using scraps to make cards and miniature books

Here's one of a series of cards I'm making just using up scraps.  Bust your stash! (my personal mantra for the year)

I used left over pieces of master boards and added some stamping with Brilliance Pearlescent Poppy ink.  I'm determined this year to use up as much of my stash as I can.  This includes papers I've been saving for years and ephemera such as the large flower from Prima.

Then I used extra pieces of washi tape, flowers, sequins, pearls, string and a tiny book that had been set aside long ago to make a mini book with pockets to hide things like old theater tickets.  I thought my great niece would enjoy playing with this.  Oh, to be twelve again!  If I can't be that young again at least I can provide the types of things I loved at that age.  Here are a couple of photos of the back and inside of the book.

I used StazOn Blue Hawaii ink and Jane Davenport mermaid washi tape. G45 stamps with a mermaid theme seemed appropriate. That precious rhinestone crown is from Prima, it's in Frank Garcia's collection of Memory Hardware.

So, that's what I've been up to today.  Have a great week, try to create something out of nothing like scraps, bits and bobs from your stash of craft supplies.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hug~ Renee

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CSI: Color, Stories and Inspiration, a new challenge

This is a new challenge that some of us at Imagine Crafts are participating in this month.  You may have already seen the CSI site, it stands for Color, stories and inspiration.

 Now that I have another new grandson I'm trying to get back into the scrapbooking swing of things, maybe you are too.  It is a fun hobby to do during the summer months.  Designing a scrapbook page based on prescribed colors and rules is a unique challenge!  Here is the link to the site showing what the rules are for the month of June.  There are clues listed as to the color, stories and inspiration being used this month.

My layout is all about Zentangle and how it makes me and my students feel like a "Super Artist" after completing a 15 minute tile.  I have matted two of my favorite Zentangle tiles to make my layout.

For my "Evidence" I have used solid white cardstock for the background.  Puffy stickers in the shape of hearts, numbers and exclamation points.  I also added some twine and included stripes.
For my "Testimony" I used inspirational words like "Super, Wow and Awesome".
The "Colors" used for June Major Case File No. 231 are:  Royal Blue, Turquoise, Bright Buttery Yellow, White and Primary Red.

Now is your chance to become a CSI detective.  Check out the site and create something new.  This challenge is taking place the entire month of June.

Hugs ~ Renee

P.S.  I'll share this page with my students next month when I teach a Zentangle 101 class at the local library.  I will post the time and date of that event here on my blog around July 1st, the cost per student is only $5.00 to cover the cost of the supplies, which the student gets to keep.  Each student will complete 3 tiles in a two hour time period.  Let me know if you're in the Myrtle Beach, SC area on July 20th and would like additional information to sign up.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

AIRs " Fly" Tag Using Imagine Crafts Products

Shipping tags are a wonderful substrate for mixed media art. They are small, the paper is durable and when completed they fit nicely into an art journal or can be used in place of a card. This tag showcases not only texture and color but also techniques such as embossing, masking off areas when stamping, mixing inks, using foils, coloring ribbon with inks, just to name a few. A mixed media tag is a great excuse to break into all those stockpiled, precious products since a tag requires only a small amount of each product.

Skill: All Levels
Time: one hour or less


Step one:  Mask off the head portion of the image to be used, Washi tape can be used for this, ink up the stamp with StazOn Jet Black permanent ink and stamp image onto the shipping tag.

Step two: Stamp swirls with Paris Dusk ink then stamp again in the same area using Rose Bud ink. Dry with a heat tool. Fill a water pen with Fireworks! New Sprout and color dress with the water pen.  Stamp the word “Fly” with Delicata Black Shimmer ink; this can be embossed with Clear Embossing powder melted with a heat tool. Add highlights on the heart, arms and legs of stamped image and dots on the swirls with a Memento Marker pen in Rose Bud color; silver foil can be randomly added onto portions of the tag.

Step three: Spray two pieces of ribbon with Fireworks! Craft spray.  One ribbon will be sprayed with Lilac Posies and the other with New Sprout, additional water can be sprayed onto the ribbons to achieve the desired color. Blot with a paper towel, coil up the ribbons separately and allow them to dry. When dry the ends can be trimmed, they will be richly wrinkled. Tear faces off of the Washi tape and place on tag. Lay lines of Washi tape on a scrap piece of card stock, die cut into a butterfly shape, adhere some silver foil to the butterflies.

Step four: Ink edges of tag, tie the dried colored ribbons on the top, and staple the butterflies into place.

Supply List
Imagine Products:
StazOn ink – Jet Black
Delicata – Black Shimmer
Memento Dew Drop ink – Rose Bud, Paris Dusk
Fireworks! Craft Spray – Lilac Posies, New Sprout
Memento Marker – Rose Bud
Embossing Powder – Clear
Craft Mat

Other supplies:
Manila Shipping Tag
Stamps – Mela by Stampotique, word “Fly” by Stampotique; Joy Clair Hugs & Smiles
Washi Tape – Jane Davenport
Prima – Silver foil and Glue stick; water pen
White ribbon
Sizzix – Butterfly die
Card stock
Heat tool
Big Kick Die Cutting Machine
Paper towels

Check out the Imagine Crafts blog today for this and other design team creations!
Thanks for stopping by ~ hugs ~ Renee

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's a Blog Hop showcasing Joy Clair Stamps!

Welcome to Day Two of our Imagine Crafts/Joy Clair stamps blog hop!  Today I'm sharing my magnet project created with Joy Clair "Hugs and Smiles" collection of stamps and Imagine Crafts products.  I have included the instructions and the supply list used to make these simple, miniature works of art.  They measure 3" square each so they don't take up a lot of real estate space on your fridge.

Be sure and check out each artist on the hop and leave a comment to be included in the draw for prizes.

Step 1: Spray paper flowers that will be added later with Fireworks! craft spray, the ones here were sprayed first with Lilac Posies then a small amount of Paris Dusk was applied with the tube attached to the spray nozzle.  The colors can be adjusted by adding more water and blotting with a paper towel. Allow the flowers to thoroughly dry. Next mist a small 3” square canvas (or several small canvases if the color is to be the same) using Lilac Posies Fireworks! craft spray, then spray with water and allow the color to move around the canvas. Place a stencil on the wet canvas, take a paper towel and blot off a small amount of the ink to add interest to the background. Dry with a heat tool.
Step 2: Place a strip of Washi tape across the bottom of the canvas. Stamp a word with black ink, emboss with clear powder, and melt with a heat tool.
Step 3: Glue the flower and leaves onto the upper corner of the canvas.  Attach a self-adhesive magnet to the back of the canvas.
Supply List:
Imagine Supplies
Delicata Black Shimmer ink
Clear Embossing Powder
Fireworks! Craft Spray - Lilac Posies, Paris Dusk
On Point Glue
Craft Mat
Other Supplies
3” square canvas from Michael’s
Stencil by Stencil Girl
Washi Tape – Jane Davenport
Stamps – Joy Clair’s Hugs and Smiles words
Self-adhesive magnet from Michael’s
Prima paper flowers
Heat tool
Spray water bottle
Paper towels



Renee Zarate (you are here)

Thanks so much for stopping and be sure to leave comments (one per blog) during these two days of hopping so you can be entered to win a one of two $25 Joy Clair Stamps Gift Cards or one of two $25 Gift Cards from Imagine!!! Winners will be announced on the Joy Clair and Imagine Blogs at the end of the month.
Hugs ~ Renee

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Imagine Crafts and Joy Clair Stamps are having a blog hop, please come join us for Day 1

 A card I created using the sheet of Joy Clair stamps called "Coffee Love"

 Clear Stamps - Coffee Lovers Clear Stamps - Joy Clair

The AIRs design team along with Joy Clair stamps is having a blog hop today and tomorrow.  Just click on each of the artists links to see what they've created with the awesome stamps made by Joy Clair.  Here is the list along with the links.  I'll be sharing my project here tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to leave comments (one per blog) during these two days of hopping so you can be entered to win a one of two $25 Joy Clair Stamps Gift Cards or one of two $25 Gift Cards from Imagine!!! Winners will be announced on the Joy Clair and Imagine Blogs at the end of the month.


Don't forget to visit each one and leave a comment to be entered to win some terrific prizes!
Tomorrow we will have more eye candy for your enjoyment, see you then.

Hugs ~ Renee

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A simple blending technique - an AIRs project

Today I'm sharing a simple blending technique using Imagine Crafts Fireworks! Craft spray.  The beauty of this craft spray is the intensity of the color and the sparkle imparted by the addition of  Mica to the spray, it gives the surface a lovely glimmer.  I'll also share a way to use your inks to make a glowing skin tone, giving the panel almost a water color effect.  Joy Clair was kind enough to send me some stamps, which I adore, this is the sheet of Coffee stamps.  It's called "Coffee Love", click on this link to see some of the other stamps offered on their site. 

Step 1: Cut a piece of water color paper measuring 3 ¾” by 6”. The cardstock mats could be cut at the same time; these are the measurements used for this card: black card stock 4” by 6 ¼”, DCWV dark purple paper cut to 4 ½” by 6 ¾”, DCWV marbled paper 7 3/8” by 4 7/8”. Set all the mats aside and then stamp the image on water color paper using Jet Black StazOn ink.

Step 2: Spray water on the paper, and then spray Bahama Blue Fireworks! Craft spray allowing the color to run on the paper. Lightly mist Fireworks! Lilac Posies and allow droplets to form and mix with the Bahama Blue.  At any point additional water can be added or a paper towel can be used to blot up excess color and water.

Step 3: To achieve this skin tone, apply a small amount of VersaMagic ink onto an acrylic block. This skin tone was a mixture of Pink Grapefruit and Persimmon.  A small amount of Delicata White Shimmer was added to the mix with a few drops of water. It is easier to blend this with a water pen, lift off the desired amount with the pen and apply it to the face. An additional drop of Brilliance Pearlescent Poppy ink was used the same way to color the lips and the cheeks.

Step 4: Use a heat tool to set the inks and dry them thoroughly.  Stamp the coffee phrases with StazOn Royal Purple ink. Dry. Clean up any parts that need extra attention such as the features with a Micron pen if necessary.

Step 5: Mat the panel and glue to the blank card. Add extra detail with a Pico Embellisher in Bronze, clear art pebbles can also be added for interest.

Pop on over to the Imagine site for a list of the supplies used for this project.  Thanks so much for stopping by ~ hugs ~ Renee

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An art journal page using Jane Davenport's face stamp

Can't draw faces the way you'd like?  As you know I love face stencils but have you seen Jane Davenport's large face stamp?  It's addictive and actually very versatile.  I used it in my art journal, the large Dyan Reaveley one, because the pages in that journal can withstand a lot of water.  The face is stamped with StazOn ink and then colored in with watercolor pens.  The words written on the page are the lyrics from the song "Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful".  There is generally music blasting in my studio while I work and this song inspired the pages.  If you have difficulty writing something in an art journal lyrics are always an option.

I have a color challenge to work on right now so there are magenta colored projects all around me.  Her hair and lips were trials of pigment inks blended together searching for just the right shade.  Black Gelatos provided the shading around the face.  I hope you like her.  That stamp can be found at Michael's along with Jane's other magical products.

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits!  Hugs ~ Renee

submitted to Craft Stamper Magazine/Take it Make it ~ April theme "Anything Goes"
Stamps featured:  Jane Davenport's large face stamp
swirls in hair:  Joy Clair "Hugs and Smiles"

Monday, April 17, 2017

A chunky ATC featuring Mermaids!

With an AIRs theme challenge like "bigger is better" I had to really put on my thinking cap.  Who doesn't love ATCs?  I thought a "bigger/better" ATC would be a Chunky ATC.  In order to create this type of Artist Trading Card I used a block of wood that measures 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" and is 1 1/2" wide.  When it's decorated and has tiny feet on it, it becomes the perfect little shelf decoration or paper weight.  Most of you know by now what a major art crush I have on Jane Davenport's supplies; this project demonstrates a fun use for her washi tape featuring, what else, mermaids!


ATCs, Artist Trading Cards, have been around for a few years now. They traditionally measure 2 ½” by    3 ½”, they can be collaged, stamped, matted, left plain, attached to greeting cards or put into albums. They’re quick and fun to make but you might wonder what other uses are there for this tiny work of art or are they only to trade with fellow artists? There are times when you love an ATC so much you can’t bear to trade it, you just want to look at it yourself and not share it with others. We don’t have to hide them away in an album, we can keep them on display by making them bigger and better, turning them into a free standing CHUNKY ATC. It’s very satisfying to create an ATC with whatever subject matter you choose; many times the subject matter is determined by a new set of stamps or paper. When you’re happy with the ATC mount it on a wooden block, add ephemera and four delicate feet. Now you can look at your favorite one on a shelf or turn it around to change the view with a second ATC.

Skill: All levels
Time: 2 hours or more, it depends on the artist


Step 1: Buy or cut a wooden block that measures 2 ½” by 3 ½” by 1 ½”.

Step 2: Decide the placement of the handle on top and the clock key on the side, make a hole to insert these items, remove, they will be glued on later.  Paint the wooden block any color desired; when dry apply a thin coat of white gesso, dry.

Step 3: Make two ATCs using stamps, ink, Washi tape, whatever scraps are on hand.  Make the ATCs on gessoed water color paper cut to measure 2 ½” by 3 ½”.  When the stamped images are dry, adhere to the wooden block. The faces on these ATCs are made from Washi Tape.  Ink the edges of the ATCs using a Jumbo Dauber.

Step 4: Glue feet onto the bottom of the block, these feet can be beads or small wooden embellishments.  Apply On Point Glue to the feet and then dip each one in glitter or micro beads.  Attach the knob on the top of the block, keys to the sides; decorate the ATC images with sequins and glitter.  Tie twine and baker’s twine to the handle/knob on the top.

Supply List
Imagine Supplies
StazOn ink –St. Valentine, Jet Black and Midnight Blue
Memento Luxe – Bahama Blue, Nautical Blue
On Point Glue
Jumbo Dauber
Craft Mat

Other Supplies
Stamps – Diamond Pattern, Clam Shell design, Phrase and Mermaid tail ALL by Graphic 45
Prima - Foil, Glitter, Micro beads, Foil Glue Stick, Metal Ephemera
Idea-ology - handle
Michael’s - Baker’s twine, brown twine, sequins, white gesso, watercolor paper
Paper Trimmer
Strong adhesive
Jane Davenport Mermaid Washi Tape
G45 “Voyage beneath the Sea” Collection paper
Wooden block measuring 3 ½” by 2 ½”by 1 ½”
Dark blue acrylic paint by Americana
Paint brush

If you pop on over to the Imagine Blog you can find other great examples of projects by many different and unique artists.  We can all use a little inspiration from others, it keeps our work fresh when we discover new ways to use products that are languishing on the shelves of our studio spaces.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs ~ Renee