Valentine’s Day is approaching

There’s still time to start on that perfect Valentine’s card to surprise and delight that special someone in a couple of weeks! We’re presenting a few ideas from our Artists In Residence today on the IMAGINE Crafts Blog to inspire you to get creative.

Sweet Valentine

by Linda

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Valentines Day – the day for Lovers all over the world.  What better way to express the ‘matters of the heart’ than a handmade card using the most divine ink, Delicata Bronze Burst. Create your own Sweet Valentine card.

Always & Forever

by Sylvia

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Valentine’s Day always makes me think of red and pink – and those are the colors I chose to create this Clean and Simple greeting card, accented with a little bling heart in the bottom corner to carry the heart theme through out this card. Follow these easy instructions to make your own!

The Role of Education

by John Creighton Petersen

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Perhaps the most important part of attending CHA and other large trade shows for manufacturers, store owners and designers is the education. Without education, we cannot use products properly and sometimes miss the true creative possibilities that a particular product may offer. I have the unique opportunity to hold the title of “Educator” for IMAGINE Crafts, which is honestly the best dream job anyone could possibly imagine!

I have been teaching art and design classes for over 15 years and although trends and products may come and go, we’re just like the fashion industry with the “what’s old is new again” mentality when products return with a new name, color or different use. Through it all, the constant will always be the important role of the educator, whether it be working for a manufacturer, a store owner showing a new customer a technique, or watching a video on your favorite blog.

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Most educators and teachers do not take on this role because we think that we will become rich and famous, but instead it’s for the love of our craft and the need to share this with others. My role as an educator is to simply give students the tools and fundamentals to create. When teaching a class, I demonstrate a variety of different ways of how to (and sometimes how not to) use a product but I always leave the creativity up to the student. At this point in my class, my role has transformed from the educator into cheerleader, coach and troubleshooter where as the students are now teaching themselves and each other.

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At the CHA Winter 2015 Show a couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to teach an Art Board class that introduced retailers to many of our new products including Creative Medium Iridescent and Metallic. The role of the educator is to judge the skill level of the class and begin teaching from there.

Sometimes we have to remember that a quick review of the basics is always great. An example I always use to illustrate this point is assuming that everyone knows how to heat emboss with a heat tool and embossing powder, when in fact there are always at least a couple of students who have blank looks on their face and no clue as to what I’m describing,  along with those who do not properly know how to use a heat tool. I’ve often found that the quick review of the basics tends to be the place in class where the million dollar idea rears it’s head, that moment when you see something so basic that you’ve been doing wrong for years that it takes your breath away.

In my Art Board class, I quickly discovered that although I have been in the fine arts and mixed media realm for many years, the majority of students from the crafting world have never learned the basics of using tools like palette knives or the proper way to spread and apply texture pastes. After showing students how to use our tools and products, I was absolutely amazed by the spectrum of projects created in class! Each student brings their own knowledge and perspective to class and I am always humbled by the works of art that my students produce in my classes.

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Partnering with manufacturers is crucial for the craft industry to continue transforming and growing. At the recent CHA Show, I had the opportunity to teach a joint class with Fran Seiford from Stampendous along with Jen Cushman from ICE Resin. Co-teaching with these amazing and inspiring educators was contagious, as I’m sure every student in class could tell you! For the craft industry to continue it’s relevance, our role as educators is continually evolving. Not only do we need to inspire our students, we must also strive to develop new techniques and applications for existing products to always give that WOW factor that our students expect. I joke with my students that you have to learn the rules to know how to break them, meaning that at some point we all need to learn “the basics” before the real fun and experimenting can begin. Most of my artist growth has always been when I asked “I wonder what would happen….”

I will be the first one to admit that no matter how many classes I teach, I always learn at least one new thing in class from a student! I would love to know what you think of the role of education in the craft industry. What inspires you? What do you think the industry is doing right? Which instructors have inspired you the most creatively? Do you learn better in a classroom setting, a retreat, or at home in front of your computer?

Remember that at some point on our artist journeys, we’re all students who eventually all become teachers and educators. It is everyone’s role to support and encourage learning whether we are the student, the educator, or somewhere in between.

Creative Medium Techniques

Artist In Residence Savannah O’Gwynn always inspires us with such versatility in using IMAGINE Crafts products. And in this technique video, Savannah has done it again – this time using our new Creative Medium in both Metallic and Iridescent finishes to highlight feathers for embellishments on cards and gifts. Be sure to watch the entire video because Savannah also shows how to use other IMAGINE Crafts’ supplies to quickly color the feathers. What a great idea that can be incorporated into other projects!

Get Creative This Weekend

Need some project ideas for this weekend? IMAGINE Crafts would like to offer a few suggestions with these projects created by our Artists In Residence. Of course you can always get more ideas and inspiration on the IMAGINE Crafts website anytime!

Iridescent Butterfly Card

by Isha

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The new Iridescent and Metallic Creative medium are just AMAZING!! I made so many cards using various techniques and they all looked beautiful. I love the fact that the same color gives a totally different result when applied to dark or light cardstock. See how I created this card here.

Friendship Card

by Clare

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I am really loving the Bokeh effect trend that is appearing all around the web lately, I worked out with a few test pieces that you could re-create it relatively easily with the amazing Memento Luxe in Wedding Dress and a piece of cardstock with varying sized circles cut into it. – and what you put under it is totally up to you. For me and my love of brayering, that had to be a good mix of the gorgeous new StazOn Studio Glaze! I am in love with the way the StazOn Studio Glaze moves and streaks when applied with a brayer. Learn how I created this card.

“Dancing in the Rain” Clock

by Heike

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For the longest time my crafting was pretty limited to just card making. Then I was challenged by my art friends to make a mixed media project and I have to admit, it was pure fun! Since then my mind also forms concepts of non-card projects all day and night. This project is based on transforming a simple, basic wall clock into a mini work of art. Here’s the simple instructions for making your own personalized clock.

Super Bowl XLIX

As Super Bowl XLIX approaches only a couple of weeks away, anticipation is building as to which team is going to be the Champions this year – will it be the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots? No matter if you’ll be watching the game or just the commercials, most of us will be gathered around the television on February 1st.

We wanted to share with you a couple of great card making ideas to get you in the mood for the Super Bowl, no matter which team you’ll be rooting for this year. Our Artist In Residence, Penny Ward, has created these two fabulous cards in the spirit of the approaching match up.

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In fairness to full disclosure, the IMAGINE Crafts office must admit that since we’re in the Seattle area we’re solidly behind our Seahawks winning their second Super Bowl this year, and for that reason we’re sharing Penny’s Seahawks card first.

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And just in case you’ll be cheering on the Patriots, Penny created this stunning variation of the same card and adding a shaker element complete with confetti!

Want to learn how to make these fabulous cards? See Penny’s full instructions here.

IMAGINE Crafts would love to see what cards you create with your team’s colors – share them with us on our Facebook page!

Weekend Crafting Ideas

Need some ideas for crafting this weekend? IMAGINE Crafts would like to spark your creativity with these fabulous projects created by our Artists In Residence. We’re recapping a few of our projects recently featured on the IMAGINE Crafts website to give your weekend a creative jumpstart.

Puffy Dandelions

by Maureen Cronin

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It took me a little while to find the right design to incorporate the new Amplify product but once I did the texture and color were just perfect! Get the full instructions here.

You’re Pretty Amazing

by Sylvia Blum

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I love all the colors in the new Iridescent Creative Medium collection and couldn’t decide which color to choose for my card. Without further ado, I chose not only one but three colors at once for my clean and simple greeting card. Get the full instructions here.

Get inspired with IMAGINE Crafts’ new products

Although the CHA Winter 2015 Show may be over, IMAGINE Crafts is excited to share and inspire you with our latest and greatest products that debuted at the show. These new products are versatile and perfect for a variety of crafting and mixed media projects.

“Be Happy” with Amplify!

by Penny Ward

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More new product to play with, not enough hours in the day!!! How cool is the new Amplify! product in all it’s neon puffiness?!? I can see myself using this product a lot! Perfect for flower centers, zentangle, flourishes…just about anywhere you want dimension. Get the full instructions here.

Steampunk Dream

by Renee Zarate

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The Steampunk style canvas was made dimensional by the use of Amplify! The colors and textures were further enhanced with StazOn Studio Glaze. This was a fun way to use the new products for a powerful effect on a small canvas. Get the full instructions here.

Art of Circles with StazOn Studio Glaze

by Roni Johnson

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I love sun catchers and how they cast beautiful abstract designs where ever they are placed. When I got my hands on the StazOn Glaze I instantly knew I wanted to put my twist on a sun catcher of my very own. What might that twist be? Instead of creating the usual framed piece of glass to hang in a window, I decided to upcycle an unused 6×6 acrylic stamping block! To spice it up I backed the block with patterned strips of Vertigo film. Now I have a fun sun catcher that I can sit in virtually any window that casts not only a beautifully colored design but a design with some nifty patterns as well! Get the full instructions here.

Memories that Last a Lifetime with Creative Medium

by Linda Lucas

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Layouts are so much fun – we get to create and to capture those special moments that take hold of our hearts. I am always excited to add texture and focal points to my layouts and have done so using some of the fabulous new Creative Medium. Get the full instructions here.

Happy Birthday with Creative Medium

by Penny Ward

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Playing with some new Creative Medium Copper on this “manly” card. Absolutely loving the shimmer from this new product as well as the new Delicata Copper behind the sentiment. Stenciling with Creative Medium makes for a unique background and the clean up is super easy. Get the full instructions here.

You Are Good Enough

by Renee Zarate

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Teddy Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. As artists we sometimes are caught up chasing the idea of perfection instead of appreciating how far we have come in the direction of our artistic dreams and goals. If you love what you’re doing and continue to learn and grow, you are already a success. Everyone’s journey is unique. You are good enough. This is a canvas showing how Delicata Celestial Copper and Bronze Burst can warm up cool colors. Get the full instructions here.