Versatile Chipboard Embellishment Kits from Eye Connect Crafts

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This article is written by Gail Green

I recently discovered some super cool new chipboard kits that TOTALLY got my creative juices flowing! They are made by a new company Eye Connect Crafts, who have definitely designed some of the most unique embellishments around.  Made from recycled, environmentally conscious chipboard for a reduced footprint, Eye Connect Craft’s kits are just perfect for mixed media projects. And they simplify the process by doing some of the difficult work for the crafter.

Gail Green creates these cute eye connect creatures

Here ’s the skinny!

“Totem Poppets” are multiple component kits that appear to be very easy to use for all ages and skill levels. With pre-punched holes and multiple body parts, they can be used by children in school projects, as well as for imaginative play. I love that animals are the main theme and can see their potential in helping raise awareness of nature and teaching respect for all living things. At the same time, adults can create interesting embellishments for Mixed Media art, craft and/or home decor projects.

What is especially unique about Totem Poppets kits is that the components are assembled in a way that allows realistic posing and movement. They totally remind me of marionette puppets!

Another group of kits–appropriately named “Lace ups” also have the holes already perfectly positioned and punched on each piece so all crafters have to do is decorate and lace them up with ribbon, leather, fibers, string, wire and more.  These items are SO perfect for Mixed Media projects, my head started swirling with creative ideas the minute I saw them!

Both types of kits provide the user with a blank canvas…which means mixed media artists can use a variety of mediums or combination of mediums and techniques to decorate them. I don’t even know where to begin because there are so many possibilities!

All kit items can be painted or sponged with ink. Add decorative designs with stamps, stencils, draw doodles with pen or marker or decoupage layers of torn paper, tissue, magazine pages, and other paper items.  In reality, the sky is the limit when designing with these kits and creating all types of mixed media projects.

While I wanted to make a bunch of finished embellishments, I had to settle on just one for this article. IÕm thrilled with how it came out. In fact, I was SO inspired I decided to make two versions–one on each side!

Here are just two examples of how easily a Totem Lizard can be decorated using multiple mediums.

Gail Green creates these cute eye connect creatures

Using a cosmetic sponge (or Art Daubers) and the straight edge of a scrap of card stock for a mask, gently sponge irregular stripes on each body piece using ink, acrylic paint or another quick-drying medium. Choose multiple colors in related or contrasting tones/hues, as desired. (Note: If possible, avoid mediums that over-saturate or require long drying times.) Dry completely before embellishing or assembling.

Gail Green creates these cute eye connect creatures

Or, you can heat emboss with clear embossing powder and ink in a related color family or value. Begin by base-coating the pieces with ink or paint. Next, apply colorful pigment ink in sections and heat emboss one color at a time. You can do this step either assembled or unassembled, as you wish. My Lizard was already assembled so I did this version assembled. While it was a little tricky to apply the ink, it was easier to hold when using the heat tool. I used a Colorbox PetalPoint pigment inkpad so I could take each color section out and apply it direct-to-paper (DTP). If you choose to use full size inkpads, I would recommend doing this project unassembled and/or applying the ink with a tool like an Art Dauber or Color Blender.

When dry, assemble all the pieces using tiny brads or eyelets. If desired, add dimensional elements by gluing on beads, wiggle eyes, or glitter. I used dimensional paint to add accents on the heat embossed version. You can also draw patterns on the pieces using a waterproof pen in a doodle, stylized or Zentangle style.

Add the finished Lizard to a journal cover or scrapbook page or use to decorate a gift, frame or a dozen other possibilities. The sky is the limit on how many types of mixed media projects you can create with products from Eye Connect Crafts!

For more information of where you can purchase these fun kits and products, please visit the Eye Connect Crafts website.

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Gail Green is a Chicagoland craft book author and feature article writer/columnist for Scrap & Stamp Arts magazine. Known as the Òdesigner in the hatÓ and creator of the Sweet PETatoes art brand, Gail has licensed her illustrations on products in multiple global markets, including her own line of rubber stamps with Impression Obsession. For more information, please visit her ETSY store or blog for fun adventures with Ollie, Gail ’s crafting parrot and his pet doggie, Lacy Lulu.

Gail Green creates these cute eye connect creatures
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Disclosure: These products were supplied by eye Connect Crafts for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team.
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Creative Medium by Imagine Crafts

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This article is written by Ann Strecko Koeman

I recently had the opportunity to try working with “Creative Medium”, a new line of products by Imagine® Crafts.  I can honestly say that it was a pleasure and I really do intend to play (ahem, I mean work) with these products more.

Imagine Crafts Creative Medium Product Review

First of all let me briefly explain that these products are  “a creamy paste that produces a bold metallic” or “iridescent dimensional effect” on various backgrounds.  The “Medium” can be applied with a palette knife and used on a variety of surfaces such as canvas,  card stock, acrylic, plastic, ceramic, wood, and glass. Note that a “Surface Compatibility Chart” is available to download from www.imaginecrafts.com.

The Medium can be made interesting by using DoodleStix™, palette knives, and other mark making tools.  The medium can also be sprinkled with glitter while it is still wet.  When dry it can be stamped and coloured with pigment or solvent inks (such as StazOn®, Brilliance®, and Memento Luxe®) .  The time for drying is short and does vary depending upon how thick the layers are.  I found the product to take between a few minutes for a thin coat and up  to half an hour for a very thick coat.  It is recommended to let the product air dry to obtain optimal results.  I concur that when using thicker layers and trying to use a heat drying tool the outcome is different than letting the product air dry.

Metallic Creative Mediums

I got to work with the Creative Medium in metallic in the colours; Copper,Silver, Bronze, and Gold.  I did try and was pleased with the results of using the product on  light  and dark surfaces.  When I tried the product on a flexible surface such as paper I was pleased to see that it was flexible , and  did not crack or flake, when I manipulated the paper.  I also found the product to adhere well to all hard surfaces and left a very smooth like finish when dry.  I would almost compare it to a leathery feel.

picture of Iridescent Creative Mediums

The Iridescent Mediums I got to try were the; Pink, Blue, Purple, Chartreuse, Green, and Turquoise.  I enjoyed watching the medium transform itself from a plain looking whitish paste when wet to beautiful shiny colours when dry.  The effect is more apparent on darker surfaces.  However, using the same product on lighter coloured surfaces gives a “mother of pearl: effect which is very pretty.

sample of Creative Mediums on a dark surface using Copper Metallic, and Iridescent Green

Due to my own sensitivities to smells I was pleased that the product produces very very little odour and I found it pleasant to work with. The “Doodlestix”, also from Imagine Crafts are silicone-tipped tools used to create texture, manipulate mediums and enables the artist to add details.  I really like these tools and found the tips to be very flexible and easy to clean.  The “Palette Knives” are just the right size and clean up easily as well.  I was able to clean off both sets of tools with a damp cloth and even a baby wipe.

Note: that it is  recommended (and I agree) that when using any tools especially stencils and intricate stamps that you clean them before the product dries on them.

sample of thick layer of Creative Medium on paper

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Ann Strecko Koeman lives and works in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two sons.  She blogs, writes about and makes things every day from her home based studio and office

You can see more of Ann’s work and find links to her other published posts, and videos at annmakes.blogspot.com

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Disclosure: These products were supplied by Image Crafts for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt.
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Radiant Neon Amplify! Imagine® Crafts Product Review

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This article was written by Martice Smith II

Looking to add a little extra oomph and intense color to your mixed-media creations? If so, you might want to try out these awesome, easy to use product by Imagine® Crafts. They’re called Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers and I recently had the opportunity to play with them.

I received eight beautifully vibrant, colors: Electric Yellow, Electric Coral, Electric Orange, Electric Blue, Electric Purple, Electric Green, Black, and White.

photo example of Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts

These paints are so versatile and I had such a great time playing with them. I always like to push the boundaries of an art supply, just to see how much I can do with it. So, today, I’m sharing a few techniques, anyone can do – no skill-level required!

Here are some of the ways I played with the new Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers:

1. I used them on my 8×10 Gelli Arts – Gel Printing Plate. I wrote in scribbly letters to create a graffiti look.

Smooth application of Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts on a Gelli plate

2. Drew simple shapes, straight from the paint bottle + introduced another color. Use the paints like watercolors!

These are water-based pigment inks, meaning, I can water them down a bit. Doing this allowed me to paint with them as if they were watercolors. However, they did appear to mimic the look of soft and chalky pastels rather than radiant, neon colors. To get the neon effect, just keep adding layers of the same paint color.

Use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers like watercolors.

3. Use them with a stencil + a foam pouncer to add a textured border along the edge of a page in my art journal.

Use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers with a stencil and foam brush.

4. Add dimensional texture.

The instructions say to shake bottle vigorously before each use. One thing I discovered while shaking the product was, after I removed the cap, the paint would ooze out of the nozzle before I was ready to paint! Ooops! Oh well…that glob of paint was applied in another area.

This means I had to be extra careful when adding smaller details, like dots.

To create dimension, use the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers to add dots.

Other facts to know about the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers:

Drying time: Dries within minutes, depending on how much paint you squeeze out.

Dimensionality: 

I like to retain as much dimensionality as possible. After drying, I was surprised to see how well these Radiant Neons held up! My art journal is packed with many different material and I was worried that it would flatten out over time. I was glad to see that that hasn’t happened!

Paints are flexible when dry – they will not crack due to heavy handling.

Texture:

Very smooth to the touch. The texture stays round, even in my journal. It hasn’t flatten out over time.

Vibrancy of color: 

Strong and very bright on both light and dark colored surfaces, which I love!

Maintenance + clean up:

The Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers have a NO clog tip but I do recommend wiping the tip before placing the cap back on.

Store them upright to prevent paint from oozing out of the nozzle.

Applied too much paint onto your page? No problem! Take a wet paintbrush and gently lift the color from the page. Use a paper towel to dab excess water.

I hope this review encouraged you to try new techniques and to especially incorporate the Radiant Neon Amplify! Writers from Imagine® Crafts into your next project!

Disclosure: These products were supplied by Imagine® Crafts for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt. 

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Mixed-Media artist, designer, and instructor Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio, based in Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Specializing in mixed-media illustrations, Martice’s love for fashion, typography and wildlife are infused with a combination of traditional and digital art techniques. Discover more tutorials on her blog www.uneekart.blogspot.com!

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Get Your Mixed Media Creative Mojo ON!

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This article is written by Gail Green

Mixed Media is all about experimenting with interesting (and often unusual) combinations of materials, mediums and techniques. Color, texture, images, phrases, dimension and our own unique interpretation and story make our pieces come alive. It is also about the unexpected. And THAT’S what drives us creatively!

However, that doesn’t’ mean Mixed Media Artists need to spend hours creating unique components to use in their creative projects. While attending the Craft and Hobby January trade show (CHA Show) and a few other recent trade shows, I’ve discovered some really awesome new products and product lines that either help us feel the mojo or do the tedious time consuming parts for us…allowing us the freedom to just be CREATIVE!

This article will be the first of several product reviews.

Do you love the look of Shabby Chic? Do you love the look of stitched canvas and embellishments? I know I do! Fortunately, I found the PERFECT line of canvas products at the CHA Show when I stopped by the Linnie Blooms booth! Owner and founder Linda Barutha was EVERYWHERE at CHA. I’m so glad I kept running into her because it offered us lots of opportunities to chat about her product line. Her products are amazing!

Here is Linda Barutha and just a sampling of her array of products (Photo used with permission, Linda Barutha, Linnie Blooms)

Simply put, Linnie Blooms products include canvas shapes (trees, hearts, leaves, stars, and much more) and canvas items like journals, bookmarks, envelopes and tags with a stitched component already added to them. How cool is this?! They are all ready to paint, sponge, spritz, stamp or stencil. These pieces are also very sturdy so they can hold up to lots of techniques, as well as for their intended use. It’s easy to attach embellishments by sewing or gluing because they have a secret in between the canvas layers that prevents glue drip –through…and also makes these products TOTALLY unique! This is definitely a new twist on the concept of re-purposing because recycled encyclopedia pages are part of the Linnie Blooms multiple layer canvas products.

A Mixed Media Art Journal project (Photo used with permission, Linda Barutha, Linnie Blooms)

I personally love all the projects, but the journal is TO DIE FOR! The pages inside include pockets, tabs, stitched edges. They just cry and beg to be transformed into a Mixed Media Art piece!

In addition to all the canvas items, Linnie Blooms also offers other products, including some very interesting stencils. Unlike most stencils, Linda also includes the “knock outs” (or inside cut sections) so mixed media artists can use both the negative space stencils for techniques like sponging, stippling, stamping, etc. AND the positive space “knock outs” to create masks for those same techniques…but with obviously different results! Plus, the shapes are so unique, they can be used very interpretively in multiple ways and combinations.

This photo shows a stencil with all the different components…both stencil and knock outs! (Photo used with permission, Gail Green)

As if that weren’t enough, Linda has also come up with fun stamps and phrases to use on the canvas pieces, as well as on traditional cardstocks for card making. For example, create a card on cardstock and then….insert it into an over-the-top-cool canvas envelope that has been turned into a Mixed Media work of art! Did you know that rubber stamping originally started as a way to decorate mail and envelopes? Now that you do, isn’t this a perfect way to go a little retro and celebrate the roots of stamping? After all, Mixed Media Art is ALL about TOTAL fun and creativity!

Linnie Blooms Canvas Bracelet is the perfect start to a Mixed Media project!(Photo used with permission, Gail Green)

You can find out more about Linnie Blooms by visiting their website www.linnieblooms.com. But know they are a lot like potato chips. You will never be able to just have one!

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Gail Green is a Chicagoland crafty book author and feature article writer/columnist for Scrap & Stamp Arts magazine. Known as the “designer in the hat” and creator of the Sweet PETatoes® art brand, Gail has licensed her illustrations on products in multiple global markets, including her own line of rubber stamps with Impression Obsession. For more information, please visit her ETSY store sweetpetatoes.etsy.com or blog gailgreen.blogspot.com for fun adventures with Ollie, Gail’s crafting parrot and his pet doggie, Lacy Lulu.

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Disclosure: These products were supplied by Linnie Blooms for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. Some links on this page may be affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt. 
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