Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cupcake Apron... Ranger Style...

Nothing like another challenge to get your creative juices flowing! My most recent assignment was to decorate a white apron—using Ranger products—that I'll be wearing at the booth for the CHA Show. And how shall I decorate it? With cupcakes of course! Here's how I did it...

Colorize the entire (pre-washed) apron using Adirondack ColorWash Spray in Cranberry. When it is completely covered, place in about 2" of water and press out about half of the dye...
and you'll get a nice shade of watermelon.Hang to dry overnight and then throw it in the dryer to set.
I knew I was going to silkscreen the cupcakes, so I made a stencil and used the Inkssentials White Pen to draw them in. Once all the sugary treats were properly positioned, I painted them in using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Acrylic Paints (Hint: when painting over a colored background, use white as a base coat to keep these colors true).

I wanted a little pizzaz for the icing, so I mixed Perfect Pearls—in Perfect Pearl—with water and painted all the cupcake tops. It still allows the color to show through, but gives it an awesome sparkly look!

Next, it was time to silkscreen using Studio Paints. How on Earth can you silkscreen using an acrylic paint, you may ask? Combine it with Claudine Hellmuth Studio Extra Time... a brand new product from Ranger! It increases the "open time" of acrylic paints by 20-30 minutes!
So for silkscreening, I added 2 parts Extra Time to 1 part Studio Paint in Charcoal Black. This gave me enough time to silkscreen about 8-10 cupcakes... washing and drying my screen in-between each pass! I even used Ranger's Craft Scraper as my "squeegee".

And voila! Pretty cupcakes! It still needed a little something to fill the space, so I stamped "i love cupcakes"... again, using the Extra Time/Studio Paint combo, only this time at a 1:1 ratio. After mixing, ink up your Brayer with a nice, thin coat and brayer onto your stamp. Spritz lightly with water using a Mini Mister before the final stamping.
I'm so happy with how my apron turned out... that now I'd like to design fabrics! This was a whole lot of fun. And if you're going to the CHA Show... stop by the Ranger booth, say hi... and see it in person!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Hottest Ticket...

So... here it is... my Melt Art Masterpiece! Created for Ranger's annual CHA Trade Show challenge, we had to utilize the line of Melt Art products to fashion a project using a 10" x 10" wood surface and a giant ticket shape. Right away I thought of making the ticket into an Animal Crackers box... with the buttery sweet cookies spilling out!
I collaged the ticket with papers and ephemera, then added the flap using cardstock. A circus tent was a must for the box... and I highlighted it with Gold Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE)... using an Embossing Pen to draw the outlines... as well as to highlight some additional areas. I double-embossed chipboard letters with Red Poppy UTEE, spelling out "Crackers". The background was painted with a wash of red acrylic paint, then stamped and embossed with the flourish-y pattern using Red Poppy to bring everything together.
And my very favorite Melt Art product—Mold-n-Pour—is what I used to make molds of the checker (for the wheels) and the Animal Crackers! In the Melting Pot, I mixed a combination of Clear UTEE, with a smidge of White UTEE and then added Yellow To Dye For with a little bit of blue and red to make the perfect cookie color!

A LOT of Animal Crackers were eaten during this creative process! I'm going to go work out now!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holidays Are Over... Now What?

So the holidays are over and you know what that means? Yup, it's the busiest time of the year for me at Ranger! We're preparing for the Winter Craft and Hobby Association trade show, and we're working our little butts off! Creating new packaging, marketing materials, mockups, preparing class curriculums, make-it-take-its and all kinds of stuff. I was working on a special project all weekend long which I'll reveal next Monday. It's part of our yearly company challenge for the show... and I had a blast creating it! Can't wait to show you... more to come...

Monday, January 4, 2010

...And This Little Piggy Stayed Home!

Okay... okay... so it's not Swine Flu... but I've been feeling very under the weather since New Year's Eve. In fact, my flu-like symptoms have kept me on the couch, watching really bad TV for days!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Now That's Happy... New Year!

As we usher out 2009 and replace it with 2010... don't forget to celebrate all of the love, friendships, accomplishments and goals met (or exceeded) this past year. It's been quite a wild ride for me... but I'm not ready to get off just yet. I'll take the good with the bad and embrace it all! Life's lessons don't always arrive on giant smiley caterpillar faces. One more ticket, please...