Saturday, February 25, 2012

OMG! Yogurt

While driving home from our weekly sushi dinner tonight, the girls asked if we could stop to get ice cream. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as a new ice cream shop has recently opened called, OMG! Yogurt. Of course, my husband and I caved in partly because the girls had been well-behaved all through dinner and secondly, I was curious to find out what this new shop had to offer. For an ice cream parlor, this one sure had all the bells and whistles, and then some. They had at least seven brand new self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt stands, a beautiful display of favorite ice cream toppings, a wide selection of fruit shakes you can order, two wide-screen television to sit and watch as you're enjoying your desserts, and beautifully selected decor to match. I can tell already this is going to be one popular place the girls and myself are going to want to hang out this summer. So much so that we already bought our VIP card! Here are some pictures of our visit.







Diva Mo Manning

When I saw this image called, Diva by Mo Manning, it immediately reminded me of my oldest daughter Sophie, who loves to play dress up. Between both of my girls, they must have at least fifty dress-up outfits which they play with every night. You should see them when they get up dolled up. It is such a cute sight. Alright, back to the image. I colored Diva with Caran D'ache watercolor pencils, Copic markers, and Pearl Ex. I then finished the card with Liquid Pearls for her necklace and earrings. I think the end result turned out pretty nice. Hope you like it.




Friday, February 24, 2012

Abby Celebrating

Here's another one of Mo Manning's digital stamps called, Abby Celebrating, which I had so much fun watercoloring. It was created using a combination of Tim Holtz distress inks, Caran D'ache watercolor pencils and Copic markers. Don't you just want to go to a party with her? Have a great weekend everyone!





Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arrow Acres Alpaca Farm

I surprised the girls yesterday after school by taking them to Arrow Acres Alpaca Farm near our house. I knew the girls would love to see these cute little creatures and it would also give me the chance to tour the yarn store located next to the farm. Here are a few pictures from our visit. If you ever visit the Jersey Shore, I definitely recommend visiting this charming farm. Yarn, cute alpacas, and friendly employees. What more can you want!





Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pfaff Tiptronic 2020

I occasionally look through Craigslist every now and then to search for different craft items people may no longer want or use. Such items include Copic Markers, die cutters, colored pencils, paintbrushes, stamps, yarn, needles, sewing machines and so forth. Well the other day I struck gold when I noticed a seller had posted a Pfaff Tiptronic 2020 sewing machine for a meager price of seventy-five dollars. I immediately clicked on the link to find out more information and to hopefully contact the seller. The advertisement stated that the machine was at least ten years old and was used for only one quilting project, which to me translate to LOW MILEAGE!  In the past, I've always had good luck with Craigslist and found the sellers to be quite honest about their items, so I quickly emailed the owner and got a reply within the hour. The woman on the phone was very nice and said she bought the machine several years ago in hopes of making many projects with it. Unfortunately for her, the sewing bug didn't last and she switched to knitting. She said she used the machine once to make a quilt, and shortly thereafter packed it away. After hearing her response and asking a few more questions, I committed to purchasing it and asked her to ship it to me. She happily agreed and the machine arrived at my house the next day. Well, I had the chance to test drive my new sewing machine and boy does it sew like a champ. I purposely feed the machine four layers of cotton fabric, keyed in a few decorative stitches, and voila, the machine sewed it effortlessly. I am so happy I found this machine and look forward to using it for many projects along side my Janome 4120. Does anyone own a Pfaff? What has your experience been with your machine?

For some of you who may not know about the Pfaff brand of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines, they are considered to be one of the best on the market. Average costs of these machines ranges anywhere between nine-hundred dollars to a few thousand. When I purchased my Janome 4120 two months ago, one of the machines I considered purchasing was the Pfaff. I knew it was a high quality machine made in Germany with thousands of loyal users. My sister happens to own the Pfaff Stitch and Sew model and loves it. 


Features

  • Computerized
  • Needle Threader
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • One step buttonhole
  • Drop-In bobbin
  • Free Arm
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
  • Adjustable Needle Position
  • Over 46 stiches

Many of the accessories that came with the Pfaff



A few decorative stitches made from the Pfaff Tiptronic 

Tim Holtz Distress Inks

When Sunday rolled around, I noticed Michaels was having a forty percent discount on all their ink pads. So of course I loaded up on Tim Holtz Distress Inks. Normally, these sell for about $4.99 per ink pad but I was able to purchase them for $2.50 since I had an additional twenty-five percent discount on sale and regular priced items. If you love Tim Holtz Distress Inks, now is the time to load up, while the sale is going on. Just be sure to double check with your local Michaels Arts and Crafts store before heading out. Depending on where you live, what's on sale in my area may not be the same where you live.

Love Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I had to label them for quick reference. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pearl Ex vs. Silks vs. Twinkling h2o. Is There A Difference?

I was able to get a hold of a few Pearl Ex and Silks Acrylic Glaze jars a couple weeks ago but haven't had a chance to play around with them yet. From what I've read in various craft magazines and card making websites, the possibilities are endless on what you can achieve with these mediums. Many card makers use them to add sparkle and highlights to their stamped images, while other crafters may use them to make ornaments and paint pictures. I plan to turn my Pearl Ex powder into Twinkling h2o, with a little bit of Gum Arabic and water. I found this method by googling, "How to make your own Twinkling h2o" on You Tube. The steps shown in the video seemed like they were easy to follow and I am curious to find out if this works. I will get back to you on a later post if this method is worth the time spent mixing and cleaning up, or if buying Twinkling h2o is just better and more convenient. Does anyone have any experience with  any of these mediums and is one better then the other?




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Working with Multiple Inks to Achieve the Perfect Image

I was itching to test out more of my Caran D'ache watercolor pencils to see how well it worked with Tim Holtz distress inks and Copic Markers. The combination of these mediums resulted in this wonderful Mo Manning's, Make a Wish image. I used my Copic Sketch markers for the grass, skin, and highlights to her hair, and my Caran D'ache for her shirt, shoes, and first layer of her ponytail. I then applied distress ink to make the clouds, using a stencil I had cut out earlier.  I am very satisfied of the outcome and plan on turning the finished image into a card. This little cutie reminds me so much of my two little girls, playing outside in our backyard. Have a great weekend everyone!





This Image was achieved using Caran D'ache Watercolor Pencils, Copic Sketch Markers and Tim Holtz Distress Inks.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rise and Shine at Airbrush Acres

I like to think we have an eclectic range of farm and wildlife creatures at Airbrush Acres. Besides raising horses and chickens, we often get visitors such as geese, foxes, groundhogs, hawks, raccoons, and all sorts of birds in our backyard. I took these pictures this morning walking around our farm and thought you would enjoy looking at these friendly little creatures.


Mr. Rooster was very camera shy this morning

Flock of geese to the right of our house. 



Rebel and Splash posing for the camera.


Rio



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Caran D'ache Supracolor Soft Pencils Review

Today, I had the opportunity to try out my new set of Caran D'ache supracolor pencils, with one of Cheryl Alger's, Bow Legged Cutie digital stamps. I was thoroughly impressed how well the pigment from these pencils spread so smoothly and evenly with my watercolor paintbrushes. The colors remained strong in areas where I wanted to create shadows, rather than becoming transparent, an annoying effect that may result from using other watercolor pencils. I also did not find the Caran D'ache pencils to be chalky while applying them directly on to paper, but then again this is my first time using them. This may happen as the pencils age with time. The only part I found to be challenging, was that the ink tends to dry rather quickly, so if one color had bled into another color where you did't want, it was somewhat hard to reverse. Overall, I am happy with these pencils for many reasons. The pigmentation in them are very strong, which is great for creating shadow and light. In addition, they were not chalky and none of tips broke off while I was coloring. Last, I was surprised how well the pencils glided so smoothly across the paper. The only downside, I see so far to the Caran D'ache watercolor pencils is that they can be rather expensive. I paid a hundred and sixty-eight for a set of eighty. These are definately an investment which I hope will last a long time. I look forward to creating more projects with these babies.

Before adding water

After


                            

Before adding water
After



Before adding water
After




Yarn Candy

When I was in West Orange yesterday with my husband visiting Jerry's Artist Outlet, I couldn't help but stop at a few local yarn shops on the way. One of them was Connie Sloan's Needle Craftique in Montclair, New Jersey.  As I walked inside the store, I couldn't help but notice there was yarn everywhere, on the floor, shelves, bins, and table. They even manage to put a fake sheep in the middle of the store, which I thought was quite interesting. Anyways, the store was well stock with many different brands of yarn, buttons, knitting magazines, and needles, something any knitter would appreciate.  I'm really happy I made the trip to this store. Here are a few skeins I purchased on my visit, which I plan to make some bags with. Don't you just love the colors!

Yarn Candy from Connie Sloan's Needle Craftique


A sure conversation piece. This life size sheep immediately caught my eye. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Caran D'ache Supracolor Soft Pencils

I was lucky to get my hands on these beautiful Caran D'ache supracolor soft pencils today while taking a trip with my husband to Jerry's Artist Outlet in West Orange, New Jersey. From what I researched, the Caran D'ache watercolor pencils are known as one of the best on the market according to novice and experienced artist. I am excited to find out how well they work with stamped images among other mixed media. Unfortunately, these babies don't come cheap. A box of these pencils can cost you anywhere from fifty-dollars for eight-teen pencils to two-hundred and ninety-seven dollars for one-hundred and twenty pencils. I am going to stop writing and test these babies out. I will let you know in a later post if I like them or not. If anyone has tried these pencils, please let me know what you think of them.

80 Supracolor Soft Caran D'ache Watercolor Pencils