Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ask Karen... Round 1 *smile*

It's Tuesday and the first in a series of "ASK KAREN" blog posts :) Was it just me or did you hear an echo when you read "ASK KAREN"? hehehe... Okay, I have an head cold and it's effecting my sense of humour! :)

So, here it is.. "Ask Karen". Thanks to those of you who ask questions of me this week. The questions are all about the studio and the events.... but please don't hesitate to use this forum to ask me about techniques or how to use some product. Love to answer those questions too.

Without further ado.....

Question 1 - Christine and Stacy both asked if I was still taking registrations for the London Retreat. Absolutely! Love to see you there. I will be taking registrations for another couple of weeks. BUT if that changes I will be sure to post something here or on the website. We do have some space available for the retreat weekend. Classes for this retreat will be posted here next Wednesday (not tomorrow, next week). I'll be sure to share those with all my blog readers too! For information or to register for any of our retreats click here.

Question 2 - Stephen walked into the studio this week asking about group rentals of the studio space and if I allow children. I welcome groups of kids (up to 12 with chaperones) in the studio at any time -- not just during regular studio hours. I am open for birthday parties or special events. (A little sneak for you all... I will be announcing a Halloween Event... so stay tuned!) Prices range from $12 - $18/child depending on the project - minimum of 5 kids. Please contact me at the studio for more information 519 954 6620

Question 3 - Sheri asked if tickets for the Waterloo Region Crop are available yet. Yes they are. I have them here in the studio.
The crop will be held at the Hespeler Arena (Townline road & 401) on November 28. $50 (tax included) gets you table space, meals, prizes and a lot of fun. This is a very special day crop. I am being published in the Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine and I want to celebrate!! This will be a book signing crop ... there will be discounts on the Winter Issue of the Magazine (I have a limited number coming in - you can reserve your copy in advance if you like), I will be offering a make n take where you can create one of the cards being published in the issue (this is being sponsored by SEI, the great company who's product I used!!) AND, in addition to some of the great door prizes available to be won -- I will also be giving away a one year subscription to the Canadian Scrapbooker to one lucky cropper attending the event! Thanks Canadian Scrapbooker!!!! and thanks SEI!!

Lucy at Simply Scrapping will also have tickets for this crop at her store location at Southworks Mall in Cambridge starting this Friday. She will be on-site at the crop doing a make n take and selling product too. As will Judy and Sheri from In A Pinch Designs! Hope you can make it!!

So... the phone lines are open! (literally and figuratively!). I will answer some more of your questions next Tuesday here on the blog. I look forward to hearing from you!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Happy Sunday Everyone!

The kid and I spent the day at the Pinery Flea Market and "antiquing" at some of our favourite local haunts.... At one of our stops I stumbled on an eye-popping, mouthwatering collection of vintage photos, postcards and ephemera. OMG.... I was in heaven. The store clerk saw my mouth drop and promptly got me a stool. LOL... can you picture it?

I picked up some AMAZING little postcard gems circa 1910, 1902..... It was so hard to choose. When I get home I will scan some of them to show you. You'll be tickled pink. I'm coming back to the trailer on the long weekend.... three guesses where I am going (first two don't count). eeek!! Can't wait to play! I have a million crafty ideas floating through me head. hehehehehehe. This is the start of a beautiful obsession!

While we were out and about I also picked up some fun buttons and broaches that I plan to make molds from so that I can create some great 3D wax and/or UTEE embellishments. I also found some great itty bitty pewter figurines that I can mold or use in my art. and do you see in the picture to the left... one of the shops even had a cool unused wood-mount stamp with a vintage vignette on it that just had to come home with me. The kid found some books she wanted and some vintage comics that caught her eye. Yep, a great day had by all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ask Karen

Howdy bloggers!
Hope things are well in your world!

Things have been busy for me -- getting ready for the Peterborough Retreat next weekend, doing demos, creating classes! It's all good. I'm still LOVING the studio! Thanks to all of you who share it with me!!

I'd like to start a weekly blog segment called "Ask Karen".... if any of you have any questions about things happening at the studio, the retreats, about product or even techniques... Please feel free to ask. I will answer your questions Tuesdays here on the blog. Sound good? *big smile*
So ask away!!! Love to hear from you!!

I'm thinking about going "flee marketing" tomorrow. I'm interested in some findings for my art. ...Wonder what I will find! I'll bring my camera and share it with you.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend ... and don't forget to email me questions!!!

Until tomorrow -- Happy creating!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Public Domain Images and a "Spooky" Sneak Peak..

Yes, I have been in a spooky, creative mode today!
Here is a sneak peek of what I have done. It's a sneak partially because it's not "quite" done and well, it's my project for the dollar store club and I can't let the cat (or bat as it seems) out of the bag just yet. This month's assignment was to create something for Halloween. I tried a little something on the weekend that didn't work out (dollar store clay isn't good-- just in case you were wondering *wink*) and started this little baby this afternoon. Whatcha think so far? Isn't she pretty??

This costumed vintage lady is a fabulous royalty free image I snagged from the Graphics Fairy Blog. If you are at all interested in mixed media or altered art and love fun vintage images OR -- are a scrapbooker who likes heritage items.... you should really bookmark this blog. It's one of my "go to" places for fun images.

Like historical photography?? Check this out: and Old Photo Blog! This week is all about hunting... but if you are not into the "kill", check out the left side bar for some fabulous image categories. They are spectacular. Just a little warning on this site and others as you are browsing the internet: not all photos can be saved, copied or used in your artwork (especially if you are going to sell something at craft shows, etc) Look for "royalty free" or "public domain" images... there are tons. This site has many free-to-use images... but some aren't. They're just for our enjoyment and inspiration.

I'd like to extend a challenge.
I'd love it if you would create something with an image you find on-line. Send the image to me by email and I will share it with my readers in another post at a later date. I'd love to see what you do with the images. Be sure to let me know where you got the image. We must link the site and share it with the world!

ALSO.... Please feel free to send me the links to any other royalty free photo blogs. I've love to take a peek!

Happy browsing everyone!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mixing Paint and other wonders....

Hello Bloggers!
I'm typing this blog post on my brand new (duct tape free) computer. Ahhhhh, glorious!
I can't believe the ease at which I am typing, uploading and well, playing !! Hurray!!! Wonders never cease. My 5 year old laptop just wasn't cutting it anymore - poor thing. I made the leap and voila. Computer heaven!

I haven't had the opportunity to make a blog post since the last card cookout.
Thank you ladies for joining me on Saturday for the cookout and a little sushi and cropping afterwards. I really enjoyed my day. The ladies seemed to have fun with the inks and templates -- I loved how their cards turned out. They each got 8 cards completed (2 of every card). I hope you and the people you send them to enjoy!!!

I went to the wholesalers yesterday (the studio day off) to pick up some more Distress Re-Inkers and some more Studio Paints .. and some more Archival Inks ....and a couple of things that I needed to pick up for my Peterborough Retreat Classes..... It's all good!!

We currently have an "Everything Tim Holtz Sale" happening in the studio until the end of the month (everything with Tim's name on it is 15% off until September 30) but I have been getting some questions about Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Paints lately so I wanted to create a post for you about them.

First let me say I love these paints. They are a smooth, creamy texture and very highly pigmented -- which is fabulous. Even more fabulous, Claudine's paints are transparent paints -- transparent in that they are not chalky so you can mix them together to create some VERY cool colours. Here's a youTube tutorial Claudine made that talks all about mixing her paints.

In this tutorial she talks about mixing her 15 Studio colours to make 51 different ones... Here's the link to the page on her website where you can download the mixing instructions... OR, you are welcome to come into the studio and pick one up here. I have a few pre-printed for you.

I mentioned that I picked up more paints..... I have the colours here. They are $6.99/jar...... How many colours can you create???

Have fun playing!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Card Workshop (cookout) images....

Aren't these purdy?? I am so sorry it took me a long time to get these posted. They have been done and people have been viewing them in the studio since I've been home -- with great interest and appreciation (which makes me blush)
So, here is what the ladies coming to tomorrow's Card Cookout will be creating -- AND this is what I would like to bring and teach in Barrie if you ladies are up for it :) Check out all the inking techniques!! This is a fun workshop!! Blending tools, Distress Inks, Crafter's Workshop Stencils, Stamping, Embossing "Puffs" -- it's all good!!
I have one, maybe two spots left for tomorrow if you are interested... and if you are from the Barrie area and are interested in taking this class there...let me know. If we can get a minimum of 10 people together I will get some space and have a class just for you guys since I am unable to host a crop for you this fall. You forgive me?? *big smiles*
Looking forward to playing some more here in the studio! I'm open late tonight (until 8pm) I hope to get everything prepped so I can create something fun!
Back to work I go :) See you soon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Terrific Tuesday!!

Yes, that is what I am having!! One TERRIFIC TUESDAY.
I am here in my studio putting away my Ranger Order! Yippee!!! I can't wait to play!

In Stock --
Tim's new Mask Sheets!
And oodles and oodles of Tim Holtz Ideaology!

Eeek! Can you hear me scream for joy?? Can you see me jumping up and down with excitement (and like a mad woman)?? Cause I am!! I am so excited I wanted to SHARE!!!

So.... here's the announcement:

Today until September 30 I will be giving a 15% off discount on everything Tim Holtz. Yep, that's right... if it has his name on it, it's on SALE!

I thought this would be the perfect way to celebrate the studio bringing in the entire Ideology line ...AND ... what a great excuse for those of you who have not dropped by the studio yet to come and take a peek. Love to see you all.

I have tickets for the upcoming Waterloo Region Day crop here too!!

See....... I told you its a Terrific Tuesday!!
See you in the Studio!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Yes, they are here and open for Registrations!!!
Our Annual Retreats at the Nottawasaga Resort and the Festival Inn!!!

I have some fun things planned for these beloved retreats!!! Are you ready to hear the themes??

The theme for the Nottawasaga is:
Yep -- Therapy!! I think we all need a little scrap therapy every once and a while. Here's the perfect place to get some! The date for this retreat is February 26-28, 2010 (the last weekend in February) Oh, just think of the theme possibilities here! Any ideas of what's up my sleeve for this retreat? *wink*

And the theme for our annual retreat at the Festival Inn in Stratford:

Yep -- we'll be cookin' up some great scrapping at the Inn again this year! Please note. Easter and Scrapfest are late this year so I changed the date of this retreat. It will be held MARCH 26-28, 2010. After March Break and before Easter -- Good Times! Hope you can jon us!!

Online Registration is OPEN. and the Early Bird Rate is in effect.
Oh happy days!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A new window display....

Seen something new driving by the studio??? Miss Sheri created me a little something to hang in my window -- some fun & whimsical circle "thingys" hehe.... I've had many people drop by, slow down while driving by and simply enjoy the new display. Thanks Sheri! I LOVE it!! ....and can't believe I actually got on a ladder to hang it! *big grin*
Looks like I am heading to the states again.... why this time??? THE RANGER ORDER IS IN!!! Hurray! So, what does this mean (other than the fact I have lost my voice from screaming in excitement so much...) When I open the studio on Tuesday I will be putting up the new stuff.
Speaking of a Tuesday opening... did you notice?? The studio has NEW HOURS!!
I will be in the studio Tuesday thru Thursday 11:30 - 5:30, Friday 11:30 - 8PM and Saturday 11 - 4pm. Yes, you read that right -- I am open late on Fridays!!!!! Hope to see you soon!
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dollar Store Club and Memory Frame Fun

It was Dollar Store Club night once again!
The girls and I had a fabulous time last night.
At 7pm we had our Shadow Box "show and tell" (shadow boxes were the assigned item for the month) and we all oogled the glittery works of Barb and Donna (way to go girls! I LOVE how you are trying new things all the time! Fabulous!) and Sheri's Button Showcase :) ... I did a 3 dimensional photo from my recent cruise which I enjoyed very much (the cruise and the creation). I did take photos but the glare on the shadow boxes ruined them -- so I can't post them here. I hung mine in the studio... you are always welcome to drop by and take a look! *wink*
Last Night's mini class was "how to create" Jewelry pendents using Inkssentials Memory Frames, Memory Capsules and Memory Glass from Ranger-- yes, that is the Graphic 45 paper you are seeing there again ... it does seem to come out again and again, doesn't it? *big smile*
The girls enjoyed this very much!
I pulled out a couple of pendents I had done for myself with this product, including Tim Holtz's CHA make n take and they got excited about it! They asked me if I would do a workshop where they can create those too. ABSOLUTELY!!! Watch for news about that in the next month or so (perfect for Christmas!)
I will be carrying the 1.5"x1.5", 2"x2" and 1"x3" memory frames, memory glass (frosted and clear) and memory capsules too.... I have most of this now but it will be re-stocked in the next week or so (the order is on it's way!!!) Also coming .... Tim's name brand chains to go with them as well as his Full Line of Ideology products! I can't WAIT until it gets here. I'm sure you will hear me squeal with delight when it does! Yippee!!!
The next Dollar Store Club Meeting will be October 7 (The First Wednesday of the Month). If you are interested in joining us... just let me know. Love to have you! This month's assignment? -- To create something for Halloween with Dollar Store items. Can be for a costume, a decoration, whatever... as long as it's for Halloween. Can't wait to see your creations!!!
Thanks again for a great night ladies!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Peterborough Retreat Classes!!! Yippee!!

Today is the day! I promised my retreat guests (and avid blog readers) that I would post the classes for our upcoming Peterborough Retreat today by 4pm. Phew! I'm pretty close!! But.... as you will see, they are worth the wait! hehe

We will be having 4 classes available to take at this retreat. All retreat guests have the opportunity the take one class complimentary as part of their registration fee (up to a $20 value) Guests are more than welcome to take additional class - the additional fees for each class are posted here so you know in advance. All extra class fees are due upon arrival at the retreat (but I will talk more about that when I email my guests directly after I make this post)

All Classes are on a first come, first serve basis. You will need to bring a basic class kit with you (trimmer, wet and dry adhesive, scissors, ruler, pencil) and any other "class specific" materials mentioned in the class descriptions. There will be a store onsite (run by me) that will have all the materials required just in case you forget something or don't have it on hand. Any questions, please feel free to email me at any time!

So.... without further ado:

10:45 am - noon
Vintage Address Book and Note Pad

What a fabulous gift!!
Karen will be showing you how to create and cover your own mini book while creating something fun and functional. This is a Phone/Address Book and matching note pad created with Graphic 45 Papers, a little ink and some "crackled" embellishments.

As an extra class: $16
Please bring your basic class kit, Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Ranger (or comparable colour ink)

1:15 - 2:15pm
Our Layout Class Using papers from "My Little Shoebox"
Karen (yes, me) will be showing you how to create this fun little 3 dimensional layout using papers from one of My Little Shoebox's latest lines. This Layout can be adapted in many ways to hold new home pictures, your kids photos, even one for love birds! Each student will receive a full Alphabet Sticker Sheet for them to title the layout any way they choose. Get out the New "Rock Candy Distress Stickles" ... we will be introducing that in this class too.

As an extra class: $15

Students are to bring their basic class kit and Pop Dots/Foam Dots, Vintage Photo Distress Ink or equivalent)

2:30 - 3:45pm
Cards with Judy Beeksma (In A Pinch Designs)
Just look at these babies!!
Judy will be showing you how to create these 4 beautiful cards (using SEI's "Poppy" Line)

Each person is to bring their regular class kit plus: Pop Dots/Foam Dots, Teal Ink (Judy used ColorBox Chalk Ink - Prussian Blue)

As an extra Class: $16


Timeless Moments Canvas
I will be showing people in this class how to create a layout for your walls!!
This is a Canvas. I will be showing you how to use mask and inking techniques, stamps and rub-ons to create this work of art for your home.

Please bring 2 black and white photos (one 3x5, one 2x2), your basic tool kit. Vintage Photo and Walnut Distress Inks (as well as Fire Brick Red if you have it). I will be supplying the canvas, blending tools, masks and spritz "stuff" -- yep! This is going to be fun. I hope you like getting your fingers dirty! hehe

As your complimentary option: $5
As an extra class: $25

Gotta go now -- The ladies for the Dollar Store Club will be coming soon and I need to set up and email all my retreat guests!

If you are in the Peterborough Area, you are welcome to register for these classes and join us at the posted times at the retreat hotel. If you are near the studio... I will be offering my 3 classes in the studio as well. Just let me know what you'd like to take. Please contact me for more information.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Just a quick note to say HI from the Caribbean.
I am having a fantastic time on board my very first cruise ship!! Yippee!! It's all good -- and filling :)

I would like to take a quick minute to thank Claudine Hellmuth (Designer extraordinaire) for linking her blog site to mine... to share what I have been doing with her Sticky-Back Canvas and Studio Line. Welcome to my new visitors. I hope you come back again soon. I will be posting more creations when I'm back on land :)

No Problem, Man :)