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December 2020 posts

This post is from February 2014. Learning to put in a zipper is one of the best skills I've ever learned. It's extremely useful and easier than you think! Given that it's New Year's Eve, what crafty skill are you hoping to learn in 2021? ---- I've been wanting to learn how to put in a zipper forever. I find the whole thing very intimidating. But, last weekend I was bound and determined to make it happen! I googled a million tutorials and finally found one that made sense to me. It's from a woman named Debbie Shore: Of course,... Read more →


I wrote this post back in August of 2011. Almost a decade ago. But it's still as true today as it was then. ----- I was shocked by the number of commenters on this post who expressed surprise at my project being rejected for publication. First of all, thank you! Your kind words always make me feel so much better. And second, I get rejected all the time. I just don't blog about it. Rejection is just a part of the game. It comes with the territory. So let's have a little chat about it. Being Rejected for Publication No... Read more →


Hello, friends! Here's a little bit about life around here right now: What are you working on? Every single day I record and edit videos for my "Year of Gelatin Printing" online course. It's an absolutely epic course. Each month is packed with tons of videos and tons of content. (19 videos in February alone.) A highlight: I've finally mastered intentional printing with watercolor on the gelatin plate. Instead of blobby marks, I can actually get lines and dashes and even spray-inked stenciled designs to print. I'm so excited about it! (And I'm so excited to share it with my... Read more →


I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Today I'm sharing my carves from days 21-27 of #CarveDecember 2020: This first set of tags was created by using my gelatin plate. In the #CarveDecemberClass I share how I use my hand carved stamps with the gelatin plate. These next two prints are both reduction prints. You may recall that I posted about reduction printing back in September. It's a method of printing in which you destroy the block as you print. It's a super fun process! I've noticed a theme of nature -- especially leaves and flowers -- in my... Read more →


Christina Richmond -- one of the #CarveDecemberClass teachers -- sent me down a rabbit hole this week. She posted a 3-D star she had made: I have always loved these 3-D stars. I even have a few hanging in my studio! I suppose that I could have followed the link and just used the tutorial Christina shared. But I'm stubborn. And I just have to reinvent the wheel sometimes. As a result, these stars took me hours and hours and hours to make. Here was my process: I wanted to make an SVG file so that I wouldn't have to... Read more →


These wreath cookies have got to be some of the simplest and cutest cookies I've ever made. I didn't have a large circle cookie cutter, so I used a drinking glass. Necessity is the mother of invention! If you're interested in doing some baking, but don't want to get out the piping bags, Christmas Crack is one of my favorite things on earth to make. And it's easy. Here's the deal: You will need: crackers - saltines, graham crackers, club crackers, etc. 1 cup of packed brown sugar 2 sticks of butter 16 oz chocolate chips You can add: pretzels,... Read more →


I am a procrastinator. About everything. Including gift giving. So, one of my favorite last minute gifts to give is a gift certificate (handmade or otherwise). This little card/envelope has a "pop-up" segment for a gift card: If you want to shop local/shop small or give a personal gift (like doing the dishes for a week) you don't need to include a commercial gift card. You can make a little gift card! PSA: You can purchase a gift certificate for Balzer Designs online classes at any time! Just send me an email and I'll get you set up. You can... Read more →


This month has absolutely been flying by. I can't believe we're already two thirds of the way through #CarveDecember. Here are my most recent stamps: Amazing how different the same stamp can look depending on how you print it! I actually carved this one twice. Let me know which version you prefer! I can see that I'm slightly obsessed with stripes at the moment. And who can blame me? Far greater artists than I have spent a lifetime painting stripes, like Ellsworth Kelly... Sol LeWitt... Barnett Newman... and Bridget Riley... ...to name just a few! I'll have to see where... Read more →


If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, the concept is simple: It's a commitment to take ten minutes each day to do something in your art journal. No need to finish anything or even like it. It's about making the time to nourish your creativity every day! If you have the time to flip through your phone, you have the time to Art Journal Every Day. If you'd like to share what you make, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek. You can find new Art Journal Every Day posts here on the blog... Read more →