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April 2021 posts

On this episode of The Adventures in Arting Podcast, Mom and I chat with Tania Ahmed about her life in the craft industry. Tania is smart and insightful and totally down-to-earth. I really enjoyed my conversation with her and related to so much that she said and I think you will too. There was so much to talk about. Give it a listen: If you do not see the podcast player above, please click on this link. On the off chance that you've never listened to a podcast or don't get why anybody would want to, here are some facts:... Read more →

Hello, friends! Here is a little bit about life around here right now: What are you working on? I am putting together a new online class (planning to release it this summer) all about developing a sketchbook habit. The format is going to be 30 short videos over 30 days. I've filmed the first few videos already and I'm really excited about it! Let me know your sketchbook questions in the comments section! What are you loving? This week we moved this bench/chair hybrid from the upstairs foyer to the downstairs front hall. I wasn't sure about the scale (it's... Read more →

I have been using a ScanNCut since 2013. I have been designing stencils for The Crafter's Workshop since 2011. They're two things that I absolutely adore and have been doing for a long long time, so mashing them together seems like a total no-brainer. The exciting news is that there are many many ways to create stencils with your ScanNCut. Some of them are simple and based around scanning drawings. Some of them are complicated and involve spending a lot of time with a computer screen. But the good news is that you, yes YOU, can create awesome stencils with... Read more →

My friend Nathalie Kalbach hosts monthly FREE webinars on a variety of art-related topics. I will be part of the panel this Friday, April 30th, at 12PM EST. Here's the official description: Join artists Nat Kalbach, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Iris Fritschi-Cussens, and Jimmy Leslie as they discuss the ups and downs, ins and outs, and the good, bad, and ugly of using social media as artists. We'll talk about balancing privacy and sharing, potential benefits and downsides, and how participating can change your practice. Metrics, negative comments, and thoughts on how to get started will also be touched on. Let's... Read more →

This year's 100 Day Project has been challenging, fun, exasperating, exhilarating, and everything in between. Take a peek at my most recent pieces of "art botanical." You'll see layered printmaking, mixed media collage, acrylic painting, and more! I counted the stencils and prints I shared earlier in the week for days 78 & 79: And then it was back to mixed media collage: I'm enjoying mixing up my media, substrates, subjects, and more. However, I do see some similarities across many of these pieces. Do you? Here's what I see: Green, green, green, green! Also lots of purple, pink, and... Read more →

I'm diving into a new area of artwork. (What an exciting sentence to write, btw!) If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I love to make quilt tops, but I hate to quilt them. Case-in-point, this one has been in my drawer for more than a year (and has the wrinkles to prove it): I also love hand embroidery. Well, I'm mushing the two together: quilt tops that aren't quilted + hand embroidery. These are 8x8 "canvases." In essentials, I made a mini quilt top, added batting, and then wrapped it around a canvas. I'm really... Read more →

A Year of Gelatin Printing: Stamps & Texture Plates

There's still plenty of time to join in on the gelatin printing party! "I love how you teach Julie.. simple, thorough, really suits my style of not measuring and winging it! Thanks!" -- Robin "I love this next step in my gelli printing. It’s actually OK to be free and play. I just paint over something that doesn’t strike my fancy instead of being discouraged. Who knew!?! Thanks!!!!!!" -- Jeanne Printing with acrylic paint and stamps and texture plates -- commercial and hand made -- is tons of fun. Making stamps and texture plates is also incredibly fun! And I'm... Read more →

Several months ago, during a monthly member livestream, someone asked me a question about stencil design. As part of my demo, I hand cut this teeny tiny stencil: While cleaning up my studio this week, I found it. And it inspired me to create three new stencil designs. Basically, I made a cleaned-up digital version of my original hand cut stencil and then played with it in Adobe Illustrator. Here are some gelatin prints I made using these stencils: Which one is your favorite? If you'd like to learn all of my gelatin printing secrets, check out my online gelatin... Read more →

On this episode of The Adventures in Arting Podcast, Mom and I chat with Edva Sims about her pottery business, finding your personal style, and the belief that things made by hand are important. Give it a listen: If you do not see the podcast player above, please click on this link. On the off chance that you've never listened to a podcast or don't get why anybody would want to, here are some facts: (1) Podcasts are convenient. It's a recording that is available to you whenever and wherever you'd like to listen. You can pause, stop, start, fast... 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 →