Raise your hand if you're an art supply hoarder. I hope you find this post from November 21, 2018 useful. ---- I took a class this past weekend. The instructor had us do an exercise that focused on speed. When we were done she said, "Even if you don't like it, what have you lost? 5 minutes?!" The woman in front of me turned to her friend and said, "And wasted your fabric." That comment hit me like a silver bullet. I am an unabashed hoarder. I get how hard it is to let go of supplies you paid lots... Read more →

This is a re-post of a blog from October 14, 2020. It's two years old, but these are absolutely my ride-or-die go-to supplies still. Enjoy! ---- Here is a quick guide to some of my favorite art supplies. I limited myself to just a few choices in each category. My true "can't live withouts." You can find a much longer list HERE. Art Journaling No string China Marker/Grease Pencil Catalyst Brushes Liquitex Gesso Pilot Multiball Pen Stamp Carving Speedy Carve Speedball Carving Tools Permapaque Markers (for marking the block) Black Archival Ink Pad & Reinker Carve Stamp Play Book Mixed... Read more →

The Artful Holiday class is off to a fabulous start! On Monday, I shared how to make these super fun fabric earrings: Sharyn said, "Easy to follow and thorough instructions. I BELIEVE I can do this. I like that I can use my own stuff or paint a new design. Beautiful result! Great start to this series. Thanks." And I was thrilled when Laura posted her version of the earrings in the Balzer Designs Students Facebook Group: And Marybeth posted hers on instagram: As a teacher, there's nothing better than seeing the work you inspire! On Tuesday, Carolyn Dube taught... Read more →

The Artful Holiday Class begins on Monday and I'm so excited to share all of the super cool projects with you, like this mixed media book made from recycled materials and featuring a no sew binding: The Artful Holiday class is packed with projects and each project encompasses lots of different techniques that you can use and repurpose. I've brought back some teachers that were student favorites before, like Susana McDonnell from the Carve December class. Watch this short interview and chat with Susana: And I'm introducing you to some new and exciting teachers -- some of whom are teaching... Read more →

My art practice involves five major branches: Making Cleaning and Organizing Research and Learning Planning and Shopping Practice and Processing I'm currently mostly doing #2 today: cleaning and organizing. My current mission is sifting through all the pretty paper projects I've made recently and sorting them into three piles: sell, collage fodder, do more. SELL is pretty easy. If it looks great and I can imagine someone hanging it on their wall, it goes in the sell pile. 🙌 (This paper weaving is one of the tutorials from the Artful Holiday class, btw.) COLLAGE FODDER is the stuff that isn't... Read more →

In March, I established The Balzer Art Gallery just outside my house. It's like a little free lending library, but instead of books, it's filled with art. I seeded the gallery with some of my own artwork... ...but over time it has come to house lots of fabulous art from other folks. I've been sharing what's coming and going on the @BalzerArtGallery instagram account. Here's a peek at just a few images (these images and videos are embedded from instagram - if you're reading this on email and can't see them, view this blog post online.): I love checking the... Read more →

You guys, I am so very pleased to share that The Artful Holiday class is now open for registration. This project-based online workshop could also have been called "The Art of Celebrating." The last few years of COVID-life have been isolating and I, personally, have found myself wanting to make holidays feel a little bit more special. Hand made art and gifts are some of my favorite ways to share a bit of light and love with the people in my life. So I gathered eighteen amazing artist-friends and asked them to share the ideas and projects that fine artists... Read more →

Hey friends! I'm delighted to share that Jana, from the Artistically You Podcast, interviewed me and we chatted about finding your personal style. You can listen into our conversation HERE. Jana is a graduate of both Design Boot Camp Level 1 and 2, and we do end up chatting quite a bit about how that experience helped to shape her sense of personal style. I hope you enjoy the chat and find it useful in your own artistic journey! And now here's the round-up for June 2022: What's happening at home? The house is painted. Yay! You can see the... Read more →

Art is a practice. Like most artists, I have been through many different learning phases. For instance, I wanted to master faces. I did a ton of figure and portrait drawing over many years -- both trying to master how to render a face/body as well as find my style within portraiture. And don't let the 2010 start fool you. That's just how far back my digital photography goes. There were faces before 2010. Here's a small sampling of faces through the years: This is 2010: This is 2011: This is 2012: This is 2013: This is 2014: This is... Read more →

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. It's a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered. We are headed to our local town parade where, no doubt, there will be lots of American Flags being carried. Over the years, I've created a number of artistic flags -- aka, not totally accurate to what the flag actually looks like, but close enough that you get what it is. This one is from my art journal in 2014: As you can see, it's a flag with some artistic license taken. Instead of stars, the white script ends... Read more →