Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

Sorry that the links aren't live. I'm on my tablet and cut'n'paste and link-up abilities aren't easy to use.

Spring Blooming Tangle

Tangle Pattern Amalea

Tangle Pattern Cayla

Tangle Pattern Tube Loop

Tangle Pattern Tequarp

Tangle Pattern Joseph

Zentangle Pattern and 6 new tangles

Bringing Your Coloring Together Using Shadows


Stencilgirl Talk-gelliplate giveaway

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Sorry that the links aren't live. I'm on my tablet and cut'n'paste and link-up abilities aren't easy to use.

Zendala Dare #62

Weekly Challenge #124

Weekly Zentangle Roundup

bracketed VIDEO

How to Draw Fiore

AMAZING Emergency Gifts... Three-Horses Resin ATCs by Sandra Strait

Video: Caring For Your Pens

Bees Wax Tools & Tips

June Giveaway-Donna Salazar Products

Giveaway and how-to Enlarge a stamp

Anything but a Card Challenge


Monday, June 24, 2013

AMAZING Emergency Gifts... Three-Horses Resin ATCs by Sandra Strait

ZI saw it coming.  I thought I'd planned for it.

My mother turns 90 (will have, by the time this is posted) and to celebrate we're having a family reunion.  Relatives will be coming in from England and Australia, and even from3 the far, far reaches of Florida, U.S.A.!  We've done this before, and the tradition is to exchange small birthday gifts with everybody, no matter when their birthday falls.

So I've been working on gifts for quite a while.  I knew that someone unexpected would decide to show up at the last minute, and I made extra gifts. But. I didn't make enough, dad-rat it! A recent marriage and a new girlfriend with a child, left me short-handed.

Well, you may not think of Amazing Casting Resin as being quick and easy, but it is, and I was able to make up my shortfall in under an hour!

For the details on how I made these ATCs, check out my Design Team post at the
Amazing Mold Putty blog!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

Our family is having a reunion to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday next week, so my Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways will not be posted every day and may be sparse even when posted.  Things should be back to normal after the end of the month.

Blockheads Paper Arts is going out of business.  Currently, everything is on 35% off (online only).  There will be a 20% off sale this today(6/22) at the brick'n'mortar store.  Stock is selling fast, so don't wait!

Tangle pattern Beamz

How to draw GOOD JOSS

Tangle string 058-


Win Imaginisce product from 'My Craft Channel'-over 80 pieces including tools, embellishments, paper 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review of the Exacompta FAF Pad #Exacompta #zentangle #review

Exacompta FAF Pad (4.25 x 7.25)

What is the FAF pad?  It's a desk notepad, with a retro look.  FAF stands for Fabrique en France.  In other words 'Made in France'.  And so they are.  They've been made in Paris for over 50 years in the workshop of Gustave Eiffel (yes, of Eiffel Tower fame).  They're fun, functional and unique.


No of Page: 200  
Paper Color: White  
Paper Weight: 60 GSM 
  • Small,  4W x 6 3/4H
  • Medium, 4 5/8W x 7 3/4H; 11,5 x 18,5 cm (shown here)
  • Large, 5 1/2W x 8 5/8H
Refillable & Microperforated


The FAF is a contradiction in terms.  You have solid, metal construction with a lightweight paper pad, making it heavy enough to double as a paper-weight, yet light enough that you could carry it to a meeting or class.  

The paper is held together with bolts and washers, and the back is a metal plate with non-slip pads.  The FAF won't slide off your desk or get lost in the pile of papers.

The paper itself is very thin, but it won't tear easily.  It will fold or crinkle easily.

 The microperf allows you to tear paper off smoothly, without difficulty, but is sturdy enough that you can hold the entire pad by the end of one sheet, and it will hold. (I even shook it vigorously!)


The bolts and washers are easily screwed and unscrewed, so changing out the pads will be no problem.

The paper:
Show-through: Not bad.  It is minimal for writing.  Even with heavy saturation, show-through of the ink isn't bad unless the ink is 'wet' (meaning it's has a watery or heavy flow)

Bleed -through: The Vert Empire ink used at top is very 'wet', almost like watercolor, and did spot at the back.  None of the other inks bled through at all.

Smearing: Drying time is slower, as are most fountain-pen friendly papers.  I deliberately ran a finger through the ink immediately after heavy saturation.  Again, the 'wet' Vert Empire was the worst.  The BIC pen barely smeared at all.

Feathering: None

Erasability: Using a clean pencil eraser, I was able to remove quite a bit of the graphite.  Erasability is about average.  No pilling or tearing but I had to hold the paper firmly to avoid crinkling.

The biggest issue with the paper will be smearing, and that is easily avoided with care or choice of pen.

I did a black and white drawing with the BIC pen, as I felt this would be the most common 'artistic' use of this paper.  I was able to get a wide range of values.

While there was some show-through, there was not one speck of ink that bled through.

For my color drawing test, I used J. Herbin fountain pen ink (including the very 'wet' Vert Empire) and thoroughly saturated the paper.  The colors came out bright and crisp.  There was no pilling or curling.  There was some dimpling, mostly based on the difference in ink saturation.

Surprisingly little show-through and bleed-through considering the heavy application of ink.  Most bleed-through occurred when I added a second layer of ink before the first layer dried.


The FAF notepad is an eye-turner that will fit in on almost any desktop or table.  While light enough to carry, the protruding bolts and easily crumpled paper keep it from being truly portable.  That may be the only flaw.  The well-made construction and fountain-pen friendly paper make this a unique, but truly functional piece that will improve any office or artist's desk.

Other Reviews of the Exacompta FAF Pad

Pocket Blonde

Pencil Talk

I want to thank Exaclair for sending me the FAF pad for purposes of review.  I received no compensation other than the product, and all opnions expressed are my own.

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

I'm truly sorry to pass on the news that the Blockheads Paper Arts retail store is closing June 29th.  There will be a sale at the Brick'n' Mortar Store on June 22nd at:

7201 NE Glisan Street Suite C
Portland OR 97213-6369

How to draw CHARTZ

Watercolour week - Lina McDermott

Creating backgrounds with stamps and Copics...and one more 


Carol Quance Tag Book Part 2 ....

Monoprinting in a Sketchbook Part I

Tumbler Tote-orial: Layer Cake Gift Bag Buddies

Win A Rhinolin Desk Pad From Artistic Products

SEI’s July Card Making kit

Webster's Pages Warehouse Sale is ON-SALE NOW  {& a chance to WIN!}

Stamping Tips Video & a Stamp Giveaway from the Frugal Crafter

May Arts Blog-Nautical Craft Challenge Entries {and a giveaway}

Graphic 45 Blog Giveaway- Bohemian Bazaar prize pack

Prima Sneak Peek: Everyday Vintage by IOD

FALL SUBMISSIONS for Paperhaus Magazine

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

I'm truly sorry to pass on the news that the Blockheads retail store is closing June 29th.  There will be a sale on June 22nd at:

7201 NE Glisan Street Suite C
Portland OR 97213-6369

Keep an eye out for the newsletter announcing Blockheads online closing sale.

Weekly Challenge #123

New Tangle - Koda

Golden open acrylics sweepstakes | week 3 giveaway


Krylon ColorMaster Spray Paint Giveaway

A fabulous layout with step by step instructions from Jelissa

Using The Kneadable Eraser for Subtractive Drawing

How to Draw a Chrome Sphere With Colors

Don’t Throw It Away-Broken IPad cover monoprinting

Anything But a Card Challenges - WEEK 2 for Challenge No. 21


A Few Good Men-Free digital downloads

Deflect-O Cube Organizers/Shoplet Review #shopletreviews

Okay, you're an artist or crafter or hobbyist of any kind. You work in an office or cook or...

 What item are all of you most likely to use most?

I'm betting the most common answer is!

This month, Shoplet sent me some terrific storage cubes from Deflect-o.  I received a two-drawer, four-drawer, x-divider and an open space cube.  Between the four, I'll have to perfect space for almost those small items that I'm always searching for.  From now on, my scissors and erasers and most commonly used pens will be right at hand. Those markers, and tapes and adhesives will be easy to find.

All four can be clipped together to create one unit, or placed separately where needed. Adding on in the future will be simple.  And I know me--I'll always have need of more storage as my art and craft hoard grows!

6" w x 6"h x 6 d"
152 x 152 x 152 mm

Transparent for easy location of items
Sturdy plastic build
Stackable-two clips for linking included with each cube

The cubes are transparent, but there is a texture to them, so they aren't perfectly clear. The plastic itself is a rigid surface that is light but sturdy.  There is the slightest give to it, which should make it harder to crack, while not allowing the surface to bow if you place items on top of them.

The drawers slide in and out smoothly.

Each cube comes with two clips and the cubes have a slight indentation on all four sides for fitting the clips.  No instructions came with my cubes but it was easy enough to figure out.  I lined up the clip-shaped indentations on two cubes and slipped the clip in place. Easy-Peasy.

The clips go on easily, and come back off without too much effort (be careful with your fingernails, though).  When I picked up all four units clipped together, some of the clips slid, so when moving more than one unit, make sure you are securely holding ALL the units.

Two clips per cube are more than enough.  After clipping all four together I had four clips left over.  Great in case I lose a clip and I might be able to use the left-over clips to attach these units to existing storage units that I have.

I like the size and shape of the cubes, and while I will clip all four together for now, it's nice that I stack them differently or separate them as I change my workspace--something I tend to do often, depending on the projects I'm currently working on.  I love having the four different layouts!  I always get frustrated because some item or another doesn't fit what I have or gets lost behind or under everything else.  I can avoid that frustration with these Deflect-o cubes.

On the units with drawers, the drawers are not physically attached and are easily removed, so you could convert those units to a more open format, and store the drawers separately, if desired.  They fit snugly enough that they won't fall, but they could tip when you slide them out, f heavily weighted toward the front.

The triangular shape of the slots in the X-Divider cube are nice for some of those odd-shaped items, like scissors and tubes.  They are also nice for storing markers, pens or gel sticks, especially if all of them are the same size and shape.

The open cube is roomy.  I was surprised at how much I was able to squeeze into the space and still leave a little leeway for reaching in and pulling out the items in back.

Perhaps the only nitpick I have with them is the texture.  The texture is fine, but it does cloud the transparency.  I'd rather the plastic be totally clear or actually decorated.  I may decorate mine.

Most of my current storage is either hand-made or softer plastic.  I've avoided rigid plastic because it's easier to crack.  The Deflect-o cubes do seem sturdier than most of the similar units I've seen and examined in stores.

These four cubes fit perfectly at the side of my workspace.  It didn't take long to fill the units up, and I can see the need for more.  I was surprised though, at how much I was able to fit into them.  All my Gelatos, all my 2 oz Golden acrylic mediums, my washi tapes and most of my 2-sided tapes.  My most commonly used pens, some glazes, all my erasers and pencils, and pencil sharpener.  My scissors, my stamping blocks, and some inks and all the stamps I haven't put away and... well, you get the idea.  I was able to free up some sacks and boxes that took up double the space, and much less neatly.

Yeah, I'll definitely be getting more of these.
I want to thank Shoplet for giving me the opportunity to try out these products and to remind you that you can fulfill all your office supplies and promotional products needs at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

I'm truly sorry to pass on the news that the Blockheads retail store is closing June 29th.  There will be a sale on June 22nd at:

7201 NE Glisan Street Suite C
Portland OR 97213-6369

Tangle Refresher 53

Weekly Zentangle Roundup

New pattern, Migracurl, at Rainbow Elephant

Sorry! I didn't find any, lol! All the giveaways I came across were flash giveaways that only lasted a few hours. Hopefully, I'll find something for tomorrow!

Sweet Stamps Monthly challenge: Chalkboard technique

Create Mixed Media Scratch Art with Cray-Pas Oil Pastels

Free Downloads For July 4th Celebrating

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways

Did you know there are rubber stamps based on the Zentangle-Inspired Artwork of Norma J Burnell? You can find them at Sweetpea Stamps.

Adventures in Monotangles #14 - Hollibaugh

Awrop Tangle pattern


Giveaway: Penny Black Stamps

LYB & Faber-Castell Blog Swap - Day 4


Multi-Colored Resin Bangles

Gelato Resist Card

Mod Podge Resist Greeting Cards


Making an altered art tin

Metal embossed panels

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways


Weekly Zentangle Roundup #72

How to draw ORBS-LA-DEE

Weekly roundup of #Zentangle and drawing articles, tutorials, new tangles and patterns.

June Kit Bits & Pieces Giveaway

Test drive a Quo Vadis Planner

Art Journal Techniques: How to Make a Travel Journal, A Handmade Journal, Plus Art Journaling Techniques

Quinn Creative artjournaling project: loose leaf journaling

/How-To: Owl Eye and Feathers

Monday is Featured Fan-Day over at the Amazing Mold Putty blog.  If you have any projects using Amazing Mold Putty or Amazing Clear Cast Resin or Amazing Casting Resin follow these directions:

"If you want to be one of our "Featured Fans" – please send us your BEST photo of a project made using Amazing Mold Putty, Amazing Casting Resin or Amazing Clear Cast Resin TODAY by 6pm EST {Eastern Standard Time} to: 

Please include one AMAZING photo {and a detail if needed}, your info, blog link and a brief paragraph explanation.

You can see a couple of previous featured fan projects at the Amazing Mold Putty Blog:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton

I live in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, and I've seen the work of fellow Portlander, Serena Barton in the past, and was intrigued.  When I saw that she had written a book about her methods and celebration of Happy Accidents... Well, I had to have it.

I had hoped to do some work based off projects in the book, but I only got my copy yesterday, and Serena has a giveaway that ends tomorrow.  Her giveaway is an amazing opportunity to win an original artwork from Serena, so I wanted to make sure my readers had the chance to enter).

A chance to win an original piece of artwork by Serena Barton-ends June 8th.

Jill Berry's blog-Giveaway for a copy of the book-ends June 10.

Serena does have a blog hop going (same link as the giveaway), so you'll be able to find several more reviews of the book.

Most importantly:
To buy a signed copy form Serena directly (free S&H within the continental U.S., and she'll send you a collage grab bag.  This is what I got with my copy)

Now, on to my review!

Paperback: 128 pages

Table of Contents:
1. Looking for Wabi-Sabi and Finding It All Around You
2. Patina of Time: Creating the Effects of Seasoning
3. Strata of Time: Creating Layers of Texture
4. Throw in the Towel: Working with the Unexpected
5. Abstracting from the Real: The Power of Suggestion
6. Translucence: Creating Wabi-Sabi in Wax
7. Buriesd Treasure: 3-D Wax Art and Other Enhancements

The illustrations are beautifully photographed and clearly illustrate the steps being described.  Directions are simple and to the point.

The Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop explores techniques in mixed media.  Serena introduces you to techniques using beeswax, oil and acrylic paints, alcohol inks, re-inkers, foils, pastels, plaster, collage and papers, coffee and teabags, paper towels, and more.

I've found there tend to be two kinds of people when it comes to a book like this.  There are those that like to read from stem to stern and get into the author's mind.  Then there are those that just want to create--forget the chit-chat and lead me to the projects!

The book is laid out in a fashion that will make it easy for both types to use the book as they wish.

Serena discusses her feelings and the philosophy behind Wabi-Sabi, and Haiku poestry is salted throughout, making the book an enjoyable read (I know I'll be pulling it out for rainy day Sundays, just to savor the text and enjoy the illustrations).

However, the list of supplies needed for each chapter are listed at the beginning, and it is easy to pinpoint when discussion ends and instruction begins.  Several of the important techniques, used throughout, are explained in the first chapter.  The projects do build on each other, but the titles are in a font easily noticed, and describe the technique for that section.  If you want to start at a later project instead of reading from front to back, you can easily find the instructions to techniques explained earlier in the book.

Although, most of the projects shown are created on rigid supports, I believe many of the techniques could be adapted for use in art journals and scrapbook layouts.  I have it in mind to create some beautiful cards using them, too.

 June is a busy month for me, and though I'm itching to start using these techniques, I'll have to wait.  July, though. July is going to be Wabi-sabi month for me!

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Review: The Art of Zentangle-50 Inspiring Drawings, Designs & Ideas for the Meditative Artist

Pattern Peeping: Keeko

ATC Swap with Judy West

Win a Demo sample plus a pot of Royal Gold and a pot of Soft White Cosmic Shimmer Texture Paste


May Arts Ribbon / Core’dinations / Stampendous Blog Hop – Day 5!

Renaissance Art Leather Journal

InkJournal Classic Notebook - 3 Pack

Spectrum Noir Design Team Call

Rubber Stamp Madness Magazine Challenge (Facebook)

The 6/2 Carnival of #Creativity is posted

June freebie at Digistamps4Joy, but you better act fast....

Freebie/Blog Hop/Giveaway:
PAPERHAUS SUMMER ISSUE 2013-Day 7  Free online magazine. All June long-blog hop with prizes!

Happy Accidents!- AMAZING Inspiration from ....Sandra Strait (that's me!)

Wow!  This strange young lady must have 'Happy Accident' feet, 'cause she's dancing!
Learn how resin spills are turned from accidents to opportunity, and this big blob and others are turned into cool and whimsical embellishments for cards, journals and jewelry!  You can find out at my  guest designer post on the Amazing Mold Putty blog!


Want to SOCIALize? Please follow Amazing Crafting Products on Twitter at@AmazingCrafting and on Pinterest HERE -or- join us on our Facebook page.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: The Art of Zentangle-50 Inspiring Drawings, Designs & Ideas for the Meditative Artist

50 Inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative mrtist 
by Margaret Bremner, Norma J. Burnell, Penny Raile, & Lara Williams 

Paperback: 144 pages
Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.7 x 11.6 inches

The Art of Zentangle is written by four of the most talented Certified Zentangle Teachers out there.

It is a workbook, first and foremost.  There are blank spaces and blank pages throughout so that you can practice what you've learned from the book.  But that doesn't mean the authors have stinted on content.  Oh no, they've come up with plenty for you to read and do!

The book slants toward Zentangle-Inspired Art rather than the traditional Zentangle method (though it does touch on the traditional as well).  You'll learn to tangle hummingbirds and fairies and zendalas and delightful and whimsical creatures as well as borders and frames!  There are specific projects for you to create and patterns for you to practice.

The illustrations are gorgeous, and the instructions are simple and clear.  The authors have done a fabulous job of integrating both writing and drawing styles so the reader never feels jolted as they move from one author to the next.

Even someone with no drawing or tangling experience will be able to use this book. Projects are done in a step-by-step method that leads you through the process, and you are given tips and techniques in drawing and relaxing as well as tangling.  Still, the experienced will have something to learn, and will find it easy to expand on what is being taught.

I don't believe that any of the tangles in the book are new, but some, such as Flux may never have been posted online.

In conclusion, this is a book that will be useful for tanglers, doodlers, art journalists, scrapbookers and crafters of all kinds. It's fun, full of information and you'll be able to spend hours working on your new skills.

Tangles included are: Flux, Hollibaugh, Roxi, Pokeleaf, Dragonair, Chainlea, Printemps, Cadent, Shing, Poppet, Zippee! and Twink.
Projects included are: Fish Aquarium, Fantasy Garden, Tangly Toadstools,Silhouette Tangles, Hummingbird, Fairy, Zentangle Mandala, Mandala Stencil String, Glitter Tangles and Tangled Frame.
Other subjects: Tools & Materials, Getting Started, Enhancements, Patterns & Borders, Creatures & Sillies, Tangled Motifs, Channeling Picasso, Finding Inspiration, ZIA Fairies, Getting Centered, and Creating Strings.

Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

PAPERHAUS SUMMER ISSUE 2013-Day 6  Free online magazine. All June long-blog hop with prizes!

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Zentangle Challenges The Daily New Tangle Challenge Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus Zentangle All Around-Taking it to the Next L...