2016 DesignerCon Recap

This year I was finally about to attend DesignerCon or otherwise known as DCon. While my recap is somewhat belated I still wanted to share some info on a few of the seriously talented artists I met at this show.

So what is DesignerCon? As per their website:

“Designer Con is an annual art and design convention that smashes together collectible toys and designer goods with urban, underground and pop art! DCon is over 90,000 sq. ft. and features over 350 vendors, art & custom shows, live demonstrations, and much more! he show coordinators strive to provide a fun, safe, comfortable environment for fans, artists, and vendors to meet. Join us every November at the Pasadena Convention Center for a weekend of fun, toys, and art!”

While I was only able to attend one day due to scheduling conflicts, making it a mad dash to be able to see all the vendors and wonderful artists, it was an awesome show to attend. With so many talented people selling their art is was honestly hard to pick who to buy from and what. It is not a show to miss and next time I hope to go both days to not just walk the floors but attend some of the special events and panels.

I wanted to show some of the artists I bought from, their links on social networks and where others might buy more of their work outside of DesignerCon!

*Some shops might be down for the holidays or have specials going only for the holidays, make sure to check out their different social networks for updates.


Artists Amanda Louise Spayd and Chris Ryniak had a combined booth showcasing their sculptures, vinyl figures, illustrations, prints and buttons. Their unique spin on monsters and wee creatures has been a favorite of mine for years and it was a pleasure to finally meet them in person and buy some of their art.

Their combined shop:

Amanda Louise Spayd
Created the puppets in the short film The Maker:

Chris Ryniak
Making Monsters by Chris Ryniak lecture at Patreon’s first ever creator conference:


Artists Shing Yin Khor, otherwise known as Sawdust Bear and Leslie Levings creator of the Beastlies had a combined booth as well. Each of these artists had sculptures, resin castings, illustrations, prints, cards and buttons of their lovely and playful work. Seemingly lost specimens and denizens of hidden worlds each one of their pieces of artwork is full of personality.

Sawdust Bear



I had the opportunity of seeing artist Kathy Davis at the 2016 Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show, before meeting her again at her DesignerCon booth. A truly talented doll artist and jewelry designer, her one of kind pieces were not to be missed! Her sculptures and dolls seem to have stepped right out of a fairy tale.



Artist Melissa Pagluica, creator of Above the Clouds, a comic that tells two intertwining stories, the adventures of a hero who must save a dying world, and a girl who must convince an author to finish what he has started. Her lovely dreamlike illustrations caught my eye from the aisle, even without knowing they came from her comic series, and I couldn’t leave her booth without buying a few.



Artist William Kieffer, otherwise known as Cap’n Bill, had an amazing display of deep sea creature sculptures, cards and prints. His highly detailed and wildly imaginative art harked back to deep sea creature myths and tall tails, while his greeting cards tapped into pop culture humor.



Artist Dirty Lola, otherwise known as Scarlett River, had a lovely assortment of prints, cards and antique altered decorative plates of her pop culture art. Celebrities are portrayed as saints, dignitaries or one of kind focals in her lovely retro art.



Artist shop Sadie Luca had a wonderful assortment purses, bags, pins, prints and aprons with retro horror camp prints with a modern fashion spin.



After just one day at DesignerCon I came back home with all of these wonderful items to display, share with others and give as holiday gifts!

We need and want beautiful art in our lives, but to have this we need to support artists who’s work we appreciate. Buy their art art, their images, sculptures, clothing, music and more, I can’t stress this enough. We lost a lot of amazing artists in 2016, support artists in their lifetime.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, Until Next Time, Safe Travels!


Fall Miniature Art Supply Finds

With the first day of Fall fast approaching I swear I can almost smell the cool air, soon to be falling leaves, pumpkin pie and Halloween candy to come! It also has me haunting stores in search of new art supplies, in particular items perfect for Halloween and my eternal addiction, miniatures.  Sit down for a spell, pour yourself a cup of tea and let me speak of some of the crafting bounty.


These 1/12th Scale Miniature Cocktail Glasses I found on Amazon. They are clear plastic and rather lightweight so gluing them down or filling them with resin, such as I did to create a miniature Happy Hour with the help of Amazing Clear Cast, is highly suggested. My tutorial on how to fill these darling cups can be found HERE. No two cups are alike in the set so if you would like to have doubles or to create a table setting you will need to buy several sets.


Even though Thrift Shop Ephemera Pack by Tim Holtz Idea-ology® paper embellishments has been out for several years, and easily found at most craft shops, I had thought it wouldn’t be of much use to me. Once I finally got a good look at the pack I broke down and bought one. I saw some of the mini photos and insect prints, once opened I found some really wonderful miniature advertisements and bottle labels perfect for Playscale (1/6th)and 1/12th scale miniatures. I would say only about 1/4th of the pack is good for miniature scenes but since I do a lot of mixed media work I thought it was a great buy.


The previous pack encouraged me to go ahead and buy the Curiosities Ephemera Pack by Tim Holtz Idea-ology® in the Halloween crafting section of Michaels. It is mostly Halloween with a tiny bit of Fall themed paper embellishments. I would say almost the entire pack is perfect for Playscale (1/6th)and 1/12th scale miniatures along with mixed media art. Just full of reproduction prints, in miniature, of postcards, decorations, bottle labels, advertisements and science lab posters, this is a must have for any fan of Halloween and vintage prints.


Another product that has been out for awhile but normally shoved into the scrapbooking sections of most stores is the Tim Holtz Idea-ology® Decorative Domes. I would honestly call these domes mixed media and jewelry findings with a nice overlap into scale miniature. The glass domes are rather thick glass with a sturdy brass loop on top (which with the addition of a jumpring would make a cute pendant). I found most 1/12th scale skulls, or in this case beads, fit inside the domes. Glued down with a little moss, they look perfect as specimens in a science lab!


Another scrapbook section sequestered collection is the Tim Holtz Idea-ology® Corked Domes. Taller, and thinner glass than the Decorative Domes, without a brass ring on top, these are more mixed media and miniature use. With the cord base it is very easy to push metal wire, pins and bases in and put the dome on top to create still life and museum miniature replicas.


I found at my local JoAnn store Maker’s Halloween™ Littles and Art-C™ Mini Black Metal Keys. The little resin skull and bat was in the floral department as decor for miniature fairy gardens. There is quite a few resin pieces to pick from but the skull stuck out as a prefect miniature desk decoration. The keys can normally be found in the scrapbook embellishment section or jewelry charm section. I added the keys to a large black enameled jumpring to create keyring. JoAnn doesn’t seem to carry these items online, so check your local store to see what they have in stock!


These new Pemberley Tray Charms and Multicolored Tea Set Charms By Bead Landing™ I found at a local Michaels but you can also find them at their Online Store. They have quite a few charm sets but my favorite is the matching Tray and Tea Sets. While intended as jewelry charms, and the plates have tiny holes in them, they are around 1/12th in scale. If you place a cup just right or add a tiny biscuit, to hide the holes in the plates, they are a lovely addition to miniature scene.


After I unpacked all my miniature finds I quickly found I had a perfect scientists’ Halloween soirée!

What lovely miniature treasures will you find in your travels?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!



A #Cre8time voyage to find Pirate Treasure!

With Fall fast approaching, I am once again looking at new ways to jump start my creativity. I finally decided to order pieces from Relics & Artifacts® by Sandra Evertson to try out. The line has been catching my interest for a few years every time I see them at craft and hobby trade shows and on social media. Locally no stores currently carry their product line however it is rather easy to order the Matte Resin Craft Blanks from their website (they ship VERY quickly and package the art supplies wonderfully!). The resin blanks were larger than I expected, had a nice weight, tooth to the surface (great for paint application) and fine detail.


I bought 4 sets but the pieces in the Ancient Soul and Regalis sets got my mind whirling immediately. The skull focal in the Ancient Soul set had me thinking of a Jolly Roger and a sunken treasure chest. I collected some vintage jewelry supplies and started my craft voyage into uncharted seas….


Unfinished Wood Trinket Box (I found one at Jo-Ann)
Relics & Artifacts® Ancient Soul and Regalis Matte Resin Craft Blanks
Alumilite Metallic Powder Gold
Liquitex Gloss Varnish
Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive
Stampendous Crystal Snow White Glitter, Ultra Fine
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paint in Metallic Light Gold, Black, Burnt Umber, Terra Cotta, White and Yellow Ocher
Baking Parchment Paper (as a work surface)
2 Flat head jewelry pliers
1 Broken bracelet, chain necklace, shell beads and flat backed rhinestones 4mm, jumprings
4 used and dried tea bags
Dried Green Moss


I started by painting the inside and outside of the unfinished wood box. I diluted the paint with water to create a color wash that would stain the wood but still leave the wood grain visible. First coat of diluted paints was the Terra Cotta, then the Burnt Umber and finally the Black in the nooks and crannies.


While I let the wooden box dry I removed the eye pins carefully with pliers that are put into Relics & Artifacts® pieces by the manufacturer, since I wasn’t going to make them into jewelry. I painted the pieces and the trim on the box with Metallic Light Gold paint. They needed two coats because most metallic paints need several coats for full coverage. The resin pieces were easy to paint and I didn’t have a single issues with the paint beading up or sliding off like with other resin blanks on the market!


Once all the pieces were dry I applied them to the wood box with Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive. A broken bracelet with beautiful metal spacers I took apart and glued the spacers to the box to give the illusion of metal brackets bolted to the box. Once the glue was dry I did another color wash of the Burnt Umber and Black acrylic paints all over the box and glued on embellishments to give them an aged appearance. I attached broken chain from an old necklace to the bracelet spacers, glued onto the box, with jumprings.


In a small cup I mixed up some White and Yellow Ocher acrylic paint with dried tea leaves and a little Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive.  I applied it around the bottom and sides of the box in small clumps to give the illusion that barnacles had started to grow around this long forgotten treasure. Once the faux barnacles were dry I did a Black acrylic paint wash to give them detail. I added some Liquitex Gloss Varnish over and around the edges of the barnacles and sprinkled on Stampendous Crystal Snow White Glitter. Once dry it looked like salt deposits from sea water.


I randomly applied more spots of varnish and glitter to give a grungy, salty appearance to the treasure chest. I glued on tiny bits of moss on the box along the edges and embellishments.


When applying the faux barnacle mixture to the box I was sure to press it against the resin pieces and edges of the box for a good bond. To make it look like the barnacles had grown haphazardly I pushed the back end of a paint brush here and there into the tea leaves and paint mixture.


Not forgetting the back of the treasure chest, I had glued on more bracelet pieces, metal embellishments and tiny vintage glass rhinestones. With the chain linked into the bracelet spacers, draped back to front on the chest, my Pirate Treasure Chest was complete!


I really love how this piece came out and can’t wait to try out more of the Relics & Artifacts® line with future art projects.

What lovely mixed media treasures will you create?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Craft Books

Around the World with 80 Artists

I am proud to announce I am one of the participating artists in the book Around the World with 80 Artists: A Creative Art Academy Arts and Crafts Adventure.

This book is an adventure around the world with 80 artists, 80 plus projects, from 22 countries. All forms of art and craft niches, from mixed media, coloring, cut and create, drawing, card making, scrapbooking and more! Arts and crafts for the beginner to intermediate to the advanced, but most of all you’ll be able to see that creativity is something that holds this earth together and brings us all closer together.

The reason Editor Mahe Zehra Husain came up with this project is an attempt to highlight the theme of creativity around the world. She wanted to counteract the negativity, hate, and terrible things in the news happening all over the world, to remind us of how beautiful this world is if we share our common love for arts and crafts. This book was her way to get so many new artists and creative folk to come together to work on one project with love and creativity flowing in from many different countries of the world.

The Around the World with 80 artists book has reached No. 1 status in Crafts, Hobbies and Home on Amazon! You can download a FREE copy, for today and tomorrow only, even if you don’t own a Kindle. After that the Kindle copy and workbook will become paid and will be priced at $14.99.  From the proceeds of the ebook sales and the kickstarter Mahe Zehra Husain will be contributing 20% to the Malala Fund as well.

The book also comes with a downloadable workbook that has all the necessary printable pages. Here is the link for the workbook.

Here is a sneak peak at my tutorial, Adventures in Resin, included in the book.


Until Next Time, Safe Travels!


Trade Bead #Cre8time and Destash!

Lately I have been in a craft and art supply de-stash mode. Sorting, organizing, giving away and even having art supply swaps with friends and family. Getting all of my supplies in order and finding long forgotten items always gets me in a creative mode.


In the process of cleaning my jewelry supplies I found collections of wire snippets. Whenever working with jewelry wire I always end up with snips of random length, size and style. I collect these pieces in hopes that I can do something creative with these scraps, however they just generally end up in little bags and boxes and forgotten about. This time I wasn’t going to let that happen.


Along with all the wire scraps I started to unearth glass trade beads I had collected over the years. This is just one of many of the storage containers of trade bead I found, mostly containing beads from Africa, Asia and Europe. Using an oh so expensive egg carton I started to sort the beads by shape and color hue.


Using the scraps of wire, needle nose pliers and wire snips I looped the pieces of wire to create eyepin wires for all of the sorted trade beads. I created as many as I could using up all the wire, taking a little bit of time every night for a week to create these beaded links.


In the end I had piles of different colored beads on gold and silver wire, perfect to make beaded link necklaces. So many, in fact, I was able to create 5 necklaces, 18 inch long, perfect to give as gifts to friends and family!

By doing a little bit of crafting de-stash what wonderful crafts will you create?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!