Monday, July 13, 2015

Instacraftcation 2015

Hello to all of y'all out there in Blog Land!  Welcome back to what I hope will be a much more active blog from now on.  For those of you (like my dear Amie) who have stuck with me through my move and setting up of the studio, I am super appreciative!  I love love love making new friends through social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and this blog.  Y'all become family to me.

All the gooshy stuff aside, let's get down to what today's post is all about, shall we?

This craziness happened over the weekend!  We had a lovely time at our #instacraftcation2015!  Now I can hear y'all asking what on earth is an "Insta-craft-cation".  A group of us that trade art through snail mail all met through Instagram decided to meet in person, take some Vacation time and Craft together.  Makes some sense now, doesn't it?  Y'all can all thank Tina personally for that hashtag!  Brilliant in my opinion.  Anyway... what started out as a much larger group unfortunately dwindled to just seven but we had a blast!

Our cast of misfits included:

Tina - the fabulous snarky uber talented woman from Virginia (Illinois if you're mailing her something but please don't call her a Yankee.  She lived in Texas!)  Find her on Instagram as @yourgirl_tina.

Amie - the queen of collage, current hit songs, snappy comebacks, and the reminder that midnight hair cuts from someone you just met are totally awesome!  You can check out her fabulousness on Instagram under the moniker @amiesea.

Tiffany - the odd one of the bunch!  Not any weirder than any of us attending, let me just get that on the record!  But Tiffany doesn't make ATCs and trade in our groups!  But she was friends with Tina and free that weekend so join she did!  And I am super happy she did!!!  Between those fantastic glasses, a wicked sense of humor, and a talent I am in awe of, Tiffany was a happy surprise.  So glad she turned out to not be a serial killer!  You can find her on Instagram as @misstiff1 and on YouTube as SouthernGalsDesigns.

Elizabeth - yes, my crafty bestie came as well!  She really helped to organize us and make sure we stayed somehwat on task.  Cause you know that making a group of artists do what they're supposed to instead of running their mouths and being goofy is not an easy thing to do!  She also made sure our out-of-town friends got a taste of what lil' ol' Jackson, Mississippi had by taking us to some fabulous local restaraunts!  Find her on Instagram as @artgirl80.

Lilia - our favorite little "oh I can't do that.  Yes you can!  Oh look I did!!" kitty kat!  Lilia has a ton of talent inside her she just likes to pretend she can't find it!  But with everyone's help she found what I hope is a whole lot of confidence insider her this weekend!  You can find her on Instagram as @hellokitty1970.

Tassja - Lilia's daughter came and joined in on the crafty goodness too!  She even got her mom to stop by Hobby Lobby on Saturday to buy her her own Art Journal!  She's very talented!  Just like her mom!!

Brenda - wait... that's me!  Yep, I was there too.  Don't follow me on Instagram yet?  Where have you been?!?!  Follow me @thegypsyowlartco!

So what did we get up to on Friday and Saturday?  We learned lots about Gelli® Printing and layers, collage, papers, paints, and mediums.  Golden Artist Colors, Inc.® and Liquitex USA® graciously sent us some samples to try!  I can't thank these companies enough for sending our little group these goodies.  We truly had a blast exploring the mediums and paints!

Golden® sent us a selection of mediums: Regular Gel (Matte), Glass Bead Gel, Clear Tar Gel, Light Molding Paste, Regular Gel (Gloss), High Solid Gel (Matte), Fiber Paste, and Coarse Pumice Gel as well as a selection of Fluid Acrylics - Naphthol Red Light, Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Opaque, Pthalo Green, Iridescent Silver (Fine), Quinacridone Magenta, Titanium White, Iridescent Gold (Fine), and Iridescent Bronze (Fine).

Each of us had tried a little something from Golden® before but none of us had experience with everything they sent.  So huge kudos and many many thanks to Golden® for sending us such a wonderful selection!!

I personally am a huge huge fan of the Regular and High Solid Gels.  Love love love them as a fabulous adhesive and they're great to use tinted or as is through stencils.  I'd also had experience with the Molding Paste before.  However, I'd never tried the Light Molding Paste and was super excited by it!  This stuff is like buttercream frosting!!!  It is so light and easy to work with.  It's really easy to tint and fabulous through stencils.  It's not quite as heavy as the regular Molding Paste (which I go through gobs of) and that's nice.  This stuff is definitely on my must buy list.

I also tried out the Glass Bead Gel for the first time.  This gel had been on my "buy to try" list for a long time but I'd not gotten around to it yet.  It was so fun to work with!  I tried tinting it and using through stencils.  I tried using it as is to add texture to backgrounds.  It was fabulous!  This one was a big hit with everyone, especially Tiffany!

Tiffany also gave the Clear Tar Gel a try.  I didn't see her to know if she tinted it first or what but I did see and feel the final result and it was a lovely neon pink by that time.  I know she loved working with it and it gave her neon pink paint splatters the smoothest texture.  This stuff is on my "must buy" list as well.  It looked amazing.

I also got to try for the very first time ever some Golden Fluid Acrylics!  And oh my goodness!  These paints are ah-maaaaz-ing!!!!    So fluid-y and vibrant!  So much painty-goodness.  Totally stack up to the hype I've heard about them.  Totally on my "must have drool drool" list.  What?  You don't have one of those lists?  Go on and admit it.  You totally do! 

Liquitex USA® also sent us a ton of goodies as well!  Now y'all know I am already a huge believer and fan of my Liquitex® products.  They sent us samples of Liquitex Professional® Flow Aid, String Gel, Ultra Matte Medium, Pouring Medium, Heavy Body Acrylic (Cadmium Red Medium Hue), Soft Body Acrylic (Cadmium Red Medium Hue), and one of their new Paint Markers (Cadmium Red Medium Hue).

Now, it's unfortunate that we didn't have time to try the Liquitex® products during our weekend but Tina gave each of us several samples to take home.  And believe you me I am going to be giving this stuff a go - like tomorrow!  I can say that I am a huge huge huge fan of my Liquitex® Matte Medium already so I am very keen on giving the Ultra Matte Medium a try.  And I have seen videos of the String Gel that has made it a part of my "must buy" list for ages.

I have been a die hard user of the Liquitex Basics® line for years so I am super excited to get to play with their Professional line.  I have a lot of art journaling to catch up on and I have an idea to incorporate that Cad Red hue into at least one of them.  So be on the lookout very soon for a post extoling the virtues of the Liquitex® products I get to try!

Y'all should have seen the amout of stuff we brought with us!  I can't believe that Tina, Amie, and Tiffany were able to hold themselves to only one (ginormous) bag a piece!  Elizabeth brought a ton of stuff, Lilia brought two or three bags and over-achiever that I am (that and I only lived 5 minutes away) brought four of my travel cases and two bags.  I'm so glad I brought all of it though cause my stamps, stencils, and paint definitely got used!

I can hear y'all asking now... what on earth did we make with all our goodies?
Let me go ahead and apologize for the quality of some of these pictures.  I am by no means a photographer and I'm short.  I couldn't get quite high enough or stable enough to take a really good picture.  But here is a collection of almost everything we made this weekend!

Yes we did get a whole lot done!  We did three ATC jams (with three of us in each group) - where all three people make three backgrounds and pass them down the line.  The next person adds a second layer and then they pass to the last person who adds the final layer.  Then each person in the group gets a finished ATC.  We made lots of Gelli® prints.  Some we kept for future projects, some we cut up and made ATCs.  We made a series of Rollodex cards for Amie (who collects them).  We made a surprise birthday Postcard for Tina whose birthday was on Monday.  We made a whole set of ATCs to trade with everyone present.  Some of us worked on our #12ArtJournals (a traveling art journal swap on Instagram).  Tiffany worked on a couple of art journal pages.  We made ATCs for a few of Elizabeth's swaps.  Tina made the most amazing little portraits of all of us and gave them to us in their own adorable frames.  We also made pictures, jokes, told stories, and just had a great time!

Unfortunately Tina, Tiffany, and Amie had to leave early on Sunday morning but that didn't stop Elizabeth, Tassja, and Lilia from coming over to my house on Sunday to continue our weekend.

We continued our goofing and had a great craft day working on #12ArtJournals pages and I introduced Lilia and Elizabeth (finally) into my world of lazy ATC cutting with my Cricut machine!  I cut a huge stack for Lilia.  I think they may actually last her until the end of the year!  Elizabeth decided to head home in the afternoon but I was able to hold Lilia and Tassja hostage all the way through a very late supper cooked by yours truly and sent them home shortly before midnight!

From 10:00 AM Friday morning through almost Midnight on Sunday it was a very long weekend.  One of the best I've had ever and certainly the best I've had in a very long time!

If y'all have made it this far into this post, pat yourselves on the back!  I'm so proud of y'all for staying with me this long.  Now comes the bombardment of goofy pics from our weekend.  Enjoy!



For those sweet ladies who had planned on joining us but couldn't make it, know that y'all were missed terribly!  We will have to do this again because I want to meet y'all too!

To the new friends I made this weekend, I can't believe how amazing and wonderful y'all are to have come all the way to Mississippi to meet us but I can't be any happier that y'all did.  Y'all are amazing and I had the best time of my life creating, learning, laughing, eating, sharing, and just spending time with such amazing and wonderful women.  From the bottom of my heart I thank and love y'all.
This weekend truly got my creative muses kicking and I see a lot of studio time in my future.  This was a lovely way to kick-start me back after so many weeks of stress, moving, setting up and settling in!

I will see y'all next time around. 

Until then,

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