You can visit our new blog at www.cosmocricket.com/blog
Update your bookmarks girls and boys!
To paint our Just Add Watercolor blocks, just splash your favorite colors onto the surface. The right brushes make a big difference (see my favorite brushes to use).
When your canvas dries, wipe off any excess paint. You can seal your finished piece to protect it if you want, but you don't have to.
PS: I'm not endorsed by SOHO watercolors, but I do love them. They are a great pigment for the price!
When you're feeling brave, step outside your comfort zone with the blanks. You can even stamp on it if you're not ready to freehand just yet.
Since I'm not an expert stamper and my stamping usually ends up smudged or otherwise imperfect, I decided to focus on some techniques that don't require a perfect transfer.
To make the above card, I watercolored a piece from the 8" Just Add Watercolor deck. Then I stamped the sentiment. Because of the tone-on-tone effect, you don't notice the imperfection of the stamp.
The below triangle pattern stamp is so trendy and the messy stamp look that I can't seem to avoid adds to the artsy design.
To make the canvas, I first stamped the triangle motif with permanent black ink.
After the stamping was done, I painted watercolor inside the open triangles and over the poorly stamped triangles.
Next up, I used an open heart to stamp over some of the new watercolor paper. This design is also in the 8" deck. After the stamping was done, I took a wet paintbrush and used it to pull the ink into the hearts, coloring them in slightly.
I spritzed a background paper with ink to give it a pink tone and then painted one of the Just Add Watercolor tags. The little pink hearts are stamped too.
Last, but not least, I used watercolor to paint one of the cards from the 12" deck. I was feeling a bit more confident in my stamping abilities at this point and worked up the nerve to stamp inside the cloud. I used a Distress Marker to ink the stamp since the color was perfect!
I'm so glad I did because I love how it turned out... even if it's not quite perfect.!
There once was a tight CHA deadline
Right after holidays, presents and wine.
Preparations were stressed
By children so blessed
Since schools thought three weeks off was just fine.
They're still home this lovely Monday.
I have a few things about it to say.
My house is a disaster
At least filled with laughter
But I'm not ready for CHA!
Onto the new goodies my friends.
Just Add Watercolors
Watercolor paper, cards, tags and blocks printed with gold and clear foil resist. Like the name says, you just add watercolors and watch the magic happen!
There are five printed block designs and three block blanks for the truly free spirited.
There are two different paper decks.
The 12” watercolor deck is more bold and graphic in style. It contains 12 pages with 6 full patterns and 29 cut-apart designs including three 8 x 10” and four 5 x 7” frameable art pieces.
The 8” deck is more delicate in style with more florals. It features 12 pages with 6 full patterns and 34 cut-apart designs including frameable art in 5 x 7” and 4 x 6” sizes.
There's also card two card sets and a set of tags. All in all, it's super fun!
But, just because I can't seem to pull myself away from the watercolor paper, doesn't mean we don't have some other really great lines. On that note, let me introduce you to String Art.
These fun little boards are 8" square and come with the nails already placed. You just pick out your favorite string, twine or yarn and... that's a wrap!
Last, but definitely not least, we have a line called Gallery Blocks. There's a story behind this... I wanted canvases to paint on that weren't just canvas. I think linen, silk, denim and chambray would all be fun to paint on. With that in mind, I wanted to make my own canvases and Gallery Blocks were born. The original samples came in as an open frame, but when I saw them, I new I wanted a back for added versatility. What we got in the end is a frame that you can do just about a million different things with.
If you want to wrap it in fabric, we have amazingly strong adhesive on all the important edges, plus every block comes with thumb tacks for reinforcing the corners. (I forgot to get a photo of the finished block in the next picture. Sorry!)
But if you're not the fabric type, the addition of the back means you can use it as a painting surface like these examples. I love coating the sticky edges in glitter, ribbon, seam binding, gold foil, copper foil, fabric, paper, etc.! It's awesome because you don't need a frame... it's built right in.
You can't see it, but this one has a sewing tape measure around the outer edge. (All these projects have been shipped to CHA and so I can't take any new photos for a while.)
The sticky edges, can even hold multiple blocks together making your own collage frame. I added copper foil around the remaining exposed edges. I had no idea how messy copper foil could be! I'm going to figure out a better way to do that next time!!
If you will be at CHA, drop by the booth. You can see everything in person and there's a lot more that isn't shown here. Besides, I love catching up and seeing everyone too!
Happy New Year. 2015 is going to be FABULOUS!
Last March, I got the urge to pull out my watercolors. I painted the below piece that same day and was inspired to create a whole new line of products.
I'm so excited about it that it has proven quite difficult to keep secret. It's also been really difficult to focus on any other work, hobbies or projects because I just want to play with these!
This is what my desk has been looking like.
This is what dining room table has been used for.
This is what our facebook page and my Instagram feed have been filled with.
All of the above show bits and pieces of the Just Add Watercolor line. To keep up with it and the other new lines we are releasing at CHA, you can follow my personal Instagram feed, check our Facebook Fan Page, or wait for detailed updates here!
Good things are coming my friends and 2015 looks to be a beautiful year!
I've been burning the midnight oil getting ready for CHA. There's new products to test. Product photos to shoot. Trade show booths to layout. Make and Takes to plan. And, a catalog to design!
It's always very exciting and busy. I must apologize for not keeping up with the blog because of it all.
Today, I need some silk ribbons for one of the planned product shots. Since I was making them myself from torn silk, I thought I would post a tutorial for you all. Then, when the project can be shown, you'll all have a head start!
I'm using Rit Dye and making up my own directions!
Not needing much, I took a couple shot glasses, filled them part way with boiling water, part way with dye (I added both orange and pink to the orange glass) and added a splash of vinegar.
Then, I folded up my ribbon and scrunched one end of the bunch into each glass leaving part out of the dye.
After a few minutes, I switched my glasses around so that I could dip the exposed portion into the opposing glass.
I let that sit for a while and then topped off the glasses with a bit more boiling water. After a few minutes of this, I gently pulled up on the silk leaving the lower portion down in the dye.
It's looking so pretty!
I let that sit again before rinsing them in cool water. I removed the excess water by wrapping them up in an old towel and squeezing. Here they are, finishing up the drying process.
I think they will be stunning on my project. I can't wait to share it with you!
UPDATE: All free things are worth what you pay for them! I forgot to have you cut the front piece, and all associated front piece instructions when this pattern was first posted. It's updated now, but if anyone notices a mistake.... I won't be too surprised! Just let me know!!! Thanks for understanding my human-ness!!!
After posting this cute photo of Kate with the bag to my facebook page, the lovely Nicole Rixon asked if I would share my pattern.
EEEeeeeek! I told her I would need the weekend to translate it into something understandable because here's what a Julie Comstock bag pattern looks like.
Please don't try to follow this! There is a method to my madness, but I'm the only one that knows it!
The following should work much better for you all!
(This should expand with a click. If the text isn't large enough let me know in the comments and I'll update it.)
As you cut your pieces, note that you can use batting and/or interfacing. I used batting for mine so it is a bit softer and less structured. I have made similar bags with interfacing and they are nice with a more crisp look.
Since I'm not making a second of this bag at the moment, I put the construction together similar to how a quilt pattern would be. Use any 12.5" quilt block or even piece of fabric to get started.
I told Nicole that the block was the hardest part of this bag. She said that that would be the easiest part for her?!
I can't imagine because the bag is super easy to sew. The only tricky part, and it's really easy, is starting and stopping correctly to sew your corners.
Once the outer part of the bag is done, you need to make a second one for the lining. It's a little different because we're not using a quilt block. Also, if you're using batting, layer it on the wrong side of the fabric as you sew your pieces. If you're using interfacing it's most likely fused, so no worries!
Make your handle. If you're a patient type of person, you can sew both edges and turn this, but it's tedious so most of my friends, make handles by pressing the raw edge and then top stitching.
That's all folks. Please enjoy!
There's a rumor that I died, but if that's true, then I'm back to haunt you. Besides, someone needs to decorate for my supposed funeral and with my recent discovery I'm the perfect one to do it.
The tall cylinder vases at Dollar Store fit our Show Topper mason jar lids.
You can't screw them on (the vases have no threading) but you can push them on perfectly! They are super fun as apothecary jars filled with dollar store goodies like spiders,
and even the small, glittered pumpkins.
I'm already planning to re-use these vases and lids for Christmas filling them with peppermint and cinnamon sticks. They're just so fun!
Aren't these wonderful?
The idea started with a quilt. I think I should make more of them simply for the meditative state I find myself in while doing it. I'm still pondering how to solve world hunger and create world peace, but I have figured out how to watercolor on wood and that's something!
The quilt I've been making for my friend is finally finished. I wanted to wrap it up cute and thought one of our wooden mason jar lids would make a pretty tag. This thought coincided with a sale on watercolor paint at my local art store and ta-dah.... a tag was born.
It was so much fun, I decided to see what else I could do.
My favorite is the variegated look where one color bleeds into another. It's so pretty and so simple.
All you do is start with one color, then wash out and with a pretty wet brush add your second color right next to the first. The wetness of the brush will make them bleed together. Finish up by drying off the brush and adding more of the second paint color. You can do multiple color varietions, or just two, or even just one fading out to a really light tone.
If you want to get really crazy though, try this tie dye effect.
I wanted to create some watercolor splash effects on wood. But, alas, this doesn't really work because the wood grain draws the splashes out into stripes. Well, I decided to just call that a happy accident and went with it creating this tye die effect.
Now go, experiment, create. Life is too short not too!
1. Witch's Stockings!
These are my candy jars this year. I hope to get some black candle sticks to place them on.
To make your own, all you need to do is take a fish net stocking (one will cover many jars) knot off the bottom end and drop your jar inside. Push the remaining fish net into the jar and weight it down with something to hold it in place. Dip a brush into Mod Podge and run it round the inside lip of the jar, over and under the fish net, but being careful not to dip below the threading. Once the fish net is glued in place, use scissors to trim off the excess. All that's left is to fill it up and top it off. Then you can knot off the excess and repeat with another jar.
2. Spooky Characters.
Fill jars with solid color candy and add mask accessories or stickers to create fun faces.
3. Spider Jars.
One bag of fake spider web and some plastic spiders make an awesome decoration! The Show Topper lids all have a hook on the underside so that you can hang your spider from a thread suspending it right in the center of the jar. Add a label to the clip-top jar if you wish.
Another twist on candy corn jars is to cut Jack-O-Lantern faces from sticky vinyl and add it to the jar fronts. The black lids up top weren't around when I made these last year. I think I might prefer them to the green for this project, but I can't quite decide.
There's only 14 weekends left until Christmas... which means just a few days until I'll want to start decorating.
OK, ok, I'll wait until after Halloween.
I'm joking.... the day after Thanksgiving is the rule Eric holds me to. But I start playing Christmas music well before that.
I've been hoarding these brads and buttons ever since they were released..... nope, thanks for asking, but I'm not sharing.
The fabric is perfectly homey and those rulers.... what a cool find, right?!
Corks and twigs fit in my budget nicely.
The spoons were found at a flea market and will make great painted ornaments... with my newly mastered spoon bending trick.
And these goodies were collected over the year at second hand stores and tag sales. I've been saving them for months.
It all looks so fun and cute that I think I should have a party or something. Who's bringing the egg nog?