Keeping it simple

2014 is my year for keeping things simple. The grand plan is also to”use it or lose it”.  Like many crafters I tend to collect and “save” supplies for future projects…but then something new and exciting comes along and the thrill of imagined art awesomeness replaces any practicality my frugal mom worked so hard to cultivate.

Receiving a request to “fill more space” in an art gallery that has a small collection of my metal art I had to go dig through my stash to come up with something that could be quickly assembled and that did not require any capital outlay. Something close to “Discovery Channel” ensued and I unearthed four tall frames covered in dryer lint that I bought about twelve years ago. The stage was set and this was the result.


I removed the backing , mat and glass from the plastic frame and taped it with aluminum foil tape strips embossed with the Tim Holtz “Diamond Plate and Riveted ” embossing folder. Once the tape was burnished down some of the rivet texture disappeared but still had enough texture to grab onto the black water based marker I used to add patina.


I used an old  Ten Seconds Studio rose texture mold for the flower design and the barbed wire strip from Ten Seconds Studio Kabuka # 13 “Boy” Mold to emboss the stems of the rose onto the pewter sheet. Once the high relief of the roses were complete I filled the back with beeswax so that it would retain the raised form. For the back ground texture I opened up the Tim Holtz “rivet” embossing folder, placed the raised side under the pewter and rubbed with a paper stump to transfer texture. The black water-based permanent marker again served as patina, applied and then removed. It nicely filled the textured nooks and crannies giving it some dimension and drama.

photo 4b rosephoto 3

Digging into my paint cupboard, I found some slightly tacky,… (because it dates from about 2002-and an era of obsessive ceramic painting ) Pebeo Porcelain 150 glass paint and painted it in layers for the leaves and ruby red rose petals.

photo 1  angel rose

photo 5 photo 3b rose

Mission accomplished-four frames down… now only a “few” more trinket boxes and mdf blanks to work my way through…

Happy Crafting and remember to dig out and use those long forgotten folders, texture molds, boxes, frames , journals etc. ….before you succumb and buy the next “best thing”.

I am certainly going to try my damndest to keep it simple..

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Transparencies on Metal

I often like to use picture or photos in my metal work especially on Journal Covers. I think adding a photo makes it more personalized and it certainly adds a touch of colour when using artwork transparencies. If you have painted beautiful artworks or made some great mixed media textures you can scan these and incorporate it with metal! I have also applied this technique on white porcelain tiles and Verday reactive paint and you can see the video on my website “How to Videos”

055 079 Theuna Blue Frame 001 002 Metal Medley 1 girls on pewter

I do not have a fancy printer-just a regular HP Office Pro Inkjet printer and the method of transparencies on metal is quick, clean and super easy. To appease my very frugal dutch ancestry I make sure to fill a whole page on a Word document by inserting rows of pictures and sizing them to fit my project. These pics are usually about 3 x 5 cm. I then print this word doc onto the rough side of a  3M Multipurpose Transparency sheet that you can purchase from Staples, Office Depot, or if all else fails Amazon. The sheets are somewhat costly so you might want to make sure that you fill your whole page-hence the Word Document crammed full of pics.

001 140

Once printed I tape a full sheet of the Ten Seconds Studio Humungo Killer Adhesive on the back of the transparency (rough side) . You can also use the Scorpad/Sook Wang/Be Creative Tape but it is a little more “cloudy” and not as clear as the TSS one. You can then cut out the image you need. Remove the backing tape and stick it on the metal. Make sure your metal base is shiny and clean to offer you that reflective quality through the transparency. Your picture is protected because of the transparency film but if you wish you can always throw some Ranger Glossy Accents over it or if you are feeling really industrious and have time to watch “paint” dry…some Envirotex Pour On for a super glassy look finish. Because your photo is not on paper the resin will not stain it and no pre-sealing is required.

Pewter Magnets Pewter Tanya Art

I know diddly squat about scrapbooking but this technique has helped me to incorporate some precious photo memories into my pewter art.

Happy Crafting!

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Pewter and Die Cuts

I have been somewhat oblivious about the wonderful world of craft die cuts out there. By definition a “die cut” is a method for punching or cutting out special shapes or designs by using a metal form called a die -it is also referred to as a “cut out shape”. The die can be used to cut paper, fabric and of course…. metal. With my limited experience I had only used die cuts to obtain shapes that could be used under metal tape for cards.

ImageThat was about as good as it got until a Christmas ornament  workshop necessitated a way of putting metal on the painted glass balls and also required the ability to get really fine, precise cutting done on metal to simulate a filigree look. To the rescue came the great die cuts from Elizabeth Craft Designs.

I had prepared the Christmas shapes for a large group of ladies by cutting the pewter metal sheet to size, taping it with Be Creative/Scorpal/Sook Wang adhesive tape sheets and running the “sandwich” with the Christmas image steel die cut through the Big Shot machine. The results were great and each Christmas ornament looked different as the ladies could decide which part of the design they wanted to retain and which areas the metal were removed from to show the glass underneath.

ImageEls from Elizabeth Craft Designs was kind enough to send us another die cut to try out on our paper ornaments and I was amazed at how beautiful and versatile this product was and how the possibilities are pretty much endless. I did various cuts with this lovely flower design always taping the metal sheet first with the adhesive tape before putting it through the Big Shot. Some of the flowers ended up on the colored glass bottles and some I used on cards. I also used the “background” on a card because heaven forbid that we should waste anything ; ) !

Die Cut Glass Green EH221

I also used “magic foam” to make a stamp from the die by warming up the foam with a heat gun and making an impression of the die to use as a backdrop for the flowers by stamping with Stazon ink.

205  Card Die Cut and Foam stamp EHDie Cut Metal Card EH

As far as metal embossing goes using the die is technically “cheating” …but then who is checking ? …I love how quickly I can make a beautiful metal art card and I can certainly envision many more uses for these funky metal cutting die designs…

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The people we meet…

A wise person once said that our lives are made worthwhile by the people we meet and the books we read. I have not read as much as I would have like this year but I have met some pretty awesome people!

I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico in April 2013 for an Art Retreat (my first!) -making leaps outside the creative comfort zone learning from the talented Tesoro Del Corazon group of Laurie Mika, Lynn Leahy, Helen Shafer Garcia, Jane LaFazio and brilliant manager Leslie. I completed a beautiful art quilt project and loved meeting so many ladies from all over the world including Norway and Alaska! Each one of us had a different reason for being at this retreat and for some of these courageous women it was a celebration of life and a “reward” for making it through cancer treatment. We so often get caught up in our own little lives with our own insignificant problems and forget that there is a whole world out there of people daily fighting tough battles-I know that now. I did not only find my elusive “mojo” during this trip but also gained an appreciation for the generous sharing of ideas (and supplies : ) and for the positive, feel good creative environment set by these fabulous teachers. I came away from this retreat enriched and inspired… and a few months later still “processing” 

Santa Fe Group021 (2)

An invite from Lynn and Laurie gave me an opportunity to go ” international” and teach a metal art workshop in San Diego, California in July at the lovely Encinitas studio of Norma Yuskos.



The Journal cover Samples-in pewter and aluminum

The Journal cover Samples-in pewter and aluminum

We worked until the cows came home...

We worked until the cows came home…


Watching paint dry...

Watching paint dry…

Norma' Studio inauguration plaque made by Laurie Mika

Norma’ Studio inauguration plaque made by Laurie Mika

Glenda finished in a flash.

Glenda finished in a flash.

Some of the awesome art in Norma's magic garden...

Some of the awesome art in Norma’s magic garden…

The gong and Norma calling order..

The gong and Norma calling order..

The studio porch

The studio porch

The San Diego group-out comes the wine!

The San Diego group-out comes the wine!


The sunset-a beautiful end to a great day...

The sunset-a beautiful end to a great day…

What a great experience! Norma’s garden is a magical work of art and the studio a teacher’s heaven! If after 12 years I ever needed confirmation that I was “doing the right thing” by teaching I got it on this trip. Again I met a fantastic group of passionate creative people and like usual learned a thing or two. I am so grateful for this craft that allows me to travel and enrich my live with the people I meet along the way…”and I think to myself, what a wonderful world” .









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The business of a card holder

It has been a while since one of my children wanted me to make them something. In fact the last little pewter covered box I made at request had Pokemon on it and held an eight year old’s card collection.


So when my son asked me to make business card holders as an office gift I jumped at the opportunity to roll out the metal tape again.

I was under no illusion that it was my artistic prowess that prompted this request-I knew it was a purely cost effective decision on his part…seeing as this gift would be “free” ….

Because the resident handyman declined to make something as “fiddly” as a six slot business card holder I had to resort to the Staples acrylic version

and added a mdf panel for the back and base. To glam it all up I taped everything with metal adhesive tape, distressed it with a texture tool and painted it with black acrylic paint.

While the black paint was still wet I wiped it off and the residual paint in the textured areas gave it a nice patina.



I added some gold and copper leaf to the logo design and sealed all with clear, glossy spray lacquer.

I think I am back in the business of making custom art for family members…even if it is only because I am cheap… ; )

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Metal Tape Mania

When I asked my friends for  juice concentrate lids a couple of years ago in a Facebook post I got only one response. My friend Lyne, an organic farmer in New Brunswick and also the Queen of recycling has been steadily sending me metal lids by the bucket load and has also kindly canvassed her adult children to do the same….I have made many little magnet artworks with these …to be exact, probably about a hundred! I had to find a new way to work my way through those little lids that keep arriving by special delivery and I decided to combine it with my latest cheap and dirty medium ; metal adhesive tape….


Metal Adhesive Tape, Juice concentrate lids and bits and pieces, metal tools (remember, anything that makes a mark is a tool) Black, water based permanent marker, contact adhesive.


Stick the embellishment on the lid with the tape and burnish with the paper stump.

Using your metal tools add some debossing and scratchings on the tape. Cover with black acrylic paint on waterbased permanent marker, rub off.


Glue lids together, add a stick covered with tape and a little flowerpot (tape covered of course…) and voila! Five lids used – 225 to go.

047 049 053 054 055

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A toe outside the comfort zone…

I have been dallying for a very long time about starting a blog about metal art and my somewhat compulsive need to be creative. In the past  I have been really successful at finding an excuse not to do it…too busy, too tired,  blah blah blah… However, finding myself currently only a  part time employee in the “real world” made me think that maybe the time is right to inch my big toe ever so slightly over the comfort zone dividing line…

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