Monday, January 27, 2014

Hurry! It's Your Last Chance to Sign Up For Kansas City Classes!

Whew! Time sure does fly when you're thinking about attending an Art & Soul retreat... and then the holidays sneak up on you... and then... KAPOW! Registration For our Kansas City Retreat is almost over!

But fear not my little mixed-media mavens! There are still plenty of spots left in some amazing classes, with some terrific teachers! But don't delay... you only have until this Thursday, January 30th to register!

March 19-23, 2014
The Elms Hotel & Spa
Excelsior Springs, MO

So grab your favorite beverage, a yummy snack, peruse our selection of Kansas City workshops, and sign up today! It's just the creative playcation you need to give your creativity a kick-start for Spring! Here's a look back at last year's event. What a wonderful time we all had. Come join us for this inspirational event!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Valentine Zentangle From Suzanne McNeill...

Today we are so very lucky to have a guest post from one of our sweetest Art & Soul Instructors... the extremely imaginative Suzanne Mc Neill. She is often known as “the Trendsetter” of the arts industry. Dedicated to hands-on creativity, Suzanne loves to experiments and invent something new and fun. She especially enjoys working in different media and finds that moving from one to another keeps her art creative, fresh and alive. Suzanne has authored over 30 books and has been the creative woman behind Design Originals — a publishing company dedicated to all things fun and creative. It is her pleasure to share, inspire and encourage you down the creative path. And today, Suzanne is sharing with us this adorable Valentine Zentangle project. Take it away Suzanne...

Wow! That was great. Easy peasy! What a great idea Suzanne, and thanks so much for sharing it with us. I see a few Zentangle gifts in somebody's future!

Suzanne, will be teaching Zentangle at Art & Soul — along with many other creative workshops — in 2014. Suzanne's award-winning art is known for happy colors, imaginative details, and creative inspiration. Working with her hands and developing innovative concepts is her passion. Through her popular workshops she enjoys sharing with students and artists. Check out her unique class offerings at our Kansas City retreat, our Portland retreat and also at our Virginia Beach retreat. Suzanne has graciously provided us exciting video previews for all her classes to peak your interest. You can view them on each of her individual class pages.

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Queen Victoria Cuff Tutorial with Eva Sherman...

Today we're sharing a fun and easy tutorial  — for this absolutely gorgeous cuff — by our very talented Art & Soul instructor, Eva Sherman. She originally began beading to spend time with her daughters, but soon became hopelessly addicted. In 2005 she traded in her architectural career for the opportunity to open Grand River Beads in Cleveland, OH. This cuff is just one of the many pieces of jewelry Eva loves designing with wire and metals with an organic, unstructured style.

Take it away Eva...

 Queen Victoria Cuff
By Eva Marie Sherman

Knit metal wire mesh from WireKnitZ® makes a beautiful canvas for vintage-themed creations — and you'll feel as elegant as the Queen in this dramatic cuff! Create the cuff, finish it with hand-stitched grosgrain ribbon, and add a vintage pin for a dramatic personal touch!

1 – 9” 3000 Series WireKnitZ® – metal mesh
Fireline® 4 lb. braided beading thread
2 – 6” x .5” Grosgrain Ribbon
1 – 30” x 1.5” Grosgrain Ribbon
3 – Sew-On Snaps
1 – Vintage Pin
Tape Measure
Sewing Needle

Fold ribbon in half and make a seam 2” away from the fold
Open ribbon and make three folds on each side. Pin and then stitch in place.

Open WireKnitZ® metal mesh tube and gently massage folded edges until smooth. At one end, gently pull outward with fingers until the end begins to roll outward and then roll three times to measure about ¼” wide. Press the roll down with fingers all the way around, burying the cut end. Repeat at opposite end.
Stretch each end to get a slight bell shape. Stitch rolled ends in place, if desired, though it is not necessary.

Make a cut down the length of the tube. Fold the 1/2” grosgrain ribbon in half lengthwise and pin in place along the cut edge of the tube. Tip: Before pinning to WireKnitZ®; create a soft crease in the grosgrain ribbon by gently ironing with a light weight towel to protect the ribbon.

Measure your wrist and size WireKnitZ® 1” larger than your wrist size. Depending upon wrist size, it may be made larger by stretching width at ribbon edges, or made smaller by stretching length at rolled edges. To stretch, grasp opposing edges and gently pull, moving fingers along edges. Keep moving fingers around and pulling as it begins to adjust in size. When the sheet is the correct size, stop stretching. A bit of trial and error may be required.

Line up the center of the tri-folded 1.5” grosgrain with the center of the WireKnitZ®, approx. ¾” from the top roll and pin centers together. Pin rest of ribbon in place, folding edges of ribbon under twice. Tip: Use Fabri-Tac to secure ends of ribbon.

Stitch grosgrain ribbon in place. Secure vintage pin at center of tri-folded ribbon.

Stitch sew-on snaps in place as shown.

Enjoy the complements!

Thanks so much Eva, for sharing this easy tutorial and providing us with such great inspiration! We're so happy to have you teaching 8 jewelry classes (yes 8!) at our Portland event and another 6 workshops at our Virginia event in 2014!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

So... What'd You Get?

So... what did you get for Christmas? If you read this blog, have been to Art & Soul, or are entertaining going to Art & Soul... I bet you had some creative items on your holiday lists this year! Maybe you got some new fabric?

Or perhaps someone blessed you with a bevy of beads? Yum!

Maybe you were in need of a fresh start and you got some blank canvasses? A little intimidating for me, but maybe not for you!

Did someone gift you some cool craft supplies? Rubber stamps, masks or some fun embellishments?

Or maybe you got some cool art supplies, tools or equipment? Squee!

Perhaps you got a copy of one of your favorite mixed media magazines and you enjoyed reading about new ideas and techniques over the holiday break? I hope so!

Maybe you got a juicy new journal... or a sweet set of paintbrushes. Perhaps you received some new wire working tools or a few colorful tubes of paint. Whatever you got,  I'd love to hear all about your favorite new art and craft supplies! So... what'd you get this year?