Friday, November 26, 2010

Artists Can Learn Encaustic Collage Online with Video Art and Craft Courses

“Craft courses” may be too broad a term to describe some of the techniques that are used today by fine artists. With high quality instruction like this video on Encaustic Collage, online art and craft courses are quickly becoming the best way for academically trained artists to refine their skills.

Most art school graduates shy away from “craft courses” in favor of “art courses” because they believe the fine arts and crafts to be distinctly separate. However, thanks to the rise of “fine arts craft shows” and high-end craft collectors, the lines between these two fields have been blurred.

The art of mixed media and collage is often glossed over in an art school setting, leaving many classically trained fine artists with limited experience in using non-traditional materials. Encaustic art, which adds the texture of melted beeswax to a painting surface for a heavily textured look, is a medium that is just as likely to be seen in a gallery painting as it is in a craft show. But where do you find art and craft courses on encaustic collage?

Finally, there is a way for all artists and crafters to learn how to use the technique of encaustic collage without going back to school. With a video taught Glenda Bailey entitled “Introduction to Encaustic Art including a beginning project”, offers an inexpensive and convenient way to learn encaustic collage on canvas by experimenting with a variety of tools, papers and other fun accents. Not only will this video take you through the process of using encaustic, it will also provide inspiration on how to make a collage that can be given as a gift. offers this course for only $30, and the video can be viewed up to 12 times over the next 12 months. Other art and craft courses offered on this site include bead art, digital art, painting, fabric art, polymer clay jewelry and calligraphy, among others.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Friends;

It's my favorite holiday. Today is not about giving thanks for the gift we can touch. It's not about money. Not the "Thank you, Vernon for the ipad you got me for your birthday" gift but the mostly intangible, unseen gifts of love, friendship, support and kindness that carry us throughout the year. These gifts are our private safety net. They give us courage to do what we do every day of the year. I know I very much need them and I hope I can be found in many other invisible safety nets, too. This is the greatest gift of all.

I'm thankful for wise counsel. This isn't always so easy to give - everyone has a private agenda. It's the counsel that sets aside one's personal wants and needs in favor of another's. Mom, Judy, Les, Darlie, Alan, Gwen and more, I've been the lucky recipient of such selfless advice and it's something my friends and family have been called on to provide. It's easy to find those who will let you spin and act out - it's the true friend who helps you stop.

I'm thankful for generous and kind friends who have opened their hearts and homes to the weary traveler. I've been so fortunate to received this kindness. Helen Cox, Dani and Natalia, Sylvie and Gerard....they have made their homes, my own. I could not do what I do without this kindness, believe me.

I'm thankful for my furry kids. They make me laugh every single day and we should all, at minimum, chuckle ever day. Nothing warms a cold day like a ball of fur and it's hard to find anything that calms and warms the heart like burying the face in the thick ruff of a dog's fur or pressing a cold nose against the warm muzzle of a horse.

I'm thankful for movies. I love movies. They carry us away to parts unknown. I've seen the end of the world, many times. I've been to the far reaches of the universe and brought back whole. I've seen the triumph over adversity by the most unlikely characters - nothing is better than the real thing. Temple Grandin, Michael Oher, Dr, Nash - nothing could stop them from achieving their great ends. Triumph over adversity is the best inspiration of all.

I'm thankful for music, although it's also a humbling source of frustration. I want to sing like Eva Cassidy! I want to play guitar like Eric Clapton and pound the drums like Ringo. Music makes me appreciate the gifts of others, gifts I clearly don't have. We all need a dose of reality once in a while. I'm thankful for my friend Kathleen Dustin, who makes her own music through her art. I can't be Kathleen but her work has changed my own.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to travel - regardless of how difficult it is (and it is). We are all the same. People all over the world want the same thing - safety for their families, love of others, appreciation by those around them and respect. Everyone loves their country and feels the same sense of pride in its history and traditions. We are all the same.

I'm thankful for problems. Yup, problems. They're really opportunities wrapped in garbage. Solving problems is to grow. It's in finding solutions that we can understand ourselves because we have always played some part in the problem itself. Sometimes these are painful lessons but we're always better in the long run.

I'm thankful for polymer clay. I bounced around for a lot of years before this medium hooked me. It has largely dictated the course of my life. It's opened doors and created opportunities. I don't know where I'd be without it, but I do recognize what it has done for me. I'm really thankful for Kato Polyclay and the people who made it possible.

I'm thankful for my students who have come and taken the time to spend with me. You know, I think I've learned more from you than you have from me.

I'm thankful for the family of creative individuals who share and mentor others. In this day and age, it's easy to think only "me" and forget the "we". In our daily life, we're actually encouraged to make the world the 3 feet around us. Through creating and connecting with other like minds, we reach the more enlightened "we". So, I'm very thankful for you.

So, in 2010, that's my short list! I could go on but I won't. From my heart to yours, I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving.

Warmest regards,


Saturday, November 20, 2010

These Beading Workshops Let You Learn From Top Crafters Online

Have you ever been to an “art museum quality” craft show where the nation’s top craftspeople sell their work? Last week, I was lucky enough to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and meet some of the most talented jewelry makers from around the world. What I saw at this show went far beyond what one would find in a boutique. Each one-of-a-kind piece was like a work of art, and was priced accordingly.

When I returned home from this show, I was determined to learn the techniques that would elevate my own beadwork to this level. After searching for “crafts online” and “craft courses”, I found a treasure trove of video instruction on beadwork at

Here are three of the videos I’ve watched so far, each one teaching a different technique in bead art. To see a complete list of classes, check out the Bead Art Classes at

Draped Loop Collar Necklace – This video is by Margie Deeb, author of the Beader’s Color Palette, and it instructs viewers how to make her famous Draped Loop Collar necklace, which uses faceted, checked beads by adding fringe loops to a foundation medallion. Even people like me, who are relatively new to seed bead weaving, will be able to follow Margie’s simple instructions.

Mosaic Chain Cuff – In three different sessions for varying skill levels, Margie Meister shows viewers how to make a unique mosaic-themed bracelet. Inspired by motifs found in mosaics, sculptures and textiles, this bracelet shows how to switch back and forth between brick stitch and peyote stitch while combining components and bezel stones with the beadwork. Instructions and supply lists are included on the video and in PDF form.

Peyote Buttons – In this well done video, Jean Campbell starts by showing viewers how to make a basic tubular peyote button, and then how to make several unique versions of this using your own designs. The design originates from the Native American peyote cactus plant. This spineless desert cactus is a very powerful symbol throughout many Native American cultures and its six-chambered motif is often seen in tribal artwork.

If you want to learn the skills of America’s top craftspeople online, then start by checking out the Bead Art Classes at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bazinga! with Frederick Chipkin!

Learn the ins and outs of photo draping with expert textile designer and Adobe pro, Frederick Chipkin! Step by step you will learn the secrets from the best in the business. Who knew you could do this? Pattern, draping, shadows...amazing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Learn the Latest Crafts Online with Expert Video Instruction

Have you always dreamed of showing the world your talent for the visual arts? Maybe you are at a point in your life when you have more time to pursue a small business selling your fine arts crafts. One thing that can stop people from moving forward with these goals is the lack of professional instruction available, but it is now possible to learn crafts online.

As a former art student and crafts hobbyist, I have recently discovered a great resource for online craft projects. It’s called, and it has a surprising variety of professionally taught online craft videos for virtually every artistic discipline. Whether your interests lie in digital art, kids crafts, knitting, art jewelry or calligraphy, it is possible to learn new crafts online without ever leaving home.

One of my favorite videos is one that I found recently is one about making a ceramic looking pendant. In this video, I learned how to make hollow shapes out of polymer clay, with a particular focus on pendants. As someone who has been making and selling polymer clay jewelry for years, I appreciated this opportunity to learn ceramic effects using a Skinner blend. There are several other classes I plan to take in the Art Jewelry area, including Stained Glass Caning and Peyote Buttons.

With sites like, it is possible to learn the latest crafts online by purchasing online “how to craft” videos and watching them on your computer. Most of the classes include free downloadable PDF instructions for later reference. Every time I come back to this site I find more classes being added in every area, so it looks like I will be spending a lot more time on my computer this winter.