Thursday, September 14, 2017

Art 'n Soul is Closing

I have been the owner or at least the part owner of Art 'n Soul since 2003 and yes, it is now almost 2018.  I have loved the store like it has been one of my children but at some point even our children fly the nest and it is now time for Art 'n Soul to fly the nest.  Our wonderful store will be closing October 31. I say this with incredibly deep regret.
For all of these years our customers have sustained us financially and psychologically and there is no way to tell you how much my staff, earlier and current, are appreciative of your loyalty and your encouragement and your friendship. It has been a darned good run and we could not have done it without each of you.
I am faced with a number of things. In my mind, top of the list is the Internet.  We can no longer compete with Internet stores in terms of the variety of merchandise available or their ability to fill orders rapidly. I know that so many of you have come to us first, rather than the Internet stores, when looking for new merchandise and we are incredibly grateful for your support over the years.
You may also know that our little mall has been taken over by a bank and a property management company and I have absolutely no guarantee that my rent will not be increased at any point and I simply cannot sustain any rent increase.
And then there is the basic change in the craft industry. I survived the move to scrapbooking without moving in that direction and I have tried to adapt to the interest in mixed media and have been modestly successful at that. I used to joke that we should become a die-cut store instead of a stamp store but I'm not sure that was such a good joke. Dies are the thing and I have been doing my best to provide them to you but they don't replace stamps. (I so love stamps!)
Here is a rough outline of the plan between now and October 31:
To begin with, I want to reassure you that all pink sheet orders will be honored either with product or with store credit.
For those who have store credit, in the interest of helping you be able to use as much of your store credit as possible, I will be changing our Recycled Rubber date to September 30 - October 1. My guess is that should be an enormous Recycled Rubber event. I will try to post your earnings no later than October 3.
I will be unable to accept any additional items for Recycled Rubber after September 18.
I have chosen four catalogs from which you may use pink sheets to order stamps and dies. The four catalogs I have chosen are Magenta, Rubbermoon, Memory Box, and Rosie’s Roadshow. I do reserve the right to not order certain items if we have to order doubles and feel the second one might not sell quickly.
I will send those orders by October 6, so you should receive them no later than our closing date. As with any store closing, our store credit and gift certificates cannot be honored after October 31.
Effective immediately, I will no longer be able to accept returns. Also, I will be unable to cancel or change any pink sheet order. If something that is ordered on a pink sheet is unavailable and back ordered by the company, the money will be credited to your store credit only, and must be spent no later than October 31st.
I plan to also leave the Recycled Rubber items on the tables until the evening of October 8th. Anything sold from October 2nd through the 8th will not go on your cards until October 9that the earliest. Those credits can be used for anything for sale in the store. If you wish to pick up any items you have placed for sale in Recycled Rubber, you must do so no later than October 8th by 5:00. Anything not reclaimed by you will be donated.
I am immediately placing our in stock wood stamps (with the exception of Rosie’s Roadshow) on sale at the price of the same stamp in cling. If the company does not make cling stamps, or I can't determine the cling price of an item, I will reduce the wood stamp by 25%.
I am not going to do a graduated discount of current merchandise. I will announce one date on which all merchandise (not including furniture and fixtures) left in the store will be discounted. Don't hold off for future big discounts because they will not occur. I will announce this discount date soon.
I have lots of shelving, fixtures, cards and other accessories that I will be selling. Everything from my cash register to the front desk cabinet, to the kitchen appliances, to all other furnishings will be on sale. Cards will probably be about a dollar apiece with no envelopes and all of the furniture and accessories will be individually marked. I will sell furniture and fixtures on a first-come, first-served basis. Furniture, furnishings, fixtures and cards will not be further discounted. To reserve an item of furniture that you want, you will have to pay for it up front. We can mark them with your name and a sold sign. If I still need the items for displaying merchandise, I will ask that you pick those items up on a day close to our closing date, during working hours.
Loyalty cards can only be marked and used for regular, full priced merchandise, and not for any of the furniture fixtures, or accessories.
As an enormous Thank You to all of you, our loyal customers, I plan to hold a Thank You Party and celebration of Art 'n Soul before we close. At my invitation, a very special guest and long-time friend will come from California to demo for you one last timeKevin Nakagawa of Stampscapes has agreed to come show you some of his very special techniques. There will be an opportunity for all of you to order his stamps (wood or unmounted rubber) at that time. I will also plan to demo my color pencil techniques, along with using alcohol inks on wood. I will have a limited number of wood frames to sell at that time. The date of this celebration will be formally announced soon, so please stay tuned to this newsletter and FaceBook for all future announcements.
It has truly been an honor and a joy to be a part of this community and to get to know all of you. Please come in to see my incredible staff as much as possible before they depart, and please help make our closing a celebration of the unique and special bond we have all enjoyed.
Susie Tracy
Owner, Art 'n Soul

Friday, September 8, 2017

Technique of the Week: More Beautiful Distress Oxide Backgrounds by Marj Marion

Recently, I was wanting to make a lot of background panels, and of course, reached for my Distress Oxide Inks!  Instead of just using a spritz of water to create those wonderful splats and splotches, I had the idea of spritzing the painted panels with both my  water spritzer, and then with my my 91% Isopropyl Alcohol spritzer.  I loved the results!! 

The process is shown in the first two steps, and then photos of my results. You can try other percent formulas of rubbing alcohol, but 91% from the drug store is what I used.

Step 1. On a craft mat, tap 2-3 colors of Oxide Distress inks, and spritz the ink with water.  Use a watercolor brush (I like a Round #10 or a 3/4” Wash brush) to paint the water-spritzed ink onto watercolor paper. 

Step 2.  Then, spritz a little water on the panel, followed by a spritz of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol.  It immediately formed a cool little splotchy design!
You can blot off any excess, or let it dry as is.  I didn’t blot most of the samples, but just let them dry.

Here are my results:

Blue Examples:  I used Oxide Faded Jeans, Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean, plus some regular Distress in Peacock Feathers. 

Red/Pink Examples:  I used Oxide Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet and Candied Apple.

Fall Examples:  I used Oxide Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey and Vintage Photo. For some reason, the Alcohol didn’t form many droplets with these particular colors on the top panel in the photo.  The lighter panel was made by swiping a watercolor panel on the left over inks on my craft mat, and then spritzing with alcohol. Both panels will be fun to use with fall themed stamps.

I hope you will enjoy this technique! You could even paint a full sheet of watercolor paper, and do the spritzing on the whole thing, and then cut it into various sized panels for your cards. 

Art 'n Soul should be stocked up with most of the 24 colors of Distress Oxide as of our delivery from Ranger today! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Orders Starting to Roll in!

First some news about Recycled Rubber

The first weekend in October falls a little late for us, and we are going to move Recycled Rubber up a week to September 30th and October 1st. We have already received more things for the sale, and we know it will be a good one. Please mark your calendars for Saturday September 30th 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday October 1st 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

We received our Magenta order late on Tuesday, and those stamps are already selling very fast. We got stocked up on Nuance, and that is also selling fast. Come in to see us and see what we still have. Last time we checked, we still had a feather stamp (very popular) shown here

by Dianne Johnson Backporch

At publication time we had at least one of Dianne's Zen Bouquet floral stamp design (there were more, but they are going fast). The sentiment on this card is also in stock.

by Dianne Johnson Backporch

The popular Clover Silhouette from Magenta, used in this card is in stock, as well as this sentiment.

by Dianne Johnson, Backporch

Click on the links of any of the above 3 cards to take you to the previous Technique of the Week posts, showing you how to make them. The Sending you Sunshine card above was made using Nuance powdered color from Magenta, and we just got all of the colors in stock! Come in quickly while we still have a good supply of all of the colors. If you had a pre-order in you should have been called.
We received our order from our distributor, and wow, we are stocked up on lots of fun things, including bling! 

We got in more glitter, especially the very popular Elizabeth Craft transluscent glitter in Warm Diamond and Cool Diamond; we got in more sequins, more enamel dots, and the fabulous and shiny Nuvo Gilding Flakes in Gold and Silver. 

When you're in, check out the previous Technique of the Week cards that Pam did with the gilding flakes; they are beautiful!

We got in LOTS of Nuvo drops in including Crystal, Jewel, Glitter, and even some of the new glow in the dark. Hurry in for best selection!

We sell out of the Nuvo drops very fast whenever we get them in. If you have not seen Jennifer McGuire's video where she talks about using this great product and gives you tips and ideas, you can check it out here, and find out why we love these pretty little bottles.
We are stocked back up on Distress inks, including the first 12 colors of the very popular Distress Oxides (except for Broken China, which is coming in tomorrow from Ranger. For the second release of 12 colors, we are also waiting for our order direct from Ranger.

First 12 Colors of Oxide Inks from Ranger

Our order from Ranger is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, Friday, as far as our best information. We will get in more of the second 12 of the new Oxide inks, including re-inkers. We will also be getting in LOTS of the new Tim Holtz stamp platform. The Broken China color from the first release, along with mini blending foams and perfect pearls powder will be in the order from Ranger.

Second Release Colors of Distress Oxide from Ranger

 We want to thank all of you who have ordered the Tim Holtz platforms and other new items such as Oxide Ink through us. We know that some people may have been able to get them faster from an online company. We can't compete with them, and really appreciate your loyalty and patience more than you know. 

Tim Holtz Stamp Platform

We also received lots more Yupo paper, Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock, Stick-it adhesive, Stickles, sequins and more! Come in and see us!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Huge Recycled Rubber Sale at Art 'n Soul this weekend!

No kidding, this weekend will be a MAJOR Recycled Rubber event! People are really cleaning out, including members of staff - making deeper cuts to make room for new things. We have seen SO MUCH come in, including a Cinch machine and an electronic die cutter. LOTS of dies, embossing folders, stencils, beads, and yes...lots and lots of stamps and inks. We think you will be surprised and pleased. Come and find new treasures at garage sale prices, and bring some friends and have fun!! Saturday September 2, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday September 3, 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. See you there!

We have lots of fun stuff scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, September 7, including Nuvo drops, Regular Distress in the minis, Distress Oxide inks, blending tools, more sequins, enamel dots, and more!

Our Magenta order is scheduled to be shipped this Friday, so we should have it early next week. All delivery schedules are approximate, but we are excited that we will soon have these things in our hands!

We have also sent orders to Ranger, Memory Box and Penny Black, so we will let you know when we expect to receive those things just as soon as we know!

Check out our newest email here

Friday, August 25, 2017

Technique of the Week: More Fun with Gilding Flakes by Pam Nelson

This week's Technique shows another way to use the Nuvo Gilding Flakes.  This time I've used Stick It Adhesive, along with a die cut, to add beautiful shine to a Thank you card.

To begin I cut a piece of white 80# cardstock to 5 1/4" x 4 1/2".  I also cut a piece of Stick It adhesive to the same dimension and adhered it to the piece of cardstock.  I rubbed a bone folder all over the Stick It side of the cardstock to ensure it was adhered thoroughly.  I removed the cover sheet from the Stick It, exposing the adhesive and set it, sticky side up it in a plastic tub.  I began tapping Sunkissed Copper Gilding flakes all over the piece of cardstock.  

The flakes are so lightweight that they stick to the adhesive very easily.  

When the entire piece was covered I started rubbing off the excess with my fingers.  

After the big pieces were removed, I used a small piece of Cut & Dry foam to burnish the entire surface.  I left it in the plastic tub during this process so all the little flakes and bits were captured.  You can also use a stencil brush for this step.  Just move the flat side of the brush in a circular motion across the flakes until all the excess has been removed.  If you end up with any stray bits of flakes outside your container, a Swiffer cloth cleans them up very quickly.  

I cut the copper piece with the Penny Black Medallion die (#51-211.)  

The die set also contains a small medallion for the center which I also die cut from the copper.  (You could also cut the small medallion from contrasting paper but for this project I just wanted to add dimension.)

I cut the sentiment from Poppy Stamps Spectacular Thank You die (#1755) out of the copper twice.  I decided that I wanted to layer them for some added dimension on the card.  I used my Pico fine tip glue applicator to apply glue to the back of one thank you die cut and adhere it to the front of the second thank you die cut.  I also adhered the small medallion to the center of the large medallion.  

With that part complete I decided to use alcohol inks for my background.  I thought the copper would stand out nicely against the vibrant colors you get when using alcohol inks on Yupo paper.  I cut a piece of Yupo paper to 5 1/4" x 4" and then applied turquoise, patina, amethyst inks along with a bit of copper mixative.  I used the felt applicator to pounce the colors over the paper until I achieved the color I wanted.  If you are new to alcohol inks on Yupo paper or want a quick refresher, check out this blog post from April 7, 2016 here.

To assemble my card I cut a piece of Fashion Purple So Silk to 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" and adhered it to the front of an A2 card.  I used the fine tip glue applicator to apply glue to the back of the die cut and then adhered it to the Yupo paper.  Next I trimmed the edges of the die cut so they were even with the edges Yupo paper, then adhered it to the front of the card.  I used my Pico fine tip applicator to apply glue to the back of the Thank You die cut and then positioned it on the front of the card.  I finished off the card by adding some clear gem embellishments (or you could also use sequins.)

You can see the card on display at Art ‘n Soul So I hope you will stop by soon.  This card came together very quickly.   When working with the Gilding Flakes, I tend to make several pieces at once.  They can be messy, but they are so much fun!  Clean up really is a breeze with Swiffer cloths or a hand vacuum.  It's easy to use multiple colors as well to get a multi-color metallic look.  The Nuvo Gilding Flakes come in three colors Radiant Gold, Silver Bullion and Sunkissed Copper.  Stay tuned for more ideas with this fun product.

What's New?
We have sent orders to our distributor for lots of products, including Nuvo drops, Distress Oxides, Gilding Flakes, and lots more! We have also sent orders to Ranger for more Tim Holtz Platforms and more of the 2nd release of Oxides. We have sent orders to Penny Black, Magenta (we will be getting in lots of Nuance), and a HUGE order to Memory Box! We can't wait to get all of these things in our hands. We don't know when yet, but stay tuned to our blog, email and Facebook.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Technique of the Week: "Love to Label" by Marj Marion

As an avid stamper and paper artist, I find it helpful (essential?!) to have lots of labels for my art supplies. And, yes, you might call me an organization guru, but for me it’s fun and satisfying to have my supplies labeled so I can easily see them and find what I want to use. This week, I’m sharing some labeling ideas for Nuance, Distress Oxide ink pads and Distress Ink refills.

I’ve noticed that with frequent use of my Nuance containers the small colored labels in the center of the lid seem to pop off. I like labels with the actual color of the product, so I experimented with various circles to make watercolor labels for all my Nuance colors. My best solution was to use two circle punchesL a 5/8” and a 1-1/8” punch. Another idea is to use two small circles from your nesting circle die sets.

I created some Nuance watercolor “paint” in my palette, and painted 1-1/2” circles of each color on 90# watercolor card stock. (The 90# paper is easier to punch than our usual 140# watercolor paper.) I painted one side of the circle a bit darker, to show the Nuance color both in light and dark shades.

This photo shows how I made two shades of the same color on the ring.
You can always add a little more paint to achieve the two shades of your colored ring.

My next step was to punch a 5/8” circle in the middle of each of my large painted circles. You can use the punch outs in one of your creations!

This photo shows the 5/8” punch right side up.

Next, I held the 1-1/8” punch upside down so I could center the small hole created in step one in the middle of the opening of this larger punch. By centering the small hole and holding the paper carefully, I created an open ring as I punched this larger circle. Viola!  Nice rings for labels for the Nuance jars.

You can also just punch out the rings, and THEN paint them, but I found it’s a little more fussy that way.

I dabbed Multi Medium Matte around the edge of the Nuance lid, and then pressed my colored ring onto the Medium.  I covered it with a small piece of waxed sheet, and pressed firmly to securely attach the ring label to the lid.  I set the jars aside to dry thoroughly.

The photo at the top of this post shows my finished labels. I printed the appropriate name of the Nuance color on each ring. I love being able to look at the true colors on my labels as I am choosing which colors to choose for my projects.

I rarely store my ink pads upside down, but after I attached velcro pieces to attach the foam circles on the underside of my Distress ink pads, they didn’t slide in and out on my shelves so well. So, I do store these pads upside down, with a label showing the name of the color, and a swipe of the actual color of the ink. I attached them to the side of the pads, and covered them with a strip of packing tape to keep the label nice and clean. Now I can see the actual color of the ink, easily see the name of the color, and the pad slides in and out of the shelf smoothly.

I’ve tried a few different containers for my Distress re-inkers, but the printed ink name on the bottom of the bottle always seems to be hidden by the container. I printed the names of all the re-inkers, and attached them to the black plastic rim on the bottle top. I secured the label on the rim with packing tapes. I found these mesh boxes at the Container Store, and they are magnetic, so they attach to my file cabinet making access very handy!  I cut some sturdy foam pieces to allow the back row of re-inkers to be raised for better visibility. I have the re-inkers grouped by major colors, and I am enjoying the easy access to my re-inkers now.

If you have some clever methods of labeling art supplies, please share them with us at Art ’n Soul!


Lynell Harlow, founding member of Dreamweaver Stencils will be with us this weekend, teaching 4 fabulous classes. There are a few spots left in these classes, so do yourself a favor and call us and sign up!

Friday, August 18th, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. "COLOR YOUR STENTANGLE CREATIONS – Lynell & Wayne Harlow $35
Lynell and Wayne Harlow are back with the easiest of tangle patterns. Lynell will lead the way for those of you who are a bit overwhelmed with creating patterns. She has chosen the simplest pattern she can think of called ‘Brella and used her grid stencil to further simplify the tangling process. Wayne is a Certified Zentangle Teacher, and will be there to assist and help with the nuances of shading and coloring your creations. This class is meant to be fun so bring your favorite colored pencils from home if you have some. The store has some Prisma Color pencils, but it is always nice to use what you have at home so the teachers can give you clear directions for your own materials.
 Also please bring your Basic Kit, a Micron 01 black pen or equivalent, and a pencil.

Friday, August 18th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. "SIMPLE PLEASURES/INK TRANSFER ETC. – Lynell Harlow $35
Sometimes the simplest stenciling techniques are the most effective AND the most fun. If you don’t mind inky fingers here are some stenciling ideas that are sure to delight. Ink transfer is one of the easiest ways to achieve motion using metal stencils and digital card stock. Next you will have the opportunity to clean up these prints with three different yet very simple embossing paste techniques…silhouettes, sculpting and metallic paste with glitter. If you are new to metal stencils you will realize that this is an opportunity to add something colorful to your card making repertoire. If you are an advanced stenciler you will see the ease of these techniques for making multiple card designs very quickly. Come join Lynell Harlow, former owner of Dreamweaver Stencils as she returns to the Northwest for a weekend of stencil magic.
 Please bring your Basic Kit.

Saturday, August 19th, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. "LETTERPRESS WITH METAL STENCILS – Lynell Harlow $35
Bring your Big Shot or Cuttlebug with plates and learn this letterpress printing technique using Memories Mist Sprays and the new Oxide Distress ink pads. Lynell did a quick demonstration of this technique for one of her classes when she was here in the Spring, but this is your opportunity to use metal stencils under her tutelage. Please also bring your basic kit and a Stamping Details thick mat if you have one.

Saturday, August 19th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. "A GLASSY CHRISTMAS – Lynell Harlow $35Cracked Glass was a very popular class by Lynell this Spring, so this time the emphasis is on Glass with a Holiday twist. Learn the technique so you’ll have a head start getting those Merry cards done early. Use metal stencils and all sorts of mediums to achieve these creative results, embossing paste, thick embossing enamel, snowy embossing powder, and a variety of inks are a few of the materials you will be working with. Please bring your Basic Kit, small stencil brushes and a Picasso stencil if you have one.
This class will be repeated on Sunday, August 20th
Sunday, August 20th, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. "A GLASSY CHRISTMAS – Lynell Harlow $35

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Technique of the Week: Adding Shine with Gilding Flakes by Pam Nelson

This week’s Technique of the Week features a new product by Nuvo – Gilding Flakes.  These beautiful flakes will add lots of shine to your cards.  I decided to pair these flakes with one of the new dies from the Memory Box Holiday catalog.

To begin I cut a piece of Lapis Blue Stardream paper to 4” x 5 ¼” and used the new Memory Box Batavia Channel Die (#99815) to die cut the left side of the paper.  I prepared the surface with a powder tool, used Versamark to stamp the Magenta Multilingual Merry Christmas sentiment and then embossed it with White Diamond embossing powder.

The Nuvo Gilding Flakes come in three colors – Radiant Gold, Silver Bullion and Sunkissed Copper.  There are a lot of flakes packed into each of these jars so they will last a long, long time.  Before you begin using the flakes, I recommend you place your card panel in some type of container or plastic tub and then begin applying the flakes.  You can store the unused flakes in this tub or empty them back into the jar.  Because the flakes are so lightweight they move around easily - don’t do this technique near a fan!  A little hand vacuum or Swiffer cloth works great for clean-up. 

To add the flakes to the die cut, I first applied a strip of 2” wide Scor-Tape to the back of the die cut area.  Place the card front, adhesive side up, in the bottom of a plastic container.  

I began putting some Silver Bullion Gilding Flakes onto the adhesive area – just place the flakes onto the adhesive and press lightly.  You can also mix colors of the gilding flakes, just add the colors that you want.  

When the entire adhesive area is well covered, (and while the card front it still in the plastic container), begin burnishing it with your finger to remove the excess flakes. 

I also like to use the back side of a piece of Ranger Cut-N-Dry Foam to burnish the flakes until you have a smooth surface.  You can also use a stencil brush to burnish the gilding flakes – just use the brush in a circular motion and brush away the excess flakes.  

When complete, wipe the card front with a Swiffer cloth to remove the little excess bits of foil.

To create the background piece for layering, cut a piece of white cardstock to 4 ½” x 5 ¼”.   Apply ¼” Scor-Tape on the outer border of the rectangle.  

Remove the release sheet from the tape, place it in the piece in the plastic bin and cover with the silver gilding flakes.  

Follow the same steps to burnish the foil (including the edges.) 

To finish the card, cut a piece of fun foam to slightly smaller than the Lapis Blue card front.  Remove the Scor-Tape release paper on the back of the die cut, add adhesive to the rest of the card, and then adhere to the fun foam.  Apply more adhesive to the back of the fun foam and then center it on the background piece.  Adhere the whole piece to A2 card. 

I added some sequins for interest and placed a drop of Nuvo White Blizzard Glitter Drops in the center of each sequin.  

I think this would be a great technique for “production” cards.  Once you start using these flakes you won’t want to stop so why not do several cards at one time?

You can see this card in person at Art ‘n Soul so I hope you will stop by to see it.  My photography skills just don’t capture the shine from these flakes.  Stay tuned for future Techniques using this beautiful new product.