Please Respect My Work...

All of the cards, layouts, handmade items and art work displayed on this website are copyright to me, Lynne Mizera. Of course I hope to inspire and encourage you and would be morethan happy for you to use any of my work to that end; however, please respect me and my work and do not directly copy any of my projects without crediting me or enter any of my work into any magazines or competitions without my express written permission. All my cards, layouts, projects and art work are not to be used by any commercial enterprise for any financial, marketing or commercial gain.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Storage Box - Mixed Media Style

Hello Peeps!  I have to get this post out quickly if I am going to make the deadline for Rubber Dance Stamp  monthly challenge!  You know, they give us an entire month to submit but I am ALWAYS scrambling on the very last day to get it done, even though I have been thinking about it all month long! (Grin)  It is always a color challenge and you have to use stamping on your project, but those are the only limitations - here is this  month's theme:
Challenge Link HERE
And HERE is What I Created for my brand  new studio space... to store my ColorBox inks and handles and foam heads:
If you follow me you know that I have just moved into our "Forever Home" and Mr. Awesome has just finished building me my DREAM Studio space. (GO HERE for a video tour and photos).  So I decided to alter this cool cardboard box to create some pretty storage for my new room.  For the Rubber Dance Challenge you don't have to use Rubber Dance stamps but I did on this one 'cuz I LOVE their stuff.  I am featuring the "Woman Collage" set, which I have been drooling over since I got it but I haven't had time to play with until today.
I started with a cardboard box which I covered in Inky paper towels from my stash of towels that I use to blot when I am spraying and which I NEVER throw away.  I am using watered down Matte Mod Podge to adhere them to the box. I stamped my images using black Stayzon ink onto white tissue paper salvaged from a shoe box,  and applied these using the same watered down Mod Podge (after the inky towels had dried)
I then added quotes from the Rubber Dance "Something Wonderful" stamp set, (using the tissue paper method) and then accented all that wonderful texture from the wrinkly papers using white paint, applied with my fingers and Stayzon inks in Merlot and Chai, gently rubbed all over the edges.  Here are some close ups of each side...
From this angle you can see how I incorporated the March challenge color scheme - and Yes I already had paper towels in my stash with these exact colors... Meant to be?

So that's my project... Inspirational, Pretty on  my Shelf and I created it with stuff that would have gone into the garbage... How Cool is that?

I am also including this in the Stampotique Designers Challenge for this month - What's Old is New Again #238 because they want to see something "Repurposed, Re-used, Re-Cycled or Altered - and I think I hit all four of those!
As always thanks for popping in to see what I am up to and please do leave me a comment if you like what you are seeing!

Lynne Mizera


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Going Back to My Childhood... A Mixed Media Tutorial

Hello Blog Land Peeps... I am BACK!  Our Big move is completed and I am in my new studio space and ready to share with you the first new project I created in that space!  Today my term ends for the Susan K. Weckesser design team, and for my last project  I wanted  to create something really special and share with you my creative process in the creation of this Mixed-media canvas:
Picasso once said:
"All Children are artists.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Well, have you ever watched children create? They just do it! They don't over think it, over analyze it or over process it, they just DO IT.  They have absolute confidence in their own inner voice and never question their own intuition...that is until we correct them, or until societal opinions start to become more important than their own... sigh.  So now here I am on the other side of 50 trying to access that inner child and her absolute confidence in her own abilities and I have found mixed media to be a wonderful place to do this because you have to just do it and trust the process!  So after four years of learning the process and then trusting the process here is what I have to share to maybe help you fast forward Your process:
1. Just DO It... Just start with something that you can add to, and if it's not perfect or you don't like it don't worry, you will have many opportunities to change it!
2. Trust Your Inner Voice... Not your inner critic, but that tiny excited child's voice that says..."Oh, do this!", you know, that first thought that springs into your head fully formed before the critic beats it out.  Whatever it says, Do It.  The more pieces you create that you love the easier it is to listen to that voice, so give yourself a chance to show You what YOU can do.
3. If You Don't Like it, You're Not Done Yet... Best advice I have ever received, because we give up on ourselves way too soon.  If you don't like your piece it's because it is not finished yet.  Just keep layering and adding and taking away, letting yourself play until all of a sudden the canvas in your hands transforms into a piece you Love, a piece you are proud of.  And if layering and adding doesn't work remember, there is always Gesso!  Just paint the entire thing white, you get to start again on a blank slate but with the texture already there!  (This took all the pressure off me to make a masterpiece, I could just play)
4. Every Step Adds a Layer... Even if you can't really see it, that layer is still there adding a depth and dimension to your canvas that it couldn't have without that step...Which is why I LOVE Mixed Media so much!

Smile... so here is my photo heavy tutorial with comments in the the captions to show you how I went from THIS:

To THIS in 20 or so photos - ENJOY!
THE PROCESS: Beginning is the hardest part... "What if I suck?!" "What if it's ugly?"  I take all the pressure off myself first by allowing myself to NOT make a masterpiece, and by using dollar store board canvas (3 for $2) and garbage - inky paper towels, napkins, scraps of paper, which I will glue in random bits all over the board canvas for a background.  This way (in my mind) it doesn't count right?  Pick colors and patterns that appeal to you and don't try to  match stuff, just go where your hand takes you. And do not spend too much time over this bit or worse... fall in love with your background... 'cuz in the end you won't even see it!
Start by Using scraps - here is the stash I started with - rip off pieces and adhere them at random using a matte medium- let it dry.
I like to start my mixed media canvases with a stamped image. I pick a spot on my canvas where I like the colors and patterns and stamp my image there (to use as a guide), then the real fun begins...

Use a waterproof ink like StazOn when stamping on your canvas.  Don't worry about being perfect, the stamped image is only a guide.
My new favorite thing is to stamp my main image onto book paper and cut out bits to use as accents.  Again, I don't really think about it a lot but try to tap into my childhood instincts.

I like using pages from this old dictionary because the paper is thin (like bible paper) but tough and stands up to getting wet.
Use a black Sharpie marker to outline your bits to make them pop.  Sharpies are waterproof - this is important.
Now this next step is when you just trust the process... Using a mask to cover off what you don't want to touch, paint or texture your background all around your stamped image. (A mask is your image stamped on a scrap of stiff paper or cardboard and cut out to lay overtop and protect the image.)
I used Dreamweaver White Crackle Embossing Paste and my Tim Holtz "Shatter" stencil, and dried it with my heat gun.
At this point I used my Lumin Arte Primary Elements powder to add more color, dropping the powder where I wanted it using a soft paint brush and activating it with water so the colour flowed into my crackles.  I used my heat gun to dry it all quickly. (Can you see my Mask in the background?)
It's usually at about this point where I start to "not really like my thing", but I have learned to trust the process, stay with the program and LISTEN to that inner child's voice... which said to me "you need to add something shiney and bumpy."  So I Did...
I made my own "Roof stencil" so I could add texture to the roof of my house.  I used Dreamweaver Copper Embossing Paste and my Tim Holtz "Burlap" stencil.
I liked it so much I added more bits of Copper embossing paste through my burlap stencil at random all over the canvas... again, not really thinking about it too much.
Close up of the background.. needs some more color
I used my Lunin Arte Silks to add pops of color to where ever I wanted it... I used a brush to add the color and a baby wipe to take it away... This is now the base of my canvas...
 Now my favorite part in the entire process... Decorating! (or pulling out the details using gel pens and stickles)
Stamping words or images onto a bumpy canvas is not ideal, so I stamp onto white tissue paper with Ranger's waterproof Archival Ink and adhere to my canvas using a matte gel medium.
I am using Susan K. Weckesser/Unity Stamp Sets: "Little Haven" and "Painted Sentiments"
I like to color and cut out my stamped images (I use 100lbs card stock) and glue them to the top of my canvas base for extra pops of color.  I didn't like the black words so I used Ranger Liquid Pearl to color them in.
I then go to town using my Rangers Stickles, Liquid Pearls, Lumin Arte Silks and Gel pens to color and highlight everything...
Can you see how outlining my words in gel pen really make them pop.
Now you would think I was finished at this point, but nope, I wasn't done yet... I thought my background needed some lightening up, so I added a wash of watered down Zinc White Golden fluid acrylic paint and wiped off the exess with a baby wipe, and then added white gesso around the edges...

And one last step... using my finger I added gold here and there to tone down the white and re-outlined anything that I wanted popped.  At this point the little voice said... Stop, you are done!
 So That's It!  You just keep adding stuff, and rubbing it off, and adding more and staying with it until you think you are done!
I am so proud of this piece, the first created in my brand new studio space, in our brand new home, and I hope it helps to inspire you to try your hand a bit of mixed media.  Find your Child Artist Voice!
New Studio-Side 1: This is where I did all the messy, inky stencily stuff on my canvas

New Studio-Side 2: This is where I did all the decorating part of my canvas... SWOON!

As always, thank you for popping in to see what I am up to and please do leave me a comment if you like what you see!
Lynne Mizera

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Friday, March 25, 2016

It's the REVEAL of My New Studio Space!

Hello and Happy DAAAY Blog-Land Peeps! It is a beautifully sunny spring day today, here in Creston, BC at the beginning of one of the earliest Easter weekends that I can remember, and in keeping with the themes of Easter and Spring and Renewals and New Beginnings I am excited to be sharing with you a 7 minute video tour of my brand new studio space! 
An Introduction from Me in person:

Note: I have also included some photos just in case your device doesn't like the size of the video file.

Recap: We moved from Alberta, Canada into our new home in British Columbia, Canada on January 6th this year and we have been cleaning and painting and reno-ing every day since.  We have completed as much as we can until we make more money (grin), but my creative space is DONE and it is so EXACTLY what I have always imagined that I am overflowing with inspiration and creative energy! (Happy Dance!)  So without any more words... Here it is:
PS: this is my very first attempt at a video and I promise I will get better! I also promise to stop moving around so much in the next one as while I was watching it I felt slightly nauseous by minute four.

The following are some still photos and descriptions for those of you that prefer non-moveable viewing.
Entering into my new space - this desk under the window is one of my favorite places to be right now... happy sigh
I am calling this area the mixed-media side; the storage units on the back wall, which Hubby (now always to be referred to by the  name Mr. Awesome) found on Kijiji for less than $100, create the perfect work surface for all the messy stuff whilst giving me storage at the same time.
Mr. Awesome cut this hole into the wall between two rooms to create one large space for me, He is so Talented, and I am SO BLESSED!  This layout allows me to have two distinct areas, one for mixed media and the other for all my paper, stamping and scrapbooking stuff, but it is still one space with everything close at hand. 

This wonderful table/work surface was created by Mr. Awesome using an inexpensive hollow-core door and two inexpensive bookcases.  It can be easily slid to anywhere in the room and has the added benefit of creating even more easily-accessible storage space.

This room used to be a bedroom before it was converted and the closet on the back wall was already fitted out with storage hardware, so all I had to do was have Mr. Awesome remove the bi-fold doors and adjust the shelving to suit my needs... talk about Easy Peasy!

When we discovered that the Ikea wall unit that housed our Giant TV did not fit into the new family room space, I grabbed it for my studio! This entire unit is full of stamps and stamping supplies and the 4-ft table fits perfectly where the TV used to reside, creating a lovely Stamping Station away from my main work space.

I love having stations where I can go to do things like spraying and stamping away from my main working area, and where I can use something and easily put it away right away (well that is the Plan anyway... Grin)

As I stand here in the opening between my two spaces and look over at my lovely sun-lit desk stacked with all my favorite watercolor painting and coloring supplies, my heart is overflowing with gratitude and my hands are tingling to go start playing!  Thank you from the very depths of my soul to you who watches over me.
 For those of you that are interested, I will posting several more blogs over the next few days, providing you with some more in depth commentary about my storage and design ideas and why they work for me.  Besides, I NEED to share my incredibly joyful experience about this space and its creation with SOMEBODY until I make some new friends in the area! Grin

Thanks again for popping in to see what I am up to, and please DO leave me a comment to help me make the next videos BETTER! (Smiles and Hugs)

Scrapbook Lynne Mizera

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Successful Gluten-Free Muffin Recipe...

Hello and Happy First Day of Spring to everyone!  I apologize for the long gaps between blog posts these days and now that the big, cross-province move from Alberta to British Columbia, Canada is complete and all the cleaning and as many renovations as we could finish before the money ran out are done, you may expect more regular blog posts from me herein.  Today, on this first day of Spring I want to share these wonderful photos of the plants that are popping up on our property every day.  I feel like I am on a some kind of wonderful treasure hunt every morning as I drink my coffee and walk our property.
I have no idea what these wee purple daisy-like flowers are called, but I LOVE them!
Now if this plant isn't called Lamb's Ear it totally should be...
and the buds on the shrubs are just bursting open...
This is a crocus poking out of a layer of last year's leaves...
and the most wonderful thing of all are the wild violets that are growing everywhere on our property these day...
But the main reason for this particular post is I want to share this wonderful Gluten-free Tropical Muffin recipe I created that not only made muffins which tasted wonderful, but also made muffins which rose up as they baked to fill the muffin papers and after cooling had the same texture and lightness of a muffin made using wheat flour! It has taken all my 30+ years of baking experience and many, many not-so-successful attempts to get to this muffin and I am happy to share it with you this fine spring day.
Now you may want to read my directions all the way through as I did a few things differently from the standard baking routines.  I also used these wonderful liners called "Tulip Muffin Liners" which I order on-line from the Golda's Kitchen site.  These liners help provide support for the gluten-free batter while it is baking, as GF batters can be very fragile and tend to fall and spread instead of rising up like batters which contain gluten.

I also used this new-to-me GF flour blend from Robin Hood and this GF baking powder from Fleischmann's as well as Bob's Red Mill Xantham Gum.
 Here is the Recipe and the Directions:
Lynne's Gluten-Free Tropical Muffins
(makes 24 medium muffins)
Step 1
Mix these dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside:
3 cups Robin Hood GF All Purpose Flour Blend
1 cup White Rice Flour
6 heaping tsps GF Baking Powder
2 level tsps Baking Soda
3 level tsps Xanthan Gum
1 level tsp salt

Step 2
In a large mixing bowl, mash up 6 over-ripe bananas and add one can of crushed pineapple with all the juice and 1.5 cups of shredded sweetened coconut, stir gently: (for less sweet muffins use unsweetened coconut)

Step 3
Beat two large eggs until well blended and add 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar to the egg mixture, stirring until dissolved. Pour the egg mixture into the wet, banana-pineapple mixture and stir until blended:

Step 4
Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture adding about a cup full of flour mixture and half a cup of milk (or liquid) each time and gently blending using a wooden spoon.  Try not to over beat the mixture and keep adding liquid and stirring just enough until you have a batter about the same conistency of a thick pancake batter. You will need approximately two cups of milk but if your batter is very thick and stiff add more liquid.  Note: I have also used rice milk with good results.

Step 5
One of the reasons these muffins are so light and rise up so beautifully is the chemical reaction that takes place between the acid in the pineapple juice and the baking soda, so have your muffin tins with liners ready and your oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F so you can get the batter into the tins and the tins into the oven quickly.  I use a large ice cream scoop to fill my muffin tins which does the job quickly and has the added benefit of making each muffin almost exactly the same size.  With this recipe I fill each cup only half full as they really will rise.  
Bake for about 25 minutes (at 350 degrees F) or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the tins to a rack to cool right away, otherwise moisture builds up around the muffins in the cooling tins something the GF muffins does not handle well.

Other things to note: I have kept the sugar content fairly low as the bananas, pineapple and coconut all add sweeteness to the muffins, but feel free to adjust the sugars up or down.  I personally like the flavor that brown sugar brings so that is what I used.  I have tried using sweetners but resulting muffins were small, dense and dry.  There is no oil or "fat" in this recipe as the bananas do the same job.
My muffins came out of the oven over twice their pre-baked size, were a beautiful golden brown and smelled wonderful!  These muffins are rich with banana, pineapple and coconut flavours, have a wonderful body and do not turn to mush in my mouth when I eat them.  I hope your muffins turn out as wonderful as mine and please do leave me a comment to let me know how you did.

As always, thank you for popping in to see what I am up to these days and please do leave me a comment if you like what you are seeing!
Scrapbook Lynne Mizera

Full Ingredient List:
3 cups Robin Hood All Purpose Nutri Blend GF Flour
1 cup white rice flour
6 heaping Tsps GF baking powder
2 level tsps baking soda
3 level tsps Xantham Gum
1 tsp salt
6 over ripe bananas
1 can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups milk (or Rice Milk) as needed