Friday, October 19, 2012

Today I wanted to share my Canvas Collage with you!

I take a LOT of pictures on my iPhone.  I would almost say I take more on the my iPhone than I do on my Digital Camera.  It's just so much more convenient.  And with that, I have found some pretty amazing Apps that I like to play with and Instagram is one of them... Actually it's probably TOP on the list.  Most everyone knows about it by now, Facebook actually bought them.  Well, during the Creative Retreat I took a LOT of photos and posted them on Instragram, so I thought I would make something with them when I got back.  There's NO way I could use ALL the Instagram photo's I took, but here's what I came up with, with some of them...

(you can click on any photo to see it enlarged)

So this is my "Creative Retreat Canvas" and I LOVE IT.  I'm a yellow girl and Italy is FULL of beautiful hues of yellow, so I wanted to capture that in this canvas.  I started off with a blank canvas (I think it's about 10" x 13" and went to town on it with some gesso and Art_Anthology Gelate.  I mixed some yellow, shimmery white and the gesso and took a spatula to the canvas.  I wanted some ridges and uneven areas, so it conveyed the look of the buildings in Italy.  Then I took some spray ink in a charcoal black and opened up the lid and used the spray stick to "drip" some dots onto the canvas.  After that was all dry, I went back over some of the black ink spots with a black ink pen and added some mini swirls and hearts.  You can't see it much b/c they are under the photos, but I think enough is there to make a little "artsy" statement.

Then I went to town printing out my Instagram photos.  Now this is a bit tricky and I'll share how I do in on my Mac.  I've heard of a few places that will print your Instagram photos for you, and that may be better, but I like to find my own way b/c I want to have them NOW.  :)

So on my Mac, I went into iPhoto and I highlighted TWO of my Instagram photos (with the command key) and then went up to File, and then Print.  It will go into your print options and you'll just see ONE photo.  So click on Print Size and select 2x2, then click on Paper Size and click on 4x6.  Then Click on Print and it will send you to the print page where you can select Print and they should be go to go and start printing!  Love that I can do this on my OWN computer!!

Well, back to the canvas...

After I printed all my photos out and cut them out, I started putting them onto my dry canvas and moved them around until I liked the composition.  Then I went to TOWN finding embellishemnts, papers, letters and all kinds of things I wanted to put on my canvas.  I always have "BIG EYES" when it comes to this part of the process, but it's FUN and I just put away what I don't use.  (well, maybe it all stays out for a bit too long... lol)  

I used a bit more Art_Anthology on the Maya Road chipboard letters and then I used some Glossy Accents over the Gelate to give it a nice sheen.  I used quite a bit of Heidi Swapp "Sugar Chic" for this canvas, because I just LOVE that line and am hoarding it for special things JUST LIKE THIS!  :)

I mean who doesn't LOVE a bright yellow and Chevron Bow!!??  Notice the "bling" too, It's a beautiful Maya Road button I "snagged" from one of the goody bags from the Retreat!  (I figure I deserve a goody bag too, right??)

This is the FUN part, just PLAYING with all my goodies!  Oh, before I forget... To adhere the photos to my canvas, I used more Glossy Accents.  I think it's one of the BEST adhesives and especially when working with canvas and paints, this holds the photos FOREVER.  

Now,  if you've followed my other blog, A Kiss on the Chic you probably get the feel for "my" style.   I really have been trying to "break out" of MY style, but looking at this and other things I've created in the past,  I realize you just really can't change too much.  I like order, I don't like too much "mess", I like COLOR, and I like black and white.  If there is any slight "change" in my style, I would say it's even more CLEAN than before.  I don't want to flood my designs with flowers anymore or tons of embellishments.  So this canvas I really tried to keep things to a minimum (some may not agree with this statement :)  but to me, this is JUST the right amount.  If you plan on making something similar, just go with what YOUR style is, because to you it WILL be the right amount!

Of course there are 2 things that I've used lately, that you may not find in my older layouts and creations.  Two of my FAV "new" products are:  



Oh. my. STARS.  Don't you just LOVE these??  I'm quite addicted to them BOTH and I think you may be two...  So of course, there is washi tape and flair buttons on this canvas!  In fact, the Flair Buttons are from a lady on Etsy that I found out later has been on the Maya Road DT for years!!  I think she devotes herself to Etsy full-time now, but she knows LISA AND CAROLINE and we had a fun little chat about that!!  I guess Lisa and Caroline recognized her Flair Buttons at the Creative Retreat in Italy (I game them some and had some for sale)  and they took pictures of them and sent them to her! How cute is that!?  So let me add to your shopping FUN on Etsy and tell you that you should definitely check out A Flair for Buttons and see how ADORABLE these are and how YOU WILL WANT SOME!  (I think her shop is on vacation until the 27th, so check back after that to see all her goodies)

So that's it.  My canvas is DONE and I'm now going to clean my ARTSY room, so I can find a place of prominence for it!!  

Next week, I'll share some photo's of my ALMOST completed journal from the Creative Retreat this year.  Here's a SNEAK of it...

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!  Don't wait too much longer to sign up for NEXT YEARS Creative Retreat, spots are filling up!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day - 3

I can NOT believe it's been a whole MONTH since the retreat started!  I apologize for not posting more  photos and day-by-day accounts of the retreat, it's been a whirlwind since I've been back and I'm just feeling back to normal this week.  I'm happy to say I have NO plans to get on an airplane until NEXT YEARS Creative Retreat!  (although I'm sure my hubby will find a reason for us to go somewhere...)

Day 3 of the Creative Retreat was our 1st real CLASS day and I was the first teacher that day.  I had actually decided to go first because my class was a album/journal that they could use throughout the week to record their week in and add their ephemera and photos in.  So I really wanted to get going on it.  I do have to say that I honestly didn't allow enough time to finish it and I really felt bad about that.   That's actually one of the reasons why next years event is going to have less classes and one less teacher.  I really want to have more time to FINISH each class and still have lots of time to enjoy the pool, the town and the excursions!  I will note that they DID have time to finish each class at night in the room if they wanted to go back in there to crop.  Which will be the case next summer as well and I think I will even play some fun Italian themed movies during those crop nights... But getting back to my class, here's a picture of the journal: (btw, I have about 3 class kits of this left, if anyone is interested)

It was a FUN class, lots of the colors of Italy in it, and lots of great embellishments.  Here's a picture of some of the ladies during the class:

And the view from the room... (with my album in the window )

After my class we all went down by the pool to have lunch.  You got your choice of a few things on the menu and it's a lovely place to sit in their poolside restaurant and just enjoy the view.

Then after lunch and a little break we had another class with Tammy Tutterow where she showed us a cute little suitcase album from Sizzix and Pink Paislee.

Each afternoon the ladies had time to themselves to either enjoy the beautiful pool:

or walk around the town and shop or eat gelato...

(we went for the gelato :)

That night was dinner on their own, so the ladies had fun finding different restaurants around town while Victoria and I went over to Al Veluu.  I had wanted to go visit with Luca and Cheryl ahead of Wednesday nights dinner with the group there so we could go over everything and make sure it was all set up and ready to go.  We also wanted to visit with them before dinner and see their new baby!!  They we due with their second child while we were here this past July and thought they might have it that week.  But, the baby waited a few more days and we didn't get to see beautiful Leila until this night!

So here is little 6week old Leila and her BIG sister Isabell!  They are BOTH so beautiful and we had a fun time visiting with the family before the restaurant opened.  (did I mention how I LOVE Italians??  :)  I just love the Italian lifestyle and how so many of the restaurants are family owned, they live right there and they are so open and friendly.  We've gotten to know this family over the years and they are so dear to us!  Victoria loves them so much and we had a great time playing with Isabell that night.

We had a wonderful dinner and made it back to the Music Room that night so we could enjoy the music and see Sasha!

What a GREAT day...and night!

I'll try to post the rest of the days on here in the next week or two so you can see the whole week we spent in Bellagio!  It was truly AMAZING and if you want to join us NEXT SUMMER, YOU CAN!!  Just go over to the Registration page and sign up TODAY! There are some spots left, but they are going FAST!

Have a GREAT day,



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Here's a chance to WIN a Class Kit from our Creative Retreat!

Just leave a comment on THIS post and you can win one of TWO class kits I'm giving AWAY!!

I have a few class kits left and will put them up in my Etsy Shop later this week.  There's also some GRAB BAG KITS in my Etsy shop now if you want to check those out.

I also wanted to take a minute at THANK all the AWESOME SPONSORS for this years Creative Retreat!  They were ALL SO GENEROUS!

So let me say THANK YOU to...

They really did such a GREAT JOB at providing some fun stuff for all the ladies!!


There are still some spots available for next June, so make sure you SIGN UP SOON!  Have a look under Registration for all the info.  I have two payments plans AND if you want a cheaper option on the whole event, there is another apartment choice that is connected with the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in the upper village area (only a 3 minute walk from the hotel) so you can email me about that is you are interested!

I have about 6 spots left and I'm trying to decide if I can take more than 20 ladies so I can offer more spots.  If I do, I will let everyone know but then I will need to stager some events and dinners.

Have a GREAT day,


NOTE:  The Giveaway is for a KIT from this years Creative Retreat, NOT a spot in next years Creative Retreat.  Thanks :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hi ladies,

I just wanted to let you know some ladies are having problems with PayPal and I've been trying to invoice people and can't seem to get PayPal to work for me either.

So stay tuned, I'm still trying to invoice you if you've gotten back to me on the email questions.  If you are wanting to sign up and it's not letting you pay, just quickly email me so I can get your name and I'll try to figure out the problem and get it resolved.


Hi ladies...

TODAY is the 15th of October, and the OFFICIAL SIGN UP DAY!!

So for those of you who haven't RESERVED YOUR SPOT for next summers Creative Retreat in Italy, you can go to the REGISTRATION PAGE over on the right side and click on either the FULL PAYMENT or PAYMENT PLAN BUTTON.

I have about 6 spots left and over 26 ladies on the "WAIT" list, so if you're interested PLEASE SIGN UP SOON!  I REALLY don't want to say NO to anyone and I am in the process of figuring out if I can accept more than 20 ladies this time, but at this point I'm not sure and WILL have to stop at 20 until I know for sure...

For those of you who DID RESERVE YOUR SPOT already, I will be emailing you today to ask a few questions and then once I hear back, I will invoice you through PayPal!  No worries on loosing your spot, just need to confirm a few things before I can invoice you.

ALSO, those who are RESERVED or will be signing up TODAY, I am starting a new Yahoo Group for this event!  This will be a GREAT place for us to introduce ourselves, get to know each other and it will be where I post all my updates and information about the trip.  It worked out GREAT last year and it really helped the ladies "meet" each other before the event and feel like they already knew everyone!

I'll be home most of today answering emails and setting up the PayPal buttons and invoicing, so feel free to ask my any questions at: or calling me.

Have a GREAT Monday!!



P.S.  Some ladies have asked me if they could bring a spouse or family or a friend...  YES, you may!  I just need you to email me and let me know so I can go over your accommodation choices.  I know this is SUMMERTIME and you may want to include my Creative Retreat into your summer vacation plans around Europe (I know I would) so that is totally fine.   I just need to know so I can make sure you are all together and find out if they want to take the classes and/or enjoy the excursions with us.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi Ladies!

I wanted to take a minute and let you know that I put some Grab Bag Kits up in my Etsy Shop They are FILLED with great products from companies you LOVE, so check them out soon because they are already going QUICK!

Here's the information on the kits:

This grab bag is FULL of CREATIVITY! I've owned a kit club for 2 years and teach classes all over the world. These grab bags have NEW, in the packaging, items from all the scrapbook companies you know and love! I'm just trying to clear out and get organized so these grab bags are a GREAT way to get a some fabulous items at BARGAIN prices! These bags are FULL of product and are worth AT LEAST DOUBLE the amount you are paying! These sell out FAST on my blog and everyone always comes back for more so get yours quick!

Here's a list of some of the products you'll see in the kits:*

Heidi Swapp
Pink Paislee
Webster's Pages
Clear Scraps
7 Gypsies
Tim Holtz
Glitz Design
Crafters Workshop
Teresa Collins
Crate Paper
Studio Calico
American Crafts
My Little Bicycle
Maya Road

Each Grab Bag is RANDOM, but will come with the following, worth at least $45:

A package of Letters
An Canvas, Chipboard or Acrylic Album
A package of flowers
Baker's Twine
Patterned Paper
Misc. small embellishments and MORE...

PLUS, In ADDITION, each kit will come with:

A Collection of Papers & Embellishments from a class or kit worth $25 or more from either:

7 Gypsies
Teresa Collins
Glitz Designs
Prima or
Webster's Pages

AND if that's not enough...

I've added a HANDMADE FLOWER by me AND lots of little paper punches


A little SURPRISE item I handmade as well!

I only have 15 KITS,  SO GRAB YOUR KITS NOW!!!  (as of this blog post I think there are 10 left)

*Please note: Not every kit will have items from all the companies listed.

I will also be listing some of the CREATIVE RETREAT CLASS KITS in my Etsy Shop later tonight, so you can check back for those as well as the other kits I have in my shop!


Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!

I've printed out some of my photos from the Creative Retreat in Italy and I'm planning on doing some artsy stuff this weekend...  What are YOU up to this weekend??

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hi ladies!

I'm enjoying some time with my hubby in Arizona until Monday, but I thought I'd quickly post an update here...

If you've signed up to reserve your spot in next years Creative Retreat, you may have noticed that it came to $107.50. It was supposed to be $100, but I didn't catch the $7.50 shipping charge that's on my Paypal for my Etsy orders. So just to clarify, the total amount of $107.50 will be credited towards either your full payment or 1st payment (on the payment plan) on October 15th when registration payment is taken and the registration forms are sent to you.

Sorry for any confusion on that!

And for those who haven't reserved your spot and want to join Teresa Collins, Jeanne Oliver and myself next summer in Italy, the event is about 1/2 full! So don't wait to long!

We'd LOVE to have you join us on this AMAZING adventure in Italy!!



Monday, October 1, 2012


Are you ready for the 2nd Annual Women’s CREATIVE RETREAT in Italy??

Well I know I am!  All the planning and preparation for this years event went into creating an INCREDIBLE WEEK that was a DREAM come true for me, and I know all of the ladies had a GREAT time in Italy too! We just got back from our 1st Creative Retreat in Italy and I can’t tell you how AMAZING it was to spend a week in the breathtaking Lake Como region of Italy with 20 ladies! We enjoyed creating new inspiring projects with wonderful teachers, we took in the unbelievable sites around Lake Como and we just relaxed in the BEAUTY of Italy!  

SO today I am excited to REVEAL that next years CREATIVE RETREAT in Bellagio, Italy will be held the week of June 22nd - 29th, 2013!

We will have another FUN-FILLED week of classes with some of the Top Artists in the industry, AMAZING excursions around Lake Como, RELAXING time by the pool or lakeshore and BREATHTAKING views of this beautiful region of Italy as we enjoy local foods and the annual San Giovanni Festival!

So do you want to know who the TEACHERS will be for next year???



And the girl organizing this event... Me  

Laura McCollough

I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to have these girls teach at my event!!!  Teresa and Jeanne are not only FABULOUS ARTISTS AND TEACHERS, they are two ladies who I feel SO blessed to call friends!  These two ladies will be joining us in Italy and enjoying a week with all of us as they INSPIRE US as we take in the sights and sounds of Lake Como, Italy!

You can find out more about them and follow each artist on their blogs, just click on their names for the links!

You can also find out EVERYTHING you need to know about this event here on the blog, over on the right side.  Have a look at the “Registration” Page, the “Accomodations” Page and don’t forget to look at the “FAQ’s” Page.  It will give you all kinds of information to help make your decision to join us next June in Italy!

But, I wouldn’t wait long!!  I can only take 20 students on this AMAZING trip to Italy!  So, if you want to join us, all the paperwork to sign will be ready on October 15th.  BUT, you can reserve your spot NOW for a $100 deposit TODAY! (details below)

Here’s a look into some of what’s included in the week we have planned for you!

~ The San Giovanni Festival with a torchlight procession through town

~ A week of INSPIRATION with Teresa Collins, Jeanne Oliver & Laura McCollough

~ 3 Excursions in the breathtaking surroundings of Italy, including a boat and villa tour

~ 5 Lunches and 5 Dinners in beautiful locations around Lake Como

~ 7 nights lodging at the GHVS Apartments or La Lemonera Apartments

~ Live music in the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni’s Music Room

~ Crop time, demo’s and make-n-takes

~ Goody bags, raffles and surprises

~ Plus time to relax by the pool or sit at the waters edge

~ Time to stroll the streets, enjoy some gelato or shop the cobblestone streets

~ An UNFORGETTABLE experience you will carry with you forever!

SO....Don’t miss out, Sign up on October 15th for this incredible Creative Retreat!  OR, RESERVE YOUR SPOT RIGHT NOW!

This is a $100 deposit you can make RIGHT NOW,  TODAY, that will hold your spot until the15th when all the paperwork will be ready to fully sign up and start making payments.  There is a VERY  limited amount of sign-ups available for this event, so this deposit will SECURE your spot!

The cost for the week long event is $3,150* and payment plans are available.  For all the details of this event and everything that is included in the price, you can go to: 

Feel free to email me at with any questions.  And don’t forget to sign up on Facebook or follow along at:  A Kiss on the Chic’s Creative Retreats.

*Discount on price is available depending on apartment choice and/or triple occupancy.