What is a Fude Ball???

With so many markers and pens on the market it is difficult to select the proper tool for a specific project.  I have quite a collection of different brands of pens and have come to the conclusion that one pen will not work for everything.  One of the best pens I have found for outlining or Zentangling is the Fude Ball pen.


It is one of the newer pens available.  It has a rollerball tip and is made to write comparable to a brush pen.  The 1.5mm ball tip delivers a rich, water-based pigment ink that is water and fade proof when dry. The superior ink quality can be applied directly over dry acrylic paint.  The ball tip  is sturdy and makes it easier to control.

I have always used Micron and Millenniums and have been satisfied with them.  Recently I was working on a pair of wood turned candlesticks and wanted to do some doodling and outlining.  I really had a difficult time trying to put lines on the rounded surface.  I was intrigued with the roller-ball tip and decided to try it out on the candlesticks.    04_pa1424__77348_1024x1024I was so excited at how easy they were to control.  I had problems with the other pens skipping on the curved surface, but the Fude Ball pen created perfect, solid lines.  The ink is rich and fluid and the pen lasts just about as long as a BIC! 

Next I tried the pens on a flat project to do some simple outlining.  The ink dried quickly and permanently, however, I found it best to “set” the ink with a light coat of spray sealer as opposed to varnishing with a brush.


I love showing off the Fude Ball.  Whenever I am teaching a class, I always pull out the the pen.  Usually I get a “oh that’s nice” response…BUT…then I say “try it”…  The next response is “WOW” or “OOOOOHHHH”!  The pen actually sells itself!

If you work with media, art journaling, tangling or just plain doodling, you will be thrilled with the ease and results of the Fude Ball Pen!


In case you are wondering, Fude, in Japanese stands for brushpen!

Style Stix?

What in the world are Style Stix and why in the world would they be used???  The Style Stix are amazing tools with that can be used to create unbelievable results!  imgres_096d88a7-41ce-4de1-90b9-883a037b015f_1024x1024.jpg

The tools come as a set of four: small, medium, large and extra large.  They have wooden handles and the cone shaped foam tip is soft and flexible.  The variety of sizes offers the ability to use them on anything from a small project to jumbo!

I use them to create berries, candies, bubbles, marbles, raindrops…just about anything round.  The concept is simple, basecoat with a bright color, I always recommend using the highlight color.  To basecoat, I simply dip dot with the handle end of an appropriate size brush.  When the base color is dry, load the selected size style stix with paint.  I dampen the tool with water, wipe on a paper towel, then roll in the paint to distribute the paint evenly around the sides of the cone tip.  Next, position tool directly over dot, press down and twist.  This will smoosh the paint out of the center, leaving the side edges darker, creating instant shading!  The paint should cover the basecoat completely, not leaving any of the base color showing around the edges.


These tools are also great for sliding or pushing paint.  They are great for adding interesting borders, creating background design,  “drawing” with paint, such as flowers, sun rays, stripes, etc…04-pa1541_c1f3acf6-73d6-4718-9c93-78a4e023a611_1024x1024.JPG

Check out this quickie instructional video to see step by step how easy they are to use. Screenshot_1

The more I use these tools, the more I find out how diverse they are!  I always keep a set handy at my fingertips, just in case!!





Amazing Tool!

When I first saw the Mini Ink Blender, I was convinced that it was something that I would never use.  However, I was given one to test and quickly changed my mind.  I was totally amazed at the versatility and convenience of this little tool.  Check out my short video below.

http://www.cdwood.com/collections/weekly-sale/products/ranger-mini-ink-blending-tool?variant=1137369329 46-04097-2__70353_large.jpeg

The ink blenders have a wooden handle, designed perfectly to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.  They come in a package of two handles with four replaceable foam pads.  A package of twenty replacement pads is also available.

The pad is slightly bigger than the head of the tool.  When pressed down, the foam pad rolls gently over the wood base, resulting in a soft, rounded edge.  This makes blending without sharp start and stop lines.  Having replaceable pads means that many colors can be used without the fuss of cleaning between colors.  When finished, simply rinse the pads for future use!

Stenciling with the Mini Ink Blender was the first technique I tried.  I pounced the traditional way and had great results.  Next I tried to stencil with a swirling motion which resulted in a softer, more air brushed effect.  I found that the lighter the pressure, the more muted the design.  This gave me the ability to stencil the design from dark to light for a beautiful application.  Wow!

I tried using the Mini Ink Blending tool to lightly shade around the outer edge of my project. With little effort, the shading was perfect!

Next I wanted to use the tool to create polka dots.  This was so much fun.  I could control the saturation of the dots with the amount of paint and pressure used.  I switched colors for more interest.  This is a wonderful and simple way to add fantastic and modern design to any background.

The more I played with this tool, the more I was amazed at the possibilities.  I was surprised with the ability to switch the pads, how easy it was to handle and how comfortable it was to hold!

This is a short video I did to show some of the techniques.

As a result of this fun play time, I decided to not brand any new tools as “silly” before trying.  My mind is swirling with all the possibilities this amazing tool offers.  Think of all the new techniques that would be missed if we never tried new!

Perfect Circles…

Whether painting or drawing, creating circles can be a challenge.  I have discovered  a simple, fail safe way to make round shapes absolutely perfect. Let me share my secret to success!

I use a series of templates and stencils.  These offer a variety of sizes from teeny tiny to extra large.  For larger shapes, saucers, dinner plates and platters are my solution.

This is a short video to show the benefits of these tools.

Learn how to simplify and make your art even better.

These background stencils are made of a sturdy Mylar and offer a variety of sizes and also give the option of using them for interesting background effects!
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The circle template is made out of thin plastic, however makes a great tool for drawing, stenciling or misting round shapes!  29_00815__88469_1024x1024.jpeg

All stencils and templates are sturdy and easy to clean.  They store flat and can be available at your fingertips.

All these can be found at Cupboard Distributing www.cdwood.com 

Stock up and make your circles simple!logo.png

Splatter Painting…

Whether you call it splattering, spattering or fly specking, this technique has been around for years and is a great way to add interest, texture, design, and even snowfall!  Keep reading to see all the techniques and watch a short video to see the newest tool, the Splatter Brush, in action!Screenshot_1_552a8b21-f8b3-41f2-ac0f-cb55368f2eae_1024x1024

There are several different ways to create this unique look.  Probably the most familiar is to use an old toothbrush.  Load toothbrush with thinned paint and run a thumbnail over the bristles to “flick” paint onto the surface.  The biggest drawback is messy fingers! images.jpgimages.jpg

Another easy way to create spatters is to load a large round brush with thinned paint.  Hold a ruler in left hand.  Keeping loaded round brush in the right hand, wack the brush onto the ruler or heavy object.  The results are a more controlled spatter.  Also, using this method, very minimal mess!

New to the painting scene is the Splatter Brush.  The brush has long, stiff, nylon bristles.  The ferrule is flat, not round and it has a wood handle.  The brush is easy to hold and “user friendly”!  Simply load thinned paint on the bristle tips.  Holding the brush firmly, pinch the clean section of the bristles and flip.  The paint will flick out of the bristles in a very controlled area.  This great tool keeps fingers clean, makes spattering easy and the results are perfect!

A Weary Traveler’s Diary

I have just arrived home from several wonderful adventures.  I am physically weary, but so excited from all my travels.  It started with my fantastic visit to Las Cruces, New Mexico to teach a seminar with my dear friends at the Yucca Pod Chapter.  Life in New Mexico is so very different from Ohio.  I cherish my time there and enjoy the stories, food and friendship immensely.  This chapter holds a special place in my heart and 12806152_1103815366317017_1978786079583370450_n.jpgI look forward to our times together.8209_1103384786360075_1882210195690064580_n.jpg

Next was on to the high energy pace of the Creative Painting Convention in Las Vegas.  Wow, this year was even better than ever.  Hats off to Jay and Jayne for hosting such a successful and fun show.  The week opened on Monday with a Sponsored Event taught with Laurie Speltz.  We were excited as the class sold out months ago and we ended up with 96 students.  Boy, did we ever have fun!  We kept these gals on their toes with no time to waste!  They all kept up and amazed us with two almost (99%) finished pieces!12801354_1105043792860841_8874516103017299853_n.jpg

Next was the trade show.  OMG, the excitement on the was unbelievable.  It is always so much fun to see so many familiar faces and to make new painting friends.  I was pleased and honored at the great response to my new book, “Ornamania”, and my many new patterns.  This is what makes it all worthwhile!12805904_10156745626030045_1609345689542420811_n.jpg

Friday was my class, Midnight Delivery.  Again, the class was sold out, which is really great considering it was the last day of the show.  The class was a little calmer and slower paced, which was good for all of us!  We finished…almost, but always pleased to get to the tail end.  No one likes to take home UFO’s.  12670807_10156891538710045_6952912161240885560_n.jpg12791125_1348196855205788_7131115614674143149_n.jpg


A long trip home was made just a little longer with a few mechanical problems with our beloved truck.  It is funny that in the midst of trials, we get to meet wonderful people.  The hotel staff, the tow truck driver, the mechanics were more than kind and helpful.  Hats off to Oklahoma for making what could have been a nightmare a making it a treasured memory of kindnesses.10348448_1108875485811005_1772085511609722769_n.jpg

Home for a quick 5 days then packed the truck for a trek to Florida. 12832424_1111762608855626_8037750199486772444_n.jpg

I don’t think anyone in Ohio would be sad to go south during the month of March.  First stop was the Orlando chapter.  The gals there were so much fun and made our stay delightful.  Again, both days, we were able to get through both projects.10547590_1114778251887395_377377416582280814_n.jpg

Next up was Coral Springs.  What a beautiful area!  Just to see those gorgeous tropical plants, the amazing Atlantic Ocean, eat fish…ahhhh…  We laughed and painted and I met some really special and talented women.  It seemed that time flew and before I could blink, it was time to move on.10157115_1119659684732585_3581112444776369384_n.jpg

We had a couple days off and visited with my sister-in-law.  We ate (really well, by the ocean), shopped, laughed, ate really well (by the ocean), went to the Keys, took lots of pictures, ate really well (by the ocean), shopped some more and made some great memories!Keys.png

Last stop was Chattahoochee.  I was really weary by then, but the love and enthusiasm of this group rejuvenated me.  It was beautiful beyond words, huge hedges of blooming Azaleas of all colors, flowering trees, green, green grass, ferns, beautiful homes with unique architecture, seeping with history, quaint restaurants with unbelievable food, but the best part of all were the gals in the chapter.  We laughed, painted, ate (very well), prayed and bonded together.  12400992_1125342744164279_2581987407213123184_n.jpg


As this adventure draws to an end, I am tired, but overall renewed in spirit.  I have realized that hearts can bond across miles;  even though we are all different, we share the same spirit with sincerity and love and it is cherished deeply.  My love of painting is reinforced and renewed.  Best of all…THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

How to enjoy Infinity Ornaments All Year!


With the start of the New Year and the end of the Christmas season, I wanted to talk about the Infinity Ornaments again. I don’t want anyone to think they’re too late to join in on the fun just because Christmas over. Actually, the opposite is true – now is a great time to start getting into Infinity Ornaments!

You might have noticed some of the ornaments aren’t necessarily specific to the Christmas season. For example, you could use the dog bone accessory to commemorate a new pet any time of year. Or create a baby rattle ornament for a baby shower. The candy could accessorize an ornament framing a couple’s picture for Valentine’s Day or a family picture at Easter. The possibilities really are infinite! But there will be even more possibilities coming soon…

As I mentioned the last time I wrote about these ornaments, I’m already thinking about future additions to the Infinity Ornament line. These will include ornaments and accessories for all seasons. If you missed my blog post introducing the Infinity Christmas Ornaments, you can read it here: https://chrishaughey.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/infinity-christmas-ornaments-are-here/. This post explains the ornaments and includes ideas to help you get started. But remember – there is no limit to the possibilities!

Not only do these ornaments offer many possible combinations – there are also many options for decorating them. Infinity Ornaments aren’t just for painters or stampers. Even people who don’t consider themselves artistic can use decoupage and paper to quickly create beautiful, unique ornaments. And if you want some guidance, I’ve made a pattern that includes 12 different Christmas ornaments. You can follow the pattern directly or make your own variation by changing colors, stencils, etc. This means if you aren’t quite ready to start thinking about next Christmas, you can still use the pattern as a loose guide to creating ornaments that fit other seasons as well. Whether you choose to follow the pattern or start from scratch, you have infinite possibilities – you just need to get started!

22-W1556 Infinity Kit

As I know from experience, though, finding a good time to work on craft projects can be difficult. That’s another reason I wanted to make these ornaments so flexible. Depending on what you want to do, they can be quick and easy or more involved.


Infinity Ornaments can be great for crafting alone in your spare time, or as a group. In fact, working on them could be a great group activity to build a crafting party around! They’re also ideal for working with groups of kids, because they can all work on the same project while expressing their own unique creativity. The ornaments are wonderful for family bonding as well, whether through giving ornaments as gifts or creating them together. You can spend as much time on them as you want, or make them quickly and easily. It all depends on what you want your creating experience to be.


If you’re ready to get creative with Infinity Ornaments, check out http://www.cdwood.com/collections/infinity-christmas-ornaments to get started. Remember, this is just the beginning! I’m working on even more additions to this collection. So get your craft supplies out and come along with me on this creative adventure with infinite possibilities!

Jennifer McConkey, copywriter and editor. For information or quotes call 937-207-2082 or email jmcconkey@cedarville.edu