A bit more info (plus some project sneak peeks!) from my Paint! Ink! Emboss! Workshop launching today at Creative Workshops!

Posted by Sara Naumann on Monday, January 15, 2018

This morning on Facebook I shared a little sneak peek of my Paint! Ink! Emboss! workshop that launches today, January 15, on Creative Workshops. Want to see some of the backgrounds and projects we’ll be playing with in this online class? Just click the video to see!

For more details and to sign up, just visit the Creative Workshops website.

Hope to see you in class!

Today on Studio SN on You Tube: Backgrounds with PaperArtsy Infusions! Pop on by You Tube to watch the video—the written instructions are below!

PaperArtsy Infusions are water soluble particles with two components: a dye color pigment plus a walnut stain. When mixed with water, glaze or other wet medium, the crystals dissolve, giving you fabulous color with a touch of vintage walnut stain. You can sprinkle them, paint with them or brayer them!

Backgrounds with PaperArtsy Infusions, what you need—

PaperArtsy Infusions: Slime, Sunset Beach

Stamps: ESN 21 from PaperArtsy

Satin Glaze from PaperArtsy

Black ink, Versamark Onyx Black


Watercolor cardstock (200gsm or 95lb)

Water mister

Fine small brush

Cardstock: Olive, kraft, cork

Hemp twine

Foam tape

Backgrounds with PaperArtsy Infusions, how to use them—

1. Sprinkle a small amount of Sunset Beach on your craft sheet. Mix with the glaze, then brayer onto watercolor cardstock.

2. Tap Slime onto the cardstock, then spritz with water. Repeat or blot until you have the look you want.

3. Stamp the dragonfly onto another piece of watercolor cardstock.

4. Make a watery wash of both Sunset Beach and Slime. Use a small brush to paint in the dragonfly. Spritz with water so the colors bleed outside the edges of the stamped image.

5. Mount the stamped image onto cork paper, then olive green. Mat the brayered background onto olive, then glue to the card front. Wrap with hemp twine, then add the dragonfly with foam tape. Add a bow tied in hemp twine.

Want another look at those swatches with Infusions used with glaze, then with water? Here you go!


And finally, here’s a bonus behind-the-scenes look at one of my two feline studio assistants—apparently our Tabbysaurus is evaluating my work pre-filming! I can’t help but think he’s not entirely approving, what do you say?

Looking to start the New Year off with some creative inspiration? Then I hope you’ll join me for my newest video class, Paint! Ink! Emboss!, available on Creative Workshops!

Do you love the look of colorful, textured, layered backgrounds, but aren’t quite sure how to start? Maybe you love making backgrounds and want some fresh inspiration? Or maybe you just need to get your creative muscles moving! Then this workshop is for you.

We’re focusing on basic supplies, so this is a great chance to raid your own craft stash for acrylic paints, stamping ink refills and all those colored embossing powders. (We’re even sneaking in some simple foiling accents, too!) We’ll put them all to good use creating one-of-a-kind backgrounds ready to use in your art.

But wait…what to do with those fabulous backgrounds? Don’t put them in a pile—we’ll look at ways to use them, in handmade cards, collages, tag art and journal covers.  

I’ll step you through the layering process, demonstrating how to apply the mediums, then show you a card, journal cover or other finished piece to get your inspiration going. You’ll have access to photos of each background and finished piece, plus a “recipe” of specific supplies and the layering process.

So whether you’re new to backgrounds, or need a dash of inspiration, I hope you’ll join the fun in Paint! Ink! Emboss!

Acrylic paints (I used PaperArtsy)
Mix-Media Cardstock, 300 g/m, 140lb. textured cardstock for mutlit media techniques (Canson)
Colored embossing powders (WOW Embossing)
Liquid ink: Liquitex, Clearsnap pigment and dye ink refills
Embossing inkpad (Versamark)
Heat embossing tool
Small paintbrush

Happy Wednesday to you—oh, wait, I know it’s Thursday…I’ve been dealing with the dreaded lurgy that’s been going around and yesterday was knocked for a loop. Now I have tea, tissues and aspirin on hand and I’m ready to go!

Actually, this week’s card is so simple I probably could have made it while sick. This one is for my little monkey, who turns SEVEN next month. She saw me working with the Hunkydory Foxy and Friends collection for a Create and Craft blog post and really loved the little foxes, so after she went to bed I thought I’d make a quick card for her while I had the supplies out. (Even better…now I’m ahead of the game for next month!)

This card is really simple to make!

Hunkydory Birthday Wishes Fox card, what you need—

Hunkydory Foxy & Friends Luxury Card Topper Collection, available at Create and Craft or Hunkydory

Pink ribbon

Foam tape

Scoring tool (I used a scoring blade in my paper trimmer)

Hunkydory Birthday Wishes Fox card, how to make it—

1. Score the embossed background paper in half to form the card base.

2. Remove the two embossed frames (one with stars, one purple) and glue to the card front. Add the fox image in the center.

3. Use foam tape to adhere the circle tag, and glue a knotted piece of ribbon above.

That’s it—so easy I almost feel guilty about it! But then again, it’s good to have supplies that make it easy to whip up a fun card even while recovering from a cold!


On UK Visas and Moving Forward

Hello everyone, I’ve had some questions from folks so I think it’s time for an update on my demos for Create and Craft TV.

As you probably know, Create and Craft is a home shopping channel based in Peterborough, England. I was hired as a freelance Guest Demonstrator two years ago; my job was to travel to their studios in the UK from my home in Europe to demonstrate crafting techniques on their live shows. (When I was hired, I lived in Poland; now I live in Germany.) I did this a couple of times each month. 

Because I’m an American citizen, I need a special permit to live and work in Europe. I have this through my husband’s work with an international company. I’m allowed to work in the European Union, which includes Germany, Poland, France, Belgium, and more.

However, my right-to-work permit does NOT include the UK, because although England is part of the EU (at least for now), it’s not a Schengen country. Schengen countries are those that no longer require passport checks between their borders—so, if you fly from Germany to Italy, for example, you don’t have to go through Border Control because they’re both Schengen countries.

That’s not the case when you travel to England. If you’re a tourist, visiting friends or family, or attending a conference or trade show in the UK, it’s no big deal–just show your passport when you arrive in the UK and answer a few questions…but if you’re going to work in the UK and get paid for it, then you must present a valid work visa to the Border Control officer or you can be refused entry into the country. 

I applied for and was granted a work visa from UK Visa and Immigration, which allowed me to come to the UK on a regular basis and work for Create and Craft. When it expired in September, I reapplied. This time, I was denied.

The reason? The proposed activities seemed too much like “regular employment”.

I was crushed. Not only because that work was my income, which I use to pay the bills, but also because I loved it and it was a good fit for my experience, my education and my skill set.

However, there was another hope. I often came to Create and Craft to represent a US stamp manufacturer. I spoke with an immigration lawyer, who thought I had a good chance to get a work visa that would allow me—as an American representing an American company and being paid by an American company—to do shows on C&C. I applied again.

Denied. Again. This time? Because I would be working in “a UK-based business”.

I hesitated in sharing the behind-the-scenes part of this because it can quickly become a heated discussion. I  understand why people need to apply for visas to work or study in foreign countries. I have no argument with that. However, I have over 20 years of teaching, designing and presenting in the craft industry, with over 10 years demonstrating on live television. I think there’s a value in that.

On the flip side, I’ve had people say, “But they let in refugees, why won’t they let you in?” I want to be clear: My job is a privilege—my situation in no way resembles that of a refugee or asylum-seeker and I will happily give way for someone fleeing desperate circumstances.  

Given my own choice, I would continue doing this work indefinitely. Yes, I found the visa application process a hassle, but worth it. Applying for a work visa is not like getting a library card: I had to submit a 14-page application and a letter of invitation from Create and Craft, plus proof that I won’t 1) stay in the UK beyond my allowed dates, or 2) use the UK’s National Health Service. That means providing the UK Visa & Immigration office with my passport, residency card, mortgage agreement, bank statements, my daughter’s birth certificate and my marriage certificate, plus proof of my health insurance. It’s taking a day to travel across Germany to submit the application, and get fingerprinted and photographed at the UK Visa and Immigration office in Dusseldorf, 4 hours away by train. It’s also expensive: I hired an immigration lawyer since I wanted to be sure I was doing this process correctly, plus the application fee(s) and travel to submit my application. The entire process for my first visa cost me £1,000, which is about $1300.

About an inch worth of documents to go with the application.

I paid this all again twice in September in hopes of getting a renewal for my visa. Unfortunately, despite being denied, the costs are not refunded, so now I am out a whopping £3,000 for this little project and I can’t work in the UK.

Ironically, I *am* able to work for a UK company as long as the work is not conducted on UK soil. So, my stamps for PaperArtsy are fine, my magazine work for Crafts Beautiful and Making Cards is fine, even blogging for Create and Craft is all fine and legit. (This was one of the things I had to check in panic with the immigration lawyer.)

So this is where we are. Aren’t you glad you asked?

There’s actually much more to the story—long conversations about types of visas, Permitted Paid Engagements and company sponsorships and Exceptional Talent visas and so on…suffice it to say, I am not an immigration lawyer but I certainly do know more about it than I ever wanted to.

Still, this is the long version. The short one is that as much as I’d like to continue doing demos on Create and Craft, and as much as they want to keep me on air, the work visa situation renders it impossible right now.

I am still disappointed but I’ve also had to accept the situation for what it is: I must have a work visa, and the UK government is the only one who can give it to me. And at the same time, I must also consider my other options for designing, working and managing a small business in a way that makes good use of my 20+ years in the craft arena. Perhaps I’ll revisit the situation again some time—after all, immigration laws do change—but for now, I’m focused solely on the road ahead.

I do hope you’ll join me.