Thursday, January 31, 2008


This is 'Pearl'. I had found this image and saved her because her face reminded me of my Mother. She sat in my files for a long time. Then one day my brother Michael, who is an artist as well as an art teacher, was over. He comes from time to time and helps me by looking at my work and making suggestions. One thing he talks about that I don't do is frame my work. A lot of my canvases are large and they have things going off the edges, so framing is just not something I do. So he mentioned it again, and my mind started going. I mentally shifted thru my stash and remembered this image. She is very vintage-y and I thought that framing her in a broken frame could be sort of cool. She also seemed to need pearls. So I found some textured paper that i painted and partially covered with modeling paste and painted that too. Wonderful stuff modeling paste. Then I just started gluing pearls in swirls. Yup, I did them one at a time. Needless to say 'Pearl' took a long time to be born. So today (hopefully) I figured out how to put the picture in the middle of the post. We'll see when I'm done talking and push the button!! And I started adding some links. More will come.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I forgot to say that 'American Romance' is available on

Books and the people who write them

I love books. I would rather read than almost anything in the world. If I were going to be stranded on an island I would take my books. I reread and rereread my favorites. I think it is like visiting with old friends.

I am in awe of the people who write books. I bet it must be a thrill to invent whole worlds to share with others.

So here are 2 books written by people I know. The first is 'The Journey' by Renetta Dudzinski. It is Christian fiction. Sort of little house on the prarie-ish. A good read that made me thankful to be living in this time. Life was just too hard back in the good ol' days for me!

Then there is 'American Romance' by Skitz M. Jones Esq. This a collection of free form poems and thoughts that covers all parts of relationships and romance. I love this book. The author is funny, thoughtful,baffled and all the emotions we all are when it comes to love and life. And I am amazed that these things come from such a young (25) man. Skitz is also a medic in the Illinois National Guard.

So happy monday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Leaping out of the box

I see so much inspiring work online, and I wonder where these artists get the sense of freedom that comes through so strongly in what they do. I have a problem stepping outside the box. I find myself worried about messing up or making a mistake. Which is silly really because noone is judging me but me. I am better than I used to be but not as good as I want to be.

So my resolution for this year is to LEAP out of the box artistically. Or try anyway!

These are some shrines I made using foam board to make the buildings. Tricky stuff, foam board. You REALLY need to keep a sharp blade in your knife. And you REALLY need to be exact in your measurements. Not my best thing. I had seen walls covered with rice paper and I tried that. But I found it too flimsy. I like to use pages from old dictionarys and books instead. And you REALLY need to be patient thru the whole drying/setting up process. Also not my best thing. And I found that you shouldn't try to set too many walls at a time. Patience patience patience.

For the Fairy shrine I used real butterfly wings that I gel mediumed onto cardstock. The nests and eggs in both shrines are things I found on our property. My husband Jimi knows to always be looking down when he is out and about and has found a lot of cool stuff for me.

The stuff on top of the Angel Demon shrine is devils Claw my friend Rose from AZ. sent me.

So those are some of my shrines, hope you like them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vintage Sewing Shrine

Yay, it's done. Well, I still have to attach the hangers because it is a wall shrine. But other than that I am done. This was a fun thing to do. It shows how you can use things that other people would toss. The wooden silverware tray was really rough and beat up. But I am happy with how it looks whitewashed.

The ads on the back walls are vintage. So are a lot of the bits and bobs. The dress forms were made by my niece Rachel for another piece that never came to life.

So now I am working on an altered book. Usually I just alter them as they are. But this time I am trying the block pages technique. So far I like it.

It's still cold and windy here. And gray. But that's Illinois in the winter.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cold Cold Cold

It is -10 here. Our water pump has frozen up so we can't run water again. During the Xmas holidays when we had a house full of overnight guests, the septic acted up. Aaaah, life iin the country, ya gotta love it.

No pictures today. But I did change the colors of some stuff here and added a quote I like and added to my profile. So I don't feel like I am neglecting my blogging.

Today just might be a curl up under a blanket with a book and a cat kind of day.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Off day creatively

Yesterday was a sort of off day creatively. My sewing shrine hit some snags when one of the dress forms fell off her base. So I can't put a hanger on it and show it to you yet. And I was just having one of THOSE days ya know? But I did make these little Button Fairies. I used pics from old year books I have scavanged. These could be cute Xmas ornaments done with angel faces and reds, greens, and golds. Or use baby pics from your kids. I'll have to think about that.

The second pic is a skull I dot painted. I've always admired the Aboriginal dot paintings I've seen on line. So I figured I'd give it a shot. And I'm here to tell you that this is much much harder that it looks! But I am really pleased with how it came out. I used metallic paints so it sort of shimmers in the right light. I don't know if I will be doing another one , but I'm glad I tried it.

My husband Jimi and I went to a movie together yesterday. First one in 14 years! He's retired now so he's not working all hours and weekends and we should be able to actually do stuff again! We saw 'Bucket List'. Definetly worth seeing. And here's my bucket list:
1. Stand on a fairy mound in Ireland
2.Have an outfit designed just for me in the colors and fabrics I pick.
3.Spend some more time around the mountains in Wyoming and Colorado
4.Have a gallery show
5. See Stomp again

What's on your bucket list?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reality is merely an illusion

What a great quote!! And Einstein had such a great face that i had to do something with it. So I got an old frame and gave it the deMeng paint treatment. Then I rooted around in the garage and found some scrap wood for the background. I busted and cut it up to fit. Then I mounted Einstein on foamboard. And made a cage for him from small nails and rusty wire. I used rub-on letters for his quote. Then I stuck dyed used dryer sheets on for ...well...'cause I like them.

Today the plan is to finish the last collage piece for the exchange. It is going to be an interactive piece based on the Beatles. I got some images and an old Beatles 45 and they will be mounted. Then around the record I am going to put phrases from the Beatles number 1 hits in chronological order. Then on the back I have a blank list that you fill out with the song titles. Then if you get stuck in a sealed envelope on the back I will have the answers.

That's the plan anyway. And I want to play a little with button fairies.


Monday, January 14, 2008


People always want to know how I come up with the ideas I have. It happens in different ways. 'Brothers' came to life because of the little feet on the tryptich.

I am a crap collector. If it is odd or rusty or broken or just interesting for no reason I can name, I collect it. I found the feet in a baggie in a second hand shop. They are wooden thingies with slots cut into them. I had to have them!

So I got them home and they lived on one of my worktables for a long time. I like to keep as much stuff visible as possible until it tells me what it is going to be. I knew they were feet but I didn't know what for.

Then I was looking thru my photo stash and I found these pics and the guys all looked sort of alike. And in my fevered little mind they meshed with the feet and Ta Da , the idea was born. I made the piece from foamboard. I am still learning about this stuff. Not as easy to work with as you would think.

And I coffee aged the paper, something I had been wanting to try for awhile. The pages I used are from a dictionary. One of my favorite things to do. They are the pages that have the definition of brothers on them. Then I remembered that I had seen an article about soldering paper. So I edged the whole thing in copper foil tape. Then when I reread the article i found out that you have to cover the piece in hard glaze in order to solder it. I didn't want to use up all my glaze so I just knocked down the shine with ink. I used Run n Buff on the feet to turn them copper because they were a bright gold. I love Rub n Buff. Very cool stuff and it comes in a lot of finishes and the tube lasts forever.

So that's how 'Brothers' was born.

Today I am hoping to finish a vintage feeling sewing shrine I have been working on.


Friday, January 11, 2008

the women in my life

I was going to talk today about the piece I started yesterday, but then I read my E's and one I got from my sister started me thinking about how lucky I am to have so many amazing women in my life. So this will be about them.
My daughter Beth, who is a constant joy to me. She has a wicked don't see it coming sense of humor. And an eye for color and composition I value very much.
My sisters Kate, Anne Marie and Bridget who are unconditionally supportive of me as I try to find out who I am thru my work. They inspire me daily.
My bff Cathy who I met when she had a booth at the Ren Faire doing stained glass. She has since become an amazing bead and jewelry designer . I am always in awe of what she can do. Check out her site
My online bff Rose who I mentioned before. I couldn't do without E'ng her daily. She is also an amazing artist.
My new friend Sari who I feel like I've known forever. A great sense of humor and beautiful inside and out.
An old friend who I've just recently reconnected with, Renetta aka Ra. We went to school together, dyed our hair for the first time together, did everything together. I'm glad we're back in touch.
All the wonderfull inspirational artists I meet online. Whenever I am feeling blocked I just surf around their sites and their work and thoughts get me going again.
So Thank you all for being part of my life.

Todays pic is titled 'Remember Me'. The background is window screen I painted. The glove and lace are from the late 40's. The book cover is tooled leather and says Forget Me Not. It is from the early 40's. I really like how this came out. In fact it is the only piece I have hanging in our living space. Everything else is in my studio.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Art Exchange

I have been invited to take part in an art exchange by Dale Copeland who is a brilliant artist out of New Zealnd. So I have been working away at the collages and wanted to share a few with you. I still haven't figured out how to turn some of them right side up, but if you tilt your head to the right you can get the idea of them. John Lennon is a favorite subject and I like how the background turned out on this one.
Then I was poking thru my stash of images and decided to do a couple about World War 2 sweethearts. I used actual V Mail and envies from that era.
The Day of the Dead piece was inspired by my friend Rose. She is an amazingly vibrant and colorful artist out of Arizona. She sends me a lot of cool stuff and some of it went into this piece.
If you want to learn about the exchange and see the past entries go to
So todays computer challenge is to see if I can figure out how to put the pics into the post instead of alongside them. And maybe turn them right side up.
Then a few chores and upstairs to the studio to start on a piece that came tome in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Yay, I figured out how to put up a picture. I haven't figured out how to turn it rightside up, but one step at a time! So this is 'Noteworthy'. She was born when my friend Cathy (check her out at Magikal Glassworks) sent me an old manual court recorder which I immediately took apart. The piece that holds the pad of paper looked like a body to me and she just took off from there. I am especially fond of the broken pencil hair, makes me smile whenever I look at it. I patined the body and the corrugated cardboard on the bottom and gave her some jewelry. The mounted bottle holds tiny little alphabet letters that I printed on both sides and cut out. Her wongs are window screen.

It is a very gray day today. Still warm. We went from below zero to 63 yesterday. All in the space of a few days time. Ya gotta love Illinois weather!

So I am sitting here trying to navigate my way through this mysterious machine. I think the next thing I will tackle will be seeing if I can figure out how to add links. Which could be tricky for me 'cause I can't even seem to send someone a link. My daughter Beth, who helps me with all this stuff, is unfortunately many hours away. So I E her questions and she E's me help and I try to muddle through.

Is anyone else out there computer challenged or am I the only one?

Time to go create

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wow I did it!!

I was reading Cloth Paper Scissors, one of my favorite magazines and there is an article about blogging. Now I am a dinosaur, totally computer illiterate. I can check my E mail and surf around and that's about it. But this woman made it sound easy so I thought what the heck and WOW I did it!

So now that I've done it, what do I do with it?

I read artists blogs all the time, so it's not like I don't know what a blog is. But it is a little intimidating to all of a sudden have space to fill. And to wonder if what I fill it with will interest anyone.

So I guess I will consider this my first entry and leave it at that. Now I have to see if I can figure out how to view this to make sure it all worked! Then I might just need a nap!