Friday, February 29, 2008


The little yellow thing sitting on top of the branch on the right is a vintage bird figure.

A Leg Up

This is more like it. This is what I had in mind. I am sooo glad I changed it from the way it was.(see earlier post) So I wrapped the branch in 20g copper wire. Then I collected all the stuff and strung it all on fishing line with turqoise bead chips and wooden beads. I re-enforced the knots with glue. There is a lot of fun stuff here. Prisms, tiny spirit bottles, a skull bead, a Monopoly car, a jack, keys, stuff! I like stuff! The bracelet with the discs says things like joy and believe.
More stuff. You can never have enough!

The two pronged thing hanging by the feather earring says Spirit Hollow. I don't remember where I collected it from, but it fits.
I like the way the nest turned out after I stabilized it with Gel Medium.

So here it is, 'A Leg Up'.

On to the next creation


How Lucky We All Are

We are all so lucky to live in a time where with the push of a button we can connect with people all over the world. I know I am showing my age here(57), but I wasn't raised and educated with computers. We weren't even allowed to use calculators in school. So for me this is miraculous!

I have heard from people all over the states and the UK and New Zealand and Holland and Australia. Wow!

Living where I do, this connection to other creative people is a godsend. It would be very artistically lonely without it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Collaging Out Of A Funk

I have been in a bit of a funk. Having a pity party because I didn't get juried into a group I applied to. Couldn't seem to get past it. Doubting my abilities etc... But the thing about pity parties is that no-one else comes to them and after awhile you get sick of your own whiny self. So I decided to do something simple and basic instead of worrying about if I am really an artist or not.
This piece is all balck and white except for the woman. I did a light watercolor to her clothes. I wanted to honor the illustrations, not alter them because I think they are so cool.I printed up the top text and chalked the paper lightly to give it the aged look of the text on the bottom. The top says Turn Heads In Your and the bottom says Needlecraft Smart Frocks and the little piece is the year from the mag which is 1913. I trimmed the front with thin rick-rack. This is an image that just makes me think BFF. I am thinking of adding text that says' Friends Like You Never Go Out Of Fashion'. We'll see. It's a little piece 4x6 so it maybe would look too crowded. What do you think?
I got my hands on some great Needlecraft magazines from 1913-1916. I have 3 that I would be willing to trade for stuff if anyone is interested. They are full of wonderful old images and the ads are screaming out to be used in something fabulous.
Leave a comment if you want to do a trade.

I took everything off of the leg piece and started over. I wrapped the branch in 20g copper wire. Then I started rehangeing the flotsom and jetsom with fishing line and a couple of wooden beads and turqoise bits. I am liking it much much better. Pics will follow when I complete it.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Works In Progress

I've started over on the skull. This time I am very happy with my paint choices and with how it's coming along. I'm really glad I washed it all off and started over. Working the dots is an almost meditative process if it's going well. Which it is so far.Patience, patience, patience. This is what I've been doing with the leg. I don't know what to say about it really. I have this picture in my mind. But for some reason what's in my head isn't coming out my hands. I started with the idea that the tree would be wrapped in copper wire and the flotsom and jetsom would hang from really thin copper wire.
But then for some reason I decided to wrap the tree in tattered chiffon strips. That looked pretty cool. But then I decided to hang some of the stuff with strips too. And I'm not sure what happened, but it's kind of taken on a life of it's own.
I decided to step away from it for awhile when it started to look sort of halloweeny.
The whole creative process is so interesting isn't it? I don't sketch. I draw in my head. And when I am happy with the picture I start to create. Sometimes I have a picture in my head for weeks before I am happy with it. I re-do it and re-work things until it comes out just right.Usually works pretty good. This time...I'll keep you posted!


Friday, February 22, 2008

The 'You Make My Day' award

Until today I had never heard of this award. Then I got some messages saying I had been given this ...kudos I guess you would say.
The idea is that you list people who inspire you and affect you in positive ways.
Then the people you list are supposed to make their lists.
Sort of paying it forward.
And I guess you are supposed to try to list people who haven't been listed before or something like that.
Anyway, I can't just do 10 like I am supposed to. Everyone on my link list is inspiring to me. I am VERY picky about artists I link.
So I will just say that you should check them all out. I peek at their blogs/sites everyday. The are ALL wonderful.


Pats request and a work in progress

So, Pat wanted to see details of the sewing shrine. So here you go Pat. Unfortunately my camera skills are as bad as my computer skills so these aren't the best.

This is a work in progress. It will be titled 'A Leg Up'. The base is crackled ( I love crackling) the leg is from a china baby doll. It's a big one, about 9 in. or so. I mounted it to the base with Liquid Nails. Then I stuffed the bottom 2/3 inside the leg with cotton batting. Then I sprayed Great Stuff in and stuck in the branch.Actaully this is the second branch, the first one was too heavy. It fell over and the leg came off the base, chaos reigned!!

Oh and I stuck the branch thru a birds nest from my yard. Then I gessoed here and there on the branch and the nest. Then I gel mediumed the nest to make it more stable. Then i took tattered strips of white chiffon and wound them around with 32g copper wire. Then I stuck moss under the birds nest. Then I started hanging things with the strips and the wire. Just little pieces of flotsam and jetsam that I seem to have all around. They don't show up because of the stuff all over the worktable. When I finish I will post a better pic. Then I thought well, as long as I am in this workroom I will show my branch. It hangs from the ceiling, wrapped in white twinkle lights and hung with fairies and dragons and witches. This is only half of it. I love it.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Hard lesson Learned

This is the skull I have been working on for awhile. Until about 20 minutes ago it was 3/4 of the way done. I had about 20 plus hours in it. While I was working on it, I wasn't completely happy with the colors I chose for the dots. And some of the dots were irregular in shape. But I thought'well, it's ok I guess.' And I kept going. But today I washed the whole thing clean. Because as artists, we shouldn't settle for 'it's ok'. We should always do our best work. It is our responsibility to our talents.

So that is the hard lesson learned, or should I say relearned. Never settle. Always do your best.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Tintypes and the Daytona 500

So the Daytona 500 was on yesterday. My husband loves racing, I really don't much care about it. So In between sitting and keeping him company during it, I went in and out of my studio and this is what I did. I had the tintypes for awhile and just yesterday decided what to do with them. I saw an article in Somerset Workshop 3 ( a must have) about using Gesso in different ways. So I turned a canvas over and painted the frame part with cranberry craft paint and a gesso dry brush. Then I stamped on it with a rubber stamp and gesso. If you do this, paint the gesso onto the stamp kind of lightly and wipe off between stampings.
Then I gesso drybrushed some papers and also gesso'd some lace. Attached them with heavy gel medium. Than I rooted thru my naturals stash and found some I like and gesso'd them too. My sister Kate collects the most amazing naturals for me, thanks Kate!!
Then I put a piece of foam board on the back of each tintype and mpunted it all together. Then i did a light, wipe on and off coffee wash to the stampings, just to knock down some of the white.
I really like using canvas this way. Sort of a shallow shadow box effect.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Finished Altered book

Yay, I finished and I am really happy with how it turned out. Like I said a couple of posts ago, this is my first try at a block pages altered book This is the front cover. I put a red fox fur on it. I thought the color of the fox worked well with the over all feel that I wanted. I use carpet tape and glue to make it stick. I love carpet tape. Kind of hard to use but it sticks anything to anything. This is a side view. I am really pleased with the clasp. I drilled thru the covers using a hand drill. Then I used leather thongs that I knotted on the inside of the covers. The front loop goes around the back loop which has a vintage button strung on it.
This is the back cover. I used some textured paper that I colored with coffee, then I ran a double ribbon trim down the edge. The spine is some dictionary pages that I coffee'd. I made sure that all the dictionary pieces that I used throughout the book had relevance to the subject.
This is the last page I did even tho it is the first page in the book. It is the women of the west.
I edged the pages with gold to finish the whole thing off.
Hope you enjoyed seeing it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy accidents and window screen sculpting

I love happy accidents. They happen a lot when you're an artist. (I still get a kick out of aying I'm an artist!!) So where we used to live we had very old wooden framed windows and screens. We also had a black Lab who didn't like the neighbors. (with good reason) So one day I came home and found a doggy head impression in our window screen and EPIPHANY!! Happy accident. I went to the hardware store, bought a roll of window screen and started sculpting with it. Very fun!!

This is the first thing I did. I like the way the screendrapes almost like fabric. Here are my screen tips: Make sure you bend down the unfinished edges and bang them smooth with a rubber mallet. If you don't you will get nasty little metal slivers in your fingers.
Don't do this if you like your manicure, it will ruin it in a heartbeat.
You can paint on this stuff to give it depth and sew beads onto it.

We have very high winds here a lot. So they inspired a piece I am working on with screening. It will be a wall hanging titled'They Call The Wind Mariah'. Anybody but me remember that song?

The great thing about being a mixed media artist is you can use anything as your medium, and you can use it in anyway!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Altered Book

I Love making altered books. I've made quite a few for gifts and they turned out great. This one is for me to keep. I had found a book on the wild west in the bargain bin of a bookstore a few years ago. A big coffeetable style book. I always had it in the back of my mind to alter it. So I started taking out pages and when I was done I decided it was too big to do. So I got a regular old hard cover book instead.

This is the first time I have tried making block pages. It's a little tricky to do but a fun effect. The hardest part for me was lining up the pages after they had been gel mediumed and getting the aligator clips in place.I did about 15 pages per block. And really give them a chance to dry, like overnight. And only do a couple at a time.

The idea is for each set of pages to have an Indian image on one side with a corresponding Pioneer image on the other.

This page is page is about families. I did the background with bubblewrap painting. The medallion on the left page is made from Veggie Leather. Fun stuff to use. The fabric squares on the right page are vintage. The strip down the middle is burlap. This page is the men. The left page is embellished with wild turkey feathers from a half a bird my dogs brought home from who knows where. The right page is done with dictionary pages and lace paper I dyed with instant coffee, my new favorite thing to do for aging.
This set is about learning. The left has an image of the Cherokee alphabet I found in the western book.Along the top and bottom is some trim that has little shells hanging off it. The right side has some vintage looking buttons and alphabet paper.

I have 2 more pages to do then the cover. I am very excited about the cover. If it turns out like I want it will be very cool!
If you've never done this, google some altered book sites, get some ideas and jump in. The hardest step is the first, where you actually do your first cut or tear to a page. After that it is a LOT of fun. Especially since there are no right or wrong ways to do it!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

a p.s about Jan 28 post

I posted about the book by Renetta Dudzinski titled 'The Journey' and I should have said 'The Journey Book One'. OOPPSS!!

Favorite art/craft books

I've been down with the flu so I haven't been feeling too creative. So I thought I would share some of my favorite arting books with you.

I have to start with my friend Michael deMeng's book 'Secrets of Rusty Things.' This is an inspirational colorful look at Michaels way of creating. Well written and with a lot of pics and tips. My number one favorite.

Another art buddy is Suzanne Simanaitis. Her book 'Kaleidoscope' is pure eye candy. Lots of info and ideas and tips, this book makes you itchy to start creating.

'Metal Craft Discovery Workshop' by Linda and Opie O'Brien is chock full of info and techniques for working with different metals and ideas for creating patinas.

'The Altered Object' by Terry Taylor is a wonderful look at the different ways artists alter everyday objects. Beautifully done.

'Crafting Personal Shrines' by Carol Owen is a must for anyone wanting to try their hand at shrines. Templates and tips are all easily understood and hugely helpful. And the pics of finished shrines are gorgeous.

'Pretty Little Things' by Sally Jean Alexander is another eyecandy wonder. Makes you want to solder. Absolutely fab things.

And of course there's ANYTHING from Somerset. The magazine, workshop, gallery and press are all must haves. And speaking of mags Cloth, Paper, Scissore is also a must.

Since I live out in the boonies and the nearset bookshop is 45 mins. away and the size of a closet, I buy a lot of my books online. The best site I've found for new and used books and music and movies is Alibris. I get my books used for a fraction of the cost. I have been dealing with them for years and they are the best.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Playing with dolls

I loved playing with dolls when I was younger. I had a Shirley Temple doll and later a Barbie of course. I remember looking for scraps in my mothers sewing space to drape on the dolls for designer original clothes. I still like dolls, but now I am into Art dolls.
These are a couple of my favorites. The one on top doesn't have a name. Nothing I come up with seems to fit. Maybe the little button boobies are distracting me? LOL!! If you think of a name please let me know in the comments section.
This is 'Mother Nature'. She is a 14 inch bendi doll. I cut into her head and sunk the sculpey face in. She has acorn boobs and black feather wings. There are some very cool copper face beads on the strip hanging from her left leg. I had to cut into her to sink the acorns too.

So there you go, keep playing with dolls, no matter how old you are. But maybe try looking at the in a different way.

I thought when I started this blog that one of the keys to good blogging is disciplined posting. So I have been trying to post every other day. But yesterday I was sick with the flu. So I am a day behind. But I am going to try to keep to a schedule. I am kind of random and chaotic in my work so I figure I should try to have some order somewhere.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Affirmations p.s

I forgot to tell you that green is 'Grow', blue is 'Peace' and purple is 'Warrior'.


I believe words have power. I use affirmations daily. My password, the way I end my E's and this post are all affirmations. I think of these figures as 'Affirmation Goddess's'. Altho you can't tell from this pic each one has an affirmation in alphabet letters in the beaded body.Back in the day I did a LOT of craft shows and these figures were always very popular. The first one I ever sold was a 'Warrior' (always purple). An older woman, mid 70's, held her and was looking at her so closely that I thought maybe she was having trouble making out the word. So I told her that in addition to the one she was holding I had peace, love, mother, sister, friend, dance etc.
She looked at me and said "But my dear I AM a warrior". And bought her.

I enjoy making these figures beacause even tho the face and hand charms and the general body shape are always the same, I never know where the wire will take me. So the details and the headdress are always different.


Saturday, February 2, 2008


I love working with womens faces. These are some pieces I did for a local art show. The oval one is titled 'Mathair', celtic for mother. I textured the background with modeling paste. The face is done up with feathers I collected. The eyebrow is the green down from a ducks neck. I put each teeny tiny green feather on one by one. The furry bit is some fabric I found at Hobby Lobby. I used teddy bear eyeballs mounted in paper clay. I mounted an extra piece covered in rabbit fur and feather to the back of the canvas.

This piece is titled'Flight'. Again I textured the background and used metallic craft paint. The feathers were mounted one by one. It is a little tricky working in feathers. You want to break the spines before you mount them. And you can only do a few at a time because you want to weigh them down to dry. I didn't win with either piece. I don't think they get me around here. But everyone had to pet the feathers on 'Flight'.
Oh yeah, I should tell you that the faces are styrofoam that I gessoed and painted.
So there's the art for the day.