"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More houses

Two more houses for the swap. I thought the first five were looking much the same, so did something totally different for the second one posted above. Most of what I used for this house were bits and pieces from my messy desk! The door was a preprinted rectangular tag from some kit - I just cut it in half and added a gem for the doorknob. Five more to go!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Row Houses

I'm participating in a Row House Swap - make eleven and get eleven in return. Here are the first four I've finished. These are made on mat board and are approximately 4" wide by 7" high.

Monday, April 28, 2008

ZNE Technorati Tuesday

Imagine my surprise when I was browsing the ZNE Blogz here and came across my blog featured for the "Technorati Tuesday" on April 8th! Every Tuesday a blog of a ZNE member is randomly chosen - scroll down to the post of 4/08 and you will see my header and a very nice blurb about me! ZNE is such a warm and inviting place - I feel honored to be among such talented artists in this caring and supportive community.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

See It Say It Saturday

It's See It Say It Saturday in the land of ZNE. ZNE is short for "VariaZioNE," an international online art community for mixed media artists, founded by Chel Stroud Hery. There's a constant stream of activity on this site - forums, galleries, games, etc - and a very strong support system and sense of community for artists.

For See It Say It Saturday, a different mixed media art piece is posted each Saturday and anyone (members or non-members) are invited to post an art response. As a Design Team member for ZNE, I was able to choose several pieces to be posted and the fabric art below is one of my choices. This was made by ZNE artist Evie Zaccardelli.

And this is my art response, using the above as inspiration. I used the same face from a Teesha Moore collage sheet and bright colors. This is an 8 1/2" x 11" collage with a randomly painted background, stamped stars, handwritten text, handpainted legs and various images and patterned papers combined for the "fairy."

Check out this and past weeks' selections at www.zneblogz.com and post an art response of your own!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back from Boston

I'm back and still recuperating from our week in Boston. We had wonderful weather, especially for New England at this time of year, and the Marathon was quite an experience. Over 25,000 runners! Our daughter and her boyfriend finished, but Dana crashed afterwards. She ended up passing out from exhaustion and spent almost 2 hours in the medical tent. She was fine after eating and replenishing fluids and ready to sign up for another (but maybe not in Boston...). We stayed in a friend's charming old family home about 30 miles outside of Boston on a lake in a very quaint, tiny New England town. It was so relaxing and fun to be with our grown kids for a mini-family reunion. Only the 20-year old didn't make it so there were seven of us in all. Fun, but I'm also glad to be back and slowing getting back into routine.

Here's a free image for you to use in your artwork. I managed to browse in one antique store while away and found some neat vintage photos of "instant ancestors." I wonder why they were always so somber in these photographs... Please share what you do with this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Odds n Ends

Miscellaneous random posts for today. I haven't been "arting" much lately, unless you count sewing as an art, which I suppose it is in a way. I am working on a bedroom ensemble for my very good friend, Debbie, and it's quite a project. She gave me a picture of what she wanted and then we designed it, figured all the dimensions and fabric requirements and I'm now in the midst of this huge undertaking. Yesterday I finished the bedspread and delivered it to her. I'm so relieved, first that it's finished and secondly that she was pleased! It fit the bed perfectly and looks great. Don't you just love her new bedroom furniture? I've also finished two of the king shams and the long dresser runner, but still have two more ruffled king shams, two ruffled 20" pillows, a roll pillow, two nightstand runners and four window valances. Yikes - I guess you'll know what I'll be doing the next month!

On another note, we are leaving tomorrow for Boston as one of our daughters will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday. We are so very proud that she qualified for this prestigious marathon! All the family (except the youngest who has to work) will be there to cheer her on. Let's hope for nice weather!

I've been tagged by Gloria Hanes and have to list 7 random things about myself, so here goes:

  1. I majored in French in college

  2. I was a nanny in Finland the summer of 1968

  3. I'm afraid of heights

  4. I was born in Vermont

  5. I can't whistle

  6. I am a Nationally Certified Teacher of Needlepoint for the Embroiderer's Guild of America

  7. I've been married to the same man for almost 36 years and we have 5 children

Now I have to tag someone, so I tag Veronica.

So that's it for today. I probably won't be posting again until the middle of next week when I return from Boston.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Art in the mail

Sorry for the bad scan but the photos I took came out even worse! This little wire bird nest came today all the way from Australia. I ordered it a little over a week ago from Natasha at Artistic Creations (www.natashaburns.com). Isn't it the sweetest little thing? I just love it! The nest is made from wire and the little eggs are beads. When I saw it on her website, I just had to have it. Don't know why, but I've got a thing lately for birds, eggs and nests. (Maybe because we are recent empty-nesters?)
If you like shabby chic or cupcakes, you must take a look at Natasha's website. She has the darlingest (is that a word?) paintings and faux sweet treats. They look yummy but have no calories! She has great customer service too! She actually had to make this up for me as she didn't have any left, and I still got it quickly.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A tree page

Another page done in my altered book. The scan isn't great as the scanner smashed the tree. The tree was made from 4 torn pages in the center of the spread. After tearing and cutting it into the shape, I inked it with brown, ocher, and several green inks. The background pages were done with blue and green watercolor crayon washes. The flowers were cut from magazines and glued to the bottom of the pages with a bit of Stickles added in the flower centers. There's a quote about music always being amongst the trees in a garden, along with a scrap of a music page.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another AB page

Here is the sign in page for my AAWA altered book. The right side is the back cover of the book and inside the flower seed packet pocket are the instructions. There will be three other people working in my book in this round robin, so I cut three flower pots from a mottled magazine page and secured them on three sides so the flower "sticks" would fit inside. I am asking people to decorate these labels (from the nursery when I planted our spring flowers) and sign them. The pages were covered with a torn napkin and the interior spine has a piece of mulberry paper glued to it. (Thanks Linda for the tip of securing mulberry paper on the inside of the book to reinforce the spine.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I'm working on a round robin book that I'm not quite finished with yet, but needed a crackle finish. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you will remember that I posted a sample done with the Tim Holtz crackle paints. I was not terribly impressed with this product - it didn't crackle enough for my taste and is expensive too. Here are some samples I made today with a very simple crackle finish using Elmer's Glue-It-All - yes, the cheap Elmer's glue we all know - and cheap acrylic craft paint.

Both samples were made with the same materials and the same way, but with different amounts of glue. First a piece of plain chipboard was painted with a coat of acrylic paint (brown in this case). When dry, I added a coat of Elmer's glue and while it was still wet, covered that with a coat of acrylic paint in a different color. This can be left to air dry or dried with a heat gun if you're impatient like me.

The sample on the left shows the results when you use a relatively thin coat of glue. I used an ivory paint for the top coat. The right sample shows the results of a thick coat of glue and white paint. I think these result in a far nicer "crackle" than the more expensive Ranger product.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Class update - date change

The "Spring into Color" card class I was supposed to teach this evening was postponed to this Saturday, April 22nd from 10 am to noon. I'm not sure if any "locals" are reading my blog, but just in case...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Altered Book

I've joined an Altered Book round robin through my online group AAWA. I'm in a group with three other artists and we have one month to work in each of the books and to do at least 3 spreads. The initial swapping is due April 15th and I just finished my first spread in my own book. I chose "Secret Garden" so this spread focuses on flowers.

I first watercolored the book pages with green and then adhered pictures of pink flowers from a magazine, covered with a thin coat of gesso. I overstamped with gesso and black ink, added torn pieces of old wallpaper to the corners and attached the vellum quote, flowers and "bloom" scalloped circle, and the wispy beaded fiber.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April Showers goodies

I think everyone on the ZNE Design Team has finally received their April Showers Swap package - and, if not, I just can't wait to post this any longer! Look at the plethora of goodies I received. Some were even individually packaged in sweet wrappings.

All of this came from Krissy (http://kristinschadwickcreations.blog.com/) - a great "mini me" ATC, along with several vintage photos, origami papers and candy. Thanks Krissy!

The ATC on the left was made by Ann (http://annbutlerdesigns.blogspot.com/) and is polymer clay rolled so thin it feels like paper. Love the graded colors. Peggi (http://desertphotography.blogspot.com/ )made the other ATC with a crackled background and a darling little fairy. Thanks Ann and Peggi!

Tiffany (http://www.beyondthevintagepath.com/) made this aged, stamped clothespin and tags. I love the Paris one especially. Thanks Tiffany!

Mary Ann (http://www.followyourblissdesigns.com/) sent this assortment. I love her business card in front and the collaged magnet. The tea smells luscious and the chocolate is long gone! Her little card is so sweet and I can't wait to use these cute trinkets somehow, especially the tiny ballerina. Thanks Mary Ann!

Donna (http://bonniebluedenim.blogspot.com/) sent these makings for ATCS. I love the black and white glossy image and the two vintage playing cards. Thanks Donna!

These three items were not signed, but I've discovered that the beautiful stamped domino pendant in the center was made by Kat (http://alteredkat.blogspot.com/). Thanks Kat! The pink cone and glittered Paris 4 x 4 are both gorgeous and I wish I could personally thank those artists. Love them.

Chelise (Chel) (http://www.cheliseart.com/) made this darling Easter chick, complete with an egg body, lace hem binding mini skirt and a gold candy cup bonnet. And her business card is equally cute! Thanks Chel!

More chocolate! Julee (http://heartcollective.blogspot.com/ ) sent a bunch of candy bundled up in spring colors with a tiny handmade inchie tag. Thanks Julee!

Gina (http://elevenmorning.blogspot.com/) made this lovely pendant, possibly from a game piece. It has a beautiful glazed image surrounded with embossed copper tape and beading. Thanks Gina!

And, last but not least, this soldered glass pendant from Pam (http://thebagladysart.blogspot.com/). The soldering on this is exquisite. Thanks Pam!

As you can see, the ZNE Design Team is a very talented group of artists. I feel so honored to be a part of this team and to be able to share friendship and art with them. You can access ZNE from the sidebar of my blog or go to http://www.znedesignteam.com/.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Update on upcoming classes

I've had some questions locally about some card classes I will be teaching this month for Cre8joy Workshops (more info at http://www.cre8joyworkshops.com/ or www.cre8joy.typepad.com to register) so wanted to post these again.

This class above will be held April 8 and again on April 17. The one below is scheduled for April 26 or May 1.

More great mail

Another great mail day here. I received this wonderful canvas from my new online friend, Veronica. She had a blog contest giveaway - pick a number and then you won if it matched the number she picked. Well, I really didn't win, but I was one number off so she made me a canvas anyway! Isn't she sweet? I just love this canvas - it's 9 x 12 and very shabby chic, which I love. The colors, girls' images, flowers, lace, buttons and all the little details are all fabulous. Thanks so much Veronica - you spoiled me! Do take a look at her blog: http://artbyveronica.blogspot.com/. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Great mail day

Tuesday afternoon I got a wonderful package full of beautiful handmade art, and little pretties and chocolate! Chelise, the owner and creator of ZNE (www.ZNEart.com) and fearless leader of the ZNE Design Team, decided we needed a fun activity to jumpstart spring. We held an "April Showers Swap" and everyone sent in 16 small art pieces or goodies. Chel divided everything and sent out our packages at the end of March. What lovelies we received! I've been dying to post pics of all the goodies, but some gals still haven't received theirs and I don't want to spoil the surprise. Suffice it to say that everything was beautiful and lovingly made. Can't wait to share. Thank you to the rest of the design team for a fun swap and especially to Chel for making all this possible.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Monday Play Day

Yesterday was a very fun and productive play day. Five online friends and myself met at Jeri's house to have a play day. Since she lives about 100 miles south of me, there was also alot of driving involved. But it was all worth it - what a wonderful day with good friends and great projects - five in all!

Here's what we did. First is a corset tag which is a die cut (Cuttlebug possibly? can't remember) and it is also embossed like dotted Swiss. Ribbon is laced through the holes in the front. The "boobs" are glued back to back to a popsicle stick and when this is pushed up from the bottom, the boobs pop up. Very cute. Thanks Jeri for sharing this and to Claudia in our online group AAWA who originally sent this darling tag to Jeri.

Next we did a shoe tag. Thanks to Mary Lynn for making and sharing this cute pattern. Everyone chose different coordinating papers and they all came out so pretty. I added Stickles to the scallops when I came home. The fibers are tied on to a "loopy brad" which is a brad with an attached loop - makes it super easy to add ribbons and fibers.

Then we made a button fairy which Jeri shared with us. This is a vintage image cut out and added to a butterfly cutout. Then graduating sizes of coordinating buttons are wired together with ribbons tied between. This was super easy EXCEPT for wiring the buttons. For future information, wire does not "sew" like thread! I apologize for the dark scan - the buttons add too much dimension to get a better picture.

We also made darling spoon fairies. Jeri also shared this with us and provided the pre-drilled spoons. This again is a vintage image attached to the bowl of the spoon with paper wings glued to the back of the spoon, Then silk flowers were folded in half and glued to the neck of the little girl's head and topped with a ribbon bow and a button. Beads were wired to the top and bottom of the spoon. This, I think, was my favorite project of the day. I love using old spoons in this way! (I couldn't get a good scan, so I took a picture with my camera, but even that didn't turn out very well. The spoon looks black! Anyway, you get the idea.)

And, finally, Linda shared this neat coin wrapper "taglet." The three pockets are made from dime coin wrappers with bits of patterned paper and stamped images attached. The inside tags are narrow pieces of cardstock stamped and collaged with more bits of paper with ribbons stapled to the tops. And eyelet was set in the bottom of each wrapper and then the three were clipped together and tied with more ribbon. These would make fun little bookmarks or could be used as sign-ins in altered books. Very cute.