Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wedding Anniversary

Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow, so I made this card for the love of my life. It uses a piece I made in the summer for one of the Theme Thursday challenges (here's the post about that - ).

Yes we actually did get married on Jan. 1!! It's great, we always remember our anniversary and have the day off from work!
"The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make -- not just on your wedding day, but over and over again -- and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife. "
~Barbara De Angelis

Happy New Year to all :)

Too Long Have I Been Away!!

So happy to be back in the Salon, making art and catching up with all of you! I have been very busy working and lost sight of the importance - and necessity - of making art, regardless of other parts of life!

It seems that all of you have had a wonderful and festive season thus far. My best thoughts and wishes come your way as the New Year approaches, filled with peace, health, and contentment.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Faithful Friend

A very dear friend celebrated a MAJOR birthday this past Monday, and I made this mixed media collage piece for her. She is one of those (rare) friends that is TRU BLUE and knows how to be a great friend!! My friendship with her began right away when we met, about 10 years ago, and we just connected immediately. Don't you love when that happens?? It is rare and precious. Her friendship is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow :)

This collage is done on 6" x 12" canvas board, and I used a patchwork of papers at the very bottom, some layers of paint, stamping, Swedish text, and some fancy buttons. This was a lot of fun to construct, and here's a MAJOR breakthrough for me: I DREW and PAINTED the face myself!! I like her pretty well, although I think her neck makes her look more like a linebacker for the Packers than an angel friend.... BUT I did much better with this aspect than I thought I would! This is huge progress for me and I plan to continue my drawing and painting explorations.

This is my first piece for the Art Everyday Month Challenge at Creative Everyday, which is running all through November. This week's theme at Arty Girlz is to incorporate a hand drawn element, and I've got that here.

Hope all of you are fortunate enough to have friends like this ~ a treasure more precious than any THING.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feelin' like Fall

This ATC is for the monthly challenge in the Art Techniques ATC group, with a theme of Pumpkins. The background is fabric and I distressed the edges a bit. I used some very old pumpkin stamps that I have ~ who made them I can't recall!! They were stamped with black pigment and clear embossed on paint chips as well as a hand painted paper which was a RAK. The owl was stamped on that gorgeous black/blue/metallic mulberry paper (another RAK, how fortunate I am to receive these awesome goodies :). The eyelet is from Making Memories and the beads are by Bliss Beads and Blue Moon (leaves).
This ATC also fits in nicely with this week's theme of Fabric over at Arty Girlz.

It may be 95 outside today (blech) but it's definitely feelin' like fall in the salon!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Locks/Keys ATC Swap

Here are a few cards I made for the swap with the open theme of Keys/Locks.

The first two are made with embossed handmade paper in the background, it is really gorgeous. The images are from Karen's Whimsy ~ there are many great images there which she generously provides for FREE to use in your art ! I printed these in dark sepia tone on photo paper, sanded them and edged them in pigment ink. The hem tape was stamped in brown StazOn using letters from Hero Arts. The flowers are Prima's, with brads from Memory Makers. The locks are from JoAnn Essentials - they are very cool and were 60% off??!! The entire card is edged in clear embossed pigment ink.

The next two use background paper that came out of one of my Somerset magazines :) The images from Karen's Whimsy were printed onto patterned and colored vellum, respectively. The card with the blue eyelets (Bazzill) has an entire panel of vellum over the card. The background on the other card was aged with Tim Holz Distress Ink in Antique Linen and edged with Denim Adirondack ink, along with the photo. The corner doily piece was lightly sponged with the same blue ink.

"The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep." ~ Edgar Watson Howe

Tuesday Oct. 28 ~ As it happens these are a good fit for the current theme of Locks and Keys on Mixed Media Monday :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fresh gel!!

A fresh jar of gel medium this morning all ready!! LOTS of use from the empty jar... seems almost sad that it's gone.

Now I'm off to make a dent in this new jar heheheheheeee.........

A Birthday Birdhouse

My dear friend Donna loves bird and birdhouses. On her birthday a group of us celebrated and I gave her this decorated house, giving it a birdhouse spin. I used vintage wallpaper, dress pattern tissue stamped with images from Tim Holz and Inka Stamps, beads, bird charm (, heart clips, vintage seam binding, and green ribbon.

I think she really likes this :) and it was great fun to make!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Embrace Change

Here's an ATC I did for a swap in my Altered stART group, with a theme of 'Vintage Autumn'. Originally I was not considering a 'fairy' type of image, but when I came across this lovely girl on my Digital Collage Sheet page, she just looked like fall to me.

The background is patterned paper (MAMBI I think?) which has been gesso'd and then colored with oil pastels. I really enjoy those pastels, thanks so much to my friend Jillian for introducing me to them :) The pastels are so versatile and easy to work with, and produce color that is easy to control. I used a piece of dictionary page, colored with Tea Dye Distress Ink, behind the image (did you see the word AUTUMN there?). Originally she had a flower bouquet in her hand but I changed it to a beautiful coppery leaf, punched from a gorgeous piece of handmade paper ;) Then I punched a few more!! Along with an oak leaf punch with the remaining dictionary page. Her chair is a piece of chipboard which I painted brown and then overpainted with gold Daler Rowney Pearlescent acrylic. The card, as well as the main image, is outlined in green chalk ink.

Try to enjoy the changes - a difficult process but often worth the effort and investment.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

You Gotta Have Friends....

As the divine Miss M said in about 1972, I think!!

Here's a fun canvas for this week's paint theme over at Saturday's Workout. I made a 5" x 7" canvas board, painted with a couple of layers of acrylic. I oversprayed with bronze GlimmerMist and splattered black paint all over the place. I used an old background stamp of stars (Hero Arts) and stamped around with Daler Rowney Pearlescent Acrylic (I LOVE LOVE LOVE these paints!!). The picture is one that I printed awhile ago and I love it, have been waiting and waiting for the right moment to use it! The chandelier image is from the front of a notecard sent to me by a dear friend - I sanded it and then repainted some areas with my black paint. The ladies are collaged to a piece of patterned text paper from 7 Gypsies, then I added the black 'drips' with paint and used the pearlescent acrylics to highlight the ovals. The ladies are outlined in paint and the entire image outlined and doodled with my white Signo pen. I used that green pearlescent acrylic on my Friends definition stamp (Hero Arts) and stamped on pattern tissue. The green German Scrap is from's a big Sunday shout out to all my friends dropping by ~ YOU :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween Tags

I have been busy making some Halloween tags!! The theme this week at Crazy Amigo Challenge is Halloween ;)

Enjoy these!! And 'Boo' to you!

P.S. These are available in my Etsy shop....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Here's an 8" x 10" mixed media canvas, done for a swap with the inspiration of Misty Mawn. Look here to see some of her stunning collage/mixed media art. If you visit Misty Mawn's blog you'll be in for a big treat as well!

I actually photographed all the steps here and then promptly deleted them from my camera before saving on my hard drive........ grrrrrr..........

Serenity NOW!! Okay then, the canvas started with acrylic paints done in layers with sanding in between. I used the Stampington Flourish Ledger stamp with black paint in between some of the other paint layers, then used a damp rag to distress and revive the image. This was a great way to do this , without disturbing the rest of the paint layers. The text page came from a great vintage book I scored at a garage sale, 'You and Your Shadow' by Bill Severn (copyright 1961). I added some Twinkling H2O's :) The woman was constructed from patterned paper from the beautiful Rue de Garance line from Sanylion, as well as socks and shoes from a paper doll image and a lovely face from a photo (source unknown). I made her wings from the lace collar she was wearing in the original photo; the sleeve cuffs were also made from this. I stamped the ledger again (behind her head) using Twinkling H2O's, and also used the same color for other elements here. All black edging and circling was done with charcoal pencil/stick. The text pieces are from the same book page as the house, as well as her slanted heart.

I'm really pleased with the way she turned out and am feeling more confident about my character constructions all the time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Green + Yellow + F =

A fun and challenging swap in my Art Techniques ATC group. Initially I thought this would be SOOOOOOOOO easy - 'f' as in FLOWER, FEMININE, FAIRY, the SIXTH letter in the alphabet, etc, etc. Well it wasn't so easy but I just kept moving forward.

All cards are done on recycled cardboard and started with various green pattern papers. You can hardly see them anymore!! I used pattern tissue on top of all of them, then stenciled on different size circles with ink. The images are stamped in various shades of green, using chalk, dye and pigment inks. The stamps are from Paper Bag Studios, Time to Stamp, and an unknown source. The small jeweler tags were coffee stained and stamped with an 'f' from an alphabet set by K and Co. Eyelets are from Bazzill and brads are from JoAnn essentials and Making Memories. Flower accents are from Prima, and each card is coated in clear ep.

I'm glad I just went with this, it's hard for me to be spontaneous sometimes!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blog love!

A great Saturday to all of you!

I've seen some cool things out there in blog land that I want to share with you!!

The very talented and gracious m heart (secret notebooks...wild pages/m heart) has been posting some cool images from vintage cookbooks - they rock!! I have placed some in my image folder all ready and they will definitely reappear in some form down the road here... While visiting her check out her stunning photos, such great color and subjects here. She's got it going on in the berkshires over there :)

A blog giveaway is posted at Be...Dream...Play/Elizabeth B.. Any of you who know elizabeth's blog and work know how great it is. She posted a giveaway relating, of course, to art journals. Look for the post with the tree house photo :)....

That's all for the moment folks....
I'll be back in a bit with some freebies for ya!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My quail is blooming!!!

No I have NOT lost my mind (not officially anyway) and YES I am making sense!!

I have a quail terra cotta planter on my front walkway ~ I love this thing and can't remember anymore where I got it. We have California quails that visit our yard every day, they are such great birds!!! I planted some sort of succulent in this quail planter a couple of years ago, and look what it's doing!!

Mother Nature...don't mess with her.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skylines and Skyscrapers - Part II

The second neighborhood is here!! Welcome to the East Village, specifically Bloome Street between Bowery and Ludlow, NYC.

Again all structures are based upon the dimensions of a business card, 2" x 3". Background papers are color copies of papers I have made or previous work I have done, especially journal pages here. The sense is more contemporary and funky than the upper West Side neighborhood I revealed earlier.

Enjoy your stroll down the street past the cafe, community garden, art gallery, pastry shop, poetry club, apartment buildings, and housing co-op:) Come visit anytime!!

This all began a couple of weeks ago with Walt Whitman. I NEVER thought these neighborhoods would turn out like this!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

'Winds of Change' Journal Page

OOH I had to take a break from my little buildings and make a journal page for Collage Play with Crowabout Group. I'm actually a little behind, uploading week 7 today, but Nancy is currently offline... boohoo, miss her cheerful presence!

I got that Tom Petty song in my head, and then thought about my transformation through my art, blogging, creating... and I knew I had to make a page that reflected it. A year ago I could never have seen this part of my life.

How strange!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Skylines and Skyscrapers - Part I

Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn have a group on Yahoo, 'In This House'. I have been a member for awhile and have participated in a swap or two. When this swap was announced in July I signed up immediately. An earlier swap in the group had the same theme, which is to use business cards to create small structures. An article in the March/April issue of Somerset Studio presents some of the entries. This time around we could create skyscrapers with a height limitation of 7".

I have my first 'neighborhood' ready for reveal. This swap (now a project) has taken on a life of its own here!!! I decided early on that I would like to create a neighborhood of some sort, I just had no clue about what, where, or how. THEN I got into several poems by Walt Whitman, specifically about New York, and more specifically about Manhattan. I became quite inspired by this one. I decided to make 2 quite divergent neighborhoods in Manhattan, and was able to get some great help and information, as well as insight, from my oldest daughter Christine. She has been living there for the past couple of years.

My neighborhood block is on the upper West Side, W 76th between Broadway and Amsterdam. All the buildings are made on a base of bristol board which I covered with paper cut from copies of background paper I made, or previous larger pieces I've made that I had copied. The collage images I have used are from a number of sources, including Lisa's Altered Art, The Graphics Fairy, and Vintage Photos shared by Chrysti. There are stamped images, embossing, glitter, microbeads, Prima flowers, beads and buttons, Stickles, and vintage ephemera. Hope you enjoy the cafe, flower stand, residences, and corner market :)

The other neighborhood is in process and will be revealed next week... and is very different from the upper West Side. Any guesses as to which part of Manhattan I'm (re)creating?? Read the poem ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Debut Art Exhibit at age 81!!

My daughter (who currently resides in NYC) sent me this article yesterday. I'm sharing the link here as the story is wonderful and this man has been collaging since the 40's!! Now he has an exhibit opening at the ripe old age of 81...
Photo here is a piece called 'Mannerist Concern', done this year by John Ashbery.

I love his work, now I'll have to check out his poetry as well :)

Thanks, Christine, for sharing this with me, so I can pass it on also.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stamp Versatility Swap

In Trish Bee's group Creating Chaos I participated in a swap to use a single stamp in 3 different ways.

I chose an old stamp from Magenta ~ probably 10 years old or more! In the first ATC 'giggles', I stamped on glossy cardstock, clear embossed, and inked with dye inks. A panel was cut and placed on a background painted with acrylic and interference colors. The collage image is from Tuscan Rose, felt ribbon from Queen & Co, rose mauve mulberry paper, and word stamps from Impression Obsession.

The second ATC, 'Sparkle', uses a watercolor background that was lying around here. The above stamp was done in white Adirondack pigment (AWESOME) on turquoise cardstock, then in Lagoon Blue VersaColor on patterned paper (I LOVE this ink color!!). Wings were cut from the turquoise cardstock and photo corners from the patterned paper. The corners were adhered and covered with Glossy Accents and some glitter. The collage image is from Lisa's Altered Art (love those chubby legs ;) and was glued to the blue wings. The card (except the corners) was covered in Art Accents Shimmerz glue, and the girl placed on the card. This glue dries with little sparkles showing - it's a bit watery for me but easy to control with my fingers. I made her a crown from blue glitter cardstock (DCWV) and added the pink jewels (K & Co).

The last piece began as a 4 x 4, but the swap said ATC's or cards, so I finished it as a greeting card. The image is done using the StazOn Technique, using a couple of other stamps as well. I did not let the paper dry thoroughly before going over it with my white Signo pen ~ so the bandanna look is there but very soft and muted. I call this serendipity! The houses were made from paint chip tags from the hardware store, and I used fabric tape from 7 gypsies for the roofs. Collage images are from Tuscan Rose. The copper tag was recently RAK'd to me (!!!! cool !!!!!) and sprayed with Patina Glimmer Mist, then stamped with Black StazOn. The flowers are Primas and the brad is from Making Memories. The green mat for the piece was stamped using 2 different stamps from The Paper Studio, and everything is edged in black.

This was a fun swap and forced me to think about different techniques with the stamp - give it a try!

Supply Swap

The fabulous Gina Pettersson recently put out a message through one of the Yahoo groups we belong to, looking for 'clear cards' ~ transparent playing cards. I contacted her as I have 2 decks of them hehehehehe. I asked for some ephemera in exchange for a dozen cards of mixed suits and from the 2 different decks that I have.

So here are photos of my goodies from Gina... OMG!!! These things are amazing - you will be seeing some as freebies for you shortly, as soon as I climb out from some swap obligations that are pressing at this time. Needless to say I shipped her a second batch of goodies last weekend ;)

Mail Art

I received a BUNCH of mail art last week - it's taken awhile to post but here it is!!

These are cards and goodies from a couple of private swaps as well as a couple of group swaps. 'Twas my lucky day for sure!!!

Received ATBee from Karen Mowery, ATC from Lisa C. (Art Techniques ATC group), ATC from Pat S. (Altered_stArt group), and ATC from Pam K. Thanks so much to all of you for the wonderful art and fun goodies!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's all Walt Whitman's fault!!

I have been seriously absent from my blog and (one of my favorite) poet Walt Whitman bears some responsibility for that!!

It all started when I signed up for the 'Skylines and Skyscrapers' swap on Angela Cartwright's Yahoo group In This House. This is the second time around for this swap and it's just too much fun to miss. You can spy some wonderful entries from the first time around in an article in the March/April 2008 edition of Somerset Studio. So for this swap we have to create 13 structures...

I had not begun work on mine and I was checking out some Walt Whitman poetry one afternoon, and hunting down a specific poem of his that I remembered bits of. Well I found it at Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry. What a great site if you love poetry, they have full text and (some) complete works of many poets!! So here's the poem that got me started with my structures for this swap, and it really has taken on quite a life of its own...

More to follow later!

Give me the Splendid, Silent Sun. by Walt Whitman

GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling;

Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard;

Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows;

Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape;

Give me fresh corn and wheat—give me serene-moving animals, teaching content;

Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk undisturb’d;

Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman, of whom I should never tire;

Give me a perfect child—give me, away, aside from the noise of the world, a rural,domestic life; Give me to warble spontaneous songs, reliev’d, recluse by myself, for my own ears only;

Give me solitude—give me Nature—give me again, O Nature, your primal sanities!

—These, demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement, and rack’d by the war-strife;)

These to procure, incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart,

While yet incessantly asking, still I adhere to my city;

Day upon day, and year upon year, O city, walking your streets,

Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time, refusing to give me up;

Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul—you give me forever faces;

(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries; I see my own soul trampling down what it ask’d for.)


Keep your splendid, silent sun;

Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods;

Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards;

Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields, where the Ninth-month bees hum;

Give me faces and streets! give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs! Give me interminable eyes! give me women! give me comrades and lovers by the thousand!

Let me see new ones every day! let me hold new ones by the hand every day!

Give me such shows! give me the streets of Manhattan!

Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching—give me the sound of the trumpets and drums! (The soldiers in companies or regiments—some, starting away, flush’d and reckless;

Some, their time up, returning, with thinn’d ranks—young, yet very old, worn,marching,noticing nothing;)—

Give me the shores and the wharves heavy-fringed with the black ships!

O such for me! O an intense life! O full to repletion, and varied!

The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!

The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torch-light procession!

The dense brigade, bound for the war, with high piled military wagons following;

People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants;

Manhattan streets, with their powerful throbs, with the beating drums, as now;

The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets, (even the sight of the wounded;)Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus—with varied chorus, and

light of the sparkling eyes;

Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Black Birds for a Brown Swap???????

Yes that's right...

The Art Techniques ATC group has been running a series of color swaps and they have been so fun. thus far I have participated in the blue swap, the red swap, the yellow swap, and now the brown swap.

I made 4 ATC's with K and Co paper for the background. Then I used Maya Road chipboard birds and inked them with Sepia Black Color Box pigment ink. I used a stencil and Martha Stewart pigment ink in Bluegrass to make the designs on them, and finished with a splatter of Daler Rowney Pearlescent Copper Acrylic. Black eyelets from Bazill and spiral black clips finish them off, along with copper glitter glue eyes. The found text comes from a book of James Thurber short stories that I bought awhile ago ~ I love it as it has the text and his hilarious drawings as well!!

Please meet Black Owl, Black Bird Resting, Black Bird Arriving, and Black Bird Remembering :)