Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Faux Wood Doors

Every once in a while, I get calls to do some faux finishing. In a past life, I used to do it for a living but life gets in the way and the kids were small so it had to go to the wayside. A neighbor down the block saw my house and asked me to do some work in her house - a faux brick wall! Then a faux stone wall. They in turn had a party this past winter and a friend of theirs saw the work and fell in love. So when her office wanted to redo their meeting room, she remembered me. The job was to take the metal doors and paint them on one side to look like the wood floors and crown molding. Here are the before and after shots, I will let you decide if they turned out.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cardboard Alphabet

Another thing I have been doing in the last few months has been arting up some 9" cardboard letters sets for the preschool teachers. I have done two sets for friends of mine and this set, I actually was paid to do! I took pictures of sets of them and my camera died before I could get the last few letters. Gggrrrrr. I have been having a bit of fun with my sharpie markers! Hope you enjoy them! I have one more set and I may try to sell it when done.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why so busy!

November was NaNoWriMo which is short for National Novel Writing Month. Check it out here: They need donations to keep this program alive so please consider donating if you can afford it.

I actually am a winner! I finished a 50,000 page "novel" by the end of the month! I was feeling so lost with my art and totally unmotivated. Whenever that happens, I usually try to take a class or hunt down a book that will move me off into a new direction. Nothing was sparking my imagination. I had a crazy dream one night and thought that it would make an interesting book. Finding this website made me think that this was an omen and to give it a try. I found myself sneaking away for an hour or so a day and writing about my story. If you can write 1670 words a day, you can totally pull off a book in a month. It needs serious editing but I will leave that for another day! My creative spirit is refreshed and I am now feeling that creative tingle itching to get back into the studio. Yeah!!!

My certificate does not have my name because I keep forgetting to add it in. But you can only get this if you upload your novel and they verify the word count.

Grateful ATC Challenge

Wow have I been busy! I forgot to post this to my blog (and the trading card blog! Whoops!)
Our theme for November was Grateful which is appropriate for the Thanksgiving season. I struggled trying to find a way to incorporate all that I was grateful for into a small space. When I thought about what I was most grateful, the idea snapped into place. I am grateful for each and everyday that I have to spend with family and friends! (Insert smacking of forehead here) Here is the link to all the grateful ATC entries:

I used cardstock and colored the background with sharpie markers to create sunrise/sunset and mountains. More details were added with colored pencils and then a pine tree was stamped in dark brown. The final detail was the birds drawn in with a black pigma pen.

Our next trade is a Flat Santa exchange! The pieces so far have been so cute and adorable. I unfortunately had to sit this one out as I had quite a bit going on. They should be going up in the next week or so. Stayed tuned!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Radiance-Hardware ATC Challenge

I would have done this sooner but my email account seems to have disappeared. Of course, everything was attached to that address and my last week of life has been somewhat of a nightmare! GGrrrr

But I managed to soothe my jangled nerves and produce a piece for this challenge. We were supposed to be using hardware. Stuff you find at the hardware store. Keeping in mind that this is a small piece and that it has to go through the mail, really limits what you can use!

I started out with a piece of hand stitched rust dyed fabric. The piece was started and blown off a while ago. It just wasn't working. So I measured out my cards on the fabric with a black marker and screwed one of them up by not double checking the size before hand! That's why I make extras for mistakes such as these. I wound some copper wire that was from a picture frame hanging kit (at least I think that is where it came from!) Boring. Painted some washers in metallic blue and hand stitched them on. Better but still boring. Looked at the one that I wrote on and realized if I made an intersecting line running down, I would create a focal point. Hmm. More washers, and blue metallic thread gave me the wonderful masterpieces I finally ended up creating! Please note that this is the second ATC in a row that was not a TREE!! I am really growing! Hee-hee

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This months challenge was Balance. I picked the challenge and it was based on my life being as crazy as it is now. It is to remind myself to stop and breathe once in a while and enjoy the moment. My son just made the school soccer team for 7th grade and he has all of us in a frenzy he's so excited!

I chose the water drop as my image. It always reminds me of peaceful images and focus. I made an extra one for myself and have it sitting by my computer. This may be one of my favorites.

I used commercial fabric for the background because the colors were gorgeous. Then I drew in the circles using water color crayons and the water drop is made using glossy accents! Fun stuff! then I sewed in some of the edges to make it more dimensional.

Check here for everyone's interpretation:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Death/Rebirth - Opposites Challenge

Time for the monthly posting of my ATC trade! See the rest here:

This month was Opposites. I thought it would be an easy one to do but I ended up struggling with it. I was not feeling very creative as the day before this was announced, we learned of the sudden death of my BIL Paul. My husband was devastated as he had just lost his father 8 months prior. Events like this always gives us pause to contemplate the cycle of life and other things.

Driving home from the store, my attention was caught by a dead tree spiraling quite high into the sky. It was quite striking against the blue sky with fluffy clouds. I am sure it was a very stately tree with a very interesting past - kind of like my BIL. Below the tree, there were tiny trees, shrubs and flowers growing up all around the dead tree. So that became my theme - death/rebirth. Interesting how after death, other things show up to fill the void.

I used a fabric I dyed with blue dye and a flour paste resist. The trees are made from black and white puffy paint added on top of one another. At the base of the tree, I couched green yarn to create to shrubs and silk scraps are held in place with beads to create the wildflowers. I beaded some additional sprigs of orange flowers to add to the image.

Rest in Peace Paul Cox.
Your outrageous personality and quick wit will be dearly missed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sunflowers and Lemonade ATC Challenge

I had to take our newest challenge and change it up a bit. We went down to Louisiana for my hubands father's memorial service. Between the heat and family, we were getting a little crazy. So once we were free to go, we jumped back in the car and headed to New Orleans - the French Quarter to be exact and the Court of Two Sisters. Love that place and we ordered a hurricane! Just what the doctor ordered! So leaving there inspired, I decided to make my ATC's using the adult version of lemonade! LOL

I sketched the design in colored pencil, colored everything using sharpie markers and then over the table and background with oil pastels - blending with my fingers. I sketched over the whole design with colored pencils to add in all the details. The word was stamped on and then highlighted with oil pastels. The final touch was adding Glossy Accents by inkssentials to create the "sweating" on the glass. Enjoy your summer!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fabulous Fakes Challenge

Here is my latest challenge for our ATC group. I did a faux stained glass window. It turned out so much better than expected. I had other ideas but this one seemed to come together on its own. I am not as productive as I would like to be lately. My MIL is staying with us and we are helping her put together a memorial service for my FIL who passed away last November. Kids are finishing up school so lots of loose ends to be finished. Start and end of school is always crazy business. I am off for the summer as the preschool ended last week. Woo-hoo! Fun but exhausting.
Anyway, this was created with vellum paper, markers and puffy paint. I love how this turned out! And for the first time in months, it's not blue in case you hadn't noticed. LOL
Check out the rest of our challenge pieces here at

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sacred Threads - Accepted!!

I got the news last weekend that one of my pieces was accepted to Sacred Threads!!! So exciting! After a slew of rejections, this one finally got the proverbial high 5!!

My piece is for the area of spirituality. I named it "In The Silence I Have Seen Him." I had done this for the black and white challenge but wasn't done in time for last entry into Sacred Threads so I had to wait until now to try. This was a whole piece white fabric and I sketched on the angel with pencil. I worked in layers using black setacolor and aloe vera gel to get the saturation and different layers of gray. Then "sketched" the details using my sewing machine. I went in with shiva paintstiks in white and black to add details and additional shading. I love this piece and hope others will too.

Spring - Kinda

Lot's of crazy stuff going on in my life right now! So I have a few things to post about. This is the latest of my ATC trading cards. Looking at them now, they really look so much like a set I did last year. I must have really liked that one!

The theme was in Just Spring based on ee cummings poem. I just didn't have anything springlike happening. We have had nothing but rain and overcast days. It has been depressing to say the least. Everyone has been just in a funk and it is well represented in my latest ATC's.

I used hand dyed fabric and did a rubbing on it with a leaf plate. It was boring. So I fused it to the peltex and cut to individual cards and stamped leaf prints using commercial and hand cut stamps in brown and light green. I really liked them at this point but then was at a loss on how to proceed. I just wasn't in a spring frame of mind. Finally I decided to just go with it and used fabric crayons and sequin waste to add in "flowers" in red, blue and yellow. I smeared on a sparkly glitter glue to represent the standing water. I heat set, then free motion stitched grasses as this seems to be the only thing growing right now. My single shot is a little blurry again. I think I may be having some problems with my camera. It is also tough to get good shots when the weather is so dark and dreary. But we are on our 2nd day of sunshine so things are looking more like spring! Finally!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

ATC Super Moon

This is sad. I am only posting about the ATC's I'm making! I have been doing other stuff but can't post as I am busy trying to send pieces in to shows. I am actually being brave and answering calls for entries. I will keep you posted.

So this challenge is using the color Indigo! Oooooo!!!! I love indigo. It is so dark, moody and mysterious. Everyone has been talking about the super moon coming up on March 19th and I knew my theme was set. First I found some woven fabric in indigo with a faint shot of gold. I added in wavy lines with my sewing machine to create the snowy landscape. Next was a free motion stitched tree and a moon using black puffy paint. Why black you ask? Well, once you paint over the black with white, some of the black will come through as grey creating the surface of the moon coloring. Well it does in my mind and doesn't show up as well in my photos. Finally, I added white and blue to the ground using shiva paintstiks and blended. Then I decided to add in some clouds behind the moon and used white, blue and a touch of black and blended for a muted background. I am very happy with how these turned out.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hanging On - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Finished my next set of ATC's and I am way ahead of schedule on this one but still not first one done! LOL What can I say, life is throwing me some serious curve balls this month!

Our theme of reduce, reuse and recycle is pretty self explanatory. I blogged about my process on the group blog is you want to know more!

Check out everyone else's interpretations! They are really cool!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lily Pads - Creative Combo

Finally finished my next challenge. I never seem to be able to create something quickly. It always has to be a ton of different materials and ideas rolled into one. Oh well. Check here for all the other creative combo cards made for the challenge

Can you tell I am longing for spring with this one? My creative combo was the use of cotton fabric and inks. Of course I did add in interference blue medium, and threads and sequins.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The sketchbook challenge

I have been sketching, I just haven't been taking pictures and uploading. I have to do things when I have a moment of free time here and there. So I am doing uploads and such at the moment with this free time. I have posted these to the Highly Prized flickr group already. Not sure if the tag worked but will see!

I posted two sketches already and here are the rest. I decided to try a zentangle. Wasn't sure what it was so I goggled it and found some examples and a quick tutorial which I can't find again. Sorry. This was great fun to do since I had time to kill while waiting for the kids at swim practice. Putting them on the swim team has forced me to have to find things to do to fill my time while waiting and I have found more time for art so this is a definite bonus. Anyway, this one was the theme of peacock of course:

The rest were sketches of some underwater sponges, corals etc. Not exact but for shape and color. I have this piece that I have been working slowly on for over a year and these will make great reference photos.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sketchbook Project - Highly Prized

I also signed up for the sketchbook project. This month is highly prized. This one is to get you to sketch everyday. I have two done and it is already the 9th! I think that this is pretty good for me!

This one is a loose interpretation of my back yard. We are very fortunate that we back up to a forest preserve and not neighbors. I have seen some incredible wildlife and I cherish the moments.

Time is another of my most highly prized things. I never have any but consider it precious whenever I can have a moment to myself.

Strathmore Online Sketchbook

Well I signed up to do the sketchbook project with Strathmore because I just have so much free time on my hands! LOL. My thinking was that I would do this while the kids are doing swim practice. Yeah that is not happening because I have to go chat with everyone. In my defense, it is my only chance to speak to adults! I work with preschoolers all day so adult interaction is precious! I did manage to do a couple for this and one somewhat in the works.
We were supposed to take old sketches and make copies. Then cut, rip or tear them up to create another composition. Seemed simple enough. Part two has been posted and I haven't checked it out yet. So here are my two starting pieces: