Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New projects

I took an online class called Dainty Dioramas offered on the Jeanne Oliver website.  Here's my first dainty diorama box.  It's not as easy as it looks.  It's using shrink film.  I'm loving the process and especially loving the look.   It has opened up the creative brain as to all the ways I can use shrink film!  The other awesome idea is using old photos.  Recently, I've come across old photographs of family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc that family has posted on Facebook.  There's something about using faces that look like me.  I'm loving the idea of holiday themed dioramas using the shrink film technique.  I'll post more boxes as I get them finished!  Thanks for checking in on my blog, I really appreciate your support!!

Friday, June 8, 2018

What I've been up to...

These past few months I've been learning new stuff.  I took an on line class learning about shrink art projects.  I love it and I love the possibilities of what can be done with shrink art sheets.   I plan to use the method on this year's christmas card.  I'll post photos when I get the project done.   I made a commitment to work on my lettering skills this year.  I practice daily and boy I'm learning daily.  As I was watching YouTube videos about lettering I came across a foiling DIY video and it caught my interest.  Way cool process to use this method on my cards and junk journals. There's this app called Procreate for iPad Pro.  It's very much like Photoshop.  It's a great way to practice my lettering.  I can make all kinds of things using all kinds of stuff in my studio and office.  Geez, I'm overflowing with creative ideas for my junk journals, greeting cards, and all paper crafts.  I have to admit I've not been getting lots of sleep lately....just can't seem to stop creating and learning new things.  I'll post on each creative process in individual posts on the blog here soon.  Stay tune!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

My thrift store finds!

I decided to go thrift store hunting.  I went to the local senior community town.  They have four or five thrifts stores right next to each other.  I probably spend $12 total for all this stuff!  It was 50% off day at all of the shops!  I'm going to sort through all of it and make swap packs.   I don't need it all.  I got ledger paper, old sewing patterns, books, music books, fax paper, fasteners, tabs, reinforcement circles, stencils, and two vintage fabric pieces.  One of the artist of junk journals uses clip art of her vintage linens, which are so cool.  I plan to fax most of the stuff to have digital images to print if needed.    It was a fun day.  I even found a monopoly game for $1  All the pieces are there.  I honestly hate to play Monopoly so I'm going to break it up to use in my junk journals.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Geez I can't seem to get motivated to work on my pendants!  I'm having a block!   How do you get motivated and inspired?  I'm gonna step out of the studio and go explore with eyes wide open!

Junk Journal Ephemera

I found a post on Craigslist for a garage sale advertising they had ephemera!  I headed over and boy did he have ephemera, tons of stuff!  I didn't even know where to start.  I checked out his books, he really didn't have a lot of books but he wanted $1 each, I was kinda surprised but they were nice books.  He had magazines, records, electronics, newspapers, and lots of vintage papers.  Everything I picked  out he mention how rare or expensive it was...ugh.  So I went to a smaller box of various papers and started to sort through them.  Omg!  so cool.  I showed his this railroad receipt book, he said all the railroad stuff is expensive!  So I'm thinking my $20 isn't gonna go far as his prices!  He didn't have anything marked and I don't like to barter at garage sales.  Because most of the time things are priced cheap to get rid of.  i got a small pile of stuff and five books for $10 and I said "cool" and then he said I should of said $15 knowing you aren't gonna barter!  My impression is he was not having a garage sale to empty out his garage but to kill some time and see what he could make.  He did tell me he was a dealer.  The other thing he told me was his wife makes junk journals with all this cool stuff.

A page from my journal I use in my travel journal.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pendant making

It's about time I got back into jewelry creating!  I have all these design ideas in my head and I've been sitting here sketching them out.  So now I'm done with the pendants...round and heart shapes!  I will be adding beads and chain to them!   I'm working on the actual design of each piece and then will set with resin.  I'll keep you updated!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Art Journal Mondays

Today I begin an art journal journey with my young friend, Reagan.  

She is a academically gifted smart young lady with an artistic side.  She loves to read and has been reading since she was probably three years old!   We began with a kid's book, of course and she was assigned to gesso the pages.  The plan is to paint, paint, paint the whole time she is in the studio.  The goal is let her be free to express her creative style.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Art Journal

I didn't know what paints I had so this was a way to remind me of what I have.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Homemade Gesso

I made gesso when I worked on my holiday snowman.  It worked great.  I decided to use my vintage journal as my art journal.  It's best to paint with gesso.  I was out of gesso and decided to make my own.

I used equal parts white glue and drywall compound and added white paint.  It seem thick but translucent.  It was gritty and not as smooth as I wanted.

Today I did some research on gesso recipes and found a different one. 

One part plaster of paris (1/2 cup)
One part white glue.  (1/2 cup)

Two parts white paint.  (1 cup)

The recipe.  It needs to be stored in an air tight container.

Not a very good photo of the gesso painted page.  It went on smoother and less grainy.  I think next batch I make i will mix a little water in with the plaster of paris to get the powder wet.  I noticed the powder left grains but once I painted it over and it smooth out in a nice coverage.  I liked this gesso recipe for painting.  It wasn't as translucent as the other recipe and it wasn't as thick.  I'll have to see how it is to paint on.

Art Journals

I had signed up for an art journal online class a month or so ago.  Yesterday I finally sat down and began the class.  I loved it!  I was reminded why I love mix medial art and art journals.  It's a way to use up all those cool pieces of paper and different paint mediums.  I didn't want to use a "journal book" so I dug through my vintage ledgers and found the perfect one.  Not a lot of pages and no writing in it.  I think who ever found it before me ripped out the ledger pages that were used.  I can't blame them since the handwriting was probably awesome.  

In my class she recommends painting the pages with white gesso to give all the paints and papers a good base to adhere to.  I didn't have any gesso so I made some.  

Painting gesso on the pages.

In the class she used various papers and images to glue on to the pages after the gesso layer.  I didn't have any gel medium either! I'm not a fan of mod podge, which I could of use. So on her next video she used oil pastels and pencils.  Here's my page and once I get some gel medium I'll add images.  Once process she used was taking tracing paper and tracing a sketch of the image and gluing it to the page to use as the basis of the painting.  Real cool method.   I have an idea to use a photo of my mom and her friends when she was young  with the tracing paper.  Another idea she gave was to use a color pallet you don't use too often.  I'm drawn to blues so I may challenge myself to oranges and pinks.

This is the pages so far.  I can't wait to add my images and papers!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine's Day wishes

Normally I make Valentine treats for my little friends.  I have no idea where the time went and I have not made one Valentine theme craft, cookies, etc. and tomorrow is Valentine's Day!  Here's some Valentine stuff I like and will make another time.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Welcome to 2018!

Saying goodbye to 2017 is hard since it brought so much to my life.

January began in Lucca, Italy!  Visited Rome and Pisa, too.  The Woman's March, which gave me hope.
February we learned Maximus had cancer and needed surgery.  It also sent us to Nebraska for the farm sale!  On the way to Nebraska with my friend, Alice we got my grand niece Anaya to travel with us.  Also got to  my first Nebraska men's basketball game!
March got back from Nebraska with a UHaul full of treasures.  Tom celebrated 30 years on his job. Traveled to Las Vegas with a good friend.
April, Gabi turned 21, wow.  Spend all my time planning my next trips.
May was the longest road trip, 7000 miles!  Started out with Jason, my brother from Arizona to sister, Melinda from Nebraska to Lincoln, Omaha, Kansas City, St Louis, Memphis, Nashville, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Richmond, Detroit, Omaha, Yankton, SD, Lincoln, North Platte, dropped off my sister and headed home.  Tom joined my thought the trip.  May also gave me the greatest gift, we met my nephew, Antwein for the first time in 25 years!  What joy that was for my soul.  Also a visit with my good for my soul friend, Cathy was the best.  Can't forget Joni time, sister time with all my sisters and my Mom and Dad time!  Blue boy was a big part of our trip...antique shops all along the way.  
June we drove my camper home!  I'm in love!
July both sad and exciting.  I had to say bye to my Maximus!  I have tears just thinking about him.  I miss him daily.  July also brought a trip of a lifetime...river rafting trip down the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon with good friends!
August was the lunar eclipse in Idaho!  Frida exhibit at the Heard Museum.
September we got a visit from my nephew Zachariah!  Another highlight...U2 Joshua Tour concert!!!
October sent us to Nebraska to spend precious time with my father-in-law, Irvin Arens before he passed at the age of 91.   Visited with so much family.  Highlight time with my nephew Tommy.  Then there was time with Patrick, Nate, Amelia, Dana, Brenda and meeting her son, Clay!  Just to name a few.
November was a quiet and reflecting time.  I really needed the down time.
December brought birthday fun and my love for the holidays and fun projects.

I need to take some time here soon to write down my thoughts about this past year and the life changing events.  I would have to say the Colorado River trip was the most impactful experience.  I took so much away from that experience.  FAITH OVER FEAR was so true and you CAN do anything!  The loss of my dog Maximus turned out to be harder than I thought.  I am blessed.

Bring on 2018!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Christmas Cards

It all started with dressing up my vintage camper in her holiday attire.  This was a fun day.  I printed them out two by two.  Inside message, signatures, and logo all printed, what a time saver.

I use a Canon Pro-100 printer on all my print jobs.  I love it except when I have to replace the ink!  It has 8 inks and that shit's expensive...never have I understood the high cost of ink.  We should write letters to our congressman about that, maybe they'll do something about it, NOT.  Anyways, this is a great printer.

I love this paper cutter, accurate and quick.

I've had this tool for many years and I love it.  Scores nicely.  I've learned having the right tools always makes the project go smoother.  I make so many cards, this tool sure saves me time and the cards look so much better.  

I took a on-line class, more of a mini on-line class from one of my favorite artist, Stephanie Lee.  I learned a bit about encastic wax.  I decided to use the wax on my cards and the result was so cool.  I can't wait to use it on my paintings.

I added glitter and some gold glitter stars onto the wax.  I could of added more stuff, but I had over 80 cards to make and I was running out of time
I found these vintage labels and added my "Season's Greeting" and our return address.  Time saver!  I was able to print them directly onto blank label sheets.  Again, what a time saver.
Here's the website I got the template from ....
Addressed and stamped ready to mail!

Snow people

 When I began this project I had no idea what I was doing.  But I tell you it was fun making them.  I started by making balls out of aluminum foil.  That was hard on the hands, gloves helped.

I made five with arms and legs using wire and foil.

After getting the shapes done I covered them with paper mache using tissue paper.  This was easy.

The next step was covering the shapes with paper clay.  I made the paper clay and that was a challenge.  I found a website with the best tutorial videos.  You use toilet paper, water, drywall compound and white glue.  What I found is I needed to follow the recipe exactly in order to get the right consistency.  Once the paper clay dries I sanded them to get a smooth texture.

 The next step was painting them with gesso.  I even made my own gesso.  White glue and drywall compound with a little white paint.  Easy enough.  This gave them the neatest texture and feel.  I sanded them a little but not much was needed.

I started by painting their faces.  Oh, I did add noses either with clay or orange painted tooth pick noses.  This is when their personalities started to show up.  Once the faces were painted I lightly sprayed them with a spray adhesive and showered them with white glitter flakes.  I loved the look of the glitter.  This is a project I will do over and over again.  I loved making them even though it was a very time consuming project.  Most have found new homes this holiday season.  I must admit it was hard to let them go.  Each one definitely spoke to me.   Once I make more I will post for SALE.

I have an abundance of supplies, lots of holiday theme stuff, glitters, ribbons, papers, garland, bells, words, streamers, eyelets, wires, greenery, and imagination.  This was the best part of the whole project was dressing them up.