Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ode to Eartha Kitt

This altered book page is one I made with Eartha Kitt in mind. I was sad to hear she had died. She was an admirable woman. She was one of the great sex kittens of our time. She played Catwoman on the old Batman TV show. She was well know for singing the song Santa baby.

I did not purchase anything specifically for this page, I just had it all all ready. The background page is one I did several months back. It is masking tape and an acrylic paint wash. I accidently got black paint on the edges and so I used white gesso to cover the edges, which in the end worked great to give it a snowy like finish.

The picture was one I purchased about a month ago at Loose Ends in Salem. I loved the vampy naughtiness of the image. I have had hte velvet holly embellishments for several years, just waiting for the right moment. The dried baby roses I bought the same time as the image. The special delivery stickers were an estate sale find.
I stamped the letter with pink acrylic paint. Used an old dymo label maker that has this really cool italic font......I wish they made different fonts fo the new ones.

This page was not a summary of her life but a dedication to her spirit and the impact it had on me. I love you, Ms Kitt

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nutcrackers 2008

Here are the newest additions to my nutcracker collection. I started collecting nutcrackers after Katrina. I procured many of them from Estate sales as well as I buy a couple of newer ones each Christmas. These came from Cost Plus World Market during their 75% off after Christmas sale. The first one starting on the left is a Mariachi Guitar player, a cowboy, a gladiator, an Eskimo, and an Imperial Chinese man.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Three Dimensional Image for altered books

This is a technique that I learned when I first started rubber stamping. I thought it would be a great one in December, since for Christians this is the times of many many cards, but you can really used any image. You just need multiple images.

At least 3 copies of the same image (I used some holiday cards I found at an Estate Sale
Altered book spread with a background (I used the acrylic paint and alcohol background)
Xacto knife and cutting mat
Ruler (I like using a clear one)
Dimensional adhesive or window insulation
Adhesive (I used double sided tape)

1. Look at image and identifying the foreground, background and the center ground.
2. Cut out the foreground of one image using the Xacto knife and cutting mat.
3. Turn image over and place dimensional adhesive on the back. Set aside.
4. With another copy of the image cut up the middle ground. Set aside.
5. Repeat placing dimensional adhesive on the back of the images.
6. Attach foreground to the middle ground image, lining up the images as close as possible.
7. Attach middle ground image to the background image lining it up as closely as possible to the background.
8. Attach the completed 3 D image to the page
9. Complete the embellishment of the page.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

my sisters wacky collection

my sisters collection of elves on a shelf.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My grandfathers birthday.

My grandfather turned 88 on Monday. He is an amazing man. In fact, he is my hero and my greatest role model. I am soooo lucky to have him as my grandpa........Bop I love you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newest Art Project

The newest art project. It is a foam beast but to me it looks like if Eric Cartman and a hot tamale candy had a baby

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Faux Chipboard Technique

This technique is from Bernie Berlin’s book Artist Trading Card Workshop: Create, Collect, Swap. I love it because you can always find the fun foam shapes on clearance for really cheap. This works great to alter pages in the children hard page books.

Page Spread
Fun Foam Shape (I used self adhesive)
Foam Paint Brush
Background Rubber Stamp
Acrylic Paints (black, light color and dark color)
Bristle Paint Brush

1. Seal the page with a coat of gesso. Let dry.
2. Apply fun foam shapes. I cut some in half to apply along the edge.
3. Using foam paint brush paint over the foam shapes. Make sure to cover the edges of the shapes. Let dry. Apply a second coat if needed. Let dry.
4. Paint over with acrylic paint in a light color. I used light pink. Let dry.
5. Dry brush the darker color over the lighter color allowing some of the lighter color to show through. I used a fuchsia color. Let dry.

6. Apply black acrylic paint on the background stamp. Lightly stamp only on the foam shapes to give them some depth. Let dry.
7. Decorate the page.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight lived up to the

Twilight lived up to the hype. I enjoyed it and was glad we went to the first showing so I did not have any expectations.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

24 hrs and I will

24 hrs and I will be watching the midnight showing of Twilight. I am obsessed with the books.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my favorite room

This is my view from our is one of the favorite things about our condo

cool it worked

cool it worked

I am trying to set

I am trying to set up mobile blogging. Once this is in place watch out I will be a blogging fool. Might even take Sue a run for her money.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lisa Kaus's Class

What saying "Lisa Kaus's Class" is a tongue twister, but well worth it what a great teacher. I took a class from her in July at her home studio...that happens to be in the town next to me. My friend Denise had enrolled in the class first and I enrolled on a whim but I am so glad I did. This is the first time I have been taught how to use acrylic paints to get deep rich applications of paint. You can really see it in the house creations.

The first day we worked on birthday cake boxes. The base is wooden boxed glued together. The top box opens to hide treasures.

The base color was a Tiffany inspired blue that I embellished with a lime like green color and white stamp impressions. I stamped Peaceful on it since that is what the finished piece (peace....hahaha) made me feel. The top of the cake is embellish with a vintage deer I had bought at a recent estate sale. The deer is on a daisy Lisa helped me develop because I was stuck on how to give the top deer more presences. Diamond dust was glued on to imply snow. Some old twine was wrapped around tacking nails for the lid and then cooper tape was wrapped around the base of the top box.

The bottom of the cake was painted the same way as the top piece but instead of works I did large dots of vintage text. I distressed some carnival tickets to wrap around the bottom with accents of my newest favorite thing, plastic beads. (As a side note, my mom had olive green ones hanging in one of our bathrooms in the 70s.) I then used tacks to attache the frilly fringe. I love to juxtapose the frilly with the hard coldness of the the hardware tacks.

Lisa really encouraged us to incorporate all the sides in our pieces. I think I did a nice job including them without over powering the front or back.

The second day we did whimsical house. Houses really resonate with me and so I really love doing this piece. You can really see the deep color I achieved with Lisa's Painting techniques.

This drawer pull was something I found in a free box a few weeks before the class. When I picked it up I was not sure how I would use it so I dropped it in my purse and forgot about it. In class, some of the example used old door nobs on them. I instantly remembered the pull and decided to build the piece around it instead of the bird I originally had as inspiration.

The roof is a collection of vintage text laid out in a hodgepodge fashion then a light glaze of miceous oxide was brushed over it. I think the slight tint of black makes the roof seem like it is was back in London in the 19th century with the coal dust covering everything.

I was really stuck on what to put in the middle between the door and window. I had the gold numbers and since #58 is the condo number of where I live it was perfect. But just placing the numbers on the house seemed dull. Lisa suggested using some cooper. At first I did not really like it but I was willing to trust her. Once the beeswax was applied it developed the perfect patina for the piece.

I have a ton of keys and I love to hang them off pieces of works. To me it gives it a lot of movement.

On the side you can see I placed tacks and on this side I nailed wooden stars I distressed.

Lisa was a great instructor and it was so much fun to be at her home studio. I plan to take some more classes from her.

The house hangs on my patio and the cake box is at work impressing me all the time at how much I like it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Artfest Drum Roll please

Here are the classes I am taking during ArtFest

I am taking
Portable ShadowBox Shrine Laurie Mika on Thursday
Central Casting with Marcia and Ty Shultz on Friday
Whose your Dada with Linda and Opie O'Brien on Saturday.

I am so excited....All of these classes are outside my paper comfort zone. I have both the Mika and O Brien books and have wanted to do more with the skills. Mika focuses on polymer clay and the O'Briens use a lot of metal. I have never done any mold (mould) making or casting so this is a huge jump for me. But hey that is what classes are for.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am going to artfest

Ok after all the worries about not getting into Artfest I did the only think left to do was figure out a way to pay for the event. Providence (Divine power not the hospital system) intervened and I found that some money I have been waiting for will be coming through so I will be able to pay for it and have enough money to take a local class with Deryn Mentock that my friend Denise set up. So right now I am feeling art blessed.

Of course, as a person living with an anxiety disorder I am anxious about my swaps. I thought about doing an updated version of the yarn octopus I had as a kid. I wanted to make them more grungy and scary then the cutesy ones....but I am stomped with how to do it. I know I will substitute felt eyes that are scarier than the googly eyes. I might use darker fibers that are more bumpy. So stay tuned to see how this turns out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Artfest jitters

I am so nervous. Today is the due date for artfest 2009....ok it is the due date for the post date but still the same. I am going with 3 other art tarts and possibly more. This event is something I have looked to do since I learned of it. My friend Pilar went one year and loved it. I never could go when I lived in NOLA because it takes place in Washington State and conflicts with my "nephew" Cole's bday. I always choose to fly back to spend time with Cole instead of Artfest. But now that he is older....having old people around on his birthday is not fun. Plus now that I am back to living in Oregon I see him more often.

So this year I am going. Keep your fingers cross that I get the class I wanted. Really I am not worried about that because all the classes are so cool I could take anyone of them and be happy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Everyong needs a good friend

Wally is Roux D's older brother. He is from the same mom but has a different father. Their mom gets around. Wally is owned by my friend Anna.

I met Anna at work. It was my first job after moving back to Oregon. I was thrilled to meet someone just as obsessed with corgis as I was. When I met her I had my second corgi Betsy and she had not yet received Wally. But we bonded instantly over Corgis.

When Betsy died, Anna told me about Wally's mom getting ready to have her next litter. So I contacted the breeder.

So Roux D became ours. They have very similar eyes but Roux is long and thinner than Wally.

They have really become good friends and when they are together they just run and wrestle and don't forget heard other dogs. In fact, at the dog park they really work as a team to get the other dogs where they need to be.

Catching up with Altered book techniques

Not only did I neglect my blog the last few month I neglected my duties on the Yahoo Altered book technique person. So I have promised to post a technique a week until I catch up.

Here are two techniques with something I bet everyone has in their stash. The background one I learned years ago in girl scouts then was reintroduced to by Claudine Hellmuth at Art and Soul 2006. The 2nd one was something I learned from Scraptastic!: 50 Messy, Sparkly, Touch-Feely, Snazzy Ways to Jazz Up Your Scrapbook Pages by Ashley Calder. I have yet to try it but I thought I would present it since it uses the same thing as the background technique.

Masking Tape Background

Gel Medium
Masking tape (any size, though I like to have a variety of sizes)
Paint brushes
Paint very liquid paint works best like fluid acrylics or watercolors


1. Seal your page with gel medium. Let dry.
2. Apply masking tape to your page. You can do it randomly or in some sort of pattern.
3. Paint liquidy paint over the tape. It will be darker around the edge of the tape.
4. Let dry.

Embellished Masking Tape

Non stick craft sheet or wax paper
Paint brushes and paint of your choice
Stamps and inks


1. Lay out non stick craft sheet. Lay out masking tape close together, not overlapping but so close it looks like a solid page.
2. Decorate as you wish. You can paint them; you can draw or doodle on them with markers, stamp on them or a combination of any of these techniques.
3. Let dry.
4. Carefully peel tape off non stick sheet. Apply to page as you wish. You can apply them randomly or keep the pattern you created.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I have returned

I am so so so sorry. I am sorry to ignored you. I have not had consistent Internet access since May and so I could not blog. I have not had Internet access because I took sometime off work to reorganize my life. In October of last year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The symptom that impacts myself the most is the extreme fatigue. In May, I realized I could no longer be a case manager because I just did not have the energy. I spoke with my doctor who agreed and so applied at work for reasonable accommodations and I got them. I know work part time with a different population as a therapist. I am enjoying it and glad to be back in a social work capacity.

I promised to return to blogging at least once a month. I will start getting new pics and new techniques up as well as I am some exciting news and stories to share.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tag You Are It

Tag You're It!
Well, I've been tagged by Dawn. The rules are:
1. Once you are tagged you have go to their blog and let them know.

2. Post THE RULES on your blog.

3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.

4. Tag 7 people and link to them.

5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Here are seven random facts about me:
1. I have only grown 3 ft 8 inches since I was born. I was born 24 inches long. This coming from two short people was just this side of a miracle.
2. I really did meet my boyfriend on a internet dating site and no he is not a freak.
3. Coolest place I have ever lived was I spent a summer living in a tree house that hung over the Sandy River. I was only attacked by a squirrel once in the 3 months.
4. I decided to be come a social worker after seeing the movie Long Time Companion.
5. The first car I ever owned was a '73 super beetle. It had a sun roof and I loved that car. I should never have sold it.
6. I know the exact date I started doing art seriously. March 28th, 2000.
7. Sappy as it sounds my all time favorite song is Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce.

PS I am not going to tag anyone else because I think everyone I know has been tag a dozen times. See what you get for being so slow.

Why you should never answer your email on payday

Ok no one really gave me that advice but boy I wish they had. Why you may ask?....well the one thing that keeps me from spending money is not to have money. So when people talk about all these great classes they are taking and how they have just had an opening I can ignore them. Oh but not this time, my friend Denise announced that Lisa Klaus had an opening for her class. When does Dear Denise send this email, on payday so my bank account was flush. Never mind rent was due or anything else.....I enrolled in the class. Actually I am glad the class looks kicken and I really Love Lisa's work. But gosh next time Denise could you do it a week after payday.


Here is a link to Lisa Klaus's art

Don't you love it too....aren't you jealous you are not going to the class......hold on I might have to sell it soon. HAHAHA

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring is here.

Here are some pictures of my most recent swap. I made these 13 flowers from scrap fabric, pipe cleaners, and some of my vintage beads. This swap is through Cooper Crow. It is really a group of women who are such incredible artists. I am just tickled to be invited into their swaps.

The pink fabric is a fat quarter of peacock material and the white petals are from fabric I created by taking an old sheet and rubber stamping on it with lumieres.

The golden rod fabric is s sheet that I got really cheap because it was defective. Still perfect for me. The colorful fabric is from a good bag I won on the van ride from Collage on Alberta to Art and Soul last October. I did not win this bag because my mom was the driver of the van, I won it because I was the only one on the van that trip. Hahaha

I learned this technique from Sister Diane at one of her classes she teach at the Multnomah Library. She does such a great job explaining the technique I am just going to quote her.

Kanzashi is the Japanese craft of folding squares of fabric, origami-style, into beautiful flowers. These are traditionally used in the elaborate headdresses worn by Geisha. But they're also fun to make into jewelry, magnets, toppers for special gifts, and they're awfully cute on a handbag.

I am not going to go into great detail about how to make the flowers just because it is Sister Diane's technique and really you should take the class from her to really understand. But I will tell you it is easier than you think.

For each flower, I cut 8 squares of fabric 3 inches by 3 inches. I cut 4 in the white and 4 in the darker color. Then I did the secret Kanzashi fold and then stitched them together. Glued on the vintage button with hot glue. Then glued the green pipe cleaner to the back and covered that with a circle of green felt. I twisted another pipe cleaner to create leaves.

See easy peasy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Altered Book Technique for Earth Day In Mind

This altered book technique is in honor of April 20th being earth day. This is a fun project using a old used dryer sheet.

I started doing this technique because John uses dryer sheets and when he is done they seem to float all over the house. I hate dryer sheets and don't use them because they seem to get everywhere.

Dryer Sheet Haze

Photo of entire lay out


Book to alter
Glitter the finer the better
Neutral Card stock
Xyron, double stick sheet or spray adhesive
Used Dryer Sheet (Cheap ones work great)
Sealer or Fixative

Close up of dryer sheet haze technique


Step 1. Stamp image on neutral cardstock.
Step 2. Color image or parts of image if desired.
Step 3. Run image upside down through Xyron machine to make the front side sticky.

Close up of dryer sheet haze technique at a different angel

Step 4. Peel backing from image and apply used dryer sheet over exposed adhesive.
Step 5. Trim dryer sheet.
Step 6. Pour glitter over top of image and rub into dryer sheet. Really rub it in. The longer the better because the dryer sheet holds the glitter in place.

Close up of dryer sheet haze technique at yet another angel

Step 7. Tap off excess glitter.
Step 8. Spray with sealer or fixative.
Step 9. With image face up, run though Xyron adhere to book.

Close up of the opposite page using a layered paint technique.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Boy Roux D

Now is he not the cutest little thing? This is my boy Roux D, pronounced like Rudy. He is 9 months old. He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He is so snuggly and sweet which is strange for a Corgi, usually they are independent though they like being near their people they do not necessarily give kiss and what to be held. Not so with my little guy. He loves it. He love so it he would probably walk over hot coals for loving. For example, last night I was working on some fabric flowers, I had petals with stick pins spread on the lap desk in front of me. Roux D wanted to snuggle so badly that he tried to walk over flower petals. When he got stuck he had this look on my face like "how could you let that happen to me." I broke my heart.
Roux D's interesting name is a collabroation between John, my boyfriend and me. Our other dog, Patches makes this sounds which is a howl but come out like "roo roo roo." John wanted a name that would be similar to that sound so Patches could call the puppy. I wanted a name that would reflect Louisiana. So we decided on Roux D or if the puppy had been a female it would have been La Roux. Roux D is the perfect name for a perfect puppy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wow it is Friday

Do you think that is the most common title for a blog? For me it is not that I am excited about having the traditional two days off....though I am....but I was off work for 3 days with a nasty flu. Since being diagnosed with MS I have noticed that when ever some yucky germ is going around the office I get it and I get it worse than anyone else. This week it was the flu everyone has had, but for twice as long.

I was home sick for 3 days. The first day getting out of bed even to walk the dogs was not fun. By Tuesday I was up and moving just not very fast or far. I did make it into the art room. I finished finish up my examples for the altered book technique for next month. I will post the pictures once I post the technique on the yahoo altered book group, I worked on some other trades and just played around. I did do some organizing too, but really the more I organize the worse it looks. I need my mom to help......Mom please. So needless to say, this does not feel like Friday.

If you want a sneak peak of the altered book technique come to DIY Lounge at Collage next Friday 3/28/2008 for a hands on instruction.

This weekend is Easter. Happy Easter to all the Christians. I will be going to the church of craft on Sunday with my sister and John. I have been collect neck ties....but boy are most of them really ugly and not girly. I hope I can vamp them up. I will have pics of the finished product.

After that we are meeting my grandparents, aunt and uncle for dinner.

Of course, I will be going to estate sales. I will update you on the most fabulous find of last week. I am so excited.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My dogs think they are the swiss miss

Here is my first video on the blog. It is of my two dogs laying next to each other not moving, but making all this noice like they are. It was so funny John and I were laughing so hard I had tears coming down my cheeks.

ATCs PDX Style

I facilitate an Artists Trading Card Swap at DIY Lounge at Collage on Alberta. Recent the day was changed to Friday. So this friday will be our first Friday Swap. If you are in the area please join us

ATCs Portland style Come join the fun! This free Artist Trading Card group meets monthly on the 3rd Thursday of each month to swap ATCs. Come meet other ATC artists in a relaxed, fun and supportive environment. Be prepared to swap at least 5 ATCs. Each month there will be a theme--- Interpret this theme as you wish. Did we mention it’s free???

Friday March 14th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Theme is Mr. Sandman Bring Me a Dream

collage creative classes & supplies for artists of all ages
1639 ne alberta street portland, or 97211


Monday, March 10, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The MS Walk

I have registered to be on a Team Kenneya for the Multiple Sclerosis walk in Portland, OR. It takes place on April 12th.

I was diagnosed with MS in October of 2007, so this is my first walk. If you can please support me in my walk.

Go here to donate or learn more about MS.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sweeper Sisters

How can you tell spring is here? A groundhog tells you? No....The birds sing.....No.....the scent of Daphne is everywhere?

It is that the weekends are filled with more and more Estate Sales. I love estate sales. The longer the person has lived in the house better because I am not looking for antiques I am looking for knickknacks, old office forms, vintage fabric and trim....or strange art supplies. That is what I love.

My sister is really the queen of the Estate Sales she finds them and plans them. She finds them on or craig's list.

We like to go on the last day of the sales....when traditionally the prices are cut in half or better. We sweep in and clean up on values. Just rake in the goods.

My sister and I have developed many traditions around saling. One is at the end of the day, we pick one item that we find and call it the find of the day.

Sunday's find for me was not even art related. It was an adult size bubble umbrella in perfect condition. The day before I said to my sister while at a sale, I wish I could find a bubble umbrella. And the next day at the first sale we find one. Now I would have paid a lot of money for this item. But the best part was it at a sale originally for $2 (which is a steal as well) but the sale was clearing things out for 75% off. For 50 far the greatest treasure ever.

That sale was a Kevin Bowers sale. I just love him. We spent $11 and got so much stuff......even found a copy of the Artist's Way which I already have but they books were free so I took it. I also found a mini crock pot for bees wax for 12.5 cents. I could not pass it up.

Saturdays item was a big wool orange sweater hand made that fit and is the perfect thing to wear around the house. A bit much for $10 but it was a once in a life time find.

Other traditions I have is I like to investigate the people who use to live there. Try to figure out what they did for a living and what was important to me. I am a voyeur why else do you think I am a social worker. When there are more than two or three each weekend, then plotting to get to the best ones early enough because a study in navigation.

So get ready next week is almost here.

I am obsessive about art

Here is a list of all the art related yahoo groups I am in. I am pretty quiet on all the list since I check my email through my phone on most days. But boy does it help the with my technique jonz. In fact, this queen of technique posted the March technique for the altered book yahoo group. The slider page. When I get a better pic of it I will post it here.






















Monday, February 25, 2008

Hold your breathe

Ok I admit it. I am a procrastinator. When I am creating art I seem to thrive under the threat of a deadline.

For example, I was in a swap for an altered bag which was due in Connecticut on Saturday (2/23). I have been signed up since the first of the year. When did I get it in the mail? Tuesday the 19th and to top it off on Wednesday it got returned to me for more postage. So I jumped into my car and run it to the USPS added the postage. Holding my breathe that it would get there on time. did but it was the last bag to arrive. Ok this is the part where I commit to being more timely. Yeah right.....stay tuned to see how it goes.

In the beginning.......

Ok I always have a hard time with introductions. I waffle between sounding arrogant or self deprecating. I wish I could just jump in and not have to do it but it seems rude not to let you know why I am entering the blogosphere.

Mainly, because people tell me I should. Or they ask if I blog. Now don't think me a lemming and doing what the crowd does but some of these people I trust and admire so I thought why not.

Another reason is.....I do a lot of art and this is a great way to share it.....track it and archive it.....

Another reason....I like to rant and always have an opinion.........

Another reason I am a news junkie and I know everyone wants to know my opinion....

Another reason is keeping a journal has always been a great mental health tool and why not do it this way.

See I told you I liked to rant.