"The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit,
the greater your capacity to create."

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday, December 31, 2010

Creepy Cottages

For Halloween, our Paper Traders group had a Creepy Cottages swap.  This is my creation, featuring a cute birdie from ArtChix.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out with the old... In with the new...

On the day before leaving town to visit my family for Thanksgiving, I managed to total my car.  The accident was my fault and an embarrassingly stupid move on my part.  Thankfully, no one was seriously injured - it could have been so much worse - but my subcompact 2004 Hyundai Accent didn't fare too well against a Dodge Ram pickup!  I finally got out of my rental and into a new (at least new to me) car - a 2010 Hyundai Elantra with power, cruise, and lots of nice little amenities I had been doing without.  Alas, they came with a car payment attached but at least I have something nice, newer, and reliable to get around in.

On a lighter note, I had a wonderful time visiting my family in Wyoming over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I arrived just in time for the traditional dinner, sacrificed sleep for some Black Friday shopping deals, had a Harry Potter movie marathon with my nieces, went to kindergarten with my youngest niece, watched another niece perform admirably at her swim meet, helped my mom rearrange her art studio, and managed to read a novel and complete an art piece in the process.  Not a very restful vacation but definitely a fun and special one!

This is the art piece I completed on my vacation.  It was my birdhouse-themed contribution for the Fifth Anniversary swap on Paper Traders.  The couples featured are my grandparents and great aunt & uncle  =)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Crafts

 These are two items I made for Christmas swaps on Paper Traders - some inchie ornaments (made with Tim Holtz fragments) and a paper ATC ornament.

Below are some handmade Christmas cards I made - and donated - for my women's church group...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Naked Postcards

I'll bet that caught your attention, huh?  Actually, it just refers to mailing art without an envelope - such as in the case of these postcards I made:

The theme for this Paper Traders swap was one "zetti" postcard and one "steampunk" postcard.  I'm not sure I quite captured the themes in their true intent but I'm not unhappy with the results.  A big thanks to Lorna for hosting this one - it was fun!

Asian Charms Box

Just wanted to quickly share a photo of the box I made for my 16 color charms...

The wooden frame that I used for the base was a dollar store find!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Spam Allowed

Sorry, everyone, but I keep getting spam comments here so I have had to turn off posts from anonymous users and enable comment moderation.  I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.  Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the Spirit of Crayola

Liz is hosting a token/charm swap in our Paper Traders group.  Her theme is the 16 colors that come in a box of Crayola crayons: red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet, red-violet, carnation pink, brown, white, and black.

I gave mine a common theme by using various asian papers for each one.  I got the idea from vintagepix' button charms that I saw on Flickr.  It took a little trial and error but I finally figured out the secret for doing these without too much mess...

I adhered the paper behind the clear buttons (which I got from Stampin'Up!) using crystal lacquer (diamond glaze, papier glass finish, etc.) but I had trouble with it oozing out through the buttonholes when I pressed them together.  My solution was to cut the ends off of some cheap cotton swabs that had plastic stems (like tiny straws) - they fit perfectly in the holes and the excess glaze oozed up inside the straws instead of all over the front of the buttons... then I placed my finger over the top of the straw when I removed each one, creating a tiny vacuum that sucked out the excess goo!

All I need to do now to finish this project is to make a cute little storage/display box...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

San Diego, here I come!

 (photo from www.vroomvroomvroom.com)

Lately, my posts have been infrequent at best.  I wish I had some new art to show you but I've been spending what little spare time I have sorting things to give away...  You see, I've decided to move back to San Diego this summer!

I am super excited to be going back - I miss all my friends so much and I will even be returning to my old job.  My bosses and coworkers in San Diego are awesome people and dear friends so it's going to be really nice to get to work with them again.

In the meantime, I am trying to pare down all my stuff to the bare minimum.  I'm getting rid of all my "big" clothes - so I won't even be tempted to let any of those old pounds climb back on!  Lots of extra shoes, videos, old computer equipment, linens, craft supplies, and most of my furniture.  I still have tons to do and I know the next two months will fly by - I'm planning to move over Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May.

The most important thing still to do is find an apartment! For those of you who are in the area, let me know if you've got any good leads  =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Altered Puzzle Pieces

I am hosting an altered puzzle piece swap on Paper Traders - the theme is Four Seasons and these are my entries.  I followed Barb & Bevlea's technique and it was a ton of fun!  I love the glassy finish you get from the Dimensional Magic - pretty cool  =)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yippee for Me - A New Book!

Today my mailbox held a fabulous prize... a new book, Stitch Alchemy, that I won from the beautiful and generous Kim!  I am so excited about this book because I have been wanting to learn these techniques of combining paper and fabric collage.  Thank you so, so much, Kim!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be Happy

This is my entry for this month's winner-take-all ATC lottery on Paper Traders - another fun and funky collage a la Teesha Moore!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Renaissance Women

On Paper Traders, Connie is hosting a Gothic Arch swap - the pages will be added to the deco books we made last year.  The theme this time is "Renaissance Women" and I wanted to use works that were a little lesser known.  I chose women who where all painted by Il Bronzino - in most cases, these women were background characters in his works.  For example, these women...

...can be found in this fresco:

And these two women...

...are found in this painting:

The backgrounds on these arches have more texture than really shows in the scans.  I glued down torn vintage (gothic) texts and then covered with napkins or tissue paper.  I used my gold leafing pen to finish the edges of each page.  On each of them, I added accents with metallic & pearlescent paints and more touches with my gold pen!

Here are the rest of the pages I made...

Congrats to my OWOH Winners!

Using the generator on Random.org, I have picked 3 winners for my paper giveaways.  Drumroll, please...

Congrats to -

Cathy Horner
Anji Gallanos

Please send me an email with your mailing information so that I can send your goodies right away!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit.  I hope you'll come back soon  =)

Friday, January 29, 2010

One World One Heart 2010


Lisa "oceandreamer" Swifka started the ONE World-ONE Heart event in 2007. The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people and, in the process, possibly win a prize along the way. This is more than wanting to win something - it's about finding kindred spirits. It transcends geographical location, social economics, political affiliation, religious beliefs... it's a coming together like the giant community we are on this planet. If only it took a simple giveaway to create PEACE everywhere! In the meantime, here we give from our hearts. We are not solving the world's problems nor are we curing anything nor are we changing the world. We are merely generating a closer community between humans through blogging. The mission of this event is to meet new people and them meet you. It is almost like being in a huge convention room where you meet and mingle - only the "hello my name is" badge is each persons blog.

I participated in this last year and it was so much fun! However, I almost didn't do it this year because I have been so busy but... I just couldn't help myself =) This year, I'm giving away some of my "stash" - fun items for paper collage. I laid these out on my bamboo floor mat for the photos... I guess that's kind of like a magic carpet, right?
There are 3 prizes up for grabs.

PRIZE #1 - Asian Ephemera:

PRIZE #2 - Specialty Paper Collection, includes handmade, mulberry, rice paper, etc:
(This prize will not be awarded to an international participant due to the real leaves, petals, seedpods, etc. that are in many of these papers)

PRIZE #3 - Tissue & Napkin Assortment:

You do not have to be a blogger to enter; just leave a comment below along with some way for me to contact you if you win (a blog link or email). I will draw 3 lucky names from all the comments on February 15th.

Please take some time to view my blog (or bookmark it for later =) and make sure you visit all the other OWOH participants! Have fun and GOOD LUCK!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Check out KC Willis...

KC Willis Studio offers on-line workshops where she teaches the basics of her techniques and inspires you to new creative heights: www.collagecamp.ning.com

There's also Mixed Media Mania where you take what you learned at Collage Camp and in these workshops KC teaches Altars and Shrines, Altered Books, and Works on Paper: www.mixedmediamania.ning.com

And for those of you already making art and wanting to know how you take it to the next level and get yourself a regional or national audience, she also has the super exciting Marketing Mindset: www.marketingmindset.ning.com

And if video workshops aren't your thing, how about KC Willis Live! You can take a multi-day class with KC in her very sweet Victorian studio house in Longmont, Colorado. Check it out at www.studioretreats.ning.com. (I'd really love to go there!)

(Okay, so if you've checked out KC's site, you'll see that this shameless little promo is my way of getting my hands on one of her FABULOUS hand-crafted creations... but I really am a fan of this gal's work =) Check out her blog, Lipstick Ranch, here: http://www.kcwillis.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 24, 2010


For all my dear friends and those of you who have been kind and generous with your time... I realize that I have lately been slow to acknowledge and respond to your posts. After reading Rice's post on etiquette today, this really was brought to my attention:

"...Respond to correspondence in a timely manner. RSVP, for [goodness] sake. They sent you an invitation; the least you can do is let them know whether or not you plan to attend. Answer your emails, return the phone calls, respond to the texts. If you don’t have time to do these things, you must let people know ahead of time, as in, “Here’s my email address, Sally, and you may use it at your will, but you’re not important enough to me to make it likely that I’ll respond any time in the foreseeable future. Just so you know.” Like that. This is one of the toughest for me, as I always leave The Fun Email, the personal correspondence, for last. Like cake. I do all the work stuff first. So sometimes the wonderful personal emails languish in the inbox for days and days while I take care of work. And that’s a shame. And I’m going to try to do better. Really I am. Am I too stuck in my ways to learn to, at least sometimes, go ahead and eat dessert first? Or, sheesh: to even begin to eat dessert at all?"

This blog - and all of the people I have connected with through it - are my candy, the sweet treat that I save to give it the time to formulate a well thought out reply. And I look at my inbox and realize that I am very far behind! I am sorry. Life has been very busy for me lately but I will try to do better. Please know that I truly do appreciate every single comment I receive and I hope you will continue to come and visit me here =)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


My Paper Trader friend, Lorri has had quite a creative frenzy and is sharing some of her resulting treasures... check it out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool Clip

The other day, while taking out the trash, I noticed this clip laying on the ground near the dumpster. I don't know exactly what it is for but I thought it was cool so I snagged it. If you have any clever ideas for what I should do with it, I'm open to suggestions... otherwise I'll just add it to my art stash until some future date when the perfect project presents itself =)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not Quite Beach Weather!

I made this ATC just for fun... a take on the record cold temperatures this year!

Secret Valentine Birdie

I'm just barely finishing up all the Christmas candies and treats and now the stores are full of tempting valentine sweetness! Makes it very hard to stick to my healthy eating goals...

In our Paper Traders group, we are having a secret valentine swap and this is the front of the card I made:
I made the background by tearing pieces of vintage text and music and layering them with some Perfect Paper Adhesive (love this stuff!). Then I covered it all with a layer of flower-printed tissue paper and added some rub-ons from EK Success. The little birdie was a pre-made embellishment from Prima but I made the lacy heart myself.

This background technique is my favorite - I've used it on several projects - it's super easy and always turns out so pretty!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


While I don't think it is ever okay to deface property, I do think that some forms of graffiti are very artistic. That was the inspiration for an ATC swap I'm hosting on Paper Traders. My rules were that it must be hand-drawn and not contain any profanity or nudity. These are the cards that I made. I colored the letters using a combination of oil pastels and Marvy markers... and a lot of elbow grease with my paper stumps.