Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday "Baby"

She's 4!

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party for 30 Kids
(a.k.a. what was I thinking)

Four already!? We took a picture of Kendra in her nursery rocker every month of her first year and every birthday thereafter. I have the, "just home from the hospital" picture, the "baby slumping into the corner of the chair" picture, the "toddler who refuses to show her face to the camera" picture, the 2 year old, "too busy to stay in one place" and "look! Here's my bottom" pictures and last year's, "I don't care if it's my birthday, I'm not gonna smile for you" picture and now this: the "my day is finally here and I am A BIG GIRL now" picture. It is a cliche to say that it all goes so fast, but . . . but . . . sigh . . .
Happy, Happy Birthday My Love!
(I don't even know how to describe how much I love you)

MMM: Song

MMM: "Someone to Watch Over Me"
5 X 7 Canvas Panel

This week's Mixed Media Monday challenge was to create a piece of art inspired by a song. My "baby" is four today (Happy Birthday My Love!) and I can't help but hope that she will be joined by a sibling soon. As you may know, our beautiful girl came to us by way of adoption and now that she is old enough to understand some of what that means, she asks almost daily for another baby. The song that kept playing over and over in my head was "Someone To Watch Over Me" as I can just picture her loving and protecting any baby brother or sister that may come along.

This piece was created using a 5 X 7 canvas panel that was covered in sewing pattern tissue paper, fabric and a vintage piece of music before being topped with an ATC of Gesso relief, acrylic, vintage ledgers, vintage wallpaper and vintage children's illustrations (and of course a single Swarovski crystal). It is meant to represent Kendra watching over "her (future) baby."

Thank you for looking! To see all of the wonderful work on Music/Songs, check out

Sunday, September 20, 2009

MMM: Metal

MMM: 8 X 8 Hardware "Chandelier"

Detail of Underside

Detail of Top

In Room

Home Depot Field Trip

This week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, "Metal / Metallics" proved to be a real challenge for me. My first instinct was to create something using metallic paint on canvas. But really, that would have been a crutch. I love metallic paint and use it so often that I decided this time, I would force myself to try something new. So, with no idea in mind, I headed to Home Depot for inspiration. After searching isle after isle (copper piping, duct work, drywall repair patches and tiny screws were cool) I finally decided upon a long link of chain and a two bags of nuts and washers. I left with the idea of creating a chandelier for Kendra's room, but I had absolutely no clue how I would make it happen.
After struggling with the logistics of creating a chandelier out of a few washers and chain (oh, and make it pretty!), I decided to start with the base, and choose a 8 X 8 chipboard book cover. I covered it in fabric and painted it using a Tim Holtz mask and watered-down acrylic. I then painted the belly (had to look good from underneath too) and punched holes around the entire perimeter. From there, I used a combination of the Home Depot nuts and washers (painted in soft colors to match her room), discarded chandelier crystals, pretty little baubles I had lying around my craft room and Swarovski crystals and beads, all hung from invisible stretchy cord. I ended up using the chain for hanging which was also embellished with paint and crystals. With any luck, it should sparkle up a storm in the afternoon light.
This is where I must mention how lucky I feel to have found Mixed Media Monday: I would have never done this without the prompt. And I have learned so much this week because of it: mostly, not to give up! I had to restrain myself throwing the thing across the room several times, but I stuck with it and look: a chandelier for my "baby's" room! Who said there was no magic in art?
For more pieces on "Metal", check out

Friday, September 11, 2009

MMM: Round

MMM: "The Orphanage"

The first thing that came to mind when challenged to do a piece in the Round was a color wheel. I love the way it spins, revealing new color combinations as it turns. Since Halloween is around the corner and the pieces I have done for Mixed Media Monday have thus far been bright and cheerful, I felt that it was time to change it up. So I played around (sorry, had to do it) until I came up with this, "The Orphanage."

The idea behind the piece is a view into the world of a haunted house of sorts, where the children within the walls (and behind the windows) are seemingly "normal" until you see them from a different angle. By turning the wheel just slightly, you can catch a glimpse of something a little off: a spider web creeping into the background, a wandering bat and even a witches hat on one of the little occupants. When viewed in it's entirety, "The Orphanage" is not what it first appears to be. . .

The piece above was made from two circles of heavy weight water color paper, one large and one small. The smaller of the two was covered in tissue paper, gel medium and fiber paste before being painted black and splashed with glitter. The "windows" are embellished transparencies and the "children" are taken from vintage post cards accented with crackle medium and stickers. I also used decorative papers, a ton of acrylic and secured it in the center with a brad that allows it to spin completely around. Thank you for looking! To see more pieces in the Round, please log on to

Humpty Dumpty . . .

I'm finding that with this (relatively) new blog of mine, I am finally finding my voice. In a way, it gives me permission to explore some of the things and variations of art that before this, I have only dreamed about. And the more art I create, the more online challenges I participate in, the more passionate about it I become. Okay, perhaps a better word is obsessed . . .
Which brings me to the checkout line at JoAnn's the other day where I spotted the new issue of Somerset Studio's Art Journaling and I was so excited that I actually gasped. And clapped. For real. Needless to say, it came home with me, and I have been devouring it's contents ever since. But the difference between the years of being a loyal Somerset reader and now, is that my fancy new blog has given me the courage to actually do the art in my head instead of just dream about it.
So, new inspiration by my side (really, it's right here), I humbly submit to you my first ever art journal page. I don't know why this image of Humpty Dumpty spoke to me, but if I really think about it, I suppose that I am little like the nursery rhyme character: I have had a great fall (in a good way) into the yet unknown and I don't want to be put back together again. I like it here. . .

Sunday, September 6, 2009

MMM: Time of Day

MMM: "Curfew"
9 x 12 Canvas Detail

Kendra (helping Daddy) make a frame for Mommy

As you can see, this week's Mixed Media Monday challenge was a real family affair. I was happy with the finished canvas, but felt that it still needed a little something to make the colors really pop. So, I searched the house for something I could use to create a frame. When I discovered this piece of molding in the corner of our garage, I knew I had found it. Now all I had to do was convince Dave to cut it for me. Since I did buy him that fancy miter saw a while back, he was happy enough to oblige. The added bonus was the extra help I received from my tiny carpenter. How cute is that?

When prompted to do a piece using an image featuring a Time of Day, the first thing I thought about was how the sky looks as it is about to set. I love the bright pinks and oranges it brings and well, one thing led to another until I had this finished piece, "Curfew."

I used Gesso (in relief), yellow, orange and pink ink, vintage and scrap papers, acrylic, colored pencils, white gel pen, charcoal, a ton of matte gel medium (loved the way it brought the dried ink to life!), glitter and (of course) a single Swarovski crystal at the "home's" door.

Happy accident / lesson learned this week: If you (impatiently) apply white paint on top of (still wet) silicone caulking (used in the corners of the frame), the areas in which the cocking was applied will crackle. . . Love that!

Thank you for looking, I look forward to next week's challenge. To see all the wonderful contributions this week, please check out

Saturday, September 5, 2009

For The (love of) Birds . . .

Terracotta vase and Anthropology sugar bowl

Birdhouses on the windowsill

"Birdies" under glass (kitchen nook centerpiece)

"Use the talents you possess -- for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the very best." - Henry Van Dyke