Wednesday, May 18, 2016


If you were a child of the 60s, then you no doubt grew up to Beatles music.
I loved Paul McCartney and John Lennon and as probably THOUSANDS of other 
starry-eyed young girls, I was convinced that I would someday marry Paul.

Well, that never happened but my love of Beatles' music remained.

I am sharing a new (to me) Andy Skinner splash technique featuring an image transfer of John Lennon on an 8x8 canvas.  You can see this canvas and the complete pictorial tutorial on DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.

I posted a bit of a teaser on my blog yesterday.  Today I thought I would share my newest splash image transfer canvas; Paul McCartney.

He's a bit different than John but basically the same techniques were used on both.  "Let It Be" are Making Memories rub on letters that I've had forever.  But, I love how they look on this canvas.  I will be hanging John and Paul side by side in my art studio.

For the complete pictorial tutorial on how to do these techniques, hop on over to the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog.  It's a really fun and easy project!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Hello everyone!

I'm back with a really FUN project for DecoArt Media's Mixed Media Blog.

How about combining random splashes and a photo transfer together on a colorful canvas?  Sound difficult?  It's NOT!  But it IS loads of fun and you really need to try this!

Here's a sneak peak at what you will find over at DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.  

I'll give you a hint ... do you love mixed media AND John Lennon?

I hope you'll enjoy my step by step pictorial tutorial and it will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and just GO FOR IT!  

Friday, May 6, 2016


Happy May everyone and welcome to my blog!

This month at Creative Carte Blanche, the lovely and talented Cheryl Grigsby is hosting our latest art adventure.  She is challenging us to stretch our creativity to include 3 W's ... using something WOODEN, WILD and WORD.

I have created a vintage shabby chic style miniature cabinet that I call "The Bird Chest".  This is a view of the chest with the doors open.

Here is a view with the doors closed.

And here is a side view of this sweet little chest.  

The 3 Ws for this challenge include:
  • Wooden - the chest
  • Wild - the birds
  • Word - "Fly" on the top of the chest and "Soar" on the back of the chest
Now I will happily take you through my steps in creating this new Spring home decor piece I already have found a spot for in my guest room.

The chest is approximately 6" tall.  I found this plain little chest at Michaels for $1.00.
I wanted to add some detail to the sides of the chest and I knew that I wanted it to be bird related so ...

I measured the sides of the chest, found an interesting feather clipart image on the internet and sized it to fit the sides of my chest.  Next I rolled out some Paper Clay and cut out around the feather image.

I added more detail to the feathers with my cutting tool after I cut out the shapes and set them aside to dry thoroughly overnight.  

In the meantime, I painted a light coat of DecoArt Burnt Umber acrylic paint over the wooden chest as a basecoat.

I have the most wonderful pieces of old German book text.  So I measured, cut and tore pieces to lay onto the shelves of the chest.  

And I loved that look so much that I decided to add more text to the back of the chest.  I glued them all in place using Matte Medium as a glue and then as a sealer.

I also tore a piece and adhered it to the back of the chest using Matte Medium as a glue and then sealer.  Let all of the text dry thoroughly.

Next I mixed Decoart paints and their Crackle Paint to get a soft salmon or peach-ish color.  I was hoping that I had not added so much paint to the Crackle Paint that I messed up the ratio and the paint would not crackle.

It didn't crackle a lot but it did still have some nice crackling and I loved the texture it produced.  I sanded off the rough edges and I was ready for the next step.

I added a layer of Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to the chest and wiped off the excess.  I rubbed most of the antiquing cream off.  I just wanted to leave a hint of "age" from the cream.

Next I began to add my complimentary color to the chest; my favorite ... teal!  Using a small brush, I began with the feathers on the sides of the chest.  I also added some black accents to the tips of the feathers and around the edges to make them stand out.

Then using my fingers, I rubbed a mixture of Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff and began applying the teal color to the chest itself; creating the shabby chic appeal.  I love working with my fingers because I get a much better feeling for the project when my fingers are gliding over it rather than a paint brush.

For the back of the chest, I created a "skin" using Matte Medium and a bird image I sized and printed off of the internet. I added the sentiment and printed out a couple of copies using an inkjet printer and regular copy paper.  If you have words on the image, be sure that you reverse them before you print them out.  

To do this "skin" technique, you simply brush a generous amount of Matte Medium over the image; brushing in one direction and removing all of the brush strokes possible.  Let dry.  Then add another coat of Matte Medium brushing in the opposite direction and let dry.  Finally, brush one more generous amount of Matte Medium over the image in the original direction and let dry thoroughly.

Once dry, wet the image and begin gently rubbing off the paper backing of the image. Continue this process until all of the paper backing is removed.  You will have to do this two or three times.  

Once as much of the paper backing as possible is removed, brush Matte Medium over the book text on the back of the chest.  Lay the "skin" in place over the book text, burnish out the air bubbles and brush Matte Medium over the image to glue it in place.  Then brush over the image to keep the pulpy backing from returning once the image dries again.  It is called a "skin" because you can still see the book text underneath the image.  It gives the image sort of a ghostly appearance.

To blend the bird image into the back better, I added some of my chest colors around the edges of my skin.

Next I finished up the exterior by adding more of the teal top coat using my finger.

Finally to the back of the chest, I added some Scrabble tiles that I had distressed much in the same way I did the small dominos below (see technique with next pictures).  I added the teal paint mixture over some of the tiles then edged them with DecoArt Carbon Black acrylic paint.  I also ran my fingers along the edges of the bird chest with the acrylic paint to better define the edges and age them.

Here is the completed back side of the chest.  I added a little bit of color to the bird using my Neocolor II watercolor crayons and a Detail Water Brush.  

I created a sweet little element to add to the top of my chest by first distressing a small domino with various acrylic paint colors and my fingers to give it an aged, distressed look.  Once that was dry, I added an image of small birds sitting on a branch that I sized to fit the domino.  I glued it in place using Matte Medium.  Once dry, I sanded off the edges to make them meld into the domino.  Then I brushed Matte Medium over the image to seal it.  Super easy to go but really a nice element to add to my bird chest.

After distressing a mini domino, I stamped "FLY" on it using small letter stamps.  I used black permanent ink so that the ink on the letters would not smear.  I gently heat set it and edged the domino with black paint using my finger.

Next I created some little bird books to put on the shelves of the chest.  These are so easy to do.

I found some images of bird book covers on the internet and sized them to fit my shelves.  Then I printed them out using my ink jet printer and left space to the left of the covers so that I could fold them over to create a "book".

I inked the edges of the book covers with a dark brown ink to age them.  I also cut little strips of paper to fit inside of the book covers.  I folded them in half, to represent interior pages of a book.  I inked the edges with the dark brown ink and then glued the pages together at the center fold using Glossy Accents.  Once I had glued 3 or 4 pages together, I glued them to the center fold on the book cover.  Wha-lah!  Instant miniature book!

I glued the two dominoes some miniature eggs I colored with a mixture Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff using my fingers and one book on to the top of the shelf along with a little excelsior grass with Glossy Accents.  Pretty cute!

Here is a closer look at the inside of the little bird chest.  I love how all of these elements are so sweet and fill up the shelves.  They were all glued into place using Glossy Accents.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog to check out my 3Ws project for Creative Carte Blanche.  I hope you'll join us by stretching your imagination to create a piece made of wood, something wild and including a word.  Then post it to our blog so that everyone can share in your creative process.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016


It's hump day and I'm playing "catch up" on some projects.

Our latest Wanderlust 2016 Word Prompt Pages had the theme "What happened today..."
I took that quite literally to mean what I actually had been doing the day I started my pages. 

I had started Spring cleaning my entire house and that became my inspiration for my art journal pages.  

I began pulling some tissue papers and napkins with various colors and images to use in my background.  I had absolutely no idea where the pages were going but it's always fun to get a background going.

Here is the beginning of the background; tissue papers and 2 ply napkins (with the excess backing papers removed) torn and laid randomly in place.  They are glued and sealed using DecoArt Media Matte Medium. 

I kept adding layers of napkins and Matte Medium.

Once I had all of the papers in place and they were dry, I started wiping some DecoArt Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff over the surface using a baby wipe to soften the colors and meld everything together a little better.

Then I followed that up with some starker DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White to give more contrast.  Finally, I added some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.  I am in LOVE with this stuff!  It adds such a richness, warmth and aged feeling to the pages with just a few swipes of a baby wipe.  I love how the little bird in the nest is peeking out of the right side and soon I would come to love it even more as I began working with my focal point ...

While my background was drying, I decided to start working on my focal point.  The first thing I thought of was Dina Wakley's Scribbly Birds stamps.  I think they are so cute and I wanted to use one for my pages.  The stamp was a bit too small so I scanned it and enlarged it to fit on my page.  Then I added a head kerchief and broom to fit my "Spring Cleaning" theme on a separate bird.

I traced it onto a piece of heavy cardstock and brushed over it with DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal it.  Then I could add paints, watercolor crayons, colored pencils; whatever I wanted to use.

I decided to use a combination of Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons and a Detailer Waterbrush, Prima Colored Pencils and a Black Permanent Micro Ink Pen to outline.  I also added polka dots to the kerchief using a stylus and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff paint.

I cut out the housecleaning little bird and glued her in place on my art journal page.  Then I penciled in the nest underneath her, the tree branches and the leaves.

Here are the pages before I painted in the details of the branches and leaves.

The first things I painted were the brown things: the nest, the branches.  These were done with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Raw Umber, Titan Buff and Burnt Sienna.  The leaves were basically painted in with the colors in the photo above.  I combined all of the green DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to colorize the leaves.

I added highlights on the leaves with the combination of the DecoArt paints shown in the photograph above.  Here you can see the progress of the art journal pages.

Next I penciled in "Spring Cleaning" and colored it in using a Permanent Black Micron Pen.

To add a light black mist to my pages, I used Tim Holtz' tool and a Black Soot Distress Marker.

Next I randomly added a crackle effect from Andy Skinner's faux crackle paint stamp from his Steampunk stamp set.  I love this stamp!!!  It's perfect for backgrounds!  

Then I added Seth Apter's text stamp from his ConText stamp set to add a little more interest to the background. Perfect for filling in the empty spaces without cluttering the pages too much.

I finally added a few musical notes that I drew in using a Black Permanent Micron Marker and it's all finished!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you'll make some time to play and let your creativity take over!

Friday, April 8, 2016


I love art journaling!  

Yet I have to admit that I was petrified of trying it in the beginning because:
  • I didn't think I could do it.
  • I thought of art journaling as regular journaling; lots of writing where all of my private thoughts and feelings could be exposed for the whole world to see.
  • I didn't have anything valuable to say that people would really be interested in seeing.  After all, I am just a normal person; not complicated or all the "deep" with unbounded knowledge to share.
But I have found that art journaling really is so much fun and nothing like I had envisioned it to be.  It is a wonderful form of self expression.  It can be "deep" and thought provoking or it can just be whimsical and fun ... because it is YOUR ART and therefore it can be whatever you want it to be.  

Once you get past those roadblocks, a whole new creative adventure awaits!

Through Wanderlust 2016's biweekly word prompt journal (as a part of their yearlong online classes), I am discovering things about myself and where my art takes me that have really been eye opening.

A recent word prompt was "My Past".  Just reading those words made me so reflective of my life's story; where I came from, who helped mold me along the way, my life today and where I'm heading on this journey called "life".

So these two art journal pages were created to tell my story in pictures.  From my actual birth announcement to just this past week at my first grandson's first flag football game; my life has been rich and full of blessings.

I decided to create puzzle pieces out of my photographs as if my life where a big jigsaw puzzle with all of the pieces interconnecting and fitting perfectly together once arranged.

The background was created using DecoArt Media gesso first as a base.  Then I added cardstock with time pieces on it to emphasize the passage of time along with some floral napkins on the outsides to give these pages a sweet, feminine quality.  I covered the pages with DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal them and then added DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to give them an aged, sepia tone.  I added DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey around the edges to sort of frame the pages.  

The first page begins with my birth certificate and the puzzle pieces wind around from my 1st birthday picture, a spring day with my older brother when I was barely 2, Kindergarten Western Day to cherished family photographs.

The second page begins as a Junior in high school where I was on the dance team and met my future husband.  We dated and married and were blessed with two beautiful children.  They brought so much joy to our lives and now that joy has been multiplied with four beautiful grandchildren.

I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" and I know that the people who have been placed in my life's path have also been placed there for a reason.  God is so good and I trust Him completely as I continue on this wonderful journey.

If you don't art journal, I encourage you to give it a try.  It's a wonderful way to explore your own creativity and maybe even allow yourself to open up a whole lot of wonderful memories.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!