Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

needle and thread

hand stitching is a meditative practice
needle and thread move up and down
breath moves in and out
thoughts cease spinning
ideas begin to flow

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

pink flamingos

I like to play with bottle brush trees every year.
This year Lucy McGillicuddy had some input.

The super easy how to:
(kids love this project too)
Darice Sisal Trees from the craft store
Wooden spool or some other base
Acrylic paint
mod podge

First, I dilute the bleach (about 1T bleach to 12 oz water). Then I soak the trees in the diluted bleach, one at a time, about 5 minutes. They come out a pale green - which is nice too. I give them a good rinse and let them dry. Once they're dry, I paint them with watered down acrylic paint. Thinning your paint will give you better coverage without clumping. When the paint is dry, you're ready for glittering. I just brush on some mod podge and then shake on some glitter. Ultra fine glitter is a what is a like to use, but chunky glitter would look great too. Last step is painting the wooden base under the tree a fun bright color and when that's dried, gluing it onto a base if you want to.

I hope you liked this little how to ... chances are you've already been there and done that ... and I'd love to hear your own twist on the tale. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

from the car

I love taking pictures from the car
the motion adds a dreamlike quality
I usually am the passenger
I never really know what I captured until I get to the editing stage
only 1 out of 10 shots is any good
but when there's a good one ....
it takes my breath away

Friday, November 28, 2014

as promised a few weeks ago

book cover boxes
(a how to)

a few weeks ago I posted about pocket poems - which are actually a by-product of my book cover boxes

Any hardcover book covers will do.
I get my books on the free shelf at my local thrift store.
They're mostly business books or textbooks
(nothing to fret about sacrificing)

I first mark out lines on the back side. 
For this example I marked a line 1 1/4" inside from each edge.

Next, I cut out the corners.
I use scissors for this.

Then I flip it over and using my ruler and an xacto knife,  I score each side that will be folded.

This is how it looks after folding

I like to finish the edges with paper.
These are 1 1/2" inch strip of paper that I will fold in half and glue over the edges.

Sobo glue works the best for paper to paper gluing. 

Then I tie a ribbon to hold all the sides firmly in place. Voila - a cool box for pencils, paintbrushes, oddments, or a sweet gift.
With the left over squares I make the pocket poems

I back these with home made marble paper and line the edges with copper foil tape.

I hope you enjoyed this how-to ... 


Sunday, November 23, 2014


it's been a whirlwind here these last few weeks with getting ready for an open studio event in my home yesterday 
... and now I am breathing again!

(the tall guy putting out my signs)

(Lisa Lee from Inchie Arts demonstrating technique)

(Roof and Floor and their gifts for the home)

(art and cards from Mary Klump Studio)

(my dining room table transformed into a beautiful mess of color)

I got so busy, I forgot to take more photos ... so I'll have to give you some word descriptors:

sharing ideas
making connections
de - isolating (is that a word?)
uncovering dreams
discovering hopes
meeting kindred spirits
learning to play again

get the picture?

The biggest thing for me was the de-isolating.
I have worked for so long in my own little virtual world - enjoying connection but missing contact. It just feels so good to come together. And we all agree to do it again, to play some more, and to dream together.

Friday, October 31, 2014

the next indicated step

So, last blog post, I showed you my 2" pocket poems in progress. I'd been puzzling over what to do to the backs - and in the end the obvious answer was marbled paper. Besides, it's the traditional backing for vintage book covers (alas, these books were not vintage enough).

I researched it and tried 2 different techniques. These are the papers I made this morning - luscious is the word that comes to mind. Read on for the good old "how to's." If you are working with kids, process #2 is a great fit.

Process #1 (for use with alcohol inks)

You will need:
Alcohol ink
Large tray
Copy paper or construction paper
Paper towels

Fill your tray with water. Drop ink colors onto the surface of the water. Many drops, applied gradually, and alternating colors. (There are several you tube videos showing this step much more easily than I can explain it.)

You want a "marbled" look. You can best achieve that by gently stirring the water with a chopstick or blowing on the surface of the water with a straw.

Carefully lay your paper onto the surface of the water allowing it to float and soak up the layer of ink. Lift it out, let it drip for a moment, then blot on a paper towel. Done. Now wasn't that easy?

Process #2 (for use with water base ink or paint)

You will need:
A cookie sheet
Shaving cream (not the gel kind)
A rubber spatula 
Ink or paint diluted in water
Paint brush or eye dropper
Copy paper or construction paper
Paper towels

Squirt out some shaving cream onto your upside down cookie sheet and spread in a thin layer with your rubber spatula. It's a little bit like frosting a cake.

Add color in random drops. Two or three colors work well. More than that and you will get mud.

Use a chopstick to swirl the colors. The easiest way is to go back and forth and up and down.

Lay your paper down on top of the shaving cream/ink and gently pat it into the surface. Let it rest there for about 3 minutes. 

Lift off and wipe and excess shaving cream off with a paper towel. That's it. Easy as pie.

Note- The reason for two processes is that water base inks will not float on water. I offer you two ways to make marbled paper so you can make a choice based on what materials you have.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

pocket poems

After another project (to be blogged another time) I had these wonderful 2" square pieces of book covers.

One thought led to another one and the end result was pocket sized poems. 

These are of the "found poem" variety - which I read recently is what the Dada art movement used. Even David Bowie writes his lyrics this way.

I keep my interesting snips in this little pastry tin.

I still have some finishing to go on these - edges, the back, etc. I'll show you the end result in my next post - and the other book cover project too. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

I heart etsy

Today, Etsy is launching the new card reader for your mobile device - for use with their app "Sell on Etsy." This makes it possible to seamlessly combine your online shop with offline activity (fairs, markets, friends, etc)

Not only is the app free - but the card reader is too.

Read more here: