June 07, 2017


For several months, I've single-handedly done everything necessary to get my parent's home ready to sell (sorting, packing, donating, scrubbing, painting, etc.) and it's been all-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. But I'm happy to report it's 90-percent done and I am starting to savor a sense of accomplishment. It has made me feel confident (like I can tackle anything now) and I have great expectations of good things to come.

I tell you this to explain the inspiration for my "alternative manly creation" made for Simon's Monday challenge this week. I'm so happy to have the time to make something!

Using a vintage pre-printed alterations tag, I created a background with Distress Oxides, cut and pasted the boys (from a printed digital image) and the "Fearless" text (from a Trader Joe's flyer) and added some Big Chat stickers. "No. 5" is a stamp from the Tim Holtz Correspondence stamp set.

May 25, 2017

Cat Nap

This week's theme on Simon's Monday challenge blog is Little Critters and I found myself pouring through my "stamp book" (I keep a record of all my stamp images in a 3-ring notebook) to look for one.

One benefit of participating is you end up doing or using things that you might not otherwise consider.

My tag was made by stamping (vintage Stampin' Up, circa 2001) on a notecard made by Prima, tinting it with colored pencils and a bit of Distress Ink, placing dots around the edges with black Scribbles (3D fabric paint) and using a few Remnant Rubs.

May 04, 2017


Ah, the merry, merry month of May...

The high temp today in my neck of the woods was 104°F.  A bit warmer than normal, to be sure, but pleasant just the same as May means the crowds are thinning out and the pace is beginning to slow--a precursor of the quiet peace that comes with the heat.

My tag was made to celebrate the great outdoors which is the theme this week for the Monday challenge blog at Simon Says Stamp.

It was an opportunity to use a new Tim Holtz stencil called Floral which I fell in love with after seeing Paula Cheney's Instagram post and was the inspiration for the colors I used.

Rather than use a monoprint technique as she did, I opted to use texture medium over a text background then sanded it down before tinting with Distress inks. The medium helped to resist the ink and retain the stencil pattern.

The moths were cut from a discontinued Tim Holtz paper stash called Kraft Resist which I tinted with Distress markers and a white gel pen. The text is from the new Idea-ology Clippings stickers.

I didn't use machine stitching for the accents because the texture medium just didn't want to feed through smoothly. So, I opted for my backup method which is a good technique for those who don't have a machine.

I use a piece of cardboard placed under the tag and punch holes for my hand stitching with a "pin tool." It's a leftover from my days making pottery but I think it would be easy enough to find a substitute to punch the tiny holes needed. Pre-punching makes the stitching so much easier and it's a curiously pleasant task!

It's also a great method when accuracy is a must as I have more control punching than I do keeping my foot steady on the sewing machine pedal. A simple backstitch is all it takes to complete it.

April 23, 2017

Delicious Food

"Candy is delicious food." That's what it says right on the wrapper and so it must be true. And this candy bar is also "rich in dextrose, the sugar your body uses directly for energy." Who doesn't need some of that!?

This old wrapper (circa 1940) was pasted to a tag. I added some stitching, ink and Remnant Rubs along with an image stamped on paper then cut out (Tim Holtz Sideshow).

My dad found it (probably under an old house--he was a plumber by trade) and kept it tucked away in an envelope which I came across recently. He liked old stuff too (especially bottles) and must have felt this wrapper was worth keeping.

It was quite crumbly but I managed to reassemble it and maybe it will last another 70 years.

One Size Fits All

I've altered a vintage "alterations" tag with an image transfer over some ink plus stamping and Remnant Rubs.

I was born and have lived my entire life "land-locked" but felt completely altered when I visited the ocean shores. Standing on the beach, listening to the waves brought immediate calm and serenity.

If only I could spend the summer at the beach! Maybe someday?

For now, I'll just make tags and link them to Simon's Monday blog challenge--this week's theme is Splash It On.

April 17, 2017

She Meant It

I'm sharing an art journal page with you today, made by transferring an advertisement from a magazine with gel medium then highlighting it with black and white gel pens, a Found Relative, some butterflies (from the Snippets ephemera pack) and text (from Clippings stickers). I also transferred book text to fill in some empty spots.

I was really drawn to the advertisement--a room with wonderful plaster and wood forms, a large framed mirror over such a decorative fireplace and one fabulous chandelier. How clever to furnish it with a modern style sofa and rug.

And so I began this art journal journey celebrating the page and becoming more intimate with all of it's interesting embellishments.

Update: After posting, I went to the ad's website (The Rug Company) and found the original photo so I thought I'd include it for another perspective. BTW, the rug comes in several sizes and prices range from $3,500 to $51,000! It's hand-knotted silk.

April 05, 2017

Blue Butterflies


Rainbow stripes drawn with watercolor brushes (Dollar Store)
then covered with light gesso wash.

Butterflies stamped on deli paper with sepia archival ink and cut out.

Butterflies pasted to page using glue stick.

Butterfly wings filled-in with blue watercolor brush
and outlined with black gelly roll pen.

Butterfly outlines traced onto Postale tissue wrap and cut out.

Tissue wrap pasted around butterflies using fluid medium.

Blossom stencil and white paint used to fill-in around the page.

Blossoms tinted in random areas with Distress ink.

I'm linking this journal page to Simon's Monday challenge blog.

Who knew rainbows could be so inspiring?! 

April 04, 2017

Happy Place

Has spring arrived where you live?

It's full-on here in the southwest desert and pity the poor allergy sufferers as our winter rains have brought a profusion of flowers.

The tiny, yellow, desert-kind that flock every tree and bush like snow and eventually fall to the ground covering it in drifts.

The bees are having a heyday and so am I now that I've returned to my happy place and I've made a collage.

I took step-out photos of the project hoping to share my technique but they just didn't turn out (my camera skills are rusty). So if you are interested in how it was made please read on and I'll describe it for you instead.

I covered a piece of heavy-weight drawing paper with random bits (including an alphabet die-cut scrap), then white-washed everything with a light coat of gesso and pasted it onto an old textbook cover.

I enlarged then laser-printed an image which was transferred to the background using gel medium. I sanded the surface here and there to age it's appearance.

I stamped flowers (Tim Holtz Flower Garden) using archival ink then tinted them with acrylic paint.

For the sentiment, I used Tim's new metallic stickers (Quotations) which I distressed a bit with sanding and Distress ink. I used his new design tape (French) just behind it.

The striped lines you see in the tape are the result of scanning my artwork (since I am currently camera-impaired). This is a digital anomaly only--they do not exist on the original tape.

March 30, 2017

No Reminders

Good to be back posting and SO grateful that more time is trickling in to spend crafting. Being away for awhile, it felt curiously awkward to start in again (some of my paints had even begun to dry).

I used this week's theme (Things With Wings) from the Monday challenge blog at Simon Says Stamp as inspiration for my tag.

I collaged two photos (a butterfly and a ballerina) on a background made with paper from the Idea-ology Etcetera stash.

I've used the butterfly before (see here), it's called a Luna Moth and I just love it's long, drippy wing span. I added a phrase from the Idea-ology Clippings Stickers which describes perfectly how I've been feeling lately.

I enhanced the values with colored pencils and Distress ink.

I'm also sending a Happy Birthday (No. 3) wish to A Vintage Journey where they are celebrating "Tag Friday" with a special gift and link-up.

March 05, 2017





think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.

Stressful times and too many responsibilities have made me keenly aware of how, under these circumstances, I lose my patience and control and can be down-right mean to others.

I took a desperately needed day off yesterday to ponder my situation and produced a journal page that was very therapeutic. I can't change my ways overnight but plan to make a real effort to manage this. 

Click for larger, lightbox view

I enlarged a photo from the collection I inherited from my great aunt Esther (that's her on the right) and cut out the background. The image on the left was found on the net. I tore it into strips, pasted it down then tinted it with colored pencils. I finger painted the background of the page, added some stamped masking and washi tapes and journaled around the border.

It felt really good to have this time to play and I can't wait to get back to the quiet and solitude of my studio. It's a luxury I cherish more than I ever realized.

February 18, 2017

Sweet Love

I used an image transfer on a page from the Memoranda paper stash (Tim Holtz), a torn strip of vintage book paper (that included the margin), polka dot scrapbook paper and some paper trimmings to complete this tag (including text from Idea-ology Clipping Stickers).

To keep the background from showing through the transfer, I used white paint behind it (like I did here). A little Tumbled Glass distress stain along with a charcoal pencil and distress markers added more definition to the image.

I'm linking up with Simon's Monday challenge blog--the theme this week is "Use Your Favorite Tool."

I gave this some real consideration while working on my tag, reflecting about each tool as I used it. There are many gadgets I just couldn't do without (like my tweezers, water brush, or glue stick) but in the end, my favorite is:
(drum roll, please)

the X-acto Knife! My scissors are dusty--I always reach for my knife to make straight cuts and most particularly, for fussy-cutting (a favorite past-time). The flowers on this tag are an example of that.

▬ ♦ ▬ ♦ ▬ ♦ ▬ ♦ ▬ ♦ ▬

My schedule for crafting has been really limited lately and I've haven't posted as often as I usually do. But I want to extend a welcome to the new followers I received by way of Tim's post on the Creativation show this year and also thank those of you who've been with me for awhile.

I'll be back as soon as I can, I've got some new ideas up my sleeve and can't wait to get them down on paper and share them with you!

January 26, 2017

CHA 2017 (Creativation) Show Samples

It was a privilege and an honor to create Idea-ology show samples for this year's Craft and Hobby Association Convention.

I was asked to use Configurations boxes and the new Vignette Trays so at least I had some direction but honestly, I was completely overwhelmed. There were just too many possibilities and I didn't know where to begin! It was a challenging experience.

It's so interesting to see the other participants' creative use of the new products and so I'm sharing mine with the hope you'll get an idea or some inspiration for your next project!

Click on the photos below for a link to the details

of how they were made (and close-up views).

 Configurations Box
Configurations Box
 Mini Configuratons Book
Mini Configurations Book
Large Vignette Tray
Small Vignette Tray
Vignette Box

January 23, 2017


A photo found here was my inspiration for a tag that combines scrapbook paper and image transfers with a Souffle Gelly Roll pen and the new Tim Holtz Idea-ology Clipping Stickers (a salvaged assortment of adhesive backed phrases, words, and numbers).

I was pleased to receive the stickers when asked to complete some show samples (which I'll post soon)--the phrases available are excellent and really kick-start my imagination!

The dark areas in the top of the photo were sanded a bit to lighten before transferring. To learn more about my image transfer technique you can see a demo here.

January 21, 2017

Not Guilty

Yes, I'm guilty of not posting for a very long time but not guilty of wanting to--just so darn busy with all the stuff that gets in the way of having time in my studio to create.

Then, when I did find some time, I spent way to long on a project that never seemed to come together and I should have given up on it but I just wouldn't accept defeat. Thank goodness it finally made it to the trash can.

So it feels really good to get back to basics, take a few images found on the net that had caught my eye and put a tag together. No pressure, no struggles--just plain fun.

I call this one "Not Guilty" because the gent is actually a French criminal and this photo is what you might call a vintage mugshot. Well, he looks like a good guy to me so his crime must not be serious.

The background is a coloring page courtesy of a free download from Alisa Burke and the insect was found on Pinterest.