Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I participated in an ATC swap where the ATC had to either have an egg or be egg shaped. I posted my eggs a few weeks ago and here are the ones I got back in trade. They are all so clever I thought you would enjoy seeing them. I would love to give each of the artist's credit for their eggs, but I left them at home today and I can't remember each of their names and blogs. (Sorry!)
I love all the different interpretation. Katherine made the lovely egg on the left above by embellishing a sticker with a little pebble over the center. The gold trim on the one on the right above are actually little tiny gold dresdens. I wonder where they sell them so small? I must do some research on that.

I loved all the eggs - so distinct - so full of texture and techniques. This was a great swap!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Last year I made this house book from scrap cardboard and various papers, photos and embellishments. I had planned to make a book after Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn published their excellent book, In This House, and I cut my cardboard pages from the template in their book. The Somerset Studio challenge gave me the incentive to make the book to correspond with their "house" challenge last October. Above is a close up of the front door. I used an actual wooden dollhouse screen door and cut the cardboard out to match the shape of the door. I glued on a black doll button to serve as the little door knob. I used copper foil tape to finish all the edges of the door and house. I used a glossy grey polka-dotted scrapbook paper for the two outside walls of the house which I distressed further with Ranger weathered wood distress embossing powder. I wanted my grandparents to be visible from the front through the screen door because I have such a vivid memories of them standing in that doorway when I left from a visit with all of us waving and waving as my family pulled away in their car.
Somerset did not choose my book for publication, but I was overjoyed to have it returned to me. I sent it off without getting any pics of it last October and I had almost forgotten what it looked like. It is chalked full of symbolism for me about my relationship with my grandparents, Leo and Ethel, and I plan to keep it where I can look at it often. It gives me joy just to see it. My grandfather died when I was only 8 and my grandmother joined him later when I was 21. I made the house with only three rooms because that was the size of the little cottage in which they raised 5 children. I constructed a fence in the front of the house with grey card stock and used vintage children's books for the flowers. The chickens were cut from a magazine article. My grandfather played fiddle and there are tiny little copyright free elves (Irish, I'm sure) playing fiddle on the fence.

Here's my grandparents standing inside the front room of their house. I used a scrapbook paper for this room that had all different designs on it because my mother told me that they were so poor during the depression that they had to wallpaper their walls with sample books someone had given there. How ironic since we mixed media folks hold those sample books so dear now. I used a different paper for the "linoleum floor". There was always a lot of singing when my mother's people got together. The song above their head "On the Old Rugged Cross" was my grandmother's favorite and we sang it at her funeral. One time my grandmother was having a hip replacement and the OR got stacked up with patients and she had to wait quite awhile in limbo. My grandmother serenaded the whole singing gospel music. Later her doctor told her she was really out of it and she said, "What do you mean? I knew I was singing, but I had to do something to pass the time." I used a pic of the Deon quintuplets to signify my mother and her four sisters. My mother was the second oldest - symbolized with the pink heart charm over the head of the second baby.

Here's a pic of my parents. The caption underneath reads "When a child is born so is a grandmother." I made the little frame above their head from a little mother of pearl buckle and a vintage baby image.
This page is a collage of things I associate with my grandmother: Christian values, sewing, writing, etc. The little frame contains a little pic of her and my grandfather.

I used a rubber stamp to make the basic window above and then cut a scene from a vintage postcard to create the "scene" in the window. I cut a piece of wood to affixed a piece of vintage lace over the wood for the curtain. "Outside" that's me under the window having a little solitary tea party with a cat and dolls. I was always big on tea parties! (Still am!)
This page is about all the Holidays and Celebrations I spent I my grandparents house. This was definitely a place I associated more with holidays and celebrations because we lived so far apart.

This back cover has a metal gate with a pic of an apple tree cut from a vintage children's book to symbolize my grandparents apple orchard. I think they only had about 5 trees, but they made the best of them by storing them in the root cellar and by cutting up a lot of them and laying them outside on screen to dry. My grandmother made fried apple pies all Winter long from those dried apples. Yummy! I hope you enjoy my house book. I most often give my projects as gifts or trades, but this is a keepsake that I made for myself. I hope that it will inspire you to make one, too.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Bridal Shower and a Crown

My only newphew is getting married next month to the lovely Kristie. I went to their bridal shower last Sunday and I made her this bride crown to wear during her shower. I covered a headband with strips of paper then covered a crown shape with dark pink polka dotted scrapbook paper glued to poster board. I then covered the scrapbook paper with a thin layer of gel medium and imbedded this piece of old lace to the crown and cut around the shape of the lace to form the shape to the top of the crown. I finished it by adding chipboard letters covered in German pure silver ground glass glitter and black velvet floral ribbon around the bottom and added individual flower pieces of the floral ribbon cut apart and glued in each point on the top of the crown. I was happy with the results. A close-up of the crown is below.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Nan over at Nannybird Crafts is having a purse giveaway to celebrate Earth Day! Earlier this year I was lucky enough to win one of Nan's great purses woven from old magazine pages. She also makes fabulous crocheted purses from recycled plastic bags. You have got to see them to believe them. I carry mine a lot and I always get a lot of compliments on it! Its a short contest - winner to be chosen tomorrow at Noon - so get on over there and put your name in the proverbial hat by telling Nan something you do to help the planet. Good luck to everyone!

Monday, April 21, 2008


On Friday I received a mystery package in the mail containing these lovely supplies. There was no name on the package, but I think I can guess the sender from the postmark. I think these are just the cutest little collage stickers I have ever seen and I already used some of the chipboard letters over the weekend to make a bridal crown for a shower I attended yesterday. This is a lesson in how an unexpected gift can change the recipient because I never buy/use chipboard letters, but these looked so lovely covered in silver ground glass glitter to spell "Bride" across the crown that I know there will be more chipboard letters in my future. You "secret" benefactor - thanks so much for making my day! I haven't done anything to deserve your generosity, but I feel so very lucky to be a part of this supportive and generous community of artists! I am happy to count you and so many others as friends!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Yesterday I received a special package containing my Junque in My Trunk swap hosted by the lovely Heather. You can read more about the swap and visit Heather's blog here. When I tore off the brown paper packaging, the first thing I saw was this box from my swap partner Jessica. She made her own handmade box (yes, made, not covered) from scrapbook papers and the papers of a vintage book. It was just the right size to hold my "trunk."

Here's the inside of the box.

Notice the vintage papers.

Here's the outside of the box that Jessica made by embossing scrapbook papers. This photo did not come out well, but it is a lovely green paisley with gold embossed detailing.

And inside the beautiful handmade box was this lovely trunk. How cute is the vintage design on it? Don't you love the metal clasp. Also look at the pretty beads strung around the handle.

Jesssia made this little book for me and painted the outside green. The charm attached with the little beads is a polymer charm. Note to self: I must learn more about how to make these. There is an impressed design on the other side that looks like it was made with a rubber stamp or texturizing plate.

There was tons and tons of contents on the inside of my little trunk. These are some of the charms. Look at the little photo charm - so sweet and that little teapot charm is definitely going in the tea themed coffee table book (the covered vintage record album) I'm working on. How quaint is that little watch parts tin! I love it. I will definitely have to find just the right assemblage to put it into or I will never be able to use it!

Jessica was very generous and there were lots of buttons and trims included in the bottom of the trunk to use in future artwork.

Look how sweet she wrapped up some vintage maps, sheet music, photos, old playing cards and old flash cards! These little bundles look so tantalizing!

There were some truly unique vintage ephemera - an old blank "1936 Summit thread" diary, a March felt calendar (I see it in a future St. Paddy's Day something), old hardware store receipts from 1948, and an old letter from 1967 in a language I am guessing might be Russian. How great an ephemera pack would this be even if I hadn't gotten all the other great things! Jessica was so generous in parting with these items.
Thanks so much, Jessica for being such a great swap partner. I truly love my box and I will be sharing (well, in the sense of showing it to them so they can be envious) it locally with all my friends as well. Thanks for being such a sweetie about my own late send off of your box. It's on its way. After Jessica has received her box, I'll post pics to show you what I sent to her.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


On April 1st I showed you the altoid tin I altered for a swap at Unshelved Words. This is the tin I received in return. Lesley over at Flatwoods Folk Art made this stunning tin. The outside has a coating of faux rust and then is stamped with a delicate writing and pattern. The side has two little holes drilled in it and the wired ribbon is threaded through those holes. The inside has a transparency of a girl and some beautiful vintage velvet flowers. Aren't I lucky girl to have had such a great swap partner?!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Junque in my trunk! The good kind. Ok, so really I think they are both the good kind! But this is a swap, Junque in my trunk, hosted by the gracious Heather over at Pretty Petals. I'm behind in getting my swap in the mail, (well, completed....) but here's what I've prepared so far. Jessica, my swap partner, expressed a love of children's books (the Dick and Jane variety) and kewpie dolls. So far, I've been working on this little Dick & Jane like (actaully that's Sally, but she's from the same era) keepsake box and I've made these little kewpie dolls luggage tags she can use as bookmarks or gift tags. If you're peaking, Jessica, I hope you like them so far - there is still some more work to be done so there will still be some surprises. I hope I'm on the right track!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


A few weeks ago I was lucky to win a contest for a blog banner and the lovely Carolyn at Magpie-Pixie made me this new custom banner. Isn't it great?! I feel very blessed.Thanks so much, Carolyn, for all your hard work. If you love Carolyn's work as much as I do, you'll also want to take a trip around her blog shop, From the Nest of the Magpie-Pixie.

Friday, April 11, 2008


This is my latest project. It's an old record album with 4 sleeves inside that previously held the records. This is an old one that has a linen like cover and linen hinges on the actual album. I bought it about 2 years ago at a Goodwill for a couple of dollars with the idea of altering it and I am just now getting starting. Last weekend I made a trip to a couple of local craft stores and chose the 12 pages of scrapbook papers. I covered all the pages, including the 4 sleeves inside the album that previously held the records. I reinforced each of the sleeves with 2 pieces of poster board (which I buy at the local Dollar General for 10/sheets for $1) inside the sleeves and put a bit of the paper from the previous page inside the sleeve as a lining (just cause it was prettier). I used 8 glue sticks to do all this gluing! Later I went around all the pages and used some other fast drying white glue just to make sure that all the edges were secure. I'm planning to make it into a coffee table book so it needs to be able to withstand lots of looking. The only thing I have added to the cover above yet are the 2 "water marks" I made with gold lumiere. Sorry this pics are so bad. The papers looked better before I posted them.
On the inside cover above I added two velvet ribbons - one on each side of the page. My My working title for the book is "Exotic Tease". The only real work I have done in the book yet is the lady in the teacup. There is a close-up below. I used a piece of a teacup notepad that my friend Pat gifted to me and strengthened it with poster board. Then I glued it down around the edges and "padded it" by stuffing it with bits of wax paper. The pics really don't do it justice, but it adds a nice dimensional effect. I read about this technique somewhere, but it is the first time I have tried it. If anyone remembers where it came from, please leave me a comment. Now that I have the pages covered, the fun can really begin this weekend.
Below are two more of the inside pocket pages. I dyed the trim at the bottom of the left page with turquoise Dyn-a-Flow to match the scrapbook papers.

Below are two of the inside pages. I added a teal suede ribbon and a green velvet rickrack to the page on the right.

Below is the last page and the back inside page

Below is the back cover

Friday, April 4, 2008


Last year I submitted the 2 collage handbags below to Haute Handbags magazine. Right before Christmas, I got an email from the editor telling me that the 2 purses below had been chosen for publication and asking me to write a technique-based article about the bags! I was delighted and honored and felt as though the Cosmos had sent me the best Christmas present ever! I submitted the article in early January and then began the waiting game until the scheduled release date of April 1. Would my article actually make it into the magazine? How would the pics look? How much, if any, of my original article would actually be published? Until the magazine is all laid out and put to bed, nothing is certain.

About 2 weeks ago I finally got an envelope from Stampington & Company which indicated on the front that it was my complimentary artist copy! At last! Except the envelope was empty. Yes, e-m-p-t-y. The magazine had been lost in transit. Now, I really, really wanted to see the article. My Sis finally found a copy in her hometown last weekend and read it to me over the phone -- at least I knew that it existed. But I still could barely wait to see it for myself.

Well, last night I finally found a copy on the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble. I am very pleased with the article and the pics! I hope you will let me know what you think!

There are also many, many other lovely purses and instructions: one by Sandra Evertson, along with a free online elements sheet you can download to make your own reticule sets, a beautiful Birdhouse Bag (which I think I will have to make), and some elegant BECOMING JANE (Austin) bags by Kristin Robinson. If you love purses, you will want a copy of this edition.

I was particularly interested in an article about a group from Oklahoma who call themselves The Ephemerites. They did a purse round robin and the bag is gorgeous! When it is returned they are going to donate it to a charity auction. I love the idea of a round robin purse. I will have to mull this idea around a bit.

Anyway, that my big news. Thanks for letting me toot my own horn a bit!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Recently I participated in an altered altoid tin swap over at Unshelved Words. I was lucky to already have several tins on hand - my friends know better than to throw away "trash" without checking with me first! LOL This swap was the perfect excuse I needed to alter my first tin. I sandpapered most of the tin to get it to accept paint. Then I painted the outside bottom with metallic copper acrylic paint - when this didn't take so well, I painted it with white gesso and reapplied the copper paint. Then I covered the top with a layer of Golden Gel Medium and applied a piece of upholstery sample. When the upholstery sample did not glue as well as I would have liked, I tried to rip it off the lid and start over. The ripping revealed another layer of fabric so I frayed this layer and left some of each. Then I covered the outside of the lid with a navy ribbon. I accidentally got some paint on the ribbon when I was sprucing up the paint job. In the end, I covered the navy ribbon with naturally aged tatting and added a velvet millinery flower to the top.

Here's what I added to the inside. I covered each section with scrapbook papers and added a pic of a little girl having a tea party with her cat and her dollies on a spring day. I added the phrase (the purpose of the assignment) "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." On the left, I smeared some of the metal copper paint around the rim and added an old vintage button, a metal arrow and a Chinese cookie fortune that reads: "This could be the perfect day. Enjoy it." I finished the opposite side by applying a little piece of tatting I dyed green with Jacquard Dynaflow. I had originally glued this piece of the outside rim, but ripped it off because I thought the green was too bright.
What do you think??? I think its not so bad for a piece that is made almost entirely from my efforts to cover the previous mistake. Every artist's motto should be "Persevere - today's mistake could be tomorrow's treasure."


I have been participating in a scrap crow round robin. Each participant makes a crow and adds one embellishment and then sends the crow to the next person on the list. Each person gets one crow each month to embellish and the crows keep traveling around until they are finally back to their original owner. This is my latest offering. I added a little bejeweled gold crown to Lee's crow and sent her on her way. I made the crown from white trim painted with gold lumiere and formed stiff with glue. I glued it to her head with my favorite glue: Scrappy glue by magic scraps. Click on the pic to see the eyes that Lee set into each side of her crow's head before sending her out in the world. I am really hoping that she tells us how to set the eyes.
Here's the cute little journal Lee sent along with her crow so that we could document her journey.
Here's the two pages I added about the crown. The trim on the bottom left page is the same trim I used to make the crown.