Friday, October 31, 2008


Shari participated in our latest ATC swap (see below) and she sent me this beautiful charm as a hostess gift. I was so thrilled. I have barely taken it off. Thank you, Shari. It is such a charming Halloween image.

Shari is a fabulous artist and jewelry maker who work has appeared in Somerset Holidays & Celebrations (issues 1 and 2) and Somerset Studio. She has more publication in the works.

She has a lovely Internet shop - Staffordshire Garden "where antique and vintage treasures abound." Check out her lovely offerings.

You could even WIN one of her pretty treasures. Shari has made some lovely holiday kits she is sending to Silva Bella and she is giving one of them away in honor of her 50th blog post. Get on over to her blog and put your name in the hat! Her drawing is next Friday, November 7. Good luck to you all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Nancy made these cards with a combination of fabric, paper, and glitter. Aren't the results spookily fabulous. On card #6 she even snuck in a little ghostly image of her precious puppy in the upper right hand corner.

SHARI used these vintage images, old sheet music, and glass glitter to create these beautiful cards.

Sharon used her creative license to make cards that open cut from discarded overhead projector transparencies (for those of you who don't know what an overhead projector is, you are showing your age and I am hating you right now - they were pre computer). She stained the sheets with alcohol inks and created ghostly images of spider webs you can view from all angles. Forgive me for the shiny pics - they are so shiny they were difficult to get a photo that did them justice.

Sharon also made these three cards from various vintage images reproduced on transpancies and layered with other embellishments.

Marianne made these great ATC's from halloween die cuts and handrawn images accented with tulle.

Pat created her own vision of a Halloween Nighmare on her ATC's.

I made this witchy ATC from a vintage photo, rubber stamped image of a house, colored with crayons and covered in diamond glaze and a black dresden for a fence. The little black cat is plastic confetti.

My sister Sharon made me this fabulous paperbag book to display the ATC's from the swap in.
This is the spooky cover with one of Nancy's ATC's in the clear acetate pocket. Sharon made drips of diamond glaze down the acetate pockets to simulate some drippy Halloween gunk.

Here's page 2 with my little witchy card in the pocket. Yes, Sharon, I couldn't resist adding those smallest eyes in the lower right hand corner. I had the eyes in one smaller size and I thought they looked just right. See if you can spot any other additions I have made to your beautiful book.

Marianne's little hand drawn ghost covered in tulle looked just right for this page.

Shari's little witch looked right at home in this pocket of the book.

Here are one of my own cards waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive.

Pat's Halloween Nightmare fit in perfect on this page.

Here's one of Sharon's spooky transparencies in this pocket.

The back cover of the book showcases my little pumpkin patch card.

The pockets of the book were also filled with Halloween luggage tags. Thanks so much for the book, Sissy. I love it and its the perfect keepsake for our swap.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Do you ever find that when your muse finds you, she keeps on AND ON AND ON long after your NEED for her has passed? I think some of you must know what I'm talking about because Albert Brooks made a movie about it (sort of) called THE MUSE. Sure, in the movie, the muse was an actual person who demanded that Albert wait upon her hand and foot, eventually to the detriment of his family and career, but some of you will know what I mean when I say that when my muse comes to call, its sort of the same thing. SHE MUST BE SERVED!!!

Awhile back some friends and I decided to have a little Halloween ATC exchange. I designed a card and made more of the same card in a kind of assembly line fashion. Everybody mailed or delivered their cards to me, then I packaged them up and mailed or delivered them to all the players. Bing, bang, boom!

But then my sister (one of the ATC players) came to visit on Monday night and gifted me a lovely little Halloween book she hand-crafted for me to display my ATC's from the swap in. Each page has a little clear acetate pocket for me to slide an ATC into on a page pre-decorated in the spirit of the season. (I'll post it tomorrow, along with the cards from the swap, I'm just giving the out-of-towners time to get their cards. ) The book had 8 pages and 2 little pockets between the pages so I would need more ATC's to completely fill the book than I was getting in the swap. Then my muse demanded that we make more cards to fill some of those pockets. It was 10:00 p.m., but does my muse care! NO! Time means nothing to her. I was up half the night, but I made four new cards. The little clear acetate window in the costume shop was a little challenging, but after a few do-overs, I think it looks o.k. although it does not photograph well. Anyway, there they are, for your Halloween amusement. I would never blame my Muse for this forced labor. I would be too afraid that she might desert me sometime when I need her most. I blame my sister. If you like the ATC's, please leave me a comment. If you don't like the ATC's, you can blame my sister, too.





Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Greetings!

I've been looking about at all the great Halloween swaps I missed out on here and here and a super Halloween party over at A Fanciful Twist. You should look at these posts only at your own risk because I guarantee they will work you up into a Halloween decorating nightmare. I just had to post this pic. (Because I don't have a camera today and it is the only pic I have saved in my computer.) Anyway, I made this last year from an old book back, vintage photo and other clipped images, fibers, and ribbons. Some friends and I have been having a little unpublicized Halloween ATC swap and those cards are coming in and making me feel even more Halloweeny. I'll be posting images of those cards as soon as the participants have time to get their cards. So stay tuned.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I went to a craft class this last weekend put on at a local independently owned craft store by a Fiskars representative. The great thing about demos by company representatives is that they really understand their merchandise and they bring a lot of free samples and door prizes. This demo was no exception. I am not really a gadget kind of person, but in my art stash I confess to owning quite a few. No Cricut, but I do own an older State of the Art Fiskars paper cutter and a Fiskars Drill. I use them all the time and they make my job a lot easier. I also love paper presses which can be a great time saver. I have never owned any border or circle or corner punches (which are bigger and take away more space from my endless collections of antique flowers, dolls parts, etc - you get the picture), but I have found the extra large single paper punches to be especially helpful with shrink plastic and altered books (you can cut a perfect window to the next page) and I own a modest number of these. I went to the Fiskars demo to see what other tools might be helpful - or I thought I might get another pair of scissors - what paper artist doesn't love scissors!

What I did discover that I could no longer live without was the nifty shape cutter pictured above and below. It is called the Fiskars Ultra ShapeXpress. I recognized it as a tool my sister owns, but has never used. I generally retails for about $20 (or at Hobby Lobby for the low, low price of $14.99 MINUS this week's 40% off coupon -sorry, independently owned craft store).
The ShapeXpress is surprisingly easy to operate, once you have figured out what it does. You use it with a hard plastic template. I bought this set of templates at the Fiskars class. They can be used with the ShapeXpress to cut perfect circles from 4.5" in diameter up to 8.25" in diameter. Just follow the easy steps in the enclosed picture instructions to load the blade and then put the safety lock back in place. Then snap off the plastic cover on the bottom and twist the orange freehand spacer to remove it. Then position the blade at the top of the template with your fingers on the sides (not the top!) and move it around the inside or outside of your template. It's that easy! It really works!
This size package of templates will cut circles between 4.5" - 8.25" in diameter. This package retailed for $13.75 and is guaranteed for life of the original purchaser - as are all Fiskars products - another useful fact I learned. Just call an easy 800 number if you need to repair or replace a product. Its like the Tupperware guarantee!
Here I am cutting my easy peasy circle! My Christmas cards may just be round this year!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Here at the office, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween. Forget Christmas, we love decorating for the spooky holiday. Here's some paper witches I made last year from Character Construction stamps, Daisy D's paper, rub-ons, and dyed bits of lace and doilies.
Click on any pic to see a larger version.
Last year Robin and I swapped witch dolls made from wine glasses. This is the one I got from Robin. Isn't she beautiful? I don't have a pic of the one I sent her, but believe me, it did not live up to her fine creation.

Here she is close-up. Can you believe the detailing???
What are all of you working on for Halloween????

Friday, October 3, 2008


This is a collage I gifted to my Sister.

Last Christmas I bought my sister a gift of art supplies to use in her own beautiful artwork and told her as much a couple of days before Christmas. She told me she was disappointed to know this because she had hoped to receive something hand crafted by me. (This sounds almost too good to be true, but I wanted to believe.) In case she wasn’t just being nice, I couldn’t resist the urge to create a piece of art just for her - but I only had 2 days left! I already had made a base sheet on canvas paper as per the instruction in Cloth Paper Scissors in an article by Kelli Rae Roberts (who recently published a book on the same topic). It is a collage of bits and pieces of scrap papers, text, stamped or inked images. Then the main event is layered over the top of these and covered with paint, gesso, or ink and then wiped off so that some of the layer underneath peeks through. I decided that I would make the first of a pair of green works. I constructed the work from pics and text saved from magazines and the computer generated phrases "Don’t forget the birds!". I also stamped white hearts and "Hot" into the gel medium while it was still soft to give the work depth. After this was dry, I wrote randomly in white gel pen the phrase "Bring back the bees" and added black musical note brads which I spotted with white gesso so they wouldn’t look so new (just snap the prongs off with wire cutters). I painted some white silk leaf ribbon various shades of green and attached down one side. Then I added a little three dimensional compass and a smooth pebble with the work "Nature" inscribed on it. For the final touch I used a piece of vintage white embossed wallpaper to construct a bird feed that stands out from the page. I painted it with Golden fluid acrylic paint in bronze and then dry brushed it with a turquoise color to make it look like it had a patina. I glued real bird seed inside the feeder.

Here's a closeup to show the dimension.

Here's a closeup of the wallpaper "bird feeder."