Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shrine from Raeven's Nest Art Retreat

Last weekend, October 16-19, I attended the first ever Raeven's Nest Art Retreat in historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin. The weather was glorious, an almost perfect weekend weather wise. I took three classes, spent a lot of time with my friends, and enjoyed every minute of the weekend. The most ambitious project was creating a shrine with Lauri Mika as instructor. The class was challenging, exciting, and ultimately fulfilling as I was able to make and complete (not always something that happens!) a beautiful shrine.

The shrine is made of handmade and colored polymer clay tiles, glass and mirror tiles, and assorted findings including buttons, charms, and other miscellaneous things. It is all glued down to a square wooden frame. The picture below shows the shrine in process. After making and decorating tiles, we began to assemble the shrine in order to work on placement of the tiles, figuring out what else we needed to create for the finished project. Although I give away the majority of things I make, this will be staying here with me!!!!

Next year the Raeven's Nest Retreat will be held the third weekend of October
- hope to see you there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Canvas Swap

I belong to a very small (six) group of gals who are also members of OSA (Oriental Stamp Art), a Yahoo group dedicated to Oriental art. A few years ago I was asked to join and since then, we have had some wonderful swaps which have challenged each of us every time. Earlier this year we made charms, a first for most of us. This time we decided that we needed to work on collage, so that became the challenge. I have done lots of collage work, but never on a canvas with paint, mediums, etc. I had a few mistakes like using some walnut ink which, after I had sealed a layer, turned huge portions of the canvases very dark. I was able to use three but had to redo portions of the other three. I made six, one for each of us including me, something I don't always think to do. Now I have to decide which one to keep and mail the others to their new homes. Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


This is the time of year I always start thinking of making calendars for swaps and/or Christmas gifts. When a tag swap appeared on the swap board of CCSwaps, I decided to make the first of many. I purchased the calendars from The queen carries a number of sizes at a reasonable price, and it sure beats downloading, printing, then cutting apart! Seems hard to believe that Christmas is only five months away, and 2009 comes a week later!

A Small Village of Row Houses!

Here are the row houses I made for a large swap. I will be receiving 25 from various artists. Every one sent to our hostess Trish Bayley and she will be swapping all of these out. I wonder if she realized when she posted this swap how many houses would need to be sorted and swapped!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

And Even More Decos!

The two deco swaps I am participating in have been a lot of fun. For Art-Venture, the theme for each book is "Art." Not much of a surprise since our small group has fun trying new techniques, products, etc. The following page I created for my friend Carol who lives in the upper Northwest. Her work has been an inspiration for me. She loves color and texture, and is always willing to try something new. Below is a scan of both the front and back of the colorful page I created. The image of Frida was purchased in Ohio at Artiscape. And I think the quote is a perfect theme for this group. I'll get to meet Carol in October when she comes to SE Wisconsin to attend the Raeven's Nest retreat in Cedarburg.

This page, front and back, was created for Adrienne who lives in Wales and came to the US last fall, visiting some of us in Wisconsin for two weeks. What fun! She is another very creative artist, always trying something new, and challenging us to do the same. Hope you like the page, Adrienne, that I created for you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Swaps

I enjoy the challenges of swaps - the hostess chooses a theme and the participants create something for that theme. The first challenge was to use both purple and teal for a greeting card. I took my cue from the preprinted paper I used as background.

This challenge was to use red, black, and gray. I made a bookmark/tag which will be sent out once the Send-to list is posted. The panda is one of my favorite stamps.

Ironically another group had a red, black, and white ONLY swap posted. As you can tell, I worked on both the tag and the card at the same time. The Oriental lady is one of my first Oriental stamps, purchased many years ago.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Swap Cards

I belong to a small group of (mostly) Wisconsin stampers from the immediate area. I don't always participate in swaps but decided to jump back in as this such a nice group of gals. I finished cards for two swaps, making one for the swap and another for future use. I have the stamps, ink, paper, etc., out, so making two of something is a big time saver. The theme of the first set is "Collage Stamps." I used a couple of my favorites, some Basic Gray cardstock, and my new toy, Cuttle Bug. I stamped the images twice and cut elements out to layer. The flower is made from scraps using a CB set of flower dies. The card fronts and layers were also embossed with the CB.


I also joined the Birthday Card swap - you can never have too many extra BD cards around. Since I had the CB out, I embossed the Happy Birthday background and colored it with Brilliance Galaxy Gold. I layered silk flowers, attaching with brads, and added soft gold CS for a background. And, since I had Oriental stamps and paper out, I created the cat card using printed CS, a bamboo stamp on the green card itself, and a stamped cat image. Another silk flower and a piece of gold peel-off/sticker finished the look. One will go in the mail on Monday and the other saved to use later.

More Decos

Just finished up anothe deco page - this book will return home to Alaska in a few days as it is almost finished. The theme is Oriental - Shelley covered all the pages so it was choosing images/stamps and creating away! Hope she likes this one. The rest of her book is lovely. Enjoy!!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Izabel!

My younger granddaughter, Izabel, turned THREE on June 28th! Her grandparents from Birmingham were able to visit for a long weekend, and we all got together for birthday cake and lots of fun.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Architecture/Row Houses

In the last few months, houses of all shapes and sizes have been a current theme explored by the mixed media groups. For a swap themed "Architecture" I created a free standing set of five houses which are connected allowing this to stand on its own.

The entire width of this is 12 inches, only three inches wide when folded up as in the scan below. This is off to Wales to my friend Adrienne who visited the US in the fall of 2007. Hope she enjoys this!

Folded and ready to go on its journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
Interested in Row Houses? Check out Trish Bayley's blog:
Prepare to be AMAZED!!!!
And check out the links she has posted, as well.

More Tip-ins

Diamond theme tip-in - another challenge for the monthly tip-in swap.
Sent off to New Zealand!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deco Mania!

If you have looked at my blog in the past, you know that I have been involved in some deco swaps - basically little books which are sent to friends who add art work and send on to someone else. Hopefully, the book is eventually finished and returned home. Here is the front and back of a page in a book which I just finished. I had been using vintage images and came across some vintage corset adds. I used them layered over reproductions of old-time ads and added the "Ultimate Support" tag along with rick-rack (yes, they still make and sell it!) Hope the recipient likes this.

This page is made for a different set of deco books - the theme is "Art." I used an image I had saved from (I think) a take-out menu from a restaurant in Maryland. I have always loved the image and finally used it. The background was created by "artfully" adding water colors and dye inks to paper towel. The quote on the back is one of my favorites and really works with the heart shapes in the central image.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Altered book artists sometimes participate in tip-in swaps which are loads of fun. The idea is that a theme and specifice size are decided upon, and participants swap them out. Once you have received the finished page(s), you can either tip them into an altered book by gluing the page in or you can also assemble them into a new book by various methods. The first picture was made for my friend Adrienne who had wanted to be in the Nature swap but forgot to sign up. So, when I sent her a birthday present, I included this for her. The page folds in half down the center. I was lucky enough to meet Adrienne last fall when she traveled from Wales to the US to attend Art and Soul in Portland, then came to Wisconsin to visit with my friends Chrissy, Kathy, and Barbara.

This tip-in was made for the Men swap. I really had fun with this. I used the cover from a theater program for the front. The Milwaukee Rep had staged Cyranno last fall and I saved the program because Lee Ernst is one of my favorite actors (he was brilliant in the production!) I printed off a page of dialogue in French from the script for the background. Love the guys on the back as well.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Little Beauties

CCSwaps is running a monthly swap - Little Beauties. I have signed up every month as these are fun to make and even more fun to receive. The intention is that these will be used on ATC's, greeting cards, AB pages, or other projects. It is also a good way to use the little leftovers which all of us hate to throw away. The newest swap is Oriental. I have quite a stash of Oriental themed paper, stamps, and embellishments, so this was great fun.

Earlier in the month the theme was Vintage. Another favorite! I used copyright free images and sized them, printing some on acetate, some on ivory CS, and others on a transparency. The scan is representative of what I created as I signed up three times for this round. Was I crazy or what? Of course, that meant that I would receive three sets. Two have already arrived and are gorgeous.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


My friend Bonnie has been learning to paint the "One Stroke" way. A friend of hers had been hosting monthly workshops, and Bonnie asked me if I would like to try it out. Of course - just what I need - something new which would involve supplies, products, etc., which I would have to go out and purchase. So, I have gone twice for instruction and practice. If you have ever seen this technique demonstrated, you know that it looks so easy. Well, trust me, it takes a lot of practice, practice, practice. Here are two of my early attempts. Bonnie "rescues" some of her practice pieces by cutting them down and making greeting cards out of the pieces, so that's what I did below. I've got a long way to go, but it is fun even though frustrating.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Puzzle Book

Imagine a puzzle piece over four inches large. That's what I used to create this puzzle book for my friend Chrissy who ran a puzzle piece swap. The challenge was to incorporate a puzzle piece into any kind of project. I covered the large piece with paper, then distressed, stamped, and painted it. I also cut a square the same size as the cover out of chipboard and finished it same way. The smaller puzzle piece in the center was run through a CuttleBug embossing folder, then distressed. I added embellishments, then punched the cover, back and some pages, assembled and delivered. It was great fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Little Bird Beauties

One of my swap groups has a continuing swap called "Little Beauties." These are embellishments that one could use for altered books, greeting cards, or whatever. Each should focus on the month's theme, in this case "Birds," and be relatively small, no larger than about 2"X3". This month's theme is "Birds," and here is what I created. Since I am sending to someone who introduced me to the artistic side of Cuttle Bug (and I subsequently purchased one and a lot of folders as well!), some of the Little Beauties were created in part by using either a Cuttle Bug die cut or embossing folder. I have also been encouraged (or is it seduced?) by two other artsy friends who also have the CB. Thanks to all three, I am having fun adding texture and interest to my work as well as die cutting tags, etc. Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day in the US occurs on Sunday, May 11, this year, so I made a card for my mom who always likes receiving the things I have made. I created a simple card using a photo of her mother, my grandmother Maude Gillis Lovejoy, which was taken when she was quite young (I wish I knew the date.) I kept it simple so the focus is on the photo, and I added some gold peel-offs to accent the picture. The big surprise is that I had an old, damaged photo of Mom's sisters, my aunts, restored and sent a copy of that picture and a CD with the picture on it so she can make as many copies as she likes. I plan to work with that image in the next few days and will post later. A big weekend with our sons, DIL's, and grand kids is coming up, so I'll be busy, busy, busy!

Maude Gillis Lovejoy

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This and That

Even though I wasn't blogging, I was busy creating a number of projects. I belong to a couple of Yahoo groups which offer swaps, challenges, round robins, etc. I am currently involved in three round robin deco swaps. Each of us creates a blank book which is then sent around to the other members. Each person creates art in the book. Sometimes the book has a definite theme, and others don't. The two scans following this were made for deco which has the theme of "Art." I used paper towel that had been used to clean up another project and created the background for this page. The first scan is the front, and the second the back of the same page.

Another big swap is the "Tall and Skinny" book. Each page is 3" wide and 7" tall. It will be bound on the top. Each participant had to create 26 of the same page and send it to the hostess who will sort, bind, and then return to each of this. My friend Kathy "SweetPea" Beringer is the hostess of this one (she has done more books than I can count!) and chose the theme - we were to combine pictures of animals and humans in a whimsical manner. It turned out to be a real challenge, but here's the page I created. It will be interesting to get the book back in a few weeks.

I participated in a number of swaps in the last few months. The challenge here was to create an art paper doll. I used a paper doll parts stamp from Paula Best and "real" butterfly wings.

Another swap that I joined (and it is a continuing swap with a different theme each month) is to make tip-ins. The challenge is to make a page, front and back,which can either be tipped (glued, adhered, or?) into an altered book OR to create some other way of making a book out of the tip-ins received. Many of us are punching holes and binding, either for a notebook or by using some other binding method. Here are the front and back of one of the three tip-in pages I made for the theme "Birds." Can you tell that I like poetry and songs???

Here's a two page spread in a deco book for my friend Trish Bayley who lives in the UK. She made the book using envelopes and bound it with her Bind-It-All (which I encouraged her to buy!) She had started the black and white theme, so we have followed along. I think the look is striking.

These colorful fish were created by applying alcohol inks to a transparency, then overstamping with a large Koi stamp. I layered it over bright scrapbook paper. It has the look of peering into the Koi pool.

Another tip-in theme was nature. I made three pages again and this is the front of one. I had received some lovely embellishments in a "Little Beauty" swap and used them on each front. The middle one is made of air dry black clay.

Finally, I have been playing with my Cuttle Bug and created this using the thin metal and running it through the CB using one of the new folders. I colored the embossed piece with alcohol inks.

Where's Waldo???

Guess I've been suffering from "blog fever" and haven't updated my blog for quite awhile. I have been busy and will upload some pictures of my adventures including a trip to the Baltimore area (Columbia, MD) to vist my dear friends the Bakers. My other "fabo" trip was to Artiscape held in Sandusky, Ohio, sponsored by European Papers. My friend Barbara Hahn and I attended, not knowing much about the event, but confident that it would be great fun. And it was!!! One of the highlights of the event was meeting the Queen of Skybluepink. Many of us have purchased wonderful goodies, charms, doo-dads, punchinella, ad infinitum, from the Queen. I found out that she would be attending, and I requested a special audience which she most humbly granted. For the royal picture she wore her dress crown. Here we are -I'm the crownless one!!!!

She is as delightful as her weekly newsletters and full of energy and ideas. We spent some time discussing our mutual new passion - knitting socks! What fun!


Besides wonderful classes and outstanding evening entertainment complete with great food (and a few glasses of wine as well), Barbara and I also enjoyed viewing the display of hundreds of ATC's. The picture below doesn't do the exhibit justice. The ATC's were left in the plastic pages and hung in strips to create a wall of beauty. This is only a portion of the display. Enjoy!!! More later on the classes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Speaking of resolutions...

One of my resolutions for 2008 is to use the bits and pieces from leftover projects. CCSwaps is currently running a swap called "Little Beauties," small art pieces measuring 1-1/2" X 2-1/2". These are small enough to use on cards, ATC's, altered books, or other creations. Most of these samples are one of three, designated for the swap (I signed up three times!) And others are one-of-a kind. The Little Beauties were fun to make and now give me an excuse to save even more scraps!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Resolution: Use leftovers

One of my resolutions for 2008 is to use up leftovers. When I was working with the Shining Stone technique, I cleaned off the brayer by applying the residual ink to shipping tags. These are the fronts; the backs, except for one, are just designs. It was quick, easy, and far less messy than cleaning off a paint-loaded brayer. Versafine black stamped well over the inked surface. All I have to do now is add an embellishment or two and some fibers, and they will be ready to mail out.