Saturday, October 24, 2009

Get Inspired by Your Reading Materials!

Oh my goodness! I have to say it...I absolutely love this piece! LOL It's weird and funky and those shades of green and mysterious dots/circles give me an artistic orgasm! Ooo, baby baby...This piece was created from Helga's Challenge on My ARTistic Life. The prompt was "Get Inspired by Your Reading Materials" and incorporates the dots/circles from last weeks' challenge. What fun it is to be challenged to try something new. Thanks Helga!

Hilda Conkling The White Cloud

Inspired by my new journalling obsession and Hilda's words, "there are many clouds but not like the one I see" ... Delicious poem!

Hilda Conkling Waking the Moths

I love the simplicity of this poem "I awake them one by one from their sleepy hours"...isn't that delicious? Gives me chills and inspired me to create this altered book spread. OH, and this color combination is one of my new favorites; teal, lime and yellow!

Hilda Conkling Land of Nod

Another Hilda challenge hosted by the generous Gale Blair at Paper Whimsy....aaahhh....such whimsical dreams in the land of nod.

Hilda Conkling Loveliness

Vibrant? uh, yes! LOL
I just love Hilda Conkling...wasn't she amazing? Just a few words in this poem, yet so much wisdo there....

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

I love using this hand scrub after working at the art table all day! Jan DeBellis is hosting an Apron Recipe Card Swap on the Paper Whimsy Forum and I am tickled to share this recipe for the first go-around...won't you come and join in the fun?

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

1 ½ Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Kosher Salt (or substitute more sugar)
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
Zest from one Large Lemon (or other citrus zest)
¼ Teaspoon Lemon Extract (optional)

One recipe makes 2 cups, enough for a 1-pint jar, or 2 half-pint jars.This project is great for reusing old jars that have been cleaned out; jam jars, sauce jars, or canning jars that you might have around.


  • Step 1: Combine sugar, kosher salt, and olive oil in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the oil is evenly distributed throughout the sugar and salt mixture.
  • Step 2: Using a micro-plane zester, grate the zest of 1 large lemon. Add zest to the bowl and stir to combine. If you would like a stronger scent, add 1/4 tsp lemon extract.
  • Step 3: Spoon the scrub mixture into a clean jar. Make sure to wipe up any spills on the outside of the jar. Tighten the lid and decorate according to your tastes.

October ATC Lottery

October's ATC Lottery Theme is "gratitude" and the first thing I thought of is that I am grateful for imagination. What are you grateful for?

Name Banners for Children

Someone I work with just had a baby and I thought it would be fun to make name banners for his newborn son and existing daughter. I won't overwhelm you with all twelve of the pieces but here is one from the boy's and one from the girl's. This was such a fun project that I might have to make one for myself! :-)

Autumn ATC for Lottery

Paper Whimsy Forum has started up a new ATC lottery each month and here is my entry for's been a LONG time since I made an ATC and it was fun!

Hilda Conkling Wishes

Another Hilda Conkling Challenge piece hosted by Gale Blair for Paper Whimsy Forum members only. Come on over and join in the fun! I adore the imagery of Hilda's poetry and look forward each month for the new free collage sheet & poem. Thanks Gale!

Get Inspired by Patterns!

Last week on My ARTistic Life, Helga challenged her readers to "Get Inspired by Patterns". Since I had a few moments, I decided to play along. It was fun and I started seeing circles and dots in lots of places I might not have noticed before. Here is the finished piece for the challenge.

I enjoyed using different techniques for the dots; scrapbook paper, punched paper, punchinella, paintbrush tip, markers, watercolors, masks and stencils...just to name a few!

I didn't get my photo submitted in time for Helga's drawing but I was busy creating a patterned image that popped into my head during a deep-tissue massage. What do you think of it?

Thanks Helga for the was inspiring!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Journey to Imagination

Gale issued a challenge and I couldn't resist. Hop on over to the Paper Whimsy blog, pick up your free "doors" collage sheet, work your magic and join the fun! I love the gorgeous door in the background and for some reason just needed to have some adorable vintage cats wandering by. Wishing you a wonderful journey to your imagination...who knows you might want to live there. Hugs, Carol

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One Good Freebie Deserves Another!

I started working on a "doors" collage challenge hosted by Gale Blair at Paper Whimsy (challenge and her doors freebie found here). This afternoon, I antiqued an old clock-face to use as the background for my collage and thought some of you might like to use the image in your own art work. Here is a jpg scan of on the image to view it full size. Feel free to use it in your art in any way you like, I freely give it to you. If you would like to share what you created using it, send me a link to your blog post and I would love to post your blog-link here. Have a creative weekend! Hugs, Carol

Thursday, October 8, 2009

dia de los Muertos

Oh My! Where did the summer go...I have been so out of touch online but have had a wonderful time with friends, family and fitness. I will soon be back on track with blogging but wanted to share a collage I created tonight using images from Itkupilli Shop, dedicated to the Mexican holiday, dia de los Muertos. What a wonderful time of year when villagers go to the cemetery to visit their loved ones and invite them home to enjoy a feast of their favorite foods. Family members share humorous stories about their departed and celebrate the lives they had lived....isn't that wonderful?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Crone Speak

I went to a wedding last night and kept hearing people say "she looks beautiful". They were, of course, referring to the bridal party and they did indeed look beautiful...but I woke this this morning and wondered why they didn't say "she is beautiful" or "they are beautiful". What is it about people that makes us view them from a distance? Were they just commenting on the gowns? No, they were commenting on the overall beauty of each person; the hair, the makeup, the gown, the smile, the eyes and the inner beauty that comes from joy and happiness at being part of such a lovely occasion.

What I mean is this...when we view art, we rarely say it looks beautiful. That would be distant; almost like a teacher grading an assignment. We would more likely say it is beautiful because we let it roll over our souls and enter our spirits and really feel the art and let it become a part of us. It moves us to say "wow, that is beautiful". How do you feel when you see a gorgeous filled with 3 shades of lavender, 2 shades of pink and that brilliant blazing orange? Would you say that looks beautiful or it is beautiful? Personally, I would shout "that is so freaking beautiful!" and nature's mother would be pleased. :-)

So take a few extra moments next time you see someone that touches your soul in that way. Instead of saying "gee, you look beautiful" turn it around and say what you really mean; "gee, you ARE beautiful". Imagine the difference one single word would make in their lives. I think they would be pleased. :-)

Namaste, Carol

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mail Art

I don't always have time to decorate my envelopes but wanted to do something special for Christine .....she's such a sweetie; hope I surprise her! I had fun doing it all in white!
Somewhere I read about a technique that I wanted to try...I rubber stamped this image with embossing ink and white opaque embossing powder. Then, using gel pens, I colored in the butterflies. After that was dry, I applied a layer of Diamond Glaze. It was supposed to look like enamel but I think the bubble-type envelope wasn't crisp enough to look that way. However, it was still kind of cool and I am pleased with the result. Have a great week friends! hugs, Carol

Rolodex Card Swap

My friend Christine Shebroe is hosting a Rolodex Card Swap and here are a few that I made to trade with the other artists in the group.

...and here are the backs of them; just need to fill out the personal info and out in the mail they go!

Hilda Conkling Butterfly in the Wind

This weeks Quote Challenge on the Paper Whimsy forum is "Butterfly in the Wind" by Hilda Conkling...I absolutely fell in love with the words and couldn't wait to create my collage. I have chosen to create all of my quote pieces in an altered book I have and started with tissue paper background, some cheesecloth and off I went! LoL

Read these words by Hilda Conkling and be inspired to create your own art.

Butterfly in the Wind
All of a sudden
Blown to my hand
Wings of dewy color,
Silvery flaky dust along my finger...
I wondered where he had come?
I asked him where he was going?
Butterfly words are faint
But I heard his answer...

I never know!
I am a wanderer in the wind.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tissue Paper Background Tutorial

We were talking about background textures on the Paper Whimsy forum and I thought it would be fun to do a basic tutorial on one of my favorites; tissue paper background! Easy peasy, anyone can do it and you probably have all the supplies on hand. Have fun!

I own all the text and images in this tutorial – feel free to use them for whatever you want. Commercial, not commercial, credit me or don’t credit me it’s all good with me. Hugs, Carol
Step ONE: Gather all your supplies. You will need:
  • Substrate - things like cardboard, heavy watercolor paper and cardstock work best for this technique.
  • Tissue Paper – any color, design or style. If you don’t like the color or design you can paint over it, right?
  • Adhesive – I use gel medium but you can use any wet adhesive like Elmer’s glue or ModPodge.
  • Paint Brush – any size or style but I would recommend 1”-3” in width depending on the size of the substrate. You want to be able to apply the adhesive quickly.
  • Assorted Inks - sprays, paint, alcohol inks, stamp pads to name a few.

Step TWO: Crumple the tissue paper. I usually crumple the tissue pretty tight (left of photo); then loosely open it as shown to the right of the photo. Of course it depends on the end result you want for your background. The more you open up the tissue, the less texture you will get.

Step THREE: Using the paint brush, apply the adhesive somewhat generously to the substrate. Use enough adhesive so that it remains wet until you can place the crumpled tissue on it. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the placement of the tissue. I just plop it on there and press it down using my hands.

If I want a more flat texture, I use a brayer or the adhesive jar/bottle to press it down a bit more.
Step FOUR: While the tissue is still wet, tear off the extra tissue around the edges. You can trim the edges with a scissor if you want but I like the randomness of the torn edges.

At this point, I usually put a light layer of the adhesive over the top and let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Once the tissue is dry…create to your heart’s desire. Rub ink pads over the raised area to highlight them or use acrylic paints and dry-brush them on. Just go crazy and have fun!
Here’s a piece I quickly did to show you a collage piece from start to finish. I started with some old tissue that came in a gift package, crumpled it up, unfolded it a bit, and glued it to the cardboard substrate. Notice that this tissue paper didn’t leave large wrinkles like the pink one did. It was a bit lighter weight and didn’t crumple as much. Interesting, huh? Who knew? LoL

Next I tore along the edges of the substrate to remove the extra tissue and applied a light coating of gel medium over the top. Notice that this time around, I applied the gel after tearing…see you can mix it up! I hate repetition and rarely do things exactly the same way twice.

After the tissue was dry, I took my “Old Paper” Distress Ink stamp pad and rubbed it over the raised areas. I was surprised how many highlights actually came out…it didn’t look like there were that many; did it?

After the ink was dry, I laid a stencil on it and sprayed over the top with “Orange Juice” Memories Mist. I LOVE orange!

After that was dry I took a favorite rubber stamp, inked it up with black ink from a stamp pad and made a row of paisley designs across a portion of the background.

After that was dry I used my favorite fluid chalk pads and rubbed around the edges in hot pink and orange, which you can see in the next photo. For me, this is what makes art interesting…lots of layers on the background…and this is before you even start putting your images and embellishments on.

Notice that I always let each layer dry before adding a different color element. Otherwise, things can get muddied up a bit and unless that is what you are going for, it will be disappointing to do all this work and have to gesso over it only to begin again. Wah! However, I always have my heat gun handy to help the drying process along; just don’t get it so close that the adhesive bubbles up or the tissue catches on fire! LoL
Reminder - when using a heat tool always keep your eyes on what you are doing. From beginning to end, this background only took about ten minutes.
Now you are ready to add your collage bits! Can’t wait to see what you create next! Hugs, Carol

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I am where I intended to be...

Isn't that a powerful statement? I was working on this collage and ran across the text on Painters Keys; a wonderful site to use when you are looking for inspiration. This piece was a bit different than the first three beeswax collages I did. I veered away from the instructions and tried some things that were in my head...some worked and some didn't but I learned a lot and had fun! For me, there is so much symbolism in this collage; travel, journey, flight, hard work, and even a bit of aging. The end result is this "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." ~D. Adams

I hope you are heading in your intended direction...even though you may not know it. I certainly didn't! Namaste, Carol

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Encaustic Wax

I recently joined an online group featuring current trends in Mixed Media Arts and this week I learned about using beeswax on collage. There were several steps & layers involved but I didn't start out with any particular concept. The wax process is totally addictive; here are the three canvas boards I created.

And here there are all in a row as one long collage...

What Tarot Card Are You?

Since I just celebrated my birthday and feel all these changes occurring, I thought it might be wise to check and see if my Tarot Card in the sidebar had changed...and it has! For the last year I was "The High Priestess". Traits associated with that were...

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.
...and that described me to a tee! After taking the test again, my card has changed and while I am all the things listed above I am now also...
The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. interesting, huh? I have spent the last several years looking back, being introspective and healing and now I am still healing but I feel a sense of hope that I haven't had for a very long time. I don't expect any major changes in my life this year...just refreshment! Enjoyment! Hope!Wee-eee! Have a great day dear friends...Namaste, Carol

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today is my Birthday...

...and I am so excited about the changes taking place in me...I am happy! It seems like a silly statement to make doesn't it? I mean after all, aren't most people happy? Don't most people have moments of happiness in their life? Don't they feel happy?

This is's inside...down that special quiet place of my spirit that I don't share with anyone...a place that's just for me and a bright light is shining there and I...AM...HAPPY! Eight little letters that add up to so much. I want to shout them out to the universe. You can't break me! You can't defeat me! You can't soil me! You can't push me down or aside or over! You can't!!!

I win! So there!

Oh no! Have I jinxed myself with those proclamations? I don't know the answer to that but I do know this...I can survive anything. I am strong! I am smart! I am beautiful!

So happy birthday to me...I have lived my life and only I truly know what I have been through. I am happy...will you be happy too? I hope so, it's wonderful!

for a long time it seemed to me that
life was about to begin - real life.
but there was always some obstacle
in the way, something to be gotten
through first, some unfinished
business, time still to be served,
a debt to be paid. at last it dawned
on me that these obstacles were my
life. this perspective has helped me
to see there is no way to happiness.
happiness is the way. so treasure
every moment you have and
remember that time waits for no one.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Vintage People With Wings

Oh dear...I have a confession to make. Currently I'm working on the next AB in the ICE RR entitled "Vintage People With Wings". The owner of the book said "do what you want...just have fun". Did she really know who she was writing to when she wrote those words inside the cover? So far all the vintage people have lovely butterfly wings...soft, feathery, satiny, romantic fluttery butterfly wings and what did my muse create? hmmm.....

Well yes, they are vintage people with wings BUT.......well see for yourself. Did I follow her instructions? But of course! Mary, I hope this tickles your fancy; it's just a tease of what's to follow! ~Hugs, Carol

Monday, March 2, 2009

How The West Was Fun

As part of the International Collaberative Experiment (ICE) round robin, I have been working in Kathy Park's altered book "How The West Was Fun". I finished it tonight and here it is! I love this wicked girl and the wild boys....I have a feeling they would all have fun together in the west. Hope Kathy likes the collage...her book is FAT and gorgeous!

Hilda Conkling Moss

Gale Blair at Paper Whimsy is hosting a year-long art challenge and is generously providing participants with gorgeous collage sheets and Hilda Conkling quotes to challenge us twice a month. In order to participate you must be a member of the PW forum...come on over and join us! The current theme is green, and OH what a green it is! Scrumptiously delicious and the poem is delightful. "I too have felt that softness" six words from the poem that just make me shiver. I am humbled to share my "Moss" collage with you. Enjoy! Hugs, Carol

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I've been TAGGED!

I was tagged by the mischievous Christine to play this fun little game --

Go to your computer photo album.
Go to the seventh folder.
Go to the seventh image.
Upload to your blog and tell what it is.

So here is the photo..... it's my sister, Diane & I on our vacation last week! We stayed at the French Quarter Resort at Disney World and an adorable lady named Ethel asked if she could take our photo standing in front of the Sassagoula sign at the cafeteria. Of course we said "YES!" and here it is! We had such an amazing vacation; laughing, singing and dancing our way across absolute blast and tons of inspiration for future art projects. Love ya Diane!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hilda Conkling Quotes Challenge 02.14.09

Gale Blair at Paper Whimsy is hosting a year-long art challenge and is generously providing participants with gorgeous collage sheets and Hilda Conkling quotes to challenge us twice a month. In order to participate you must be a member of the PW forum...come on over and join us!

This month's color theme is blue and I used the provided fish, flower, door and text. I began with a PW image, colored & painted it, then further altered it to create the vision I wanted to use to tell the story of the the text. Here is my strange, pure, happy two-page spread. Enjoy "The Key To My Mind"! Namaste, Carol

Thursday, February 12, 2009

...and the prizes go to.....

Sweet Gingersnap just drew the names for the two prizes on my blog...I had so much fun visiting blogs the last few weeks that I didn't get much new art done! My mixed media collage goes to the amazingly talented Julie Mitchell at "When the Spirit Moves Me"...she makes the most beautiful Spirit Figures/Art Dolls and has a new blog that can be found here. Congratulations Julie, I will be sending you an email shortly.

The Tim Holtz Distressables book goes to Alena over at the Funky Fairy Shoppe. I haven't smelled any of her herbal items (yet) but they look and sound delicious. If you get a moment, go and check her out here. Congratulations Alena, I will be emailing you shortly.

I'm headed out of town for a few days but will email you both tonight. As soon as I return home, I will mail out your goodies! Hugs and best wishes to you both. ~Carol

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday Tag for a Friend

I haven't made a tag in a LONG time and it was really fun! Small space but lots of layers. I don't know if you can see it in the photo but the background is favorite technique! I just might have to make some more of these!

Happy Birthday friend!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gothic Arch for Ja*who*dee

Judy really threw me for a loop this time with an "open theme". I kind of freaked out, got stymied and my muse left me to figure it out for myself. I decided that today was THE day and pulled out everything I had that was aqua and/or brown...her favorite colors. Here is what I ended up with (muse looking over the shoulder) and I will be mailing it off Monday. Thanks, Judy, for being patient. Hugs, Carol

Red & Black Haiku

My friend is having a birthday soon and I was given the following theme to create a birthday 4x4 for her; black & white white a touch of color, throw in a bit of zetti and birthday wishes. I don't think I follow directions very well cuz I think the red is more than "a touch" and it's not quite zetti...more like zetti-goth but I think she will love it anyway! I know I do and it was so much fun to create...I need to do more Haiku, it's totally fun! Happy Birthday dear one!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World-One Heart 2009 Participant (Giveaway)


I'm so excited to be participating in One World-One Heart this year. I love the idea of making friends from all around the world and sharing our love of art. Last year I met so many really cool people and won 7 prizes! I was very blessed by the experience and made the decision right then and there that I would be a participant in 2009! Since this is my 100th Blog Post, I'm going to celebrate by giving away two prizes instead of one! Please read all the details and then just sign up once for a chance to win one of the two gifts I'm sharing this year. TWO GIFTS! TWO WINNERS!

Winner #1 will receive the mixed media collage shown measures approximately 7.5" x 9.5" (not including hanger) and consists of hand-dyed/printed fabric, nubby yarns, fibers & ribbons, fabric/paper/velvet flowers & leaves and last but not least...copper, lots of copper!

Winner #2 will receive Tim Holtz "Distressables 2" which has 50 pages of tips, techniques and projects. It's a great little book packed full of inspiration!

In order for you to sign up for a chance to win the mixed media collage OR book, please leave a comment on THIS post. I would love it if you took a moment and looked around and left comments on other posts but understand if you don't have time now...please stop by again!

Sign-ups are open to everyone however I must have a way to contact you if you are the winner (i.e. an email or mailing address). Please note that any messages with advertisements/solicitations listed in them will be deleted and not entered in the drawing. Sign-ups will close at 10 pm CST on 02/11/09 with the winners being announced on 02/12/09. Both winners will be notified by email and asked for a mailing address.

If you want to know more about the One World-One Heart event, click on the OWOH logo. I look forward to getting to know you (and your art) through your blogs. After all, we do share one world-one heART! Wishing you an art-filled 2009! Namaste~Carol