Saturday, September 29, 2018


After making quite a few of the ATC Artist Trading Coins, I quickly realized that I needed a place to put them.
I am all about recycling materials so my little cardboard mushroom box worked perfect but was not near as cute or user friendly as the Artist Trading Coin holder that Retro Cafe Art Gallery has in their shop.

By user friendly, I mean this little box can be used in a  several different ways and the possibilities of decorating it are endless.
It is a simple little box that fits the 2.5" coins perfectly and has little cut outs to easily put them in and take them out.
One you add a little glue and assemble the box, you can see the possibilities of adding more. They can be set non-attached side by side or you can glue the sides together horizontally by making one long bin or you stack them vertically like a tall self and keep adding as necessary until you get the height you like or need and the you can always add another column or two and eventually you could even have your own ATC Mail box slots, (also great for other supplies). So needless to say, this little box packs a big punch.
  After my boxes were assembled and glued, I gave the shelf which was now one piece a light coat of gesso and let dry. Then I painted it all blue with acrylic paint.
To the sides I added a stamp by Finnabair that says:
"Don't Forget to Fly". You don't want to add anything to the sides unless it is flat like a stamp or paint just incase you want to add more rows to the side of the boxes.
 A couple  months ago, I ordered some of the Art Pops (stickers) from Roben-Marie Smith and with a little cut of the circle it fit perfectly inside the shelf, although you could easily do this with any scrap paper you have available. I just happen to have these on hand.

I finished off the edges with some color simply using  my fingers and then adding a little gold trim.
 I decided to stack my boxes vertically. However, if you don't add a topper like I did, you can actually use them either way, but today I decided to add a couple of my Artist Trading Coins to the front and to the back side. If you add a topper and then decide to add more stacks, you can add them on either side of your first shelf making that one in the middle. See what I mean? Endless possibilities.

If you trade Artist Trading Cards, they will fit great in these little boxes/slots as well. One box will hold 25-30 coins depending on your thickness. All this to say, I think you will love these ATC Holders, they are great for storing your coins, ATC cards,and other art supplies as well. You will definitely want to order more than one box!

                                          My square Moo Business Cards
                       fit perfectly in these slots!
Happy Creating!

Acrylic Paint
Finnabair/Wood Mounted Stamp

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Every year about this time, I look forward to creating a DOTD assemblage. The Day of The Dead Celebration begins on October 31, and ends on November 2. It is a Mexican Tradition through out Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions and regions elsewhere where altars are created to remember the dead. Gatherings of family and friends come together to pray for and remember those who have passed and to support their spiritual journey. It is a happy time filled with color and festivities and was declared a National Holiday by the Mexican government in the 1960's. 
Since Santos Cage Dolls are one of my favorite things to make, I was excited to see what I could come up with. It didn't take me long to get inspired when I looked through my stash and saw the beautiful Sari scraps and beads that I purchased from Gwen Lafleur's Studio a while  back. They were just perfect for what I had in mind.
I started out with the large Santos Cage Doll from Retro Cafe Art Gallery gluing all the pieces together and letting it sit for a couple hours before adding white gesso all over it.

While the gesso was drying, I got out my beloved Aves Apoxie Sculpt and began sculpting my face. The apoxie sculpt face adhered really nicely to the frame of the doll without the use of glue. I added a little water and smoothed it on. Once dry, it is stuck forever.

Next I painted the arms white and gave the overall doll a coat of white paint including the face.
I knew I wanted to incorporate the gorgeous beads I received from Gwen so I grabbed my apoxie sculpt and adhered the beads randomly on all the cage slats. I loved how the beads popped on the white, but I knew it needed more color in keeping with the DOTD traditions. I decided to paint the cage slats a color close to the fabric I was using  on the body of the doll.

 When everything was dry again, I cut a piece of the fabric and just folded and glued to get it on the upper body of the doll where I wanted it to go. The fabric is very thin so it was a dream to work with. I wanted to add a hint of more color so I took a tiny brush and added dots and small circles of teal acrylic on the fabric. Next I added the arms on top of the fabric using wire and beads in place of the upper arms.
Before gluing the head scarf on, I painted the face. While that was drying, I began work on her wings. The wings are actually a wood carving embellishment I found on the wood isle in Hobby lobby. I painted it and then adhered some sugar skull beads with apoxie sculpt. 

I loved that the back of the wings were flat and gave me the perfect surface to add some stamping and a little note. During the Mexican celebration, the living leave those that have passed on their favorite things and foods believing that they will come and partake of them. The back of the wings say:
Dia De Los Muertos with a chocolate cupcake, roses and sugar skull beneath it. On either side of the cupcake it says: "Remember, the best cupcake is the one with Chocolate on it".
The yellow butterfly shaw and cross are both not attached and can be removed. 

I also added a cupcake from 2 large cupcake paper cuts from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and added some DOTD embellishments and then glued it to a metal disc. The cupcake is not attached as well and can  be removed if desired.

Thank you Retro and Gwen for all the inspiration in helping me create this DOTD Santos Cage Doll. 
"Time to Remember Again".
(available in my Etsy Shop)
Measures: 16" tall
6" across base
11 1/2" wing span

Create, Inspire and Help Make the World a Better Place!
Aves Apoxie Sculpt
Wire for arms
Wood Cross - my stash

Friday, September 7, 2018


They say you can tell a lot about a person by their hands. Your hands tell a story, they give, they hold, they seek, they pray, they gather, they work, they CREATE. These are the hands of a "MAKER".


 The hands I have created here are for friendship for Mark Montano's annual ATC Swap only this time instead of ATC Cards, we are swapping hands!  You must create 5 hands, any medium, no longer than 7" tall and not thicker then 1/4". You can read all about here. See the awesome hands Mark made and click on the rules. Hands are due on September 21st. 

Did I say 5 hands? Humm, I created 6 hands. If you decide to join the swap,  come back here, leave me a comment that you joined and I will do a random draw for one of my ATC Hands on Sept.21.

Happy Creating
                                            Let's Create

Monday, September 3, 2018

AND THE WINNER IS ..................

Jess Medaglia 




Thursday, August 30, 2018


I haven't had a giveaway in awhile so I thought this would be the perfect time to bundle up some sweetness and do a give away as a thank you to followers who so awesomely keep me inspired to do what I love.

If you would like the opportunity to win 5 of my large Aroma Tea Bags as featured in the July/August issue of Somerset Studio magazine, a cello bag of my pressed flowers and herbs, and 10 of my Artist Trading Coins that I just created, then it's easy peasy. Just follow my blog and leave a comment on this post.  For more entries, see my post on Instagram. 

One name will be chosen at random on Labor Day and I will post the winner here and on Instagram.
Inspire, create, and make the world a better place!

Sunday, August 26, 2018


I've been spotting these little coins pop up around various  social media and when Retro Cafe Art Gallery got them in their shop, I knew I had to try my hand at some. They are 2/5 inches in size. You can make your own, there is a good video on YouTube by Crafty Hodges or if you plan to make "a few" like I did (112 to be exact), you can purchase them already punched out on 1/16" acid free chipboard over at Retro Cafe Art Galley and there is a limited edition kit that also comes with stencils the same size as the coins. 
The Artist Trading Coins are meant as little works of art to trade with other artists. I love that idea of a stack of coins with works from different artists. The back side is where you would put your information. I recently had new business cards made and when I saw these coins, I knew immediately  how I was going to incorporate them into my business. So I got to work and ordered a bunch of bases from Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I mean you can't go wrong at 8 for 1.99.
Once I started making them it was addiction and love at first sight.  Once I created all the backs and added the labels, I was ready to move on to the front side.

I designed all the backs first and created a label to add to the center that had my name and my Etsy shop link on it. 

When I am creating a lot of something, I tend to use an assembly line method. This keeps me going and excited to get on to the next level.


 I Starting with backgrounds first on all of them, and then I was left with my favorite part of the project, adding images. Aside from my own arsenal of images, I am always so grateful for the "Creationships" in my life that make these wonderful images for artists to play with. 

After all the images were added, I went back and added outlines, marks and extra paint color where I felt it was needed.
 Last of all, I added gold paint to the edges, I mean what is coin without a little gold on it? For me, personally it gave each coin that finished touch.

Happily, no, I was actually ecstatically happy to have joined in on the fun of making these Art Trading Coins. I plan to include mine with my business card to those who purchase from my Etsy shop. It's like a little extra business card - on a coin.

Additionally, I will send one to anyone who "buys a watermelon" for Tarra (my adopted Ellie) on my blog (top right hand corner). Those donations go to support the Ellies at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Each donation received will get an Artist Coin. Just leave a comment on this blog that you donated and email me your address.
I will also be having a sweet give away in the next day or so on Instagram (and posted here) so keep an eye out for that coming soon with some of the Artist Trading Coins and some of Aroma Tea Bags.

If you haven't tried these coins, they are a total blast to make and a great way to swap information and art with other creatives and friends or they make a great tool for advertising your Etsy shop or business.

Are you counting your coins yet?
Happy Creating,

Some of the images used on my coins were created by these amazing artists:

Coins and images found at:
Retro Cafe Art Gallery- Coins & Images
TumbleFish Studio - Marsha Jorgensen
Crowabout Studio B- Nancy Baumiller
Rae Missigman
Tim Holtz
Dina Wakley
Kelli May Krenz
Paper Whimsy