Sunday, May 31, 2015


I would like to start out this post by telling you about my far away travels and how my journeys took me to this ancient ruin where I found these amazing relics and artifacts. The truth is that I didn't even have to physically leave my studio but my Dreams were hundreds of years away as I worked on this Large Exquisite Santos Doll Antiquity Shrine Kit from Retro Cafe Art Gallery

 As of late I have been completely taken away with the Relics and Artifacts by Sandra Evertson and Prima Marketing, Inc. When I saw this new Santos Doll from Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I knew I was about to embark on a journey for Ancient Relics and Artifacts.


The making of this doll took days, which any good journey does, and there are things I learned along the way that I would do differently if making one again, but all in all, I think my Found Ancient Santos Doll turned out better than I expected and with surprising results as most everything was done by trial and error.

 I have to admit that was truly the most fun of my journey with it, experimenting with different techniques, textures and layers, just like a real "Art-ti-ologist! :)

This is what the shrine part looks like once you get it put together, without the doll on top. My first thought was to add the doll later, since I wanted to paint and finish most of her before adding her to the shrine.

 I added Gesso on all parts and then began adding texture by gluing different strips of paper on the entire piece. Molding paste was the final texture added. I love working with molding paste.
FUN TIP: If you look closely, some of the texture is from different textured papers I added, and also from this:

 It is a sample of wallpaper from a textured wallpaper book I acquired.  I have used these samples on so many things. The book is free and you can ask for them when they are retired at any place that sells wallpaper. Check your Home Depot, Lowe's, and or paint stores.                                            

BIG TIP#1: Don't cover up the hole where you are suppose to attach the Santos Doll to the Shrine! Eeek!
After I covered the shrine in gesso, layers of paper, molding paste and more paper, there was no uncovering the hole. Okay, so I would improvise later on with that.

I already knew I wanted Sandra Evertson's Archival Cast Ancient Heart to be the center piece for the Shrine and I wanted to break it into pieces for two purposes. One to add authenticity of age and the other to go with the quote that I love; "The wound is the place where the light enters you" by Rumi which I added almost illegible on the back. Sandra's pieces are so tough and sound that you can even drill into them, so I wasn't sure that I could even crack them with a hammer. After a few swift whacks on concrete it broke into three pieces. "Ouch", watch fingers. The toughness really added to the fact that it did not cause the pieces to splinter or crack into pieces too small to use.

 BIG TIP#2: Add your eye hook to the top of the shrine (to hang your flaming heart) BEFORE you put the shrine together or before you add so much texture that you can't get it in. That was problem number two.

I had my heart set on it so I had to put on my thinking cap.This just goes to show you that sometimes your mistakes can take you in a better direction or one at least as good as what you originally intended. I have always maintained, "Where there is a will, there is a way". All I needed was a wooden two inch block that I could paint and make it look like an aged stone that the heart could sit on it or look like it was sitting on it. 

To the back of the three broken heart pieces, I added a little fat wooden spool, one that I purchased at Hobby Lobby to use as feet on some of my previous wooden ATB dolls. I glued one spool on the back of each piece and to the back of the flame. Once dried, I  attached all the pieces to the back wall of the inside of the shrine. This made the heart stick out from the wall giving it a 3D effect.  I also added gold leaf to the cracks to make it look like the light was shining through the cracks. Mistake fixed and I think I even like it better.

 I wanted the shrine to have feet, so I glued two wooden blocks together, tapped in a nail or two for an aged look. I then painted and added these great little pieces to all the sides that I found in my stash box. It helps to have a nice stash of supplies from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.

 All the little brass fish, beads and findings on the shrine came from Linden Avenue Designs on Etsy, with the exception of the crosses which I made from paper clay. The brass crown is from Retro Cafe Art Gallery as well as Sandra Everton's Relics and Artifacts on this piece which include: Hands- Archival Cast - Milagros, Flaming Heart Ex Votos II, Archival Cast - Visage, Wings-Archival Cast- Rising Spirit III, the scroll on the head piece came with the Large Santos Doll Antiquity Kit from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.

 I also included one of Retro Cafe Art Gallery's Vintage Door Knockers (Dimensional embellishments) and placed it upside down.

The picture on the back is also from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and the flaming heart on the back side was one that I previously made, I just changed out the picture in the center  and  added it as a nice addition to the back.

BIG TIP#3: I used the wings from Sandra's Archival Cast - Ancient Soul. I originally thought I would wire them through the top arm holes. I worked with that for a while and it just wasn't happening. Then I remembered that I had in my stash from Retro Cafe Gallery, a variety of Masonite wings used for previous projects. I had to cut a pair of them in half since they would not be long enough to go across the back and then glued each half to each side of the back. 

That gave me a platform to glue on the wings from Relics and Artifacts. It worked perfect.

 I didn't even mind that you could see the other set of wings because after all, it is an ancient piece of art, right?

 This piece is tall, heavy and feels like it is old. I am not sure it ended up like I imagined it when I started out, but that is all part of the journey.. the discoveries along the way, and the things we learn from them.  

Many thanks for visiting my blog today as I shared my journey with you. Remember, "The wound is the place where the light enters you". We all fall, we all fail and we can always try again. 

Credits to Retro Cafe Linden Avenue DesignSandra Evertson and Prima Marketing, Inc. for these amazing supplies and art pieces and a shout out to Jessica Brogan whose post I just read and admired about encouraging others to share their art. Thanks Jessica, fabulous inspiring post! I love it when people share.

Leave a comment if you have a moment, I would love to know that you were here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Dreams Do Come True if you Believe!

I feel so blessed to be published in the Somerset Studio Gallery 2015 which will hit newstands June 1st.
When I received the letter from  Natalie Way at Stampington and Company that they wanted to feature my Altered Art Angel,
I was over the moon excited and thrilled with gratitude to be published in one of my very favorite art magazines along with so many of my favorite art sisters; Cat Kerr, Vickie Krammerer, Lynne Moncrieff, Kelli Jean May-krenz, Renee Zarate, e'Layne Koenigsberg, Sherri Welser,Dina Speed Wakley, Sherry Westfall Matthews,Lynne Simon Suprock, Carolyn Dube and so many more! 

It was huge heart pounding surprise for me to find out that I was also on the cover. Although Somerset Studio never disappoints in meeting inspiring artists, viewing amazing artwork, and gathering more than inspiration than one brain can possibly hold, this issue is just filled to the brim with pure Magic!

I have been a fan of cage dolls  forever and really became addicted when I purchased my first kit for a smaller one from Retro Cafe Art Gallery. After that I was hooked. I made several of the smaller ones before trying my hand at one of the larger ones. The one featured on the cover is one of the larger cage doll kits you can find at Retro Cafe Art Gallery along with a lot of other very cool supplies.

This month I also had the privilege of being published in the Spring Issue of Art Doll Quarterly at Stampington and Company (many hugs and thanks to Editor Jana Holstein) for featuring my Art Dolls. The issue is packed full of the most inspiring creative creatures and artwork. I am filled with gratitude to  be included with these amazing artists, whose artwork I will definitely be watching. My dolls came to life through an Art Doll Workshop I took at Artful Gathering with instructor Mary Jane Chadbourne last Summer. You could purchase the doll kits through her shop that  she and her husband constructed together. I am not good with power tools so this and Art Tea Life's art images from Etsy were a match made in heaven. 

I don't know when I've have so much excitement all in such a  short span of time, but I am grateful beyond words and I will keep believing and doing what I love, because that's what it's all about.
My friend Cat Kerr who is the newest member of the design team for Retro Cafe Art Gallery (So proud of her) and also on the front cover of the current issue of Somerset Studio below with her beautiful art, sent me this quote and fits my blog so well that I think I will add it somewhere:

"For those determined to fly, having no wings, is just a minor detail"  - Janet Lee Logan

Cat Kerr's Beautiful Cover Art

Thank you Cat Kerr, and Thank you Stampington and Company, Jana Holstein and Natalie Way for believing in me! If you haven't held one of these magazines in your hands, then you are in for a real treat!

Now, if you hurry, you may be able to catch one of these beauties in her Etsy shop, she just posted.

and this little birdie, sang, "La, la, la, all the way home"