Thursday, August 25, 2016


Baaaahaha! It’s that time of year again when Tombstones are beginning to pop up everywhere. You will begin to see more and more of them over at the Retro Café Art Gallery Inspiration Community page on Facebook. There is also a contest going on. Since I am member of the Design Team, I am not participating in the contest but I do love the Tombstones and look forward to making them each year.

Everyone is welcome to make and share, we would love to see your Tombstones!

These are the new tombstones I created for this

I love the little Sugar Skulls and word cut outs are just perfect additions for the tombstones. They are easy to paint and apply.

 I added the black and orange metallic glitter for some ghoulish sparkle!


 This is one of my favorites I made, I guess I just love his "devilish" grin!

I love the Raven holding his skull treasure and the mini bat on his hat! 

I found two of these little iron gates at The Vintage Market Days this Summer and they fit perfectly on the stands by carving out two small holes and adding glue.

Acrylic Paint
Iron gate-my personal stash
 Last year I participated in a Tombstone Swap and these are the ones I created for 2015.

Below are the ones that I got back from my fabulously talented art sisters! Aren’t they just Boooo-tiful? Make no “bones” about it, they are very addictive!

                  "Rare Oddities" by Deb Moon

                   "Wicked" by Amy Nieman

                    "Treats for Halloween"
                  by Mary Jane Chadbourne
                         "Poe" by Cat Kerr

I hope you will Fly on over to Retro Café ArtGallery and get your SPOOK on! We would love for you to join us in the Graaave yard!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Every once in a blue moon I give my studio a good going over and I manage to find things that I have been looking for at one time or another. I also find some things that surprise me like a small roll of craft chicken wire. I think I must have purchased this to use on a cage doll at one time. So that immediately put my mind in motion.On many occasions I've made art creations depicting the famous Marie Antoinette, but I never considered a Marie Santos Cage Doll until I started looking at the supplies over at Retro Café Art Gallery, my favorite go to place. That is where I spotted the antlers. It always pays to check out the sale items as well. That is where I spotted 4 mixed bags of paper flowers by Prima and that along with the antlers was all the inspiration that I needed to inspire  me to order another large Santos Cage Doll and the Marie Antoinette face to go with  it.

In one instant the flowers, the antlers, the chicken wire, and Marie Antoinette all came together in my mind. I loved the idea of making a Santos Cage Doll with her, and Marie being such an interesting figure in history, she gave me a lot to work with. It also inspired me to read more about her. 

  I just fell in love with these antlers from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and I adore how they look on her.

I never remembered reading the story about Marie Antoinette and the diamond necklace, so of course adding the diamond necklace to her added a little history flavor and creativity to her design. 

  I knew instantly when I saw the paper flowers that I was going to use that chicken wire as a skirt over the bottom of her cage. 

The chicken craft wire proved to be a small challenge, only because  what I had wasn’t quite as big as I wanted to make her skirt, but it did wrap around the cage nicely and being craft wire, it was easy work with adding just the fancy she needed to do her justice.

 I love these little tassels I found at our local craft store to add to the wire cage. I added several birds around the cage and some stamped fabric tags along with the variety of fabric and paper flowers. 
                 HOW SHE CAME TOGETHER
  I prepped all the doll pieces with Gesso. I painted all the pieces with my main color which was pink. Next I stenciled the bottom and side pieces of the cage. 

Before putting together the cage doll, I used a stencil on the base and outlined with a gold gel pen,then I added my writing. I like to lay out my embellishments or other pieces like the antlers that I plan to add to the doll to see what pieces need to go on first and how they will be attached. Before adding other pieces of interest to the head and back, I attach the arms so the holes don’t get covered up. After all the pieces are painted, I complete the body of the doll first, attaching arms, face, and any other embellishments to the back and front. (Hint: this is harder to do once the doll is attached to the cage and you can’t lay her down.) Once the body of the doll is completed, I attach all the sides, making the cage, again doing all my work on the cage before assembling everything. When the cage part of the doll is completely dry and the body is completely dry, I attach them together.  After the complete body of the doll is firmly dry and attached, I began working with the chicken wire. When cutting the wire, leave long pieces of wire on one side so that you can attach the skirt together by wrapping the wire to the other side once it is on the doll. 

After the skirt was attached, I added the paper flowers and stamped material tags to the wire using a glue gun. I finished off the skirt by adding pearl and diamond embellishments to the inside of the flowers.

 On the back side, I used letter stamps and added some jewelry findings as well as a large flower, bird and bird nest. I used Stickles glitter glue to give a glittery shine to the flowers edges and on the head piece.

 Thanks for stopping by ;)
Happy Creating!


Acrylic paints


Wire Cutters

Craft Chicken Wire

Paper Flowers byPrima / Retro Café Art Gallery
(I used a variety package on sale) but there is always a great selection of flowers available

Jewelry embellishments

Fabric Tags
Wooden Decor Scroll -Used behind head

Alphabet stamps

Ink Pad

Monday, August 8, 2016


I can't sing the praises enough for the uses of Dresden foil. You can add ornate designs and texture to just about any project you are creating. I started with this simple basic Large Ornate 3D Bird Cage Shrine from Retro Cafe Art Gallery. It is not complicated to assemble and yet by time I finished this one, I had imagined 6 more creations using this Bird Cage Shrine. You can find another version of this same Bird a Cage Shrine here!
The Goose is a piece that I added to the bird cage using the body piece of one of the Large Santos Cage Dolls and making my own sort of "Goose Cage Doll". 
This is how the 3-D Bird Cage comes, 8 pieces. The three white pieces you see are from Sandra Evertson's beautiful line of Relics and Artifacts. Three that I could not resist using for this particular piece.
After deciding on the papers I would use, I used the back and bottom pieces of the bird cage as patterns for my paper.

 The goose was a little representation of me looming over my nest of little goslings. :) I painted the dresden foil trim to add a design like you might find on one of the old vintage bird cages.
 Retro Cafe Art Galley has a new shipment and a sale going on for some beautiful designs of Dresden Foil.
 You can see how the bird cage is 3-D in this photo. I did a collage on the very back piece front and back, sides and the bottom piece before gluing all the pieces together.
 I used Dresden Foil trim at the top of my collage and a flower by Prima. This assemblage reminded me with all the graduations taking place this time of year and how extremely hard and important it is to let go and let your little birds grow their own wings. Not for the faint of heart. "Life is a balance of holding on and letting go" Rumi
 As I did the collage on the back piece of bird cage, I also stamped the back piece of the body that I used for the goose. The goose body was very easy to attach using E6000 clear transparent glue. I used the same glue to attach the cage pieces after painting them.

 Here you can see the sides of the cage, they just pop into the slots with a bit of glue. 
 You may not choose to add a body to your own design, but if you do, I simply used a couple clothespins on the back piece until the glue firmed up, which is very quickly with the E6000. I used the Ver- Day Paint kit on the Relics and Artifacts, it really gives them that special vintage look. The Ver-Day paint kit is a must have staple in my studio, quick simple steps to use to produce timeless pieces.

 Finishing touches always look great with Tim Holtz distressed mini ink pads. I keep those on hand to edge most all of my collage work.
 After adding the painted Dresden Foil trim at the top, I added some gold dots using a Gold Pearl Pen. I just the door knocker design from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.
 The little bird is one of Sandra Evertson's Relics and Artifacts. In the above photo, you can see how adding Guilders paste - Patina, can add more dimension.

 This is it, my finished Bird Cage Shrine, I just adore it and I know you will have as much fun making one of your own. The cage stands about 9" tall, 5 1/2" wide and 2 3/4" deep. You can easily place personal items or things you love inside your shrine.

Or maybe, you might want to create your own special cage doll. I loved making this one SO much that I already made another one in the next post below,so I hope you will stick around and check that one out for more ideas on this fantastic bird cage shrine.
I am extremely honored and beyond excited that my Goose Shrine will be featured in the Somerset Studio Gallery Winter Edition 2016.
                                                          SUPPLIES USED

E6000 clear Adhesive 
Word Stencils
Glue stick, Golden Matt Medium, Artist papers and if you choose to add a doll piece on top, Retro Cafe has a lot to choose from.

Don't go away, you have to see the next post using this same Large 3-D Bird Cage Shrine and how Dresden Foil Trim can change a simple to look to a elegant Victorian Shrine.
Thank you for you visit today!