Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Hello Friends! Every since my packing tape cards were published in Somerset Studio Magazine,(link on my sidebar) I've had so many requests to share the steps in making them... and since creating and sharing art is what I love to do, I have created an easy peasy post on how I make them. I hope you enjoy it.
 This is the size I use the most and mostly because it easily fits into an envelope. You can use any size for a template that you desire. I also love the larger ones as well and those are great for inserting into packages. If you are wanting to display your business card and it is not a mini card, you may want to make a larger template.

Yes, you can really mail them. I have used this one several times whenever I need to insert a self addressed postcard as confirmation that whatever I am mailing was received. The stamp just sticks on the front. My post office peeps "love" these.
 They also make nice postcards and you can add a message to the back side if you want. This is a postcard template that I used at one time making art postcards. You could use one just for the size only if you have one available in your stash.
You don't think you have strips of paper to use? Trust me you do. Any paper with color, design, writing, or scribbles is a border and can be used for the frame work. I save all my paper. Magazines are a great place to cut strips for borders and words and small images. When I have paper left from projects, I immediately cut them into strips and squares so I have frames ready to use when I need them.
Begin by laying your strips on your template. I start at the top. It's okay if the one you want to use doesn't go all the way across, you can attach it with a square. Inchie's work well here too. Glue only the end of the strips together using a glue stick. Do not glue to the template. Depending on your design you can attach small strips together or one long one. Don't worry about your strips over lapping the template, this will be trimmed later.
Here you can see where the left top corner strips were attached by adding a square. (See the previous photo)You can add the squares even if they meet, it just adds more interest to your design. Remember to lift your frame off the template periodically to make sure you have not glued the entire strip to the template. Glue only ends to ends and paper to paper, not to the template. 
Once your frame/border is complete, you can start gluing pieces to your frame and each piece will connect to another, again careful only to attach edges to edges with the glue stick and not to the template. You may want to play around with your pieces before gluing them together. This is where you will decide if your card will represent your business by adding a business card. You may want to make it a fun personal card,adding your own photos. They make great birthday greetings, Thank you cards and art cards that represent You. Be sure to leave open spaces between your images. The amount of open spaces you leave is entirely up to you. 
Time to lift up your card and frame, you may have to re-glue some edges. Don't worry too much about them being securely glued as the tape will ultimately tie everything together. Gently lift your card from the template and flip it over to the backside. Continue to use your template as a guide.
On this side, you will be gluing paper to paper, not the edges to edges. Do not  let your images overlap the backside of your front images or it will show. It is okay if they don't fit the image perfectly on the back side because you can fill it in later with markers. If the strips you are using for the backside of the frame are wider, you can still use them, no need to spend time re-cutting. Just match the frame edges as close as you can to the inside border. If it over laps on the outside edges, it will be trimmed later.
Once you are happy with your inside images, you can go back and color in the white exposed edges. It's perfectly fine to leave them white, but I prefer to use colored markers to full them in. It brings all the images together with a happy finish.
Carefully flip your card back around to the front and trim your frame from the front side. At this point you can still add small words to your frame if desired by gluing them on top. Now you will trim all the over lapping edges of your frame. Next, use a Jumbo black marker to edge all around the frame. (This is not absolutely necessary, but I have a silly thing about white edges).
 Here I left the white template behind the card just so it would photograph better and you can see my open spaces.

You can now set aside the template. You have basically completed the card except for the tape. For actual postcards where you have placed paper to add an address, this is as far as you will go for those cards because you will have to address them before adding the tape each time. So you can still make those cards ahead of time and then just add your address when needed and tape it up.
Back to the tape: You can use any flat slick surface. Start with either side of the card. Make sure your surface and your hands are clean. The tape will pick up everything.
Lay one strip across the top of the card. Leave some overlapping at the top and a couple inches on each side. Very gently pat the tape on the card. Keep in mind you will  have to lift this up and turn it over.
Lay your second strip across the middle over lapping on the first strip of tape. Repeat with your third strip. Gently press onto your card.
Now, lift the tape strips on both sides and top and bottom and pull up with the card attached and flip it over. Repeat on the back side with the tape. Once you have all the tape strips in place then you can use your fingers and press and score the card so that any bubbles are removed. You are now ready to trim all the tape from the edges of the card. 
You have now made a Packing Tape Card! You can leave your card as it is... or you can choose to sew around the edges of the card leaving a few loose strands of thread.. 
 Thank you so much for visiting my blog, if you are not a follower, I hope you will be. I would love it if you would leave a comment that you were here and if you make some cards of your own, please, please do share them! I would love to see where your creativity takes YOU!


A few more examples of packing tape cards below:

Saturday, October 7, 2017


I am a design team member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery and once a month I have the privilege of creating something from Retro's huge inventory of crafting supplies and posting about it here. As soon as I have completed a post, I am already thinking about my next one, so much so that I am always really early. This month was the first time I can remember that I was unable to find the inspiration to complete even one of the three projects I started for this post.

It's hard to wrap your mind around the devastation and loss of life from hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the earthquake in Mexico and most recently, the loss of lives in Las Vegas. It's an emotional roller coaster and it's more than anyone's heart can bear to take all of it in and yet to move on with my blessed life almost seems to border on the edge of forget. I don't want to forget. I want to mourn for those parents, for those families, for those friends of loved ones. I want to remember those that left this earth so unexpectedly. I want to remember the humanitarians, the unnamed people, the medics, the firefighters, the heroes. I want to remember all the good that was and all the good that is and all the good that continues to shine through even in the darkest of times. So with all these feelings preventing me from completing the projects I started, they led me on a journey to this one at the last hour, and this one felt right....
                        "I Will Remember You".
I love the articulated Santos Cage Dolls, this is one of the large ones. The face is one of the molded faces from artist Lyn Belisle. This is how I started:
Glue the cage together first. Use some Apoxie Sculpt inside the concave back part of the face and attach the face to the body. Add another small piece to the top to attach the crown. Once that is dry, attach the body to the cage. I used white tacky glue but I also added some Apoxie Sculpt to the center insert where the body attaches since the molded face made the body piece a little heavier. This will insure that the body will be firmly attached.
Next, paint the entire piece with a layer of white gesso. Let dry. 
Paint the cage and body with Golden's Paynes Gray, including the arms that are not attached to the body yet. Make a thin wash of the Paynes Gray and go over the face. Next dry brush all over the gray with an Ivory acrylic paint to give it texture. 
While that is drying. 
Paint the crosses with Paynes Gray, Ivory, Burnt Sienna, Van Dyke Brown.
On the bottom of the cage, add scrapes of art paper, over lapping them. Wash over the papers with thinned down Golden -Van Dyke Brown Hue. Once dry, use your stencil for the crosses with Ivory acrylic paint. The stencil I used is from the Limited Edition Fundraiser +ArtistsforArtists+.

Next, go over the entire piece again with a thinned down wash of Van Dyke Brown Hue, including the face and the arms. Let dry.Use the stencil again for the upper body.

Attach the arms once the stenciled crosses on the upper body are dry. Cut and snip the brads to shorten them on the back.

Add more texture to the crosses and attach them to the slats on the cage using the white tacky glue.

The cards in the background of my photos in this post are all beautiful art cards by Artists; Julie Prichard, Lynne Perrella, Judi Riesch, Laurie Mika, Lisa Hoffman, MaryBeth Shaw, Michelle Ward, Sam Ward and Andrew Borloz, who collaborated with Michelle Ward for the +ArtistsForArtists+ Limited Edition Fundraiser. The link is on the Supplies List where you can order these cards, donate to a worthy cause and receive the cross stencil that you see on my Santos Doll.


Small Wire cutters
Artist Paper Scraps
Aves Apoxie Sculpt
Golden Paynes Gray
Golden Burnt Sienna
Golden White Titanium
Golden Van Dyke Brown Hue

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Speaking of castles...It all started with the Somerset Studio 2017 Sept./Oct. issue, where I saw two mesmerizing castles by artist Michelle Ward and Andrew Borlo. Somerset Studio always leaves me inspired. It didn't take me long to grab that coupon to Michael's and get that castle in my hands. I am a big fan of DOTD creations and I knew right away this was going to be a castle with rooms of many Shrines. There are a lot of photos, sorry about that, but this is a big castle! :)

Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful, happy, festive celebration where the lives of families and loved ones that have passed are celebrated by the living. I made this castle with the idea in mind that it would not be just one Shrine, but a Castle of many Shrines. I love that it folds up and latches and the castle arches transform into a carrying handle.

 The entire castle was sanded completely before painting and given a layer of gesso. I loved painting all the bright colors and merging them together room by room just following my muse on the journey.

A funny thing happened while working on my Papel Picado Stencils for the decor on the top of the castle........

 Sherry Westfall Mathews comes knocking at my castle door .. with a wonderful post on her fabulous new hand sculpted clay Fridaflies. Such great timing!

Right away I grabbed some up because this Castle Dia de los Muertos was just screaming for Fridaflies.  They were just the magical touch that I needed for the front of the castle windows and the one with the outstretched arms was just perfect for the welcoming of Souls! I also added some of her Frida figures as well. 
Some of the other figures were purchased through Retro Cafe Art Gallery and handmade in Peru as well as the little yarn woven skeleton man and woman on the walls. They were originally a pin that I cut in half, but they also are made in the earrings too. Yes, things do get cut up and altered often in my studio. 

 I was dying to do a festive Shrine in each room and I could just envision the beauty of all the rooms being filled, (insert sugar skulls, flower, skellies, beads, etc.) but that is sheer beauty of this Castle and something that the buyer will have enormous fun doing on their own. (Insert a little envy here)

The little wooden box with the Dia de los Muertos cat peeking out the window is removable and hides  another room. The box can hold lots of little extra's,  more clay figures, or anything else that is not glued down.

And last but not least, each room comes lit with a battery operated candle and can be seen from every window with the castle opened or closed, which is just stunning when it's dark.
I  hope you enjoyed the tour of Castle Dia de los Muertos. When the castle is closed it has a locking latch on the side and a handy handle at the top for carrying. The castle door is magnetic and stays nicely closed.
You can find it in my Etsy shop or if you want to make one of your own, supplies are listed below with links.

Artminds Wood Castle
DOTD Skeleton Dog
DOTD Wedding Couple
Papel Picado Stencils
Senorita -top of castle
Guitarra - top of castle
Handwoven figures - castle walls
Small frames - castle walls
Dia de los muertos wood cat cut outs
Sugar Skull Cameo - castle door
DOTD Collage sheet - castle walls
Masonite Crosses
Gothic Church Shrine Kit - top of castle
Circle shrine - castle wall
Dia de los Muertos Stencil
Sand paper
Acrylic Paints
Battery Operated candles