Monday, December 4, 2017


I've never been good at giving directions, at least not in the normal sense. I don't notice street signs as much as I do the color of houses or the shape of buildings. Sometimes I start on my way and then I veer to another path if I see something interesting that peaks my curiosity. The same thing happens with my art. I can begin with precise directions and before you know it, I am wandering off, paving my own path. But I think that's how all art should be, learning to pave your own path and listening to your heart's direction.

This month's post for Retro Café Art Gallery started with an Antique China Doll ATC Shrine Kit from Retro. Once assembled, this little Shrine makes a wonderful place for housing some of your favorite Art Trading Cards. One of my favorite things is having a really cute space for my business cards or those business cards of favorite shops I am always hunting for. It didn't take long into the process to find myself "wandering". Hence, I love the quote: "All who wander are not  lost",  perhaps they are just following their heart's direction.

If I am painting and not using paper, I always start by giving all the parts a nice layer of gesso.

While the gesso is drying, I am thinking along the lines of what embellishments or cutouts I might use. As you can see by this photo and the end result of  my piece, I already switched direction and did not use the shells.

Next, paint one layer of ivory acrylic paint on the box or shrine body. Once dry, glue the shrine box together. Once that is dry, give a second layer of ivory paint to the box after assembled which will fill in any cracks and make everything extra sturdy. The decorative embellishment that goes on top is optional but I decided to use it because I was already thinking that I could loop some wire through the holes.
Next, I added doors to the front, which are also optional. Using washi tape, I lined them up and taped them to the sides, then I painted over the tape with a layer of gesso and acrylic paint.
 To the front doors, I decided to add these adorable mini door knobs. I didn't care for the bright gold so I gave them a coating of Golden Van Dyke Brown acrylic paint.
On the inside, I cut and added the words from Tim Holtz "Small Talk" which says:

 "What seems ordinary is often extraordinary, listen to your heart it will show you the way." 

Then I added some grungy paint and used a black pen to line and circle around the words.
 On the back side, I used a stamp on paper first and glued it on. Then I added Tim Holtz Alpha Cubes for feet which gave the Shrine a little more height. 
To the sides, I added some paper embellishments that I had in my stash. Next, I painted two skeleton key cut outs and then rubbed on Inka Gold (Copper) to give them that vintage appearance. I attached them with annealed wire through the holes on the top of the shrine.
 I attached my head piece last and added a Fish Paper Cut because it reminded me of what a sweet friend and mentor once told me, "Be like the fish that swims up stream, go your own direction."
 To the top of her head I added a large Moth Paper Cut to a thicker backing and glued it to her forehead as a reminder that not a day goes by that I am not in "The Presence of Wonder".


Acrylic Paint 
Rubber Word Stamp
Artist papers


I love the Santos Doll Kits at Retro Cafe Art Gallery, all sizes of them. Working really small is generally out of my comfort zone so I tend to put those things aside until the moment finds me. At Christmas time I love to decorate my tree with handmade ornaments and ornaments that represent the things I love, so I thought this was a perfect time to put this doll together and make her an ornament for my tree.
She is very basic and simple to put together. You position her arms the way you want them and then glue them on. With a variety of mini paper cut faces at Retro, you have a lot to choose from for her face,
the same for wings.
 I also used Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk Words in white and they fit the all the little cage slats perfectly. Then I just distressed the edges of them.

The little wooden embellishment I used for wings, I found in a package in the wood section at Hobby Lobby.I pick up embellishments wherever I go. The little brass Christmas Tree and trinkets hanging from her arm were tied on a package I received from a sweet artist friend, Diana Darden. There are a lot of ways to personalize this mini Santos Doll. 
Lastly, I gave some gold to the edges of the doll's body, and added wire to her wings for hanging. 

Now I have a a memorable easy to make Mini Santos Doll Ornament and I can't wait to get it on my tree!
Acrylic Gold and Ivory Paint
Annealed Wire
Wood wings-
Lots of Wing Options at Retro. 
Just put wings in the search box. 

and May your Tree be full of SPARKLES!

Friday, November 17, 2017



Driving a different direction to work
Drink a different tea or drink your coffee black
Speak to someone you don't know
Part your hair on the other side
Send someone a Love note
Wear two different colored socks
Do an art project with a medium that scares you
Wear something bold and gaudy
Step out of your comfort zone
Try juggling...and then pat yourself on the back for the things you CAN do
Wear red lipstick
Find a bag (preferably a paper one with handles), go on a walk and fill it
with treasures ~*
Discover things about yourself that you didn't know

"The idea is to turn even familiar actions into everyday celebrations, to make vivid the common, to separate every moment from the next, as experimental films do, so that spontaneity is allowed to break the dead hand of habit". ~Samuel A. Eisenstein

Some days you just want to put on your favorite tunes and dance wildly ~ or just open the windows, let the sun shine in and quietly sip tea.... I will dance wildly*

Keep a photo on your laptop or phone that makes you smile when you  open it up or maybe a crazy selfie that makes you laugh! Always make time for yourself no matter what it is that makes you happy and don't forget to laugh.

Just find a photo of someone you admire
Make a thought bubble with words of encouragement and glue it on or just add words to the picture.
 Hang it in a prominent place, put it on the fridge or somewhere you see it everyday and know that you are Loved no matter what happens.

Start everyday with a "Hello Beautiful" compliment in the mirror before you forge out into the world and end everyday with "How did I get so Lucky"!

Everyday, I take it all in, it fills me up! Every day  is a blank new canvas and you are the artist.
Today I am Celebrating all my Beautiful friends and all their amazing unique qualities that they bring to my world inspiring me to walk through new doors, saying yes to new adventures and to really see and Celebrate the person who looks back at me in the mirror everyday!
If you are here, today I Celebrate You! 
How did I get so Lucky!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Going junking is one of my favorite things to do. I don't start out looking for anything. I am always just on the hunt for interesting items that inspire me. Most of the time I have no idea what I will do with them and sometimes I see an item and I know exactly what I will do with it. That was case with this vintage bird cage. When I saw it, I couldn't pass it up. It was weathered, obviously old and very strange in the fact that for a bird cage it had no door. The bottom has a wooden latch that opens on a hinge for cleaning out I imagine, but all the same, I knew I would create something with it. With some cleaning up, sanding, repainting, and re-working other items in my magic boxes, I think this Guardian Angel turned out just like I imagined. 

She is the Guardian of the Gentle. She watches over those who do not fend well for themselves and protects them from harm and evil.

I love creating with intention and setting out to do planned projects always excite me, but gathering supplies and letting my muse flow free is such a rewarding experience, not knowing the direction or where the journey will take me.

 If you are like me and have "magic boxes" full of things that fascinate you, I hope you will take time for yourself to explore the possibilities and see where your muse takes you!

I also found this wire cage, so I rusted it up and added some "Bee's" to it, then I couldn't resist inserting a little handmade bird nest. It goes along nicely with my Guardian Angel.

 You can find both of these items in my Etsy Shop now with a BIG SALE of 50% off all items! WHOOHOO! I am making room for a studio remodel.
 Thanks for popping in, leave me a comment, even just to say Hi, I was here! :)  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I will be back after Turkey and a nice long nap on the couch!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


 Three little Kittens lost their Mittens, but they didn't lose their way. It's November and time for my Post for Retro Cafe Art Gallery. I couldn't resist these adorable feline faces from Retro Cafe and I've had them in my stash for some time. My intention when starting this month's project was to make these three Articulated 3-D Angels - Love, Light and Peace. All three are listed in the supplies at the bottom. I love the way the angels stand, giving multiple sides to work with. Then I began looking at faces to use and that's when it all changed. 

These angels are very easy to assemble and paint and offer lots of possibilities. For this project, begin by giving all the pieces a light coating of white gesso.
 Then assemble the base by inserting the two pieces together. Paint your base with a base coat of paint. Once dry, go through your paper stash and or scaps and literally just tear strips of paper and glue on to your base front and back.

 Attach your arms. For these kittens, I replaced the upper arm with Tim Holtz Metal Word Bands. Attach the hand and arm piece first with the brad included, then attach the metal word band to the shoulder with the brad included. Clip brads with wire cutters to shorten after you have attached them and then flatten them down on the back side.

Before attaching the face and or bird cut outs, glue them to a thicker backing and cut them out. I just use the backing that actually comes in the cut outs with the birds and faces, which works perfect making the cutout a little sturdier. 
Glue the face to the body. Next, take the small paper doilies, fold each in half and sew across the top of them making a little apron. Use Tim Holtz distress pads to distress the edges. Glue the paper apron on the body with some glue in the middle and attaching on the back.  Next add any other embellishments you like to the body and glue on your bird.

I added stamped words to each side of the middle stand or skirt in front. For the last steps,  I painted the wings ivory, stamped the back side of the wings, rubbed gold on the edges and glued them to the back side of the body. I did the same thing with the crown and glued it to the back side of the head. Without a lot of fuss, I made all three of these kittens in one evening.

I hope you have enjoyed these little kittens that "Momma calls Angels". You can find all the supplies to make your own 3-D Articulated Angels over at Retro Cafe Art Gallery. See the supply list below!

Love, Light and Peace,


Artist Papers or Paper Scraps
Acrylic Paint
Gold Paint
Wood Bingo Tiles
Tim Holtz Metal Word Bands
Small Alpha Rubber Stamps
Stazon Ink Pad
Glue Stick