Friday, March 24, 2017


The Santos dolls take their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). The Santos that started the genre of dolls were originally started as copies of 17th century carvings by priests. Originally, Santos were created for use as in-home altars.  They were needed in small villages that did not have a priest, as well as for when it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war.  Their development flourished in Europe  in the 1700's and 1800's, primarily due to these wars.

Even today Santos Dolls have a huge following and I am one of those people that just can't get enough of them. This is one of my favorite Santos Cage Doll Shrines because she is a 3 in one Shrine.I added two additional Shrines to her, a Circle Shrine to the front of her and  another handmade Shrine for her cage.

I began the process by adding white gesso to all the pieces of the cage doll.Once dry, I painted the arms, cage slats and all the pieces where paper would not be added. 

I added a stencil to the bottom piece of the cage using modeling paste mixed with color. 
 Once the slats were dry, I glued on small milagros and painted crosses. Between the milagros and crosses, I painted little white flowers. Setting the slats aside, I started the collage on the Santos doll's body that was now painted front and back and dry. 
I added strips of paper gluing on each with a glue stick and outlining with a black gel pin.

Next, I added two small art circles of paper to the shoulders on each arm and at the wrist. Then I assembled the arms with brads and attached them to the body. You can turn the forearms in different directions depending on the look you want the doll to have. 

For the doll's head, I used one of the large head cuts from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and added a different face on top of it. Before gluing on the head, I turned it over and added a thicker paper to the back of it.  Once the front of the doll was completed, I turn it over to complete the backside, adding a flower to the back of the head, a metal rose to the neck and stamping "Our Lady of the Guadalupe" on the back.

 On the waist of the doll in back, I added a handmade metal/resin jewelry pendant that I had in my stash and some Dresden foil trim at the base of her body. Now that the body was complete, I set it aside to finish the two flat pieces that connect the upper body and the cage slats together. The last thing I do is assemble the doll together using tacky glue or clear adhesive on each slat and inserting the tiny nails with a bit of glue on each tip.
 Directions for the Circle Shrine added to the front of the doll
I prepared each piece with white gesso. Then I used the modeling paste and a small portion from the same stencil I used on the bottom of the cage to add design and texture to the front of the Circle Shrine. After drying, I painted each piece,adding Pearl Dots, antiquing medium and gold paint for a vintage look and then then my image to the back piece gluing them altogether. Once dry, I glued it to the front of the Santos body.

As a bonus to this Santos Cage Doll Shrine, I made another shrine for the bottom of the cage. It was made from a wooden casket with the top removed (the kind you find in a craft stores around Halloween), and a tart tin. Both items were gifted to me by a sweet artist friend. I did a little sanding, painted the inside, used a stencil and modeling paste for texture on the outside and then added a image to the front and a prayer to the back. Lastly I added some glitter glue around the image, a pink crystal and some rose cut outs.This will be an added addition to the doll that can be used in the doll's cage or used alone as a separate shrine.

  To the tea lights, I added a strip of Washi tape to give it some color and a cohesive look with the doll. This Santos Cage doll is beautifully illuminated when the candles are switched on. This cage doll can be found listed in my Etsy shop.

Thank you for being here and I hope you will check back again around April 8, for my monthly post as a Design Team Member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery.

3-D Articulated Santos Cage Doll - Large 
Large Circle Shrine 
E6000 Clear Adhesive Glue or

Aileen's Tacky Glue 
Santos Art Doll Head Paper Cuts 
German Dresden Borders - Gold
Acrylic paints
Art papers
Pearl Dots - Gold
Diamond Stickles Glue
Folk Art Antiquing Medium
Small Milagros
Cut Out Crosses - Set of 24 
Tim Holtz Layering "Lace" Stencil   
Finnabair Art Basics Modeling Paste
Jewelry Findings
Alphabet Word Stamps
Stazon Ink Pad - Black
Tea Light Candle
Washi Tape
Black Gel Pen  

Monday, March 20, 2017


Fun time in the studio Sunday making Shrines. These are beautiful when illuminated with the battery operated candles. I just listed these in my Etsy Shop. I hope your weekend was spent doing something you love!

 Welcome SPRING!
 Happy Creating!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


  These little chocolate bunnies are so cute, you just want to bite their ears off! I don't know about you, but they are the first to go when I am devouring a chocolate bunny! You can find these adorable bunnies at Retro Cafe Art Gallery. They come in a package of two, and the little bows come with them. Easy Peasy to assemble, just paint, glue and snap together. I seesawed back and forth between painting white bunnies and brown bunnies. For me, chocolate always wins. After seeing how cute these two turned out, I am now thinking I may need two white bunnies to accompany them. I was initially making them for Easter decor, then I was thinking how cute they would be in Easter baskets with names written on the base. When I started thinking about names, I began to see visions of bunny place markers at the dinner table. Now you can see how these adorable little guy's multiply!! With two in a package and what little time it takes to make them, I think they deserve a place at the table.... Vanilla and Chocolate!

      Sneak Peak! Another use for these in my APRIL post for 
                           Retro Cafe Art Gallery

Acrylic Paint

Friday, March 3, 2017


 For my post for March 2017 as a design team member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I decided to go with another La Guardarrop Shrine with a little twist. The last one I made was for a post for Halloween last October. I love making Shrines so I could not resist another attempt at this La Guardarropa Shrine. I did a minor alteration on this one, taking out the shelf inside and giving it a totally different look.
 I usually don't begin gluing pieces together until I know what is going to go on the front and back sides. It is so much easier to work on the front and back sides when you can lay them flat especially if you are stamping or working with a collage. 

       I completed the quote on the back side so I could stamp it while it laying flat. Then I  flipped it over and added my collage pieces that would be on the inside. I also completed the painting and gluing on my frames to the front doors before assembling the entire piece. 

The shrine is suppose to have a shelf inside, but I chose to leave out the shelf so I could utilize the entire space inside for my collage. It is easy to leave out the shelf and assemble. There will be a slit on both sides where the shelf should have been. I covered my slits with a papel picado cut out on the inside on both sides and one of Retro Cafe's crosses on the outside on both sides. One would never know the slit was there.

 On the inside of the doors, I added a couple pieces of my own embossed paper then added a papel picado cut out and cross with one of the cut out roses on top.
 The Shelf keeps the doors from going all the way in, but I kinda like the look it gave for this shrine allowing them to go in as well and yet they are easy to open. I added small crosses on the front of both doors for handles.

While waiting for the assemblage to dry which does not take long at all with a good tacky glue, I started painting the other pieces, like the crosses,the papel picado cut outs, and skull for the top of the Shrine.
I added the skull on top of one of the frames from the circle shrine kit,I really like how it framed the skull.

For my collage inside, I added painted Papel Picado cut outs and Milagros. The head/face is from one of the Angels and Saints Art Doll paper cuts over at Retro Cafe. I placed the head over another body I had in my stash.

Then I added roses that I cut from the Rosey Cake Paper Cuts at Retro cafe ...sometimes when you have a need it calls for desperate action. The roses worked perfect on the front, back,sides and inside of the shrine.

I ordered the milagros from a shop on Etsy straight from Mexico, I love how they fit perfectly into the frames from Retro Cafe. 


Next I added some brightly colored shell circle charms around the collage inside from my personal stash because I had them already, but any colored beads, jewelry pieces, charms, flowers, glittery bits and bobs would work just as well. Just let your imagination guide you.
Before finishing up, I added more glitz to the sides using some brads from Prima (just pulling off the back pieces) and gluing them on. Lastly, I added some Diamond Stickles to the roses and more paint to the sides and different places (using my fingers) that I felt needed a little more dimension or distressed look.

I love how the Shrine turned out and I found a Mexican proverb that I stamped on the back side in Spanish.

"The house does not Rest on the Earth, but on a
Woman." meaning, the woman is the one that makes a house work, or to stay up.

 If you would like to win a Wardrobe Shrine like this one to create one of your own, just leave a comment on this post stating what you liked best about this post or shrine. Next week a winner will be announced!
I do a new post each month for Retro Cafe Art Gallery and other creative madness in between. Thank you for being here, I hope to see you again soon! You can find this and other art created by me in my Etsy shop.


Alphabet Stamps
Stazon Ink
Prima Brads
Beads and Jewelry findings
Acrylic Paint
Folk Art Antiquing Medium