Saturday, August 26, 2017


I feel very fortunate and blessed that I was asked to write an article for publication of my Birdie Shrines for September-October issue of Somerset Studio Magazine.

 I had some requests to post on my blog as well since many that I know do not have the magazine available  to them. I am always happy to share and perhaps you will be inspired to make a shrine of your own!
I started out to make this trio of shrines on a total religious theme but somehow my heart was drawn to these little winged creatures and soon I was off on a different path, which seems to happen often when I let go of my plan and let my muse take over. Even though the look changed, the path felt the same. As an artist, I always seem to be drawn to add a bird to my creations. My heart is so grateful for them and what they bring to offer for such a small penitence of food and water. I was very happy with my re-directed path because the trio of shrines truly reflected my personal feelings of a good day, a good life, and reminders that the best things in life lie in the smallest details and a reminder how empty the world would be without these extraordinary little creatures.
Each shrine began with one of three different small shelf shrine Triptych’s found at Retro Café Art Gallery. They come with metal rings but I chose to sew mine together instead. The standup shrines can be used on either side.

Shrine: Never Give Up
Gesso front and back of each piece. Paint each piece a different color. With your brush go over the edges with a different color than the base color. Use a dry brush for a textured look when adding more layers. Lay out your collage images for each piece. Add colors to the edges that coordinate with the colors in your images. Use matt gel medium or glue stick to adhere your images. Use your fingers to blend in color with the edges of your collage image. Using a white gel pen, add white dots to the blue background. Place words on each shrine and outline the words in black going around the word several times. Do the same to the back sides adding your colors, layers and images. Use a stamp design across the top, above the word, “believe.”  On your collage image, use Tim Holtz’s Remnant Rubs, “gather hope.” Use black string or black embroidery thread to lace the shrine pieces together. Cut and tie in a knot. Use paint that coordinates with each piece. Use your fingers go over the laced thread. Add more color to the edges where needed. Back side below:

                     Shrine: Precious Things
 For a distressed look, do not use gesso on the shrine pieces. Add layers of white, ivory and cream paint. Allow the brown Masonite base to show through some of the color. Paint each piece back and front. Add paper and neutral color images. For the middle piece use the top half of the Circle Shrine found at Retro Café Art Gallery. Stencil a design using modeling paste on it and let dry.  Add antiquing medium and wipe off. Place your image inside. Glue the circle shrine to the middle piece shrine. Use gold paint and paint the inside of the top circles on each shrine piece. Use a gold gel pen and outline the cut outs on either side of the circles. Add the bee from Tim Holtz’s Remnant Rubs to the middle circle already painted gold. Use gold Pearl Dot paint to add dots to the other two circles and around the middle circle with the bee for a 3-d effect.  Use Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs to add words “spread your wings” and “fly away” to the first and last shrine piece. Repeat for the back side. Use a black gel pen to scribble script. Use Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs for words “precious things.” Lace the pieces together using white string and use your fingers to add paint to the string.

                      Shrine: Come Birdie
Gesso each piece of the shrine back and front. Paint shrine green with acrylic paint. Once dry stamp with script stamp. Use your fingers to apply more paint rubbing in different areas over the script. Leave some script showing through. Add your bird image blending the edges with paint. Scribble wording with black pen. Paint red flower in the corner of shrine. Use the back half of the Circle Shrine from Retro Café Art Gallery left over from the “precious things” shrine. Paint it dark blue. Add a jewelry pendant  with an image to the center of the circle shrine. Use gold Pearl Dots to add color and dimension to the outer part of the shrine. Use Tim Holtz Remnant word “Love” at the top of the middle piece. Add the bird image, “Come Birdie” to the third piece. Using your finger, smooth on paint around top circle covering up some of the script stamp. Use black pen to scribble script on side of shrine.
Add another layer of color to the back side on the edges and around the circles. Use a stamp across the top of each shrine piece. Glue on your images. Blend paint around the edges of the images with your fingers. Add paint to the edges of the shrine pieces. Add words, life, abundant and beautiful from Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs. Lace together each shrine piece using back string or black embroidery thread, tie in knot and cut off excess. Use fingers to cover string. Add coordinating colors of paint to edges of shrine.
Back Side:
      Small Shrine Triptych - Lace -Gothic Arch            
      White gesso
      Acrylic paints
      Antiquing Medium

      Mat Medium Gel 

      Gold Pearl Dots

      Neutral paper scraps
      Bird images
          Script Rubber Stamp
          Small design stamp
          Stazon Ink pad
          Household String
          Black Embroidery Thread
         Jewelry pendant

Happy Creating!


  1. I always love your work, my friend. I'm so happy for you Kim, to be in Sommerset again and show off your incredible intuitive talent, they know good when they see it. Gotta add one of your pieces some day. My shelves are empty of your inspiration!

    1. Ahhh, Thank you so much Jennifer! Creating art just completely fills my soul! I feel so blessed to have published works...and grateful to have friends like you!!!
      Loving your BEE!

  2. Oh Kim! These shrines are absolutely wonderful and so endearing!!
    I love that they started out religious and found their way to nature as well- Nature is religious if you think about it!
    Your artwork is forever inspiring and I am so happy for you that Stampington agrees! heehee Huge Congratulations Kim! xoxo

    1. Thank you Jackie!! Yes, you are right,Nature is just about as close as you can get to our Creator who dreamed up and made all these incredible things!! I am just in "awe" mode all the time and forever grateful for Stampington for giving me the opportunity to share my work!!
      Your work equally inspires me!!

  3. Oh my goodness, these are all SO AMAZING!!! Beautifully done and congrats again!!! xoxo

    1. Thank you Kristin!! I am always over the moon inspired by what Retro Cafe has to offer...a Dreamer's playground!!

  4. Oh my!! How fantastic!! I love your work!

  5. Thank You so much for this inspiring post. It was so fascinating to read more about your beautiful art and where your muse takes you. I love how you use colour and how you feature birds in your work. Your article in Somerset was lovely and this is indeed a bonus to read more here. xx


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