Monday, October 30, 2017


So my artist friend, Tina Walker, posted an artist collaboration on Facebook. I love collaborating with other artists and especially when the theme is a Dia de los Muertos collaboration, one of my favorite themes.
I found this Dia de los Muertos Mask large stencil over at Stencil Girl by artist Andrea Matus deMeng. I've never really played much with the large stencils but I fell in love with this one right away and thought I would give it shot. After perusing the site and reading some great tips by the artist, I proceeded to get my girl onto a 12" by 12" wood birch panel and then a funny thing happened... I had a change of plan.(It actually happens a lot).  Not long ago I ordered some 4"X4" wooden birch panels with a different venture in mind and that hasn't happened yet, so I completely changed direction and went for the "Why not" plan. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn't work and I would be back to the 12" by 12" panel.
I ended up using 9- 4"X4" wood panels in rows of three. Once I got the stencil on the top completed and painted on all squares (and trust me, there was a lot of lip biting there), I gave the sides some paint using fluid acrylics and let everything dry. 
 (You can even change her face around, which was pretty entertaining)

I couldn't wait to flip all the pieces over and start on the backs which would become the hidden shrines. I loved alternating all the colors, being messy and  neat all at the same time. I found it so intriguing that behind this Dia de los Muertos painting there were 9 individual shrines hidden that no one could see unless I chose to turn one over or all of them.

I love that they can be separated, hung, or stacked together in various formations. Great for wall art, but I first envisioned shelf art since they stack and then I fell in love with them laying flat on my coffee table and moving the different blocks around..a pretty cool conversation piece. It took everything I had not to complete the insides of the individual shrines. 

However, I knew if I were purchasing this piece, that would be the draw of my heart to be able to create and personalize the inside of each Shrine and make it my own, or you can leave it as it is.

Thank you Tina Walker for such an amazing collaboration and inspiration by some very talented artists and friends. This is a short list of some who blogged about it. Be sure to give them a visit.
Tina Walker 
Terefunken Ru Ba 
Tracy Krueger
Peggy Gatto
Melissa Johnson

If you are reading this, then Thank YOU for being here and be sure to check out Stencil Girl if haven't already. You can find this Dia de los Muertos Shrine of 9 in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


I pretty much have a love affair with altering paint brushes, so I was very excited and grateful when Stampington and Company wanted to feature my latest paintbrush dolls in the newest November/December issue of Somerset Studio Magazine.

 Thank you for stopping in and viewing my brushes and taking the time to comment and follow.(I love to know that you were here) :)
Available Nov. 1st
Somerset Studio Magazine - See side bar and pick up your issue to see some incredible art featured by some very talented artists.
You can also get these ready to alter paint brushes and supplies at Retro Cafe Art Gallery!
Happy Creating!  

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: