Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Artiscape - An Artist's Gathering 2016 Workshops announced

If you have not attended Artiscape in Dublin, Ohio at the The Embassy Suites, let me give you strong encouragement to do so. It's one of the more popular artist events. The workshops and unique activities are so inspiring. Even with many attendees, it still feels like an intimate and friendly. This year's theme is Masquerade in Venice.

The BIG NEWS for me is that I am one of the 20 instructors chosen for this year's event!!  As many of you know, I really enjoy teaching.

This class is titled Steampunked Stiletto. Participants, intermediate to advanced, will embellish embossing paste with a Stampendous stamp, stencil, fabric, gears, brads, tape, watch parts, etc. for personalization. The finished canvas panel can be used to decorate a box, a journal cover or as home decor. The image here is a representation of what students might create and each person will complete two.

Artiscape sells out fast so register as soon as possible. In almost all of the classes the teacher provides everything, except the basic tool kit that we all tend to take to retreats and workshops.

Don't miss this event!! Masquerade in Venice dinner entertainment, Workshops, Kick-off Party, Marketplace, Mad Hatter Tea Party, Outsider Art Fair, Trading session, Artiscape store...new friends.....this retreat has it all!!

I look forward to meeting you there.

Let me know if you have ANY questions!!




Friday, January 29, 2016


I've enjoyed dollhouses, miniature vignettes in unusual containers and miniature furniture, pictures, stuffed animals and so on for a long, long time. 

I'm not sure why that little world is so interesting to me. It's tedious to light a little room box or a dollhouse, or to make your own furniture. 

Yet, looking into that little room is such a delight and if I can put a train display with it, I'm thrilled.

My father didn't build a dollhouse for me when I was young, but he did for my daughter when she was about 5 1/2. She was shocked when she saw it. I couldn't believe that he brought in two sections from West Virginia to Michigan via plane and finished it before Christmas morning!  Appropriately, since his name was Jack, I had a plaque made that said "The House that Jack Built." My brother is in charge of that house now for one of his granddaughters. 

Later my dad built another smaller house that I wrangled away from him because he was going to sell it in a garage sale. It is now the "Bear House that Jack Built." It's such a joy to see my 6-yr. old granddaughter play with it, getting lost in the miniature world. I saw her interest in miniatures when I made her a couple of fairy gardens.

Usually when I'm working in that small world, I may change out the characters and the furnishings, but I don't change the wallpaper or floor covering. I seem to postpone that design decision So, a Christmas vignette that I made a number of years ago has had a delightful unfinished scene, as shown in the first photograph.
The walls needed some sort of covering, as did the floor. I could use dollhouse wallpaper but decided to use some paper I had on hand in Christmas colors to complete the theme. The scale of the paper would work. I measured several times for the walls. (Note that I put tape on my ruler that takes chalk - sure makes marking measurements easier.) 

I also had some molding I wanted to use for the upper part of the wall. The molding strip I had was a little bit thicker than 1/4. Unfortunately, I had to make-do with the one strip I had. It was easily
trimmed with scissors.
With my paper and molding strip trimmed, I ran them through the Xyron® Creatopia using the permanent adhesive cartridge. This machine, although no longer sold at Xyron,  is a workhorse. It takes 12" wide materials, can do decorative cuts, diecut, permanent and repositionable adhesive and laminate. I applied permanent adhesive to the paper AND the molding strip, which went through the machine with ease.

The "edge to edge" adhesive phrase used frequently by Xyron® spokesperson Beth Kingston has become a running joke in my house.  I think I embarrass my husband when we go out for breakfast because I order edge to edge butter on my English muffin! Needless to say, edge to edge adhesive AND butter are terrific!

Continuing with the details of the little room, I laminated the small picture then put it in a tiny frame so it looks like it has glass over it. The photo was from a miniature magazine. Although I've done my own tiny artwork in calligraphy and my mother used to do the tiny embroidery, I usually save very small photos like this to use on the miniature walls.

Continuing on with the room, I applied the "wallpaper." After applying the adhesive to the paper, it was easy to put the paper on the walls. I started at the top and pressed down toward the floor to smooth out the surface. I then when over it with an old credit card to make sure it was bubble free - no bubbles ever appeared. The molding strip applied as easily as the paper. Note that I put push pins into the molding for a few minutes to make sure it stayed in place but I discovered that it stuck firmly without extra help.

My little room is done except for the outside. It has lucite on one side and the top, and wood on the other 3 sides. Since it usually sits on a shelf, I will probably apply either a Christmas banner to the outside front edge or little shingles on the wood. The shingles also went through the Creatopia with ease!! Joy! Joy!

My only remaining project with this is the lighting. That is another post at another date with a really cool idea, so please check back.



Thursday, January 21, 2016


Yep - I think I'd call it a Tissue Tape explosion with the amount of interest people seem to have in making their own version of a "Washi" tape. I'm no exception. Ive been making then for awhile with scraps on my workshop table, strips of my monoprinted pages and  even my Citrasolv™-washed National Geographic® pages. I've used book text and my own writing also.

It's fun to make some to keep on hand, or to customize the tape with your current project's color scheme. Of course, having a few of the handy Xyron™ adhesive machines makes it even easier. I use repositionable adhesive on the strips I make to keep on hand. For targeted projects, I will use permanent adhesive.

Recently, the Women's Bible Journaling group I lead spent some time learning how to do it for themselves. They can embellish their Bibles or notebooks with tape borders or specific words relating to the current study. We used strips from deli paper we wrote on as well as decorative napkins after removing the backing.

I prefer keeping completed tapes on the adhesive backing sheet until I use them. Adhering them to the inside of file folders allows me to see my stash of tape. You better believe I have a basket of store-bought Washi tapes as well!

Tips: thinner papers may wrinkle when running them through the machines....hold the paper as taut as you can without tearing it while adhering the adhesive. When you remove the top plastic, do so carefully so you don't lift the tissu. Also, be careful when you peel the tissue off of the backing because it will tear easily or double back on itself!

Check out the YouTube demo by Beth Kingston at https://youtu.be/MwI-tG6oJ8o

Happy Taping!! :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Today is the Day

December 30 is the day, another day in my life but it's my birthday - a birth date that I share with a couple of my friends. That has made it more fun. I had lunch with one yesterday and today I celebrate a decade mark for another friend.

It was fun to go back through old photos and find the ones here. My ringlets in my hair were made by my mom...I believe she wound them around cloths at night. I wish the skipping/hopscotch photo were clearer. This is probably a typical young photo of me....dresses and ringlets in my hair. Pleasant memories of my young years.

Not sure I have ever really dreaded a birthday or the aging process. As everyone says these days, "It is what it is." Of course my body says,(sometimes softly, sometimes screaming) that I'm getting older.

My young memories included the request for a buttercream cake for my birthday dessert choice. As I got older, french fries and shrimp are my birthday dinner choices and chocolate dessert of any kind. Of course a bread pudding with a candle it would make me grin ear to ear! I seem to remember my mom did have a birthday party or two for me but mostly just family. One year when I was just out of high school, I hosted a birthday party until it got out of control...people invited people I didn't know!! NOT a welcome surprise!!!

I know my parents followed guidelines that I prefer even today  - birthday and Christmas are SEPARATE! If you buy something for me for Christmas, don't say you'll wait and give it to me on my birthday ...arggghhh!!! Don't wrap my presents in Christmas paper!! Bossy, aren't I? I think most of us with birthdays around a holiday feel the same way.

I've had some crazy birthdays back in my single years,  a  terrific surprise party on my 40th, and alone time on other birthdays...each has been a special memory.  Each birthday, each DAY is such a blessing. As we get older, we realize how fast the days fly by.

Sometimes I do grumble about the appearance of a wrinkle, the extra weight, an aching back or joint, but I am here. I am loved by family, friends and most importantly by God. I try to wake each morning by personalizing this quote, ""This is the day the Lord has made, let me be rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

My wish for you on my birthday is that you welcome each of your days with joy and thanksgiving!

Blessings in the New Year.......

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Luke 2New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Glory to God for the gift of his son.

Wishing you the Christmas blessings and a
Exceptional New Year!