Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Table

          My husband is a woodworker, a refurbisher, a recycler/upcycler, a refinisher and all around creative guy.  As a result, people are always giving him things that he might be able to "do something with."

           A dear friend recently moved from Colorado to Maryland and took on the immense task of downsizing.  During the process, she gave my husband "The Table."  He planned to refinish it one day and possibly sell it, because we really didn't have room for it.  It was shuffled around the garage/workshop before eventually ending up in our storage unit.  Then came my epiphany.

           I am fortunate enough to have two creative spaces.  My basement is divided right down the middle with one side being the fabric, lace, buttons, ribbons, fiber and needlework space:

and the other being the mixed media (and all that entails) space:

           This space has always felt as if something was missing.  I realized that my favorite spaces that I would come across in magazines, blogs and Pinterest, had one thing in common, a fabulous wood work table.  The warmth of wood has always appealed to me and I could envision myself working at any one of these tables.  That's what my space was missing.  Warmth!  Hence, the epiphany.  MY table was sitting in a lonely storage unit just waiting to be brought back to life and what I loved most were the imperfections; the scars, dents and stains that make you realize that someone else used this table to create and daydream.  It's now in my space, as is, and I'm drawn to it every single day.  I like to believe I am bringing as much life to it as it's bringing to me.

I wish you all a warm, creative space,




Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Creative Card Swap

A few weeks ago, my sister found a card swap online called "Inspirational Card Swap" hosted by Jessica Brogan.  The theme was "Nature" and we used just a standard card deck and created a piece of art on one side.  My absolute favorite thing to do is to create 'fabric paper' using a method described by Beryl Taylor in her book "Mixed Media Explorations." She is one of my favorite textile artists.

I started with a few basic supplies: muslin, diluted white glue and tissue paper.  I decided to use a patterned paper this time.  I then added paints and inks until I liked the overall design.  My finished piece was probably 18" by 30" give or take an inch or two.  When it was dry I turned it over and used soft gel medium to adhere the 52 cards.  I weighted them down and it does take some time to dry.  When dry I cut out the 52 cards and voila!

Fifty-two cards ready for mailing!

This was really fun to do and we came into it a little bit later than others which actually kept me motivated to finish.  Jessica then does all the sorting and mailing and we, the lucky recipients, receive 52 different pieces of art from the U.S. and abroad.  Hopefully this will encourage you to do something similar.  It's exciting to see how other artists interpret a theme.

Happy creating,


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A New Day

     Ever since I was a young girl, I've loved the promise of a new day.  It always  meant a time to stat over with a clean slate with all the troubles and cobwebs from the day before having been swept away.

     This new day has been three years in the making.  It's been filled with everything other than what I truly wanted to be doing.  A full-time job that was, at times, unbelievably stressful, buying a house and moving.  It also had moments of pure joy:  Two new granddaughters (bringing the total  number of grandchildren up to six) and the beautiful wedding of my only daughter.

     Through it all, the good, the bad and the amazing, all I wanted to do was create.  I have lovely, wonderful creative friends and two great creative spaces, but just couldn't find the time, the energy or the creative spark that I needed.  Mostly it was the creative spark that was missing.  Even after retiring for a second time at the end of March, it has taken me five months to find myself and that spark.  What ignited the spark was taking a couple of classes from the amazing Finnabair, aka Anna Dabrowska, an extraordinary mixed media artist and teacher.  The photo above represents one of the pieces I did in class.

     This is a piece I created for my lovely and talented sister in honor of her birthday, to put in her art studio.

      I have always loved mixed media & collage work, especially working with textiles and embellishments of all sorts, so with that in mind I will be supplying my poor neglected Etsy shop with packages of lovely things for others to enjoy.

      A dear friend suggested I call them Bundles of Beautiful, which I quite like.  I love beautiful, vintage things so stay tuned for updates on that little endeavor.

    Having moved, my creative space has changed quite a bit.  Here are a few pictures:

 Can't forget the coffee bar!

My wish for all of you, is that you have found your
creative spark.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Living in a Crayola World...

I am a grown woman.
Almost 63 years grown.
I still adore crayons.
One can never have too many crayons.

And what a happy girl I was when I discovered
all things Crayola.

Years ago I spotted this calculator at Macy's and I 
really, REALLY wanted it for Christmas.
So I told all my kids and my husband that this
was what I wanted.  It was only $7.98
Truly, I would have been happy with this!
Did I get it?  No.
I had to find it a few years later at
a flea market and paid over twice as much for it.

All my crayons have been packed away for a couple
of years and yesterday I took most of them
out and put them in my studio.
I keep the door closed at night because 
Mr. Kitty loves bling and tries to eat it all.
This morning I opened the door and it
smelled like a new box of crayons.

I was six again.

I really do live in a Crayola world.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where Bloggers Create

Today is Where Bloggers Create day presented by
Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage.

A couple of blog posts earlier I posted pictures of my studio and
I will share two of them here.  The one above
and this one:

These are actually two different rooms in my house.
In this post I will share some of my
favorite things.

Button Box contents:


Beautiful trims:

Wooden Spools:

I'm very fortunate to have a very supportive husband who loves to
build all the little shelves and cubbies I could
possibly use. This unit wraps around three sides
of a work table:

So that I can do what I love best:

Have fun!


Monday, July 9, 2012

A Word About Art

Because I can't draw, I have never considered myself an artist.  Now before you start charging me a quarter for being negative, just hear me out.

As a six-year-old budding artist, I loved to draw and one day I drew a very rudimentary self-portrait, complete with oval body and nipples. (I had advanced from strictly stick figures, you see.)  Being quite pleased with myself, I showed it to my mom and my mom, being slightly appalled by it, struggled with her words.  They came out as "Well, I've seen better."  What I heard was, "you're not good enough."  My little six-year-old artistic soul was crushed.  Then came elementary school art class.  Even though I was deliriously happy playing with finger paints, crayons, paper, scissors and library paste (which I surreptitiously licked off my fingers), my projects were "graded."  I never quite measured up to my teacher's standards.  My grades reflected the fact that I wasn't "good enough."  By high school my six-year-old artistic soul was quashed for good.

I did not, however, give up buying art supplies.  I have crayons, watercolors, acrylics, oil pastels, watercolor crayons, oil sticks, brushes, inks, dyes, papers, etc., etc., etc.  My mother taught me to sew and embellish fabric with buttons and beads and to be creative with textiles.  As a result I have a fabulous collection of fabric, fibers, buttons and beads.

About 10 years ago I discovered collage and altered arts and I've been creating and using everything I've learned over the years and so grateful I have my collections of "stuff."  My six-year-old artistic soul came alive.


I read a comment online made by an artist who was incensed that anyone who did not have a fine arts degree and had committed themselves to years of study would dare call themselves artists.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Uh-oh, she's retreated back to her devastated six-year-old artistic soul."  Wrong.  This time I was just angry so I said, "Shame. On. You."

I don't know what Webster's says, but my definition of art is a creative expression coming from our very heart and souls.  It can be dark, light, happy, sad, vulnerable, realistic, abstract, impressionistic, satirical and the list goes on and on.

The point being there are as many different ways of expressing art as there are artists.  Your techniques may be different than mine, but that doesn't make mine any less artistic.

Not once has it occurred to me to ask
an artist if they had a
fine arts degree before determining whether
their art spoke to me.

I listen only with my heart.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Big Day...

Today is a BIG day for us.
We're going to sign a lease for this building:

 It's an old building that is listed as an historical building in
Larimer County.

This will be the new home of Traditions, Ltd.,
Jerry's shop for doing what he loves best.
He'll be creating custom and one of a kind furniture,
built-ins, display and reproduction pieces, studio design and
whatever else his customers can dream up.  If it's made of wood he
can build it.  He's been without a workshop for over two years. 
He's so creative and passionate about what he does
that he deserves to be able to follow his dreams. 
 Especially since I've taken over
half the house.

aka the dining room:

spare bedroom:

He's been an integral part of my dreams for years and my daily
encouragement to pursue those dreams of being a mixed
media artist and if I needed something, he just built it.

 storage for my buttons:

And so a new adventure beings.


p.s.  A new website will be coming this summer.
       You can reach Jerry at 970-397-7859 if
       you have any woodworking dreams that 
       you need interpreted. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Something Different...

Bottle of Truth

 I'm participating in an artful round robin swap through
Timeless Creations in Ft. Collins.
The rules are simple.  Each participating artist (there are
14 of us) was to create a box in her chosen theme and the boxes would then 
circulate, round robin style, and each artist would then
create a piece of art in her chosen medium that would reflect
the theme of the box.  The first box I received was created
by my friend Kelly with the theme being
"Aunt Tilly's Tinctures, Tonics and Tiny Things Tasty."

I used a very, very old bottle, decoupaged the outside with some
fabulous tissue, hand dyed and painted the lace bits.  Added some beads,
bling and velvet ribbon along with a vintage knob for the top.  
The little scroll holds the following poem that inspired me:

Truth will ever Soothe

Truth will never die
It is patiently waiting
to come out one day
to be seen by all of us.

It may now lose a deal,
but  it is calculating
to strike at the right time.
Its power, none can fathom.

When truth is spoken,
there Angels surround
and bless the soul
that fights for truth.

Truth will at last triumph.
It seems it has now lost,
but that is an illusion.
Truth will one day win.

So speak the truth always.
Uttering lie invites disgrace. 
Whenever truth is suppressed
it, at the right time, erupts.

Mailrangam Visvanathan Venkataraman

 A view of the back:

 It doesn't really look this bright in real life, but the morning sun
(yay morning sun!) brightened it right up for the photo.

I hope my little artful piece will inspire you to
"Speak the truth always."


Thursday, January 19, 2012


 It was a tough weekend.

My youngest sister passed away a year ago


I wanted to DO something, anything, that would honor


I decided to create an art piece using a piece of her jewelry as a focal


She loved all things vintage, especially art deco, so I started out with this:

 a piece of 3 3/4 x 5 inch plastic and a 5 x 7 canvas.

I transformed the plastic into this:

using alcohol inks, crackle medium and distress inks.

I then applied it to the canvas and built up the layers with
molding paste, acrylic paints, glaze and embellishments.  The 

flower was die cut from fabric paper I made using Beryl Taylor's


I love how it turned out and she would have, too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new beginning

A New Year...

always means new beginnings to me.

A time to start fresh.

A fresh start for all those things unfinished and

all those things I've been 'meaning' to do.

Reviving my blog is the first step in that 'fresh start.'

This is my first little art piece for the new year.

I must take baby steps.

Hugs to you all...