Scavenger Hunt Journal Challenge

Challenge # 1 using tea bags, tags and a tea bag packet

I’ve been having a great time this winter participating in a scavenger hunt challenge, creating pages based on a list sent to me by Janet at Monkey Island Madness on Ustream. I have a problem keeping my creativity going and this project seems to solve that problem. There is always another challenge to work on if I want to do some crafting. Today, I thought it would be fun to show what I’ve done so far.

I’m using my day planner from 2017, the paper is thin, but I like the spiral binding because I know that the pages will expand and I need to have room to grow.

The first challenge, shown above, is pretty self explanatory. I’ve been collecting tea bags so I used them as the background. I added a doily and a teacup from a stamp that I carved, some tea bag tags along the top and it was done. I think this may be my favorite page so far.

Challenge #2 Coloring book page

I am just not cut out to do coloring book pages. I managed to color in these 2 ornaments, but knew that I wouldn’t get the background finished so I cut out some scrapbook paper and glued it down. I used the metallic and glittery samurai pens so it looks much nicer in real life than in a photo.

Challenge # 3 labels off of blankets,clothes, etc

I decided to do a laundry day clothesline for the labels. I think I need a few more, and add a laundry basket to the picture.

Challenge #4 ask a neighbor or friend to add something

Well, I already had this hanging doodad given to me from my art friend Joanne so I created a wallpapered wall and doodled a frame around it. Now I feel as though I have a special place to keep it.

Challenge # 5 Include something you would normally throw away.

I think this was the first challenge I actually did. I created a wastebasket using a plastic wire bag that you get with fresh fruit and tucked a bunch of Christmas trash into the top. I have a Christmas crown from a cracker, chocolate coin wrappers, a scrap of wrapping paper and some clothes tags.

Challenge #6 photo of a celebrity you either love or hate.

Now tell me the truth, do you think that I love or hate this actor? I got a little bleedthrough on the last photo, so I will probably be replacing that one. The other photos represent some of his iconic roles thru the years. I think he’s held up pretty well, don’t you?

Challenge #7 flower or a leaf.

A work in progress. First I sprayed the background with bright spray ink, then drew in the flowers. I filled it the background with a black marker, and begin to embellish with a white pen. It’s going to take a while to finish this one.

Challenge #8 a puzzle…

I do love jigsaw puzzles but nowadays I only do them online. I tried to take a photo of one of the completed puzzles and use that, but couldn’t get it to work. So I bought a kids puzzle from the dollar store, put it together and took a photo of it, since it was too big for my journal page. Done! I also added a bunch of completed word search puzzles as the background.

I’ve been working on this project since the beginning of January. The deadline for the challenge is March 1st. With 68 items on the list, I probably won’t finish in time. So what? I’m having a lot fun and it gets my creative juices flowing.

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Hello Summer!


Summer Waves on the Beach, a mixed media postcard using gelli-plated and decorated deli paper, lace, painted cardstock and a sand dollar stamp.

Hot weather has hit us here in Michigan. Some of my friends revel in the heat, I just sit and swelter; gripe and complain. I may just drive over to Saugatuck this weekend, by Lake Michigan to feel the cooler breezes and get away from the hot air.

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Stencil Time

Stencils have come a long way since the 70’s. At that time they were mainly used on walls and furniture. At some point, using stencils as wall decor became rather – well- tacky.

Who was the artist that decided that stencils could be used in art – either as a layered background or a focal point?

I was never that interested in stencils when I first began dabbling in mixed media art. I collected a few stencils here and there,  but my interest really took off  when I got my first gelli plate a few years ago Now, I am crazy about my stenciling and probably own WAYYY too many, but I really can’t live without them.

So….I thought I would present a few past and current projects showing off some of my favorite stencil projects.

Peacock Sneakers

IMG_20170613_202320In cleaning out my closet recently, I came across this pair of  very white sneakers. They were just begging to be painted – so I did! Then after I painted the shoes, I painted the laces as well. I used lots of layers: blue and purple fabric spray paint, inexpensive acrylic paint in metallic gold, green and pink,  a few stamps and stencils….

.IMG_20170614_201018 IMG_20170614_200943 IMG_20170614_200706

  These are Balzer Design stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop.

IMG_20170613_134837289_HDRcloseup view

IMG_20170613_195606Trying them out for the first time (It’s true, I do have very big feet – it is not an illusion!)

Metal Embossed Box


A few years ago, I took a metal embossing class and really loved the process. This particular piece started out with some metal house flashing, a stencil from Stencil Girl, copper tape, iris blue gilder’s paste and a few metal embossing tools.


The stencil used to create the lid of the box. I would really love to work on more projects like this  – metal work fascinates me.

Sunset art journal page

IMG_20170611_175544                                                     This is how the page started  

IMG_20170613_201809                                        And how it looked when finished.

After applying a pink and yellow background using homemade water-color sprays, I stenciled half the page with a blue, then flipped it over for a reverse image on the bottom half. I brushed on a little matte medium to help protect the background , some gelatos. and gold Wink of Stella for a shiny sun.


Another Balzer Design from The Crafter’s Workshop. Do you get feeling that I really like Balzer Design stencils?

Rose coffee table-bench


IMG_20170614_235434554Charlie decided that he wanted to be in the picture as well. Such a diva!

I decided to  use an old bench for a coffee table in my living space and found this lovely rose stencil to use as an embellishment at either end. The stencil, from a company called Show-Offs uses a fine mesh for the open parts of the design, much like a silkscreen.


You can see in this close-up how the mesh creates a silkscreen-like stencil. Pretty cool!


Of course I have tons of other projects using stencils. These are just a few that I have been working on lately, or stand out as something kind of special to me.

Posted in art journaling, crafts, fabric craft, metalwork, painting, stencils | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Chinese New Year

I stopped in to pick  up some Chinese takeout yesterday, only to find the restaurant packed with people –  a crowd at the door, either waiting for a table or, like me, waiting for their takeout order. I had forgotten that it was Chinese New Year.

I decided to celebrate in my own way (besides the food) by making a decorative paper lantern in honor of the occasion.

First, I picked out some decorative paper from my extensive collection.


and cut it down to about 41/2 – 5 inches high and 12 inches long. This was an impromptu craft so I was just estimating the size.


The lantern would be a diamond shape so the paper was folded out in the center “mountain” with 2 “valley folds” at either end.


I needed something for the light to shine through, so I die cut 2 filigree strips and backed them with vellum.


The tricky part was to cut a strip in the center of the outer and inner parts of the lantern and glue the vellum strips . But, after a lot of finagling, I finally got it all together. The vellum strips were safely sandwiched between the outer and inner sections.

I glued the two short ends together to create the squared shape so it would stand on its own. I may still add some embellishments to it, as it still seems a little plain, but I like the finished product. I added a flickering light in the middle (sorry, real candles make me a little nervous that close to paper) and sat back to view the effect.


Happy Chinese New Year!

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Dreaming of Spring – an Art Journal

I live in Michigan. I love living here and love experiencing all four seasons. I admit to getting tired of the summer heat by August, and we never have enough spring for my liking and am usually heartily sick of the cold of winter by February.  This year seems different. It’s only the first week of January and I am already dreaming of spring.

So I got out an art journal that I finished up last year to look through it and remind myself what spring was all about.















I own a lot of art journals – some handmade, other store-bought.  This is the first one I’ve actually completed and it was fun to go thru it again and dream of spring.

Posted in art, art journaling, biographical, Michigan, nature, spring | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017

With the new year, comes the hope of a better tomorrow. My own personal hope is to find balance and patience for any difficulties that lay ahead.

Happy New Year to all my Friends and Family…



January calendar layouts from some previous years.


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More Altered Books -Women and Wisdom

I’m finally going to show off my favorite altered book page created for the round robin in which I participated. You can see some of the other pages that I made for the different themed books here, here , and here.

Rose Ann brought in a cookbook to alter, her theme being  Women, Wisdom and Recipes for Friendship. Every now and then, throughout the book were partial pages cut in half circles. As soon as I saw those pages I immediately knew I had to make some sort of a layout using the round shape as a fan. I couldn’t wait to get the book.

Here is the page layout completed:

img_20160201_100220.jpgthe left side of the page with the completed “fan”. img_20160201_100417.jpgThe left side without the fan. img_20160201_100318.jpg The right side of the page with the “fan” in place. img_20160201_100052.jpg The right side of the page without the fan.

I knew that the fan could be flipped back and forth from one side of the page to the other, and that there would be 2 ladies on either side, taking turns at hiding  behind the fan. That is as far as it went for about 2 weeks. Then came the flurry of a brainstorm – I would use old Japanese geisha prints and they would  flirt from behind the fan. It took a while, but I finally finally found 2 ladies with a similar look (probably by the same artist)  and printed them off.

They were cut out and glued on to a scrapbook page with a bamboo-like design on it.  I really liked that the figures were big enough to go beyond the limitations of the book and  off the top of the page. The fans were created with napkins , the slats or spines of the fan made by painting craft sticks and gluing them down. I carved a stamp to look like an Asian signature seal called a chop loosely using my initials (stamped in red). The quote I used was from “The Pillow Book”  written by Sei Shonagon, a lady of the Japanese court who lived in the eleventh century. I finished it all off with a small red tassel hanging off the bottom of the fan.



So this is how I tend to work, In half-planned sort of way. I have an idea, or at least a semi idea. I can picture in my head how I want it to look but I really don’t have a clue on how to execute the idea and make it happen. From then on I just play around until it all comes together. It always seems to work out in the end.


Posted in altered books, art, book crafts, crafts, hand carved stamps, round robin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments