May 30, 2014

Poet in the Rye

I'd forgotten about redacted poetry, but was recently reintroduced to the idea when reading about Austin Kleon, author of Newspaper Blackout.  Here are a couple of his examples.

All the poems I've seen or attempted to do myself have this similar blocked out look, so I was completely blown away when Jillian shared this school assignment with me:

                                            I'm not trying to contribute
                                            Something valuable to the world
                                            But to have a passion

It is absolutely beautiful!!  The poem, the art, the poem as art, the whole of it.  Love!

I love that it is on an actual book page and not a photocopied piece of paper.  She said her teacher walked around the room with a copy of Catcher in the Rye, the book they'd been studying, tearing pages out as she went along, randomly giving one to each student.

Jill says she was pretty lucky to get the page she did to be able to pull this poem out of the text.

You and I know she would have come up with something remarkable even if she had been given an empty cereal box.

I can't wait till the is project is returned to her so I can display it our home.  I love it!!!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!

May 28, 2014

Sweet 17 Mini

Hello, friends!  As I am still in disbelief that I have a 17 year old kid, and I had a bunch of pictures from her birthday that I still wanted to scrap, AND I had some of that Twirly Girly paper yet to use, I decided to craft up a little mini book/accordion display to further commemorate the milestone and maybe even slap myself back into reality, come to terms with the fact that:  Your baby girl ain't no baby no more, Lisa! 

I started out with 4 manila tags and randomly scraped gesso on each side of them.  Once dry, I applied various colors of mist to each in a random-ish way, encouraging drips and drying each color before adding the next.

Using a bit of masking tape to position 2 tags side by side while keeping a millimeter or two between them, I used my sewing machine to zigzag-stitch the tags together.  I added on a third tag, and then the fourth, creating an easy free-standing accordion which could also be folded into a small book.


Embellishing was easy-peasy with a couple of circle punches and a piece of gold striped vellum from My Mind's Eye and the word sticker sheet that coordinates with the Chickaniddy papers.

What wasn't so easy for me was figuring out how I wanted the pictures to look.  I tried full color, muted color, and sepia toned, and finally committed to black and white.  Jillian had just purchased a couple KAISERfusion alcohol markers, and still not satisfied with the look of the pix, I decided to try the pink one out on a photo.  I love how it turned out!

Matthew, my silly nephew, making goofy faces and photobombing his grandpa.  :)
"Ha-ha, kid, now you're on my blog!" 

As on the layout poster earlier, I think the papers needed a little something, and the sparkle from a clear Gelly Roll pen was just that thing.

Because the mini has an accordion fold it can open like a book in both directions.  I made a little strap   to go around it and hold it closed with a loop and toggle when not out on display.  The toggle was made with a small piece of a paper straw.  I threaded some baker's twine through, then crimped the each end of the straw around the twine.  A few pounces on the table to flatten the end and that straw is attached quite securely in place.

I held the toggle on the edge of the folded book, wrapped the twine around and tied a loop for it to slide through and secure the book closed.  A generous dab of glue on the back of the knot keeps the contraption attached to the front cover.   Pretty clever, eh?  I admit I am pretty proud of myself. ;)

Thank you for coming by to check out this little mini!
Have a great day!

May 26, 2014

Auction Update: #bringbackourgirls

I want to thank everyone for the great success we had at our auction last week!  Thank you to Jessica for putting it together, to all the artists for the love-made and varied pieces that were donated, and to all those who bid and those who won, those who did not win but donated anyway. And a very personal thank you to my friend Tiffany, the new owner of my piece, "Illumination"; and to John, the owner of "Little Reminder".

Also, a special thank you to you, Mrs. Doer, for supporting me, spreading the word, and making me feel validated as an artist. :)  I was surprised to find it had been Tiffany who won, and even more so that you were the competing bidder!  I love you!

Our goal was to raise $1000 for the cause, and I am so proud to say we were able to raise over $3600!

Girl Rising has requested that the funds be donated through their crowd-funding effort at, supporting girls' education.

At the time of this post, the kidnapped students have not been found.  The US, along with France and Britain have sent some troops to aid in the search.  There are mixed reports of not enough being done, and of closing in on their location.

It is unthinkable that terrorism exists in this world in the form of Boko Haram and the Taliban.  I know that there are quieter, less overt acts of oppression and denials of freedom occurring both worldwide and close to home.  I make art to express my emotions.  I appreciate Jessica giving me a way to move my emotion into action, further than just applying raw paint to canvas.

May 24, 2014

Sweet Seventeen

We celebrated Jillian's 17th birthday last month!  When I received this adorable Chickaniddy "Twirly Girly" paper from Craft Envy, I knew I'd just found the perfect palette for the pix of her birthday lunch.

A single squirt of Heidi Swapp Color Shine in the center of plain white card stock made for an easy start to layering up the cute cut-apart sheets that are part of the collection.

Color Shine is my scrapbooking equivalent of Frank's Red Hot:
"I put that $%&*# on everything!"

Those paper party straws are all over Pinterest, and I couldn't wait to use one on a layout.  A little baker's twine, banner stickers, and paper scraps made for an easy and festive embellishment. 

I wanted to journal but didn't want it completely hidden on a tucked away tag, or to overpower the layout composition with a bunch of heavy text.  Using a clear glitter pen allows the journaling to be read as if it were light pencil at one angle, and turn into a subtle, shimmery highlight when tilted away.  Exactly the look I was going for!

I doodled a vine of flowers mimicking the floral clusters on the paper to tie that subtle shimmer to the other side of the page.

That clear glitter pen was addictingly smooth.   I randomly traced other elements on the papers
and outlined hearts, frames, and flowers.  

We had a lovely time celebrating this milestone with Jill.  I'm making a mini album with some of the other photos from her day, and I will share it with you soon!  :)

Thank you for stopping by!

May 15, 2014

#bringbackourgirls: A Charity Art Auction

It has been one month since nearly 300 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria from their school by the terror group Boko Haram.  As of this writing, the girls have not yet been found, though it seems that 50 of them were able to escape.  The U.S. is flying drone planes over an area the size of West Virginia in an effort to help locate them.

Unable to sit still, artist Jessica Sporn stood up.  She stood up and asked other artists to stand up with her.  Her Call to Art has summoned more than 50 artists to donate works to an online auction beginning TODAY as an effort to raise monies and awareness of the importance of educating girls.

Girl Rising is a global campaign for girls' education; their mission is to change the way the world values the girl.  All proceeds from the auction will be donated to

I created two pieces for the auction.  The first I have titled Illumination.

As important as education is to bringing enlightenment to those in the classroom expecting to learn, my hope is that any group or individual who feels threatened by the idea of education for girls or women may be awakened and illuminated to the positive impact and societal depth they are denying their own selves by not allowing females the opportunity, the right of an education.

I punched around 300 holes in a piece of painted and inked patterned paper.
As I was collaging them on I was thinking about the girls wanting
an education, and their captors needing one.

Lots of texture and layers to create the elements.

I also created a small mixed media papier mache piece called Little Reminder.  It's important to remember that Change is Good.

I really enjoy making these little shadow box-ish hangings.
from constructing the bases from torn book pages to deciding who
will live in the recessed area.

I hope you will visit the auction site and check out the lovely mix of art items and jewelry up for bid.

Here is a list of blogs and websites of many of the other contributing artists.  You can find out more information about the particular pieces they've crafted and also get to know them and their style, too!

Marjie Kemper
Lisa Pace
France Papillon
Sally Lynn MacDonald
Marybeth Shaw
Jill Meyer
Kerry C. Mitchell
Barbara Lanza

Thank you SO very much!

May 08, 2014

Close Knit Mini Album

Hello, peeps!  My exciting news of the day is that I've been asked to join the Design Team of my new local scrapbook store, Craft Envy!  My first assignment was using Crate Paper's "Close Knit" collection.  I adore the woodgrains and color palette of this line, and decided to make a mini album with some of my Instagram and phone photos.

I used leaves cut with Tim Holtz's "Spring Greenery" die with white copy paper for a soft, delicate unifying motif on each page, as well as hand-cut hearts.

The album is 4x6 inches in size, with a few of the pages cut to smaller odd sizes for interest and to make use of specific portions of scrap pieces.

When I make mini books like this, I often get so excited by the papers and the creating that I don't give enough forethought to how I'm going to bind it together at the end.  I photographed everything pre-bound, then took it into the store to find the proper size binder rings to make an easy job of it.

The text paper is from a 6x6 pad of the Basic Grey "Capture" line.

The cut-apart sheets in the Close Knit collection have so many cute elements to use for embellishing, and are perfect for an album or layout about family or specific family members.

I also used the paper bag from the shop to add in some not-quite-translucent layering.

Mike is a very smiley guy, so this mask isn't too far off from his usual face.  Lol!

The "Life is about..." sticker is from My Mind's Eye "Now and Then".  

The best thing is that my family loved flipping through this collection of random, everyday shots.  Definitely encourages me to keep on with documenting the "small" stuff.

Thanks for the look-see!  Have a great day!

May 06, 2014

Current Obsession: Paper Beads

We had a stack of fliers at work promoting a weekend Cinco de Mayo celebration that took place on Saturday, May 3rd.  It seemed a shame to toss them into the recycle bin.  They were glossy printed on both sides of a heavy sheet of paper, and the festive colors were so fun!  I felt they needed to be used for something greater than pulp and made a few paper beads.

I love them!  And I have plans for them--a wall hanging, kind of like a beaded curtain.  I am now obsessing over them, and was awake in the middle of the night planning other bits to work into the design.  

There are so many different shapes and renditions of paper beads with plenty of tutorials online like this one at I am embracing the wonky, and choosing to hand cut my paper without ruler, measure, or straight edge.  Super fun!

Have you ever made paper beads?

Thanks for stopping by!