Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Paulette Insall

Go over to the right of my postings and click on the beautiful little link for Paulette Insall. You will see another artist that I enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

White Fish Just as I like it at Christmas Time

Poland, Polish Traditions

Yes, by my title you can see I am polish.
Love Christmas time!
My family and I go to visit my mom and go to the Polish and Jewish bakeries and delie.
Bulkies, babpka bread, kielbasa, farmers cheese, white fish, herring....

Not like your typical steak and potatoes as you can see.

Manger scenes can be bought in cardboard, brightly colored along with a piece of bread that the head of the house breaks off and hands to each family member with a blessing.

I learned the technique of cutting and deboning the white fish from my dad as he would lick his fingers and make this face I can't describe as he enjoyed the delicious flavor of the smoked fish. So now I do it myself. Still not like when Dad did it though.

I don't have time to make pierogie's or guompkies this year but am trying to bake some cookies.

As long as we can make it to Water Street in Worcester to get our bulkies (rolls with seeds) and rye bread and fish, I'll be all set. Have to keep the tradition going.

Baby Crib-New Use

I love using old things or different things for different purposes.
Sooooooooo, I picked up pieces of a baby's crib this summer and stored it in my barn with everything else:)

For Christmas, as I was decorating and trying to do it simply but a bit different, I brought in the crib piece and hung it in the bathroom. Took down the wreath, added a vintage crochet piece for a bow, a small angel statue and candle on the toilet and VOILA.

Christmas Wreath-Fabric Scraps and Vintage Elements

I saw this idea of a burlap wreath. Once I started making this wreath, I added muslin fabric, medical gauze tape, and vintage pearls, and vintage rhinestone jewelry pieces.

The burlap came in when I began to make the bow and layered it with muslin strips

Collage Edition-my newest little piece

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cast Iron muffin tin

Cast Iron Muffin Tin is this year's Christmas decoration on my counter. Some little white votives, rose hips from my garden and some greens.

Shabby chic Christmas Wreath

Covered a styrofoam base with wool batting, linen fabric, crystals, pearls, vintage jewelry, and burlap.

Ooo, I love burlap.

Just died a bunch of it today for pillows

Chaulkboard Paint and its uses

Painted a splotch of black chaulkboard paint to the cheap silver bucket.
Wrote Jesus on it with chaulk and stuck a little Charlie Brown Tree in it

shabby chic platter

Working on this inexpensive silver platter. Used 123 Primer first, then I will be finishing with acryic paints and decoupage.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet Peeks of my Thanksgiving Day Home

Tidy and Cleaned up Home Studio

After adding the wonderful 54" art table, I sorted and cleaned up everything. Removed a long bureau to have the table take it's place. Love it! What a shame I may be moving now. Now I have to go through all of my supplies again to pack. I will probably not have a chance to have a room like this. Don't know where we are moving yet.

Worth the Take

Got the table, my son lugged it in the house (he is amazing) and now I scrub off the paint that the other family put on it with a non scratch pad. Cleaned up pretty well. Threw on a nice crochet table cloth on it, and then again, I may not keep the cloth on it.

Architecture Table and Home Studio

I got this fabulous table for free. It is 54 inches which you don't think is big when you say the number, but boy, when you get it and try to lift it, "Wow".
I set it up so that three sides of it can be used. One side is for beading, one side is for collage, paper cutting, gluing etc. the other side is for sewing. I desire to start adding some sewing into my work.

Well, now that it is all set up, organized, I may be moving now. Ugh!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giveaway & new video workshop available

Giveaway & new video workshop available

PRAISE THE LORD! I found a christian artist today and am enjoying watching her paint. So delicate compared to Gary. It is truly amazing how God has gifted the artist to be so different from one another, and yet, it is the Lord's creation first, then ours.

Action Painting

I love this style of art work. I learned alot about abstract back in the 1970's and now am doing the same type of art but with a smaller collage.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Journaling-I wish I had from youth

In the Somerset Magazines, I have read that so many artists had journal in some form and still have their journals.

Oh, how I wish someone had introduced me to do journaling.

I had a penpal in Japan, Brazil and Denmark. So I letter wrote, but did not journal in the way it is known today. I scrap booked the Beatles. I do not have any of this today. I had a cheap little diary with key at one time I remember. I guess it just was not the time.

I still struggle journaling daily. I have tried all sorts of notebooks, scrapbooks, drawing pads. I have thrown many away after I had first started. Don't know why. Just can't seem to deal with starting something and not finishing.

Childhood Memories of Art

Being the only child at home, my one brother was in Germany in the Army and my other brother was 18 years older than me, and when I was born, he had just left to live on his own.

The Christmas stocking was the most fun for me as I grew up. My parents filled it with goodies along with crafts and supplies. I think that is how I really began. My Babi (great grandmother in Polish) didn't speak English and almost every Saturday night, we went to her house to visit and my aunt who was taking care of her. Lawrence Welk would be playing on the Saturday night tv at 7:00 and I had nothing to do. So, I would bring my craft.

Let me tell you about some of the things I did when I was around 6 years old, and am still experimenting today.

I would make chains out of precut paper with lickable glue on the ends to stick together.

I loved the white glue paste they had. It smelled like wintergreen and I used to spread that on my newspaper articles like the Beatles and stick them in an old scrap book.

Punch art which I do not seem to see in any stores today was great. There was the yarn, the board with the pattern on it and the little punching tool.

I had How To Draw Cartoons soft paperback book by Walters I believe. And I, my cousin, pencil in hand along with cheap manila drawing paper, would draw and redraw the funny fat man, or skinny tall lady, the policeman with whistle in his mouth, the horse that had floppy legs..and on and on.

I had a small knitting tool, yarn and needles and would knit little squares and rectangles to put on my Barbie Dolls thinking they had on beautiful sweaters.

My little sewing machine was plastic and always got the thread and needle stuck in the fabric, having to pull apart the stitching, fix the sewing machine and start again.

I would cut fabric swatches and make carpets for my dolls.

As I got better in my sewing, I made a Raggedy Ann Doll and a little felt elf.

Junior High was an experience. Miss Needle Nose Neery they would call my teacher, taught us the fundamentals of the sewing machine, hand stitches and pattern sewing and simple pattern making. I was able to make a multi layered skirt, a cape, a plaid jumper, silky pants and blouse, and my own design of a bonnie bell type cotton shirt with the sleeves dipping a bit off of the elbows.

My high school did not have an art program nor music program. You could take an art class or be in the band which I did both. Realizing that these were my two loves and interests, I furthered my education.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mori Girl

These are the cutest outfits that I just came upon. As I looked upon many photos of Mori Girls, I realized "Wow" I could draw and paint these little petit girls.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cloth Paper Magazine

Check out the latest Cloth Paper Studios Magazine. It gives a small history of various artists, their works and about their studios. Many artists have begun by the kitchen or diningroom table, so have patience in that small spaces can turn out to larger places eventually.

Many of the studios artists have in magazines are huge and beyond my belief that I could have one that large but also there are some that are in humble size. This magazine has the dimensions of the rooms and this issue has small sized studios. The studios may not have the same structure or sized windows as my room.

My room has two small windos facing the shady side of the house. It has two huge doorways; one leadin to he kitchen, the other leading to the dining room. I have tried to close the one doorway with bookshelves but it made the room too closed in. I have acquired many supplies and ephemera. Collage and mixed media is such a great art but tough because you acquire all sorts of stuff from fabrics, paints, three dimensional objects, boxes, frames, canvases, stamps, sewing machine, beads, papers, tools and on and on so then new space needs to be created creatively.

I go through this every couple of months with changing, switching and finding better ways to display and work. The couple of months is here already. So get creative with me and send me your pictures of your work space and we can brain storm ideas.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


As I was checking out my stats today for my blog, I noticed that somene from Slovenia has come to my page.

WELCOME. I looked up Slovenia online to see where it is located, what you eat, what your architure is like and what your land is like. It is extremely interesting, and I love your land. Beautiful! The Alps must be amazing.

I am polish and was wondering if I had much in common with a slovenian.

Our earth is just so beautiful, I stand amazed daily of what the Lord has created. Nothing is new under the sun. My artwork is just a copy of HIS works.

Craigs List and "SALE" Bookshelves (Towers)

If anyone is local to me in Massachusetts, 1 hour away from Boston, I am selling them for $150.00 both. There are no scratches, nics or marks and they fit alot of items. Glass shelves and cubbies underneath and also, lights!

Art Supplies and Bookshelves

I am trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. You may ask "why"?
The room is getting too cluttery now. There was a great armoirat Sally's the other day and I kept going in to see if they would 1/2 sale on furniture. Went back yesterday, and the armoire was gone! "Figures" I said in my mind. Should have grabbed it when I could but was trying to be frugal. I think it would be good if I had most of my supplies hidden behind closed doors which will organize and make the room less cluttered. It is a small room as it is and I love the fireplace and my window seat in there so I guess I have to compromise a bit.
I am trying to sell my white book cases (towers)on Craigs List. Then I would have the money to get a different piece of furniture. Unfortunate, I saw that armoire and loved it. Oh Well!

Healing Art Journal

This is a board book. I went to a store nearby that sells children's books for $1.49
This was the only board book with tabs and I loved the size of the book.

So, after I watched Willowing's classes, I began. I used french antique papers, some currogated cardboard, gesso and modge podge "Sparkle". I figured seeing that this was a healing art journal, and the pages will have pictures of me and drawings of little petit girls, I would add the sparkle.

I gessoed one page spread already, and began sketching to get ready for the journal. I may go about things a bit different than Tam from Willowing. Wait and see!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Willowing-Free Class

Working on my second assignmnt, which Tam from Willowing gave us an extra week.
I found my board book to work out of. I sanded down the pages. Applied french papers and some currogated card board to the cover of the board book to alter it. I used sparkle Modge Podge on top. The book is revealing a bit of my when I was a child. I sanded and gessoed the next set of pages. I love this board book. It has about eight tabs, is a bit larger than a journal, and the pages are wonderfully sturdy. Now I have to find a couple pictures of me to make transfers on the new gessoed surfaces. I may sand again just to be abit smoother.

Pottery Barn Getting Creative Part 2

I made my way to AJ Wrights the other day (like Marshalls) just to see if I could pick up a vase that looked like the one I found in Pottery Barn. It was yellow with little round handles on both sides of the vest. It was filled with pussy willow branches. A huge cornucopia was next to this Portuguese style pottery on a pedestal table in Pottery Barn. Determined to find a vase similar, was Marshalls, TJ Maxx or AJ Wrights. Voila and on sale too with the silk ferns included. Cornucopias can be found in the Salvation Army or second hand shops. They are an item people don't keep for long. Found one YAHOO!. My pottery and cornucopia ar much smaller to fit on my size table.

Pottery Barn just makes the table settings stunning. Maybe I can't have that qualilty of items for my home, but I am able to come up with similar ideas for my Thanksgiving Day table setting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pottery Barn Getting Cretive and Thanksgiving. Part 1

Oh how I love the pottery barn. Just even waking by the windows of the displays just makes me want to stand there and gaze at how the layers of dishe fit so elegantly togethr, with statues of birds, or huge vases filled with pussy willows all makes a textured table. Thanksgiving being right around the corner, all of the tables are set up with gorgeous displays. Can I afford to do this for our holiday? "Noooooooooooo". So I get creative. I am not compulsed to buy from Pottery Barn, would like to as I mosy my way to find the clearance area if there is any. Embarassed, feeling like I probably can't afford their beautifuyl items, and when greeted, I kind of happily but shyly just say I am lookng. Now my mind starts to set in gear..get ideas, job them in your memory tab or write them down. Sometimes the store even has catalogues.

The fashion style of the table today is layers, just like clothes. You have oneor two different sized mats that go under the three dishes. Burlap, runners, table clothes, table mats are all for the go in your Thanksgiving deigned table. Clear vases with coffee beans in them, inches of cranberries in another, place a candle in them, and voila, centerpiece city! Go outside like I do and cut branches from trees. Some bushes have in my yard are reddish or orange colored right now. Clip them, stick them in a vase. Or, bundle them together, tie them with raffia and lay on in one direction of the table and the other at the other end.

One idea I have seen, not at the Pottery Barn, but elsewhere is grapevine wreaths. These are not overly expensive in Michaels or AC Moore's, but I have grape vines down the street. Depending on how many people you will have sitting down at your table for Thanksgiving, will depend how much you need to cut. Start your project out small, cut approximately 10-12 vines nd strip them of their leaves if any are left. Keep the little coily things that look like tendrils on the branch. These give interesting character to the vine. Grab one vine and loop it into a circle. Grab another and begin to weave it around, when it comes to the end, tuck it into the other vine. Continue this. Make the wreaths a bit larger than the largest plate you will be putting down on the table. After you make the wreath, place it down, and try the plate on top for size. As long as the plate sits evenly ontop of the vinewreath, you are good to go. Now add the next sized plate and then the bowl. Place your napkin ring around the napkin and place that on top of the bowl and now set the rest of the table in a formal fashion.
This is the beginning of preparation for Thanksgiving in just a little over three weeks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Healing Art Journal Page Spread

I had so much fun doing this, that I am doing another one in different colors. Cool too because the next girl portrait looks so different. When you draw a different shape head, you then automatically have different shape eyes, nose and mouth. I wanted to try to paint with warm colors seeing that the last one I did was blues and purples. This time will be reds and oranges I think.

Gesso, ink, acrylics, watercolor pastels and crayons were used along with graphite pencils, and stamps. Next time, I am going to use stencils.

Healing Art Journal Page

This is a close up of a portrait done for the free class I am taking by Willowing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Willowing and Free Class-Art Healing

Tamara from is giving a free course. This was the first week and she gave two classes each an hour long. I have watched them twice this week and love watching that paintbrush with water, change the blending of colors in Tam's faces. Along with painting, you get to get healed of emotions that are wearing you down. Write them down in your journal then gesso over them. BUT before you gesso, think of the positive responses to the aweful things that your mind tells you. As a christian, I believe that we go through many trials, and our own thoughts can pull us down greatly. We have to remember who we are in Christ. So, after I wrote down all the things that bother me about myself, negative thoughts I think about my personality and character, I then focused on the Lord. Be Strong in the Lord.

So. I gessoed over my graphite pencil letters, and am now sketching my face. Will it look like me, not worried about that, just working on the structure of the face.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Would you leave me comments so that I can learn from you also! It is fun to know who is looking at my crystalscreations from all around the world!

Thank you so much,


Hubbie and Me at Seabrook Beach

Blusterry day at the beach

Collage-Use of Papers and Ephemera

I apologize for some of these collages being sideways.


Previous works of art!


Present Grungy and Dark Collage

Fuji at the beach, Canon at the home

I am trying out different cameras right now since my Canon bit the dust.
This is a cute little Fuji digital camera. The cover could not go on the lense unless the camera was turned off and I like having my lense covered except when I am taking a photo of course. This camera takes batteries and the first one I brought home kept shutting off. I figured it was the battery problem like I found out about on the Sony digital three years ago. So I took it back. The major thing I loved about the Fuji was that it took panorama pictures. Lovvvvvvvvvved that!

Called a friend, went online to do all sorts of searches on the Canon SX30IS. Went back to Best Buy twice to check out the cameras because I had to do a swap after my Canon Rebel died. (It wouldn't read the memory card). I am a new owner to a Canon SX30IS camera. The updated version doesn't use double A batteries. I think I am going to like it better! So in three years, I have had a Sony, two Canon Rebels (different series), two Fuji's and now this one. Believe it or not, all the other cameras had malfunctions and it wasn't me. I know that is hard to believe but true. The Geek squad told me that 1 in 100 items are faulty. Faulty items find me:) or:(


Sometimes, this is where I work on my blogs after doing my art, decorating, cooking, teaching, and photography, I plop the memory card into the computer, and tell you what I am or have done along with sharing HOW

Inexpensive Vases-the only thing to store away

Vases are inexpensive to buy and to decorate. When you are done with the outdoor dried goods, just throw away and put the vase on the shelf for the season and grab another that matches with your decor.

I love yard saling, flea markets, second hand shops to find vases. I have even found vases on the side of the road that people did not sell at their yard sales so I scoff them up. No, I don't keep them all. I have one for the spring, fall, winter and summer. You can just get a clear one or white milk glass and keep for all of the season.

The clear vase can have coffee beans or rice put into the bottom, and then place the flowers into it. A white milk glass vase can have a wreath put around the base and the flowers in the vase to be a bit different.

Add a burlap bow or velvet bow around the vase at holiday times.

Decorating-Easy and Down Right Cheap

Take a walk with those pruning sheers, scissors, or knife and cut away those wonderful branches, dried flowers and weeds. Layer them in a vase in all different directions and put in an entrance way, kitchen table or even the bathroom as I have done in the orange room.

SHABBY CHIC Living Rroom Fireplace Mantle

Changed a bit in the living room with the color lime green, white and brown. Added a few fall leaves to the mantle to make it fallish. Then in a month from now, I am excited to see what will transpire for Christmas.

Again, this mantle was on the side of the road, an apartment was being renovated, grabbed my husband and a friend of the family and scoooped that up. I painted it white after looking at the natural wood for awhile. Aw, I just love shabby chic and white and folk art and black. Tough decisions!

Folk Art-Autumn- Kitchen Fireplace Mantel

This is my kitchen mantle. The fireplace is not real, sure wish it was today though in New England. It is warmer outside than in the house. Pellet stove is running for the first time this fall. I abducted this mantle from a freecycler and was thrilled.

Grungy tapered candles

I had a ball doing these also. Didn't have the scent of cinammon like I wanted (will try cinammon scented essential oils next time). Watched a few videos on candle making and decided to grab an old cookie sheet, lay it on top of my electric burners on low, melt the wax, and daub coffee grains, and cinammon along with the wax all over my tapered candle.

It was a ball but smoked up the house a bit. WARNING: Careful if you have birds!

Grungy splattered white paint-burlap pillows

When every you get fabric that is a bit vintage, it most likely will have a small tea or coffee stain on it, perhaps some grease, dirt or paint.

I decided to splatter some white paint over the burlap pillows to make them look used and worn.

I am a clean fanatic and was obsessive about it years ago, inheriting a trait form my mom, aunts and grandmother. Prayed that I would not be like that the rest of my life, and now I am making grungy splattered white paint burlap pillows.

No, these pillows are not made to lay your head on, but to rest your weary back against.

Grungy burlap stencilled chandelier pillow

Grungy Burlap Runner