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

Grunge and Burlap-Burlap Runner, Burlap Pillows

I have had this burlap laying around for about a year, desiring to make a table runner and pillows. Never got to it. But then again, I have been collaging, decorating, homeschooling and active with church.

Why do I always decorate or make something when a busy day is coming? Last week, I was having a recipe swap at my home with the ladies and daughters from church. So off I go the night before to make the burlap runner. I wanted to decorate to make it feel fall indoors for the ladies.

1. I cut my burlap the length of my shabby white table.
2. Grabbed my tomato red acrylic paint.
3. Maskin tape out of the drawer
4. Placed the maskin tape down to make a 1/2" runner line down the length of the runner.
5. Used a stencil brunch and just brushed and rubbed the paint into the burlap
6. Removed the tape.
7. Let it dry a few moments
8. Used the maskin tape again on each side of the 1/2" line, making approximately a 1/8" line.
9. Frayed the edges of the runner on all four sides.

The left over burlap...

1. I cut into square shapes
2. Grabbed my chandelier stencil
3. Grabbed my black acrylic paint (cheap stuff at AC Moore's)
4. Layed down the stencil and rubbed with the stencil brush, the black paint
into the burlap.
5. Voila!

(Haven't sewn the pillows yet but will do!)

They all came out pretty nice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DECOUPAGE and Vintage and grungy and shabby chic

An old work for a new style! When someone says decoupage today, I am not sure they mean the old style 1970's or the new style called "collage or mixed media". It is difficult today to tell if something is vintage, or new made to be vintage and gruny.

When I was in collage, I did collage in the late 1970's and it is not the collage we are doing today. I had to use magazine pictures and have them compliment each piece with the color hues, patterns, texture...Today, I get to do the same perhaps or not. I can grunge them up with gesso, acrylic paints, stains, wax, hammer and nail holes, old papers, tissue papers, music and vintage books, and everything else you can collect in a box.

Cut, rip and glue. Use white elmsers glue mixed with water to be thin, use decoupage brand glue, use various mediums by golden or other companies. Your inks, your brown umber or sienna acrylic can be used to grunge up and antique. You can use tea and coffee to fade items including ribbon to make vintage galore!


I have decided that weekly I am going to do a review on various books I find at the library and or bookstores.

There are so many, and they almost all intrigue me. I will give a quick over-view, a less of detail example and a +Plus or -Minus on the rating. The various books I review will include crafts of all sorts, collage, painting, drawing, decorating etc.


FRESH IDEAS IN DECOUPAGE by Colette George +Plus
This is an updated decoupage book written in 2005. Not one of those hokey decoupage books, updated with some new collage ideas making your own plaques, boxes, containers with collage and mixed media techniques. One being that you can stain your wax using a foam brush. Pretty impressed and did learn a couple of ideas like the one I just included 25 projects. Make your art look grungy and shabby chic, using crackle, spray paint, cheap acrylic paints, napkins and papers, wax and stamps.
Perhaps some artists will know these techniques, but like I said, I learned a couple new ones along with product names and great for the beginner who has never decoupaged.

by Janice Epner

Can you tell I love this book with the ++. So many ideas that I can do in my house. Most decorating books and magazines just don't cut it for my little house.
My house was built in 1900, boxy square shape with a living room added by a previous owner 12 or so years ago. This room has the entrance door where I would not put it. The stairway and hallway to lead upstairs is narrow but this book still gave me ideas for nooks and also it helped me with ideas for my studio space.

Check it out. I am going to buy one. copyright 2005, by Hearsty Books out of New York Also, eye candy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photography the next best thing-eye candy

So, when I don't feel like taking my paints,canvas and papers, I grab my camera and shoot away what I see and feel for the day. It could be shots of my art room, my yard, up the street, going away for the day, the clothing I am wearing...

Having photos is another way I express myself in my art, then I can paint from what I have taken pictures of. I don't have to deal with permission from other artists to use their photos, and then I have created two pieces of art.

All eye candy for me


I love looking at the patterns that the Lord has created.
Last week, my family went out for an ice cream. What a chance to do some photography withg my new Fuji camera. My Canon Rebel bit the dust and I was able to do a swap. Not sure if it is a very good swap yet, alot of little issues with the Fuji, but I still was able to capture some pictures of the scared to death chicken and the squaking goose. The remarkable patterns and colors in the chicken are inspiring me to do a collage with red black and white and the pattern of the neck and its delicate curve with white and a bit of yellow and grey shadows are leading me to a subtle collage.

After learning about pattern and color just by nature, I can then create decorating in my home, painting or collaging the same way. Learn from what you see outside.

Then, I can work on my clothing style the same way check it out, my other blog and I get to do with my clothing what I have learned from nature.


In the below collage cloth paper, I am attaching a bead to the collage.
I am going to use copper wire to attach it and make sure the copper comes to the surface for an added texture and color. It will be easy to poke the copper wire through. I loved added a bit of orange from the bead color into the collage. This piece is not finished or are my thoughts completed.

Texture and cloth paper

Cloth Paper and Collage

My girlfriend Yolana are in the process of sending each other cloth paper that we made.

Yolana's paper was so different than mine. She used red white and blue and I used greens, yellows and whites.

Now what we are to do:

1. I cut her piece in half
2. I began to create two collages with various papers
3. When I am done, I will keep one and send her the other

RESULTS: We will both have a piece of each others cloth paper which is cool
We both will have worked on each others papers coming up with various
Then we will be swapping again, receiving our original paper with the
others art work on it.

The below picture is Yolana's paper with my working on top. I have gessoed, and have cut and tore papers to apply on top.

The cloth paper I created was much more textured than Yolana's. I added dried flowers into the surface with more glue added. My base cloth paper was canvas.
Yolana used cotton plaid fabric and papers with type.

I wanted to implement her type into my finished collage collecting my own type papers and applying with gel medium and surrounding texture with gesso.

Collage-Texture and Pattern

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This woman is giving a giveaway. check out her tags and you can even comment on which you would like to win!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


When I think I have learned almost all techniques to mixed media, I learn another one.
The youtube video on the right is a new technique. This artist made a quicker way to make transfers and I also love the idea of using a sanding sponge to make the surface able to write on.
Now I just have to find the sponge.
Thank you to all artists that give one another ideas to then make their own art.
Let's have some peace in the art community. We have all learned from someone. The Lord is the creator of everything and nothing is new under the sun.