Friday, October 28, 2011


Wanted you to be the first to know that Riki Schumacher and I have been asked to teach our A Charming Romance class once again.  The dates are set for February 18 & 19, 2012.  We are taking reservations now.  Please see the flyer below for details.  Reservations can be made by contacting me via email.    I write this as I dash out to set up for our Bezelicious class this excuse my briefness.    Wishing you all a spooktacular weekend!  I have my costume picked you.  Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Welcome to my friend, Jeri's, art studio.  Jeri's studio is utterly amazing...she has been collecting art supplies and tools for years....and has just about everything a mixed media artist could ever want complete with two pure white guardian kitties.  I had the pleasure of being invited to join this awesome group of women from the Orange County Art League for a play date.  One of their members, Carolyn Waitt, chose the project for the day and sent everyone supply lists.  Our project was going to be creating art dolls from old tins.....well I didn't have to think hard about whether I was going to go or not with my new found love of making art dolls.  I chose a small sterling silver tea pot for my doll.

Everyone worked at their own pace, shared whatever they brought with one another and shared techniques and helped out in brainstorming.  The culminated talent in this group was amazing.  And speaking of talent, meet Cindy, above.  Cindy is a fabulous mixed media artist and loves working with fabric.  She started out with a tin box, took off the lid and created a dimensional doll.  The crows wings and heart are all hand stitched and beaded.  I love the contrast between tin and fabric.  Love it Cindy!

This is Carolyn, the person responsible for this great project.  She really came prepared and with lots of ideas as she worked on four different dolls at once.  Love her use of those old metal curlers for arms on one of her dolls and the handles of antique silver spoons for another.  Tiny light bulbs, electrical components, bottle caps and faucet handles all found a place on one of Carolyn's dolls.  Just proves the point of don't throw anything away...and be creative in repurposing.

Linda's little retro doll is complete with a hand sewn felt purse.  Her crown is a plastic shampoo bottle top treated with a rusting clever Linda.

Now Debbie had a different take on her doll.  She formed her doll's nest out of Spanish Moss hanging from the trees right outside the studio door.  I would like to see what her little talcum powder tin doll turns out to be like.  Beautiful smile Debbie!

Kim started with a Harlequin doll which she took all apart and hand painted her face in kind of a day-of-the-dead fashion.  Her doll's body is an old cigar box.  Love what she did with the legs.

I didn't get pictures of sorry to those of you who are not included here.

This sweetie was created by Barbara.  The accordion pleated paper collar amazed me...loved it!
This is my little girl, Cosette, sitting next to my latest purchase from Julie Haymaker Thompson.  They just seem to go together don't you think?   Her little legs were my first attempt at using paper clay and some of the painting techniques I learned from JoAnnA Pierotti at Art Is You last month.  Another new product I incorporated into Cosette in attaching her head to the tea pot was Apoxy Clay.....great stuff....thank you Michael DeMeng for introducing me to this.

The Orange County Art League gals get together once a month to make art, kindle friendships, share, support and grow.  Do you have an art group you are a member of?  Or perhaps you have wanted to get a group together but haven't yet.  Now's the time...don't wait.  Getting together with like-minded friends is so very nurturing and rewarding.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011


A perfect get-away with friends....that is what my week at Art Is You certainly was.  The venue, The Sheraton, in the charming town of Petaluma, in northern California was the perfect, relaxing setting for the first Art Is You here on the West Coast.  Sallianne and Ellen are to be commended for orchestrating such an enriching event.  I spent five glorious days with my girlie friends taking classes which took me in new directions....right out of my comfort zone. 

 Meet my friends (L to R):  Connie Freedman, Riki Schumacher, Me, and Susan Hunt

Day 1 and 2 were spent with JoAnna Pierotti learning some of her techniques in creating her amazing dolls.

The photos above are from JoAnna's "Adorn Me Necklace" class.  The doll on the left is mine, JoAnna's jewels are featured front and center and my dear friend, Susan's, creation is on the right.  Painting faces was a challenge for me and creating the porcelain-like flowers was an amazing technique to learn.  Who would have ever guessed that you first start with paper flowers.

And this is my Olde Soul doll.  I had a lot of fun learning JoAnna's techniques for painting beautiful roses and of course, designing my doll's dress was something I so enjoyed....the lover of fashion that I am.

I chose to feature my Adorn Me piece on an antique cabinet card which was lovingly sewn onto the kits for the class by JoAnna. She now hangs in my studio next to one of her sisters.....yes, I couldn't help myself and did adopt another JoAnna doll....isn't she wonderful?  My friend, Susan, named her Lady Guinevere....she certainly looks like a Renaissance maiden.

Then it was playing with plaster with one of my favorite artists, Stephanie Lee.   Look at her treasure boxes above.  To think that these beauties begin with simple scraps of cardboard and the application of plaster wrap.  I haven't finished my box yet but promise to share when it is completed.

And I had the pleasure of spending part of another day with Stephanie in her Pipe Dreams class.  These were the two pieces I completed in the morning.  They will soon be adorned with some of my favorite stones, gems and wired things so I may wear them as a reminder of such a special day.  I must admit that I did cut out of class a bit early so I could catch a bit of the Petaluma antique faire taking place that very day.....treasures were to be discovered after all!

And look who I shared lunch with one fine day.  Yep the Ever Gorgeous Earl (EGE) with his vivacious wife of 34 years, Rice Freeman-Zachery; her friend Tiffany and who is that strange man lurking behind them......yep, Michael DeMeng himself.  What a character he is. 

The final day of classes was spent with that strange man himself....only to discover he is not strange at all ....just so very extremely talented....did I say TALENTED!..  Michael's Pretty Vial Things class was a class I took to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone...outside of the box.....or should I say outside the bottle.  While Michael's art can appear a bit dark to me, I knew that I could take the new found techniques in class and create a piece that would reflect me...afterall isn't that what art is all about....self-expression.
So in the collage above you will see my bottle....the Byzantine object in the back with, OMG, the arms!!!  Who would have ever guessed that a collection of antique lamp hardware, antique broken doll parts, rusted mesh, rusted lamp wire, rusted door knob, paint, Kwik Dap, apoxy clay and of course, bling could transform this old medicine bottle into something that time forgot. And it is complete with the perfect Michael DeMeng touch....a few drops of my own blood locked inside....not by design....but done quite serendipitously so.  I broke the neck of my bottle when working on the top and my old fingers got in the way.  But that made for the further discovery of the many uses of apoxy it put the pieces back together so nicely.  And when you are looking at the neck of my bottle, just above the rhinestones....see the fabric tied around it?  Well, that was made with strips of a baby wipe I had used all day to wipe my hands and brush on.  I was just about to throw it away and knew immediately it had to have a place on my bottle with all of it's beautiful colors and contrasting texture next to the bling-a-ling.

And let me share with you a few bottles from the class...namely my great friend, Riki's.  Fabulous!...eyeball and all.  The final hour of Michael's class was Michael critiqueing everyone's creation.  And I must say that that was one of my favorite parts of the day.  Michael has a way of picking out all of the positive elements of each and everyone's pieces.  It was such an excellent learning experience. Thank you Michael!

From L to R:  Denise Peterson's (make lemonade out of lemons) bottle; Susan Hunt and Debby Anderson.

Denise's bottle broke while trying to cut a hole into the bottle and look what became of it .....a shrine of remains.
Well, that's my recap of Art It You.  The contract has been signed with The Sheraton in Petaluma, Ca to hold Art Is You 2012 the same time next year.  If I were you, I would mark your calendars and start saving your pennies so that you, too, can experience five days of amazing creative frenzy.