Mixed-media Project: Birds

While shopping at Ben Franklin, I found this five pack of vinyl birds just begging to be set on a wire. So, I’m starting a mixed media project to do just that.

I’ve prepped my canvas with black gesso and have a rough sketch of where everything is going to go. The birds are about a quarter of the size of the canvas so they will be just above the halfway point. I’m adding a city silhouette that will be along the bottom quarter.

I plan on choosing a city and then turning it into a stencil with cardboard. Using that, I hope to add a layer of molding paste to make the buildings have some texture – even though they will be in the distance.

Hrm. Maybe I want to re-think that. Maybe I should build the birds forward. Ah, I think I will just build in a bit of molding paste texture here and there instead of making the buildings “3D”.  Yes, I think that will work. (Welcome to on-the-fly problem solving.) The thing is still in planning stages.

I hope to make this project fairly slowly – I tend to rush when I am excited about a project. In order to prevent catastrophe, I will force myself to only work on one stage at a time and give a day or two between each stage to prevent the rush.  Let’s do this!

Documented Life Week 4: Secret Message

Week 4 of the documented life project was a bit deeper. The gist of this week was to write a secret message and paint over all of it except for one word. I thought it would be a great time to practice some layering with my gelli plate.

For the first attempt I chose to leave the word “can” visible. After finishing most of this I decided I would scrap it and start over. (I didn’t end up doing that, as you can see – after ignoring it for 24 hours, it grew on me and it went in the journal with the second attempt on the back side.)

Second time through I left “destiny” as the visible word.  I joined the Documented Life project because I thought it would help me free up my mind. I thought the structured challenges would help me work through my art journal block and practicing being a bit more free with just adding more layers working through “mistakes”.

White Elephant Host Gift

A friend of mine invited me to a white elephant gift exchange (WEGE) this year. While trying to think of a unique host gift, it occurred to me that this was her second annual WEGE,  So I decided to make a re-usable White Elephant Gift Exchange bag. Ok the name isn’t that great.

So you know how a WEGE works, right? Everyone numbers off and then you pull numbered scraps of paper out of a random bag, hat, box – whatever you could find at the moment and the hilarity of the gift exchange ensues. Instead of shuffling around looking for a piece of paper and some random bowl, with this -it would be much easier to pull awesome stars out of a bag made just for this purpose.

I made this out of wood stars, spray painted and stamped with a white elephant on one side and a number on the other side.  I carved both elephants, the one on the stars and the one on the bag,  from Speedball Speedy Cut eraser material.

If I was going to make this again, I think I would modge podge paper onto the tile and stamp the number/elephant on to the paper – or I would use a different stamp pad. I used a white ColorBox for this project and it didn’t dry fully for days. When I tested one to add some shimmer the stamped image smeared (and it had been drying for several days.)  So I spray varnished them instead.

Documented Life week 3: Envelopes

Finally finished week three of the Documented Life Project. Envelopes or parts of envelopes were supposed to be incorporated. It gave me the best opportunity to use some of the stamps I’ve saved over the years. The quote around the tip-in says, “Mail is the best form of communication because you get to hold the other person’s heart.”  Security patterns in envelopes are pretty awesome. I might start collecting them. I will likely try to post my response to the challenge each week – starting now. (I didn’t post week one or two.) Forgive me? Great!

Alcohol Ink Coasters

A few months ago I found this alcohol ink tile project on Pinterest.  One of my friends had a box of tiles she didn’t need anymore so I was able to totally do this project just for the cost of the alcohol inks.

At first, I tried to just drip the ink on to the tile like the poster of the original project did.  I didn’t like how it was turning out so instead after adding multi-drips of different colors, I used the felt blender to move the ink around.

Periodically, I would spray the whole tile with a mist of rubbing alcohol. This gave me white dots and added more depth to each of the tiles. After they dried I gave each of them about four coats of spray varnish and added felt pads to the back.

Buttons Bracelets

I found this button bracelet pin and thought they would make nice gifts for some of the girls in my life. The problem with this pin is that I couldn’t find a full tutorial on how they finished the bracelet. So,  instead I surfed up a few knot tying videos on YouTube and figured out how to clasp them.

I am pretty pleased with the results. I can thank YouTube and Shipwreck Beads for the successful completion of this project. Oh and one of my friends who recommended a clamp clasp finish for the ends. (Oh, and my friend who explained a question I had about the square knot video.) I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to do. I made about 20 of these bracelets.


Gelli Plate Image Transfer – I’m in love!

While reading through posts for the Documented Life Project in its Facebook group, I learned about Gelli Plates. These are awesome gel slabs that can be used to create monoprints. Since most of the posts I saw about them were only prints, I wasn’t really interested in purchasing one. Then, I watched the video below by Gelli Arts. This opened my eyes to the versatility of this product and pretty much blew my mind.

I immediately used the Christmas gift my husband gave me to acquire my very own Gelli plate. Below are my first attempts at acrylic/packing tape image transfers. I will be doing this again many more times. It really does produce some interesting images.

This is the first layer I put down on my gelli plate. Then I
proceeded to not take a single photo until the end.


Complete gelli-film transfer.


I found this dinosaur pattern on Pinterest from this site. I thought it would be an excellent gift for all the new babies in my life. I found some awesome fleece for half off and made eight little dinosaur friends. I added button eyes and mouths.

I gave my little goblin the prototype and he carried it around with him for days.  Every time he sees one he says, “You made that?!” I hope all his friends enjoy them.

These are super easy to make. I don’t use a sewing machine so I did them all by hand. The tricky part is making sure to sew completely through the ribbon or else it will not quite be in the seam. Of course, this might be easy to do if you use a machine.

Someday I’ll find a fellow lefty who is accomplished with sewing machines and let him/her show me how to thread the things.  I always, always do it backwards. Ah well. I like sewing by hand anyway. I find it relaxing.