Archive for August, 2012

One of my annual artistic goals is to take a class. I had wanted to take a class at Bead Fest earlier this month – there was this one class taught by Mark Lareau that I was particularly interested in. Unfortunately I waited too long, and by the time I decided to register, the class was full. Bummer! He’s got some books out though, so I’ll have to take a look and see if the technique is in one of them.

Anyway, I have all these other arts & crafts books, but I never do any of the projects in them. So I decided to take a day off from work and have my own workshop at home, and try out some new techniques.

I chose Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth.

by claudine hellmuth

I love her retro-whimsy style. Her book has a lot of techniques, and most involve simple, every-day supplies. I only had to buy a couple items to have everything I needed.

Much of the focus of the book is creating interesting & textured backgrounds on which to create a collage. Here are my attempts…

playing with background techniques

It was really fun to try new techniques. These are the ones I did:

Elmer Glue crackle – my favorite!
Masking tape layer
Tissue paper layer
Contact paper shapes
Rinse aid resist
Etching into wet paint
Plastic wrap texture

As noted my favorite was the Elmer Glue crackle. This is so cool!

glue crackle

At first it was not working so well for me. But then I decided to just put gobs of glue on, and I really watered down the paint, and voila!


To me, it’s not a crackle so much as a more organic, almost webbing effect. At least that’s how mine turned out. It was rather warm and humid in my house, and that may affect the results. It’s a very easy technique – you just put a thick layer of Elmer’s Glue-All on the paper, and then lightly brush watery acrylic paint on top. Let dry, and admire!


I also liked using the masking tape, tissue paper, and rinse aid resist techniques.

Here is my masking tape background. You put strips of masking tape all over your substrate and paint on top, and then use a damp paper towel to rub off some of the paint. I’m making this one into a collage, using Ms. Hellmuth’s technique for creating her “poppets”.

wish upon a pink star

My goal is not perfection, or even to make a finished piece. I just wanted to play without worrying about the results. I’d like to make a couple collages with the other backgrounds I created also.

I hope you have enjoyed looking over the results of my “play day”! I highly encourage taking a day off and doing something that you love to do!

Thanks for stopping by!


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I decided to take a few of my Polyshrink fragments and make some necklaces. Just simple designs – I don’t like to make the pieces too complicated or fancy because the fragments are so small and delicate. I want them to be the focus.

I’m creating a necklace set for each fragment. One necklace will feature the fragment and the other will be complimentary, with just beads.

Here is the one I’ve finished so far….


And on me…

fragment necklace

I might keep this one for myself! But I’m working on others for my currently non-existent Etsy shop. I wish I could think of a good name for my shop…I’m not so good at coming up with clever names for things. oh well!

Have a lovely day!


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It’s been a while since I posted…I have no good excuse really, I just have been really busy (I really dislike that word!) or something I guess. I have plenty to post about though, that’s for sure!

So one of my goals for this year is to submit four items to magazines. My Christmas ornaments fell through, I did submit my encouragement cards but I haven’t heard anything so I’ll take that as a no. And last Friday I mailed some new ATCs – I call them the “sunshine happy sparkle” sisters.

three sisters

I made these for the “aqua” theme for an upcoming issue of Somerset Studio. I’m pleased with how they turned out, although it was not easy to get them done in time – they had to be in California today.

When I thought of the color aqua, I thought of children, happiness, bright colors, summer, and fun. Then – and this is how crazy inspiration often is – I was walking down the hall at work thinking about sparkly things (hey, I need a break sometimes from all the numbers I work with!), and then I noticed how sunny and pretty it was outside, so I was thinking about sunshine sparkles. Somehow that turned into sunshine happy sparkle (which sounds like a Japanese interpretation). And suddenly the idea popped into my head to make the ATCs featuring three sisters named Sunshine, Happy, and Sparkle.

I wrote a little story about the sisters and printed it onto tissue paper, which I glued onto the ATCs (I used premade watercolor paper ATCs). I painted over that with aqua, then stamped over that. I printed out the photos and colored them with pencils. And of course I had to add some sparkle with stick-on rhinestones. I put masking tape across the bottom, and I inked over the tape a bit to dull down the black. Et voila!

I think they turned out cute, and definitely captured what I was aiming for.

Thanks for stopping by!


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