Sunday, March 18, 2018


A number of months back, I caught a documentary film on PBS called "Labyrinth Journeys."  I was drawn in to learning more about them.  People walk labyrinths to re-balance, to heal, to center, to connect to one's higher self, to open awareness or experience energies. Labyrinths are often associated with the passage of time, spiritual growth, enlightenment, connection,  rebirth, resurrection, emergence, evolution, etc.  So powerful!  I just had to make a labyrinth for my next mindfulness card--or so I thought.

I found a simple labyrinth pattern that I thought would work.  I sized it down to fit onto a 4x6 card.  I kept picturing a labyrinth drawn in the sand, but how could I trace the labyrinth of my card that was covered in sand?  I had this idea to first trace the pattern of the labyrinth with Glossy Accents to create a "ridge."  I actually did three applications to build the height of the ridges before I felt the piece was ready for the "sand."

I suppose I could have headed down to the beach and brought home a bunch of sand, but I have had this tub of coarse pumice gel that had never been used.  I wanted to play with it to see if it would work.  I liked that the pumice gel goes on wet which made it a little easier to build up for the "ridges."  It held its shape really well and because it takes FOREVER to dry, it was very forgiving to work with.  However, I soon discovered that it was better to work in small sections of the labyrinth at a time because once I put the coarse pumice gel onto the labyrinth, I could no longer see the labyrinth!  I had to use a craft stick to move the wet pumice gel out of the "path" and up onto the "ridges."  

After I completed all four cards and gave them ample time to dry, I selected an acrylic paint color that resembled sand and painted the coarse pumice gel.  I just love how they turned out!

I vacillated on whether I would call this card "Clarity" or "Focus" but somehow "Awareness" seemed more fitting.

As part of my research, I stumbled onto a website called the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator (  I hope one day I will be able to visit some of the public labyrinths on that list and experience them in person.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Quartet of Sea Creatures

A friend of mine saw the alcohol ink frame I made for a Christmas grab bag gift last December and asked if I would make a similar one for him.  It took me a while to get to, but last weekend, I got together for an art playdate and made this set of sea creatures!

There is something very relaxing and meditative about this process.  I learned not to get too attached to any one image it constantly changes as you add more alcohol ink or 91% alcohol.  The yupo paper is very forgiving, so it's easy to "erase" or remove color if you need to.  It was just the kind of project I needed for a lazy Sunday playdate!

P.S. The jellyfish and octopus are my favorites!

The Start of A Color Journal Tip-In Round Robin: Teal and Olive

A group of art friends have started a Color Journal Tip-In Round Robin.  The colors for  my first set of pages are olive and teal.  I hadn't given much thought to what I would make with these two colors but as I was driving along a street on my lunch hour the other week, I saw a beautiful mural painted on the side of a building.  The mural was made of painted shards of color resembling a mosaic.  It was so vibrant with all the warm colors.  I loved how the use of these smaller mosaic pieces allowed for a smooth transition of color from yellow to orange to red.  And, in that instant, I knew what I would do for my pages.

I went to Wal-mart and headed straight to the paint department where I raided the paint chips from olive to teal and all the colors in between!  When I was ready to begin, I played with the paint chips placing them in order from olive to teal, dark to light and when I was happy with the gradation, I started cutting the paint chips into random-sized triangles.

It was very relaxing to piece the triangles together gradually moving from olive to teal.  Of course, many of the pieces needed to be sized down to fit a particular space but I really enjoyed the process.  When the pages were complete and I took a step back, I don't know why, but it loosely reminded me of a river flowing. 

I created a window to frame a quote printed onto a transparency.  In this quote, Maya Angelou compares the spirit of a woman in harmony with herself to that of a flowing river.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


In honor of Valentine's month, I was thinking of incorporating a heart into my February mindfulness cards.  I had been playing with smaller chipboard hearts and chains and liked this look.  However, the die-cut hearts I had were too small for a 4 x 6 size card.  So, I cut a larger freehand heart to use on my cards.

I painted the hearts a bronze-copper color and rubbed the edges with a black ink pad for a distressed look.  I then draped a chain around the heart and connected the ends with a lock and key charms.

The background is chipboard covered with aluminum foil tape.  I used a retracted ballpoint pen to create "rivets" along the borders and seams.

The word that I zeroed in on for this month's card was "forgiveness."  I searched for a quote to put on the back of the card but in the end I decided to use just the word.  I had a set of metal alphabet stamps to deboss metal.  These worked like a charm to imprint "forgiveness" into a piece of aluminum foil tape.  To make the letters pop, I wiped black acrylic paint over the letters.

When I showed this card to a friend of mine, she said "I understand this card.  We hold onto the pain or anger to protect the heart but then we are not free."  I responded, " and forgiveness releases us from the chains that bind."  I have been trying to practice forgiveness.  It is a hard thing to do, but I am hoping it gets easier with practice.

Mini Mermaid

I picked up a few of these 2" x 3" frames a while ago and decided to create miniature alcohol ink pieces for them.  Here is a mermaid--or part of a mermaid--I made for a friend of mine who loves mermaids.  I used Citrus (body), Raspberry (tail) and of course, Mermaid (water).    The "bubbles" are created by spritzing with 91% rubbing alcohol to remove color.  I embellished the bottom outline of her tail by applying dots with a silver gel pen.

Monday, February 12, 2018


As the new year got underway, I was talking with a friend about my chosen word for 2018.  She shared with me her word for the year:  Accountable.  

Many people choose different things to help remind them of their word throughout the year.  One idea I liked was creating a bangle with your word stamped onto it.  One year I made a small paperweight that I kept on my desk in my office (where I needed it the most!)  I thought I would make an "accountable" paperweight for my girlfriend, but when I could not find the blank paperweight, I decided to make her an ATC.

Accountable...the word brought to mind ledger paper (which I have plenty of!).  then I thought about using the letters of the words in place of numbers that would normally be found on a ledger.  The numbers in the different columns add up to the bottom line.  For my card, the letters add up to spell the word accountable.

I looked for a quote on accountability, and when I found this quote, I knew that was the one.  I typed the quote and ran it off on vellum.  Since I have an inkjet printer, I needed to spray a fixative on the vellum so it wouldn't smudge.  I adhered the vellum with spray glue.  I just know that my girlfriend will be tickled when she receives this!

Monday, January 29, 2018


I have been kicking this idea around for awhile now.  I like the idea that feathers represent "bounty" and "abundance."  I wanted to find a way to meld these ideas into my first Mindfulness card of the New Year.

I kept seeing pictures of gold-dipped feathers all over Pinterest.  I knew I just had to try this!  Then I had to figure out how to gather a bunch of feathers in a way that I could mount them onto a 2-D card.  I had purchased some beautiful Italian papers with colorful feathers on them.  Of course, I couldn't find them when I needed them--or couldn't remember that I had already used them--either way, I wouldn't be able to use that paper for my background.

Then I remembered that my sister-in-law had gifted me with the most gorgeous marbled papers that she found while traveling in Thailand!  I found my stash and after going through all of the papers, I settled on the background you see here.  The colors are deep and earthy with a touch of gold.  I trimmed the paper down to cover the front and back sides of  my chipboard card. This palette screamed for gold-dipped black feathers.

I could have painted the tips with gold acrylic paint, but ended up spray painting them when I saw that I had a can of metallic gold spray paint on hand.  Quick and easy!  A little painter's tape to mask the bottom half of the  feathers and voila!  Gold-dipped black feathers!

I gathered a small bunch of feathers and wrapped them with very thin wire.  I tied a gold ribbon embellished with gold beads around the wire and threaded my "bounty" tag onto it.  I glued the background paper to the front of the card and then stapled the bottom layer of feathers to the card to  secure the bundle to the card.  Fortunately, I remembered NOT to glue the background paper to the back of the card until after I had finished stapling. 

I love the richness of my finished "bounty" cards