Thursday, December 15, 2016

Embellished Wine Glass

Here is my first attempt at embellishing a wine glass.  I found this crocheted coaster at a thrift shop last week.  I used the blue flower as my focal point and added the strand of blue rhinestones for some contrast.  Finally, I added the three blue dangles to the bottom of the coaster.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Embellished Teacup

Once upon a time...I fell in love with the work by a local artist who was doing mixed media and altered art long before it even had a name.  I knew that she had embellished wine glasses (I am privileged to own a few of them).  So when I threw a surprise tea party for my mother's birthday one year, I commissioned her to alter a teacup for my mother.  To this day, this early specimen of altered art sits on a shelf in my mother's house.

Fast forward to present...a small group of my high school classmates always gather together to celebrate the holidays.  This year, our annual grab bag theme is "Simply Red or Green."  The only rules were that there be no food or gift cards and no more than $25.  I gave some thought to what I would like to do for my grab bag gift.  I knew that I wanted my gift to be something that the recipient could create a ritual from.  Drawing a bath, writing in a journal, enjoying a hot cup of tea...

Yes, the tea theme really spoke to me.  I recalled that altered teacup from years ago--even asked my mother if I could photograph it to study so I could create one of my own for the grab bag gift.  I quickly realized that I would have to find the proper adhesive to affix chunky, heavy pieces of vintage jewelry  to the side of a teacup.  E6000 does the trick.  Then I had to contend with the not-so-flat surface of the teacup.  Not all of the jewelry pieces were flush so I might not get a good seal.  Here is my practice cup:

What I learned from this practice cup is that it was very difficult to create a pleasing composition while trying to hold individual pieces in place while the glue dried.  Using a backing of lace or felt would allow me to create my composition before adhering the entire piece to the teacup later.  Much better!  I still had to contend with the curve of the teacup surface, but the felt worked quite well with the E6000.

So here is a picture of my finished composition before I placed it onto the teacup.  I trimmed the felt backing so that it is barely visible.  I am happy that I used chains and rhinestone strands to create dangles.  I think it makes the piece so much more interesting with the dangles!

 Positioning the composition onto the teacup:

And the finished piece!

I created this handmade booklet about Rituals to accompany the teacup:

I think the recipient really loved her new teacup!  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Barbie Body Parts

Some people have a passion for collecting Barbies.  I, on the other hand, have a passion for collecting Barbie body parts.  I know that some find my interest in body parts to be quite disturbing.  Surprisingly, there are many others who share my enthusiasm for this strange fascination.   Just check out the "What to do with Barbies" board on Pinterest!  

I was fortunate to be in San Francisco a few years ago where I attended an Altered Barbie exhibit.  I must have spent three hours studying all of the amazing pieces of art that cleverly incorporated Barbie parts into the works.  My head was reeling with ideas of what to do with a Barbie doll (parts)!  I couldn't resist purchasing this set of Barbie earrings--one side is made from an arm and the other side is made with a leg.  Aren't these just fabulous?

You can imagine my delight when I first met a friend of a friend this summer who used to work for Mattel.  (Barbies are manufactured by Mattel!)  This past week, she gifted me with a collection of Barbie bodies and (detached) heads!  Now I will be on the lookout for the next "Altered Barbie" class.  It's BYOB--Bring Your Own Barbie!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Birthday Candle Bling!

In September, a dear friend of ours was celebrating a very special 90th birthday.  He insisted that no gifts were allowed, but he didn't say anything about giving him a birthday cake!  Over the past year, I have ordered several cakes from Magnolia Bakery.  Abigail, (Magnolia's Regional Director of Operations), has become a fast friend and she didn't disappoint when she created this elegant two-tiered cake for the occasion.  Since the colors for the party were cream and gold, I thought it would be fun to create the cake topper with a very blinged-out "90!"   Abigail loved the blinged-out birthday candles and asked if I would make a set to display in the Bakery.  I made the "20" in honor of Magnolia's 20th anniversary and created this additional magenta "21" for Abigail after I found the candle at a thrift shop! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

July Creations

Though I have not been able to do much art this year, I did get together with friends this summer for some creative fun.  We marbled papers, tags and envelopes with shaving cream.  We made more CitraSolv pages using stencils.  We tried our hand at affirmation stones and even made a cache of painted paper beads!

Paper Tapestry Chunkies

For our June chunky swap, the theme was "Paper Tapestry."  I initially thought I wanted to do some sort of landscape using the iris folding technique.  When I was starting to gather my papers to iris fold, I came across my stash of CitraSolv pages.  I decided I would use them in my chunkies.  If I had used these pages to create a landscape, you wouldn't be able to see the beauty and texture in these pages.  I thought this simple iris fold pattern best showcased the wide array of colors and patterns CitraSolv magically creates! 

Friday, May 20, 2016


 As I work my way through the destinations on the Amazing Race Art Journaling Project, I find myself going back to my favorite techniques to create these spreads.  Because I am usually working in an altered book as part of a round robin, so few of my creations end up in my own book.  This challenge has allowed me to work in my own book for a welcome change!

For India, there were so many ideas running through my head.  More than anything, when I think of India, rich, vibrant colors come to mind. I don't quite remember how I settled on using the peacock as my subject for my India page.  The peacock is the national bird of India.  I knew I had a feather stencil and wanted to experiment and play with it to see what kind of effect I could create.

The feathers you see here in the background were made using Distress Inks which I applied through the stencil using a blending tool.  The color changed dramatically once I applied the stenciled feathers onto the pink background (Dylusion Spray).  I added glitter pen accents to give them more pop and definition.

Now for the fun part!  I used one of my favorite pop-up techniques to create the body of the peacock.  As you open the book from a closed position, the head of the peacock rises up.  When the book is opened all the way, the peacock is displayed in its full glory.  I added glitter glue to the feathers of the body and topped him off with some real feathers.