Sunday, July 10, 2016

Snow White!

Hi everyone!

Yeesh, I started writing this post and then into the drafts it went which is kind of like the blog equivalent of a sock eating dryer. Well, the weekend before Easter (so long ago, yikes!) we were in the midst of the Youth Ballet's Spring production of "Snow White". Toot was the Queen's attendant. (The original queen that was nice, not the evil queen that shows up later. lol)



Volunteers for the production were needed so I spent a lot of time sewing tutus and giving the maypole a refresher.


Here's some before and after. It's amazing what artificial flowers and a glue gun can do. LOL



It was a really fantastic show!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 2016

Hi everyone!

The last few weeks have been NUTS but it ended with a beautiful Easter weekend, filled with sugar, family and me officially joining the Catholic Church.

Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday:


This was my first time making these...they came out okay. They made great French toast the next morning. lol Looking forward to trying them again next year.

Easter food prep:


This is my Easter cheese setting up in the fridge. Yes, my mold is a flower pot and yes, that is a dumbbell weight on the top. lol I got the recipe for both the cheese and Easter bread from the husband's grandparents (his great grandparents were Russian so that's the versions we make). This is my second year making them and I look forward to it. I wish they were here to be impressed by their granddaughter-in-law who has no clue what she's doing. LOL ;) So that turned into:


Basically what we live off of for the next week. LOL :P Then of course, we dyed Easter eggs:


Peeps cookies!


Gotta get my Peeps in there. lol It was a great holiday weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: Amazing You

Hi everyone!

Whew, FINALLY back with an update on The Nontoxic Project.


Why has it taken my so long to post this? Well, this one kicked my butt, quite frankly. I just couldn't get a handle on what I wanted to do with the second two page spread. And to be honest, I wasn't sure direction this whole thing was going in anyway. LOL Like, I knew that I wanted to completely demolish and rebuild (in a sense) this toxic journal of mine from 2003 but did I want to go all schmaltzy and positive vibe thing? Or some new sort of angst? Or something that had nothing to do with anything? I started out with the intention to alter it, without any real plan or theme or whatever. So this one took me a while. I'd throw some stuff down and pick it back up, I liked what I was doing and then I didn't...

But in the end, I feel like it all worked out:


This time I started by gesso'ing the pages before spraying them down with Dylusions ink sprays. That made the inks less vibrant which I liked. Then I thought to break into my old bottle of Crackle Accents and completely covered them. lol The effect was cool but it brought back the vibrancy of the inks....which I liked even better. lol


Lots of stenciling and washi tape on this set as well. I also added Crackle Accents to the ladies, but that didn't show up as well as it did in my head. Bummer. lol I decided I kind of wanted it to mirror the previous spread so I did another tag/tag pocket combo. :D I also used the second witch from the napkin I used on the first tag...I like continuity....sometimes. lol


I also altered this "Shopping Queen" and made her "Queen of Baggage" instead. Get it? HA!


I combined two Cosmo Cricket phrase stickers and changed them to read, "Do something nice for amazing you". We all need to do something nice for ourselves as well as others, right? :)


More to come soon, I've still got the shadowbox area in the front of the book to do as well as the cover...think I'll do something with the cover... Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together! If you're inspired, pick it up and run with it!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Night Fab Five: Random Bits

Hi everyone! This week's Friday Night Fab Five is all sorts of random. lol I apologize for being somewhat absent this week, Toot had her ballet exams so we were all up in that and then Zippy came down with some sort of stomach bug which was so much fun and you should really try it sometime*.

*That was a joke. Stomach bugs are the worst, don't try them sometime.

Anyhoo, here's my hastily blogged together Fab Five! They're random picks but I'm a random kinda gal sooooooo....

1. Twinkie Chan's Cupcake Hair Clip



Twinkie Chan is my hooking hero. She's one of the artists that really inspired me to start hooking again and I can't wait for her new book to come out! And speaking of Twinkie Chan...

2. The Tissue Box Bakery


I think I may have written about Tissue Box Bakery here before but basically, you can crochet a super cute cake type tissue box cover, donate it to TTBB and they'll add it to their store, with proceeds going to FoodRunners.org.

3. Ballet Cuteness


Our lives are BALLETBALLETBALLETBALLET lately with no signs of slowing down. lol We found this super cute warm up jumpsuit from Dancer.NYC14 on etsy. Very cute and comfortable, done and done.

4. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer


Not that I have time to play video games anymore...but Happy Home Designer is a great little addition to the Animal Crossing series, one of my favorite franchises ever.

5. Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base



One of the best SNL Star Wars bits!

And there you have it! A very random Friday Night Fab Five! Have a great weekend! :D

Monday, February 29, 2016

Birthday at Swan Lake

Hi everyone and happy Leap Year!

My new update for The Nontoxic Project isn't ready yet since today Toot will be taking her very first Royal Academy of Dance exams (wish her luck!), so instead I'm going to share what we did for her birthday party last year. The conversation went something like this:

Me: What do you want to do for your birthday this year?
Toot: I want a ballet party!
Me: Great! Any particular theme?
Toot: I want a Swan Lake party!
Me: Mmmmkay.

Hey guys, guess how much Swan Lake themed birthday party stuff you find at the party store? That's right! NONE. Luckily, the wedding section had some black and white things (for Odette and Odile of course) and I fudged the rest of it as well. lol I found this cool tutorial on altering ballerina cupcake toppers so I started there and worked outwards. lol




I made dark chocolate cupcakes for Odile and white almond cupcakes for Odette:


And because I'm a crafty mom that can't leave well enough alone...I also altered two pointe shoes in honor of our birthday girl and rival princesses:



I was coughing up feathers for a week after making these. lol! But everyone had a blast and Toot was able to turn 7...it all worked out! :D

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Illusion(s)

Hi everyone! Andddddddddd with this post I have officially blogged more in 2016 so far than I did in the whole of 2015. LOL

Anyhoo, I have a new art journal spread to share today, inspired by Marlene Dietrich and "Illusions"...



Of course, she offers multiple illusions and I'm only selling one. LOL ;)


And here she is, in all her layered glory...the journal spread that is, not Ms. Dietrich of course:


I really wish I had a picture of these pages before I did anything to them. The background was one of my Dylusions inks inked-up pages, I like to spray on a ton of ink, smoosh the pages together and just do that for a while in my journal before really creating anything. lol But these pages were junk, like the edges were turquoise but there was this black blotch right through the middle and it was gross. lol So I started layering and just did a lot of random stuff. lol


More sprays, stenciling, gesso, random bits of book pages, paper towel rings, flickin' stuff...you know...Chaos as usual. lol I made Ms. Dietrich's resting shelf out of Japanese fabric tape (thanks Chrissy!) and then added some weird collection of washi tape. I really love combining washi patterns that probably shouldn't go together. Just love it! lol


So from an initial background that sucked to hosting a Hollywood legend...Movin' on up! lol

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: Take a Journey, Make a Mess

Hi everyone!

Time for an update, here's some progress on my first altered something or other for The Nontoxic Project.


Last week I mentioned that I found two two-page spreads that had no writing on them in my toxic journal. I left those bare so that I could alter them along with the shadowbox portion I had already glued up. The first spread is finished, let's check it out!


I started, of course, with some Dylusions ink sprays and the pages soaked.them.up. (Sidenote: I added gesso to the other two page spread to see if that will keep that from happening next time.) I also did some chalk ink punchinella stenciling and ink spray through a Dylusions stencil. I had an envelope that was dated 1936 that I've been holding onto so I used that as a pocket for the tag I made:


The tag is pretty simple: more Dylusions inks, stamping, stenciling, a Cosmo Cricket phrase sticker, and the witch was from a napkin. I don't make a lot of tags so this was fun to try out! The opposite page was pretty simple as well, I used vintage books pages on the background along with a playing card and picture of a lady along with my usual bizarre selection of washi tape. lol


I'll be sharing more of this work in progress as it comes along! In fact, would you like to join me? Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shadowbox Ballet

Hi everyone!

I'll be running around like a crazy person today so there won't be a Friday Night Fab Five this week. Instead, I wanted to share a couple of shadowboxes I made to commemorate Toot's current years of ballet. I don't even want to tell you how long it took me to finally get around to making these...or how long it took for me to finally blog about them. LOL Ballet seasons run like school years so I used the end of season year for each one, since the pictures were taken then.


For as long as I waited, these were incredibly quick and easy to make! I used inexpensive shadowbox frames and fancied up the background with some punchinella stenciling.

For both, I had saved her ballet shoes and flowers she received after her recitals and for the one above, I saved the ribbon she wore in her hair and used it for more background decor.


I saved her "crown" comb for this one. Luckily, I still have a stock pile of Thickers so I used those for the years. lol I suppose I'll keep adding them as long as she'll keep dancing! (Or her feet get too big to fit in a frame. HA!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Punch It Twice

Hi everyone!

I wanted to participate with the "New Beginnings" challenge over at Mixed Media Place so I decided to remake one of my older art journal pages and give it a new beginning of its own. lol

You might remember this page, omg punch it. It's very simple and although simple is awesome and I liked it just fine, now that some time has past, I thought it could be a bit..."more". But still, it wasn't bad:


And this is the new and improved page:


Side by Side:


Well? What do you think??? Different, right? LOL I love it. It's all full of stuff and things. Yes!


I started by spraying some Dylusions spray ink through an UmWowStudio star confetti stencil and added an arrow between omg and punch it.


I piled on the washi tape and UmWowStudio star confetti chipboard with I painted with Distress Paint. I also flung White Linen Dylusions ink all over the place. lol


The original page was nice and clean...I've figured out that I'm more of a mess. At least for now. LOL

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: Where I Rip This a New One

Hi everyone!

You may remember last week I introduced The Nontoxic Project. This will be an ongoing series of artistic detox, as I uncover things I've been saving under the guise of "memories and sentiment" when really some of it is just plain toxic i.e. not sweet and "Awww, I wrote some funny stuff!" but more like sour and "Freaking holy crap, I really hated myself!" lol

Now obviously, I could throw away these things or I could hold on to them with the idea of "learning" about myself but for me personally, these things on my shelf and in boxes were sitting there, just being stagnant and moldy...metaphorically speaking of course. lol This project isn't about getting rid of diaries, pictures or things that necessarily trigger sad memories, it's more about reclaiming and repurposing a time in your life that might have been "toxic". (As always, check out the "Nontoxic Project" tag at the bottom of the post for more of the journey.)


So with that in mind, let's get started! Last week I shared the journal I found from 2003 that was full of ugly, toxic things I thought about myself:


My initial idea was to make a sort of shadowbox frame where you open the cover and there's a cool looking something or other on the inside. (Obviously, everything is completely planned out already. :P lol) The first thing I did was Mod Podge the pages together. This worked pretty well, the pages were thick and glued together with little problem so that I could just run glue along the edges and be done.

I did have to rip some pages out and try closing the cover as I went to make sure it would shut. lol So here's where we're at now:


All that toxic muck and gunk is now smooshed together for eternity! lol After I got the pages glued together, I started whacking at them with an exacto knife. As you can see, I did not try to be straight and/or neat in the least. LOL For me it wasn't so much about neatness or perfection as it was slamming these ugly words in the face and destroying them. lol I added a little gesso on the "frame" but didn't completely block out my handwriting, I figure it'll add to the background. :)


Oh and can I just say, the tip of my finger STILL hurts from wielding that knife for who knows how long getting those pages out. LOL In fact, I didn't cut as deep as my original plan because I discovered 2 sets of pages that had nothing written on them! Soooooo I not only have the shadowbox section but I also have two double page spreads where I can create something new. This project keeps expanding and I love it. lol

I'll be sharing more of this work in progress as it comes along! In fact, would you like to join me? Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together! If you're inspired, pick it up and run with it!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Night Fab Five: Mixed Media for N00bs

Hi everyone!

This week's Friday Night Fab Five is off the cuff and completely rushed but I was really excited to answer this question! lol I got this wonderful comment from yaya snaps on my light bulb art journal post:

"Love what you're doing...and want to try it...but I don't have all the stuff you use. Is there a beginner book or info. somewhere that tells what basic equipment is needed to create this kind of art?"

Whoa whoa whoa...you want me to talk about mixed media?!?! Um, please and thank you!

Okay, no way is this post exhaustive on the topic and if you like, I'm more than happy to delve further so keep leaving comments or email me! So keeping in mind that I'm barely scraping the surface here, I'm going to share 5 tools for N00bs, newbies, and mixed media know-nots that are super easy to get a hold of and, for the most part, are either cheap already or can be cheap with craft store coupons. lol


**I'm going to assume that everyone knows what mixed media is, long story short, if you take two or more things that aren't the same thing and create something with it, you're making mixed media thingies. (Thingies is a techincal artist term...patent pending.)**

So first, let me say...ANYONE, yes ANYONE can create with mixed media. There are NO RULES. You do not have to use expensive supplies, you do not need the "latest thing" and you don't have to go into a craft store if you don't want to. Granted, there are some super awesome happy fun toys in craft stores but if what you're wanting to do is give this a try without too much investment up front, let's just cover the basics.

**Disclaimer: I know there is a TON of stuff out there but these are just the simple essentials that I hope will be easy for anyone to find!**

1. Things!


So first you need something to use as your base for turning into something else. Anything is fair game for you to alter with mixed media: envelopes, playing cards, old books, notebooks, boxes (regular boxes, gift boxes, cereal boxes), cardboard, $1 kids paper canvases (my personal favorite), candy tins...ANYTHING you want to alter, nab it and grab it!


2. Stuff!


Now we need stuff to add to the things. This is where you'll save money in SPADES. Bubble wrap, newspaper, more cardboard, pictures, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, menus. All of these things can be used to add layers, texture and/or interest to your project. Stuff you would normally throw away or recycle, upcycle it instead, rip it up and glue it down on something! Speaking of which....

3. Sticky Stuff!


We need something to keep all the stuff on the thing so get some glue! Regular old white glue is fine, tacky glue is great, glue sticks are perfect for tacking something down before committing. Hot glue guns are good too for some projects, the glue itself can even add dimension to your projects! My personal favorite is matte Mod Podge, you can use it as a glue as well as a sealant. You can get fancier with gel mediums, beeswax and a tons of other fun things but for those starting out, just grab some Mod Podge. Target recently had little bottles of it in their dollar bins for yep, $1.

4. Brushes!


You can get fancy paint brushes but for those on a budget, go get some sponge brushes. You can find them just about anywhere and they are C-H-E-A-P.

5. Color!


I'm currently in love with spray inks and you can find these for less if you use a craft store coupon. But barring that, and to make this as easy as possible for first timers, get some acrylic paints. You can mix with water to make them thinner, you can use them in conjunction with white glue for different effects. Crayons, watercolor pencils and paints, chalks, colored pencils, pens, markers, the list goes on and on and a lot on the list is cheap.

BONUS: More Stuff!


A lot of the fun of mixed media is using things to add texture, dimension, and fun stuff to other things. Paint on a toilet paper tube makes circles. Wine corks make smaller circles. Bubble wrap makes a lot of circles. Glue down lace trim or dab it with paint and use it as a stencil. Use masking tape as part of your design or to cover up something so you can add color somewhere else. Busted up jewelry can be glued down. Wipes can wipe off boo-boos as well as color something without covering it up. Cut out words and lines from magazines or torn up books and ta da, instant quote/statement maker. Scissors...well, they just cut stuff but still important!

The point is, everything is fair game, anything can be glued down to something else and it's ALL fun. In fact, if it's not fun, don't do it. Seriously, creating things should, at the end of the day, be fun for you. The more you do it, the better you'll get. This post just covers basic tools but search for tutorials, techniques and just start doing stuff! I find mixed media to be A BLAST and I hope you'll give it a try!