Mistakes and Hot Messes are Okay!

Have you ever had this great, fantastic, mind blowing vision in your head and then you start to work your magic.  You start to see your vision come to fruition through your fingertips.  You find your groove.  You are totally jivin’ and feelin’ it come to life.  Then, the moment of realization occurs.  You take a step back, tilt your head, look at your completed “vision” and think, “What the hell have I just done??!!”  Don’t lie.  We’ve all done it.  We’ve all had these great ideas but something happens during the process and a disconnect sets in and once it’s completed, you end up with a hot mess that you can’t believe just flowed through your hands and all you can say is, “WTF?”

I’ve had them many times and as luck would have it, I just finished one right on the heels of making it onto one of the hottest mixed media teams around.  Yep.  My project can only be titled as, “WTF happened??!!”

Behold!  The hot mess that can only be described using the words of a very good friend of mine, Jess, “Oh damn!  A whole lot of work for it to look like a snow cone!” hat.
FailHat4-3Aaaaah.  Just look at that in all it’s Easter gone tweaker glory!  Flowers, flowers, wings, and color.  Just an explosion of “Oh my gaud(y)!” all over the place.

Because what every hot mess needs to make it look even more chaotic is GLITTER!  Loads and loads of glitter makes everything exponentially……worse.
FailHat2-1If you EVER feel the need to play “mad scientist” with your sprays, DON’T!  You end up with this psychedelic trip gone horribly wrong in the end.  JUST DON’T DO IT!  And no matter what, a very prettily embossed Relic will not “make it all better.”
FailHat1-1Not sure if you can tell in the photo, but why not highlight the mind altering “WTH” with some…..LED lights!  Because every train wreck of a project should be lit the heck up so all can see and wonder whether you were drunk or unconscious when you put this together.
FailHat3-1I can’t tell you where or when the vision in my mind turned into a snow cone on acid, but I will say this.  MISTAKES ARE OKAY!  Not every project is going to be awesome and beautiful.  But in those mistakes and visions gone horribly wrong is where we learn, grow, and hopefully find some humor.  Every single person who creates, no matter if they are on a design team or not, has at least one project in their closet where they look at it and all they can do is shake their head and toss back a shot of vodka.  This one is mine.  Enjoy and salud!


Rock Star Ambassador with Sandra Evertson

Good morning and what a good morning it is indeed!  I have been holding on to this news for about a week now but I can finally shout it from the rooftops.  I am joining the outstanding Rock Star team over at Relics & Artifacts!
1460252055805-3I never in a million years would’ve thought that I would be part of such an outstanding group of talented artists.  I love these products and truly believe that no matter the artist’s skill level, they will open up a whole new world of creativity for anyone who plays with them.  I look forward to sharing this creative adventure with all of you and hope that you will join me and my fellow Relic & Artifacts Ambassadors for what is sure to be an inspiring journey.


Autism Awareness Day: Bright Ideas!

Today is National Autism Awareness Day.  To commemorate ASD awareness, every year the team at Ribbon Resource hosts a blog hop exhibiting projects; some are functional and others are to bring focus and awareness.  This year, the line up does not disappoint.

My project is dedicated to two women I know who are strong, resilient, and have children with ASD.  Bethney (the Ribbon Lady herself) and Carrie, who I was in the Marine Corps with.  Both of these moms have made no secret about the struggles they have faced with special needs children, especially with the needs of an ASD child.  These are women who I admire.
I decided to use a light bulb and fancy a hot air balloon out of it.  
You recognize the iconic puzzle pieces and of course the color blue.  For the sensory aspect, I went with soft, flowy feathers and rough glittery spirals.
To catch the visual senses, blingin’ rhinestones and gold paint are surefire eye catchers.
The puzzle pieces are painted with the Verday Paint system.  There is a puzzle piece at each joining of the pearlized beads, which plays more to the tactile senses.
A Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts piece adds as the focal point with layers of color and depth.  The wired pearls just adds to the whimsy of my light bulb and just seemed like a perfectly playful addition.
Bethney and Carrie, if you read this, know that you are amazing women and the best mom’s your kids could have.  Your strength and love shows through their strength and love.  I admire you for the grace and love that got you through the challenges you have faced every day.  I light up blue for Makayla and Michael.
With Love,
Supplies Used:
Relics & Artifacts “Regalis” Set (Retro Cafe Art, Sandra Evertson)
Verday Paint System (Retro Cafe Art, Sandra Evertson)
PearlEx Mica Powder
Liquitex Gel Medium
Light Bulb (local hardware store)
Filigree Piece (my stash)
Puzzle Pieces (my stash)
Gold Accent Paint (Tulip Brand)

Queen of the Dead, “Maria”

I love doing things out of season.  I also love it when a potentially awesome idea falls apart and turns into something else all together.  Take a look at this bad boy!  Allow me to introduce “Maria”.
DOTDDoll4-2Isn’t she just divine?  She actually started out as something completely different but ended up as this! I’m not going to say what my original idea was only because I hope to be able to bring it to fruition in the future.

I used the large Santos Cage Doll from Retro Cafe Art.  She’s a whopping 16″ tall!  I have a brief tutorial below.  I didn’t get all of the details because that would cause this post to be daaaaaays long.

The easiest way to add some zing to a piece of masonite, chipboard, paper, whatever is BEAD GEL!
DOTDDoll2While that is doing it’s thing and drying (overnight), wrap your posts in sari ribbon.  You can use ribbon or fabric scraps as well.
DOTDDoll1Now it’s time to get on with the details.  I love subtle little details and this one is an easy one to do.  Grab your beads and some wire and to wrappin’! An easy way to secure the first and last bead is to send the wire through twice.
DOTDDoll3When your bead gel is dry, go ahead and assemble the cage portion using a strong adhesive like E6000.

I used the Vintage Halloween Skeleton collage sheet for the upper body and arms.  It’s easiest to print it out onto cardstock and use gel medium to adhere.  You can leave it white or use inks to “stain” it like I did.  Grab your journaling pens and get some doodlin’ on those bones.
DOTDDoll6For the face, I used a skull from the Ancient Soul set of Relics & Artifacts.  The design is done using micro seed beads.  It wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought it would.  I didn’t even develop a facial twitch.

To finish off the bottom, the easiest thing to use to hid unsightly edges is dresden.  I used the Assorted Design package.  Use some regular liquid adhesive to make it stick.

If you have some the awesome Picado pieces lying around, paint those bad boys up with some acrylic paint and give them a spritz with some shimmery spray.
DOTDDoll7Ok, so who doesn’t love dangly things?  There’s a big dangly ornament in this doll.  Grab the crown from the same set as the skull and the rose from the Flora set.  I painted mine with acrylic paint and added some beads and wire. (It was really hard to get a good photo.)


I finished my doll off with a lace panel draped like a cloak.
DOTDDoll5I love that this doll is my debut post as a designer for Retro Cafe Art Gallery.  Thank you for the warm welcome and I hope you stick around for more!


Supply List:
Large Santos Cage Doll
Vintage Halloween Skeleton collage sheet
Papel Picado Cut-Outs
Assorted Dresden Design (Gold)
Ancient Soul Relics & Artifacts
Flora Relics & Artifacts
Carved Stone Skull Beads (Colorful Mix)
E6000 Adhesive

A Regal Crown

Hola Muses!  Boy do I have a stunning project to share with you today.  Remember the two crowns I did last year?  I’ve finally finished the third and I think this one might be my favorite!
RustedCrown2-1Wanna see the rest?  I used the Regal Chipboard Santos Crown from Retro Cafe Art and some of the Crosse Icons from Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts line.
RustCrown1-1Look at all that glorious paint!  I used the VerDay paint system to get that rust finish on the chipboard crown.
RustedCrown6-1The dresden is also all dressed up.  You see, it started out as gold.  Then I painted it with brass VerDay and went over it with Finnabair’s absolutely GLORIOUS Opal Magic paint.  The Crosses are all dressed up using black acrylic paint and more of Finnabair’s Opal Magic paint.  The secret here is to apply with your fingers and get an uneven application.  This way, when you apply the Opal Magic paint, you’ll get both of the color effects this paint is known for.
RustedCrown5-1The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts.  Would you believe that they were originally pink and white?  I slapped a very generous amount of the Iron from the Verday paints and sprayed them to get the texture from the rust.  Once the flowers are completely dry, I painted them with more of the Opal Magic paint.
RustedCrown4-1Just look at all of the drama goin’ on back here!  The chains are all old necklaces of mine that I haven’t worn in years.  More VerDay and more glorious color effects!

Final touch was to glue faux pearls into the flower centers.
RustedCrown3-1I cannot believe how amazingly beautiful this piece has turned out.  It also is even more beautiful with my oldest daughter, Madi, modeling it for me.


Supply List:

Regal Santos Crown (Retro Cafe Art)
Crosse Icons Relics set (Retro Cafe Art & Sandra Evertson)
VerDay Paint System (Retro Cafe Art & Sandra Evertson)
Flowers (Wild Orchid Crafts)
Dresden (Retro Cafe Art)
Opal Magic Paint (Finnabair)
Chains, Pearls (my personal stash)

Haunted Hotel Pocket Page

Hello everyone!  I wanted to take a break from the “off the page” projects and get back to some scrapbooking.  I used my visit to the haunted Royal Hotel as my inspiration.

Here on Okinawa, we have many interesting and creepy places to visit.  One such place is the Royal Hotel which is rumored to be haunted by angry spirits.

The story goes that the owner started construction on this hotel against the wishes of local monks who warned him that it would anger the spirits that resided in a sacred cave on the hotel grounds.  The business man continued with construction anyway and the project was riddled with unfortunate accidents resulting in workers’ injuries and deaths.  The owner decided to spend the night on the site to prove that his workers were being overly superstitious.  There are a couple different accounts as to what happened to the businessman.  Some say he went crazy and was admitted into an asylum.  Others say he committed suicide.

I have more pictures of the inside of the Royal Hotel that I will be sharing in a mini album.  Be sure to stay tuned as I will be telling the story in more detail.


Supply List:
Journaling Cards (Becky Higgins Project Life)
Dresden Borders (Retro Cafe Art)
Black/White Striped Ribbon (May Arts:  424-18-10)
Alphas (Thickers, Pink Paislee)
Embellishents (stash)
Chipboard (Creative Embellishments)
Inka Gold Paint (Retro Cafe Art)

A Ruffly Romantic-ish Wreath

Say that title ten times fast!  Whew!  Ok, so I’ve had this ruffle wreath sitting in my closet half finished for well over a year now.  I even had the extra ribbon stashed away.  While dinner was cooking last night, I got a sudden wild hair and decided to just finish it.
RuffleWreath-3This wreath is actually a smaller one even though it looks big in the photo.

Would you believe that I ran out of ribbon doing this and had to adjust my original idea?  Yep.  Talk about frustrating!

That gap….that’s where I ran out of ribbon but I’m glad I did!  I used some Prima flowers I’ve had

forever, some trim, a Prima resin frame and slapped a Relic into it.

RuffleWreath2-2Look at that Relic face!  Some Inka Gold paint and some VerDay (my new go-to) on the fly is just how I do things.

RuffleWreath3-1This ribbon from May Arts is glorious for this type of wreath.  The wrinkly look and texture just adds so much more depth to me than burlap.  I glues some pearls I had laying around for a bit of accenting.


Supply List:
Box Wreath Form (Hobby Lobby)
Ribbon (May Arts)
Relic “Archangels” (Retro Cafe Art or Sandra Evertson)
Denim Flowers (Prima)
Resin Frame (Prima)
Pearl Balls (stash)
Trim (stash)

“Just Keep Swimming” With Funky Fish!

Hello to all of my fellow artists and crafters out there!  I hope wherever you are, you are warm because it’s COLD here in Okinawa!  I’ve been huddled inside crafting the day away and dreaming of the summertime.

Judging by this next project I just finished, you’ll agree with me.

Fish1-1Aren’t they the cutest?!  I’ve never really, REALLY tried my hand with the whimsical but holy cow!  I do love how they turned out!  And the quote, I mean really.  How could anything else other than “Just keep swimming” be used?

The set is call “Fish Sticks Specimen” stand ups from Retro Cafe Art.  The cute li’l eyeballs came from the “Flaming Hearts Ex Votos I” Relics & Artifacts set.  This particular fish’s eye is just painted in with black gesso and outlined using a fine tip journaling pen.

Fish2-1The next fish is unique.  She is also collaged using kits from Crowabout Studio and Tumblefish Studio.  But check out her eye!

Fish3-1See that sultry eye?  I used one of my old false eyelashes and actual eyeshadow to get the shading.  And I’m talking the goooood stuff.  Mama doesn’t wear drugstore makeup.

This li’l guy is all cherry blossomed out in some awesome paper from Crowabout Studio’s “Textured Collage” paper pack.

For the bases, I decided to infuse some true Okinawa into the project.  They are covered in Ryukyu glass.  This glass is blown by hand (or mouth) and it’s style is unique to Okinawa.  Any pieces that are made that have imperfections or break, they are smashed into little bits and sold by the box full.

I just love the myriad of color!

Fish6-1I hope my fish inspire you to just keep swimming through this cold winter!  I’m ready for summer!


Supply List:
Fish Stands (Retro Cafe Art)
Eyeballs (Retro Cafe Art or Sandra Evertson)
Papers “Celestial Journal Cards” (Tumblefish Studio)
Papers “Textured Collage” (Crowabout Studio)
Gesso (Liquitex)
Acrylic Paint (Liquitex)
Makeup (Urban Decay)
Pen (Sharpie, ZIG)
Glass (from my stash)

#2016ArtJourney Meets Wanderlust!

Why hello again!  So I started another “off the page & off the wall” project but while taking a break from it, I decided to mess around a bit in my ol’ journal.  See, I’m taking this really cool, year-long class called Wanderlust and am really trying to broaden my #2016ArtJourney horizons.

Art journaling is by far, not my strength.  I figure this, dive into the class, play along, and practice, practice, practice.  Of course, this brings me to another “need” as far as my creative journey goes.  I need to be….

Bold2-1…BOLD!  I broke away from my usual color palette of tropical hues and went with BOLD neon colors.  This worked really well because it’s rather crappy outside today so I needed a li’l dose of sunshine anyway.

Some fun with doodles, paint, stencils, and my Gelli Plate is just what this Wanderlust adventurer needed.

What are you doing in your #2016ArtJourney to broaden your horizons and rib your comfort zone a new one?


Supply List:
Gelli Plate
Amsterdam Gouache Paints
Liquitex Liquid Acrylic
Liquitex Gesso
Stencils (The Crafter’s Workshop, Dylusions)
Foam Stamp
Kanji Stamps
Sharpie Water-Based White Paint Pen
StazOn Ink Pad
Archival Ink Pad (Ranger)

Meet “Tabitha” the Steampunk Santos Doll

Hello Muses!  I hope you are all doing well.  This project I have to share with you is a doozy!  It’s one I’ve been working on a little bit at a time over the last several weeks.  I decided to try something very different and go with a full blown steampunk themed project.

Meet Tabitha!  My daughter named her and I think the name works beautifully.
Tabitha1copy-1Isn’t she just gorgeous?  I used the Steampunk Santos Doll from Retro Cafe Art and just went to town!  I’ll admit that I’ve had her stashed in away in a dark drawer for some time….until…..

….Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts were brought into my world!  These little beauties are so much effing fun to play with.  Look at the doll’s head!  Look familiar?  It’s a Relic from Figureheads set.

Tabitha4-1But wait!  How did I get that wonderful droolworthy patina finish?!  There is an amazeballs paint system that my friend, Monica Downing, introduced me to and it’s available via Retro Cafe Art as well as Sandra’s store.  It’s called VerDay and lemme tell ya.  It’s over the moon amazing and soooooo stupidly easy to use.  Actually, it’s how I achieved the oxidized metals look on the entire piece including the chains.

Her lovely body is simply done using collage.  Some old sheet music, a road map, and this really cool paper from an old @$$ book along with some Mod Podge and I had my bangin’ bod.  Slap a stencil down and use the VerDay through it and you too can have  bangin’ bod!

Wanna see what’s under her skirt?  ::snort::

It’s where she keeps her heart!  ::giggle::  Ok, really.  Another fabulous Relic, this one from the Flaming Hearts Ex Votos I set.  This one is painted with some acrylic paint and I LIGHTLY dabbed some VerDay paint over the top.  Once the paint dried, I glued down my incredibly tedious and tiny watch gears using some E6000 glue and a toothpick.  I swear I’ll be high and cross-eyed for a week!

Tabitha5-1You can really see the gorgeous patina on the base.  There’s also a bit of stencil work there.

She is easily one of the best things I’ve cranked out to date and I may or may not have a little bit of a crush on her.  I keep creepy stalker guy staring at her.

Since I know some of you may want to try your hand with one of these dolls, I’ve listed my supplies below and linked them.  Knock yourselves out….but not with the E6000 glue.  I don’t recommend that.


Supply List:
Steampunk Santos Doll (Retro Cafe Art)
Figureheads Relics & Artifacts (Retro Cafe Art or Sandra Evertson)
Flaming Heart Ex Votos I Relics & Artifacts (Retro Cafe Art or Sandra Evertson)
VerDay Paint System (Retro Cafe Art or Sandra Evertson)
Chains (Tim Holtz, personal stash)
Watch Gears (personal stash)
Typewriter Key Bead (Oriental Trading Company)
Seed Beads (personal stash)
“love” Light Bulb (Prima)
Metal Gear (Vintaj)
Damask Stencil (Prima)
Collage Papers (personal stash)
Acrylic Paint (Liquitex)
Gold Alcohol Ink (Ranger)
Mod Podge
E6000 Industrial Glue (Retro Cafe Art)