Tag Archives: shrine

A Journey Through Simplicity

This is my monthly post for the wonderful Retro Cafe Art Gallery and while I usually do technical tutorials, I feel I need to do a different type of tutorial.  This particular step by step serves as a reminder for me.

Often times, I get so wrapped around how big, grand, and detail oriented I feel my projects and creations must be, especially when I am representing another company or shop.  After all, isn’t that what my “claim to fame” is?  Aren’t my creations most noted for the amount of detail that goes into each piece?

The pressures I put on myself are stress-inducing and as a result, I often hit a road block that I can’t seem to get over or through.  What happens in the end is I sit down, get to work, and hate every second of it.  Something that is suppose to be joyous and a release from the day to day turns into the day to day and a chore.  The mojo flees.  The creativity stagnates.  The desire is extinguished.

Please.  Sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and just relax with me as I take you through my journey in simplicity.

It’s important to remember where we started as crafters and artists.  For me, it all started with a piece of pretty patterned paper and a photograph.  While I no longer scrapbook, I do still have remnants of those deeply seeded roots.  As such, it’s only fitting that I use a piece of patterned paper as a starting point.  Since I work in mixed media and I was focusing on more humble beginnings, collage seemed to be the way to go.  Simple yet effective.  On one side, I have this beautiful patterned paper, on the other, newsprint tissue paper.

Once my tiny shrine was assembled, I had to laugh as I sat down to add beads.  I guess I can never truly let go of the smallest details.  I came to understand that these tiny beads which are applied one by one with a needle and glue are very much a part of my art journey.

What this simple, tiny shrine has told me as it came to life is that detail may not be my problem.  Size is.  This teeny piece has taught me that even the smallest of projects and ideas can carry the same impact that larger pieces like my dolls and crowns do.  And maybe it isn’t necessarily about impact but more about heart.  My heart, soul, and a lot of self reckoning went into this itty bitty darling but the vision it has blessed me with is much grander.

“Go big or go home” can be equally applicable to the smallest of undertakings.  It’s okay to keep things simple even if your idea of simple may be a bit different than what is literal.  For me, “simple” means small.  Details can still be big, like the beads and the jewelry finding tucked inside this shrine.  But scale doesn’t always have to be “bigger is better”.

Supply List:

Retro Cafe Art Gallery Mini Houses Shrine Kit
Firemountain Gems Seed Beads
Patterned Paper
Tissue Paper
Mod Podge
E6000
Bookmark Blank
Jewelry Findings

 

“Gabriella” Santos Shrine

Hi everyone!  I’m back today to share with you a project that was intended to go one direction, but in the end, took on a completely different idea as one idea failed and another proved to be fantastic!  I wish I had taken photos of the mishaps that forged the road ahead for Gabriella, but alas.  I did not.  In all honesty, I think I was too frustrated to even think about grabbing my camera.

You see, at first, she was going to have the face of Frida, but since that idea fell apart, more like broke upon my floor (literally), I decided to go in a different direction instead.

I have had this beaded beauty in my cabinet for some time now, just waiting for the perfect piece to put it one.  And talk about serendipity!  If you have followed me for a while, these pieces are hand beaded one by one using a needle, glue, seed beads, and micro beads.  Her “halo” is a piece of magic in itself.

I also wanted to try my hand at painting.  Not just regular shading, full color type painting.  Actual images in the vein of tole art painting.  I knew Gabriella was going to have a mix of cultural infusions and I wanted the shrine to be of a Mexican folk art style.

The inside of the shrine is a very cool printable from Xquizart that simply enhanced the look I was going for.

Gabriella’s heart is always at a low and hot smolder.  Passion for life, even in death is her mantra.

Would you like to know the secrets in assembling this piece?

Step 1:  I always prep my pieces with gesso simply because I almost always end up painting them.

Step 2:  I used Sandra Evertson’s “MUSE” stamps and stamped into Apoxie Sculpt.  I cut the excess clay away and used them in other moulds.  You notice the Frida face?  Yeah, well, she broke when I dropped her, thus the change in direction.  You can paint the pieces without the clay being dry.  It’s perfect for us impatient types.

Step 3:  Draw your design onto your pieces.  I used a pencil and then painted it in with acrylic paint.

Step 4:  Trace panels onto paper.  Cut and glue them to each piece.

Step 5:  Highlight the flowers with a white pen and ink edges.

Step 6:  For Gabriella’s smoldering heart, paint a base coat of acrylic paint.  Once it dries, apply a thick layer of Kroma Crackle that has been tinted with acrylic paint.  Heat set it with a heat tool.  This technique is one I learned from Michael DeMeng.

The Santos heart that serves as Gabriella’s bodice was done using a faux Kintsugi effect which I demonstrated on Facebook.  You can find the full video here.

Assemble your pieces using an industrial glue like E6000 or Goop.

Supply List:

Large Exquisite Santos Doll Antiquity Shrine Kit
Relics & Artifacts® “Rising Spirit IV with Wood Support”
Relics & Artifacts® “Flaming Hearts Ex Votos I”
Relics & Artifacts® “Ancient Soul”
Sandra Evertson “MUSE” Art Stamps “Mandala”
Sandra Evertson “Muse” Art Stamps “Muse”
Kroma Crackle
E6000 Industrial Adhesive
Xquisart “Hippie Chick”
Tumble Fish Studio “Cut apART”
Signo Uni-Ball White Gel Pen
Liquitex Acrylic Paint
StazOn “Jet Black”