The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

Archive for August, 2010

Butterfly Art

I’ve been wanting to participate in the Tag Tuesday Challenge that Louise hosts over at Kard Krazy for a few weeks now but it just hadn’t worked out up until now. While eating breakfast this morning, I hopped over to Kard Krazy to see what this week’s challenge is – Butterflies!

I was SO excited that the challenge was butterflies especially since I just finished a butterfly inspired tag this weekend. Here she is:


There are actually four butterfly images in this piece.  I did so much layering that it is difficult to find all four images. First, I cut out my tag using light purple cardstock. I stamped the background with French script in a darker purple and then added some gesso mixed with matte medium for some translucency. I cut out some images of butterflies that were on tissue paper with an Exacto knife and adhered them to the tag. Then I stamped the main image (I recall buying the stamp from Stampington & Company several years ago) in blue and added more gesso. I added glitter glue around one of the butterfly images, wrote the words “Imagine Dream Fly”, distressed the edges with some blue ink, and added some fibers to finish the tag off.

This is actually the first well layered, mixed-media tag I’ve done and I love how it turned out. I hope you enjoyed it to! Did anyone here find all four butterfly images?


Kuan Yin



Our household has an eclectic mix of religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Yakko is in seminary school studying to be a Wiccan priest. I consider myself to be spiritually eclectic with large Buddhist and Pagan (specifically, Wiccan) influences. Wakko is more the intellectual, scientist, “if I see it, I’ll believe it” type with an interest in Buddhism.

In Buddhism, Kuan Yin is a bodhisattva (meaning she forgoes her own enlightenment and keep being reincarnated until all reach enlightenment and there is no more suffering) of compassion. She is also known in come cultures as the Goddess of Mercy. Her name, in Chinese, roughly translates as “Observing the sound (or cries) of the World”

CIMG0018This past week was a rough one for our family, especially so for Yakko. Yakko had a death in his family – the second one within five months. This time it was quite sudden and unexpected. Yakko was gone several evenings last week being with family and attending the services. Each night he was gone, I lit a candle and placed it on our Kuan Yin shrine (photo on the left). Praying and lighting a candle is common in many cultures/religious practices. Even though I could not physically be with Yakko and support him, I lit a candle for him and his family. I asked that they have some feeling of peace and comfort through this very difficult time. Lighting a candle and placing it on the shrine was my way to be there for him.

The photo on the right is a photo of a Kuan Yin statue we purchased this past weekend and our local monthly antiques market. She is a large (over a foot tall) and heavy statue, made out of porcelain. I was so excited to be able to purchase the statue for $25! This statue currently resides on top of our piano in the living room.



Chakra Mandala Paintings – Part 2



A while back, I wrote a post about the first two (out of a series of seven) chakra mandala paintings I made. I have since made two more paintings.





This is the painting for the will chakra mandala. The will chakra is located just above your belly button. It is that drive, motivation, the “fire in your belly”.








This is the heart chakra mandala painting. This is my favorite of the four paintings so far. As I was creating it, I was not really liking my choice of papers for the petals (I thought they were too yellow-green) but as I added different green hues to the background, I really liked how the piece came together. The heart chakra is located at the heart and is associates with love, compassion and self-love.






Here are all for of the paintings. I have truly loved creating them as I study the chakras. Working on this series of paintings has reignited by creativity and is a big reason for my recent reorganization / transformation of my art space. I am creating art again because of these paintings.

In  the next week I will be working on the 5th painting in the series for the throat chakra. It is associated with the color blue. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

What I’ve Been Working On

It’s been an especially long week. My co-worker was on vacation this week which meant extra hours at work for me this week. I don’t mind, I’m just glad it isn’t a regular thing.

With the extra hours at work, I haven’t been spending as much time in my studio this past week. I did make some progress the past two nights though.




I started painting some accessories to match the room. The frame will go around a fabric memo board that I made last week. The tray and lazy susan were finds at my local Goodwill.








This is a journal page that I made the other night. I just let inspiration strike as I pulled some supplies out of my supply closet and this is what I came up with. I made the flower on the far left out of tissue paper. The right side of the page contains hand stamped images that were painted. There is a word collage stamp toward the center of the page that I embossed. It is a bit difficult to see because of how the camera flash reflected off of it.




This weekend’s plans include finishing painting the accessories in the first picture. I still have a small table to spray paint. It’s just been too darn hot & sticky outside. I also should catch up on housework since I let those chores slide during the week!

Mixed Media Creation – Mermaid Goddess of the Sea


Ever since I’ve moved my art supplies back into the old office now art studio, I’ve been at my work table nearly every night “piddling” with various art stuff. I created this beautiful little (4.75”x5.50”) mixed media piece last night. I used masking tape on bristol vellum paper colored with water soluble pastels for the background. The mermaid was printed on transparency film & colored with markers. I elevated the image by using the foam glue dots. All images are courtesy of the wonderful, Graphics Fairy!

I am linking up to:


Dress Up – August

It looks like I am a bit late to the party. Alice and Camilla have been hosting a “Dress Up” party each month during 2010 where participants post their artsy dress creation for that month. I only just found out about it because I am slowly dipping my toe into this blog world and recently expanded my blog reading horizons beyond mainly DIY Decorating blogs and I’ve been exploring the world of Altered Art & Artists blogs.

I’ve been interested in altered art for many years but for the past several years, I rarely broke out my art supplies and created.  Earlier this year, I decided to do a series of collages/paintings – one for each chakra/energy center of the body. I have done two more of the chakra mandala paintings that I have not had a chance to post about yet. I loved being able to experiment with different techniques for each of the paintings. Doing these paintings regularly has really inspired me. In fact, this past month, I finally began the process of converting our home office into my art studio. Sorry, I got a bit long winded. My point is, I’ve been interested in altered art for a LONG time and I am just now getting into it. I look forward to participating in various altered art themes along with other blogging altered artists. Here is my submission for August:

Aug Dress




When I think of August I think of hot & steamy days and nights. I also think of the colors red and orange. I used these colors along with some origami paper to make this dress. I cut a toothpick in half and painted both ends to look like hair sticks. See some other submissions for August at Alice and Camilla.

Sneak Peek – Transforming the Home Office into an Art Studio

Over the past month, the guys and I have been transferring our home office into an art studio/creative space. We’ve taken out the old office furniture, painted the walls and put in a new floor and now are in the process of furnishing and accessorizing the room. I’m not ready to do the room reveal yet but here’s a sneak peak.




The fabric is what I am using for the window treatment. You can see the blue accent wall in this picture.









Here is a bookcase that I dressed up. Once I finished pasting the decorative paper to the backside of the bookcase and stood it up against the wall, well…I wasn’t too thrilled with the 12 year old girl room look. I quickly added items to the shelves to help tone down the background. The bookcase has kind of grown on me now. The green wall color is the main wall color of the room.







I hope you enjoyed the preview of our (OK, mainly mine) new space! Here’s some of the other things I am working on bef0re the room reveal:

  • Paint one more coat on the computer desk and distress the edges slightly.
  • Make a fabric & ribbon memo board
  • Spray Paint small table
  • Recover chair cushion

Hopefully I will get a lot of it done this weekend and the room reveal will be posted on Monday!