Life By The Seat Of My Pants

Archive for April 2012

My dear friend Stephanie Gagos runs a fantastic online community for women called Healing Truth Sanctuary.  One of the things she has been talking about this month is using the images from your memory to help deal with being triggered or times of stress.  She posed a challenge for us to think about one of our positive childhood memories in which we felt free and safe and create a painting around it.

One of my favorite childhood memories is of swinging. As a teenager , swinging was my get away. Whenever I needed to be away from my parents, think or just clear my head, I would walk to a nearby park. I would put on my headphones, pop a CD into my disc-man and swing for hours.  My favorite CD to swing to was Aerosmith Big Ones.  I could lose myself in the rhythm of  “Cryin’”  “Amazing” “ Crazy” and “Angel.”  I had those songs on repeat as I was working on this painting.

You can view the full video tutorial below 🙂

I began the painting by briefly writing this memory and the feeling it brought up on the bottom of my canvas in the shape of my hill. Next I gessoed the entire canvas and created my background. I blended two shades of blue for the sky and two shades of green for the grass. I used glazing medium to help make the blending easier.

While the paint was drying I started working on my Creative Paperlcay® embellishments.  I rolled my Creative Paperclay into a long strip, then cut it into several pieces to be used as the bars on the swing set. I laid the thin strips of clay on a pencil create a nice round shape that would mimic the metal swing set I had envisioned.  I shaped a piece of Creative Paperclay® into a seat and set everything aside to dry.

Next I started working on my girl. I created an armature in the shape of my figure using thin craft wire, then I completely covered the wire in Creative Paperclay®.  Once I had created her body, I added a small ball of clay for her head and then more clay on top to form her hair. I gave her bangs and pig tails because that was how my hair was often done as a small child.

When all of my Creative Paperclay® pieces were dry I painted them with acrylic paint. I used flesh and burnt umber on my girl and a coat of black on all of the swing set pieces. After the black paint was dry I added a coat of One Step Crackle to the swing set pieces.  I have found that the thicker I apply the crackle and the less I try to work it the better it does.  I let the crackle dry for several hours then I applied a coat of red ocher acrylic paint to the swing set. If you really want your crackle to stand out, wipe some of the paint back of soon after applying it.

I used some old fabric scraps to make my girl’s dress. I like to cut the basic shape, then snip and fit it as I go along. I used clear tacky glue to attach her dress to her body.

Finally I arranged all of my pieces and glued them to the canvas with hot glue. I used a piece of an old necklace to create the chains for the swing and I glued the chain to the canvas using 3D Crystal Lacquer.

This piece means so much to me and I am so pleased with the way it turned out. It reminds me of the freedom and peace the simple act of swinging used to bring to me and I am grateful for the memory ❤


I am up to my ears in art this week (because I am preparing for my FIRST art show!!!!) but I wanted to hop on for just a minute and tell you some REEEEEEEEEEEEEALLY good news!

As you know, I have been on the Creative Paperclay® Design Team since November. My term was six months long and I had to apply just like everyone else for another shot at being on the team.

Well, I was selected!!!!! I am very proud to announce I will be on the Creative Paperclay® Design Team for six more months!!!! WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy! I love this stuff and I have soooooo many ideas in the works to share with you this term.

You can always find great ideas and tutorials on the Creative Paperclay blog  😀

You can check out my submission post here.

I have TWO exciting bit of news the share with you today.

FIRST – I created a Facebook fan page for my art!!!! *Squee!!!* I would love it if you would go like my BRAND NEW PAGE!

And Second –
Thank you to everyone who joined the Earth Day Blog Hop and commented on my post! You all make me smile 😀

As you know I had blog candy up for grabs and THE WINNER IS… ROBYN COUILLARD!!!!! Congratulations and thank you for hopping!!!

Email me at

with your address so I can send your tag to you. Let me know which  of the tags you would like for me to remake for you!

WOW! My first Amazing Mold Putty® design team post! I am absolutely THRILLED to be a part of this design team because I LOVE this stuff.

For my first post I have two projects to share with you. They look very different but the process was the same.
It started when my son found a four leaf clover in our back yard. We wanted a way to preserve it and keep it green, but we also wanted to be able to see the whole cover from both sides. Amazing Mold Putty® and Amazing Clear Cast® to the rescue!!!



I already had a mold for a clock face that my son loved and wanted his clover preserved in, so I mixed up equal amounts of Part A and Part B of my Amazing Clear Cast® and poured it into the mold. After it was set I placed the clover in the center and then filled the well with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to seal the clover. The best part is that the clover can be seen from both sides and it is preserved forever. I think it’s very cool that my son will have a four leaf clover that he can keep for the rest of his life.

Notice how the light glints of of the Clear Cast 😀

The second project is a pendant that I made using the same basic process bit with a few variations.
I had a package of those cheapy “make it yourself” pendants and I refused to use the last one because it was the LAST ONE. I mixed up equal amounts of Part A and Part B of my Amazing Mold Putty and before you know it, I wasn’t down to my last one!

I planned on painting this pendant, so instead of the Amazing Clear Cast® I used my Amazing Casting resin® with dries white and opaque. Once my mold was set I painted it black and then covered the inside background with some bits of scrapbook paper and sheet music, then painted the entire inside with Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels.

While that was drying, I drew a little whimsy face and colored her with Prismacolor colored pencils. I also made a paper flower, but it ended up being much too big for the pendant.

I cut out my girl and glued her into the pendant and then I added some glitter and placed a tiny silk flower in her hair. I added some collage with the words “It’s what I do” then I filled the well with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic and let it set overnight.

Now when someone asks me what I do, whether they are asking about work, pleasure or artistic style, I can simply show them my pendant
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. You can always find lots of great ideas on the Amazing Mold Putty blog.

It’s that time again, time for one of Leslie Rahye’s blog hops, and this time we are are celebrating Earth Day. All of the projects on this hop will be upcycled or recycled which is right up my alley!

I feel a spiritual connection to Mother Earth, so Earth Day is close to my heart. For this blog hop I upcycled an old button and I also created two tags with an upcycled manila folder.  I love the way all three of these projects turned out and I want to share some upcycled BLOG CANDY with YOU! I am going to make another one of these tags for the winner so leave me a comment for your chance to win!!!

On my Ustream show this week I created my projects and I had planned on adding the playback to this post so you could see the piece come together, but unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, it was not recorded.  I really love this button, so I may make another one and I will BE SURE to record it if I do!

This button started out as a “Team Edward” (yes, from Twilight, and yes, his picture was on it) button  but we don’t really need to talk about that 😉 I gessoed the button, added texture paste to the ‘land’ areas and painted my background with acrylic paint. I painted my little Mother Earth, added glitter and wrote the text white acrylic paint.  The little hands are made from Delight Clay® that was cast in a mold and then painted with Neocolor II’s.  Any button will do, but I like to upcycle the ones I get for free at events or stores.

For the tags I cut a manila folder into fourths and cut out my tag shapes. I dripped some alcohol inks onto my non-stick mat and swirled the tags around to ink them up. I added acrylic paints with a brayer and stamped my images. The final touches were added with a white Gelly Roll pen and the words were written with a white-out pen. Both tags are double sided so be sure to scroll all the way down to see all of the images.



I am so happy with how these turned out and I hope you like them as well.  Be sure to check out the rest of the fantastic projects on the hop. All you have to do is click the little linky blinky’s at the bottom of this post and they will take you through the blog roll 😀

Happy Earth day!!!




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Picture it…

December, 1997.

Mike Tyson bites off Evander Holyfield’s ear, Tiger Woods becomes the youngest person to ever win the Master’s and the first Harry Potter book is released.

All of that pales in comparison to one thing – TITANIC.

Ohhhh yes, you remember the first time you saw it on the big screen. You were snuggled up to your Honey, holding your breath as long as you could and even though you KNEW what was going to happen, you sill CRIED your eyes out!!!!
And I’m willing to bet if you go see it in theaters again when it is re-released, you will cry this time too 🙂

With this in mind, I popped in my copy of Titanic and got to work.

In honor of Titanic I created this card using my VivaLasVegaStamps! All of the stamps I used on this project came from plate 1337, which is FULL of ATC art doll images. I used three of the faces, two different sizes of the fan , two sizes of mirror and one of the hats. This is a very versatile plate with multiple sizes of the same images which can be used together for a fun look.

I found some Titanic memorabilia online, sized it in a Word document and printed it in copy paper. I made the card by cutting a manila envelope into fourths and cutting off the tab.

I added color with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in tea dye, tattered rose, mustard seed, black soot and vintage photo and stamped my three lady images with black soot.

Next I glued my memorabilia to the card using gel medium.

I stamped on the fans, mirrors and hats using rusty hinge Distress Ink and then embossed all of them with VivaLasVegaStamps! Ultra High Gloss Embossing Powder . Using a white Gelly Roll pen, I added some text about Titanic and a few quotes from the movie.

I thought I was finished with the card at that point, but then it seemed to me that this could have been a journal or scrapbook page one of the passengers may have made to remember that extraordinary voyage. (I actually JUST had that idea about 10 seconds ago!)
I decided to age the card and make it look like it had been sunken and buried with the wreckage for all these years, only to be discovered for this blog post 🙂

I submerged the entire card in a tea bath (it is soaking right now) and I will let it soak overnight. I will finish this post tomorrow.

(It is now the next day) –

I took the card out of the tea bath and put it in the oven to let it dry completely. Well, I kinda forgot about it and it ended up staying in the oven for about an hour. When I pulled the card out, it had completely curled up and all of the embossing melted off… BUT, I LOVE the finished project!!!

I laid it out with some heavy books on top, so it’s not quite so curled up, but it is still warped, the ink has run and the ‘missing’ embossed spots actually turned out looking like a resist. I think I accidentally ended up with the exact look I was going for 😀 I feel like this really looks like it could be a relic from the Titanic so I am THRILLED!

You can view more great projects on the VivaLasVagaStamps! blog.

I cannot believe I have been on the Creative Paperclay® design team for six months already! The time has flown by and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Because my term is up, and I LOVE this stuff soooooo much, I am reapplying for a spot on the design team.

Creative Paperclay® is an air dry modeling material that is extremely versatile and luckily for me, very forgiving! I have used Creative Paperclay® to make a variety of mixed media embellishments and I have also used it in place of modeling paste. My son has used it to create school projects and we also made our family Christmas ornaments with it last year.
My most recent project is an art doll and that is what I want to share with you today. I love this doll so much that I have decided to create a series of these dolls for an art show I will take part in this coming May.

Her name is Annya and she is a Bottle Babe. I call her a Bottle Babe because the base of her body is made from a recycled jar! 😀

You can watch the full video tutorial below.

I made a wire and aluminum foil armature for her torso and head and covered it with Creative Paperclay®. I then glued the torso onto a recycled jelly jar and added more Creative Paperclay to form the rest of her body.
I sculpted her face and painted her with a mix of artist grade acrylic paints and acrylic craft paints. Next I cut the sleeve from an old shirt and tailored it with a few simple stitches to form her skirt. Then I gave her an aged look by painting her with a wash of fluid acrylics and water and blotting some of it away.

I printed out my text and gave it some color with Distress Inks, then added the text to her dress with matte medium. The quote says “Love is like a garden, tend it and it will grow.”
Lastly I painted a heart shaped paper mache basket with acrylic craft paint, and then splattered it with a lighter color of paint to give it some texture. I glued some silk flowers into the basket and hung it on her arm.

I think she is completely charming and I already have a row of bottles wash, dried and ready to be turned into Bottle Babes 😀

I have my fingers crossed because I would absolutely LOVE to be chosen for the Creative Paperclay® design team again. It is by FAR one of my favorite products and I reeeeeeeally want to continue to create amazing projects for the team. You can always find great ideas and tutorials on the Creative Paperclay® blog.
Wish me luck!!!