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Zombie Girl

2015 January 23
by Micki

Having had such a fun time painting a girl using skin coloring techniques learned from  Micki Wilde's Wilde and Free online class, I immediately did another girl/face on the opposite page in my journal.  This page had been used as a paint/brayer cleaner so had lots of random color on it when I started.  I started by adding white gesso with a brayer and while the gesso was still wet, I layed the leaf stencil down and removed excess gesso thru the stencil with a baby wipe.

I really like the "muted-ness" (I know, not a word) of the background.  Then I went to work on the face.  Because of the many, many layers, some of the paint layers started coming off on one side of her cheek.  Tried to fix it, but after a closer look, thought I'd leave it as is and call her my "Zombie" girl.





Once again, I used a charcoal stick around the edges which were blended with a blending stump.  (I also took it outside and sprayed a coat of Workable Fixative over the page.)

I totally love my little "Zombie" girl and have to say this page was probably one of the easiest and quickest I've done.  I didn't "over-think" like I tend to do and kept the background plain and simple.

Tonight I'm heading to Edmond, Oklahoma for two days of learning, painting art abandonment with Donna Downey at My Hearts Fancy.  So ready for it, including the six hour drive after work :-)!

Until next time….xoxo

Supplies used:



2015 January 21
by Micki

Yup, I reworked my original Make Art Challenge project.  It was just too "busy".  First order of business – gesso and a brayer.  Once that was dry, I added Distress Stains which look awesome over gesso (I think).  I had some watered down black gesso in a fine tip plastic bottle and used it to draw flower stems and leaves.  While those were drying, I took Viva Decor Gloss Gel and outlines the embossed sunbeams. 

Letting that dry completely over night, the next morning I added Koi watercolors inside the leaves and over the textured sunbeams.  The gloss gel acted as a border which kept the watercolor from spreading outside of the "petals".  


I love the results.  The white gesso and the underlayers created such a cool resist/two tone effect.


MakeArtRework2I used some scrap watercolor paper which had been used as a "sponge" for cleaning my watercolor brush to channel Joanne Sharpe and create the letters for the title.  These were cut out, glued to the page and then doodled around.  And since this is a journal, I wrote around the flowers jotting down some thoughts about this page and about the many layers.  To darken the edges, I had a piece of charcoal which I had used on another project and decided to add a thin line around the edges, which I then blended with a blending stump. So there you have it.  The AFTER:


Here is the BEFORE:

What do you think?  Better or worse?  I think it's better.  The before was just way too busy.

Until next time…..

Supplies Used to re-work page spread:



2015 January 18
by Micki

Hi Friends,

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  My weekend was spent in my art studio, watching Micki Wilde's Wilde and Free online classes and then creating an art journal page.


Oh and I love, love, love how the shirt turned out.  Awesome technique I learned in Micki's class:


I absolutely love how she layers, especially the faces of her girls.  I still have a long way to go, but it's always fun to learn new techniques and then applying these.  My girl is not too bad and although I have a problem with lights and shadows and over blending, I truly enjoyed creating this page.  It's been a while since I journaled in my large Dylusions Art Journal, I missed it.  I added my own little twist on this page by incorporating Joanne Sharpe's lettering lesson from LifeBook week 3.


I had so much fun that I created another girl which I'll share later this week.  I also finished up several other projects, yay!  All in all THAT was the highlight of my weekend – art.  Thank God for art!

Have a wonderful start to the work week! 

Until next time…..




Life Book Week 3

2015 January 16
by Micki

TGIF folks!  Not only is it Friday, it’s also supposed to hit close to 60° today.  Not that I will be able to take advantage of the warm weather as I’ll be at work.

I am rather happy to say that I finished my lesson for Lifebook 2015 week 3 which featured Joanne Sharpe and her wonderful lettering lesson.  I am horrible at lettering, doodling and such so this was very hard for me.  I’ve learned to do the loose scribbly writing which no one but I can read but to do what Joanne Sharpe does, not so much.  However, after watching her lesson, she reiterates what I’ve always  known…. it takes practice!  And that is the truth with everything.  So practice I did and ended up with this:

Wk3 WhimsicalLettering

For my first attempt, not too bad.  I’m pretty happy with it.  This kind of project is perfect for on the go because you really don’t have many supplies. 

Guess I better get ready for work.  As today is my 50th bd, I’d much rather stay at home but then around here, it’s just another day.  Matter of fact, my hubby walks by me with his coffee, asks how I am (making small talk) and then gets his iPad and gets on FB.  Seeing all the birthday wishes, he quickly writes his birthday wishes on my wall.  Gotta love FB because I’m pretty sure that that is it as far as birthday goes.  Is it selfish to wish just once my family would make a fuss over me?  Instead of the other way around?  Well, thankfully I bought my own birthday present with my craft fair money.  I’m heading down to My Heart’s Fancy in Edmond, OK next weekend to take Donna Downey “Metamorphisis” class, yay – can’t wait.

Ok, enough of the self pity.  You guys have a wonderful weekend!



Supplies used:

Make Art Challenge 1 – Embossing Paste

2015 January 14
by Micki

Good Wednesday morning my friends.  I thought I'd pop in to share my "not so great" art journal pages which were inspired by Wendy Vecchi's Make ART Challenge Blog.  The challenge is Embossing Paste, which I certainly used – a lot and as is the norm with me, I got carried away.  Although I will "re-work" this spread, I thought I'd share some pictures of how I got carried away and some of the things I really like and don't like.


In the close up above you can see the luscious texture created by the embossing paste and stencil and I definitely love that.  I started the page by randomly gluing some vintage newspaper pieces and some sheet music papers to the pages, covering it all with white paint and removing some of the wet paint with a baby wipe.  Once dry, I added embossing paste through a couple of stencils.  Again, randomly across the pages.




After letting it sit for a day to dry, I got to looking and realized that I should have "read" the scraps before applying them.  "Gun Battle" kind of popped out which I didn't think would go with a my theme, whatever that was going to be.  I was leaning towards a floral theme thinking to use the Sunburst stencil as a flower.

I scribbled Neocolor II crayons in dark and light turqoise, and violet randomly across the pages, especially over the dried stenciled texture and then activated it with a wet brush.  Didn't like it, so I scribbled some more crayons and this time activated it with a layer of white paint BUT only on the right side.  Then I grabbed my oil pastels and scribbled and blended some more.  Next I grabbed some of Wendy Vecchi's stamps and randomly stamped the Artist statement over the pages using Watering Can Archival ink.  

Mixing some Golden Fluid paints to get a dark violet color, I added these as drips, using water to force the drips down the page.  I also added some brush spatters to both pages.  LOVE those.  Then I stamped the small fern stamp from Nature's Art around the edges of the pages to create a border.

Still thinking of doing a floral theme, I stamped the vine/leaf stamp from the Ticket To Art set on the pages and colored these in with a green Montana Paint Marker, followed by more markers as well as pencils because I ended up not liking it.  One day later, I was so frustrated that I journaled my thoughts about this page onto the leaves which was quite a challenge.  I should have added a coat of clear gesso but at that point I was done with it, lo.  I was able to use a Micron pen and just scribbled away.  Big brush marker around the leaves for some depth which usually helps, didn't.  And that is where I left it.

So here it is:







The Pros:

  • the texture
  • the dribbles
  • the splatters
  • the stamped border
  • using watercolor over the embossing paste – love how the texture "grabs" the color more so in some places

The Cons:

  • the colors maybe, in particular that bright green
  • the scale of the stencils used for the texture were too small overall maybe using a larger stencil with a larger design
  • should have kept it to one page instead of doing a two page spread
  • in some spots the colors started to get a bit muddy especially on the left page
  • should have thought it through before diving right in

Is this page done, nope and since inspiration always seems to strike me in the morning (before leaving for work), I can tell you I've already started to re-work it and think I'm on the right track.  Regardless, I did have fun, and definitely learned a lot and after all, that's what it's all about, right?

Grab your embossing paste and head over to Wendy's Make ART Challenge Blog and play along and don't be intimidated if your project doesn't turn out the way you had expected.  Keep at it!  Well, that's it for me this fine morning, I'm heading off to work.

Until next time….. go make ART!


Supplies Used:


Tags, Tags and more Tags

2015 January 12
by Micki

Hi Friends,

Last week was week 2 in Lifebook 2015 class with a bonus lesson (less intensive than a normal lesson).  Roben-Marie Smith was our instructor.  Wonderful lesson, totally inspired me to create and that’s a good thing, Winking smile.

On tags #1 & #2 I even used my sewing machine.


LB Wk2 Tag1phone

LB Wk2 Tag2phone

LB Wk2 Tag3 phone

Tag #3 (the last one) was created using stencils as stamps, some gelli printed papers cut into circles, paints, gelatos and oil pastels.  I truly enjoyed just playing on this tag.

The photos above were taken with my phone.  I also scanned the tags (trying to get into the habit of doing that this year) which shows the detail of the tags a bit better:

LB Wk2 Tag3LB Wk2 Tag2LB Wk2 Tag1

You can click on each picture and it should enlarge.

I did get some craft time this weekend and finished a background in my Dylusions journal.  Saturday we went to watch Emma’s basketball game, then had Gracy and Abby spend a night.  Sunday morning, I decided to let the girls help me finish  my “button tree” canvas:


And that pretty much sums up my weekend.  Feeling kind of “blah” and don’t really know why… must be that looming turning 50 at the end of the week.  And it’s not so much the turning 50, it’s where I’m at in life, i.e. that I’m still at that blasted place where I work.  That’s ok,  THIS will be my year to FINISH and FOLLOW-THROUGH.  My words for 2015!

Speaking of work….better get going :=(.   Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful Monday!

Beacon of Light

2015 January 7
by Micki

Lifebook 2015 is underway and my one goal this year is to keep up with the weekly lessons. My first Lifebook experience was LB2013 and I absolutely loved it even though I did not keep up with the weekly lessons. Since lessons were/are downloadable, I was never too stressed about keeping up. Still not too stressed about it but I would like to follow through on this one goal.
Working on week 1's lesson started slow, especially when sketching the face. Because I haven't created any art in what seemed like forever, it was tough going at times. Isn't it amazing how quickly one can "loose" what practice and daily drawing at one time made faces easy? Kept with it though and in the end it all came together. Tamara is a wonderful teacher and is sooooo positive that regardless of the moments of frustration, creating her was super fun.


She is created on hot pressed 140lb watercolor paper.  The size is 9" x 12" which means I couldn't scan it, so instead I used my iPad to take the picture.  Might have to save to get a large format scanner.  Anyway, lots of layers here.  And yes, I used glitter and didn't make too much of a mess, hehe!  Also used some older stamps, old music paper, watercolor crayons and in short….had a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  I think my mojo was ignited, because yesterday morning, I finished Tam's warm up excercise.  Probably should have done that one first, but hey, who cares, right?

One thing I wanted to share is that I've come to a decision not to stress about linking up products this year.  You have no idea how time consuming it is and honestly, a lot of products I use, specifically papers and stamps are no longer available.  One of my (few) goals is to use up what I have as far as supplies goes and folks, I have a lot.  Blogging for me has always been time consuming and between full time work, life and family, I would much rather spent my time creating and not worry about jotting down what specific supplies I used, then spend an hour linking said supplies up.  Which means if you want to know what I used, ask.  I promise I'll answer and when I do a step by step project, I will try to link to products used.

Ok, that's it for me today.  It is BITTERLY cold here, which doesn't bother me too much BUT it's the wind.  Do Not Like The Wind….. the good side of this sub zero temperature is that when it "warms" up to 25º or 30º, it will feel so warm, lo.  Gotta look on the bright side!

You guys stay warm!


My Trip Home

2015 January 5
by Micki

And I am back!  Happy New Year folks and a belated Merry Christmas.  I had had all the intentions of posting Christmas and New Years greetings and perhaps some photos of my hometown on my blog here, but the international data package I purchased for both my phone and iPad before leaving the U.S., quite frankly sucked.  Even calling the AT&T International number for help didn’t help.  In hind sight, I should have just waited until I got to Germany and purchased a data card there and I would have been fine.  Live and learn!

Now about my trip home to Bad Hersfeld.  This trip was totally unexpected and as much as I so looked forward to going home, I also dreaded it.  It’s stressful.  But before I bore you with that, I will share some of the photos snapped with my phone.  I didn’t get much time out to take photos, but I think the few I did get show the essence of my hometown.

First up, the view of downtown from “Johannesberg” where my aunt lives.  I took one afternoon to walk through town to meet up with my friends.




Had to snap a picture of the Ford dealership, lo.


The next couple of pictures are of downtown.


This is the house where I grew up.  Our apartment was at the very top.  Loved living there, step out your front door and everything was right there or within a short walking distance.  The house is on the right upper corner in the picture above – same street.


One thing I LOVE about Germany is the window shopping and no matter the weather, as long as it’s not a major downpour, wares are displayed outside.


Stopped for a cup of coffee, which I enjoyed outside.


The view from my aunts house.  Another thing I miss is the forest and the hills.



The weather is as crazy there as it can be in Kansas.  Cold one moment, then warm.  However, the cold does not seem as cold because of the humidity I think.  One thing that really stands out is how green everything still is.  Even after frost, snow and ice.


The next two pictures were taken at my aunt’s boyfriends house.  What a view, huh?


Next a picture of my friends – been friends since preschool.  Red heart these girls.


My cousin Daniela and I.


And I feel horrible, but I completely forgot to snap a picture of my cousin Simone.  She drove me to the airport on New Years Eve and having been a bit stressed out I completely forgot.  (She’ll just have to come visit me so we can remedy that Smile)

A photo of my aunts and uncles.  Folks, get these people together and it’s pure fun.  I can only hope to be like this when I’m in my late 70’s and early 80’s.


My aunt’s boyfriend on the left, then my aunt.  Uncle and Aunt Reibrichs on the right.  They are actually not my aunt and uncle, however, I’ve known them since forever and they are such close family friends that they are basically family.  Weird as it may sound, but I can not bring myself to call them anything other than “aunt” and “uncle”.  


One final picture…… I may be German, but I am not a beer drinker.  Don’t really like beer.  I’ll have one once in a while so imagine my surprise when I was given a glass of this dark beer.  OMG, it’s THE best!  After some research, it appears the closest location where it’s available is in Des Moines, IA and Oklahoma.  (oh yeah, road trip – seriously that’s how good it is.)


Another thing I miss is the food, especially the breads.


Sigh……already miss it.

So as I was saying, going home and staying with my aunt is kind of stressful.  Love her to death but she has a way of being somewhat overbearing and making me feel like a little kid.  I know she means well and because she doesn’t see me but every couple of years (last time was 5 years ago), I don’t say anything.  My aunt has been a caregiver first to my grandfather and now to my grandmother for 25 years, so when I’m there, I stay there to try to help.

Another reason this trip was hard, made harder once I was there, was that my grandmother didn’t recognize me.  That I expected.  But that when told my name, she still didn’t recognize me or my name.  That just about killed me.  Five years ago, she was mentally fine.  This time, there was absolutely no recognition.  I know I should have expected it, she is after all 99 years old.  But to not even recognize my name….. and knowing that this was the last time I saw her.  So very hard.  I think that’s why I approached this trip with some trepidation because I knew that things would be different than before and I don’t want that.  I want to remember Germany, my family the way it was.  Does that make sense?  Pretty selfish of me, I know. 

I got home Thursday and spend Friday and Saturday playing catch up on laundry and putting the Christmas stuff away.  Sunday I spend in my art studio, determined to make some art.  I had lugged some art supplies all the way to Germany only to have absolutely no desire to sketch, draw, doodle or color.  You have no idea how hard it was to try to create yesterday but I did and by the time I finished, it started to “flow” a little easier.  Of course the only reason my project turned out at all was the fabulous instruction from Tamara Laporte of  I gifted myself Lifebook 2015 and week 1 started on the 1st.  But I’ll share that later.  For tonight, I’m signing off.  I think I’m still jet lagged.

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time……. stay warm!  Deep freeze has descended upon the Midwest!



2014 December 9
by Micki

Hi friends,

Wow, it's been two weeks since I've blogged.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I came down with that viral head congestion stuff that seemed to be going around.  So by Thanksgiving, I had lost my voice and felt like my head was about to explode.  Not good with a full weekend of craft shows so I ended up going to Urgent Care on Friday.  Me and half of St. Joseph spent several hours there (or so it seemed).  Anyway, steroids and cough medicine and I made it through my craft shows the next two days.  I finally started feeling better this past weekend and had the girls spend Saturday night to help decorate the trees and downstairs.  Girls were a great help but it did look like a tornado went through the house.  

Anyway, with the holidays approaching and a last minute trip scheduled to spend Christmas in Bad Hersfeld (this trip was so not planned), I've decided to take some time off blogging.  The holidays are stressful enough and this unexpected trip is putting more stress on me.  So folks, until mid-January I will take a blogging break.  I may post some updates and/or pictures from Germany but not making any promises.  Going home is bittersweet and  I am thrilled to go home, yet at the same time I don't look forward to it.  I do and I don't – it's so hard to explain.  Grandma will be turning 99 on the 12th.  I had expected to go home next year, for her 100th birthday but my Aunt had called to ask me to come this year.  Meaning that it's a good chance that Grandma will not be here for her 100th.  Like I said….bittersweet.  

And this means that I will not be here to celebrate with my family.  Nor celebrate my daughter's birthday and my 28th wedding anniversary on the 26th.  Yeah, December is a busy month in my family.

I will be back sharing my art projects but for now…… have a wonderful holiday season!


Recycled Board

2014 November 26
by Micki

I picked up this board at the thrift store.  Not quite sure exactly what it was but I thought it was perfect to alter. So alter it I did and of course, the “Merry Christmas” sparkly ornament is slightly crooked. Sigh.  Anyway, it ended up like this:


But first let me share what the back of this thing looked like – the front was smooth.  I obviously forgot to snap pictures before adding a coat of gesso, but you get the picture.


On the one side, in the middle, was this opening and although it’s the back, I wanted to close it.  Instead of running downstairs looking for wood putty, I used Wendy Vecchi’s Embossing Paste, which worked wonderfully. (Ugh sorry did not snap a picture AFTER using the embossing paste).


The front was covered with paper pieces, then paint, ink sprays, stencils and of course glitter.  The tree was cut out of scrap paper, then covered with strips of different papers – going through my scrap basket and grabbing every piece of green and greenish paper!  Trimmed the papers after it was dry, then glued it to the board.  Using paint, gelatos and big brush markers, added depth and shadows.  Texture was added using stamps and rub ons.  It took me several days to finish this because I would come back to it and add more swipes of paint with my fingers or adding another stamp. 




The red sparkly “Merry Christmas” is a plastic ornament that actually had two holes along the top which I just snipped off.  I always fail to mention that I seal all of my pieces with gloss glue n seal which I did before gluing the greeting down.  And like I said, it’s slightly crooked and looking at it now, I will probably go back and add some “shadows” underneath the greeting with my darker gray big brush marker.  (Boy, I must be tired, can not seem to compose more than a sentence at a time.)AlteredWoodPanelTree3

Regardless, I’m pleased that this thrift store panel only sat in my art room for two weeks, instead of years as is the norm, before I altered it.


That’s it for me folks.  After work tonight I will probably try and relax and get up early tomorrow morning to do some cooking.  We are going over to the neighbors so I don’t have too much to prepare.

If you are traveling – be safe and most importantly have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 


Supplies Used: