Skip to content

Until the Fat Lady Sings…..

2014 April 17
by Micki


Amazing the ideas that comes to one when under extreme stress.  I thought I was going to have this lady finished early Tuesday night and be able to take pictures and have a post ready yesterday morning.  Well, when my head finally looked up, it was way past my bedtime.  I don’t have many step-by-step photos since it’s just lots of layers of stencils and paint.  I thought I kind of went overboard on my Monday art journal spread, which looks so much better in person than in the photos – truly, that I decided to (try) keep it relatively simple.

First step was sketching her out, which I did last Friday at lunch:


Over the weekend I added a coat of gesso to both pages, re sketched her and started by filling her in with paint.


I should have don’t the background first, but I didn’t.  Instead I just cut a mask out of paper and then did the background (ink sprays, paint and stencils).  It was just awesome art therapy!!!!!


Her skirt is painted with Adirondack paint, then stenciled with orange paint (on the lower part of the skirt) followed by a coat of Silks in coordinating colors.  Added a lovely sheen.

For my title, I free hand drew wavy lines, filling these in with several coats of paint:

FatLadySings_MG_0001 copy

I stenciled over the plum colored space with a slightly lighter plum color (by adding white paint and mixing it).  The same for the orange space, however, I probably should have gone darker instead of lighter since it’s barely visible.  Once all that was dry, I used my black big brush marker and started adding the lettering.  Of course I ran out of space, so I just added it at the bottom.  In hindsight, I should have added it in the upper right hand corner.   And as you can see in the picture above, I messed up on her hand.  The I decided the black lettering looked to plain, so I added some contrasting color with Montana Paint pens, making sure to leave some of the black showing.

Since I was so focused on painting the lady and the letters, that I almost was going to cover the “sings” part of the other page up with more paint and add it in the corner.  It was way too late and you know what happens when I do that, so I played it safe and typed my one sentence out on plain paper using my typewriter, then glued it to the page and blended it in with a big brush marker.


Here’s a close up of the layers of stencils Red heart


The outlining shadow was done with the black Stabilo All pencil, using a wet brush to activate and soften the lines and create a bit of shadow.  Oh, I used Memento ink around the edges of the pages.  And almost over did it again, when I started stamping to add more texture.  Forced myself to stop, especially when I didn’t like the way the random stamping looked on the upper part of the skirt.  Am I the only one that just tends to get carried away and not know when to stop with the layers and texture????


Showed it to my husband  (who didn’t “get it” – but my friends immediately did) and said “Wow, that’s wild.”  Yeah, maybe but I LOVE it.  I didn’t need any journaling because I will always know the reason for this page,  how I was feeling during this time and who/what it’s about.  I truly felt pretty dang great.

Apparently drama and stress and not being able to vocalize as I would like to is translating into some awesome art, Winking smile!  Who knew!

Until next time…….. xoxoxo

Supplies Used:

It Only Takes One…..

2014 April 14
by Micki

I’ve always said that I don’t have the gift of “gab”, and I have never really maintained a diary.  With art journaling, it allows me to do put down some thoughts in writing.  Just words or sentences to capture some feelings.  The real meaning is in the art. 


Let me share how this journal spread started:


It was one of those pages that had been used to “clean” various tools during previous projects.  Before Christmas, I had intended to create something using Christmas colors.  You know how that goes, the page was forgotten, then found and was transformed into this:


I had applied a very thin layer of gesso by scraping it over the pages.  Because the layer was so thin, the previous colors still showed through.  Next I randomly scribbled circles over the pages first with a graphite pencil, followed by black gelato because I wanted the circles to be more pronounced.   I added spots of Tumbled Glass Distress Paint and then decided to brayer a combination of yellow and green paint over both pages.  While the paint was still wet, I made some marks with orange Catalyst Wedge tool:


  Once that was dry, I made some awesome splatters with a couple of Montana Paint Markers:



With the splatters still wet, I closed my journal which created a sort of print on the opposite page.


  I also used some regular paper to dab some more off the paint from the right side of the page which gave me this print to repurpose at a future time:


Couple days later, I covered it all up.  Yup, don’t know why but I covered it all up and while the paint was still wet, used the back of my brush to scribble some words into the paint:


Because of all the layers of paint, the seam in the center was starting to tear which is why I added some tissue tape.  And because I had closed the journal while it was still wet, some of the paper tore away.  I wasn’t too worried because I knew it would get several more layers.   With my “theme” decided, I laid Prima’s Spiral stencil over the still damp paint and did a reduction technique by using a damp baby wipe to wipe the red paint away.  Next I grabbed Dylusions Flossie stencil and brushed dark blue paint around the mask:


Again, using my “clean up” papers to clean stencils and soak up some of the excess paint on the journal page.  (Be careful, because this too will cause the top layer of the page to tear)  Look at the awesome prints I got:


Studio 490 Translucent Embossing Paste was applied through the Mini Numbers Collage stencil with a palette knife:


I decided to add even more circles, this time with Studio 490 Black Embossing Paste through part of the Spiral stencil.  Once these were dried, I added a bit of doodling with a white pen and doodled with a black pen around the circles and using the spiral shape, added my journaling. 

I used my old alphabet stamps from Stampin’ Up! to stamp the title onto tissue paper which was then glued to the pages.  Stickers, rub-ons and a chipboard number letter (substituted for a number one) was also added. 




The “ball” was cut from scrap card stock, then painted with Metallic Copper Adirondack paint.  It actually got several coats of the paint.  I should have looked at a reference picture to make sure it looks like a ball.  The small word stickers along the leg are from an old Making Memories set.  It reads “Winners never quit and quitters never win”:


The chipboard arrows are from Heidi Swapp, which were finger painted:



Love the texture from the black embossing paste:



Oh and the translucent embossing paste – LOVE.  Just love it.  I decided to tie in the metallic copper paint from the ball on the other page, by randomly dabbing a couple of the stenciled circles.


And there you have it…… those who know what has been going on in my life will immediately know exactly what I mean with this spread.


One day when this is over, I’ll fill you in Winking smile  Until then, I will definitely be creating more emotional art work.

Thanks for stopping by, I know I have been pretty quiet, have not been able to make my rounds visiting blogs because of “stuff” going on.  It’ll get back to normal, it has to, right?

Until next time……..xoxoxo

Supplies Used:

SOC–White On White

2014 April 9
by Micki

Hello folks and happy Wednesday!  It’s a brand new challenge over at The Sisterhood of Crafters with moi as your hostess.

When it comes to cards, what am I drawn to?  What is my fail safe fall back whenever I don’t have any mojo or papers/elements just don’t seem to come together?  Anyone?

Lots of WHITE space!  That’s right!  As much as I love bright, juicy colors, there is something so classic and elegant about a white card or even a canvas with lots of different hues of white.

With that being said, the challenge is White on White!

For once I actually had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to create.  The only question in my mind was if I was going to create a card with or without some form of mixed media technique.

Well, I’m excited to say I created a card featuring a mixed media created background (insert cheesy grin.)


Can you see it?  The subtle tone on tone background?  So hard to capture the subtle marks.

I basically pulled out every white acrylic paint I owned.  You would be amazed at the subtle difference in white paints.  I used a piece of regular drawing paper to make random circles using Using a brayer I applied several layers of white paint, each layer being a different white paint.  I also scraped on a light layer of Splash of Color Mother of Pearl, followed by another layer of paint.  The first up close picture captured the slight sheen of the Mother of Pearl even with the added white acrylic layer.  The bottom picture was shot to try to capture my wax resist marks.  I darkened both pictures a bit in Photoshop to show the resist, the sheen and the subtle difference in white hues.


I really love the subtle tone on tone.  And in the picture above you can even see the different whites because I would only brayer one white paint once, other white paint I would brayer repeatedly.  I have a hard time explaining it, should have taped it but I was having way too much fun just playing.  I’m definitely going to try this with other colors!

Next it was time to add the sentiment which is from Unity Stamp Company’s Quote Bundle Pack.  I’ve had that bundle since it first came out and love it.  Popped the mixed media sentiment panel onto some foam mounting tape, added the crinkled seam ribbon which got a ‘white’ treatment with Dylusions Ink and Distress Stain.


Super simple and still got my “mixed media” fix in Smile.  Now for even more elegant, gorgeous inspiration and all the details for this classic-elegant challenge, head over to The Sisterhood of Crafters.  You are bound to be inspired and we hope you’ll join us!  Can’t wait to see what you create!


Supplies Used:

ePlay Challenge–Wood

2014 April 7
by Micki

Hi folks,

As promised I made time to play along with eclectic Paperie’s April ePlay Challenge.  After cleaning house, doing laundry and running some errands on Saturday, I was able to sneak into my studio in the early evening to start on my project.

After some paper painting & mark making, and generally making a mess, here is what my finished project looks like:


These were just scraps of 2×4” pieces of pine which hubby cut for me and lightly sanded.  I’ll be posting a more detailed step by step on the eP blog on my next post which will be this Saturday.    Got to use some new eP goodies that had just arrived on Saturday.  I spend all day Sunday playing with these and have to say that I had lots of fun.  Working on these kept my mind off the work week ahead, definitely a good thing!

Here are some close ups of each house.  The taller one:



The mid sized one:


And the smaller (narrow) one:


I think they turned out great, especially considering what they looked like before adding the detailing and doodling Smile.  

Go check out all the details for this fun ePlay challenge!!!  Sherry  is our host and wait until you see her project!!!   AND you have all month to play along and link up!  One lucky participant will win a $25 gift voucher to eclectic Paperie shop!  Need more inspiration?  Then make sure to check out the rest of the DT by clicking on the links at the bottom of the challenge post!

Can’t wait to see what you create!

Until next time,

Supplies Used:

Days Like These….

2014 April 4
by Micki

Admit it…… you have days where you feel like this:


I’m so sorry for my lack of posting.  It has been extremely stressful and art time has almost been non existent.  So I grabbed my art journal, my bag of pencils and gelatos and created this two page spread during my lunch hour.  The great thing about my limited supplies, it allowed me to create this “wild” face quickly and needing to get some frustrations out on paper, I didn’t waste time analyzing colors, shapes or ….well, anything.  I just grabbed gelatos and went with it.

And the wonder of awesome cell phone cameras, I snapped pictures as I went along.

DaysLikeTheseIMG_0968 After making marks and scribbles, I either used the Faber-Castell, or a baby wipe to blend the colors.  Some marks I blended completely, others I left some of the marks visible.  I looked at the pages and thought I saw a resemblance of a face in the marks.  So I  drew a (very) random face.   Actually it looked more like a skeleton head, lo.  Again, randomly grabbed the gelatos and just scribbled color.



I used the black Stabilo All pencil to outline and add details, going over it with a wet brush.

Adding more gelatos as I went along:


That was yesterday.  Today at lunch I decided I would do my journaling to make it look like her hair.  I started with a pen, then continued with a different color Inktense pencil, exaggerating my handwriting (thank you Dina Wakley).  I actually like my handwriting better this way and I know what I wrote but no one else can really read all of it (and since I did this at work, trust me….it’s a good thing.)  Anyway, I just used a different color pencil and wrote right over the previous writing.


With lunch hour almost over, I decided to call this spread done before over thinking everything.  I printed the title (hate my handwriting there) vertically along the left edge using pencils.  To make it stand out a bit, I went over the letters with a white-out pen.  And you know what, it may be weird, it may not be pretty but man, it was fun to just let loose!  And I guarantee that my blood pressure was back to normal by the time lunch was over!



Oops, still need to fill in the neck. Or maybe not….. Smile

I’ll be getting some creative time this weekend.  I’m hosting the next challenge over at The Sisterhood of Crafters and I’ve got my project all planned out for eP’s new April challenge hosted by Sherry.

I suspect that I’ll be doing a lot of these “stress relief” art sessions in the next couple of weeks.  You guys have a wonderful weekend!  Get some “art” time, I plan to.


Supplies Used:


2014 April 1
by Micki

Hey gang,  made it back from Chicago and the German Embassy.  Eight hour drive up, one night stay and back the next morning.  And boy do I have a story about this trip, but that’s for another post!  Instead I wanted to pop in to let you know I’m posting over on the eP blog today to share how I came up with this colorful art journal spread.


It was so much fun and as you can tell, I didn’t worry about the end result.  So go check it out!

Mermaid Class with Mindy Lacefield

2014 March 26
by Micki


As promised, I’m sharing my little mermaid created in Mindy Lacefield’s class at Art and Soul KC retreat at the Elms Hotel last Thursday.   It was only an hour and fifteen minutes drive from my house, so it didn’t require the additional expense for lodging (although I would have loved to lodge there!)  And it was a somewhat unexpected birthday gift to myself.  I had planned on going with my friend Amy David back to My Heart’s Fancy for JoAnne Sharpe classes but it fell through because the weekend of the classes was in January.   So in February, I used my unexpected commission from some orders to treat myself.  Timing of the classes couldn’t have been better.  I needed it, and still need it, lo!

I had lots of fun and definitely learned some awesome tips, and it’s always so fun to see how different artists create.  Love Mindy,  made me feel welcome and inspired.

As to my mermaid, she’s not quite finished.  I was so nervous starting her and finally decided to just freehand paint her (except the head) and go for the whimsy look.  I love how her tail came out.  All that texture just from paint/


As you can see by the belli button, still a work in progress.  And I had to give her a major tummy tuck, hence all the blue.  Being an artist that pulls out everything in her arsenal, it was a bit difficult – yet liberating – to use the limited supplies I brought.  Mindy brought her supplies and we were able to use them, but several times when trying to add definition to the face I was wishing for something that I didn’t bring.  And yet I made do and loved every minute of it.


If you ever get the opportunity to take one of Mindy’s classes, do so.  You will learn some great tips, techniques and will have lots of fun!

Next time I’ll share my class projects from Jane Davies’ class. Sigh, another awesome class!!!  It was more a technique class so there were no finished projects, but the techniques……awesome!  I want her new DVD!!!!  Oh hellooooooo family!!!!  Heck, I’ll just get it myself for Mother’s Day!

Don’t forget to hop over to The Sisterhood of Crafters and check out the new challenge.  I won’t be playing along this go round because of some work issues that came up!

Alright folks, still getting over my occupational health hazard, so I’m keeping this short!  Hugs and more hugs and thanks for stopping!



2014 March 24
by Micki




Hey guys, I’m posting over at the eP blog.  You have to check it out to see the whole art journal spread!!!!!!  I’ve got three words…..Wendy Vecchi’s TRANSLUCENT EMBOSSING PASTE! 

Brave Face and a trip to Urgent Care

2014 March 19
by Micki

It’s already Wednesday and this is my first post of the week.  How horrible.  Sigh, been sick not feeling well.  Started last week, never really went away over the weekend and progressed to a level Monday that I left work and went to Urgent Care.  I’m fine, stayed home per Drs. orders today (actually will be yesterday) to let the steroid shot do it’s thing before heading back to the cause of all this.  But hey,  I have a workshop with Mindy Lacefield and Jane Davies on Thursday (tomorrow, yay) at the Elms Hotel & Spa.  Wish I were going tonight for some spa treatments, but it’s only an hour drive and the classes were a birthday present.  I so need this …. therefore CAN NOT be sick!

Anyway, so this rest of the week you’ll see mostly unfinished projects, hopefully some class pictures from the workshops.  I did however finish this lady over the weekend.  Not only finished her, but framed her too.  About time, since I started her back in January.


I have no idea what I was thinking when I thought: “oh hey, lets paint on the colored transparency from Club Scrap that you’ve had for 8 years.”  I guess I thought the design showing through the face would be cool. 


Probably would have been but the sketching turned out harder than it should have been.  I started with white gesso, then sketching my girl. 

BraveFace photo 1

I used both Adirondack Paint Dabbers, dabbed onto craft sheet and watered down and Golden Fluid Acrylics.  I just kept going back and adding layers.  Then I added some oil pastels and noticed that the white gesso would flake off the transparency.

BraveFace photo 2

So I thought I’d try PanPastels – totally inspired by my fellow eP DT Tracy.  Before adding the PanPastels, the whole thing got a good coat of clear gesso.  Clear gesso is really gritty and it seemed to stick better to the transparency too.

And this is the result…. because I would take it to work and work on it during lunch, I didn’t take anymore progress pictures.  Sorry gang, but I kept going back and forth.  A layer of panpastels, then slightly wet brush, more paint, more oil pastels…. back and forth.


If the light hits it just right, you can see that the foundation is a transparency.  (the white half circle by her ear). However, not much of the design from the transparency shows through.

I added a sentiment from Dylusions, which was stamped onto wax paper scraps, cut out and glued on the piece.



In the picture above you can see some of the texture from all those layers.


The textured effect in the background are my thumb prints.

And here she is before being framed:


Ask me if I’m going to do something like this on a transparency again…..probably not.  It was a lot harder to get the shading and the paints to flow like they generally do on canvas or gesso covered board.  And yes, there are some obvious mistakes…..but all in all I think she turned out ok.

That’s it for me.  Am plum tuckered out and my rear end still hurts from the shot.  I don’t like shots, unless it’s a pain killer Smile.  Hope to be back on Friday with some pictures but since I won’t get home until late Thursday, it’ll probably be Saturday.

Supplies Used:

Stencil Play

2014 March 12
by Micki

Happy Friday everyone.  It is 3:25 a.m. – couldn’t sleep and since I didn’t do my blog write up last night, I thought I’d do it now.   Last Saturday morning, right after breakfast and before running those weekly errands, I stopped in my art studio and decided to just throw some paint around with stencils.

I didn’t take any pictures – that can really take the fun out of creating at the spur of the moment – but it’s just layers and layers of paint applied through lots and lots of stencils.  I didn’t worry about color combo or about muddying the colors (which I kinda did as you will see below).

After stenciling one color either with sponge or my fingers, I’d go off and make the bed.  Come back apply another stenciled layer, go start a load of laundry and on and on until I had to leave for the sake of sanity (husband and sewer pipe problem) and my eye appointment.

Sunday morning I looked at it, loved it and decided that Jessica Sporn’s  Mind Body Soul (monthly club kit) from  Stencil Girl Products  was perfect for this colorful stenciled paper.


Just look at all those lovely layers……  just love it. 


I even got brave and outlined Jessica’s stencil with a pink Sharpie.  In the pictures below you can see where it looks as if the colors were getting ready to go muddy.  I probably should have added something more, but it is what it is.  Among the many stencils I used, I also used both of Seth Apter’s stencils.  LOVE those.  They have so many design elements that if all you had were those two stencils (links below), you’d be set.



I also used the pink sharpie to go around the edges of the page.  Now I just need to decide what color frame to frame it in.  Pink?  Orange?  Or the one I tend to use all the time…


I’m linking to Paint Party Friday

Well, I still have three hours and since I am most creative in the mornings, I think I’ll try to see what mess I can create (if my chest pain lets me…… amazing what breathing laser dust in your office will do one’s lungs and bronchial tubes).

Oh Oh OHHHHH, I have to tell you…… almost forgot.  Gelli Arts gave me two shout outs on Facebook last week, right (I think mentioned it on the blog here earlier this week), they gave me another shout out for my Sisterhood of Crafters project from Wednesday.  Uber excited!  I can never believe that my work is worthy or good enough to be featured or well, talked about.   And then,  I find out I won a prize from Unity Stamp Company, again through FB.  Yes, I did buy a $2 lottery ticket.  Who knows maybe I don’t have to go back to the office, right?

That does it for my my friends.  If you haven’t tried stencils in your art, or gelli prints, you are missing out!  Just sayin’ Smile.   Until next time, have a wonderful weekend.

Supplies Used: