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O Christmas Tree

2014 October 29
by Micki

Although the weather is anything but “Christmas-y”, I got out my boxes of Christmas craft supplies and continued playing with My Favorite Things stencils.   I also used up one of those paper mache plaque that I’ve had for ages.  My end result:


I started by tearing pieces of papers from Pink Paislee City Sidewalk Collage pack and gluing them to the plaque with gel medium.  I wanted to keep the overall background light, kind of shabby chic and definitely wanted some of those papers to show through, so I lightly painted the background.  While the paint was still wet, I used MFT Stencil Stripes and sprayed a light coat of Dylusions After Midnight spray ink through the stencil which was blotted with a paper towel roll.  Since the paint was still wet, I laid the MFT Stencil on the Diagonal on the plaque (which fit perfectly) and using a baby wipe removed the paint through the stencil.  The effect is very subtle which is what I wanted:


I found a chipboard Christmas Tree icon (the Paper Studio) in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby and gave it the royal treatment:

First I applied a coat of Mowed Lawn Distress Paint, then I spritzed it with Adirondack Color Wash in Meadow followed with Dylusions Ink Spray in Dirty Martini.  After drying it I used my palette knife to spread a thin coat of  Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy Clear over the tree.  Once dry, the tree was painted with Viva Décor Precious Metal in Lime and after that was dry, I went around the edges with Sweet Pea Glimmer Glaze.  Then I applied Versamark over the tree and liberally sprinkled it with Iridescent Embossing Powder.  Oh the sparkle…. pictures do not do it justice.

To “ground” my tree, I recycled some packaging which was ripped into strips and glued to the plaque along with the tree.  Using my fingers, I smeared paint over the corrugated strips as well as lightly along the edge of the tree. The “O Christmas Tree” was created in my PC and printed on regular copy payer which I just glued to a piece of corrugated.  The edges of the piece and the shadows were created with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink (using my finger around the tree to blend).





I think it turned out great.  Even used up one of those little red bows left over from last year!

And I like the dimension of the tree.  I’ll be creating more Christmas themed projects in the next few weeks as I’m getting ready for my next craft show.  So be prepared to be bombarded, lo.

Hope you guys have a wonderful Wednesday!  Until next time…..


Supplies used:

My Favorite Things Stencil Play

2014 October 27
by Micki

Good Monday morning friends!   I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was great with beautiful weather, accomplishing what I had intended (for the most part) and spending time with Miss Gracy, who spent Saturday night with us so she and Papa could get up and head to the KC Chiefs game.  It’s her first one, so she was super excited.

And I got to spend some time in my studio, yay!  Right before my craft show, I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing My Favorite Things exclusive line of Premium Stencils.  I was excited and couldn’t wait to play with them.   So many awesome designs!!!!! 

With my new MFT stencils in hand, I jumped right in and started playing with them.  First I used spray inks with the Stencil MPD Gears stencil.  The result was great, even with all the details in this stencil.  Now because I used some painted watercolor piece and used White Linen Dylusions Ink, the effect was subtle but if you look closely in the picture below (left side) you can see the stencil design show through.

MFT StencilReview Cardbase

On the right hand side, I used white paint with a cosmetic foam piece.  Awesome result, nice crisp detail of the stencil.

MFT StencilReview Cardbase3

Next I used Stencil Punctuate It and Stencil On the Diagonal with Dylusions Spray Inks on chipboard piece which had been covered with paper scraps and painted.  I only used part of the stencils to add some texture.  Then I decided that the Stencil Waves stencil kind of looked like wavy streamers when turned on the diagonal and promptly applied embossing paste with my palette knife.

MFT SilentNight base

And here is where I truly test my stencils.  I clean my stencils by laying the inky stencil on another background or journal page, etc. and use a baby wipe to get the stencil clean and get another slightly lighter stencil print.  Ok, so you use a baby wipe to clean your stencil, so what?  Well, on stencils with more detail and smaller openings, such as the Stencil MPD Gears stencil, often times I have bent or broken little pieces of a stencil, especially on 6”x6” sized ones.  So this is where I was truly impressed.  The stencils are sturdy enough to withstand the baby wipe or rag catching and bending yet are not too thick to prevent a crisp, detailed image.  And because I love the look of stencil reduction, I’m using a baby wipe A LOT on my stencils.

I cleaned the Stencil On the Diagonal on the watercolor scrap piece I showed earlier:

MFT StencilReview Cardbase2

But what I really, really, really love about My Favorite Things exclusive line of Premium Stencils….. the small border around the stencils which allows me to attach a plastic hanger without obstructing the design

MFT Stencil Review2

and storing them like this:

MFT StencilReviewStorage

And I also loved that all the information is right on the bottom of the stencil.  Item number, name, etc.  (might be hard to see in the picture)

MFT StencilReview3

Ok, having had fun playing with these wonderful new stencils from My Favorite Things, I wasn’t too focused on the end result but here is what I came up with:

MFT Silent Night Full

I painted over the piece with Dina Wakley’s Night.  It’s a heavy bodied paint but yet a little translucent which allowed the stenciled designs to show slightly through.  I also used my finger and a lot of Splash of Color Silks Acrylic Glazes in the night sky and the trees.   The stars are Studio 490’s Metallic Gold Embossing Paste.

MFT SilentNight6

The Stencil Waves reminded me of snow drifts so I stenciled them on using white paint.  

MFT silentnight1

I used Silks Acrylic Glaze and my finger and stenciled part of the Stencil MPD Gears on the sky.  The splatters are Dr. Martens Iridescent Calligraphy colors.

MFT SilentNight5

Here’s a close up of the embossed “tree”:

MFT SilentNight2

And then I almost ruined it by trying to hand write the “Silent Night”.  Been having some issues with my hands and it clearly shows:

MFT SilentNight4

I thought about adding more texture with stamps and rub-ons, but because of the awesome glimmer from the Silk glazes, I opted to do without.  I can always come back and add it later.

As for My Favorite Things exclusive line of Premium Stencils, I love them and will definitely be adding more to my stencil stash.  You really need to try them out!!!

Until next time,

Supplies Used:

Thanks for the Memories eP

2014 October 23
by Micki

Good morning friends!  A very good morning indeed!  KC Royals won game two of the World Series last night – yay!!!!!

As you probably already know, eclectic Paperie is closing and with it the end of the eP blog and design team.  To say that my heart is heavy would be an understatement.   Daisy and I were “Stampin’ Sisters” (Stampin’ Up!) when Daisy and Joy started eclectic Paperie.  Daisy has encouraged and believed in me from the beginning and fulfilled my dream of attending CHA, not once but twice.  And in July 2010 she asked me to be part of the very first eP design team – the e-Team.  And because of eclectic Paperie, my art evolved.  I stretched and attempted projects I would not have dreamed of attempting before.  And then Kim took over and continued Daisy’s dream of growing eP.  And once again I was blessed when Kim asked me to continue on the new eP design team.

Words can not express my gratitude to Daisy and Kim for their faith in me because I am a nobody.  What I mean is that I am not a well known name in this wonderful community.  I am not very active in any of the communities, such as Splitcoast Stampers and as for blogging, well, I’m not the best.  Working full time, a house that needs constant attention, my precious granddaughters, health issues – life in general doesn’t leave much time so I choose to use that time making art instead of on the web.  Does that make sense?  And then, there is always that self doubt about not being good enough. So for both Daisy and Kim to believe in me, to encourage and support me, that my friends is priceless.  eclectic Paperie has been my family.  The amazing and talented fellow artists I come to know and count as my friends.  I have learned so much from these amazing ladies, who cheered, encouraged and offered their shoulders when I needed it.

Yes, my heart is heavy that eclectic Paperie is closing BUT I completely understand the why behind it.  Running a business is hard work and when art becomes work, it takes the fun out of it.  That is when you can find time to make art.  The good news is that each of these wonderful artists will continue to inspire and create beautiful art on their personal blogs:

Adriana Templeton

Bonnie Irvine

Broni Holcombe

Julia Aston

Karen Crossen

Mary-Ann Maldonado

Micki Harper  ~ Me

Sherry Cheever

Sue Carrington

Sue Lelli 

Toni Burrows

Steph Acherman

Debbie Sherman

Monica Edwards

Kim Schofield (owner)

To close the eP blog at the end of the month, each of the current DT members is posting some of their favorite eP projects.  Go check it out ~ a wonderful look back.  I shared my favorite projects HERE.

And don’t forget that there is still lots of product on the eP shelves.  You can save 30% off your entire order (excluding clearance items and eKits)!  Use code EP30 when checking out!!!!!

To eclectic Paperie, all my fellow design team members, to you…… Thank YOU for everything!


Until next time…..xoxo

Arts and Crafts Show Recovery

2014 October 21
by Micki

Hi Friends,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was great but very busy!  I left Friday for the Clarinda, Iowa annual art and craft show.  A great show and very well organized.  Over 400 vendors and I’m sure the attendance exceeded last year’s crowd of 4000.  Amazing.  I did great and am starting to streamline my booth set up and tear down!  The only negative is that Clarinda has horrible cell phone reception and being inside a gym made it even worse.  I’m thinking next year I’ll have to get a Hot Spot so I can do the credit/debit cards without having to run outside. 

I have noticed that it takes me longer each year to recover.  My body felt like it was run over by a train by the time I made it home Saturday night, lol.    I did manage to snap a few pictures:

My wooden whimsical houses were a hit and I sold all but maybe two.  The altered rat/mouse trap magnets also sold, which surprised me.  And the bracelets were a huge hit also.  Like I said, I did great.  I sold about half of my stuff :-).

Now I just need to catch up on the housework which I plan on doing before the weekend because I plan on spending some quality time in my art studio getting inky.

The eP design team kicked off the “Thanks for the Memories” as the brick and mortar store is getting ready to close at the end of the month and with it the design team.  Be sure to hop over to the eP blog to check out our favorite eP projects and don’t forget that Kim has some awesome deals going on at the eP online store.

I will share my favorite eP projects here later this week.  That’s it for me today, I think I’m going to take it easy tonight and watch the first game in the world series….go ROYALS!!

Until next time…….


Another village

2014 October 12
by Micki

Hi friends,

For the week I am a little behind.  I do try to post on Mondays but if I’m going to be totally honest, way too much happenings for this old lady this past weekend.  Beginning with some great news on Friday from my Workman’s Comp attorney.  Hang in there with me because one day in the near future I will share.  Let me just say that I spend 15 minutes with my head bowed giving thanks.  And later Friday evening, watching the KC Royals, my body did it’s own celebration by getting sick.  Thankfully it was just a 12 hour thing and I was able to go to a friends reception and take informal photos.  Note how I said “informal”?  I dislike indoor photos, especially inside a hall.  Lighting is horrible as far as photography goes and I do not have the high dollar gear for indoor photography.  Regardless, I got some great shots and a lot of candid’s – which are my favorite all the way around.  Sunday I did another senior shoot.  Weather was PERFECT.  Cloudy and overcast!  Seriously folks, those make the absolute best shots!!!!  And on top of all that, I am scrambling to get ready for the Clarinda, Iowa 55th Arts and Crafts show this coming Saturday.

Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y!  So I decided to finish those scrap pieces that were started some time ago.  (I swear by the end of the year, ALL those unfinished projects will be completed!!!!)


So I finished these small whimsical houses.  Gelli prints, paint, flip flop texture, old rub ons, word stickers, and this and that for embellishments.  Oh, found a bunch of suitcase locker keys, you know those small ones?  They were perfect.








And folks, I can safely say that this is going to be it for a while with the little wooden houses!

I’ve only created about 30 of these things.  Smile   That’s it for me today.  It looks like it’s going to be a perfect fall day.  After torrential 12 hour downpour, the sun is out.  It’s windy but it’s a perfect crisp fall day.  LOVE it!!!!!!!

OH, almost forgot!  Head over to eclectic Paperie, enjoy 30% off your entire order.  Use code EP30 when checking out!  eP is closing it’s doors which I haven’t talked about yet.  It’s kind of hard for me since I owe so much to eP.  But I also think that it was the sign I’ve been waiting for to step back from design teams and focus on what’s going on at work, etc.  But I’ll talk more about that later.  For now, head over to eP and grab those savings!!!!!



Supplies Used:

Altered Composition Notebook

2014 October 8
by Micki

Hey friends,

One of my many started projects was a composition notebook.  I had covered the front and back covers with white gesso some time ago and decided to finish it up this past weekend.  At the moment my go to colors seem to be the blues and turquoise colors so instead of fighting it, I went with it.

AlteredCompositionFront I first added layers of Dylusions Ink Sprays but because the gesso layer was rather thin allowing the original cover design to come through I added swatches of paint.  Layers upon layers of paint mixing each with white paint.  Then I added stenciling, first with ink sprays, then with paint.  No planning or thought involved until I added Seth Apter’s Unfinished stencil from Stencil Girl Products.  I added parts of the stencil to both the front and the back but made sure to get the “Finished” stenciled onto the back.


The rings were made with bottle caps and paint and as a final touch, I used the palette knife to add some contrast with black gesso (trick I learned from Kate Crane’s Journal Soup online classes).


I think it turned out great.  Oh I almost forgot about the letter stickers….I really wanted to do some fancy script, but my handwriting sucked.  Thank God for baby wipes!  I finally ended up using these old stickers.  What do you think? I think I’ll alter some more.  Wouldn’t it be fun to see a bunch of these lined up, each a different color!

Tonight I’ll be doing Gracy and Abby’s much over due birthday pictures.  With softball this summer, now school and dance, it has been hard to decide on a time.  You know how it goes, before you know it, the months have passed.  At least it’s nice temperatures!

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!  Until next time…..



Supplies Used:

To Have and To Hold

2014 October 6
by Micki

Yesterday I had the most wonderful afternoon spend with some old friends celebrating the union of two hearts.  It was a wonderful ceremony, in a gorgeous country setting.  So instead of cleaning my craft room, I spent Saturday creating a couple of cards, and finishing up two other projects that were started and then shoved in a drawer.  The card for my friend Mary was rather simple.   Just a couple of embossed panels framed with mirror card stock.  The sentiment is from an ancient stamp set – so ancient I don’t even know the name of it since I store the entire cling stamp set in a clear binder.   Anyway, are you sitting?  I embossed the sentiment!  I know, I know and yet I actually only had to give the embossing two tries…. not bad for me!



In this photo, I tried to capture the shine from the mirror card:


Some ribbon, some pins and dew drops and voila – done.

For the inside, I used my computer and printed a quote on regular paper which I glued onto card stock, then framed with some silver canvas type paper.  Have no idea where I got it but I know I’ve had it for a while (I ran out of the mirror card stock).


A quick and simple card, yet so very elegant, don’t you think?


Like I mentioned earlier, I did not clean my studio and I have another reception Saturday evening and possibly another Senior session Sunday and the craft show in Iowa is the following Saturday, YIKES!  I’m pretty sure the studio isn’t going to get cleaned until after the craft show.

Oh and the Royals beat the Angels, yay!!!!!! KC Chiefs lost, but go Royals! That does it for me gang, I’m off to watch a few minutes of The Voice, eat some dinner and then, go to bed!  Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend!  Until next time…….


Supplies Used:

Autumn Bounty

2014 October 1
by Micki

Happy Wednesday gang, weekend is almost here!  I created a Fall themed canvas on Sunday.  The canvas only took a couple of hours, and even though I wasn't feeling it 100% as far as art mojo, I am pretty happy how it turned out. 

It was a great project using up those paper scraps both on the background as well as for the pumpkins!  Used quite a few stencils, some Studio 490 Embossing Paste, Dina Wakley Paints and Distress Paints. Ok, if you know me at all by now, you know I use lots of stuff.  However, it wasn't until I got my fingers dirty with paint and gelatos that this canvas felt complete.

To get detailed step out pictures of my process, hop over to the eP blog HERE.   I must admit, by the time this canvas was finished,  I felt pretty good about it.  

That's it for me gang.  As I wrote this post up yesterday evening, it's rather short – getting ready to watch the Royals.  Kansas City Chiefs kicked butt on Monday Night Football and we're all hoping the Royals will do the same tonight.

Until next time…….

Supplies Used:


Lunch Bag Sketch

2014 September 29
by Micki

Happy Monday folks,

Last week I did a quick sketch on my lunch bag using a pencil and a black pen.  Can I just say that it did feel good to get back to sketching and doodling.


This weekend was busy with cleaning the house, finishing up on some photo editing (I’m so glad that is done) and a trip to the Kansas City Art Museum.  The “Plains Indians” exhibit opened up and hubby has been so excited that I caved and went with him Saturday afternoon.  Sunday I spent in my studio working on my project for eP which will be on the eP blog Tuesday.  Although I don’t have much to share today, other than this quick sketch, it was a productive weekend.  I decided that next weekend is going to entail some studio cleaning.  Geez, it is a mess up there!

And I’ve come to the conclusion that a bigger studio is not always better, it gets just as messy as a small room.

How was your weekend?  Hope it was wonderful!  Until next time……

Book Paper Sketching

2014 September 26
by Micki

So I was sitting in my car at lunch and dug out my sketch book and in it were some book pages which were already prepped with a thin coat of white gesso.  I had absolutely no idea what to sketch, since I was sitting outside of work, I certainly wasn’t going to sketch that!

Whimsy to the rescue!  How about a little whimsical girl with a headband – no pressure with whimsy!


Yeah, I know, she is a teeny bit creepy.  I had my trusty bag of gelatos and waterbrush:


And so, still having some time left and trying to get into the Christmas spirit…….


This weekend I need to finish up some photo editing and then plan on getting back into my art studio.  It’s been way too long and I’m sure cobwebs are forming Smile.

What are your plans this weekend?