Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More dead people...

My little princess now has two more friends.

Vintage Jacks

These were fun to make, except that my hands got covered in matte medium and now I look like one of the undead.  Peel-y greyish "skin"...eeewwwwww!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Here's what I've been up to lately.  Found a great idea in the latest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors telling how to create calacas from cake toppers.  I used my daughter's plastic figurines that she got from McDonald's when she was little.  The cool thing about some of them is that they twirl around when you move them.  I cut off the heads and added skulls that I got at the local dollar store, then painted with acrylics and added (of course) glitter glue embellishments.  Such fun to make!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Popcorn Art

Here is a piece I just completed for the annual art challenge I have at the elementary school where I teach.  Last year, the PTA kindly gave me about 150 pounds of popcorn that had reached its expiration date.  It sat around all year and the kids kept wondering why I had it in my classroom.  At the beginning of this school year I challenged everyone in the school (adults included) to create a piece of art using popcorn in some way.  They've begun coming in and some of them are absolutely fantastic.  A fifth grade girl made a huge volcano, spouting popped corn and a dragon busily munching it.  A fourth grade boy brought in a drawing of Rodin's "The Thinker" and had used popcorn and seeds to fill him in like a mosaic.  A kindergartener used popped corn that she dyed fall colors and created an autumn tree.  The challenge runs until next Friday, so I can't wait to see more.  My mosaic is made with popcorn, green lentils, flax seeds, rye, white and red rice, and glass pieces.  The areas are divided with wire, which I painted copper.  The face is also painted with copper.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Paintbrushes Meet Power Tools

This is what I've been up to the last few days.  I wanted to have a mailbox outside my classroom door this year.  My students are always bringing me pictures and "love notes", and I thought they'd get a kick out of mailing them to me.  Plus, it's a sneaky way of encouraging literacy!  I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out.  The next challenge will be hoisting the thing into and out of the car to get it to school.  Concrete weighs a lot!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Autumn Goddess

Here is my finished doll for a swap through Milliande.  The theme was Nature/Goddess dolls.  The body is fabric, painted with acrylic paints, and gold leaf embellishment.  The hair is felted wool with pieces of raffia, beads, and feathers. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm back...sort of

We spent four marvelous days in Venice Beach, California, where I drummed on the beach every day and pretty much hung out.  It was wonderful to just let my mind breathe.  But now I need to get busy doing some art.  I'm currently working on an altered book I started quite a while ago, then abandoned.  A passing comment from a friend re-energized me and now I've got some new ideas for it.  Hope to be posting some pictures of new stuff soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Three Muses Challenge - Rust

This is my entry for the challenge, "Rust".  I used the glue and alcohol ink technique that Willy mentioned in her post.  Of course, I couldn't find the "rust" colored alcohol ink anywhere, so I used a combination of ginger, latte, caramel, cranberry and gold on a piece of chipboard that I cut using a Sizzix die cutter.  Acrylic paints, stamps and dye inks were used on the background and the word "play" came from a package of words I got on clearance somewhere.  I made this piece as a birthday present for my best friend to remind him that there's more to life than work!

Macabre Monday - HDH046

Here is an ATC I did for Macabre Monday's Wacko Jacko challenge.  I used stamps on the background, pumpkin, and moon.  A little glitter glue around the edges and some raffia "cornstalks."  It's hard to get in the autumn spirit when it's 105 degrees outside.  How in the world did I ever end up living in the desert...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Three Muses Challenge - Steampunk

Here is my entry for the Three Muses challenge: Steampunk.  The substrate is corrugated cardboard.  I used various papers, stamps, alcohol inks, acrylic paints, raffia and metal "stuff".  You can see more detail if you click the enlarge button...

Monday, July 5, 2010


After 15 years of living in our home and mostly ignoring the grape vines in our courtyard, I decided to give them some attention.  And they have reciprocated.  A small harvest, certainly, but sweet and lovely, with the promise of more to be had in coming years...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No Time...

to do challenges this week.  Ack!  I've missed it.  But I have been busy with fun stuff.  I've gotten back into Middle Eastern dancing (at the request of my daughter, who decided she wanted to learn).  Plus, I've been drumming a lot.  I recently joined Milliande and am participating in a Nature Goddess/Spirit Doll swap, so my creative energy has been focused there.  And it's getting toward the end of the school year, so I've had lots of busy work going on for that.  Hopefully, with this three day weekend, I can get some challenge work done and be back online.  Be safe, everyone...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Post Card Art

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by..."
                                                             (Sea-Fever, John Masefield)

I have loved that poem since I was a little girl and my aunt recited it to me.  In fact, you can't really tell, but the first layer on this card is that poem, which I wrote out in black marker. This is my entry for the challenge "Sea Voyages" for Sunday Post Card Art.  I used acrylic paints, black ink, stamps, a photocopy of a ship, and a faux jewel for the star.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TIO - Scene in the Garden

Well now, there's nothing quite like making a scene in the garden, is there?  I know it isn't in keeping with a garden handfasting, but I couldn't get the image of a big fuss in the garden out of my head.  Layered acrylic paints & stamping, the image is from an old Dover book, antique lace, ribbon roses and cording.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

4x4 Friday - Shakespeare

Here is my offering for this week's challenge:

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" (Puck, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare)  The gulf oil spill grows more catastrophic with each passing day.  I am filled alternately with unspeakable rage and complete despair.  The pictures of the wildlife rip my heart out.  How can we, as a species, be so stupid?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TIO - Acetate and Alcohol

Here is my entry for this week's challenge.  Alcohol ink...hmmmm...well, let me say that I LOVE the intensity of the colors BUT I found this stuff hideously hard to manipulate.  As in, I was ready to be drinking the alcohol long before I was done working with it.  Any tips that you can offer as to how to work with this stuff would be so appreciated.  The face is a stamp and after I got the ink the way I wanted it, I cut the piece out and used grommets to attach it to a piece of newspaper.  Then I attached it with wire to a piece of cardboard that I had painted ages ago and did nothing with.  There are bits of broken glass attached, too.  Thanks for visiting and taking a look!

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Dress It Up"

Over at The Artist Trading Card club ( ) the theme is "Dress It Up."  I'm excited to be participating in this challenge, as it is my first venture into ATC's and I had a great time making these.  Here they are:

Here is each one by itself:

Thanks so much for stopping by to look!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Post Card Art - Roses

Here is my entry for this week's challenge.  I did this for my husband who directed a film with some of his high school students this past spring.  The film was called "Red Rose in a Yellow Moon."  How lovely to be able to use it for this week's challenge.  Thanks for stopping by to see!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Art on the Darkside Challenges

Here is my first digital art attempt, and although I'm not completely satisfied, it was an interesting experience trying to figure out how to do this.  This is my entry for the "Jack the Ripper" challenge.  I used a picture of the "Dear Boss" letter that was sent to Scotland Yard, supposedly by Jack the Ripper.  The "doctor" and woman were taken from Dover.  This was not an easy piece of work, mostly due to not understanding the technology.  But it makes me want to find a class that will show me how to manipulate this kind of thing.

Touch the water, heal Mother Earth

I found this over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom and thought I'd pass it along.  I have been filled with such unspeakable rage and despair over this situation; at least this is a positive channeling of power...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

4x4 Friday - Eclectic

Here is my entry for this week's 4x4 Friday challenge:  Eclectic.  Kokopelli is a pretty friendly sort who pops up a lot in the American Southwest.  I think of him as the desert's version of Pan.  This began with a brown paper bag and some newspaper.  I added distress ink, some acrylic paint on bubble wrap, the Kokopelli stamp, beads, raffia and a piece of turquoise.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gardening on the South Side of Hell...

We've had temperatures in excess of 105 degrees for the past week and a half.  Needless to say, it's been all about keeping everything watered morning and evening and hiding out in the a/c for the rest of the day.  My husband, David dug a new bed around our other olive tree yesterday and I've been cleaning it out and prepping it a little at a time the past two mornings.  This will be my day lily bed and I have gotten two of them planted so far, as you can see here:

By Thursday, everything should be planted and I'll have mulch on the bed, in a desperate attempt to keep the soil cool and moist.  When we were at the nursery, we discovered a day lily named "Witches' Wink" that David insisted I purchase since our last name is Winkler and I follow the pagan spiritual path.  I also found one called "Crimson Pirate" which resonates with a persona of mine from a life a long time ago and far, far away in the SCA.  So they will be nestled in comfortably with a yellow lily and one called "Raspberry Fairy."  My hope is that after a few years, they will all spread out and fill the bed.

Here is a pic of my crazy tomato plant, complete with a ripe tomato, which I'm sure my daughter will eat the moment she realizes it's out there:

And here is a zucchini, with blossom:

Finally, a picture of my morning glories.  The idea here is that they will cover the fence with beautiful blooms.  Thus far, they don't seem too interested in blooming, but they are climbing the fence.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Theme Thursday - Bright Colors

Here is my entry for this week's Theme Thursday challenge.  Several layers of Astrobrite paper and doodles with a black marker form the background for figures that came from a stamp, but were cut apart.  You can't really tell, but I used different thicknesses of double-sided mounting tape to adhere the figures to the card.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Time Flies

It surely does...once again, I'm sliding in under the wire.  I've submitted this tag to two challenges, TIO's "Steampunk Influences" and Three Muses "Time."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

HDH041 - Vile Vintage

Here are my three little ghouls.  Images are from Blanca at (thank you, Blanca!), and only slightly retouched by me.  A little paper, a little ribbon, a little gold ink stamping, and just a bit of red glitter glue.  These were fiendish fun to make!

Monday, May 31, 2010

4x4 Friday - Wings

Here is my entry for "Wings."  I redid this four times because I wasn't happy with it.  Very aggravating for such a simple piece.  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Post Card Art - Insects

Here is my entry for the Insects challenge.  I did this on some textured paper and really like the effect in person; I'm not sure it shows up as well here.  I used pigment and dye inks, acrylic paint and some new clear stamps that I got today.  I'm really loving those clear stamps!  What took me so long to discover them, I wonder?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Farm Report

Here is today's harvest from my garden!  I'm so excited --I am really growing food in the desert.  Had a lovely salad for dinner this evening.

Theme Thursday - Beauty

Here is my piece for the Theme Thursday challenge:  Beauty.  I think this man is so beautiful it hurts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TIO #40 - What's on my desk?

As usual, a ton of stuff all over my desk...paint, that paisley paper napkin I didn't put away, the new flourish stamps I just bought (I'd never used those clear stamps before and now I LOVE them!) AND the quote stamp that I had taken out several days ago thinking that I wanted to do something with it.  Is that synchronicity, or what?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haunted Design House - HDH040

Here is my beastly little butterfly, sucking the life out of some flowers.  ATC background created with the peeled paint technique I learned about over at The Artist Trading Club (  The butterfly is a stamp, colored with Tombo markers.  A little red glitter glue for ghoulish effect...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Theme Thursday - Hands

Here is my first Theme Thursday entry.  The frame is a styrofoam tray collaged with painted and stamped tissue paper.  The stamped hand is mounted on paper that's edged with copper glitter glue and that is mounted on painted corrugated cardboard.  The hanger is fashioned from copper wire and beads.  I had big fun making this one!  Thanks for looking...

4x4 Friday

I made this piece as a reminder to myself that I am at my best when taking risks.  I used acrylic paint, gold and black pigment ink,  stamps, and glitter glue.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Darkness Inspiration - Magic

Here is my first entry into the Darkness Inspiration challenges.  This one is "Magic."  I used acrylic paint, gold ink on the background stamp and Prismacolors to color in the pictures.  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Along the River - Tag It On

Here is my first entry to the Tag It On challenges.  This one is Along the River.  I used tissue paper, painted paper towels, acrylic paint, glitter and glass beads.  The faerie is a stamp that I colored with Prismacolors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Alchemical Fires

Preparing for four days/three nights of drumming, dancing, and alchemical fires in the desert.  It promises to be the transformational event of my year.  Eighty or so of us will gather, create community and induce altered states of consciousness through the use of sound and movement, in a place where people have gathered for the same purpose for hundreds of years.  I am looking forward to it with an open heart filled with excitement and a sense that anything is possible...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hats & Crowns & Wings & Things

Here's my entry.  Sorry so late, but this week has been crazy!  Watercolor, stamps, photos disolved with Citra-Solv, Neocolors and a little Pearl Ex.  Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunday Post Card Art - Spring Time

Whew!  Nothing like sliding in just under the wire.  Crazy week, no time to art, aggravating.  Here it is: watercolor, stamped, but then hand colored with Prismacolors and outlined with a micron pen.  Shrinky Dink goddess in the center.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Acts of Art

Someone in the neighborhood where I teach creates these marvelous stone sculptures on an abandoned lot where we are otherwise treated to a forest of political signs (as seen to the left).  I'm not sure when these random art attacks occur, but they are pretty frequent, as the set-up continually changes.  Whoever you are, thank you!  I always smile when I drive by.