Saturday, September 8, 2012

It Is Finished

It is done. Finished. Not touching another thing. I am relieved, happy, sad, wondering...
I'm not going to be using the rainbow 9 inchers because of three people telling me no. My husband, Brad and Michele all concurred that those butterflies were just too much.
So I'll be installing at the end of the week for my very first Artprize. 
And now...I can begin to concentrate on Beneath The Tree!

I am going to be making paper flower bouquets for this years event, hoping that these will go over very well.

Eleven Days And Counting

I cannot wait until Artprize. My piece is almost finished and I am so blessed to be able to create something to hopefully bless those that see it.I've been asked "why put it there?" "aren't you afraid someone will destroy it?" and my answer to them was "I hope they know it's to give them some hope." I am creating this to bring hope to those that need it most. I have to admit I'd love to sell it. But if it doesn't I will be happy to bring it home and put it on my wall in my living room. It's taken me 4 months of work, after my day job. We are going to be hauling it with a uhaul truck as our truck won't be big enough. This piece is 7 ft by 6 ft and I'm afraid part of it will break if we put it in the truck, and the thought of rain hitting it makes me nuts as it would end in disaster. I finished the bugs last night, they will be hidden for the art goers to find in the flowers and then I have yet to make the big flowers, and put them on wire, anchor to the back and then artfully bring them to the front for a real 3D experience. Then I have 9 inch laser cut butterflies that will be anchored to the back, coming over the top for a finish that will bring the piece all together. Then all that is left is the installation. My friend Joe, from work, will be helping me with that. Thanks Joe for being willing to do this! I have two artist receptions to attend; one at the B.O.B. on the 16th of September from 7-10pm where we pick up our artist bags (i'm still looking for someone to go with me) and then one on the 18th at God's Kitchen from 5-7pm where everyone is invited (to get a preview of the art, meet the artists) but you must RSVP them if you want to attend. God's Kitchen is still looking for volunteers to help during Artprize if you are interested. Thanks to everyone for all the support. It has meant a lot during these months when I thought I wouldn't have it in me to finish.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


This week has been a flurry of rush. Strain on the lower back because I had to reach the center of this LOL and viewing this piece on my dining room table for the last time before it goes on my living room wall for it's final pieces 
to be anchored on it.
There's mixed emotions on finishing this; it's given me something to do in my manic moments and yet I'm relieved that it's almost finished. 
The butterfly in the center is 9 inches at it's widest part, laser cut to perfection. I found the shape on Etsy and once it got here I spray painted it with glossy white paint and since there were two, fixed them together for a 3D effect. I'm going to be adding some crystals to it in keeping with the 'bling' feel. I also picked up it's 'brothers' and 'sisters' all in rainbow colors to add to the top. They'll all have crystals on them, and be anchored with wire from the back, curly cueing out for an awesome "pop in your face" kind of look.

Once completed with will also have large flowers on green wire anchored from the bottom back, in an arch pattern that will pop from the bottom sides to give you a feeling like you are standing in the garden looking through an opening.

This has been such a journey.

If you'd like to see a slideshow on this piece click on this link:

To see more cool handmade items from the Etsy shop I found the laser etched butterflies from visit

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I just got home from buying toilet paper. It's 7am and I'm out buying toilet paper.
Let's talk about expectations. Those I have of myself; and those that others have of me.
First I have to say that I know what I'm made of. I look a challenge in the face and make a plan, quickly. Then I complete the task to the best of my ability. Integrity and a good work ethic are very important to me at work, home and out in the public. But what do I do with a slipped disc? (I don't know that I have one yet, MRI tomorrow) How am I suppose to keep my job, keep up the house, laundry, grocery buying, keep the oil changed in the vehicles, keep the lawn mowed, dishes done, bed made, keep working on my art prize project, keep my consignment shop stocked etc all the while strappin' a bag of frozen corn to my neck?

I don't know how I'm going to do all of this.

My husband doesn't have someone cooking for him. I try my best, but I'm so busy just trying to feel better that I can't make a proper meal. I'm usually too tired after work. It's all I can do, to come in here, let the dog out, feed the dog, water the dog, listen to him whine cuz he wants to be walked, and mop the floor cuz Bud is not able to "hold it" lately, make a pot of coffee for when Geoff gets up and wonder what I can make easily so Geoff has something to eat before he goes to work.

And then there's the time Geoff needs, to be listened to, to talk, spend time together. So then I gotta figure out priorities. I can't do it all. I guess I need to learn to set priorities.
Then there's what the company expects from me. I believe they just want me to push through, forget that I'm hurt and just do my job or get moved to another area. It's my fault that my body is giving out but so what, go do your job. If you can't we'll find a way to get rid of you and fill your spot with someone that will get paid less to do the same thing.  We don't care that you hurt. We just want our parts. Then when you need to come home and get under ice and take some pain meds they might give you a day or two but don't ask for Friday cuz it's all full. I can't turn my head very well to see to drive. So I'm taking my life into my hands to go to work. I have bills to pay, I can't quit yet. Once the bills are paid, I still can't quit cuz we are getting a new roof. And then I may be facing surgery so I think to myself, how am I going to handle everything? I won't be able to do OT, let alone get to work and the 65% that S&A pays still isn't enough to help if I decide to have surgery. So I just don't know what to do. I'm really at a loss. Then because other people have abused the FMLA system at work, I even wonder if they believe me. So I guess tomorrow, Friday, August 24 I will go into work by 6am. I will leave work at 7am to go to my MRI appointment. Then once it's over I'll go back to work, all with my bag of frozen corn, strapped to my neck.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

ARTPRIZE 2012 is a little less than a month away. You'd think I would be sick of paper but naw, still love working with all the shapes and sizes, colors and then setting an Australian crystal on each piece.

It's beginning to get harder and harder to go to my day job the closer I get to finishing this piece.
When I finish I will have put in countless hours, thousands of butterflies and flowers and hundreds of crystals. Many thanks go to a handful of friends that have given me encouragement along with sought after opinions but none more encouraging than my dear husband, Geoff. He has watched me painstakingly deal with every step I've had to make on this project, and ever so lovingly told me when I did something that just sucked. LOL I'm gonna dedicate this piece to you, Geoff...thanks for telling me the truth when I needed to hear it.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Next Step Toward ARTPRIZE

The Next Step...I can't begin to describe the feeling when I saw the outcome of the terrific paint I got from JoAnn's, called Glimmer Mist. Tattered Angels is the company that produces this exciting new paint and has many tutorials on Youtube on how to apply it. First gently move the bottle in a circular motion to mix it, never wanting to shake it, you don't want bubbles in this...then you spray it onto your surface then place Saran Wrap over top and bunch it up a bit with your finger tips. You will begin to see a mosaic pattern. Let this dry, it took my piece over night before it was completely dried.
I took the plastic wrap off this morning, and then took three pictures.

Here is the blue section, I wish my camera could have picked up the shine. It's really interesting. Of course this will be the sky where the butterflies will take over, to form a rainbow...I'm going to also add some off the canvas like they are going to join the rest of the butterflies to take part in the color fest haha.

I have to say here that the green turned out quite nice, but most of it will be covered in flowers.

Now to begin the arduous task of adding thousands of pieces of paper to this project where there will be more pictures to follow.
I need to find just the right kind of glue, one that doesn't stain, give up in the heat, that will stick to canvas and not soak through the paper. Today is a work day...No. Today is a PLAY DAY. :)

Here's a little glimpse into what is to come...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hello! I thought it best to catch up on my blogging so decided to begin with a sketch of my entry for ARTPRIZE. The flowers have been taking on a life of their own as I am getting ready to attach them to the canvas. A lot of these will be on long green wire, curly cuing throughout the piece mostly coming from the bottom. There will be some directly placed on the canvas and also attached to the back winding hither and yon (I've always wanted to use that phrase haha) around other paper flowers and insects cascading upward toward the base of each side of the butterfly rainbow.
The butterflies will be of the correct colors of the rainbow but some will be printed paper, some solid and attached will be crystal beads to the backs of the butterflies for that added bling feel.
I thought it would be fun to have small crystals, resembling raindrops dangling off the top in front of the piece. In doing so when the sun shines it will scatter beautiful sparkles of light across the front delivering just the right touch. But we'll see. These are my thoughts, would love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

One foot is in a wet spot made of freshly spilled coffee. The other is dry. I began this morning by painting the sky. The pearl sky blue paint came out in shimmers as I poured it into my glass bowl. Stirring with a straw I mixed it with some water to make a wash; I wanted a light cover of color which while wet made circular motions with a lint free cloth to show a whispy affect. I took a short break then had to choose the color for my "grass" and settled on an apple green. With the same technique as I used with the sky, I brushed it on the canvas, taking care to dab up any runs. Next I went to a website to purchase this wonderful paint called Glimmer Mist. If you get some time check this Youtube video out on the basics of using this kind of paint. It's gorgeous when it's done. I chose the same color just a lighter tone for each color. Now it's time to begin making my 3D flowers and butterflies.


I woke up this morning with the most interesting thought in my head regarding my ARTPRIZE project. Instead of painting all my flowers on, why not just give the piece a splash of background color and then achieve the look I want with 3D paper flowers too! Not only will this project have a huge rainbow full of a thousand butterflies but it will be hovering over a field of 3D flowers. It's going to take me much longer than I had originally planned however the outcome will be a lot more interesting in my opinion. Oh stay tuned people, stay tuned...

Sunday, July 1, 2012



The second installment of "The Evolution of My ARTprize Experience"... I did think for a while (thought it probably doesn't look like I put any thought at all into this piece haha) on what I wanted my entry to look like. I knew I wanted to go with it being very colorful and eye catching, and I also wanted a design that didn't fit inside any box. Especially not any box of mine. I wanted to push myself outside of my abilities, so I could learn new things as I go. So far, I have. I learned that you really want to pre drill. You just do. Less splitting of expensive canvases. Then thanks to my dear husband, clamping is a must, just do it, you'll be a lot happier when there are no gaps. So I purchased several different sized premade canvases and began to join them together.

Then you need to think if you have a wall big enough for your piece to hang. CUZ THERE AIN'T NOBODY GONNA BUY THIS LOL aw come on....laugh at yourself. Yes. I have learned to laugh at myself A LOT. Unfortunately I find humor in almost anything. I laugh at myself the most. I'm always shakin' my head and laughin' at all my projects because they are all such a hoot and I usually end up suprising myself. Just after I got all of my canvases together, joining them with little steel brackets I wanted to hang it on the wall and get started. I found that the whole piece wanted to make a circle. It wasn't wanting to lay flat against the wall. So after talking with my hero (Geoff) he told me I definately needed a brace and not only one but two. Oh dear and I thought this was going to be easy. Nope. So yesterday we picked up more wood to make the cross pieces needed to keep my art piece flat. It's at the point here in the above picture right now because I'm waiting for the screw driver to finish charging up after laying down the first brace and re-positioning most of the steel brackets.
This would be a good time to talk about re-purposing. I've decided to make my art piece using as many materials that I already have on hand. Hence, these old wood screws.  When I found these I knew I needed 15 and do you know that that's exactly the number I had on hand? YAY! No second trips to the hardware store, it's all here. I'm so happy I saved these when we first moved in to this house. 

So I sit here and wait for the screwdriver to charge, and share with you all the progress of my artprize entry and the shop front where my artprize entry will be displayed. It's called God's Kitchen where many hungry people are able to have a meal and be given hope. It's still such an honor for the opportunity to be able to call this venue, my artprize venue.


Sunday, June 17, 2012


Artprize. I've been interested in getting involved in Artprize since the first year it began. I've attended, looked at the art, but always had a dream to just enter. Not to win, but to make someone smile. To take part and be apart of a group of people that love art, and like to articulate their thoughts and feelings through something tangible.

So this year on the very last day to sign up, I took the plunge. I was nervous as I didn't have a venue, wasn't sure who to connect with and so began looking for some place to put a piece of art. I knew what I wanted to make, and reached out to 3 venues and waited. I waited. Waiting....and after hearing nothing back from any of them, decided to prayerfully choose one that I could make a difference in. I clicked on the venues and the first one I laid my eyes on was God's Kitchen. I didn't know they were going to offer up their place for a venue, but I knew right then, I had to ask...

I only waited one day; they wrote to me, happy to have my art in their venue and I now have a signed contract to put my art at God's Kitchen for Artprize!

My piece at it's highest is 72 inches; it's shortest 18 inches; it's widest will be just short of 84 inches as I have to stay within a 7ft area square. This is a brick wall; I will either have to pay someone to drill holes (provided the venue ok's this) or with their permission hang close to the wall from the ceiling.

My design will resemble a rainbow, made out of thousands of paper butterflies, sprayed to a shine, with rainbow colors of tears for the back ground and the words "There Is Hope." I wanted to do more however more may be less in this case; I'll have to take a look and see as I go as this has been an evolution of a project. 

I plan on documenting the work as it's done, step by step so that those that would like to see how it's going can follow along, until the final installation.

At this point 500 red butterflies have been cut; and my canvases have been ordered. Once they get here I'll be attaching them in an abstract way for interest. The next step is the rainbow colored tears. Once they are dry I'll begin attaching the butterflies, one by one. I anticipate having to cut about 3000-4000 butterflies for this project.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This probably was the most fun I have had in such a long time. I made a cake I found in the Readers' Digest; and decided to give it to a friend that loves peeps. My husband, Geoff and I took it to him, and he took it up to his folks house for an early Easter Dinner.

Just recently, a friend and I decided it would be nice to give a birthday potluck to an older lady that we work with. She lives alone and loves attention, so we began to plan it...or so I thought. I said I could make a cake, and I was really excited about how much fun it would be to create it, what colors I would use, and what embellishments to make it perfect for her. It was mentioned that she wished for a costco cake for her birthday; but I don't have a membership. Some of us were having a lot of fun throwing out suggestions of what to do for this fabulous cake and I started spending time searching the net for ideas. I pretty much had settled on a 3 tier decorated with her favorite thing; I would make her candy butterflies and spiral them on the front, for a dramatic look. Today was the day that I was to go to the store and shop for all the materials; however  my friend, who I had began planning this with a week or so ago, told me "_________ just said that she wanted to pick up a cake at costco, it's how she wants to contribute to the potluck."  So as I was looked at, like I was to give in and didn't have a choice, I just back down and said, "well, then, what shall I bring? I haven't planned for anything else." Nothing at the time was suggested, so I thought about it while I was at work today. I decided homemade coleslaw, would be a good choice. I suggested it to my friend, who by this time usually would've come around and asked everyone what they wanted to bring. But she never came and talked to me. Never asked me what else I could bring. Maybe she would rather I not participate. But anyway, trying to stay positive and participate I told her I could bring coleslaw, and she paused and said that someone else was bringing it. I said well, what is there left for me to bring? "nothing, not really anything." So I went from bringing the cake, to bringing nothing and not feeling much like she wants me included. She did make a suggestion I could bring ice cream to go with the cake, however getting it to work, without melting would be hard. So I've chosen to not participate. I wish I had asked for the day off. This doesn't feel good to me, I know it's not about me, but my friend, maybe without realizing it dissed me from these plans. Maybe she feels like if I brought the cake I was looking for some praise or something stupid like that, but all I wanted to do was to do something nice for an elderly lady. So decisions..

Not taking anything to it. I mean, they all ready have everything.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Paper Flower

I've always wanted to blog about a DIY project and decided today was the day. This is a tutorial on how to make a paper flower, my way. LOL I realize that there are some very good tutorials, maybe even easier than this one, however this is my design, and it's fun and my style of easy. So here goes!

Now do you want the easy way? Or the cheapest way? Once I show you the easiest way and you realize that you don't have the tools, then you will know how to do it the cheapest way. With good 'ol sissors and a great fold.

Easiest Way:

Large/Med Heart Shaped Paper Punch
Med size Paper Punch
Paper (cardstock color on both sides)
Hot Glue Gun and the glue...

Start by plugging in your glue gun; next punch out your heart shapes, you'll need approximately 12.

OK then after you get those punched out, wrap each one around a skinny pen or pencil, even a crochet hook will work.

You'll want to wrap it the long way, with the two sides of the heart touching making a petal shape.

Once you have them all shaped like a petal next you'll want to punch out your circle, out of the same paper.

Take the circle and lay it down in front of you; taking your first "petal" apply your hot glue to the back just down by the bottom tip of the heart and place on your little round piece of paper you punched out.

Keep gluing them on till you get it to fill the outer diameter of your circle

Then you'll want to take your next "petal" and bend the end of your heart towards the inside of the petal like shown in the picture below.

Place a little hot glue on the bend that you just made and place it, working to the inside of your flower, overlapping the petals you've already glued on.

Keep working going around in a circle until you come to the middle where you will finish by making your last remaining petals, rolled more tightly (you'll have to do this with your fingers) and then bending the bottoms up, applying the hot glue and placing those tighter petals in the center. You may have to get a spoon handle to push them down to make them stick as this is a tight space.

Once you've glued your petals in your flower should look something like this.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me at or check out my online shop at

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drive. Ambition. The desire to create. I don't have it at this moment. Does anyone else feel this way from time to time? Wait...I need time. Time is what will give me those feelings. Something I don't have right now.

I've been working 12 hour days. It's my dream to be out of debt. No house payments, no car payments. Just the regular monthly bills that roll in. That way if we want to pick up and leave at any moment we can.

After this show, I began thinking about what it would be like to be free to do what I want to do. Not be constrained to a day job for a living. I'd love to be able to set up a little shop and create beautiful art, meet new people, talk about creativity and what makes people smile.

Finding the time to add new things to my shop, and be challenged to come up with more designs would so much fun. No stresses would also help me lose weight as I wouldn't be stuffing myself with food to block out all those issues that keep arising in this fast pace world that I can't seem to get a grip on.

I guess doing what I need to do at this moment is all I can give and once the goal is achieved my new life will start. I guess it's time to learn a little patience.