Monday, December 26, 2011


So Christmas 2011 is over.  It started off a little rough - wallowing in a pity party.  Got woken up by my friends and actually had a  pretty nice holiday after all.  Worked on this canvas off and on for a few days, every time I'd walk by her I'd add a little bit.

Blossom is my first 100% freehand, and I used Prisma markers and Caran D'Ache watercolor crayons.  (Will I go to art hell if I say I like the Prisma markers better than the Copics???) (spanks again My Schnauz for a fantastic gift!!)

So anyway... here's Blossom.  She's available in Etsy - if you're interested there is a button off to the right here somewhere ------->. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

for a friend...

i was commissioned for a Christmas gift - my questions yielded the following:  'for my mom'; 'celtic symbol'; 'celtic colors'. 

which led me to google, to look up symbols and colors.  I found lots of greens and gold - so that's what I went with.  the background is completely collaged with 2,932,491 different papers, then used dryer sheets were soul glued on top.  the entire thing was inked and sealed, and then i used some rub-ons and paint, and sealed again.  then came the fun part of the symbol.  i found one that stood for motherhood - so ... PERFECT!!!!! 

i printed it out a couple of times, not sure how i was going to transfer the image onto the canvas.  i thought of using a template or just cutting out the pieces and putting them back together like a jigsaw puzzle.  i attempted the symbol as a template on a test canvas, and BOY HOWDY am i glad i didn't do that on the collaged canvas, because it was a HOT mess.  so i cut out all the pieces, inked them with distress inks, painted them with rock candy distress crackle, and edged them with tarnished brass crackle paint.  (i am nothing if not a tim junkie)

when they were all dry (yes, i touched them constantly) i soul glued them down, went over a few areas with some gold perfect pearl powder...painted the edges and sealed the entire thing.  DONE.

i hope the recipient loves it as much as i loved making it... and i didn't even get stressed out!!!! maybe i'm ... reforming.  ;-)  bwhahahahaha i crack myself up. 

phunky chix...

or as Mel likes to call them, "wellie wearing walk to the ends of the earth with you girlfriend" chix.  LOL 

Playing with different ideas, but this birdie always comes home to roost with her long legs, happy love-filled song and fancy tail feathers.

But now?  She has WELLIES. 

The first 2 are black and white (duh - I guess you can SEE that for yourself) and my last is in color - but she's not quite done, so her wellies are just a teaser...  I'm tossing around prints, cards... all kinds of ideas. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I love to doodle - it's official.  I sit there in front of the tv and doodle and doodle and doodle... my problem comes in trying to decide when to STOP. 

This one I did in pen - just pen.  Love my Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ahhhh.... the sweet smell of...a dryer sheet.

FYI.  When you mod podge a used dryer sheet over a collaged canvas, and hit it with your heat gun?

Your studio smells like warm, clean laundry.  It also creates a REALLY cool texture. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011


sometimes it's just fun to play with stuff that I normally wouldn't think to 'mix' together.  This is a heart that I did with a homemade stencil and spackle.  Then I painted it with red acrylic, waited impatiently while it dried... topped it with Rock Candy Crackle by Ranger... again waited impatiently... (do you see the fingerprints??) then hit it with a finger dipped in Bronze Perfect Pearls... rubbed it in and wiped off the excess.  Gives it a real cool sheen - and gives the crackle a lot of dimension. 

it only took me 11 months...

11 months isn't bad, right?  I struggled with an issue I was having while working on stretched canvases.  I loved using stamps and rubons, but had trouble getting the effect I wanted because the canvases were so 'giving'. 

I never claimed to be the brightest tack in the shed, (haha), but last week an idea formed, and I brought it to hubby hoping he could see my vision and make what I needed. 

Simple really... just a board the same height as the canvas, that just fits in the opening... voila... now I can stamp and rubon to my heart's content. 

All of you that work with canvases like this are probably laughing at me right now, and thinking "DUH, Sandi...", but that's ok.  If just ONE person out there didn't think of this - then my job here is done.  :-) 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

See? I CAN be productive...

when I wanna be. 

This angel she-art is a gift - friends of ours have a Christmas party every year - we've rarely missed one in the past 15 or so...  and she collects angels.  Prior to discovering I like to craft, I bought her an angel each year.  Since discovering the joy of getting my hands inky and grungy, she gets a handmade angel.

Not sure what I'll do if she decides to collect something I can't make.  Like glass bottles or knitted items. 

And p.s. - if anyone wants my stash of gold leaf, come get it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

now, gifts DON'T stress me out...

Nor do things I put up for sale. So these projects were so fun... and heartwarming too.

The first is the canvas I did at the beach, I finally gave her words. I am so addicted to this metallic blue and green paint.

I like her. She's going into Etsy.

Now, the second one I just finished is a gift. One of the girls I work with lost her mother-in-law a couple of weeks ago. I have fond memories of this woman, at my co-worker's wedding many years ago, she taught me to do the Electric Slide. I think I frustrated her beyond belief. She had more rhythm in her little finger than I do in my entire body. But she never gave up, and wouldn't let me get off the dance floor. After she passed, my co-worker brought in the little pamphlet that they had made up - all about her mother-in-law with photos and stories. On the back was a poem. It said "her favorite poem" and it was BEAUTIFUL. No title. I googled the poem because it just spoke to me so clearly... and I couldn't find it. When I asked, I was told the she had written it herself...

So I decided to make a canvas and use this poem and give it to them as a gift.

Now, back to the studio! Time to make Christmas gifts...

Saturday, November 5, 2011


trying to enjoy the signs of fall - even though it means winter is right around the corner... and that is my most sad time of year. Winter means cold, snow, ice... it means no walks at the park track, it means driving in weather that I would prefer not to drive in (and most of the other drivers on the road would prefer that also, trust me)... it means dreaded holidays, and decorating...

my heart holds no true love for winter. for the next too many months my feet won't be bare or in flipflops, my tatas won't be tanning on my deck... my lounge chair tucked away and covered in snow... no warm summer nights... no hot summer days.

but enough of that. i needed to go outside and grasp the beauty of the season, and ignore my heart that is screaming for summer.

so i learned a lesson from melody ross - i took my camera and went OUTSIDE and found beauty. it may not be the kind of beauty i would normally seek, but even i have to admit my deck held some cool stuff, worthy of a photo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

beach projects

Just got back from 5 days at the shore with my Cell and MaryKay.  I was actually productive at this crop - something VERY unusual for me.

I completed 2 canvases, 3 doodles and a sketch!  The doodles are to match my doodle canvas, as soon as I like them, I will upload to Spoonflower...

No pics of the She-Art yet - she's currently wordless.

My angel sketch - she's nekkid.  Just in case anyone cares.

So, ok - not 100% complete with my projects, but dang close. Thanks for looking...

Monday, October 10, 2011

I never said I was a GOOD gambler...

Those that know me, know that I am the unluckiest gambler on earth.  Everyone should want to bet against me - you'll always win. 

I placed a bet with my friend Sue on the Jets/Patriots game.  I am a Jets fan.  Only because of Mark Sanchez... he's hot.  If I find a hotter quarterback, I will consider switching teams. 

The bet was - loser has to create a piece of art in the winning team colors... WELL... I started sketching in the 3rd quarter... knowing I wasn't gonna be winning this bet.  LOL

Here you go Sue... Happy Red, White and Blue...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

watercolor... watercolour...

All of a sudden I find myself with lots of British, Australian and Canadian friends and I absolutely love adding a 'u' to the word color.  It looks so much more elegant.  ;-)  If an American does it, does it look dorky?  Probably.

So I've been doing the Suzi Blu portraits class online.  Enjoying her, but still have a LONG way to go.  Online courses take a self-discipline that I lack greatly.  I'm way too distracted by email, facebook and my message boards... I began by just sketching the faces, then trying to learn to colo'u'r them in.  <giggling>  I'm supposed to use colored pencils, but absolutely hated the look of that.  I preferred them black and white over the color.

But then I watched a free youtube video using watercolor pencils... and fell in love.  (I fall in love very easily, don't I?)  So of course that meant a trip to Michaels, coupon in hand... and filled a basket with watercolor pencils, and papers and paints and yada yada yada and LET'S NOT tell HB about all this, ok?  Our little secret?????? OK???????

And when I got home I set myself up on the deck in the sun and played.  Well, the first girl didn't turn out - I turned her face bright yellow.  I'm not good enough yet to know how to make that work - so she'll just be my 'practice what color this is' sheet.  Watercolor pencils are a tricky sort.  They try to fool you, looking all flesh tone and stuff... and then turning out to be bright yellow.

So here are some shots of my progression since starting the class... now keep in mind, the first shots are true Suzi Blu style faces - a bit alien looking.  But they grow on you.  It's all about the spacing and measuring distances and such...

Thanks for looking! (and not making fun of me)

This is one of my girls colored in with regular pencil - I just don't LIKE it.  I stopped after doing her hair, eyes and lips - forget shading the face - I was DONE with that.

And here is the same type of girl done with watercolor pencils.  I have a lot to learn with shading, but it's much funner (is that a word?) to work with than just regular pencils.  I'm still loving just sketching with graphite... I love the depth it gives you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

September at TSS!

This month, our sponsor is Stitchy Bear Stamps! They have generously donated a $10.00 gc towards their downloadable designs - and they are downright adorable! Each of the DT's got one to play with and here is mine... some join us - we have great challenges!!

In fact, every single person that enters my Mixed Media challenge this month gets a prize from my stash... so why not come and play? Here's a link - click me!

Friday, September 23, 2011


I will be the first to admit that custom work stresses me out to no end.  But I also hate to turn it down... truly one of those rock and hard place issues. 

When someone asks me to create a canvas, that's when I start sweating.  I don't know that this will ever change - I never think I do as well with a custom job.  I think my nerves show through.  I worry to no end that the recipient will be disappointed.  And honestly, would I ever know? What are they going to say? "Wow, Sandi - nice job. Thanks."  In MY mind, they are saying "holy crap - THIS is what I commissioned? I could have handed a three year old a crayon and gotten better work." 

So, while I am SO incredibly honored to be asked to do custom work, just know you are making me twitch.  LOL 

This is an example of one custom job that DIDN'T make me crazy - for some reason it fell together and I like it.  It was commissioned by someone I love very much, for someone SHE loves very much.  The ultimate recipient is a  young person, so it needed to be youthful in design, color and clothing.  I took as much info as I could, and hit the sketchpad... and then the canvas. 

This girl is different than I normally create - I'm much more drawn to darker, more muted colors with a lot of grunge and vintage thrown in.  But I like her.  She makes me smile.  And I hope that the young woman that ends up with this loves it as much as the person giving it to her loves HER. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My latest Garden Girl, done as a custom job for a good friend who liked the original canvas (in Etsy) but wanted a different color group...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

she's just a steampunk kind of girl...

and she is more than just the sum of her parts... I got the fabric for her dress on Spoonflower - LOVING steampunk stuff...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eye am having so much fun...

Learning to draw eyes!!!  I have a LONG way to go, but to be able to sit down and relax with a sketch pad, some pencils (and most definitely an eraser) is just one of the coolest ways to pass time... especially with Hurricane Irene (such a biotch) raging outside...

Monday, August 8, 2011


I was blog hopping all over... and got inspired by Christy Tomlinson.  Christy inspires me a LOT.  She's an amazing artist... and makes it all look so effortless.  She's taught me SOOOOO much.  Someday it will be effortless for me too.  One of my goals... :-)  Here's a link to Christy's blog so you can get inspired too.  Click me 

So anyway.  I grabbed an 8x10 canvas panel, my too few Copics, my trusty black Zig Writer and hit the deck.  I doodled some flowers in black, then colored them in... and then used my skinny end (OF MY ZIG, PEOPLE - OF MY ZIG!!) to doodle all over each flower.  Sealed it and called it done.  All in all it was hours of work - but I enjoyed every second of it and didn't want it to end. 

So I'm thinking of having a good photo taken of it, and printing out nice prints for Etsy.  I also had a fat quarter made of it... to see about doing a piece of fabric...

Lots of possibilities!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August @ TSS!!

So, we have another new month of challenges over at The Scrappers Sanctuary!! Lots of fun things to try.  And the prize package this month is once again sponsored by Ranger Industries & tim holtz!!

(sometimes being #1 pays off BIG TIME)

So come join us, won't you? For every challenge you complete and upload, your name is entered into a drawing! We're not a huge site, so your chances of winning are pretty darn good. 

Here's a link to our site... CLICK  HERERegister if you haven't already, and have some fun.  We're a nice bunch. We don't bite.  Much.... ;-)

And here's a link to our blog... CLICK HERE.

And here's a picture of the goods... wouldn't you love to get your hands on this?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A little whimsy...

I have fallen in love with doodling these birdies - I just let my imagination run wild... and my Copic markers do the work.  It's almost like being 5 years old again... which is GOOD.  My sketch book is filled with these birds - so I decided to use a quote that was said at Camp by the beautiful Tanya - "I live imperfectly with great delight".  I thought perhaps a whimsical birdie could also live imperfectly with great delight...

So my birdie marches to the beat of a different drummer, and sings off-key... and just doesn't look like the others.  Kind of like me.  Just...different.

So I am throwing her into Etsy and seeing what comes of it.  It's my first hand drawn canvas that I'm attempting to sell.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yes... finally. Brave Girls Camp...

I was going to be a smart arse and say "It was great." and end it.  But I figured I'd have a mutiny on my hands... and no friends left if I did that.

BUT let it be said that Blogger is being a bugger and is quirky as I type this, so hopefully things go smoothly.

So it started on Monday, when I flew (ALL BY MYSELF) into SLC and met My Donna who flew in from Virginia.  We talked from the moment we laid eyes on each other - the poor guy sitting next to us on the plane from SLC to Boise (remember - there's no Z in Boise) must have been going crazy.

We caught a taxi to Eagle, and stayed at the Hilton.  Lovely room. Nobody called the room to check to see how it was, not Shelley, not nobody.  It did NOT have a funky smell, and there WAS an elevator.

The next morning we strolled and shopped (and shopped some more) and ate and had some fun.  Eagle is adorable.  The weather was amazing... but finally at 2pm we decided to go back to the hotel and wait in the lobby for the rest of the Brave Girls to arrive.  Two of the girls were already there - and one by one more arrived.  By the time the shuttle came, (and that was an unusual little man that gave some of us the izzures) we were all pretty well acquainted.  Our group bonded from the first moment... we were a REALLY good mix of personalities.

Once we were seated on the bus, Jeff from Brave Girls climbed aboard.  He is quite amazing to look at, but sadly he wasn't riding with us.  That was a darn shame.  He had an armload of tote bags, each with our name on it.  And one by one he handed them out to us, knowing who we were without being told.  These Brave Girl people did their homework.

Two and a half hours later, we pulled into a parking lot on the lake.  Well, the lot wasn't on the lake, it was NEXT to the lake.  And waiting there for us was Melody and Kim.  (And Evie, who didn't make the bus and was driven up!!)  Hugs and love  surrounded us, as we exited the bus.  We each had little baggies of birdseed from our tote, and Melody instructed us to make believe the seeds were all our worries that we'd brought along with us... and we were to throw them away!!

Then we got back on the bus and went up the street to Conifer Lodge.  The entire staff plus family members were lined up along the walkway to greet us.  Again, BY name - they knew exactly who we were... it was so amazing.

The sign at the end of the walkway moved all of us...
The inside of the lodge was amazing - the attention to detail was more than anyone could explain or imagine.
Each table, each wall, each window - each had a touch of Brave Girl.

Melody and Kathy.... hard to put into words what they are like.  Warm, beautiful inside and out, approachable, kind, huge hearts... talent beyond talent.  It is obvious that all of their hearts and souls are poured into Brave Girls - it's evident in all the work that goes into this amazing camp.

Here are some pics of the lovely Melody and Kathy, and their families... including Marq - Melody's hubby.  He was the official 'call us in to eat' guy, luggage handler and chip art tips teacher.  He's also not hard on the eyes.  (did I just say that out loud???)

(snagged spraying whipped cream into his mouth)
All of us after we walked down to the lake... and here are some shots of all the lovely ladies I had the great pleasure of spending 4 days with - lifelong friendships were made. 

and you KNOW it's all about the attitude, right?

OH... and the artroom.  We had laughter, tears and singing... and so much product to play with it wasn't even funny...

OH - here's a shot of the group from the balcony - Roxane took it, do you see the ONLY person NOT looking at the camera? Does this surprise any of you???

And the staffers... OMGosh... what an incredible group of ladies... warm, loving, happy... full of fun and answers... I fell in love with each one of them. 

Here are some more shots just because...

Pure love... isn't this shot gorgeous? It speaks to me... I may actually break down and scrap it.  :-)
Saying goodbye to these ladies was hard.  We'd experienced miracles together - and that's not something you can say every day.  We learned lessons, we were taught by the master, we restored our souls and created our dream soul houses... we sent people to the moon and uranus (yes, I'm giggling).  We ate like queens, and were treated like royalty.  We were not allowed to lift a finger.  Whatever we needed was just heaped upon us.  We sang, we danced.  I threw my back out trying to do the booty shake like Angel.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  Much ibuprofen was taken.

At the end, I held onto Melody and Kathy... tears flowed, hugs held... the only thing making it easier was knowing I WOULD see them again - I can't imagine NOT seeing them again.  Whether it's at another Camp, or there as a staffer, I will hug them both again.

I can just see them both reading this, eyes huge with fear - "Dear GOD, we're not done with her YET????" LOL

If I can give you all one piece of advice - from the bottom of my heart, GO to Brave Girls Camp.  It is worth every penny, in fact, the food and lodging ALONE was worth every cent... and then add in amazing women, amazing lessons and amazing art... plus so many goodies to bring home that Donna's luggage came in 8 pounds overweight.  :-)

It is worth saving a few dollars every week... make yourself a Camp Fund Jar... and JUST DO IT.  I promise you, you won't be sorry. 

To my fellow Campers - I love you all - we have a bond that will never be broken.  (Oh dear, more fearful eyes?????)  I told you during the last 'share' - you're all stuck with me.  (insert very evil grin here)