Thursday, November 20, 2014

when in doubt, bling it out.

we were at a flea market a couple of weeks ago, and this woman was selling a giant bag of giant beads.  intricate beads.  curious beads.  different beads.  colorful beads.  i don't normally work with total bling, but the colors and ooooooh SHINY caught my eye and i had to have it. 

i envisioned roofing a birdhouse with these colorful baubles. 

so i did. 

this house is available for purchase - $75.00 including shipping (contiguous US only) you can contact me at if interested.

6" tall, 5" wide, 4-1/2" deep.  the background color is tiffany blue - it didn't photo well. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

my big 'why'..

so i had my big aha moment a short while ago.

jeanne bessette, the artist, has been nudging me to explore my 'why' when it comes to me using recycled things to build/decorate my birdhouses. this is something that spans all of my world - i would prefer to buy/find old objects rather than buy new any day of the week. with the exception of underwear, toothbrushes and makeup, almost anything is fair game to me. my home and my wardrobe are filled with garage sale finds, antique store treasures and garbage picking.

when i discovered my love of decorating birdhouses, i found what i loved best about it was using repurposed items. things you wouldn't expect to see. i especially loved finding birdhouses at garage sales and i was even happier when i found my supplier, who builds them out of repurposed barn wood.

my 'one' brings me home junk auto parts he takes off of cars each day. i stalk the transmission shops for handouts of used springs and chains. i live for a box of old rusty hinges and screws. i find old junk jewelry at yard sales, and revamp it. or wear it... anything that catches my eye ends up adorning a birdhouse, as a piece of clothing or a knick knack on a shelf.

i like things to have history. to have a story. to have a SOUL. i am a listener. i would much rather listen to your story than to tell you mine. and just like a human being, each object has a story to tell. when i hold old items torn off houses, or that used to sit on somebody's grandmother's shelf, it talks to me.

what does that have to do with my why? it dawned on me as i was painting a birdhouse just now.
i think i am fixated on used, repurposed, recycled, upcycled, reused, reclaimed, restored things because that's exactly what i am.

a little over five years ago i went into recovery from alcoholism. that moment, the one that changed my life forever, is like a big line crossing my life. there was 'before' and 'after'. nothing about 'before' is with me today except my physical body. and that physical body is used... .repurposed.. .recycled.... upcycled... .reused....reclaimed and restored. restored to sanity.

and while my life is new, its vessel isn't. it has a story, and a soul. and it is the perfect example of restoration.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

for the birds....

i posted last week on facebook that i thought a homemade birdhouse would be a stellar christmas gift.  this house is the first one commissioned... i love it - photos don't do it justice, i suck royally at photographing these birdhouses. 

i love things that have a history, a story to tell.  i prefer old and grungy over shiny and new... every single thing on this recycled barn wood house is recycled/upcycled/repurposed - whatever catch word is trending these days. 

jeff and i scour garage sales, flea markets.... the toss out bin at his repair shop... and that's what adorns my houses.  new stuff? bah.  give me rusty, dirty and slightly... 'off'. 

now, back to the studio for commission #2. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

another one of those non-artsy posts...

so it happened again... and i know it happens over and over and over again.  but when it happens in my line of sight, it makes me rage against the world...

bullying.  bullying against another woman.  another human being.  another precious life.

almost exactly a year ago, a similar incident prompted this blog post.  the difference this time was that i got involved... perhaps not the smartest thing to do, but it was my choice, my decision.

a year ago i got a friend request from another artist.  i hadn't had any interaction with her, but saw our mutual friend list (12 artists) and accepted.  over the past year we haven't crossed paths in any way, she never commented on my posts, nor i on hers..she didn't use her real name, and her profile picture was a caricature of what i assume is herself. how about we just call her "A"?  (you might think that stands for asshole, but honest, it just stands for artist)

that changed 2 days ago, when lo and behold one of her posts appeared in my news feed.   not sure why facebook chose to show me this particular post, but i guess it was just meant to be.

it was a photo of a woman from behind.  the photo was taken by the artist.  i can no longer see the post because she has since blocked me, but to the best of my recollection she posted it because she took great offense to the woman's outfit.  stretchy black leggings and a flowy top that buttoned in the back, just one button high up.  this meant that the woman's bra strap was showing.  and her back from the bra strap to her waist.

apparently this met with  "A"s disapproval.  she proceeded to tear this woman apart, from her outfit to her weight... the fact that the woman was on a cell phone walking around talking.

all crimes against humanity i guess... ?

what was even worse than that, was all A's friends... jumping on the cruel bandwagon.  it was absolute pack mentality.  i was horrified... comments like "doesn't she live with anyone that would tell her how stupid she looks?"   ahhhhhhh.... mean girls.  her weight was mentioned.  and not in a good way.

the last time this happened i didn't act, other than to write a blog post about it.  but this time i couldn't hold back.   so i messaged A, and also hit the unfriend button.  this wasn't anyone i would miss as a friend, and wasn't anyone i would WANT as a friend.

my message to her was this:

i had to hit the unfriend button today... your thread showing the woman and the subsequent remarks regarding her appearance were so cruel... i didn't want to comment on the thread, but felt that i needed to tell you why...... i'm not sure why women need to tear down other women, does it make you feel better to say mean things about her? i never knew there was an 'outfit police'... or a right or a wrong way to dress. i believe that if you're happy in your own skin, and your own clothes, that's what matters. if her outfit met with your disapproval, perhaps just looking away instead of posting her picture online and ripping her apart would have been the mature, compassionate way to go.

your words and your friends' words brought me almost to tears with the hate and venom spewed out... against a woman whose only crime was to be in your line of sight.

i hope that you can find a tiny bit of compassion in your heart, and realize that we are all equal, we all deserve respect, and to be treated like human beings.

it isn't high school anymore... mean girls are nothing but bullies hiding behind pretty masks....

so even though you and i really had no interaction in the time we were 'friends', i hope my words perhaps make you think before putting down another human being just because you disagree with a very personal choice that they've made.

take care, and enjoy life. it's very short, and is better served filled with love...    
and then all the poop hit the fan. she responded with this:

Your views are 100% different than those of other friends. I was thanked, repeatedly, for having the courage to post the pic. Keep in mind that this woman was just starting her evening there...she would be among children, families, teens, and others who would be pushed up against her, and possibly brushing her naked flesh in the crowded venue. If we DON'T speak up, how do we face GOD when we're told we didn't try hard enough to help to make the world a better, safer place for all? What do we say? It's not my problem? We ignore a half naked woman among families? PS...I am enjoying life. But, thank you for giving me permission.

all righty then. i'm pretty sure when i face my higher power he's not going to care about my choice of outfit. 

i typed a really cool response about this not being courage at all... and how perhaps if the woman's outfit was so inappropriate for the venue perhaps taking her aside and speaking to her privately instead of plastering this stranger all over facebook and ripping her apart might have been a more compassionate stance.  unfortunately, when i tried to hit send i was told that i couldn't... because apparently A had sent her response and then blocked me.

that made me smirk just a bit.  i guess she couldn't handle a debate.

and although her fb profile might not be visible to ME, it's quite visible to my friends... and i found out pretty quickly that she trashed me on that thread... said she was 'baffled at my self-righteous, condescending, holier than thou message.  AND that it's MY loss, and that i MIGHT have thought i 'checked' her, but that it was an easy checkmate.

so, i don't think anything will change in her world, but that's her journey.  i accept the things i cannot change.  but i do have the courage to change the things i can... and bullying is something i feel very strongly about.

and i won't sit back and watch it happen anymore.

i could keep typing for days on this subject.  but i'll shut up now... until the next time.  spanks for reading...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

for the birds...

hooked on assemblage.  i found a supplier for the birdhouses - he uses all repurposed barn wood.  this makes for REALLY great textures...

this happy home is painted with copper and verdigris, and the items attached are auto parts, door parts, wire and beads...

available for purchase - $85.00 plus $10.00 shipping.  if interested please leave a comment on this post.  spanks!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

a dual post...since i'm lazy.

first - i am highly inspired by Jeanne Bessette the artist.  she has a private facebook group and she is a fabulous teacher of all things related to learning our 'why' of art... her style just speaks to me and i wanted to paint a canvas in her 'style'.  it's very distinctive and i think i captured a small essence of her.  this is 18" x 24", acrylics, inks, watercolor crayons.  title is "ame soeur" which means 'soulmate'.

and #2 - the base layer of this canvas was my bright idea of laying down art masking fluid on a white canvas, and then spraying ink all over it.  i didn't like the way it turned out (because of the ink, not the technique) but i videoed the masking fluid removal which was one of the funnest things EVAH. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


this week i celebrate 5 years of sobriety.  and every year at my celebration meeting i give my sponsor a gift.  this year i kept it simple - much like our program. 

a small wood block, painted using blue, turquoise, violet and yellow.  i printed out the word 'believe' and did a photo transfer technique using packing tape.  covered the block entirely with a gloss gel medium, wrapped wire and a bead and called it done. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


i love the look of steampunk.  i tried to capture it here on a blank wood birdhouse acquired at a garage sale.  first thing i did was seal it with some clear gesso, and then i painted it a lovely blue... (go figure, right?).  from there i started gluing on used car parts and various doodads from garage sales and a junk drawer.  a few rubons from my scrapbooking days and some spray ink ... and VOILA. 

i wanted to put this in the shop for sale, but it is extremely heavy - shipping would be outrageous.  since i'm probably doing an art show in october, i think i will add it to my stash of items to sell there. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


to me words are an art form, just like a painting, or a sculpture or a sketch.  for whatever reason, words draw me in and have a beauty all their own.  not just what the words say, but in the font and spacing and style. 

so far all my tattoos have been words.  many people are surprised that i haven't had a dragonfly inked on my body yet.  actually so am i.  but words keep calling me...

we had a house concert here last week, the incredible amelia white and sergio webb... i had 21 bodies stuffed in here and fun was had by all ( i hope ). 

a lot of the guests commented on all the words i had around the house.  here are some (not all, believe it or not) including the art on my body...

this last shot is of my brave girls camp apron.  we were all supposed to decorate them, but i'm not into ruffles and bows and ribbons... although i can appreciate the look, it's not something i'd use.  so i chose to write my truths on it instead... and funny thing, when you put an intention into the universe, and write it down and share it... it comes true.  with the exception of a couple of things on there, i am living my intentions.  

Friday, May 30, 2014


i call this buddha with an angel face.

12x12x1 canvas board.  acrylics, inks, papers, beads...

the kicker is that this is a board with the hanger already inset on the back.

now, ask me if i noticed that and painted it in the correct direction.... :/ 

Monday, May 12, 2014

a giveaway!

i love giveaways.  especially when i win one.  LOL 

my friend rachel awes is giving away a copy of her awesome book, diving in.  easy to enter...

read about it here -

Saturday, March 29, 2014

tropical coolness...

decided to try my hand at a total abstract - and that was WAY fun. 

this is a 16" x 20" stretched canvas, using acrylics and ink... and no brushes - all fingers and applicators.  available in my etsy shop - $225.

the hard part is photographing this - the copper is shimmery and wants to reflect any little bit of light that comes in. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

recovery heART...

near and dear to my heart.  ;-)

this heart is fully customizable with word, years of sobriety, pin back if wanted.

the AA recovery symbol is beaded and wired onto the heart.

paper clay, paint, sealer, wire and beads.

what celebrant wouldn't want one? or for that matter, anyone at any stage of recovery as a 'thinking about you' gift?

free shipping on this item... order thru my storenvy shop...

click here to order!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

hearts, hearts and more hearts...

when i was teaching in folly beach, sherri held a class using paper clay.  we each made a heart and painted it.  i fell in love with the process - and i am crazy about paper clay.

last year i decided to try my hand at polymer clay and ... well... that didn't go well.  we will just leave it at that.

so last week i picked up a package of paper clay at michaels (with the 40% coupon it was $5.99) and sat down to make some hearts.  i shaped them by hand, and by using a clay tool that looks like a slender bone folder.  then i used some stamps and my chip art letters and images to stamp into the clay before it dried. 

once they dried, about 2 days later, i painted them - all one color, using regular old cheap acrylics, and a few of my favorite golden liquid acrylics.  i added a little water to the paints to thin it, making it sink into the cracks and crevices easier.

then i added a wash of other colors, layering color and wiping it off.  

after it looked the way i liked it, i used gold shimmer gloss mod podge and sealed the entire heart front and back. 

i loved my bowl full of hearts, all 30 of them... but they needed... MORE.  so i grabbed my dremel, my copper wire and beads... and went to town.