Sep 24, 2014

Jewelry clay

Since I'm addicted to creating tiles out of polymer clay, I find myself in the polymer clay aisle regularly! The other day, I discovered jewelry clay so of course I bought it. I also found some blank heart pendants with the ice resin products. I bought them too!

Before I got into mixed media, I had my own custom jewelry line. I created endlessly and my pieces were unique. I sold in lots of shows and independent boutiques in the Chicago area. I loved every single piece I made and had a hard time parting with each one!

So..... this jewelry clay caught my eye. Today I finally played around with it.

It's curing right now. I can't wait to put it on a chain and wear it!!!

Aug 19, 2014


I had the BEST time this past weekend at the Create Mixed Media Art Retreat in Lisle. I took two classes from Laurie Mika and they were amazing! I taught myself how to make polymer clay canes 20 years ago when I was in college, but this was something way different. I am hooked! I decided to make a Hamsa on Friday and then on Sunday I made the most fantastic little crown. Both classes went by in the blink of an eye.

Aug 3, 2014


I have fallen behind in my DLP. I am trying to catch up, but I keep getting sidetracked! Here are a few recent pages in no particular order. LOTS of doodling and colors. Yum-O!

Even though the eyes are not even/equal, I still really like how this face turned out!

Jul 27, 2014

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I have been in love with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint since the day I discovered it and have been dying to try it! I watched videos YouTube and read her website but just couldn't jump in and buy everything. So, yesterday I drove to The Studio Art School in McHenry, IL for a class. It took me 1.5 hrs to get there but it was totally worth it!

We have this old dining set from Wickes Furniture that I have always hated. At one point, it was our kitchen table. But as of today, it is splashed with paint and is even uglier! I was going to throw it away but then decided to paint it and put it in the basement where it could actually be used.  Yesterday, I brought one of the chairs with me to use in my Annie Sloan experiment.

This is the chair. Ugly right? I was skeptical about not needing to strip and/or sand the chair before painting. The varnish is really thick making the surface slick. Would the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint really adhere?

I decided to do an under color first. I was going for a distressed look so the first two layers I painted in graphite. The first layer moved around A LOT . However, the second layer really covered and gripped. I instantly liked it better!

Once the graphite paint was dry, I painted over it in provence and wiped off some of the paint in some areas.  I really liked how the black kind of showed through the blue. It gave a great effect. I'm loving the chair even more!

Once the provence was dry, I took a piece of sand paper and distressed it even more in some areas. I actually sanded these spots back down to the original yellow wood. Then, I applied sizing to the areas I knew I wanted to apply gold leaf. As the sizing was drying, I started to wax the chair. I used a combo of clear and dark wax because I knew I wanted it to look distressed with dark in the textured areas.

I left some of the wax in place so I could apply the gold leaf. So fun! I also waxed over the leaf to age it a little.

Here is my first completed chair and I LOVE it!!! I can't wait to finish the set. Each chair is going to be a different color and the table is (hopefully) going to make a great statement.

I was here from 10am-3:30pm. I bought everything I need to finish this dining set and I hope to finish it this week. I am an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint convert. I can't wait to paint more furniture and picture frames!  It really was simple to use and the fact that there isn't any stripping/sanding is amazing! I will post pics of the set when it's all done. Thank you Lucy! I had a great time and you were fantastic.

Jul 6, 2014

Round 2

Tried another background using acrylic open paints. I like the blendability of these paints. I also bought some heavy body acrylic paint from Utrecht and some new brushes. It is just too beautiful outside to keep myself holed up inside.

A quick journal page from the brown bag journal. I really like using the brown paper as a base. Utrecht gesso is definitely my new favorite gesso out there! Here I played around with some new paints and techniques.

Jun 28, 2014

Open Acrylic

I've been playing around with Open Acrylic paints. They have a longer working time and are way different than I thought they'd be. Thicker. I found them challenging to work with but I'm going to rep at it as I'm feeling the need to create some abstracts with texture.  Need to blend more. Time to find some brushes that work for me!

Jun 20, 2014


Last week, my girlfriend Marissa and I had a mosaic artist come to my house to teach us and our girls about creating mosaics. I took a mosaic class (at Lill Street) in my twenties when I was single and living in the city.  I know I liked it, but didn't really remember learning anything.  It was a fun and messy afternoon. My garage was the perfect place to work! We still need to grout our pieces. I'll post those pics when they are finished.

Thinking of delving into mosaic work now! Just what I need. Another medium!!!

Jun 16, 2014


I finally ordered a gallon of gesso from Utrecht. I had been thinking about this for a really long time and finally just did it. I've heard this is the best gesso out there and let me tell you, it is! It is not runny. It is thick, but not crazy thick. I tried it on a little journal I made out of a Whole Foods brown bag and it was like buttah!!!!!

Jun 13, 2014

Room Complete!

My art studio is finally complete! Everything is together and it is so's fantastic! I still have work to do organizing my materials, yet I'm ready to get going again. Now that it's summer vacation and my kids are around, it's hard to find time to myself to be alone in my space!

May 10, 2014


This week began the expansion of my art room. I'm SO excited!!!!! The room will be twice the size as before and hopefully I'll even get a slop sink on the other side in the storage room. This was a surprise Mother's Day gift from my husband and kids. The drywallers come Monday and I've started looking for furniture. I can't wait!!!

Apr 28, 2014

Documented Life Project

I've been participating the Documented Life Project (DLP) since January 1, 2014.  I have been having fun with the idea of documenting the mundaneness of my life while combining art journaling. From day 1, I knew the Moleskine wouldn't hold up.
After the first 6 weeks, I cut apart the spine which loosened everything up and gave me some more space. Doing this also allowed the journal to lay flat when I opened it. I rebound my journal using some bookbinding tape.

Now that it's been 4 months, my journal was starting to curve. A LOT! It was driving me crazy and I didn't like how my pages were curving inside…kind of getting tucked in.  So, I decided to rebind it again. I didn't want to sew in each signature b/c I really didn't think the delicate paper would be able to handle it.

I have no idea how it will hold up or if it will make it until December 31. I will post here every so often to let you know if it's working and what I will do next time.
Here is what I did. 
1.  I cut the covers off by slicing down the spine with an exacto knife.

2. Using the exacto knife, I cut apart the 3 signatures.

3. I glued the covers to the first inside page (front and back).

4.  I bought this mending tissue tape from Amazon but I messed up. It's only 1/2" wide. I
guess I didn't bother to read it to see that it would be too narrow. So, I layered it on horizontally using Gel Medium.

5.  I cut a piece of book board the width I wanted for my new spine. I wanted there to be room for the weight gain, so I made it almost 2" wide. I glued this onto a piece of book tape. You could use a piece of cardboard too!

6.  I wrapped the book tape around the front and back and used some Aleen's Super Tacky Glue
to make sure it really will stick. I stacked some books on it and left it overnight to dry.
Not bad! Lookin' good. Hopefully it will pull through to the end of the year.

Some of you know how much I LOVE making my own journals. I love the process and find it incredibly gratifying. I plan on participating in the DLP next year, but I think I will make my own planner with the exact paper I want and binding that will work best for me. I like the size of the Moleskine, but the think paper can be problematic. Just saying'!

Apr 9, 2014

True Colors

I've been meaning to post for the last month but I've been engrossed with the DLP, painting and playing around with some new materials. We went to the Dominican Republic for spring vacation and had a great time! It was so nice not having to make lunches or dinners for anyone all week long! Anyway, I spent the morning playing around in my journal and this is who appeared.

Mar 12, 2014


I've been experimenting with some new mixed media materials and having lots of fun! I'm really enjoying these abstract pieces. What do you think?

Mar 6, 2014

Serious Play

I have been making major efforts to really play in my journal. Lately, I've been into using oil pastels on top of acrylic ink. The creaminess is amazing and I love the effect you get when done over oil. I also have been having fun playing around with the Pilot Varisty pen and the painterly effect you get when water is brushed on. I just wish I had more time in the day and I didn't have to do laundry or ever make dinner! They I'd really have more time to play.

Feb 25, 2014

Girls Inspire Girls

My gig is up! 6 months done. I can't believe I blogged every week for 6 months for Artistcellar and my time on the Design Team is over. It was fun. It was challenging. I'm not sure yet if it was what I expected or not, but I did realize I can blog regularly and it's not overwhelming. I have started to think about creating my own website for my work and maybe even try to sell! We'll see. I hope you'll go visit my post today. I love what I created!