Whoa, it’s been awhile!

It kills me to not have posted in so long. It’s about time to get back to it.

The last place I left off was beginning to work on project #3. My timeline is off by quite a bit. I projected that by March I would have completed my 30 day project. It’s probably time to push that back. My pace is slower these days, so we’ll just work one project at a time. Maybe I’ll be done by August! Good heavens, I hope before then though!

Project #3 incorporates a snazzy vintage blazer & belt.

Sketch Vintage blazer + belt

Stay tuned for steps on placing everything together.



Jewelry vignette with a twist.

So, project 2 varies a little from the previous vignettes (clothing collages) I’ve made. This one incorporates materials that aren’t strictly clothing or accessories. It’s more like what you see when you think of the word collage.

One big goal I have is to always try to eventually incorporate my digital work into things I make, if they aren’t already digital. With this project, I’ve added some other elements, such as digital aspects and items & pieces that aren’t clothing or accessory related.

This time around, the photographs don’t depict step by step. This is what I did and the items & supplies I used:


  • large doily
  • lace trim
  • vintage, fake costume jewelry*
  • needle & thread
  • thumbtacks
  • drawer pull
  • digital image
  • Modge Podge
  • E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • frame
  • black acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • Q-tip
  • canvas backing


  1. Fit the doily and lace trim to the frame backing, decide on a layout for every element in the collage
  2. Adhere canvas backing to the frame backing
  3. Paint the frame w/ black paint
  4. Glue down all pieces with E6000
  5. Print and slice up the digital image to fit the collage, adhere & cover w/ Modge Podge
  6. Place thumbtacks and thread, use a Q-tip to fasten thumbtacks with glue if needed
  7. Pop into the frame and wha-lah!

*I did some research about costume jewelry to try to place the necklace in this piece to an era. I gathered that it was most likely made in the 60s as part of a revival of Victorian style (most likely revived from the 1910s). The Victorian Revival jewelry is typically in the form of plastic, resin or engraved & antiqued metalwork and other hardware. Now, when I mention fake costume jewelry this is what I mean. You’ve got cream of the crop jewelry such as diamonds, gold and silver. Then you’ve got costume jewelry, very upscale-looking replicas that are highly collectible. However, many costume jewelry movements stemmed from other jewelry types such as plastics, color, cameos & figures. Lastly, there is jewelry made very cheaply and falls below the class of real costume jewelry. This jewelry is probably the most common kind, found in department stores (outside of the glass case) or mall shops.

Some information about costume jewelry courtesy of a book titled, “vintage jewelry design: classics to collect & wear,” by Caroline Cox (2010).

Doily & lace trim Stapled canvas to frame backing Digital imageJewelry vignette/ collage


Words & images, round 2.

Which words & images did you choose?

Exercise #1:

Words in groupsJust joining us? Check out the post explaining the exercises here. As apart of the first exercise from last week, the results of my exercise indicate that when I create work, I am more content driven (vs. aesthetically driven). Well, what does this mean? Content driven work is primarily built on the meaning behind images, symbols, hue combinations, shape relationships, size relationships, etc… Aesthetically driven work is primarily built on the look of images, symbols, hue combinations, etc… What’s the read on your word groups?

Exercise #2:

More collage-ing suppliesFor my quote collage creation, I stuck with Charles Schultz’s wise words, “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” Here are some pictures. Nick Bantock says that working with and using words and images together will work both sides of your brain. Ideally, this will help you find and use your ultimate something good; your creativity. Both sides of the brain working simultaneously will force the best of your creative senses to surface. If one side of the brain is working solo, your creative sense won’t have as much impact.

Let's use crayons here


Charles Schultz quote collage


Charles Schultz quote collage


Halloween 2016: easy, last minute ideas!

Halloween offers a great opportunity to express your inner creativity in a non-traditional way.

I realize this post comes at an inopportune time; one day before Halloween. However, you can save it for next year or start your costume plans last minute, like I did yesterday! Dressing up as someone, or something else, offers you a chance of freedom from your everyday self, the hair, the makeup (if applicable), the clothes, the shoes, the whole look. This is an excellent way to exercise your creative and imaginative ideas and let loose! Jump on this one-time-a-year event and dress up, down, sideways or backwards. The sky is the limit!

Halloween 2016: easy, last minute ideas!Other benefits of Halloween costume creation and/ or wearing include:

  • practice with makeup application & hair styling for yourself or someone else
  • practice with color matching, again for yourself or someone else
  • practice with clothing type & fit, if that’s important for your particular costume pick (although many premade costumes are made with man-made material that feels fake and maybe even itchy, depending on the costume, you’ll find which cuts, shapes and forms of draping work for your body)
  • great chance to test out colors & styles you may haven’t before
  • if you’re really getting into it, practice with tailoring & sewing
  • idea generation for next year’s costume(s)!
  • the opportunity to put something old or worn to good use, or even use it for a different purpose (reduce, reuse, recycle)

No time or energy to put together a costume? Go shopping! Granted, you’ll most likely spend a pretty penny on a premade costume, it’s still a way to alter your look & person for a day, or more depending on how many Halloween parties you attend! If your budget allows, do it! Pick a costume that really stands out to you. Once you put it on and go out in it, you’ll feel transformed and adventurous. In this aspect, spending some money is totally worth the experience.

For those who want to venture out a bit, look at these lists for inspiration to create the costume of your dreams!

Ideas for traditional Halloween character costumes:

  • witch
  • ghost
  • scarecrow
  • black cat
  • vampire
  • zombie
  • mummy
  • clown
  • Frankenstein
  • werewolf
  • pirate

Take any costume idea and put your own personal spin on it; make it as scary, as traditional or as funny & light-hearted as you want.

Ideas for couple costumes:

  • Peter Pan & his shadow, Peter Pan & Tinker Bell, Peter Pan & Wendy
  • Superman & Wonder Woman or other superheroes
  • Shaggy & Velma from Scooby Doo
  • Mario & Princess Peach or any other video game characters

For couples costume ideas, use movie, TV shows, music, books and really anything pop culture related as inspiration. This year, my husband and I dressed up as Jess & Nick from the hit TV show New Girl. The details didn’t exactly mimic those from the show, but the idea still came through.


New Girl: Jess & Nick


New Girl: Jess


New Girl: NickIdeas for duo & trio costumes:

  • The Three Stooges
  • the Rice Krispie characters: Snap!, Krackle! & Pop!
  • the whole Scooby Doo gang
  • M&Ms
  • peanut butter & jelly
  • rock, paper, scissors

For these ideas, do the same as above, but think about groups of people or characters from movies, TV shows, etc… as well as popular products, like Rice Krispies & peanut butter.


Words & images.

We’ve got 2 exercises lined up, 1 with words & 1 with both words & images. Read on!

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Hats off to Nick Bantock, the exercises from his book, ‘The Trickster’s Hat,’ offer a mix of words & imagery. This is important for creative exploration, utilizing both sides of the brain to achieve an overall outside of the box mentality.

Exercise #1:

The first exercise involves just words. This exercise originated with images, but has since been refined using just words.

  • think of 12 words you like or like the sound of
  • split the group of words into 2 columns
  • the 1st column should be made up of words that have pleasing connotations
  • the 2nd column should be comprised of the words that sound or look good, literally (the way they’re spelt)

Ultimately, this exercise will depict whether the choices you make when you’re painting are more content driven or more aesthetically driven.

Exercise #2:

You’ll need:

  • pen
  • paper
  • magazines
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • source to find quotes

Research, go on Pinterest, look at quote books for quotes that stand out to you, whether it (or they if you want to explore multiple ones) is funny, bold, brash, black & white, super expressive, etc… Now, use the magazine(s) to find imagery, letters and/ or symbols that are representative of the quote(s) you chose. Play around with this, cut and glue to your hearts content or keep it simple if you’d like. Here are some example quotes from Nick’s book. My favorite is, ” ‘I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand,’ Charles Schultz.”

Check back in and share you’re finds and creations!


Step #2 & black/white collages.

Hello Tuesday! First things first. My sister has shared some of her collaged pieces. This black bound journal may seem ordinary on the outside, but the inside pages contain various collages, paintings, drawings and some text too. Check ’em out! Thanks Kaitlin!

Journal collage pages

Journal collage pages

For today’s project, you may recall the supply list from the last post. You’ll need old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white). This proved to be a bit of a difficult undertaking. Searching for strictly back and white is tricky in 2016! Below are some books from the local Goodwill that I’ll use for this project. There are some other black and white things I found too.

Black/white collage contents

Black/white collage contents

Maybe now is a good time to explain what we’re doing. I got lucky and happened on another amazing book titled, ‘The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity,’ by Nick Bantock. The neat thing about this book is that it’s comprised of various exercises to finesse the creative senses to surface. I’ve perused them and have selected a few to try.

The Trickster's Hat by Nick Bantock

The Trickster’s Hat – Nick Bantock

It’s important to mention, in the book, Nick notes why he chooses to utilize the medium of collage in most of his exercises. “Not in the small sense of the word but collage in its broadest form, which includes everything from art and writing to humorous ranting and steampunking Barbie dolls. Unlike many art forms, collage is both highly flexible and forgiving. It’s also fast changing and nonlinear, which tends to promote a euphoric freedom from the predictable.” With that said, I tweaked the project a little from the exercise in the book, but it still holds the same principle. I mentioned that you should make an effort to NOT use family photos or mementos. You’ll also need:

  • scissors
  • poster board, cardboard, or some type of backing (heavier paper if your items are heavy)
  • matte medium (as opposed to other glue) – What’s this? Paint matte mediums are used by mixing into the paint to extend color, add transparency and help the paint flow better. You can use this kind or something like Modge Podge, an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. You should be able to find either at a local craft store. Most importantly, use what you have; it isn’t a necessity that you go and buy matte medium.
  • brush to apply the matte medium

We’re going to create three separate collages. Nick specifies to size them at 6” x 6” but ultimately size them how you’d like. Focus your thoughts on your childhood. Pick the contents for the first collage, from your finds, that remind you of your childhood in anyway. Nick says to, “find elements or symbols that represent the general tone of who you were and the events that surrounded you.” It is going to be super difficult to include an image for every event that transpired while you grew up. Here’s where the second collage comes in, just as you may have guessed, use this one to focus on your teenage and youth years. The last should represent your adult life. Three collages helps to divide lifetime events. Even still, you won’t want to try to represent EVERY memory or event; that’d be a ton. Also, remember that using personal family imagery will complicate this process.

This project is a good way to delve into self-exploration and show your story to others. It’s a good foundation project that will help you build on what you discover doing it. Images you are drawn to, but don’t necessarily directly correlate to any event in your lifetime will, as Nick puts it, “be quite obscure, yet they often have a way of being more poignant than any literal illustration…” These collages will also emulate the true you. Once you find the true you, it will radiate and everything you do will be real, authentic, true, good and convincing; all of these make something good.

“The more open you are about sharing your passions, the closer people will feel to your work,” Austin Kleon, ‘STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.’ Now, go and create!



Remember, I’ve been there. Finding my inner artist was not an easy task, but highly rewarding. Share your thoughts and your STUFF, e-mail me.


The hunt for your inner visionary.

Collage snippets

Collage snippets

Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or the imaginative type in any way, shape or form, this exercise will do you good. Let’s start the search for  your ‘something good.’

In the previous post, the main question raised was, ‘what defines you?’ Go back to read the bottom half of the post, if you need. Here are more questions to ponder:

  • what are your interests?
  • what are your hobbies?
  • what drives you day by day?
  • who do you admire?
  • what do you want to be when you grow up?
  • what do you like?
  • how would you describe yourself?
  • what do you want to learn? do you want to keep learning?
  • what is it you’d like to achieve with creativity? what does creativity mean to you?

The noun creativity is defined as, ‘the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.’ Throughout these posts, I’ll refer to creativity as the ‘something good’ or ‘good something.’ The connotation of creativity for some is different than it is for others. Hence, we have coined the new term something good.

When using my imaginative sense, I like to make people smile. I like to evoke happiness with a carefree and, perhaps humorous undertone. I love the lighthearted. Life is too short to be grumpy all the time. I’m especially intrigued by pop culture and fashion. I have finessed my passions and interests to define myself and therefore my something good. Now here I am, hopefully, helping you lovely people discover one of the most gratifying things ever.

My get up and go just got up and left

‘My get up and go just got up and left.’

Hold the phone! If this is what you’re thinking, don’t leave yet!

The exercise/ project for today (or the next few days) is fun and it’s likely you’ve done it before. Grab yourself a few materials:

  • images (see below for an expanded list of types of images)
  • items (see below for an expanded list of types of items)
  • glue
  • scissors
  • other types of fasteners depending on your items (staples, putty, tape, etc..)
  • backing such as poster board, cardboard, or even regular paper
  • a collection of imagery could be: photographs, magazine clippings, tickets, brochures, logos, cards, journals, or any source of paper with something on it you like [even a pattern or texture]
  • a collection of items could be: fabric swatches, mementos, souvenirs, jewelry, heck, even something big if that’s what you need
  • it doesn’t matter what state the items or images are in. If you like it, add it to the pile!

Note: if you don’t want to adhere something, don’t. This exercise is to merely help draw a visual of things you like and are drawn to together in a unified manner.

It doesn’t matter how you combine everything, layering, no layering, collage-like or not. Do it how you like.

  1. cut out the images; there is no rhyme or reason, cut on the lines or outside of them, slice things in half or even fold them
  2. place an item or image on the paper/ backing
  3. follow by placing more images and items in a manner in which you like; overlap, layer, spaced out
  4. if you feel up to it, grab a few markers or crayons and draw onto your collage; experiment with using staples and tape in addition to glue
  5. try playing with letters from magazines or newspapers
  6. keep going until you feel fulfilled; it doesn’t matter how busy it gets, just DO NOT become discouraged or try to redo every part of what’ve already done
Supplies for collage-ing!

Supplies for collage-ing!

In the next post, I’ll check in and see how you’ve progressed. I’ll have my collage ready to share. Please, share yours as well!