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


All about collage.

Curious to learn more about the inner workings of collage?

On the Post Extras. page, I’ve recently added some new stuff. You’ll find information about different collage techniques as well as some revolutionary collage artists that have since set the stage for current artists and the like. Today I’m going to dissect some of my previous works, particularly ones that incorporate collage. I’ll compare and contrast these with the exercises and projects we’ve completed thus far. Remember, if you’re just joining us, you can find all previous posts in the calendar on the right hand side of the page or you can scroll through the post queue.

While reading this, remember the importance of collage. Collage is experimental, forgiving and really emits a sense of freedom. It might be fair to say that making a collage is easier than drawing on a blank canvas (for those who do not draw regularly). It is perhaps one of the easier ways to exercise your creativity or even discover it!

Here is a project from 2011. I called it ‘Escape.’ I completed this as a college assignment. It’s important to note that the process of creating this piece resonated with me more than other things I’d done in the past.

'Escape' framed on the wall

‘Escape’ framed on the wall


'Escape,' copyright Kalli Thurgood Payment


As a fresh college student, I had never made art on the computer with the exception of design layout for yearbook classes in high school using Adobe InDesign. It wasn’t until late in my sophomore year that I really grasped the concept of Adobe Photoshop and, later, Adobe Illustrator. Before going to college I had:

  • a passion for fashion and fashion design
  • a liking for art and design, specifically drawing and painting
  • a liking for scrapbooking and sewing
  • a liking for photographing things and places
  • moved, but also traveled
  • worked part time, went to school full time
  • a liking for pop culture, namely music and movies (fashion too!)
  • played softball (disclaimer: this was for a very brief time in high school and I apologize to my fellow teammates for really not knocking the ball out of the park…)
  • I could probably list more, but it’s almost hard to remember without researching via searching through photos and mementos

Working through finding my creative being, my something good, I quite literally stumbled on things and advanced on others. Ultimately, the discovery I made is that mixed media captures my interest more than any other media alone. This is a very broad statement. Here’s a more concentrated list of individual mediums I like (combine one or more to create mixed media):

  • collage and all collage techniques
  • paint
  • graphite
  • charcoal
  • pastel
  • ink
  • found objects
  • digital
  • adhesive
  • matte medium
  • metal
  • wire
  • again, I may have left out a few items

Just in case…

'My get up and go just got up and left.'Is this happening to you, right now? If so, it’s more than normal. There are many components and parts that plug into the creativity machine to make it work. I don’t want to lose you in the midst of the various topics discussed so far. Just remember to keep in mind what defines you, your personality, what you like, what you don’t like. Later, I’ll describe how I figured out that mixed media is my thing. There’s a lot more to the story than a list of things I did in high school and types of media I’m drawn to. Stick with me, you’ve got this!

Let’s look at the piece a little closer. Here’s a sample of scanned images from working on the project. Included in the piece are elements of everything shown, with the exception of the ruler.

Pieces of 'Escape'

Pieces of ‘Escape’

I would classify these pieces under found ‘household’ objects, as far as medium type is concerned. I used crayon on the scribbles. The overall piece is digital, so I’d say that’s the main medium.

After collecting the images of items I wanted to use, I combined them in Photoshop with photographs I’d taken; the balloon, the person on the ladder (that’s me) and the head (that’s my husband) to create a photomontage. The effects of collage techniques were all achieved in Photoshop. I did not create a collage prior to working in Photoshop.

This piece is available in prints on Society 6 if you’d like to purchase one. Don’t worry, that’s the only one there!

I think I’ve covered quite a bit for one ol’ post, but next time I’ll continue by comparing and contrasting the exercises and projects we’ve done thus far as well as dissect some other pieces. Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!



Check out this awesome infographic. It’s ideal for this blog! Thanks Spirit Button and Visualistan.

How To Be More Creative #InfographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan.


Kaitlin & Cole, costume creatives.

1996s hit movie Matilda serves as costume inspiration for this dynamic couple, the costume creatives!

Since the last post about costume creation, I was fortunate enough to receive photos of a costume duo that I’ve never seen before. Kaitlin and Cole, thank you for sharing your witty creations!

This costume duo is a perfect example of sourcing characters from a movie to dress up as, and in Kaitlin’s case, play the role of the character in addition to wearing the outfit. As she says in a British accent, reminiscent of the lines in the film yelled out by the brash Ms. Trunchbull, “Look at this here, rotten, filthy animal child!” Everything from the hairdo to the bushy eyebrows, face mole, athletic attire accessories, sweats, belt and combat boots pulls the look together. This imitates the Trunchbull character to a ‘T,’ no pun intended. Principal by day and, by night, her true form takes itself on as a strong Olympian. Cole’s scared student look is easily achieved with a backpack, stack of books and a regular outfit anyone could wear to school. His expressions make a huge impact on the overall effect. Maybe these two should take up side careers as actors!

Costume duo

Images of the character, Ms. Trunchbull

Images of the character, Ms. Trunchbull, courtesy of Pinterest


Ms. Trunchbull costume

Ms. Trunchbull costumeMatilda is a hit film from the 1990s, based on the novel by Roald Dahl,  starring Mara Wilson and Danny DeVito. For those who haven’t seen it, visit this IMDb description for a summary. I’d try to explain it myself, but this does the job. Watch it if you haven’t yet!

For next year, or in the event there is a costume party before Halloween 2017, use your favorite movie as inspiration to source your costume(s). Using your imagination and being creative doesn’t have to be a lengthy, involved process. It’s all about perception. Just have an open mind and see what happens.


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!


Boot redo, 101.

Fashion is a passion, gotta love boots!

I’m going to switch gears a tad. So, I went to the dentist earlier. My shoe choice for the day was an ultra-comfy pair of ankle boots with cowgirl flair (and sporting plenty of hardware I might add). I think this pair of boots is probably about…hmm, say, 7 years old. 7 years equates to 7 years worth of wear. While waiting for the dentist, I stared at my feet. Then, I thought, maybe it’s time to breath some new life into these boots.

Makeover for my ankle bootsThe joy of my something good (creativity) is that I have a constant flow of ideas streaming in and out of my head. Sometimes, you have to take detours to see what all the fuss is about! As Austin Kleon puts it, “I think it’s good to have a lot of projects going at once so you can bounce between them. When you get sick of one project, move over to another, and when you’re sick of that one, move back to the project you left. Practice productive procrastination.”

Makeover for my ankle boots


Makeover for my ankle boots


Makeover for my ankle boots


Makeover for my ankle boots


Makeover for my ankle bootsAs you can see, this pair of fantastic boots is missing a few pieces and then some. Some polish, deconstruction and overall simplification should do the trick! I’ll have a practically new pair of shoes after this.

Time to go revamp my boots. Stay tuned for the reveal and as well as another assignment.