Thursday, February 11, 2016

Snap goes the tablet sleeve! Use metal measuring tape to make self-closing bag

upcycled tablet sleeve with metal closure
Here's a question for the ages -- what makes metal tape measures stay stiff? You know, that thin yellow strip coiled inside a snail-shaped plastic holder. Even if you pull the strip out of the container completely, it retains its ramrod straight posture. How?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My homage to the Superbowl

Here's my collage homage to today's annual gladitorial-consumer-orgasmic event called the "SuperBowl."

Friday, February 5, 2016

Plastic package patchwork tote -- say that 3 times fast!

upcycled tote made from plastic food bags
In a previous post, I showed how I made a tote bag out of a plastic kitty litter bag. But wait, you're saying, all I have are a bunch of small plastic bags -- the kind that hold frozen peas, crackers, and raisins. Can I make a tote bag out of these? Certainly! All you need to do is make a plastic bag "quilt" first.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Waxing artistic -- my first encaustic experience


learning encausticsWax can be scary. Just consider the 1953 horror flick, House of Wax, starring everyone's favorite creepy star, Vincent Price. Maybe that's why I waited to learn about encaustics -- using wax to "paint."  Yesterday, I overcame my fears and tried this sticky medium.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wow Meow! Turn a plastic cat litter bag into a sturdy reusable tote bag

I save plastic bags, small and large. I love their bright colors and cheerful fonts. I wash them, dry them and store them in the hopes that inspiration will strike. Here I share one of those inspirations -- an upcycled tote bag made out of a cat litter bag.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Best collection of digital images EVER

For the past 24 hours, I've been held hostage by the most amazing collection of online images, published by the New York Public Library. I can't stop browsing, searching and downloading. It's crack for a collage artist. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Four ways to say thank you

thank you cards made from old deli paper
One of the many things I've learned from my mixed-media mentor John is that you should save almost everything you create -- even the sad leftovers. Someday, they could find a home in a collage or art journal.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Letting birds be birds

In my collage workshop, we've been filling a small box with collaged cards. I started out by putting old-timey heads on bird bodies, but then decided to leave the poor birds alone. The hand-written text comes from old letters.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Men are so helpless -- teen tales from 1959


Men are so helpless
Want to hear a story from 1959? It's about what happens when a typical American family faces a terrible challenge. It's called "Men Are So Helpless."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cats are taking over my brain!

Surreal cat collagesThose crazy cats are at it again! More collages combining images from old National Geographics, Time-Life science books, and cat care guides. Visual alchemy! A peek into my strange mind! Evidence of cat mind-control???

Friday, December 4, 2015

Becoming a man...fifties style

Retro guide for young men
It was a quick stop at my local Goodwill. My expectations were low. I scanned the bookshelves, seeing nothing but Danielle Steele and Tom Clancy. I was about to give up and leave empty-handed when I saw him. HIM!

Isn't he dreamy? And he's just "becoming a man."

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Jumping ship -- introducing my new online store

Jumping off the Etsy ship

When I opened my online store almost 5 years ago, Etsy.com offered quirky collections of handmade wares created by humble artists and craftspeople. It wasn't trying to compete with Amazon. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Got paper? Make a book. A meander book.

meander journal
One reason that handmade books are so cool is their fancy names -- like "accordion," "tunnel," and "flutter." This week in my collage workshop, we made something called a "meander" journal. 

We started with a single sheet of watercolor paper and ended up with a work of art.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Curse you, zipper! An upcycled purse with an unsightly zipper

purse made out of Mickey Mouse pants
The more I sew, the more I realize that I may have missed a few things when my mom was teaching me the basics. It wasn't her fault -- I was an impatient, snotty little kid who refused to admit my mistakes and burst out in tears when she told me to rip out my seams.

So I'm not surprised that a simple zipper could be my undoing.