Monthly Archives: January 2009

Bad desk new shrine




This is how my desk looked when I came into work in the studio this morning. Yet, it seems like I need the mess to get things done but I think this was the breaking point! I did manage to create this shrine in the chaos and now have several pieces that require glass and soldering so more pics later once I can get to the workbench past the Christmas decorations!

The little bottle is filled with Bombay ink (teal) that swishes like a snowglobe when you shake it.

Only half-dressed


This one is still in progress. She definitely needs a little something to perk her up although I’m very happy with how the charcoal pencil (thank you for the awesome tip Sally Jean – and if you could send the pendant I ordered in Sept or reply to my email I would be overjoyed!!!) really adds dimension and instant age/grit to the box.

I’m thinking of adding in some crayon coloring but have to admit I’m concerned about jacking it up but I just need to try it and add until I have a final result that I love. Tolerate. Don’t mind. But, I have to tell you guys that I slam into the giant brick wall where I get nervous about experimentation. I have no idea why since it’s just a fun kind of piece made with a broken doll, a $3 ornament, a cardboard box, paint and glitter so not a large or expensive cash output here. Still I hate to admit that the two months I’ve been working on it slowly were a waste but somehow everything feels like an art project that’s getting graded by a super strict art teacher at the end and I really want that “A” and a gold star damn it! Okay, I’m just going to add some color, numbers, whatever I find on the desk and get over it.
Well, let me sleep on it.

Love Box





I’ve been working on this box since last week trying to get the paint layers right plus all the layers of paint and collage. I can’t even say how happy I am with the results. I’ve talked about my love of Lisa Kaus here before but I really appreciate how open she’s been with her work and techniques so I was able to create my own interpretation of her pieces since it’s unlikely I’ll be able to attend a class soon. Although it’s definitely on my wish list for 2009!

The photo shows how I started with a few layers of paint. I wished I had taken step by step photos but I would be working on it then remember I should’ve taken a pic! Here’s my step by step process. The base was two round wood chip boxes from Michael’s that I gessoed then used absorbent ground on the entire piece. I coated with a few coats of red/pink/iridescent silver mixed with glazing liquid. Next I added a glaze of iridescent stainless steel (golden) and glazing liquid then started on the finishings. I discovered a nice trick of creating the scallops and circles with charcoal pencil so when I went in with the white paint the charcoal created a nice aging effect. The entire pieces were aged with charcoal pencil and I sealed them with workable fixative so the charcoal doesn’t smear. Finally I added the collaged text, glitter and 3d elements (like the washers I keep on hand just for such purposes!). The final step was to use epoxy (this holds like magic) to connect the boxes together add the green handle, dice and doll head. Now, the entire piece is going to the mantle!

Sybil Shrine

I posted a while back about the multitude of German dolls I’ve stockpiled. I finally finished a shrine I started a few weeks ago that focuses on a doll. The name of the piece is “Sybil’s Shrine” based on the ancient greek seers who were called sybils. She’s also got some text inside that says “Sybil, keep her secrets”. Like my previous louvre shrine this was also inspired by the British Museum and my previous life in which I was an antiquities student.

This is a pic that always inspires.

Somehow when I think of shrines, I’m drawn to the museums with incredible antiquities collections or natural history museums. I would love to visit the Field Museum in Chicago again (summer road trip?). I always feel bad that when visiting the art museums I really do admire the incredible pieces but really just long for giant Egyptian statues or massive Babylonian doors. Like these:

Faux Jade and Baccarat


My necklace thought process summed up in the following. 🙂 I picked up these beads a while back at Michael’s and decided they would look great as a simple necklace with natural stone beads linking them. Since the stones are pretty hefty I used annealed steel and wire wrapping to make sure they were super secure and I was mostly happy with it but then came across something that remained me of Vegas which then reminded me of the Baccarat store at Caesar’s Palace and the incredibly fabulous chandeliers they have (all with a red crystal signature) which, finally, led me to add this little red stone to the clasp. I love the bright burst of color and touch of whimsy that it adds to an otherwise fairly sedate necklace. And there you have it, my stream of consciousness necklace! 🙂

Tomorrow is back to work and I wish everyone a smooth return to post-holiday life!

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls



That’s the theme for at least January in the studio! I finished the doll box I have been working on for a few days and have decided I’m pretty happy with the result. I had intended to do lots more to the outside of the box (homage to Lisa Kaus sort of thing) but in the end I just loved the antiqued finish and slight touches of sparkle.

Now, I have to work on projects to reduce down the German dolls a little bit. Thoughts? 🙂 Also, if anyone has any terrific ideas on how to incorporate them as necklace centerpieces without them appearing to be hanged I welcome your input!
I had a terrific New Year’s with the family in Kansas, although snow would’ve been perfect at least it was chilly, we’ve returned home to 70 degrees and sunny. Nothing left to do but fire up the grill and enjoy the new patio. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!