Paste Paper Book

This was my paste paper book that I made in a recent workshop with Rosie Kelley. I absolutely love workshops that encompass lots of art! I have only posted my favorite pages from my book "Circles".....a poem written by Mary Oliver.

The paper is Arches Text Wove with Rosie's special formula of paste and paint. She also taught a lot of secret touches that make her books so unique....but they are no longer big secrets!

I sewed an antique button as the closure for my book. It seemed appropriate for my theme.

I love the dry embossing to enhance design elements for a page. The title and the window are surrounded by embossing. I added a narrow strip of paste paper to balance the window frame.

Rosie has a "bounce" to her lettering that I am crazy about. I especially like the energy that it gives to her pieces. She makes it look so natural but it takes a lot of planning to give it that particular feeling. This is my first attempt....I needs a whole lot more practice for sure!

I do love the different size letters as well. I do not enjoy lettering made using lines and perfect spacing!

The other element that Rosie does is to write over text or between lines using another color ink and hand. That technique needs planning and I did not take the time to do that.

I punched circles in the paper to continue my theme. I also added sewing with my Featherweight machine before assembling my book.

I love the scribbling that overlaps from the paste paper onto the white pages.

The square marks were made using a credit card cut to the right size and shape while the paint was still wet.

The blue paint lines were drizzled on top of the pages.

Rosie suggests making the pages different sizes and shapes to add lots of interest. I love that about my book!

Mary Oliver writes about the blue heron in her poem "Circles". I could hardly believe it when I saw this mark which looks like a bird in flight! I love it when that happens!!!

"The First Words" were written separately and then attached using French knots.

I also attached the page sewing by hand with gold metallic thread.

This is the backside of the previous page. The window is open and additional rectangle shaped pieces of paste paper were added to strengthen the window element.

I was amazed at how much of my paste paper pages worked so well with Mary's poem. "A bundle of light" was the perfect text for this snippet of paste paper.

There isn't any way one could plan out the poem during a painting process. In fact, I had no idea that I would select this poem. I only found it after I spent time with my dried painted pages when I decided that this particular poem would be perfect!

When we had time to share our finished pages with the class as a group...someone said "Oh, they look like birthday candles". And I think they are correct. But my intention was to make an interesting entrance for the next page and I really like how I was able to separate the text.

The other element that I like in my book are the tiny little circles that were added.

The Colophon is such an important page to add when making an artist book.....and then I spelled the word wrong! So I added the "o" on a separate square and glued on top of the "a"! I find that when I make mistakes....I come up with the "fix" that really enhances my work.

If I had spelled Colophon correctly the first time, I would never have been so clever.

I still have left over paste from the class. Yikes....I need to make more painted pages for a new book before it spoils!

Being house bound from the blizzard is perfect off I go to my studio now.

Twelve Days of Christmas

I received an email from Stamp Asylum in Plano, Texas informing me of Tim Holtz's 12 Days of Christmas tags. You were invited to follow Tim on his blog and make the tag each day following his step-by-step instructions.

I have gobs of art supplies and yet there were so many products he was using that I didn't have. So instead, I decided to make my own version following his techniques and design ideas. It was quite a challenge but I enjoyed the process.

Here are my tags that I made. Sorry....they do not look anything like his! I have difficulty in copying someone else's artistic vision even with permission!

This is "The First Day of Christmas" tag - "Let It Snow". It did not scan very well as you don't see the embossed snowflakes and it is hard to read "snow" but up close and personal....the tag looks yummy.

What I did follow in Tim's step-by-step instruction was the background preparation and design elements. I do not own the snowman stamp he used, however, I did borrow a stamp of a snowman along with children. That was a very cool label maker that Tim used for his text. I stamped "Let It Snow" that substituted the text for my tag. I did add the grungeboard swirl and prepared it according to Tim's instructions. The tag is so layered.....I love it!

The Second Day of Christmas tag: Tim used a metal flower element and since I did not have those, I added the paper flower using three different sizes. The bottom flower was edged using a metallic gold ink pad for added glitz.

I had the "frame" stamp that Tim used, however, I did not have the "Seasons Greetings" so again I used what I already owned. "Merry Christmas" fits well into the center of the stamp.

Tim used a great snow stamp along with dapper paint to make the snow flurries. I used Glimmer Mist, Marshmallow color and this added a fine shimmer of white on top of my tag. I think it is important to learn the techniques that Tim used on his blog. However, give yourself permission to use the products you already have in your studio. You may not be able to create all the steps but you will be surprised at how many steps you can do and the creativity that comes out in finding substitutions! I love the challenge!

The Third Day of Christmas tag: I absolutely loved making this background. Who knew that you could make your own plaid designs using alcohol inks?!! I made numerous backgrounds before I decided on this one. Check out Tim's blog to learn this technique.

Tim used an adorable Santa stamp...and since I didn't have one, I used Rudolph instead. Tim used jute string, however, I chose a country red ribbon.

The other substitution that I made was instead of the "believe" embellishment, I did have a collection of numbers....and lucky me to have found the number "25"!

And LUCKY ME!!!! I was one of the chosen winners selected from the comments left on his post for receiving a surprise! My name was one of 25 names chosen from a total over 3,000 comments! When I was in Tim's class in Dallas for three days....he gave away prizes from numerous drawings during the class time. At most, there were about 100 students in the class.....everyone won around me....but poor me....nothing! When I saw how many posts were being made....I thought "Not a snowball's chance in Hell"...but then I won! Just goes to show....someone could be me! Thanks Tim!!!!

The Fourth Day of Christmas tag has a glass slide mount that can be separated from the tag to wear as jewelry or hang on your tree. Clever Tim!

Tim made his own stamp pad (check out his blog for instructions) and used a large collage stamp. Since I did not have either of those products, I opted to make an alcohol ink background and make my own collage. I then decided to make the slide mount using the same colored background paper and image. It all coordinates well. This tag was made pretty much following all his techniques...using the bubble on top of the slide mount with glass glitter and the text "Believe".

I substituted another product for the snow and decided on red tulle in a generous amount to make up for the lack of a hanging embellishment!

I also decided to cut the original #8 tag size a bit smaller so I could frame the tag with green printed card stock. There were a lot of steps to making this tag and lots of patience waiting for the glue to dry inside the bubble! But worth the wait for sure!

I think this tag has been my favorite to make so far....The Fifth Day of Christmas!

I have loved using the clear fragments since they were first introduced to the marketplace. There is so much one can do with these's endless!

I made a couple of design changes from Tim's instructions....I added ribbons to each ornament and used buttonhole thread instead of wire. Very tiny eyelets were inserted into the tag and I added decorative paper to the back of each fragment ornament.

I did not have "greetings" as a rub-on...however, I used the rub-on sheet that was given free in my class with Tim Holtz earlier this year. I guess it is only fitting that I used the letters on this tag.

Scanning the tag did not show all the great layering of colors and text...but trust really really is gorgeous!

The Sixth Day of Christmas tag:
I did not have all the elements that Tim used....and I also changed a bit of the background preparation from his original instructions. I couldn't resist using the Crackle Paint on top of the dictionary paper....adding the large numbers of 25 and skipping entirely the "Seasons Greetings". I love the tree tied to the roof of the car. (I don't see that as much any more since everyone and his dog owns a SUV!)

I love how the cat is peeking out the back window between the tree branches, and of course, it's the lady of the house driving the tree home for decorating. In fact, that is exactly what we did today....but we left the cats at home!

FYI: Grungeboard is the material for my tag and grungepaper was used for the car and Christmas tree. So far, I have been doing a great job keeping up making the tag each day between shopping, laundry, and preparing meals. No housecleaning.....thank goodness!

The Seventh Day of Christmas tag: This little girl is so's an ATC image stamp but I decided to use it for this tag since I did not have the large Santa image Tim was using for his.

I really love the swirl background technique that Tim showed on his blog...adds lots of dimension!

My "Merry Christmas" embossed in gold did not scan well...but it is stunning. Snowflakes were my embellishment since I don't have the green and red Stickles products. I would have bordered the image with holly leaves if I had those products.

When I meet my art group next week....I am definitely going shopping for Tim Holtz's products. Hobby Lobby and Michaels are lame stores for products!!!

The Eighth Day of Christmas tag: I am becoming resigned that the only place to obtain Tim Holtz's products is to support your local rubber stamp and/or scrapbooking store! And that is EXACTLY what I plan on doing next Friday when our art group meets at Croppinsville in Collinsville! Allie will have everything I want and need!!!

So in the meantime, I am using the products and embellishments that I already have in my studio. I am following Tim's techniques...and he does a super great job explaining the steps on his blog!

Whew....I am learning all kinds of stuff!

"The Ninth Day of Christmas" tag:

Don't you just love the vintage photos! Tim allowed us to download the images from his blog for this tag.

I have found lots of stuff I forgot I owned in trying to find the stuff I do know that I own! For instance, the photo corners...I know I have them somewhere....but where? So instead, I used rub-ons.

Tim is the King on how to layer a tag! It's been lots of fun to make these tags but using the products/embellishments that I already have in my studio.

Glossy Accents was added on top of the metal numbers after the alcohol inks dried as a sealant. It also gives just the right amount of glossy to make it all very interesting!

The Tenth Day of Christmas tag:

I was excited to see the metal tag.....until I realized that I completely use all my sheet metal in another project. But wait....what about the metal tape for construction???? Oh, yeah......I even like that product better. For one, it is a whole lot cheaper and easier to work with!

So I covered my tag with the letters I wanted to use and then applied the metal tape on top. I used three strips.

Tim colored the tag in segments and sanded the top letters to reveal the silver. I decided to color the words only and using a texture tool, made a cool background.

This tag had the least amount of time spent compared to the previous tags. And if you believe in coincidence, I just received an email from And Bears Makes 3 for two metal art classes in January. I probably will change my mind about the sheet metal once I really learn the techniques. This class is being taught by Cathy Arnold, a certified instructor for Ten Seconds Studio! Can't Wait!!!

The Eleventh Day of Christmas tag:

I was amazed at the clever ideas Tim presented in making the tags. He did a great job showing the steps to follow along. The big challenge I had each day was using the products I had in my studio and resist the temptation to purchasing the stamp, paint, or embellishment. The process at first was frustrating but once I decided that I was going to only use what I had....then I came up with my own clever ideas to complete my tag. What I did do though was follow his techniques. I love how Tim layers the backgrounds.....and I will definitely do more of "that" on my future projects.

The Twelfth Day of Christmas tag:

Today is the last day of the has come to an end very fast. That just shows how fast time does fly by each day!

The paper flowers were once white but with a few sprays of Glimmer Mist, they became the Christmas Red and Christmas Green. My scanner did not show the deep colors....but they look great with the bits of gold glimmer on the pedals.

Tim used his "Wish" ticket....but I decided that I wanted "Love". It's my gift to the world.

So on December 25th, Tim will post his final instructions for the 12 Days of Christmas tags to be entered in the drawing. I am keeping my fingers crossed!


Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2010 showcases my Marie Antoinette star book. I really appreciate their photography of my artwork. All the pages were shown except for the here it is.

Angel Collage

This is the angel collage that was published in RubberStampMadness...Issue No. 166 (November, December, January 2010)with a little detail that was altered. My original piece was made using an angel image that was nude. RSM wrote a thoughtful request to me and I made another angel with a cover-up.

It is so exciting to see your artwork in print! RSM is an awesome publication to work with and I would encourage anyone who is a rubber stamper to support this publication by ordering a subscription AND submitting your artwork! GO FOR IT!


This was my first retreat experience with my sister....the whole glorious weekend! I had such a great experience....and apparently did not wear on the nerves of the others as I have been invited back for next year!....WooHoo for me!

This is a very cool bridge that we cross over from Iowa into Wisconsin. Our retreat house is high on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.

My digital camera is no longer working so I used one of the disposable cameras. Not the best photos!

The retreat house has been completely renovated keeping the character of the house. It was built during the Civil War many very cool things about this house!

This is the front door which opens in front of the stairs. On the right is the living room and the left would have been the dining room now converted to a lovely sewing room for the ladies.

I love the door bell that is mounted in the middle of the door and gives such a cool "ring".

This rug was hand painted on the wood floors at the top of the staircase. What a great slipping for sure!

There were three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. There was a half bath downstairs right next to the sewing room. The layout of this retreat house was perfect!

The kitchen was open....not too big either. Our meals were prepared by our hostess so we didn't have to worry about the prep did have a dishwasher after a visitor had written in the house journal....."we would love to have a dish washer....we want him young and handsome"! Apparently the owner of the cottage takes all hints pretty seriously. After much searching for the young and was easier to install the mechanical device!

The sitting room was so relaxing......I called it my zen room. I wrote in my journal sipping on hot tea in this room for a couple of hours in this room. The spare furnishings inspired me to get rid of unnecessary items from my own living room.

This is another view of the sitting room.

Such a lovely front porch with awesome views!

This is the hardware that was on our door. I absolutely love the old!

This was my bed....such a charming room. I am looking forward to next year...DeSoto, I come! A special thank to you Denise, owner of Quilter's Window for organizing this retreat. If you are in New Hampton, Iowa.....gotta stop and shop! Worth the trip!

The Girls

Recently my daughter hosted a jewelry party where we used her dressforms as part of the display. They eventually were all decked out with beautiful Lia Sophia jewelry!

They say not to have favorites....but I can not help it!

This bouquet filled the entire house with a lovely fragrance!

Circle Book

This is my exchange with my art group. This Circle Book was made especially for very cool lady! Of course, it HAD to be about Halloween!

Halloween ATC's

I have been working on Halloween ATC's.....31 of them! Each year I have been wanting to make a collection but never had the time. Now I am making the is just the beginning....