The Back Story

Friday, June 30, 2017

Love Shrine

 From the time I was very
young, I've loved dioramas. 

These three dimensional vignettes 
often capture a snapshot of life
which tends to spark my imagination.

I guess that's why I'm drawn to
Mexican nichos and shrine boxes. 

The one I'll share with you today
conveys a simple message. . Love. 

I started out with some nice sturdy
boxes for the base and designed
frames out of cardboard. 

More cardboard cutouts were added
to enhance the dimension. 

I then made cold porcelain clay roses. 

Cold porcelain clay was fun to 
work with, but I learned a few important things. 

First of all, don't use a good pot. 

Had I've known my pot would be ruined,
I would've bought a cheap one at the thrift store
to make the clay in. 

Next, when coloring the roses I used
markers instead of paint because it was
easier and less messy.

The problem with that is it completely
dries out the markers and then they're no good. 

Next time I'll put up with a little mess and use paint.  

After that, I covered my shrine boxes with paper mache, let
them dry, and then painted them with a base coat. 

I added some gems along with 
the roses and coated the frame with
a glitter mod podge for some extra sparkle. 

The "LOVE" letters are made
out of folded magazine pages. 
I thought it was so cute. 

I'd gone to Hobby Lobby after
Christmas and picked up a bunch of 
ornaments for a couple dollars each
with the intention of using them in my boxes. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Painting Doors

I love painting doors! 

This is a door my dear friend 
Dede asked me to paint for her. 

One side is more Mexican
folk art inspired, and the
other side is Aztec design inspired. 

The whole door took me about 
a month to complete, and I had
to commandeer our kitchen table
as my work space. 

To prepare for the project, I draped the table with 
an old cloth and laid some wooden boxes down 
for risers to elevate the door off the table. 

I used my office chair on wheels 
to maneuver around as I painted.

It worked great! 

The only downside was that we couldn't
have company for a month,
which is hard for me to do. 

I'd love to paint our
front door in a Mexican
folk art style!

I'm not quite sure my husband
would be on board with that one though. 

It can be tough at times for a color
loving gal being married to a beige loving husband. 

Fortunately, it's a small price to pay all in all. 

Thanks for visiting!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Sugar Skull Dog House

I recently finished painting another folk art 
dog house that my husband built. 

In case you missed the first one, you may
see it here

This time I started with a lighter background. 

Pink is my favorite color right
now, so I try to incorporate it whenever I can. 

I may eventually go in an add
some more detail to it, but for now it's finished.

I love Mexican and Southwest
inspired designs as you can see. 

I made sure to use all exterior house

Every time my husband and I are at 
Home Depot, I'm always checking the "oops shelf"
in the paint department. 

Now all it needs is a little Chihuahua
and we'll be all set. 

Thank you for visiting! 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Home Tweet Home Bird House Part 2

Here're the rest of the pictures
of my funky folk art bird house. 

If you missed Part 1, you can see that here.

My husband asked me to 
draw a couple designs for him 
to adhere to the sides of the house to
give it some dimension. 

I gave him my drawings and after looking at me 
quizzically for a second, 
(He's the first to admit he doesn't get art.)
he cut them out using his scroll saw 
and nailed and glued them to the house. 

He liked them much better once
he saw them in their finished state. 

I took the following picture so 
you can see that every visible 
surface is painted with some
type of design. 

I even paint a design on the bottom
(which I didn't take a picture of). 

There's more dimension and raised
elements on the back. 

I try to make the overall design balanced,
but not perfect. That's the fun of folk art for me. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Wishing you a wonderful day!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Home Tweet Home Bird House

This is the project I've 
been working on this past week. 

As I mentioned before, we're
building up our bird house collection. 

I'll post some pictures
of the other two sides on Friday. 

My husband is thinking it's too blue. 

Hmmm. . . I'll have to think about that. . . 

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Tangled Portrait

Sometimes I start
drawing and can't stop. 

Here's a prime example. 

This piece was fun as well as 
therapeutic to create. 

Repetitious drawing of shapes and designs
put me in the zone. . . . 

That's when hours pass like minutes. 

I was limited on my color
palette because I was limited on my
markers and pitt pens.

Looking forward to starting on 
a new project today. 

Make it a great day!

Thanks for visiting.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Felt Sugar Skull Magnets & Ornaments

Living in the Southwest, I have
a deep affection for all things Mexican.

I love the food, art, music, design, culture, 
you name it. 

I started making these felt sugar skulls about
a year and a half ago. 

My husband was interested in giving
his co-workers a Christmas gift
and I came up with these. 

I cut out the cardboard pattern first. 

The felt pieces were cut slightly larger than
the cardboard.

This one is a magnet that
I glued to the back. 

I used all sorts of buttons, baubles,
and jewels. 

I also added some puff paints. 

The felt is lightly glued
to the cardboard after
the faces are completed. 

Glue in ribbon at this
point if you're going to
make ornaments. 

Last step is a blanket stitch 
around the whole thing. 

I think they're so cute and
it's a very therapeutic project. 

Make it a great day! 

Thanks for stopping by. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Folk Art Bird Feeder

My husband and I finally 
hung our bird feeder. 

It's the Chirp'n Chomp Cafe
where you can eat Cheep Food.

Cheesy I know, but I'm my Fathers' daughter. 

We learned a lot with this
project. It was one of the first we
made together. 

For instance, there're some things that
need to be painted before
the piece is put together. 

You can see the inside. It's
so narrow that I can't fit
a brush to do any painting in there. 

(As I write this, I realize I probably
could've done some stamping.
I'm tempted to go do that now, we'll see.)

Fortunately, most of that blank
space will be filled with bird seed
and hopefully birds!

Most of the painting was free hand work
with the exception of the "landing pad"
where I used a paper doily as a stencil.

It's a little hard to see in the picture.

Because I couldn't reach the inside,
I made sure to cover all
the sides I could reach including the bottom.

I want it to be pretty for any
kids looking up at it. 

All that's left is to add bird
seed and see who shows up. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Hope you make it a great day!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Bird Love Drawing

I drew this lady when I was first 
experimenting with colored pencils. 

Obviously I used markers and pens as
well, but her face is colored pencil. 

I'm thinking of remaking it now that I've
learned a little more about blending
and using colored pencils. 

I say remake it, because I don't have 
the actual piece anymore.

Another mistake I mistake I made was using
more of a textured watercolor paper instead
of a smooth Bristol Paper.

There're a lot of elements to the 
design that I do like, and some I'll leave out. 

Just talking about it is stirring up  
motivation to get started.

That said, I can't get sidelined!

I have to finish my current project first.
(More on that later). 

The one thing I don't want is a room full 
of partially finished pieces.

Thanks for stopping by.
Hope you have a wonderful day. 


Friday, June 9, 2017

Mayberry Musings Embroidered Pillow

Inspired by a book I have called
Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart,
I made this pillow. 

I chose Sheriff Andy Taylor as my
subject because there's a warm spot
in my heart for the show. 

It was a rather therapeutic process, and
rewarding results came quickly. 

I think there're two more pillows
with the names Barney Fife and Aunt Bee
waiting to be stitched. 

I chose some old fabric from the
'50's as backing for the pillow. 

Guests to my home seem to love
this pillow and have someone in 
mind that it'd be the perfect gift for. 

I'd recommend checking out the
book and gleaning your own inspiration. 

It's a fun one!

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mixed Media~ "Aloha"

I had so much fun creating this piece. 

I've been dreaming of an island
getaway lately since our temperatures
have exceeded 105 this past week. 

I used texture, jewel embellishment, 
decoupage, paint, ink, pencils,
you name it. 

Today I'm working on another bird
house that my husband made last week. 

I'll post pictures of that when I'm finished. 

I'm feeling a little rushed today with
all I want to accomplish. 

Better get to it!

Happy creating and thanks for visiting. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Folk Art Dog House

My husband made this 
dog house for me to paint. 

I love black with pops of color,
so that was my starting point. 

I like the way this one turned out. 

My husband's not crazy
about the black. He prefers
the lighter backgrounds. 

That's okay, as long as the dog likes it, right?

Thanks for visiting. 


Friday, June 2, 2017

Bird House No. 3

I keep this bird house in 
my family room of all places. 

My friend gave it to me as a gift 
to paint and keep. 

She designed it and her husband built it. 

I love the shape and the bent spoon perch. 

This project was one of the first
times I used a folk art technique. 

Prior to this I was more structured
and measured in my designs. 

I'm hoping eventually to have my 
husband make a stand for it. 

I'd love to move it to our front entryway. 

Thanks for visiting!