Frosty Christmas Ornament

This time of year is always so wonderfully chaotic for everyone.  For me, I've closed a major chapter in my life by finally finishing my Bachelor's degree.  Now, I'm in the midst of applying for jobs and preparing for upcoming interviews.  Throw all of that into the mix with holiday parties, volunteer work with my husband's unit, and taking care of household stuff, it doesn't leave much room for serious crafty time. Thankfully, with the help of wonderful friends like my fellow Retro Cafe Art Gallery team members, I'm learning that bigger doesn't always mean better and that the small is just as beautiful.  This ornament was put together in about an hour including the bead work (which I've gotten quite nimble with).

First, lay down a nice coat of gesso then go over it with Snow-Tex paste.  If you don't have this wonderful faux snow paste, modeling paste is just as effective.  While it's still wet, sprinkle some Glamour Dust or any other white or clear glitter you have lying around.

I like to add my embellishments while the paste is still wet so I can embed them slightly.  It provides a nice stable base but it also lends a slightly more realistic depth with the paste creeping up the sides of your embellishments.

Add bead work.  For mine, I used my usual needle technique and applied each bead one by one.   You could also use gel medium and micro beads or even some velvet flocking.  Frosty's dear face was also done with beads.  They are glued down but I also smooshed them into the snow paste.    Finally, just finish him off with some fancy buttons or beads and a bow for his scarf.

Supply list: Retro Cafe Art Gallery Masonite Snowman Ornament DecoArt Snow-Tex Paste DecoArt Glamour Dust Clear Glue Beads Ribbon


Jackolynn the Pumpkin Witch

I admit it!  I'm a sucker for pretty paper!  The paper I used for this Halloween gem for Retro Cafe Art Gallery I have been holding on to for years.  You see, I started out as a scrapbooker so I had built up this massive stash of paper.  Fast forward a number of years and I realized that I am probably done with the scrapbooking arena and have my feet firmly planted in the realm of mixed media.

However, the urge to play with paper comes along every now and then and I have to dig through the very little paper I kept and put it to good use.  This piece uses K & Company's "Que Sera Sera" paper pad.

One of my favorite things to do is to make the simple look complex and complicated.  Jackolynn was constructed using the simplest of techniques.  You'll be amazed.

Step 1:  Grab that paper you've been hoarding and get ready to hack into it.  Trace each piece and cut them out.  Glue each cut piece to its substrate.  See that file in the photo below?  It is THE key to get nice, flush, and fresh edges.

Step 2:  Use an ink pad to ink your edges.  Ready for the mind blower?  Embossing powder!  Get your embossing pad and powders and go to town on those edges!

Step 3:  For the base, add moss for an instant upgrade!

Step 4:  Assemble your pieces and admire at how simple it was to do!

Supply List:

Retro Cafe Art Gallery Articulated Victorian Pumpkin Art Doll Kit Retro Cafe Art Gallery Pumpkin and Jack-O-Lantern Cut-Outs Retro Cafe Art Gallery Mini Bats Cut-Outs Iced Enamels Relique Powder Carnelian Piccolo Embossing Powders: Gilded Rose Gold, Shamrock Dreams, Girls Night Out, Mossy Glen Embossing ink E6000 adhesive K & Company "Que Sera Sera" patterned paper floral moss printable face


A Return and a Flaming Heart

Oh man does it feel GREAT to be back!  When the lovely Kristin of Retro Cafe Art Gallery decided to take some time away in order to prepare for the arrival of her gorgeous daughter, I thought it would be a good time to just relax, enjoy the down time and focus on other avenues such as school.  Now that the shop is open, it's time to give this space here a little much needed TLC and what better way to start off on a new foot than sharing my HEART with all of you!

I'm always a sucker for shrines, shadow boxes, and niche boxes and this is one I've had in my stash for some time now.  To sit down with the pieces and paint and just let the process take over was pure magic.

After seeing some beautiful Mexican folk art pieces by my fellow Art Sister, Kim Collister, I was inspired.  I just let the vision in my mind flow through my hands but at the same time, I wanted to keep an element of traditional inspiration in the piece.

Shall we take a journey into my technical process?

Step 1:  Prep your Fancy Flaming Heart Milagro Shrine pieces with some gesso and color those babies!  Go wild, honey!  Go.  Wild.

Step 2:  Bust out that acrylic paint and sponge brush and go to town!  I like the bumpy look so I dabbed the paint onto the heart rather than brush it on.  You can also dab it onto your hands.  I may or may not have done so myself.Step 3:  Add more color and accent with some shading.  Like splatters?  Then splatter away!  (Mine ended up getting covered up, but I'm okay with that.)Step 4:  Glue everything together.  If you are like me and use E6000 or Goop, don't forget to open a window.  I think I may have gotten a wee bit loopy unintentionally huffing the Goop.  I'm a sucker for beads and if you've seen my work, you'd already know this about me.  Why should this piece be any different?

Step 5:  More fine beading on the flames and tips.  For the niche, add some glue and dump some microbeads into it.  Why wait for that glue to dry?  Bust out the Goop (and a fan!) and glue your charm in.  Lovin' my dainty border?  Take a length of seven of the small daisy chain dresden and cut that baby in half.  Be sure to use super sharp scissors!

Step 6:  Make a margarita, sit back, and just admire your creative process!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy not only my return to blogging but the re-opening of Retro Cafe Art Gallery.  I'm sure I speak for the rest of my Art Sisters by saying we are thrilled to be BACK!

Supply List: Fancy Flaming Heart Milagro Shrine Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint "Gold Rush" Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint "Rich Turquoise" Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint "Fresh Orange" Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint "Ancient Coin" Finnabair Art Ingredients Micro Beads "Copper" Relics & Artifacts® Dresden Trim "Daisy Chain-Small" Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint "Cadmium Red Medium Hue" E6000 Glue Milagros Charm Seed Beads



"Springy Summer" Santos Birdcage ATC Shrine Doll

Santos ATC Fairy 1It seems that Spring is in full swing and Summer is hot on its heels.  Here in Okinawa, that means we are in rainy season as well as the early part of typhoon season.  It's been rather dreary lately so I needed a burst of "Spring Meets Summer" sunshine in my life.  Cue my "Springy Summer" Santos doll complete with an ATC birdcage bottom.

Santos ATC Fairy 2 She is just so peaceful and serene.  Just looking at her makes me smile and just savor the moment.

Santos ATC Fairy 4 Her not-so-gilded cage holds what I think to be hope for a bright and full bloom sunshiny season.

Santos ATC Fairy 6 And because I'm a sucker for details, we can't leave out her vivid body and it's adornments.

Santos ATC Fairy 5 How did I put her together?  It's actually quite easy and I use techniques and products you probably already have in your stash!

Step 1: Find some lush paper you just can't get enough of.  Trace the outline of her rather svelte torso.  Cut and adhere using gel medium.  Don't have gel medium?  No problemo!  Bust out that glue stick or tape runner and get to stickin'.

Tip:  If you use a digital collage like I used from Tumble Fish Studio and printed it out using an inkjet printer, spray a fixative over the top before applying the gel.

Santos ATC 1 Step 2: Grab yourself the beautiful "Wings" collage sheet from Retro Cafe Art.  Adjust the size of the wings using editing software.  Simply cut, paste and apply some sparkly goodness to make them shine.  I used some Stickles on mine.

Santos ATC 2 copy Step 3: Let's give this li'l mama a face!  I find the best mould for these types of faces is by Sculpey.  It's the "Art Doll" mould.  Squish some polymer clay into the mould and pop it out once you're satisfied with the shape.  Bake your clay castings on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a preheated oven at 275*F.  Typical baking time is 15 minutes per 1/4" thickness.  Once your clay has cooled completely, mix together some acrylic paint to achieve your desired flesh tone.  Set aside to dry completely.

Tip:  No parchment paper? No problem!  Just cover your cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Also, her headpiece in the finished photo is cut from the "Valentine's Day Patterns" collage sheet.

Santos ATC 3 Step 4: Let's get busy on this cage!  Dig through your stash and pull out those ancient embossing powders because they are going to get a workout today!  I used powders by Piccolo because I love the depth of color they have but you can use whatever your heart desires.  Apply and emboss just like you used to do back when heat embossing was cool.

Santos ATC 4 Step 5: Once your pieces have cooled, glue the doll to the top of the cage and attach the hanging chain for the flower piece using hot glue.  Cut a piece from the Black Scroll dresden trim.  Remove any undesired pieces so that your scrolly piece fits nicely at the doll's waist.

While you're at it, spray some of the Mini Scalloped dresden trim bright yellow.  Let it dry to the touch and glue it onto the top of the cage.  You can glue it all the way around if you choose but it might make assembly of the cage a little difficult.  For this step, I only glued the front border.

Santos ATC 5 Step 6: Now it's time to work some magic.  Grab the pieces of the cage and apply Verday paint according to the instructions on the paint.  Since I wanted a two-tone look on the door of the cage, I taped off the center design so that it wouldn't be affected by the iron paint.  Once the iron paint had oxidized, I went ahead and used brass on the inside.

Tip:  I tried a little experiment to see if the oxidation process would be affected if I used a heat gun.  The answer to that is a resound, "YES!"  It not only hampers the process; it completely nullifies it.  Let the patina spray do its magic, which means you have to have some patience and about 4 hours of time.  Since I did a two-step process, total curing time was about 8 hours.

Santos ATC 6 Step 7: Just look at all of that patina goodness!  Patience really does pay off when using this paint.  Now it's time to glue together the pieces of the cage.  For this step, you want to use a really strong adhesive.  I busted out my "mama means business" glue, E6000.

Santos ATC 7 Step 8: I hope you left your glue gun plugged in.  To apply the mossy floor, just squirt that glue all over the bottom and press the moss directly into it.  Remove any glue strings and watch your fingers.

Tip:  When gluing the moss, be mindful of the cage door that needs to close.  Don't apply the moss all the way to the front edge of the cage.  I'm not saying that *I* made that mistake, though there is a very strong possibility I *might* have. ::sheepish grin::

Santos ATC 8 Step 9: Dig through your stash or just go ahead and pull the trigger on the "Flora" Relics & Artfacts® set you've had in your Retro Cafe Art cart for ages now.  Lay down a coat of gesso and let it dry.  Once it's dry, apply a coat of whatever color you choose.  I went for a tone on tone look to get some depth on the flower.  That Royal Red metallique paint looks simply lush against red acrylic paint.  Just sayin'.

Tip:  Use Inka Gold paint in Lava Red for added pop on the edges of the flower.

Santos ATC 9 Step 10: Attache a good sized jump ring and hang your flower from the chain.  Glue butterfly to the flower if you decided to add one like I did in the finished photos.

Santos ATC 10 Step 11: Doodle away!  I doodled on the door of the cage, the scrolly piece on the doll's waist, and the doll's wings.

Santos ATC 11 And there you have it!  It seemed complicated right?  But it's not.  It's mostly a lot of "paint drying" time but the patience totally pays off in the end.


Supply List: 3-D Articulated Birdcage Doll ATC Shrine Kit "Wings" Digital  Collage Sheet "Valentine's Day Patterns" ATC Backgrounds Collage Sheet "Art Doll" Faces Sculpey Push Mold Sculpey III Polymer Clay Black Scroll Decorations Dresden Trim White Mini Scallops Dresden Trim VerDay Paint & Patina Set "Flora" Relics & Artifacts® "Royal Red" Metallique Paint 

Other Supplies: "Cut ApART" digital kit "Mossy Glen" Piccolo embossing powder "Lemon Zest" Dylusions Spray "Butter" Heidi Swapp Color Shine White Signo pen E6000 Glue Moss Acrylic Paint Hot Glue

A Wreath With School Spirit

Hello!  I hope everyone is doing well.  I know I've been doing great and keeping busy.  Speaking of busy, I have another ribbon tutorial for you today.  How about sassing up your front door or another space with wreath that just wreaks of college spirit?  Especially with football season quickly approaching, this little project is perfect.

My stepdad is a graduate from The "U", University of Utah, so that makes my mom and he huge fans.  They go to as many of the games as they can.  I made this wreath for him.

Let's get started with this ridiculously simple wreath.  Here's what you'll need.  And I mean NEED!  Just look at that glorious ribbon!!


  • May Arts Ribbon (376-1-14 (red), 376-1-10 (black), TG10 (black stripe), TG14 (red stripe), 448-78-01 (white), 412-10 (black))
  • Wreath Form
  • Wood Letter
  • Paint (I used Liquitex, Golden Black Gesso and Golden White Gesso.)
  • Straight Pins
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scor-Pal Scor-Tape (1/8")
Wood letter, twine and paints not shown

 Step 1:

Cut your ribbon into strips measuring about 3 or 4 inches.  And who says stripping is bad?  ::snort::

Step 2:

Fold a single strip of ribbon into a loop and pin the ends with a straight pin.  Don't forget an awesome manicure to go along with your fabulous technique!  ;)

Step 3:

Stick that sucker into the wreath form.

Keep making loops and cluster them together.

Keep gettin' loopy and sticky and watch your wreath come together.

In the time it takes you to gulp down an extra dirty martini, you end up with the fluffy ring of wonderfulness.

Step 4:

"OOoooOOOooh" and "AAAaaaaaAAAh" at your fabulous creation.

Step 5:

Make another martini.  Ok.  This step is optional but why not celebrate your wonderful wreath??

Step 6:

Paint your letter and add twine if you feel so tickled to.  Once the paint dries, bust out that bad boy of a hot glue gun and glob the glue onto the back of the letter and plop it onto your fabulously created wreath.

Step 7:
Sit back and "OOoooOOOoh" and "AAaaaaAAh" once more while polishing off that martini.

Needless to say, I can't wait to box this up and send it on its merry way to its new home.

Cheers!  ::hiccup:: 

A Few of My Favorite May Arts Projects....And A Tutorial!

Hi everyone!  It's that time for me to gear up and try to see if I can stay on the May Arts team for another term.  I seriously love this company and the people who run it behind the scenes.  If you are interested, you can check out the deets here.

Now on to the business at hand.  Here are some of my favorite projects I've made while on this team.

First up is a wreath I made using burlap and some of the other textured and patterned ribbons available from May Arts.  This wreath was made for the Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim this past January.  Each of the flowers are hand made with the exception of the Prima flowers in the centers.

Next up is a set of candles I made for my dearest friend, Liz.  I bought some plain white candles then stained them using some alcohol ink.  Once the ink dried, I applied some Mod Podge to the lower halves and rolled them in a chunky clear glitter.  To seal in the ink, I sprayed an acrylic sealer onto the candle.  To dress them up, of course I used some May Arts ribbon.

Please note that because of the plastic glitter and the acrylic sealer, these candles are not burnable.  If you want to burn the candles, just leave off the glitter and the sealer.

Finally, I have a HUGE tutorial for you.  By "huge", I mean it's a long one.  When you hear "ribbon", what is one of the first things you think of?  I think of cute hair bows.  But see, I have a problem.  I cannot tie a "pretty bow" to save my life!  I am what I like to call "bow challenged".  With that said, I came across an amazing tutorial that didn't require any actual tying!  SCORE!

Here's what you will need.
  • 31 inches of your favorite ribbon.  (I used May Arts' 1.5" wide black and ivory grosgrain, RG10)
  • 5 inches of the same ribbon (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Decorative embellishment (optional)
  • Large clasp barrette
  • Marker
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot glue gun

Step 1:

Mark your ribbon at 3.5" from the end using a marker.  It is easier if you use a marker that bleeds through to the other side.  There is no need to worry about seeing the marks as these are only your stitch lines, which you will see later.

Step 2:

Begin marking your ribbon every 6 inches.  You will end up with a total of 5 markings on your ribbon.

Step 3:

Begin stitching using a running stitch.  Start with your first marking you made and stitch from the bottom up.

Step 4:

Flip the ribbon over so that the other end is going the other way and continue stitching.  You should be looking at the backside of your ribbon.  I used a ribbon that has matching front and back so it is hard to tell.

Step 5:

Continue stitching back and forth until you have stitched together all of your marked lines.

Step 6:

Gently pull the thread and bunch the ribbon down at the knot.  Shape your bow the best you can.  See?  You can't see any of the markings you've made.

Step 7:

Next, wrap the thread around the gathering and take a few stitches to hold the bow in place. 

Step 8:

Glue the bow to the barrette clasp.

Step 9:

Take the 5" length of ribbon and fold it into thirds lengthwise.

If you have decided to use an embellishment, now is the time to glue it onto your bow and call it finished.

Step 10:

Tie a loose knot at the center of the ribbon then glue it to the bow.

Here's what it looks like attached.

Step 11:

Secure the ends onto the underside of the barrette using hot glue and trim the tails.  Finally, sit back and admire!  Ooooh!  Aaaaah!

See?!  I told you they would be easy as pie.


How To Use An Oversize Embellishment

Good morning Muses!  I hope you are all doing well!  If you are here from the GlobeCraft & Piccolo blog, then you must've seen my tutorial on how to put this little gem together.

Now I'm going to show you how to actually USE this piece on a card.  As you can tell from the markings on my (much used, abused, and never clean) cutting mat, this piece is approximately 5.5" tall.  That's a big honkin' embellishment.

The key to using over-sized elements is to keep everything else to a minimum.  Also, since the paper I used on the teapot is pretty busy, the background should be simple and neutral so as to not take away from the focal point, nor overwhelm the eye is too  much awesome.

I chose to use kraft paper with a darker brown matting.

Anything else you add needs to be understated and subtle.  For my sentiment, I used an epoxy sticker from "Cashmere Dame" and put it in a discreet spot.

Finally, to add that final "something", I used my brand new, nifty glittery hot glue sticks and added some glittery dots along the sides.  Once those cooled down, I called this card done!

Thanks for taking a look and if you haven't checked out how I put together the teapot, please head on over to the GlobeCraft blog and give it a read through.  It really is a lot simpler than it looks!


Steampunk Watch

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Good morning!  I have a very cool little tutorial to share with you today using some awesome Globecraft Memories and Graphic 45.

I love how this turned out!  This is pretty easy to put together but it does take some time.  Here's what you'll need:

Globecraft Memories Steampunk Watch Ornament
Piccolo "Vintage Black" Embossing Powder
Piccolo "Victorian Bronze" Embossing Powder
Piccolo "Vintage Silver" Embossing Powder
Piccolo "Vintage Gold" Embossing Powder
Piccolo Embossing Powder Adhesive
Piccolo "Vintage Gears" Accents
Piccolo 3D Enamel Gel in "Metallic Gold"
Scrapbook Paper (I used Graphic 45's "Steampunk Debutante")
Tim Holtz Ball Chain
Heat Tool

Step 1:  Punch the pieces of the ornament out and heat emboss the elements you wish.

Step 2:  As the heat embossed pieces are cooling, add the 3D gel to the ring at the top of the ornament as well as the numbers of the clock.

Step 3:  Cut your scrapbook paper to the appropriate size and shape of the pieces you would like covered.

Step 4:  Use a needle to punch the hole in the center of the oval scrapbook paper so that the brad will slide in and hold the clock hands in place.

This is the backside of the oval piece after my paper has been glued on.

Step 5:  Start assembling your ornament.  This is a good time to adhere the gears where you want around or inside the frame.  I glued mine between the layers so that they stick out along the sides.

Step 6:  Finish assembling your ornament and add your final touches.  I chalked my edges and added a ball chain around the outside of the bubble.

This really is a fun and super easy project to put together.  For another tutorial on how to use a bubble frame as a stand up card, visit the GlobeCraft Memories blog and get crafty!

Who Says Steampunk Has To Be Brown?!

Hello Muses!  I hope you are all doing well!  I have another post for you today with a tutorial.  We all know steampunk is all the rage.  While I love the traditional steampunk colors of brown, cream, black, and metals, I think it's great to shake things up a bit.

I made this pendant using GlobeCraft Memories' bookboard bezels.

This pendant is super easy to put together.  It's quick too!  Here's how to do it yourself!

1.  Pick a large book board bezel.  I used the large teardrop.  Then run it through an embosser to add some texture.  I ran mine through a Cuttlebug using Tim Holtz's "Diamond Plate" embossing folder.

Large Book Board Teardrop Bezel

2.  Choose an embossing powder and heat emboss.  I used "Girls' Night Out" and did a total heat set.  You can do a flash heat set for even more added texture.

Girls' Night Out Embossing Powder

3.  Embellish to your heart's delight.  I wanted to keep a steampunk look to mine so I used Prima's awesome gears and a Prima light bulb.

It really is a quick and simple project for anyone.  For another steampunk tutorial with some awesome heat embossing, check out the GlobeCraft & Piccolo blog!


The May Arts Christmas Blog Hop Continues!

Today is day four of the May Arts Christmas blog hop.  If you missed the first three days and want to catch up, head on back to the May Arts blog.

Today's line up is below.  You should've arrived here from the May Arts blog. There's also a chance for a giveaway!

  • Christina    (You are here!)
  • Gini           
  • Emily          
  • Marie                
  • Montina   

Here's my project.  I have always wanted to dress up some candles.  I picked up some plain white candles and took my alcohol inks to them.  Add some marvelous May Arts ribbon and some embellishments and I now have some pretty candles!

Normally, if you just use alcohol ink, you can still burn them.  These candles aren't burnable because I used an acrylic sealer as well as mod podge and plastic glitter.  These are strictly for looks.

The "usual" way to use alcohol inks on candles is to drip them onto the candle and let them run.  Then roll in the excess ink that drips off the candle.  For mine, I wanted a more subtle look.  I applied the alcohol ink using my alcohol ink applicator and let it dry.  Then I sprayed an acrylic sealer over the whole thing.

To get the glitter on the bottom, just spread some mod podge onto the the candle and roll in clear, chunky glitter. 

Look for pretty finds and hardware around your house or in the dollar bin at the store.

To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment along the way!  You'll be entered into the drawing for FOUR SPOOLS of your choice from the Ribbon Lady!

Thanks for hopping along with the Ribbonistas.  Your next stop is Gini.