Category Archives: Life Book 2016

Life Book Week 24 – Dancing With Shadows

This week’s lesson with Tamara Laporte was about dealing with the inner critic and dealing with change.  The technique was to use symbolism and transformation in our work. Hence we did a paint over collage.  I did a similar class last year in Life Book in 2015, but I can tell I’ve learned more about shape shadow and color.

I began by looking through my fashion magazines for a three to four inch face without a big smile.  I had several girls I wanted to paint, but I chose the 3/4 face because I wanted to practice.  I’m taking a portrait class at the Community College and I’m also working on a 3/4 face.

After I found the girl, I found a really nice tiger to sit by her.  I then collaged other magazine pages that I thought would go well with the theme on awatercolor paper block.

Here is the before picture.  Tam said not to go overboard with the collage, but I loved all these designs so much I had to include them.


The next step was to add clear gesso and start painting the face.  It doesn’t look like much, yet!


In a few hours, I was able to transform the girl into a jungle girl and her tiger.


Tamara added an aura around her, but I decided to add a glow around her face.  The flowers around her head are also from a magazine and the butterflies are from a collage page and that peacock was also part of the page I cut out.  I added some green branches and a few rub ons.


 The tiger is very dignified, but he allowed me to put a butterfly on his head.  I added a rub-on that says “live free.”


Here are a few close-ups around the main image.The four leaf flowers were part of the collage and I just added more color around the leaves and a rub-on in the middle.  I also finished her off by adding white dots all over her hair and a few on her face where I had laid my finger, so I went with more dots.  The Imagine word is also a rub-on.


And this is the close up of the face with all the white dots.


This is another one of my favorite projects of Life Book 2016 and my husband made me feel so good when he exclaimed “That’s beautiful, bet one ever.”  What a sweet thing to say.  I think he’s a keeper!

I though I’d show you my work in progress for my portrait class.


As you can see I need to paint the flowers and a wide brim hat.

Here’s a close up of the face,


and the tulips at the bottom of the canvas.  There’s still lots of details and tweaking to do, so I’ll post the finished product next week.


Thank you for stopping by, and keep on creating!


Life Book 2016 – Week 23

Your Inner Wizard with Jenny Grant

This week’s lesson was delightful!  Jenny is a new artist to me.  Her art is so ethereal.  I love her grungy style.  There are so many layers in my painting, I think I got heavy-handed again with the gold highlights.

I love the see through effect I got in some places.  I started out collaging papers – which I found very meditative.  Then I used acrylic paint to stamp several layers on the corners with foam stamps.  I let those dry, then added more colors in complimentary hues.


After those layers dried, I drew the face with a stabilo all black pencil, then I added flowers with molding paste through a stencil.  I couldn’t find the stencil I like, so I picked a bigger one because the face I drew only used half of the canvas and I didn’t want to leave a large empty space.  I also used a Tim Holtz stencil with white molding paste and waited for it to dry.  Then, I smoothed it down using fine sand paper.


I also added a single flower on the lower left side.  I really love that all the layers can be seen here. I dripped some see throuogh liquid acrylic paint for contrast and to give it a grunch look, but I was afraid I would drip too much on the face; afterwards I thought I should have dripped some paint on the side of her face.  In this photo you can see the different media I used including the sketching.


 I added Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold for a reddish gold hue, and sepia acrylic color to the edges to frame it.  To make it shine, I used gold acrylic paint on the surface of the dried stenciled molding paste.  I just love all the layers that can be seen in the lower right corner.


Lastly, I added translucent white acrylic paint on her face and some white highlights on her upper eye lids, bellow her eyebrows, on her nose and a bit on her lips.


Since I used a 12×12 flat canvas, I’m going to buy a frame for it because this is one of my favorite paintings so and probably more to come!

Thanks for coming by, and please leave me a comment.  I want to know what you think.

Have an awesome week and be crafty!


Life Book 2016 – Week 22 with Kristin Dudish


a game for facing your fears….


This week’s lesson was taught by Kristin Dudish.    I added a link to her facebook page because we’ve been having issues with the NING site and cannot download the class or any of the links.

But that’s all right because Tamara gave us another link to download the lessons and the PDFs.

I found this class very interesting and enjoyable.  We had to take a picture and divide it in 2 inch squares.  I loved doing this because when I was younger I loved to take puzzles like these and see if the final picture looked like the picture in the magazine.

I’m obsessed with Frida Kahlo and there are some great black and white pictures of her.  I googled her and came up with this one.


I cut her up in 2×2 inch squares and using another paper with 2×2 blank squares I proceeded to draw and paint what I saw.  Shapes –  triangles, squares, circles, lines; no flowers, eyes, chins, etc. – just shapes. The media I used were, watercolor crayons, regular crayola crayons, prima coloring pencils, charcoal, plain pencil, pastels, oil pastels, water-color pastels, a regular ball point pen, watercolor pencils, black india ink, acrylic paints, and dots done with a pen.


This is a closeup.  You can see some of the media was hard to match up to the different squares, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing this morning.  I can see where I need to pay closer attention to the different shapes so they can match up better.


That’s it for this weeks lesson

I’ll be playing with this technique again, for sure!

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave me a note, either way, I love to read comments.

See ya’ next time.


Life Book 2016 – Weeks 19 – 21

I’m back with Life Book 2016, but hadn’t had a chance to post my lessons because I’ve been busy making graduation cards for the kids in my congregation and especially my grandson’s.  I will post those pictures later.

Week 19 – Your Normal is Not the World’s Normal – With

Wyanne Thompson

Oh my!  This lesson really touched my heart because Wyanne has gone through a life changing event.  In 2013 she was diagnosed with head and neck Cancer.  The doctor gave her a choice of undergoing a 12 hour radical surgery, chemo, and radiation or saying goodbye.  She decided on surgery and had her whole tongue removed plus many lymph nodes.  She had to take a year off to recuperate and now she has a feeding tube to help her get liquid food.  I admire her so much!

When I heard her story about her husband fussing over her coughing, she just told him it was normal, but her husband said “Your normal is not the world’s normal” which gave her a jolt, it reminded me about what I went through eight years ago.

I also had that experience after I had my mastectomy.  Three days after I came home from the hospital, I developed a high fever that knocked me off my feet.  My husband, who took very good care of me through the whole nine yards, took me back to the surgical clinic and it was determined that I had an infection at the site of the wound.  One of the surgical interns proceeded to squeeze out the pus out of the wound and insert gauze.  They also sent a sample of the pus to the lab for culture.  This event was worse than my mastectomy!  Then he sent me home with antibiotics and gauzes so my husband could clean out the wound twice a day.

Thee days after getting home from the pus squeezing, I developed another fever, so back we went to the emergency room this time.  Since I was still recuperating, they put me in an isolation room and the doctor returned with the results of the culture and informed us that it was MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria.  They changed my medication and sent me home to return and see my surgeon again in five days.

During those five days I was so depressed and felt like crying all the time.  Finally I went to see the surgeon and as he was examining me I told him I just want to get back to normal.  And he said to me, “This is your new normal.”

So, I know exactly what Wyanne was talking about.  When you realize that you will never be the same person ever again, it jolts you back to reality – a new reality.

But, anyway, let’s get back to lesson 19.

Since Wyanne has no tongue, she tries her best to talk, but she can’t be understood, so her lesson had captions to help us follow her instructions.  I really had to pay attention with this one!

Wyanne, taught a new technique; drawing a face, then using tracing paper to copy the drawing, but then attaching the tracing paper to the side of the watercolor paper and adding india ink to it then smooshing it to the watercolor paper.  She said this technique was made famous by Andy Warhol.  After the india ink dried, we used watercolors and washi tape for the embellishments.

This is my project. I’m afraid of spiders, so I drew a tarantula and put her right on my shoulder – it seems harmless enough!


The Lotus represents the scar I have from my Mastectomy.


After posting this, I realized this girl either has no pupils or her pupils are dilated, LOL.  She has a strong character, though!

Week 20 – Bonus: Expressive Mixed Media Portrait with Pauline Agnew

This week Pauline showed us how to draw an expressive portrait using a picture from a portrait one of the masters painted.

I googled “portrait of a girl painted by the Masters,” and I liked this one the best, but I forgot to write down who the artist was 😦

I then proceeded to very carefully draw the girl using an Inktense pencil in black, indigo, and brown.  As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the angle of the face just right, but I did manage to follow along with Pauline and using her direction, this is what I came up with.


The background was made by smooching some paint from a pallet paper and giving it a twist.  I did several smoochings until I came out with one I could use.


I think she has a serene look and I like it a lot!  Although some people are entitled to their opinions, one person said it was a bunch of BS.  I don’t care, I love how this came out, don’t you?


 Week 21 – Her Light Shines Brightly with Renata Loree


Oh my!  This was intimidating and very creative!!  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making girls with different head positions and this is exactly what I had to do in this one.

Renata is also a past Life Book student. It’s really amazing how she has grown and developed her art work.  Now she is teaching!  I’ve seen some of her work in other places and I’ve been wanting to make girls that look like they’re glowing and looking up.  Renata was so generous because she was very accommodating.  She had two different lessons.  In the first video she showed us how to do a face looking up, but if we found it difficult, she also posted a front facing face and different techniques!  I thought that was awesome!

The lesson was done completely in watercolor, with the exception of using a stencil to transfer the different objects on the page.  I tried three different girls.  The first one I did without editing myself.  I just went through the whole lesson following her instructions.  There were different aspects I like about each one.  In the first one, I liked how the hands turned out, but not the face as you can see here.

Girl #1

I didn’t even finish her because I thought I would give it another try.  I do like the background stencil, but her neck was too long.  I did not draw a mandala because I’m terrible at it and I don’t feel comfortable doing it, but I took a stencil that was not proportionate and outlined it with a pencil then added the different colors on it.


She is not looking up, she’s looking at me, but her hands are great!


Girl #2

On this one, I love the softness of the watercolors and that you can see the Lotus I stenciled in, but the hands look out of proportion.  This girl is looking up, though.  Doesn’t she look like she’s coming out of the water?

Lotus Girl

Girl #3

Ah, this one looks so much better looking straight on, but her hands looks like a cartoon character’s hands,   For this one I took my time laying down the watercolors then applying a sticky Martha Stewart stencil and running gesso through it.  It was fantastic the way it came out!  The lines were crisp and bright.  I also used the gesso to simulate the light rays.  Because of the purple watercolor I used on the background, I couldn’t get her face to look right, but, hey, it’s not real!


There you have it, my crafty friends, three lessons in one post.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end.

I hope to see your comments, which make me very happy!

Until next time, happy crafting!!


PS After I finished writing this post, Renata posted on our private FB page that we can make the colors more transparent and make it like she’s shining by spraying some water on the piece and taking a paper towel and lightly lifting some of the color off.  I’m going to try that for sure!!


Life Book 2016 – Your Story, Your Altar

Welcome back my crafty friends!  I’m posting a little late because I was focused on something else last week and didn’t have time to finish my lesson, but here it is!

Your Story, Your Altar with Roxanne Cobble

Roxanne’s specialty is journaling, but I did her lesson on a regular 11 x 14 watercolor page to include in my Life book folder.

I started out by collaging different ephemera (magazine cut-outs) one with a focal point that I could paint over with acrylic colors to match, then added other complimentary colors.  After that was done, I jotted down events that made a big impact in my life and I illustrated them on the focal point ephemera.

The biggest impact in my life was when my dad, my husband, and I went through Cancer, one right after the other.  It all started with my dad.  At this time he was getting incontinent and I would always ask someone to please go with him to the bathroom.  One day, I asked a friend to go with him and after he met me at the table, he said my dad was bleeding.  My dad didn’t want to bother me so he hadn’t told me he was having problems.  I took him to see his regular doctor who then sent him to a urologist.  After examining him, he said he had a Cancerous tumor in his bladder.  He was 97 years old at the time and the urologist said that if he was his father, he wouldn’t do anything about it and just let him run the course. I thought o myself, “Well, he is not your father, so let’s do something about it!”

He had the tumor removed and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment – and yes, he survived.  The funny thing about all this is that my dad had a great attitude, or maybe memory lapses, through the whole process and would ask  what were the treatments for every single time.  I would remind him that he had Cancer, and he would say, “No, I don’t have Cancer!”  Perhaps that’s what helped him get through it.  And I’m thankful for that!  He lived two more years after this, but died of pneumonia, not Cancer five months short of his 100th birthday.

Then my husband’s PSA was checked on one of his routine appointments and the numbers were higher than normal.  He had another one done a month afterward and that’s when he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.  The Urologist gave him a choice to just wait and see or have treatments.

After many weeks of research, he decided that the best thing for him would be to have a prostatectomy.  “Get it out!” He said.

He had a wonderful young surgeon who believed in saving as much as he could of the nerves in the area, and left markers where the prostate was so the affected area could be found by an X-ray in case his counts went up again.  A year later, his numbers did go up again, but thanks to the markers the surgeon left in his body, he went through radiation treatments and killed what cells were left!

While my husband was going through his surgery, I started  having some unusual pain in my right breast.  I didn’t pay much attention to it because I was taking care of both my dad and my husband and I didn’t have time for me, until the pain got so sever I couldn’t touch my breast.  A few weeks later, my breast developed an “orange peel” skin.  That’s when I decided I better go see my doctor.

I explained what was going on but he refused to look at my breast because I had just had my yearly mammogram and it came back normal.  Instead, he sent me to get an ultrasound.  As I lay on the examining table, I could hear the tech say every once in a while, “Mmh” and she kept going back and forth to the same place.  I asked her, “Is something wrong?”  She replied, “Oh, no, nothing.  Your breast is very dense and I can’t see anything on the screen.”

The next week, I went back to the doctor and he said the ultrasound was normal, but I was adamant that something was wrong.  He insisted that everything was OK, but I was convinced otherwise.  So, he sent me to a surgeon who took one look at my breast and set me up for a biopsy.

 My mother had Breast Cancer and I felt the tumor before she went in for surgery, so I though I knew what to look for, but this was different.  Hers was a solid hard mass.  What I felt was pain around the areola and the breast was very tender.  Sadly, my mother succumbed to the disease after fighting it for eight years.  I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me.

So a word of advice to you, my friends; if something does not feel normal, please check it out and insist on getting a second opinion.  It could save your life.

To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  Left untreated it could lead to the Cancer breaking through the wall of the duct to other parts of the body.  The Oncologist said the tumor was 8 cm. and gave me a rating of Stage IIIA.  I had a good chance of survival because it was confined to the breast area and a few lymph nodes.

After undergoing chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation.  I am still here and in remission now for nine years this coming May.

See, I told you Cancer has made a big impact in, not only my life, but the life of my loved ones as well.

Thanks for sticking with me this far!  So now on to my project.


In this picture you can see the important events in my life in addition to the Cancer story.  I married my husband in 1972, I had my daughter in 1975; the moving van indicates the 13 moves we’ve made, and the best vacation ever – Cancún, Mexico, and of course, my art is in the middle of everything!


I did add other events that had a big impact in my life, but the focal point is Cancer and Hope!


I added “this is where God lives.”


Another sad event in my life, was the divorce from my first husband.  It wasn’t all sad, because I had my first child, a son,  in 1970.


I added the feathers as a symbol of “finding my wings”

You will notice that in addition to the doodling, I also added stamping.


I stamped, “The best things aren’t things” in this section.


I also added  metallic molding paste in two different colors through one of Heidi Swapp’s new art screen, Dream.



Our favorite vacation destination, Lake Tahoe.


I spent a lot of time adding doodles which help me relax while sitting with my dear hubby watching TV.


I added this last image of a girl in a canoe, because I’m afraid of water and I’m hoping one day to get in the water and swim – that’s a Big Dream for me!


Thanks for coming by, and hope you return to visit again!!

Hugs, and well wishes!


Life Book 2016 Weeks 14 and 15

Week 14 – Our Lady of Compassion with Shilo Sophia

Retitled:  Compassion Personified

Shilo Sophia is a beautiful person on the outside as well as the inside.  She is part of the Contemporary Symbolist Movement.

She puts her heart and soul into every painting she creates and does it all with deep spirituality.  She is also a wonderful poetess.

I am a deeply spiritual person also, but I  follow the Bible’s teachings of worshipping only one God.  therefore, I followed the way she painted, but not her form of spirituality

I was having problems with the video stopping, and going, and getting no voice, so I just clicked on the progression bar and followed her technique.

I didn’t take more time than I needed because I wanted to finish it up quickly, but I think I will be taking one of her free class just to see what I missed in the Life Book class.  I’m sure there will be lots of techniques I can use for future projects.   She really made it very simple to follow along and this is what I created at the end.

There were four words that I added on each corner, Patience, Joy, Tenderness and Compassion.  I only used three colors, but I really like how everything just worked together.

I call this piece – Compassion Personified


Week 15 – The Ripple Effect – Your Story Matters with Tamara Laporte

Tam wrote:  “This week’s theme is all about getting in touch with the interconnectedness of us all and how each and every one of us matters in this world. We will symbolically represent this theme in the form of a drop of water falling into a larger body of water, making ripples.”

I really liked this theme, because I find it so true.  Everything we do in our lives for someone has repercussions – good or bad.

She taught a shaving cream marbling technique that I’ve been wanted to try, but never had a occassion to use.

I just had to go to the new Hobby Lobby near my house (ahem) to buy some Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Water-Resistant Artist Inks to use on this project.  They are aaaaamazing!!

I used smaller watercolor paper for this project because I didn’t think I had a big enough container to spray the shaving cream on, so I used an 11 x 8 1/2 paper.

We were to write in the ripples of the water something we did at one time in our lives that had a rippling effect on someone else’s life.


The closeup of the marbling effect – so much fun!!

Although I used a little too dark paint on top, you can still she some of the marbling.


This is a closeup of the water drop that looks a lot like a person, but I forgot to draw a small heart on the “body”.  I will when I go up to my dungeon, err, my craft room!


I was having trouble looking at the picture in the PDF that I downloaded, so I went looking for one on Google.  There were so many different ripple effect pictures I could choose from, but I fell in love with this one:


It came with a quote which I thought was perfect:  “When you truly love life and people, you start a ripple effect that changes the life of another, who in turn changes the life of another…”    I’m sure it was computer generated, but nevertheless, I downloaded the picture and tried to paint it as close as possible.

I wrote the quote on the ripples coming from the heart splash.


There was not much marbling on this background, but I think it makes a good contrast with the rest of the project.


There you have it, my friends.  Looking forward to another week.

Thank you for stopping by and please leave me some love in the form of a comment.






Life Book Week 13 with Rae Missigman

This week’s lesson, given by Rae Missigman, was as usual challenging for me because it was about layers and intuitivity – if there is such a word.  (My spell checker didn’t recognize it, but I’ll add it anyway, ha!)

After I finished the project I had to leave it alone overnight to see it with new eyes.  So, it wasn’t that bad after all this morning!

She does lots of layers in her projects and I like layers, but the intuitive part just doesn’t resonate with me, so I thought about it and and made a plan.  I used a stencil without flowers!  I picked two by Claudine Helmuth with different shapes of bird cages and the Love Birds stencil.  The other one by Heidi Swapp that has the bird on a branch which includes the mask and another stencil.

So after layer and more layers, this is what I came up with.

I used watercolor paper, acrylic paints, a black pencil, splash colors, molding paste, and napkins for collaging.

I guess you can say I made it my own because instead of using flower stencils, I used the ones I mentioned above.


Here are some close-ups.  Since I also stamped different birds, cages, and bold stamps, I was surprised to see these birds come out after the layers.

I like the idea of circling the different parts you want to highlight.


I also added some doodling and more stamps to the empty spaces.  I also used modeling paste for the birds.


I stamped this sentiment on tissue paper I used with a gelli page.  I love how all the cages stand out with different objects inside of them.


The only flowers were these on a napkin I added just for fun.


This picture shows the bird on the right side and more bird cages hidden by the acrylic layers of paint.


Thanks for dropping by to see my project for this week and please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!!

Happy weekend everyone!!


Life Book 2016 Weeks 11 and 12

Hello my artsy friends.  Did you survive Daylight Savings Time?  Oh, it took me a week to get over it and I’m still taking my naps to catch up!

Arizona is the only state in the Union that doesn’t follow DSM.  I guess it’s a rebel thing!  LOL.  We lived there for about five years and enjoyed it very much, but we couldn’t stand the heat.  In the summer it was impossible to enjoy the outdoors because of 115 F heat, so we moved to Las Cruces, NM.  Our family was in El Paso, TX, just a short hour away. Unfortunately, my dad, hubby and I all got Cancer and we decided to move back to El Paso to be closer to the family and closer to the hospital where we had our treatments.

Anyhow, we are having a blast here, the weather is pretty much temperate – we have hot summers and cold winters, but loooong Springs and Autumns.  Love it here.

Now on to  Life Book!

Week 11 – Roots & Ground, Wings & Light with Tamara Laporte

This week Tam gave us a lesson on mixing colors for dark skin girls.

I managed to use my Caran D’ Arche and Tombow artist’s markers to come up with a fairly dark skin girl.  I wanted to make her a cool angel so I gave her a rainbow hair do.  i really like how her eyes came out!


Here are some details:

A closeup of her cute sunburned face and green eyes.


For the background I used some napkins with birds and flowers and this birdie wanted to come out, so I outlined it.  I also used some zentagle stamps to fill in all the open spaces.


For these flowers I used a stencil and modeling paste and outlined them with a black pen.  I also added white and black stars and gave her wings the same colors as her hair.


Here are more stenciled/modeling paste flowers and more stamps.  I mostly used the crayons and some acrylics for the background.


I added more zentangle stamping on her dress and a heart to fill in the blank space here too.

Angel dress

Here you can see more zentangle stamps in between her wings.


Now on to:

Week 12 – The Simple Things With Angela Kennedy

If you go to her page, she has some sweet-faced girls done very simply, but beautiful!

This was a bonus lesson to give us a chance to catch up with our projects and time to breathe in between.

All she used on this project was a stabilo pencil and a few pastel colors and a quote that has to do with grounding.

Here is my interpretation:

I didn’t have a good Stabilo pencil so I used the black Inktense watercolor Block, but it came out a little bit purple and brown, but I still like the effect.  I used orange and red for the flowers, and two shades of green pastel pencils for the leaves and branches.


Sorry about the light, I was fixing it up in my loft at night, hence, the sepia color. I found out I misspelled the quote, so I typed it using one of my favorite fonts and glued the paper to cover up the misspelling.  I was thinking about my daughter, a masseuse, and how she really heals through her hands after grounding herself on her feet.


Here’s a closeup of the flower in her hair.  The trouble with pastels is that they come off easily on your hands, so I applied a fixative when I was done.


A closeup of the face.


and a closeup of the left hand side flowers,


Alright friends, thank you for sticking with me through this process of sharing my Life Book projects.

Until next time,

Happy painting!!



Life Book Weeks Nine and Ten

Hello my crafty friends, I combined two projects because they didn’t take any time to finish.

Week Nine – Five Minute Flowers with Martha Lever

“Martha is a whizz with watercolours,” according to Tamara Laporte and she really is! She showed us how to create flower in a pot very easily.

I just started working with watercolors and the way she taught us to paint the flowers was the easiest way I’ve ever tried!

They really took five minutes to make and so let’s ge to it!

Once again I worked on a 11×14 watercolor pad using only four watercolors from Qor Modern Watercolors.  These colors are fantastic!  They are very rich and smooth because of the special binder called Aquazol.  They make everything look like you’re an expert. I separated each pot to look like tiles and added some arrow stamps on each corner.  I also dripped some of the colors to give them some texture.

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These are Tulips, if you can believe it!  I just dropped some paint on the paper in the form of tulips then went back with my caligraphy pen and outlined the flowers and the stems.

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I really meant to make blue bells in this pot, but the pen (ha ha) just made petals that looked like orchids, so I went with that.

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These Irisis came out looking good, don’t you think?

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And finally the roses which I love!

I made each pot different in shape to give the project a bit of contrast.

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Week 10 – With Prise for the Present with Mary Beth Shaw

Mary Beth is the owner of the amazing Stencil Girl Products, so you know she has unlimited resources.

The first thing we did was to collage some vintage papers and highlight some words that we liked.  When I went to my old books looking for paper to pull out I found this amazing saying “What Will You Do With This Day That’s So New?” so I made it my focal point.


After we highlighted the words we liked, we wrote them on tissue paper for use in a later step, then we covered everything up.  As you can see I used acrylic paints, and stencils, lots of stencils!  I like that I’m finally learning not to be so heavy handed with the paint so some of my collage can be seen through it.


Mary Beth chose a word that was highlighted in her piece and then using alpha stencils, she used the different letters in different positions.

In this closeup, you can see some of the words I chose written on the tissue paper and glued on to the watercolor paper and my focal point quote.

I then used my alpha stencils using black ink and wrote the same quote all over the piece, but kept the some of the words I wanted to highlight in answer to the quote.


This was supposed to be a journaling page so there is a block on the left bottom side where I journaled and then covered up with gesso and more stencils.  I think it’s a fabulous idea to do that.  You can show your work, but your inner thoughts are hidden from everyone’s eyes.


So to answer the question:  What will You Do With This Day That’s So New? My answer is:

Have gratitude, have fun, play, love, have faith, laugh, kiss, and live.  The number seven is for the seven days of the week.

Thanks for coming over.  Hope to see you back very soon!



Life Book 2016 Week Eight

Finding Center With Mandalas (Doilies)

With Faith Evans-Sills


Welcome to another week of Life Book 2016 projects.  Faith Evans-Sills‘ project this week is all about layering different elements using stencils and silk screen with spray paints, acrylic paint, and molding paste.  She does some beautiful work – you have to go check her out!

First thing I do when I start a project is research the subject matter using Google.  My friend Google has prevented me from straying too far to the left when it has to do with spirituality.

Since I had an idea that Mandalas had something to do with Eastern Philosophy, I didn’t want to take any chances. This is what I found Wikipedia regarding mandalas.

  • “Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe.[1] In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.
  • The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T. Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.[4]
  • The term appears in the Rigveda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in other religions and philosophies, particularly Buddhism.
  • In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and tranceinduction.”

Yes, friends, it’s “a ritual symbol, but also a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern.”  I’m a Christian and it goes against my religious beliefs to draw one as a form of meditation or a way to get close to the Universe.  But, that is my opinion, and people are free to make choices, right?

Ok, that said, I opted to use a Martha Stewart doily stencil instead, as the focal point.  I first started by collaging various pieces of paper I cut out of magazines, scrapbooking paper, musical paper, etc., then I went to town with my stencils and spray paint.

I had a whole box of spray paint I won some time ago on Mark Montano’s YouTube channel and it came in very handy.  They are all glitter spray, so I chose some that wouldn’t overpower the background and covered some up with gesso, then I took the doily stencil and used several colors to fill it in.

This is the project after I finished filling in the doily, but I thought there was something missing, so I went back and added more silk screens using molding paste and a few



I think the addition of the butterflies, birds, and gold paste added so much texture to the piece, I’m so in love with it!  Except that while trying to fix the word Namaste, I ended up misspelling it!


A few close ups here:

The doily in it’s full glory 🙂


The top with a silk screen and a stencil on top of gold spray paint.


Bottom right.  A stencil with blue spray after I gessoed the corner.


Upper right with a butterfly rub-on.


Lower left with anoter silk screen of a flower with Heidi Swapp pink paste.


There you have week eight.  I hope you enjoyed looking at my very busy project.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your commments!