Here’s what I’ve been working on lately. Please disregard the plywood floors but that is what is allowing me to use my dining room as my work space right now, until we get our new floors in!

 
Not really Mixed Media, more decoupage, but I really needed to work on some of the projects cluttering the garage. I don’t love decoupage and now wish I had done a transfer instead.
I used some images from the Graphics Fairy, but the main image is an illustration, which was the inspiration for doing this desk this way, from the late 19th century by Albert Robida called “Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000.” I found it on a site called The Public Domain Review which has some really interesting images. Once I saw it, I knew I had to use it somehow.
This is so not my usual style which is more French Country and Cottage. When I had the top done, my husband came home, and I thought I would get “the look,” you know the one that implies, “God, what is she thinking?” But he surprised me by saying, “You’re not selling this one are you? That’s so cool!” My #1 fan.
So OK, I guess I have to keep it even if it doesn’t go with anything else in my house!
Here’s what it looked like before.

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She said no to the dress.  She said that is not who she is.

This project went in a totally different direction.

She was Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld. Captured by Hades, her mother, Demeter, cast a curse on the land.  No crops would grow until her daughter was returned to her.  After some deliberation,  Hades allows her to return to the world to bring us spring, and then she must return to him and fall begins.

Her upper arms are pressed birch leaves and her upper legs are covered in birch bark, representing the trees in the fall when she must return to the Underworld.

Her torso is covered in custom molded paper clay objects, and dried flowers, including lily of the valley, Goddess symbols for her, painted in pale green.  Her head is adorned in grape vine wreath with crystals, a gem associated with her.

Persephone can sit, stand on her own, but also has a custom stand.

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When was the last time you were in the woods and you were startled by a rustling in the undergrowth?  But when you look, nothing!

Myself, I think it would be an elf.  Small ones.  Not the human sized ones that modern movies have made famous, but the smaller ones of the old English countrysides.  You see, elves used to be small and light, like what we now think of as fairies.  Like that but without wings.

I’ve been working on my friend for a while now.  My second attempt at ball jointed dolls. She is only partially BJD.  I am glad that she can stand on her own.

Now for her costume and hair!

Check in next week when she might have something on!

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I’m so excited to have this next piece of art completed!  My first work using paper maché as the primary medium!  The project was inspired by the swan decoys I kept seeing in examples of French Country home decor photos on Pinterest.  I wanted one but didn’t want to pay the high prices.

Then I got to thinking about the pair of nesting swans in the conservation area that is behind my house.  This area, Salem Woods, is such a gift for this city.  It is a slice of wilderness in the middle of an urban area and I get to enjoy it’s benefits every day.  I hike in these woods and go to the pond to watch the ducks, geese and swans.  The pond is a haven for so many types of wildlife.

Because of this, I wanted to pay tribute and make more people aware of this hidden gem through my art. So, I got to work and this is what I accomplished.

I also wanted to create some mixed media surprises in this sculpture so the wings open to expose a little world.

The little accordion books fit into the little spaces inside the wings.

Each book page has some of my favorite things about the woods created with various mixed media techniques.  90% of the entire piece is recycled materials-newspaper, cereal boxes, and even candy wrappers.

This artwork will be entered into the upcoming Salem Art Association show.  I’ll be happy to keep it if it comes back home!

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“So, what have you been doing?”  I’ve had that question a lot lately.  It’s a hard question to answer sometimes when you’re not busy with a job or activities that most people have to fill up their days.

I have been doing me.  Taking some time to assess where I am going.  Most people don’t have that luxury and I am grateful for it.  But enough of the philosophical.

I took a really nice online course for mixed media through the Graphics Fairy taught by Heather Tracy from Thicketworks.  I learned some great techniques that ended up helping me to complete a project that was sitting on the shelf for a few months nearly a year as I waited for the inspiration to complete it.

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You might remember my little friend from a previous post, but now I have finished his little time machine.  I am so in love with this, but it will be submitted in my first “Call to Artists” in a couple of weeks with the Salem Arts Association.

Go to the link here to see the video of the time machine and discover the little surprise it has inside.

 

img_2739 img_2740 img_2741 img_2748

 

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My latest project was a makeover for a sad little box that I got at the thrift store so long ago and sat in the basement forever.  I think I paid less than $5 for it and it is a good thing because the supplies cost a little more than I would have liked.

But, boy, do I love the results!

ugly-duck-box

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

picmonkey-image

Here is the before.  Sad little duckies…..

img_0943I took the whole thing apart, removing the hardware and peeling off all the lose paper.

img_2717What a mess!  But in that mess was pure French gold!

I applied plain brown kraft paper to the inside of the chip board pieces using a watered down wood glue.

img_2718And added a French script fabric to the outsides and trimmed with a faux leather fabric.  Both of these fabrics were on the clearance rack at the fabric store.

I reused some of the hardware, which I repainted with a faux rusty effect using black and copper spray paint.

Added black upholstery tacks  found at the hardware store to the faux leather strips and Voila!  Ugly duck to French swan!

ugly-duck-collage

 

 

Doesn’t every kitchen need more storage?  I have this alley way of a galley kitchen that is sorely lacking in the storage department.  So what to do?

I ‘inherited’ this extremely ugly but utilitarian storage cabinet.  Oh, no! There was no place in my renovation plans for something like this!  Here is a cabinet that is exactly the same as the one I had.  No, just no.

old-pantry

So, in shopping for a replacement, this was on  my pin board:

And this one:

No, can’t justify paying those prices for a pantry cupboard, not while we are still in renovation mode.  And we scrounged the thrift/antique places with no luck in finding a suitable replacement, at the right price, without having to do some work on it.  If I had to paint it, might as well paint the one I have.

So, after some chalk paint, some graphics magic from the Graphics Fairy, and some added molding,  voila!  Old store sign fancy pantry!

Old Store Sign Pantry

Old Store Sign Pantry

 

Before and After

Before and After

Still have to add some handles, but so happy with it!

#GraphicsFairy

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