Crafty-emblies: Blog Candy

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Using Humor In Art

A close second to my love of using inspirational quotes in my art work is the use of humor.  I have created a huge amount of mixed media, collage and altered art that has sarcastic and irreverent humor as its base.  It just is SO me, what can I say.

When I first started using humor in my art (in my two lines of funny magnet art), I was a little worried.  I wasn't sure anyone else had the same sense of humor that I did.  As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about at all.  Everyone loved the magnets (and greeting cards which came next) and I still sell them to this day at my art shows.  I'll do a post about some of them another time.  In the meantime, a number of other people have had great success with this type of humor, often paired with vintage images as I did.  If you've seen Anne Taintor's stuff, you'll know what mine is like.

Following are some examples of some other art pieces I created using recycled drink coasters as the substrate, along with salvaged papers, vintage images, discarded embellishments and scrap ribbon for hangers.

Hope you have a laugh!


Cool Digital Images From Retro Cafe Art

My artsy friend, Kristin Hubick, has a fantastic online art supply store called Retro Cafe Art.  She carries a wide line of supplies for the mixed media artist and her prices are very reasonable.

Kristin and I have been online friends for about 10 years or so and met through the Ebay art group, VariaZioNE in the early 2000s.  At the time, Kristin was making awesome art, working a regular job AND starting her fledgling online business.  She now has a VERY successful online business and focuses on that solely (goodbye, regular job!).

In the following two mixed media/collage pieces, I have used Kristin's escutcheon plate digital images.  I have a number of other digital images from Kristin's collection and they are always high quality.  I'll share some of my other art pieces made with her supplies another time but for now, I hope you enjoy these two.  If you visit her site be sure to tell her that her "Auntie B" (short for "Auntie Banana") sent you!


"Goddess Of Light"  Mixed Media/Collage Art With Recycled Materials

"Dream Realms"  Mixed Media/Collage Art With Recycled Materials

More Funky Collage & Altered Art Stuff

Sharing some fun and unique pieces I have made:

The first is an altered art doll made using a recycled oversized tag for her body, salvaged jewelry bits for her arms and legs, a clay cabochon for her face and repurposed floral pieces.

"Seek Serenity" Altered Tag Art Doll

"Time Is Eternity Living Dangerously"  Mixed media/collage made with recycled wallpaper, salvaged watch parts and discarded jewelry pieces.

"Time Is Eternity Living Dangerously"  Mixed Media Collage

"The Height Of Your Accomplishments Will Equal The Depth Of Your Convictions"  Mixed media collage with recycled materials.

"You Are Always In The Right Place At The Right Time" mixed media collage with recycled materials.


Seems like it's time for another giveaway, don't you think?

This time, I am happy to share with you my grungy playing cards.  I took a regular deck of playing cards and used only the face cards, aces and jokers.  I tea stained them individually to get the cool grungy look that you see in the photos below.

I use these images in my mixed media, collage and altered art work.  They make a cool addition to any art journal project, scrapbook page or handmade greeting card.

To get these images, all you need to do is message me here with your email address and I will send you the PDF file.  If you use a Hotmail account be aware that the file is very likely to end up in your junk email folder so you'll have to check it.  If you have any trouble reaching me through this blog, feel free to email me at:

The images will print on two 8.5 X 11 pieces of paper.  I recommend sending them to either a color laser printer or a color copier, rather than an inkjet printer.  I have not had good luck with ink jet printers because the ink can smear when subjected to a sealant in collage and mixed media work.  If you don't have a color printer to work with, you can email the PDF file to your Staples store (or other office supply store) and they can print copies for you in their Copy Center.  Because the file is in PDF format, you will not be able to re-size the images.

You are welcome to use the images for your personal use.  The collection is copyrighted by me and is not to be re-distributed to others, nor reproduced for resale or redistribution in any form.  If you end up using these images in work that you sell, I would certainly appreciate a credit noted.

Have fun with them and do let me know what you make with them.  I absolutely LOVE to see what you create with my stuff!

Cheers all!

Fun With The Gelli Plate

With some of my Christmas gift loot, I bought myself the super duper sized Gelli Plate from Gelli Arts.  If you haven't seen them, give them a Google and check 'em out!  The possibilities are absolutely endless with this cool art tool!

I haven't had too much time to play with it yet, but I thought I would share what I had made so far.  Perhaps it will inspire you to try this product too if you think it would be a good tool for your art supply arsenal.

I used regular acrylics, metallic acrylics, dimensional paint and liquid watercolors.

Gelli printing on postcard and index cards

Gelli printing on cardstock

Gelli printing on cardstock circle, bookmark blank and small shipping tag

Next, I took a couple of those circles and cut them up to become substrates for some art magnets I will make in the future.  I added some sparkly dimensional paint to the surface of the magnets and I really like how they turned out.  Very colorful and cool!

Magnets-to-be made with Gelli printed paper

I also printed on some salvaged typing paper.  This is the stuff that back in the day would have been called a "flimsy" (the carbon copy of a typed letter).  This paper is stronger than tissue but still very light weight and is a dream to use in collage art.  I have a ton of this stuff so I made several sheets of it in my first attempts with my Gelli plate.

Below are some examples of the results.  I have taken the 8.5" X 11" gelli-printed typing paper and glued them into my Strathmore Mixed Media journal (5.5" X 8") so that they can be the bases for future journal pages.  The scraps trimmed away from the journal page have been kept to be used as well.

Here are a couple of those journal pages:

Journal page using Gelli printed typing paper

Journal page using Gelli printed typing paper (and scraps added from the first page above)

Journal page using Gelli printed typing paper (and stamped circles, paint doodles)

Journal page using Gelli printed typing paper

Lastly, here is a photo of one of the Gelli printed pieces of typing paper glued to a piece of salvaged masonite for a mixed media art piece.  The photo really does not do it justice.  There is TONS of texture and dimension to this substrate, probably because of the gold acrylic paint and the sheerness of the paper.  Can't wait to create something on this!

Gelli-printed typing paper over masonite substrate

ATC and ACEO Art

In the early to mid 2000s in the Ebay art selling world, a group of artists took the idea of ATCs (artist trading cards) and developed it further into an art form called ACEO.  ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. ATCs were always meant only for trading/swapping, while ACEOs were for selling (or trading/swapping).  Both ATCs and ACEOs must have the same dimensions as a standard trading card (like hockey and baseball cards), which is 2.5" X 3.5".

I was fortunate to be involved with the Ebay ACEO group in its infancy and spent several years selling my ACEO art on Ebay with this fantastic collection of artists.

Because I had already been selling my miniature art magnets on Ebay for several years when the ACEO group formed, it was an easy transition to move from my business card sized magnets (2" X 3.5") to ACEO size.  I can remember many artists at that time who typically worked in much larger formats having real difficulty adjusting to producing original art on such a small scale.  I also remember feeling so very fortunate to already be comfortable creating art at that size.  It is not for everyone.

ACEOs are still very big business and I would really like to find more time to create them again.  I need a clone!

Anyway, I thought you might like to see some photos of a few of the ACEOs I produced in those days.  These samples are from 2005 and 2006 and are (were) all originals.  Again, each measures 2.5" X 3.5" (the size of a standard trading card).

I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane.  And just as I do with my current art, all of this older work was made with recycled and reclaimed materials.

"The Incandescent Soul" Original ACEO

"A Bed Of Roses" Original ACEO

"Life Is Too Short To Be Small" Original ACEO

"Aquamarine" Original ACEO

"Man Is Free The Moment He Wishes To Be" Original ACEO

"Heavenly Dreamer" Original ACEO


Top o' the morning to you!

Continuing with my vintage freebies theme, you'll find here several cool vintage St. Patrick's Day images from my personal collection that you can use in your artsy adventures.

Just right-click your mouse on each image and save them to you own computer.  Because they are in simple JPG format, you can resize them, crop them, alter them in photo-editing software, etc.   They are in the public domain so you can use them for any kind of artsy endeavor, even art you plan to sell.

I hope you have fun with these quaint Victorian/Edwardian images.  As always, I would love to see what you do with them!

Erin Go Bragh!

"Gypsy Spirit" Art Journal

I can't believe this project is FINALLY done!  I have been working on this little journal for about five years on and off.  I never thought I'd finish it.

It sat three-quarters done for the longest time.  I deliberately left it sitting out on my workspace so I would feel guilty about leaving it undone and do something about it.  That was at least five years ago.  To make matters worse, from a procrastination standpoint anyway, I even packed it up, still unfinished, when we moved from Vancouver Island back to the Okanagan Valley two years ago.  Then, when my studio space was done here, I unpacked it and AGAIN put it out on my limited workspace.  I knew I would have to see it regularly if there was any chance of it getting done.

Well, finally the last few finishing touches have been done and it is complete.  It measures about 4.5" X 6.5" and has twelve pages (not including the front and back covers).  "Gypsy Spirit" is an homage to those with a restless, wandering soul.  It has several quotes in it about gypsies.  I used a lot of vintage images from my huge collection of Victorian and Edwardian ephemera for this project.  These beauties lent themselves very well to the project.

Also used were all kinds of salvaged art supplies and embellishments that had been headed to the trash when I acquired them.  Ironically enough, I think the journal itself was from Seven Gypsies but it's been so long I can't be sure.  The string closure for the journal has been embellished with a beaded dangle featuring a glitzified recycled puzzle piece and salvaged ribbon in red and purple (see last two photos).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at this project.  I will be listing it in my Etsy store but if you are interested prior to it getting there, just send me a message.  It will sell for $79.95US and if you purchase it here through my blog, I will cover shipping costs (saving you approximately $10-$12) anywhere in North America.

Many thanks, as always, for your support of my artistic endeavors!