Friday, August 12, 2016

Zero Circle

"Zero Circle"
Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
    To gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Besides ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness. -Rumi

"Zero Circle" is a poem that I read almost 6 years ago now and every time I read it,it has something new to offer me and I think I will continue to learn from it in the years to come.In a nutshell,this poem speaks to me about a specific moment in time that I continue to have over and over again. It's during the time when I fall flat on my face(and I do have many of those) and I want to give up,and hide. When I feel confused,alone and lost,... but instead of giving up, I give in. At some point we all give in.We realize that every action,every outcome is out of our control and we have to offer ourselves with open hands to something that is bigger and brighter than ourselves.In the darkness, something grabs hold of my hand and helps me back up on my feet. That "something" is different for everybody,but it is in this very moment that choices become clear. Only then will "a stretcher come from Grace to gather us up". 
It's comforting to know that in our hour of need,in that moment of uncertainty,we are not alone. 

This shadowbox was created with this poem,this feeling in mind.

I first assembled the shadowbox and covered it in old stickers(a great way to use up old supplies).I then painted the edges of all the stickers with Deco Arts Multi Surface Carbon Black,Coastal Waters and Chartreuse. I added additional texture with oil crayons. Lastly, I glued on Steampunk  number paper cuts and highlighted them with paint.

There was too much color by this point and so the inside of the shadowbox needed to be anchored down.I used black card stock and added the poem to it with white ink.

I printed up the poem and cut it into strips. My original intention was just to paste it on to the black card stock in the correct order,but after looking at this pile,I thought,... this is exactly how I feel in those moments.

I then added some of the same colors to the Black Dresden and sprinkled it with watered down Metallic Lustre.

I painted the chipboard word "Clarity" with Deco Arts Multi Surface Lipstick Red and used a white sharpie to add highlights. I glued everything into place and when dry I added some Coastal Waters paint around the word.

I then added Deco Arts Gesso to the Fancy Flaming heart and then covered it in the same colors. I also added white sharpie and liquid metallic lustre splatters.

I glued the heart to the back of the box,added flowers and added my favorite line of the quote.

What took the most amount of time on this project was figuring out what image to put on the inside of the heart.heehee.

Retro Cafe Art Supplies used in this tutorial:

Deco Art Paints can be found at

Be sure to check out another tutorial I have on the Cloth Paper Scissors Blog called "Perseverance"
I used RCAG wonderful ATC chunk and feet for the base of  my pretty bird! 
You can check it out here

"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Here's to making every minute count,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Never waste a failure.

Never waste a failure.
I've had some artsy set backs this week. Feeling a bit blue at lost possibilities. My adjustment always comes in the remedy of creating. And so, I create...and find myself even lost in the process.
I had an idea..that after 3....4...9.. pieces never came to life. Because everybody needs a leg up every once in a while...
And so I tried again and again..and still I was not satisfied. 
And as I looked at all my discarded pieces I thought...what can I learn from this failure?
I had to step away to see it.
To see that failure is never a waste.
It's simply another opportunity to begin again,with more insight and understanding and growth. 
It helps us to see what we like and what we dont.
It pushes and it screams and knocks us to our knees
all for the purpose of becoming more.
and as for those artsy set backs..
It's all good,because tomorrow is another day and I will give it another go.

Feeling thankful.
Happy creating friends.

"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Here's to making every minute count,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I'll be the first to admit that my art does not flow out fact, it likes to toss and to turn and fight it's way to the surface. My head would prefer to rush things through but my heART likes to move slowly. It's taken me years,but I've finally come to terms with knowing that my creative process...takes t.i.m.e. Funny to admit that out loud.
Once in a very long while however, something wonderful happens.I create with simple ease, and in a matter of moments an idea pops into my head and I'm off and running. I savor these moments, because they are few and far between.
"Today" was one of those pieces. It flowed out like a river and led me to where I needed to be without much thought or energy. I only stopped at the very end,when figuring out what text to include. When I came across,"Today is full of Possibility" it just naturally seemed to fit. 
This "artist" is hopeful,she is determined and she has a library full of ideas floating around in her tiny noggin,waiting to come out. But she also understands the value of time and that it may not always work in her favor.She decides rather,to take each new dawn for what it can be... an opportunity to see the world with new eyes. 

I hope you like her. 

This Anatomy Shrine kit  already came with the a wonderful face die cut, but this time around I decided to cut off the top portion of the face and just leave the bottom portion.

I first glues on all sorts of Retro Cafe Goodies to the top. 
I glued on 
and more!
I also glued on seed and micro beads.

I then added two layers of Deco Arts White Gesso.

Next I painted it with Americana Multi Surface paint; Coastal Waters and Chartruese 
and let it dry.

I then added Deco Arts Carbon Black Antiquing Cream...

and after only a couple of seconds I removed most of it with a paper towel.
When Dry I watered down some Gold Metallic Lustre and sprayed it on the piece.

I highlighted some edges with white Gesso and splattered Deco Arts Media Magenta Fluid Paint.

I then added the same colors to Mini Black Scalloped Dresden and sprayed it with the Metallic Lustre. I added Dresden to frame out the shadowbox and also to the neck.

The inside of the box includes a Bird and Egg Paper Cut along with some crochet trim and beads.

and I finished it off with the perfect Tim Holtz words.

Lastly I used a white sharpie and added little details.

Retro Cafe Items used in this tutorial:
"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Here's to making every minute count,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Just Bee

I've been seeing Bee's everywhere...and Bee's or the word "Be" have been showing up in my work lately in one form or another. Got me thinking about the symbolism and meaning.
But in the meantime..

I created these two shadowboxes using Bee Sticks Stand up Set

I first added Patina to the Bee and Base.Then using a white Sharpie I added some dots.Then using a Jewelers Saw, I cut the stand part off the Bee. 

I then drilled three holes on each wing and glued in some tiny eyelets. 

I had some chipboard boxes left over from another project so I used those. I painted the inside with black spray paint. 

I added dots with the same white Sharpie and glued the base of the Bee to the center of the box.

Next I glued onto the base a Butterfly Paper Cut, and crochet trim and then glued the bee on the top. Add Spacers if necessary. I also added some Gold to the edges of the Bee.

Next I added a Paper Cut Face, with a black mask and a small Heart which I heat embossed with Clear embossing powder and highlighted with Inka Gold. 
I added more dots and then finished off with Platinum Glitter glue on the edges and around the heart. 

I then painted some tiny chipboard numbers gold and glued them in place...

and finished the outside of the box with yummy Prima Garden Fable paper, Black Dresden trim and chipboard  honeycomb pieces painted black. Once everything was securely glued in place I added more Inka Gold to add high lights. 

I just love the way they came out...just BEE-a-utiful! heehee. 
I just had to...

Retro Cafe Art Products used in this tutorial:

Bee Symbolism and Meaning
When Bee appears in your life the most common message it carries has to do with your levels of productivity. In some cases we are doing too much, and in others not enough. Bee spirit has a strong work ethic but it also knows the importance of stopping and smelling the flowers. There is a time to enjoy life’s nectar and a time to grab after the proverbial brass ring with vehemence. Bee helps with both, and in finding the delicate balance between the two.
Technically speaking Bee should not be able to fly – it’s designed all wrong aerodynamically. From a spiritual perspective this speaks of our limitations and how to move past them successfully. It’s doubtful that Bee knows it shouldn’t fly – it simply DOES, and so can you.
Bee fits a very specific role in nature pollinating other plants. This is necessary to the on-going life cycle of many crops. It also delivers humans with wax and honey, giving Bee the additional symbolic value of providence. Einstein believed so deeply in the importance of Bees to the ecosystem that he predicted if Bees disappeared humans would not survive more than four years afterward.
The pollination process also symbolizes our social nature. Bees live and work as a community. As they go from flower to flower, that progression enriches the world. Bee people very often become motivational speakers, teachers, healers and light workers for the greater global village. Their language of love is mindful service.
A Bee’s honeycomb represents the Heart Chakra and life’s sweetness. Bee has strong ties to the sun, light and warmth. This creature is sacred to Kama, the God of Love in Hinduism and epitomizes the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece, honoring Demeter and Persephone.
Bee Spirit is also a strong protector, willing to give its life in defense of whatever mission prevails. Those guided by Bee find themselves defending the underdog as well as those they love with fierceness.
"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Here's to making every minute count,

Sunday, May 15, 2016

For in the Dew of Little Things

 Retro Cafe now has these 8 x 10 shadowboxes and I absolutely love them!! 
There's just so much space to work with...For the artist, it's a perfect opportunity to really tell a story,offer a sentiment or just play!   
Today's shadowbox
"For in the Dew of Little Things"
inspired by the words of Kahlil Gibran and the beautiful Venus painting by Botticelli,who today, becomes my muse.

After assembling and gluing the Shadowbox I added assorted papers to the back.

Wanting dimensional water I stitched together assorted fabric scraps...

Added some Opal Magic Prima Paint to the fabric and when dry,hand stitched assorted trim and beads...

I knew I wanted some sort of sun burst,so I cut the paper intro strips...

and for the back waves I just manually cut some paper,added ink and black dots.

"Venus"  needed a stable background,so I mounted her onto to a female bust and foam dots to raise her up...

and also added masonite pieces(scraps from other projects) in area's that needed more height and also decided on the placement of my mermaids tail.

and then everything started to come together...

I added glitter to the tail, paper to the rest of the box, some Dresden gold trim, letters, sequin, and splattered dots on to the background...

I then added color shine spray to the flowers

and glued together some Fleur Cut outs to create a focal. I added glitter,stickers,and gold stickles

These beautiful words offer up a reminder,that every moment I take the time to fully experience can not only be a gift to the heart,but also to the mind,body and soul.

Retro Cafe Art items used in this tutorial:

"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Here's to making every minute count,