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Wednesday, October 1, 2014


You are going to love what this sweet lady, my friend on Facebook has to offer.  She is such a good artist and she does what so many others charge a lot for with online classes.  Here is the  intro and you can find it all on YouTube. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Had great fun trying something new recently.  I got to create these cool background papers using rubber stamps.  I think they turned out pretty well for a first time.  I was prompted to do this by a swap on www.swap-bot.com.    Sometimes I do things there simply for the purpose of learning/trying a new technique.  I like how some popped out and some receded.  After stamping I sprayed with various sprays to add color.  Some were done on white card stock and others on lightly colored card stock. Also, the heart above was my very first hand-carved stamp.  There will be more of those for sure.  Give it a try. It's lots of fun.

Friday, September 12, 2014


It always has been for me.  For ages I just didn't like my own writing, but I've changed my attitude.  After all, no one writes just like me.  As no one writes just like you.  Like a fingerprint, it is your own unique "signature."  Just one of the many ways God made us each different.  So just decide to start liking it and some practice really helps so I think this video will improve your hand.  Enjoy. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


"You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." ~Louise L. Hay

found on KristalNorton.com
Summer in Ukraine. From my garden for your enjoyment.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


This was a fun day with the children in Sunday school with a special treat of a visiting clown.  He had all kinds of games and play and there was a lot of laughter and as always, good food.  It was hard to get good photos as everyone was always moving, but you get the idea.  In this time of war and stress for many parents we try to keep things as normal as possible for the children.  Thank you to those of you who send craft supplies.  The children love making things and I love doing it with them. Bless your hearts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I've always had a "thing" about baskets.  Can't tell you why.  I just like them.  The one pictured here is an example of what I taught ladies in our church.  It is actually made from the top of a round cake box.  That's right, the interior is card board.  It was padded all around and inside.  The handle actually moves up and down.  The material was a velvet scrap and the beads were a short piece someone sent that fit so nicely.  Found this cute little kitty and it seemed she was just destined to sit in this spot.  They were a lot of fun to do.

Monday, August 18, 2014


 Come walk through my yard with me.  I've been too long away from my blog so here's what happened in the yard in May.  Above was a rare foggy morning in the back yard.
 The rest of these pictures are from the front yard.  In Ukraine houses have fences all around them including across the front.
 Peonies are always so beautiful.  I have white ones and red ones too.

 Iris and evergreens...
 In the Russian language (that's what I speak here) these are called "Little Bells."  I don't know what they would be in English.  Behind are two varieties of hosta.

 The garden is just another art expression for me.  I love the flowers.

 Roses and strawberries.  The strawberries are in several of my flowerbeds.

I think these are called "Sweet Williams."  Thanks for stopping by. Sure appreciate it. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bracelet Ministry

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I have always liked beads and buttons.  I use them both in my own arts and crafts, but also in my ministry with the people of Ukraine.  I have what I call my "Bracelet Ministry."  That is where I gather youth girls and sometimes ladies and we all make bracelets like these above.  Women always love bracelets.  I have folks who send me the beads or old jewelry that I take apart to re-purpose for bracelets and other crafts.  These are a few I made above.  I do that, wear them and from there often give them away.  I love doing that.  If you have any bead necklaces,  bracelets or out-dated jewelry you don't want, please send them our way.  We make smiles with them.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I've been asked to show my feathers.  I can't tell you why I've been on a feather kick except that I like birds (2 bird themed altered books already completed) so I guess it is a natural to like feathers too.  These two are cardboard (recycle), Sharpie pen, markers, glitter and pearl paints.

These were pretty easy too.  I used double-sided tape on the wire and placed between a piece of music paper folded in half.  Then I cut the shape I wanted, feathered with more cutting and spray/glittered.  Easy peasy, try it.

Markers and Sharpie pen.  Free hand-cut.
These pretties were hand-cut from a candy box.  The cardboard was so pretty in it's silver and gold that I thought, I must do something with them.  I used an ordinary pen (ballpoint) that just so happen to not work for the engraving.

More recycle with these from some product cardboard headed to the recycle bin.  These I painted with watercolor in light pastels.  Then used black Sharpie pen to draw.  Over that I used glitter glue and some pearl paints. Leaves, feathers, whatever you want.  Just fun to do and great to do in front of the TV.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Though life has been rather chaotic with all the political action in the country we try to keep a  semblance of normality in our day-to-day activities.  Sometimes that is difficult.
 This group of ladies and I have been crafting together for several years now.  We've done a prayer journal, a min-book and now we do cards, which is always a useful craft to give friends.
 Most of them have children and they are in a church about 45 minutes away from where we live.  That sometimes hinders our winter classes, but not often since the busy highway that connect us is usually clear.
 My thanks to all those of you who have sent lovely materials that they use in their creations.
They have joy over doing them and I couldn't do it without your help.  Bless your hearts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I was honored to have my work featured and an interview on another artist's blog.  Hope you like it. You can see more here:    http://www.melaniestatnickart.com/#!featured-artist/c1f13

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


These are a couple pages from a large 10" x 14" altered book I'm doing for a year-long class called Life Book 2014.  This was a lesson on using spray inks by Tamara LaPorte.  It was fun.  The page was gessoed and stamped. Dylusion inks, sent by my friend Cynthia Henderson in Texas, were sprayed and blown.  The silver leaves were hand-cut from a foil coffee bag.

Friday, March 14, 2014


In celebration of spring this is one of the latest pieces I did as part of a year-long art course I'm doing called Life  Book 2014.  Nothing like a weekly assignment to keep you turning out the art work.  I do well with that sort of pressure.  Plus I'm always preparing for classes I teach and crafts I do with the kids in Sunday school  All of this with the back drop of possible war in Ukraine.  As you think of me, pray for peace.
The sun was a saw blade left behind by the roofers last fall.  I picked up several around the yard.  Some half pearls and glitter on top of yellow paint and waa-laa.  This is done in a 10"x14" altered book.  Though you probably can't see it, there is some found poetry in a couple of the flowers.  Left pages says, "Family, where everything begins and love never ends."  Right page, "Thank you for a house full of people I love.  Amen."

Monday, December 30, 2013


This year went so fast.  2013 is about to end.  Did the year go the way you expected?  Did you have some disappointments?  Maybe some unexpected delights?  God doesn't promise that all will be roses, but he does promise to take care of us, one day at a time.  If we can have a heart of gratefulness in all things, we will have joy.  If we have an expectancy of good and look for it, God will bless that attitude.  I made a decision a number of years ago to exercise a grateful heart....to look for the things I should be noticing and glad about....to count my proverbial blessings.  Has everything been roses since I made that decision?  No, there's been death, illness, injury, and more, but as I look back, the Lord was with me through it all and gave me peace.   As you go forward into this new year, why don't you make a decision to "rejoice and be glad in it."  I hope you will.  You will never regret.  Happy New Year to all our friends.  We love you.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gelli Printing

Love this.  I just have to do more Gelli printing.   No Gelli plate, you say?   This can be done with an old mouse pad or a piece of craft foam.  I've tried it both ways and it does work.  Have fun.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


France Papillion does "Journal on Monday" every week and she is quite the creative.  You'll enjoy her take on making stencils.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I started this art journal layout wanting to do something to demonstrate home made stencils to my students in our altered books class.  As an American in Ukraine I don't have access to all the goodies offered in the big mega-stores in America.  And I don't want to teach my students techniques they can't repeat on their own.  Now, I must admit, as I roam the internet or read a Stampington publication, I sometimes desire those new materials and goodies I see out there.  The flip side of that, not having them, can sometimes extend one's own creativity.  So the stencil figures you see here came from figures I cut out of magazines.  Rough cutting I glue to cardboard, then cut out again accurately.  If careful with your cardboard cutting step you can end up with both a stencil and a mask.  Here I used the cut-out mask and dabbed paint around it.  The leaves in the lower corners are what were left from a leaf stencil.  I used regular household spackle plaster and pushed it thru the cardstock stencil.  Being paper I had to throw it out after these two.  Now if one could laminate these they would last a lot longer.

By the way, I called this an art journal and it is, but all my art journaling is now done in altered books. This is an Amway soft cover catalog we didn't need.  Anything bound is subject to my scrutiny for an altered book. . . softecovers included.  And it has a spiral binding that will be fun to hang pretties from to decorate.

I also noticed that this page fits well with a challenge that is going on now at Kat McNally's blog, "words to soothe the weary soul."  Self-compassion is today's prompt.   The words on my page are a reminder that when we are tired and depressed, the morning comes and all looks better.  I learned that lesson years ago.  Now, I don't take my thoughts and emotions so seriously at night....I may just be tired.  Kat's blog:  http://www.katmcnally.com/2013/12/reverb13-day-19-self-compassion.html?showComment=1387432800751#c8887281586528337712

The last step was to add the verse on the tag:  "Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy coeth in the morning."  Psalm 30:5.

Hope you like it.  I love reading your comments.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Be Friends with Failure

 As artists we always have this interior critic running a dialogue.  "Is this good enough?"  You're not really an artist."  "Should I really be doing this?" This little cartoon will help your perspective.  Click the link below to go to "doodle alley, comics that nourish."

Be Friends with Failure

Sunday, December 1, 2013


My dear sweet husband did this on digital format for me.  So nice to be able to show the whole book at once.   It was fun to do and includes some work from art friends and some of my own little pieces.

Monday, November 18, 2013


This has been my silliness of late.  I did the lower ones first from hymn sheets of an old book that was put in it's binding upside down.  So it made a perfect candidate for crafting.  What you can't see here is the beautiful shimmer they each have.  The upper group was made from cardboard headed to the recycle bin.  I really do like birds so it stands to reason I would like feathers as well.  I'm already making more on this feather kick.  Not sure where it will end, but some have already flown off to other parts of the world.  I also shared this idea with my class  and they all wanted to make some as well.  So fun!  Hope you like them.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Altering Books in Ukraine

I have such fun with these high school students.  They are learning to alter books.  Most never even knew of such a thing.  As you see above we started out last Saturday with a video....they were intrigued.  Here are the backgrounds several did.  I think they are off to a good start.
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