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My Creative World…

Art Journaling On The Move

My cousin messaged me the other day and said that she was going to visit her sister and they wanted to do some art journaling together. She wanted a list of materials that she should bring to work with. I was making a mental list and then I decided that this would make a great blog post…especially since it is summer and vacation season.

She will be traveling by car, rather than flying so the possibilities are greater for carrying a variety of materials. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you want. The materials can be inexpensive or you can spring for the fancy, latest, trendy art supplies. Here is a list of some of the basics:

Art journal supplies

  • A journal with pages thick enough to handle water media. It can be large or small.
  • A set of watercolors-they are easy to pack and much simpler than lots of bottles of acrylic paints.
  • Optional-a tube or bottle of white acrylic paint to add highlighted areas or cover mistakes.
  • Colored pencils-I like watercolor pencils because they can do double duty.
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Optional-oil pastels
  • Graphite pencil
  • Colorful markers and gel pens
  • A sharpie
  • Calligraphy pen
  • Black Bic pen-they are great for writing over different media without getting clogged
  • Fine point white paint pen
  • Adhesives-glue sticks are non-messy or you can water down white glue to glue larger pieces. Make sure it is dry before closing the journal so your pages don’t stick together.
  • Letter stamps and favorite image stamps
  • Stencils and a cosmetic sponge to apply paint sparingly over the stencil
  • Things to make textures like bubble wrap.
  • Magazines with colorful images like faces and patterns to cut up and collage. If I am away from home, sometimes I like to gather materials locally like the brochures for local attractions, ticket stubs, tags, newspaper clippings.
  • Some of your own photos that you would like to include.

IMG_2469All of this should fit nicely into a medium sized bag so it will be super portable.


Now if you are really limited on space you can make a miniature kit to travel with. This is great for when you are flying. When I am traveling out of the country, this is actually what I take.

  • A small moleskine journal
  • A tiny watercolor set
  • A film canister for water
  • A small mechanical pencil-extra leads inside
  • A glue stick
  • Folding scissors
  • A Bic pen or other fine point black pen

IMG_2471This fits easily in a carry on bag or in a purse. (Even my tiny purse.) This one is good to carry with you anywhere just in case you are stuck waiting somewhere or if inspiration strikes you to record a memorable experience.

I hope this helps! Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite travel art journaling supplies are.

Playing With My Food


My garden has not only been a source of sustenance lately, but also a source of inspiration. An abundance of squash and cucumbers and turnips has had me thinking of ways to capture the harvest in more ways than just canning, pickling, and freezing. The patty pan squash have provided a lot of entertainment. They hide under the leaves and become gargantuan. Too big to eat, I have had to find other uses.

IMG_1690They have become movie stars.

Click on this little link below for dancing squash.



Bohemian models.

IMG_1634Patriotic Patty Pans

IMG_2148Serving dishes.

IMG_1704And lots of fun to share with my friends.

“He who shares the joy in what he’s grown spreads joy abroad and doubles his own“.

Combining Media Digitally

IMG_1136Someone asked me a couple of days ago where I get my ideas. I said that sometimes they just happen organically. I don’t always set out with a concrete idea of what I want a piece to look like. I just start with some elements and play around with them and at some point, after a few happy accidents, I decide that I like the way it looks.

IMG_1370I was playing around with dyeing some fabric and paper with natural dyes like beet juice and wine. It looked….okay. I wasn’t thrilled. I decided to stamp some shapes on it with my handmade stamps and ink. I’m liking it a little better. I photographed it and then started playing with it digitally in some Ipad apps like DistressedFX.



I liked this look! Then I used a photo of a tree and it’s reflectinon as a custom texture on top of the fabric and paper. I’m liking it even better. I saved it and reopened it and added birds. Kind of dreamy.


I had this vintage photo that I got from my family photos. I don’t know who this couple is, but they look so sweet together. I opened it in DistressedFX also and added a texture and then again and added the tree and birds.

Then I layered it on top of the fabric/paper photo in my Procreate App, that allows me to open a layer over a background and control the opacity and hue and size.





It feels done! I saved it as it is and then I decided to try another photo on the top of it next. I love the result of the next one, but I like the one with the people better. It feels like it has a story. Maybe someday I will find out who they are.


Stormy Weather 

Sometimes in Middle Tennessee we have bands of severe thunderstorms that travel through with high winds and hail. We have had the milder edge of the storms this evening, but the more severe weather seems to be north of us where our kids live. I try not to fret. 

 The weather has knocked out our TV signal but the internet still works. Woohoo! I occupy my self by editing and altering the photos I took earlier of the stormy skies. 

When I was a kid, my grandmother was deathly afraid of storms and if we were staying at her house during one, she would put quilts over the windows and make us stay in the front company bedroom under the covers. One time I remember all of us having to go into the root cellar to wait out an especially bad storm. I can still recall the earthy smell…like potatoes. 

For some reason, that fear didn’t rub off on me. I prefer to stand out on my deck and watch the lightening  and take pictures.  


True Story

Living in the south is interesting.

I was shopping in Aldi one day with my cart filled full of mostly veggies and this tall and somewhat round guy in overalls stopped me and said, “Well honey you ain’t no bigger than a minute! That ain’t gonna fatten you up. How ’bout you and me take this here watermelon outside and break it open on a rock and eat the middle out!”

I guess that was his creative pick up line. I just laughed and politely declined.

I wonder if anyone has ever taken him up on that invitation.

Feels like summer is a bit early today. The high is about 95 degrees. I’m thankful for air conditioning and ice cold watermelon.

Ahhhhhhh…Studio Time

I love it when I get some uninterrupted time in my studio! So…today, after I made breakfast, picked the garden, mowed the yard and ate lunch, I got to escape to my creative space and get to work.

I had an order for 5 pairs of earrings of different colors so that was first on the list. They are all torch fired enamel in various shapes and colors and textures.


Then I popped outside to water my flowers on the patio which were looking a little wilted, and then got back to work. My dress form mannequin had been needing a makeover for a long time and I had an idea for it when I was driving down the road yesterday. I took off the old fabric cover and covered it with vintage dress pattern tissue.

While waiting for her to dry, I was sorting through some of the polymer clay beads that I made recently, I noticed a good combination with a ceramic clay pendant that I had made a while back using one of my hand carved stamps. A good starting point for a new necklace.
IMG_1621.JPGHere is my newly refreshed mannequin enjoying the flowers on the patio while modeling my newest creation.

Light Buggies

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated my grandson’s second birthday. He got to stay up way past his bedtime which is usually just before dark. It was the first time that he had seen fireflies! He would squeal and run all around the yard and yell, “Light buggie!” I ran around with him and tried to catch them with no success. It was so fun to experience that with him. I created this digital collage to record that event.

I was sitting on my patio doing some watercolors and decided to do a stylized version of our trees around the house. When I was doing the background, I decided to make it a night sky and add fireflies. That sparked the idea to add him with his net. I searched my photos and found one with a pose that would work. I layered it using my Procreate app on my iPad and drew a net in his hand. 

I’m going to print one for his room and maybe a journal page for him. I’m not really into the scrapbooking thing, but the idea of making a sort of art journal for my grandchildren is appealing. I am collecting things but haven’t really combined them yet. It will happen. :-)

I’ve got to record this amazing journey!

New Art Journaling Class

1I’ve scheduled a new Art Journaling class for Monday, June 22 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at Wall Candy Custom Framing and Gallery in Columbia, TN. All materials will be included in the price except the journal. Bring your own, or purchase one from me for $5 extra. The price will be $25 per person. ($5 discount for extra family members) Please RSVP to me or to Wall Candy within 4 days of the class so I know how many supplies to bring. You may pay the day of the class or prepay using Paypal. Email me and I will send you the Paypal info.
For teenagers and adults.
Please share the link if you know people who might be interested. Class size is limited to 8 but I will make another class if there is enough interest.
Great for homeschoolers to encourage creative writing skills. Even if you are not interested in journaling, the techniques will be of anyone who is interested in mixed media collage.

Polymer Play

I have long been frustrated with the bead selection locally. It is hard to find the kind of earthy looking beads that I like anywhere within an hours drive. For inspiration, I looked to the clay beads of my friend Vladthebat and the work of an artist known as Raggedrobyn whose work I have admired for some time. They make very organic creations with earthen clay.  Even though I have the kiln and clay, lacking the patience for that process today, I turned to polymer clay to try to capture that feeling. Here are the pieces I came up with.

 I textured the sides of the beads by rolling them over some rubber stamps that I had carved. Then I painted them with acrylics and added guilder’s wax for some sheen.

I strung them on black waxed linen cords and added a ceramic button that I made a while back for the closure. I discovered that my macrame needs a little work. :-) It does give it a more rustic look though. Also, there is the texture of my fingerprints. I was once in a Yahoo charm exchange group and the leader of the group would have a hissy fit (southern term for getting really irate) and reject charms if they were polymer clay and you could see fingerprints on them. I have always loved to see fingerprints because it is a part of the artist. Kind of like a signature.

    27″ long   All elements handmade by little old me.



A Little Helper

Lately I have been experimenting more in digital collage. I recently was inspired by the work of Sloan Bibb, who is a mixed media collage artist who lives about an hour from me. He constructs huge works that include vintage photos, rusty metal bits, and all kinds of random objects. He mixes humor and the unexpected into his art. I thought I might try some of the same ideas in my digital art.

This is the first of the bunch. I’m calling it “A Little Helper.”

Each element is a separate photo which I have applied filters and effects to. The background is a shot that I took while driving to visit my kids near where they live. I opened it in the DistressedFX app and added textures and effects.

Next, I had found this cute little girl in a 1961 Life Magazine. I just love her little white gloves! I mounted her to a piece of mat board and cut her out carefully. Then I painted an egg for her to hold. Looking for a backdrop to photograph her on, I found this old cigar box lid. After photographing her, I added the effects.

Then I took one of my nests that I saved last spring and placed it on top of a vintage white glove and put them on top of a rusted old oil heater. Effects where applied to those too.

Then I combined them in the Procreate App on my Ipad and erased any parts I didn’t want to show up. I found a vintage illustration of a bird and layered it on top and erased the background. In Procreate, you can adjust the color balance so I tried to make the tone of each element coherent. I also opened it in an app called ScratchCam and added an effect to the whole composition to unify it. I may add some text to the mix when I figure out what I want it to say. The fun thing is that I can save the original and experiment with the copies to my heart’s desire.

More to come…


Enchanted Forest

For several years now, my Mom has been progressing through the stages of Alzheimers. Lately she has gotten more confused and has had to be moved from an assisted living facility to a nursing home. She has extra sitters throughout the day, but for about a week we were dealing with red tape so she was by herself for a while. We visited frequently and she seemed happy there, but there was much confusion about where she was. We would answer the same questions over and over again. “Where am I now?”

I was thinking about how frustrating it would be to know and then forget the same simple fact of where you are over and over again. It reminded me of wandering in a forest and realizing that you are totally lost. You may find the path, but loose it again.

I process things through my art and so I began making some mixed media digital collages using some of my nature photos, painted backgrounds, and pictures of Mom when she was young. I am trying to tell the story of a young girl lost in an enchanted forest. She finds places to rest and friends to help her along the way.  The journey is just beginning and time will tell where it leads.  

The beginning of the journey.

  A place to rest.

  A friend to help along the way. 

From The Kitchen

 Nothing is safe from my camera these days.

 These pears are in front of a painting that I did for my art class when I was 17.

  The catch of the day.

 My tasty pineapple before I cut it up.


 The sun shining in on my hubby’s breakfast fruit.

Country Roads

 As I drive down the road from my house…

  I start to see the old familiar sights…

  With new eyes. 

Dreaming Of The Sea

I managed to sneak in a few hours at my workbench today. I had already painted these handmade clay elements, which inspired me to go with an ocean theme today. There is a starfish and a print of a piece of coral for texture. I had some yummy trade beads and turquoise and iridescent stone beads which blended nicely and gave that earthy feeling that I love.  


I had mister crab lying around for a while, so I decided to go with the same color scheme and feeling .   He is hollow and soldered onto a copper base, so he is much lighter than he looks. All of these creations are one of a kind.


Going Photo App Crazy!

I’ve loved taking IPhoto’s for a long time, but recently I found an app that I adore! The DistressedFX app for IPhone is so fun! I am addicted. When I drive to town or walk around my house or yard I am constantly looking for interesting shots that will work well on the app. I can almost envision what they will look like.

Here are some of the shots I have been taking lately.


For more photos, follow me on Instagram at @stillwatersstudio.

Art Journal Workshop


Please join us as we construct art journals from “scratch”…as we say in the south. We will be assembling and binding journals out of watercolor paper. We will then paint the pages and explore different techniques for adding embellishments, found objects, and memorabilia. We will learn to add decorative lettering by hand and with stamps and by collage. When you leave the class, you will have a journal at least one completed page and with many of the pages with the base design ready to add your own unique thoughts and images, depending on how quickly you work.

Provided materials will include:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Paints
  • Markers
  • Stamps
  • Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Decorative papers
  • Binding twine and needles

Students should bring:

  • Black fine point pen (permanent)
  • Magazines with colorful patterns and images and faces
  • Favorite quotes, scriptures, or poems
  • An inexpensive watercolor set such as Prang or Crayola. (these have good pigments)
  • Any stamps, paint pens, decorative papers or memorabilia or ephemera that you may have that you might like to incorporate into your journal.

The cost for the class is $45 payable on the day of the class. Please email me at: stillwatersart@gmail.com and let me know by March 20th if you would like to participate. Class size limit is 8. If there is more interest, I will schedule another class at a later date.

The location is Wall Candy Custom Framing and Gallery in Columbia, TN.  Click the link for address details.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all there!


Clay, Wire, and Beads

I finally got around to firing a whole batch of clay pendants and beads. Figuring out how to fire that kiln was a dilemma that had me puzzled for a long time. On my first attempt, I shot the breaker and shut down all of the plugs in my studio. It didn’t make it through an entire cycle so the pieces were too brittle. Then I moved it to the garage where there is sturdier wiring and SUCCESS! Phew!

Here are some of the necklaces that I have made with them. There are a few more already at Wall Candy Gallery in Columbia.

Also I made some tiny dangles to use for earrings.

I love the grungy look of the trade beads! Here are also some bracelets that I made using the trade beads that kind of match the necklaces and earrings. I can make these in many different color combinations if you are interested. Just send me a message. :-)

Orphaned Earring Finds New Home



A friend of mine gave me this cool, dangly earring. I just had to find a use for it. I embedded it into molten pewter along with a piece of hammered brass wire. Then I stamped a design into the pewter and combined it with some funky wooden beads and a chain made of hand hammered metal links with brass beads. Neutral colors will allow this necklace to go with any outfit.

Then I got hammer happy on my anvil and made a bevy of bangles with all sorts of fun beads. You could wear them alone or combine them with other bracelets for that gypsy look. The old hippie in me likes that idea. :-)


Well, this necklace is a little bold, but sometimes you just have to make a statement. A piece of re-purposed tin with an image of a cowboy and the Alamo are the central elements. It is cold connected with brass rivets to a piece of hand cut and hammered copper with the word “courage” stamped onto brass and riveted on top. The dangles are made of 22 cal. bullet shells. The back of the necklace is leather for a comfortable fit on your neck and it is long enough to slip over your head without a clasp. It also includes stone, wooden, and glass beads.

Yeee haaaa!

Don’t you need this for your rodeo attire?

Yummy Beady Colorful Fun

I don’t know what it is about these beads…they are sooo yummy I could eat them. I am enamored by powder glass beads. I recently found a vendor at the Nashville Flea Market who had a large stash of them. He was showing me the little mold that they make them in and the tools used to take them out. Fascinating! Here is a Wikipedia link about the types and processes involved in making them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_glass_beads

The colors inspired me to make some torch fired enamel dangles for this necklace to match the red. Also included are some glass, stone, and ornate copper beads.

Then I got on an earring kick. More torch fired enamel, 22 cal. shells, turquoise, trade beads, funky colored faceted crystals, copper beads, some kind of iridescent drusy round stone beads…all kinds of tasty treats to go around.


Each one is a little bit different. Why blend in with the crowd? Wear a piece of art!



It’s the time of year to start to dream about digging in the earth and planting seeds. A couple of days ago, we were in the mid 30’s and alternating between a blizzard and sunshine. In about three days, the prognosticators are saying that it will be 75 degrees. While I still have some time when it is not quite gardening weather, it is the perfect time to spend in my studio.

The necklace above features a hand cut and hammered central piece with a deer antler toggle. The beads are vintage trade beads, semi-precious stones, metal, and clay beads that I picked up at the Nashville Flea Market last week.

The central stone in this necklace is a large jasper “button” that I picked up in Taos a few years ago and a yummy fibers store. I kept trying it out in different applications and never was satisfied with it until now. It is combined with a hand hammered copper spiral and a wooden element, which was given to me by my friend Steph.

The clay pendant in the necklace below was also given to me by Steph. Check out her blog Vladthebatsattic. I combined it with some river driftwood, trade beads, wooden beads, macrame’ and a vintage celluloid button closure.


Delicious Patina

This patina on brass inspired me to use some of my favorite colors combined to make this necklace. There are yummy trade beads, and torch fired enamel dangles, with a chain of glass beads and a vintage button and loop closure.

I also finally got around to making some earrings. These are the melded metal and the stamping that I learned in the Richard Salley workshop.

The ones below would be a perfect match with the necklace above…if you are into matching. :-)


A Circle With A Hole

Circle inspirations, joined hand in hand…a lovely aqua ceramic disc from Vladthebatsattic, a beach stone from the Florida coast, a cast pewter element, a lampworked bead, and a coin carry the theme.

Having Some Fun Now

I had a bright and yummy surprise on a gray, wintry day. Goodies from Steph in Belgium! Merci beaucoup my friend! There are some goodies headed your way too!

I’ve really been having a lot of fun in the studio with my metal melding! It’s good to have the inspiration and the time to spend in the studio coincide. A couple of these have already sold, but the rest will be either at Wall Candy Gallery in Columbia, or Cliques Hair Salon. Our First Thursday Artisans Party is coming up next week!

I keep test driving the one above. I’m going to have a hard time parting with this one. I don’t keep many for myself, but I do have my favorites. Each one is unique and I rarely repeat one exactly.

I hope you can all come out and join the fun next Thursday at Wall Candy!