Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Several months ago, I took a wonderful online class with Roben Marie Smith called MIXED MEDIA MAYHEM (See the link in the sidebar).  What fun it was to get out file folders, gesso, sprays and stencils of all kinds to play away!

Right after finishing the online instructions, I put my book together, but never finished adding all my images and thoughts.  As one season is drawing to a close, I felt the nudge to get this one finished, as I also work on my VELVET DAYS journal.  It has been really stimulating creatively to work on both of them, setting the goal of completing them before autumn arrives.  
I have recently reflected a lot on what really makes me happy. One thing I know is that I love to 
set goals, make lists and check off completed tasks.
This great love of structure must come from the "teacher gene"... 
one that will always be with me.
Here is the title page of UPON REFLECTION.

While on a "scavenger hunt" at a local antique mall a few weeks ago,
I found a delightful, but ancient children's book.
The pages were literally falling apart from the spine, but the images were
so inviting.   I just instantly fell in love.
Since the book was all but gone, I didn't feel so bad to cut it apart...
bringing it back to life in my own little journal.

I have had a real determination of late to use up more of my "stash"....
I have drawers and drawers full of so many wonderful things and I keep hoarding them... silk ribbons,  laces, vintage metal pieces... just to name a few.
It has been wonderful to see some of these treasures take on new purpose in a different context.

Collecting quotes is also a meaningful pastime for me, and luckily I was able to find the ones
that spoke deeply to me.

The little bluebird in the page below was one of my first attempts at watercolor.  Watercolor is a tough medium to master, but I will keep trying because I just love the transparency of the color...yummm.  

My own gorgeous mother is the subject of the page on the left below.  She was beautifully dressed as a
sixteen-year-old ready for the May Day dance.   Love that pink dress and fur coat.

Back to work on more pages from UPON REFLECTION and VELVET DAYS. 
I have goals to reach!

  Here's hoping your last day of August is divine.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some rolodex card fun

I have been having some fun, using the many scraps off my art table to create mini collages for the vintage rolodex. This one uses as a background some of that delicious Cavallini wrapping paper.  It makes my heart sing!

 Birds, eggs and nests are a recurring theme in everything I do.  There is no symbol that I love more that the sweet little birds.  They represent so much that is good in life.  Collecting vintage millinery is another passion of mine, scouring antique malls for wonderful old hats.  Lace, old flowers and seam binding usually find their way into many of my pieces, too.
Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to snag a fabulous ruffled tote from Jeanne Oliver.  The packaging it arrived in was almost as magical as the bag itself. I just had to save the vintage pieces and recycle them on this card.

I have been asked if I collage right over the vintage rolodex cards.  Yes, I do.  I collage on both sides and just cut out the little slits (that run across the rolodex) as best I can.  They aren't perfect, but so far... they are working well.  My next challenge is to decide what to do with the tabbed cards that have alphabet letters on them... Hummmm....  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Would you love to spend a few days in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, while having a marvelous time finding out how "creativity is the spice of life"?  

Please consider joining this special "tribe" of creative spirits who come together each September, under the direction of artists Kristi Steiner and Susan Edmonson.  What a time of renewal of spirit and creativity we have while making the most wonderful mixed media creations.  Friendships are made and renewed that last for a lifetime.  It would be so grand to have you join us there.  We are limited to 50, but a few slots remain. For more information, go to  This year's "spicey" plans are bound to be the best time ever!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thoroughly immersed in SOUL RESTORATION

I started the online class SOUL RESTORATION 1 several weeks ago.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.  What an impact this course has had on my spirit.  We are about to begin week 5, and I soooooooo don't want it to end.  Thank you, Melody for your inspiration.  I can't wait to continue this journey.

A peep inside VELVET DAYS

How many art journals can a girl make??? I'm not sure I know the answer to that question!  I just LOVE taking old books, photos albums, and vintage treasures to make a new creation that makes my heart sing.
After enrolling in the Mary Ann Moss FULL TILT BOOGIE online class, I jumped in head first and started on yet another new "old" book.

This time, I wanted the contents of my book to be a little different from any of the others I have made in the past.  You may have heard about the SMASH book craze.  The smash book idea is one that struck a chord with me, as I have always collected pages and pages of lovely clippings I tear out of the millions of magazines and old discarded books I adore.  I have recently become addicted to the online version of this collecting notion... PINTEREST.  Have you spent some time perusing all the gorgeous images there???'s a visual heaven... a feast for the eyes.

The veteran school teacher in me cannot turn loose completely from the awe I feel from the actual touch of "the real thing".  Sooooo, I decided to take my own collection of "tear-outs" that I have held onto for so long... stuck inside many organized, labeled binders.  What fun is that???  I decided to meld my cut-outs, vintage wallpapers, favorite quotes, and other yummy "goodies" from my stash.  Since I call this one VELVET DAYS, I labeled each page with a tiny tag attached to a velvet remnant. My book is already getting so fat I can hardly close it, but that is so my M.O.  None of my other books close, so why start now????


Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday musings...

After weeks in the upper 90's here in western North Carolina, it's so refreshing today to feel temperatures in the upper 70's.... ahhhhhhh, what a delightful day to "play" at my art table.  I love the work of Patty Van Dorin and find her blog so inspiring.  She really grabbed my attention with her entries showing the magic she made with a vintage metal rolodex.  I ADORE old office supplies and find them to be perfect to use in some of my art. So I began the search for one I could "alter".  What a score I made on ETSY when I found this beauty.  I've already put it to a perfect purpose, making mini collages for an online class I am taking...  I LOVE it when a good plan comes together...

In love with vintage luggage

After reading some posts on one of my favorite blogs, 2 GYPSY GIRLS several months ago, I totally fell in love with the idea of collecting vintage luggage.  These GYPSY GIRLS opened my eyes to so many creative ideas for using these antiques in my home.  One of their ideas was to find old train cases and re-purpose them as a display for treasured handmade books and other art delights.  After gadding about in my area, I was lucky enough to find some fabulous pieces that could make such a statement in my own sweet "nest".  I can't stop making books, and now I have a fun way to enjoy them.  Maybe you have some wonderful suitcases that you can put to use to show off some of your treasures. What fun to take something "unexpected" and give it a new and "funky" purpose!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's finally time for "SOUL RESTORATION"...

Have you ever thought and thought about taking a big step... almost stepping out and then taking a few steps back?  I know I have done that at various times throughout my life.  I have read so much about the BRAVE GIRLS CAMP and its life-changing results.  So many of the artists I know and admire have taken the online class SOUL RESTORATION.  I have yet to hear one of them say it was anything less than life-changing.  After much "soul-searching" I finally decided today it is time... so here I go... heaven knows where it will take me... but I'm ready for the journey.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A bit of an explanation

Several years ago I happened to take a road trip to charming Saluda, NC, where I went to RANDOM ARTS and met the multi-talented Jane Powell. Having done so many kinds of art, I had never worked with book arts or mixed media. Jane and Jen introduced me to a whole new world. I hobbled to my car with all I could carry---from a Japanese screw punch to paints of all kinds. Jane was sponsoring classes with some of the best mixed media artists in the country. So I jumped in head first! One of the first classes I signed up for was the delightful Kristin Steiner's "To Map the Treasures of my Heart". I knew from the first moment I was in the perfect place... doing the kind of work I had yearned for my whole life.

Kristi, in her ever-encouraging way, inspired me to set out on this special journey of self-discovery and expression. One of the assignments of her class was to bring in a baby picture of ourselves to use on a book page. From that day forward, dearest Kristi has affectionately nicknamed me "Baby Jane". Although I'm far from being a baby, my nickname has "stuck" and many of my "art tribe" still call me "Baby Jane"... thus the name for my blog. Being a child at heart has given me the courage and freedom to "play" at my art table.

I hope you find what you love to do and make it your "passion". Passion makes life worth living. Live... Laugh... Love... every day.

August's first Saturday

August's first Saturday has arrived with all the steaminess of the usual late summer days here in the South. It's hard to stay outside for too long without running for the respite inside my own cool abode. Iced sweet tea with lemon and soft custard ice cream have become the staples of these lazy days and nights.

I have found time to work on organizing my art supplies... and while doing so, I've discovered all kinds of wonderful treasures I had forgotten... laces, ribbons, vintage earrings, baubles and so many sweet things that had gotten buried underneath piles and piles of fabric and papers. I was prompted to forage through my stash as I was working on my first journal for the FULL TILT BOOGIE online class with Mary Ann Moss. Her delightful style has pulled me out of the summer doldrums and inspired me to "play" with old vintage photo albums and day books from times long ago. I was able to snag a great old velvet photo album... the kind that held pages with many windows full of cabinet card-type photos. I just adore the "shabby-chic" quality it exudes as I flipped through all the pages... wondering whose pictures it held for all this time???

The premise of FULL TILT BOOGIE is to repurpose these delicious old albums and books and turn them into our own "art havens"... with hand-stitched pages of all kinds of papers... My book called "VELVET DAYS" is filled with Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolor paper (my favorite paper in the whole world), old file folders, vintage wallpaper, postal mailers and delicate rice paper. The spine of my book has been adorned with swatches of textured upholstery fabrics, silks and hand-dyed velvets. My dear friend Tonya had sent me a gift and I had saved the hand-made muslin rose she tied around my present. I aged the posey by misting it with a couple of vintage colors and sewed on an old button. My darling flower reminds me of my sweet friend as it becomes the closure of my book. I can't get enough of crinkled seam binding... and that green is oooh la la..... What are you creating these days???