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WIP – assemblage self portrait

I don’t recall the first time I saw this style of mixed media assemblage art, but I am pretty sure it was in one of the Stampington and Company publications, which I’ve loved since way back in my rubber stamping days.

What renewed my interest was Finnabair’s lesson in Life Book 2014, I’ve been enchanted with her style of blending portraits and assemblage art.

For the past few months, I’ve been watching and rewatching the videos on her youtube channel. I like how she incorporates self-portraits; however, I’m not a big fan of my own selfies.  I do enjoy paint over collage.  So I took a few new selfies with the goal of using them as paint-overs and picked this one for today’s piece.

The collage started on a wrapped canvas and colored with Neocolor 2 water soluable crayons.  I set the crayons with a layer of white gesso and followed that with crackle paste through some of my favorite stencils.  After gluing down my portrait, I mixed some Decoart lavendar with modeling paste, which I pushed through a round stencil design for my hair/halo.

A blend of Santa’s Flesh, Titan Buff, and clear gesso covers my face and I glued down some decorative paper for my dress. 

At the moment, I’m sidetracked with my photoshop artistry class, but I’ll get back around to finishing this painting and post the results.

Happy arting!

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WIP scalloped assemblage

Hi art friends,

The assemblage art continues as I work on incorporating this style into my art.  You may recall from a couple posts ago, that I edited this image in digiKam for use in my digital photo collages.

Here is the actual work at the stage where I glued down all the elements and waited for it to dry before I coated it with white gesso.

The elements for this piece includes beads, buttons, a old key, sequins, string, paper die cuts from my Cricut machine and other random stuff from my arts and crafts stashes. I also used my Creative Paperclay and a silicon mold from Prima Marketing. I’ve made several of these elements and really like they way they add to an assemblage piece. You see more in future posts.

It’s a fun, spontaneous and messy process – I love it.

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Zeus’ Women video catalog

Hi ho art friends.

I took a webinar recently on how to create videos using PowerPoint. Of course, at home, I operate in an Open Source environment, so it’s taken me some time to figure out how to create these videos using alternative methods and figure out what I would use them for.

Which leads to today’s post.  As you know, I’ve closed my Etsy shop and re-opened my shop right here at Tenukihandcrafts HQ using a Business account and the Woo Commerce shop theme.

The idea came to me last night: make a short video about the first of the Zeus’ Women prints: Aphrodite.  Once I got started, though, I made a catalog for the entire collection. It’s taken me all day to create, edit and post the video, as well as get the art prints posted to my shop. I still need to add the original artwork that is still available, as well as the greeting cards.

In the time it took me to get all the Zeus’ Women prints in the shop, I developed a nice rhythm for editing the photos and making the product posts.  It is as easy to create this product posts here as it was on Etsy.

I used Google Slides and the Look Book theme to create the presentation.  I recorded the presentation using vokoscreen, which is a screen capture program. I edited the video and music with kden live. Although the editing is straightforward, I find my current skill level is sufficient for the videos I am producing.

I did not record an audio track for this catalog, as I felt the text and images were sufficient.

The music is my favorite piece, “Right” by The Insider, which I downloaded from the Free Music Archive and use with permission via the artist’s Creative Commons Share and Share Alike license, with attribution.  The music clip was only edited for time.

Without further ado, here is my first video catalog:

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LB2018 Lesson 1 Digital

Hi ho friends.

I skipped Tamara Laporte’s Life Book class for a couple of years.  It’s a great class, but I really needed a break in order to incorporate what I was learning.  However, I am ready for the class and joined in 2018.

As always, Week 1 has multiple lessons and LB 2018 is no exception. I am working my class lessons in my 2018 bullet journal, so my pages are quite small.  This morning it dawned on me that when I have time, in addition to the bujo version of the lesson, I will create a digital version.

You see, I found the open source paint program, Krita recently.  It’s created and maintained by artists and it more intuitive than the Gimp. I thought this would be a good excuse to get to know Krita and get a little extra arting in every week.

Today’s post is the first of the LB2018 digital pieces. It is the 2nd time I’ve used Krita but I like that I was able to keep working on the layers until I liked it. Just as one does on paper. The first lesson is Tam’s Gentle Warm-up and I thought it was ideal because it is a free-form mixed media collage/word for the year and no face.


My word for 2018 is healing – I’m 7 months post knee surgery and a few months to go until the other knee is done, so healing is pretty much job 1 around here.

As for using Krita, it is more intuitive than Gimp and when I got stumped, it was easy to find very short, helpful tutorials. I managed to do something cool (the purple circles at the bottom) but I couldn’t replicate it so I have plenty to learn.  I also picked up an additional brush set – the default set is a bit limited, but not to worry, there are a lot of artists out there who share their brush sets.

If you’re interested in checking out Krita, there are versions for all operating systems and it’s free, so you don’t really have an excuse, huh? I picked up the additional brush set from David Revoy, also for free. David includes good instructions for downloading and importing his brush set into Krita.

What’s new for you in 2018?  Leave me a comment and a link – I’ll stop by and see what you’re up to.

Happy arting!


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Art Journal Page: Feel it

Hi ho, lovely readers.

It occurred to me recently that I’ve kept myself so busy with art class lessons, I haven’t taken the time to integrate the lessons into my work.  My primary art goal for 2017 is Integration.  Today’s post is the start of an art journal page I’ve been working on.

I used 2 Dyan Reaveley masks, one large and one medium sized stencil/mask set (the name I can’t remember or find) and my own profile face stencil. The color is Distress Spray. The journal is my 9×12 Leuchturm 1917, which I love, but the pages soak up the Distress sprays and takes a long time to dry.


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Post Apocalyptic Wild Horses

Hi ho my lovelies,

I have been stuck on what to do with the 10th and final piece for my show next month.  I tried to mix techniques up with my portraits, but the last one stumped me.

I distracted myself with my Happy Planner, which led me on a visual chase that included a lot of youtube videos, my stack of Somerset publications, and at some point, I remembered Effy Wild’s lesson from the 2014 Life Book on negative space.  That string led me to the idea that is helping me finish the portrait.  I decided I wanted a profile for this portrait and to use a stencil.  I’ve had some trouble with facial profiles, so I spent a little time fiddling and came up with a stencil I really like that is based on one of the Radiant Faces Lesson, the Dreamer. Oddly appropriate for the final portrait:  Maya, the goddess who lived in a cave, mother of Hermes, and surrogate mother to Calisto’s son, Arcas. So she ties nicely into the series.

This style of making an elaborate background and then painting out shapes takes me a long time.  Lots of layers.  Lots of waiting for layers to dry.

Rather than jump right into my portrait, I made a few stencil tests.

Which is the point of this post (finally, the point!).

This 2 page spread started with the horse and unicorn sketches, done with a Derwent Medium Wash Pencil. I wanted to see how far I could push the wash.  I added a couple of birds and then used a couple of Gelatos, activated, for the background.

For the profile test, I used Distress Sprays in Mermaid Lagoon (delish!) and Wild Honey.  These two colors blend together nicely into a pine-ish green. Very pretty. Once it dries, I am going to take some gesso and grunge the background, which will bring the figures forward and set the Distress Sprays.

The journal is my very large (16″x22″) I forget the brand.  Probably Canson.

More on my show in future posts.

In the meantime…fly, be free!


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My Hiro

I’ve been brewing a mixed media project that tells a story using my dolls. I’m still working through the details, how do I want it to look, how to incorporate photos and hand drawn art…do I want to do extensive digital photo manipulation, how much of the words need to be visible, etc.

I’m starting with the characters. This is Hiro. I wouldn’t call this page finished, just done for today.


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Preview of My Minimalist Mixed Media Planner

Hi ho, my lovelies.

One of my art goals is to get my work published in my favorite mixed media art magazines – Cloth Paper Scissors or one of the Stampington publications. I admit that I haven’t pursued this goal rigorously. Last year, I submitted an entry in CPS sugar skull reader challenge. This year, I submitted an entry to CPS’s Mixed Media Planner challenge.  My entry wasn’t selected, so today’s post is about my version of a planner. Future posts will present techniques and video tutorials so you can make your own, along with future pages.

Why a planner? I have a planner obsession, complete with Pinterest board.  For many years now, I purchase a new planner at the beginning of the year, make lists, plans, and lots of goals, only to give up after 3 or 4 months – once the New Year’s enthusiasm wears off. I persisted with the paper planner obsession even though we are well into the 21st Century and I use my smart phone keeps track of scheduling, lists, and contacts. I’ve purchased various planner systems, all with the same result: blank pages partway into the year.

I won’t even go into my shame spiral about the Documented Life plan I started 2015 with…

Why Minimalist? I’ve made a start on a minimalist kick lately with my wardrobe and my studio. I won’t digress into further detail but the minimalist wardrobe class on Project 333 coincided with taking Kelly Rae Robert’s Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media class – which is not minimalist but I really enjoyed the way Kelly Rae distilled some dig deep journaling into a mantra. Besides, her style of mixed media art is a lot of intuitive fun. When the CPS planner challenge was announced, I decided to distill everything into creating my own planner.

I spent some time examining the planners I like, ditched the duplicated tasks my phone handles, fiddling with layouts. In looking through my planners, I found a statement in my 2014 planner/art journal to work on one goal at a time. I work a full-time job at a major local hospital and, like everyone else, my non-work life is full of stuff: chores, family and friends, movies, hobbies, and, in my case, making art.

After honing my planner contents down, I started making the pages for the CPS challenge. The key to my planner is to explore my goal through journaling, use the words as the first layer and create a beautiful page with a mantra or quote that represents my goal.  When I achieve my goal, I’ll make a page to celebrate my accomplishment, pick another item on the Master list and repeat the process. While I work on the goal, my planner is my art journal.

Most goal-setting people advocated setting a date for one’s goals, but frankly, I dislike setting dates. In my job as an Administrative Assistant, I spend every work day working with calendars, meetings, and deadlines. I don’t like to plan my non-work time. Much to the dismay of my dear hubby.

The contradiction of the planner obsession and the complete resistance to planning outside of work is not lost on me. We’ll see how the Minimalist Planner works out but my gut feeling is that focusing on one task is the key to reaching it.

Here are 2 of my pages and the cover. The CPS challenge rules were for a planner no larger than 6″ x 8″. More planner details to come.

MMP-MasterList-page MMP-Mantra-page MMP-Cover

I’d like to know your thoughts on my Minimalist Planner.  Do you want to see more? Do you have any requests for techniques you’d like to see?

Fly, be free.

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Pebble Girl




The Gimp-speriments continue. I have a pebbly obsession. I like them. Fortunately, I can now virtually pick them up with my camera. And merge them with one of my journal pages. I like the pebble texture. It almost looks like it’s the paper.

What are your experiments? Leave me a comment and tell me what you’re working on.

Fly, be free, my lovelies.