Saturday, April 29, 2017


 As a design team member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I get to do a post once a month using some of their fabulous designs. I have long admired the beautiful crowns made by other team members, but I never tried my hand at making one of my own. When I tried to come up with a design, I began dreaming and quickly fell down the rabbit hole... then this happened. This would make a darling cake topper, party favors or table decoration for a Mad Hatter Tea Party.
  The crown itself starts with a chipboard piece that hooks together with a brad (you can also glue it, I do both), then you begin painting. 

This was my first attempt with Patina Paste and it is ridiculous how easy it is to use to achieve so many beautiful effects.

The first thing I did was to smooth and attach the crown together with glue and the brad. Then I used the Blue paste patina covering the crown back and front. Once dry, I added another layer using the Brass patina paste. While that was drying, I added two strips of Dresden Foil trim around the bottom of the crown and then glued on some jewel embellishments.
 Next I took the Alice in Wonderland Chipboard cut outs and painted them with acrylic Metallic paint on the back and the front I just painted the edges.

 Once dry, I glued the Alice in Wonderland paper cuts to the matching chipboard pieces. Then I took some of the Brass patina paste and went around the edges of each figure to give it the appearance of brass.
The little figures are so adorable, (insert tip can also get the stands for them so they stand alone). The next step was to decide which ones I wanted to use and where to place them on the crown. I made the choice to glue them from the inside so they didn't cover up any of the crown's design. I like to use the clear adhesive (E6000) for attaching pieces like this, it dries quickly and is strong.

Falling down the rabbit hole while dreaming is not all that bad.. Thank you for visiting today. 

Dresden Foil Trim
Jewel embellisments

Saturday, April 1, 2017


  My children always loved and preferred the stories that we created together, weaving tales gathered from the world of possibilities where there are no limits to what one can pull from a hat or from a tiny door in the baseboard. The Shrine of Magical Tales are where those stories are born.
  Even though my Shrine is not Easter themed, I thought these 2 Chocolate Easter Bunnies I created from Retro Cafe Art Gallery looked right at home with my "Shrine of Magical Tales".
When I ordered the Large  Divinity Antiquity Shrine from Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I had something totally different in mind to create with it for my April post as a Design Team member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery. I also ordered some collage sheets for different projects. This one particular collage sheet was laying next to the shrine as I was unpacking my box and immediately I thought, "why  not?" and that was that. My direction completely changed.

 I started this shrine by gluing all the pieces together with a clear tacky glue and letting dry. After drying, I glued on strips of paper for a background that I would later gesso over different areas. I covered the entire shrine in paper using a selection of torn paper from my stash and a glue stick.
 Then I used white gesso putting it on with my fingers and covered over different areas of the paper, not covering all the images but just blending them together.

 Then I took and scribbled script in different areas. Next, I cut out images from the collage sheet ( I ordered the sticker collage sheet paper) and placed them where I would want them, trimming them up, before peeling off the back paper and sticking them on. Once they were adhered, I took the gesso again with my fingers and blended the edges and kept working with it in different areas. Then I took an ivory acrylic paint, again with my fingers, and rubbed over the gesso in areas so it would not be so stark white.

To give it more dimension, I did use a brush on the inside of the inside corners of the shrine and and other areas brushing on  some brown antiquing medium and wiped off the excess with a baby wipe.

Next, I painted one of Retro's Oval Cameo frames just using my fingers, (they come in a set of three) and added the word, "Magical" from Tim Holtz Small Talk Word Stickers.
It was really hard for me not to add a lot of color to this Shrine, but it still needed something so I added some gold Dresden foil after rubbing the pieces with Inka Gold (Brown Gold color). The Dresden foil on the top piece and side pieces were cut from one of the Dresden foil Victorian Decorations. Dresden foil always seems to be the magical touch.

I ordered two Chocolate Bunnies with Easter around the corner and at the time, I had no idea that my direction for the Shrine would change and the Bunnies would fit so well with it. I immediately grabbed those Easter Bunnies and began preparing them. To my surprise again, they were the perfect size to add to the Shrine.

Easter Bunnies:
Two in a package - glue bunny to base
I painted in a brown acyrlic paint-both sides
Added two white with black dot eyes on both sides
Painted the ribbons
Added Dresden Foil trim around the bases with a glue stick and seal the bases with Matt Gel Medium  

Thank you for being here. I hope you will join me for next month's post and creative magic in between!
Most all of my creations if interested, can be found in my Etsy shop for sale.  XO

Glue Stick
Black Pen
Folk Art Antiquing Medium
Acylic Paint 
Artist paper for tearing
Sticker Collage Sheets:


Friday, March 24, 2017


The Santos dolls take their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). The Santos that started the genre of dolls were originally started as copies of 17th century carvings by priests. Originally, Santos were created for use as in-home altars.  They were needed in small villages that did not have a priest, as well as for when it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war.  Their development flourished in Europe  in the 1700's and 1800's, primarily due to these wars.

Even today Santos Dolls have a huge following and I am one of those people that just can't get enough of them. This is one of my favorite Santos Cage Doll Shrines because she is a 3 in one Shrine.I added two additional Shrines to her, a Circle Shrine to the front of her and  another handmade Shrine for her cage.

I began the process by adding white gesso to all the pieces of the cage doll.Once dry, I painted the arms, cage slats and all the pieces where paper would not be added. 

I added a stencil to the bottom piece of the cage using modeling paste mixed with color. 
 Once the slats were dry, I glued on small milagros and painted crosses. Between the milagros and crosses, I painted little white flowers. Setting the slats aside, I started the collage on the Santos doll's body that was now painted front and back and dry. 
I added strips of paper gluing on each with a glue stick and outlining with a black gel pin.

Next, I added two small art circles of paper to the shoulders on each arm and at the wrist. Then I assembled the arms with brads and attached them to the body. You can turn the forearms in different directions depending on the look you want the doll to have. 

For the doll's head, I used one of the large head cuts from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and added a different face on top of it. Before gluing on the head, I turned it over and added a thicker paper to the back of it.  Once the front of the doll was completed, I turn it over to complete the backside, adding a flower to the back of the head, a metal rose to the neck and stamping "Our Lady of the Guadalupe" on the back.

 On the waist of the doll in back, I added a handmade metal/resin jewelry pendant that I had in my stash and some Dresden foil trim at the base of her body. Now that the body was complete, I set it aside to finish the two flat pieces that connect the upper body and the cage slats together. The last thing I do is assemble the doll together using tacky glue or clear adhesive on each slat and inserting the tiny nails with a bit of glue on each tip.
 Directions for the Circle Shrine added to the front of the doll
I prepared each piece with white gesso. Then I used the modeling paste and a small portion from the same stencil I used on the bottom of the cage to add design and texture to the front of the Circle Shrine. After drying, I painted each piece,adding Pearl Dots, antiquing medium and gold paint for a vintage look and then then my image to the back piece gluing them altogether. Once dry, I glued it to the front of the Santos body.

As a bonus to this Santos Cage Doll Shrine, I made another shrine for the bottom of the cage. It was made from a wooden casket with the top removed (the kind you find in a craft stores around Halloween), and a tart tin. Both items were gifted to me by a sweet artist friend. I did a little sanding, painted the inside, used a stencil and modeling paste for texture on the outside and then added a image to the front and a prayer to the back. Lastly I added some glitter glue around the image, a pink crystal and some rose cut outs.This will be an added addition to the doll that can be used in the doll's cage or used alone as a separate shrine.

  To the tea lights, I added a strip of Washi tape to give it some color and a cohesive look with the doll. This Santos Cage doll is beautifully illuminated when the candles are switched on. This cage doll can be found listed in my Etsy shop.

Thank you for being here and I hope you will check back again around April 8, for my monthly post as a Design Team Member for Retro Cafe Art Gallery.

3-D Articulated Santos Cage Doll - Large 
Large Circle Shrine 
E6000 Clear Adhesive Glue or

Aileen's Tacky Glue 
Santos Art Doll Head Paper Cuts 
German Dresden Borders - Gold
Acrylic paints
Art papers
Pearl Dots - Gold
Diamond Stickles Glue
Folk Art Antiquing Medium
Small Milagros
Cut Out Crosses - Set of 24 
Tim Holtz Layering "Lace" Stencil   
Finnabair Art Basics Modeling Paste
Jewelry Findings
Alphabet Word Stamps
Stazon Ink Pad - Black
Tea Light Candle
Washi Tape
Black Gel Pen