Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Brand New Blog

After almost a year of not making anything, I decided last Christmas to gift myself some small canvasses and a box of acrylic paint.
As 2016 rolled along, I found myself painting, at was proud of myself in the first week of January for completing my second piece.
Then came January 10, and with it the news that changed everything. David Bowie was dead. How could that be? I was just celebrating the man's birthday two days prior. Beyond my personal disbelief, came the global outpouring of grief. Followed by celebrations and tribute after tribute. I, myself painted my third piece, while wrestling with my feelings. My feelings, of inadequacy, of not fitting in, of never being good enough, of wanting to give up. And how many times and nights were spent with Bowie in my headphones telling me, "You're not alone!"

It was in the processing of those feelings, and seeing how friends were dealing with his passing, that this project was born.
#365Bowie. Making/creating something Bowie related every day. For a year. I've been scared of this idea, to tell the truth for quite some time (and I hope the fact that my phone just autocorrected "some" to "doomed" is not foreshadowing, yikes!)

I've been ignoring this blog, see residual feeling talk above; however now, I'm adding out in to the Instagram account.
I'm hoping to be able to delve further into my process, my inspirations, and also get feedback.
So over the next few days, I'll be updating the overall look; as well as adding pics, in groups, until I can catch up.

There's a starman waiting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Well, the beanie store is up!
Click on the Beanie pic above and take a look around. Super warm, comfy, fleece beanies made by ME! They are washable/dryable and will keep you warm for many years to come.
All proceeds go to offset my medical bills. It's a week away, and I have to admit I'm getting a little nervous and scared.
Anyway, thanks for looking, your support is appreciated!!

Some buttons and options may change as I add my art and jewelry! Thanks for your patience while I work through this.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pet Portraits

I really love painting animals. Especially pets, I've painted my pets on many occasions. I've also had the opportunities to paint many other pets on a commission basis. Hope you like what you see.
I'll I need is a few photos to paint yours. Please contact me, if interested.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thrift Store Table to Toy BBQ Grill!

A good friend's baby is celebrating his 2nd birthday tonight. This is the present I made for him.
I got the idea from a post I saw on Craftzine. The original post can be found here : Kate's Creative Space.

Anyway, I started with a small table I found at a second hand store. I used some random scraps of wood and a 5-gallon paint stir stick. After painting the table, including a HOT fire section, I used a small cookie cooling rack to create the grill section.

Then I created various pieces of food for shish-ka-bobs, made of polymer clay. My broccoli actually turned out more like brussel sprouts (yuck!). Wooden spoons from the dollar store were painted in a rainbow of colors. The spoons double as the shish-ka-bob skewers and the food can be stored on the spoons when finished playing.

I have more accessories, but I will have to add them to this set as he gets older, and they become more age appropriate.

I already had the paint and the clay, this project was put together for less than $30, and a few hours each night for about a week.

Hope he likes it! I'll find out tonight. Maybe I can get some action shots!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Happy Holidays everyone!
It's been pretty crazy around here. One of my dogs, Dexter (he's the guy in my profile pic), managed to poison himself with a whole bottle of aspirin. There was also the stress of being unemployed, and no immediate means to take on this debt.
I asked my friends on facebook for help with an emergency vet who would work a payment plan with me. I was led to someplace (biting my tongue) that asked how much I could pay today? I had $30 on me, and they said the only thing they could do for $30 was PUT HIM DOWN. Needless to say that was an unacceptable answer, and reached out on fb again. I was led to Metro Paws and my friends called ahead, so not only were they expecting me, they knew I had no money. That put all the focus back on Dexter! His prognosis was poor. Dr. Robson did not have high hopes and honestly he couldn't stand up, and it was freaking me out! I had to leave him overnight and hope for him to show some sign of progress in the morning. Back to facebook, where I asked my friends to think good thoughts for him; to pray, chant, light candles, do whatever they do for some universal healing. I had many comments and responses. I also noticed that my friends were reposting, offering to loan me money, give me some work (I freelance) and front me the cash. I even saw that a friend was selling his fridge to help raise money. It made me feel so loved and supported, I wanted to channel all that positive energy to Dexter. The vet called me late in the night with some encouraging words, but also reminded me that we were not out of the woods. Updated my friends, asked again to keep up the good thoughts, it was working, and I would see him in the morning. The morning phone call brought good news!

 He was standing up, and wagging his little nub!!! I don't think I can accurately describe how great I felt at that moment. I went to the vet, where they made me comfortable, and invited me to stay as long as I wanted. They gave me a stool to sit at by his cage, and I held him and petted him for about 45 minutes.

I had spent the previous night doing Dexter related artwork, and printed a thank you piece for the clinic. When I left, it was hopeful that I could come back and get him at the end of the day. Making my payment arrangements, I found that someone had come to the vet the day before and paid $20 towards my bill! I thanked the anonymous donor on facebook, also giving everyone the good news.

Then came an overwhelming rally of unexpected support. People started posting links to my artwork and jewelry, telling my story of the help I needed. I started selling a few items. I had an offer to sell my prints at the coolest store in town! That afternoon, I was able to pick him up, and when I got there, my bill had been reduced considerably!!
Much like the Kmart layaway angels, I had my very own group of layaway angels!!!
I'm still riding on a cloud of relief and joy.
9x12 block prints

This week I will have new block prints of Dexter and some Thank You cards I have printed for sale here: bettyblue

Of course, all proceeds will benefit his ongoing treatment. (There is still a possibility of liver and kidney damage). 

I'm still printing, and after it's dry, I'll start listing. Dallas folks, they will be available locally at Dolly Python. (Thanks Gretchen!)

I'm incredibly thankful for the support of friends, near and far. If you have a need for thanking anyone, please consider one of my hand printed cards. Dexter and I will be eternally grateful!

Thank You cards. In white and ivory.

This week has been a true testament to the power of friendship. It has brought me to tears MANY times over the last few days.
Inside message and back or envelope
To those who helped (I know who most of you are!), you have my UNDYING FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY!!

I also have HUGE THANKS to Dr. Robson and all of the Metro Paws staff!!

Stay tuned, I love you all!............Karen

Dexter and Dulli wish you Happy Holidays!
I would also like to add, there has been interest in how I print my suminagashi papers. Soon as this project is complete, I'll make more WITH A TUTORIAL!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Faux FusedGlass -My First Tutorial

I really appreciate all the interest. So here goes, I'll start with some basics. *All of the Shrinky Dinks in this tute are made with the Frosted Ruff-n-Ready style.* I use permanent markers (Sharpies, mostly) and Prismacolor colored pencils to draw and color. I punch holes with 1/4" standard hole punch. I DO NOT use a heat gun, it's not recommended by the manufacturer, and it really produces very uneven results. I use a toaster oven. On with the instructions.

Color and cut out various shapes, scraps are excellent for this project.

Next, shrink your pieces and a base(you will assemble your pieces on this base later). Follow manufacturer's directions, (mine bake at 325 deg.F for about 45 seconds). Here is a baking tray lined with parchment paper with assorted small shapes to shrink. Note the color as most colors darken in the original shrinking process.

These are the same pieces- before and after shrinking. Flat pieces are better for this project; I flatten pieces right out of the oven by pressing them with my pyrex dish.
You can also reheat at this stage to flatten and straighten.

Now comes the designing stage. I like to group my pieces by color before I start. Carefully place your pieces on your base. I use a bamboo skewer to help me nudge pieces into place. In this stage I put the base frosted side up and place the pieces on the base frosted side down. Note that colors in this step fade and the frosted piece will turn clear. Placing the colored pieces frosted side down will help to "capture" the color in between the plastic. My experience is that markers at this stage turn clear like a transparent piece of glass; and colored pencils look like color under a piece of glass. *The white in the star pendant is Bright White Shrinky Dink* After composing your pendants, place them in a glass baking dish,(I use a pyrex casserole dish).

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Carefully put pan into oven trying not to disturb any pieces. Fusing is complete when all edges are rounded or melted. This step could take 10-25 minutes - depending on the oven and size of piece. I recommend looking at them AT LEAST every 5 minutes. Small pieces can round over pretty quickly, just keep an eye on your work. I let my pieces cool in the pan after taking them out of the oven. They can easily be misshapen at this point. Once the pan is cool to the touch, remove your fused shrinkies. The back edge (flat against the pan) will have a sharpness to them. I like to round this off by lightly filing and sanding.

Well, there you have it, my first tutorial. Now you how I make Faux FusedGlass. Hope I made it understandable and clear. Comments appreciated. Here's some more samples of my work, don't forget it's available at my etsy store.
ETA: I have a new shop here right on the blog. I will update with a faux fused section soon.