Friday, September 19, 2014


"All great changes are preceded by CHAOS." - Deepak Chopra

Ha! When I think of "chaos" I immediately think of my studio (well, to be perfectly honest, FIRST, I think of the tv show, Get Smart. LOL).  

Yes, my studio is usually a mess, but it's a creative mess. That's a good thing! When there is chaos that means I have been working and playing. It means I have been creative, and there is nothing bad about that, right?! I am learning to embrace my "chaos"....just don't pop by for a surprise visit, okay?! 

Here's what I have been working on these last couple days -

I started with a 7"x14" canvas which I primed with gesso. I recently purchased a small sampler from Faber-Castell which included gesso, gel medium and glaze. I decided to try them all out on this project, beginning with the gesso. I apply my gesso with a palette knife. I really liked this gesso, it was lighter than what I usually use and it didn't leave as chalky of a finish. I didn't need the gesso to cover anything, I just needed to add a little "tooth" to the canvas surface, so it was perfect.

The next thing I did was to grab my favorite medium, my Gelatos®,  a Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft® product. If you haven't used these you don't know what you are missing. These creamy sticks are so vibrant and they can be used wet or dry. Wetting them results in a watercolour effect. I just LOVE them!

Finally decided on a color palette and grabbed some acrylic paints to match (I buy my acrylics to match my Gelatos®).  

I applied a little Butter Cream Gelato all over the canvas*, using a baby wipe and my fingers, I rubbed it around to create a light background.  (* oops, as I was editing my video I see I also used Butterscotch Gelato in the background).

Next I used my handmade foam fern stamp, along with the LIME Gelato. I "colored" the stamp with the Gelato then spritzed it with a little water. I like the effect, later I will add a little to it with a Stamper's Big Brush Pen.

Using modeling paste (darn it, wish I had some of the Whipped Spackle, it's on my LIST!) which I have tinted with acrylic paint, I stenciled onto the canvas using Joggle's stencil called "Spin".

Next I used plain modeling paste to stencil a couple larger swirls. After they dried I "colored' them with Cotton Candy Gelato and spritzed with water to create that watercolor effect I talked about earlier. Then I added a little Blueberry, Lime and Metallic Mint to the mix to give it some more depth.  

A corn pad glued to the other side of a stamp.

I continued to use the stamps to fill up the background in several shades of greens and blues. I also used a dot dabber (from Gelato's Tool kit) and a marker top to create a few round shapes. One other circle was created using a foam pad made to treat corns! LOL!   (I am always on the lookout for items I can use to create shapes and texture and will use almost anything in my mixed media art.)  

When it was dry I coated the whole canvas with Mod Podge to seal it. 

NOW, the fun begins - shading and markings! I love this part, it's what give my pieces their dimension and movement. I use my Stamper's Big Brush Pens to do my shading. Once you have sealed the layers underneath you can add the ink (India Ink) and rub it in. Later when it dries it will be waterproof!  In addition to these I used Molotow acrylic paint pens and a Zig Posterman marker. 

Once the final layer of color has been finished it's time to add my quote. Using a technique I learned from July of "itsaworkofart "YT Channel (,  I printed my quote onto a papertowel. I spray my printout with cheap aerosol hairspray to keep the ink from bleeding.    

Once it's dry, I gently pulled the plys apart until I had just the top layer with the words I was using. I coated the back of these words with the gel medium and then placed it onto the canvas. I then added another layer of the gel medium on top to seal it to the canvas.

LASTLY, I used the stipple brush from the Gelato Tool kit with watered down acrylic paint to flick some paint onto the whole canvas. NOW, it's complete and I love all the texture and dimension!  What do YOU think? Leave me a comment and let me know.

I will be posting a video of the making of this canvas in the near future (I have LOTS of editing to do!!) - So stay tuned to my Youtube Channel!

UPDATE: Video uploaded so go check it out!

If you would like FREE step-by-step instructions on how I created this canvas, along with a detailed list of the supplies used, JUST let me know and I will e-mail it to you! USE the CONTACT ME! form on the left, at the top of this page.

Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft® products:
Textural Accents Sampler #770301: Gesso, Semi-Gloss Gel Medium and Semi-Gloss Glaze
Gelatos®: Butter Cream, Butterscotch, Blueberry, Lime, Metallic Mint, Cotton Candy
Stamper's Big Brush Pens: Cold Grey III #232, Leaf Green #112, Cadmium Yellow #107, Indanthrene Blue #247
Gelatos Tool Kit #770312 Palette Knife, Blending Chise, Stipple Brush, 2 Dot Dabbers and Drip Dropper

Other Supplies:

  • 7"x14" canvas
  • Acrylic Paints - Apple Barrel (Kings Gold, Cloudless and Laguna) Craft Smart (Green) and my own mix of mint green.
  • My handmade foam and carved rubber stamps
  • Modeling Paste
  • Joggles Stencil - "Spin"
  • Molotow One4All Acrylic Premium Paint 2mm Rd Tip - black and white
  • Zig Posterman Pen - gold
  • Mod Podge (Glossy)
  • Printer
  • Papertowel
  • Water

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

August Giveaway Winner!

My giveaway has ended...and the winner is -

Sherri Hartman Stokey!

Is anyone else getting dizzy?!!!

Her Prize is a set of notecards: 
Set of Six, with envelopes and matching seals. 
Her choice of design.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August in Review:: Happy Mail, Delayed Plans and What's on My Plate! (oh, AND a Giveaway!)

August, where did it go? I swear I blinked and POOF, it was gone!

Let's start out with good news... HAPPY MAIL!
Loads of Happy Mail received.

This is in NO specific order -

Diana Fait, a long time Facebook friend, sent me old newspaper clippings from her college days, some cool stamped images and very cool painted papers she created.

Judi Parker sent me a really cool postcard sized piece of her artwork. She created it with nailpolish! And her envie was cool too, look at the flap locking tab she made.

Fiona Pyle, my new friend from Australia who I met on Youtube, sent me these beautiful colored papers and look at my butterfly!

Donetta Farrington, a friend I met on Swap-Bot, sent me some goodies - some punchinella, cheesecloth, foil paper, and an altered puzzle piece. She also did a great job decorating the envie. Check out her work with ATC's on her Flickr, they are small pieces of art. 

Anne Ryan, a Facebook friend from GELATIN PRINTING ENTHUSIASTS, admittedly got carried away. She was SUPPOSED to send only FIVE pieces of colored paper, but she went crazy! 

Alicia Russell,
 a Facebook friend from JUNK JOURNAL JUNKIES, sent me goodies for making a Junk Journal which included paint swatches, local postcards and tourist pamphlets and misc junk mail and ads.

Amy Van Dyke, another Facebook friend from GELATIN PRINTING ENTHUSIASTS, sent me the most amazing gelli prints! She also sent me a super-cute magnet she made from her gelli prints, as well as a bookmark. I love all the color! Yup, I'm spoiled!

Tiffany Goff Smith, long time beady buddy, and NOW mixed media, sent me a mailart envie packed with yumminess! The envie alone is a gift, but she also included some of her glue gun stencils, gelli prints and other cute paper goodies! CHECK out Tiffany's Youtube Channel.

and... Thrifty Lou, my new Youtube friend from the UK. Thrifty Lou is known for her junk journals and I can see why! She made me a special blue journal and it is just SCRUMPTIOUS! All these cool papers and "bits and bobs"! Her sweet daughter, Lottie, sent me two cool loom bracelets, the blue one went on my arm IMMEDIATELY!! (Love you Lottie!) and Lou also sent me some yummy candy (you know where that went IMMEDIATELY!) Be sure to check out her Youtube Channel, she is a hoot!

And last but certainly not least, one of besties, Cheryl Foiles sent me a really special package. She sent me papers she made with alcohol inks, all very cool. PLUS she sent me this gorgeous enameled pendant. It is so yummy, I love the color. 

Cheryl does A-MAZING metal work, check out her etsy shop!

AREN't I the luckiest girl? All these generous, loving people in my life. I AM truly BLESSED!

Delayed Plans - the color wheel project. I just was not able to get as much done as I had planned. I DID start sorting out the papers I received (A for effort!). 
I decided to change the design. I want to fill up more wall space so I decided to cover blank LETTERS to spell out the words "COLORFUL LIFE" (need 12 letters for the basic color wheel).

What's on my plate - Well besides a few small paying projects and one-on-one swaps, I am also devoting many hours to raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer's Disease. I lost my sister Jill* last year to this damn disease. I really wish no one else had to deal with it, but until they figure it out, it is NOT preventable or curable. SO, we need to raise the money for more research, more resources for those living with the disease and for the caregivers who give so much of their lives! 

If you can find it in your heart and pocket, to give even $5,  I would truly appreciate it. You can give directly using my personal fundraising page following the link below.

Give generously!


* for more info on my quest you can read more about it here:


This month's prize is a
 set of TSD notecards. 

Includes (6) 4"x6" notecards and envelopes. 
In your choice of several designs.

See my shop TORISOPHIA on Redbubble 
for available designs!

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