my book of scraps . . .

book made from scraps

I made this book for collage class. I love the layered edges where all the different papers & cardboard show. The cover was a failed collage that I cut up, see so it really is made from scraps. I love this idea. It sort of feels like all my art is made from scraps of my memories. I can’t say it was my life, not the reality of my life, who knows really what that was, all I have are my memories & the meanings I gave to these events.

So within the pages I wrote snippets of thoughts like scraps of memories, songs, words, inspirations, they may make no sense but it would be incredible if anyone who read them just pieced the scraps of words together between the flipping of textured paper & scribbles & allowed these words to make a personal meaning of their own.

last page

For years, I have dreamed of piecing together a book of images, words, etc from my experience in Iraq in this sort of way, that wasn’t linear or even very clear, more like sifting through scraps of images, poems, memories, bits of stories perhaps unfinished. The reader/viewer would be a bit of a voyeur who found a box of scraps & pieced them together to give them meaning, personal meaning.

Let me know if you think this would be interesting. I think it is organically coming together as I progress in my creativity.

The image above is one of my photos from Iraq transferred onto a brown paper bag using matte medium, letting it dry and then rubbing off the paper with water & my fingers. The bottom one is on cardboard that I gessoed first. I love the gritty feel it creates. It’s as if a photo has been found from a century ago, hidden in a dusty, damp attic. I love imperfection.

peony transfer with added tissue

there is no need to be precious . . .

mini pizza box from Collinas!!!

Two mantras I’ve been creating by these days are, “There is nothing serious going on here!” & “Don’t be too precious!”

These both keep me light, child-like & in the realm of fun & open to so many possibilities that could flow in from just about anywhere. Nothing is off-limits in this realm. An old washer found on the street can be a pendant on a necklace, an old greasy pizza box can be a canvas, we can paint with our hands & tear bits of paper to make art.

This is the approach I took to my recent collages that I created on mini pizza boxes from Collinas. The first box actually does have pizza grease & a little sauce inside, but the second one I asked them for after I finished the first one and realized I wanted to make a pair. I chose a color palate out of one of my Sibella Court books, Nomad  for inspiration for the second one. The first one I was just using shades of blue & green to create a pseudo color wheel (which then after it was done made me realize it was the shape of a pizza – go figure!)

Pizza Box "not so precious" collage

The words read, “There is no need to be precious. Perfection is not required, nor ever sought after. Create to celebrate.” I borrowed the sentiment & re-worded it for this box from another design book called, The Homemade Home; living with art & craft by Mark & Sally Bailey.

This color wheel turned into a flower & an ode to Chipotle, with its burrito wrapper & chips bag. This one is my favorite. I had added words to it but didn’t like the look so covered up with more crepe paper (that was easy!).

So I used crepe paper, tissue paper from stores, silver paint pen, paper bags, burrito wrapper & masking tape! Then I went over the edges of all the tears & cuts with Tim Holtz walnut distressing ink & charcoal pencil. The first one also has blue chalk. I took the collage around the sides to create depth.

Color palette from Nomad; A global approach to interior style

I carried it over to the edges

Make one, if you feel so inspired & share the result with me! It’s fun, easy (if you use the tiny boxes), & great therapy!!! Come on & play with me & repeat after me, “no precious, no serious!”

Big Luscious Love,


PS. Here are the cool books that inspire me again & again!

new collages . . .

I’m taking a collage class at the Art League of Houston. Our instructor is Armando Rodriguez whose diverse background & wealth of knowledge of art & art preservation is expanding my world & understanding. I’ve learned so much in the first three weeks, it really is so much fun to be presented new & interesting possibilities with glue & paper. These collages below were inspired by Kurt Schwitter’s work, of course they are nowhere near the depth that he has created, but I’m soaking it in & finding my own expression by slowing down, planning colors & outlining a composition before just cutting & pasting like mad.

I’m really interested in telling stories with my work, writing, life, everything really. I think collage is a great medium for this.

This collage above was created from the lines of the canyons in New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment. The scribbles are from Finn who poetically added his input to a weekly meal plan. Larry asked what was for dinner on Wednesday night & I told him I wasn’t sure that I put the list in my collage. But now that I peak closer, it looks like something with veggies. :o).

ancestor worship

This piece above was inspired by Chinese New Year & the Taiwanese Taoist practice of Bai Bai. Which is essentially burning paper money for the ancestors to use in their after life so they won’t come back and haunt them (as it was explained to me by local Taiwanese – I am not a scholar of the Tao). In this collage there are pieces of the paper money, receipts, tissue paper from Anthropologie, the store which not only is pricey but is named after honoring cultures. It all ties together somehow, I’m sure you can see it! :o)

In the Name of Righteousness

Well this one is packed full of meaning, but it would be great to hear if any of you guys or gals reading this have any thoughts. Write them below if you do! I’d love to know. Oh & there are no wrong answers everyone will view it differently because we all have different perspectives, right? Right!

Much Love,



monotype for a beginner (me!)

my last monotype

For the last few months I’ve been taking a class on Monotypes. When I signed up for the class I actually thought we were going to be making something that I now know is called linoleum prints. Although I was at first a little disappointed, I became pleasantly surprised when I found out how fun & addictive this medium really is.

Armando Rodriguez taught the class in such a laid back yet supportive way that made it fun to just explore different styles, different palettes & more.

It turns out that I learned that a monotype is a print made from a plate that can printed only once. It is not like a linoleum print or a wood block print that can be printed again & again. It turns out that they are discovering that most of the great artist have done some monotypes throughout the past few hundred years.


painting the plate

The process begins by painting onto plexiglass, letting the paint dry, soaking cotton paper in water for a few minutes, blotting the water off the paper, laying the paper on the plate & running it through the printing press. Then wahla!!! There is the print, like magic. It’s so fun.

painted plexiglass

Scotti at the press

Maria painting - (Maria was Armando's art teacher in high school! Isn't that so cool?)

Prints drying

Most of those in this class have been taking the monotype class for maybe years. They just show up semester after semester to play & create with Armando & each other. They are very bonded & developed as artists. It was fun to be a part of this group, show up every week & spend the Thursday mornings with them.

I spent the class trying on different styles to see what works best with this medium. I did some scratching away, some impressionistic landscapes, abstracts, & flowers. I wanted to try out some nudes, perhaps by scratching them out & maybe I will get to that later.

one of my prints

my print

my print

pinned to my wall

If you google monotype & go to the images you will see the most vast & amazing array of monotypes that have been created by others. So cool to see the swirling sea of creativity!!


feeling full . . .

I just returned from a weekend in Temecula with my ever-so-lovely BFF, Ginger & all that orbit in her world. She hosted a Sophia Conference that was magically life-changing for me in so many ways, that I can’t begin to articulate (blog post to come). We had such a deeply, powerful, sweet, connecting time together, laughing, talking & making art.

Once I got home, Larry had to take off for the East coast & our dear Nanny Anna had to fly to Mexico to see her brother before he passed away at only 36 years old. This left me with the Finnegan for the past two days solid, no nap, no relief, no break. I know I can hardly complain with what is going on with Anna’s family, but I’m not used to it, & on top of that I’ve been a bit under the weather for a week or so – okay more than a little bit (I hear Ginger saying) so it’s taken it’s toll, however minor toll. I’m just feeling too full for much else.

There are mountains of creative projects I want to start, blog posts to write, so much swirling in the full-ness of my life, right now, so rather than share something really cool & wow, I just felt compelled (like jump out of my seat, hand in the air – must share kind of compelled) to just share some recent photos & say I’m feeling pretty full – happy & full!

One thing is for sure, this will pass & I will start rocking again.

One thing I’m noticing about all these photos I’m sharing today is their lack of intense color. Sara who is my beige, bone, burlap, eggshell girl must be rubbing off on me. The subtlety is nice. See Sara, I didn’t know this side of me, until I knew you. Ubuntu.