Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Saturday, October 20, 2012


OK, as promised, here are some shots of my finished assemblage! I love it and I hope you will, too :)

As I said before, it is, as yet, unnamed. Maybe you can help me change that. Take a look, leave a comment and tell me how the piece makes you feel or what word comes to mind when you look at it. My husband said, "Creepy..." Just so you know, I'm looking for something a little better than that (Sorry, Sweetie!).

Just a reminder, everything I used (except for paint and glue) is upcycled, salvaged, rescued or repurposed.... 

The box in regular light
The box lit - too cool! Notice how the light picks up the doll face :)
Close up of doll face, arms and foliage
Close-up of arbor - the roses have small LED lights inside
The back showing the switch, battery box and hanger

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm on my way... being finished with my second assemblage art box - I can't wait to share it with you! Look for pictures of the finished piece tomorrow - Yay! :)

So, I had some set-backs as things got closer to the end - I got a bit ahead of myself and skipped important steps only to have to go back and re-do things. And, of course, was too excited to stop and take many photos. Argh! I even had a detailed list with the ordered steps but I was impatient and wanted to see it completed! Anyway... here are a few in-progress pics.

The doll head and arms attached to a panel piece
After inserting the panel I used paper clay to cover the seams...
...and then painted the clay to blend it all in.
I also used paper clay to make bases for branches and leaves

Please be sure to stop back to see the finished piece! I haven't decided on a name yet - maybe you can help me with that. See you then :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ali's Necklace

A while ago I showed some pics of a necklace I was making for my friend Ali's wedding. I couldn't post final pics because I didn't want the world to see it before the groom did! Happily, the wedding went off without a hitch - what fun it was! - and the bride looked smashing :)

Here are some shots I took of the finished necklace and one of the beautiful bride on the big day - Enjoy! :)

Best finishing job EVER!!

Congratulations Ali and Shane!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drills, Saws and Paint... oh. my! :)

At some point in every project you simply need to haul out the big guns - aka. power tools. I love my cordless power drill but have always been a bit frightened of power saws - sharp blades moving back and forth (or rotating) at incredibly high speeds make me shiver a little. But yesterday was the day. The project either sat on my studio table in limbo or I needed to bury my fear and don my safety glasses - thankfully, I chose the latter.

Out came the scroll saw...

...and the Dremel...

...and I set to work getting things cut!!

I am using the lid from the wooden cigar box to add another layer to the back of my shadow box. This meant I needed to cut an opening so that the battery compartment and light switch could be easily accessed.
I can't even describe how pleased and relieved I was to have this step finished!! *whew*

After sanding all the cuts and surfaces, I primed...
...and painted...
I needed 4 coats of paint for good coverage - this is after the first coat
Now I'm painting the main box - hopefully the painting will be finished today - Yay!

I can't wait to get on to the assembly!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A New Assemblage Project Underway!

I thought I would share some in-progress shots of my latest foray into assemblage and shadow box art. This one is proving a bit more difficult, mostly because I want to add lighting. Also, I really want to stick to only using found objects and thrift shop treasures in these pieces - no new stuff (except for adhesives and paints - it's hard to find usable glues and paints second-hand!). So...

Materials I'm using so far -
  • A wooden cigar box (garage sale) - The wooden cigar box turned out to be perfect for this project. I bought several at a garage sale, now I realize I should have bought every one they had!! The sides are nice thick wood - mahogany, I think - but the back is made from 1/8" plywood and I am able to cut openings using a utility knife. 
  • Lights from a winter-themed picture (garage sale) - The lights are orange LEDs and have a battery box and a switch. The challenge with these is that I salvaged them from a garage sale find and the wiring was a bit corroded. Not being an electrician and certainly not accustomed to working with such tiny wires, the re-wiring has been a struggle but a great learning experience!
  • Small glass arbor with dried flowers (thrift shop) - This piece had a horrible little corn husk doll inside. She was evicted.
  • Ceramic figurine of Girl (thrift shop) - placed inside the arbor and decorated with some of the acrylic crystals.
  • Silk flowers (thrift shop) - The orange LED lights are inserted into the flowers and the lit flowers were wired into the arbor.
  • Plastic doll face and arms (thrift shop) - Painted a dark metallic bronze and mounted to a section of book board. They will be glued into the corner and then collaged with vintage papers.
  • Glue-on acrylic crystals (thrift shop) - Used for bling where needed!
  • Covers from Reader's Digest condensed books (destash from Mother-in-law) - The book covers are coming in handy to use as walls and dividers where needed. They are really easy to cut with an Exacto knife and the book board is fairly sturdy.
  • Photo from an old magazine (thrift shop) - to back the arbor and hide the lighting wires and such.
So... here are some in-progress shots, not in any particular order but I hope you will enjoy seeing some of the process for this piece. Please be sure to comment! Enjoy :)

The picture the lighting was salvaged from