January 15, 2019

The First Dream

I am so grateful to be in the studio again and to have something to share with you today. Other responsibilities can rob me of the time I'd like to spend creating and then sometimes I just can't muster-up the motivation.

But whatever keeps me away makes the return that much sweeter!

I used this week's prompt at Simon's Monday Challenge Blog--Recycle Something--to create a tag and nothing emphasizes recycling more than collage.

We save our bits of scraps because they might be perfect in a future project and just shuffling through them can be cause for inspiration. The happenstance is perhaps what I like best about working in this medium.


Using layers of thin papers to build this tag, I embellished it with a Japanese Haiku poem that is fitting for my first tag of the new year.

The Japanese attach special significance to the first of many things they do in a new year. Some traditional firsts that are notable are kakizome (first writing), hatsuyume (first dream), hatsum┼Źde (first shrine visit), hakizome (first house cleaning), and hatsuburo (first bath).

the first dream of the year —
I keep it a secret
and smile to myself

–  Sho-u

from The British Museum Haiku, translation by R. H. Blyth

Regarding technique, I have once again reinforced the fact that I am clearly "embossing impaired" especially when it comes to white on collage mediums. I need to figure out what the problem is by spending time experimenting. I just gave up here and used a gelly roll pen as a substitute.

December 24, 2018

12 Tags for Christmas 2018 - Tag No. 12


Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.

(The Wexford Carol)

May the spirit of the season bring you peace and joy.

Thank you for being a part of my artful journey this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 18, 2018

12 Tags for Christmas 2018 - No. 10 & 11


I'm still looking back to Christmas tags from the past and I've saved some of my very favorite tags for when we get closer to Christmas. This is one of them.

The background is made from mulberry papers and the tree was hand-cut out of kraft paper that had been randomly stamped and embossed to create texture. I added the tinsel using glitter glue and a white gel pen.

The text was cut from a recycled store-bought Christmas card and illustrates just how far I will go when it comes to fussy-cutting. Crazy I know but I loved the style of the lettering and I was several years away from owning a die-cut machine.  Since the text was wider than the tag, I just let it bow out when I attached it to the bottom of the tag.


This one's a favorite because of the Thomas Nast Santa (an image transfer). It's an early example of learning how to blend Distress inks, how to emboss (the white scrolls) and how to use masks when stamping.

If you don't recognize the kind of stamps I used at the bottom of the tag they are called Christmas Seals. I inherited a small collection from my Great Aunt Esther, they're a terrific embellishment--I must remember to use them more often!