Monday, August 12, 2019

A Halloween Cottage House

It's that's that time of year again....I still feels like summer, but we always have to get a jump on the holiday creating, right?!?!

So off we go on a Halloween Cottage creation starting with a Retro Cafe Art Gallery ATC Cottage House. I've been trying to find inspiration, and I guess I just have to be patient and wait for it to hit me when it feels like it.

This took me a week to finally find what I was looking for in elements, and it just kept evolving.

I've had people ask how I start with the Masonite pieces from RCAG. So here I shared the 1st of the initial steps on this project. It's just how I do it. Do what works for you. 

                                1.  Base coat with gesso - here heavy black gesso
                                2.  Stipple on several colors of metallic paints  
                                3.  Stamp with embossing ink and embossing powder

I used several different sheets of Graphic45 papers and some Tim Holtz stamps to decorate the insides of the house.

The outside sections get more complex with cut outs, German Dresden, embossed metal and more.

Here are a few shots of the embellished sides as they are coming along.

I always have a time with getting good pictures without glare when using metal, so concentrate on the roof here. It looks pretty good. 

The bats, ornate flourish, clock hand, and spider are all cut outs from RCAG. The Witch and Iron Fence top are die cuts from Sizzix. 

The roof is embossed metal strips that have 2 colors of paint added. The colorful paints are metatlliques from Finnabair and liquid pearls. 

The G45 papers are stamped, and the front has a spider web heat embossed with embossing powder. The spiders, cat on a fence, webs, engraved pumpkins, label pulls, and bat are from RCAG.

The window frames are painted with Amethyst metalique paint and the spiders are brightened up with coral reef. A Mini Knob makes for a great door knob.

Here area few shots with the roof off.

I wanted something dramatic on the fence posts, and I think you'll agree, skulls on a stake are what I would call a dramatic accent. Agreed??? These are beads I found a few years back on a fishing trip.

Anyway, Madame Macabre rounds out the inside courtyard all framed up in an extra window frame.  I scrounged up some Skull and Crossbones charms to add to the fenceposts. I've been saving them for just this occasion.

The engraved pumpkins on label pull frames are added with 3D Matte Gel.

Put it all together with a small amount of glue and I'd call it finished....but you never know. The courtyard was originally designed to place ATCs in - cards and coins, but let your imaginations go wild with ideas to hide or display your treasures.

That pretty much sums it up for this project. If you have any  questions, you can always find me on FB, Instagram and here. Check out all the links to the wonderful Retro Cafe Art Gallery shop. I enjoy being your Retro Cafe Art Gallery Design Team member and a Finnabair Ambassador.

I hope you've been inspired to play.

Your Friend in ART,

RCAG Products Used : 

Finnabair/Metallique Paints - Coral ReefDragonfly, Amethyst, Gold Amber (new)
Finnabair - 3D Matte Gel

Other Products: 
Graphic45 Papers - Rare Oddities and others
Rocky Road - Emerald Creeks Embossing Powders/Seth Apter
Sizzix Die/ Tim Holtz - Witch and Iron Fence/On the Edge
Liquid Pearls/Ranger - various colors
Tim Holtz - Ideaology- Crossbones Skulls

Metal Tape 
White Sharpie, Black Archival Ink, Embossing Ink, Embossing Powders
Flat pearl, rusty wire, kabob skewers, hairy spiders black chipboard, Vagabond Machine

Friday, June 7, 2019

Overcoming the Evil Beast with Paint and Pen


Do people still blog or even read blogs??? I don't know. Who has the time?!?!

Well, I must admit, I don't do a lot of creative things like I used to, but I still find time to play now and then. We've had quite year with a wedding and 3, yes 3, high school graduations! Now we're getting ready for a trip to Mt. Rushmore. The garden is in as well as I'm going to get it, and the rabbits and bugs are really enjoying it. Oh, well.....

Anyway, this is a piece of rapidograph paper from one of my forays into a different art medium. It is like watercolor paper, but has a bumpy look to it. (why, I don't know) But it has a wonderful texture already built in. The color is off-white, but not quite ivory. I'd liken it to old paper found in the pages the monks created, but that's just me. This is not up everyone's alley, but I really enjoy doing these. It's liberating.

I started with watered down Liquid Acrylics from Finnabair, then used several different black archival pens of all sorts to add the fine lines and doodles. I also used a white poster paint sharpie. I have always loved to do this type of project - as a telephone long distance operator (that's really aging me) I would be bored and doodle at the board resulting in a reprimand from the night supervisor. That and chewing gum didn't go over well with Velma. 

This shows you the puddles of color, some have been doodled on and some have not. It just gives you an idea of what is underneath the penwork. The Carmine was amazing when only slightly diluted here. I see a pattern of rust on the horizon.

The evil beast is gradually being pushed out and covered up with joy and happiness in the flow of colors and designs.....there ya go!

This is another area that has been worked on. The process could go on forever, but I chose to leave some of the larger background areas just as they were. The blended colors of the liquid acrylics was really amazing. 

As a watercolor artist, I enjoyed this type of work. The difference here is the acrylics LOOK like water colors, but when dry are permanent and will not affect your white pen-work by soaking up the color. You can see this in the Carmine color on the left with the textured paper. I used Tombow pens here and there, but most all of the color is from the paints.

You can find these fun paints at Retro Cafe Art Gallery and I'm positive they will be just as wonderful on watercolor paper since I've used them there in the past. They are really concentrated and highly pigmented paints that do not lose their richness with water. AND the best thing...right now they're ON SALE at 30% OFF!!!

Finnabair Liquid Acrylics Used:

Your Friend in ART, 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Door Plate Wall Plaque or Scarf Hanger ?!?!

Hi everybody, you're probably wondering just what this is. Well, I originally thought it would be a great idea for hanging your necklaces or scarves. You know, hang it by your jewelry armoire or on a narrow bedroom wall.....I don't know. 

Anyway, I just wanted to use the door plates and the wooden knobs from Retro Cafe Art Gallery with the clay moulds to create a plaque or wall hanging, and this is what it morphed into. So, call it what you want. I found it very fun to create, and hope you enjoyed the journey on FB and IG with stages of the design.

Here we go. I started with a 7 3/4"square wooden canvas frame. It's nice and sturdy, unlike canvases, when it comes to gluing on heavy objects. I base coated it with buttercream acrylic paint and some Inky Pool Fresco Paint on the edges Then I used soft Matte gel to glue it to all sides of the base. You can add pieces of torn tissued paper any way you like and seal with the gel on top. 

I created some clay pieces using the Curio Knobs mould and modeling material,  then glued them to the wooden knobs while still wet with 3D matte gel. 

Next I bought out the Icing Pastes and stencils. Here is the new Vintage Gold and Rose Gold pastes with the Tapestry and Bubble stencils. 

Now, live and learn. I found the crackle paste adheres best with a gesso primer. Duh. Imagine scraping off all the crackle when you realize you should've added the black gesso first. Anyway, when it was dry, I made keyhole moulded pieces and glued onto the plates after they'd dried a bit. 

Turned out pretty cool, if I do say so.

Now some more elements. These were my experiments for color. The watered down Umber made a wonderful vintage glaze here. 

I used the same glaze on these and then added Metallique paints. 

You can see all 3 keyholes here and the 3 knobs I chose to use in the background all painted up and ready to finish with some color.

The knobs and the frames were painted with Metallique paints and waxes. 

This is just another combination of paints you could use. I used liquid acrylic here and it turned out amazing. The possibilities are endless. The frames were painted with 3 shades of gold paint and edged with some black archival ink. The Emerald looks blue in the bottle, but it's the gorgeous green on the knob. 

I splattered some buttercream acrylic paint in spots to break up the color and added white dots to the frames with a gel pen.

I added bits of ephemera, the Mini Knobs on the door plates, and Brad Screws on the Rusty Label that I enhanced with Metallique paints. You could use different colors of metallic Crackle Paste like Platinum or Copper that would be really fun, too. Imagine!

It's all put together with 3D Matte Gel and set to dry. That stuff is AMAZING. 

I think that's it. I don't think I can bore you any longer, but if you have any questions or comments, just let me know and I'll get back to you. Be sure to check out the links below for supplies at

Your Friend in ART,


Retro Cafe Art Gallery - Escutcheon door plate frame- 1, 2 and 3
RCAG - Wooden knobs
Finnabair - Tissue Paper-Musica
Finnabair - Liquid Acrylics - Tiger Orange, Umber, Emerald
Finnabair - Métallique Paints - Brass Hardware, Steampunk Copper, Gold Rush, Mermaid Teal
                             - Opal Magic Paint - Violet/Green
Finnabair Stencil - Tapestry
Finnabiar - White Crackle Texture Paste (platinum paste in stock here)
Finnabair - Soft matte gel
Finnabair - Mechanicals-Rusty Labels
Finnabair - 3D matte gel
Prima Art Decor Mould - Key Holes, and Curio Trinkets
Iron Orchid Designs Mould - Keyholes
ReDesign with Prima - Modeling Material
Finnabair - Icing paste - Vintage Gold and Rose Gold (also add mica powders to modeling paste here)
Finnabair - Heavy Gesso - white and black
Finnabair Vintage Trinkets - Sunrise Sunset Mini Brad Screws (or use Mini Hardware here)
Finnabair Mechanicals - Mini Knobs (or use new Hardware Accents here)
Tim Holtz Layering Stencil - Bubble

7 3/4” square wooden canvas from Michael's
Palette knife
Buttercream acrylic paint