Friday, April 30, 2010

Challenge - Fear - Don't it always seem to go....

One of the challenges I decided to participate in at Deviant Scrap was to express a fear through a digital collage. The entries in this challenge are startling and further sparked my interest, as I've come to believe how art really can be a useful form of therapy and personal growth.   I often feel inspired by song lyrics and   I borrowed from Joni Mitchell's lyrics from The  Big Yellow Taxi -

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They took all the trees
Put'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Hey farmer farmer
Put away the D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Late last night
I heard my screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

Image Credits:  Empire State Building - public domain Dover Publications.  Foreground, blue jeans -  Crow, target, parachute, newspaper brush, dove - Love and War, Women, Man, arrow - Tangie Baxter   Earth, box -

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Norwegian Wood - Beatles ATC Exchange

Anytime Marion announces an ATC exchange, I think I am the first one to sign up.  Her exchanges are always fabulous.     ( For those of you unfamiliar with ATC's - they are Artist Trading Cards and are normally not sold, but exchanged.  They are 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size and are wonderful little treasures that continue to be a popular item in the Altered Art on-line world.  The insert is the label for the back of the ATC.)
The theme for Marion's ATC Exchange is Songs by the Beatles.  Below, a few shots of mine, mailed out last week. I completed them in fabric and the colors ended up predominantly red and green due mostly for the connection I make to the Apple recording label synonymous with The Beatles.  I chose Norwegian Wood for nostalgia's sake as I remember quite vividly a creative dance my girlfriends and I did to this tune in  a Phys. Ed. class in Junior High School...I think we were all 13.  Mention it to them  today, and we all  immediately end up on the floor laughing!   Those were the days...

Thanks Marion for hosting again - I hope they arrive soon.

Image credits:  The beautiful figure is from Terri at Pringle Hill Studio, the red and white border is from Art Dollies by Holliewood Studios at  The other elements from Dover and public use or are from my own collection.
Here's the digital version -

Norwegian Wood - ATC

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Viola - The Heart of a Mother - Mother's Day

I created this digital collage one afternoon reflecting back on my Mom, her gentle ways, her favorite colors and the unconditional love she always gave to me and to anyone lucky enough to know her.  She passed 8 years ago and somedays I miss her more than I ever have.  She was  an artist and a naturalist and as I grow older, I see her personality shining more and more through me.  I am so grateful for her.

I've added this collage  for purchase in my Etsy shop, thinking it might make a nice gift for other Mom's who you know, will always be there for their children, no matter what.

"Viola" - The Heart of a Mother 8 x 10 inch digital collage

Image Credits:  Face, Striped border and Wings - Nest, sepia background and egg - The Collector -  Background photograph by TwoDressesStudio


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Cloth Skinny - Bluebird Garden

This is a piece I made after Hollie, (Holliewood Studios) at asked me if I would showcase an example of alternative applications for digital collages.  It demonstrates how digital media can transform into textural work.  And that for me is a personal goal since like many, I prefer original and dimensional work.  I am now experimenting with the use of Caran D'Ache water-soluble crayons on cotton to add another dimension to my cloth collages.   The card next to the cloth skinny  below is a paper print of the original digital collage with handwritten text and crayon added.

Textile  and Surface Design Artists aren't at all new to this concept, but for some, it is a relatively new way of employing all of the new digital kits and images available online.

Bluebird Garden - Digital on Cloth 4 x 8 inches

Image Credits:  The Collector, The Thing Finder, Spring Faeries by
all other images from personal stash.  Bits of hand dyed doily from
and Czech glass dragonfly button from

Monday, April 26, 2010

Catch the new wave


in Digital and Mixed Media Collage

opened its virtual doors today!

but.... with all great waves...sometimes they CRASH
against the SURF...a little too hard. 
Hollie tells me she is moving servers and despite her efforts to troubleshoot for high traffic volumes this will take about 8-10
hours to correct. 

It's worth the wait.

In the meantime, maybe I can entertain you for a bit with a sampling of a few collages I've created from DeviantScrap's crazy fun portfolio.  They'll give you just a wee taste of what's available there.

    I mentioned last week I had been invited to join Hollie Haradon's design team about a month ago.  So I spent a good deal of my creative time over Easter and up until today test driving  a truckload of fun images courtesy of Holliewood Studios.  The kid in the candy shop feeling has never fit me better.

  Then, to put another layer of cherries on top of it all, dear Marsha Jorgensen at Tumblefish Studio also invited me to join her creative team as she launches her career as a designer along side Hollie.  Cartwheels! 

So - here's a sampling -  Since I'm brand spanking new in this role, please let me know what you think...what works and what doesn't, 'cause that's the only way I can learn and hopefully improve!

Home on the Range (in my imagination) Digital Collage

Image credits go to:  Art Dollies Collection by  except for the  Elephant which is from  The Thing Finder by  The background is my own photograph.

The Button Babe - Digital Collage 4 x 8
Image Credits:  Art Dollies  and The Collection by, the face and legs by

OFISHally Late - Postcard Digital Collage 4 x 6
Image Credits:  Figures from, Background and Border - Art Dollies from Ephemera writing, etc. from

And this one I dreamed up for a tag to accompany a trade with a friend....It's exclusively from - Numbers from HolliewoodStudio and TumbleFish Studio of course!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This is a new series


I have just started to work on.  You may recognize a collage I posted a few weeks ago. I've reworked it with the pallette I've chosen to work with for these.  The project is a concept introduced by Abby, a member of The Recollection Parlor and is based on creating an event in our respective imaginary countries. My country is The Isles of Morpharchengigel, initially developed in a Nick Bantock workshop several years ago.

 It will include a poster, a postcard and an invitation to attend this event.  My event will focus on the idea of 'creation' although I've yet to pin down many of the elements, it will highlight flight, growth and renewal in a  surrealist setting.

The images are a mixture of purchased elements from Paper Whimsy and Holliewood Studios,  public domain images from Wikepedia and NASA, my own photographs and magazine clippings from National Geographic.  I have uploaded them as low resolution and small images, although they are all large, high resolution digital collages that are available for purchase, if they tickle your fancy!

Here they are as a 'group' - I'm liking the bits of red within the blue and aqua.

Credits: Figures:  Magazine clippings from National Geographic and Vogue, backgrounds from Paper Whimsy and  Kate Pertiet, Rocks, eggs, twigs and pine boughs from Holliewood Studios - (The Collector, and Spring Faeries sheets)


Thursday, April 22, 2010


The inspiration for this digital came from a song recorded in 1992....can you guess the title of the song?  Hint: a portion of the lyrics are visible....

Outside the Box - 8 x 10 inch digital collage

Credits:  Tumblefish Studio and Holliewood Studios

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's Just a Dream Some of Us Have....

"It's Just a Dream Some of Us Have"
digital collage - original 8.3 x 11 inches

Credits:  All images purchased or public domain, with the exception of  the figure by Suoya


Friday, April 16, 2010

Sex Crimes and the Vatican - The Passionate Eye

On Monday evening I watched an update along with an older documentary on the contraversy and  incidence of pedophilia in the Catholic church - The Passionate Eye.  The disturbing details of this program  weighed heavily on my mind this week and eventually culminated on the creation of the collage below. 

untitled digital collage 9 x 12

Image Credits: Figures by Dover, sky and protractor from Holliewood Studios - The Collector

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Surfin' Sisters...

Artist Unknown unfortunately - this brought a huge smile to my face!

Since most of you who read my posts are women, I thought you might appreciate the 'thread'  below, published today on the Daily Om. 

 Its message  inspired me. 

Personally, my life has been enriched  by the women I've come to know through the on-line art/craft/ mixed media/digital world, whether through Yahoo groups, blogs, or collaborative projects. 

I retired, moved cities and left my adult daughters and extended family at the same time I returned to ART as a new focus. The relationships I developed soon after these major adjustments have enriched my life almost daily and I am so grateful each day for those friendships, some now four years old, some  for just a few weeks.  There have been many LOL's!!!

This community has also served to opened opportunities for me  in reaching personal goals,  learning new skills,  having my art published, and  working with many fellow bloggers to help them create a blog they are proud to look at.  Most recently, I was invited to join a design team and now look forward to developing  more friendships  through this new adventure and  stretching my creativity in new ways. 

In June I'll be heading to Los Angeles to link up with four  special art friends and I know, we'll feel like old pals, despite having only met one from this group previously. I look forward to deepening our friendships and know from the past that the 'connection' in person validates the fondness of our correspondence and exchanges here.

Today, I celebrate this global female community and  write to convey  my deep appreciation and gratitude for the spirit of creativity and sisterhood  each of you give me daily. 


Women’s Support - Becoming Our Own Role Models
from The Daily Om 

There was a time where women stood together in a bond of sisterhood, women supporting women.

As women embrace the fullness of who they are as individuals, they may find themselves supporting other women, helping others to reach the level of inner comfort and outer freedom that they themselves have found. Among those who are less sure of themselves and their place in the world, it may be more common to criticize other women than to seek their help. But there are things that a woman can only learn from another woman, as there are things about being a man that can only be learned from other men. We all recognize that we have much to learn from each other regardless of gender, but sometimes we could use a supportive role model that gives us a more precise example of what and who we can become.

There was a time where women stood together in a bond of sisterhood, women supporting women. It is only natural that the pendulum swings out of balance for a while so that we may have the experience of what we do not want. It is up to women to bring the pendulum back into balance and bring back the sacred sisterhood we yearn for at our core.

If we envision a world where women support each other and help each other find their place in an ever-changing world, then we can become the change we want to see. Jealousy, envy, criticism, and judgment are refuges for the insecure. As we help others to become self-assured, we create a world in which all people help each other, regardless of gender. Only women can make the change in how women are seen and understood, not just by other women but by the world at large. The way we speak about each other to other women and to the men in our lives informs everyone to treat us with the respect that all women, and all people, deserve.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Somewhere between Heaven and Earth - my imagination landed...


Somewhere between Heaven and Earth - 9x 10 inches digital *copyright TwoDressesStudio 2010"

"Members of the Bird Clan were historically known as messengers. The belief that birds are messengers between earth and heaven, or the People and Creator, gave the members of this clan the responsibility of caring for the birds. " - borrowed from Iroquois folklore.

Images from personal collection, magazine clippings and The Thing Finder by Holliewood Studios.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Self-Portrait - Portrait Workshop...(con't)

Here's my first self-portrait effort and, as you'll notice, the contrast is up way high, thus minimizing the need to shade in the wrinkles...I think I will either search for photos from years back, or remain absolutely and utterly daft at learning how to draw wrinkles and sagging skin - after all, it's a r t ....right? Right.


Day 1 - Pam Carriker Portrait Workshop - The Generic Face

I spent two hours today on my first lesson in Pam Carriker's workshop on Portraits via Creative Workshops.
First, watched the video on the required materials and then the first lesson on creating a generic face.  After only viewing two videos, I think this will be a useful workshop as she is very thorough and  crystal clear in her lessons.  For information on this workshop and others, visit her  website at

Below is my first effort.  I am looking forward to documenting the anticipated process, so stay tuned and I'll post updates as I work my way through the lessons, or better yet, join in!

Day One - Generic Face - graphite

Friday, April 09, 2010

Another new collage -

I can't ever  get enough of the dawn of the spring,  the warmth of the sun, the colors that begin to pop first  in the ever so subtle glow of browney green when the buds first appear on the trees, to the full blown glory of flowers.  It's  energy and a source of love of life renewing itself.  The feeling of that never quenched spirit that comes with the return of spring was the inspiration I reflected on when creating this collage. 

"Inhale" - digital collage 8 x 8 inches * Copyright TwoDressesStudio2010 *

Credits:  Background - watercolor by moi, image of woman - magazine clipping, ALL other images from Spring Faeries collage sheet commercial license by Holliewood Studios,
Please excuse my uneven black frame - I was curious to see how it might look and didn't pay close attention to the edges....

Print available on Etsy. 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

New Digital Collage


"Andropause" - approx. 5.5 x 5.8 inches

The image posted here  has been reduced in size and resolution from its original to prevent copying.  The original version is available on Etsy here.   Images used  are from  The Thing Finder - Holliewood Studios  as well as my own personal collection of either purchased or copyright free stock.

Version 2

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

a photo I snapped of my little pal, Mini today...

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies. ~Gene Hill


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Something to think about.....


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised:

*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*Do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?

Happy Easter!

If you'd like to view the You Tube video so you can hear and see this experiment - here it is:      Thanks to  Michele for providing it!