Easy April Fool Supper

Here is a post from a year ago that I thought you might enjoy. Prepare this fun and simple April Fools menu for your family next week!

from victory road

Want a special, but super easy, April Fool dinner for your family tonight?  Throw together this candy filled “chicken pot pie” and meaty “frosted cupcakes” for a feast fit for fools! Chicken Pot Pie

The ready to bake pie crust is filled with banana pudding “gravy”, orange Starburst candy “carrots” (cut one square in 1/4) , green skittle “peas”, and banana hunks of “chicken”.  Actually makes a pretty tasty dessert that you will eat for the main course.  Then you will finish your backward meal with the main course of frosted cupcakes, which are actually meatloaf baked in cupcake papers, frosted with creamy mashed potatoes and topped with a cherry tomato.  (The idea for the meatloaf cupcakes was inspired years ago from an issue of Family Fun magazine).  Easy Peasy and so much fun!

Here’s your shopping list:


  • ready to roll out and bake piecrusts
  • instant banana pudding (and milk if you don’t have it…

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How to make Fabric Art Journals

purse journal e1

Whether you call them smash books, sketchbooks, or art journals, they are here to stay. While the real treasure lies inside, I do like for the outside to be something special too.  I created these one-of-a-kind quilted fabric covers made with all kinds of repurposed textiles.


Some of my favorite materials are:

  • quilted pillow shams
  • old quilts
  • scraps of trim and lace
  • small crocheted doilies
  • vintage buttons
  • pockets salvaged from shirts or pants
  • shirt cuffs
  • elastic

1.These can be made any size, but I made mine from a 9 x 19 inch rectangle of quilted fabric to enclose 5 x 7 1/4 inch pages.  You will also need a matching piece of lining fabric.

2.Embellish with lace, doilies, embroidery and/or applique.

3. Laying right sides together, sew the lining and outside layer 1/4 inch from the edge, leaving an opening to turn.

4. After turning, top stich around the edges, and add any machine quilting desired.

5. Add either a button and buttonhole, or a loop of elastic and a button to close.



6. Cut a 7 1/2 inch length of Velcro and sew the loop side across the width of the cover.  Sew one end of the hook side to the top edge so that it can enclose the rings that will bind your journal pages.


7. Add a reclaimed pocket or a strip of elastic sewn at intervals inside the front cover to hold your journaling tools.



8. Inside the back cover, add a pocket for little bits of ephemera to add to your journal, a bit of washi tape, or maybe a glue stick.

e4  FJ5

9.  Now you are ready for your papers!  Cut a collection of found papers to 5 x 7 1/4 inches.  I use book pages, maps, old business stationary, file folders, painted pages, and notebook paper. I like to add a glassine envelope to the front filled with scraps and bits to use in my journal.

e5  e3

e3  FJ11

10.  Punch two holes in your pages, add binder rings from the office supply store, insert in the Velcro, and there you have a smash book, ready to play!

fba9 fba8 FJ8 FJ10

It’s also fun to add tickets, cigar wrappers, tags and strings, … as tabs on the pages.


I also added straps to some to carry over the shoulder like a purse so that you can have your journal at your side at all times!

fba1 FJ1

These “journal bags” are featured in the SPRING 2014 issue of Haute Handbags available on newsstands April 1! So be sure and pick up a copy for more about creating these handy little visual journals!




I chose a face from a magazine.


I used gesso, collage and paint to prepare a background. I wiped off the paint here and there to let some paper show through. At this stage I’m feeling like it is pretty ugly, but I will keep pushing forward.


Tore my face out of the magazine and stuck it down onto the page.


Added a hat, a dress and some arms. Drew some 4 leaf clovers around some of the collage elements.



Added some greener green!



Painting over the face and adding some burnt orange hair.



Now for the words and some detail work with a yellow Sharpie paint pen…


For Such a Time as This

Esther watermark copy


When Mordecai challenged Esther to use her royal position to influence the king to save the many lives of her own Jewish people, he said to her “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” in an effort to encourage her to take action despite the risks at hand.

I could be easily asked the same question. In what ways do my own set of circumstances allow me to be in the right place at the right time to help others? When I start seeing both the good and the bad in that light, it changes my perspective on my situation.  No one else is walking in my shoes, so whatever needs I encounter on my path are mine to address! It might be as simple as a smile, or an encouraging word, or it might be something more risky and far reaching. Who knows but that I may have come to this situation for just such a time as this!

About the art:

The Jewish holiday Purim is this weekend, and since I have been writing a series of studies on the Jewish roots of Christianity, I decided to also do a study on the story of Purim’s heroine, Queen Esther. So, since I have been on a collage kick in my art journal, I decided to do a similar illustration for the Bible Study!

A modern map of the area of the ancient Persian Empire makes up part of the background beneath a layer of turquoise paint.  On the bottom half of the page I sprayed some purple Dylusions ink through a stencil.  On top I pasted a lovely woman cut from a bridal magazine, then painted over her face, chest, arms, and hair.  I left the bodice of her dress alone, just adding some highlights with a white gel pen. For the skirt, I tore strips from a book page, and let a bit of the background show through in between.  I painted in a crown, since this bride was a queen, a dove copied from my own artwork, and a copy of a watch face.  I finished with lettering, and more detailing.

March at Botanica


It is always fun to see my art hanging in different places. For the month of March, I am honored to have a number of my framed pieces hanging in the lobby of Wichita’s Botanical Gardens. For those of you that can’t make it there in person, thought I would share some pictures with you.


IMG_3679 IMG_3683


A few of the framed originals being offered there:

feathers watermark copy flights of fancy watermark Groucho11x14 watermark lady in red sm wtrmk copy copy a wrinkle in time watermark little red watermark creation sings watermark


CitraSolv Class Part 2

Think watermark

Original piece available for purchase on etsy

Last night was our CitraSolv part 2 class at Studio 13 where we used the lovely papers we made in the CitraSolv part one class to make note cards, cover composition books and make collage art.

Here we are hard at work!

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The time flies by way too fast, but here are some of our amazing results:

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And of course, best of all, the happy faces!

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For more CitraSolv art, visit the CitraSolv artist’s site, or my etsy shop!

Twenty Important Things

20 important things watermark

Awhile back I saw a post on Julie Balzer’s blog where she listed twelve self care tips for Valentine’s Day.  I like the way she presented the list in a visual way. I randomly drew squarish shapes on a pre-painted background in my art journal, and painted around them, letting the background show through on the squares.  I happened to make twenty spaces, in addition to the title spot, so the next step was to start thinking of twenty things that I think are important in life, or that I want to be important in my life. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, just started filling in my boxes.

This is the page I ended up with.  What would be on your list of twenty?