Mixed Media Challenge

challenge pack.jpg

Every couple of months at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita is a Mixed Media Challenge.  You purchase a pack of goodies for $10 and that enters you in a challenge to create a small piece of art using at least 5 of the items from the bag.  Your piece, along with the others will then hang on a featured artist wall in the gallery starting with Final Friday Art Crawl (this time March 31) and staying for two months until time to hang the next show.  It is an awesome chance to have your work hang in a gallery, as well as urge you out of the creative duldrums!

You don’t even have to live in Wichita to participate!  Simply call the gallery at (316) 262-2435 to order your pack, then send your finished piece by March 21.  It is a great value for just the pack alone!

The theme for the March pack is Go Bohemian, and it is now available.  Here are some of the goodies in the 8.5 x 11 inch package.


It includes:

  • a few sheets of paper
  • a chunk of fun fringe
  • a two part feather stencil and mask
  • handmade paper
  • 14 inches of boho style trim
  • images from a tribal book
  • hand painted paper
  • 3 boho color paper circles
  • fabric, trim, and a purple feather!
  • and of course an elephant image!

It is so fun to see what everyone comes up with!

Coming Up Hearts


Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to give a piece of original art in the place of a card?  That was my thinking in creating these little 5 x 7 mixed media heart canvases.  They all have sweet little messages on them, perfect for a loved one.

They are available at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita, along with a number of larger pieces.


And I missed posting my faces from last week on Saturday, but I am still on track, though some are certainly much better than others!  Here are faces 22 through 28, plus an extra one back there that my granddaughter did to help me out.


The contour face is one of my favorites again… I think I may try one in color… I also like the washy looking black and white in the bottom corner, done in about a minute and a half with a stabilo pencil and water brush.  I too often don’t get the proportions quite right, then the whole thing is sunk.  Taking time to get off to a good start proves more important to me than making the perfect features.  I am learning!

For those of you participating in a challenge, how are you coming along?  If not so good, don’t despair… just jump back in today!

Tell Your Story in Collage


Several months ago I visited the Red Barn Studio in Lindsborg, Kansas, home of artist Lester Raymer. I was very inspired by his eclectic body of work.  One thing that especially attracted me were his shadowboxes.


In these he used a variety of 2D and 3D items as symbols and representations to tell a story.  I found them so intriguing as I pondered his chosen elements.  It made me feel a connection to the artist I have never met.

It gave me the idea to create a two dimensional “shadowbox” style story of my own life.


We all have a story to tell, and what a great way to connect our story to our families, and to all who take time to look at it.  There are so many ways that this can be implemented!


Hope you can join me as I explore the possibilities in the upcoming Collage Your Story workshop at Tessera Fine Art Gallery.  Saturday, Feb. 11, 1-4pm.  Cost is $35, all supplies provided. If you want to bring small scale photo copies of any special mementos, or would like to work in your art journal instead, feel free to bring them!  Call (316) 262-2435 to sign up!


Paper Mosaics


When I hear someone mention mosaics, I usually think about ceramic tiles or bits surrounded by grout like this table top I made from broken dishes.  I love the idea of scraps and bits coming together to make something beautiful.. just like life!

The same idea can be accomplished with bits of paper glued down with background paper showing through to make all manner of designs.


Or you can get more funky with it like I did in my art journal …

spread 40.jpg

I am also excited about adding in words or other images like in my kitchen backsplash…

mosaic backsplash

These could also make some really fun Valentine’s Day cards, don’t you think?

So many possibilities for us to explore in the February 11th workshop at Tessera Fine Art Gallery!  Cost is $35 all supplies included (though you can bring your own journal to work in if you wish!) Call (316) 262-2435 to sign up!

Crafty Gifts of Christmas Past

Projects have been a flying around here lately, but of course I can’t share them…. yet.  So I thought I would share some favorites from years past.

A few years ago I made art journal style pages for several family favorite recipes and made copies for each of my kids.


They each got a personalized small binder to keep their pages in.


Turns out that a lot of the handmade gifts through the year didn’t ever get photographed… but here is an old one of a handmade owl pillow and a diaper bag… There have also been assorted quilts, aprons, oven mitts ….

img_9716-1   kelsis-diaper-bag

Then of course there was last years dollhouse and lemonade stand made by a talented papa who takes my gift ideas and figures out how to turn them into reality!



What are your best handmade gift memories?

Boho Elephant Sketchbook Cover


Yesterday I shared with you my cover art for the current issue of The Coloring Studio made from my “Boho Elephant” coloring page.  Today I have another example of how I turned my coloring page into a piece of art… this time functional art as a sketchbook cover.



After transferring the pattern onto unstretched canvas, I first painted with acrylic paint, and then embroidered selected portions of the design.  I sewed this panel into a book cover using batik fabric, fitting it to a standard sketchbook that I had on hand.  I added a hand stamped ‘victory road’ label and a small tassel to the spine.


When I use up the current sketchbook, I can just slip a new one into the cover!

Tis the Season…


Today I am sharing some signs of the season from my Instagram photos.  This time of year is about planning for the next year, preparing for workshops, making new art, stocking up for holiday shoppers, reflecting, and enjoying family!










Want to keep up on the moments of my work day? Hop on over to follow me on Instagram!

Crème Brûlée Mixed Media Challenge

Selective focus on the front jar with traditional French dessert cream brulee

Crème brûlée, also known as burnt cream, is a creamy  rich custard dessert topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel.  That was the color inspiration for the theme pack for the latest Mixed Media challenge put together for Tessera Fine Art Gallery.  Every packet has a comparable stash of items, but not identical. Here is a representative view of the packets, only available through the gallery.

Creme Brulee pack

The idea of the challenge is to use at least 5 items out of this challenge bag in your own mixed media art and show your piece in the August featured artist challenge exhibit at the gallery on August 26.  The leftover supplies are yours to keep to create even more art. The piece can be for sale or not, but either way it is a wonderful way to experience YOUR art hanging in a gallery!  Here are the details:

  • Use at least 5 items from this bag to use in a mixed media collage
  • Add paint or other mediums of your choice
  • Multiple packs may be purchased, but limit of one entry per person per show
  • Finished size to be 11 x 14 or 12 x 12 or smaller excluding frame size
  • Turn in finished work no later than August 16
  • Challenge pieces will be featured during August 26 Final Friday reception

And the cost for the packet and challenge entry?  Just $10!  This is open to anyone near and far, but hurry because these go fast!  Visit or call the gallery at (316) 262-2435 to secure your packet!

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!




Yesterday I took a day off and went on an “adventure ” with a friend.  We knew that we were going to the Wichita area, but didn’t have much planned other than that.  So refreshing to have a carefree day!


First stop was Junk in the Trunk in the little town of Kechi.

20160330_111619 20160330_105202 20160330_105108

So much fun to just look and look!  I did end up getting some old photos and maps for future art projects. Definitely a place to return to!

Next stop was the Goodwill in Andover, where I found some men’s shirts to paint on and then use as paint shirts like the one done by Deborah Company in the Nov/Dec issue of Somerset Studio.


By then, it was time for lunch that we ate at a lovely little sandwich shop called Deli Bocca.  Very fun little sandwiches and they made a great twist on traditional salads. Right next door was the Green Elephant, which is a quaint old house turned into a multi roomed shop full of delightful little discoveries.

20160330_142730 20160330_150027

Then, as we were headed to one last stop, we drove by a yard that immediately brought to mind the Garden of Eden in Lucas, KS. There was a woman in the yard… so we stopped to chat.  We were graciously given a tour of their home, inside and out.  There were rock gardens with all kinds of plant varieties that I could not begin to name.  I did love this hen and chicks variety that was growing out of the “pores” of this huge boulder.  I also loved the carved stones and whimsical touches that were everywhere.  Inside was just as wonderful with thousands of pieces of artwork!  (No exaggeration, THOUSANDS!) This was a delightful couple; gracious, very knowledgeable, and so artistically prolific… constantly dreaming and creating new things.

20160330_151846 20160330_152659

What a great day of adventure and discovery!  I feel very rejuvenated and inspired to CREATE in new and wonderful ways!  It is so important to feed our creativity from time to time.

What places spark your creativity?