What's Next

I purchased a PDF from an Etsy Vendor on making a clay cover for a journal and the design is totally awesome.  Because I don't have the same items (which is fine, and more fun) the main thing I was wanting to learn were techniques and how to's so I could venture into doing my own designs.  ---

This is going to be a fun, informative journey....I can already think of how I want to do journals for friends and family personalizing just for the recipient and since 2014 is right around the corner.... maybe making for birthday presents is the way to go.  Now to find journals....and one of my favorite places for these are Big Lots.... inexpensive, nice size, ugly covers but good construction and with or without lines....  Somehow I would like to incorporate some crochet into my first journal....now to determine how.

I am also wanting to sit and play with a few of the rubber stamps that I sell on Etsy so this is going to be a perfect opportunity to do that.  I will probably use 5 different stamps rather than just one so I need to go through my personal stash and begin my "pile" of items of possibility.....  charms, beads, buttons, material, stamps, determine colors,  etc. so that I will have nearly everything "together" for when I start.
Sometimes this takes a couple of weeks, months, and at other times if I have a direction my gathering is done in just a few hours.  I just never know....and have learned to "just go with the flow".....

Cigar Box Personalized Art

Now that my husbands' family have opened their gifts...I can post photos of the cigar box pieces that they received which I tried to tailor personally for each one of them.  They were so much fun to create and remarkably they made it from OR to PA with only a couple of small issues.....

The first one was for my step son and the license plate on the back is his name done with scrabble tiles and the tail lights are large jingle bells.  The inside (as are all the boxes) are lined with felt and some of the lids have been embellished as well.

The second box was for our 16 year old grandson who likes skeletons and skulls.  The last photo shows the inside of his box as it is a photo I took of a skeleton that hangs in our garage and then I painted around it matching the paints to the background of the picture.  The legs of his are minature bowling pins as he is an accomplished Junior bowler in the local area and state of PA.

The 3rd photo is of our daughter in laws box which is vintage feminine.  The legs on this box are vintage spools.

Most of the items came from thrift stores, garage sales, antique stores, swap meets, auctions etc..... I guess you could say I am one of those "creative collectors".... gathering bits and pieces to use in art pieces.

Fun to make and definite learning experiences only learned from the experience of doing.  No real mistakes can be made....

The Gentlemans' Abstracted Rooster

The past couple of days I have been working on this piece for some neighbors up the street for Christmas.   It was done using a stencil, acrylic paints, 3 mats, a green feather, 3 hinges, some bb pellets, vintage buttons, painted on a 5 x 7" portrait grade canvas board.   and a thrift store frame/with glass for $5.00 that I spray painted. ( I did a smaller one for myself a few months ago but was the rooster only without the elements of mixed media.  I like them both. )

After the painting was done I used the Glamour Dust Paints in Green, Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Gold, and Blue to add some bling as well as glazeing the GD paints over the rooster for some mottleing.  I used the Ice Crystal GD paint for the entired backgrouind.  I felt that the bb pellets and hinges gave it a bit more of a masculine look......

The Gentlemans Coffee Table

I am frantically trying to finish my "Christmas handmade gifts" and thank goodness, with the help of my husband this has gone together quickly and easily.... 

Once again this is a "tie" item and I have titled it "The Gentlemans' Coffee Table".  My son in law drinks coffee so I am hoping he will use this "somewhere".....  and it was so much fun putting it together.  I used a level for the tables "leg" and that is where it "started" and then I just went where tings seemed to go and I am delighted with the finished piece.....  When I do these people will either like them or hate them.  The tie on this one is a favorite of mine that I picked up at Goodwill....they had several beautiful ones the day I got this one......and I ended up purchasing them all cause I KNEW  they would work their way into my art....  

Everything has been doweled, glued and screwed...... and those chopsticks fit perfectly in the grooves of the plaque wooden base.... not to even mention how well the colors "worked".  I purchased these from a Chinese wholesaler on the internet.  So neat to be able to purchase "things" without running all over----with no luck...

I may do one called "The Gentlemans Brew Table".... hmmmmmm.....  very in- ter- est- ing....

Just when you think you are done

You're not....LOL...

This piece I have posted a couple of times now...always thinking I am done....and keep it easeled and boom I add something else....lol.

REALLY Done....and a bit more mixed media and male.  I have been "thinking" about a series called
The Gentlemans Series.....  This one is called a Gentlemans' Christmas.....

I ordered a "lot" of mens ties when I saw them cause I had a couple of different ideas for them...but not this....  Or I could call it the "Tie Series"

Glass Lockets

I have seen these lockets at different sites but never seemed to have the extra few dollars to spend, but with Christmas coming up I could justify the purchase a bit easier.  They came yesterday in the mail and I was anxious to try a couple of things with them and I am delighted with the sizes, shapes and quality.

The lace ones are vintage, and the picture one is a vintage photo I purchased in an antique store that HAD to be shared.  It is easy to make up a story to go with this piece.  She reminds me of my mothers mother who was German and came to the US by boat..... the vintage warmth, the staunchness, and the look of sorrow and a haunting in her eyes.  It is one of my favorite "items".

I am going to work on a brass and lace one for me with a really pretty brass chain I purchased at Michaels .....  a 40% off item.  It has a sturdy linkage with small little brass daisies between the links.  Just have to find the lace I want to use.... Drat I hate when I can't remember what I did with something.

These will be used as gifts...and what I don't need will end up on Etsy.


I am frantic trying to get Christmas presents finished up..... This is going to my grandson for his new apartment.  I am not sure if he is going to have a tree so I think this is masculine enought that he "might" hang it.....   If you scroll down a bit on my blog you will see more information on the piece.

I decided I wanted to mat it and frame so this is the finished piece.....  Now I just have to "find" the glass and I will be set plus a little sparkle on the frame.....
Copyright  12-13     Diana Putnam

Mt. Shasta, CA

Mt Shasta ...always awesome no matter when you are in her shadow.  This is the first time we have been by at this time of year so it is just beginning to frost and get some snow...  

I made my husband take a road up to a viewpoint....and then I walked 1/4 mile to the top and got the last 2 photos zooming in a bit with the lens until I had what I felt would be good shots.  The top one is marred with lights but with no effort at all and with using a bit of artistic license when painting......these will just "not exsist"....   I love trying to match the colors.....or not.  No matter what you want to do with a brush is possible .....

Cold Mystery

Copyright 12/2013    Diana Putnam
This is one of the occassions when I walked the dog outside in the cold for her nightly routine and was confronted with this awesome night magic seen through a hole in the trees.

 Using  different settings, zooming in and out this became my favorite shot....seemed as if I either got the moon, the trees or the fog but with this one I captured it all and I love the lacey look of the trees....  It is one of those special, cold, mystical, moon lit, winter nights and a feeling of capturing a moment of it...is nothing less that magical.

This very well may turn into a painting....

Last night I painted  (using artistic license) a canvas using this photo as a reference AND inspiration... Right now I have it "set up" to MAYBE become a mixed media painting.  I am working on it for a friend of ours and never having been inside his house I am not sure of his decor...or non decor....style, etc. so I am finding it hard to know how to proceed...  This is the hardest .... handmaking a gift for a friend or acquaintance.

These are the times I really miss an truthful, artistically oriented friend....

IF I do this as laid out we have burlap ribbon to the left and on top some metal rustic stars...the crooked branch I would paint black.  The 3 chopsticks which are rustic in nature and color wise "goes", would be left as is....  On the right side is a gold lame material I picked up somewhere and some stiff startched like snow netting to go over the lame to tone it down just a bit....  The painting has been done on a long thin canvas....I added the wood cobweb because I "thought" something was needed there...but now that I look at it this photo I will no doubt  leave it to be used on another project....lol.......  The main substrate is a large canvas....  IF...I do this as a mixed media piece I will place the canvas painting down level with the substrate beneath...instead of above it.   Taking photos of what you want to do, or have done will help you to make changes, get different ideas, placement changes, etc.   I also have to put a matte finish on the canvas and then I will use the Decoart Glamour dust paints in the foggy area of the painting....in the area of the painting name and if I use the snowflake stiff material  I will add a stylus drop of this same paint in the center of some of the snowflakes....not much...just a little.  


I just read that the "color" for 2014 is going to be Orchid.....so I guess maybe my Christmas tree just might be at the forefront in Purple and pastels.....

COLD....Bitter Cold

We are at  -13 degrees tonight and I have to say this is the coldest weather I have experienced since leaving Pennsylvania over 30 years ago.  I had forgotten how "crunchy" the sound of snow can be...
The birds are in their winter homes....none out playing today....these are from the day I got the woodpeckers' picture.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Yes, it is snowing pretty good here in Bend, Oregon down in the woods.....  it is going down to 3 degrees tonight,  and a good day or so to just stay inside and hit the paint, sissors, glue, etc.

This is our resident wood pecker.....he is so pretty......  I had birds galore and they are so much fun to watch as they fly in and out with no major "wrecks" .....  and just having so much fun playing and concorting at the feeders..

I got groceries earlier in the week so we are pretty set....  If the electric goes off we have propane gas fireplace....plenty to eat and drink, entertainment via birds, and there is never a time I can't find SOMETHING to do to keep busy.   I cannot tell you when I just sat on the couch and LOOKED at a magazine....really looked at and studied the artists work....

Handpainted Porcelain Box

Copyright  12-2013    Diana Putnam

This was a FUN piece.    I wanted to do the box first because the design is going to go on another porcelain surface and be given as a Christmas present.  This was kinda my "test piece".    I am going to make some changes here and there...... ie:  Background will  cats eye blue,  the cat basecoat will be darker, wiskers a bit different (thinner) ,  lighter color for nose, more shading, etc.   I am not big on painting the same thing over and over but even though I will be painting this design 2 more times.....each one will be different... as if they are different animals.   I prefer giving handmade items that are one of a kind..

I will sign and date ... add some of the Ice Crystal Glamour Dust Paint in the white areas of the 
eye to add the sparkle I like and the other fun thing that happens when you use this paint in an eye is it gives the illusion that the eye meets yours, and looks directly at you....even if you move.  Just ads a bit of life to the piece.

Yesterday I showed the basecoat I did for this box...(see below) and I didn't change anything with the background color.  Just sketched in the profile and began painting.  

Basecoating Ceramic/Porcelain

Today I had a couple of hours where I could go downstairs and get a couple of items ready for the "fun".....  The blue, pink and purple travel mug is going to have a dragonfly design and the Raw Sienna pieces will have a kitty cat design.  

All pieces were sprayed first with Frosted Glass to give the 
piece some tooth so the paint doesn't slide all over....and I used Liquitex paints in the colors I chose and Soft White to
get a mottled effect of lights, darks and in betweens.  The colors have phased out to white on the back side using just the Soft White paint and working it into the color areas....  there should be no line of start/stop.  (Liquitex Paint)   I used a 3/4 angle brush (Dynasty FM Black Gold).  

NOW the fun begins....

Glitter / Snow / Painting

Fresh, new fallen, virgin snow....we got about an inch of the feathery white stuff today but I took this picture for painting reasons..

My personal preference for "glittering" an item is "less is more".  I love the hologram glitter of snow but as you can see from the white spots (snow sparkles) you can almost count them......and this is the way I really like to do my winter snow landscapes for a touch of realism.   The Glamour Dust paints are fantastic for adding just a touch......and the dry glitter which I sometimes use has been put in a pepper shaker so that I have more control of the "flow".... which I have been sprinkling on this way for years.

Also you can see from this picture the reason I prefer Paynes Grey for my underpainting of snow.  Here in Oregon snow has more of a grey blue cast vs the snow on the East Coast (specifically PA) where the snow has more of a blue than gray "cast" and see the little "mounds" which are slightly umbrella shaped.

Just little things to think about when adding those final, important elements to a painting...  Pure White IE:  Titanium White is the LAST highlight(s) to add.  Work up to this stark white starting with Soft White,,,then add Titanium White in varying amounts...dirty brush...  I don't ever wash my brush for this step....I use a towel to wipe off excess...and to "test" colors....

Mirror Tile Christmas Ornaments

These are my mirror mosaic tile ornaments for this year.

Rayon/nylon crochet thread.  Color of choice.

2 mosaic mirror squares per ornament,  E6000 glue, crochet cotton cut to the length desired.  I want mine to be short as I want to use one of the traditional wire hangers to hang on my tree limbs.

Put a 1/4" globbet of E6000 in the middle of one of the mirror squares..lay down the crochet ccotton into the glue, then lay another mirror square on top and squeeze together.  Lay aside to dry and continue making your additional mirror ornaments..

Whatever you choose must be thin and flat or you will have too much space between the mirrors and you will not have "Holding Power" from the glue so keep this in mind when looking.....
narrow thin ribbon
crochet thread
thin lace
jewelry bale
large Jump Ring
picture hanger
rubber band
fishing line (will give the illusion that the mirror is floating)

you could spray with frosted glass for a frosted mirror
lay down a stencil and spray with frosted glass (ie:  snowflake)
   because I want mirrored images I will leave mine as you see in the photo
   for the rest of my mirror ornaments I am going to use green thread so it gives the illusion that the mirors are floating....(the thread will blend with the green of the tree)You learn so much by doing and then critiquing what you have done.....other options, etc.  New ideas just flow.
gallery glass faux stained glass .... use this as your "stencil" paint 

If I were to make more of these mosaic mirrors ..... say, to maybe sell a dozen finished ones I think I would use the round mirrors and would stencil just a portion of a snowflake on the mirror....  That would be so elegant....I am looking more for "effect" than "pretty".....

 Another neat item would be the flat back stones used for artifical plants as they come in colors and one could mix and match.....  

Santas' Workshop

Unfortunately, or fortunately....depending on the day and circumstances. this photo realistically shows the "condition" of my creating space with projects set up all over and added to as inspiration hits.  A DEFINATE hazard zone, but I have pretty much learned how to navigate around.   It is SO nice to have this space separate from the house where I can shut the door and no one sees the construction or destruction zone.....  HOWEVER, I WILL be glad when Christmas has come and gone  along with a lot of the supplies...

I like when I am making gifts and enjoying the comfort that creating provides to me.  I even enjoy the cleaning and discovery of long put away items that become new again.

I hope that a lot of you who stop by to see what is going on here on my blog are also in "Create Mode".....

Domino Snowflake Ornaments

These will be some of the ornaments on my tree this year.  Not everything will be hand made but enough that it will be my tree......  The domino snowflake collages were purchased from a fellow Etsy Vendor.  The necklace bales that I used for the "hanger" was also an Etsy vendor purchase.  LOVE Etsy.

Glue collage design to either the front or back of the dominos.  (the ones I used were picked up in a thrift store and were the larger white dominos with the colored dots)  Normally I do not like these but for this particular project they were perfect.  I glued the collage design to the Dotted Side of the dominos because I wanted the back side just the white...no dots.) When I am making jewelry, on the other hand, I glue the design image to the empty side of the domino.  Just depends on what I am doing, and what I want when finished.

After gluing the images on I let them sit for about 12-14 hours.

3.  Using a larger emery board (purchased at a Beauty Supply Store) I sand all the edges of the image and round the corners.  Different grits of nail files are nice to have.

4.  Apply a Matte or Satin Clear Coat over your image and let dry.

5.  Glue the jewelry bail to the domino, lay design down,  and leave for about 12-14 hours to allow the glue to set and adhere.

6.  Holding the ornaments by the bail I applied the colored Glamour Dust paints in a corresponding color to the snowflake design collage.

I will hang using the normal wire shaped hangers...they will be perfect for these.

NEXT:  Mirror Tile Ornaments
Handmade but cut bagged Mosaic mirror tiles which I have seen in Michaels, WalMart, and JoAnne retail stores.  Our stores carry square, round and oval in a couple of different sizes depending upon brand.  I chose to use the square ones and they are probably "inchies"....... since my balls are round, and the dominos rectangular.  Also needed is glue (I use the E 6000 and I only buy the large tubes as they work better, and the glue runs freer because the nozzle hole is larger.  Amazing what you learn along the way.  I do have a small tube for small items but the glue is a pain to get "running".  Next time I am going to have to try setting it in a cup of hot water and see if that helps) ;  some crochet thread, cording,  ribbon (narrow) maybe even a thin lace....all depending on the look you want to achieve to be used as the hanging element for the ornament.  I have some very narrow cording that I will be using in a shade of color to match my bulbs.  My lights are going to be clear ... no color....and my Christmas tree is a type of Blue Spruce, about 3 1/2" tall, live;  which will get planted somewhere this spring.



Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.