Altered Angel Diva

I've had a plain paper mache torso for quite awhile - I'd seen a neat variation done by Tim Holtz a few years ago and had a terrible time tracking one down. (The piece Tim did can be found in the book Bravissimo by Design Originals.) Once I found one then I put it aside, "saving" it. I don't know what I was saving it for - I suppose it was just so hard to find one that I didn't want to mess it up.

I came across the torso while I was cleaning out some bins with art supplies. (This studio moving/organizing/cleaning is a really good thing!) Rather than setting it aside and saving it for some unknown purpose, I decided to go ahead and "art it up".

Front of Altered Angel Diva

This is my Altered Angel Diva - she has white feathers surrounding gold angel wings. She's periwinkle (my favorite color) on the top and a bold sea green on the bottom. I free-handed pink swirls on the bottom of her with dimensional paint and then attached some fun purple beaded fringe to the bottom. Her stand is made up of flat wood disks and rounds that I painted Emperor's Gold (an antique gold). To antique them I put some Rich Espresso (metallic brown) on a plate, dipped a finger in the paint and the rubbed it over the pieces I'd painted with the Emperor's Gold (antique gold). I glued several sizes of disks to the 1" rounds - then glued this "stand" to the bottom of the torso.

After using some yellow dimensional paint around her waist, I added pink, gold and clear rhinestones to her top. Iris Japanese seed beads and copper/clear drops make up her necklace. Her heart "halo" is a brass charm textured with flowers and vines - which I rubbed metallic brown (Rich Espresso) paint into in order to make the texture "pop" and dim the brightness of the gold tone. I twisted some gold wire and attached one end to the halo and one end to her back. The feathers and gold wings were attached to her back and I used a small piece of felt flower ribbon to finish it all off.

There are two copper tags which are impossible to read here - but one says "create" and the other says "art". The words on the tags are raised - and I added Diamond Glaze over the top to give the tags a glassy finish.

Before attaching her wings and finishing her back, I poked a hole with an awl and filled her partially with potpourri. Not only is she adorable, she smells good too!

Back of Altered Angel Diva

I'm so glad I quit saving her for some unknown time and purpose - and actually finished her. She's a great piece and will sit on the shelves being installed behind my desk - watching over me while I create.

She was so fun to create - I can't wait to do another one!

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An Obsession with Containers

I have been consumed with containers lately. Maybe it's the push to actually get my studio together. One of the problems with putting it all together is arranging it in a way that allows me to find what I'm looking for - AND - fitting it all into a small space.

I've had these little boxes laying around forever - I just couldn't figure out what to do with them. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to put in them.

And this one is my favorite - made from a solid pine box with gold hinges on the back. Painted with light turquoise and stamped with dark brown accents that remind me of flowers. I placed large clear rhinestones, small pink rhinestones and tiny pink marbles in the centers of the accents. The top lip has paisley gaffer tape around it and I used a white marker to free-hand white swirls and dots.

Cats & Kids

We have 2 cats - Sweet Pea and Princess.


Sweet Pea is a normal cat - she's short haired, quiet and stays out of the way for the most part. She can usually be found sleeping at the back of my closet or in the back of the bath tub. Occasionally she'll be found in a drawer someone left partially open. She never meows, never misses the litter box, never tries to "escape" outside, eats a normal amount for a cat, doesn't like water and acts, a CAT.


Then we have Princess. Let me tell you about Princess. She has long hair. Which sheds EVERYWHERE. She must be in the middle of EVERYTHING. She sleeps right next to my face. EVERY NIGHT. She tries to "escape" to outside. EVERY TIME we open the front door. When she finally does get out and we tire of trying to catch her, she lets us know she's ready to come back in by clawing her way up the storm door, ripping the screen off the hinges and falling into the eight inch gap between the storm door and front door.

She meows. A LOT. If you sing she tries to get you to stop by meowing. LOUDLY. She eats. A LOT. If her food bowl has less than 1/2" of food in it, she won't eat it. She'll meow - LOUDLY - and follow you around - EVERYWHERE - making sure she's under your feet - until you fill it.

An open window is an invitation to try to open the screen - with her claws. She misses the litter box. A LOT. And she kicks litter. EVERYWHERE. She gets in the sink when you're trying to brush your teeth. And won't move. When you walk down the stairs, she makes it a race and tries to beat you - by running right in front of you, psychically knowing exactly where you were going to step.

She likes to play. With her teeth and claws. She takes anything black as a personal invitation to rub up against you. She licks your hair with her sandpaper-like tongue while you're sleeping. She will only sleep under the covers. (Did I mention she will only sleep next to my face?) If you close the bathroom door, she meows - LOUDLY - until you open it. If you leave the bathroom door cracked, she paws at it until she gets it open. She is the clumsiest cat I've ever seen. She hops up on the kitchen counter and knocks everything over. EVERYTHING. She tries to run off with your food. She'll drink your coffee/milk/water/juice if you don't keep a close eye on it.

She climbs up clothes hanging in the closet so she can sleep on the top shelf. When doing laundry, she climbs in the dryer and won't get out. You pull her out, she hops back in. You pull her out, she hops back in. Doesn't matter if wet clothes are in there or not. She climbs up the front door - and hangs by her front paws - from the little window. She misjudges distances and falls. She chews on everything. EVERYTHING. She has a certain love for paintbrush handles. Especially if they have wet paint on them. Just this morning she found a paintbrush my daughter had left paint on - and while chewing on it, managed to turn the white fur on her face and front paws GREEN.

Sweet Pea is mellow and prefers to hide and come out for the very occasional loving - on her own schedule. Princess chases Sweet Pea around the house until Sweet Pea has no choice but to hiss and scratch at Princess. Currently, Princess has a scratch on her nose from bombarding Sweet Pea. She licks Sweet Pea, follows her around, and nudges Sweet Pea from sleep so she can take over the spot.

All in all, Princess is the most obnoxious cat in the universe. She's also the most adorable. Her long fur is so soft and she's so sweet. I have never seen a more loving cat.

Until this morning. I've been struggling to organize and clean up my studio. I've made a lot of progress in the last two days - accumulating eleven trash bags of things to give away and seventeen bags of trash. (Not all from my studio - I've now decided to get rid of most household things in general.) I was thrilled with my progress. I had even managed to corral the male childebeasts into helping me rearrange furniture and take out trash. There's still a long way to go - but we were well on our way.

This morning I went downstairs. I was minding my own business - I just wanted something to drink. That's not too much for a queen to ask for, right? Something caught the corner of my eye. What IS all that white stuff?


And no - it wasn't enough that she decided to shred everything. It wasn't enough that she undid all our work. And made more work for us. No. I noticed a nose-wrenching smell. (Why Queen - you can't wrench a may be thinking. You weren't met with the "aroma" I was.) Where is that coming from?? And while picking up the shredded bags, it hit me. Yes - right about the time I jerked my hand back because things that shouldn't have been wet, were.

She "sprayed" the whole lot of bags. All of 'em. EVERY SINGLE ONE. What is up with that?? How does one cat contain that much? More importantly, WHY?

Anyone have any ideas? I can live with her annoying habits. I can deal with the fact she evidently believes she is human. I can even handle her thinking she is actually a "princess". But this?? Not. I can't hang with this. And I have no idea why she did it...or if she'll do it again.

Ahhhhh There. I had to vent about it - because I'm so annoyed. I'm going to research it online - because I truly have no clue what possessed her to do this. At least she missed the new art I'd created. I have pictures that I want to post - but this came first. There's just something about cats and childebeasts. At least the ones in my house. Just look below.

This picture is perfectly representative of my life with children and cats. My middle son (who is Ace Ventura incarnate) calls me to where the cats are peacefully napping, yelling that the cats "made a GROSS mess!!!!". I come upstairs, take a quick look, mentally curse the idea of having cats, and walk off to get some toilet paper to clean it up. I'm wondering to myself why I always get the job of picking up these sorts of messes, when I hear quiet giggling...that quickly explodes into hysterical laughter. Well, two kids were hysterically laughing and one - my middle son - was cackling. Returning with the toilet paper, I'm now mentally cursing the idea of having kids - and making a note about how I can't wait til they grow up and have their own kids.

I bend over to pick up the mess and that's when I realize...Middle Son had taken a Tootsie Roll, warmed it in his hands and then formed it to look like...well...guess. He thought it was absolutely HILL-arious. As did the other two. And people wonder why I call them CHILDEBEASTS.

(Notice how he placed the mirror by the cats so they could see his handiwork...and how Sweet Pea is looking at the camera like she had nothing to do with it - and how Princess is actually checking it out.)
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