A Maze of a Brain and Amazing Art


“Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.
Not much, how ’bout you?
I’m not sure why I called,
I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
And I was thinking maybe later on,
We could get together for a while.
It’s been such a long time,
And I really do miss your smile.”

–England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976

“Oh – stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’ ”

–The Pixies, 1988

Ever feel like you’ve been existing in a time-warp, floating between dimensions, touching down lightly into reality and then off again?  That’s what the last ten days have been like for me!

Over the last two decades, as a migraineur, I have had to adapt to an uncooperative brain, which is not easy for someone who could be working, creating, reading, and writing 24/7!  Last week, I was hit with a three day migraine, the effects of which lasted for the remainder of the week–what migraineurs not-so-affectionately call “a migraine hangover.” So all creative and professional work was curtailed, and I’ve been playing catch-up, and taking life a little more slowly the last five days.

With a reduced teaching load due to spring break, I’ve had a bit more time to get back into my craft room and resume work on a few projects.  It has been so good to just play with colors and patterns and experiment with some new styles.  I will showcase some of those very soon!

Today, though I want to share a project I had completed right before I was derailed.  I took my inspiration from an art piece I found on Pinterest. It is called “The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath) 2010,” (acrylic on cut paper, papier-mâché, wire, wood) by Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Clay.  Her work is delicious in terms of color, and at times unsettling in terms of contrasting hard geometric elements with the soft colors.

The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath), 2010, Lauren Clay

Here is my card:

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been compelled to create paper nests.  I have also been gravitating to varying hues of turquoise, coral, and pink, as you may have noted in my last few cards.  So when I saw Lauren’s work, I knew I wanted to try and replicate its form and color with my Memory Box branches.


I first colored separate panels of watercolor paper with a water-color brush and Distress Inks and Stains. I saturated some areas for deep color and lightened others with water.  I also flicked water onto parts of the panel for spotting.  I wanted to create an ombre effect, which you can see more clearly in the close-ups.

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After creating my pink, blue, purple, and yellow panels, I strategically cut many branches!  I’ve been quite the die cutting machine lately with my recent cards!  Flowers, circle, branches, oh my!

I then altered branches to get the desired shapes and sizes.  Finally, I worked on placement, which took some time!

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TIP: Take pictures of your stages, especially when working with a lot of large and small paper elements.  This will aid your memory greatly and allow you to compare different arrangements.

I was then ready to add that gorgeous sentiment from Winnie and Walter’s set The Big, Bold, and You.  I absolutely cannot get enough of these fonts and the quality of the stamps is awesome.  I just ordered their other set, The Big, Bold and Happy.  I used Versafine Onyx Black, which is just as bold as the sentiment!


TIP: When working on placement of your font, use the Stamp-a-ma-jig and corresponding plastic sheet or stamp your sentiment on a scrap paper and position.


I absolutely love how the flow of the “you” follows that of the branches.


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The inside and back are finished off with a simple strip of turquoise washi.

As some of you may know, CASE Study, run by the ever-inspirational artist, Chupa, is looking to expand its design team.  I had the honor of guest designing in March and would love to continue creating alongside all of the talented ladies on the team.

Chupa asked applicants to create a project based on the work of a personal muse in the crafting industry and a style that would challenge us artistically. I have many muses in the crafting world to whom I turn time and again for inspiration– and they vary greatly in their styles. I will be featuring some of these individuals and the cards I created based on their inspiration in upcoming posts.

However, as a writer and paper crafter, I have always looked to the art world and popular culture for inspiration.  So in this instance, while I am not CASE-ing any particular card artist, I was drawn to a compelling visual artist that inspired me to create a bold, modern, CAS-style card.  I hope this will count!

If you would like to apply for a position on the CASE Study team, submit your entry by 4/30!

Have an amazing day!

Silver Linings

Good evening!  I was planning to pair today’s card with the amazing paper art I have been learning about and viewing recently, but I will have to keep you in suspense a little longer given the exhaustion that is clouding my mind and making it difficult to center my thoughts!  And here it’s only Monday!  Maybe I should head over to Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues and play along!  She always has something fancy and fabulous to see!

My entry for CASE Study’s current challenge was designed for someone who is, unfortunately, experiencing a blue time.  As you can see, I remained faithful to the design by muse, Danielle Flanders.

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I am always excited when I see other crafters using their tools in novel ways, and am equally excited when I, myself, make such a discovery!  For this card, I didn’t want to complicate the large sentiment by adding embellishments; but I did want to create a cloud-scape.  I have a variety of border dies and speech bubbles that could have worked for the clouds; but then I looked more closely at my new Floral Threader Spellbinders dies, which I haven’t put to use yet, and there it was!

A2 Floral Ribbon Threader

I just ran the paper through with the long end of the frame die along the edge and, voila, instant cloud border.

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Since every cloud should have a silver lining, I added some silver thread along the striped washi border.

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The stamps I used are my new Deep Red Stamps 3×4″ wave background, which I inked with Memento Dew Drop dye inks in yellow and red, and Hero Arts shadow ink cube in Soft Cantalope, and PTI’s sentiment from Movers and Shakers.

Deep Red Stamps Japanese Wave

I definitely felt like something was missing from the card, and I wanted to play on the clouds and rain theme.  So I added a touch of turquoise in the enamel dots and washi strip.  As said in my last post, I am craving turquoise right now!  The addition really seemed to do the trick and draw the eye to the sentiment.

I am going to leave you with some beautiful art work I happened upon last week; Kate Collins is an Australian painter, and I love what I have seen of her work.  I especially love her River River Jewels.  These are surely a cure for the Monday blues.

May you find silver linings in all your clouds!