Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

Cast Lamp tutorial

I went into Mr. G’s garage on the weekend to see what he was up to re: making a lamp from my cast – this is the view (after a couple of days of rain) that greeted me from the garage door. I thought it looked cool!

Mr. G found an old lamp of mine that he decided to rescue. He removed the green pole and was left with a black metal pipe that he trimmed down after removing the wires from the lamp.

Mr. G placed the cast over the rod to see how it looked…..he thought it was looking mighty fine ūüôā

He drilled a series of holes along the sides of the cast so that he could lace up the cast with black cord.¬† Good thing he’s a virgo with an infinite amount of patience – i would mostly likely have hot glued it ūüôā

A close up of the lacework. Mr. G thought it might be fun if we placed a plastic thumb where the thumb used to go – is it just me or is he getting just as weird as me??? I want to put some hot pink or orange maruba feather boa around the top and base of the cast to finish things off.¬† Mr. G thought this was weird…..HELLO???? We still haven’t decided what to do with the lamp shade…’s too mundane don’t you think? I might buy a colourful plastic bowl and have Mr. G drill a hole in the bottom and use that as a shade. There is one of those energy efficient twirly bulbs in it so it might be difficult to have a shade that fits over the bulb.

Now you might think this is too weird for you to do but consider creating a lamp from: a boot or shoe, bottle (drill hole in bottom), basket, vase, stiffened bustier, doll, wooden house etc. The possibilities truly are endless!!!

Now on a totally random note my daughter Jessica was on TV yesterday morning but i missed seeing her on the news so my friend saved the segment and captured some stills for me!  Jessica was on TV promoting The Vancouver Film School Рback to school segment!

I’m a proud Mommy ūüôā

Back to basics

Snapping green beans ‚Äď I love hearing the snap noise.¬† It brings me back to my childhood when we had a vegetable garden in the backyard complete with a few rows of green beans.

Picking blackberries in the backyard for my protein shake.

I just can’t believe it ‚Äď I spent well over 1 hour writing this blog with the speech recognition program and all of a sudden the program did something and lost it all.¬† So I’m having a mini melt down and I’m going to walk away from my computer.

I was sharing something about two e-classes I was taking, one with Traci Bautista and one with Suzi blu but lost that too.¬† Also I shared about my studio open house this Sunday¬†at the magic cottage ‚Äď it’s between 11 AM and five PM.

I have to go now before i break something…..  Thank you for the kind thoughts some of you sent me about feeling under the weather yesterday.  I really appreciate it.

Art journal tutorial: hearing problems

¬†¬†I wanted to thank Rebecca Parsons for having me on the FAMM blog talk radio show. I had a good time ‚Äď it felt like I was having coffee and a chat with a good friend! Here is the podcasts if you would like to download it:

The genesis of an art journal page:

Yesterday I received a bit of upsetting news. I have been waiting for many months to see an ear specialist about a hearing problem. Not only did the Dr. have bad news but he also had a terrible bedside manner. I had spent the past year going to clinics about a hearing problem ‚Äď the doctors made me go home and do strange things like use a steroid nose spray which only made my nose run and clog up my head. Another Dr. Told me to go home and have a shower, plug my nose and blowhard with my mouth closed so that I could pop open my plugged ears. Of course that didn’t work! I kept thinking that I had plugged ears and needed grommets or tubes put in my ears. To make a long story short the ear specialist said I had hearing loss and that grommets in my years would not help. He implied that I would most likely benefit from hearing aids and controlling my environment??? What the heck? By controlling my environment he meant only talking to people when they’re facing me, not across the room or when they’re out of earshot.

So I was pretty upset when I came home and decided to create a journal page around what had transpired. On a happy note ‚Äď not hearing very well can be quite entertaining since I find what I think people are saying is infinitely more interesting and humorous than what they are actually saying. For example the other day Mr. Gee said we should have brought our umbrellas with us but I heard him say gorilla!!!

Life is full of fodder for your art journal pages.  What upsetting situation did you have that can be transformed by creating a journal page around it?  Art truly can heal you in so many ways!

This is going to take me quite a while to do this tutorial so you might wanna check back in a while to see when it’s finished.

Supply list:

  • Micron pens
  • ¬†Water color pencil crayons
  • ¬†copic pens
  • cardstock
  • decorative paper for background
  • Grommets (grommets kit)
  • Folk art acrylics
  • Glue
  • derwent sketching pencil -medium wash

Begin by painting over a piece of decorative paper (if you look closely you can see I had first glued some text over the background). I thinned down some white folk art paint and dribbled it on the page.

Begin sketching your idea on a loose piece of card stock¬†in pencil. ¬†Ink in with your micron pens and erase your pencil lines.¬† Colour in the woman’s face,¬†hair and the flowers with watercolor pencil crayons and also copic ¬†pens (you can use ordinary felt pens as well). Colour¬†in other elements as well such as the hands and talk bubbles.

Cut out all of your elements.  A little trick I use to make cutting things out more easier is by outlining everything with a thick black felt pen.

Tone down the background a bit with some watered down white folk art paint.  Glue all the elements  on your page.  As you can see at the last minute I decided to add a hand holding a talk bubble with grommets hammered into it.  When the glue has dried add a bit of shading to your cut out pieces with a derwent sketching pencil -medium wash.

A Zentangle Sampler with Wendy

Good grief! Our poor Violette! Were you all as surprised as I was to hear about her mishap? But, of course I love the cast! lol What a perfectly Violette way of making the best of the situation! I can hear myself in the future saying “what would Violette do” when something unexpected comes up!

Another way to decorate a cast, or, hopefully something pleasanter, is with Zentangles! Violette talked about Zentangles in one of her 5 days of frogs post and I did something similar earlier this year, but with the stencil of a woman, rather than a frog. The pattern that I used is from the book, Creative Paper Dollmaking, by Rhonda Rainey, but Violette suggested to me that you could just cut out a person from a magazine and trace it on to your canvas or sheet of paper. BTW, I am really, really into Zentangling and have covered the surface of everything from a light switch cover to a wooden craft stick. But the way that I do it is a little different than shown on the original Zentangle site.

My favourite method of Zentangling is to divide the surface that I am going to decorate into many squares and then fill each one with a different pattern. The photo is of a 5″ x7″ gallery stretched canvas, divided freehand into 40 squares. First, I draw the patterns in with pencil and yes, I DO erase until I like how it looks. True Zentangling encourages you not to worry about it and just keep going, but that thought doesn’t relax me, so I erase quite wantonly! Sometimes I change my mind completely about which pattern I will use so the eraser really comes in handy then.

A Sharpie extra fine point black pen on this and a mechanical pencil and am very pleased with the results. Now I have a unique and contemporary piece of wall art and a great reference guide to 40 Zentangle patterns! And it is just the beginnning!

With the papier mache butterfly mask, I used the sampler method again, but without a stencil. It seemed unnecessary in light of the cool shape. Next I will be using this method to cover a white cotton fedora I bought expressly for the purpose. And I’ve been using individual Zentangle squares to make Scrabble tile pendants for necklaces and bracelets! With the same idea, last week I painted 12 4″ x 4″ canvasses black, leaving a white space in the middle. Then I used dimensional fabric paint to make one large Zentangle pattern in each centre! I love it and will be posting photos on my blog soon!

There are currently 4 wonderful books about Zentangling from Design Originals. While you are waiting for them to be delivered, you can start Zentangling right away with ideas from the original site and other cool sites like Tangle Patterns.

What will you Zentangle first?

Wendy Gibson of Craft Dinner

FYI – The Zentangle¬ģ art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle¬ģ is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at

Guest Post – Twisted Paper Roses

Hello everyone! What an honour it is to guest blog here and to share with you a really fun and frugal project! A big, glittery thank you to my inspiring friend, Violette, for this opportunity to connect with more creative spirits!

Paper Rose topiary
Originally uploaded by Sister Wend

I had to make these Twisted Paper Roses the moment I saw Alisa Burke’s tutorial. She really has been “redefining my creativity”! Alisa uses many different materials to make these but I just love the idea of using flyers and the free newpaper that comes twice a week. Experiment with how tight you coil or twist. You can vary the results easily by increasing or decreasing tension and using different parts of the flyer or newspaper sheet, where one colour predominates. Catch Alisa Burke’s tutorial here.

This is how I made the roses:


Choose a flyer or newspaper and rip or cut it from the fold.

Separate layers. I then fold them in half lengthwise.
Pull the strip through your fingers and tie a knot in one end.


Twist and coil glue, twist and coil, glue

And there you have it!

Make a whole bunch! To make the topiary, I then took two styrofoam balls, shoved the bigger one onto a dowel, about a quarter of the way in. I then bruted the dowel entirely through the smaller ball. I shoved it in, first on one end, and then the other, working it gently through. Then I used pretty pins to fix the flowers on the balls. You can paint the balls and the dowel if you want, add a ribbon, stick it in a terracotta pot and there you have a really beautiful centre piece as well as a conversation piece!

These would be nice at a handmade wedding!

If you make some, will you please tell me? Thanks!

>Wendy T. Gibson<

A note from Violette – I will be back in a day or two with a few photos of our trip, which has been awesome so far.

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