Category: Miscellaneous

Flower Decopage

I thought I would post something entirely different today.  What follows is how to turn a plain cardboard box into a beautiful flowered wastebasket (or storage box….whatever you find useful)   Several years ago, I cut flowers from several old magazines and glued them to empty file folder boxes.  I have used them for storing special fabric.

The process is very easy. You just cut out flowers or scenes from magazine before tossing them.  (I usually pass older magazines onto the Senior’s Center, but once in awhile I’ll use one up on a project like this).

Below is a file folder that has been covered with flowers cut from various magazines.

Today, I decided to transform an 8″ square, 36″ high cardboard box that sits next to my computer and work table because I’m so lacking in space, the tall, thin box was a great use of space.

I cut various photos of flowers from a Good Housekeeping magazine to begin the transformation.  From what I’ve done so far, I’ll probably use up two more magazines….depending, of course, on how many flower photos are in each one.   I cut them out with scissors, curving in and around them to make the  overlapping shapes more interesting.

Then, I turn each piece over and cover the edge all around with glue stick, adding  some lines of glue inside the shape for the best attachment.  The entire box will be sprayed or brushed with lacquer at the very end, so you don’t have to cover the entire back of each cut out,  but it is important to make sure all the edges are glued down well.

This is the way I begin by wrapping some of the larger cut outs around the corner of what I’m decorating.

Here is a picture of how the overlapping of photos creates a sea of flowers, rather than an identifiable scene.

Here’s what two nearly finished sides look like.  Once I’ve finished the sides, I might cover the bottom in the same way or just use plain paper.  The top edge can either end flush with the cardboard, or wrap the flowered paper over the edge, glue down and then reinforce with tape, if you wish.    The last step is to spray all the outside surfaces with lacquer.    Voila… have a beautiful container and have recycled the colorful contents of one or more magazines!

Good Luck!

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Daily Sketches

Here are four daily sketches done the 3″ X 5″ pad that I carry in my purse with a couple of Micron drawing pens.   Sometimes I draw things I see out the window while sitting in my car, other times I take bits and pieces from magazines and create a sketch from them.   Although I call them “daily” sketches, and I do try to complete one in the morning to get the juices flowing, there are some days (even weeks maybe) that I just don’t get to it.  All in all, I have an interesting collection and I share it with you from time to time.

They aren’t meant to be high art or will ever be framed.  They are my way of getting into the zone of art no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  I don’t worry if some turn out better than others.  After all, even the days are like that, aren’t they?

I hope you enjoy the peek.

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It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! No, actually it’s a cloud!!!

Pidgeon in flight1-1-24-10

Pidgeon in flight2-1-24-10

Now, if I had put this in a painting, you’d say…..never happen, make it real.    But, my friends it IS real and it’s all cloud….no jet stream.      I kept calling it a pidgeon, but then I wasn’t sure that calling it a dove didn’t sound better.      Until it dawned on me…….of course!    It’s a seagul.   (Flying about 5 miles from the coast).  I think it’s perfect.

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Starting the Decade with Drawings

It’s been a busy holiday season and I hope it was wonderful for you all.  Presents and food and family ruled, but not necessarily in that order.  It was out first Christmas with our new granddaughter, Zoe (7 months) and it was heavenly!   BUT, I didn’t get much artwork done.   Let’s see….turkey……..turkey….art… was tough!  The choice, not the turkey!

My New Year’s almost Resolution is to try to keep up the daily art, so I decided that if I couldn’t stop and paint, I could at least draw a little.   I gave myself a Christmas present (well, one of them) of a 5 X 3 spiral sketch pad by Canson and a new Stylist Pen (one of my favorite drawing pens….like the flair).  The pad and pen are below.  The first 4 days of drawings follow.

drawing pad & pen 1-4-20

By the way, I got this idea from my son, Thom Chiaramonte, who makes small sketches on post-its.  I think they have helped him through many a conference call in S.F.  His are all on the subject of robots (I think they are all that).  You would enjoy his sketches and his sense of humor.  His site for these drawings is:   Have fun.

#1 Bouquet of strange flowers    (1/1/10)


#2 Mountain Chickadee (1-2-10)


#3 I call him Pepe  (1-3-10)


#4 Lillies


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Painting Critique


On June 28th, the California Art Club hosted  a professional critique offered to members of the Club and I’m proud to say that I jumped at the chance.  They accepted the first 40 painting or paintings of sculptures that they received that fit the digital requirments. The critique was held  in the Wells Fargo Theatre at the Autry National Center at Griffith Park.  The critiques were given by five local Master Artists and were really worthwhile.  I learned a lot listening to the critique of others’ work as much as my own.

I have to say, it was a little unnerving at first to see my painting projected onto a large theater screen, but thrilling as well.  I received some very nice comments on my pastel (show  above) called Utah Snow along with some good advice.  The only complaint I had was that 90% of the work submitted was oil and maybe 9% watercolor…..I believe there may have been one or two other pastels, and I really wasn’t able to determine whether all of the critique group recognized it as pastel and not oil (sometimes it isn’t easy to see if you are only looking at a photograph).

A good friend and former co-worker, Elaine Maslen, joined me and mentally held my hand during the process!  It ended up being very enjoyable, as was the lunch afterwards.  I’m always nervous the first time I do things and I know that the next time will be so much easier.  Thanks, Elaine, for your support!

I hope you will feel comfortable adding your comments to the blog, rather than email as we have been doing.  I know we have been doing that for quite awhile, and I’d never turn a good word down :-), but I’d like to move all the work and comments onto this site if I can.   Thanks for looking and all your support!!!

Preparing for Spring Show




Once I had chosed the entries, the next job was to convert them form the metal hanging attachment that you find on most purchased frames (looks like a row of allegator teeth!) to wire hangers.  This meant inserting circle head screws on each side a couple of inches or so from the top and attaching strong wire that would go from one side to the other somewhat loosely, but not so it would show above the frame after hanging.  This now became a family endeavor with Chick the Woodworker stepping in.



Watercolor sketch
7 X 9

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