Bloody Cupcakes inspired by Dexter.

Bloody Cupcakes

Bloody Cupcakes

I volunteered to make cupcakes for my husband’s office Halloween party today. Had fun making them last night.

I asked David to pick up some food coloring on the way home so I could turn my vanilla icing into a pumpkin orange. As I spilled the food coloring over the white icing, I noticed how blood-like the color looked before mixing. Gave me an idea (a terrible, awful idea).

I said to David, “How about if I add the ‘Dexter‘ touch to these cupcakes after we decorate them?”

I got out a clean toothbrush and had some fun, dripping and spattering the red food coloring all over the place.

I leaned in close to view my handiwork.

The innocent little pumpkins on top ended up looking like erupted bloody pustules (eeewww!).

I’ve always enjoyed the “spattering” technique of painting. This is the first time I’ve used it for any kind of macabre project. Super fun!

Fun at the Akron Zoo!

Rose and AJ enjoying the Penguin photo spot!

Rose and AJ enjoying the Penguin photo spot!

I had to share this wonderful photo with the world. This past summer my kids’ daycare (Tendercare Family Daycare) took a field trip to the Akron Zoo. Since I am currently a freelancer, my time schedule has been flexible, so I was able to go along with the group this time. I had never been to the Akron Zoo before. It was a great place for kids, because everything is so close. Much less walking than the Cleveland Zoo.

Rose was looking forward to the penguins! Here is a photo of her and her best friend, AJ, playing at the Penguin photo shoot spot (one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken). All the kids wanted to put their faces in the penguin heads. It was quite a fun site.

Other fun stops were the bear, and the TRAIN RIDE. Rose and AJ shared a car on the train and I held Baby Jack and watched, snapping some shots. It was a great trip to the zoo. Thanks, Tendercare!

Tea Notes revisited

Fun project

This is the one I sent to Jenny.

Back when I was in college I decided it would be fun to do something with my tea bag envelopes and tags. I developed my own idea which I called “Tea Notes.” I saved my tea bag envelopes and tea tags & strings and replaced the tea bag with a folded card where I would add a fun little message, a clipping from a cartoon strip, or a little poem. For a while now I’ve thought it would be fun to make a fine art version of my Tea Notes, and a couple months ago finally decided to act on the impulse.

I’ve been very interested in using mixed media lately: combining sewing materials with paper, doo-dads added on, etc. I took some materials that were left over from making my bookmark gifts to the women who were coming to the Artist’s Way Retreat in September and just had some fun.

The envelope was made out of a used paper towel (Jenny Rohrs told me to save it after using it to wipe paint and glue off my hands while we made the bookmarks together). The butterfly is of course my symbol of the year, so the charm attracted me while shopping for special attachments at Michael’s Craft Store. The yarn was left over from the bookmark project. I fell in love with it at the craft store.

And the “card” and tag were used from scraps left over from the bookmark project (fabric paper). I added a few extra things I had around and wrote a quote on back of the card, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Looking forward to making more versions of the tea note, maybe incorporating some of the poems I’ve written for fun over the years. This is so fun to do. I dn’t have many samples from what I’ve done in the past, though, because I always send them to friends and family as special gifts inside letters. Even for this project I made two because I wanted to send one to my friend Jenny Rohrs (to add to her deep box of ATC’s and other small gifts she’s collected from other artists).

My Art Doll Pin

The class I looked forward to the most at our retreat was Jenny Rohr’s Art Doll Pin workshop. I had seen examples of the art doll pin at a previous class of Jenny’s and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the clay to make my own.

I wanted my doll pin to symbolize something for me. I knew when the class actually happened that “something” would be something I might not have thought of before, but I brought along some special things of my own to use in making my special doll pin.

With all the preparation and anticipation I had brought to the class, I’m glad Jenny reminded us all that we cannot marry ourselves to anything we do with the clay. Things change (pieces break, glue drips, colors smear, surprises happen). We have to go with the flow, she said.

I brought a real butterfly with wings closed which I had found lying on the ground at a nearby park. The butterfly signified change for me. It was a beautifully colored orange Monarch… but when the liquid solution was poured overtop, it burned the dried insect and turned it to a black color.

Also included in my collage of elements was a simple, tiny gold cross pendant. It was nestled between the lightweight butterfly and the trillium… so I knew it would probably move when the clear solution was poured. Yep, it did. But I didn’t mind, because that’s the way my faith is with me. I don’t broadcast it much, but it’s always there, an important element in my life (a quiet cornerstone)… all that matters is that I know it’s there… and that faith is evident in my life.

After the clear solution was poured, before it could dry, I quickly placed the Trillium below the butterfly. The Trillium used to be an earring, made with leather, and had long ago broken off from its backing. The pair of earrings used to belong to my Canadian grandmother (Nana). The Trillium signified my past life and childhood in Canada where I was born (the Trillium is Ontario’s provincial flower).

So the art doll pin ended up reflecting all the things that are important to me.

  • The butterfly signifying change and teaching me to accept change.
  • The cross symbolizing my faith, and my quiet way of expressing it with people (by preferring to witness through example).
  • And the Trillium explodes forward to remind myself, “Hey, I’m Canadian, too, eh?” As any other immigrant, I never want to lose a sense of where I came from, though I love my American citizenship as well (dual citizen).

And at the top is the doll’s face — which was a happy accident: her expression. She has an expression of peace. She looks as if she is nuzzling the star beside her. I love that. In my mind, that star has to symbolize God, because God is what gives me that kind of peace.

The Artist’s Way Women’s Retreat, 2008 at Lakeside, Ohio – September 19-21.

Trenda, me, and my mom on the Lakeside Dock.

I’d been planning this retreat since February of this year, 2008. The retreat was designed to help give women a chance to explore their creativity, and promote reflection, growth, and healing.
This was my first time organizing something of this magnitude and importance to me.
The retreat was a great success. Everyone had a wonderful time.
I am sure that God’s hand was in control of the weekend. That’s the only way things could have gone as smoothly as they did. All the women were fabulous, as if hand-picked to be where they were: at the retreat, in the workshops. And the workshop leaders, thank GOD for them. They all did so well, and God definitely set them up to be there as well.
Afterwards, I’ve set up a social network called Create-A-Way where we can gather and share pictures and stories of our time together. It was fun to set up. In fact, the whole event has been one big fun exploration for me. I’ve enjoyed every part of it.