Friday, December 30, 2011

Words to Live by in 2012

This year hasn't exactly been the easiest to get through. I am grateful that my family and friends are all healthy and happy (for the most part). We have carried each other through some dark times, and we, ourselves, have been lifted by the wonderful generosity of loved ones.

That said, this year has been missing something... my dad. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve - the day he died last year. I am not looking forward to tomorrow. My brain is already replaying the images of that morning. It feels like my heart is about to break open yet again. I can't even write this without crying. Has it really been a year? It's still such a fresh pain.

One of my teammates on the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team created this Etsy Treasury. These words are always good to be reminded of on any day. At this time of year they almost become sacred instructions. As another year passes hold tight to each other. Hold tight to yourself. Love. Be loved. Do what you love. 

I had a unique chance to love my father well before he left us. I take this Treasury's words of advice for 2012 quite seriously. It's not the stuff we leave behind that matters. It's our actions that live on. Be bold. Stand tall. Smile. Create. Relax. Grow. 


Have a Happy New Year!
- Vickie 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's A Craftmas December!

The Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) has a month-long party of handmade goodness planned for December! I'm at a loss for words when it comes to describing my joy about these events. This is going to be gooood!

Several months ago the RNEST team decided to rent a space for a month somewhere in Rochester to hold shows, workshops, and community building events. The Hungerford Building became available to us a few months ago, but something fell through with that. Instead that was a blessing in disguise as now we have the space for December and we can focus on holiday shows and winter fun.

The extra exciting, really cool thing is that Etsy gave our team a grant to do this. Yes! Etsy gave us money to put all of this together. How cool is that?!

We've met. We've talked. We've planned. Now it's time to reveal the crafty month-long RNEST party we have in store for you!

    All events are located at The Hungerford Building, Door 8,
    at 1115 East Main Street, Rochester, NY, 14609. 

    Craftmas Events are on Facebook! Click the links below to RSVP, then share with your friends!

    Friday, December 2nd at 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm 
    Saturday, December 3rd at noon - 4:00 pm 

    A Handmade Holiday hits the Hungerford Building! Come shop from a selection of quality items made by local artists. Give the gift of handmade this holiday season!

    Monday, December 5th at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

    It’s time to clean out that closet! Bring in your unwanted clothing and take home some new-to-you pieces for your wardrobe...all for free! RNEST artists will also be available to teach demos with techniques for altering and upcycling your clothes into fun, new items! *Any clothing left over at the end of the night will be donated. Nothing will go to waste!

    Saturday, December 10th at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm 

    Creativity boosting activities and exercises to spark your artistic inspiration and get out of a rut. Come with an open mind and leave with ideas for new projects! (For ages teen and up)

    Thursday, December 15th at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

    Demos: glass pendant soldering, knitting, bead weaving and MORE! Everyone is invited for a handmade, fun-filled evening of simple planned projects and unstructured time with RNEST artists. Bring your crafty works-in-progress, share our supplies, experiment with our tools, and ask us about tips and techniques. A small sampling of our works will also be available for sale.

    I am part of the planning committee for Open Craft Night. We have a lot of cool projects lined up that are easy as well as more intermediate and low cost to make. No art experience required! Just watching all the demos alone will fill up the night. It's going to be awesome. I can't wait!!

    Direct questions about any of these events to me at inmyheadstudios [at]

    We hope you can make it to at least one of these events! They will be a lot of fun simply because our team is a lot of fun!

    What now? Head over to RNEST on Facebook to RSVP, then share the events with your friends! 


    - Vickie

Friday, November 4, 2011

T'was the Night Before Mayday! Underground

Love Banner Domino Pendant

The nights before my craft shows tend to be busy with last minute projects and calculating how much glue I can get to dry by the following morning. Tonight is no exception!

I just got back from The Main Street Armory to drop off my tables. Oh my goodness, it was good that I did! I have a corner spot which means I can set up more than one table. Yippee! 

Now I have to pull out the extra displays from the basement and dust them off from last year. I hope there is room for the silver candelabra again. I think that looks awesome with pendants hanging on it. Oh, shiny!

Hope Stays Alight Domino Pendant

I definitely have enough Tiny Works of Awesome to fill my tables! I made about 10 new domino pendants this past week. About 40 more Scrabble tile pendants were finished as well. Plus we have some new Reclaimed Hardware designs featuring rescued-from-the-scrap-heap metal nuts, washers, and other machine parts mixed with beads and wire. They are really cool mixed media jewelry with a funky steampunk style.

Reclaimed Hardware Pendants :: NEW

Yeah, I'm the girl at [big box home improvement store] staring at the Oh, shiny! displays of wing nuts, washers, gaskets, and hinges - and I look lost or possibly abandoned by the male who must have dragged brought me there - but I am only lost in thought as I dream up ways to use these beautiful shinies in jewelry. 

Come see them for yourself at Mayday! Underground Crafts + Art on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at The Main Street Armory in Rochester, NY from 10 AM to 5 PM!
    <3  Vickie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

No, it's not an I-ate-too-much-Halloween-candy distress call! It's Mayday! Underground Crafts + Art: the coolest indie craft show in Rochester, NY! I am super excited and humbled to be included in this bi-annual show for the fourth time!

This show was first held on May Day in May a couple years ago celebrating many things such as the end to the cold winter season (well, in milder climates. Not so much here.). November marks the half-way point in the year from May Day to May Day and is also the beginning of the cold, winter season.

We begin to settle in for the cold, nesting in our homes with the comforts of warmth and loved ones. Historically, the time for farming was finished and leisure time was turned to more domestic chores such as making clothing and repairing equipment. 

These activities called for skill, technical ability, and a lot of time invested in mastery. Unbeknown to many of these people they really were craftsmen, craftswomen and artisans. They passed these skills down through the ages. 

Join us at Mayday! Underground Crafts + Art as we celebrate generations of skill and mastery coming together to meet modern materials and fresh design. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011 
10:00 am - 5:00 pm 
The Main Street Armory 
900 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605 
The BEST indie craft + art show in Western NY

The fabulous organizers, Amanda and Casey, have put together a slide show of all the different crafts + art you will find at this show. You will see it's an amazing collection of of innovative material use and awesome talent.

Mayday! Underground Crafts + Art: November 2011 Artists

Entirely too much fun will be had by all! 

Free swag bags to the first 50 people (there will be a line so get there early)! Plus raffles!

Before you come to the show enter HERE for the Mayday Underground sweepstakes! Up for grabs are three $25 Mayday Moolah Prizes and three swag bag prizes housed in the newest pirate-themed tote bag! It’s all on Facebook, so invite your friends to join in on the fun. Even if you don’t win, you can still print out the entry confirmation and exchange it for a free raffle ticket!

Also, you can help support Sample Soap, a local non-profit that collects unopened soaps, shampoos, lotions, sewing kits, diapers, cosmetics, toothbrushes and toothpaste and distributes them to the neediest citizens of the Greater Rochester, New York area. Bring your donations to Mayday Underground! You'll earn a raffle ticket!

Be there or be unhappy for the rest of your life be square!

- Vickie

Monday, October 24, 2011

Success at St. Rita's Craft Sale

Our craft show at St. Rita's School was nothing short of a huge work of awesome! We were busy all day, which is just how I like it to be. Unfortunately that meant I didn’t get to walk around and mingle with my fellow crafters and Rochester Artisans. I’m sure there was amazing work to see and I missed it. But that’s also better for my wallet! 

The St. Rita’s Show is a very well-known show in Rochester and always well attended. The parking lot was filled all day. The organizers are more than, well, seriously organized. They had the kids from the school stopping by to ask us if we wanted food or raffle tickets all day.

We were set up in a classroom this year instead of the gym where we are usually located. I didn’t get my show application in soon enough and the gym got filled. I think we did way better than we expected to do in a classroom and I am very, very pleased with our show total. 

This was our third show here and we've gained quite a few repeat buyers. They came by saying they were afraid we weren’t there because we weren't in the gym. I have to say that made me fly up to cloud nine! People were looking for us! I am always deeply humbled by positive responses to my work. How lucky am I to be doing this?! Yippee!
New display for domino pendants. Very vintage cheese stand.
This year we are trying some new display ideas. I love this antique wood Kraft Cheese display stand. The slanted shelves have little lips at the ends - perfect for holding a lot of domino pendants (it's looking empty because I took this photo at the end of the day). The back of it is open so the cords hang out, and it makes for easy loading. But it's a little awkward for customers to pick up the dominoes. The cord comes pulling out and the viewer can't put it back on the shelf themselves. Quite a few women acted like they broke something when they picked one up. Not the kind of feeling I want to promote here. I'm wondering if this may be better suited to show Scrabble tile pendants as they don't have cords on them.  

What do you think?

Domino pendants all in a row
The cute little girls are a new design this year. They're really funny. The close one here calls out the girl on the right because she "eats paste". The clip art of the girls are from Lisa's Altered Art

Scrabble tile display
I better get busy making more tile pendants or we won't have many to show at Mayday Underground in two weeks!

Mixed media collage on a small shipping tag

Also new this year - small original pieces of mixed media art on shipping tags. This one measures 4 3/4" x 2 3/8". It's the perfect size to make original art that is affordable for most people. They can be set up on a shelf or used as a bookmark. You can do lots of things with them for display. They make really nice gifts, too.

Game piece charm bracelets and domino/BINGO earrings
Reclaimed hardware mixed media earrings : New this year!

Reclaimed hardware mixed media bracelet : New this year!

I think this nice old wood drawer needs something lighter behind the jewelry. The dark wood is swallowing the pieces. A nice tan fabric or handwritten ledger paper will fix that!

This was a great show to start off our holiday craft show season. I'm really looking forward to the rest of our shows. The next show is:

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Mayday Underground Crafts + Art
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Main Street Armory

900 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605
The BEST indie craft + art show in Western NY
First 50 people to arrive get a FREE swag bag of handmade goodies! 
Get there early if you want swag. There WILL BE a line.

- Vickie 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Purple, Orange and Black: Halloween!

"Purple, Orange, and Black" Etsy Treasury by Jackbear: RNEST

It's a wicked awesome Rochester NY Etsy Street Team Treasury by Jackbear Stamps!

All of these creepy critters and delightful handmade pieces are made locally by Rochester, NY artisans from the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). I will add that they are all delightful people, too! I am having a great time being on this team. It's really fun to get together in person with other Etsy sellers and talk shop.

We have a very active team. Our Team Blog is always hopping with great crafty info and even better giveaways. Each Wednesday, our team features a new giveaway. That's every week! You could win all of your holiday gifts and be done with shopping this way! Plus you'll be giving handmade. Win win!

Keep your eyes on the RNEST blog for some sweet events we have planned! You don't want to miss them! 

(While you're here, please take a moment to visit this Treasury and hand out some clicks and favorites! Our whole team will appreciate it!)

- Vickie 

Monday, October 17, 2011

St. Rita's Craft Sale: This Saturday

What a busy week! I am gearing up for this Saturday's show - the first one of my season. I always get a little nervous about the holiday craft show season. It means I have to leave my studio and talk to people. I'm just a tiny bit socially awkward. Shhhhhh... don't tell anyone. That's between you and me. 

So if you want to find some of the best handmade around, you can find it St. Rita's Craft Sale - where you will also find me being socially awkward behind my table. :)
Saturday, October 22, 2011
27th Annual St. Rita School Craft Sale
9:00 am – 3:15 pm
St. Rita School
1008 Maple Drive, Webster, New York 14580

** Our booth is located in a classroom, Room 14, this year (not the gym) so be sure to check out the classrooms, too! **
Now more than ever, I believe that supporting local small businesses (that includes artists and crafters) this holiday season is that can help our community become stronger economically. 

Your dollars could be making a day job out of a part-time art gig. That, in turn, not only makes the dreams of an artist come true, it helps families in our community to pay for food, housing, or medicine. It also creates jobs for your neighbors, family, friends, and maybe even you. And right now, Rochester needs you. 

Please think about how spending your holiday shopping dollars at the big box chain stores or the big online shopping sites means those dollars won't be supporting the "little guy" in our community.

A handmade gift, even if it wasn't handmade by you, is always a classy, gracious, and generous way to go. It means so much more to the recipient when you give handmade, especially these days where gift cards and electronic gadgets rule. Yes, that new gadget may say "I love you!" to your loved one, but wouldn't a handmade gadget case be a great choice to go with it? 

Giving handmade is giving love. Love to your loved one, and love from the artist who put their hard work, time, and energy into the creation of something out of nothing. With your purchase of handmade you are also spreading joy to the artist so they may keep spreading joy and love in an immeasurable way. 

See? It's not just about money. 

See you at St. Rita's!  

- Vickie

Friday, October 7, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Get Your Tiny Works of Awesome!

Domino Pendant & Ornament "Factory"

While I grieve summer's warmth ending, the cool, crisp air of October heralds the art and craft show season here. This is a busy time in my studio.

The finished dominoes start stacking up. Sometimes I want to line them all up in a long, winding row like I did as a kid and then knock them all down. They are just too stinkin' cute to do that though!

So while I am crafting like crazy here, you can take a moment to pull your calendars out and schedule trips to my upcoming shows.

We (I say "we" during craft show season a lot as Mr. M helps and other family members do, too) won't be going far from Rochester, NY and the surrounding suburbs for shows this year. If you live within 50 miles of Rochester it's really worth it to come to these shows. Some fabulous artists will be there!

In My Head Studios' 
Upcoming Art + Craft Show Events

Saturday, October 22, 2011
27th Annual St. Rita School Craft Sale
9:00 am – 3:15 pm
St. Rita School
1008 Maple Drive, Webster, New York 14580
Our booth is located in a classroom this year (not the gym) so be sure to come look for us!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Mayday Underground Crafts + Art
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Main Street Armory
900 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605
The BEST indie craft + art show in Western NY
First 50 people to arrive gets a FREE swag bag of handmade goodies! 
Get there early if you want swag. There WILL BE a line.

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Holiday in the Vineyard Art and Craft Sale
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Casa Larga Vineyards
2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY 14450
Open until 7:00 pm so stop by after work! Wine tastings!

Saturday, November 26, 2011 
35th Annual Irondequoit High School Art and Craft Sale
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Irondequoit High School
260 Cooper Road, Irondequoit, NY 14617

The Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) is potentially cooking up some hot, hot, heat for December events! Stay tuned for more about our plans for world domination extreme crafty fun soon!

Giveaway Alert: Click over to the RNEST blog to win one of my handmade domino pendants! The giveaway runs until Tuesday, October 11th!

Happy Friday!


- Vickie 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Be In It To Win It

Blooming Brightly Fine Art Domino Pendant

I am giving away this "Blooming Brightly" Fine Art Domino Pendant, truly a Tiny Work of Awesome *, at the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team blog this week!!
Created from my hand-painted and hand-cut papers, these bright and cheerful blooms seem to pop right off this lively domino pendant. Shiny little purple sparklies add a bit of twinkle to what is already a very glossy finish. The edges of some of the paper is distressed to add more dimension. The pips (dots) on the back of the domino are 2 and 3.

The artwork on a domino pendant measures about 1-1/2" x 3/4". That's smaller than the size of 1/4 of a business card. Even the tiniest pieces in my collages are hand cut!

Blooming Brightly Fine Art Domino Pendant

The winner (it could be you!) will get her/his choice of necklace length in either black waxed cotton cord or silver-colored base-metal ball chain (pictures shown with black waxed cotton cord). The domino pendant hangs on a silver-plated bail.  

* What is a "Tiny Work of Awesome"? It's a one-of-a-kind, teeny, tiny, original piece of mixed media collage that I create on various very small objects like dominoes, Scrabble tiles, and other game pieces and surfaces.

Head on over to the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team blog to enter for your chance to win! 

You can earn up to SEVEN entries by commenting, liking, blogging, and tweeting! 

Hurry! You only have until Tuesday, October 11, 2011!

Open to US and Canada only. 

 - Vickie

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hold On!

This drawing was my response to the attacks on September 11, 2001.

God's Hand: Drawing From 9/11/01

God's hand scoops down to gather up their souls before they suffer the fall inside the towers. 

Colored pencil 
8" x 8"

I had to draw this more for myself than anyone. I just could not stomach the thought of all those people trapped in falling skyscrapers. 

I drew it how I hoped it happened - that God (or whatever higher power one might believe in) scooped them all up and they didn't suffer. Desperately seeking comfort, this image brought some for me. 

I hope today brings you closer to the ones you love - both near and far. I care for each and everyone of you!! xoxo 

- Vickie

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Paper Flower

Paper flower

I made this paper flower tonight while watching Paula on UStream, which, sadly, was cut short because her interwebs stopped working. So sad!

I like watching her work. She's very talented, and I always learn such wonderful things from her. Catch her show on Saturday nights! The chat is also very lively!

- Vickie

Monday, September 5, 2011

Get Your Own Chair!

This morning around 9 AM, I was outside on my back porch where I can see my neighbors’ window. This window is just about four feet from the edge of my driveway, in that sort of no-man’s land of sideyard my neighbors never really use. My neighbor, let’s call him B, came walking up my driveway – not an uncommon thing as we chat and hang out sometimes. I said hi and he apologized for my patio chair being broken.

I said, “What?” and looked over at our brick-paved patio. Indeed, one of the chairs was missing the upright to the arm.

He seemed surprised I had no idea what he was talking about. I agreed I apparently was not in the loop. And he told me the story.

My very kind neighbors’ house was broken into last night… while they were home sleeping. How scary is that?!

The burglar was probably walking by casing houses and saw B’s window open. You can see it from the street right up my driveway. B’s window was only open that night because his air conditioner is on the fritz. So the burglar took my patio chair to climb on to get into the window. He got B’s credit cards and a bottle of booze before waking B up who was sleeping right there on the couch. B’s wife, kid, and the dog were upstairs.

B’s eyes adjusted to the dark, realized a person who was not supposed to be there was, and jumped up screaming in fear/anger. The burglar was as surprised as B. B ran toward him as the burglar made his way back to the window.

B practices martial arts and delivered a very powerful kick to the burglar’s ribs, which sent him crashing into the window frame, possibly breaking the ribs that were kicked and the opposite ribs that hit the window frame. The burglar took a head-first dive out the window and right into the patio chair shattering the arm-upright, which really would be the hardest part to break like that. The he took off through my backyard and over our fence. (I am secretly hoping he got a giant, dirty step into our compost pile.)

Cops called. Yadda yadda. They showed up quickly with the K-9 units who had some good leads but ultimately found no one. Our neighborhood has a lot of fenced yards. I imagine if someone were familiar with them it would be simple to mount a getaway quickly.

The cops dusted for prints. It was impossible for B to get a description. It was dark. The burglar was wearing dark clothing and had his hood up. It all happened too fast.

As B was telling me this I could tell he was still very jazzed up about it. I can’t blame him. He literally saved his family and protected his property with his body. His martial arts training. That will set off some adrenaline that may take a bit to get over. But they are safe and that is what matters. That and the bottle of booze was recovered - as evidence.

I couldn’t stop hugging him and thinking about his wife and kid. I want to stop writing this right now, go ring his doorbell, and hug him some more if it helps.

He has a dog, too!! What a doof she is, though. No one is surprised she did nothing.

And I'm sick over my property being used as an accessory to a crime that happened to them. I love these people!

He keeps saying he will replace my chair. Good grief! He better not dare! I will throw it right back through that window! :)

We live in a quiet suburb of Rochester. Not one without crime, but we have a good police force here. I feel safe enough to walk about at night in my neighborhood.

Now I am not so sure.

I'm told this happened around 3:00 AM EDT. I heard nothing. Not even police sirens. I was asleep, drugged from a day of migraines and vomiting.

I am so freaked out. I have a little personal security problem. I've been obsessively checking window and door locks, assessing potential house security issues, and asking Mr. M to be better about closing the (detached) garage door. We rarely open downstairs windows so that makes me feel a little safer. But I am jumpier than heck now so don't creep up on me.

Sheesh! Mean people suck.

I hope you are having a much nicer Labor Day than I am!! <3

- Vickie

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"What's On My Art Table?" Wednesday

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Full

This page began as part of a workshop assignment to paint circles and then doodle over them. I am still working through Traci Bautista’s workshop called {31} daily inspirations. Yeah, that class I signed up for in early 2011. I’m really just now getting around to it.

I started with a white piece of 8.5” x 11” cardstock. Several thick layers of gesso were added to bring in a little texture to the paper and to seal it.

I acquired a new tube of paint I wanted to try called quinacridone magenta (Golden heavy body acrylic). When I opened the tube and saw how lovely it was I knew the perfect color combo would be phthalo blue, a hint of desert turquoise craft paint, and a little white.

The plan was to paint some loose circles and keep it simple. I was making a simple page to cut up to use for other collage work.

Uh. Yeah. Got a little off track there.

I saw the bigger circles had smaller circles in them. So I started working them individually thinking, “Ok, I’ll just cut this up in sections now for use on domino pendants and other smaller collages.” No problem. I have done that before.

So I began to think of the page as sections I was going to disassemble. They were not related to each other on the page. Just conserving paper by doing this prep work on one sheet.

But then it started to kind of take on a cohesive look. And got more detailed. And then my mom stopped by and she gasped loudly when I said I was chopping it up for other uses. Now I don’t know what to do with it.

I think it might be about six paintings living in one as I explored many techniques and media here… maybe too many. I suppose if any deconstruction occurs it will be mentally breaking down the parts for other new works.

Also I recently discovered on my own that I could continue my long, torrid love affair with oil pastels! They can be sealed over with matte medium without destroying them and then they do not smear. Joy of joys! You can even write over them with a gel pen! Unheard of! There really isn’t anything like a nice, bright, crayon-looking oil pastel mark on a page for some interest. I had hung my oil pastels up to (never) dry since the mess was always a problem when doing so much mixed media work. Now it’s solved and we are back in love! <3

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Flower Detail

This is a close up of a flower created with gel pens and circles punched from an old dictionary page. I really like the lettering in the background on the left. That was done with a Copic marker and a stencil. The colors compliment wonderfully.

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Detail

This is a mix of a little bit of everything: paint, colored pencil, gel pen, book page, and pigment ink.

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Text Circles Detail

Circles stamped with found objects. The 1/4" hole punch dots fit in the circles perfectly! There's a little gel pen, too.

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Flower Detail

More book page and gel pen. The flower petals and the very small dashed lines are stamped with stamps I made. The tiny dots were done with a stencil I made with my 1/8" hole punch.

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Text Flower Detail

I aged these book pages more than the others with Distress Inks. I like how they are layered. The depth in the background was created with two colors of Copic markers. You can see oil pastel on the edges of this photo. Welcome back, oil pastel!

Blue & Magenta Circles :: Text Dot Detail

More tiny text dots. More found object stamp circles. This found object stamp came from a disassembled adhesive tape runner. (Nothing is safe from being taken apart and inked or painted in my house!)

Do you see what I mean that each of these close-ups could be their own painting? I must explore this further.

The details: acrylic paint (Golden heavy body and the craft kind), matte medium, oil pastel, vintage book pages, gel pen, Copic marker, Sharpie, colored pencil, pigment ink, stencils. On paper. 8.5” x 11”

So now I am back to the painting board to make some simpler pages for chopping up!

Happy Middle Of The Week!

- Vickie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's On My Art Table? Wednesday

Let's just pretend it's Wednesday, just you and I, on the down low.

Honestly, as you will see, I had too much happening on my art table on Wednesday to find time to post! Then taking photos and editing them made it impossible to get this up on time.

Give me a break, please. I'm new to a weekly post schedule and am still working out the kinks. :)

Without further ado, my projects!

Tiny Paper Circles

These are 1/4" paper circles I punched from a regular hole punch. This a really close up photo. I glued them down in a punchinella pattern and added gesso over them. This will make great texture for collage and art journal pieces after I paint it. It's quite fiddly and took forever to punch all these and glue them down! You can't see the whole page, but there are more than a hundred glued to that page. I am sure doing this kind of prep work will pay off soon!


I am still working on my art journal page for 2011 in my theme of "healing". Some of my selves need to be stitched back together. I took some rough hemp and very vintage gaffer tape and sewed them together. Then I glued it to my page. A heavy layer of gesso was added to blend it in.

Right now the page has a ton of layering simulating pieces and parts, layers of myself, layers of skin, all healing back together. Evey thing has been coated in gesso to mimic a layer holding everything together. Whole. Healed. All put back together. One.

Close up of Distress Crackle Paint

Distress Crackle Paint in green ("peeling paint" color) looks really neat in a macro photo! Those cracks look deep. It was green on the "healing" art journal page so it needed gesso, too. But not too much. I didn't want to fill in the cracks.

Pre-Painted Circles WIP ATC

This is an ATC sized (2.5" x 3.5") piece of watercolor paper with texture from a "super sekrit" process I developed. It has two layers of gesso on top of the texture part.

I really cannot tell you how much I love gesso. I previously poo-pooed it in my head trying to be economical. I recant that opinion. It makes paint so much paint-ier (fun)!

Circles - WIP ATC

This is the same piece as above... just with paint! I scribbled a little yellow and light green NeoColor 2 watercolor crayon on it and wet that with a baby wipe to spread it, which worked better than I expected. Then I made a very watery, slightly darker lime green acrylic paint wash and painted it over the whole thing. I wanted it to settle into the recesses of the texture so I let it sit to dry a little. I very carefully rubbed the darker green off the raised areas with a plain piece of copy paper. Newspaper works well for this, too, as it's absorbent. Paper towel would have picked up too much paint because it's too absorbent.

I did have to touch up the darker green as I rubbed a bit too much. It's easier to touch up the recesses with a tiny brush.

Circles - WIP ATC :: Close

(Have I mentioned how much a love the macro zoooooooom on my digital camera?)

These pieces are not anywhere near done. But I have a pretty good start so I am happy. I certainly have no right to claim boredom with so many UFOs (UnFinished Objects)!

- Vickie

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Check Your Math


$5.15 compared to $5.15 costs less, you say, US Post Office?

I will take your upgrade!

- Vickie

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Needs A Hug

Little Blank Notecard
While this little notecard is kind of cute on its own, being powerless to the call of mixed media, I had to do something about its lack of dimension.

I mean, really. How could I send out such a bland, unloved, little thing? Doesn't it look like it needs a hug?

This was a pack of 12 cards + envelopes I purchased at my local craft store from the cheap bins. I always stock up when they have them because they make nice thank you notes for my Etsy shop orders. They are either 50 cents or $1.00 per pack... I don't recall.

The cards measure 2.75" (7 cm) square. The corners are rounded. The print is a tie dye and a gingham design. Both sides are printed and are glossy.

I like that both sides are printed and the design can be turned. These blank cards could be rotated to open from the side or from the bottom. You could even make a "lefty" card with them!

I gave this one a mixed media, stampy hug.

Little Thank You Card

I've been looking for a use for this yellowish ledger paper I got at a garage sale. It went nicely with the greenish yellow and white of the card. The blue and red lines accented the other colors and added a little punch. I used a glue stick to adhere this as I didn't want a wet glue warping the card.

Since the card is glossy I used Archival Ink by Ranger in jet black to stamp the tree branches and bird. I love this stamp. I don't use it enough.

I also love my vintage DYMO label maker! So simple for a quick sentiment! I got my DYMO for $3.00 at a garage sale and it came with three black tape refills. Best deal ever. I darted the end to look like a ribbon and glued it on even though it's self adhesive. I don't trust vintage adhesive to really stay put for the long haul.

Little Thank You Card :: Close

I probably could have dressed it up a little more with some tiny staples or stitching on the sewing machine. At 2.75" square they are the perfect size to play around with and not be too upset if I mess one up.

My plans for more of these include making whole sets at one time (thank you, birthday, hello, get well, ...) so I have the perfect little card all ready to go to tuck in a package or gift when needed.

Yay to Future Me when grabbing up a ready one instead of running around like mad trying to make one in the two minutes I have before leaving the house!

- Vickie

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's On My Art Table Today?

What's On My Desk?

A mess?

A Tiny Work of Awesome?



* It's your lucky day!

The Mess:

This is the usual state of things on my work table. I make tiny things. I work in tiny spaces. I use a lot of tools.

The Tiny Work of Awesome (Domino Pendant):

That is an original, one-of-a-kind, paper and mixed media collage on the domino pendant in the middle of the photo. The artwork measures approximately 3/4 inch x 1 9/16 inch. Yes, it is very small as you can see from the scale of the items around it.

The different layers of the flower are made of various papers. I hand cut all those little pieces of paper. I only use a punch for 1/8 inch and 1/16 inch circles.

I paint and collage all of my paper by hand. The stamped designs are stamps I created myself from various found objects, craft foam, or cardboard. The word "bloom" is also hand stamped.

This domino pendant isn't sealed properly yet. I've just now finished the paper part. (Let me know if you are interested in it though.)

Plus there is a mess of other potential Tiny Works of Awesome on my table!

Look! More dominoes! More stamped and painted paper! Wheeee!

Over at flickr there are notes on the picture above! I've marked the image with words telling what stuff is! It's amazing!

- Vickie

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY Shrink Plastic Charms

I don't know if you know, but I have a thing for shrink plastic. I love playing with it. I love how it changes images and messes with my sense of proportion and size. Yeah, we all know I like teeny, tiny things. Shrink plastic affords me the ability to make really tiny, detailed things!

I love the idea in this video! These gear charms are some of my favorite charms right now. But they are a bit spendy, so I don't use them much. And that makes me sad. Now the problem is solved! I get to mix my shrink plastic love with my embossing powder love, too! Yay!

Hope you learned something cool here. I did!

Tracy has a lot of neat paper art on her blog at She has many more videos on her channel at

Happy charm making!

- Vickie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm A Heat Refugee

As the temperatures here soared last week so did my inability to cope with being overheated. Our air conditioner couldn't keep up with the demand. It overclocked itself and formed a big chunk of ice in and around the tube the moves air or something (I know not how these air conditioners work) into our house to cool it off.

Ice! Outside! In 90+ degree temperatures! That didn't melt! What is it? Ice 9?

Ice, ice, everywhere. And not a bit to cool off my house!

Everything sounded like it was working, air was blowing from our vents, but the house just kept getting hotter. By late Monday of last week it was about 80 degrees in my dining room. Upstairs, I am sure, was about to just burst into flames.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

My house was now uninhabitable to me. Some of my meds make it hard for my body to regulate its temperature or sweat properly. I overheat quickly and dangerously. The heat makes this throbbing chronic migraine absolute torture. Mr. M rescued me and drove me out to my mom's apartment where it was cooler. I have been a heat wave refugee
at her place for a week and a day!

Grandma JoJo's Oatmeal Cookies
Mom and I made my Great Grandma JoJo's Oatmeal Cookies

During this adventure Mr. M has tried to get the air conditioner (AC) fixed. At first it seemed possible to melt the ice and get it going again. Our handyman is very talented at actual fixing rather than just outright replacing so we gave him some time.

Long story short: Delay. Delay. Delay. Work halted as unprecedented power loads caused a power outage in our area = no work for 1.5 days. One day was our handyman's birthday = no work. Days were lost to waiting for ice to melt. Yesterday as he put in the new AC he discovered the old AC was too small for our house. More of the furnace had to be replaced than he expected. Parts need to be ordered. Delay. I am *told* it will be done today. (crosses fingers)

I got overly optimistic that the new AC would be running and went home yesterday as work was piling up in the studio. I got overheated again and had to come back to my mom's. FAIL.

Mom's Giant Geraniums
My mom's ridiculously gigantic geraniums

Rochester, NY set record high temperatures on Thursday, July 21st at 98 degrees F. We had at least three days last week where we had 90+ degree temperatures. That's unusual for us, and I believe constitutes a real "heat wave" on the books.

I've never seen so much brown, dead grass here. It reminds me of when I lived in Texas, and of days when I could actually go outside in the heat. I'm not doing outdoor craft shows for In My Head Studios because I cannot sit under a tent for three days if it gets over 75 degrees. I feel like such a wuss!

Mom and I have been having fun though. We get along famously! We babysat my adorable nieces for two days. Fun crafts were made. Cookies were baked. I've been teaching Mom all the really cool stuff she can do with her iPod.

But I miss my house! I miss Mr. M!! I miss my art studio! I wanna go home!

- Vickie

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Little Party

Party Time!

A teeny, tiny, little party broke out in my studio a few nights ago. These little ladies (ahem!) took over my work table and made their own party hats. I could not believe my eyes!

Don't be fooled by those itsy-bitsy innocent looks. I can't turn my back on these gals for a moment! They keep getting into the paint.

Since they're only an inch tall head to toe, it has become tricky to locate them in the mess on my table. They continue to sneak off and explore remote parts of the mess. However, one did return bearing some glitter I had been looking for so I suppose they can stay if they make their keep.

But don't think I don't have my eye on you, Little Miss Green Dress on the left. You look like proper trouble.

- Vickie

Photo taken with Instagram on my iPod Touch.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Lake House Trip 2011

Out of The Plane Window

I’ve been on a little trip this past week or so. Just got back last Thursday. We (and by “we” I mean me, Mr. M, my sister and her family, and mom and her friend) went down to a very special place for a very special reason. We finally got to lay Dad’s ashes to rest at The Lake House a good seven months after he died. Since he died on New Year’s Eve and got fireworks we figured he deserved the fireworks of the 4th of July for a proper final send off.

The Lake House is in the Top Two Places I Love. The first place being anywhere Mr. M is, of course. So having Mr. M at The Lake House was bliss!

The Lake House 2011

A Little Background on The Lake House:

My father’s parents bought land and dock access in Georgia on Lake Lanier in the early 1960s (we are figuring at best). At first my grandparents and their four sons (my dad and his three younger brothers) would camp there on the tent platform they made. Then part of the cabin was built. Just the one room that was the kitchen, small dining area, and small living room area. Not really big enough for a family of six.

Mom & Aunt K
Mom & Aunt K

So they just kept adding on. Soon a bathroom, laundry room and shower. Then a master bedroom with a loft for the kids. Sometime in the late ‘70s (I am guessing from all the burnt orange decor and carpet) a large living room and in-ground basement was added as the brothers were having families and more room was needed for grandchildren to visit. Also Grandma and Grandpa retired to the cabin and they needed more room.

Fireplace at The Lake House

Much of what is there is built with material that was taken from the ground with their bare hands. My uncles shared stories of the stones in the fireplace being pulled from any stream they happened upon. Some are poured concrete that hold special rubies and gems they sifted at those find-your-own-treasure places you see a lot in the south. The brothers also striped the bark off the lovely timbers that adorn the ceilings. I never knew those two things.

We would go to The Lake House every summer when I was a kid no matter where we lived (Charlotte, NC; Plano, TX; or Rochester, NY). I have the best memories of that place. I learned to swim and water ski. Grandma taught me about gardening. I caught and cleaned fish. The Lake House is paradise to me.

The Dock 2011

I have not been there much since I moved out of my parents’ house when I turned 18. Sad really. Dad and I went a couple times together. I went when Grandma and Grandpa died in the late ‘90s. Otherwise I haven’t been able to afford the airfare or a car trip.

But that is going to change. My pennies are going into an airfare jar!

Being there instantly made my whole being calm down. The swimming did me good. The sun and lake water made my skin happy. It turns out that boat rides make me smile involuntarily. And I knew Dad was there with me always just wanting us to have as much fun there as he had. Plus it’s ridiculously fun to drive a 30-year-old golf cart down an off-road, tree-root-littered pine forest path down to the water. It’s 50/50 if you’ll make it!

Boat Ride at The Lake House

One of my uncles lives very close to The Lake House and takes very good care of it. He uses it a lot and keeps a boat at the dock. His kids use it. It is still being loved. I think that is wonderful!

I do plan on trying to go again this season when it’s a little cooler. The 90ยบ F temps kept me inside too much. A little week-long art retreat up there alone sounds like heaven.

RIP Daddy! I love you!

- Vickie