Category Archives: buttons

Back and new stuff…


You’re probably wondering, where the beejeezus is Judy.  She never writes, calls or sends flowers.  Sorry, I’m here.. been a long stretch, but I have updates.

Anyway, I had two weeks off from work and it was nirvana, I tell you.  But the funny thing was, I thought I was going to be up in the studio most of the time, but it never really worked out that way.  Three of us got the flu and that set me back a week, daughter home from college, cooking, gathering.. and on and on.  So, here I am almost 2 months later from starting my canvas….  Nuff of that…  moving on now…

So, last time, I left you with the latest canvas I started.  Click HERE to remember.

I took more still shots  of my work, but not every single step in my progress.  I got so caught up in the fun creative process.  But, I have a surprise for you at the end of this blog.

Here we go…

So, here is the progress about 3/4 the way through.

I made some flower stems from fabric that I loaded up with gel medium and let them dry.  Then ripped a lace-like tablecloth in a strip and diluted it with paint for the “grass” for the flowers.  You’ll see in a minute.


I forgot to mention that I cut a necklace chain for the stem of the bottom flower.  Bracelets for the ground of smaller flowers that were actually bobby pins.

Then I made my polymer clay leaves for the flowers.  I must say, stamping into clay is so fun.  In the center flower at the top of the canvas, I also stamped text into the leaves.  I am loving that look.   I may take a small portion of a larger rubber stamp and if I don’t particularly like the stamp anymore, I’ll cut the section off that I like.   A small detailed scissors is great to cutting around a clay stamped image.

To see my tutorial on how I make my “Buttons ‘n bellishments, GO HERE.  This shows you the button process, but can be used the same for embellishments.

Here are some final pictures, but at the end, I’ll take you through the process with a surprise.

On my wall….

.. and finally, what I have been working on all day… a short video of me going through my canvas.  A few corrections on words I noticed I should have fixed, but I had already done the video once before, so I kept it in. It’s just me talkin it up with you.   I hope you enjoy and would love some comments.

MixedMediaCanvas by Judy Shea 12112 from Judy Shea on Vimeo.

As always, thank you for stopping by and sharing this blog adventure with me.


Judy? Are you out there?


Yes Yes, I’m here.  I was only gone a minute, wasn’t I?

Wow.. what a couple of crazy weeks, I tell you.  Between working my day job and surviving the New England October snowstorm with no electricity, I have been completely un-creative.  I’ve lost my MoJu (get it? instead of  “mojo”   MoJu for Judy?).  No?

Just when we were enjoying our New England Walk, a freak Nor’easter hits us like we never expected.

I took a few pictures to capture what was going on.

The night of the storm, outside my front door in the flower garden:

Kind of pretty at night like this.  You can see my roses peeking out from the blanket of snow.   We really didn’t get a lot of snow.. about 6″, but the weight of the snow and the leaves that hadn’t fallen yet, is what did all the damage.

As we drove out of town, we took a couple of pictures along the way.

This is only a couple a SEVERAL trees that obstructed our roads.  Lots of wires were down on the roads also.

Check this tree out.  We actually drove underneath it which was probably not a good idea.

Many towns were out of power for about a week… and I believe that most have their power back.   The roads are still a bit messy and it’s disappointing that they are still not entirely cleared yet.  This is only the beginning of the season.  One can only hope these towns have their acts together and prepare for a tough winter so we can avoid another outage.

But, really, this is nothing compared to the devastating and tragic occurences that have happened in other parts of our country and around the world.  I am grateful that this is all that happened.  Just because I could never be a pioneer woman, doesn’t mean I can’t whine about it.

Well, Dixie doesn’t care.. she’s just glad to be home sleeping on her warm pillow… what a life!   Love the tongue.

Before the storm hit, I was able to get in the studio to create a few hand-made embellishments.

If you follow my blog, you know how I just enjoy making these.  I love to manipulate them to make them my own. You can see that I added cheeks to the faces. I have many molds that I made when I first began working with polymer clay about 10 years ago.  I recall bringing wads of it with me wherever I went and when I saw a cool texture, I’d impressed it and carefully take the clay home to bake.  Yes, my family thought I was coo coo.

I probably won’t post for about two weeks now as I have a business trip coming up and then a week off to prepare for Thanksgiving at my home this year.  HELP!   I plan on getting in some studio time after the holiday since it will be a long weekend.  No Black Friday shopping for me…. no sir eee.

Thanks for your patience, everyone, and for stopping by to see if I was still in existence.


Getting Inspired with friends and Riley’s art


Well, it’s been a bit busy ova here lately.  Funny though I can’t even tell you why.  You know what I’m talkin about, right?   You get busy, the days fly by and you can’t even remember what you did the day before.  Oh wait… or is that just me?  Is that just me and my getting older?  Me being forgetful?  Me approaching menopause?  Me being……….. oh never mind.. I forgot.

Anyhoo… I want to share some lovely photos of a recent gathering I went to.  It was the Rhode Island Polymer Clay Guild’s 12th Anniversary.  I used to be part of the team there, but I stepped away about 4 years ago.  However, I do still keep in touch with the fabulous ladies there and they invited me back for the soiree.  We all brought some food.  The ladies all brought their art and I did not.  I just talked for about 6 hours.  What?

Here are some goodies that everyone one brought:

HULLO?  It was fantastic.  Thanks ladies for being such wonderful hosts… Toine, Bobbie, Sandy, Dora, Pat, Rita and Toni.

Some of the women there do more than just polymer clay.  The creativity and skills are vast, I tell you, in this small group.

I took some pictures that really inspired me.

Toine is a creative soul in that, if she could, would make her own shoes.  She’s told me this a few times.  That just amazes me.  She showed me a travel mini- watercolor paint palette that she made out of an mini eye shadow case.

You basically dig out the old eye shadow powders and fill the empty sections with watercolor tube paint and let dry.  She even uses the eye shadow brush as the paint brush.  You could just buy one of these eye shadow minis at a dollar store too.

Toine shared a site with me on how to make one.. it’s called INSTRUCTABLES.. great site to learn from.  I’m definitely trying this.   I just love this idea!

Toine also made her own mini watercolor pad.  It was about 3×4.  You can see it sitting next to her palette.  Another thing I must try.  Check out this one also at INSTRUCTABLES.

My partner in crime, Bobbie, was working on a new bracelet made out of buttons.  I recently sent Bobbie a bunch of my “buttons n’bellishments”.  She took my homemade polymer buttons and mixed them with regular buttons and hand sewed them to a thick black cloth elastic band.   I had made one in the past out of my polymer buttons, but hers came out much nicer.  I had too much space and you could see all the black band.

The red, turquoise, and bone-like buttons are the ones I made out of polymer clay.

Bobbie.. this came out deliciously gorgeous.  The trick to hers was the overlapping of the buttons so when you put it on your wrist, it didn’t stretch out and show the band.

Bobbie is also taking up water color painting.  Look at these beautiful pages she made that just made me salivate… ew.. not really… I behaved.

My creative juices went nuts when I saw these… oh the things I could do with those.  I can’t wait to see what she does with them.  It’s endless.

In other creativity news, I turn to children.  My great niece, Riley, is a great little artist.  I promised her I would take a picture of her door art at home.  Her creations here range over the past year from home art, pre-school and now kindergarten.  I share this now, with you, my blog friends.

Riley and her mom.

Mom, Christina, is another creative soul.  I guess it runs in the family.  You can see one of Christina’s creations HERE ..when she made me a special fabric card for my 50th birthday.


Isn’t Riley just awesome?  Look at these colors, people.  Don’t you think we should all display our art this way in our homes?   Don’t ever stop creating Riley.  I love you so much…. Love,  Auntie Judy.

I hope you are inspired.  Go make a mini water color palette or a button bracelet.  Be inspired by children’s art.

Thanks for stopping by and leave some comments for Riley.. she will love to read them.


Give-a-way Winner & New Mixed Media Woman on Canvas


Congratulations to……………

(my daughter’s hands; she drew the name)

Mandy Currie…. OMG how exciting!   Mandy, send me your home address to my email at and I’ll get your chock full package out to you.   Besides my “buttons n’bellishments”, I’ve put together a bunch of fun materials for you to start playing with your new mixed media creations.


And speaking of creations, this is my new mixed media piece that I just finished.  This is just one thing you can do with  “Button n’bellishments”.  I had a vision about a beautiful woman who had hair made of my handmade b&b’s.  This was just FUN FUN FUN!!!

Click picture for details and a closer look.  Measures 9’x 12′

Now… don’t get all excited and think that I drew this woman’s face.. I did not!! It is a paintover.  I could not, for the life of me, draw a woman’s face that I was happy with… wait, let me rephrase that… I could not draw a woman’s face.. period…… so…..I found an unknown face in a magazine and did a gesso wash over it and drew over the features, enhancing them a bit more with paint, watercolor pencils and glitter.  I exaggerated her eyes and eyebrows completely.. redid her nose and lips.  I tinted the skin with watercolor pencils and made her eyes look like a showgirl in Vegas.  There is some texture left under the face that is showing some lumpiness that I’m not too thrilled with.. but I  certainly learned from that tiny mistake.. love when that happens.

All around her, I used fabric, ribbon, paper, doilies, lace, paint and glitter.  Underneath all of that is a layer of acrylic paint and gesso that I put on thick for texture then painted over that then added glitter.

Now, for the hair, I used my handmade polymer clay “button n’bellishments”.. and in between the clay pieces it filled it in with sead beads.

Yay.. she’s marvelous.. she’s going up on a wall in my house.

Thanks for visiting and for everyone who entered the give-a-way… THANK YOU.   Please stop by again… I’ll be doing more of that.


In the Studio


Wow.. what a weekend… Hurricane Irene visited us, I’m sure you heard from all the media about it.  We were very lucky here in my part of Mass.  It was more like a big tropical storm.  I know many many others were not so fortunate and lost power, trees down and some fallen on houses.  Let’s hope they will all recover and get back to normal soon.  Now that the storm has passed, we are having the most beautiful weather… just perfect for me… cool, dry, sunny.. nature’s own air conditioning.

To the art table….

While we were socked inside, I was able to get into the studio for some play time.  I’m working on a new mixed media canvas with the idea of adding many of my “button n’bellishments” to the piece.  So, I took several hours on Saturday and on Sunday to create like crazy.

Here what I made:  Click picture for larger details

…and some details below

“Bliss” and “Art” hearts made with cheap dollar store aluminum foil as the filler.

I am always amazed how long it takes me to make these.. it’s definitely a process that is zen-like…. or “back-hurt” like.

If you’d like to see how I make some of my buttons.. CLICK HERE.

I received a few emails from followers that they did not have a blog to link my give a way on.  My apologies to all that could not enter.  Turns out that no one actually entered.  Well, that’s a big lesson for me.  Doy! (smack head here)

Let’s try this again, shall we?  JUST LEAVE A MESSAGE BELOW and you will be entered to win some of my “button n’bellishments”… and some fun ephemera for all your mixed media creations. I’ll pick a winner next Monday, 9/5 (is that September already?)… geesh.

As always, I’m so happy that you stopped by to hang out for a few minutes.

Stay tuned to see what I’m going to do with new fun b n’b’s.


Art Page Re-make – little handmade journal/book


Hello there friendly people…. I sure hope that everyone is getting some relief from this heat we’ve been having across the country.  It has just been perfect here in Mass. these last two days….  dry, sunny and breezy.. about mid 70’s..  You can begin to smell the fall coming.  I remember the days when I was a kid in school and you knew school was about to start; it was fall and you could smell it in the air.  Funny how things stay with you like that.

Ok.. moving on to some art sharing.

Remember this page I did with Portfolio Oil Patels?  Click here to jog your memory

Well, it was pretty, but I did nothing for me.  The smooshed beads all over the place?; it just needed something else.  SOOOOOOOOOO….I made it into a journal and embellished the front with my handmade polymer clay  “buttons n ‘bellishments”.  Size 5 1/2 x 7.  CLICK FOR LARGER PICTURES.

This is much better, don’t you think?

Inside covers are glued scrapbook paper.


The inside pages are made from poster board and each page is gessoed and ready to add mixed media love to it.

While I was making this one, I took the left over torn pages and made a small journal (5×3).  Front and back is covered with decorated duct tape (have you seen all the new styles yet?), some black trim across and a beaded thingamajig.  Inside covers is more old scrapbook paper I had. I used two polymer clay beads I made holding the sewn binding in place.  Made a nice big knot so they wouldn’t move.

I’m always happy to see a Friday come along after a long week of work.   Everyone needs a break.. don’t we?

Thanks, all, for stopping by.  I’ll be doing a give-away next week.. stay tuned.


Paper Towel Journal


Remember my last post about the paper towel painted backgrounds?  Well, I decided that I liked them so much, I was going to make something out of them or at least one.

Now mind you, I am not a journal maker or a sewing, so I combined two things I am not good at and here’s what I came up with.

Go ahead and click to see details and close ups.

Lots of trial and error here, my friends…  First off.. paper towels still rip.. Even if they are the “quicker picker upper”… they rip.  I still had fun, cuz it was just plain cool.

So, basically.. took the paper towel and sewed some lace trim around the edges and backed it with another piece of cotton.  I used metallic gold and turquoise thread.. and some beige for some of the inside cover.  I then sewed all around the front with gold swirls.. not as easy as I thought.   Then sewed another piece of fabric for the inside covers to putt batting in.. so it would be a puffy journal…   Sewed 3 sides, slid in the batting and sewed up the fourth side.  I took 4 pieces of watercolor paper and sized them smaller than the book size, which is about 5″ x 6”, closed.  I bound the pages with wax linen thread… put fabric beads I made with some other acrylic beads to dangle on the tail.  Sewed a polymer button I made to the front, highlighted with gold wax.  Made a loop-di-loop string to wrap it from the the back.  Does all that make sense?  Did I mention that paper towels rip?

Badda Bing.. Badda Boom.. there you have it!!  Quick and dirty paper towel journal..  Ok, it wasn’t quick it took me a few hours.. and my back.. oh my back..hanging over the sewing machine… glasses on.. glasses off.. change threads, change bobbins.. dog wants to pee.. string in my hair.. now I gotta pee.  Fuhgedaboudit!!

My thoughts:  I will definitley give this another try.  I wouldn’t use a paper towel again, but there are other non-fabric materials to use.. I think of Tyvek envelope paper for my first thought.  Of course leather is just..well, perfect.

I’m sure the front of this journal will not hold up if I abuse it, but it’s only for play… I think I will try to seal it with gel medium to make it stronger.

I’ve been playing with some used coffee filters.  Oh messy and vintagy.. love it.  I’ll be showing those soon.

I also finished my textured canvas piece that I showed  in the same blog post I linked above; that’s also coming up.

Thanks for stopping by.


Collage Redo


I just had to…. It was bugging me for over a week… the last post I did with my final collage was really bothering me.  I put it away for a week and took it out again.. I still didn’t like it.. too busy.. just too busy.  I felt like the transferred queen and the polymer clay face were fighting each other and the embellished metal piece to the right was just too much.  I got some advice from some artistic souls and I was inspired to attack it… gently that is.  Well, no …not really.

Here is the one I posted last week that I thought was final….

I needed another set of eyes to look at it.   I ask my husband and he says.. “ohhh.. nice”.. hmmm, that’s it???  I work for hours on this and I get a “nice”??  Men… do they really think about those things?  I mean, it must be like asking them “do I look fat in these pants”?   The safe answer is “no, honey, of course not”.  Ok… I’ll accept that.   I think if I asked him to really take the time to look at it, you’d know what he’d be thinking… NOTHING…. of course unless the Patriots are on the t.v. and they are winning .. ….fuh-get-aboud-it.   Then I asked my 16 yr. old daughter and she says  “that’s pretty cool” (as she lifts her head up from texting or watching some stupid reality show.. I mean really… REALLY? I’m going into my woman cave… make your own dinner!

Ok, that’s it.. I’m going in for the critiques from other artists.   Am I ready for that?   Well, I’m glad I did.  Amy told me that the blingy thing on the right was the first thing she saw.  I knew it.  I put it away in the closet.  That will be my “what not to do” collage.  Then my friend, Raine (and I can’t link to her, cuz she ain’t got a blog YET), looked at it and said it seemed too busy and little too much of this and that.  Yes, finally, I knew I had to change it.

I ripped off the embellished metal piece with the black fabric down to the bare canvas.. what a mess (it was secretly fun).  Then I went over it using the same method I used to make the bubble texture and then painted it the same.. see the tute here.  I also ran a black ink pad over the high peaked bubbles.

Ripped off the polymer clay face and replaced that with another piece of CitraCollage (see in the same tute above).

Then I added 3 of my handmade polymer clay buttons to replace the black fabric and embellished metal.

I painted black and white stripes on the sides and stained with walnut ink.

Here is the final final and some details.

So what do you think?  Better?    Thanks, my friends.

Happy Halloween!!!


Workshop Love


Hey Bloggerbeanies…

My Buttons & ‘Bellishments class was a lot of fun last weekend.  A great place to teach and I had some wonderful students.  Thanks, ladies.

Let’s start here by saying THANK YOU to Bev for hosting us in her great art store:

Here is a collage of the pictures I took while at the class:

Click the picture, then click again to get a closer look at pieces.  These are  yummy delicious to look at.

These are the pieces I created and remember the gel skins I made?  Well, here is another one full of  tiny dragonfly charms, glitter, beads, fibers, paint.  Love it.  I brought it to class to share…

Have a great weekend, everyone and thanks for stopping by for a visit.


Next up….. CitraArt

Art Submission – Busting Your Boundaries


Hey Blogger Friends…

The New England weather has finally changed from hot and humid to crisp nights.  I’m just loving this.

The magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors, is having an art challenge for Artisan of the year.  I am biting the bullet and have submitted 3 pieces of my mixed media collages.  I’m really proud of them and whether I am selected or not.. It felt good to bust my boundaries by entering.

Here is what I’ve submitted, one picture in full, then two details of each piece:

Remember the sneak peek I posted, well, here is the final; I call this the Collage Garden.  The bottom half is created with my Dryer Sheet Collage Art Cloth.  This was fun and to think that the tic tac toe board underneath was being thrown away.


This is called “With Love”


Lastly, this one is called “The Key to my HEART”…


Well, there you have it..  you can go HERE and read the details of each piece.. I think you just have to create a username to see all the entries.  Look for mine.  Lots of BEAUTIFUL art I’m up against.  Good luck to everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.


Next up… Collaboration with a Crow