Tag Archives: Jessica Sporn

Catching My Breath


I know I know.. where have I been, right? Seems like forever since I posted. Well, I’m finally trying to sneak back in the studio for some creative time.  What took me so long?  Well, I don’t have excuses, but more like “reasons”… but this blog is all about art, food and fun. No one wants to hear about my full-time job consuming me and just plain being “in a funk” that keeps me away (see how I did that there?)  … and Happy New Year to you all.  I often wonder how long we need to say that to people. Is it 2 weeks?  Let’s say that, shall we?

Just backing up a little for some show and tell.  I went to Art is You in Stamford, in October (gosh, was that really 3 months ago?). I took 3 full-day classes.  There seemed to be so much energy present this year. Maybe it was because it was my 3rd time attending and I was more comfortable.  But, I do know that I was not 100% focused. Was that the beginning of my art funk? I was trying to push through and ignore the feelings.  They say, out of sight out of mind. I guess the longer you stay away from art, the more you don’t want to dig in again. I’ve signed up for many on-line classes by some great great teachers.  Have I finished one?  NO!  I start it then I get pulled away. Do art every day..no matter how little.  “They” say that, too.  So, for 2015, I need to not be so hard on myself and give “me” a break.

I’m I alone here? Does this happen to others? How do you push through?

I quickly want to show you the art I created from my favorite class with Andrea Matus deMeng. I so love her work and her style. This was my 3rd class with Andrea and she never disappoints. This time, it was collaging on wood blocks. Here’s a peek at my 6 blocks. The bottom left if my mom’s face when she was about 20 years old. I took this class with my side kick, Jessica.



Here is a peek of Jessica’s (left) and all of them together from the class together.  Aren’t they just amazing?

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The other class that I took was with Mary Beth Shaw and Pam Carriker. I got a twoferone. They shared some great techniques and we were able to try screen printing (the bird is screen printed). Here’s what I ended up with.


I recently had about 2 weeks off from work for the holidays. Luckily, our company shuts down. What a nice gift. I was able to get a little art in.  For those that know me well, I love doing image transfers. We also drink a lot of coffee and tea in our house and I have been saving the used filters and tea bags.  The stain on the filters make a great background for any collages. I have a small bowl where we just dump the used tea bags in. Yup, my family doesn’t question my requests anymore. The fruity teas leave a pretty background. Once the tea bags are dry, cut across the top, dispose of the tea leaves and you are left with this beautiful tea stained filter. Gently open it so it doesn’t rip. For the coffee, lay out the filter with the grinds left and wait for them to dry. Rub off all the dry coffee.


I decided to make some transfers over the tea/coffee filters on raw canvas. Here is a stained tea and coffee filter.  Doesn’t that say vintage to you? I thought so.

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I had some deli paper that I used for wiping left over paint on and I glued that to the canvas using Pam Carriker’s Mixed Media Adhesive.  I first gessoed the canvas.  Next, I had some images that were printed on transparencies.  This is one of my favorite ways to do image transfers. Cut out your image after it’s printed on the rough side. Note: I’ve used ink jet prints here.  Cut out the image with a border around it for you to grab. Spread a thin layer of Soft Gel Gloss on the canvas and on the image. Lay it face down and gently rub it in circles with a soft cloth held against your index finger, then wait about 10 minutes. Gently peel off the transparency and you will see the image transfer on to the canvas. Check it from the corner first before you take it completely off.  I stamped a butterfly image on deli paper and ripped it around the edges and spread gel medium underneath and on top of the image. The deli paper just melts away and leaves a black, clear image.  Then I stenciled with white paint. Stained the edges with black distress ink.



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The two end pieces below, is where I used the tea bag filter and coffee filter using the same image transfer method I mentioned above. The little blue butterflies are also transfers. I rubber stamped directly onto the filters. I finally spread Collage Pauge in matte over all of them to cut down on any shine.  Such a pretty look… like an old book or letter.


So.. save your tea bags and coffee filters.

Thanks for hanging out with me and being patient. Hopefully, this post has given me a good kick to keep my posts and art going.

Judy ♥  ♥

Stencil Test Drive – Cascading Leaves & Winner of 3rd Journal


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Well, hello again. We have an amazing week of weather here.  I’m taking advantage of it a little (ok, a lot) by doing some garage door painting outside and even doing a little art in my garage, where all my art supplies sit.  Well, that’s a lie, really… I’m looking at my art supplies and apologizing to them for not giving them any attention.  Must be Catholic guilt.

This week, another stencil by Jessica Sporn is being tested.  Offered by Stencil Girl Products.  I’m joined by other great artists (links below) to test out the “cascading leaves”.  Stay with me here.

So, I’m trying to figure what I want to do with the stencil.  My art supplies are way back “there” in the garage.. so what can I get to and make this simple?  I was cleaning windows and I noticed that my paper towels had a very cool, and somewhat similar design to the stencil I was testing.  Crazy, right?  or serendipity?  I love the texture of paper towels in my art.

Here’s my garage with my supplies and stuff  Now, look at all that?  That’s what I’m keeping.  Am I crazy?  Ok Ok.. Let’s not go there again.


(Oh, and p.s. if you are local, I will be selling some arts and crafts along with couches, chairs, kitchen table, bookcases… send me an email if you are interested.)

Sorry….back to art…here is the paper towel..


I grabbed my bag of lace and paper stuff, a bottle of red paint, portfolio crayons, Collage Pauge and a paint brush… oh yes and a journal book.

Started by taking a teal crayon (what? where you expecting a different color?)  and rubbed it all over the towel, then I rubbed it with a damp paper towel to blend it a bit.  Then, I drew in each stencil leave openings with a black crayon.  Smooshed around a little.  Did it randomly. Glue it down on journal page.

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Now, what.. oh yes.. pack another box to bring downstairs.. move some furniture around.. my dog (Dixie) needs to tinkle.. make travel arrangements for my executive… ok, back to arting on my kitchen table.  Move my dinner plate over to the side and collage a little more.. and don’t get any medium in your chicken. Wait, that might explain something.  No, I kid I kid.

What did I have in my bag that I grabbed?  C’mon Judy, get creative here.  What can I do with only a few supplies?  Ugh… a challenge.  Or as “Inspector Clouseau” would say  “a shallaaaaange”.

I really had a hard time with this one because I have so much more on my mind other than art.  I felt the deadline approaching, but was committed to the stencil drive.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m worrying about something, I have a hard time focusing on other things.  So, I had a talk with myself and said “self… what is your problem.. art should be good for stress.. get your act together, will ya.. chop chop”?  I had to be a little tough on myself.. geesh.  Can anyone relate??

In processs…




I will be honest here.. I am not in love with the collage; I’ve done better, in my opinion… but I am in love with Jessica’s stencil.  I can’t wait to use it again and again.

So, go check out the other Stencil Drive artists and see what they did with the stencil.

Jessica Sporn
Nathalie Kalbach
Michelle Rydell
Roben-Marie Smith 

Thank you, Jessica, for inviting me on this stencil journey with you and so many other amazing artists. I’m honored.




NOW………for the winner of my long, skinny journal….. Congratulations Gloria Zucaro!!!  Yay!!!!  I’ll contact you via email to get your address.

Happy Spring!!!  And thank you for your patience while I get through this massive purge/move. Don’t give up on me.  I”ll keep up my art and post as much as I can.  Your support means the world to me.   I’ll also be on Facebook if you want to follow me.


Angel in the Window Coaster Collage – Stencil Test Drive


My dear friend, Jessica Sporn, did a post on her blog this week about angels.  I was inspired.  So, when she asked me to test drive her new stencil from Stencil Girl Products called Windows & Doors, I said to myself, “self, you need to do something with an angel”…. and so I did.

As most of you who follow me know,  I love to collect coasters from restaurants.  Sometimes, our server is nice enough to give me a stash of them.. .but I do ask beg them nicely.  I love working small sometimes.  It’s just such a nice little piece of art.  The coaster surface is really great; it absorbs wonderfully and has the right thickness.

First, let me show you the stencil I”ll be working with… I’m going to use the top right church window. Seems appropriate for an angel, don’t you think?  Jessica really created a beautiful stencil here.


I picked out a 4″x4″ rounded corner coaster and started to apply gesso.   Let dry. Then I applied some random colors and smooshed with my fingers.

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I pulled off some of the paint with another piece of paper.. this tip came from Jane Davies; simple and effective.  Then used a brayer to blend the colors.

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When I started to dry the paint with my heat gun, I started to get bubbles which is a very cool effect.  If you hold the heat gun very close, the paint starts to bubble.  Once I got the colors the way I wanted, I brushed a loose wash of acrylic teal paint with water on top and spritzed some alcohol on it to let the paint separate.  Can you see the texture it created?

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Now, I know I wanted to put an angel on my coaster, but I needed her face to show through, so I put a light coat of Titan Buff fluid acrylic paint (from Golden) in the section where her face would show.

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Now, it’s time to transfer my image onto the coaster. I printed off the angel image on the rough side of a transparency film (ink jet printer). I took gel medium and with my finger, rubbed some along the section where I wanted my angel.  I also put some on the image itself.  Laid down the image and gently rubbed with a soft cloth.  Wait a couple of minutes, then gently lift it off. There you go… I like that it’s NOT perfect.. it has a worn/vintage look to it.  Now, let her dry.. doesn’t take too long; about 5 minutes.

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Oh boy.. I get to play with pastes.  I used the Viva Decor Modeling Cream in gold for the window.
I placed it over the angel’s face, taped it down on one side.  Using my palette knife, I scraped the cream over the stencil and lifted it up… Beautiful window.

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Now, one of the panes was covering my angel’s face.. I had to gently scrape it off.  There she is.. so purdy.


I added my spiral lace paper in the corner and used a pen tube as a stamp for some small circles.  Added gold ribbon lace to the bottom of the window.

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I found an old earring that I cut up with a wire cutter to make a window top.  When I cut the metal, it creates tiny rough metal edges; so I filed them down with a Chizzel-it.  I’ve had this for years.  I used it for engraving baked polymer clay.  Oh, who am I kidding.. it was just a fun toy.  You can also use 200 grit sand paper to file down the sharp edges.

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I added some glitter and painted around the edges with a Gold Leafing Pen. I love this pen.  It’s puts the best finishing touches on your work.

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I added a “believe” metal tag to the bottom.  After all, we DO believe in angels, don’t we?  Then I added some red lines of acrylic paint with my credit card that I changed to white in the end result… you’ll see why.

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To the right of the coaster, I added handmade polymer clay flowers in red with turquoise (what else) rhinestone centers. Then teenie tiny flowers to the bottom of the stems.  The leaves are made with music paper. I thought the dragonfly was a cute touch, too.

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Here is the final piece and a close up of window.

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Now, it’s your turn to go visit my art sisters to see what they did with Jessica’s new stencil… go now!

Jessica Sporn, our leader in this drive.
Carolyn Dube  (by the way, Carolyn has a new Gelli Plate Workshop starting on April 1st… what fun; I can’t wait!)
Maria McGuire
Corrine Gilman (Corrine is going to be teaching at Lucky Star Art Camp this Fall… they are so “lucky” to have her join their team).

AND…Thank you, Jessica for another amazing stencil creation.  What else to you have up your sleeve?  Hmmm?

Well, there you have it.  So, grab some coasters next time you go out (or have a friend grab one for you) and get creative with them.  Then, send me a picture and I’ll feature on my blog.  OR.. create it, put photo on your blog, then comment on my blog with your link back to your blog… Huh?  What the hell did she just say?  Go on… you can do it… I know you can.

Alert… Alert… Up Next:  Giveaways !!

Thank you for stopping by.  Share the love.


Polymer Clay Bookmarks – Stencil Test Drive


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Here I am again, going for another test drive with Jessica Sporn’s new stencils that she’s created and are now sold on Stencil Girl Products. I love what my friend, Jessica, has created and by now, I think many of the stencils she’s made have new owners and they are creating beautiful art with them.  Like, this week, check out the other artists taking this stencil for a drive Marjie Kemper,  Nataša MayMaggie Nemetz and Maria Mcguire. This week we are testing Jessica’s “borders” stencils.  I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do with them… something different. So, I ended up making polymer clay bookmarks.  How, you say?  Well.. lookie there.. here is a video on how I made them.

Post Video Comment:  My friend, Raine, who is a great polyclay artist, mentioned that the reason why I had gritty raised edges was because of the leather texture.  Ah, DUH MOMENT, JUDY!!! Of course it was.  I’ve always used texture plates with clay, never stencils. So, when I put the clay against the leather, that’s why it was rough, because of the tiny pattern on the leather.  There you have it. I digress.  Thanks, Raine.   Don’t mind me, I’m in my own little world over here.

Some close ups of the final bookmarks… click pictures for a closer look.

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Don’t foget to check out what  Marjie KemperNataša May, Maggie Nemetz and Maria Mcguire did with their stencils.  I’m going there now.

I hope you enjoyed the video and the bookmarks.  They make great gifts.

Thanks for stopping by. I love hearing from you.


Stencil Test Drive – on your mark…get set….goooooooooooooo



It’s time to commence the Stencil Test Drive. I’m honored to be part of this group of great artists and to be one of the firsts to kick it off.

It’s really exciting to see what each of us will do with each stencil.  I hope you have visited Stencil Girl Products and chosen a stencil to play along with us.  We’d love to see what you do.

My first stencil is the Hebrew Calligraphy.  I admit, I am a bit ignorant about the Jewish religion.   The creations that Jessica makes with her Judaic art is amazing.  And that’s just her Judaic art, the rest is so fun, eclectic and meaningful.  I, myself, have always loved the Catholic art.  The paintings of the saints and the colors are so incredibly beautiful.  So, I approached this page from an art perspective and I hope I did it justice.

There I go again, with my chit chat… sigh.  Now, let’s get to it.

I started on an Bristol paper, 11″x7″.

Fluid acrylic Ultramarine Blue scraped down with old gift card.  Dreamy.

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Then I scraped some translucent yellow liquid acrylics, then squirted some air brush white paint on the page, then sprayed some water and alcohol on it and let it spread.  Blotted with paper towel.  Getting better.

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Now, here is where the stencil comes in.  I pushed some  gold Viva Decor Modeling Cream through the stencil in sections.

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I thought it would be cool to add some transparency image transfers.  I went on Google Images and grabbed some Jewish clip art.  I put in a Hamsa hand.  Then some of my yummy favorite paper.. lace paper.  Can you stand it?

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Another transfer, but on muslin this time; clip art of a Jewish Synagogue.  Added some final touches of wrinkled gold paper, my handmade polymer clay piece and a few old paper doily sections.  Smudged some Portfolio oil pastels (black) around the edges and in some areas.  Dabbed some white paint through some dry wall tape with a make up sponge. Brushed a couple of areas with red acrylic paint to even out the collage and called it a day.

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The gold calligraphy really shines and stands out when you see it live.


I hope you enjoyed the first test drive.  Don’t forget to visit the other artists doing this same stencil this week.. Carolyn Dube and Michelle Rydell and… keep this list handy of the rest of us doing the test drive and follow along.

December 20: Medieval Leaves
January 10: Starry Night
January 23: Random Squares
February 27: Fun Borders
April 18: Flying Tulips
May 2: Cascading Leaves

Would love to hear from you. How was my test drive? In this kind of test drive, accidents are encouraged.

I want to thank Jessica for coordinating this test drive and gathering an amazing group of creative souls to join in. Congratulations on your new line of stencils and working with Mary Beth Shaw.

Now, off to see what Carolyn and Michelle have done with their stencil.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Vroom Vroom


Vroom Vroom – Test Drive, anyone?


Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe that Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is less than a month away? It’s really getting cold her in Mass. I mean like, frozen nostrils cold. I’ll leave you with that visual.

Here’s another chilly visual.  My roses. Just up until a couple of weeks ago, they still had buds and I swear they were going to pop.  But here they are today.

Now, what’s the “vroom vroom” about?  Well, my dear friend, Jessica Sporn, has asked a bunch of us artists to partake in a stencil test drive.  See, she’s an amazing artist and she’s designed a line of stencils for Stencil Girl Products, owned by Mary Beth Shaw, another one of my favorite artists that I had the pleasure to meet and take a class from.  Anyway, I said “hell yeah” to Jessica’s request and we’re hitting the road.

You can read all about the test drive HERE.

Here, let me sum it up for you………… these are the amazing artists going for the ride:

December 6: Carolyn Dube, Judy Shea and  Michelle Rydell
December 20: Carolyn DubeCorrine GilmanMaria McGuire and Ronda Palazzari
January 10: Maggie Nemetz, Judy Shea and Revlie Schuit
January 23: Seth ApterKristin Dudish,  Corrine Gilman, and Diana Trout
February 27: Marjie Kemper,  Nataša MayMaggie Nemetz and Christy Tomlinson
March 14: Nataša May and Maria McGuire
April 2: Carolyn DubeMarjie KemperNataša MayMichelle Rydell, and Revlie Schuit
April 18: Kristin Dudish and Carol Merveille
May 2: Nathalie Kalbach,  Michelle Rydell, Judy Shea, and Roben-Marie Smith
May 16Carolyn Dube and Revlie Schuit
June 6: Jane DaviesMaria McGuire and Carol Merveille

I am honored to be part of this group.  I can’t wait to see what everyone does.. including me.

It all starts on December 6th.  Come join us on this fun test drive.  Grab a button from Jessica’s site.  She will also be doing a stencil give-a-way with each artists’s post.

Here is a link to Jessica’s stencils.  Click on her last name and search.

Now, I have to go off and figure out what my creations will be with Jessica’s stencils.  But, you can be sure there will be texture involved.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can join us.


Who Wants to be Fearless in Art??


You do?  Well, check out Jessica Sporn’s and Carolyn Dube’s art challenge.

The below is taken from Artists in Blogland blog.  Check out the blog here –  http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/

Announcing an Autumn Challenge! Fall Fearless and Fly!


Jessica Sporn here, announcing a new challenge that Carolyn Dube and I will be hosting beginning October 1.  So that you have time to get ready, here’s the scoop:

Fall Fearless and Fly – a bi-monthly art challenge to take you into 2013:

The autumn equinox marks the arrival of fall, traditionally seen as a season of changes leading to the dark of winter.  The trees are shedding their leaves, flowers are dying back, and animals are preparing for hibernation.  Fall is a time to reflect on shedding and releasing aspects of our lives that don’t serve us, and embracing positive and uplifting perspectives as we end one year and begin the next.  Between October 1 and December 31, we will use various prompts to reflect upon the past, and ready us to enter 2013 as our best possible selves.  All of the prompts are taken from portions of newspaper headlines in the past year from this art journal page:

Each bi-monthly challenge will contain 3 parts — one of these headlines, a color prompt, and a relevant quote.  
The challenges will be posted on  10/1, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12, 11/26, 12/10, and 12/31.  Your submission should be linked by Sunday the day before the next challenge is posted.  i.e., 10/13, 10/28, 11/11, 11/25, 12/09, and 12/30.  Winners will be announced the following Monday.
 The rules are simple —
  • Grab the button above and put it on your blog with a link to this page.
  • You may participate in one or all of the challenges.
  • You may link up to 2 times, but no back links please.
  • Use one, two or all of the prompts.
  • Use any media — art journal, scrapbook, canvas, watercolor, quilting, you name it!  This is “Anything Goes” as far as your creativity is concerned.
  • Each time you participate, visit 3 other links and leave loving words!

Will there be prizes?  The answer is yes!   Here is a sneak peak at just some of the prizes (outdoor flags, stickers, a needlepoint kit, fabric, a Woman of Valor bowl), all designed by Jessica.  Luminex, The Crafter’s Workshop, Ranger and more are donating prizes too! We hope to offer two each challenge – both will be picked randomly because we know it will be too hard to choose. 

I am thrilled to be meeting these wonderful ladies at Art is You next weekend.
Have fun, everyone!