With One Stamp!

A while ago, I joined a great group on facebook called The Studio- a thriving artist community. The folks there are friendly, talented and well… they’re pretty much amazing.

There are swaps and add and passes (or round robins) going on all the time. Inspiration is not short on supply, I assure you.

Although I had been yearning to jump in and participate for some time, it just wasn’t working out, until the announcement for ‘With One Stamp’ popped up!

The idea was intriguing. Participants were to be put into small groups and would send out a rubber stamped image, on a self-addressed 4×6 postcard, to each of the folks in their group. The idea was that each person who received your image was to use it as a jumping off point for creating a piece of art and would mail it back to you. In the end, you would get all of the cards you mailed out, but each would be uniquely designed. Loving any opportunity at a collaboration, I was in!

There were five artists in my group. The following pics show the cards as I received them, along with the photos of my completed artwork.

The image I sent out was a roman numeral clock face, stamped off to one side of the card. These are the two completed postcards that I received back…

Looking forward to receiving the final three interpretations.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard Swap!

Mail art has been a part of my life for quite a while, but although organized postcard swaps have been on my radar, I have yet to participate in them… until now.

This week, I spent some time looking for mail art calls and found the Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard Swap at Kat Sloma’s website, http://kateyestudio.com/. I was equally impressed with the way it is organized and the diversity of folks who have participated previously. Last year, there were 216 participants. Kat is hoping to get upwards of 250 folks involved this time around.

Most mail artists keep it organic. By this, I mean that the original art IS the mail. Usually, this is what I stick to, though on occasion, I have printed older pieces and mailed the copies. Here is a link to a previous blog post in which I used this technique: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-eyes-have-it/

This swap asks that you try printing your work. You can get as professional as you prefer. I like that Kat gives suggestions as to how to do it yourself with simple supplies and also gives links to her favorite printing options, complete with discounts! The possibilities are endless.

Currently, I am considering this piece (created previously) for my printed postcards, but it is a girl’s prerogative to change her mind!


If you are new to the idea of mail art, or if you have been hesitant about putting your work out there, this is a great way to try it without much effort or fear of criticism. If the idea appeals to you in any way, I encourage you to seriously consider participating!

The sign up is easy. Everything is confirmed and details delivered via email. Use this link to sign up http://kateyestudio.com/liberate-your-art-postcard-swap.

What are you waiting for? You know you want to try it!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

ICAD Follow-up!

The prompts for ICAD 2013 have been so inspiring that I have taken them in order. I’ve also decided to use all eight prompts each week, which has me off by a day. I must confess, last weekend was unproductive in the ICAD department, leaving me scrambling to catch up in time for the weekly Wednesday ICAD update.

Week 2 ICAD Sampler

The first of seven ICADs this week, Worthy, is one of my absolute faves. The prompt was crown. Glimmer Mist provided the background color. Bird was cut from a scrap of printed paper, tinted with chalk ink. Crown was an embellishment from Theresa Collins, made glorious with a gold sharpie and other assorted colors. The “nest” was a fun piece cut from a previously used envelope. Rub-ons and dot stamp added texture and depth to the background. Stick-on gems added just the right amount of bling!


I love the way bright colors seem to POP! off a black background. That’s what I had in mind when I created this Paisley Sampler with my ZigWriters and gel pens.

Paisley Sampler

The Calligraphy Sampler was done on a 4 x 6 graph printed card with both regular and calligraphic ZigWriters. (The bottom portion of the image did not scan for some reason.)

Calligraphy Sampler

Treasure Map was a response to the map prompt. Used Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads directly on the card for the base color and edging. Came in with ZigWriters and a gold Sharpie to add details.

Treasure Map

The sun prompt gave me, Sunshine on My Shoulder. I love the bright feel of this piece. I began by using a found object as a stencil for the sun. I put in the yellow rays with a ZigWriter and  then re-positioned the stencil between the yellow ones, to add orange rays. The sun’s center was done with Pan Pastels. The sky and tree were done with ZigWriters. House was collaged from scraps, highlighted with a brown Staz-on ink pad. Clouds were added with a white gel pen.

Sunshine on My Shoulder

As someone pointed out earlier, this piece has a Sark feel to it. List of favorites was the prompt, but I tweaked it to List of Favorite Things About Making Art. Using the rainbow ZigWriter palette, I let those things spiral off the page.

Favorite Things About Making Art


The final ICAD for today may not be finished. I haven’t decided yet. I began by creating a “wall” using a brick patterned stamp and brown Staz-on ink. Color was added with Pan Pastel. Sky color is a combination of ink layers beginning with Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Once fixative was applied and the card was dry, I went in with gel pens to add the vines and flowers, inspired by the ivy prompt.

Vines on the Wall

That concludes this week’s ICAD update. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!


The R Word

If you’re like me, you are all too familiar with the word to which I am referring.

Scenario: You work for weeks on that one piece of art, that one piece of fiction… You take care to tweak it until it shines in its best possible light. You research your options and choose the best place to submit your work. You gather up the nerve to send it off into the world and then you wait… Time passes, as you work on other things and one day, seemingly out of the blue, you get word. Excitement builds. Did they like it? Do they want to excercise their option to take it? (Oh, please! Oh, please!) You open the email and begin reading… “Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but we find that it doesn’t suit our needs at this time.” Ugh!


This wasn’t what I set out to write about today. Finding a similar response in my inbox this morning threw me off and this is the result.

Blindsided by rejection (despite the fact that it is as familiar to me as my own self) I tend to lose sight of everything else on the table. The negativity and self-doubt sneek in and paralyze me in that moment when I am trying to process all of the hard work I’ve done and reconcile it with the news. The pattern which ensues is usually a period of wallowing, lasting anywhere from days to months depending on my personal outlook at the time, followed by a period of intense creativity to prove to myself that I can overcome and beat the odds.

Let’s face it, to depend on one’s personal creative expression to earn a living is a full-scale gamble. It’s all relative. Not everyone is going to like X. X isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. There are too many variables. There is no magic formula. For the most part, we create what we know and love. That is the way it should be. Sometimes, we get lucky and find an individual, a publication, a gallery that appreciates what we have created. When that happens, the reward is greater than we could ever have imagined. The reality is that it doesn’t happen often. That speaks to the uniqueness of individuals around the globe. We are all different and it takes all our differences to make the world go ’round.

Sadly, knowing this isn’t always enough to save us from disappointment.

This morning, I have a question to put to you all. In the past, I have merely asked the question in hopes that folks would respond in the comment section of the post. That hasn’t worked so well. Today, I offer up a poll.

Thankful to have a current deadline to carry me through the day’s disappointment, I’m heading back into the studio to work, instead of wallow.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

When Life Gets In The Way…

Today, I wanted to take a hot second to talk about the reality of stifled creativity.

Do you regularly feed the monster within? When you don’t, does it rear its ugly head? Or is it patient and graceful?

So many creative types have day jobs, families, obligations, commitments, etc. which keep us from expressing our urges when they strike. For instance, my studio is currently bedroom to two girls.

So what do you do when life gets in the way of your creative expression? Do you become depressed? Do you push through? Do you settle? Are you more apt to seize what little time might be allowed you? Do you throw up your arms in despair? Do you say, “I WILL create anyway!” ignoring the chains that bind?


Honoring our creative voice is difficult in the best of times. We are BRAVE souls, taking leaps of faith, pursuing our calling. Few of us escape challenges along the way.

I, personally, become more stressed and grouchy (to put it mildly) when I refrain from creating on any level, for any reason. I know this truth to be as real as the keyboard on which I’m typing, and yet, I seem surprised each time the pattern exposes my folly. It is the universal mistake I make again and again, the lesson never seeming to stick.

So I ask you, my peers, my creative brethren… What do YOU do when LIFE gets in the way? All comments and contributions are most welcome and encouraged!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Out With The Old….

2012, the year of Personal Growth, has come to an end.

(We survived the end of the Mayan calendar! WHOOT!)

Our holiday was filled with child-like wonder! It was fun having a three-year-old for Christmas. So much delight and awe reigned supreme! We truly felt the joy in the magic of it all.

The last week of the old year found us in recovery mode as we headed toward New Year’s Eve. It was an end to the old, a door opening on the new. I dedicated 2013 as the year of Challenges, of goals set and met, of triumphs over change.

Happy New Year!

So here I am, one week into January, on the precipice of the promise that anything can happen. Committing to this leap of faith, I am jumping in with both feet, knowing only that great things lie ahead. I intend to make the most of every opportunity to grow my art and my writing. The blessings are there, hovering on the edge of tomorrow, waiting for us to grasp them. Carpe Diem!

This blog is one such blessing, launched in an effort to support my Trash Bubbles movement. The launch coincides with the publication of the article by the same name in the Winter 2013 issue of Green Craft magazine. The content here at Trash Bubbles and Life’s Little Bits will follow my creative path in the coming year and beyond through the creation of Trash Bubbles and other Trash Poetry. We’ll address numerous subjects as relates to trash as art and trash as poetry. I will share my process, my inspiration and my techniques. Each post will provide an opportunity to glean bits of this and that.

Join me on my journey! Say YES! to an environmental adventure in art! Create some eco-spheres of your own and feel free to share your experiences here!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!