Friday, January 3, 2014

Welcome 2014- Top projects from past years.

Well, we've made it! It is now 2014, I'm still alive, all is well :) This will be my fifth year on my blog, and although I've had my ups and downs, my busy times and my "down" times, I am super excited to get my fifth year blog-iversary started!

I thought I'd kick off the new year with a nice little reminisce of my fave projects from years past, as both a personal little pat on the back for what I've accomplished, and as a reflection on how I've grown and how I can still grow both as both a person and an artist. As I looked over all the fun, elaborate, and just plain weird projects that I've made over the past four years, I was struck at how diverse they are and how far I've come. At moments I had to shake my head and say "what were you thinking?!" Other projects still leave me emotional and teary eyed, while still others bring out my defiant rebel side. I am grateful that I've had the opportunity to pour my heart and life into my artistic endeavors, and look forward to even more in 2014.

You may have your fave projects of mine since this blog began, but here are some of my top picks. I hope you enjoy taking a look at them again, and I'd love to hear what your top pick from each category is!

Top Cards
I've had ALOT of cards pass through this blog, some good and some not so good. Here are my top picks:

"In This Twilight" Nine Inch Nails- This is one of the first cards that I did using more than just stamps and ink, as well as it being my first triptych card. It features my first attempt at sculpture paper, and uses song lyrics from one of my fave bands.

"Kustom Kulture" Neverending Card- Another first...this card was my first video tutorial. Fun tidbit, it took about eight filmings to get through it. My oldest daughter filmed and I kept laughing. If you're interested in the tut, you can find it on the S&S Forum.

Kustom Kulture Neverending Card 2

Kustom Kulture Neverending Card 3

Kustom Kulture Neverending Card 4

"Something Wicked"- This card is super simple, but I love the soot stamping. It's a card from our first year of hosting 31 Days of Halloween, and features a scary monster eating all the Halloween star magic. Yes, my mind is a strange thing :)

"Watch Me Burn"- We all know the song, and at this point it was super stuck in my head. I love this card because of the colorful glossiness and the 3-D wings. This was a first attempt at combining digital (background) with hand coloring.

"I Love You For Your Brains"- I adore this card! It was made for our original Smudgefest challenge and really represents the two sides of my personality. Not to mention the clever sentiment.
Love Brains

"Something's Coming Over Me"- This pullout card is just creepy to me, it gives me the chills. I think this is one of the scariest digi images we've had at Smeared Ink, I don't know maybe it's just the thought of an animal lurking in each of us.


"Don't Forget"- Completely untrue to my style, this card was made for a dear friend of mine, age 72, to remind her how much we love her. It was sent with pictures of my kids and a heartfelt letter. Just goes to show our Li'l Grumpies are not always so grumpy.

Top ATC's
ATC's are not something I normally make, however there have been a few that I've really enjoyed making and sharing. These are my top I think because of their sentiments and the meaning behind them.

"Sunless Garden"- The words say it all. I loved coloring this one up and it was really one of my first attempts at an ATC. 

"Mad Soul"- Another of my firsts, I love this saying as well. It just fits.

"Deadly Sins"- Made from a label off my favorite wine, I love this ATC for numerous reasons. The combo of the halo and 7 deadly sins listed in the background, as well as a stamp from Smeared Ink's "As Death" stamp set really make me think.

"Twisted Faith"- It was fun making an ATC that actually twists, and the fact that it features one of our "Symbology of Angels" stamps is just bonus. I adore the sentiment on it. I'm not sure why I think all ATC's must have cut out words pasted in lines, but whatevs.

Top Altered Projects
Those who know me, know that I will collect just about anything and everything with the intention of altering it. Some of those things stay in my stash for years before I think of a way to bring new life to them. Some are barely in the door before they are being remade and remodeled. Here are my fave pics of the altered projects that I've featured on my blog.

"Goddess" Altered Lunchbox- This truly was my first attempt at really altering anything and using mixed media. And I combined everything I could get my hands on at the time from my very small stash, from chipboard and sculpture paper to metal mesh, paint, and feathers. This was eventually gifted to a dear friend to store her Soul Collage cards.

"Disco Skeleton" Altered Pencil Case- I still have the remains of this case and hope to resurrect it sometime in the future. I loved it and it was well used, especially since it opened two ways (from top and side). It also featured sculpture paper in the background and stored my prisma pencils in a shiny disco ball heaven.

"All That I Do" Altered Journal- Although you probably can't tell, this was one of my first attempts at color washes with paint. You can vaguely see it in the background. I love this journal because it's weird and definitely fits my personality. The fish are fab!

"Free My Wings" Altered Tin- Although pretty simple, I adored this tin and sent it to a dear friend. I loved creating the different textures in the background, and using the game pieces.

"Wish Bottle" Altered Liquor Bottle-What do you need to make a wish bottle? Well, empty liquor bottles of course! When opened, you whisper your wish inside and quickly seal it up so the faes can make your wish come true. I loved the concept of this and the 3-D scene inside the bottle. The shiny jewels helped too.
wish bottle front

 wish bottle side one

"Death Becomes Her" Altered Jewelry Box- My shabby-chic box represents both beauty and death, and is somewhat macabre in my own head. I love the colors and flowers. It took more layers of paint than you probably realize and I learned alot from this project.

"Skeleton King" Altered Candle Box- Made for 31 Days of Halloween, I just simply adore this. I was able to create the look of leather on the box, which is made of cardboard, and my favorite part is the lacing. The skeleton King image is awesome too!

"Danse Macabre" Altered Yoga Mat- Yoga mat with a skeleton and ballerinas, what could be better? I love the pops of color on the mat and I really learned alot about doing large image transfers, but I have to say this was one of the biggest pains in the @ss to make.

"Watchful Eyes" Altered Soup Can- I made this after practicing with paint color washes a little more, and played with textures and materials. It was my first attempt at faux-rust. The feet and handle are my fave parts, as well as the hanging tag. This was meant as a hid-away for precious things.



Top Mixed Media Projects
When I create using mixed media, I feel alive and at home. I don't follow any rules, and I'll use just about anything in a project. I love finding new and creative ways to use things, and look forward to even more growth. I feel that mixed media allows me to truly create what's in my heart.

"Creativity Revolution" MM Canvas- One of my first attempts at a collage canvas, I love the splash of bright amid the old and distressed background. The words, "Escape the boundary of your own imagination" really speak to me. I still have this canvas and one day when we are done moving around and I have my own creative space, it will hang in my art studio.

"Early Winter" MM Canvas- This canvas was made for Skull Appreciation Day, and was one of my first attempts at combining plaster, paper, and metal. It's also one of my first wing attempts. The skull was created with paperclay and really pissed me off because I couldn't get the proportions right, but it turned out alright in the end.

"Poe-etic" MM Canvas- An ode to the master, this canvas features the poem "Spirits of the Dead" by E.A. Poe and reflects on a subject that we all must face one day. This is my first canvas to use cracked burlap with plaster (you can see a tut on the S&S Forum), and I love the shadowbox.

"Thank You Bees" MM Book- More plaster fun (can you tell I like it?), this book was made for one of our DT Throwdown entries. It uses plaster gauze, UTEE pages, beeswax, and faux-leather. I adore bees and this is my shrine-book dedicated to these wonderful and regal friends.
 Bee Book 2 (collage) 
Bee Book 1 (collage)

"Wish Box" MM Doll- I truly LOVED making this doll. Every part and aspect of her was meticulously planned, from her molded and carved clay body, to her tissue wings and wire arms, to her hand sewn and burned skirt with wire petticoat and candle holder stand. I have just to add something to her wish box heart.

"Metal Mania" MM Plaster Journal -I'm sure you're starting to see a theme here...I just love working with plaster I guess. This one was fun in that it taught me a lot and also gave me freedom to use materials in interesting ways. The covers are poured plaster with embedded chicken wire, which were painted (alot!) and then wired to a bolt and nut "spine". The pages were hand bound, and the metal closure and bullet casing quartz crystals just finished it off.

Top Scrapbook Pages
I don't scrapbook. There, I said it. I just don't have the patience for it I guess, or maybe it's because I am too messy and scrapbooking seems to have a certain need for structure and organization that I just don't seem to possess. Either way, I have few scrapbook pages. But here are my faves of what I've done.

"Zombie Killa" -This one is close to my heart because I made it for my sister. She is deathly afraid of zombies, like really, but I thought maybe this kick-ass page would empower her. I sent it to her when I was done with it. I really enjoy the humor in the mustard-and-ketchup writing.

"One, Two" - We are definitely a Halloween family, and one year my oldest helped out in a horror movie themes haunted house by dressing up as Freddy. This page was the ode to that day.

"Haunted"- Long story short, one day my youngest daughter walked down the stairs and told me she thought our house was haunted. Not only did I believe her ( like I said, long story), but I came up with a new-to-me image transfer technique to represent it in my page. My fave part of the page is the small bits of dried embossing powder resin stuck in the wax.

"The Essence of Soul"- I don't think there's much too fabulous about this page other than the sticks, but it reminds me of a special day for my daughter. It was one of her first juried art shows and she placed with her photography.

"Something's Coming Over Me"- Again, this image scares me and mystifies me. The moon images were taken during the lunar eclipse in 2010 and I thought they were a perfect backdrop for the werewolf transformation.

I hope you've enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with me through my art. I am so looking forward to a new year of fabulous, soul exposing art and hope you will take the journey with me. I am resolving to spend more time creating and sharing those creations with you, so hopefully this blog will be busier than ever before! And who knows, there may be some 5 year anniversary themed posts, we'll see.

Thanks for visiting and I'll see you all soon!


  1. These are some amazing projects. I can see why they are your favorites. Thanks for sharing these with us. Happy New Year.

  2. Unbelievable, Tori! Truly amazing projects of all sorts. all I can say is WOW! xxD