Wednesday, August 28, 2013



Playful altar in August.
 This month was a struggle and when at last I just decided to muck about and Maxie the fashion Robot was born.
 Several summers ago I was madly pouring resin into all kinds of molds to see what worked and what didn't. This robot was created in a ice cube tray of robots and keys. It  turned out beautifully and I have carried her around from studio to studio as I have several different locations when I work. I decided to add several washes of color one day when working on another project and I loved the purple shadows created by the paint.

Fast forward to 2013 here is my inspiration. After a bit of rooting around I saw a smaller piece I had cast of a flower shape in black which I added metal foil flakes and ta da a hat was born.
 I drilled a hole in the flower center and wired the piece together with copper wire added a jaunty scarf and there she was.. But now how to put her into the space required for August???? Think Think Think.
 I hinged together 2 small canvases to create a traveling tool box, which no traveling and well prepared robot would be without.  
 Since I was twisting the robot image out of it's traditional role I decided to take it one step further.
instead of carting tools in her tool box,  all good lady robots need a change of wardrobe now and then. 
So I decided to create more hats.
Now you will find inside her tool box are 2 tiny hats created with  cake decorating tip,crystals,watch gears,beads & more
One is called "Watch out for the redhead" and the other "Tasseled up". 
 I created background papers with alcohol inks for the inside of the tool box. As well used the inks to color the decorating tips I used for the new hat bases
I mounted the new hats in place with apoxy clay and added a slap dash of paint.  and Ta- Da Bob's my uncle

Rock on Maxie!!    I hope she brings a bit of a giggle and memories of childhood toys to Kimberly

 Cheers Peg

Monday, August 26, 2013

AUGUST FULL MOON #7 Gwen's Oracle Deck of "What If’s"

I, Gwen, took 2 calligraphy classes from Caitlin Dunden and observed that many calligraphers write on top of water colored paper.  I like using new techniques each moon and was excited to introduce watercolor and calligraphy to my contributions for Little Alters.  I would create for Marilynn only 1 card with the words “What If” and a simple, elegant border surrounding, no flourishes.  Then, I’d provide a story of what if’s that might hide behind it in the space. 

thought it would be fast and simple to make. 
I worked every day on my calligraphy – learning to spend 1 -2 pages on just practicing letters before starting anything.   I stumbled because my body was healing, which meant lots of sleep and not enough time to create.  When I did create, nothing, I mean nothing, would come together like the vision that came to mind.   When the full moon came along with our little alters deadline, and then it went and yet still nothing would come together, I thought, “Should I give up? Should I say Sorry I’m not going to make it. And Cry Uncle?” Not finishing felt like letting Marilyn down.  Even though, there are times when it's really ok to say - I just cannot pull this together, I still felt like I was letting the whole Little Alter's team down.

I had a sense, a teeny, tiny, constant feeling to keep going. Even if all I was doing was to practice my calligraphy.  So, I would pick up the pen and write my what if’s.  If you’re familiar with Abraham Hicks, then you may have heard of the “What If” game, where you dream up your amazing life by asking “what if…” followed by stating a piece of the amazing life you dream of having.  I would like to be there, but I’m not yet in the phase of, “Oh I deserve this awesome life, so I’m dreaming it and I can really see it happen”.  I’m more at the phase of belief/dis-belief.  One my consider it, between cautious optimism and pessimism.  Before I can climb the ladder to enthusiastic belief, I need to explore the previous areas.  Sometimes, when we are low or unable to let go of fear, that means, vocalizing and acknowledging deepest fears.  Other times when we’re not so deep in the world of fear, but not quite yet wearing our rose-colored glasses, that means wondering if it could really happen.  And so, my What If’s live in that middle purgatory or middle earth.
  • What if Amazing Things Happened? 
  • What if he chose me
  • What if I was loved? 
  • What if I let go? (Oh my God I don’t know if I can do that!)
  • What if my dreams came true? 
  • What if I didn’t have to live like this? 
  • What if I could? 
  • What if I did?

One of the days I was writing my what if’s in hopes of creating my final alter project, I fell into deep anger and unhappiness. My What if’s landed in that dark, murky pool of fear and anger.
  • What if I stopped talking? 
  • What if I stopped communicating? Would anyone even care? 
  • What if I didn’t try, didn’t care? 
  • What if it never happened? 
  • What if others stopped pressing their guilt on me? 
  • What if I never made any new friends ever again?
  • What if I never felt happy again?
  • What if I was always angry?
  • What if I hated everyone and everything?

And… that sort of helped break me.  Of course, there were lots of tears – anger, frustration, fear, sadness, loss, humiliation, confusion, and hurt.  Ok. So what if it didn’t get any better than it is right now? Ok. I’m there. And as Reba says, “When you hit rock bottom you’ve got two ways to go, straight up or sideways.”  I skittered sideways for a while. That was ok, but definitely hard.

And then, something magical happened about 4 days after the full moon. 

To continue reading, please visit the rest of the post on my blog: 


I’m not sure what inspired me this month, after all the ideas and iterations that I went through!  Certainly, Gwen inspired me!  And there was that feather.  And then I found a TEENY scrap of 80 mesh brass screen from somewhere, but couldn’t find any more, so I had to go buy some more.  Luckily, I found it in a real brick and mortar store, so my ideas could progress. 

Originally, I was going to use a right-angle weave beaded heart in this month’s spot (a sweet little thing I’m still very fond of), but things evolved.  So I think what inspired me in the end was the process.  The process of evaluating my choices, listening to my aesthetic, and sensing the right and wrong and good and bad.  It was one tiny inspiration leading to another:  link, link, link.  One might ask, as my husband did, “What is it?”  I said, “It’s cute.”  Nothing more, just that I like it.

I added the little leaves because I liked the spark they provided and I had the opportunity to use them (link, link).  They are cut out of copper, primed with Daniel Smith watercolor ground, and colored with watercolor.  I used copper tabs on the back to fasten them. More experiments with color on metal; this one is fun.  Gwen gets some early play pieces! 

Nancy Strahle


Hi Peg,

Here my Little Alter project for August. This little guy is going to Cyn.

I thought I'd honor our owl friends with this tiny picture. I hear the owls that live in my area nearly every's such a wonderful sound!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, creative on to September!


August FULL MOON #3

 As August comes to an end it brings us the Corn Moon, the Blue Moon. Of course the song, "blue Moon" has been in my head constantly. fondly, or not so fondly known as an "ear worm". Had to include the old guy in this Monty's altar for Lou. Again polymer clay, I did use a mold for the moon and dusted him with blue and silver pearl powder before baking. The rest I also created with polymer clay and a bit of imagination. Elmer, the gnome stands out in his field admiring this year's crop, hoping for a love of his own.....

"Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own.....
Blue moon....."



A key to the lock of a journey ...

a journey of creativity?
a journey of adventure to where?
a journey of the heart, emotions, soul?
A journey.

Hugs, Marilynn


Dear Fellow Artists!

It is the corn moon and while I played around with several thoughts about incorporating corn into this month’s section – it just didn’t come together.  Going through my “PO” I found a corn charm – but not very exciting.  And then I found the handle of an old silver spoon that had corn on it but it was too late to make a mold and use PMC to make something a little more exciting.  So that will get saved for another day!

Most all of you planted your seeds that were generously given to us by Peg.  As I knew no one would be home to tend them as they started to grow I have left them in the packets…maybe next year!  So instead of corn I decided to make my own fantasy flowers to share with all of you.  They are a combination of bead embroidery, vintage buttons, felt and horse hair flowers. 

I started with felting around glass marbles and then cut the hollow felt balls off of the marbles.  Now that is a challenge!  Trying to get the felt thickness even around the marble and then trying to cut them in half and have the halves even took a little doing!  I made them in a variety of colors and two different sizes.  The different sizes allowed me to stack the smaller halves in the larger halves to give them a little more “punch”.  I also felted a small flat piece that could be used for the back ground.  The center of 3 of the flowers have blue woven horse hair flowers in them that come from Chile.  The others have a combination of beads and vintage buttons.

The flowers were then sewn through a piece of foam and the green felt so they would fit nicely into the space and the piece had some body to support the flowers.  The horse hair flowers originally had green horsehair stems that I couldn’t let go to waste.  I stitched the green stems through the backing to look like blades of grass coming up through the flowers.

So now you have seen my fantasy flowers….all coming from those wonderful seed packets given to us by Peg!  It was a fun project and now I have visions of felted and embroidered flowers on wire stems so one could make a bouquet.

Now on to the next space…….H.  And my mind is racing with things that start with H…..happy…hooray…holy cow…..hallelujah……halibut…hamster….handles…hat…..heaven… many!!!!!



The Moon light streaming in my bedroom window was so bright I could actually read by it. What  a joy it was to see her in full glory this month. The last 2 full moons were obscured by our infamous clouds and I barely glimpsed July's full moon.
 It was a glorious sight to behold moonlight streaming through the ceders illuminating the trumpet vine turning it from the fiery red/ orange of day time to a silvery black bell shape. As I wandered into the yard I could hear slow steady movements echoing my steps. and the Zena warrior princess ( my cat) dashes out and shoots straight up the magnolia tree! Can you hear the trumpets in the distance heralding the  mouse uprising? Yes Zena is there to careen among the branches canceling the the troop invasion..Saving the world again.

I found inspiration  elusive this month and began and discarded many many times. as I listened to others  online as well as around the area I heard the same thing echoing from many different sources. Was it the weather, the temperatures? the knowledge that summer was in her full glory and soon to be gone? was it
feeling the lazy hazy days of summer along with the extra chores that August brings?

I set aside my pondering and celebrated Lammas. Considered the first harvest celebrated by the peasants as first harvest. It is the time of year early August (the 2nd to be exact) when the first grains are harvested. Celebrated by a huge feast not unlike  our present day thanksgiving. Bread is baked in decorative loaves for the feast and one loaf is broken up and given back to the earth as thanks.

It is also a time releasing of what was planted and dreamed for in early spring that just didn't flourish. This year the pumpkin and squash struggled as well as some of my flowers had passed prime and looked bedraggled.   First off to be inspired by the Nursery. When ever I need a loft a trip to a nursery always buoys my spirit.  Jackpot!!
 I returned home clipped cut,pulled, composted and replanted. and gave thanks for my garden. I cleaned up potted, rearranged and crooned to my garden. I did the same to my studio considering, cleaning, rearranging and sending sending several bags to charity .
 I was amazed at the inspirations pouring into my wee head. Taking the time to reflect and be thankful for the small everyday blessings and the beauty that surrounds me. Stopping the worries and stress for a moment helped me expand and renew my heart as well as my artsy fartsy view of the world.

I give you my thanks as well Fellow Little Altars Project Artists, you all have inspired and renewed my love of creating art and sharing all the fun.

Monday, August 05, 2013


This month of July  created a interesting twist of creation as the Little Altars project has 11 artists and 12 months of exchange. I worked for days creating a schedule of exchange that would be as random as possible, in order to keep this fresh and ever changing.  And during the exchange each person would have 1 month to create just for them selves.
What occurred in July was 3 of our Artist all had their names and created  a varied bounty of delights.

 Here is Kimberly Kostals" piece Pennies& Cupid Doll 

Waiting to hear the inspiration for this little altar

 Kathy's 52 inspirations

Lynn Vernons' Inspired by Viking knit