Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Meadow Meanderings-Going to the New Grounds-A Peek-a-Boo Project

It’s been years since I have been back to my childhood home, affectionally called “The Homestead” Its been sold just as many years ago and my heart can't seem to “Go Home” anymore , missing my family, my people, my tribe, my heritage. Just past the weathered whitewashed woodshed there was an abandoned area  we called “The New Ground” It was a hilly land overgrown with wildflowers abounding and shrub trees and blackberry bramble bushes. An old well fed an ephemeral pond, in springtime where we collected tadpoles in vintage blue mason jars. It was a magical place. 

Supplies:  GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Fuchsia and Chartreuse Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue, Green Gold, Paint Brush, Ruler, Metallic Green CardStock, Paper Trimmer, Images From Sticker Books, Scissors, Washi Tape, WeldBond Glue, Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms, Matte Gel Medium

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Pre-fold GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Allowing For Easier Assembly.
  3. With a Wide Bristle Brush Randomly Paint Niches with Fuchsia Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue. I Want Them to Have a Weathered Worn Appeal.
  4. Add Additional Layers with ChartreuseStencil Butter and Green Gold Acrylic Paints.
  5. Use a Ruler to Measure Inside of GSLC Niche and Cut Pieces of Metallic Green CardStock on Paper Trimmer.
  6. Destress Metallic Green CardStock by Gently Folding and Pressing. Dampen to make the Process Go More Easily.
  7. Find Desired Images from Sticker Books and Fussy Cut Using Small Scissors.
  8. Add Depth to Backgrounds By Attaching Strips of Washi Tape with WeldBond Glue.
  9. Assemble Your Vignettes.
  10. Add Washi Tape and Images on Outside of Outside of GSLC Niches.
  11. Assemble GSLC Niches Carefully Gluing with WeldBond and Securing  Corners in Place by Pressing With Your Fingers.
  12.  Once Fully Dry Add Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms with Dots of WeldBond Glue.
  13. A Quick Brushing of Matte Gel Medium Will Complete the Pieces.

    Final Thoughts:

We Spent all Seasons in our “New Ground”, it was borrowed land from the neighboring farm belonging to the Schriners. The man of the land was reported to be a Rodeo Clown, and the Lady of the Land Betty had the most beautiful blonde bouffant hairdos. Their cows would often get out and make their way to my momma’s lush gardens and we as kids were given the job of coaxing them back to their homeland pastures.

SpringTime was when the New Ground did its awakening. If one was careful baby grouse could be found along with spring bunnies. Ring Neck Roosters were a rarity but magnificent once discovered. Even rarer still were the Whippoorwills, singing their songs proclaiming their presence chirping out their names almost perfectly. 

Unusual Mosses and Lichens could be collected. Once Collected we would use them to make Moss Gardens for Our Easter Baskets. Sister Nean was a masterful moss menagerie maker, she also used onion peels, pressed ferns and flowers with cheese cloth to dye our Easter Eggs Some Years. Momma was the best at blowing out the inside of the eggs and then decorating them with Shrink Wrap Sleeves that shrank when dipped in boiling water. Many Years we  had an Easter Egg Tree On the front Forsythia tree, tied with bright ribbons. Brother Ralph was always on the lookout for Red-Winged Blackbird, as he declared them the harbinger of Springtime.

As Summer came it was Ralph who go off Blackberry Picking returning with plastic ice cream tubs full of the deepest purple hued berries knowing they were the sweetest. His hands would be stained appearing almost bruised from their abundant juices. Once we used the juices to fake a black eye. I am sure if the berries were ripe Nean would have used them to dye our Easter Eggs too.

Fall was the time for small game hunting in the New Ground off with the 410/22 gauge combo Shotgun Rifle. I wasn’t much of a shooter but did enjoy the quiet misty mornings in the woodlands. Dad, Ralph and Nephew Frank were the big game hunters. Once again momma would cook up their bounty with squirrel potpie, and roasted rabbit, and occasional ring neck rooster feast.

Winter was looking for a pine tree suitable for Christmastime. The Trailing Pine Mosses also made beautiful garlands to hang on the wood living room staircase. A variety of greens and dried flowers made lovely bouquets but sister Joan found out the hard way the white berries were from the dead Poison Ivy Vines, the hairy monkey tails clinging to the trees should have been a clue. A rabbit trail led to the lower swamp land that would freeze over some winters and could be cleared to practice ice-skating. Swamp Berries were gathered to add to our harvested bouquets.  A sledding hill was a bit further on. Hours of our childhood were spent with our plastic toboggans offering entertainment and exercise to ease the times before electronics invaded our creativity. 

Over the Rhine signs of such a place in “Called Home”

Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Called home

Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Called home

With clouds adrift across the sky
Like heaven’s laundry hung to dry
You slowly feel it all will be revealed

Where evening shadows come to fall
On the awful and the beautiful
Every wound you feel that needs to heal

And silence yearns to hear herself
Some long lost memory rings a bell
Called home

Old pre-Civil War brick house
Standin’ tall and straight somehow
Called home

Mailbox full of weariness
And a word of hard won happiness
Called home

Leave behind your Sunday best
You know we couldn’t care a less
Out here we’ve learned to leave the edges wild

And stories they get passed around
And laughter – it gets handed down
Read it in the lines around a smile

Our bodies’ motion comes to rest
When we are at last
Called home

I also Like these Over The Rhine Lyrics from “All of it Was Music”

We left the city far behind

We traveled light, we traveled blind

With no idea what we’d find

Or whether we could use it


The rolling fields were lined by trees

Wild flowers brought us to our knees

The poison ivy thick as thieves—

We swung an ax to bruise it


A place where we could rest awhile

Where hummingbirds could thrum for miles

And we could leave the edges wild

And let birds sing through us


Fires where all our sparks could scatter

Midnight stars could drop their ladders

I’m not sure any of it matters

But all of it was music


To those I’ve wronged, please forgive me

I hope this song helps you, believe me

The holding on the letting go

It all get buried soft and low

Don’t ask me how but I still know

All of it was music.




Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mother’s Day Gift Updated-A Peek-a-Boo Project



In times of Yore a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift would be to have family members, especially her children sit for cut out Silhouette Portraiture. In modern day the process can be shorted to these few steps:

Step 1 – Take Photo. Take a side profile photo (your phone is fine) of the child against a white wall. 

Step 2 – Upload Photo.

Step 4 – Tape Paper To Computer And Trace. 

Step 5 – Cut It Out. 

Step 6 – Glue Onto Black Paper. 

Step 7 – Glue Onto Final Background Paper. 

Step 8 – Sign And Date.

An Easy Peasy DIY Reimagining of an Ancient Tradition.

These are the inspirations for this artwork.



Supplies:  Supplies:  GSLC Layered Frames CarlonGSLC Steampunk Lady, Metallic Paint Copper and Gold, Paintbrush, Spices-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Chili Powder, Cheap Hairspray, Metallic Blue Card Stock, Scissors, WeldBond Glue, Dark Green and Brown Acrylic Paint,Blue Ocean Stencil Butter, Green And Blue Acrylic Paints, Ranger Glossy Accents

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Clump on Metallic Paint of Copper and Gold with an Old Paintbrush on GSLC Steampunk Lady.
  3. While Paint is Still Well Sprinkle with Spices-I Used Cinnamon, Apple Pie Spice and Chili Powder. Spray with Cheap Hairspray to Seal.
  4. Use Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon to Cut Out a Metallic Blue Card Stock Back.
  5. Use WeldBond to Glue GSLC Steampunk Lady to Metallic Blue Card Stock.
  6. Paint Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon With Dark Green and Brown Acrylic Paints.
  7. Paint Top Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon With Ocean Blue Stencil Butter.
  8. Glue Top Portion to Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon. Dry Flat and Weighted Down.
  9. Glue GSLC Steampunk Lady Prepared Pieces to Back of Frames.
  10. Use Green and Blue Paints to Add Patina to the Combined Pieces.
  11. Use Ranger Glossy Accents to Seal in GSLC Steampunk Lady, When Fully Dry it Will Appear as Glass Inside the Frames.

Final Thoughts

A Steampunk Woman’s Silhouette might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it a fun nod to an olden art form that may one day come back into fashion. As it is spoken, “Everything Old is New Again”. 

Silhouette (profile) portraiture was the popular way to recreate an image of oneself or loved one before the invention and common use of photography in the mid 1800’s. During the years of 1500 and 1860, professional and amateur artists would either paint or cut profiles – using paints or scissors.


This past Summer I visited Glenstone , a unique art museum in Potomac, Maryland. This museum integrates art, architecture, and nature in a serene contemplative environment. Throughout the nearly 300 acres landscape is a form of art. The landscapes include path, trails, streams, meadows, forests and outdoor sculptures. 

One of the artists on display was Kara Walker , she takes silhouettes to  grandiose level. They covered museum walls, and are haunting and provocative. Her silhouettes depict a historical narrative one with hidden sexuality, violence and subjugation. Her silhouettes are thought provoking, boldly bringing the secrets of our nations past into light. The sharp edges of the cut papers reminds us of the broken hearts and dreams of these antebellum figures portrayed in many of her art pieces. Her artwork is witty and unsettling. 



This would be a nice poem to attach to your DIY Silhouette Portraiture if you choose to create one.

Mama's Shadow


When I was a kid (you know, last year)

I was like your shadow, always near.

While learning what the world was about

I followed your footsteps day in and day out.

There were so many things I wanted to know.

You answered my questions and helped me to grow.

All too soon Mama I will be grown

And making my way in this world on my own.

When you remember the good times we had

And wish I was with you, don't be sad.

Just stand by this picture and pretend

That I am your shadow once again.

~Wanda Atkinson





Wednesday, May 8, 2024

May Day Remembrance-A Peek-a-Boo Project


Long ago and so many years ago I was invited to a friend of a friend’s house for a May Day Celebration. They lived in a cottage by a spring fed river. She was a Wordsmith-a poet, he a Silversmith-a jeweler. Their home was a land of enchantment. Libations and morsels abound. There were Charcuterie boards before we even knew what they were. A maypole was erected with delicate ribbons dangling in the spring breezes. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies: GSLC Layered Frame Victoria RoundGSLC Layered Frame Victoria OvalGSLC Layered Frame Bella RoundGSLC Layered Frame Bella Oval, Pencil, Magazine Pictures, Scissors, UHU GlueStick, Nail-file, Green and Bronze Acrylic Paints, Paintbrush, Antiquarian Sticker Books, WeldBond Glue, Blue Glitter, Turquoise Stencil Butter, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint, Dura Clear Matte Gel Medium

  1. Gather Supplies

  2. Use a Pencil to the trace Bottom Portions of GSLC Layered Frames Onto a Magazine Picture of Your Choosing.
  3. Cut Out With Scissors and Glue to Bottom Portions for GSLC Frames Using a UHU GlueStick.
  4. Use a Nail-File to Smooth off any Rough Edges.
  5. Use Green and Bronze Metallic Paints to Soften the Edges and Unify Pieces.
  6. Go Through Antiquarian Sticker Books, Selecting Items You Wish to Collage on these Frame Back Portions. 
  7. I Use WeldBond to Add Blue Glitter to Top Portions of GSLC Layered Frames. I would Caution Against This as It was Extremely Difficult to Separate the Delicate Frames from the Substrate.
  8. Once Delicate Frames are Separated from Substrate I Added Turquoise Stencil Butter as Most of the Blue Glitter was Removed by This Time.
  9. To Add an Aged Patina I Used a Dry Brush Technique to add Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint to These Upper Portions of the GSLC Layered Frames.
  10. Use WeldBond to Attach the Delicate Tope Portions of the Frames to their Prepared Bottom Collages.
  11. Dry Fully, Flatted and Weighted Down.
  12. To Unify the Art Pieces Coat with Dura Clear Matte Gel Medium.


Final Thoughts

May Day is a European festival of ancient origins marking the beginning of summer, usually celebrated on May 1st. Traditions often include gathering wildflowers and green branches, weaving floral garlands, and setting up a Maypole, around which people dance. It is also often celebrated with bonfires and a good bit of drinking.



There are days I wish I could live again. May Day at the Bastian’s is one of them.


"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale