Open for Artful Business!

Registration for Artful Gathering opened yesterday – yay! That means I can finally tell you about my two new workshops, never taught before on this planet! (They are supposed to be secret until registration opens).

This year’s theme for the Artful Gathering online “summer camp” is celebrating the Southwest, so the first workshop I designed is actually about painting. Even if you don’t consider yourself a painter, this one is super-fun and easy. Called “Southwestern Stripes: Serapes and Sunsets,” it explores how simple stripe techniques in several media can come together to make spectacular artwork. There are over four hours of videos in this class with a ton of projects, including this mixed-media shrine painting on stretched canvas.

Serape Shrine

We start out with a very simple series of color studies in watercolor or gouache to portray the four Sacred Elements of Earth, Sky, Water and fire. Here’s “Sky.” These little paintings are totally fail-proof, honest.

For more about this class, you can take this link.

The second class is perhaps my most favorite of all my Artful Gathering workshops. It’s called Neo-Santos: Creating Personal Spirit Guardians.

It’s kinda like a spirit doll class, but with very different techniques. These small sculptures are created from found objects and collages papers, along with all kinds of charms and construction details.

Here’s an example of the first variation on the Neo-Santo theme:

Santa Colores

I also show you how to construct another variation I call Santa Blanca:


Neo-Santos is another 4+ hour class with a ton of ideas, inspirations and techniques.

Once the classes are actually open, you’ll download the videos and then work with me and the other students in the online classroom. If you haven’t done this kind of thing before it’s remarkably easy, plus you get the benefit of seeing everyone else’s work and getting specific feedback from me whenever you need it.

Click here to find out how to register for these classes, and for a bunch of other wonderful classes on Artful Gathering. Hope to see you in class – and if you have questions for me, just send me an email!

Cheesecloth – to dye for

cheesecloth1I love this stuff! I hand-dyed a bunch of it for Sunday’s Spirit Doll workshop and made some cool discoveries. One – it’s cheap – and available in a ton of places, like hardware stores in the paint department and supermarkets in the kitchen gadgets department for about $1.00 a yard or less.

Two – you can dye it super-fast with Rit dye, procion dyes, or just plain old diluted acrylic paint – and it stretches and tears and look very artistic either as a collage addition or as Spirit Doll swooshy capes and wraps.

Here’s some of the dyed cheesecloth that I put together with other supplies for the Spirit Doll workshop – earthy and rich:


And here’s a bunch of it drying on the bench outside the Studio – kinda like exotic rags;


If you want to dye it yourself, this is a fast and easy way – put a squirt of fluid acrylic paint and about 1/2 cup of water in a little plastic container, add the cheesecloth and squish it down and saturate it, let it sit for about ten minutes, then squeeze it out, and dry it by spreading it out or putting it in the dryer for a few minutes (if you put it in the dryer, it will crinkle up, which you might like)

Note: I tried a gold metallic acrylic, but it didn’t retain the metallic look – I added a little orange and a little walnut ink (of course) and got a nice mottled peach color. It’s impossible to mess up – any color seems to work.

This was one of my favorite Spirit Dolls from the workshop – Pat Konstam used a rock that she had found in Israel for the face (it looks as if it’s smiling) – and she used red and brown cheesecloth for her Red Sea Spirit Doll:


Spirit of the Red Sea – Pat Konstam

And finally, check out the video from the workshop – I hope you enjoy seeing it, and I hope you’ll go play with cheesecloth!

PS –  As I was doing a little research on dyed cheesecloth, I discovered that it’s the newest thing to wrap a newborn baby in – who knew?? Ain’t been no newborn babies in my neck of the woods for a loooong time!



It’s the Shish-ka-barbies – – run away!

What happens when I’m back home in the little studio on a cold, rainy day and I’m procrastinating about a jillion things, including making my New Year’s resolutions? I channel my inner Craft-Mama-Goddess and make Shish-ka-Barbie dolls instead!


And I can hear you out there, saying, “Oh, Lyn – how can *I* make a Shish-ka-barbie of my own?” Never fear – one of my goals for the next year is to make more free tutorials, even if they do have a slightly Goofy Factor like this one. So here ya go –

But wait, there’s more – I’ll be giving away these guys as the first Friday Freebie of 2015, so stay tuned. Bye for now – hope you’re looking forward to a very Happy New Year!


FASA fun and face shard fabrications

Friday night was the opening of the FASA Juried show – I felt darn lucky to get accepted, but never in my wildest dreams expected to win an award – and for People’s Choice! Here are my pals Sidney and Mary Beth getting ready to fill out their orange voting slips for my piece, “Rune and Relic Bundles.” Thanks, guys (and to everyone else who voted)! And congrats to Susie Monday, Dian Lamb, Linda Rael, and Lisa Kerpoe who won awards from the Juror. It was an absolutely fantastic show. Look below for the video – amazing work from these fiber artists, and SAY SI! was the perfect venue.


After all that, I was so inspired that I got to work on some new pieces for the Studio show on December 6th. Here are some work-in-progress pieces and one that I just finished from that bunch. I love making these little Shard beings! Every one of them has its own personality.

It was a busy weekend, but not too busy to draw a name for the Friday Freebie, a small Guatemalan purse from Friendship Bridge with a Shard Face inside. And the winner is . . Zet Baer! I saw Zet at the Fiber Art show – how nice to draw her name. So congratulations! Let me know how you’d like to receive your FF, Zet, and thanks to everyone for subscribing and reading and commenting.

Now, on to thoughts of turkey, dressing, mmmmmm . . . .




Wonderful workshop weekend – not just one, but TWO videos filled with great ideas

Well, happy Monday, everybody! Hope you had a great weekend – as for me, I had the most fabulous time at the Studio. On Saturday, ten amazing NEISD art teachers met to experiment with Citra-solv altered magazine pages as collage components. And on Sunday, a flock of beautiful Spring Goddess Spirit Dolls were born. Thanks to everyone who graced the place with their creativity – take a look at what they did! (Oh, and congrats to talented and generous Vicki Siptak, random drawing winner of the Milagrito Friday Freebie.)

Art Teachers’ Workshop

Spring Goddess Spirit Doll Workshop

Shard journeys and unfolding myths

Wow. I was just invited to speak at The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) 2014 National Conference here in San Antonio on March 28-30. How perfect! (Thank you, Susan Carlin and Sid Reger.) One of the great delights in my life is hearing from creative women all over the world who are using my Shard Faces in their own work, transforming them into the most amazing Spirit Dolls and unfolding their own myths. Here are some recent messages with photos:

From Vicki in Brisbane, Australia: It’s my first go at making one . . .she turned out absolutely beautiful and I was really happy with the outcome 🙂









From Karen in Washington State: I got the faces yesterday and started on my mermaid this afternoon. She is almost done! Her neck & body are all one branch and the arms are a 2nd forked branch I attached to her back. Working with your faces has opened the floodgates of creativity for me, I am having such a good time working with them.

mermaid        And I loved this note and picture from Vicky in Canada: I just had to show you the photo that my boyfriend took of my Spirit Doll this afternoon. The last sliver of sunlight was shining on her before disappearing behind our building. The star in the picture is actually captured in the crown that is on the full moon’s face. I actually cried because I was so touched by the picture and my Spirit Doll.


Shine on, Mythmakers!

A litter o’ spirit dolls

Four of us birthed some Spirit Dolls this afternoon at our workshop – as we wrapped them up to take them home, we decided that they were like puppies from the same litter and would always have a sense of where their sisters were. These little sculptures almost created themselves – everyone seemed to know exactly where their work was headed. And none of them looks like the other. Except one of them kind of looks like me, and it’s not the one I created. Can you tell which one? All kinds of strange and wonderful things happen when Spirit Dolls get birthed! Thanks to everyone for sharing your time, talent, chocolates, hearts, and jewels.

Workshop notes . . .

Oh, no – she’s over-blogging again! But I did want to share some quick workshop notes and videos with you. valerieThere’s a Spirit Doll workshop this Sunday, and, as good timing would have it, I just received this photo from Valerie, who recently returned to her house in Freeport, NY after hurricane Sandy – she made this Spirit Doll using one of my face shards to celebrate the return. I love the colors and textures. Thank you, Valerie.

Last night was the Asian Painting workshop – great fun, lovely results from the participants. If you want to see me do a demo of the basics, click on this link. And here’s a video of the workshoppers and their artistry. They came as Grasshoppers and left as Masters 🙂

The empty altar

Last week, I received this really nice letter from a group that I admire tremendously – Celebration Circle.

Dear Lyn: At the recommendation of many mutual friends, we are writing to invite you to create a hand-made altar for the Celebration Circle’s annual art exhibit, One People, Many Paths: The Sacred Art of Altars and our tenth year of presenting this exhibit and silent auction at the Bijou Theater September 1 – 30. You will be one of 50 artists to receive a handcrafted wooden box to use as the basis for creating a small “altar” focused on whatever matters to you – personally, artistically and/or spiritually – employing whatever media and/or embellishments your vision requires. The completed piece is due no later than Sunday, August 11th. 

the empty altar box

the empty altar box

What could I say, but “of course!” Now comes the challenge. I looked at the empty altar box for a while and remembered that I had some sheets of weathered moss that came off a wall planter.

. . . .lined with moss

. . . .lined with moss

On they went to line the altar – glue, glue. So far, so good – then I thought “Aha, a Spirit Doll! – I love making those” So I popped one in from the last workshop. Oops – the whole thing instantly turned into a moss lined coffin. Not good. Back to the drawing board – will keep you updated :). All suggestions gracefully accepted!

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

Spirit Dolls, Opening Night

The second big Studio event in two days was just as enjoyable as the poetry reading in a different way – a nice crowd of artisans and friends gathered to see the Spirit Dolls and to ask questions about their construction and uses. There was lots of curiosity and admiration for the work, especially when the guests learned that the dolls had been constructed in just two hours during the workshop. Once again, many of the people who came tonight saw old friends that they hadn’t seen in years or discovered new connections with people they hadn’t met before. I love it when that happens! There’s something about that Studio space that encourages those kinds of connections . . ..  . and here’s a video from this lovely evening: