Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Holidays

I hope you are in the midst of a wonderful holiday season. We were so blessed to share our Christmas with Jonah, our first grandchild, this year. He is just about as perfect as they come (and yes, I am a little biased).

Jonah and his family left today to go to his other Grandparents' house to continue their Christmas. I was afraid I would be a little lonesome and then the mail came...

I am happy to say that I have 2 pieces included in the January/February issue of Somerset Studio magazine. My copy arrived today and I am proud and honored to be among the artists in this amazing issue. 

Both of my pieces are for the Somerset "lilac" challenge. The first is an altered altoid tin with a small journal inside featuring my mother at various stages of her life. This is a picture of the tin with the journal.

The second piece is an exploding box that I made after taking an online class with Misty Mawn. 

You can see the entire journal and better pictures of the exploding box in the magazine which will be available January 1st at your favorite Barnes & Noble, Joann Fabrics or other craft store.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Baking Day 2014

What a great weekend! We had our 3rd annual Christmas Baking Day and we all survived! 

I think we made 13 or 14 different kinds of goodies this year. Some of them were a success and some not so much. 

As you can see we had a bottle of wine ready and waiting for us at the finish!

A good time was had by all.

It was also the first time our little grandson, Jonah, came to visit our house so that was really the best treat. Here he is chillin' with Auntie Chelsea the day after cookie baking.

The traveling kids, grandbaby and granddog left around noon on Sunday and I think I spent the better part of the rest of the day on the couch. 

From what it looks like Jonah was ready to crash and burn on the way home as well.

We were all pretty tired but I am really enjoying this relatively new Baking Day tradition. 

May your holiday season be blessed and joyous and may all of your traditions be treasured and memorable as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A few things that I've been working on

Tracey Scott started a 100 faces group on Facebook so I thought I would play along. Don't worry, I won't post every face!

Here are just a few for starters...

In addition to playing in my art room I've been decorating our house for Christmas. As I was pulling out Santa figurines one after another I decided that until Christmas I will post a Santa a day on Instagram. You can find them at reneestien on instagram.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I seem to have lost my art focus lately. I truly believe that the best way to stay creative is to work at something each and every day. However, that is not always possible and then it's hard to get back in the swing. I am working on getting my focus back and today made this little motivator.

I hope you find time to pLay today too!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Art Journaling - Autumn 2014

I am excited to have one of my journals included in the new issue of Art Journaling magazine. And ... as an extra added bonus my friend, Roc, has one of her journals in this issue as well. And ... as if that wasn't enough Roc's journal is her journal from her trip to my house for a week last fall. It doesn't get much more fun than that!

Pick up your copy at a book store or craft store near you!

Friday, September 12, 2014

a new background tutorial to share

Robin Mead is featuring a "technique of the week" video on her Facebook page each Friday and today is my day to share. When Robin invited me to participate I started wondering what I could share that hasn't already been seen and done multiple times.

I got to thinking that many people need a little boost of encouragement to get the first bits of color on their page (or canvas) so I focused on that. One of the quickest ways that I know of to add color is with the wide assortment of spray colors available. My biggest problem with the sprays is that I'm kind of cheap and don't like to waste so much of the color by blotting with paper towels. I came up with this easy technique using gesso and spray color as an easy way to add color with little or none of it going to waste.

Thank you for watching my video, I hope you try the technique and if you do please let me know - I would love to see your work.

Thank you to Robin for including me in the fun. Check out Robin Mead Designs on Facebook, her blog and her Etsy shop,  RobinMeadDesigns to see her gorgeous work.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Baby J is on the way...

Our daughter and son in law are expecting our first grandchild any minute now. OK,  not exactly any minute but within the next 3 weeks or so. We are not privy to the name so we've just been calling him Baby J for the last several months. 

We are all getting very excited to meet him. People that are already grandparents keep telling me about this bond you feel for your grandchildren like none other. I can't grasp the feeling yet but they all assure me it will happen. Until then I will just have to be patient.

Meanwhile here are some little monsters on canvas that I made for Baby J's room.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My ICAD finale...

The 2 month Index Card-a-Day challenge has drawn to a close today. It's been a fun 2 month challenge and I appreciate Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow for making it happen.

These are my remaining cards for the challenge.

Day 50 - This card also doubled as my card for a "monochrome"challenge on the Community Thrives site.

Day 51 - I started out with a collage of an assortment of text paper background and then scraped on some random acrylic paint. The girl was found in the background and the text just seemed to fit.

Day 52 - Another play with acrylic paints and black gesso.

Day 53 - She is done in acrylics with gel pen and Sharpie paint pen accents.

Day 54 - I felt like something different so went with my take on a color wheel and some practice in lettering.

Day 55 - She began from a random acrylic background. After painting the face I added the blue around her face so you can't really tell that it started out multi-colored. She still feels a bit unfinished, maybe I will still add a word or a quote of some type.

Day 56 - Acrylic and black gesso. This was intended to be a dog but as it turned out I believe it's really a dog crossed with a hyena.

Day 57 - Another dual purpose card. This time for a one-word art challenge on Community Thrive  - "wander".

Day 58 - A little collage piece today. The background is a collage of assorted text pieces which I then colored with spray inks and gesso. The face, body and piece behind are from a few different books and vintage collections.

Day 59 - Acrylic background with a black gesso bird.

Day 60 - Acrylic background. The bird was punched from a magazine with a large circle punch. I painted around the bird with black gesso. I used dictionary text for the dress and crown.

Day 61 - The finale - the 2 month challenge is completed!

I am grateful to Tammy for providing this challenge and am happy to have met a new group of creative and supportive people that played along as well. Thanks to all of you that have followed my progress along the way.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another ICAD installment - week 7

Day 43 - A little whimsical fish using acrylics with black gesso - I am having fun with this style.

Day 44 - I used Dylusions sprays and white acrylic for the background on this one. For the focal point I used a scrap of sheet music,a bit of lace, vintage seam binding and a piece from a dresser scarf. The butterfly was in my ephemera stash and the button from my button bag.

Day 45 - A feeble attempt at monochrome - shades of green.

Day 46 - This is a collage of torn music papers with my end of the day paint smears and some dripping thinned out black paint. 

Day 47 - Acrylics and a bit of ephemera.

Day 48 - Acrylic background followed by a copy of a face from an old journal which was embellished with a crown, lace and some coloring. Finishing touches with pan pastels, inks, paint pen and tape.

Day 49 - Background started with a collage of an assorment of papers. Loose layer of gesso was then brayered over the top and followed with Adirondack color wash sprays. The face came to me first and I thought she ended up a little sarcastic looking so I searched for an odd quote and found this one by Steve Martin.

Hard to believe we are getting near the end of this project already. You can find out more information about it here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Daisy Yellow ICAD challenge week 6

Here is my week 6 of index cards for the Index Card-a-Day challenge hosted by Tammie Garcia at Daisy Yellow.

Day 36 - I was feeling a little sarcastic for some reason (OK, like usual) and found this quote that still makes me laugh.

Day 37 - I started out with a plastic card and several colors of acrylic paint for the background. Once I spotted the vague shape of the bunny I ran with it.

Day 38 - This was a play day with acrylics and a little spray color and finished with text from a book.

Day 39 - Again this began with acrylics for the background, the face came from that and then I embellished with paint pens and markers.

Day 40 - This began as an abstract but that just wasn't working so it became an assortment of flowers.

Day 41 - Once again I started with acrylics and a plastic card for the background but they were really bright. Somehow once I got going it became quite subdued. When this happens I always wish I'd have pictures of the various stages along the way. Anyway... once the girl and the ladder were painted I found this Rumi quote and it made me think of my mom and how much I still miss her and it was a perfect fit to finish the card.

Day 42 - This one, like the bunny, began with a background of some bright acrylics. I sketched the deer and added a few doodles and finished it off with black gesso.

This concludes week 6 - a little over 2 weeks to go. You can still jump in and play or find more information at

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge number 2

This is the second month of the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and this month they've challenged us to use objects from around the house in a new way.

Some of the household items that I used are things that I routinely use anyway like that rubbery shelf paper that make great textures and the cover from an eyeliner pencil to make the small black circles. 

In addition to those I used text and the woman's face from a vintage magazine. The image was not colored but the paper was pretty thin and the text from the reverse side showed through more than I liked so I just did a paint over on her. I used a little strip of duct tape from my husband's work bench with more magazine text in the upper right section. Beneath the woman the colored circles are from the edge of some quilt fabric my daughter had used a few weeks ago (yes, I did scrounge through her trash)! The little pocket for my secret dreams is a toilet paper roll that I flattened and stitched on 3 sides and the pocket insert is a section of an old ruler from the junk drawer and had a dream written on the back. And finally, some of the final streaks and dots are made with the tines of a fork.

This was a fun challenge - looking forward to next month.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

the ICAD challenge continues...

Day 29 - This started out with quite a colorful acrylic background but by the time she was finished most of it was painted over.

Day 30 - I used this card for a dual purpose. In addition to my ICAD for the day I used it for the new Mixed Media Monthly challenge which was to use spray inks. For this one I started out with a few areas of modeling paste. When dry I used several colors of color wash spray and the finished with a bit of white ink drips and gel pen detail.

Day 31 - Tammie shared a 1-staple challenge with us and that's how this started out. However, I ended up using a few staples before I was done. The base is a strip of vintage lace that someone gave me along the line, The scraps are from my leftover palette paint papers and finished with the cancelled postage stamp.

Day 32 - This card was on my work counter and I had cleaned off my brush on it a few times. I added some spray color and a bit of detail pen work then finished by stamping with "dream".

Day 33 - I struggle with white background so this is me trying really hard to embrace the white space (you wouldn't think it would be so difficult)! The woman image is from an old book, the postage stamp from an ATC trade somewhere along the way, pan pastel circles and paper scraps.

Day  34 - A little abstract in acrylics.

Day 35 - Another collage on an acrylic background. I used paper scraps, a cancelled postage stamp,wings that were included in happy mail at some point and since the wings made me think of travel I stamped the word "journey".

Thank you for checking out this week's index cards. If you would like to join the Daisy Yellow Index Card-a-Day challenge you can find all the information here.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Index Card Challenge - Week 4


                             This is Week 4 of the challenge which means summer is flying by.

Day 22 - fun with acrylics and a few doodles.

Day 23 - My peonies were in full bloom last week and I just couldn't get enough. I tried to paint a very close up view of them. The first layer is acrylics followed with a coat of glaze giving it a little bit more of a dimensional look.

Day 24 - A little folk art face in acrylics.

Day 25 - I started with some random splotches of acrylic paint and spotted this bunny waiting to come out.

Day 26 - Another stab at abstract usinig acrylics, Sharpie paint pens and a gel pen.

Day 27 - Started with gesso and color wash sprays followed a bird torn from a dictionary page, a bit of scrap paper, acrylic paint with a stencil and stamped letters.

Day 28 - An alarm clock done for no apparent reason!