Sunday, October 31, 2010



Spell Box

There definitely was magic in the air for my Samhain celebration. It started out at the Roanoke City Market where I show my work. I took pictures of some of my friends who dressed for the occasion. The first one is of Pauline, who owns Shades of Color Boutique. Pauline is a really spiffy dresser and created this dynamite cat outfit. Next is of Linda Jo, who creates fabulous jewelery. She is probably the witchiest witch I have ever seen. I used no photo editing for any of my pictures.

Pauline in front of my art car B-Dazle

Linda Jo

I took a few pictures of some of the costumes the children wore and of course people had their pets all dressed up for the occasion.

Devil Goat!

Suzanna and Daisy the Dog

Next stop was the Samhain party our Little Supper Club had. We chose a New England (Salem) dinner theme and our hosts were Dian and Tom. We wore costumes to this one, which is a first. I decided to be the Gypsy that I really am. I went as myself basically but dressed a bit wilder than I normally do. I took my spell box that I created just for the occasion. Gypsies chant just like witches but mostly they chant for material things, like money.

Spell box with key and chant

With that in mind, no spell box would be complete without the appropriate spell or chant. Here is the one I offered to help attain money.I figure it is a good one to use since we all could use a bit of extra money these days.

The spell being read and chanted

Light your candles and incense. Sit for a moment and think hard about the exact amount of money you need. See the money, see yourself holding it, counting it.

Here is the chant:

Suddenly I see the pile,
Suddenly I hold the sum,
Suddenly I end the trial,
For the money –it has come!
For the money — that I need.
For the need that is so strong.
For these words that I do read,
Brings the money right along.
Brings the money without waiting.
Brings the money right to me.
Brings the answer to my waiting.
Suddenly I will be free.
Look hard into the smoke of the incense and, again, see the money in your hands. Again chant:
For the money that I need,
For the need that is so strong
For these words that I do read,
Brings the money right along.
Brings the money without waiting,
Brings the money right to me.
Brings the answer to my waiting,
Suddenly I will be free.
Close your eyes, place your fingertips on your temples and again see the money in your possession. After a few moments of this visualization, open your eyes again and chant:
Suddenly I see the pile,
Suddenly I hold the sum,
Suddenly I end my trial,
For the money –it has come!

The costumes were wonderful. Even Tom and Dian’s post was dressed for the occasion. They decorated it with an alien that was a reconstruction of a costume their son wore years ago.

Alien Post

Val and Dean-The Vampire and the man she turned

I think there was more food at this gathering than any other. Chef Stratton made his New England Clam Chowder and it was dynamite. He worked as a chef in New England so you can imagine what this tasted like. Wayne came as Orson Wells who was also a gourmand.

Stratton, looking very Orson Wellish

Jason as cow..probably the funniest costume yet

That's me, with the skull cup, as my gypsy self

Em's Pumpkin Custard Cups

Dian as pirate and Tom as hippy

Another table shot

Nancy and her sister

I decided not to list my spell box on etsy but if anyone is interested in purchasing it, it is $42.00 plus $8.00 shipping. I'll throw in the key and the chant too. Just e-mail me at

Sold. Thank You Shelley!
Happy Samhain everyone!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Three new paper dolls

I just finished creating more paper art dolls. I have to say, I’m completely addicted to them. It is hard for me to believe that I am still playing with paper dolls after all these years. I was so captivated with my dolls as a child that when my family went on vacation, I would cry and carry on if they didn’t allow me to bring along my paper doll collection. We used to call them cut-outs back then. (I know, I was a brat) That collection consisted of a huge, and I mean huge box just filled with cutouts.

I’d make complete plays and movies using those dolls. My imagination just soared. Back then, it was easy to appease a child with a simple package of paper dolls. Now, children must have ITunes, IPhones, Laptops and the list goes on. Do all these new technological wonders dwarf creativity? I'm not sure. Maybe there is a new kind of creativity going on.


“Jump off Cliffs and build your wings on the way down” is a quote from Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite writers. I love this idea. It seems like a grand way to live your life. If you never fear the outcome of your decisions it shows you have confidence that you will be able to creatively handle any situation. In other words, do it now and worry about the outcome later.

"Absolute moment"
Sold. Thank you Bridgette!

I don’t know who wrote “The moment of absolute certainty never arrives” but it is my favorite. I think maybe I wrote it? Unfortunately, the moment of absolute certainty in my life has come and gone many times. I really wish I could make snap judgments and know I did the right thing. I seem to analyze a situation to death before I can make any decision.

"Women are like buttons"

“Women are like buttons, they hold things together” Once again, I don’t know who first quoted this one but I like it a lot. How true it is too. Given any situation, I think it is the woman who compromises the most and by doing so, keeps things in motion. I don’t mean that the woman is giving too much either, just being wise.

"Fine line"

“Hey..hold on, I’m here too” So says “There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have crossed that line.” She didn’t get in the top picture because I finished her after the other 3. There really is a lot of truth to her statement, don’t you think? I know I have crossed that line in my artwork many, many times.

Hope you like the new paper art dolls. You can view them on Etsy by clicking the quotes.. They are each priced at $38. and worth it! I hand sculpt each and every one of those tiny faces.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010




Fres-go Collage Box

She led a charmed life. All of her needs were met. All of her desires were filled. But..she was lonely. Her days were spent in questioning her stagnant existence. She felt as though there was something inside of her waiting to burst out. But how could she ignite that spark. That fire..

She grew older. Time was good to her and there were no lines on her face. In her old age, she knew that she had escaped feeling. She had not loved or been loved and she finally knew that the flame within her was love..flickering..waiting to be freed. Knowing this, she unlocked the door to her heart and love emerged to show the way..

I wrote this story years ago and it appears in my book, "She Who Whispers." Is it possible to fall in love in your old age? I have known people who have been smitten in their 70's. I think we are all capable of love, it is a matter of allowing it to happen.

Another angle of box

Inside of box

I created Autumn Bloom by using a very stury box, not a cigar box, but a box with a wonderful dovetail finish. This box has manufacturer dates and details stamped into the bottom. I’ll have to get a magnifying glass to be able to read the small print but it said it was made in Pennsylvania. I love knowing how old the various items I use for my artwork are. Sometimes I try to imagine what kind of life the item had. Where was it used? How was it used? Who did it belong to? Where did that tiny nick come from? I used small purchased tiles along with one that I hand made in my “fres-go” style. Click here if you’d like to read about the process. I grouted the tile and finished the interior with upholstery fabric.

Glass tile

Click here to view Autumn Bloom at my Etsy store.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010




Queen Ann's Lace Face Box

Sometimes I have a longing to be feminine. When I think of femininity, I see flowing gowns, rings, flowers, song and lace. Lace always comes to mind. There was a time when I felt feminine, but being an artist and working in my studio for so many years has pretty much diminished that thought. How can I keep my nails looking lovely when they are immersed in clay and paints continually? Then there is the garden. How can I keep my toenails painted and groomed when they are constantly trudging through dirt and weeds? But, once in awhile I can still dream.

Perhaps that is just what I was doing when I created this first in what may be a new series. I am not sure what I will call them yet but Lace Face keeps coming to mind, although that is a bit offbeat don't you think?

Face Box

The process of a new creation is rather mysterious. I started this piece, thinking she would be a book cover but somehow, my lace face wanted to become the cover for a box. Maybe the next one will become the book cover.

I wanted the lace to appear behind the face so I used organza digital sheets and printed one of my original acrylic faces on it. I then placed a vintage lace doily under the image and sewed the top with gold metallic thread.

Face being sewn

I was a bit disappointed when I finished sewing and placing the piece on the box because the doily background does not show up the way I had planned. It still looks textured though.

Another close-up of face being sewn. Here you can see doily behind organza

Inside of box

I added more lace and finished it with encaustic wax. I completely redid the inside of the box to match. All in all, I like the end result but will have to experiment a bit more before I'm completely satisfied.

I named her Queen Ann's Lace, from my book "She Who Whispers."

Queen Ann's Lace

She is inspired by angels. They whisper to her of another day. A day when she had roses and tea for a long days reverie..crystal and lace, heirloom flacons and a porcelin smile….

Her pale beauty shows an ambience of that of a romantic visionary..Of one who is celebrating purity on the highest a way only she chooses to remember…

I have just listed "Queen Ann's Lace" on my Etsy shop. "She Who Whispers" may also be purchased there.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010



Studio, kitchen, garden

At last! The birthday aprons are finished

Sewing was commonplace to me decades ago when my children were young. I made dresses for the girls and matching pants for the boys. I used to sew neckties and give them as gifts till I thought the family would rebel If they received just one more tie. I sewed Vogue designer dresses for myself as well. It all started with the aprons though. The first project I learned at school, was how to make an apron. It’s funny, aprons went out of vogue and have now come back full circle. There is even a magazine named Apronology.

I saw several aprons in Apronology that really appealed to me so I checked out the various artists' work. When I saw Calamity Kim's submissions, I knew I was hooked and wanted to make some aprons. Kim is a seamstress and fiber artist. Her work is stellar. She is so inspiring. She shows you step by step how to make aprons on her wonderful blog.

Leaf I used on the aprons

We have a fall birthday bash each year and I decided to try to finish an apron for each of the birthday girls. I worked extremely hard in keeping them a secret. I had to be sure to lift them off of the floor, where I had to work on them, each time anyone came to the house. I wanted them to be a surprise.

I frantically sat at the machine day after day, embroidering and piecing together the flowers and leaves. I really wanted to use flowers from Woodloft garden, my home, but it was late in the season and most had died out because of the summer draught.

I must have used 4 spools of thread and many bobbins as well. The office, where I sew was strewn with thread that wrapped its way around my entire body at times. I am so glad I was able to take advantage of the beautiful sewing machine the kids got me for my birthday a few years back.

Kelli's finished apron

There was a lot of trial and error involved with the making of the aprons. I started with Kelli, my oldest daughter, and placed a piece of quilt backing to the digital image of her face only to find that it scrunched up completely when I sewed it. After that, I decided not to place anything behind the faces but to quilt only the flowers and butterfly. The whole time I was sewing, the girls on the quilts made all sorts of faces at me as I pulled and stretched them as they glided along under the needle.

Kirsten's finished apron

Nakisa's finished apron

I found some fantastic gloves that begged to be added to the aprons. They were all polka-dotty and flowery and matched perfectly.

The apron surprise was a success!

I'm really pleased with the results and I hope I have the fortitude to complete aprons for our entire family of gals, including one for myself!

Be sure to check out Calamity Kim's blog You'll be glad you made the visit.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010



Last of the Summer Green Bean Soup

I purchased green beans and potatoes from one of the farmers at the Roanoke City Market on Saturday to make my “last of the summer soup.” Normally I have an abundance of green beans of my own but the summer draught and my being away on my Great Britain tour for so long made for a poor summer crop. Fortunately, I did have plenty of chives left for my soup.

Fresh chives from my garden, potatoes and beans from the Farmer's Market

Our Little Supper Club decided to do a “Local Foods” party this month for the theme. All main ingredients were to be grown within a 50 mile radius. Our location was the beautiful Floyd County and the home of Jason and Mark.

Our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Driving up to Floyd, via the Blue Ridge Parkway is like floating in a cloud and landing at the top of the world. The leaves had just started to change and in about two weeks, they will be glistening in gold.

Old barn on property

When you do finally land down, you arrive at some of the most beautiful country in all of Virginia, if not all of the US.

Winding road to unknown wonders

There is picturesque scenery such as an old barn on the over 65 acres of property and a winding road that begs you to go round the curve to see what lies ahead. This is just a small part of the land.

Bonfire warms us in the crisp autumn air

A bonfire added to the ambiance of our country “Local Foods” party as well as tales of Floyd living. I giggled when I heard that there was a club just over the ridge with the name, “The Floyd County Coon Hunt Club.” I don’t know why that struck me so funny but for some reason it did. I guess I just can’t imagine anyone wanting to track down a Raccoon and chase him into a tree.

The food was very different this time with region specialties featured such as Venison Pie, Buffalo stew and Lamb gyros. I don't eat very much red meat so I was glad we also had garden pizzas, Squash soup, Apple dishes, beans in many varieties, including my Cream of Green Bean Soup. We always know if our food entry has reached the mark of perfection by what we have labeled as “The Stephanie eyeroll,” seen below. Stephanie is a real connoisseur of good food and we all await anxiously to see if we've made the mark. (Of course there are sound effects that accompany the eyeroll)

Stephanie's famous "eyeroll"

Both Wayne’s Caramel Cheesecake and my End of Summer Cream of Green Bean Soup, received the eyeroll this time around. Actually, come to think of it, I think I saw the "eyeroll" for several other dishes as well.

I thought you might like the recipe for my soup. The name sounds a bit strange, I know, but once you taste this soup which is chock full of garlic and chives, you will definitely become a believer. It takes almost no time at all to prepare. Enjoy!

Cheryl’s Last of the Summer Cream of Green Bean Soup

Serves about 16

1 lb green fresh garden green beans (I sometimes add more)
12 small or 6 large cloves of garlic (I sometimes add more)
8 cups chicken broth, homemade or bought
1 cup of chives
4 small white potatoes-cut into fourths
1/2 cup sour cream
2T lemon juice
S and P to taste


Cut green beans into 2” pieces and place in large soup cauldron with potatoes, stock, chives and garlic. Bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 30 minutes. Use food or hand processor to puree. Add sour cream and lemon juice. Garnish with chives and extra sour cream.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives

It is so simple to make and even though the sound of a green bean soup may not be appealing to you, believe me, this soup melts in your mouth and warms your entire autumn being.

Look at those wonderful chives and garlic

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