Thursday, April 30, 2009


Good day to all. Curb diving? Dumpster diving? Have you tried it? Here was my find yesterday, while walking the dogs. Tile samples and some beautiful expensive samples at that. I told my husband I wanted to do a fun mosaic in our little bathroom. He vetoed that. But long ago, he taught me to use the wet saw! Then I thought, maybe I will add this to the mosaic I am planning that runs up a tiny stairwell wall, of Lincoln photo's and then this tile. Some of this, I will incorporate into my mixed media work. And then a few pieces in the garden. To me, I hit the jackpot. To others it's just trash. It's all a matter of what you see. If you look closer, it's not all ceramic, use your geological brain cells and see what you can find!

Wishing you a blessed day.
Inspirational quote: "My painting is finished when I rejoin the first emotion that sparked it." --Matisse

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My newly married daughter, Blair, created yet another way to scrap pictures and use as decor. Sometimes it's hard to put your layouts in the scrapbook, there are so many memories that you want to share. This is a great idea that Blair composed and is now selling on her etsy shop.

Hope you see different ways to utilize your creativity.

Peaceful blessings to you.

Remember: Appreciate your specialness, believe in yourself, discover God's love.


I am a hopeless romantic, hopelessly in love with anything old, distressed, weathered, stained... My husband is well trained in turning around for tag sales and curb diving items that I love to alter. Lucky me.

This is a card I made for my friend, Carrie. It's her birthday today!{Happy birthday again, Carrie.}

And it's that time of year to commence the making of Mother's Day cards and a massive amount of May birthday cards. Here's the first one for my mom. And more to come. I am considering making tags this year for Mother's Day cards. Something different is always fun to receive.

Mother's Day and motherisms: Celebrating Mother's Day dates back to ancient Egyptians who held annual festivals to honor the goddess Isis (Mother of pharaohs.) Some motherisms you should know and probably use now:
If everyone jumps off a cliff would you do it?
Brush your teeth and wear clean underwear.
Do I look like an ATM?
M is for Mom, not for maid.
And yes, I will love you forever no matter what you do.

Monday, April 20, 2009


The other half of my name, Knies (pronounced like niece) is from marrying a wonderful man. Bill is not only a trained artist, but a natural one. He received his BFA with a specialization in painting. I call it the starving artist degree. Then back to graduate school two times, for degrees that pay the bills. In his spare time, he paints again {yea} and this time with acrylics. He loves oil, but it is a stink bomb in the little cottage we live in. Here are a few samples. This one is of our girls 6 years ago, walking on the Atlantic shore.

The clay sculpture of the hand. I received this for my Christmas present one year. {Neat, eh!}
This is The Reverend Alfred "Ted" Knies, Jr. Bill's father. He was called home a few years ago. A wonderful man, father, grandfather, and Episcopalian Minister. And of course, another sculpture of Lincoln, to add to our shrine.

There are many more, that I will share with you later. It's a blessing to be married to such a great guy. Off to walk the dogs. Thanks for visiting.
Art history trivia: In the late 1940's, acrylic paint was used as house paint. The drying time of acrylics is short. Oil paints take longer to dry. Artist who preferred a shorter drying time turned to acrylic painting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Why a nickname? I don't know. I believe my desire to create nicknames came from my dad. I'm just following the family tradition. Our oldest daughter, was simply "Baby." And then when the younger daughter was born, she called "Baby" "Doo." Don't ask what comes out of the words of babes. But the younger one, well she (running from the room as I write this) received "Skibby." My husband would tickle her belly with goofy words, and one was skib or something along those lines. I said, "Skibby!" And the rest is history.

Thanks for visiting.
Elaine's nickname trivia: Lainey and Ladnie


After 6 years in CT, I finally know the signs of Springs. {Coming from Texas, Spring is a blink into Summer}

Buds on my trees. And a clear blue sky. And not a coat on anyone!

Chives, not even shy, popping out! Ground covering of flowers that bloom overnight and last 3 weeks.
Handstands on grass, not snow.

Of course, checking out the damage the snow plow did to our annual mail box. Time to install a new one. When we first moved here, I was shocked to see my destroyed mailbox. Now, I think I am immune...I think... And the sweetest sign of Spring. Our younger daughter picking flowers, tying a pastel ribbon around them and dangling the bouquet on the glass door.

Spring time blessings to you.

A little trivia: The word Spring is dated before the 12th century, several means, but I like "to come into being."

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Spring Break! The week I dream about sitting in my studio, creating and then gardening. In reality, that never happens. But I did complete this lo because I fell in love with the picture of our younger daughter and our black lab sleeping. My husband rushed downstairs, grabbed the camera, ran back up and snapped this shot. Our other dog, the chocolate lab didn't even move, to join in on the fun. Thanks for looking. Off to play with the family.



Art history trivia: In 1888 Eastman markets the Kodak camera and roll film.

Monday, April 13, 2009


It's Spring Break, and Monday. After Donna introduced some more wonderful techniques, designs and ideas, here are my cards. My lss, Inspiration Station is a warm loving place. They even told me the new Graphic 45 paper is in. Got to love a store that knows your wants and needs! My 11 y.o. daughter went and had fun, but I believe the Easter chocolate detox hit about one hour after we started making cards. She is feeling better now. No chocolate today, even she doesn't want any(:

I thought I would work in the studio today, but it was so pretty outside,that we worked in the yard. If the weather holds out, this week will be studio and yard work, but I don't know which order!


Art history trivia: Pigments are colored powders used to make paint. During the Renaissance, pigments were not all cheap. Michelangelo used blue that was made from a rare gem, lapis lazuli, that was more expensive than gold. Michelangelo used that blue for the sky in his Last Judgement painting.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Here is a distressed card I made for my neighbor's birthday. Earlier, I mentioned how I distress with my Dremel tool now, and I will get back with the photos of how I use it later. For now, I wanted to post this and mention that for all the mistakes you make, you don't have to trash your work, you just work around it. Note the eyelets and ribbon, put on due to a rip {over excited Dremel user} It shows that you don't have to quit and give up ok. Just you use your imagination.
TFL {Thanks for looking}
Art history trivia: In 1912, artists experimented with collage. One was Picasso. But we might recognize our current style of collage as scrapping.

Happy Blessed Easter

Just wishing all my family and friends a very blessed Easter.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."


Saturday, April 11, 2009


Hi! I finished my G45 sketch challenge of my dog Sedona. We had her for 12.5 years and I still miss that sweet girl. My friend, Carrie, adopted a dog named Daisy,who's looks remind me of Sedona.
For this mixed media, I sewed the paper like a hem, used flowers, embellishments, old snap-ons from Laurie's grandmothers goodie box {thanks again Cracker} and odd assortments of flowers,chipboard, transparency pieces and of course ribbon and a major distress storm.
I change my distress technique and I need to do a demo for you next time. I use my Dremel, saves time and wear and tear on my hands, plus it is fun. I can't believe I didn't think of it until a few weeks ago, after using it to do some little drilling. Yes, little, otherwise, I "borrow" my husband's power tools.
Have a blessed Easter.
p.s. we now have a black lab, a chocolate lab, and one turtle
Art history trivia: Mark Twain marketed his patented scrapbook in 1872. They were described as self pasting. Can you believe this writer and scrapbooker made $50,000 off these scrapbooks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Lincoln. A word our entire family knows by heart. Why? My husband is a history buff. And A Lincoln is at the top of the list. I never knew history could be fun, until I married a history buff. And from there, Lincoln entered my art.

I attempted an up close on this photo, so you can see my work with batik on the banner and sentiment. And the fun stitching my now deceased sewing machine did. Down to the old grumpy machine. But soon, another machine to add to the studio, that makes some cool stitching.

Peaceful blessings.


Lincoln trivia: Major Rathbone and Clara Harris were guest in the Lincoln box when Lincoln was assassinated. Rathbone was seriously wounded and never recovered from the trauma of that evening. Rathbone and Harris were married the next year. Several years later, Rathbone murdered Clara and spent the rest of his life in an asylum.


Howdy from CT. It's such a gorgeous day. And to think, yesterday we had a dusting of snow. On to the fun stuff. My younger daughter loves to make paper for me. I've been using it in my work. This layout brings back such loving memories. Watching her run in the ocean, until she takes off flying. She laughed and screamed and I watched her soar for hours. She made the paper with stamps, ink, stencils, glimmer mist, you name it, she grabbed it from the studio and went to work. I love it. Kids don't think, they create and so naturally.

This, of course, is a major Elaine distress storm with winds of mixed media adhered to it. I love finding items and using them. Just too much fun. Still using Laurie's ribbon and buttons that she passed on to me. {thank you again and again}
Close up of buttons and tiles, with a back ground of homemade papers.

More wonderful paper and the brad Courtney made. Even distressed that pretty brad. The distress ink went wild.

...The picture corner uses lace, buttons, thread, homemade paper, Courtney's brads, odds and ends. And of course a photo of my baby girl, who has grown so much over the years. And that is the end of yesterdays distressed mixed media storm.

Peace to all.


Art history trivia: Samuel Langhorne Clemens was an avid scrapbooker. Sunday was his scrapping day. Yes, that is Mark Twain.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lennon and Gourds

My dearest pal, Laurie made this for me. What a great birthday present. She's the best. {Thanks again, Cracker.} Isn't it beyond words. It's a mixed media of acrylic paintings. You can see more of her wonderful work here:

For some gourd decor, Aunt Sue sent my younger daughter a wonderful gourd bunny for Easter, it lights up, has a big pink tail and a floppy ear. Bet Courtney will be happy to see a floppy ear. Thanks Sue.

Off to the studio, to work with that Graphic 45 paper. Hope my friend Lisa, framed hers and is using the rest for scrapping.

Remember, never never never give up! {Winston Churchill}

Art history trivia: Around the 17th century people wrote poems, drew pictures, wrote about hobbies, pasted news articles in a Common form book. Many decorated the book with wall paper. Along the way it grew in different forms. Sound familiar? Scrapbooking!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Courtney's brads

My friend Courtney made these wonderful brads. I can't wait to show you how I used them. Tomorrow, ok. I had to order these, beach girl that I am. Thanks Courtney! I love them.
Art history trivia. Did you know that while he was alive, Van Gogh sold only one painting for $50.00.

Talk about inspiration...

Hello! We had a wonderful time at the Inspiration Station in CT. Debbie and Donna returned from a weekend trip discovering new products and techniques. Donna demonstrated techniques from the Tim Holtz class she attended. Here are the ones I made.

This is an alcohol ink mixed with three colors, then stamped. All cards were hit with my distress storm, can't live without inking the sides. Makes it so complete.
Alcohol ink with stamp and embellishments. I love the colors, so spring like.

Grunge board flowers, from die cut. I learned that you can't use Nestabilities with the grunge board. Apparently it is not thick enough to cut the grunge. But all the other cuts work with the grunge.

Another alcohol ink card, mixed with stamping and embellishments. That rectangle is a small domino, coated with alcohol ink and then some bling on it. The paper clip was found at Staple. Donna hit the jackpot with embellishments.

Of course, it would not be a trip to the lss if I did not buy some Graphic 45 paper. I love that paper, it's so beautiful, I have to buy two, so I can frame one! I am hooked on it.



Art history trivia: Leonardo da Vinci drawing, Vitruvian Man, was inspired by Vitruvius, an ancient Rome architect. This architect wrote that a man's body, with arms outstretched, could be inscribed in both a circle and a square.

Friday, April 3, 2009

KISS Challenge

Hello, back with another sketch challenge. This one is called KISS sketch challenge. Keep it simple scrapper = KISS.

Here are two KISS sketch cards I did. I embossed the background, adhered embellishments, and used a sentiment stamp. It is simple, clean and fun to do. Can't wait to see what you posted.

Art history trivia. Did you know that both Leondaro da Vinci and Michelangelo, were both Renaissance artist, lived at the same time, were rivals and left handed?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And we are off...

It's April 1st and the blog is up and running, no joke! Now back to the studio and to my ever growing to do list, that my brain keeps making up. Many swaps, challenges, cards, layouts and submission float in those brain cells. Thank goodness we hoard sketch books in this house.

I'm working from old family photos I picked up in Texas last summer. I sort through a stash of photos and go to work.

The first is The Aunt. Mixed media. I used the almost dead sewing machine, and it still did a few stitches for me. The zig zags are zig break zag, great for mixed media, eh! Used stencil and Glimmer Mist for the background. And lots of paper flowers. Wonderful to see flowers, especially while I made this, it was snowing outside.

And Aunt SFK 55 Style. I just love Graphic 45 papers dearly. It's beautiful. I want to frame it. My dear friend Cracker, (thanks again) sent me the vintage lace, ok, a bag of lace, ribbon and bias, that I am still drooling over.
I'll post the third one soon. It is prepped and awaiting my ink stained hands.