Most Determined Deco, Ever.

Most Determined Deco, Ever.

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So, once upon a time I played with a fun group af mailartists over at a site called {heart} ~ I haven't been there in a really really long time, and as far as I know it's not nearly as active as it used to be, blahblahblah, etc and so on.

Anyway here's the story: A pink & brown themed deco was travelling around Nervousness to be filled with art and then sent back to it's owner

(who was a friend of an Nness friend on another mailart site, or something)

- the gal before me on the list had an accident with it - whereby her toddler daughter snatched it off the desk and brought it to her in the shower = utter ruination! SO. She makes an entirely NEW pink and brown deco to make amends, does up her page inside and sends if off to me. I make my page:

And mail it on

May 29, 2007

from a postoffice here in Florida to my galpal Pequad in Pennsylvania. Pequad was so named for her love of Kewpie dolls, and I had added a supercute Pequad Fairy to the back of the envelope, and I was SO excited waiting for her to see it! Only ... she never saw it, cause a few weeks or so go by and we all start wondering:

"Hey, where's the deco?" "Hmmm I dunno, I mailed it on x-date, it should be there by now!" "I haven't got it yet." "Oh, craps - guess it's lost."

So now


sit down to make yet a THIRD deco for this poor poor chica who probably is thinking my Lord what was my friend thinking sending my deco off to these nitwits?" and I'm all boohoo 'cause Pequd's never gonna get to admire my lil tribute to her, and I'm just sure there's an evil mailman holed up somewhere with stacks and stacks of our long-lost artwork surrounding him in his bunker of madness, plotting his revenge on mailartists worldwide.

New deco is made, sent yet again to Pequad (though I don't think I bothered with the envelope trappings this go-round) and it was rec'd just fine and last I heard/kept up with the updates on the

original post

it was in Australia. So I don't know if that one ever even made it to dear Denise, the intended recipient.

Cut to, today

April 6, 2010

~ I see the mail on the counter & there's a yellow bubble mailer, I'm not expecting anything (hmmm?!) so I check it out and first thing I see is a big Return to Sender sticker, marked

"not deliverable as addressed - unable to forward"

- flip it over and PEQUAD FAIRY! hellloooo! I definitely remembered the envelope, if not what was inside it. I was WAY surprised when I read the original postmark date:

and doubly surprised when I see the recent post office cancellation stamp of March 23, 2010 - from HONOLULU, HAWAII! How d'ya get off track from Florida to Pennsylvania by way of Hawaii!? And why does it take 3 years!? It's a bit wrinkly and some of the Sharpie writing on the front has bled, though the address is still perfectly readable (and as far as I know - valid - it's where I sent my makeup version) so I really have no idea why it was marked undeliverable - but everything was intact! It's a mailroom miricle!

So, now I'm thinking I'm just gonna send it on to Denise myself, and let her decide it's fate at this point, yeah?

x0x, gem

Dollhouse Deco

"Where oh where did November go,

oh wherrrre oh where can it beeee?"

Welcome to "the Season", I guess.


. This will probably end up my only post for December, so ... anyway! On to whatcha came for:

Here's the most recent deco booklet I had the great fortune to work in - made by the wonderfully talented Arrow for Pequad, and currently making the rounds over at ... It's a beautifully crafted dollhouse themed deco and while I usually shy away from posting other people's work, I really wanted you to see the front cover of this deco (

I did ask the maker for permission first, of course


It's got great layers of textured and patterned paper, and there's real eyelet curtains in the windows! How cool is that?! The front doors open to reveal two sets of blank pages, for the artists to work on, which are also house shaped. The recipient for this deco, Pequad, uses a Kewpie doll image alot in her work, and it's also her icon/mascot on the Nness site, so that was my starting point for my page idea: I was going to make a Victorian inspired house and somehow incorporate little "pequad" dolls (

sidenote: I remember once she told a story about how she got her user name and it involved Kewpies and how her family calls them pequads - for some reason that I forget now. Anyway that always stuck with me and so whenever I see a Kewp I automatically think "pequad")

I took a sheet of patterened scrapbook cardstock weight paper that I thought looked wallpaper-y, and aged it a bit with an acrylic paint wash, then did the same thing with some scraps to make floor dividers:

I printed some vintage images of household furniture and items in greyscale - and in an effort to be unique I decided I was going to make my page interactive, so! I made little pockets on some of the furniture pieces: The chaise, chair, cushion, bathtub and even the hatbox in the attic all have little pockets to tuck the dolls into. Actually the seat area of the chair was too small for a full usable pocket so it has a strip across the front that will hold the doll in place. I made the pockets by printing a double quantity of images and once I had cut the item out I then used the second matching image to cut the pocket section from, and glued it down to the full piece, making sure to leave space for my dollies to fit into! And that brings us to:

I wanted this deco page to be very personal to the recipient, so - I actually have in my possession an old vinyl Kewpie doll that I took pics of (

I got it awhile back cause I planned to make something out of it, came in extra handy for some printed projects ...

) and I used those as my dolls. What you don't see here, because like a dolt I forGOT to take pictures of this! GRRR. - is that I made a backside image to the dolls as well, mmnhmmm, with their lil beehinds showin' - then I sandwiched them together with a length of ribbon in the middle that would later be attached to the page so you could put the dollies in the various pieces of furniture, but not lose the dolls. Cute, right?! I added wings that I painted with iridecent paint (

yep, those have backs too

), and then as a final touch I made each dolly a crown and a party hat - one to wear, one to keep up in the hat trunk in the attic.

Once I had all the pieces done, I glued the other end of the ribbons to the backside of the room page and added a top layer of text weight paper just to cover the ribbon ends - then glued the whole thing down to the blank page in the deco booklet. (

Waiting in between steps for all the glues to dry & cure, of course

!) I wanted this to be a special page and I feel really lucky that I got to start the deco off, so now all i hope is that she likes it and that all the little interactive bits hold up and work as I intended ...

and I know it looks a little weird with the doll's feet disappearing into the chaise, but it was the best I could do

! :D

Oh yeah! And after all that, know what's my favorite part of the deco? The last-minute addition of the framed family photo in the "Parlor" - it was originally going to be an old cross stitch sampler but luckily a more creative idea surfaced before I glued it down ...

Later, I got another project I gotta get back to, so maybe I'll have something new to post in a few days after all! Seeeeeeyuh!

~ gem ~

AFC Pink Inchies

Here's my first step for the process of a new project I am currently working on:

Pink Inchies

- created for a charity art auction for breast cancer awareness via Art For Cures, which is run by the super talented, ever-creative, fount of seemingly endless energy




) ...

I started with a 9x12 sheet of 140lb watercolor paper I prepped using my

salted watercolor BG technique

, using some metallic pan watercolor and a bit of red-pink tube color that I watered way down and used as a wash on parts of the front as well as the entire reverse of the paper, to give just a bit of color to the back of the pieces instead of leaving them white (

I don't feel a piece is really finished unless I've done something to the back as well, so most of my paperart work will usually be arted on both the front and back in some way


We're supposed to be using Ria's "collage 88" technique, in which you collage your entire work on one single 8.5x11 paper then cut it up into 88 inchies, and then add any embellishements or whatever. Which is actually the way I normally do a set of inchies anyway (

paint, collage, etc an entire BG sheet, then cut the squares, then add "extras")

I'm just using a larger sheet of paper, which should yield more inchies, right? Yeah well, we'll get to that later ... So I start collaging (

now remember the color theme of this project is shades of PINK, with some minor black, white or silver the only other colors allowed

) with pink shaded papers from my stash (

some KoolAid stained sheet music and papertowel bits, some tissue paper and pink mulberry scraps

) - and here's where I make a mistake right off the bat.

I end up almost completely covering my beautifully textured shimmery pink watercolor background! I shoulda (

coulda, woulda

) collaged on the BACKSIDE that had the plain pale pink, and let the pretty side be the reverse which would show nicely under the backplates but!

Oh well

, too late now, yeah? So I was kinda GRR'd about that for a bit but let's just move on ... Once I finished my collaging -

and yes that last picture is it, I didn't do a whole lot of collaging as far as the actual design, more just a buildup of the background

- I decided against any rubberstamping or doodling on the whole (

though I had originally planned to splatter paint a little bit at this point, to help tie all the collagy-ness together a bit better - but, well, I just forgot. Woops

.), so I went ahead and proceeding to the cutting them up stage:

And here's where mistake number two rears it's head. From a 9x12 sheet of paper I should get 108 individual inchies (

88 to send in for the swap, plus a nice batch of extras to provide the host some more material for the auction goods

) But for whatever reason, the last 2 strips or so do not come out to be a full inch wide. Did I make a mistake and cut a tenth of an inch too big on some earlier strips? Is the trimmer in need of a new (

whatever the little rubber cutty-strip piece is called? and the answer there is YES, it is. I think I have maybe one good edge left on it before it's totally shot

) Can I just not measure correctly? (

also a yes

.) So anyhow I'm left with approximately 94 inchies all told and not even all of those are compleeetley 1" square (grr.) so I just barely squeeked in my 88 pieces from that sheet. And here they are, remixed in no particular order:

So that takes care of step one - step two is the addition of my "goddesses" and any further embellishments and doodly funstuff. Which I need to get a move on with since these are due to Ria pretty much by week's end (!) And I'll post that process later ... maybe ...

~ gem ~


- Here are the finished inchies!