Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Photo Fusion is the term I use for combining photographs with mixed media. For those of us who love art but can't draw to save our soul (c'mon, raise your hand with me!), it's the perfect way to satisfy those creative yearnings. Don't you just love going to the art store?  To me it's like going into a candy store...but healthier! I may not spend a lot on clothes, and I eat pretty simply, but I absolutely CANNOT resist indulging my appetite for art supplies. I love looking at the different materials and thinking about ways to work them into my photography. So that's what I do, and then I figure out how to share my ideas with you through books, articles, kits and workshops ...and soon, video workshops. That's next for 2010!

Here's an example of a mixed media work in progress I've been working on with my gifted artist friend Amadea Bailey . It started with a photo I took of her in her studio and evolved into a multi-paneled piece that now stands five feet tall. We used Bonny Lhotka 's process of transferring via Purell hand sanitizer. Bonny is a wizard...well, an alchemist really...mixing a little of this and a little of that to enable us to print our images on uncommon surfaces like very heavy watercolor paper, wood, metal, and even glass.  She co-authored one of my favorite how-to books, "Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials," and I'm just putting the finishing touches on an article I wrote about her, soon to be published in "AfterCapture Magazine." Will let you know when it comes out.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I'm very excited to announce that I've launched my Photo Encaustic Kit! What exactly IS photo encaustic, you may ask? Well, encaustic is a beeswax-based medium; wax layers are fused with heat to bond them together. Photo encaustic describes a photographic image fused with hot wax. There are lots of effects possible depending on how you apply the wax, but no matter which method you choose, the wax imparts an alluring luminosity which enriches the photograph.

You may have noticed that there's a Renaissance under foot in the world of photography insofar as mixed media explorations, and photo encaustic is part of that Renaissance. While you may not be able to draw or paint, with photo in hand you can enter the exciting world of mixed media...incorporating wax, pigment, and a wide variety of collage elements and a new lexicon of techniques such as incising, distressing, and transfering.

If you've been curious about photo encaustic but not curious enough to invest in all the materials and supplies that seem to be required, this is the kit for you! It provides an introduction to three simple and pretty much foolproof photo encaustic processes -- dipping, pouring, and brushing -- and includes detailed instructions, materials, and supplies for doing so. Secondary processes of incising, transferring, and layering are also covered.

Just a heads up: The kit does NOT include heating elements...but you may even have them already...an electric skillet, Crock-Pot, or warming tray, and a heat gun (something almost every crafter has on hand).

Click here for more information, examples, and/or to order. (The instruction guide is also available separately...just click on "Kits" in the menu and you'll see it.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My New Best Friend!

It’s called guerilla marketing: When you don’t have a big marketing budget, you use your time, energy and imagination to promote your products and services. So when I heard that Martha Stewart was going to be in L.A. to sign her latest book at Sur La Table, I immediately placed my order for the book (and accompanying complimentary ticket) and showed up in line yesterday armed with a custom Auratone necklace and thank-you note that I’d made especially for her. Both featured a great image of her beautiful cat, “Uncle Vanya,” that I’d downloaded from her website.

There was, of course, a method to my madness: The note card not only thanked her but had my contact information on the back.

Martha looked beautiful…radiant even. And she was extremely gracious…signs were prominent saying, “No posed photos,” but there she was posing sweetly at every request with one devotee after another, even reaching for a baby to hold on her lap for one mom’s very special photo op. I can’t believe I didn’t bring a camera!

As I got closer to the front of the line, my inner alarm went off when I noticed that the table she sat behind was pristine save for a glass of water…doubtful she’d appreciate cluttering it up with this and that, even a gift (er, shameless albeit beautiful piece of self-promotion). Once I stood before her, though, I decided to just go for it. After she had signed my book, I told her it was so nice to meet her, and that I had made a thank-you gift for her, placing the notecard and necklace in front of her. Her face lit up (I swear it did!) and she exclaimed, “Oh, look…it’s Uncle Vanya, he was one of my favorite cats!” and turned to show her assistants. (Thankfully she didn’t burst into tears at the memory of him…I didn’t know he was no longer with us!!)

Then she asked if I had also made the necklaces I was wearing (hanging strategically at her seated eye level), and of course I had, and then I blurted out that I would love to be on her show to demonstrate the Auratone process, and the friendly woman who had stood in line behind me said she’d tune in, and then we were all smiling and talking at once. Finally Martha gave me a very sincere thank-you, nodded (I like to think meaningfully, as in, “This is something I definitely want to look into!”) at her assistant and asked her to keep everything together in the envelope. Then her assistant asked me if that was my business card also in the envelope, which indeed it was, and the next thing I knew Martha was telling the people behind me about what I had made as I floated out of there on a cloud of optimism.

All this took place in less than a minute, but it was everything I had hoped for. Who knows where it will lead…I followed my instincts and am glad I did what I did, and now it’s in the hands of the gods!

Keep you posted!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Okay, I'm slowly working my way through this social networking maze...I'm on Facebook tho I'm not sure what I'm doing there. But if you're on Facebook, I'll be your friend...just say the word. Always interested in comments and suggestions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Auratone Jewelry

Sometimes you're just tootling along and suddenly the road curves and there you go, off in a completely unexpected direction. I discovered that Auratones make beautiful jewelry...very reminiscent of vintage keepsakes...another one of those things that just seems so natural it's hard to believe it didn't exist before. So now I've entered the incredibly tantalizing world of craft jewelry...OMG, the possibilities seem endless, and there's just not enough time in the day. Anyway, here are a few designs I came up with...many more on the way. And of course being the queen of DIY kits, I've added Auratone Jewelry Kits to My Shop.