Ms. Ruin's Playthings

"The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates." -Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What a hoot!



I will have all of the details on these FABULOUS owls I worked on over the weekend in a day or two.  Life is a crazy whirlwind right now but I wanted to give you a sneak peek.  Don't forget that you can also follow my work on Pinterest and on Facebook.  Talk real soon!  

Peace, love, and hoots!

Monday, January 28, 2013


My very latest "completed" Design Team Project is a decorated Maya Road linen heart.  We were each asked to embellish the heart with our own "style".  The goal is to describe who we are and what we like to use in our day to day projects.  Of course this was a no-brainer for me.  I used some of my all time favorite products from Maya Road, Tim Holtz, Ranger, and Prima (product list at end of post).  But we'll get into that in just a sec.

So why "Uncaged"?  Well, it's simple.  I have always been a creative person.  I can thank my very talented mother for this.  She can draw.  I cannot.  But I did inherit other artistic traits from her.  Thanks, mamacita!  Back to "uncaged"...well, as most of you know I was in a marriage many years ago that was riddled with domestic abuse.  I was not allowed to create anything, to keep journals, to write poetry...nothing.  This is devastating to someone like me who needs to express herself with words, with art!  I can remember keeping a spiral notebook hidden in the back panel of my nightstand.  On the nights that were the most traumatic, I would pull it out after he was asleep and I would write in the dark.  I couldn't see lines, but so long as I could feel the paper, well, that was enough for me.  That notebook was my only friend for several years.  When I visited the notebook, I was free!  But any other time, I was a prisoner.  ::exhale::  But that is over now!  And guess what?  I can create whatever the heck I want too!  Try and stop me.  I use a lot of birds in my work because I wanted so badly to be like a bird.  I wanted the courage to fly away, to escape, to break the confines of my cage.  Although that time of my life is now over, I still can't fly.  Well, at least not physically.  But every other part of me has the freedom to soar!  

"Most birds were created to fly.  Being grounded for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around.  You were created to be loved.  So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around.  Living unloved is like clipping a bird's wings and removing its ability to fly.  A bird is defined not by being grounded but by his ability to fly.  Remember this, humans are defined not by their limitations, but by the intentions I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image.  Love is not the limitation; love is the flying.  I am love."  -William P. Young, The Shack

Alright --are you ready to see the entire project?!  Here we goooooooo...

Lets work from the bottom up...this wooden cage is by Maya Road.  I dabbed it with gold adirondack paint by Ranger.  Then I journaled the word "uncaged" on a piece of scrapbook paper and adhered it to the cage.  I decided to add a pink flower to soften the idea.  The wing is also by Maya Road and it is actually acrylic!  I lathered one side of the wing with glossy accents, also by Ranger, and then adhered it directly onto vintage music paper.  Once it was dry I simply tore away the excess paper.  This was easy to do as the paper was very old and brittle.  If you are using newer paper you may need to use scissors.  

I have been playing with polymer clay lately.  I'm new to the clay world but I can only imagine possibilities!  I was looking for a bird mold but didn't have any luck in that department.  But hey, craft people are resourceful so instead I pressed a Maya Road wooden bird into to the clay and used it as a stencil.  I popped him in the oven for 15 minutes --I guess you can say I had a bird in the oven.  ;)  Anyway, once he was cooled off I dabbed him with various alcohol inks.  I don't recall which ones I used, I tried about 4 different shades and finally got this pretty iridescent look.  I definitely used Raisin and Gold but after that I don't recall.  If you decide to use alcohol ink on clay and you don't have an extra piece of clay but don't want to commit to a color --ink the backside of your project for testing purposes.  ;)  My last steps were stamping the word "soar" and outlining my little fella with a black pen.  Oh!  Quick note about the "soar" stamp.  That word, plus the ones I used on the heart are from a new art journaling stamp set by Maya Road.  GET.THESE.STAMPS.  I promise, you will love them and you will use them often.     

Another medium I LOVE to use is cardboard.  And it's free!  In this piece I cut out a heart from corrugated cardboard and then painted here and there with Mahogony Crackle Paint by Ranger.  The keyhole is from the Idea-ology line by Tim Holtz.  I also used alcohol inks on it.  The crown is chipboard by Maya Road, painted with Gold Adirondack Paint by Ranger.

So there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed my project.  I am shipping it off to The Crafty Scrapper today.  I almost can't wait to get it back so that I can hang it in my studio.  In my next blog post owl feature a couple of fellas that are quite the hoot!  You'll have to come back and meet my new friends.  ;)  I will leave you now with the product list for this project.  Peace, love, and taking flight!

Product List (Click image at beginning of post to see large view of most products used):
  • Maya Road Linen Heart
  • Prima Paper Flowers (the best!!!)
  • Maya Road Wooden Bird
  • Black Sculpey Polymer Clay
  • Maya Road Chipboard Crown
  • Maya Road Art Journaling Stamp Set (LOVE!!!!)
  • Ranger Distress Crackle Paint
  • Maya Road Acrylic Wing
  • Maya Road Wooden Birdcage 
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Keyhole
  • Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks
  • Ranger Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Gold
  • Vintage Piano Music Sheets

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Have I mentioned how much I love to photograph women?  ::big smile::

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lovely Giveaway!

Remember this project?  Remember my question --how do yo interpret this canvas?  Answer that question and you automatically qualify to win the "Lovely Kit" by Authentique.  Go to The Crafty Scrapper blog and leave your comment.  The drawing is THIS Friday, January 25, 2013!  These are a couple of my favorite comments so far:

Here is a preview of the kit --again, just leave a comment here telling the folks at The Crafty Scrapper how you interpret my canvas and you are entered to win.

Well...GO NOW!  :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How much do I love thee?

Valentine's Day --overpriced dinners, overpriced chocolates, overpriced flowers, overpriced champagne...what's not to love about it?!  I think the best part of VD is making actual Valentine's Day cards and gifts for friends/loved ones.  As you know by now, I like to explore my emotions and pour them into my work.  So when I received a box of goodies from The Crafty Scrapper for my next Design Team project, I knew exactly what I wanted to convey. 

You see, love is a beautiful and a torturous thing.  It's simple, it's complicated, it's raw, it's tender, it's magical, it stings, it heals and it wounds.  Love is a whole lot of things.  Ultimately, we are all love, aren't we?  But what about the love for another human being?  Does it get anymore scary and complex and exhilarating than that?  Some days you feel like you have conquered and on others you are downright defeated.  I like to linger in between, loving fiercely, never missing an opportunity to tell someone how they impact me whether it's good or bad --although the bad isn't typically well received.  They say that some things are better left unsaid.  I tried that for a while but this girl wears her heart on her sleeve! 

"Shaken by the violence to exist only for you..."  That's my message in my latest Design Team project.  It was inspired by one of my favorite artists but I won't mention who because then you will figure this whole thing out and that's no fun.  It's my belief that there is no one right answer to deciphering art.  It's all perspective.  I want you to see what you want to see, I want your heart to feel what it feels without hesitation.  A lot of times I will just spell things out for people and tell them exactly what I was trying to accomplish in my project while leaving little to virtually no room at all for them to further dissect it.  But here we are "shaken by the violence to exist only for you..."  Could it be that someone is so tortured in loving someone else, that they are kicking and screaming and fighting the good fight to hold on to something unhealthy, something beautiful, something traumatic, yet something that completes them?  Or does it make a statement about loving someone so deeply --"look at me, I would rip my heart out for you and bleed for you and die for you...because I love you THAT much!" is what you want it to be.  What it means to me is a secret.  Shhhhh.  I'll just leave you guessing.  So here is my 6x6 canvas...on display now at The Crafty Scrapper in Waxahachie, Texas!

I wrapped the entire canvas in "Composer" tissue wrap.  I really wish I had grunged it up with distress inks and crackle before piecing it all together, but I didn't think about that till it was all done.  It was just "too white" for my liking. 

About this lovely heart, which I consider to be the focal point of the canvas:  I used a scalloped heart shaped tin by Maya Road and pressed red polymer clay into it.  I then popped it in the oven and baked it for about 15 minutes.  The very first photo at the start of this post illustrates what the tin and the heart looks like just out of the oven.  I then used alcohol ink to give it that deep blood red look.  I think I used the color Raisin which is actually more of a purple tone.  My next step was taking wire that I found in my husband's tool box and I just wrapped it around the heart with no rhyme or reason.  Then I added the wind-up piece which is from the Ideaology line.  I had to rig it a little with a tootpick because the anchor wasn't long enough to fit all the way through the heart.  But I was determined to make it work! 

About the doll:  The doll is by the lovely Lisa Pace.  I just adore her and she is always so encouraging with me.  She made a lot of doll pieces and they are all white.  Again I used alcohol inks...Butterscotch and Gold, primarily.  Then I cut the heart off of a Maya Road pin and glued it to the doll.  Then I let Raisin alcohol ink drip directly over the heart. 

::exhale::  What a powerful piece.  This heart alone is a piece of art.  Just look at all of the symbolism.  Wind me up, imprison me, break my heart, prisoner of your many ways to interpret.  How do you interpret this piece??

The first question out of everyone's mouth was "How did you transfer your photo onto the canvas?"  Well, I didn't.  I printed my photo on a piece of vellum paper.  I then used a thin layer of Diamond Glaze to adhere it right onto the tissue.  I actually mounted the tissue on cardstock AND THEN adhered the vellum to it and then I stuck in the fattest book I could find and maybe I also stood on top of the book.  I wanted the tightest seal possible.  It worked out pretty awesome!

I hope you enjoyed this piece --I have already started working on the next one in my head!  Eeeeeeek!  So much fun. 

Peace, love, and art for the heart!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


This song played in a loop --over and over again in my studio today. 

It kills me not to know this but I've all but just forgotten
What the color of her eyes were and her scars or how she got them
As the telling signs of age rain down a single tear is dropping
Through the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten

There is no reconciliation that will put me in my place
And there is no time like the present to drink these draining seconds
But seldom do these words ring true when I'm constantly failing you

Like walls that we just can't break through until we disappear

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know

That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer for the questions that you still have

But the day pressed on like crushing weights
For no man does it ever wait
Like memories of dying days
That deafen us like hurricanes
Bathed in flames we held the brand
Uncurled the fingers in your hand
Pressed into the flesh like sand
Now do you understand?

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know
That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer for the questions that you still have

1000 miles away
There's nothing left to say
But so much left that I don't know
We never had a choice

This world is too much noise
It takes me under
It takes me under once again

I don't hate you
I don't hate you, no

So tell me now
If this ain't love then how do we get out?
Because I don't know
That's when she said I don't hate you boy
I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
That's when I told her I love you girl
But I'm not the answer for the questions that you still have

I don't hate you
I don't hate you, no