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Preview: Living and Creating with Melissa Merrill

Living and Creating with Melissa Merrill

Updated: 2018-03-05T08:27:15.223-08:00


The weekend is here...


I'm sure like most of you the weekdays take up your time with a job. Not much time for creating. So when the weekend gets here you want to get to that creative outlet. That is me, at least this weekend. I have my manila tags all ready.
I'm looking forward to working with my Tim Holtz collection of stamps. I have had them for some time, though haven't cracked them out for a while now.

It is still actually summer and the weather is nice and sunny. So I will be using some of my general stamps.

Though I also have the lovely birds and butterflies that will more than likely make their way onto some of the tags this weekend.

Stay tuned for pictures of what I create. Have a great weekend everyone.

Reenergized and reorganized


This last weekend was a refreshing, reenergizing step to get back into my creative side. I organized a lot of my Ranger/Tim Holtz products.
I had some unused shelves I put up and now all of my paint Dabbers, distress ink pads, Distress Stickes.

Adirondack Ink and Distress Re-inkers. Can never have enough.

A bit more organized, labeled all of my Distress Ink pads. Yes I have a large number of them.
Looking forward to get into using my many Tim Holtz collection, like these for Halloween. With these hot summer days, looking forward to Autumn and the chill in the air and everything that comes with it.
Come back often, as there will be more to share. The creativity is just getting started.

Journals - using Grunge Paper


I have been creating like crazy these past couple months. I use note books and journals for so many different reasons; daily to do lists, idea journal, journal of quotes and so on. I started creating my own. These are some of the ones that I use. I am now giving you a chance to order: build your own journal, in five easy steps. You make the selections and I will create your one of a kind journal just for you.For each journal I use 80 lb paper, great for everyday journaling, sketching, drawing and so on. This paper is hand torn and the journal will have a total of 180 pages. The cover is made using grunge paper; a durable compressed flexible sheet of material. I have been told by past customers that it feels like leather. It will be ink stained with the color of your choice. The journal will have velcro closure and accents with Idea-Ology staples from Tim Holtz. The staples are hammered flat so no worry of things getting snagged on them. Contact me for a pricing list. If you're ready to get started building your own journal send me an e-mail with the answers to the 5 questions below and I will send you an invoice through PayPal for your order. Though if you have other questions prior to ordering, leave a comment here or send me an e-mail. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Let's get to building.1) Choose your journal size: Mini - 3" x 2", Small - 4" x 3", or Medium - 5" x 4". 2) Choose your journal color: Select one of the stain colors from the photo below.3) Choose your spind binding: Select one of the binding stitches from the photos below. 4) Choose your thread color(s): Select one of the colors from the photo below, unless you choose the Barber pole binding select two colors. 5) Choose your Staple accent: Select from criss cross, 1st photo, or zig zag, 2nd photo.Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to working with you to create your one of a kind journal. One of these journals could be yours. Happy Journaling![...]



This week work, my day job, has been crazy. My creative side needs some attention. So maybe this weekend I will have some time. Hoping!!
Though I have been pondering this:

Do you think things happen for a reason? Even though you might not understand or agree with what is happening at the time.

My Configuration….


Woohoo, it’s finished, for now. All the parts and pieces came together. It feels great when a project you’ve wanted to get finished for the last month or so finally gets done. And now I can enjoy the finished product, ok so who's project is actually ever really finished. I may add a bit here and there later on. Sharing it with you all, my blog readers. I started by taking some old ledger pages from a book and tearing them into strips. Which I then distressed with many of my Tim Holtz ink pads. I used different rubber stamps to add some interest and whimsy. I then took these pieces of paper and glued them to the outside of the lid. I just couldn’t part with all that Tim Holtz paper for the outside. Though I used many different pieces of his Lost and Found papers on the inside, to collage the boxes.The clear plastic cover has a little glare on it. So here are some closer shots without the cover. I have a large stash of these frozen charlotte dolls that I was able to find just the right sized to include in my collage.The stamped metal in the middle reads "roses do not have to be red". I am more partial to yellow myself. To give the metal a little distress/aged look. I took one of the fillable pens of black alcohol inks and scribbled in the letterings. Took a bit of blending solution and lightly dabbed the black off the flat part of the metal. Used a bit of sand paper to dull some of the metal and tahdah. Between some Luv and Happy. Same thing for this "look in to the future" metal piece. I had to add a crystal, but how. Well this one has a hole at the top. So I took some wire and looped it through the hole and bent the wire to a 90 degree angle. Flipped the box upside down to glue the wire to the top of the box. So that my crystal would dangle and move. As you try and look in to the future. For the outside I added a bit of tissue tape to four old thread spools. Then glued them to the bottom for the collage feet. I hope you enjoy the many photos. If so please leave a comment and let me know what you like. I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Or follow my blog, as I will continue to bring even more creative creations through out the year. [...]

Alcohol Inks light up


Hello readers. I worked on creating this soldered chandelier a while back. But it was just recently that I revamped the bling dangling from it.
I had purchased these little glass charm bottles in different shapes a while back as well. Sitting around one day my light bulb went on.
Alcohol Inks would work great on these glass charms to color.
I then figured I’d have enough that I could hang them from the different loops on my chandelier. It creates a great ambiance hanging in the corner of my living room.


It makes me

Just a little something I thought I would share. While I'm working on finishing up some other projects on my plate.

Have a Nice Day.

Frozen Charlotte dolls and heads


I was fortunate to come across a great lot of these dolls and the heads.

(image) (image)
These are a great piece to use in any of your 3D collages that you might do. Or in my case jewelry I might create. I made this lovely bottled angel doll using one of the charlotte doll heads.
Though what if you have a flat canvas or board that you want to add one of these charlotte heads to. Well, that came to my mind. So I thought about it and…. Resin or Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. I have created several molds of these doll heads using Knead a Mold. I let the molds set up. Then mixed the two part resin together and poured into a mold. Making sure it stays level for the resin to harden with a flat back. So I set it aside and it’s usually a couple days later that I come back to it. Pop it out of its mold. I get this clear doll head with a flat back.
Just right for gluing to a creative block or such. Though what fun is a clear faced and haired doll head. Thinking this further, I pulled out my stash of Alcohol Inks from Tim Holtz Adirondack line. Using the new fill able pens, I colored the dolls. Here are just a couple examples of the first ones that I had done.
On the back I colored one with a solid silver color. The other I left alone. The sky is the limit with these dolls.


I am working on a couple creations using these dolls. So stay tuned to see that I do with them.

Happy Birthday Sister


You are gone but not forgotten. You are a part of why I bring out my creative side, life is short. You have to find time to do the things you love to do. It is an interesting fact I found out earlier this week. Yours is a special day that you share with Tim Holtz. Happy Birthday to you both.
Ok, in my life I have come to a realization things happen for a reason. Even the things you so badly didn’t want to happen. It’s not until many years later that I realized the path my life was taking, was leading me to where I am today. Right where I should be. I’m sure everyone has those “what if” thoughts and moments in their life.

Even in my creating, I have done a lot of over thinking in the past. That “what if” I use these colors or put this paper there or use this stamp on that. There is some thought to what you’re creating. Though now in my creating I stand in front of my supplies in my studio and ask myself “what do I want to work with today?” Pull those supplies or tools out on my table and start at it. As far as what goes where, I don’t know until I come to it and put it down somewhere. I already over think too much stuff in my life. When I create I want to get away from that side of my brain. That is what I want to continue to work on for this year. So my What if is going out the window. Just do it, is knocking at my door.
I am sharing some of my newest creations that I've worked on. Tag size #8 is the perfect size to work on. You can create back grounds on these to then combine into signatures for a journal book, for a great size to carry around with you. Putting those thoughts and ideas down on paper when they come to you. I also like these tags for when I am done I scan them into my computer. Print them off in small picture form. To put between two pieces of glass and solder to finish it off. Now I have a mini master piece I can carry around with me and share with people. I will share some photos of my pendants that I create from these creations.
Stickles are great. Before stickles I steered clear of glitter. this tag I used Diamond stickles to bling out the blue rays at the top.
Now on to starting my configuration. It has been sitting on my shelf for the last couple weeks. Though I have been gathering my ephemera and such to go inside.
I'll leave you with this thought.
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love.

12 days of Christmas Tree



So are you surprised. Two posts in one day. I worked on getting my ornaments on to my tree. It is a metal tree that I have hanging on my main door. No need for floor or table space. It's great when you don't have much of that to spare.
So enjoy the photo I took of all the fabulous ornaments. I would like to thank all the great artists who came together for this Ornament swap. I had lots of fun creating my ornament. And the anticipation of opening each ornament once they are received was well worth it.
Now getting to enjoy the holiday spirit every time I look at my ornament tree.
Happy Holidays to all!

12 days of Christmas Ornament



Hello there,
I know it has been a Looonnnnnnggggg time since blogging. My day job along with other activities have kept me busy. Though I thought I would share with you the ornament I made as part of an ornament swap I was in. I chose Four Calling Birds



Coming back to my real world after being away at Art and Soul this quote a co-worker forwarded to me is a great one.
"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
Don't count your years, make your years count.

Faces are being drawn



Enjoying my time learning to draw faces and create while at Art and Soul in Misty Mawns class.


A summer time project


I have been here and around over this summer time. One of my many big projects I worked on tackling is the new flooring that I put down through out most of my house. I'm standing in my kitchen and the flooring is in the kitchen the dining area, hall ways, bathroom, studio, and laundry room.
The far room is my studio, it gets great natural light. Still a work in progress.

(image) Can you see what pattern the flooring is? Well here are a few hints.

(image) (image) Do you see a pattern.
(image) So here is a close up of my new vinyl flooring. Leaves!


There is a story behind this flooring. When I first moved into my house, back in 2001, I had new carpet put in and new flooring in the kitchen. Which was smaller at that time and I had a different flooring put down before I did my remodel 3 years ago. At that time I had a Utility room, 10 feet by 12 feet. Well I put off new flooring in that room, though I had what I wanted all picked out. Are you thinking was it this leaf pattern. Yes it was. I still had the catalog showing this pattern with big circles and X's all over it. Though when I did my remodel 5 years down the road, in 2006, I don't know what I was thinking. When it came time to get the flooring it was wood flooring, bamboo to be exact, that I went with. Don't get me wrong wood flooring is a great thing. I lived with it for a few years. Then in one of my many decluttering moods. I came across that old flooring catalog with this leaf pattern. It still spoke to me. Surprising enough the pattern was still being made. The wood floor just didn't represent me, in my house. This is me. I love the Fall season. All the leaves as they change colors. The crisp morning air.

So this was just one of my summer projects taking place. Stay tuned for the exterior transformation of my yard. Still in progress.

The wood flooring, you may ask, was able to be pulled up and went to a good home. My brother and sister-in-laws.

Still moving forward.

I've found the lights



Going through one of my many boxes looking for paper and supplies I came across the strand of lights. Voila, let there be light.
I can cross that off my list.
On to the next.


Chandelier - Finally


Alright Alright. I'm being bugged about not posting photos of my chandelier from the workshop I took with Sally Jean back in July. So I'm a little behind. I've been busy, who hasn't.
So here they are.
(image) This is what was hanging on the hook in the corner of my living room above my couch.

And now I have my chandelier there. Though I have added more of the coccoon beads from a charm swap I was in earlier this year after taking this picture. My theme for my chandelier is butterflies and nature.


A close up of the lower half of my chandelier. I added pearls to the middle area as I felt it needed something.


The upper half of my chandelier. I cut out panels from this resin sheet that I created. I put in pressed flowers and leaves along with a few sayings I cut out from some books. In my living room I already have a leaf theme going on, so the pressed flowers and leaves seemed appropriate. As with anything it may be complete for now. Though there are always changes and additions that will be done to it. One thing, I need to create more of the baby butterflies for around the top.

Now I just need to find where I put the clear strand of lights, so I can have it light up at night.

Moving Forward


Finale Necklace



My soldering buddy Rebecca took this photo of me modeling my creation in Sally Jeans Finale studio workshop.

Star and Stripes Ornament


So the 4th of July Holiday is a couple days away and I received in the mail a fabulous assortment of Red, White and Blue 4th of July ornaments from the swap I was in, hosted by Allegra.
My niece, Grace, and her family were over last Saturday, when the box arrived on my door step. She helped me open up each one and found a home on my tree for them all. I finally got to taking pictures of the tree last night.

Here is the Ornament that I made, called it Star and Stripes.
(image) The tree of Glory for the 4th of July.

(image) Everyone have a Safe and Happy Holiday weekend.



As June is upon us graduations of all kinds are happening. From College, high school, junior high, even kindergarten graduations. I was going through some photographs not too long ago and ran across a photo from my 8th grade graduation. I thought I would share it. Looking at the photo now it helps me see that I was my own person even back then. Can you pick me out of the picture? Even back then I didn't like being in the pictures. With any big event you can imagine the number of photos that were taken through out the evening.

(image) I must not have gotten the memo or didn’t care and did my own thing. I’m not really a pink person and white is just to blah. So when my mom and I came across this peach dress, I knew that was the one. Thank you mom for letting me be myself, even back then.
I still have that dress in the back of my closet. Come to think of it I could repurpose the lovely fabric in some way. Ideas are a brewing now. C#@p, I already have enough up in my head. I think other stuff seeps out my ears every time something else pops in. Maybe that is why I wear my ear phones so much. So as not to loose any more thoughts and such.
Congratulations to all those graduates of 2009.

Lisa Donahue learning to solder



Sharing some of what I do, we took Lisa's mermaid painting from her Suzi Blu's workshop and scanned it so she could learn to create a soldered charm. She is hanging it from her rear view mirror in her car.
Happily Creating!

Convenzione Part 3 and My Boat


Let's Continue. Friday night after the class was done, pretty much everyone headed over for the evening dinner and guest speakers.
Dinner time was a buffet style. So we all got in line and dished up. Some quicker than others.
(image) My new friends Lyn, Jill and others sat at the back table. Though, for some reason, I wanted to mingle and sit at a different table to meet other attendees. I sat with Diane, Kathryn, Shari and a few other great ladies.

Once we got done eating, the first speaker Jill Badonsky came to the podium. Talking about ‘A Journey to your Creative SAelf’ from the special pass card that was handed out to everyone. She talked a lot about “The Voices”. Everyone has them and they come from our fears. It was very enlightening. To drown out those voices a lot of the time I put my head phones on and listen to my music. It helps me focus on what I am doing at that moment.
Our second speaker was Michelle Beschen, who will have a new show coming out this summer called B. Organic. Talked about how every single one of us has creativity in us. As we go through life creating and what not, there are always those Happy Little Accidents. She is so down to earth. I was happy to have my picture taken with Michelle.
Ok, so now on to my Marionette boat from Lisa Kettell’s class.
Come Along for the Ride.
(image) A close up of my doll that dances and moves all glittered and sparkled up. Ready for her big show.
(image) More close ups.
And atop my boat, some great pin wheels sparkling out at sea.

It's All Good.

Convenzione Part 2 - the classes


It was tough to choose from the many great classes that were offered. Though I did and these are the two that I chose.
Ruth Rae taught a fabulous wire, coils and such class that I came away with this lovely piece of jewelry.

The many techniques I learned in that class I will use again and again.
Though that Love Knot technique is a real hate it but love it one.

Photo of classmates working on the patina part of the class. Claudette, Terri, Donna, Ruth, Nadine and Julee are just some of the ladies that were in the class. Go check out Ruth Rae's blog as she took photos of the class and posted them right to her blog in literally 5 seconds. She's like photo and zip, there everyone goes as a photo on my blog. Wow, I need to find a way I could post my photos that quickly.
It’s amazing how when working with copper wire or even silver wire, it looks all shiny but once you patina the wire and polish off some of the blackness. The wire shows great depth. A life of its own. Ok so this may just be me. Though the beads you use in your creation take on a whole new look once the wire is patinaed.

(image) Then the class I chose for my second day was Lisa Kettell’s Fairytale follies boat assemblage or something like that. Oh my! So much fun in this class. I did not assemble my boat during class because I needed to pack it and I didn’t want it to get smooshed. Though I now have it assembled but haven’t had time to take pictures of it. I wanted to share a photo from the class showing all the fun we had. Lisa, Gypsy and Lona. While Jennifer, Ann Denise, Joan (mama Kettell) and Kathleen hard at work at the other table.

I will share pictures of my marionette boat later this week.
Happily Creating :)

Part 1 of Convenzione


So I landed in Oakland
(image) Oh wait that’s a photo of San Francisco. Here’s my Oakland landing. It looked like we were going to have a water landing. But luckily we hit the run way. It was a smooth flight and landing. No worries.
(image) Once there I took BART to Fremont to meet up with my gracious housing hostess, Lyn. Had a little time before we went to pick up our other roomy Jill, coming in from Ohio.
The Three Amigos. Jill, myself and Lyn.
(image) Headed to Pleasanton for the ZNE opening night reception. There were Bon Bons the size of golf balls.

(image) Mingling! Chel our lovely hostess for the event is on the left in the yellow dress. Donna, Jill, Gina, Julee and Joan are just some of the fabulous ladies I met that night.

(image) goodie prizes! Chel’s daughter came around with a basket for people to draw a letter from to win a prize. I won the letter G. It’s the glitter key to the city (of creativity) and other ephemera.

(image) Music! Jon Troast played at the opening night reception as well as on Saturday at the Art Paperie Vendor Faire. Oh but that wont be the last of Jon Troast.

(image) We’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re in California baby. Palm trees everywhere.

It's All Good.

California here I come...


Heading to Pleasanton for the ZNE Convenzione. Mingle with fellow artists, take a class or two, do some shopping (even if it is window shopping). It will just be a great time and place to get rejuvenated.
That way when I come back I will be all raring to go for my next Vendor event that happens on May 9th. Can you believe it, Mother’s Day weekend will be upon us.
So if you are out in the SE Portland area that Saturday stop on by Gilbert Park Elementary at 13132 SE Ramona St in Portland, just north of Foster Rd. For the 'Love Your Mama' Mother’s Day Craft Fair from 10am to 4pm. Dozens of local artists and unique handmade items will be on sale.
Come and see what I made these lovely soldered pieces into.

(image) Mothers deserve to be Queen for at least that day.
(image) Happily Creating

I made a lot of progress.


I made a list of what I wanted/needed to get done this weekend. For the most part I worked down the list.
(image) Here is my basket of copper taped pieces that I worked on creating and copper taping on Saturday. All sorts that will become earrings, pendants and rings oh my.
(image) And this is what they looked like on Sunday after I spent the majority of the day in my studio soldering my fingers away. This photo doesn’t show it but all of them have there jump ring attachments on as well. Thank goodness for that jewelers third hand. Now I need to work them into earrings, bracelets, rings and pendants.
(image) I even had time to make a copy of the video for my family members from Easter. My niece can now be nicknamed the Chicken wrangler. At the age of four she is able to catch Aunt Monica’s chickens. I told my brother, at Thanksgiving she can go out and catch you the turkey. Joking of course.
(image) Well of course Aunt Melissa was there with the video camera recording her sitting with the chicken, trying to take it on the trampoline with her, and then trying to crawl in the big shrubs that the chicken is now hiding from her in.
So the discs are in the mail.
(image) Oh, one last thing I completed off my list was to finish my Welcome Friends mural. This is now the view on my living room wall. I made my frame into the shape of a house instead of just the usual rectange or square shape. These paper dolls are from the swap I was in last year that Tammy Moore hosted. So now they have found a home on my wall.

Creations and another find


Here is a glimpse of a necklace I made earlier this month and sent into Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine. Now just waiting to hear if it was accepted for their Fall issue.
(image) I'll share the rest with you once I hear.
I had an extra hour or so to spare and was able to get some practice using PhotoShop. I went back through and watched the great tutorials that Gail Schmidt from Creative Workshops put together for her on line class I signed up for back in March. This is how mine turned out. The idea was to go with a ghostly feel. Though I am a lover of Autumn and this picture just stuck. I used a different back ground than the one used in the tutorial. Learning to use the different blending tools and layering. The little star brush is great, I'm hooked on using that know. What do you think.
(image) Metal measuring spoons, who knew they would be hard to find in stores. If you do find them they are a bit spendy. So these I won off of ebay. I have plans for them, though it is just getting around to working on that plan. Another thing to add to my ever growing list.
I have alot I am wanting to work on and get done this weekend. This is one of the few weekends I don't have any running around or events to be at. So it's work in my studio time.
Happily Creating.