Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art. I have giveaways of my art and lots of free tutorials. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


At the entrance to the formal garden, you’ll find lovely ladies growing from pots tended by their loving partners.  Both pretty as flowers, holding butterfly wands, surrounded by flowers as butterflies fly around them.
The sound of water cascading over the edge of the lion wall fountain into the pond below, draws you into the garden
Take a seat on a bench and enjoy the sounds and fragrance of nature.
In addition to the miniature Formal Garden pictured above, I've also create some Potted Lady ATCs. And speaking of the Potted Ladies (growing from pots), I'm thinking they would make a great standalone project that could be used for so many things.  Imagine them as place holders where instead of the butterfly wand, there is a card with your guest’s name.  They would look lovely on a tea party themed table and would make unique gifts for a bridal shower.

Further down in the post you'll find information about new collage sheets, a video tutoral and project supply list. 

For the Formal Garden and the Potted Lady ATC’s pictured further down in this post, I created 4 new collage sheets.  Two of the sheets contain women & men from the 1830s with lots of jeweled butterflies.  One is a set of 8 ATC nature themed backgrounds and a half sheet of urns and roses.

The sheet contains:
3 - Ladies
2 - Gents
12 - Jeweled Butterflies of various sizes

This sheet contains:
5 - Ladies
1 - Gents
8 - Jeweled Butterflies of various sizes

This sheet contains 8 nature themed ATC backgrounds.

This half sheet is filled with urns & roses. 

For those of you who love to make ATCs, I created 6 examples made using all four of the new collage sheets and some of the products I used for the Formal Garden.

In the video I cover the construction of the Formal Garden and the techniques listed below:
Faux Marble Painting
Making a Fountain & Pond with Faux Water
Making & Decorating Urns with Paper Clay & Other Items




This list has the supplies used for all three framed collage pieces.
Gilders Paste - Verdigris

Note: The columns I used are no longer available but here are two other options that would give you a similar look.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


The bathing machine was a device, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, that allowed people to change out of their usual clothes, change into swimwear, and wade in the ocean at beaches. They were roofed and walled wooden carts that were rolled into the sea usually using horses. Some had solid wooden walls while others had canvas walls over a wooden frame.
Women were segregated from the men as it was quite scandalous for men to see women in their bathing suits.
This project was so easy to put together and decorate as it is made from the NEW Alpha Stamps Bathing Machine Kit.  To go along with the project, Alpha Stamps is offering a FREE Mini Vintage Beach Poster collage sheet, details are below.

ALL ORDERS placed at Alpha Stamps on Thursday and Friday, August 4th and 5th (2016) will receive a Mini Vintage Beach Poster collage sheet.
You don’t have to do anything special, just place an order and the collage sheet is yours!  The sheet designed by yours truly, contains 19 vintage beach themed posters.

The beauty of the Bathing Machine kit is that it can be used for different themes. Below is a fabulous Snake Oil Caravan by Alpha Stamps Design Team Member Shannon! 
I could see this kit used to create a gypsy caravan or a Halloween themed piece for those of you who have made the Halloween Carnival or Halloween Haunted Village.
Checkout the suitcase sitting on a crate on the side of the caravan.  I love all the details that she has incorporated.

I used chipboard mermaids to jazz up the roof.  First, I glued the chipboard to the two roof pieces then painted the roof with blue acrylic paint.
Finally, I used a bristly paint brush to lightly brush on white acrylic paint.  I used one of the mermaids (painted the same way) for the center front of the roof.
The curtains on the sides and top of the doorway are from the Teal Square Shadowbox Curtains Collage Sheet.
I used thread to make the beaded curtains.  I started by making a knot in the thread (as you would if you were going to hem clothing) and threaded the tread through the hole in a sequin seashell.  I then glued another seashell on the side where the knot is, which hides the knot and helps to keep the knot from sliding through the holet.  Next, I added beads from my stash.  I attached each string of beads to the inside of the opening using glue and tape.
If you peek through the curtain you can see women in their bathing suits.  The images of women in the windows, on the steps and inside the bathing machine are from the Vintage Beach Babes collage sheet.

If you look at vintage pictures of bathing machines, you’ll notice that many of them have numbers above the door.  Typically the bathing machines were rented so each had a unique number.  Below is the number image I used.  Feel free to download and use it in your project.
To cover the sides and back, I used the Amour I Love You red and white stripped scrapbook paper and trimmed it with White Dresden Borders.

On the sides and back, bathing beauties are framed in 6 panel rectangular windows. To give the windows more weight, I mounted them on rustic frames from the Antique Frames download set.

The posters on each side are from the Free Mini Vintage Beach Posters collage sheet being offered at Alpha Stamps.

This list has the supplies used for all three framed collage pieces.