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, December 7, 2016


Tis the season to be jolly and I’m kicking things off with a versatile bookcase project.  I say versatile, because this has so many possibilities.  Since we are in the height of the holiday season I decided to go with a regency period Christmas theme because the regency period is my favorite; it’s a Jane Austen thing.  

The generous side and back areas were perfect for creating scenes using my four new holiday collage sheets.  And speaking of new collage sheets, Alpha Stamps is giving one of them away free with purchase; you'll find the details below.
In the spacious drawer at the bottom of the bookcase you can store all kinds of goodies.
This bookcase just happens to be perfect for storing and displaying ATCs.  The books you see displayed in the cabinet are ATC sized and I’ve used them in a variety of ways.  One book is a accordion folded book displaying ATCs, one contains a stack of ATCs and one is a shadow box book. 
With all of the lovely new holiday vintage scrapbook papers that Alpha Stamps is carrying and my new collage sheet images, I couldn’t resist putting together a few ATCs.
If ATCs are not your thing, I’ve staged the bookcase as a mini secretary.  This bookcase would also work fabulously for storing and displaying this and future season's Christmas cards.


This collage sheet contains 9 regency period (Jane Austen) images of women and men in winter fashions surrounded by various sized and shaped snowflakes.

This sheet contains 6 regency period (Jane Austen) images of women, men and children dressed for the holiday and various seasonal decorations.

This sheet contains 6 regency period (Jane Austen) women, children and men celebrating all the good things of the season such as music and seasonal food.  Included are also other complementary items such as musical instruments, sheet music, a wreath of fruit, frames, banners, birds and tasty treats.

The Holiday Wreaths Collage Sheet (by yours truly) is FREE with ALL ORDERS place on THURSDAY and FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th & 9th at ALPHA STAMPS.
On this sheet you’ll find 7 unique festive wreaths in multiple sizes for a total of 17 wreaths.
Below you’ll find some details on how I made various components of this project.
The bookcase is made from an easy to assemble kit.  The main structure consists of a base, two sides, a back piece, a top piece and a center shelf.
The spacious drawer consists of a base and four side pieces with one piece pre-drilled to accommodate a knob.
I started by assembling the main structure and drawer.  I then painted any parts that were not going to be papered and added decorative paper.  The last step was to add images from the collage sheets to the sides, back, and top of the bookcase.  I also added dimensional elements like the greenery and birds.
The ATC Books come in a simple to assemble kit.  There are pieces for the deep side of the book, a cover and a spine.
For this project I made three books, each demonstrating a possible use.  In one book I stored a stack of ATCs, in another I inserted paper that was accordion folded for attaching ATCs and in the last one is a shadow box book.

To bind together the accordion folded book example, I used bookbinding tape which is also referred to as paper tape.  The tape has sturdy fabric on one side and adhesive on the other.  You can purchase it online or in bookbinding stores and it comes in different colors.  I usually stick with white for more flexibility, as it can be colored with paint or stained, it can be stamped or you can apply rub-ons.

For two of the books I used ribbon as a closure by gluing it to the front and back of the book before adding paper and collage sheet images.  For all of the books I glued the spine to the side of the back section of the book.

To attach the paper tape, I first cut a section based on the size of the book.  I removed the backing from the adhesive side of the tape and attached it to the front of the book. Next, I wrapped the tape around the spine and then around to the back of the book.
I inked the tape and added paper, collage sheet images and other embellishments to the front, back and spine of the book.
To create the table for the shadowbox; I used a die-cut chipboard image of a table that comes as part of a set of furniture.  I cut off the bottom of the legs as the table would have been too high for the opening of the book.  Next, I cut a piece of heavy chipboard the width of the book opening and slightly shallower.  Then, I slightly bent the table and glued it to the chipboard.  For support, I attached square beads to the back of the table and to the table top.
The clock is also a die-cut image of a clock that comes as part of a different set of furniture.  To make the clock more realistic, I added brass embellishments and gold stickers which I also added the table.
I dressed up the front of the table with greenery and the top with a cake plate stacked with polymer clay goodies, a candlestick and glass.

4 Inch Shrine Facades Collage Sheet – Pediment on bookcase

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


So many of the pieces I make incorporate images of women so it is nice to create a more masculine piece.  

The frame is from my Antique Frames Set Download which I attached to a piece of chipboard covered with music themed paper.
I mounted an image from Letters from the Past Set Download behind a wood die cut window.  I imagined him sitting at a window playing his instrument.
The gentleman is from my Letters from the Past 1 collage sheet and you can also find him on the same download set as the scene behind the window.

Next I added the instrument, (I’m thinking that it's a cello?), and the sheet music.

For further embellishment I added brass pieces to the top of the windows and to the bottom I added, paper vines and flowers, beaded trim and a brass piece.

The brass piece at the bottom is a gift from Carmen Conners (an Internet art friend).  Her blog is https://papercraftgoddess.blogspot.com/.

The backside of the paper below is very close to what I used.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Dracula and his new bride are on their way to Grimsley Village to spend their honeymoon at the Buzzard Bed and Breakfast.  
Looks like the current guest have stayed well past the checkout date.
There is no mistaking Dracula’s hearse as it flies by using bat wing power, sporting a red “D” on the windows and Dracula’s insignia curtain clips.
Inside is the coffin lined with red and black suede.  On the lid of the coffin is the Dracula family crest flanked by silver vampire bats hanging on the edges of the coffin lid.  
                         With a shortage of young maidens in the area, they make a short stop for refreshments and are attended by their faithful raven butler Belvedere and wolf chauffeur Farnsworth. 

The graveyard with it’s rows of tombs makes a perfect setting to enjoy the full moon rising as it casts it’s silvery light onto blankets of clouds.  
Dracula and his bride prefer to fly when traveling which leaves the coffin free to transport necessities, in this case a collapsible blood bar stocked with anything a blood sucking creature would want; there’s bottled Dracula’s Reserve, Chateau Vlad, Dracula’s Kiss, Type O and Type AB.  On tap is Blood and Hair of the Dog Beer, the latter being Farnsworths favorite.
The couple’s favorite beverage is Belvedere’s blood martini garnished with a pickled eyeball.
Looks a couple of vampire friends have flown in to enjoy the refreshments. Nothing like an impromptu graveyard party at midnight!


All you fellow ghouls, don’t sweat the details as I made have a step by step video tutorial
Pretty much all of the great products I used for this project are being carried by Alpha Stamps.  At the bottom of the post you’ll find a link to the supply list.
The hearsecoffinbookcase (bar shelves) and stools are made from chipboard kits (love those kits).  The 6" coffin fits nicely into the hearse with room to spare. For storage purposes, all of the items in this project fit inside the hearse.  The coffin is nice and deep which made it perfect for a collapsible bar and even big enough to store the small stool under the bar shelves. 
One of the coolest aspects of the hearse is the two coach lamps with an LED light and battery powered.  The images you see in this project are from my new Dracula & Bats collage sheets described below.
Wall Sconce Victorian Coach Lamp

This collage sheet is packed with all kinds of vampire goodies.  Included are Dracula, his bride, faithful raven butler and wolf driver.  In addition are lots of bits and bobs to deck out a coffin blood bar and a set of curtains that are sized to fit the funeral coach.