ART EVENT countdown…

Can you believe it has been almost a year of ART already! What started out as a goal early this year to create and share ART monthly has been possible because of the incredible {artisans} that joined me all year. You helped me realize how VERY important ART is in my life….and I am making HUGE changes to make sure it stays that way and I never take it for granted again.

I am excited to announce the final line up of classes for 2013’s ART EVENTS along with a couple of bonus classes! You can sign up via Paypal below or contact me on Facebook!




Christmas Countdown Dates

Vintage Spindle Tree Dates

Chalk Art Dates

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The cutest pumpkin in the patch…

This is ranking up there among my top 3 favorite projects for 2013’s ART EVENTS

Embellished Pumpkins!

pumpkins The bases are created from an old quilt, a chenille bedspread and a scrumptious piece of velvet from my friend Heidi! You won’t believe how easy the base goes together. Then I made them all pretty with pieces of lace, vintage buttons, some pretty distressed leaves and pearls.

Want to make a pumpkin of your own? Join me at 1 of the following ART EVENT workshops.

Monday October 21st 10am-5ish or Saturday October 26th 1pm-9ish.

At the event you will make 1 pumpkin from an old quilt piece or the pale harvest chenille. Next you will get to embellish it with lace, buttons, ribbons, leaves and flowers! There may be time in class for you to create a couple of pumpkins and I will have additional supplies for sale at the Event if you would like to create a trio of pumpkins! Feel free to add a few treasures from your own “TRINKETS & TREASURES” to make it extra special!

Sign up below or message me on Facebook to reserve your {pumpkin creating day}



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Christmas Open House & a yummy Coconut Cake!

HUGE thanks to all those that stopped by last week to celebrate the debut of a new Echo Park collection that I designed.  This one showcases one of my favorite things from this last holiday season around the Cooper home…CHALK ART! I knew if I was selected to design Christmas it had to have chalk art in the collection. I love how it mixed in for a Modern yet classic Christmas feel!  IMG_4953

At the Christmas open house we enJOYed a Coconut cake.  I wanted to do something that was fairly easy to make, but still had some presence….so this cake and the snowball cookies were the end result….and many of you {LOVED} it so much you wanted the recipe.


I originally perfected this cake while testing cakes for Kenzi’s wedding cake this last June.  This time I altered it to be a coconut cake just by changing the flavoring I added. They both are super yummy results. The best part is you start with a simple white box cake mix…but in the end it isn’t at all like a boxed cake mix.


  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/3 C Water
  • 1 C Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coconut Extract (or flavor of choice) Almond is another favorite of ours.
  • 3 Eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ round pans.

Combine the cake mix, flour, sugar and salt together. Pour in water, yogurt/sour cream, oil, extracts and egg and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow to cool before frosting.

I love a good basic buttercream frosting with the yummy goodness of real butter!


  • 3/4 Cup Salted Butter (1 1/2 Sticks) at room tempature
  • 4-5 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 C Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract
Cream Butter with a paddle attachment of your electric mixer until smooth and creamy (about 2 to 3 minutes). With mixer on low speed, add 4 cups sugar, milk, and extracts.  Mix until light and fluffy on medium high speed for about 3-5 minutes. If necessary, gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar to reach desired consistency.TOASTED COCONUT1 1/2 C Sweetened Coconut

Place coconut onto baking sheet in a 325 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes. I start checking mine every minute after 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t toast too much and give it a quick stir. Remove from oven and transfer to a cool pan. Cool COMPLETELY before adding it to your cake or you will have a gooey frosting mess!

enJOY this “snowy” cake for your holiday celebrations this year!


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Color the World Canvas Workshop

A few weeks ago I shared my art project “Color the World” to benefit my friend Shannon and their families journey. Snyders2Africa. A few other friends are also journeying to help children in need and I wanted to do more….so I have developed a workshop for others to create their very own personalized world canvas!

***EDITED – Each day is a class on it’s own, you can choose what day fits your schedule best. Saturday’s class will be opened to Middle School & High School Students as well!

Thanks for all the support in helping create ART that gives back!



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Tis’ the Season…JOLLY celebration!

Join me as we celebrate the arrival of the long awaited Tis’ the Season collection!


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Junk Barn Girls Caravan


I have the perfect day planned for us!

Each year 2 of my friends put on an amazing event called the JUNK BARN GIRLS! This year I wanted to invite all of you to join me as we caravan to the event, enJOY some “TRINKETS & TREASURES” hunting, a gourmet box lunch and then meet back in the ART STUDIO to create an Embellished Tote Bag.


Each year 2 of my friends put on an amazing event called the JUNK BARN GIRLS! This year I wanted to invite all of you to join me as we caravan to the event, enJOY some “TRINKETS & TREASURES” hunting at Junk Barn Girls & Elm Street Antiques, a gourmet box lunch. Some Vendor Discounts available to Caravan Artisans! After we shop the morning we will  meet back in the ART STUDIO to create an Embellished Tote Bag.

Choose your Event Combo!






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Color the {WORLD}

Recently I started a {MIXED MEDIA CANVAS}. This project was my way of giving back to a great friend of mine. The concept had been percolating for a while and I knew it had to have a globe on it and be a mixed media piece.

I was excited to do this…I let it continue to evolve over the day…layering text papers, gesso, paint, images, stamps and more to the canvas. It wasn’t long before it really started to take shape and I loved the process of the layers coming together. It is really magical when you work with mixed media. Each layer builds on the last.

It was a little over 12 years ago when I met Shannon at a scrapbook event where she was talking about their new house that was to be built. It wasn’t too long into the conversation that I realized they were building a house on the same street as us and even better we were going to be neighbors! Over the years I have witnessed her LOVE for others first hand!

I still remember when I was sitting at her dining room table creating one day and chatting about making a living with my love of creating….I remember her saying to me “why can’t you?.” Those words helped me realize I wanted my ART to become my work and it soon did. I haven’t regretted that decision! It wasn’t an easy path, but so very worth it. In those years since that day I have also witnessed her talents for capturing life in the most amazing ways through photography.  Most recently I received her LOVE and talents in the photography of my daughters wedding. 

Over the years we continue to build on that friendship, just like the layers of the canvas. We have a love of old and beautiful things, a passion for our families and life!

Shannon and her family are embarking on an incredible trip to Africa.  I knew I somehow wanted to help in that effort. Children in our own country and all over the world need help and many times just someone to LOVE them. So many are born into situations that just aren’t imaginable. I have witnessed many children come and go as foster kids in my sisters home. Their stories are incredibly heart breaking. I know that while we do what we can in our own country our world continues to grow smaller with our age of technology and more and more we become more aware of children everywhere that need help. The boundaries of our hearts grow bigger and Shannon’s family is sharing that LOVE to help children in Africa. You can read more about her story on her blog Snyders2Africa!

While I don’t foster kids and I am not going to Africa to help orphans. I still have a sweet spot in my heart for those that do. I want to see kids just be given a chance to LOVE and be LOVED in ways that inspire them and make them see the good in the world. There is a lot more good than bad despite the horror stories we hear on the news. They are awful, but once in a while something good makes it way to the surface and the world is colored with a new light of good, hope and JOY! Creating this canvas was my way to help!

This original piece of ART is being raffled off along with many other items that have been lovingly donated to Shannon and her family! PURCHASE RAFFLE TICKETS HERE!




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NEW collection!

So excited to debut a new collection with Echo Park Paper! Introducing….Tis’ the Season!


If you know me…you know I have a LOVE of chalkboards and my new found love of chalk art! This {NEW} collection is full of chalky sentiments and accents. The addition of the black &  grey infused into the traditional red and green Christmas palette gave it a modern twist!

This year I was {LUCKY} enough to be back at CHA’s Create & Connect Event where buyers and manufactures release new products and showcase how to use them. I have ALWAYS loved the shows. It is great to connect with everyone, meet new friends and catch up with friends that live so far away! It was incredible to see the products in person!

tis the season debut

I am anxiously waiting the next few weeks before it begins shipping in September. But in the mean time I am planning a big {DEBUT PARTY} to celebrate its distribution to stores around the world! Watch for details to join the Christmas Cheer and purchase some Tis’ the Season products! I am sure a little ARTSY project will be part of the event!

I would enJOY hearing what your favorite part of the new collection is…share your comments!



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Get the Kit!

Are you unable to attend this months creative ART EVENT? Well you are in luck, this month I am offering a kit! I am not always able to do this due to the customization that happens during an ART EVENT while you create the project, but this month it is possible!

The Treasure Box Album kit is available for local pick up only.


Kit includes:

  • chipboard pieces to construct the outside box & lid
  • 5 box inserts
  • paper tape to assemble box
  • ephemera collection (including papers from Paris France)
  • tags & digital images
  • wreath base
  • flowers for wreath
  • link to PDF document of completed project and assembly instructions. Please note that these are not full step by step instructions. It will provide basic assembly instruction and showcase a finished project to inspire you to embellish and create your very own Treasure Box Album. I am available via email and facebook to answer any questions. Watch for additional peeks of completed Treasure Box Albums after the ART EVENT day!
  • ADDITIONAL supplies from your own stash are needed to complete this project and include items such as patterned paper, Alphabet stickers/chipboard, buttons, trinkets & treasures and trims & ribbon.
  • IMG_3534

Kits will be available for pick up on May 3rd. Pre-Order your kit here! Limited Supply Available!


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creative ART EVENT – April

So…so….very excited about this months project. All the little details are going to be what makes it so {FABULOUS}…..anxious to know what it is and what is inspiring me?

This next ART EVENT project is a custom {SHADOWBOX with HINGED COVER} We will be constructing the shadowbox ourselves. I have a few little hints and techniques for that and you will never look at little boxes the same. Once all the boxes are assembled together  we get to move onto the {FUN} of decorating it.

I am always on the look out for design and I find it in so many places. I can be inspired by projects online, in magazines, a book cover, fabric patterns, packaging, a commercial and more. I will sketch these ideas out, take a photo or use my favorite tool…. Pinterest. 

I think my husband thought I was crazy when I quickly fell in {LOVE} with Pinterest….Pretty sure I even told him it was the best invention of the last 5 years or ever on the internet! I KNEW that it would transform how I would access ideas and information.

pinterest page

I use Pinterest as a tool to catalog what inspires me. I quickly realized what worked for me when I was pinning. Each board has a main topic such as ART or COOKING, then I break those categories up even more. ART has several sub categories such as layouts, sketches, cards etc. So if I am looking for one particular item I can narrow it down even further.

Here is a board I created of things that were inspiring me for the April creative ART EVENT project.

Pinterest April Board

When I start a project I will gather all of my inspiration sources and start looking at the inspiration pieces and breaking them apart and analyzing them. Do I like the color palette, is it the typesetting, maybe it is a cluster of embellishments or the base project itself? I will then start piecing together these snippets & pieces and adding a dash of my own creativity to make a sketch of what I want to do.

sketchIf you look closely you will start to see what inspired me. I took snippets & pieces from lots of different squares in the shadowboxes that are on my April project board. But then I added my own little touches. I liked the rows of buttons on a wire, but I plan to step it up by adding some word strips to it. I will be flipping some boxes to create mini canvases for photos and other clusters of art.

You might have noticed in my Pinterest Board/ART EVENT – April that there are 2 items that had hinged portions. I plan to change that up by adding a piece of thick chipboard to create an embellished cover then creating a mini scrapbook page on the inside of it.

Although I take the time to sketch things out….sometimes during the process of creating…the project can take on a form of its own. I believe this happens because the products I choose to work with add their own palette of inspiration into the mix. A shape may come from the patterned paper, or the letters I choose to use will alter a design. But usually the core concepts stay the same. This process of creating has really evolved for me over the years and it has transferred to how I teach now.

Attending a creative ART EVENT with me is a bit different than a typical class you may have attended in the past. My goal is that while you create the selected project you are learning to use and develop your own creativity. During each event we all work to create and construct a core project, but something unique happens when you start adding the patterned papers, your selection of trinkets & treasures and most of all your creativity. No two projects that leave an ART EVENT are the same because you {CREATED} instead of copied the events project.

Stay tuned to see the reveal of April’s final project debut!

and….very very good news I have opened up a 2nd day of classes. You can see the details and {SIGN UP} here to attend one of the spots at this months ART EVENT. Even with an extra day, space is still limited…don’t miss out on securing a spot!  See you there!



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