Thursday, December 25, 2014


I believe that giving someone a gift of your heart should reflect who you are. I am a rusty ole broad who has the eternal hope of spring and if you have the right key you can have my heart.

 I come from a fine art rather than a craft background so I approach art differently. I am shooting a video for a class with Artful Gathering later in the year on molds, casting and armatures so this is a sample of one of my project ideas.

Paper Maché Mold
Creative Paperclay®
Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint
Tumeric (yes, the spice)
Gold Rub

The start was this simple paper maché heart from a craft store.

I covered it with Creative Paperclay® and embossed it with some vintage wallpaper. Then I painted it burnt umber and sprinkled Tumeric on it while it was still wet.
I then added a little gold rub, a keyhole and some twigs from my yard into a hole on the top.

What would your heart look like?

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Little Clay Stories

I was walking by a ceramic shop and saw some wonderful plaques and thought it would be fun to do a variation on them. It would be great to do a whole wall of these in a grid!!! So I decided I would do one on all the dogs who have shared my life and are no longer here. The O's and X's are for all the love Oso and I had for each other. He was my studio dog and the heartbeat beneath my work table. The trees are for the our walks, the round beads for all the places he had to stop and enjoy.

Supply List:
Creative PaperClay®
Mark Making Tools
Acrylic Paint

I started by rolling out the clay on a masonite panel. Then I made marks in it and added clay embellishments which I also drew on before letting the clay dry. I really love the look of the raw clay. Once upon a time I was working towards a degree in ceramics but hated the hurry up and wait aspect of the media so ended up with a degree in painting. So now I only have to wait for the clay to dry and I can still paint.

I find it is always best to coat your clay with a matte acrylic medium when it is dry. After the medium dried I covered the whole tile with a matte black paint as I wanted the black to show up in the crevices when I did the final painted finish.

I added paint and started adding small beads, gold and silver rub and a button. I finished this off with a picture of Oso under a raised clear resin button shape.

My challenge to you is to make a happy memory for those you loved and still love.

Darlene Oliva McElroy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Look Backwards

Sometimes if you haven't seen a piece for awhile you see it with new eyes and know you just have to add something to it.

Flying the Nest was featured in my fourth book, Alternative Art Surfaces. When I found it in my flat files I realized it needed the green raised stencils. It finished it off for me.

These new eyes we have could be from personal growth, time away from the piece or ???