Thursday, December 27, 2012


Dear Internet, and mom.
So you know those skills you have in your dreams, and only then? No? Just me?
Anyway, I dream that I can draw anything. If I need to sketch out something, or copy what I see, it is simple.
So I have come to the conclusion that I am dreaming. I will check my blog in the morning and this will not be here.
I should not be able to draw like this when I'm awake. I should post the bad pics to prove my point.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Princess day

As promised the sketching began.  I am not a trained artist.  My shortcomings have been assisted by a light box and pre-made sketches.  Today is light box free.  I made seven sketches, and only three didn't make me cringe.  Two I can work on and make the eyes less scary.  But one of them is beyond saving, and the last I will consider reviving.
So my work for the day in one pretty collage.  Courtesy of pic monkey technology.
Purchase The Art of the Disney Princess and see what works I was staring at as I tried to learn from those better than I.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I knew what was under the tree. And by under I mean next to because it was huge. I have a real drafting table!!! My living space is cramped to put it politely but I made it work. The pencil tray was busted so it will just taunt me for now.
The brother gave me a Disney Princess art book. Inspiring! Which princess will I tackle? Dunno yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gypsy Freesian

Going through old pics on Facebook. (I'm deleting them from there, I have more control here.)
Came from a photo of a Gypsy Freesian horse that I made for a friend. Plain background yells at me from the past. 
"Why did you leave me so naked?" It moans.
"I am sorry." I apologized. "I was young then! I will not make a mistake like that again."


Monday, December 17, 2012

Sick day

In order to keep my Facebook from turning into a diary I'll rant here.
Woke up with the voice of a chain smoking lounge singer earned a day home.
The artwork of Belle getting the library went over really well!  Her dad loved it as well and I think I may get another commission.  Which means looking up Woodie cars.  I love a challenge.

This day will be full of party prep for my annual Christmas Craft Party. (Lot of baking.) And less glamorous tasks of laundry and finding the other half to the most amazing socks ever.  (The last one is a must!)

First Christmas present is also in my possession.  The most glorious purse ever.  It even smells glorious.  I don't have pics yet, but trust me.

Unfinished Art Project checklist
Sleeping Beauty (Forest creatures)
Eve (Rethink)
Midsummer Night's Dream (Rethink)
Cinderella (She is a hot mess.)

Need to make an angel (The sketch is awesome, I'm hoping it works)

My first post without a picture.  Wow.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Princess problems, puzzles and pencils.

Dear internet.  It's been pleasant talking to the wide open spaces.  So now just a little thinking out loud via blog post.

Countdown to Disneyland.  Contemplating my Princess history.  Every little girl does it.  Their first princess movie and the ties that it creates.
The "Completed" Aurora was done in 09 and was from a coloring book.  I did the details in pencil. PENCIL! Oh the shame.  A little older and wiser now, with much more experience gives me new plans for a larger, cleaner Aurora, complete with face and fingers.  If it works out then woodland creatures are out.  
The process I use has changed in some ways.  Now I draw these faces over and over, and some parts work in one drawing and the rest works in others.  The one part that doesn't change is taking the drawing(s) to the light box and making a puzzle of it.  Good thing I like puzzles.  Some pieces are obvious but when it comes to folds of a skirt it is important to label them.  Time to take the scissors out.  Admittedly I could cut pieces straight from the drawing using the light-box but the paper I want to use is too thick to see the drawing even with the light.

Once upon a dream...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't wake the knight.

If at first you don't succeed... should you scrap it all?
So I'm working on a personal project. Hoping to put it in art contests locally. (Along with my lovely mermaid.)

And I hated the foreground.  It had just too much green!  Brown patches helped so much.  The dragon needs the glory.



The beauty has been given a library.  It took me three tries to make a face I love. (Curse my never had a lesson on faces, portraiture, etc.)

To get her proportions right I used a silhouette from a screen grab.  Not perfect, which is why I'm still cheap.  When it's completely original I feel justified with more compensation.  So for now a sweet friend gets her favorite princess moment.  I also confess it's a favorite of mine.  (Which inspires me to make my own favorite moment.  Time to dig up my pictures of Aurora and Phillip.)


Finished Tardis

I know I know I've posted this before.  But this time the colors are right.  Nothing else but a blue box.  And my countdown to the Christmas special.  How much would you pay for my blue box?

Unrelated side note: I have business cards! Staples had a undeniably good deal.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Apologies for the bad photo.  Just thrilled my first princess is working out so well.  Off to make her a library.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Mad man in a box.

Nerd status is firmly secure.  All hail Doctor Who and those who travel with him.  My childhood was entertained by this crazy man and his long scarf.  My father loved it and so my nerdom began.  I have found so many Doctor fans that this seemed like a way to join us together.  I apologize for the camera phone pic but I finished it only minutes ago.
I do have a confession.  I rarely use my cricut for craft projects.  I didn't want to have the police box sign look written so I cut out the words on black paper and laid it over white.  I also printed out the pull to open sign on cardstock.  I would do it again too.
Already have a request on facebook for one, and I have no clue what I should charge. (Nice problem right?)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Simple and Cool

     This post is two fold.  First is my design style and second is to show you transformation from the real world to my world.
     One of my preferences in art is simple.  This is hilarious because to get there is an unholy mess of a work space by the time I am finished.  I'll spare you those pictures for now.  Scraps of paper everywhere.  I store the tiny pieces in a box and recycle when it's full.  To illustrate I put a photo of a building in Oakland that is near to my heart and the paper version I see in my head and have created for many friends.
     As you can see I boiled it down to shades of white. (The three shades of white is the fabulous cardstock from Yes there are much more going on in the front of the temple.  What you see is actually the stairs to the next level up which is a lovely vista point to the San Francisco Bay behind the temple.  But with simplicity in mind the stairs are not what I want people to remember when they see the temple hung up on a wall. It's the spires.
     Through photography you can get most of what this medium does but I would like to last point out that the spires are coated in glitter.  I cannot light them up as they are in real life, but I can make them sparkle in my own way.

    Now for point number two.  The Oakland LDS Temple is also a perfect example of how I see the world.  I've been playing with paper for years that now I see a building, a painting, a photo and immediately see the layers, the colors, the basic shapes that "make" the object.  I taught a friend in the past how to do this and she hopped on board which cemented my view on the world.  One of us would nudge the other when we would hang out and say "wouldn't that be cool done in paper?"  Unfortunately she is now doing it solo as am I but I still have that voice in my head.
     On my pinterest site I have a few pictures in the craft and art board that say those words to me.  "We would look really cool done on paper."


Side Note for my Paper Addicts: Check out The Paper Source for amazing paper, and kits to make art on your own.  I have bought a few paper kits to figure out how they did that!  My favorites are the water lily and poppies.  I stuck the lily to my walls and the poppies are my centerpiece at my dinner table. The magnolia kit is advances so take your time putting those together.  They are not paying me to advertise, I'm just a big fan.

Monday, October 29, 2012

For my friends.

Here is the second commission I completed recently.  I went simple because I wanted to emphasis to be on my two little islands in the front.  Everything came from my head and I sketched out my ideas before I started.  (Don't want to put in work if they aren't going to be in love with it, that's isn't what I do.)

As I mentioned in previous posts I have a signature look, that now I also see in the water here.  It isn't straight across but I use multiple blues and a blue/green to do what I would have done with a pen if I was more of a pen and ink kind of artist.  I am glad she likes it and I have three more commissions to go.  For my next trick the doctor will be in.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

I love Pretty

So not to be an over share I have had some medical problems.  I went on Facebook and pleaded for commissions for some extra cash while I recuperate at home.  (I don't have sick leave so living on savings only lasts so long.)
My first request was a famous person.  I have never done a famous person and I knew it would end up looking like a Disney princess version of her.
He loves her, thank goodness.  But I think I'll stick with imaginary people for now.

Any guesses?

In the 50's we all "loved" her.


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Somewhere along the line you notice something about your style that takes some time to develop.

This girl was on the plain blue paper and I hated it. (I also had her eyebrow in the wrong place.  She was in a constant state of surprise.)  Once I furrowed through my blue paper and picked similar blues to break up the boring background enough, but not too much I illustrated the wind around her and the distant water around her.  Then refer back to my mermaid.
I never saw it coming but it is refreshing to know that after years I made something that is no one else's.  The most interesting part is my flower girl is from over a year ago and I couldn't rest until that boring blue was as interesting as the waves in her hair.  In a years time what else will surface? I am excited to find out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trial and Error

It doesn't always work out in your favor.

I have had artwork that I have wept for, yelled at, and bargained with.  Even then it comes to a close as a hot mess in my opinion.  I know what I make and not everything comes up to the same standard. Here is what I mean.

Her face is unimpressive and her hair lacks everything.  You may think it's fine but look at another example of awesome hair. 
You may recognize her from earlier post.  I ripped her from original background and changed the size from 12x12 to 11x14 and used paint to add dimension as well.  The stars in her hair just make me smile. I'm in love with her hair.  May never sell her.  I'll save it for a later day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Grand Theatre

Did a photo walk a few weeks ago at the Grand.  All access pass and some fun pics to come.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 3, 2012

Post Cinderella

Had a wonderful time in the land of Steampunk Cinderella.  We did a good job, and if you don't believe me search for us on  That's right BROADWAY! (The San Francisco site.)  So it is time to finish these dancers.  I had a plan for them but I think the setting they will be put in will change.  The scene will be the same characters, but their background has changed.  The inspiration for it will be on my next post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Excuse my absence.

While art is my first love, there are others that take my time.
Much thanks to friends who made me try musical theater. They can't complain when I do not have time for them either. So here is where I have been.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Watching dancing. These girls have miles to go before their piece is done. Can you guess what it will be?

Miss Marenski


Sunday, July 22, 2012



I found a printer that will take as much care with my artwork as I do. hand check (for a price) each print they send out.  I tested out this picture.
And I am pleased that I could still see line, layers and detail I put into my work.

I have registered to make my artwork more affordable.
The original work I posted here I have charged as low as $25. Now a print will be $10.  And unlike the local printers I can order singles for the same price as multiples.  I'm not ordering 44 of the Oakland Temple because two people want one.



 I love architecture. Some may know what these buildings have in common and others don't.  They are temples across the United States.




Monday, July 9, 2012


So my best friend and I have come to the conclusion that vests make everything better. I have had this picture of the shirt for months without info on its origins. But it proves my point. Vests are cute. And so I'm working on an owl with a vest.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Unicorn rough draft

Not the best shot of my unicorn and girl but I love it...
I made the unicorn for a smaller pieces than decided it should be 12x12.  The straight line needed to be fixed.  Everyone makes mistakes.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Why does handmade cost so much? Part One

I LOVE the Dollar bin at Target.  I love going to Dollar Tree, but I also love Etsy.  I will open my Marenski account next month.
Handmade items are expensive for multiple reasons. Today I will explain one of them: TIME!
I made this little collage to illustrate making one angel that would fit on a 5x7 card with a decent border of white all around.  I took the time stamp from the drawing to the finished piece and it was 18 minutes.  I guesstimated that taking pictures and the re cutting of the wing took three minutes, hence the 15 minute angel.

1. The sketch.  Everything I have made on this blog has a sketch in a manila folder, held in a plastic sleeve in an ever expanding binder.
2. Using my lightbox "Hal," I make pattern pieces on manila folders. (I now support that industry single handed)
3. I grab paper for each section.  Since this was a small card I grabbed from my scrap drawers. More on them later.
4. Cut! Or punch.  If God meant for me to cut perfect 1/8" circles he wouldn't have invented the mini hole punch.  I only cut the final pieces... the pattern pieces were done for a previous project. (Christmas 2010)
5. Finished angel.  Not finished product, just the figure.  And it took 15 minutes.  I counted.
6. As I work I use the sketch to assemble the odd shaped puzzle pieces.

So if I was getting paid $10 an hour. (Just making math easy for me.) And it took me 15 minutes.  Just that piece is $2.50 of my time.  So when mounted and calculating supplies I would charge $3.50. Just for a card.
When you pay less for art, you are telling the artist they are worth less per hour than the kid at In&Out Burger who is getting paid at least that per hour.

Getting off my soap box.


Tea Party

Proof of my continued Alice in Wonderland devotion... And where I got it from.
My mother's present was so fun I made another one.
Sadly the green trees came from paper that fades really easily.  Another lesson learned about paper art.
Lesson #1: The sun is evil!


Sunday, June 24, 2012


It goes without saying that taking someone else's work and claiming it as their own is wrong.  I hope you do not do that with mine, and I don't claim this one is a Marenski original.
It is my homage to Bill Watterson and my love of his creations Calvin and Hobbes.
It hangs on my wall and it will never leave.  Let's go exploring.


Saturday, June 23, 2012


Small confession.... I am obsessed with Alice in Wonderland.  It did not make into the local art show, but a gallery let it have a go.  Hanging on my wall along with my other pride and joy.  (Will post them next.)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012


Welcome to my creative corner. The mermaid is my welcoming committee.
I use scissors, hole punches, a little paint and the school of fish I designed in my Cricut using the basic shapes and letters cartridge. If I make her again I'm making a kelp leaf collection on it too.  Repetitive cutting of small pieces are not why I do paper art.  This is my therapy.