Jack & Sally Skellington Costume Nightmare Before Christmas

This year I made our Halloween Costumes.
I have always been in love with the movie "Nightmare before Christmas." Jack and Sally Skellington are two of my favorite characters by Tim Burton.  
I was seeing a lot of homemade costumes of Jack and Sally run through my feed on Pinterest when the light bulb went off in my head that I could make these costumes.
First of all I like to sew,.... so I knew I could pull this off.
I'm not saying it was easy. It took me longer to make then I initially thought but it was so much fun.

I don't think you have to know how to sew to make this dress, but it helps.

The key to making this dress is to buy a cheap dress either from a thrift store or other cheap dress outlet that fits you. Make sure it fits well. Get one that has simple lines, like a good A line dress.

Gather up some scraps of fabrics to cut into strips, squares, circles, triangles.....it really does not matter.
Come up with a good color combination for the fabrics you pick. I went with orange, purple and black with turquoise and lime green.
Sally's dress has a different color combo, but I was not trying to copy it it exactly.
She is a rag doll so the point is to make a scrap/rag dress.

Then you just sew each scrap directly onto the dress. The hardest part is sewing around the neck and sleeve. I did not sew fabric over the sleeves on my dress. I let the sleeves of dress underneath show.

I drew in the swirls on the orange fabric with a black fabric marker. I made the bottom hem jagged. Then for finishing touches I took thick knitting yarn with a large needle and hand stitched x's and hatch marks to make it look like the scraps were sewn together.

If you can't sew I think the best way to put the scraps on the dress is to use fusible webbing and iron on each scrap.
I covered the entire dress with scraps except for the sleeves so I used a lot of fabric.

I bought white tights and drew the stitch marks on myself. It's easiest to put the tights on and draw the  lines on your own legs. Doing it this way ensures the marker does not bleed to the other side.
I bought my wig online.
I wish I would of bought a better quality face paint because you can not see that I have white face paint all over my face. The one I bought had the turquoise /teal in the package. I needed teal for her eyes so that was good but the white was crap.

I made my husbands costume too.
I could not find a black vest so I just made it myself and then drew in the white lines with fabric paint markers. I had to go over twice because the first pass through was kinda light.
I found a long sleeve black tee and painted the front section with white gesso and then drew the bat on top of that.

My husbands face paint shows up better. I should of used his.
I bought those teal arm sleeves because I did not want to paint my arms white. I got them at Spirit Halloween.
Love, love, love Halloween.


Here is my first batch of Holiday aprons for 2018. 
I truly intend to make more. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can. I'm just so slow and have to take numerous breaks. We did go on vacation in the midst of making these so I can't totally blame it on my slowness.
I really love the new designs that I'm using for this year. 
All listed in my Etsy shop! 
I have links on the titles of each picture.

Charlotte's Collection New Mixed Media Art

Here are my newest paintings for summer 2018. All listed in my Etsy shop

I'm having a great summer and feeling really good. Hope you are too. I'm exercising more and trying to eat right, but the main thing is I'm not in any pain anymore.  What a difference that makes.

They say things come in three's and for me that was true with my health issues. When I look back I can't believe I went through 3 surgeries within one year. I had a knee surgery, shoulder surgery and lumpectomy.  Yikes! Glad that is over with. 

The best part of my life right now is I'm just going with the flow. I give myself a lot of grace. I do a lot of yoga and meditations, and when I'm tired I rest. I don't have to prove anything. I'm happy the way I am, perfect, whole and complete.
Of course things can change, that's life, just a series of up's and downs and of course learning the lesson from any struggle. 
So here we go, life goes on. Have a happy summer!


Charlotte's Collection Handmade Aprons

Black & White Polka Dot

Pink Polka Dot

Pink Heart

Here are some of my latest aprons listed in my Etsy shop. Click the caption under the photos and it will take you directly to that listing. Lately I've been sewing more then painting..... I guess because I'm not in so much pain anymore. I found a way to raise my sewing machine on a small table on top of the desk. This way I can stand and sew instead of sit. It works! I've read that sitting for long periods of time is terrible for your health. Now I just have to figure out a way to stand while painting. I don't like to stand and paint. I have an easel but still sit while using it. Oh well something I have to work on. Baby steps.

Zen Painting Workshop

As a treat to myself for having to go through 20 rounds of radiation I took an online class / workshop from Jodi Ohl called Zen Painting. 
The above photos are what I produced.
Taking an online class like this one was perfect for me. I was still very tired and blue for a long time after my last treatment. I could lie in bed and watch videos all day. Then when I got to feeling better I was able to go do the actual work.
I just adore Jodi Ohl's work and her classes.
The Zen Painting Online Workshop E-Course can be found in her Etsy shop.  
Just click this link Zen Painting and it will take you straight to the page where you can purchase it, if interested! 
The paintings are done on Gessobord.
I've never really worked on gessobord and was not sure if I would like it or not. She taught a fantastic technique which is so easy and fun. Needless to say I love gessobord now. It's sort of like watercolor but it's on this board not paper. Very cool.
I know gessobord is not new but sometimes it takes me awhile to try new things. 

I Can And I Will

I'm back.....Yea!
At this time I actually feel like my old self again. It took me longer to recover then I thought. My husband breezed through his treatment a lot easier and quicker then me, so I was a little upset that I was not feeling better sooner. 

My new journey continues with a different outlook. I want to give back in some way so I registered for the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure In San Antonio. It's May 5th. .....not really that far away for someone who is extremely out of shape. I've been walking, doing Yoga and riding my recumbent bike when the weather is bad. 
I have only worked my way up to a little over a mile at a time, so I have a ways to go to get to 5 miles, which is the length of the race.

I'm raising money for the race so if anyone reads this and would like to donate to
The Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure through me, please click the link to my fundraising page.

Here is the link:

 Fundraiser For Susan G. Komen By Charlotte Littlejohn

Thank you so much!

I just realized it's a 5k walk, not 5miles. Yea! I can do that! 

My New Journey

This year after I had my yearly mammogram, I got a letter stating that there was an area of concern on my test and to reschedule another mammogram.
I did just that and had more test plus a sonogram. I think I knew then what I was in for, but of course I was in denial. They scheduled a biopsy and I had to wait a couple of days for my doctor to call back with the results. Waiting was bad enough but when the doctor said it was malignant I went numb. I was sick and shaking all over but some how I kept it all together. I listened to everything he said. The tone in his voice was awful.
My husband is a cancer survivor. He has gone through a lot and he knew exactly what to do. As soon as I hung up with that awful phone call my husband called his cancer doctor. He got me an appointment four days later with his surgeon.
It was a whirlwind of testing and I had the lumpectomy right away. The prognosis is good. It's not aggressive, but I'm in limbo-land recovering from the surgery and waiting once again on the test results.
I was so happy to be able to see my husbands doctors. We have dealt with them for about 8 years. They are wonderful people and I trust them.  I think I'm doing really well. I'm positive. I know I'm on a new journey. The waiting part is the worst, because I won't know what type of treatment I will have to go through until the test results come back.
I believe they got it all and now everything else is just to make sure.

I decided to wait to post this until I found out more information on the treatment. Good news is I don't have to do chemo but I'm doing radiation and then I will have to take a pill for five years. A pill is better then chemo but there is still a list mile long on the side effects of this pill. 

I'm on a new journey in life and it's ok. I'm ok. Actually I feel good now that the cancer is gone. I think that for the past year that disease was growing in me and making me feel awful. It's amazing how much better I feel.
I'm sticking to my art and creative life now more then ever,
But bare with me while I go through this new journey.
Thanks and God Bless.

French Quarters New Orleans

For my Birthday this year we took a driving trip to New Orleans. San Antonio to New Orleans is about a 9 hour drive with maybe a couple of short stops. Going there we stoped in Lake Charles to gamble and stay the night. Then left the next morning for NOLA. It was so much fun.
This was our first trip to New Orleans since Katrina.
Love, love, love it.
As always I like taking pics of old architecture. Hopefully it won't be my last time to visit.

We ate at Antoine's...the oldest restaurant in the states. A very nice place and since it was my birthday they took us on a tour of the place. 

We sat at the Carousel bar in Hotel Monteleone. 

I bought a voodoo doll at Marie Laveau's Voodoo shop.

Drank absinthe at Tony Sevilles.

Ate a beignet at Cafe Beignet's not at Cafe Du monde, ate at Cafe Du monde last time.

Had another drink at the oldest bar in the US......LaFitte's Blacksmith Bar and watched tourist in horse drawn carriages get served drinks by the bartender.

Ate oysters at Royal House Oyster bar.

Watched the tourist from a balcony on Bourbon street.

Walked around Jackson Square and Jax brewery. 

Shopped in the French Quarters flea market, listened to a lot of street music and ate a lot of Gumbo.
Nothing better then Cajun food. 

Summer Time Musings

This summer I'm painting over old paintings that I don't like anymore. This one had a lot of paper glued on, and an ugly girl face. I was ready to get rid of her. I won't miss her. Probably one of the first faces I painted. Now it's a mixed media art piece with not as much paper. I think it turned out pretty good, for a refurbished piece. Someone said to leave a little of the old painting in the new piece and that's good advice but I did not do that for this one.
So far it's called Houses on a Hill.
I really enjoyed working on this piece. Not sure why other then it was just fun. Sometimes I think I have to create a masterpiece each time I do a painting. That's so much pressure. It's pressure especially when you start out on a brand new canvas. Canvases are so expensive.
I'd like to carry that freedom over to painting on new canvases. I'm ready. I really want to make art for me, for experimenting, to grow, for meditation and I really don't care what other people think about it.
I'd also like to carry that freedom over to my life. I'm bombarded with this sentiment all the time but I know I don't listen. I always worry what people think about me. It's time to stop. I'm too old.
It's more then "letting go". That is so cliche. I'm sick of hearing it.
Not sure what I'm babbling about but it's time for change. A change in me. I'm excited!
The first thing I'm going to do is try to not wear makeup every time I leave the house. EEEEEK!

New Series Girl Portraits On Wood Panels

Birds Eye View

Hot Lips

Mod Girl

A new series of girl portraits that are now listed in my Etsy Shop!

I'm trying something different with my girls.......loose and free. These are small pieces on 8 x 8 wood panel or cradle board. 
I'm enjoying the abstract and not using any paper. However, I love collage and the mixed media use of scrap papers in my art, I just need a little change. 

I also got published in Somerset Studio Gallery again this year.
The summer June issue.

This angel was published in the issue above. On page 32 under Expressions.
Just so excited that I was accepted. It was a late surprise because I was not notified that I was accepted. 

These next two paintings go with the above angel, and were submitted at the same time, but they did not make the cut.  
Not sure why....I guess "Seek Peace" is a little wonky. LOL! 

I love the purple and turquoise hair on "Seek Love". Can't wait to get these back from Stampington. They keep the art you send in for about 6 months. I guess next time I'll just send photos. I was just a little nervous my photos would not be good enough. 
Now I have been working on large abstract art like my Pain Killer series. Some weird stuff has come from that series.
So until next time...have a great day.