My new gallery wall in my living room

I finally got around to hanging my gallery wall!  I love that it’s an eclectic mix of art that I made, bought, and purchased from friends!  Oh and the bentwood rocker belonged to my Mom (who passed away when I was six), so it holds a special place in my heart. too  I love the swirls and curls, though I may consider giving it a rad paint update! Dexter appears to like it too!

What I hung…
– An X I got at the Queen Bee Market at the Snap Conference 2 years ago (Yay, I’m going again in a couple weeks)
– Color Wheel clock from the San Fran Moma Store

– Pack-O-Fun art by my friend Silvia Chenault
– S photograph I took when I worked at DecoArt (it was a batch of store samples)
– Fresno is For Lovers artwork I did for an art show last year
– 7 art from Anthropologie (I think)
– Love Alphabet letter canvas (get tutorial here)
– Craft a Life You Love canvas I painted this year on stage in the iLoveToCreate booth
– Retro ladies framed print from Target
– KY state fair “World’s Largest Food Processor” postcard (see it in full here…cracks me up)
– You Bring Color to My Life printable I designed (you can download it here)
– Embroidered Squirrel Quote art made in 1978 (the year I was born) and thrifted for $2 in downtown Fresno
– Cute Playing Card cat mixed-media art by my friend Laura of The Peculiar Palette.

I actually kinda wanted to create a gallery wall that went from floor to ceiling like this one on A Beautiful Mess, but I just couldn’t go there for whatever reason (maybe a lack or adventure or fear, I don’t know). I do think it turned out nice overall and is colorful like me!  And thank goodness I finally got this stuff hung.  You won’t believe it, but I totally have had the clock for almost 4 years and I have never had it officially hung…shame on me! LOL!

Oh and I can’t forget to mention PeeWee who’s sitting in the rocking chair and the cool lamp my brother-in-law Joel brought back for me from Saudi Arabia!

Happy hump day, y’all!


Dexter, the Coolest Cat EVER!


I have to admit something. I take a LOT of cat photos and videos, especially of this little guy, Dexter. I can’t help it, he’s just the cutest thing in my life at the moment (#2 next to William, my #1 of course) and he’s always ready for a fun photo opp too! I mean, instant subject, right? Since he was a kitten, William and I have been pretty silly with him. He has to be adaptable to our whims…if we want him to dance, he dances. If he needs a feverish patdown, he gets it (he actually loves this). If we want him to wear a pair of shoes, he wears a pair of shoes. And he also gets put into a lot of boxes and hampers. He really doesn’t mind. That’s what happened when we shot the video below of us inundating him with punched paper (from a pinback button project we did).

He really is a cool cat and puts up with a lot. I love this about him. He really is the coolest cat EVER, except for the fact that he doesn’t like a belly petting and he tries to scratch you if you do it. More cute pics below 🙂

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I don’t mind if you call me a nutty cat lady, cause that’s exactly what I am!

Until next time Swellions!


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Terrorific Tuesday: Vintage Black Cat Pendant

vintage black cat pendant

Woo. This one was an all nighter. Well, not really, but I spent about 3 hours on it. You wouldn’t think it to take so long. It’s just an image on a charm, but I’m so sloppy a painter and I made a few small mistakes along the way. I may be more impatient than the Impatient Crafter herself! Ha ha. I’m not going to go into all the details…just use the K.I.S.S. method ( and always let things dry before you move onto the next step. This is where I am a flawed crafter.

FYI: I modified a vintage cat image for this charm in Photoshop. I changed the coloring and some of the shapes. I just love black cats, if you didn’t already know that…I mean, how can I not like them…I have the wonderful black Pixie as a pet:

Moody Pixie

OK, on with the show…

– Photo software + inkjet printer
– Cardstock
– decopauge medium
– Americana Acrylics in Lamp (Ebony) Black
– Craft Twinkles Paint (I used fuchsia for a hot pink shimmer)
– scissors
– Crazy glue
– toothpicks
– palette/paper plate
– pendant bail
– 1.5″ wooden disk (I purchased mine at Michaels)
– Vintage black cat image
– foam brush and 3/8″ flat brush

Here’s what you do:
1) Download vintage cat and starburst image here. Open up in your photo software and print. It should be shy of 1 1/2″ in diameter. Size in your photo software if needed.

2) Basecoat wooden disk with black paint. Let dry.

3) Apply Craft Twinkles over top of black paint. Let dry.
add glitter

4) Use super glue and place pendant bail into place. Use toothpick to hold into place for several minutes until dry.
add pendant bail

5) Cut out printed image with scissors. Apply decopauge medium to back of cut out image. Spread in a thin even layer and apply on top of wooden disk.
cover with medium on back

6) Use decopauge to coat front as well (back and forth a couple of times). Don’t overcoat. If you do, it will make the paper bubble or make the ink bleed. Let dry.
7) String basic chain pendant through pendant bail and display proudly!

And on a final note, I saw this little cat decoration (or one very similar to it) in a gift shop in Stanford today. I really love the expression and I want to see if it freaks Pixie out! I know that seems mean, but I think it is so cute! By the way, I have never seen my cat do her back like this…

i want this

Until tomorrow Swellions!


Another Swell Project: LOL Cat Purse

lol cat purse

So, I’ve been wanting to work on this project all week and I finally got around to it tonight. Isn’t it crazy that I’m actually posting 2 projects in 2 days?

Anyway, I wanted to create a funny purse that I can carry around with my own cat Pixie on it, but something that said a little something about her personality. She definitely has a varied demeanor. She’s not as mean as this picture looks, but she does have her moments where I kinda don’t want to cross her path.

This purse is really fast and fun and only takes a couple hours to complete…here’s how:

– Wooden box purse (mine was purchased from Michaels)
– Americana Acrylics paint in Lamp Black
– Craft Twinkle paint in Crystal
– DecoArt’s Multi-Purpose Sealer
– About 50 6mm crystal rhinestones
– high quality resolution cat photo
– Computer with photo editing software and inkjet printer
– white cardstock
– scissors or paper cutter
– foam brush
– spray adhesive
– black stamp pad
– super glue or permanent adhesive glue like E-6000


1. Pick out your cat photo and think of a funny lol cat phrase to accompany it. To translate your phrase into LOLCAT speak, visit the Speak LOLCAT web site and type in a phrase to translate.

2. Open up your image in Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software. Crop your image to be 6.25″ x 6.25″. Make sure to think about where you are going to place your text inside the are when cropping. From your fonts menu, select Impact and type out your phrase (mine was set at 50pt type). Scale to fit in your image and save. Now print your document onto cardstock according to printer specifications.

3. Using scissors or paper cutter, cut out image and set aside.

4. Using Lamp Black paint, paint entire box with foam brush, being careful not to get paint on handle (only unless you want you handle painted too). Let dry. Paint inside of purse if desired and let dry. Once dry, paint with Crystal Craft Twinkles all over box except for front. Let dry.

5. Spray back of print out lightly according to directions with spray sealer. Adhere image to front of purse, pressing firmly to release any air bubbles. Use stamp pad to go around adhered image to get ride of white edge. Let dry.

6. Seal entire purse with Multi-Purpose Sealer. Let dry.

7. Use glue to adhere rhinestone crystals about 3/4″ apart around top and sides of box (I didn’t add rhinestones to the bottom of mine, because I thought it might sit funny, but you can if you want).

This is a really cute idea that could be applied to a lot of different surfaces…heres some quick ideas if you want to use it in other décor and accessories:

– pillow
– stacked box set for an office (wooden or papier maché)
– Belt buckle
– magnets
– tote bag

The sky’s the limit. OK, now time for me to go and snuggle for the night with my inspiration. After all, she does know where I sleep.

Until next time Swellions!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

5 things that I’m doing right now

5 things I’m doing right now (or just did, actually):

1) Trying to come up with a reversible design to use on my Our Glass pendant from HHH enterprises. Going to do something cool with it so stay tuned.

2) Listening to My Life on the D List playing in the other room. I like this show, but I think it would be better if it were a half hour. One hour is just too much to digest. Actually I’ve watched Bravo all night tonight. Got my Project Runway and Shear Genius fix that I missed out on last night.

3) Thinking of ways to get my cat to try out her new spinning ball cat toy. Shes not acting interested, but she needs to be…otherwise $7 bucks down the drain.

4) Organized my bead stash. I’m trying to come up with a new system in plastic baggies and those photo boxes (going to use a thick cardboard to divide up the boxes by sections). We’ll see if my plan works. I’m so sick of those plastic dividers turning over and I’d like to find a beading system that actually works for me.

5) Contemplating that I may just need to purge some of my crap. I really need to take another load of clothes to Goodwill and get rid of craft supplies I never ever use. I just keep getting more and more and nothing is given away/tossed to make room. Man, I really wish I had my own place that I owned so that I could get better organized and paint, etc. A place where I was more settled and could actually have a plan to organize or utilize stuff in my decor. Oh well.

Can’t wait for tomorrow! I really think I’m not going to be posting much on weekends anymore. Mainly because I need a break and blogging is, as much as I hate to see it this way, an obligation of mine. I think taking a breather on weekends (not that many people visit the site those days anyway) will be good for me. But you can always check back here throughout the week for new content. Also, I may post if the fancy strikes me. I just want to enjoy my weekends and social activities more and not be stuck to a computer. I gotta get out.

Oh, and here’s Margot’s new video all about Summer CHA. It gives you a little look into some of the crafty rock star designers that were there and the crazy demos and book signings that ensue.

Until next time Swellions!