Join the fun of reducing, reusing and recycling!


The Joy of Up-cycling

"Taking junk from the past and transforming it

into beauty for the future."

This business of using found objects, discarded and unwanted objects, even trashed objects, and bringing them to life and beauty is an amazingly fulfilling experience. First of all I love that I'm helping the environment (in some small way), I believe I'm creating things that provide beauty an and then finally, I'm hoping this process will catch on!


Also, I can't but help see the similarity between what I'm doing with unwanted items, and what God can do with people who feel unwanted, unloved, and un-cared for — those who have been discarded by society.


Like God who looks past the "ugliness" of human frailties, and who picks up the lame, lost and blind to transform them into His precious jewels, I also see past broken, seemingly useless and discarded items in order to transform them into beautiful treasured creations!


The images in this blog are of discarded 3D-printer printed parts. My husband saves them for me, because as promised, he throws nothing out that comes off of his 3D printer plate! Maybe you can see that I cut pieces to create a smaller height, sorted and arranged them on my board. Then of course I glued and painted!


Above is an earlier stage of the painting and then below is a pic of the image somewhere near final.

Buying a special gift for someone? Contact me at  contact


Transforming Refuse from the Past into Something Beautiful for the Future



My tagline above sums up what my NEW artwork is all about. I have currently left off painting realistically, perhaps until the time comes that I run out of recycled items to glue on my canvas?

If you're not the creative sort and don't know what to do with your miscellaneous items, send them to me and I'll not only pay you the shipping costs, but I'll send you a free mini jewel painting. And if you buy one of my paintings, you'll feel good about it, knowing you're helping the environment by encouraging me (and others) to continue recycling/upcycling.

The 9x12 inch painting below is called "Alphabet Soup" using old chain and necklace pieces and is $160.00 US, (220.00 CD) plus shipping, like all my 9x12's which are sold with a simple black wooden frame.


Below is another 9x12 inch piece I call "Angel Stones" and is made with a pearl chain necklace, loose pearls (all artificial pearls) and little pieces of copper wire that my husband saved from his electronic projects. Also in the centre are some clear beads, some home-grown crystals (left over from my daughter's projects) and a couple of plastic wing-like earrings.


All the things that we tend to put in a box and store for "later", all the stuff we throw in the trash even though it still has some life left in it, and even all the stuff that we believe really might be garbage, could become a productive part of our lives again. Things like dead pens or pencil ends, bread bag closures or teeth flossers, broken jewellery or plastic cutlery - the list is endless these days so don't throw it out, put it on the wall! 

Recently my husband bought a 3-D printer and all kinds of pieces end up as scrap because they don't print properly, so after a month's worth of projects, because I asked him not to throw anything out, I had enough miscellaneous pieces for a large painting (it's my next project and blog topic).


The piece above, also a 9x12 inch board, is called "Fruit Bearing Vine" and uses only two necklaces which I had taken apart. The angled jewel pieces came out of the chain with angled shapes in it (the vine).

AND - the music is my own creation! It starts out a little slow but I think the sound goes along with the image quite well. Please, please, please send me any comments you might have.

Click on the images above to see their videos.

My blog last month has the story of why I started this business of recycling. (It's titled, "Why make mixed-media art, you ask?"

And my website has been updated to reflect my new vision.



Why make mixed-media art, you ask?


I discovered not long ago why I have such a heart to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Not only is recycling something that was taught to our children in school (as it's important to maintain a healthy environment, right?), but reusing things was also passed down to me from my parents who were children growing up in war-torn Europe. When my grandmother was fleeing the east with her 6 younger children, including my mom, they had to leave all their possessions behind. So you can imagine why things they eventually gained back became so precious to them.

During the war years, in order to receive one piece of bread per person, you had to stand in bread lines for hours a day. On the rare occasion my mom (as a cute little girl) said she could get a second piece of bread if her mother couldn't be in the line for some reason. When I was growing up, you finished ALL the food on your plate!


My mom also told me of a time when she and her brother discovered a small block of cow salt as they were out in the fields playing, and what a treasure trove that was to my grandmother! The only food she had to feed her large family for supper were some old shrivelled potatoes that they had found in a bombed-out house basement. As you might imagine, cooked potatoes in water are a lot better with salt!


As I grew up nothing was wasted in our house – each item was well used. When clothing was too worn to wear, it became patches for other clothing and then the buttons and zippers were taken off while the rest of the material became rags. We darned our socks too. 

As the stories of difficult times were told from both my mother and my father, they taught me the value of little things and that's why I've always had a drawer or two (in almost every room), holding "miscellaneous" items – from scraps of material to chipped plates and broken jewellery. Even though I know they're old and useless, in the back of my mind I'm thinking I'll surely need them for something some day!


And as it turned out, those little items became the basis for my first, somewhat-abstract, highly textured, recycled art, that you see displayed in this blog. I call them "Heirloom Art Pieces." 

My first large textured abstract (the red one at the beginning) was literally made from items in my kitchen drawer, the second one (beside it) was made from items in my bedroom jewellery drawer (along with a watch collection from my neighbour - thank you Emily!).

It's a satisfying adventure for me - making something beautiful out of formerly useless things that would otherwise end up in the landfill. As my own store of useless things began to wane, other gracious friends donated jewellery items  – and now I frequently rummage through second-hand stores. 


You'll notice that I not only use jewellery in my art pieces but also a wide variety of materials like tablecloths, scarves, cutlery, glass, wool sweaters ... and even computer parts! So, if you happen to have a drawer full of little things that are not very useful but still too good to throw out, this artist is open for donations!

If you're looking for a family Heirloom Painting as a gift for someone who has everything, I can make a lovely painting for their wall - as a commission. I'll use your own (or their) memorable miscellaneous items on either a 9 x 12 inch canvas (250.00) or a 20 x 24 inch canvas (800.00). Email me at


All the paintings in this email are 20 x 24 inches, see my latest collection of 9 x 12 inch jewel paintings (being added to weekly), along with process videos at my website:


Last month's contest results revealed ... And a new video with my own music!


I'm beginning to share my new series of 9 x 12 inch jewel paintings with my email audience. These paintings are a continuation of a theme I began a few years back in the form of larger abstracts. The overall collection is called "Heirloom Art Pieces". 

Many people took part in my January contest to name a 9 X 12 inch piece last month and I want to thank you for all your responses! It seems there was a common thread among your title suggestions involving "travelling". The title I picked said it in a simple and elegant way.

And the winning title for this piece is ... "Safe Passage" (see the video with original music)


It was sent in by Fern Chapman the president at Plant By Waters Ministries and Missionary Pastor at Eskasoni First Nation and surrounding reserves. I also discovered that she's an amazing musician ( . Her FB page:

Fern sent me a photo of her prize: A 5x7 inch mini jewel painting "Hearts of Gold in a Purple Swirl." (can you tell I need help with titles?) - anyway, I'm happy it's living beside an orchid!


A week before the contest I had casually asked for title suggestions on a FB post for another new piece (see it at the bottom of this blog), and I received the wonderful title response of "Congregation" from Lynn Goldstein. So I only thought it fair to send Lynn a mini jewel painting too. She chose this one called "Golden Snowflowers."


Below is the jewel painting called "Congregation": See a video of the making of this piece. As with the above piece, I also created some music for this in a program called GarageBand (an app on my iPad). It was my first ever song! 



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Five of my Favourite Artists on Instagram


Today's Five Favourite Artists on Instagram

This blog is a response to a challenge by "The Abundant Artist" who I've been learning from this past year or so. One of the best things I've learned from Cory Huff at the Abundant Artist, is that I don't have to walk this life disguised as a person - it's ok to be, and let people know I'm an artist!

Below is a list of some of my personal favourite artists on Instagram. I follow a lot more, but these are a few accounts that drew me in for several reasons.

Here's an artist, Iris Scott who paints with her fingers! What beautiful paintings she makes, such vibrant colours and what a wonderful idea to use our God-given finger-tools! Happy finger painting memories from your childhood will come floating to the surface when you see her work.


This cool artist, Raymond Guest, recycles old things and makes them into sometimes beautiful things, sometimes useful new things. I discovered him because I enjoy creating art with recycled items too.


When I saw this standing woman sculpture by Penny Hardy, I just fell in love with it. It brings together into one, my love of metalwork, recycling, art, and nature - it's absolutely perfect and looks like it could be living in my parent's back yard.


I've always wanted to take a pottery class, never have but it's so satisfying to watch others make it; it's mesmerizing! This place makes beautiful pottery and you can see a lot of process videos - have a look: Fire and Earth Pottery


And last but not least - ROCKS! We all know that rocks are pretty amazing - for a thousand different reasons!! Kokei Mikuni unbelievably balances rocks in rivers creating beautiful temporary sculptures.


@dorothealeblanc - and then there's me! If you want to follow my progress on Instagram, feel free!

I offer my services to people like a woman I met a last week who said she had jewellery from her mother that she didn't want to wear, neither did her kids want to wear it, but she also didn't want to throw it away because it was special to her. See a video of how I put jewellery on canvasses.

Email me if you'd like to permanently preserve your precious items on a painting!


A Poem about a Paintbrush Holder


Some know me well and won't be surprised
at this corny poem (yes, it's my very own)!

The rest who just met me, I beg don't criticize
What so naturally comes to me when I'm all alone. ...


I drove to Home Depot to see if I could find
Select wood big enough, and the best kind


Bought a hole drill too, just the right size
It was coarse so I wondered if I had been wise.


Sanded those holes for a very long time  
Wished that dad's shop tools from Ontario were mine


Finished the job - enough to get on with the show
And now I've my paintbrushes all in a row!


I'd be so happy if you visited my website at  - and or followed me on FB, IG or Twitter


Rocks are like People

Who doesn't love rocks? They're infinite in colour, shape, size and character; no two are ever the same yet each one carries a beauty of it's own.


They absorb heat from the sun (or Son) and range from being large, smooth and flat (that's when they're really comforting - just add a towel), to being so small and sharp they can almost cut like a knife (if you're not wearing proper sole (or soul) protection).


Once a rock breaks off from its original resting place, it becomes more susceptible to the elements of weather and could possibly "live its life" being ruthlessly carried to the opposite ends of the earth. But at the same time, due to the process itself, a rock could end up becoming more beautiful - or even "precious".

Alas, it's very likely that most rocks get completely obscured from anyone's appreciating eye. And though some are in view all the time, not many people notice they're there.

I'm noticing.

I can't help but see the similarities between rocks and people, how about you?

Check out the Youtube videos of my current rock series!

Gaining Insight by Making Art - A quick story of people functionality.

As I was making my latest bas-relief painting, I received some understanding of the process God might be going through to develop His Church (people). I'll try to explain with my process in pictures:

This pic shows how the pile of chains looked before starting - they represent people, as links hooked up in various groupings (families or nations). But left to themselves they are all over the place, entangled and unable to communicate or function as the creator would like them to.

So the task begins - of arranging the links and chains in an orderly, functional manner - and sewing them onto the canvas so that many more can be moved into place. They all need to be tacked down because if they're not, a small jolt of the table will scatter them.

More and more chains are added until the creator is happy with the formation of everyone. Some stragglers look like they want to get away, but they don't fit in till the end, so it's ok. They eventually get sewn in place.

Here's a "behind the scenes" look at the efforts taken to gather every chain permanently into it's proper place. 

The chains think they look pretty good now - all lined up and shiny (left pic), but the process to the final image is long. First a unifying (gluing) process is needed - it can be messy and chains get influenced to go here and there - but all are eventually brought back into place.
And then they must rest - until the canvas is dry and nothing can be shaken or moved out of place.

Paint is applied and removed, applied and removed, applied and removed. The chains take a good beating to become beautiful! (note to self - fingers are a great polisher). 

The end has come and it's taken a lot of "pushing and pulling" of colour - and a LOT of polishing and buffing - but the creator is happy with the final result (closeup on the right).

You'll see the final here on my website under "Bas Relief Paintings"

"Nobody knows I do abstracts, ..."

I said this to my husband as we drove to Bridgewater one day. And after a tiny bit of research I realized that actually, I don't do abstracts - most of my "abstracts" were not actually abstracts because there's almost always something recognizable in them.
So I am calling them "Bas Relief Paintings".

These paintings are not an easy task for me. ART ISN'T EASY. And if you spend a week or a month watching an artist do their work, you'll discover the reality of that statement.

For an extreme, but not solitary example from my own work of the process it takes to create my Bas Relief Paintings, I'm going to show you some of the stages of ONE canvas.

This painting no longer exists because after it was finished I was so convinced that "everyone" disliked it, that I painted over it in frustration! (And I have no process photos because that was before I found out it was a good idea to make process photos.)

You'd correctly assume that this initial piece (above) took me a "multitude" of hours; Find, cut and glue some Persian lamb fur to the canvas, arrange and glue 99 (count them) leftover LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes that my geek husband gave me), and then try to discover over weeks or months (as it sits in various stages and places), a pleasing colour composition. Yes it's a long and arduous – yet pleasant – painting process.

I'm not sure when this project began, but after a few months (probably more) of finishing it and it sitting around the house in various places, and after the big step of showing it to a small gallery owner who said yes, but never then responded to my emails, and because I thought I also no longer cared for it — I attacked it.

After the white-out gesso process and on the same canvas, this painting below appeared, but it doesn't exist anymore either!

So, still disliking what this canvas had become, I hid it behind some other paintings where it stayed for over a year - hopelessly textured. But this year I went at it again:

One of my greatest colour challenges is working with green - so I thought, "I like a good challenge, why not put a hopeless green on top of a hopeless texture?" Below is what it became next:

Still not happy, I did this next version below - which now that I see it, looks pretty much like "steaming angry!".

I really wasn't angry while doing it, I mean, who doesn't enjoy the process of exploring and discovering? At least I found out I wanted this one in landscape mode, not portrait mode - small yay.

And then to make a long story short ... this one above no longer exists and after two more attempts of finals, I got to where I'm actually finally happy with it. That may be for more than one reason ... but you'll see it here on my website under Bas Relief Paintings. 

Making Movies in March

This winter I've been busy experimenting with many different programs, attempting to make videos out of my process photos. Many of those programs have file size limitations or monthly fees and I always shy away from monthly fees (they're like holes in your pockets), so I finally settled on an easy-to-use program I that found for my iPad. It's called "Perfect Video", was 5 dollars to buy, will save all my videos to Youtube and now I can share the link whichever way I want - yay!

The process of making a video is more time consuming than I thought it would be, but my husband is spending another 2 weeks in China so I was free to spend the 6 plus hours it took to get this video together. At 58, I think it's pretty impressive how much of a power-gadget-user I've become!

This is painted on a board and I fight getting pickier when I'm painting with smaller brushes on a smaller surface.

This is painted on a board and I fight getting pickier when I'm painting with smaller brushes on a smaller surface.

For this latest painting, an early morning winter shot from a webcam set up in the lighthouse area of Yarmouth, NS was posted by a friend of mind on FaceBook and I asked if I could use it. He said yes and I figured it was good for public use.

I took around 40 original photos with my iPhone as I was painting (they're not great quality because sometimes I'm taking pics when there's not enough light, and also I'm normally not that steady with my hands). Well, then I uploaded them to my desktop computer where I chose the 22 photos that I wanted. I straightened and resized each of them in my Photoshop program and then re-saved them all "for web".


Then I sent the collection of photos to my iPad where I used the small app I mentioned above - Perfect Video. I re-ordered my pics, then added some music and text, and when it was all close to the way I wanted it (not shooting for perfection yet), I uploaded to Youtube directly from my iPad. Then I went and opened the video on my desktop computer downstairs and could copy the link and add it into my website!

If anyone knows of an easier method to make videos from process photos, I'm all ears! Please DO contact me (via email or FaceBook)!

To see the video of how I go about making this smaller sized acrylic painting, click here or on the photo of the chair above and it will take you to the Youtube video of my finished Yarmouth Lighthouse painting. I'm delighted to be using music that my son created years ago (you might want to turn down the volume!). 

Discovering Colour Therapy in Winter - requests your opinion...

Greetings Everyone!

I've been spending a lot of time packaging my latest shipment of printed cards, and this time they're mostly brightly coloured flower cards. Looking at these cards, especially the collection together, delights me every time I set my eyes on them! 

I think most of you who currently read my blog live in the Northern Hemisphere and are experiencing winter - that cold, grey time of year when cloud cover is more common than sunshine. And when there IS a sunny day, despite the bright blue sky, the colour palette is still very limited.


Colour can make a difference in a person's life, for example with food. Your choice of coloured vegetables, orange, yellow red or green, may imply that your body is craving certain nutrients. Coloured walls affect our moods.

But this is my new theory: Staring at even painted colourful flowers can cause a refreshing and invigorating mental experience - reminiscent of the effect of spring or even a warm summer's day on the psyche. Actually, Claude Monet's colourful Haystack series can also create this feeling for me. 

I wonder if this happens for everyone, or maybe I'm just having fun making and printing flowers? 

Would you do me the favour of browsing through the flowers on my website and letting me know if the same thing happens to you? This blog then, might become a mini study into the effects of painted flowers on the human mind. 

My flower (garden) section is here: FLOWERS and for more colour infusion therapy, please spend some time at my website browsing through all the colour - I hope you have an encouraging experience!

Before you go, I'd like to share more colour - in my first ever Youtube video below! It's a short demo of one of my oil pastel drawings, only 14 seconds long. 

Thanks for your help!!




The Process of Becoming an Artist

Two Girls on a Chinese Swing. This is an interesting swing that we'd never see in Canada because of little hands getting caught in the odd spaces. But it sure is a good exercise machine! Acrylic on board

Two Girls on a Chinese Swing. This is an interesting swing that we'd never see in Canada because of little hands getting caught in the odd spaces. But it sure is a good exercise machine! Acrylic on board

This is a chalk pastel that I made at the University of Guelph, of me as a child standing in front of a University of Guelph building.

This is a chalk pastel that I made at the University of Guelph, of me as a child standing in front of a University of Guelph building.

Far left part of a Triptych I made in art school.  It's 2x4 feet wide - made from cement fondue painted to look like bronze.

Far left part of a Triptych I made in art school.  It's 2x4 feet wide - made from cement fondue painted to look like bronze.

China Painting - "Boy sleeping on a motorcycle". He's obviously not yet enough to ride it, so he's probably guarding it for his older brother or father or uncle while they pick something up in the store. Acrylic on board

China Painting - "Boy sleeping on a motorcycle". He's obviously not yet enough to ride it, so he's probably guarding it for his older brother or father or uncle while they pick something up in the store. Acrylic on board

China Painting - "Men playing Chinese Chess" in the middle of a busy street, on a homemade paper "board" game. Acrylic on board

China Painting - "Men playing Chinese Chess" in the middle of a busy street, on a homemade paper "board" game. Acrylic on board

China Painting - "Two sides of a Chinese River" Rivers support a community - people meet, wash their clothes, get water for cooking, socialize and plant food anywhere there is free ground. Acrylic on board

China Painting - "Two sides of a Chinese River" Rivers support a community - people meet, wash their clothes, get water for cooking, socialize and plant food anywhere there is free ground. Acrylic on board

China and my return to art after 26 years

I studied art for 4 years at the university of Guelph from 1976-1980 but because I suffered with an auto-immune disease, by the time the year 2006 rolled around, I had totally forgotten that I had the ability/gift of art making! it took me until 2007 to begin dabbling with art again. 

My father was probably the greatest influence in my life as an artist. He was a sculptor and would go to flea markets and have the occasional show of his beautiful work, but nothing came of it other than a few sales here and there. He never seriously pursued a career with his art; he had a family of six to support. Everyone always admired his work and whenever I could, I spent hours in the shop with him, just watching face, body or animal-like forms emerge as he chipped away at his creations. (see his work here)

When I went to university, I had no plans to do a degree in fine art because in high school I was discouraged from "wasting my time" making art. But one little "art and design" course slipped into my first year amidst all the courses on computing, science, and languages; and that one little "art and design" course took hold of me; I then dove into as many art courses as possible.

Even though I REALLY enjoyed making art in school, and it was well crafted, somehow I was convinced that I was not very good at it - maybe because at that time all the praised students made conceptual art. 

After graduating with a 4yr art degree (in 1980) I managed to get married and raise two kids despite struggling with MS symptoms (from the age of 19). The interim years until 2006 became a blur even though I tried to create a large drawing which was taped and screwed to my kitchen wall - for a slow 5 year drawing process. 

As I mentioned above, over the years, I'd totally forgotten that I could actually draw, sculpt and paint. The thought that I'd ever make art again in the future had not entered my mind until out of desperation with my poor health, and a last ditch effort prayer of exactly this, "Help me Jesus!", I began a 7 year, expensive process of hard core cleansing with serious lifestyle changes. My health slowly improved.

It was a year into this 'getting healthier' process when I had a eureka moment - I suddenly found myself thinking creative thoughts! They were so foreign to me, I remember being startled at this new thought process. Praises to God because what slowly began emerging out of the mess of my life was a joy and purpose in making art like I'd never had before!

Traveling to China in 2008 with my husband was a kick-start-art-creating event for me. Still regaining my health, our China trip was an arduous journey with airport delays and more, but the 3 weeks I spent in Zhumadian, Henan Province, were almost magical - everything was so different. I took thousands of photos with my digital camera and suddenly had subject matter to paint for decades!

Through all of my life's experiences Jesus Christ is my guide, my stand-by, my strengthener, my joy-giver and my hope. He was there when there was no hope from anywhere in the world. I am forever His.

If you're an artist inside, it will eventually come out of you - no matter what struggles you go through in life, no matter who discourages you, no matter where you happen to be.