I made a promise to myself this year that I was going to put my art work out into the world. I also made a goal for myself that I was going to try and integrate my studio work with my art work. While it has been hard to put my art out there for people to pass judgement on, the second goal has actually been so much harder. Despite my efforts, I still feel split in two when it comes to my art.

The work that I do at my studio looks so much different than the collage work that I create. Recently I went to a photography workshop and, during a one-on-one with the instructor, she asked me about it. She said that she wished she could see more of my personal art work showing through in my studio portraits. I just looked at her, agreed, and said "but, how?".

So, that is the big question that I have been going back and forth with for a week or so now. How do I take the hand-crafted look that you see in my collages and merge it into my portraits? Can I take my handmade things and drawings and blend that into the work I make for clients? Truly, I don't know but I'm very inspired to try it out. My first experiment is with a maternity image of myself. I used some of my handmade items as props and photographed myself. The next step is going to be to collage onto the actual print that I made.

I am going to share my process with you from start to finish. I'm a little nervous about this because I have no idea if it will turn out like I hope it will. So, here goes, this was step one. I photographed myself and printed out the image. I used a quilt top that I made as the backdrop (the back of it actually) and these little crocheted flowers that I have been obsessively creating for the last couple of weeks. The next step is to draw, paint and collage on top of it and see what happens. OK, integration, here I come.