There’s a circus in town!! It’s a scrapbooking decoupage – circus variety, in a tiny altered tin box. None less exciting!!

I caught her eyes… The clairvoyant told me to come hither and tell me my fortune. Scrapbooking delight. 10 out of 10. The muse, the art, the details of this tin alteration projects are sublime.


Some art’s so bad. Some so good. Just few souls make excellent art. To me, paper crafts – scrapbooking artist Susan Killam is amongst these rare few. What made me say this, is the fact that she made this delightful altered tin box circus. Hail Susan!

Ingredients for

Artistic Excellence

in Craft =

Art Design Rules

+ Originality

Rose ::

I rarely promote someone singularly without any lesson in it for all of us. So let me help you study this artwork and explain why this is so excellent.

A. Adherence to the Fine Craft Guild’s 8 Design Rules

The rules:

1. Stick to 1 theme.

2. Stick to 1 mood style or look (contemporary vs romantic, etc)

3. Stick to a limited color pattern of either harmonious or complementary colors.

4. Create a cadre for attention, which is akin to the 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 rule: whereby your core attention grabbers should be at approximately 1/4 to 1/3 in from the edge of the artwork.

5. Create a path for the eye to follow.

6. Use white where you want the attention to go first.

7. Repetition of smaller design elements to create unity within the work (thumbtacks, polka dots, etc)

8. Creation of 3D though a) layering, b) smaller blurred elements to create distance, c) larger, lighter close-up elements to create a foreground. d) shading.

9. Last but not least: Tell a story.



B. Utter originality.


OK.  Hopefully with Susan’s inspiration and my set of ingredients for successful art & crafts, I hope you all will have a very creative and productive weekend. Show off the results in Wednesday’s Link-up party, Time for a Party. You can always find the current one at the Fine Craft Guild home page.

photo credit | source: Susan Killam  (via /

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