Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best of 2017: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! If you follow my blog, you may be wondering...what's up with this girl?? Well, one goal I had for 2017 was to have at least 200 blog posts. I fell short of that, so the next best thing? At least 100 blog posts for 2017 and then try again in 2018!! Quality over quantity, right?

For the last post of 2017, I thought I would do what several blogger friends are doing, and that is to recap some of the best of the best. Below are a few of the top posts of 2017. On the right, you'll see the top post for 2017 which was a card I created for a Papertrey Ink Blog Hop earlier this year.

Again, thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me, and I pray blessings for you and your family during 2018! See you next year!

Top posts of 2017--

Papertrey November Blog Hop--My favorite Christmas Card, ever!

 Papertrey November Blog Hop

Papertrey May Blog Hop--My first successful attempt at an all-over print--

 Papertrey May Blog Hop

A top post from Pinterest--For this painting, I followed Jay Lee Watercolor on YouTube

Here is my personal favorite. This is a watercolor I created for my sister and mother to commemorate Gene A. Davis, father to my sister and me, and loving husband to our mom--

Top nine likes from my fellow Instagrammers for 2017--
My best of Instagram 2017
If you are on Instagram, I'd appreciate a follow: caboney1. Also, I'd love it if you would consider following this blog. It truly makes my day to know that my content inspires or helps you through your creative process. Once again...Happy New Year, and blessings to you!! I'll see you in 2018!

Art Journal Update: Happy New Year!

Sketch Exercise: Rectangles
Good evening everyone! This post is an update to what I've been doing artistically for the last few days of 2017. Shortly before Christmas, I realized that if I was going to progress with watercolor and paint more complex subjects, I probably need to learn the basics of drawing. Then, magically on Instagram, Sandy Allnock announced at new Drawing 101 course. I signed up, and I'm so glad I did. My plan was to be through the first course by New Year's Eve, but that is taking a little longer than expected. The sketches above are various objects that are rectangular and/or square. I have had a lot of fun with this course so far, and I've learned a lot not only about form but also about myself as an artist. These sketches are not museum quality by any means, but I truly didn't think I was able to draw anything other than simple shapes. If you're interested in her drawing course or her other courses, click here. If you would like to know more about Sandy Allnock, the artist, click here.

Wet-in-wet: Getting to know my palette again!
This post will also update you on the small amount of watercoloring I've done in the last 24 hours, literally! Because I was so behind with all of the things I needed to do for the Holidays, my paint brushes have had a long winter's nap. But, they're awake again, and many projects are floating around in my head.

Watercolor panels for greeting cards
Today, I managed to create a few cards with original artwork by yours truly! It's exciting to think that my original art might brighten someone's day. In fact, as I've been painting in my art journals, I've wondered if it would ever go anywhere. This leap of faith is confirmation that perhaps, just perhaps, the things I've been planning for a few months may actually take off! For more information about the inspiration for this card, click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Taking the time to read my posts warms my heart! I appreciate any and all feedback you have. Until next time...Happy New Year!!

Watercolor Panel: Thinking of You!

Sunday Stamps Challenge #169: Cool Winter Love
Hello everyone! As of this post there are approximately 10 hours left in 2017!!! Because it's wintry outside, I decided to spend most of this day working in the craft room painting and creating cards. A goal for 2018 is to make cards that incorporate watercolor as much as possible. When I saw the inspiration photo for Sunday Stamps Challenge #169: Cool Winter Love, I was excited!

 Sunday Stamps #169

For my color palette I chose the coral, navy, and gray. My accents are white and kraft. While I understand the goal is to use up to three colors in the inspiration photo, the pillow with the flowers and leaves caught my eye. I decided instead of stamping a focal point, I would watercolor a panel instead. I eventually cut my panel down to two smaller panels and was able to get two cards for my efforts.

Second card: Thinking of You
I haven't quite decided where these cards will wind up. I recently mailed cards to Card Care Connection, so these will probably travel to Lasting Hearts [for more information on my Card Drives tab at the top]. Below I've listed supplies for the card and watercolor panel. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Card Recipe--
Paper: Papertrey Ink Enchanted Evening, Classic Kraft, and white cardstock
Ink: Papertrey Ink Enchnaged Evening
Dies: Papertrey Ink Stitched Rectangle Die
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Keep It Simple: Thinking of You
Embellishments: The Paper Studio Pebble embossing folder; Hemp Cord by Hemptique

Watercolors & Brushes-- 

  • Coral = W&N Cad. Red & Cad. Orange; Grumbacher Red
  • Navy = Academy Ultra Marine Blue; Cotman Payne's Gray
  • Payne's Gray
  • Joe Miller #8R Signature 50/50; Princeton #6 Long R Velvetouch; The Fine Touch #3R

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Watercolor All-Occasion Card

Simple Watercolor & Embossed Card
Hello everyone! I'm in my craft room today making the most of the rest of 2017! Today, I'm making cards to replenish my stash at the office. In the past, I've made cards that reflected the seasons with sentiments already stamped. The only problem with that is if I needed a "Thinking of You," I usually had a "Happy Birthday" card. Sometimes the cards would have a 'beach' theme, and that wouldn't work so well for a February birthday card. So, I'm wising up by making a simple card that can be personalized for just about any occasion!

For this design, I followed the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches #318. The simplicity of this sketch lends itself to many applications. For my card, I used the sunflower from Papertrey Ink's Botanical Blocks. The focal point is embossed with black embossing powder. Then, I pulled out my dusty watercolors and filled the image in. I wiggled outside the lines a bit so everyone would know I'm not perfect--just kidding: actually, it's because I'm a little rusty. 

 Freshly Made Sketches #318
For interest, I used Avery Elle's Postage Stamp Die and used the outer portion to surround the 'artwork' with a frame. For the banner, I used Papertrey's Simply Chartreuse Bitty Big and mounted all of that onto a panel of Spring Moss. This card probably is more suited for spring/summer, but I think I can also get away with using it up until Halloween.

Close-up of flower detail
Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Designing Masculine Cards

Masculine Cards: Simple Palette w/Loads of Texture
Hello everyone! The year is coming to a close, and I'm already looking forward to 2018! I have so many goals I've established for myself that I need to get started now--stat!! One of my goals is to actually do something with all of the cards I make. With that in mind, I have organized all of the birthdays in my family. I'm the only one with a birthday in January, so I'm starting the year ahead of the game by creating three masculine birthday cards: one for my brother-in-law, my son, and my sister's fiance. All will be mailed in February 2018!

The Key to Masculine Cards

For me, the key to masculine cards is to choose the right color palette. I typically think of earth tones or strong colors like navy or bold red. Next is to think simple lines with a pop of texture. For my card, I started with earth tone colors like soft gray and browns. To add texture, I embossed a piece of kraft cardstock using a 'pebble' embossing folder. Instead of using the positive side, I flipped it over and used the negative side. I added interest by sponging Dark Chocolate ink over the pattern. This added a lovely shadow to the embossing.

Sponge ink over the embossed panel to add a shadow effect.
For the focal panel, I used a die that added stitching around the panel. The zigzag pattern adds another slight texture to the card. Finally, for masculine cards, I think it's important to find something organic to add. For this card, I added variegated hemp cording to the focal panel in the photo below. I eventually switched to another style of hemp cording that was more flexible. For the sentiment, I used a piece of soft gray cardstock and stamped my sentiment using Dark Chocolate ink. This helped tie everything together. See below for a list of supplies.

Add an organic element to masculine cards.

I'm playing along with two challenges today. The inspiration sketch for my card is from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #244. 

 Atlantic Hearts Challenge #244

I'm also playing along with Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes! Love it when Anything Goes rolls around!! There is still time to play along with both challenges but Atlantic Hearts closes in a couple of days.

Simon Says Stamp: Anything Goes

Color Palette


Card Recipe--
Paper: Papertrey Ink: Soft Stone, Classic Kraft, and Dark Chocolate
Inks: Papertrey Ink: Dark Chocolate
Stamps: Papertrey Ink: Birthday Tags [I's an old set] & Birthday Cheer [inside sentiment: To a very special you]
Dies: Papertrey Ink: Limitless Layers/Oval; Sketched Shapes [inside banner]; My Favorite Things Die-namics Zig Zag Rectangle Dies
Embellishments: Hemp Cord by Hemptique; Pebbles embossing folder by the Paper Studio
Tools: Foam dots; Sookwang skor tape

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Papertrey December Blog Hop

Papertrey December Blog Hop--Congratulations!
Hello everyone! I hope your Christmas/Holidays were fun. Mr. Pat and I enjoyed having our youngest son and his fiancee home for the Holidays. It was fast, furious, and a lot of work, but every minute was wonderful! Today, I'm participating in the Papertrey December Blog Hop! The inspiration photo that Heather and the team provided screamed wedding one hundred percent! And that's good, because I know my son will be saying, "I do" in July...but word has it there will be a few more weddings coming up, too! 

Papertrey Inspiration Photo
For my card, I used Dawn McVey's Window Works from the November release. I was in love with the design teams' cards, especially Keeway Tsao and Michelle Leon's cards. Click here to see the inspiration each team member provided. If you'd like to play along, the December Blog Hop ends at 11:30 p.m. tonight, December 26, 2017.

I had a blast making my card, and the process is outlined below. Thanks so much for stopping by... and Happy Holidays and New Year to you!

The Process
All-over background & die-cut 
For my card, I only have one 'rose' stamp, and I received that one in a Cocoa Daisy kit several years ago. Since the rose was only one size, I decided to stamp it all over a piece of white cardstock using Lovely Lady and Hibiscus Burst. I filled in the gaps with hearts from a Papertrey stamp set, but I'm not certain which one since my 'filing' system was lacking when I first started. After that, I lined up the Window Works circle die in the center and cut it out. Then I grabbed a piece of Classic Kraft cardstock from PTI and placed it in my Misti underneath the top panel. 

Stamp from Love & Marriage???
Next, I lined up a heart stamp from PTI's Love & Marriage [I think...again, filing system snafu]. I inked it with Versafine ink and heat embossed the sentiment with white embossing powder. Then I sponged Lovely Lady over the cardstock. It is hard to see in the photo, but that was just the right touch to join the stamped panel to the sentiment panel. Once that was completed, I used a thin piece of satin ribbon to tie a bow above the window. Then I used tape runner to glue the two panels together.

Final card with bow.
I attached the panels to a top-folding A2 sized card. The base card was stamped with Polka-Dot Basics using Lovely Lady. Once again, it's so nice to have several items to pull together to make a card, and the combination from the sets certainly add interest and dimension! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Art Journal Update--Merry Christmas!

World Watercolor Group
Merry Christmas everyone! When this month began, I promised myself I would follow along with #Worldwatercolorgroup December challenge. Alas, I only progressed through three days of the challenge before succumbing to Christmas cards, tags, wrapping, and baking duties. It's been well over two weeks, it seems, since I've picked up a paintbrush, but that's okay. Sometimes it's good to take a break and be creative in other ways!  

Above is the challenge for December. There are plenty of good prompts, and I'm hoping to pick out a few to paint this afternoon when company is out and about with friends! The challenge lasts until the end of the month. Click the link above to find out more about this challenge and the wonderful artists at Doodlewash! I've enjoyed being a part of the group, and there is something for everyone, at every skill level!

Jingle Bells with Metallic Accents Watercolor
This is one of my favorites because I challenged my drawing abilities, even though I was certain I would not be able to draw bells that anyone could recognize! Turns out, I can draw okay. I just have to keep drawing in order to get better, right?

A tribute to my father-in-law
For this piece, I fashioned a bulb out of card stock and then traced around it to create the whimsical look of the bulbs swaying in the breeze. This is also a tribute to my father-in-law who always enlisted the help of his sons to hang the lights outside each Christmas. "Christmas Joe" was excellent at dressing a Christmas tree. The outside decorations were simply three colors of lights, in order, right to left: red, green, blue, and no monkey business! Things that seem so simple can be so gorgeous.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog during this busy time of year. I appreciate it!! I pray you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Stained Glass Technique & Helpful Tips

Stained Glass Technique: Make It Monday #307
Hello everyone! I am in love with this technique shared by Laurie Schmidlin for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #307. It did take a little time to create this card, but I think it was mainly due to this being my first attempt. There are so many applications for this technique as well as customizing the card for the recipient. This card will travel a few miles to my niece for her birthday. She's a December baby, so anything not Christmassy is in order. Her favorite color is purple, but I love how the pink and blue helped make that pop. Follow the link to watch Laurie's demo and play along!

A Few Helpful Tips:

Tip #1: For my card, instead of using fun foam, I used a product I purchased over at PTI called Double Sided Foam Adhesive. It's pricey, but for projects like this and shaker cards, it's a must! In order to get more mileage, I've collected the little circles. They can be used later to 'pop' up focal points on other projects. The tiny diamonds are also useful for those smaller elements.

Waste not, want not! Keep those foam circles!!!
Tip #2: Laurie used Copic markers for her card. I only have a trio of pink Copic markers, but I have a ton of Tombow Dual Brush Markers. They work well, too! For my card, I used Copic #RV13 and Tombow #603 and #452. The Tombow colors do not smear and dry very quickly. I am beyond excited to know this because I've ruined many of the tips trying to learn brush lettering. But that's another post!
Sponged Sentiment 
Tip #3: Cut the sentiment out of white cardstock and sponge to match the colors on your card, but don't do what I did!! :-) I tried to match the colors using dye inks, and they looked good until they started to dry. I was hesitant to use the markers because I didn't want harsh lines. If I had put my thinking cap on, I probably would have quickly applied the Tombow markers to wet watercolor paper to create the hombre look, then cut it out. I may try that in the near future!

I know this time of year is busy for everyone, so I do appreciate you stopping by! Merry Christmas!


Paper: PTI white cardstock and Double Sided Foam Adhesive, Vellum
Ink: Copic & Tombow Markers; PTI Hibiscus Burst; Simon Says Stamp Deep Purple
Stamps/Dies: PTI Circle Coverplate Die & Big Basics "Happy Birthday"
Tools/Embellishments: rounded sequins [I'm not sure where I got those] and grosgrain ribbon.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Layers Do Not Have to Be Bulky!

Layers Don't Have to Be Bulky!!
Hello everyone! I have been doing a lot of self-talk lately about mixing the old and the new: specifically, mixing stamps and dies I've purchased in the past with recent purchases. Honestly, I think I finally have enough depth of purchases that I'm able to do so with good results. So this means I am getting to the point that I can actually design cards that have depth but aren't so bulky that there is a problem mailing them. For my card above, I drew inspiration from two challenges: Papertrey's Create Along With Us and Color Throwdown 473. 

Keeway Tsao for Papertrey Ink
First of all, Papertrey Ink has a totally new website, so if you haven't seen it yet, you are in for a big surprise! It is gorgeous and a lot easier to navigate. The December release has tons of Valentine-related items as well as Get Well themes. I decided to follow Keeway's gorgeous design above. I love the simplicity and balance the soft layers bring to her card. Below, I outline the process for my card as well as noting all of the supplies used.

Secondly, Color Throwdown's color scheme is perfect for Valentines or any occasion! This week the colors are kraft, green, pink, and white. The colors work well because of the complement of pink and green and the neutrals of kraft and white. The possibilities are endless with this combo! There still is plenty of time to play with Colorthrowdown, but Papertrey's window closes today. Thanks so much for stopping by!


Adding Depth Without Bulky Layers--
I follow a lot of awesome card designers all over the web including Papertrey, Color Throwdown, and many designers on YouTube. I've seen them create depth, seen them explain it over and over, but I've never worked on a 'formula' for my own designs, until now. My card above is truly a copy-cat of Keeway's design, but I've used the formula for several cards in the past. I think it's finally clicking! So, here's the breakdown:

  1. Choose a color scheme that includes at least one neutral. This will help pull the color palette together.
  2. Balance the color palette among the items in the focal point. For my card, I chose kraft to be the base card color. Then, following Keeway's suggestion of adding a subtle layer of vellum, I cut the same rounded edge and layered it under my focal panel. This adds a dimensional layer without bulk.
  3. Next, like Keeway, I used a stencil to sponge texture onto the background of my focal panel, adding another layer of depth without bulk.
  4. To add more depth, I finally decided it was time to stop stamping my images in one color only. For the leaves, I used three greens! Yes, three different hues of green add more depth, no bulk, etc. 
  5. After stamping the flowers, I decided to add a small strip of foam tape to the center of the flower. That allowed me to play around with adding the leaves and buds underneath. This added a little bit of bulk, but not so much that mailing the card becomes an issue.
Honestly, you all probably do this all of the time. But to actually write this process down helps me keep it in my own mind! 

Supplies [All Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:
Paper: White and Kraft cardstock, Recollections Vellum
Ink: Parakeet Green, Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado, Hibiscus Burst, Raspberry Fizz, Classic Craft, and Cocoa Bean
Stamps & Dies: Gran's Garden; the sentiment is from Beautiful Berries: Spring; Reverse Confetti's Edgers Die
Tools: Quatrefoil stencil, small; Scotch foam mounting tape, die-cutting machine

Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Create Scenes for Christmas Packages

Inspiration from Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #306
There are so many ways I could start this post, but the only true way is this way: Sadly, I missed the window for linking this post to Papertrey's Make It Monday, but I'm glad I finally had the chance to try these fan-brushed trees. My Christmas cards have been completed and mailed as of today, so I really didn't need to make any more. But Betsy Veldman's simple watercolor technique gave me another idea.

I struggle wrapping gifts. I always envision beautiful packaging with baubles and bows, but then I get in a hurry because it's usually the last thing I do before Christmas. When I viewed Betsy's technique at the Papertrey blog, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Her technique involves using a fan brush, but my fan brush was too large. So I used a 1/2" flat to create my trees. Below is my complete process along with a list of supplies. The main thing is this truly is a simple technique, and by layering the scene onto silver glitter paper, then red, makes the entire scene pop! There's no way I'll have time to create watercolor scenes for all of my packages, but I will create a few for my family. That way, if they don't want to keep the scene, I can graciously ask they give it to me to recycle for next year! 

Finished scene layered on cardstock.
The Process

I'll supply links to the special products I used for this package scene below to make it easy for you to locate. I follow Fabulous Fancy Pants on Instagram and have fallen in love with these deckled-edge cotton rag papers. I purchased some of their 'seconds' to get used to this style of paper. Below are the steps, as promised, but as we all know...paper is important!
  1. I created a wash of Cerulean and Cobalt blue for the sky and then took a paper towel to create faint clouds near the trees. I dried the background thoroughly.
  2. Next, I dabbled some Burnt Umber for the tree trunks then quickly made marks in a downward slant for the tree branches. I used an old tube of Chromium Oxide Green for the branches and dabbled some of that mixed with Payne's Grey to add depth. 
  3. I allowed the trees to dry before adding marks of Copic Opaque White for snow on the branches.
  4. As a card-maker, I like to add embossing to my cards, so I found a stamp for flower centers to create large snowflakes falling in the background. I tried to splatter, but as usual, was in a hurry to do other things. I embossed silver, white, and glitz to create several layers of snowflakes.
  5. I stamped a sentiment at the bottom as I would on a regular greeting card. It was embossed in silver but did not stand out like I had hoped against the trees. Next time, the sentiment will land itself in the snow!
  6. To assemble the scene to the background papers, I used a strong tape adhesive called Scor Tape. I cut my background panels slightly larger than the watercolor panel and used a corner chomper to round the edges. 
  7. I wrapped the package, added silver ribbon and then used regular packaging tape to adhere the panel. That way, when the panel is removed, only a small part of the final paper will tear off. The rest of the image will stay intact and can be framed, used again, or maybe tossed one day. But I do think this will see several packages before that happens!
I use my Mini Misti stamp positioner to stamp onto
watercolor paper so the images are clean and crisp.
While this first attempt needs lots of improvement, my mind is churning with other scenes and Christmas images to paint and add to my packages! Thanks for stopping by, and as promised, below are the supplies!!

Supplies & Links [Note: the links are for your ease in finding products. I do not receive compensation.]

Papertrey Ink: Pure Poppy cardstock, Christmas Blessings sentiment stamps.
Fabulous Fancy Pants: Blemished papers. If you follow them on Instagram, they occasionally run a sale on blemished papers through their Etsy shop.
Other Supplies: Recollections Glitter paper [Michaels]; Versamark Watermark Ink; Score Tape; Hearth & Home Wrapping paper from Target--this is Magnolia's line of products; Wonderland ribbon trimmings.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Little Tangles #86--Coloring

Little Tangles--Falling Circles
Today is the last day of November, and I am on a mission. My New Year's resolution was to have at least 200 posts on my blog for the year. Currently, I have fallen short of that goal, so now I'm working toward a 50% goal! Seriously, like everyone who stops by, life is certainly busy. So, quality over quantity is likely the best route.
Today I'm playing along with Little Tangles #86 Coloring challenge. I used their Falling Circles to create a snowfall effect. then I created a wash of blue watercolor to create a chilly snowy sky.  This sweet card will find its way to a friend of mine whose birthday is in December. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Everyday Watercolor Day 8

Wreath practice
Happy Cyber Monday everyone! I just ordered some fantastic gifts for my hubby. While I have most of my Christmas shopping ahead of me, it's good to know that the bulk of my gifts for my sweetie will be delivered, right to my door!

I'm slowly, but surely progressing through Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey. Due to Thanksgiving, Christmas card making, and card challenges, I haven't had much time to paint. Above is a wreath I painted trying to work in different colors and leaf shapes.

Below are the steps to Day 8. Each day is adding more and more complexity to the subject. I'm certainly glad she slows this process down, but I also know this is stretching me as a beginning artist. The challenge was to paint in layers, from darkest to lightest. I struggled a bit with painting the branches. I wasn't certain how I was supposed to paint I just scrumbled my brush back and forth and called it good! Thanks for stopping by!

Step One--practice making pine trees

Step Two: select colors for three layers. I experimented with the lightest shade

The final piece!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Papertrey November Blog Hop

PTI November Blog Hop: Christmas Card
Wow, it's hard to believe 2017 is almost over! I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. Nichole has inspired us with this beautiful tablescape. In the photo, I noticed beautiful fall colors, shimmery golds, creamy whites, and a hexagonal pattern on the rug.


Blog hop inspiration
Papertrey November Blog Hop
For my card, I attempted to capture most of the neutrals as well as the oranges and greens. And, since I'm behind on creating my Christmas cards, I wanted to create a non-traditional card using the inspiration photo. On Black Friday, I watched Yana Smakula's monthly video and was inspired to use the sentiment panel from Gathered Garden. Since I had that stamp set out, I decided to create a wreath for my card after sponging a honeycomb background using Tim Holtz's Honeycomb stencil.

Sentiment close-up
I mounted the panel onto Saffron Spice cardstock and then onto an A2, top folding card base in white. I finished the card with Metallic Vintage Hemp Cord by Hemptique. I think I finally have my Christmas Card design for 2017.  My full card recipe follows. Thanks for stopping by! 

Card Recipe [All PTI, unless noted]:

Stamps & Dies: Gathered Garden & Berry Wreath
Paper: White and Saffron Spice cardstock
Inks: Melon Berry, Prairie Grass, Saffron Spice, Fine Linen
Embellishments: Hemp Cord by Hemptique and Zing, glittered gold embossing powder