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

CTD 470: Masculine Thinking of You

Color Throwdown #470
Hello everyone! This is one of the best Saturdays of the year....the Saturday after Thanksgiving! That usually means I am feeling human again and ready to get out and Shop Small Businesses! I live in Wacotown, and new stores and restaurants have been popping up all over the place!

But first I want to share a card I’ve made for this week’s Color Throwdown challenge. The colors are yellow, orange, red, and brown. They are wonderful Holiday colors, but to me, they also say masculine card! I am preparing to send some cards to Card Care Connection, an organization who sends cards to cancer patients. In looking through the stash, I have plenty of flowery cards, but nothing for a man. So I dug through my supplies and came up with the card above!

I have been spending a lot lately on stamps, dies, paper, you name it. So that means I've also been scolding myself for buying and not making. I am challenging myself to mix new and old when I create cards, and that truly happened with this card. I heat embossed a plaid design onto watercolor paper. That stamp set is so old, I only know that I bought it at Michaels and it was a Martha Stewart stamp. At least I think that's where I bought it! I also used some Papertrey Ink paper I know I purchased over four years ago, if not longer. That makes me feel really good because I think this card turned out pretty swell, and I hope it brings comfort to the recipient. My supplies are listed below. Have a blessed weekend shopping, relaxing, or spending time with family!!

Card Recipe:

Paper: Papertrey-Argyle Socks, Dark Chocolate, and Classic Kraft; Watercolor paper
Embossing Powder: Recollections-Snow
Stamps & Dies: Plaid stamps, unknown manufacturer; Papertrey Text Style-Thinking of You, My Favorite Things Die-namics-Zig, Zag Rectangle dies; Papertrey Wine Bottle Tag #2 Die [Banner]
Watercolors: Windsor & Newton--Cad. Yellow; Cad Red; Alizarin Crimson & Cad. Orange

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top Reasons Crafters Hoard Supplies

Make It Monday #304--Photo Ornaments: My sons and their sweethearts!
Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! I took time this morning to play along with this week's Make It Monday at Papertrey Ink. When I say Lexi's tutorial, I initially thought I wouldn't be able to play. I have many photos of my kiddos, but they are all digital with the exception of some I printed out years ago. But then I scanned my craft room, and in my somewhat organized tub of stamps and dies, I saw them...the photo greeting cards from 2016, all with gorgeous, recent photos of my kiddos and great nieces and nephews!  Eureka--this is ONE reason crafters hoard supplies...and photos!!  Now that I had something to work with, it was time to learn from Lexi and get busy! I like how her process was easy, and she used simple dies to adorn her photos.

Lexi Daly's Ornaments for MIM #304
There is another reason for this post, though. Lately, I've been surveying my craft room thinking that maybe it is time to part ways with some of the things I no longer use. 

Reverse side of my ornaments
Maybe give them a new life, if you know what I mean. But throughout this project, I found myself reaching for those very items I was contemplating giving away, such as eyelets, baker's twine, stickers, washi tape, scrap paper, etc. Boy, this challenge came just in time to snap me out of my madness!  Below are my reasons for hoarding supplies and the recipe for my photo ornaments. I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving!!

Great Niece and Nephews: Jaxon, Laney & Aiden
Top Reasons Crafters Hoard Supplies

10.  You never know
  9.  It always becomes a thing again
  8.  Paper never, ever goes out of style
  7.  The kids love to play with the scraps
  6.  There are plenty of supplies to make photo ornaments with the family on Thanksgiving Day
  5.  You spent a ton of money on all those lovelies 
  4.  One of these days you are going to become Picasso, and you're going to need a ton of stuff!
  3.  Grandma said, "Waste not, want not!"
  2.  Your husband will take over your craft room if it's organized and free of clutter
  1.  You still love everything you have!! 

My Great niece, Hadley

Ornament Recipe [All Papertrey, unless noted]:

Paper: Scraps and Bitty Big
Stamps & Dies:  Stamping Simply, Splits: Tis the Season, Shaped Sayings, Christmas, Tag Sale Die #11, Simply Noted A2 Scallop Dies
Baker's Twine, Washi tape, and stickers

Monday, November 20, 2017

Using Dies as Stencils

Freshly Made Sketches #313
What's the best way to avoid cleaning your crafty space? Make cards every day! Today's layout is brought to you by Freshly Made Sketches #313. Karren Johnson created the sketch below, and I think it lends itself to so many applications.

When I saw the sketch, I remembered a Make It Monday challenge well over a year ago at Papertrey Ink that I thought would be perfect. I love Melissa Phillips' designs, and this technique is one I plan to do again and again [even though it took me over a year to give it a try!] Below is Melissa's card with a link to her tutorial at the Capture the Moment.

Melissa 2
Make It Monday #264 w/Melissa Phillips
Well, it looks like I practically CASE'd her card, doesn't it? I have to admit, when it comes to crafting, I'm still pretty much in the "please let me follow your model" stage! Below are the steps I took to create my card along with the supplies I used.

Using Dies as Stencils--

#1--Find an awesome stamp/die set with some detail to it. I used PTI's Fancy Flourishes.

Fancy Flourishes Die Cuts

#2--Place die cuts into position and select two colors to sponge over the top. I chose PTI's Spring Moss and Classic Kraft.

Sponge around the die cuts until you're happy
#--Stamp in the negative space. This creates a lovely layered look without layering! Add a sentiment in the middle, attach to a card base, and presto--you have a beautiful card!

Completed card with sentiment
Thanks for stopping by!

Card Recipe [all Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:

Paper: White, Simply Chartreuse [card base], Bitty Big-Simply Chartreuse
Inks: Spring Moss, Classic Kraft
Stamps  & Dies: Fancy Flourishes, Berry Wreath
Pens: Tombow Dual Brushtip #755 and #158

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Create Along With Us-November 2017

Create Along With Us-November 2017

Hello everyone! I hope your fall weather is feeling more like fall and not August like it is where I live! I am finally getting around to exploring options for my Christmas cards. Yes, I like to start late and finish big! Today I'm playing along with Papertrey Ink's Create Along With Us challenge. There were so many lovely cards that I had a difficult time deciding which one I wanted to try. After looking through all the wonderful choices, I decided to emulate Betsy Veldman's Month of Psalms card below.

Betsy Veldman's Month of Psalms
I love her Month of Psalms series. So uplifting! But what really drew me to this card was the soft background. To be sure, I purchased that stencil and can hardly wait to play with it. The second thing I noticed about her card was the soft sponging and the faint trees beneath the sentiment. In doing my best to mimic her style, I used a bold, die-cut sentiment over my sponged and stamped background.

The challenge ends Monday, so if you have some time, take a break from Holiday cleaning and cooking and play along! My card recipe is posted below. Thanks for stopping by!


Card Recipe [All PTI]

Stamp: Holiday Greens
Dies:  Big Basics/Merry Christmas; Mix & Matt Scallops Die
Inks: Simply Chartreuse, Spring Moss, and Honey Nut
Papers: White, Simply Chartreuse, and Bitty/Big Simply Chartreuse

CTD #469: Joy!

Color Throwdown #469: Joy!
Today marks the first day of my Thanksgiving vacation! Several years ago, my school district decided to give faculty and students a week-long break, and I'm so happy they did! This year I will have Thanksgiving at my house. Instead of preparing for family and friends, I'm declaring today and tomorrow Crafts-giving!! The card above is for this week's Color Throwdown #469. The colors are light blue, dark blue, and silver.

Glittery, silver background for the sentiment
I fussed and fussed with this card mainly because I'm out of practice, but also because I couldn't get my glittery, silver paper to cut smoothly through the die-cut machine. So, I decided to use PTI's Soft Stone cardstock spritzed with Pearl Glimmer Mist to mimic the silver. For the background, I spritzed a piece of watercolor paper and smushed two shades of blue ink. That gave the background a mottled, dreamy look.

Once the card was completed, I looked up and saw my silver embossing powder! Duh!! Oh, well. I think the card turned out well enough. At least I have one Christmas Card completed!! Below is the card recipe. Thanks for stopping by--

 Color Throwdown #469

Card Recipe [all Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:

Paper: White and Soft Stone cardstocks, Canson XL watercolor paper, glitter cardstock
Stamp: Make It Market: Holiday Tag Along
Die: Circle coverplate
Ribbon: white grosgrain
Inks: Spring Rain & Blueberry Sky

Monday, November 13, 2017

Art Journal Update & Book Review

Everyday Watercolor Art Journal
Have you heard of  MonVoir on Instagram? Of Jenna Rainey? Of Everyday Watercolor?

 Everyday Watercolor

I have to say, I'm in love with Jenna Rainey's book Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days. It is going to take me longer than 30 days to learn her techniques, but I love how she takes you through drills and then uses those drills to help you improve your art. She starts with the basics. Basic strokes, basic techniques, color theory. Every lesson is detailed and step-by-step. What I love about that is I am able to work on a part of each day until I feel totally comfortable.

I have a library filled with watercolor books, but they jump straight into what I think I should already know but don't. Jenna has taken the time to break it down so that the beginner feels confident!!

This post includes the first six days along with a link to purchase her book. This is not a sponsored post...this is just a customer who thinks this book is a must for every self-taught watercolorist! Please leave a comment below to let me know which day is your favorite!!

Day One: Monochromatic

Day Two: Experimenting with Cool Colors & Bleeds

Day Three: Hot Colors

Day Four: Color Wheel

Day Five: Leaves & Wreaths

Day Six: More Leaves/Variations

Simple Card: Happy Birthday

Color Throwdown #468: Simple Birthday Card
Hello everyone! Has the Holiday countdown snuck up on you like it has for me? I'm not sure when  August-September-October occurred, but it seems like Mr. Pat and I were fishing in Galveston just yesterday! Because time is precious and I needed a birthday card, I decided to play along with Color Throwdown #468 for a little fall inspiration! I love the color combo of kraft, brown, orange, and green. 

I recently received the Berry Wreath set by Heather Nichols for Papertrey Ink. This is such a cute little set! I die-cut and stamped the wreath with dark chocolate. Then I colored the leaves and berries using my Tombow brush marker pens #'s 158, 177, 885. Then I die-cut the birthday sentiment using canyon clay and white to off-set. Finally, I tied chocolate twine onto kraft cardstock and adhered all onto a top-folding A2 white card base. Super simple! This is probably the fastest card I've ever made! Thanks for stopping by!

 Color Throwdown #468

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prayers for America

Redbud leaves from my garden...
Greetings everyone! I wanted to start this post by listing all of the things I've been doing lately, but in light of the recent tragedies in Las Vegas and now Southerland Springs, I felt it was best to begin with this painting. It truly is a painting that is heartfelt for all who have lost loved ones in the recent tragedies as well as those who have dealt with loss due to the recent hurricanes, fires, and even everyday life. My heart goes out to all of you...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Inspiration: Challenge Yourself!

Aspen Yellow: Day 2--Yellow
I honestly do not know why, but I seem to be energized when there is a good challenge going. Just scroll through all of my blog posts, and you will see that theme with the cards and art alike. For the month of October, I am following a challenge on Instagram hosted by Aaria Baid @surelysimpleblog and @surelysimplechallenge. The first week of October is color week, and today's post includes the first three days.

Bell pepper: Day 1-Red/Orange
What I like about this challenge is each week has a different theme. Shapes are on tap for week two, florals for week three, and nature finalizes the challenge. This should be just the ticket to rejuvenate any artist by stepping out of the normal routine to explore colors and themes in a different way.

Did Someone Order Pink? Day 3
I think Day 3 is my favorite so far. I didn't think about the colors or the shapes, I just started with flowers and practiced dropping in a deeper or lighter value of the same color. I learned more about an all-over pattern from this exercise than any of the other times when that was my goal.

If you're on Instagram, why not play along? Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, and I'll get back to you asap! Until next time, paint...or create...your heart out!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fruit & Floral Wreath Card

Color Throwdown #461: Fruit & Floral Wreath Card
Happy Sunday, everyone! Today I am playing along with the Color Throwdown #461 challenge. This week's colors are green, yellow, orange, and purple. I just love the combination, and since I've been practicing wreaths lately, I decided to paint mine instead of stamping it. I know this really is a stamping challenge, so I used Papertrey's Graceful Gardens II for the sentiment in the center. I'll be honest, when I first worked on this wreath, I tossed it aside. What I love most about watercolor is, if you will walk away and let it dry, it usually looks completely different! I'm planning to send this off in the mail to Lasting Hearts Card Drive when I make a few more to go with it.

There's still time to play along!! Thanks for stopping by!

Just for Me!

"Today will be fabulous, darling!"
After painting a few pictures for family, I decided it was time I painted something just for me. I'm still working on gaining balance with the florals in wreaths, and it appears to be getting a little better. Since I was pretty pleased with the way this one turned out, I wondered what sentiment would go well with the wreath? Why not something to help me make every day awesome? I found another wreath on Instagram with this sweet saying, and I couldn't resist. So there it is...a reminder that every day and its outcome are truly within our control.

Hope today is fabulous for you, too!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Analyzing Art in Order to Improve

Roses...all over practice
Welcome everyone! I thought I would take a moment to post pictures of a few projects I've been working on. To date, I have had three commissions! That is so exciting for me as I never ever imagined that anyone would want a painting from me!! So, who was interested??? Well...drum roll husband, my sister, and my dear daughter-in-law!! Hey, if your own family doesn't like your work, then....maybe a new hobby is in order!!!

For the journal piece above, I was working on filling a space with a single subject. I feel this practice helps me with sizing, placement, and fill. And it did, until I tried to 'organize' the roses for the painting below.

Pay attention to the circles!
Yes, I thought I was so clever using a yogurt cup to create the circles for my roses in this painting. Until I noticed....that I had six roses all perfectly aligned in two rows. In the math world we call that an array, and it is a lovely thing if you are going for a rectangle. In the art world, neat rows may have their place, but not when you are trying to imitate the randomness of nature. That's why I love the crop feature on my camera. Problem solved!

All About the Staging
Another area I've been trying to improve upon is staging my artwork for Instagram. This is one of my favorite photos and totally impromptu. Turns out, I actually did a few things right with this photo. The wood background gives the feel of a boardwalk along the ocean and the shells add another layer to create the mood of deep waters. I probably should have tried again with the wash, but as always, I decide to do these things when I am running out of time to get ready for work. Ha! Nothing's more important than art, am I right?

Wreath for my dear daughter-in-law
And finally, the painting above is my latest commission for my daughter-in-law. She loves this scripture and wanted me to paint a wreath of leaves. Lately, I have been experimenting with various textures and layers. Another thing I realized with my wreaths is that I needed to work on planned repetition and balance. I believe I have improved somewhat with the latter since there are repeated leaf styles, florals and even a balance of complementary colors in the wreath above. 

In the end, stepping back and taking an honest view of my work and progress is helping me know where to go next. Thanks for stopping by, and I would love to have your feedback! Please leave a comment below if you have any advice or questions! Until next time, paint your heart out!!