Monday, April 24, 2017

Color Throwdown #439

Color Throwdown #439
A gracious good Monday morning to you, everyone! I apologize for the chipper beginning to this's early, I know! :-) Today's card is for Color Throwdown's weekly challenge #439. The lusciousness of yellow, orange, purple and red screamed watercolor!! So that's what I did for the background and then, using white cardstock, I cut out PTI's Quatrefoil cover plate and added the sentiment from Graceful super quick and easy!  Have a great start to your Monday and thanks for stopping by!!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

One-third and Counting!

Make It Monday #281: Patterns Behind Window
Happy Earth Day and 1/3 of the year gone. That's right folks, one-third of the year is almost behind us. Time to shop for Christmas!! Lolol! Seriously, next week is Administrative Assistant's Day, and I am already behind schedule with this, Mother's Day, and birthday card making. To try to make a dent in the card-making frenzy, I created this card for my husband's assistant after watching Dawn McVey's tutorial for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #281. I plan to add this card to a nice gift to show our appreciation for all that Jeannie does. The world truly would not turn without our trusted assistants running the show!

Thanks for stopping by!

Card Recipe [All PTI except for 'dictionary entry' as pattern]:
Stamps: Bold Blossoms & Mix & Mat Scallop Die
Inks: Pale Peony, Simply Chartreuse, Spring Moss, Classic Kraft, Burnt Umber, Raspberry Fizz
Paper: Vintage Cream and Heidi Swapp Vintage Chic Textbook

Friday, April 21, 2017

100 Days of Watercolor #1

Day 16--third attempt
TGIF everyone!! Hang on! It's just a few short hours away from the weekend. :-)

I wanted to take a moment to update my Watercolor Wednesday #6 post. In that post, I discussed failure as a necessary ingredient for growing and learning. Immediately after that post, I continued on my #100daysofwatercolorexercises journey for Instagram. Folks, nothing I painted with water, paper, and pigment worked. All of them...complete disasters...the entire day. I made four earnest attempts to produce a decent post, but after the last attempt, all I could do was put it out there for all to see!

Day 16--Cactus, take one
In a way it was freeing. It is one thing to state a's quite another to live it and own it. Well, I own it. The posted photos are my "best" worst failures for Day 16. Moving forward to Days 17 and 18, I was able to rebound from that experience. And when I say rebound...I mean in my "Mary Had a Little Lamb" level of watercolor painting rebound!

Day 16--Cactus, take two
This is what I learned:

  • Sometimes I need to let the paint dry
  • Sometimes I need to walk away and just stop
  • Sometimes I need to have a plan and maybe sketch first
  • All the time, I need to accept small steps forward. 
The 'take two' cactus actually shows texture and shading. I wasn't really going for that when I started. The pad in the foreground has depth and a curve to it. I've not been able to create 'roundness' before in my painting. And finally, the pad in the foreground has texture. So although it looks like a cactus from a Walking Dead episode, it's not that bad!

Thanks for stopping by, and until Wednesday, have a great weekend and paint your heart out!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WCW #6--Just Do It!

My favorite from the past week: Feather-Day 13
Hello and happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This week's post is all about jumping in and taking risks. The nice thing about keeping a watercolor journal is the opportunity to explore. Self-criticism is my number one talent, and over the years I have had to tame the nasty voice again and again. I haven't mastered it yet, but I have told myself that if I will commit to trying new things, I can always go back later and try again to make it better. That seems to have quenched the growling for now.

Day 15: Brush Techniques
So, I've been practicing brush and water control for the past few weeks, and it occurred to me that I really don't have to wait until I feel like all of that is under control. I can have fun with the process and just dive in! We really don't learn anything without failing. The following is my list of crucial ingredients for learning:
  • technique
  • practice
  • application
  • failure
  • repeat the process all over again until you have achieved success!
The photos in this post show paintings where I combined technique and practice with application. The feather above was created after watching a video on Skillshare. If you don't know about Skillshare, it's a community of learners and teachers who share what they've learned with you. The lessons are in YouTube format, and yes, you can probably find everything you need for free on YouTube. However, for a small amount monthly, you can explore all sorts of classes that go into more depth and break down the steps to ensure success. You have an opportunity to upload your work and have the instructors give feedback. The feather above and a few other pieces were created after watching Peggy Dean's 10 Easy Watercolor Projects. Click on the link to get a free class, if you'd like to see what it's all about:  Skillshare 10 Easy Watercolor Projects. You will have to sign up to get the free class. Now on to this week's projects:

Although Skillshare is a great platform, you really don't have to pay big bucks to learn how to watercolor. There are plenty of demos to be found on Instagram, bloggers, company websites, and YouTube. The piece below was inspired by a @hello_worldpics on Instagram. I love following them as they have the most vibrant, colorful pictures from all around the globe. The window does seem to be a little unbalanced, but that really is how it looked to me. Life is a little off, right folks?!! 

Day 11/100 Window in Columbia
The cute lady bugs were also painted after watching an Instagram quick clip by @weilis.whimsies. The technique is wet-in-wet blending and line drawing on top of the circles. This was so much fun to create, and it turned out swell, too!

Day 12: Ladybug Fantasy
And finally, after I finished the Ladybugs, I used the paints on my pallet to create the mosaic below. I didn't have a plan, I just started with the colors, painted shapes, and continued on until I ran out of room, basically.
Day 12, too: Mosaic
I hope you have enjoyed this week's post. Please leave a comment below...I'd love to view and comment on your work as well. Be sure to leave information...Instagram tag or blog I can find you.

Until next week...paint your heart out!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Anniversary Card & Flowers!

PTI-Create Along With Us
Happy Easter Sunday everyone! I hope your day was filled with family and fun! We certainly enjoyed the Easter egg hunts and fellowship with family. I apologize for the photo...looks like the yellow took over!! :-)

Grans Garden progress

Today's quick post is for Papertrey's Create Along With Us. I was inspired by Nichole's countdown card using the new Gran's Garden stamp set. It's a gorgeous floral, so I pulled out my 2016 Anniversary set to play along. I love the Kraft cardstock on white with the white pen lines and sentiment. My version added a few more hand-drawn lines to set off the flowers and sentiment. Now it's off to get back into the routine for the upcoming week!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hoppy Easter!

Easter Card for Nieces & Nephews
Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a great Easter weekend so far! I made the card above for my great nieces and nephews. They are getting to the age when receiving a card snailmail is a big deal. The stamp is So Sweet from Papertrey Ink. I do like how this card turned simple with the repeated background.

I'm also playing along with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Hip Hop. There is still time to join the fun! Happy Easter!!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WCW #5--Washes

Rainbow Wash
Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This week's post is all about the wash! The wash above was an attempt at a rainbow wash ROYGBIV style...however, I didn't think about that when I started, so I'm out of order :-). With the wash above, I was actually practicing my dry brush strokes so that's why it isn't as smooth as it should be, in my opinion.

Permanent Rose, Cad Yellow Pale & Cad Red Pale
The next two photos demonstrate more of a wet-n-wet technique where blooms and color mixing on paper was encouraged. I decided to stay with a warm/cool color combo on both, but I did add yellow to my cool colors instead of incorporating green. One thing I would have done differently would be to relax and let the colors do their thing more. The temptation I always face is 'helping' the process along which results in a more 'mixed' look as opposed to a 'bloomy-natural-flowy' look.

Cad Yellow Pale, Ultra Marine, and Cerulean     

So, practice, practice, practice is in store for me! I like to watch and follow along with the video below. Meredith, at The Witty Gritty Paper Co., models and describes the process beautifully, and I remember the very first time I felt like I got it 'right'! She has several easy-to-follow, beginner watercolor videos over on You Tube that will help demystify the medium.

Palm Sunday Post on Instagram
After painting a few washes, I like to experiment with things I think I've learned. The photo to the right is a representation of that. This week many are celebrating Holy Week, so my Instagram post for Sunday represents the beginning of the week. Although not a true wash, you can see elements of the wash technique. I purposely painted blue stripes with a 1/2" flat brush, but I also went back and forth to lighten the dark strokes and darken light strokes in true watercolor wash style. I used a light paper--Canson Multi-Media paper, so honestly, a true wash wasn't going to happen anyway. I do like how the background turned out, however, and I think I'll use this technique to make backgrounds for my cards.

Thanks for stopping by! Please comment below and let me know how you like to approach your wash techniques. I'd love to hear from you!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hello Friend!

Wet-in-Wet Watercolor Background
Hello friends! I hope your weekend was a fabulous one...mine was...but not long enough! My crafting list is longer than my laundry list!! Today's super quick post is for two challenges: Color Throwdown #437 and Little Tangles #79. The colors for CTD #437 are aqua, red, yellow and green. I thought, as long as I'm careful, I might be able to pull off a nice watercolor background with the colors. To keep the complementary colors from turning grey or brown, I decided to strategically place them and use green as an accent color. Yay! It worked!! Next I used Scandinavian Prints to stamp my flowers and cute sentiment.

There is plenty of time for the Little Tangles Challenge, but the Color Throwdown window closes at 6:00 p.m. tonight. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WCW #4: 100 Days & More

Project for Skillshare: Gestural Flowers
Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! When I began this series, I was hoping to focus on one aspect of my watercolor journey. As I am diving in, however, I realize that there is so much content I could cover that it's making these posts long. My apologies...I'll work on that. In the meantime, I'd like to review the past week and a new commitment I've made.

The photo above is a painting I created after taking a Skillshare class by Victoria Johnson--Exploring Paint: Learn to Create Gestural Flowers. I loved this class, as it was quick, easy, and the demonstration was spot-on. After the class I was able to at least follow along and create and Instagram-worthy post. It was a lot of fun.

In other news, the #30DaysofBibleLettering came to an end on March 30th. Below is another attempt at painting a watercolor wreath. I do like how this one turned out. Leaves are a sticking point, but I am determined to build up to 5 or more styles by the end of April.

And finally, on Instagram yesterday, I began a 100 day challenge to work on something specific. I am posting with the hashtag: #100daysofwatercolorexercises. I hope to begin my watercolor journey in earnest by committing to daily practice. My plan is to explore shapes, patterns, brush strokes, washes, etc. Why not commit to a project of your own and join me? Leave a comment on or tag me in any of your posts to let me know your journey, and I'll keep up with your progress, too!

Follow Me on Instagram
Thanks for stopping by, and leave a comment below about your watercolor journey and discoveries you've made.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WCW #3: Practice

Created for #30daysofbiblelettering
This week's post is a reminder to myself that practice takes time, practice is sometimes pleasant, and sometimes practice is unpleasant. No matter what the day brings, practice is very much needed, no matter what the goal. I have heard one of my favorites, Watercolor Misfit say many gotta practice. Some...or probably many...say that watercolor as a medium is difficult to master. While that is probably true, I would ask: What is mastery in watercolor? I think the answer to that, at least for me is: When I have achieved the look I've dreamed about. That being said, mastery is also a moving target. While I may achieve the look I've dreamed of one day, tomorrow I may be stretching and dreaming for another style or look to achieve in my painting.

A very happy 'accident'!
The purple cone flower painted above was purely accidental after many sessions of painting leaves and attempting to paint flowers. I was so happy with the 'surprise' that I was wondering if I could recreate it. So, I decided to take a chance and incorporate it for a daily Instagram post. I was amazed that I could actually create another with relative ease. Practice does pay off!! Another thing I have learned over the last week is to make notes on all of my practices. I'm noting the date, the colors, type of brush and even the stroke. That way I can try to 'unlearn' bad habits or recreate good things like the flower above.

A small sample of my watercolor exercises last week.
So that's the end goal, right? What happens in the meantime? What I am discovering at an alarming rate is that if I don't paint--and I mean paint daily--my dreams will never be realized. There are things about watercolor that are quick, fun, and easy techniques. Then there is another side to watercolor which takes time and effort. But hey! If all of the practices are  mundane and dry, then I know that I'm going to give up quickly.

Below is a great video to spark creativity and to get to know the watercolor medium. [Disclaimer...the video below is a vlog and does include some of Carrie's creative insights which includes her life and artistic journey. If you want to get to the meat of this session, skip to 5.26 to get started!] I'm going to take my own advice, and for WCW #4, and I'm going to commit to really focusing on these exercises for the next week.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Please comment below and let me know about your artistic journey or any tips you've learned whether it be watercolor or any other medium!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hello Spring #2

Color Throwdown #435
Hello Monday! Hello Spring! This is a super quick post as I got caught up in March Madness last night. My card above follows Color Throwdown #435's color scheme: Orange, Yellow & Turquoise. I love these bright sun-shiny colors, don't you? There is still a little time to play along...the link closes at 6:00 p.m. today.

Card Recipe [Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:
Paper: White and Aqua Mist cardstocks
Inks: Orange Burst, Bright Buttercup, Hawaiian Shores, True Black
Stamps & Dies: Graceful Greetings, Noted-Scallop
Embellishments: Splatters made with Heidi Swapp's Misters-Teal

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Papertrey March Blog Hop

Papertrey March Blog Hop
Happy Spring everyone!! I hope you are having good weather. The other morning our power went out due to high winds. It came back on after a couple of hours, but others were out of power for quite some time. Today, however, is a super cool, sunny day which is why I cannot wait to get outside to enjoy a nice long walk! But before I do that, here is my post for Papertrey's March Blog Hop. Below is the awesome inspiration provided by Nichole. It is artwork from Victoria Johnson. I am in love with her array of colors and clusters of flowers.

Victoria johnson 8
Inspiration: Papertrey March Blog Hop

The foundation of my card above uses Aqua Mist card stock. Then I used the Circles coverplate to add a little texture to the background and sponged Hawaiian Shores to add contrast. Next I layered leaves from Turning a New Leaf, flowers from Flower Fusion #2, oval cut out from Noted Scalloped Dies, and Hello from Graceful Greetings. Wow! It's going to take a while to clean up from this adventure, but I certainly had fun!

Just a few things I gathered to play along today!!
There is still plenty of time to play long as you post by 11:30 ET today. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WCW #2: My Pallet

Mission Watercolor Pallet--Maiden Voyage
What I am enjoying most about watercolor is discovery! As a child, I watched my mother paint with acrylic and oils for many years, and I have even experimented with acrylics myself. Because of those experiences, when I started exploring watercolors, I assumed that when you finished, the paints were finished, too! What a delight it was [after having dumped a couple of tubes of paint down the drain] to discover that not only should I keep my paints on my pallet, but I should also keep my mixes as well. This is probably old news to most artists, but trying to learn this medium without any formal training has me groping about in the dark at times. When I finally discover something new--what freedom!
My First Pallets
Above is a glimpse at the pallets I started learning with. The pallet on the left is compiled of wells to represent the primary and secondary colors. One thing I've learned is the wells in the pallet are most likely intended to mix a lot of color at one time. I also have found out that they work very well with the liquid watercolor pigments, such as Dr. Martin Hydrus Watercolors. Since I don't watercolor large scenes, I do not need as much pigment that would be likely contained in the wells...sooo...this pallet will be on reserve for those times when I think I will paint multiple cards.

The pallet to the right was the one that I first learned that tube paints were meant to be loaded into the wells and used as 'pans' once they dried. When I figured this out...on my own, remember...I felt watercolor freedom! Okay, that may be a stretch, and as you can see from the mixes. Obviously, I'm still tentative about mixing my colors. I do tend to stay very 'organized' when I use my pallet...keeping the cools and the warms on their respective sides. It's true, I prefer to keep one mixture at a time, although I have splurged upon occasion and have mixed varying shades of colors adding neutrals and warms to cools and cools to warms.

Experimenting with Greens & Golds

The main thing I love about watercolor is that the pallet is living and organic...ever-changing. One project connects to the next with remnants of the previous piece ready to be incorporated into the next color value. I quickly discover new colors and combinations. Complimentary colors are no longer strange to me...I embrace the combination. I delve into cools and explore the warms. Shadows are no longer illusive as I twirl my paintbrush around the edges of a scene. And if I tire of a color, all I need to do is mix in another pigment and see what happens. It's never wrong, and it's always right!

I hope this post has been a little helpful to you. For more information, please click on the links below to find out more about using your watercolor pallets and starting your own watercolor journey. Until next time...happy painting!!

Angela Fehr: Basic Supplies 

Angela Fehr: Tips for Using Your Watercolor Pallet 

Watercolor Misfit: Best Watercolor Tips

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Love Green & Gold!

Color Throwdown #434
Happy Sunday and belated Saint Patty's Day to you! I hope you found your Pot of Gold instead of snakes!! The card above is a quick post for Color Throwdown #434. I love the green, gold and black combination. Isn't it lovely!

I used my watercolors [Sap Green and Cad. Yellow Pale Hue] to throw down some green circles. While they were still wet, I used my Prima Metallic Accent paints to sparkle in some gold. 

Love how the metallic gold pushed the green around...
Then I stamped the background randomly with a bud from WPLUS9's Doodle Buds set. The sentiment is from the same set and it is embossed using Zing! Gold embossing powder. This card is really sparkly in person.

 CTD #434

There is still time to play along...the challenge ends Monday at 6:00 p.m. Have a great rest of your day...and thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Watercolor Wednesday #1

Mission Watercolor Pallet
Greetings everyone! I am hoping to start a new feature on my blog each week which will be called Watercolor Wednesday. This is my first post, so I thought I would start by giving a tour of my watercolor journey. Number one: I'm not experienced, so if you are hoping to get some great advice, I would like to recommend several of my favorite artists over on You Tube:
  • Angela Fehr--she's an amazing artist and posts regular videos to You Tube.
  • Sandy Allnock--also an amazing artist and card maker. She has a lot of insights, and she considers herself to be learning watercolor as a new medium for her work.
  • Kristina Werner--Kristina is a well-known blogger and card maker...but she also is fabulous with watercolor techniques.
  • And finally, Watercolor Misfit--I love her quirky vlogs and her simple style in helping us all along our artistic journey. 
I follow many others, but the artists listed above teach and inspire me most! 

Each week I plan to share one project I'm either working on or have completed and what I've learned along the way. Today's post is a preview of Day 16's #30daysofbiblelettering project that I have committed to do for Lent. I have been practicing Brush Lettering for almost a year now, and frankly, I wasn't expecting to do very well with a watercolor brush...but...hey! I think this turned out better than all of my attempts with a brush marker! 

Watercolor brush lettering using a #3 Round, Cobalt Blue, & Purple Lake
Below are the colors I've loaded into my pallet top left to top right. Many of the paints I have are student grade, but I cannot toss them just yet. I plan to use them up and replace with artist quality. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  1. Cotman--Payne's Gray
  2. Windsor & Newton--Burnt Umber
  3. Susan Scheewe--Raw Sienna
  4. Windsor & Newton--Ultramarine Violet
  5. Cotman--Purple Lake
  6. Windsor & Newton--Colbalt Blue
  7. Cotman--Cerulean Blue
  8. Grumbacher--Thalo Blue
  9. Susan Scheewe--Hooker's Green
  10. Cotman--Sap Green
  11. Cotman--Viridian Hue
  12. Windsor & Newton--Permanent Rose
  13. Windsor & Newton Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  14. Cotman--Cadmium Red Pale Hue
  15. Windsor & Newton--New Gamboge
  16. Susan Scheewe--Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue
  17. Windsor & Newton--Quinacridone Gold

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Papertrey 10th Anniversary: Florals!

Papertrey: Favorite Florals
Good Tuesday evening everyone! I'm back with my second post today using PTI's Beautiful Blooms and Turning a New Leaf! I love, love, love, both of these stamp sets...they've been around for a long time. But there's a reason for that...they are truly timeless!

I improvised a wreath...all the rage today...using Turning a New Leaf and Beautiful Blooms. I also used PTI's Raspberry Fizz, Simply Chartreuse, Blueberry Sky, Bright Buttercup, Pale Peony, Hawaiian Shores, and Berry Sorbet to create the wreath. I added stitches using Tombow #933, Pale Peony cardstock, and a sentiment from Painted Petals, PTI's 2016 Anniversary stamp set!

Thanks for stopping by!!

PTI 10th Anniversary: Transformation!

Oh my! We're begging for a transformation!!
Happy Tuesday and Pi Day everyone!! This will be a first of a few posts today because I'm trying to get my final cards finished for the Papertrey 10th Anniversary celebration! For today's challenged we were asked to transform a card we weren't happy with. I could mention all of the things I think isn't right with my 'begging for a transformation card' created in June 2016, but let's just say I've learned some things since then.

While I've been making cards off and on for a few years, it was in 2016 that I fell in love with making cards on a regular basis. And through this new-found appreciation of the art, I've learned many new techniques and have developed new interests along the way, such as: watercolor, brush lettering, blending, collage, stenciling, line drawing, making my own backgrounds...the list is endless. It truly makes me appreciate what Nichole and the design team at Papertrey go through to create all of their wonderful products.

Peonies on Parade Transformed!
Above is the transformation, and I hope you all agree that this card is better. I have been admiring the tone on tone look lately, and to stay true to my original, I used the Peonies on Parade stamp set as the focal point. Instead of cutting out a frame, I decided to use the Stitched Rectangles Die to dry emboss a background onto my card panel. I used the back side of the dies and I had a happy made a raised border around the focal point. For the sentiment, I used Happy Mother's Day from Garden Grace.
PTI 10th Anniversary
Papertrey's 10th Anniversary Challenge
You have until 7 a.m. Eastern time on the 15th to play along...and it is well worth it! Nichole and crew are giving away $300 worth of PTI products!! I cannot wait to see what everyone else created! Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Papertrey 10 Years: Multiply!

Papertrey 10th Anniversary: Multiply
Good Monday afternoon everyone! I hope the time change finds you fairing well. I'm so glad I'm off for Spring Break, or I wouldn't be doing so well. I'm playing along with Papertrey's 10 Year Anniversary Challenge, and this was a great challenge to create a masculine card as I never have enough on hand.

For the color scheme, I liked this week's color pallet from Color Throwdown #433--Cornflower blue, green and white. I used PTI's Sketched Shapes for the circles and stamped them with Blueberry Sky & Green Parakeet onto white cardstock. The three background circles were stamped using both colors, turning the stamp 90 degrees to get a cross-hatch look. To finish the card, I used Embroidered Bloom's happy birthday sentiment and stamped it with Blueberry Sky onto craft cardstock. Thanks for stopping by!!

 Color Throwdown #433


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Embroidered Blooms!

Papertrey's 10th Anniversary: Guest Blogger-Lizzie Jones
Good Tuesday morning everyone! Today's quick post is in response to Lizzie Jones' stitching challenge. I do not own any of the stitching kits, so I used a favorite stamp set of mine, Embroidered Blooms, to create this simple card.

I also gathered inspiration for this card from CAS(E) This Sketch #211. I love their simple designs! Thanks for stopping by!!

 CAS(E) #211

Card Recipe:
Stamps & Dies: PTI Embroidered Blooms and Text Style: Thinking of You; Avery Elle Postage Stamp Die
Inks: Simply Chartreuse, Aqua Mist, Berry Sorbet, Pale Peony
Paper: Linen and white cardstocks; vellum