Watercolor thank you

Still enjoying the watercolor for card makers class. Since I wasn't able to follow along each day I'm still busy practicing some of the beginning techniques. Anyway, super fun using my supplies and stamps in new ways.

For this card, the assignment was to use a stamped image as a guide for your watercoloring. My water color paper was on the thick side, 140lb and I used some new distress markers by ranger. The flower stamp is from a StampinUp set, I think no longer available, I show it in the post before this one. I didn't have the markers, so I just purchased a few in some floral-y colors. I never felt the need to have these, but I really did like working with them as watercolors.

I worked with this one little flower for a while. The trick is layers. And patience. Letting the image dry in between. Already I can tell that my comfort level with these techniques has grown.

I finished off the little square card (it's 4"x4") with a sentiment from Wplus9 Fanciful Feathers.  Seriously, it took longer to make this card than my usual, but, I just love it. I've worked on some backgrounds and more flowers for now. Maybe I'll even add some leaves next time....I just wanted to keep it simple for now. 

The other two cards behind it are made with some backgrounds I was playing around with a few weeks before the class started. I think it was some glimmer mist on watercolor paper that I misted some water on....I wasn't really sure I knew what I was doing, just playing. I hated it, then I took a bunched up paper towel and blotted the wet spots.....set them aside. Anyway, I think they call that a happy accident. Looking at them again this week I saw them with fresh eyes and decided to use them for cards.

Until next time...



I've been participating in an online class this week, Watercolor for Card Makers. It's run by Online Card Classes. An amazing class! There is something inspiring and very doable each day. Even though I am not able to keep up daily, I don't feel behind. Very encouraging, easy to do techniques.....just need to practice, practice.

So far just playing around with my supplies. I think I have been hoarding um, collecting, watercolor supplies for a while.....judging from the cool finds I discovered while shopping my stash. Like an unopened watercolor "stack"of 14 colors just waiting to be used. I don't even remember buying it, guessing 2009. And of course finding new ways to use some of my current stamps, ink pads, die cuts and stencils. Also, learning the best way to use the brushes and the correct type of brush for the look you want to achieve. All this is new to me, yet I have always loved watercolors, just too intimidated by it.

I jumped right in during day 6 or 7 and really need to go back to the start with some of the basic stuff like backgrounds, but trying out the techniques and supplies I've never worked with is part of the learning.

There is one fun technique where you lightly splatter the watercolors into a freehand shape.....intimidating right? Too Advanced for a newbie you say? Nope. The instructors are excellent at explaining and demonstrating the technique. Man, I couldn't wait to try it even though it's further along in the class assignments than I am. Such a beautiful end product. My first attempt....

Ok, so I'll keep working on it, maybe turn it into a card, maybe not. But I loved experimenting with it.

But those splatters though.

I just love that free form look!

I do want to post something in the class gallery....which is how I ended up coming back to my blog. So better get to work. Geez, now I realize I've missed blogging :)

Thanks for stopping by.


A moment-in-time, with kid stuff.

I took this photo this morning because I want to remember. I love the randomness of all this everyday clutter, taking up space on our living room ottoman. The bits and pieces of what the kids are into these days. Little treasures of their everyday life. The kind of days that tend to zoom by us. The kind of days in which we seem to not remember these types of little details. It's not just a warm beautiful autumn day I want to remember. It's this part of our daily lives on a warm beautiful, autumn day that I want to remember.



Connecting + Pinterest

Funny story about blogging. You can't wait to start a blog and want to blog everyday then you want a break. During said break you discover all the other ways to socially connect with people. Such an increase from the days when you started blogging here back in 2006 that it could be overwhelming if you tried to connect using all of them. I actually began blogging earlier than 2006,  but back then I started a blog on live journal, around 2000-2001.  So much has changed.

Emailing friends and family used to be the main way to "connect" then came Facebook. I thought about it recently and the only times I email now are for work related or school/volunteer related topics. Interestingly enough, junk mail always finds a way in. Ha. I never did tweet but I finally flickr'd, then came pinning, and I'm eyeing Instagram as a possibility next.

Well, I guess so much hasn't changed. We still like to connect and share we just go about it differently, at blazing speeds it seems. The funny thing is that while I was on Pinterest one night about a month ago I saw one of my older card pictures on someone's board {the photo above}. I did a double take. I hopped off the couch, OMG! But since no one was around to share this nerdy moment with, because it was about one o'clock in the morning, I sat back down.  I just had to see for myself, and yes there it was. I was flattered yet perplexed at how such an old post, from '08, could have made its way to a crowded place like Pinterest. Go figure.  Where was i going with this?  Oh yea, and funny story, that's how I made my way back to this blog.

Through the stats on the blog I discovered that the post from this one sizzix papercraft experiment is the most popular on my blog. It was also listed on a craft site much later. I never checked those stats that much, so when I found out in 2010, it was a pleasant surprise. :) I also enjoyed reading the many comments about it, some from '09, '10 and '11. Thanks!

I have also moved up to the LifeStyle Crafts letterpress machine, good results, not crazy about the plastic plates, felt they could have done a better job on that. I barely use my original sizzix now. But just last week my daughter, who is in 7th grade now (she was only 6 when I started this blog!) wanted to use some die cut letters for a social studies project so we hauled out the old reliable machine.

I love the look of embossed paper still. Recently discovered so many nice embossing folders from stampin'up and darice, they have been my first purchases for crafts in a long time. See, around the same time I took breaks from blogging I also took breaks from buying too many craft/scrap booking supplies. It felt good not to overload, or just even not to think about or obsess over whether I had the latest and trendiest stuff. Goodbye to over buying, and now I only buy what I need, really really love and can get much use out of.

Cheers to connecting!


handmade gifts for teacher

Note: I found this post "in draft" from two years ago. I don't know why? - probably had to check the links and then forgot ??  

I haven’t posted about any of the paper crafting going on around here lately so here are some handmade gift ideas for those fabulous teachers in our lives. In many towns parent groups like to have a teacher appreciation event at the beginning of the year, our area likes to have one in May.  These are actually really nice for any time of year you want to make handmade gifts.

We used some of these for the national PTA’s Teacher Appreciation Week/Day and for end of year gifts. Our school has activities for a whole week in May involving teacher appreciation; beginning with the children writing a special Thank You to any teacher they wish to compliment and ends with the PTA sponsored appreciation luncheon at the end of the week.
I think about all the other caring adults and volunteers we run into as a family and I know they put aside time each week to plan something special for the kids. From the preschool parent/child group organizers to the religious education volunteers at our church each one has a special place in our hearts.
I turn to making something handmade. Fortunately I have found out that we have many scrapbookers in our teacher mix. This is good news for me since I’m really only good at one thing. Paper. I also find it simple to put together something that is practical, that will be used and that is versatile to be used any which way they want.

A set of handcrafted note cards or hand stamped journaling cards are a recent example. I pulled from my  “stash” of scrapbooking and card making supplies and also from the growing stash of digital designs I have fallen in love with.

1. The hand stamped journal cards were inspired from an old blog post over at the fontwerks blog.
2. (no picture available, sorry) A handmade note card set using digital designs can be made with any digital brush kit. It is easy...I simply find a digital design that is pretty and using some type of photo or graphic design software on your computer you customize it according to paper size you are using and what size you want the finished product to be. I like using an 8.5x11 piece of heavy weight card stock, cut in half this will give you two note cards. Mix and match with envelopes and tie together with twine or ribbon.

3. Journaling cards were made from several designer digitals products, (the handwritten digital designs are from Ali Edwards).  Digital butterfly sticker also from designer digitals (though, no longer available). I also like to print out a background design and cut it to the size I need or use a paper punch (oval or circle scallop), then hand stamp an outline flourish or botanical design in the corners. Rubber stamps used are from hero arts or found online at impress rubber stamps. I am always attracted to either the botanicals or the flourishes. I always like to use a nice sturdy weight card stock for handstamping and digital projects. Can your printer handle some watercolor papers? If so, even better, that texture is beautiful. Mine can, but only the not too thick kind.
{This grouping also includes digital designs from Paper Relic (birds, butterflies with banners). Background paper from a digital kit of IOD (iron orchid design) designs from way back (2007 maybe.) Purchased at another fave site, scrapartist.com. They were some of the very first digital downloads I purchased and I still love them.}

There are so many to swoon over. And new ones added every week. Since you can print these out to use for your personal use (not commercial) and re-use again for cards/invites/gifts, plus re-size, and recolor, this is also a double bonus {or is that, triple? quad?}. Most are between 2.99 to 6.99 – I think that is affordable.

4. Let’s not leave out the “freebies” that could be practical additions to a paper project. Like making your own paper to fit your needs. I like to use these two freebie sites as a starting point for ideas such as making your own background patterns for a project. Here I like to use heavy weight card stock also.
Two favorites lately have been:
printablepaper.net (I discovered this one from a post over at the fontwerks blog) Cool school-lined paper.
And, a new to me,  free grid and graph paper site:
incompetech.com. I've loved graph paper ever since my high school days. This site has a circle grid graph generator that has nearly endless combinations of color and patterns. hmm, more swooning.

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detail of a bird's idea of home sweet home

100_5594100_5802bird nest closeup100_5798100_5797100_5796
100_5795100_5794100_5793100_5792bird nest: weaving perfectionbird nest

Details of a robin's nest. A shutter sisters blog / one word project (owp). The prompt for June is "details." I just joined, but have enjoyed the blog for a long time.
There have been many reasons for not blogging lately, but mostly it was because I just began wanting to do something more. something else. so I stopped for a while to just see what it was that I wanted this space to be. I return again to photos and photography. Hopefully inspired throughout summer.



I think the hydrangea bush makes one of the most adorable flowers. This flower cluster was just about to bloom to its lavender shade but I thought the green shade was eye-catching.

Just thought I'd share.

Watercolor thank you

Still enjoying the watercolor for card makers class. Since I wasn't able to follow along each day I'm still busy practicing some of...