discovered: finishing something makes me giddy

my craft table around 30 minutes ago

For the December Journal/Scrapbook (actually the official name is "December Daily") I chose to do a numbered tag for each day 1-25 but I didn't want to leave out days 26-31 since so much goes on that week with the kids off from school etc. I plan on just making a page/place to put those end of year reflections. I find the last week of the year always puts me in a kind of mood where I like to relax, enjoy the kids being home, clean up after the holidays and start fresh.

The whole idea was not to run out and have to buy a whole bunch of products....good thing I didn't have to. Plus, I like tinkering with digital to make my own journaling boxes or number tags. My two minor purchases were binder rings -- a box of 12 and 3" red vinyl number stickers in helvetica font. Office Depot has them on clearance this week. I was lacking in some christmas-y paper until I found my basic grey Figgy Pudding paper that I had purchased last year after the holidays. In fact, it was a little like Christmas as I uncovered a bunch of stuff I had stashed and forgotten about. Clear stamps I had forgotten about. Lots of number stickers I had yet to OPEN. gasp.

One thing, the best of all things I enjoyed, was finding out that I am totally in the mood for all this. Getting the supplies out for this project and the Christmas cards put me in a good creative flow that I haven't had in a while.

oooooh, look, pretty tags I forgot about (gotta love the toys, keeps little guy busy so I can glue things together)

yep, more stuff I forgot about. uncovered in an unlabeled brown box.
sheesh, why do I hoard?

Also tonight I printed off some penmanship paper to use as one of the pages for the journal. So I'll end the post with another very cool site to visit. Here. You can download and print out all types of papers or calendars for free. It gives a nice place to record thoughts, you can print them in smaller sizes for another element in your journal or use them as background paper on which to stamp an image on. When I print these I like to use heavy matte paper specially made for printing brochures and such (I use Epson)


glitter in my coffee

two of the tags that will number the album pages of days 1-25 for a December journal scrapbook

enchanted gold lightly blended with sea green glitter + caffeine = hmmm, yummy
(glitter is more obvious if you click on picture)

That's what happens when you are crafting + drinking your early morning cup of coffee at the same time.

The projects I am focusing on for this month are putting together a journal for December and getting the Christmas cards ready. Last year things got so busy around here that I ended up sending some New Year Cards instead. I just don't want to do that again. Starting earlier this year. Maybe doing a little less of some things to make sure the right ones DO get accomplished.

it is just not possible to get away to my craft table without the little ones following. yes, I know, the force is strong with this one.

The December journal/scrapbook album is inspired from the ali edwards blog....here
There is some really pretty christmas card inspiration at another favorite blog scrapscene... check the : a christmas card a day series.

have a great week.


Voter: " #371"

That's what the volunteer in my district said after I signed in and I went over to stand in line to cast my vote. I stood there taking it all in. I considered it one of the most memorable and significant election days ever. We made sure the kids were part of it too.

Yes, Tuesday was a very exciting day....regardless of whether your candidate won or not. Volunteered at the bake sale/fund raiser for our youngest child's school, helped early morning voters get their sugar and caffeine intake so they could stand in the long line. Went to work in the afternoon to take down old cards and put up the Christmas and Holiday cards. Ironically, I also had to take down all the "summer" cards which included the "Politics '08" line. I can't say I was sad to see them go. But a few were LOL worthy.

We as a family ended up going out to cast our vote around 5:45pm that night. We took the older kids with us. In the back of the car both of them were figuring out how many years it would be until they could vote. And who they would vote for. Nine more years buddy. Ten more little lady. They did get to participate in voting at school which made them even more excited to see the real thing. Our daughter asked if she could go in with me, they allowed it (I was surprised), but of course she was not allowed to touch anything. However, she did blurt out in a loud-ish whisper, "You're voting for Obama Mommy?" "shhhh, yes dear." We were a house divided though.

How great it was to see them, still so young, so excited to be part of something.

{Halloween pic: our little bumble bee running through the Seneca Park Zoo wooded area}

Fall is almost done dropping its beautiful autumn color here, get out and enjoy it. About 70 degrees here today, but rain projected for the weekend (that's so rochester!)


Overdue Post

For so long I have had to postpone any blogging just due to too much to accomplish at home. I wanted to say overwhelming - but really it isn't. Just that everything you used to do still has to be done + now you work. so suck it up mama and just get back out there. Best thing I did. Stressful, yes, change always starts out a little stressful for me. But for the most part, looking back - I wanted to stop blogging for awhile so I could really figure out what I needed to do with my luv for scrapbooking and stamps. Punches and paper. Sizzix and stickers. ETC. Or, lets face it...figure out a way to help pay for it at least. hee hee.

So much has happened but the biggest change, and the main reason there is not enough time in the day of even formulate a blog post, is of course mommy going back to work after being a SAHM for almost eight years (august 2000 - may 2008). Stressful was the way there was this 8 year "gap" in my resume section for "professional experience" and how that would look to a potential employer.

Fast forward a bit -- it all worked out wonderfully. I found a part-time job that fits with a slightly loopy family schedule, gets me out of the house, brings in some much needed income (though nowhere near where I was professionally, sigh.) and gets me in the mood for creating (though, that time also is at a premium) The children (now 9, 8, and 4) are relaxing in their new routine, we have been able to finally tackle potty training and pre-K has begun with a great start.

So where does a girl who loves paper and makes her own cards get a cool, flexi, parttime job. A greeting card company of course! I know it sounds real exciting when I write/type that. If only I could say "designing the cards" that would make me all warm & fuzzy inside. I am one of the many card merchandisers for american greetings in my little neck of the woods. Pretty happy about it. I get to see all the new cards, and I've learned to love the displays I get to create in the stores.

Happy to be back in a schedule where blogging fits in again.
Happy to be earning money for the family again.
Just happy to be home on Saturdays and Sundays with the family.
Fall is my most favorite time of year!

good night for now :)


just words + photo tells a story

Its amazing, when you remove all the other worries (what goes here, what matches this. etc) how easy it is to focus on your story. After all isn't that the reason why those of us who scrapbook do it in the first place?

To follow along or read more about this, visit one of my fav scrapbooking blogs here.

The challenge was to use just one other embellishment (or none). Since I speak about the pillows that my mom made in the story I added a small piece of the leftover fabric we used for the red pillow shown in the photo. I thought it was a nice addition. Plus every time I go look at the page I reach out to touch the fabric {its a soft. light weight, corduroy}.

The journaling was done in MS picture it! {can also be done in ms word}, letter stickers for the words "favorite spot" and The fabric is on the page using "zots" small, flat, round, adhesives.
strip of patterned paper is from Websters Pages, pink lemonade.


a slide show

Short and sweet for today.

One addition to the sidebar on the right. A slide show tentatively titled, Making stuff :: handmade mini album. Click on it to see all the pictures and captions.

Inspired by this: All week long one of my favorite sites is exploring a great scrapbooking topic...."words + photos". She will do such a great job with this...And I think following along all week will feel like I'm taking one of her famous classes!! Someday, someday. So I am looking forward to the creating her articles will surely inspire.

Like the make a mini album/book challenge.

The handmade mini album is based on an article from her most recent newsletter and on her blog. The challenge was to use stuff {scrapbooking supplies} you already have. The pages are easy to move around and you can easily add extra pages or add other fun things you can punch a hole in.


April Page

"U Play"

Fall Day pictures. With the April Page Challenge papers from local scrapbook store.

Drawing from the colors of the solid paper and the stripes I went with these late fall pictures of the kids that I like so much. I wasn't really finished with the page here -- I was moving the chipboard "U" around and various little cut up words -- and I decided to look at it from a different angle. I turned in the finished page last week but never took a picture of it....so here it is almost finished. It doesn't show the journaling which was done on a strip of paper, labeled with a file tab and then tucked behind the photo collage at the top left corner.

I might have mentioned this before - but I thought picking up papers that someone else had chosen was going to be difficult but instead the opposite happened -- it simplified the process {for me} by removing the overwhelming "hmm, which papers go with these?" I found that it makes you stretch your creative thinking until you use all the pieces of the set. I might not have paired the textured blue with the stripes and orange -- but I learned to go with it and I liked the color combo after all. All in all very fun to work with.

These papers are from the April Page Challenge at one of our local scrapbook stores. {The Paper Garden.}
Double-sided paper (stripes/light green) is from Webster's Pages -- all their stuff is so beautiful.
Included were : orange and brown cardstock and textured blue paper {don't know manufacturer} and a large chipboard U
Photo collage was done at home on my Epson printer {only my third try at this -- I see a few mistakes here and there but I still like this one alot. Photo collages with many photos take practice -- I need more practice} I filled in the empty spots in the collage with the patterned papers.
I added the little boxes with the words "play" and "fun" and the date in the photo editing software.

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Paper in the Mail + first communion

This was mail from a while ago....love it when there are papergoods catalogs to browse through.

I'm sure I intended to post this pic along with the inspiration it lead to, but I find that I never did that. We have been preparing the two older kids for their first holy communion so I had the idea to make our own invites, favors, thankyous, etc. I have had a lot of creative time {luckily} for that sort of thing. Just sharing a few pics of how the invitations turned out. Completely inspired by the invitations in the Paper Source catalog {the one pictured above}. The rubber stamps came from a Fancy Pants clear set {the butterfly} and Kodomo {the cherry blossom branch}. The strip of blue Asian paper is wrapped around the invitation and is from Hyatt's Art store here in Rochester.

That was yesterday! It feels good to finally see it through -- months of prep, special books, special activities, shopping for the special gown, "dressy clothes" for boys, classes and one shaky rehearsal later -- but it all came together - beautifully.
The ceremony went just as beautifully as ever, even the weather cooperated for us as we made our way into the church. I was very proud my two.

The morning of I scrawled a few notes for myself as I reflected on the day ahead {with the intent to read it to our guests as Grace -- but I spaced and completely forgot to bring the paper with me.....duh...then at the restaurant it seemed every detail had to be run by me....so again -- spaced -- and I feel real bad about that}

"dear lord, we want to take this moment to say thank you for all your blessings today. thank you for blessing us with this delicious food; with beautiful sunshine, blessing us with beautiful children and allowing us to be blessed with the company of our family and dear friends. please care for those who were not able to be here today. amen."

On to the goodies... the favors being prepped...a couple of days ago.

and finished...you can find these cute small cardboard boxes in the wedding supply section at the dollar store {yes! the dollar store, one pkg of 12 for $1.00} They were the perfect size.

And finally, there is always at least one blurry picture that captures my heart.....in this one she is sweetly smiling for the picture taking aunts and cousins, but she is dying to take the dress off. "PLEEESE mommy can I change NOW?" she says in front of some of the guests {who of course think its so cute} But she looked so pretty...I stalled as long as I could...and I managed to hold of the change of clothing until after dinner and the cake....she did wonderful and eventually didn't want to take off the dress at all.
sigh. they are so cute. I wanted the moment and the day to last forever.


Swirly Paper reminded me of Snow Flurries

I've had very little time to blog lately, but still capturing little moments with the family with my ever present camera. Trying to keep on track with some home projects really cuts into blogging time. boohoo.

I finally was able to scrapbook a little in March. A local scrapbook store, The Paper Garden, offers its customers a monthly "page challenge" mini kit for purchase ($2.25)and then you get to play with the contents, bring it back before the end of the month and they nicely offer a 20% discount on any purchase you make that day. Oh, and then they post it up in the store. That was a thrill to see :)

These papers (red swirls and blue swirl) are from imagination project and the brown cardstock is from worldwin. The mini kit also included two pieces of ribbon that you could use on the project any way you wanted. It was really fun to use papers that someone else had chosen ---- the colors totally reminded me of hot cocoa and rosy cheeks and swirly snow flakes in the winter sky --- hence the winter day pictures that I had already taken back in Feb 07 really fit that theme. I turned one of the flowers that was cut from the blue/white swirl paper into a little embellishment by using glitter pens and glaze pens to bring out some detail. Then I used some pop-dots to "pop" it off the page a little.
Totally looking forward to coming up with something for the april page challenge. It includes papers from Webster's Pages and a chipboard letter. If you're in the Rochester area and love pretty paper you should stop into this scrapbook shop.

Hope it won't be too long before I post again :)

Later, Bye
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Places for Creative Inspiration

Day 12 over at the 21 day challenge at Twopeasinabucket.com...I skipped yesterday, but the quotes are always so motivating. I don't know what it is, the snow on top of more snow, kid activities, the sick lil'guy or what, but whatever creative intent I had over the last two days has been zapped.
{I guess I'm doing something creative right now....I love updating the blog, I just try not to let it get too obsessive. It seems to fill a little creative need to write and share creative thoughts. Whether through words, photography, doodles, cards..etc. So today I made a little time for me}

While blog surfing....some real cool sites that I've been going back to

Music: Pandora Radio - just type in your fav song or artist and it automatically compiles a song list similar type songs. (found this on the 2peas site message board) cool. Its free and you have to register, but its pretty quick and painless I'm sure its been around awhile but I just discovered it! I've been playing it in the background.

A new stamping company to love: The Unity Stamp Company. Reeeeally pretty designs. Not available yet though. Great samples on their blog. I always hope that these new companies with fresh designs are available locally, but that is not always the case. I'll never figure out why our local scrapbooking, papercrafting, and/or rubberstamping shops don't carry these beautiful new lines that are appearing lately....they just seem to stick with the industry standbys. Of course you can probably find them online for sure.....but I always try to find it locally first.

Cool Design Inspiration: Rebecca Thuss. {also found this on the 2peas message board} just a glance through her beautiful portfolio gets the creative juices flowing. From one of the photos I had an idea for some favors for our kid's first communion coming up this spring. She has this under "weddings" but its such a versatile idea it could work for any event you need some simple favors for. They are presented beautifully in bowls or platters decorated with berry wreaths of some sort. Inside are little packets filled with teas for the guests to take home. You can't see every little detail, but it is enough to get the ideas flowing. Once I saw that I thought it would be an easy one to do and instead of teas I'm thinking flower seed packets inside {keeping with the spring time theme}

other big news {well for me it is :) : our daughter's 2nd grade artwork has been chosen to be included in the a district wide Art Show. That is this afternoon. They will exhibit grades 1-5 and 30 little artists per school are chosen. Can't wait to take some cute pics. Its always so cute to see the little artists standing near their awesome creations. This is very cool since her brother was in it last year. They both get to share the glory in each other's creative spirit!
A good mommy moment!


quickly she posted

Okay, the days are getting longer and I am so waiting for spring. Hence, the new banner with my favorite spring things....flowers, rain, and bare baby feet :)

I sidetracked a little in March -- here we are on day 6 but I haven't updated with my start of a "one week at a time" scrapbook -- it is one of my personal goals to get that started. Of course that is inspired by something Ali has done in the past. Like so many of her ideas/projects this one has inspired a whole bunch of neat ideas to capture the everyday moments in our lives. The days go by so quickly sometimes....I was reviewing old photos {from 2002} and I just had to stop at some of them and relive that moment just briefly. So good. There are some days when I just feel like I take so many pictures -- many more than I will ever use in an album -- but then I remember what it feels like to go through all the little odd ball ones and smile.

The rest of this week I have been following along with the 21 Day Challenge over at the 2peas site. Its a journal challenge for 21 days, make {or break} a habit. They are on day 6. I haven't posted anything on that site but my thoughts have gone into a new art journal. I am really enjoying the process and a side goal is to keep it from getting too complicated. Because I tend to over complicate -- that is one habit I'd love to break. But my challenge entails actually making the time in my day to do what I love to do --be creative.


Make : Your Own Sorta-Letterpress* Paper

Don't work on a project when you're tired +other experiments hacking my Sizzix

the rejected banner, not that the other one is perfect, neither turned
out the way I wanted it to look.

Tried something new out for the banner --you know it's true what research says -- working on something when you're sleepy doesn't produce good results. I finally had to close the file {I was nodding off so bad --} and call it a night at 1:30am -- Even after looking at it again I'm pretty sure I should just delete and start over. I'll try it when I'm not so sleepy.

Make : Your Own Sorta-Letterpress** Background Paper
What I wanted to show was the background paper -- -that is actually a "de-embossed" image. Or "de-bossed" ???-- I heard that phrase the other day. Either way its the the opposite side of the paper once you run it through the die cut machine while using an embossing folder. This is what I affectionately refer to as hacking my sizzix.

Tools used : original sizzix machine, cuttlebug embossing template {Damask}, ivory cardstock and pink inkpad.

The thinking one day was this -- wouldn't it be cool if I could do my own letterpress here at home without having to invest in one of those cool vintage letter presses or whatever they use to get those super awesome crisp designs. Why, if they could put silkscreening in a cute do-it-yourself-at-home kit like the Gocco {So much to Love about Japanese design!!!} couldn't someone come up with something like a desktop letterpress kit? hint, hint someone. Um, Hello, Japan, we need your design savvy here.

Enter the Sizzix {the original one} - it's essentially a press so I thought I could try this experiment out. I used cardstock from a scrapbooking project. The biggest paper size you can go to looks to be about 4x6 or greeting card size, or the size of the cutting pad, embossing folders come in all sizes. {sorry, I don't measure anything, sorta like I cook}

1. First I inked the raised design on the cuttlebug template with a pink ink pad. The ink will collect in the pressed down areas of the design. That's the cool part.

2. Working on your cutting pad, slide the paper in the embossing folder. You want the raised, inked design to be above the paper. Which means you put the embossing folder on the cutting pad the opposite way the real instructions tell you to.

3. When the paper is lined up where you want it, carefully close the folder on the cutting pad and slide the whole cutting pad {which has your paper+template on it} under the "press." Careful not to shift anything.

4. Press the whole design in place, the larger embossing folders require you to make several presses to get the whole design. Make sure not to shift the paper and folder, otherwise the design might not line up.

5. Remove cardstock from embossing folder and Admire your sorta-like-letterpress* paper! {Above} See how the ink gets inside the nooks and crannies?

{this one {above} was accidentally "pressed" twice so the texture is not as prominent -- but I wanted to show the right side of the template {named : Damask} it is one of the most elegant from cuttlebug.}

**sort of like letterpress, but not, close though.

Enjoy, try it out if you have a sizzix!


valentines day - doodle

This little lovebug was doodled for the kid's homemade valentines day cards -- but before he would even consider giving them out I had to remove all the "girly things" according to my 8 year old son....BUT, BUT he chose my lovebug drawing over a robot rubberstamp so that made mommy feel all warm and fuzzy on this valentines day :)

February 14 is a big day around here -- lil' girl's birthday also. lots of fun!


image note: bug doodle by me, swirly doodles are from a free digital set by designer angie briggs (from digitalfreebies.com)


more cards

I mentioned in an earlier post that I used stamps from the angel company for some christmas cards...these are some...{the set, "christmas joy" is not in the new catalog though there are new beautiful sets available}. I just loved the old fashioned look of the christmas stocking on this set - and the detail on the wreath is very delicate, I loved how each pine branch was so perfect. Glad I bought it when I did.
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continued post.....

{continued from previous post}

the cards..this is the idea borrowed from martha stewart....I saw this type of z-fold card on the kodak gallery site. The martha designs were so simple and elegant I knew after I saw those that I could re-create something like it.

This is were I used the cuttlebug embossing folder designs {in my original sizzix} The impression that these folders give you is remarkable -- I love the feel it gives the cards. The texture is beautiful all on its own - the raised image on a simple white or off-white card is just serene and elegant to me so I went with that look. But I also tried embossing with silver embossing powder and was pleased with that too.


Back to artin' + craftin'

Okay enough of the electronic gaming and sci-fi interruptions, back to our regularly scheduled artin' and craftin'.

Here to update the blog a bit. I can always sense when I've been away too long...too many "posts" are flying around in my head. Too much stuff is already causing a clog so I don't need any extras finding their way in there.

First off, I noticed that I never blogged about any of my other cards from the holidays -- I had so much fun working with some new stamps from theangelcompany, figuring out that those cute, new cuttlebug embossing templates fit into my original sizzix machine quite nicely, using classic black and white photos, and an idea or two inspired from marthastewart.

My attempt at decorating the Clear glass ornaments with monograms using rub ons and stickers from american crafts and making memories turned out beautiful. That idea was originally from Ali's site during the month of December. I really thought they would be too fragile and that getting the rub ons to stay was going to be a task -- it wasn't, I made so many as gifts for friends and teachers.

tidbits of our christmas...new ornaments mixed with the old ones from my childhood...the pretty blue one I remember making with my mom (probably late 70s) Now my kids and I made our own...homemade tags for our gifts....my favorite spot to sit and look at the tree all lit up...favorite christmas gifts....and a forgotten bag of ornaments {probably bought at last season's after christmas sale} found in the basement had a little birdie just begging to be on the tree.

2/10/08 note : I found this post in "draft" mode and I had forgotten all about it.....it has taken about two weeks for us to get over all our sicky bugs and influenza. I haven't been that sick in years. Luckily all five of us had it at the same time. Whatever flu is going around -- I kid you not -- protect yourself. Its ICKY! you don't want it! :(

anyway -- more pics later...


The "simple" doctor visit

So yesterday afternoon went like a little like this:

2nd visit to the pediatrician's office in 5 days because of bad cold symptoms


promising french fries to get you out of the waiting room with the choo-choo train.


promising a stop at the store when you were crying inconsolably because we were headed home and turned right at the light instead of left (the way to grandma's house)
(that's about 8 min of crying folks)

$11.80 {for pullups and "tay-toe chips"}

A peaceful car ride home in addition to knowing you don't have strep {which would've cost me more money}
of course,



Storm Clouds in Rochester

For today just cool pics of last Wednesday's very dramatic wind storm -- gusts up to 75mph. Not usually seen around here often -- it sounded like a train coming down the road. Around 5:15am we suddenly heard a huge rumbling sound, things hitting the window screens and the house, etc. Very bad for several areas who lost power and didn't recover it until Friday night. Phone and Cable are still out for a small percentage.

For a brief while {very brief believe me} I felt like someone from one of those storm chasers shows. It was both scary/exciting to be outside during the early hours of the storm. I wasn't out there very long, too many things flying around.....felt like Dorothy. What you can't see is the wind whipping around the other tree branches to the left side of me or how much it was pushing the pine tree over.

Wait........... let's take another look at that last one.....


To Wii a Mii

The big gift on Christmas morning was our Wii { -- because we all enjoy this silly thing called a Wii} Even more fun than playing the Wii games is the fact that you can design your own you...or as it is called a Mii. All the Miis that get created end up all together on one screen where they sort of walk around...looks like they are going up to one another and such. You can go in and "check on them" as my kids like to do. You can create more than one...this is too fun, one for each side of your personality. heehee. So we were a little bored and had a little fun creating new Miis to mingle with our real Miis...is this getting confusing???

my son: "look ma, your other Mii is laughing"
me: "cute"
my son: "lets change it"...[proceeds to give me all sorts of virtual makeovers, liposuction, botox treatments, disguises, beards, hairstyles, eye transplants, etc]
me: "ooooh, hairstyles, change my hairstyle....how about that one?" [pointing to the short cut]
my son: "um, that's just creepy"
me: "huh??"
my son: "you like that hairstyle? well okay then"
me: "why not? she's cute. Name her Mabel"
my son: "really, that's just creepy"

Okay so she really doesn't look like me at all except for the messy hair. but. but. she's my imaginary Mii friend.
I wish I had the freckles.
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Make a flower loom embellishment

It was so fun to create this -- I took some pics to show how it works, the loom instructions come with the loom when you buy it, but here's my version:

[1] knifty knitter and yarn of choice, go 1 yard or more for a full effect, leave a bit of a tail looped around the first peg {the one that sticks out at the side, not the top} for a knot later
[2] begin looping around the pegs at opposite sides from each other, I made some mistakes here at first, couldn't tell. I do believe it is fool-proof. loops will look like a figure "8"
[3] once you go all around, I do some loops twice for the full effect, begin taking the remaining yarn and weave in and up through the middle of the flower to make the center
[4] tuck the last bit inside and down into the back of the flower and flip over the loom, now you have two ends
[5] tie both non-looped ends into a knot, the tail you left at the beginning and the remaining end piece
[6] now the fun part -- begin taking all the pegs off and you can see your handiwork coming to fruition
[7] little hands always like to come by and interrupt..um I mean help out, I keep him busy putting the pegs back in the little holes :)
[8] and [9] fluff it up and admire your cute flower embellishment. You handmade maven you :)

The finished flower is about 2.75in across. You can cut the remaining tail off if you like -- I like it cause it looks like a flower. I've also thought about attaching this to a pin back so it can be worn on a sweater. I can see this on a scrapbook page for my daughter too.
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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...