Monday, February 19, 2018

6 simple ways to be kind to your inner artist.

I am always looking outside the box to get to the root of being kind to your self. I think it starts with the thoughts that you have.






Positive thinking is such a huge part of what makes you happy! I feel like when we are positive the universe is sending good things your way! If you are not positive the universe will slowly make you more miserable. You get to choose! 

I have heard it say that for there are 10 negative thoughts about you to 1 positive thought about you! ouch! no wonder we are all a bit miserable! So for heaven sakes let's be kinder to our selves, we deserve it!

It's important to realize that creativity comes from the heart, nothing earthly or materials can change that. Most often than not, it' doesn't matter how much money you have to work with, It's showing up and doing the work.

When I am at my best, either when I am working creatively or being "a mom" I find that literally, It is a "well with my soul" or at peace with the world attitude. I am not thinking about the icky stuff going on in the world, it's an escape for me, and sometimes that is what artist's need, and escape to ground them.
the first painting I love!

I want to be able to share with you some of the things that I have found to help me be kind to my self. OF course, it starts with your thoughts.

Keep a book of affirmations to help you get out of that slump of not feeling like your a very good artist. (I am talking from the heart. I write affirmations a lot during the winter because I need lots of sunshine for my soul to be at peace. So positive thinking helps.

Write your affirmations out daily, post them somewhere you can see them so when you need a confidence boost you have it ready to go.

Do something good in your community. I had the chance to help out my daughter's teacher during Christmas and it was amazing how I felt, something about truly helping someone helps you feel better about yourself.

This painting came to me when I was serving in my church!
Create something daily, You can't get better if you don't practice right? Some of the best books helped me understand that it's not always the outcome, it's the process:  Art Before Breakfast, Steal like an Artist, Your Inner Critic is a big JerkCreative block : get unstuck, discover new ideas : advice and projects from 50 successful artists

Here is  Danielle Krysa talking about her book, You Inner Critic is a Big Jerk


Do something non "art" that you love. I call them Artist's dates, I got the idea from The Artist's way and it's a great way to get in touch with your artist.

Art Journal, I have to say I was a critic for a long time before I created an art journal, and I have found that Art journaling had helped my inner artist feel more confident. There is no right or wrong way to art journal. Here are some of the art journalists I love following: Dina Wakley, Dawn Sokol 

These simple acts to be kind to yourself really doesn't take much time, I know these are tried and true ways to help you be kind to yourself because I live with negative thoughts every day.

 I think: I am never going to be good enough for ____________. That isn't true, how do I know? I don't know because I haven't tried yet.
painting from memory always helps me feel at peace!

For the first 6 years of my daughter's life I completely shut out creativity, I did some odd end creative stuff if I "had" too, but never picked up a paintbrush in those 6 years, it was slowly killing my soul. I knew I was born to create more than just a "family" I needed a paintbrush in my hand every day!


bubble printing with my kids! 

loose watercolor flower that makes me happy!
While reading The Artist's way and learned that I had to find a way to release my creativity or I would be a miserable person that no one would want to be around, including my family. So I put my big girl pants on and decided to create every morning and every night when my kids were sleeping. That wasn't enough, I eventually started creating with my kids, we do art projects and have fun collaborating. Art really does wash away the dust of this world, in a way I never dreamed it would be.

So in essence, being kind to your inner artist is all about loving your self, and treating your artist with patience and love, as if you were treating it like a child that needs lots of love, nurturing and caring for. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Painting Winter Blues

The third rendition of the snow scene.
Painting Winter has always been a little mysterious for me, I always think that no one would like a winter scene because who wants to be reminded of winter? However there is a calm that comes when you paint a winter scene, and I happen to really enjoy the process of painting in cool tones. Winter brings a new depth of emotions to a painting that I never realized. So chill and relax as I share my thoughts about the winter scenes I have been painting.

First rendition of the winter scene
Angela had a class on winter scenes in her Watercolor University and I really enjoyed working with a loose and fluid style to create some winter scenes. I enjoy painting the trees in the background as much as I enjoyed the foreground. The hardest part of a painting is to not add too many details and to get a sense of snow. I learned to establish your light values first, so then you know where to add our darkest darks and your mind tones. It helps that you only use a couple colors, I used 3 colors and got a lot of different tones.

Here are some other Winter scenes I have painted.

Winter Trees abstract
So if you are loving what you see why not paint along with me and Angela Fehr this February and see what fun things there are to learn about watercolor!  Angela has a free class called Jump Start watercolor this month that would be a fun way to pass the time. I really think that this could be used well for all my card maker friends out there! I love using warm-ups for cards! Angela shows you where to start when it comes to watercolor and a sheet of paper is never wasted when you can make it into something else other than a painting! So if you are wanting to pass the time away from this winter with something new or different try it out for free! 


My question to you is, What are you curious about painting? I seem to enjoy a good challenge and now I am not afraid of painting a snow scene Thanks to Angela!

Happy Creating!

XOXO ~Lisa
Painting Christmas, Hay Bales

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Watercolor Valentines


Taylored Expressions Heart of Hearts stamp set With Brusho's



Hearts are so fun to design with! I love the diffrent possibilities and the ways you can use Heart stamps to resist watercolor!  Here are some of my cards I have made using Taylored Expression stamps. I really enjoy the Brushstroke heart stamp, It's going to become one of my favorite stamps!

These next two cards, I used the Taylored Expression brushstrok heart stamp, one I used watercolor to add some color to the hearts. added a senitiment from my stash, it came to gether nice and simple!
 This card I used white heat embosing powder to make the stamped background resist to watercolor. I used Brusho's to add color, and then sprayed the brusho's with water. I love using brusho's becuase you can't really controll the outcome, I just love howbeautiful the background is!

So two difrent back grounds with two diffrent results!

My short design tip is this: when I go to make some cards, I use my time as wisley as I can. I will often have pre cut watercolor panels that I cut up before hand, so When I am ready to stamp I am not taking time to cut my panel down to size. I can start stamping right away. often times I don't have a whole afternoon, I work in steps, at about 1 hour here and there throughout the week. I will stamp and heat embose 6 panels at a time, so I can have 6 diffrent panels to chose from, and to use for cards in the future. The link for the sentiment can be found here

Challenges I am entering this blog post at are:
Penny Black Saturday Challenge
Card Concept: My style is always Elegant and Classy, I was inspiried by all the objects in the background and thought I needed a background stamp to grabe attention to this card.
CAS Watercolour Cards
Fusion Card Challenge



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Watercolor warm up cards

So if you know me at all, I am a frugal person, Watercolor is my creative outlet. I picked watercolor because I was always curious about watercolor and I loved that you couldn't quite control it, but the real reason why I logistically picked watercolor over other mediums was that I thought it was going to cost less than other mediums. I don't really know if there is a "cheap" medium but I thought watercolor was going to be that! I may have been wrong, I now have over $200 in watercolor supplies and that's not including paper. Anyways to offset that cost I like to use my warm up or practice paintings for cards. Let me show you the behind the scenes approach to my methods. So I never waste a good warm up!

Did you know that there is a really neat opportunity to learn watercolor for free from a watercolorist to help you with your cards? Yep, Angela is hosting a Jump Start to watercolor class this month only for free, Check it out you will be glad you did. I did last year and am loving the results! Here are just some examples of a good warm-up turned into a card or two!

  I love learning about what different colors can do! and this is a fun way of learning, just play with your brush strokes with different colors and see what comes of it. The background looks "artsy" because I was playing with color, although I like the colors by themselves and wanting to leave it as it is, I added a frame around a stamped sentiment from Penny Black's Faith stamp set, and added some sparkle washi tape to anchor and to add some texture to the card.
 This next card I was wanting to learn how to do a wet into wet technique with blue tones as well but wanted to see what violet would do, Don't you just love how beautiful and simple this watercolor card looks, it's so perfect for a wedding or an anniversary card! I heat embossed the black stamped Penny Black stamp, and now I have used up another warm-up piece.

This card came together quickly for me, I was playing around with my new Brusho's I got for Christmas and I love love love them! It didn't need too much, just a couple of simply stated stamps to add to this charming inspiring card.
 I wanted to add a strip to yellow to see what would happen to the blues with the Kuretake watercolors. This beautiful birthday card came together nice! Fast and Easy cards are my favorite! This stamp is from Avery Elle.


If you haven't tried much with watercolor lately then you are missing out. Angela Fehr has a class right now where it's free to learn watercolor, I love her classes so much that I am enrolled in her Watercolor University and it's worth every penny if you love watercolor like I do.


Here is a video that explains what I use for my cards.



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Watercolor card class 

Winter is the time to paint!

I don't know about everyone else but it's too cold to do anything! My dog that loves walks was curled under all the blankets on my bed this morning as if to say, today is not a good day for a walk to sniff around those trees in the trail you like to take me to. She was right, -15 is not a good day for a walk on the trails.

As some of my readers know I have been trying to learn more in watercolor, not just in the crafting and stamping world, but in the fine art world, and I am loving it! I am feeling determined and excited about the new challenge each painting brings! So to keep things short I wanted to share with you some of my paintings and experiences!

Angela has a great Loose and Fluid class which I learned what not to do and a lot of tricks to get me feeling confident painting. A lot of it comes with warm-ups and learning what not to do.

This painting of a mountain was to get you loosen up, to let the colors mingle and mix on the paper, and it was so fun to see the process!

I enjoy learning about what different pigments do, and how they react to each other. This painting of a simple mountain scene really helped me use colors that I wouldn't have tried, and I am grateful for that. I have learned that a simple mixture of ultramarine and Cobalt blue makes a really cool tone for skies, then if you add some violet it makes a really nice shade to compliment the cool side. What I loved about painting loosely is that you let the watercolor do all the work, I like seeing the texture and the flow that watercolor brings with it. 

I am not someone that needs to control all the brush strokes but when happy accidents do happen it makes the painting look fresh and new. I loved painting this one so much that I had to frame it! I really love the freshness of this, and I am slowly finding my style! 


The Painting of Muncho Lake was a fun lesson, I used lots of different colors that I normally would not have used, I just love the cool and warm tones to balance the painting. This painting was a bit out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed the process and found myself really enjoying putting paint loosely on the paper and see what happens! 





The study of a winter scene in one layer of a loose and fluid approach had me giddy! I loved painting the shadows... But this was a study that was the inspiration for Angela to do an abstract! Which I love!!!

From this painting, we abstracted it, with Angela's guidance I came up with this painting! 

I love it, there is so much going on and it tells a story, It's just a fun way to interpret winter and trees. it's calming to look.

I am clearly enjoying the process, My mantra these days is:  you don't know until you try. These paintings have helped me see the watercolor process in a new light. With every brush stroke, I feel like I am getting better and better and that is why I am always learning. For me it was worth taking this class, it has helped me see my growth! I look back to some of my early paintings even from a couple months ago and can see that growth. I learned that negative painting works best if you have a good composition in mind. To let the watercolor do its magic, and to really see what the painting needs. 

If you are like me and can't wait to get outside and do something. Angela has a great learning opportunity to learn watercolor for free this month. Yes Free, and it looks like a great month to stay inside and paint and learn something new! Join me on her new class Watercolor Jump Start. It looks like it's for all skill levels that want to jump up to the next level. My goal for this class is to find my style and be happy with it. Even if it is more abstract than realism. Shouldn't painting be like that? how boring to paint something that looks real when you can take a picture of that? So I am jumping in with both feet too say this is my art and I like it!

Learn to paint in watercolor

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Penny Black Valentines: 6 ways 3 stamps

I am loving the chance to really get my hands on a paintbrush and just play with color! Color brings me joy to a gloomy Iowa afternoon, So I choose to focus on the joy of creating and painting! 

I thought This is a great season to focus on Love cards, I made these cards very open-ended so I have a valentines day card or a wedding card, or a thinking of you, or even a thank you, I had my dear friends in mind when I was creating these wonderful cards! 

This card was using the Fragrant floral stamp set by Penny Black, I heat embossed the flower stamp 4 times, it was worth it! Watercolored the flowers with a simple wash over the flowers, then later I glazed the flowers to give it more definition. I stamped Love never fails from Penny Black's faith stamp set onto vellum added some twine and called it good. It was a fun card to create! Worth the effort of stamping the flowers 4 times I think!


I got to be completely honest, I love scripture stamps, seriously I LOVE THEM! (could be because I teach a high school religion class.) Anytime I can use a scripture on a card and pair that watercolor, that makes me happy! Can't you see this as a wedding card? I was playing around with what blue and purple did with my new Qor watercolors, and I love the flow, reminds me of the dawn, where the sky is still dark and you can't quite see the sun coming up! 


I picked this Sweetheart PB. stamp up at my local scrapbook store Memory Bound and I am so glad I did, I enjoyed making these cards, I hope to send them to my "favorite" people when they need encouragement! A simple Gold embossing makes this stamped image the star, I did use some Kuretake watercolor for the blooms and wreath (loved the color combo.)  I used a Love you Die cut from Taylored Expressions gold foil card stock (my favorite) Simple and beautiful! I really liked how easy it was for this card to come together! 


Same Sweet Heart Penny Black Stamp, instead of coloring the wreath for an elegant look I did an expressive style wash and dropped in purple and pink pigment where I thought it needed it. then added the die cuts and the sequence to add some bling to the card! 

Here is the same way done with gold embossing, I sent this to one of my favorite people to brighten their day! I just love the simplicity of the gold embossing!


Of course, I had to save the best for last, this was done with the Penny Black Script font as the background, although I masked it so it didn't show inside the wreath, and then I stamped the Love one another from the Love sentiment stamp set from Penny Black. then watercolored the flowers. This to me is the perfect wedding card! Good thing I have a wedding coming up! 

I hope this can inspire you to make some Valentine's day cards, I can't wait to show you what I did with my kid's valentines, I believe that whenever possible kids should always make their own valentines, what else are they going to do on a cold yucky day? (not watch tv, they can art around with their momma!)  

My tip for when creating cards: Show up with a stamp and start embossing, I had a blank sheets and thought I will emboss these with white and gold embossing and see what comes of it, I am glad that I did, I realized that it's a real time saver when you have 6 panels already embossed so you can watercolor them! Wha Who! 

Don't you just love playing around in your creative space to see what you can make? I sure do!

Happy Creating!

~Lisa~

Friday, January 19, 2018

Brusho's: My new favorite Pigment for cards



Are you like me and love to try new products out? I have watched others play with Brusho's all year last year and I wanted some for Christmas and Dear Mother In-law was sweet enough to buy me the 12 pack and I am loving them! So during the winter break, I made some panels for cards I started with white Heat embossing then let the magic work with the water and Brusho pigment powder, I know there are a bunch of fun things to do with them but for now, this is what I have done!  


I wanted to share with you a closeup, see all those specks? that's the texture that Brusho does when it' doesn't have a lot of water to make them "burst"





Gold embossing powder shows an elegance to anything you create, so although this stamp from Taylored Expressions was most likely meant for a "cute" valentines day card, this card in my mind's eye is perfect for those special occasions (anniversary, wedding, or telling that special someone how they make you feel.) I really think that Brusho's and gold heat embossing goes together. 




This card was used with a little bit of Brusho's and a lot of water, I didn't want too many specks in this card.I wanted the color to look fluid and loose.  To see more of my cards with the Mandala stamp that I love go here.


While I had my red, and orange and yellow Brusho's out I made this star background. Please tell me I am not the only one that stamps on the card panel with a background stamp without an idea? I am glad I did because I love this background to this card. Most often than not I save time by stamping a black image to my card base panel for a rainy day and then when I am able to have my "Artsy stuff out" Then it's no big deal to make a couple backgrounds! 


I loved the Brusho's with the Star Background from Taylored Expressions so much that I had to do one in blue tones, I a so glad I did! Makes for a really nice boy birthday card. 

Stamps that I used for this blog post: (not affiliated with any stamp company, and I buy local.)
Taylored Expressions: Brushstroke heart, Brushstroke Star, Mandala background 2, Hearts of Hearts, Frame Die Set 
Avery Elle, Scrip Sentiments
Penny Black Faith Sentiment