Christian Themed Sentiments - Perfect way to encourage Graduates and Mothers

I love making cards that can be open-ended for lots of occasions, Usually, I can find a way to make cards work for almost any and all milestones.

Here is my thought process:
1. I am a Christian, and I am ALWAYS looking for encouraging and uplifting sentiments to add to my stamp collection. ALWAYS. I found that a good scripture can have multiple meanings for different occasions.

2. Life is filled with opportunities to share sentiments that are from the heart.  Why not share one of your favorite Scripture on a card for someone else to gain that knowledge?

3. I love keeping it simple, and Christian Themes are Simple to grasp, but hard to express. Why not make this into a visual testimony of how you feel?

Why am I sharing these cards with some of the Graduates I know?

I teach a High School religion class for my Chruch (Seminary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.) and have came to realize that my sweet and amazing students need lots of encouragement to always be kind, steadfast in their beliefs and to share Christ's love to those around them.  The Faith Hope and Love card was originally going to be a wedding card, and that verse is great for weddings, which is why I have it, but Thinking that really all good relationships and all good blessings from God comes from those three attributes, I would want my Graduate to know that these three attributes the savior taught applies to life, not just Marriage

Why Do Christain themed cards work for Mother's day: Most Christain themes are out of love, and there is no greater love than a mother's love.

Mother's day cards can be very direct with simplicity. Sharing your favorite, or your mom's favorite scripture/Christian theme on a mother's day card will have a lasting effect on her, because of the feelings that are associated with conveying that love you have for the special mothers in your life that has helped shaped your life.

This Duckling Card is going to be sent to some of my best friends that are "young" mom's or moms that are in the little kid stage of raising their family, As a friend I want to acknowledge mother's day from a friend perspective. Doesn't this card work well for that?

If you are looking for a Mother's day or graduate card that speaks from the heart, these cards might be it!  Please email me if you are interested in a card, I start my pricing at $8 per card, each card is individually painted/created for any custom design you are looking for!

Asking my self this ONE question changed my life!

Happiness is something we deprive ourselves when we have Toxic Perfection.

It is my hope that with this post that I can help you understand what Toxic Perfection is and how we can let ourselves be happier.

What am I talking about? Toxic Perfection is when we have to have everything perfect, whatever we do has to be as clean or as perfect as possible, It's not good enough untill________.

My friends in almost all artform, we must let go, the painting is done before it's "done" The book author Writes simply ends, and goes onto the next thing, it's simply done. I love what Jackson Pollock says about his painting The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.  

Julia Cameron in the Artist's way asks this simple question: What would I do if I didn't have to do it perfectly?
Answer: A great deal more than I am.

My answer to this great big elephant in the room question was: to paint, more specifically watercolor. But I will look completely ridiculous trying to paint, that is for real artists and I am a crafter I told myself.

The universe is usually on our side, not long after thinking that I would paint if I didn't have to do it perfectly, a friend mentioned that there are some watercolor classes online I will send you a coupon code for 1/2 off of your first class. I haven't looked back since that day. It's hard to actually go and do, our family art room was my classroom. I told myself to learn and grow. Part of producing art was to make lots of mistakes! So I did!
limited pallet I started with. 

You see when we decide that our perfectionism is a great excuse for not doing anything, we deprive ourselves of our personal growth. I have learned to understand that I need art in my life, almost as if it were air to my creative soul.

I was able to learn about artists and their lifestyle, interact with other students that love watercolor as much as I do. The excuse of I am not really good went away and I was left with: I am committed, now what? If I am skilled or not, it doesn't matter, what matters is Do I like what I am Creating?

Perfectionism has a way to make everything we make look "bad" that is not art, that is called being blocked. Perfectionism deprives us of the joy that comes from just practicing and playing around.

 I wonder if we were all a bit more forgiving of our mistakes just how beautiful the world could be?  I want to leave you with this thought: Do not fear mistakes: There are none. ~Miles Davis

If you are timid about trying a landscape like I am (not my strongest skill in watercolor) check out Composing Landscape class, you will be glad you did! Angela's teaching style is so encouraging, and her knowledge of watercolor gives me the motivation to paint every day! Clicking on this link lets you get 20% off the class!  
Rural Iowa skyscape 

By clicking on  the links, and purchasing a class you are supporting my blog

An elegant way to say Thank you

I got this cute oldie but goodie Thank you stamp from a friend that loves me enough to feed my stamping addiction Thank you JB and so I thought this is a perfect stamp to heat emboss in gold and to watercolor with...

I recently got some Tim Holtz Distress crayons and thought, this would be a perfect pair! So with a green and blue distress crayons and a brush (you could use a water brush), All I did was with a wet brush I used the crayon as if it were a pigment and added the pigment to my brush and brushed it onto the paper. I had an easy card panel done in minutes. You know me, I like to keep things simple and Elegant, so I kept the card clean and straightforward, added some dark green embossed paper and some decorative gold washi tape.

My design tip: USE WHAT YOU HAVE! I love that water-based media in its true nature is so fun to manipulate. Distress Crayons let you have those velvet like layers, I love that watercolor Crayons can give you darker layers that give you some depth to your watercolor washes, like in this card, using some 2nd and 3rd layers of pigment really made some of the flourishes really pop!

For watercolor on the go, this project is perfect, you could pre-stamp and heat embossed card panels, take them with you with your distress crayons (they are not messy and a perfect travel companion.)

How to learn more If you are like me and always love to learn more about watercolor cards there are two classes that I recommend you take:
Angela Fehr's Creative Watercolor class: This is a great class for anyone that wants to add watercolor to cards, art journaling, and Caligraphers.  This link will get you 20% off the class

Watercolor Card's Made Simple on Craftsy. This is the perfect class for all paper crafters you can see my class review here

Happy Creating!

Watercolor Card Class with Angela Fehr

Washi tape and watercolor goes well together

The right kind of paint makes all the difference

If you are new to my blog, Welcome! I love questions so ask them in them the comments below this blog post!

On to my class review, I reference this class a lot when I am making cards!

NO Stamped Card! Die cut and washi tape
I love when artists share their unique style and paint the way that makes them happy. Angela Fehr has a style that makes me thank heaven that she was bold and courageous in creating in the way she does! It takes a lot of courage to paint in a style that is your own, Angela does this so effortlessly.

Angela's way of teaching is perfect for the hobbyist, and the seasoned crafter, the techniques are not "trendy"  but something you can take away using for trends, for example, she brings in Lindsey or better known as the Frugal Crafter. Lindsey shares her secrets to making some beautiful watercolor cards that can be used over and over again, techniques that can get you beautiful results, using watercolor as ink for stamping images, and use stencils and watercolor for card making.

If you are not a traditional stamper (like I use to be) washes, blooms and basic techniques are a great way to start. YOU DONT HAVE TO STAMP TO BE A CARD MAKER! There are beautiful results when you just watercolor. Watercolor cards that use just pigment and brushes can be beautiful by themselves, She shows you how.

I have fallen in love with stamping again, most of my examples are of stamped images, I haven't even touched the surface with what was taught  without a stamp... (I need some courage, stamps are my crutch and they are so darn cute!)

Angela brought in Artist/paper crafter Karin Akesdotter She shares how she uses watercolor to make cards using dies, and how to "finish" watercolor paintings into cards. I have always struggled to finish and polish my cards until they "shine." This segment from Karin was what I was searching for in a watercolor class! Thank you, Karin, for the amazing advice and for Angela for her foresight for her students!

Easy watercolor wash with Tim Holtz Flower Garden Stamp
Angela has a very comprehensive creative watercolor class, everything from resist, to free-flowing water wash, which is one of her signature styles to her watercolors. Angela advocates that for every painting session she warms up with a freestyle wash to help her stay loose, I learned that no warm-up is wasted when I can use my freestyle wash in a card, or as a die cut for an embellishment for a card, and then I have another way to use up all my warm-ups, and sketches.

I loved that she showed you how to use Brushes Pigment Crystals, (I can't wait to try them, Angela, they look like a ton of fun!

You know that I am a huge advocate for creativity. I found this class full of inspiration. the nuggets of information that she shares are valuable beyond just card making, for any watercolorist this is a great class to have taken.

My dear sweet Husband and Mother in law bought me Angela Fehr's Watercolor Creative Watercolor card class for my Birthday in
May, out of all her classes I could have taken, I was super excited about this watercolor card class. #PaperCrafterAtHeart.

Click on this link for a 20% off discount for this course

I am an affiliate for Angela, she personally invited me to share her classes online, I do get a small commision when you purchase a class from my blog.

Happy Creating!

Watercolor and stencils

I love when two crafty tools come together and you can get some really great cards! I made both of the stencils, the triangle one and the mermaid scales stencil using my Silhouette, I cut out a background file to use as a stencil on brown craft paper that you get at your box craft store.  This card is easy and you can make a ton of these cards. Perfect for those sunny summer birthdays! 

Watercolor panel cut to 4.25x5.5
Watercolor: two color friendly colors, like teal and purple
Medium flat brush
A container of water to watercolor
Stencils (I chose a triangle and a fish scales)
White cardstock for die-cuts
Flower die cut (2 medium and 1 small flower) for celebrating card, Starfish from Silhouette Design Store
3 Gems for the middle of the flower
A2 Card base

Start by adding a two-toned flat wash to the card, making sure that the two colors blend well in the middle. Let it dry, or use a heat tool to dry it quicker

Place stencil onto the card base, tape it down so it doesn’t move with some painter's tape or artist’s tape. Add the stencil image to the card by using the same color you used for your background, use the purple on purple, blue on blue. Get some pigment onto a sponge that is a bit damp, (you don’t need to much water. I like using a spray bottle to get the sponge and the pigment wet just wet enough to pick up the pigment and stencil it on. The pigment should be fairly thick, like a creamy consistency). Making sure that in the middle blends well together. Let it dry.

Add the die cuts, I used two small flowers and a medium flower from the die cut set. Then add them to the card as if they were growing on the stenciled flowers.

Adhere the card panel to the card base.

Learn more about how to use watercolor in these classes I love them both!

How to learn more If you are like me and always love to learn more about watercolor cards there are two classes that I recommend you take:
Angela Fehr's Creative Watercolor class: This is a great class for anyone that wants to add watercolor to cards, art journaling, and Calligraphers.  This link will get you 20% off the class I am in the works of making a review for this class, I highly recommend this class, it is a great class! Here is the link for the review of this class

Watercolor Card's Made Simple on Craftsy. This is the perfect class for all paper crafters you can see my class review here

Happy Creating!

Preserve your Family in times of Chaos with Artist's Dates

I love Artist's dates! What you have no clue what I am talking about? Let me explain:

Artists dates for my family and I are simple, you could say that they are more like mommy dates, and they are... but for me, as an artist, it has more meaning to it, it feeds my soul with creativity and culture that helps bring my inner artist out to play. The goal of the Artist's Date is to let the kids and myself have fun and experience new views and ideas about our world.

julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way" describes an Artist's Date as a key tool in recovering our creativity. Simply put an Artist's Date "is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend again all interlopers." The benefits of Artist's Dates are numerous but one of our favorites is that Artist's Date feeds our creative well of images which inspire us in immeasurable ways!

Visit a festival, I took my kids to the Des Moines Art Festival and 6 months later they still talk about it. We made so many memories in that afternoon!

Go to a local candy store we like Rocket Fizz in Ankeny IA and get our children's favorite candy, CAN WE SAY JELLY Belly?

Go see a movie with popcorn and candy, I love it when our local theater in town would play the oldie kid movies that I grew up with like ET or Willy Wonka, or my favorite to watch in the theater with my daughter was The Sound of Music, it was truly the best Artist Date that I had with her in a while.

WAVE POOL or any pool, but for me, a wave pool is like heaven on earth!

Make a recipe together, it's usually from the PBS kids cookbook that I love! A good Smore or a superhero lunch date will work wonders for your inner artist!

Play in the sandbox with bare feet
Painting sticks and rocks, check out my blog post about painting sticks  I like this book for inspirations

Botanical Garden, or butterfly garden

Zoo trip, and lunch at the park outside of the zoo

Listen to different music and talk about what you like, I like to introduce my kids to silly 60's songs, Jazz, Classical, and Broadway music.

Plan a trip (research it with youtube, and books) Planning our Walt Disney Vacation had been really entertaining during supper, It made my inner artist come out, and I felt my soul lighter when the day was weighing on me.

Tulip Time in Pella taking a trip to a town nearby that has an educational or cultural feel is always worth the drive, Pella Iowa is one of my favorite places to visit.

Visiting a Greenhouse, we are blessed that we have a beautiful one that is in our School District that has a huge variety of plants, all kinds.

Visit a planetarium, (ok this is really just a trip to the science center) but every time we watch a show in the planetarium I feel elated by imagery and I always come back learning something new!

 I could go on and on, but really an Artist Date with children is an easy way to learn and see the world from a different perspective. An artist date with your kids should help your soul feel lighter and happier. I love seasonal artist's dates, like visiting the pumpkin patch during October, I mean how often are we likely go down that big slide without a screaming elated 7yr old? You start to feel young and carefree! I am so glad I implement this into our family's life, I hope that you can see value in this easy way to help preserve the happiness of raising a family like I have done.

As always I have someone else in the blogosphere that mentions the same thing, check her out:

Mellisa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a great list of ideas and ideas that work for families. (perfect Family Home Evening ideas.)

Coffe Filter Paper Flower from Creativebug

It's that time of the year again for graduations and recitals! I have some perfect bouquets for those special occasions! I hope you find these Classes on CreativeBug helpful!

Paper roses that have been hand died, to match your daughter's costume, like these roses, are perfect for those pictures that you cherish, It makes your daughter feel like a princess, I made these on a spring morning, Totally doable with a few key things like coffee filters and some die, scissors, and floral tape! You can find the class here on CreativeBug If you are not familiar with CreativeBug here is a great deal: Get a 14-Day Free Trial + Save 30% at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores

I will say, that I loved the process of dying the coffee filters, you can use tissue paper, but I really enjoy the small size of coffee filters for this project, if you use coffee filters instead of using beach you want to use liquid watercolor to die the pedals.  The best thing about this class is you will have lots of leftovers to make more flowers if you needed.

After playing around here is a picture of my ballerina with her bouquet

I have been a member of Creativebug for 18months now and Love my membership, I don't know what I would do without it! If you are looking for ways to be more artistic I recommend this deal! 

How to use Gesso with watercolor

I love simple and fun ways to stretch my supplies, and this is a fun one to do, I get very carried away when I get my gesso out... Here's what I did!

 Gesso and Distress crayons

To prepare this card, take your favorite stencil, I used a stencil I made with my Silhouette using a background cut file and some heavy craft paper, but any stencil would work well for this card and gesso.

Lay the card down with the stencil and apply gesso with a pallet knife to the stencil as if you were frosting a cake. Let it dry for at least 4 hours.

Then add 3-4 colors of distress crayons over the gessoed panel. With a baby wipe to blend the colors together until you get the blending to where you would like, remember that gesso will act as a resist, so the more you rub on the gesso part, the less pigment will be left. The paper will keep the pigment rich, so you can really get some neat blending!

Then assemble the card with your embelishments and sentiments, easy peasy!

Desing Tip: To make some easy cards I like to stamp or print the sentiment on cardstock and then cut a strip of paper to work with the stencil graphic so the whole card will marry nicely together.

To find out other ways to use this technique below is a great YouTube Tutorial

To find out other great ideas on how to use water-soluble inks to use as watercolor check out 

How to learn more If you are like me and always love to learn more about watercolor cards there are two classes that I recommend you take:
Angela Fehr's Creative Watercolor class: This is a great class for anyone that wants to add watercolor to cards, art journaling, and Calligraphers.  This link will get you 20% off the class I am in the works of making a review for this class, I highly recommend this class, it is a great class! Here is the Class Review post

Watercolor Card's Made Simple on Craftsy. This is the perfect class for all paper crafters you can see my class review here

Happy Creating!

Stamping with Watercolor

Stamping and watercolor go well together, add flowers to the mix of it and we got a really good combination I think.

Often times cards don't need a lot of extra stuff, This card is a pretty easy card to create. If you are like me you already had some flowers stamped and cut waiting to be made into something. So if that's the case the card is practically done for you! If not drag out your Sizzix, watercolors, stamps and Dies!

I started with two card panels, one to stamp with watercolors, This is a great tutorial for stamping with watercolors from the Frugal Crafter Or if you are needing a better idea on how to stamp with watercolor (using watercolor pigments instead of ink) Take this class, My readers get a 20% discount With Angela Fehr's Creative Watercolor Class for paper crafters.

For the background I used Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks and then blended the blue, green and yellow with a wet brush, let it dry then took Tim Holtz dot grid stencil and took away some of the pigment to give it some texture.

For the Flowers, I watercolor stamped a flower set from Richard Garay with Kuretake Gansia Tambi watercolors (my favorite watercolors for cards.) Then added the flowers together to get a good arrangement of flowers onto the card, Add some bling to the middle and you are done!

My quick tip for making this card: Since you already have the materials and tools out, make a bunch of flowers at the same time, it will save you time later. I like to stamp and cut out 3-4 sets of extra flowers at a time so I have extras when I need some embellishments but don't want to go through all the work again for just one flower. I keep the color of the flowers fairly open-ended when it comes to it so I don't have a crazy color I am trying to work with. I keep the pinks and yellows.

Can't you see this card being used for a summer wedding or anniversary?
Happy Creating!

To learn more about watercolor cards take an Online Class with Angela Fehr,  Here is a 20% off coupon for the class. Totally worth the time and money!

Affiliated links and supplies list below. By clicking and purchasing from these links you are supporting my blog.

Acrylic Block stamping backgrounds

Here is a great tutorial I found to help you make this background, I love how the colors can blend, I used just three distress inks and look at all the different shades and tones I am able to get with this card! 

Follow this tutorial, but I used a whole card panel that I inked up, then once it was dry I was able to adhere a butterfly die from Memory Box, to polish the card I finished the card with wood grain washi tape which helped with the mood of the card I was going for! 

I like going back to basics sometimes, especially when I want the Die Cut to take center stage. And that is my simple design tip, let the art and the elements complement each other, using simple and classic techniques really help make the butterflies look delicate.
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