Creating Mindfulness DIY Wrapping Paper #Mindfulness #DIY WrappingPaper ...

It's that time of year! Merry Christmas, I made this tutorial with my readers in mind- I think it's so important to be in the right mindset during Christmas and sometimes that means to do something creative- Why not put some craft paint on some craft paper and make some wrapping paper!

In this video, I share why practicing mindfulness with creative arts really helps you de-stress, and help you work through anxiety, and emotions.

Have a merry Christmas, and I hope that the New Year brings lots of joy with it!

Taylored Expressions Poinsettia with Liquid Watercolor

I enjoy painting with liquid watercolor! Here are all the details on how I created this card!

Happy Painting!


Nativity Card - Five Minute Card

I love those stamps that do all the work for you, All you have to do is show up! The Nativity Background Stamp from Taylored Expressions is my new favorite Christmas stamp to use!

I used
Taylored Expressions Nativity background stamp

Ranger's Black Archival ink

Canson 140 lb watercolor paper

and a round brush

Gratitude Journal- A creative Mindfulness Art Journal

The purpose of this Gratitude Journal is to help your feeling and thoughts work together to help you have uplifting feelings and thoughts. 

Curious- do you Art Journal. For me, art journaling is so near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share a version of art journaling with you. I call it my Gratitude Journal. and it really has helped change my life to feel more joy and God's love for me. You should totally try it.

Basically, I came up with this idea for tweens to have a place to go with their thoughts. I wanted their thoughts to be uplifting, what better way to feel uplifted by drawing, sketching and doodling what you are grateful for?

So I started a Gratitude Art Journal. a simple but effective way to put onto paper what you are grateful for, and a place that time and time again I have gone to when I felt like life is unfair. It's not.

A gratitude art journal should reflect you. It should be utilized with the things you love, and want to keep in your Journal. I love patterns and sentiments, so I was able to utilize the sentiment stamps that make me happy. USE WHAT YOU GOT! The whole point of this is for you to feel uplifted when you need to get your thoughts out- The purpose of this Gratitude Journal is to help your feeling and thoughts work together to help you have uplifting feelings and thoughts. 

Here are my gratitude prompts that I have kept in the back of my book:

Gratitude Journal prompts One way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Below are 30 gratitude journal prompts to get you started. Draw, write, doodle!
  1. What’s something that you’re looking forward to?
  2. What’s a simple thing that you’re grateful for?
  3. What’s something that you are grateful to have today that you didn’t have a year ago?
  4. Write about a happy memory.
  5. Write about someplace you’ve been that you’re grateful for.
  6. What’s something about your body or health that you’re grateful for?
  7. What are you grateful for outside in Nature?
  8. What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?
  9. What is something that makes your life easier?
  10. Look around your house, find a favorite photo, Why do you like it? 
  11. What have you been given that you’re grateful for?
  12. What’s something or someone that makes you feel safe?
  13. What artist, author, or musician are you grateful for?
  14. What do you like about school
  15. How are you able to help others?
  16. What public service or organization are you grateful for (i.e. the library or fire department)?
  17. What book(s) are you grateful for?
  18. What piece of clothing are you grateful for?
  19. Write/draw about a friend that you’re grateful for.
  20. Write/draw about a teacher that you’re grateful for.
  21. Write/ draw about a family member that you’re grateful for.
  22. What did you accomplish today?
  23. What’s a tradition that you’re grateful for?
  24. What’s one of the personality traits that you’re grateful for?
  25. What mistake or failure are you grateful for?
  26. What skills do you have that you’re grateful for?
  27. What’s something that you bought recently that you’re grateful for?
  28. What’s something that you made recently that you’re grateful for?
  29. Look around the room and write about everything you see that you’re grateful for.
  30. Write/draw about 3 things you’re grateful for today.

Being Creative will help you enjoy life. It engenders a spirit of gratitude. Richard G. Scott. 

I also want to mention that while doing this mindfulness exploration- (play) that feelings and emotions should come up- feel those feelings, let them out onto paper. Enjoy the experience, and if your heart feels lighter then you did exactly what was suppose to be the reason for this play.

If thoughts of sadness or depression come up- take note of this. and maybe it's time to seek a professional that can help you with depression, anxiety, or other intense feelings. The best thing you can do is talk about it with a loved one.
I am not a therapist. I can not offer any professional therapy advice. However as a mom- I get it. I get those intense feelings. My pharmacist Husband and therapist both said that there wasn't much they could clinically do for me and my "depression" in a time in my life I cried every day for months. I was depressed. I had to find my own way out of it- I call it my creative deprivation time- I starved my creative self to the point that I was angry at the world and feel into a depression. I climbed my way out with mindfulness activities while nurturing my artist. This was one of the many tools I used.

Create 72 sentiment strips in 5 mintues with the help of a Memory MISTI

True story, I asked for a Memory Misti for my birthday from my husband, in May- and only used it like 3 times until... I found a whole new reason why I am using my Memory Misti.

Simple Strips are changing my life! 

Simple Stripes in the 12x12 Misti is my favorite ways to get a ton of sentiments made in no time!  I got 72 strips stamped all at once! (your memory MISTI can hold four sets of simple strips stamps at a time. That my friend is a great workhorse in your craft room!

As we head into the holiday crafting season, Blick art materials have a wonderful selection of paper crafting items!

I love their selection of Ranger Arts materials (Tim Holtz) And I desperately need some watercolor paper, like yesterday... so I am off to order lots of crafting materials today!

Enjoy 15% Off Orders of $55 or More, and Free Shipping On Orders of $35 or More! Promo Code CEXQ. Exclusions apply.

WaterColor Mastery Week on Value

I am in my second week of Watercolor Master fall 2019 and we are dealing with values. I have lots of great photo's and I am grateful for the class. When I took WC Master last year at this time, I was not as confident as I am now. Now I am willing to make more mistakes because I have realized that Mistakes are proof that I am learning.  This week was fun, I loved the photo, and I am grateful for the way I went about painting, it helped me work on just the value aspect of the painting, and that made the painting much stronger as a whole!

Here is how I got to my final project for the week.

Notans from my reference photos- a warm-up

Value study of the photo for class

I did end up tracing the crocuses and transferring that onto my wc paper. 

My first wash layered

while painting, I like to paint a second one, both were done at the same time, when one was drying I would paint the other.

I am still working on painting 100 trees by the end of the year, I have about 50 done so far. Here are some that I have enjoyed looking at over the past week.

I call them Tree Studies, and they are warm-ups. These also are what I called my Scatter Sunshine pieces, I paint them with no real purpose except to paint to feel joy and to get me into the right mindset. Once I am done with them I make them into cards, or a little note and give it to someone to brighten their day. So that is what my warm-ups are all about these days!

Loose and Fluid Watercolor rose

Roses are my meditative flower to paint, something about the circle shapes, and the soft colors. Whenever I paint roses it always puts me in a happier mood! I didn't want to share my voice, Angela Fehr does a wonderful job teaching this technique- which by the way- it's harder than it looks. But to add a fun sparkle to it, I did add some iridescent pigment from Daniel Smith's Duo Chrome line- Tropical Sunset. I love it!

Mixed Media Background with Taylored Expressions Layered Stencil

Sometimes I just need a fun way to play with my inks and Starry Colors! In this video, I wanted to share with you how I used the layered stencil that Taylored Expression released this month! I love how versatile this stencil is I see it being used for lots of great background cards!

I know the description for the stencils is Holly- but you could do this in pinks or light yellows for spring and I think it would look beautiful!

I hope to share with you a card I have made with this stencil soon!

Autumn motifs with Blue Knight Stamps

Color is the best! I love playing with color. Blue knight stamps have some really awesome autumn stamps that can be perfect for wedding cards, and birthdays. I love these open-ended stamps for all the occasions that autumn brings. 

As a family we were invited to go to a fall barn wedding- isn't this card perfect for that! 

Sometimes Less is more. I love this branch card for a thinking of you card, or even a sympathy card. 

This Millpond card is so fun to paint with a simple wash in watercolor! This makes for a perfect birthday card for a loving parent, or grandparent right? 

I would love to know what open-ended cards you like to make. Are you like me and make these so you have on hand to stamp a sentiment on the inside of the card when you need a card? 

Enjoy the fall colors! Winter will be here before we know it! 

Links to the stamps: 

Clean and simple Christmas Cards to mass produce from Taylored Expressions

It's Stamp Joy weekend, and like so many I am so excited to be with 300+ crafty stamper friends that love Taylored Expressions like I do. So I thought I would share with you some of the ways I have used two stamp sets for easy Christmas Cards. So if you are going to Stamp Joy you might want to pick these two stamp sets up! 

I love stamps that are fun to create cards with! Here is my take on the Words of Faith - Christmas edition. 

Not a pattern paper person? really? Okay... well, I love blending with inks too, so these cards have been really fun to mass produce too! Ink and paper. and two stamp sets that might just help you whip up a bunch while watching your favorite Christmas Movie. (Got a good one I need to watch? let me know in the comments) 

Using the same words of  Faith Christmas set, and the Twiggy background. 

I stamped the twiggy background first, then stamped the words of faith Christmas after. I used the same green to stamp with both sets. Then a simple blending with brown ink to make the sentiment pop.

To get this looked, I heat embossed the two stamps, with Copper embossing powder (love it) and then used my TE blender Brush and blended Distress ink- Old paper, and forest moss, and walnut stain to get the gradation look. 

I hope to see you at Stamp Joy! I will be helping in the Watercolor class with Lydia Fiedler I hope to see you there! 

Fall and Winter paintings public viewing in Grimes Iowa

Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year to paint. I love all the colors that happen in the fall, a beautiful simple landscape in the fall makes my heart happy!

I am so excited to get some of my paintings up in Letsch Lawfirm in Grimes Iowa. 

Winter's light

These paintings fell off my brush during a time when my soul was a bit troubled and unsettled, can you feel that when viewing these paintings? Although I was grateful to put what I felt into a painting, I was happy at how simple the emotions came out. 

Winter's blessings

I named these pieces after the fruits of my emotions, Winter's light is all about seeing things in a more positive light and different more deeper perspective. and Winter's blessings is all about the adversities we have to get the blessings from those adversities.

You can view these paintings Starting September 30th With an artist's reception on the 25th of October at Letsch Law Firm. 

I used professional Daniel Smith Primatek and Qorr watercolors for these three paintings on Arches 140lb paper.

Did you know that there is an amazon music playlist called Damsels and Dragons full of epic scores from epic movies? (It's my new favorite playlist on Amazon Music.) Which inspired these two cards, Dragons and Unicorns!

My house becomes magical when I play around with painting and stamping. Something works and I am left with a cloud nine feeling! 

These stamps are from Blue Knight Stamps,  Dragon, and Magical Unicorn. I watercolored both and used a cloud stencil for the cloud background with the unicorn.

I stamped both panels then added watercolor to it. They didn't take that long to paint, the hardest part was waiting for them to dry!

I am doing a new watercolor series, called Scatter Sunshine. (soul painting, intuitive painting) call it what you want!

I named it after a hymn that I love, and how I felt the first time I painted for the pure joy of it in a long time and then to send that to a friend. I had a wonderful spirit about me the whole day and it made my soul happy!

Really it's an intuitive practice, there is no self-criticism when I am done painting, there is no what can I learn from it, it's just art, the process of putting paint onto paper and seeing what happens.

 There are so many ways to paint and to create, I needed to re-focus on my Why I am painting instead of just painting to learn. (it's been three years since I picked up a brush and I need to feel like I am playing now more than learning.)

I feel like half the battle in learning watercolor is in the time and practice in just learning. So I will be Scattering Sunshine to those that need a little art and creativity in their life!
Because at the end of the day...

Creativity is meant to be shared.

Want to join me in this fun endeavor? Subscribe to my blog, Facebook or Instagram or YouTube Channel

When it comes right down to it, Life is too short for me to keep my playful studies of watercolors! It would be nice to brighten someone else's day. Who knows if you leave me a comment on my social media channels you might get a watercolor from me!

I can't give all the credit to myself, Kateri, has helped me see the joy of painting is just to paint, and it's so addictive! Check out her lessons on her youtube channel.

Art Therapy for Stampers

I was so excited when I took a workshop with an Art therapist that I have enjoyed learning about Art Therapy!

Why Art therapy helps with anxiety and other mindfulness activities? The idea is to useArt Therapy to get to the other side of things, to help keep your emotions intact so that you can talk about your feelings through color, shapes, and lines (design elements.)

 I think Art Therapy is the best for working through your emotions. 

So here are some of my thoughts and how I am making it work with my stamp collection.

1. I wanted to use exercises from 250 brief Creative Practical Therapy Techniques 
~ I focused on the self-esteem and anxiety chapters to start with. (I did the exercises from that book that I thought would help me the most first.)

2. I found stamps and other ideas to make art journal pages, I picked the stamp because I had an emotional attachment to it, so I utilized that to help me!

3. I had absolutely no rules, just to paint, and to be mindful of what and how I was feeling when I was painting it.

4. Art Journal, I wasn't in the mindset to play with new techniques, just to play with the medium to see what happens on the paper. I wanted my stamp- art therapy session to be uplifting, and a place that would make me happier and a bit more at peace with my soul. Art Therapy with my stamping and paper supplies helps me with that!

If I liked what I painted, I did cut the paper to size and then I made them into a card.

Rainbow burst Techinique

The vibrancy and translucent properties to watercolor have makes my heart sing for sure

These cards are so easy to make!

a bit more tips on Liquid watercolor:

use lots of water and play with the water to pigment ratio!

Use a clean wet brush when changing up colors.

Learn to control liquid watercolor by learning to not control it, let the pigment blend on paper!

Keep it simple! what you are really doing is creating a wash, and playing with colors. Have fun painting and you find lots of beautiful things about watercolor!

I like to keep a stock of watercolor card panels cut to the size that I like to use, so when I want to play with color I have paper ready to go!

Use mater to create gradients with the pigment!

These paintings look like a lot of work, but I let the three pigments do all the work, I chose a Cyan, Magenta, and a Cool/Lemon Yellow. from Taylored Expressions, the colors were called Lollipop, Lemon Meringue, and Cookie Monster. So for less than $15 I can get a whole bunch of colors and play out of those tubes of liquid watercolor! So fun right?!!!

So do you use liquid watercolor? if so I would love to learn more about how you use it. If you are afraid of liquid watercolor, what is stopping you from playing with it?

Happy Painting! 

Two fold Joy: 5 Minute color meditaion

Got 5 minutes to play with color? Of course, you do!

I love color and pattern play, This is a simple 5-minute card, and yet it's so fun and artsy to make. I consider this a two-fold joy card: I get to play with color and that gets me in a happy mood, and I get to give this to my son's Speach pathologist and Occupational therapist! Win-win!

I got this Rainbow Idea from Lisa Solomon's class over at Creativebug, you guys she is amazing and so talented!

The liquid watercolor and stamps came from Taylored Expressions. I love their stamps for sentiments!

For the water media mat, I used the Waffle flower Media mat - that I love!!!
This color play is fun for art journaling as well!


some links have affiliated links when you click on a link you are supporting my blog by purchasing a class or buying from WaffleFlower.

creativity and time managment- Case Study allert!

In this blog post I am going to answer these questions:
How do we create more opportunities to use our creativity?
Why we need creativity in our life right now?

these cards are all ones I have colored from stamping
ahead of time and coloring them during jury duty! 
Do you stamp things on card panels and then stuff them in an envelope so that when you have a chance to paint or color you can whip a card panel out and color it? Yep, that is what I did with this card.

I actually got called to Jury Duty, and while preparing for the long day I brought my envelope with card panels and off I went. The jury selection took 3 days! I was not chosen and can home with some panels that Ic ould embellish and make into cards.

So often I hear: I want to create, but don't know how? or I go into my craft room or studio with plans to create and I just end up "watching TV or killing an hour on Facebook or Pinterest. I get it. totally get it! Been there, done that a lot!

I love vintage garage sale stamps!
this is one of my favorite garage sale finds!
When I hear of other card makers that are more doer's than thinkers, I started studying what they do to be more like the doers than the Thinkers. I believe it's in time management.

I looked back at my Jury selection days (very long 3 days) and when I first busted out my watercolor markers I was sitting by an older lady that is a retired school teacher. she didn't want to color but wanted to watch me, ok I said and that was that. I was a bit fearful of getting out my colors like a little girl and started coloring. I was fearful of what others may have thought. (so silly right?) and yet I had started more conversations, It started to turn into talking about creativity and it broke the ice in so many levels I was convinced that if we all carried around colors and a sketchbook the world would be a better place!

The second day, I ended up sitting next to business gentlemen. In my mind I was thinking, well, he isn't going to be much of a conversation starter, I might as well color. He starts talking to me about creativity and asks me questions and we had a lovely conversation.

I really believe that creativity breaks down walls.  Creativity is so much part of humanity that when we are in the act of creating it connects each other just by drawing, or sketching or coloring. Creativity is a wonderful way to break the ice. It's as if you are breaking the ice for other's to see that life is really sweet even if you are waiting for days for the jury selection to be selected! hah!

Why we need creativity in our life right now?

How can we create more opportunities to use our creativity?

Loads of studies have shown that we need to be using our creativity for mental and brain growth and function.
Basically, the more creativity that we use the better our mental state will be.

Or heaven forbid creativity is an outlet for so many people.
Creativity plays a huge part in being mindful.

Take my simple example of busting out my well-loved envelope of card panels with my watercolor markers, I opened doors to communication faster than trying to make small talk with strangers. I was very mindful at the time of coloring, that mindfulness helped pass the time not just for me but for the people that were watching me. It helped make light of a situation that no one wanted to be in.

We need that well-loved manila envelope that has card panels to color because it brings joy into our lives and others. Creativity is meant to be shared.

Day 3- I sat by two nice ladies and offered to let them color along with me. Creativity is meant to be shared! Share Joy- right?

How do we create more opportunities to use our creativity?

1. Go to a family gathering- have a reason to make a card or a painting for a family member You might be surprised that the next time you see them they say- I framed that small card or painting you gave me, I love it so much, thanks for thinking of me. That will give you more momentum to paint more, and share more. I love what Julie Cameron
 says in Walking in this world:
Contemplating a piece of work, we do better to think who is this work for? Whom will it serve? rather than How will it serve me? Once we find a path for our work to be of service—even if that path is merely to create a wonderful role for a friend—then our work goes smoothly forward. It is not about “us” anymore. We have retired as self-conscious creator and aligned ourselves again with all of creation, a worker among workers, a friend among friends. When we do so, our work is less buffered by our own harsh fears. Our fears are set aside every time we simply ask again, “How can I make this work more serviceable?”
Cameron, Julia. Walking in This World (Artist's Way). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This is one of the many reasons I love to make cards to give to others!

2. Having the end in mind. When creating more Opportunites to be creative and to use our creativity what we are really saying is that I have something to say that needs to be put into an art form. So be strategic about it. You bought a stamp, or a tube of paint for a reason- use it! I love the quote that says, the only Paint wasted is when it's left inside the tube. So paint, draw, art journal it! You will be glad you did. Don't let your materials go unused! 

3. Plan.  I knew that I was going to have a whole day of waiting around for the jury selection. So I brought my stamped panels in my well-loved manila envelope to pull out and color. I planed on having some time to create even when it wasn't the perfect place. (I doubt there is ever a perfect place to create at.)

Other ideas to help facilitate creativity: 
cut paper to the size you need, before you want to make a project. I can't tell you how helpful, liberating, and freeing it has been to cut up a whole package of 12x12 paper for cards! or how helpful it has been to paint 5x7's when the paper is already cut for you!
  Doing a little bit of prep work goes a long way.
Another best practice to create more Opportunites to be creative is to have your creative space always clean and ready to go!

I hope this blog post has given you back some mojo and you are feeling excited to get back into stamping and coloring! I know I sure am!

Happy Creating!

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