simple Daisy Watercolor

Make your own background challenge at PB Saturday Challenge was a delight to take part in. I am grateful to have picked up this stamp from my local scrapbook store. the background was a simple wash with some water droplets to make a natural looking background for this beautiful flower. I used watercolor to stamp the whole stamp, and then went in and painted it. (I like how easy it was to get this look!  The sentiment is also from Penny Black.

I gave this card to a friend that I thought needed some bright sunshine in her life! creativity is meant to be shared right?

Be Joyful sentiment

Sentiment for today is all about Being Joyful in a tough time, a card that helps your dear friend/family feel encouraged is one of my favorite ones to create!

I love being able to share some of my favorite scriptures in cards, I think it gives the receiver a lot of joy and hope. This sentiment was designed and thought for when life gives you challenges, So many times when we need encouragement we forget blessings from heaven.  So I created this verse to encourage my friends and family in their time of need. 

How to use these:

I created these at 8.5x11, as a jpeg, click right to save the image as is, and then print them and cut them to the size you want. I cut them in half and half again, to create the inside for an A-2 card. you can also load this into your design studio if you have a silhouette and print and cut a shape out. (really open-ended!)

use these for your Portrait cards

use these for your landscape cards

 I am sharing the sentiments that I put into my personal cards, in hopes that others will find these sentiments worthwhile.

I want to share my creativity, after all, Creativity is meant to be shared, I truly believe that the more you share creativity the more creativity you have!

It's My Birthday week, and I think I am to that age where I would rather give back than to get presents (you know that feeling when your kids and everyone else seems to come before "you" Yup I think I am at that point in my life.) Thank God I figured that out earlier in my life than later. (37) Ahh, now all know my age too!

Something that you may not have known about me... I had three years of collage Typography! I know my fonts, calligraphy, and all the inner workings of typography. I grew to love typography, and I know my style, and I find that designing sentiments make my heart happy, It's a creative high for me. (isn't that so weird?)

I woke up with this idea and had to start sharing the sentiments that I put into my personal cards, in hopes that others will find these sentiments worthwhile.

I use these sentiments for inside the cards I create.

To start... I have a lot of families that I send cards too, and I send a lot of thinking of you, and sympathy cards. ALL THE TIME!

How to use these:

I created these at 8.5x11, as a jpeg, click right to save the image as is, and then print them and cut them to the size you want. I cut them in half and half again, to create the inside for an A-2 card.
Use these for your portrait cards

Use these for your landscape cards

3 simple ways I have helped myself become more mindful and positive through painting.

Mindfulness and mental wellbeing are so important to an Artist's development. I am again amazed at how a simple daily habit of painting or creating has helped me be more mindful, happier and calmer. Call it Art therapy, (really that is what it is)

My simple story:

While driving home from Speach for my son, and thinking about all the things I have going on the next week, my mind was turned to my Daughter's recital coming up. I get to be the Backstage mom again. I was reminded about how when I helped the professional ballet dancers at my daughter's dance studio how they were extremely particular what they ate. providing meals for them was a tricky but fun challenge. Which got me thinking, like a professional dancer or athlete, or even an actor/actress. They are very much aware of the food they intake because it does affect their performance. It's not a ton different with visual artists and the images and thoughts they have and process.

It's my objective in this blog post is to encourage Positive thinking and mindfulness.

What we take into our brains effect us on paper.

When I related to how ballerina's and professional athletes take much consideration as to what they eat, I thought it's not so different than what images, and thoughts I take in, and how I process them.

If I want my art to be beautiful, and cheerful, then that is what I should take in. I look at all the ways my heart can be uplifted and feel gratitude for what I have.

So here are some of the ways that Mindfulness and positive thinking have helped me create beautiful cards and paintings.

~ Walking. Yes, Julia Cameron in her book Walking in this World has helped me understand the real purpose of walking. It's to keep your thoughts moving, keeping your body moving, your mind growing so your thoughts have a place to go. On my walks, I almost treat it as a sacred event. I try to not talk on the phone, or even listen to music. I simply walk. Walk to clear my mind, walk to process something, walk to get to the other side of a problem. walking helps me process what I want to paint, and how I feel about it. 

~ Being present in your art. I think I was drawn to watercolor because you don't just put paint down on the paper, Jean Haines mentions in her book:  Paint your self Calm to be in the moment, don't think about anything else but how the water is reacting to the pigment. I have had countless times where all I could do is just play with color and water and to see what happens because I needed to be mindful and to get out of the muck my thoughts were creating. I often will do this when I need to paint to get to the other side of my feelings. It works wonderfully! Mindfulness and being present in the moment is a powerful tool when used correctly! 

~Paint with real intent for someone. Lately, I have had opportunities to paint and to give that painting to someone else. it started at the beginning of this year, I donated a piece of Art to the Blank Park Zoo. I needed to paint how I felt about a tricky, icky situation. it came out beautiful in my art. I was so elated how it turned out, I took Angela's advice to paint how I feel. Later that month, I painted a bird and a floral for my Grandma, who lost her husband (my Grandpa) I again painted how I felt, and then the painting was simply done. With tears streaming down my face while painting I realized how mindfulness and intuitive painting can really help you feel peace. 

I was encouraged this past week from Kateri Ewing, Who's workshop I went to, to, was to paint one intuitive painting for someone, and give it to that person. Sometimes she knows who she is painting for, other times she just starts and decided later who she will mail the painting too. She said it was two-fold, the receiver gets joy from getting a piece of your work, and you get joy in the creation of that simple intuitive painting. (intuitive painting helps you get into the artist's brain) Intuitive studies can be whatever you want them to be to get into the artist's mindset.

After doing this for a week now. Here are some of my thoughts:
1. My paintings have a ton more meaning. I gave two of my floral studies that I am working on to the teachers that have helped my children this year, and they were so grateful for them. Other's were completely taken aback, thinking they didn't deserve my art, (which I am thinking, It's Just me painting, nothing too much. right?) But it brought me joy, and the crazy thing is:  I didn't expect was, I now have a reason to paint every day! EVERY DAY! I haven't had that kind of motivation in a very long time. It's almost like a challenge! By sharing my "gift" which I use loosely because I think anyone can paint if they are passionate about it. Anyways BY sharing my talent, or passion I am sharing creativity and giving back creativity to share to the world. I am motivated by other's to produce more intuitive, heartfelt paintings. Because when I am painting for someone that needs a smile, I am feeling more than just the joy of painting for me, I am feeling the tender mercy's the Lord has given to my circle of friends and family, and it's as if my paintings are saying, I love you, and you are important to me in my life! What amazing gift creativity brings with it! 

3 simple ways I have helped myself become more mindful and positive through painting.

My Favorite Spring Card round up with BKRS

I have some spring cards I have been working on and thought I would like to share!

Calla Lilli Stamp  Mounted on light pink cardstock and designer paper

Delightful Dandelion Stamp, (watercolored with Qorr Watercolors)

Ducklings in the hollow Watercolored. 

Jolly Kris Kringle And why I am starting my Christmas stamps early this year!

Helen's Craft Haven has been a favorite blogger of mine for a while, So I am entering her Christmas ABC Challenge blog Each month you make a Christmas card with two letters about Christmas, this month is J & K, I need mojo to get some Christmas cards done.

Words I came up with for J & K:

Joy & Jingle

Kris Kringle

I am also entering this into Jingle Belles and Sparkles Christmas Challenge

Did you know that there is a really cool resource for people like me that are like, I can't think about Christmas in April, let alone a letter to go off of? There's a site for that... I found a simple Christmas Vocabulary Wordlist... yup, super elementary but as soon as I saw the word J and K, I knew I could make something work. (Jolly Kris Kringle.) hah! I have the perfect stamp for that!

So for the procrastinator designer in me, I went straight to the stash of Christmas paper and found two sheets that work great for card panels. That's it, all I did was cut it to size, and then matt it to a colored paper that fit. EASY! DONE. (My type of 5-minute card.)

I couldn't stop there, I had to try some other ideas I did a watercolor piece with Kris Kringle on his sleigh, Love the results and am actually really happy how it turned out. I used an Ultra Marine color and a dioxide Violet with some Starry colors for the sky, it turned out beautiful! (and it was again an easy card to make!

Another 10 minutes passed, I had a card that was heat embossed, and then I painted on the leaves and berries for a wreath artistic look. Simple, elegant and perfect to send to a dear friend in December!  (don't' you just love those type of cards?)
~My designer tip for this card: I often chose cards that are open-ended to work on my brush handling technique. For example, painting a wreath, using your brush to make leaves, is a great exercise to do often so you can practice, why not practice on a card you want to give away!?

And Last But not least, I had to do a shaker card for Jingle.

So I would love to know, am I completely smart or crazy starting my Christmas Cards this early? 

I hope that this Helps you with your Christmas Cards! 

Atmospheric Flowers with Watercolor Washes and glazes

Looking for a way to get that Atmospheric watercolor look? I got the tutorial, it's a beginner's tutorial, you can't do it wrong (love intuitive painting for that reason!) Get your colors and some metallic watercolors out, you are going to be addicted to this technique!

I am entering this card into the Stamping Sensation Blog Challenge

Here are some other cards I have made with the same technique, and stamp!

Spring in my BFF's Garden

I love this time of year, and I am blessed to have a best friend that loves, and adore's gardening (a talent I so wish I was blessed to have.) So for the next couple weeks, and months I will be getting my weekly dose of botanic pick me ups!

I also consider these weekly trips my Artist's date, where I take my artist on a date... (without anyone.) and my soul and artist was in heaven, clearly, look at these pictures! I also consider this a part of heaven, I mean Iowa! (enter in so many catchphrases here...)

Isn't it nice to have a place to feel inspired by? This is one of mine!

I can't wait to use these as reference photos! Want to use these as reference photo's too, comment below! And yes, you can use these images. My thoughts are: creativity is meant to be shared right? so I am sharing my love!

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