Share more than just Kindness

When sharing your cards with others do you get a sense of what you are really doing? it's 2 fold joy! 

Here are my insights: when we share kindness through a card it's so much more than just a card:

Kindness matters so much in our world. I am so happy to have this stamp from Taylored Expressions. Sentiments are so much more than just the words, The typography is perfect for this card.

Crafting a simple and sweet card to give to someone that has helped you is the essence of card making, the thought that came back to me often when making these card and other cards like it is, it is a wonderful world where I can show my gratitude for someone by using my talents to brighten up someone's day just by sending a card to them, It's as if  the universe is yelling at you- use your creativity to brighten up someone else's day! I love it! 

I used Taylored Expressions' Plant KIndness stamp- I fell in love with it as soon as it was released and had to buy it!

I used my Silhouette PixScan to cut the kindness and banner out- crazy easy how that works look into it if you haven't. I make cards so much faster now that I have PixScan!

Let's talk about paper for a sec.

I used paper that I got in 2012. Yep, it was time to use it up. I am done hoarding paper. It seems like I want tons of paper but only uses a little bit, Does that sound like you too?

 Now if the paper "speaks" to me and I can find a simple way to use it up, it's cut before I can have doubts about cutting it up.  Easier said than done!

Prep work is worth its weight in gold

Here is a great tutorial for you on how this lady cuts her paper up before she starts to use it. I love it. I got this idea from a Stamping up demonstrator- a dear friend that says every time she gets a new package of designer paper she cuts it up into usable pieces. Since I have started cutting up my paper into more usable pieces I am so surprised at how much faster the process of making cards have been for me! Prep work is worth its weight in gold!

For me, it's two-fold when using up a pack of designer paper- I am able to use it for what I really want to use it for- (Cards) and... I get to see the paper as it is for designing purposes, all the while I am saving myself lots of time by not second-guessing which piece of precious paper I might use up. if it's cut, it's done, right? hah! No more thinking about if I should or shouldn't cut it up!

I took a stack of paper that I recently cut up from My Minds Eye I had 6 years ago. and started to play with pattern paper and backgrounds. I came up with a simple way of making banners and adding my stamped embellishment to the paper panel that will become my card.

If you want to learn how to use pattern paper like a pro I totally recommend this class from MyBluPrint.

Asking What if? Is really like saying to yourself  I am ready to push my limits just a bit further.

I was hesitant to cut all my beautiful paper up to start with. I really want to create with it... What if... Asking What if is really like saying to yourself  I am ready to push my limits just a bit further. So what if my paper gets cut? It's not like your paper owes you anything right? It's meant to be used even if you don't love what came from it.

I am so happy I cut it up and used it! These cards are going to be perfect to send to friends that brighten up my day!

What have you done that changed the way you have been making cards? I would love to know! this is just one of many ways I have learned to use prep work to make my workflow easier!

I am sharing these cards over at Fusion Card Challenge- it's all about Kindness cards!

Watercolor vs Copic- a Friendly Discussion

I am a watercolor lover. I love how the pigment wooshes with the water on the paper, I love seeing the pigments mix and blend on the paper, its a surprise and I love when it works out beautiful without too much caressing. Every time I play with watercolor I feel like I am bringing into my life peace, the kind that makes me giddy, so I have to share it!

I love stamps that will share all the beautiful properties that watercolor can do. This stamped image for a card was perfect for watercolor!
one of my favorite ways to play with watercolor! 
I used Qor Watercolor, and love the simplicity that watercolor brings, I love how the watercolor gives an atmospheric look to it, and that you don't have to fuss too much to make this watercolor card panel look beautiful!

I have a good friend that loves to color with Copic Markers, Chris over at Purple Lake Stamps and I got together and thought we would share our completely different styles with you! She is coloring this stamp with Copics and will explain why she loves Copic Markers, on the flip side, I am sharing why I love watercolor!

Go to Chris's blog to see why she loves Copic Markers and a video tutorial that will show you how she colored the Stamp with Copics. One Stamp, two different styles.

So I would love to know, do you color with both? I have used both, I am drawn to watercolor for all the amazing effects you can achieve with it.

Do you love watercolor for the same reason?
Why do you like Copics? (I am sure I am missing something about why Copics are so amazing. I am just not buying it.)

I love this class, Highly recommended!
I would love to know your insights, leave a comment below, and if you are new to Watercolor, follow me on Facebook, or follow me on my blog, I post lots of great resources for beginners!

On another thought, I love using Mixed Media paper and Archival ink to stamp images for card panels. So if you are new to watercolor cards, get a good pad of Mixed Media paper and some Archival ink and you will be set!

Looking to learn more about watercolor? I have lots of great tutorials and resources:

CreativeBug has some wonderful watercolor artists that offer classes

I love Craftsy or Bluprint, they have wonderful watercolor classes that fit your interest!

Angela Fehr has a wonderful class that I have mentioned above, click here for the class. This is my favorite class for watercolor cards.

BlickArts has a great deal on watercolor and free shipping when you spend $35 (just in time for back too school)

Free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  Exclusions apply.

Paint a Background while learning color theory

This is one of my favorite ways to paint a background, especially when I am learning color theory (learning how other colors work together) This is a fun way to learn what colors blend well with other colors and it makes for a wonderful background for a card!

I would love to know if you have played with watercolors just to see how color reacts to each other, it's really a transforming and magical experience. I have found so many fun color combos that make me happy when I get to mix them on paper.

I love Taylored Expressions Background stamps. I can't get enough of them! Here is the link to this stamp

Happy creating!

Summer Fun

Blogging is a very intuitive practice. I seem to have left out that I am a Stay at Home Mom. So during the summer, I sketch, and "play" I work on my technique in watercolor and then paint outside often.

The flip side to summer is that I have 3 kids that I love. We are at the zoo, Science Center, and our local small amusement park. Summer is full of happy and fun memories.

My outlook on this blog is that I am sharing with the world my journey into watercolor and paper crafting as a Mother, and hope that it helps others become creative and that the creativity empowers others to create a bit more Joy in their life!

So because I do feel like this creative process is all about living in the moment and creating beautiful memories, I wanted to share some of my pictures I have taken over the summer. I hope that once school starts I can post once or twice a week. Because my youngest is going into kindergarten. It's bittersweet for me, I have been home with a child all day for 10 years! So it's going to feel so different in less than 5 weeks.  I don't want this summer to get away without my children knowing  My husband and I gave them one of the best summers. I do think creatives are a special- special, only because I can be excentric most days.

So My question to you, is What are you doing this summer to stay creative? Sometimes I think just playing around and giving your children your world is filling our hearts with pure imagination.

Adventureland fun

I am growing a mermaid. #FinFun

How doesn't like selfies with Giraffes? Love Blank Park Zoo!

Riding the new Phenix ride at Adventureland! 

Workshop I was at with the DSM Public Library

Painting at the library is a thing right?

Teaching my children how messy making Truffles can be!

We were able to visit HalMark's Visitor Center! Worth it for sure!

My daughter's favorite Sirius XM channel: The Beatles.

Best Summer movie! We cried at the end, it was so Sappy!

American Gothic is just a small day trip away...

5 minute summer floral cards

I don't know about you, but for us, it's all summer here, we are sleeping in later and later because we are going to bed later and later! So Summer Cards are bright and fast! This one has been really fun to watercolor!

Hibiscus pretty in pink, yes Please, I am smitten with this stamp! love the ease of flipping the stamp to get a mirror effect! All I need is like two maybe three colors to paint with and it looks like I spent forever making this card! (less than 20 min. for the whole creation of it! (my kind of card!)

anyways I know I have spent lots of blog posts floral stamps, but I just can't get enough of it! Here are some other cards I have made with this Hibiscus stamp

I am also entering this card into the Case Watercolor challenge

Let me know if you want a tutorial on how I did any of these, I would love to share!

a Parable of a young Piano student and why it helped me to keep painting

As I was reading this morning and taking in the long to-do list that as a Stay at home mom I have when really I just want to paint.   this story tugged on my heart strings:

This is to all the teachers, and mentors out there! Thank you!

the story of a young piano student

 His mother, wishing to encourage him, “bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.
“Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’
“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.
“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’”

Reference 1, 2

I thought this story was worth sharing. I am feeling as if sometimes my simple paintings are no better than a simple twinkle twinkle litter star played on a piano. Sometimes we need that gentle reminder that we have the ability to keep playing, keep painting, keep making beautiful art, even if you as the artist may not think it's that's great! 

This story also came at a great time in my painting journey, as I am learning about all the ways to play and develop my style of art, I am grateful for the constant encouragement when there are days I just want to say enough, this isn't for me, I keep going and feel better once I put some paint onto paper! 

seeking my joy in watercolor

Mother Daughter 9x12

 I told myself two days ago, how I am not ever going to get good enough to get into a juried show, the last two summers I have tried, (recommended by friends and family)


I just found out that my artwork didn't get accepted into a Juried Show, and I felt like as a stay at home mom/artist, that the only thing I am truly good at is only doing dishes and laundry! funny now, but as the tears of a broken heart came flooding onto my morning pages, I felt so sad!

So I took a morning to make truffles, and play with paper, but it still didn't fill me up with the joy I was seeking. It did help me process the heartbreak, but it didn't fill me up with joy like I was hoping it would. Does that mean Watercolor is my passion? Yes! without a doubt Yes!

Shine Bright, 8x10.
I may not ever be in a juried show, and I am all right with that. I don't think Van Gough or Grant Wood was like, I am painting this masterpiece because I want to be in a juried show. That is not how Creativity works.

No, I Believe that creativity, pure-raw- god given creativity comes when you feel it. You feel like I just have to show the world how I would play, paint, dance, sing because it's so beautiful, inspiring and perfect that someone has to share it.

That is watercolor for me. I see colors, and shapes, and I think this needs to be preserved, It' so beautiful I want to paint it, and only I can make it work.

So I have two pieces I was hoping that would make it into a show, I guess I will frame it and look at it every day and remind myself that I had fun painting these and that is what really mattered.

It does feel good to get this out into a blog post.

Blue Bird, (working on my style with help from Kateri Ewing)
Going forward I will paint the way I want to paint, and if that means no juried shows, then I am all right with that, at least I am painting for my joy, and for the process that creativity brings with it!

Watch out because Here I come, dancing on to the beat of my drum!

So there you go, I am learning what creativity is all about!

I would love to know how you process creative heartbreaks, do you do artist's dates? do you have to cut up paper because it makes you feel better playing with color and pattern?

Have you had your epiphany of how you do things and don't care about what others may say because you have your own way of doing things?

No? just me? I hope not, let's see where all this leads! I feel like every time I dip my brush into my curated pallet that Only I have made, makes me feel like I own my creativity, and that creative high is always there for me! (I know I am a tad bit crazy!)
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