Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas to all of you!  

I've posted on my website homepage and here on my blog the finished card which is in the Tole Town Cyber Palette online magazine.  If you are unfamiliar with this publication be sure to check it out at, Susan and Lorrie have done a great job of publishing a terrific online magazine full of painting hints and techniques as well as recipes, crafts for children, and a terrific variety of painting projects.  

This project is called Crisp and Cold Snowman and is a card but he could easily be made into an ornament or put on a variety of surfaces.  I've also posted using watercolor pencils on this little guy on my blog but in the actual magazine article are the instructions for using Copic Sketch Markers to color him as well as using acrylic paint.   

In this design I've used the Spellbinders dies for the background and I absolutely love the dies.  I have quite a collection of them now and recently acquired a set of ornament dies that I am hoping to use on a card/ornament design for the future.  

If you like this little guy leave a comment because I am considering designs for stamping and am trying to get a feel for which designs will be good as stamps.  It is quite expensive to develop a line of stamps and I am trying to get a feel for which designs the public will be interested in.  Fewer missteps that way.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Have you read the magazine Scrap & Stamp Arts by Scott Publications?  It is a great magazine for card makers, stampers, general crafters, and painters.  When I approached the magazine about my idea for an article they were very open to  incorporating painting techniques into their magazine.  I've been a subscriber for the past few years and love the magazine but wasn't sure if they had ever published articles using painting techniques specifically for card making but thought that I would give it a shot.  I discussed the idea of providing photos showing me painting the background papers as well as the design for the bees and the editor thought it was an interesting idea.  I am a very frugal artist and like to be able to control the background papers using media and materials that I have at home rather than running to the store to invest in more papers and came up with the idea to paint my own papers using a batik style of painting. You can also find the process on this blog under my archived articles.  It took a little time to get everything together for the article but it was well worth the effort as the article is fantastic and I hope it will be interesting to the readers of this magazine.  I have been considering developing a line of stamps from my designs but the costs can be staggering and decided to print out good quality line art printed on good quality card stock instead and have tried to keep the costs down so that card makers and crafters can afford them.  You can find these on my website under the Supplies Category in the main menu.

This article is designed for painters and crafters of all skill levels and I hope that you find it to be interesting and leaving you wanting more articles.  If you feel that way please contact the editor of the magazine so she continues to be interested in publishing painting designs.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Watercolor Pencils

The instructions for painting this snowman and then making him into a darling card will be available in the December issue of the Tole Town Cyber Palette and in that issue I painted him using Deco Art Acrylic paints as well as have given you the instructions for using Copic Markers.  Prior to painting this little guy I wanted to experiment with color and chose to use my watercolor pencils. I will often use my watercolor pencils when I am working out color in the design process.  The watercolor pencils allow me to play with color before painting the finished version.

 I have a couple different brands of pencils that I use but used my Faber Castell Albrecht Durer pencils on this snowman.  I had just received them as a gift this spring and hadn't had a lot of time to play with them.  I love them but they are a little fatter than many of the pencil brands and I had to purchase a new electric pencil sharpener for them because they wouldn't fit in the old one.  If you are interested in watercolor pencils I would recommend this brand highly but be forewarned they are more expensive than other brands also obviously fatter.  I also have a set of Derwent and a small set of Prismacolor that I've used in the past.  Of the two I prefer the Derwent but both are about the same retail price. 

I hope that you take a look at this article when it is published in December. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Patterns

I have a new pattern that will be available during NET in the Turns in Time booth as well is currently available on my website.  I recently sent this pattern off to Italy which means that I have become international.  Very Exciting!!!  This pattern is called the Chicken Coop and is a repeated design done on two candleholders from Turns in Time, one is designed to hold a tea light and the other a 2" votive or small candle like I've painted up.  They are marvelous to paint on and fairly flat so they would be so easy to store.  Let me know what you think about this pattern, your feedback is so important. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


One of the reasons that I have not been posting as often this summer is because I have been taking a watercolor class.  I've been interested in refreshing my skills for a number of years now and finally was able to work it into my schedule.  I have to say that I love this class my teacher, Kendall Jan Jubb who is nationally known and recognized, has been just amazing and has allowed each one of us taking the class to go at our own pace and paint what we wanted to.  I've focused primarily on landscapes this year as I've really felt that was not one of my strengths.  The first class that I did was an all day watercolor on canvas class.  As we were instructed prior to class I went in with a couple ideas and we were told by the instructor that we were not going to draw with pencil on the canvas rather we were going to draw with yellow paint.  Well after I had a minor panic attack because I am usually a planner when I paint, I sketch, resketch, and may even lay it all out on the surface prior to painting.  When I had very privately hyperventilated I decided to suck it up and try something new and chose the aspen trees as they were a looser format and I felt that they might be something that I could truly learn from in the class.  I'm not sure that anyone in the class really knew exactly how terrified the thought of no control when I started to paint made me, I hope that I masked it very well.  At any rate I allowed myself the freedom to just experience the medium and the watercolor canvas and I loved every minute of it.  I chose to use color very freely and make the painting a very impressionistic loose painting.  As I have shown this piece to family members I get a mixed reaction, most of them say "Oh my".  I'm not sure if that is good or bad but I have chosen to think that they are just shocked at how completely different it is for me in style and format.  I love the piece and felt an incredible freedom when I was painting it because I felt removed form the confines of any "rules" of painting.  I'm curious to see what any of you think.  Now that you know that I love the piece I'm sure that you will all be kind.  LOL.  You can also say "Oh my".  I'm now working on my second landscape which I'm painting on watercolor paper and it too is different for me stylewise.  I can't tell you how much fun I'm having in this class and would highly recommend Kendall as a teacher if you ever have the chance to take one of her classes. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Patterns

I have finally gotten myself out of my painting room in the basement and can see the light of day.  LOL.  I must be super slow because it took me most of the summer to complete these new projects.  They are on my website and available for purchase just in time for HOOT.  Look for these patterns and many of my other patterns to be available at the Turns in Time booth at the HOOT show.  I have a number of new patterns as well as new products in the Supply Category and of course paint brushes as usual.  Come on over and take a look at all of them under What's New.  I'd love to hear from you about what you think of these.  I'm in the process of working on another pattern that will be out later this fall. 

Where has the summer gone?

As I was having coffee with some friends the other day, one friend mentioned that I haven't posted on my blog since the beginning of June and it is now the beginning of August.  It made me laugh because I can't quite figure out where the summer has gone to.  In my defense I have been so busy painting and designing and will have 5 new patterns available at HOOT and those seem to have consumed my time, as well as a new Tole Town Project that will be available in September that can be previewed on the front page of my website.  I'm planning to get a preview up on the blog of the new patterns very soon and should be able to get them on the website very soon as well.  I've also been taking a watercolor class that I have enjoyed tremendously and will share that with you as soon as we get the photo taken. 

We've also had quite a bit of company during the last few weeks which we have enjoyed thoroughly.  It is always fun to see family and friends.  We were up in the mountains last week and checked on the Huckleberry crop and they will soon be ready, I think that they need a couple more weeks to ripen and then we will get started picking to take us through the winter.  My son loves my Huckleberry Cake recipe which was given to me by a friend years ago.  In fact my son requested it as his birthday cake this year.  I'm posting the recipe here for those of you who love Huckleberries as much as we do.  I am not sure exactly how well you could substitute other berries but you certainly could experiement.

Huckleberry Crumble Cake
1/4 cp butter
1 1/4 cp sugar
cream the butter and sugar and add:
2 eggs
2 cp flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 cp milk
1 1/2 t almond extract
2 cp huckleberries
Mix in order and pour into greased 9X13" pan

Crumble Topping
1/2 cp sugar
1/2 cp flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cp butter
Mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter in pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.  Serve with ice cream or cool whip. 

This cake is similiar to a coffee cake and is wonderful at any time of the year.  I always check the cake at 40 minutes because it bakes quicker in my oven. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

End of June?

I can't believe it is the end of June already.  I have been keeping very busy painting and designing.  My most recent submission to Scrap and Stamp Magazine was accepted and will be in their January issue.  I was thrilled and hope that you will all be able to find the magazine to see the project.  They seemed very interested in promoting painted card designs to their readers.  I have a subscription to the magazine and really enjoy it and would recommend it to any of you who like to make cards.  They have very interesting technique articles in the magazine as well as cards made by very talented designers.    Hopefully the article will be well received and the editors will be interested in other projects as well.  The project that I submitted will be a technique project with painting that is appropriate for any beginner or non-painter. 

I also just found out that I will have an ornament project in the Paintwork's Ornament issue and was delighted about that.  I have been trying for a number of years to get a project in the ornament issue.  I'm not sure when that comes out on the newsstands but if my memory is correct it seems to me that it is in August some time. 

I have been working on a number of new patterns and hope to have a few of them ready for the HOOT show in August.  I'm planning to have some new bug designs painted on a plate and then sculpted and attached to a wood piece.  They are fun and I hope that you will enjoy painting them as much as I have enjoyed designing them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Free Lesson Plans on the Web

Many of you have asked me recently where you can find good quality lesson plans to use with children.  The links that I am posting are kid-tested, teacher-approved and free for all of you to use.  Take a look and if you have any questions you can always feel free to contact me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

As many of you know I am a wildflower fan.  This Shooting Star was completed using the FM Dynasty Trifecta Brushes and was painted on a leather coaster using the Deco Art So Soft Paints.  This scan doesn't really do the flower justice because the colors are actually more intense on the original but will give you the idea as to how to paint this project.  The instructions for this project can be found on my website on the free pattern section.  There is no line art for this piece as it is strokework flower that I painted freehand.  Yes, you can also paint this, place a clear sheet of plastic over the photo and practice using the brush until you achieve the look of the flower.  I'm doing this as a make and take during SDP Nationals in Wichita on Friday May 20th and if you are attending stop by and see me sometime during the day but if you aren't attending I have an amazing show special on the brushes on my website that will last until after I return from Wichita and you can also paint this flower.  You can see another version of this Shooting Star below that I painted on cardstock using Deco Art Americana paints. 

I'm also teaching a class for anyone interested in providing quality educational projects to kids of all ages on Saturday May 21 in Wichita.  I'm teaching with an amazing group of talented women and between all of us have too many years of teaching experience to even tally.  LOL.  Check us out on the SDP Website for the Fun and Joy of Art Education. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Penny Black Stamp

Isn't this stamp adorable from Penny Black Slapstick Stamps.  I recently visited my sister and her family and stamped this to send as a thank you card to her and colored it with my Copic Markers.  This was my first try at this stamp and later did a second one to send to her as there were a few things that I wanted to change.  I didn't stamp this with Momento Inks and I should have because I found that the Versamark stamp pad smeared a bit.  I knew that it might because I've been doing some research about which stamp pads seem to work best.  When I did the second one I didn't make that mistake.  I had just ordered this stamp and had hoped that it would be as cute as it was on the website and wasn't disappointed.  On our way home from visiting my sister and her family we stopped in Spokane Art Supply in Spokane, Washington and purchased a few more Copic Markers to add to my growing collection but as I told my husband I need a few more before I really feel that I have all the colors that I want.  There are so many uses for them.

I'm using the Copics when I work up a color worksheet of my designs and find that the Copic colors are very close to my paint colors, it certainly makes it easier when I change Copic colors on paper rather than repainting something.  A great design tool. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Background

How about using tissue paper to form an interesting textured background for your cards, collages, or scrapbooking pages.  I adhered the tissue with Deco Art's Dura Clear Gloss Varnish by brushing the varnish over the paper, ripped pieces of white and yellow tissue paper and placed it on the cardstock brushing over the top with additional varnish and continued until I had covered the paper.  While the paper was still wet sprayed the same transparent Deco Art paint colors over the tissue paper that I used in the previous post.   It was quick and easy to do and is fairly interesting.  I'm planning to try something slightly different within the next few days.  I'm not sure exactly what I will do with this but think that it will make a great background for a card.  I need to play with it a bit more to find my favorite combination of materials and paint application.  It is pretty bold and the gloss in the varnish didn't scan as well as I had hoped but we'll see what happens when I try something slightly different. 

Any ideas for how to use it????

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Background Papers

Do you like to do a variety of paper crafts? Many of us like to use premade background papers. What if you could use the materials that you currently have and make your own? I decided to try my hand at making my own background papers. I wanted these to have a soft subtle appearance similar to what an airbrush would achieve however I didn’t own an airbrush. After some trial and error I found that small travel sized spray bottles worked really well and were certainly more economical. I found that the Deco Art transparent colors worked very well; Americana Bright Yellow, Viridian Green, and Primary Blue gave me a nice mix. I then added Glamour Dust Paint to the papers to give them that soft shimmer.

• To mix the paints I added a small puddle of paint to the bottom of each spray bottle and began adding water, testing on a separate piece of paper until I was happy with the resulting paint color.

• Next I wet a 12”X12” piece of white cardstock with clean water that I had beside me in a spray bottle.

• Next I sprayed Bright Yellow onto the wet piece of cardstock. It may be necessary to spray clean water over your yellow paint to get it to move around on the paper.

• I layered Viridian Green over the Bright Yellow, again spraying the mix with clean water to encourage the paint to mix and blend naturally. You will find that some puddles appear depending on the amount of water that you have used, move your cardstock around to encourage the paint to mix and blend always allowing each previous color to show.

• Layer Primary Blue over the green and yellow layers. Apply as much or as little as you prefer. If you find that too many puddles are still on the paper you can gently absorb some of the paint with a paper towel. Dry with a hairdryer.

• Paint Glamour Dust Lemon Drop randomly over the yellow areas, Glamour Dust Limelight over the green, and Glamour Dust Sapphire Blue over the blue areas.

• Allow these to dry completely and iron out the wrinkles making sure to protect your iron with a soft cloth.

Are you interested in using other paint colors, look for the transparent Deco Art Paint colors and experiment with making your own color combinations. These make beautiful background papers for cards, stamping, and altered art. If you are interested in seeing other paint combinations and other techniques visit my website and blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trifecta Brush Designs

In an earlier post I had promised that when the Paintworks online project came out I would let you all know and it finally came out online at and the project photographed beautifully.  I know that the editors chose to have this photograph be a Christmas themed project which is an interesting take on it but you can see that it wasn't designed with a holiday theme.  This photo is mine not the photo from the article and this isn't as good but you can see the project easily.  I used the Trifecta Brushes to paint the Plumeria and the Hibiscus flowers on the candles. 

I'm also posting another photo of a sunflower that I painted using the Trifecta Brush and painted the petals of the flower by pulling the brush on the side of the bristles but double loaded the brush to shade and highlight at the same time.   I used the smallest brush in the set to add the shaded detail on the center of each petal.  The center of the flower is painted using a stipple brush and I carry that 1/4" Deerfoot Brush on my website as well.  The Dynasty Deerfoot brush is quite possibly the best on the market and is an excellent price for the quality.  Why not pick up the set of Trifecta Brushes and throw in a few extra brushes to round out your order. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Simulated Airbrush Background Papers for Cardmaking and Scrapbooking

Have you received your Deco Art Newsletter?  I am featured under the Helping Hands section showing how I have painted background papers that I've used in card making and scrapbook pages then added a splash of glitter using the Glamour Dust Glitter Paints.  It was fun to do and I'm thrilled that Deco Art liked the process and was interested in adding it to their newsletter.  This is a very fun way to use what you have at home to paint papers and is very inexpensive.  I used travel sized spray bottles and a very limited palette to paint cardstock.  The photo that I am sharing with you today simulates the look of batik and all I used were flowers that I had cut out of vellum on the Cricut and layered my paint to form this lovely paper.  How fun is that?  My next post will show another background paper but with a slightly different palette and technique.  Don't receive the Deco Art Newsletter?  Go to to sign up today.  You won't be disappointed. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

FM Dynasty Trifecta Brush

What an amazing brush!!!  I can't tell you how much I love this brush.  I originally received a prototype set when Dynasty was developing this new brush and I immediately fell in love, in fact I was after the folks at FM Dynasty to hurry up and get it released to the public because I wanted to be able to share it with all of you.  The learning curve with this brush was not steep at all and I found myself using it in so many different applications, this is going to be one of those brushes that I use on a regular basis similar to my love affair with the Wave Filbert.  It was originally designed as a triple load strokework brush, hence the name Trifecta, however I'm not a strokework artist and I love this brush.  Now that I am free to sing its praises I am going to have to share with all of you some of the different uses for the brush.  Watch for those in the coming weeks. 

You can purchase the brush on my website and as far as I know I am one of the first sites to carry it.  I have a great deal going right now on the set with free shipping.  Come on over and take a look and be one of the first to purchase this amazing brush. 

Don't confuse this brush with Loew Cornell's Miracle Wedge, while it appears to be similiar the bristles on the brush are not cut quite as deep and it is much easier to use.  I purchased the Miracle Wedge because I wanted to compare the two and I wasn't thrilled with the Loew Cornell version.  I felt that the Miracle Wedge was harder to use and you didn't get the full impact of the brush because the bristles are cut deeper.  Take a look at my soon to be released free download project on the Paintworks site, hopefully it will be available soon, to see how I used the set of brushes to paint tropical flowers. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Background Papers

I've been playing around with a number of different background papers when I can't find the exact colors that I want for my cards.   This is one example and then I stamped over the top of it randomly with a variety of stamps.  I'm sure that it will show up in a design somewhere, I just haven't figured out where.  I think that it is fun and certainly shows off the stamped design even if it is a little jumbled, however that is exactly what I was going for as I'm planning to cut sections out of it.  I'll keep you posted on what I do with it. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Copic Markers

Have any of you used Copic Markers?  I received a set for a Christmas gift and I have to say I am hooked.  I've been working with them and love how easy they are to blend.  I haven't felt that there was much of a learning curve  but have just really spent some time familiarizing myself with the them.  I think that they are so much like painting that my thought process with them isn't that different.  I just recently completed some of the leaves similiar to the Jewel Tone Leaves that I have been painting and will post them soon.  Keep an eye out for my next post. 

Finished Card

Here is the finished product.  You can access the free project on my website.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Honeysuckle Leaf Third Installment

If you will notice the red areas on these leaves are beginning to darken,  I've added Metallic Festive Red between each vein.  This is the last shading that I will do to this and will next add a highlight and then will reveal the finished card.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Honeysuckle Leaf #2

I've added Alizarin Crimson to the red areas to add definition and deepen the shaded area.  I'm using a #2 round to paint this entire leaf.  Wash your paint into each veined area and layer each of these paint colors using more of a glazing technique.  I hope that you can see the additonal paint colors that I've added. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prepping for Valentines Day

I started thinking about Valentines Day and of course spring especially when you consider that we haven't had a day without snow since Thanksgiving.  I thought that I'd start a new project that just might make a fun Valentines Card as well as put a dash of spice into our drab winter weather.  I've been busy painting leaves for a new pattern that should be out sometime soon and thought that a step by step leaf project might be a valuable resource for anyone interested in this new pattern as well as a sneak peak.  I chose to use the new hot color of the season according to Pantone which is called Honeysuckle except I used Electric Pink as the base and washed Peony Pink into the shaded areas of  the leaf. 

Do you like this project?   Paint along with me and we'll both have a finished card by the end of the process.  I'll post the next step soon. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Creativity and House Elves

I'm posting a link to a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert that is fascinating.  For those of you who aren't familiar with her she wrote the book Eat, Pray Love and talks about the worry that many of us face that we may have already peaked in our artistic lives and may not have another creative thought that is worth sharing with the world.  She also delves into the idea of "Where Creativity Comes From"?  I have certainly been asked on many an occasion where did my inspiration come from and rarely do I have an answer, sometimes in the shower.  LOL.  Sometimes in the middle of the night and can be fleeting and if I don't write the idea down immediately can be gone forever.  That is certainly frustrating.   Elizabeth thinks that we have little elves similar to the house elves in Harry Potter who are responsible for our creativity and if something fails then it it their fault.  That is a fairly simplified version of her conversation but a part that appealed to me.  So if a pattern or a project fails to sell well it may not be my fault and instead is my creativity elves fault.  That certainly takes the pressure off of me to be "creative" all the time.  LOL.  I thought that her talk was entertaining and wonderfully insightful and can see why she is on the best seller list as well as having Julia Roberts portray her.  It could certainly bring about an interesting discussion.  I don't see Julia Roberts jumping up to portray my creative life.  I wonder why not?  LOL.