Apr 18, 2018

Watercolored Balloons

Started out watercoloring some circles, but they ended up as birthday balloons! Loosely watercolored with Distress Oxide inks.

Added "strings" with a pale gray Tombow marker.  Squint and you can see them! Sentiment from Altenew.

The watercolor paper is Canson Moulin Roy hot pressed. I bought it when we were living in Belgium and I've used up almost all of it. Hot pressed watercolor paper is super smooth and expensive. I'll be running an errand later today right next door to a real art supply store. I feel a splurge coming over me...

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Happy!! Learning that when it comes to watercoloring, goofing around is better than trying hard.

Apr 16, 2018

Monday Crafting Adventures and a Thank You

Crafty adventures on a Monday morning:

1. Knocked over a cup of water on my craft table. Twice.
2. Unknowingly dropped my Versafine Onyx ink pad on my Score Board. Found out after I ruined a card.
3. Misplaced the huge W R Memory Keepers glass mat that I used 10 minutes ago. Must be somewhere.
4. Due to 1 and 2 and a bunch of stupid stamping ideas, this is the 4th version of this card! Persistence.

So, about this card...

Fell in love with the new Right at Home set, Thanks a Bunch, as soon as I saw it. I love the font and the cute little sayings. So I bought it.** Those teeny stars are from a Hero Arts set called Color Layering Ice Cream.

Used Hero Arts Strawberry liquid watercolor to make this background. I was lucky and won the entire set of 8 liquid watercolors. Based on very little experience, so far I love these watercolors. They come in a bottle with a dropper.

I put one drop on my glass mat (which I now see leaning against a bookcase!) and sprayed a bit of water away from the drop. Mixed with a brush and applied to damp paper (Bristol Vellum). The color went on very easily and, after it dried, the color did not bleed when wet (see knocking over water cup above).

Do we NEED these liquid watercolors? No. Are they fun? Yes.

By the way, the Bristol Vellum paper buckled a lot. It is not a watercolor paper but it's white and can handle a decent amount of water. Adhered the layer to an A2 card and ran it all through my Big Shot and, voila, a flat card.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  This card makes me happy. My house is a mess, but my heart is happy.

Thank You:  Got so many wonderful comments on my first column on the Right at Home blog. I really appreciate every single one.

** Disclosure: Paid full price for the Right at Home set. Hero Arts sent me the ice cream set last year.

Apr 13, 2018

Some News and My Absence

Sorry I've gone radio silent for a week. I got a call last week that my MIL needed help dealing with some issues, so my SIL and I both dropped everything and within 2 hours were in the air. The unexpected week in southeastern Texas ended up being hard but good. I don't see my family as much as I want to and I was sad to leave.

But while I was away, a REALLY FUN thing happened!! Look:

My first post for my new monthly column with Right at Home Stamps (named right at home with joan) went live on April 10th. I am thrilled to see my writing someplace other than my own blog. A huge thank you to Nicole for agreeing to my idea.

I'll be writing about crafting and about myself --similar to what you see here, although every post will be craft related.

If you haven't already seen the column, it would mean a lot to me if you read the column and took the time to post a comment. And if you have any suggestions for topics please let me know!

Thanks so much!! 

Apr 4, 2018

HUGS and The Summer of 1969

Another card with just paper, ink, and stamps. Love the big bang of color! It goes well with the big font.

This has to go in the mail!

Uses White Linen cardstock (which is so white it is becoming my favorite), The Stamp Market's Double Take stamp set, Lemonade Distress Oxide ink, and Versafine Onyx ink.



This card took me back to 1969, a fantastic and troubling time.

The summer of 1969 was like no other summer. I was in high school, and earlier in the year a student travel group had come to our school to promote a trip to Europe that they were sponsoring in the summer. It was billed as an Art Study trip -- for six weeks, the students would travel from London and then down to Europe and visit the major cities, ending up in Paris.

When I came home from school that day, I told my mom about the trip. I was happy to get out of a math class for the lecture and had no expectation of going. We were not poor. We lived in a single family home and seemed just fine, but we had never gone on a family vacation or anything like that. Even the idea of driving to New York to get to the airport was beyond my imagination -- going to Europe was not in my vocabulary.

But, my mom picked up the phone right then and there and called my father. She asked him if they could use the money from a car accident to send me on the trip. Someone had smashed into our parked car and the insurance company had given them $500 to replace the car. The trip cost $840 and would cover all costs. I'm not sure where they got the remaining $340, but they sent me on the trip and just continued to drive around a smashed up car.

The trip was amazing. I went everywhere and ate food and saw art and talked to people that were so different from what I was used to. I saw the Alps and rode a gondola in Venice. I viewed the Sistine Chapel, the Pieta, the Mona Lisa and Big Ben. I ate pastry in Paris and pizza in Rome and schnitzel in Vienna. I watched the moon landing in a hotel lobby in Italy. I read headlines about Chappaquiddick and viewed the coverage of the US civil rights movement and the Viet Nam war from Europe.

But most of all, I escaped.

It had been a difficult year -- my father had voted for George Wallace, which crazed me; my mother was furious with me for opposing the war. At one point, she stopped speaking to me for 2 weeks. It wasn't just us. At the time it seemed like every family, and the entire country, was unravelling.

In any event, when I returned from Europe, I went to my room to unpack. When I l had left 6 weeks earlier, my bedroom had the Apple Blossom Pink paint my mom had used when I moved into that room 8 years earlier. When I came back, the walls were bright yellow -- just like Lemonade Distress Oxide ink. She had painted the room, and had sewed a black and white bedspread, dust ruffle, and curtains in what I now realize was a classic toile pattern. She (of course) had even covered the lamp shades with fabric. It looked fantastic, much more grown up than the pale pink.

It was only when I was older that I realized how hot it had been up there that summer. We didn't have air conditioning and my room was upstairs and got the afternoon sun. Painting up there in the heat couldn't have been fun. I suspect now that the trip to Europe and the room redo was a peace offering from my mother. This was her way of saying "I love you even though you 'support communism' and think blacks should be able to live in our neighborhood."**

Sometimes when I am banging my head against the wall watching the news, I think back to that summer and the years that followed -- the demonstrations, the riots, Watergate, etc. Our country got through some hard and deep and angry divisions and came out ok.

I like to think that if we could do it then, we can do it now.

** My mom would go on to vote for Jesse Jackson in a Presidential primary, and Barack Obama for President. We never lose our capacity for change.

Mar 31, 2018

The Little Things

Love this sentiment!

For most of us, regardless of what life gives us, there are many little things (and some big things) to enjoy and for which we can be grateful. Among the little things I'm enjoying at the moment is the sun shining into my craft room, and some strawberries and home made angel food cake waiting for me!

The sentiment (and the berries) are part of Altenew's Beautiful You set. The sentiment has had a border that I didn't like, so I trimmed off the border.

Stamped with Memento black ink and colored with Altenew alcohol markers.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Happy! Hope your day is filled with lots of good things.

Mar 29, 2018

Quick Card

A quick card for a sweet friend.

Altenew Botanical Garden stamped in Memento and colored lightly with Altenew Alcohol markers. Stentiment from Technique Tuesday. Added some paint splatters and it was done.


Mar 28, 2018

3 Recommendations - Two Crafty, One Cookbook

I've got a different kind of post today. I'm recommending a class, instagram, and a cookbook.

1. Big Picture Class -- On Trend, by Taheerah Atchia.  I'm a huge fan of Taheerah's cards. If she makes it, I love it. When I see her cards, my first reaction is usually "why didn't I think of that?" Plus, I've had the pleasure of meeting Taheerah twice. Once when she visited DC, and once when I was in London. She's a fun and nice and takes cardmaking seriously!

So when I saw that Taheerah was teaching a class I jumped on it. Big Picture Classes charges $9.99 a month and there are a ton of classes you can take during the month. They offer a free try it option -- sign up, give your credit card, and you can cancel within 2 weeks and will not be charged.

I took the class over the past couple of days and loved it. Taheerah explains trends -- something I've always found mystifying -- and translates them beautifully into the papercrafting arena. All the classes, except for one, include a video. The videos are great and the cards included are stunning. Taheerah walks through her thought process and gives a ton of great tips. I could listen to, and watch, Taheerah all day.

The class has given me a few new ideas for spotting trends and translating them into cardmaking and a few other cardmaking and design tips. Two thumbs up!

2. Instagram!  I know a lot of my readers shy away from social media or understandably do not want to devote more time on the internet. But, instagram is a great place to see a ton of paper crafting. You have to get the app on your smart phone.  You can use a fake name for your account, and you don't ever have to post a thing. You can just look! There are a ton of giveaways and sneak peeks, and it's a great community of crafters.  It's also a much faster way to look at a ton of cards without reading blogs (except mine, of course...), and you can provide feedback much more quickly than posting a comment on a blog. If you decide to join, I'm there as "Dear Paperlicious".

3. Finally, I'm recommending an awesome cookbook -- Love and Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio. My son gave it to me for Christmas and it's a hit. There are lots of "healthy, seasonal, whole food" recipes with no meat that taste fantastic and aren't crazy complicated or difficult.

I used to like to cook, but for the past few years I've been in a cooking rut. Even Mike, who will eat anything I make, wondered if maybe we should put a few new dishes into the rotation. Plus, recently, I've started to need to limit sodium so I've been looking around for new ideas. (The cookbook is not low sodium -- I just adjust the recipes.)  A few weeks ago, I got out the cookbook, and started to chop and dice.

So far, I love everything I've made. In particular the Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipolte Cream (greek yogurt) were fantastic. If you are looking to branch out and eat healthy, but don't want to buy the cookbook, or just want to test some of her ideas, the author has a blog that includes a ton of recipes. Let me know if you try any of them and what you think of them.

That's it! Hope you are having a good week. It's cold and gray here in DC. What happened to spring?