Category Archives: acrylic paints

Life Book 2016 – Week 22 with Kristin Dudish


a game for facing your fears….


This week’s lesson was taught by Kristin Dudish.    I added a link to her facebook page because we’ve been having issues with the NING site and cannot download the class or any of the links.

But that’s all right because Tamara gave us another link to download the lessons and the PDFs.

I found this class very interesting and enjoyable.  We had to take a picture and divide it in 2 inch squares.  I loved doing this because when I was younger I loved to take puzzles like these and see if the final picture looked like the picture in the magazine.

I’m obsessed with Frida Kahlo and there are some great black and white pictures of her.  I googled her and came up with this one.


I cut her up in 2×2 inch squares and using another paper with 2×2 blank squares I proceeded to draw and paint what I saw.  Shapes –  triangles, squares, circles, lines; no flowers, eyes, chins, etc. – just shapes. The media I used were, watercolor crayons, regular crayola crayons, prima coloring pencils, charcoal, plain pencil, pastels, oil pastels, water-color pastels, a regular ball point pen, watercolor pencils, black india ink, acrylic paints, and dots done with a pen.


This is a closeup.  You can see some of the media was hard to match up to the different squares, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing this morning.  I can see where I need to pay closer attention to the different shapes so they can match up better.


That’s it for this weeks lesson

I’ll be playing with this technique again, for sure!

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave me a note, either way, I love to read comments.

See ya’ next time.


Life Book Week 13 with Rae Missigman

This week’s lesson, given by Rae Missigman, was as usual challenging for me because it was about layers and intuitivity – if there is such a word.  (My spell checker didn’t recognize it, but I’ll add it anyway, ha!)

After I finished the project I had to leave it alone overnight to see it with new eyes.  So, it wasn’t that bad after all this morning!

She does lots of layers in her projects and I like layers, but the intuitive part just doesn’t resonate with me, so I thought about it and and made a plan.  I used a stencil without flowers!  I picked two by Claudine Helmuth with different shapes of bird cages and the Love Birds stencil.  The other one by Heidi Swapp that has the bird on a branch which includes the mask and another stencil.

So after layer and more layers, this is what I came up with.

I used watercolor paper, acrylic paints, a black pencil, splash colors, molding paste, and napkins for collaging.

I guess you can say I made it my own because instead of using flower stencils, I used the ones I mentioned above.


Here are some close-ups.  Since I also stamped different birds, cages, and bold stamps, I was surprised to see these birds come out after the layers.

I like the idea of circling the different parts you want to highlight.


I also added some doodling and more stamps to the empty spaces.  I also used modeling paste for the birds.


I stamped this sentiment on tissue paper I used with a gelli page.  I love how all the cages stand out with different objects inside of them.


The only flowers were these on a napkin I added just for fun.


This picture shows the bird on the right side and more bird cages hidden by the acrylic layers of paint.


Thanks for dropping by to see my project for this week and please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!!

Happy weekend everyone!!


Life Book 2016 Weeks 11 and 12

Hello my artsy friends.  Did you survive Daylight Savings Time?  Oh, it took me a week to get over it and I’m still taking my naps to catch up!

Arizona is the only state in the Union that doesn’t follow DSM.  I guess it’s a rebel thing!  LOL.  We lived there for about five years and enjoyed it very much, but we couldn’t stand the heat.  In the summer it was impossible to enjoy the outdoors because of 115 F heat, so we moved to Las Cruces, NM.  Our family was in El Paso, TX, just a short hour away. Unfortunately, my dad, hubby and I all got Cancer and we decided to move back to El Paso to be closer to the family and closer to the hospital where we had our treatments.

Anyhow, we are having a blast here, the weather is pretty much temperate – we have hot summers and cold winters, but loooong Springs and Autumns.  Love it here.

Now on to  Life Book!

Week 11 – Roots & Ground, Wings & Light with Tamara Laporte

This week Tam gave us a lesson on mixing colors for dark skin girls.

I managed to use my Caran D’ Arche and Tombow artist’s markers to come up with a fairly dark skin girl.  I wanted to make her a cool angel so I gave her a rainbow hair do.  i really like how her eyes came out!


Here are some details:

A closeup of her cute sunburned face and green eyes.


For the background I used some napkins with birds and flowers and this birdie wanted to come out, so I outlined it.  I also used some zentagle stamps to fill in all the open spaces.


For these flowers I used a stencil and modeling paste and outlined them with a black pen.  I also added white and black stars and gave her wings the same colors as her hair.


Here are more stenciled/modeling paste flowers and more stamps.  I mostly used the crayons and some acrylics for the background.


I added more zentangle stamping on her dress and a heart to fill in the blank space here too.

Angel dress

Here you can see more zentangle stamps in between her wings.


Now on to:

Week 12 – The Simple Things With Angela Kennedy

If you go to her page, she has some sweet-faced girls done very simply, but beautiful!

This was a bonus lesson to give us a chance to catch up with our projects and time to breathe in between.

All she used on this project was a stabilo pencil and a few pastel colors and a quote that has to do with grounding.

Here is my interpretation:

I didn’t have a good Stabilo pencil so I used the black Inktense watercolor Block, but it came out a little bit purple and brown, but I still like the effect.  I used orange and red for the flowers, and two shades of green pastel pencils for the leaves and branches.


Sorry about the light, I was fixing it up in my loft at night, hence, the sepia color. I found out I misspelled the quote, so I typed it using one of my favorite fonts and glued the paper to cover up the misspelling.  I was thinking about my daughter, a masseuse, and how she really heals through her hands after grounding herself on her feet.


Here’s a closeup of the flower in her hair.  The trouble with pastels is that they come off easily on your hands, so I applied a fixative when I was done.


A closeup of the face.


and a closeup of the left hand side flowers,


Alright friends, thank you for sticking with me through this process of sharing my Life Book projects.

Until next time,

Happy painting!!



Life Book Week Six Your Quirky Amazing Life

Hello my artsy peeps!  Here I am again with another exciting post, LOL!

Week Six was taught by the amazing Tamara Laport

We were to think and write down about all the things we are grateful for and how we would depict our family.  Since this week was about quirky bird, I first thought about what the different personalities make up my amazing family, then I sketched them.

Here’s the sketch:

My daughter is a Yoga instructor and is always meditating, my son loves the drums and was in a rock band, now he works at a music store.  My husband  was hard to sketch, but I thought a toucan would be a good representation, and I’m the chick with the umbrella.


Here we are!  I also added my grandsons whom I adore!

I created this project on a 11×14 watercolor paper and used watercolor pencils, crayons, markers, acrylic paints, molding paste, stencils and love!


As I mentioned before, my daughter is a Yoga instructor.  I made her a Yoga outfit and the glitter all around her is her aura.  She’s such a loving, giving, and caring person!  She’s meditating and going “Ohmmmmmm” LOL


The Rock Star!

My son has been playing drums since he was grade school and later was part of a group.  Now he’s in his 40’s and he’s feeling the results of again!  His elbows hurt, he can’t hear very well, etc.

I tried to make him as flambouyant as possible, but not over the top.  I gave him a KISS face.  I added an ant so there would be five characters.  He’s holding a tiny heart and a leaf.


Next up is my husband.  Originally he was going to be a Toucan, but after adding his feathers, I don’t know what he is, ha ha.  He does have a heart of gold!  He is very giving, loving, and caring also!


My oldest grandson has been hiding behind people lately; I don’t know why, but he is the one in the family who also loves music and has the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard!


My youngest grandson is a jock!  He loves playing baseball and wants to be able to play professionally one day.  My husband has been encouraging him to do well in school and perhaps he can get a scholaship to go to College.  He’s already been admitted to Humboldt College in California.  We’re so proud!


Last, but not least, the chick representing me!

I put glasses on her because I like to read, and the umbrella is for when I go out in the ministry on a sunny day.   I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and do volunteer work teaching the Bible and helping people get to know it better.  I added Zentangles to the umbrella, which I also draw to relax.  I also added doodles all over the pages and a few quirky stamps.


And that’s the project for this week, friends!

Thanks for coming by and I hope you leave me a comment.  I love comments!!


Live With Promise

I had some spare time this weekend (I don’t know how that happened!) so I watched a free video on Youtube “Fawn Whispers” with Tamara Laporte while waiting for Monday to roll around so I could start on another Life Book 2016 lesson.  It is going to be all about quirky birds! I watched the first two videos while snuggling on my couch.  The weather turned ugly today; cold, windy, rain, and probably snow!

As I was saying, I followed along as she created her project because I wanted to go through her process.  The face came out a little different than hers.  The video is in fast speed, so I had to stop it and do my thing, then start again.  All in all I really liked how my piece came out.


I used 11×14 watercolor paper again for this one.  Collaged it with some tissue paper I found on clearance at Michael’s and lightly used my Caran De Arche watercolor crayons. I also used acrylic paint, and watercolor pencils. I’m usually very heavy handed when it comes to paint, but since I used watercolor crayons the paper showed through and I like it!

I’m always looking for the opportunity to use all of my crafty finds that I’ve picked up on sale and I was able to use the Faber Castelle Texture Gems in gold and white for the heart and the crowns.  Some may call it hoarding, but I call it preparing for the future!  LOL

I also used a Tim Holtz stencil to give the crown and her dress and cape some texture.


I first used the gems for the crown on the girl and decided to add some dots to the fawn’s crown as well as the heart.


I found my stencil with this quote and used a black molding paste so it would stand out.

The tiny butterflies are from the same stencil.  You can see the tissue paper that I used for the background.  I finished it off with throwing some white dots all over it.


Here is the stencil I used to add the flowers and leaves with a black ink.


I also added doodles with a white marker and a white gel pen and acrylic paint through another stencils in other places throught this piece and a script stamp.


My husband liked it a lot too, but he said that I need to make darker skinned gilrs too.  Yes, dear, that’s my next project.

Thanks for visiting and have a warm, cozy, day crafting!



Life Book 2016 – Week Three

Week Three with Melody Ross

Your Sacred Box of Wisdom

Melody Ross and her sister have helped a lot of women all over the world to find a supportive sisterhood by means of symposiums through the Brave Girls University.  Please check out Melody’s blog – The Brave Girls Club.

This week’s lesson with Melody Ross was about getting in touch with all the wisdom we have accumulated in our life just by living, being, and doing.

The exercise was very deep in that we would write down the wisdom in our life and how we came to that wisdom by our experiences, whether good or bad, and what we learned from them.

I chose instead to create a project with a box full of books where I have found wisdom.  Books like The Bible, the Book of Life, and books written by other influential people.  I appreciate all forms of wisdom and I celebrate by sharing some of the words with you that I find have helped me grow and heal my life.

This time I made a girl with a different hairdo than what I usually create.  I started out with an 11×14 watercolor page and after coloring the page and the girl,  I then created the background by collaging with a napkin that had the same colors.

I first drew her with a big smile, but I couldn’t get her teeth right.  She looked like a hillbily, so I opted to give her some smile marks around her mouth.


In order to do this project, I did some research on the word Wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.”

You can see I titled some of the books – Life, Expriences, Holy Bible, and one of Maya Angelou’s biobraphical books – The Heart of a Woman.  I couldn’t include all the books and all the authors who have inspired me so much in my life.  I would have loved to have included some of the inspiring quotes I love, but I would need many, many more pages.

The box is also collaged with a napkin and outlined with a marker.


I did, however, include a couple of quotes from the Bible.  On the top is from the Book of Proverbs, “Widsdom is the most important thing, so acquire wisdom.  And with all you acquire, acquire understanding.”  (Proverbs 4:7)

The title of my page Wisdom is from an image I found on Google.  Here you can see a closeup of some the words that have to do with acquired wisdom.


The second quote is also from the Book of Proverbs:  “Happy is the man (or woman) who finds wisdom.  And the man who acquires discernment.”  (Proverbs 3:13)


Before I close, I want to share some quotes about Wisdom I found while doing my research.


“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
Maya Angelou

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”
Maurice Switzer

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Mother Teresa

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

Isaac Asimov

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
Oprah Winfrey

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Albert Einstein

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens”
Jimi Hendrix

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.”
Anne Bradstreet

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.”
Bob Dylan

“Lost Time is never found again.”
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

Until next time, my friends, think and act wisely.


And It Begins: Life Book 2016

Hello again, crafty friends!

I put together my projects for Life Book 2015, but there were so many pages, I had to make two albums.

I made the covers out of hard white mat board and covered them with the designer paper.  I didn’t want to make holes in my pages, so instead, I made some corners where the pages would be inserted, and glued them to the 11×17 paper I found at JoAnns.


This is when I found out I couldn’t put any more pages in the album even though I used three inch rings.


As you can see, I made a lot of art last year!


Life Book 2016 – Week One

Now, I start on Life Book 2016.  I’ve been working on my projects as fast as I  can so I don’t fall behind.  This year I want to conscientiously make all the projects because I’m still learning and I’m finding what I like.  I don’t want to get into a rot, so I feel that if I try all the different classes, I can learn new styles and more techniques.

The Warm Up

Tamara Laport, the genius behind Life Book has been conducting this series since 2012.  This will be my second year, and I enjoy going to my craft room and playing with all my crafty stuff.  I’ve also been able to take out different tools, paints, and stencils I haven’t used before.

Tam, is a very gentle, gracious, and giving person.  You can tell by her lessons and the details in each that se really enjoys teaching others what she knows.

The first week she did a warm up lesson about our word for the year.  I am struggling with overworking my art and so I figured that imperfection is better than getting frustrated.


A closeup of the lotus:

I used a variety of stamps to make it imperfect.


I stamped the word beautiful and the lotus with a Unity Stamp kit.


These two are also part of the kit.



Main Lesson, Happy Traveler.

I chose a lamb and an eagle to be my traveling companions.  I gave the eagle a little bit of attitude!


A closeup of my little lamb.  Yes, she’s blue, but she’s happy.


A closeup of the eagle leaning on the tree.


A closeup of the the traveler’s face.  Notice the doodling I did on her hair to add some dimension.


I also did some doodling on the bottom left corner with a white marker and other doodles with the black one.


And used a stencil on her cape and on the upper right hand corner.


Tam added a pouch to her traveling companing, but I didn’t add one to mine because I fuzzed too much over my lamb and I just wanted to finish.

I’ve been working today on Week two, and will post the homework tomorrow.

Until then, happy crafting!


Life Book Lesson 45

Well, here I am again bringing you some exciting projects – ha!

As I said in my last post, one of my favorite lessons with Tam was the gorgeous swan girl.

Second time I’ve worked on two pages so it did take a while and I spent way too much time playing with my background.  But I am very pleased to bring you my rendition.

This is the right side of the page before I changed the doodling.

Swan Girl

This is the finished piece.  I attached the two pages so I could take pictures of the whole project by using painters tape on the back and on the sides.

SwanGirlTwo pages

I played around with the left side and the deer appeared looking surprised.  I also used a stencil for the various images and a Unity Stamp for the arrows.


I made the bottom of this page with a stencil using green molding paste as well as the body of the swan.  The bottom doodle is a combination of my imagination and a Pinterest idea.


After googling for some Native American symbols I found out the Thunderbird I had stenciled represented the “Bearer of Happiness.”  How appropriate!

I also added more stencils on the borders.


The heart is colored with watercolors paints and I also added more symbols and stenciled with molding paste.


I’m very pleased with the way this girl’s face came out.  I also added some feathers on her head-dress and a necklace on her neck.


And, finally the swan’s head.


My daughter really like this and asked me not to give it away, but since is part of Life Book 2015, I’ll have to make her a canvas.  Hopefully it will look like this page as well.

Thanks you dear friends for stopping by.  I’m almost caught up posting all my projects for this year.

Happy creating everyone,


Life Book Weeks 39 – 41

Life Book Week – From Here to There

with Roben Marie

This week’s lesson with  Roben-Marie is all about finding connection with our wholeness again through the pages.  Roben-Marie talks about the therapeutic aspects of journalling and shows us how to create a beautiful journal page from ‘here to there’! 

Using watercolor paper I first made marks all over the page then started layering different media including stamps, stencils, pages from magazines,  sheet music, and old book pages.  I also made some of my own tools and applied them on the page.  It is not as bright as Roben-Marie’s but I like it!


These are the closeups of this page:


This is the bird cage stamp I used and the bird is a paper I punched out with a circle punch


Some of the marks we did were circles with a paper towel tube

I used them to stencil in some flowers


This is part of a magazine I used and left the image inside the circle also


This shows some of the book papers I used to make circles and attached them to the page where I thought needed to be covered


Lastly, we made tags and put them inside a pocket I made using my sewing machine so it wouldn’t obstruct the page.  By the way, Roben-Marie was making the tags along with each layer and I didn’t realize she would be using it for the journalling, but I went back and created three tags and will use them on other projects.  The stamp I used is from Unity Stamps.


Week 40 – was an interview with Chris Zydel she teaches intuitive painting and mark making and her class is sometime in November – looking forward to trying it out!

Week 41 – Kristin Vanvalkenburgh

I found this lesson by Kristin to be very moving. It was  a very therapeutic  exercise.  I got a little teary eyed when I was watching the first video because she shared some memories of when she was younger with us.  So this exercise was about writing a letter to your younger self and be accepting of the future.

I enjoyed working on this lesson too, because I allowed myself to be free and not think too much about the process.  One thing I did was use lighter colors and I really like the look.

This is the page I created using spray inks, acrylic paint, stencils, glitter and lots and lots of texture with gesso.


This is the heart I created with burlap using the circles stencil I made myself.  I attached a piece of card stock to the back of the heart and sewed around the edges with a straight and zig-zag stitches so the burlap would not unravel.  Since it’s a very personal message, I stapled it shut so no one else can read it but me!


Close up of all the texture I created using paper towel tubes, a comb and a plastic tool with a different edge on it.


I had never used glitter on top of spray inks before, but it looks like it adhered well.  I applied mod podge juste to be sure the glitter would not come off everywhere.


Finally, the left hand side showing more glitter and more texture.  This was so much fun, although, it did take me three days to complete.  I am keeping these techniques for future projects of my own for sure!


There you have it, friends, let me know what you think and have a fabulous week!

Hugs, Carmen

Road Trip to Mount Rushmore – June 2015

One of my husband’s life long dreams was to see Mount Rushmore!

My daughter and my grandson joined us and it turned out to be one of the best vacations ever!!

We started out going to Santa Fe and spending a couple of days.  We’ve been to Santa Fe, but didn’t have the time to look around.  This time, we spent the whole day enjoying the city.  Here are a few pictures:

My husband has heard so much about the Loretto Chapel where the mysterious spiral staircase is located that we made our first stop here:


We also  did the tourist thing of shopping for bargains:


haa haa, I don’t know what I was demonstrating,


We couldn’t leave Santa Fe without going to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum.  So inspiring!


We checked this place out because it had smoothies,


I ended up having a virgin red chile bloody mary, yumm!



Having a great dinner!

Now on to Colorado to stay at our time share near Vail.  This is the scenery on our way there.


The closer we got, the more snow we started seeing on the road.




We finally arrived at our destination and were glad we left the snow behind!


We had nice weather all around and got to enjoy long walks to the lake,


and the creek,



The water was perfect for white water rafting!


The lake was peaceful, though.


 enjoying nature,



A bee searching for honey in a lavender bush.


and pretending we were kids again!


 We sat at this cozy garden and watched people go by.


We also visited Eagle, down the road and admired the bronze art on the sidewalk.


Midweek we went to Denver to pick up our grandson and went through the one mile long Eisenhower tunnel.


After picking up Sage from the airport, we went to visit our old neighborhood in Aurora, Colorado.  We hadn’t been there since 1983 so we couldn’t find our previous homes. After some searching and googling, we found our house on Olathe St. in the Mission Viejo neighborhood and the Berry home in Smokey Hill.

We couldn’t leave Denver without visiting Casa Bonita.


This restaurant used to be a Safeway store and was remodeled and converted into an old Mexican villa, complete with caves, waterfall, and a gorilla.



My daughter was reminiscing how she and her brother would love to go there not for the food, but for the entertainment.  The menu hasn’t changed a bit; it’s still not very good, but eatable.


When you get to your table, they present you with a flag you can raise when it’s time for a refill or some of their famous sopaipillas.


We headed back to Avon Colorado and began the fun part for Zonia and Sage.  They went hiking, biking, and water rafting!


Biking near Vail Valley


At the end of the week they went white water rafting on the Eagle River, but I haven’t been able to find their pictures online.

When we lived in Colorado, we used to visit the towns in the rockies – our favorite town was Estess Park.

This is a picture of the famous Stanley Hotel.


We drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming and went to an Hispanic event.  It was their first so it was held at a small park.  Adjacent to the park is a railroad museum and this is where we took this picture.  I’m too short for this!!


The next day we started on our trip to North Dakota.  There was so much rain and flooding we had to be rerouted and it took two more hours to get to Keystone.  This is where both Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial are.

Since it was still early enough in the afternoon, we decided to go to the Crazy Horse memorial because it was on the way to Keystone.


Can you believe this is as far as they’ve gotten on the monument?   Everyone’s question is “When will it be finished” the answer from the guide is always “When we get enough funding.”


This is a replica of how it will look when it’s completely done!


You can pick a rock from the left over rocks to take home.  No, Sage, you can’t take that on the plane!!


Are you kidding me?  You want to take that big rock home, honey?


Finally made it to Mount Rushmore.  The monument is a lot smaller than the Crazy Horse Monument.  It fits in the head of the warrior.


The family in front of the monument..


…and this is a closeup after walking up 252 steps!!


We were all so happy to be there finally!


We just had to stop at Sturgis where they hold the biggest motorcycle rally in the world!!

But the biggest highlight of my summer was when my sister and I attended the Imitate Jesus Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Best convention to date!!


Next post, I’ll be downloading the projects I’ve completed for Life Book 2015.  Until next time, happy crafting!!