Category Archives: family

It’s Graduation Time!!

Here are some graduation cards I’ve made in recent days.  I helped some friends to make some too, but I forgot to take pictures!

 First off is for a young man – masculine card


His school colors are purple and gold, but he also went to a magnet school with blue so ci added them to the sentiment.  The circle stamps are Tim Holtz, and the 2016 are Unity Stamps.  I also added some gold sequins.


I also a Unity Stamp for the inside quote.


This one is for a girl.  Her school colors are red and blue.  I cut the balloons out with my circle dies added some yarn and the black cap with the a red tassel.


I got my inspiration for this card from a card I saw at  My Creative Time blog hop.  I  used a torn piece of paper in the shape of clouds and using a sponge, I colored them with Broken China distress ink.  I then added the embellishments on the base.  The Celebrate stamp is an older Stamp’n Up stamp.  I also added yarn for the balloons’ strings.  I also stamped inside the balloons.


On the inside I stamped this new stamp by Unity Stamps.  I received the set just in time to make my cards!

BA inside

This one is for a young lady who is graduating from college.

I used a Julie Nuttig doll stamp and a brand new face stamp to fit these girls from Peachy Keen.  It firs perfectly!  I used watercolor paper I then colored the face with watercolor pencils, and pieced together her dress  and shoes to match the background.  Her aunt said she likes purple, so I made purple the accent color.  I then added a small ribbon around the waist and a graduation cap.


Close up of the graduate.


The face


the sentiment along with her diploma.


Last, but not least, the card I made for my grandson.  It had to be special!

I used black and gold because those were the colors on his Graduation Announcement and the invitations.  The stamp on the left is a Unity stamp.  I didn’t have anymore graduation paper so I stamped the diploma, caps, words, and stars on white cardstock with gray ink.


I got this quote from and added it to the inside of the card.


As a gag gift, I enclosed a small envelope with some graduation embellishments  I found at JoAnn’s.  It had a small driver’s license and a set of keys in heavy cardstock.  I glued them on a piece of cardstock and glued a miniaturized graduation picture of him.


Then I put it inside another small envelope with gold chipboard sentiments and stars.

CongratsEnvelope Yay

I’m waiting to see how he reacts to it.  I also added on the back of the small envelope under the flap:  “Patience is a virtue.”  Just saying!

Looks like I’m caught up with all my graduation cards!!

Thanks for coming by and until next time,

happy crafting!


Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow 2016, Albuquerque, NM

Hello my blogging friends!  I took a week off after the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, NM to catch up with my Life Book 2016 lessons, but now I’m back.  First off:

Gathering of Nations

This event is a Federally recognized non-profit organization to promote Native American culture.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I was thoroughly in awe of all the beautifully intricately beaded garments and accessories.

For more information about this event you can go here:  Gathering of Nations.  There were dancers and singers representing more than 500 tribes in North America and Canada.  It is a three-day event, but we only went on Saturday and part of Sunday.

Here are some pictures I took of people walking around the stadium.  I asked permission to take their picture, of course.

These beauties were from  Minnesota



This young girl was on her way to the main floor to dance in the young girls competition.



Look at the beading work on these moccasins.  They were completely hand beaded.  Just beautiful!


Mexico was represented also.  Look at the long feathers!!


I had many more pictures, but somehow they are lost in my file system.

Well, you get the idea.  If you want to see more pictures. you can always go the link above.

Thanks for stopping by


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!!


Several Cards I Have Created in The Last Few Weeks

Here are some cards and other mixed media projects I’ve created, but haven’t posted.

My grandson Sage stayed with us for a few days this summer and wanted to surprise his girl friend.  He said he wanted a folder to tell her how much he loved her.  “Grandma, can you make something for Emma?”  What do you want me to make?  “Oh, just take a folder and do your stuff on it!”  He loved it!  You should have seen the look in his eyes when I gave it to him.

Emma’s Folder

I used stencils, spray paint, acrylics and a black marker


The back of the folder with a silhouette of a person dancing.


Close up of the stencil I used and the word Celebrate!


This is a mixed media canvas for a dear friend of the family who just found out she has Ewing’s Cancer, a rare form of bone Cancer.  She is so sweet and only 14 years old.


A closeup of the quote:


It didn’t take long for her to start loosing her hair, so I sent her a card to cheer her up!

I used a couple of Unity stamps for this one.


One of my cousins asked me to make a Sympathy card for a coach who just died, so I dusted off my Cricut and cut out a few images from the Basketball cartridge.


I also used my single stamps and stamped the inside.


Finally, I’ve been taking some Craftsy card classes and these are a few of the cards I’ve created.

The lessons were given by Catherine Pooler – so much fun!



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!!

Life Book 2015 Week 10

This has been one of my favorite projects yet!  Playing with ink sprays and getting messy is my kind of play time!

Layers of Your Heart With Tamara Laporte was this weeks lesson

This month’s theme is Celebration and gratitude

We created a concertina page with several hearts where we wrote what we are grateful for.  Here is mine:


I love how we created this background using different colors of spray inks on the pocket concertina as well as each heart.


This is the front heart.  I tried a little faux calligraphy for the title “Layers of My Heart”


The rest of the hearts are decorated in different techniques.  I wrote on each one what I am grateful for beginning with my Spirituality, Family, Nature, Technology and Friends.


I will be making more of these grateful hearts for sure!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs, Carmen

A Tribute to My Mother-In Law Josefa “Chefa” Varela Lucero


Chefa, as we all lovingly called her, was born on February 26, 1920, she died November 13th, 2014, she was almost 95 years old.

My husband, Art, wrote a beautiful eulogy for his mother and he gave me permission to  publish some of his thoughts.

“Mom was a simple, unassuming, uncomplicated person; and yet, she had an extraordinary and long life.  Her entire life revolved around two things:  Her church and her family.  Her family had a tradition of serving the church.  She even lived on the San Jose church grounds.  As a young child she helped build the old Cristo Rey Chapel.  She recalled carrying buckets of water for the adobes.  As she got older, she moved on to cleaning the chapel and later, the formal church, and eventually, washing and ironing the church linen and priestly garments.  She carefully examined, and re-examined the garments to make sure there were no wrinkles of any kind.  After she was satisfied, came the task of taking them back to church.  No easy task, being that mom didn’t have a car.  We would walk the garments on outstretched arms hoping we would not drop or the wind blow something off the hangers.”

“Years later, came the cooking at the church kitchen:  Tacos, Menudo, and the old favorites gorditas to raise money for the church.  She also washed, repaired and fixed stuffed toys to sell at the church for the young kids to buy.  Finally, came the recycling of aluminum cans.  At family get togethers, eagle-eyed mom was on the lookout.  No one could throw a can in the trash without mom commenting, “para la iglesia.”  It didn’t take long before the whole family got into the act.  Her joy and pride would always be apparent when she collected sufficient money to purchase the needed garments or linens for the annual “Fiesta de Cristo Rey.”

“In 2001, she was recognized by the Diocese for the long service to the church.  Being an extremely humble person, she was somewhat embarrassed by the recognition and attention, but very appreciative.”

“I once asked her what her happiest moments were and she quickly replied:  “When I had you kids.”  She had a total of 11 children.  Seven survived – two daughters, and five boys.  Six were a year or so apart.  What a hand full  we must have been.”

“How she cooked meals early on by herself and on a wood burning stove, we can only imagine.  Making six to eight dozen tortillas at every meal along with caldos, caldillos, papas, avenas, cereales, veggies and snacks; and my all time favorite:  Beans.  de olla, refritos, con queso, con chorizo, con chile rojo and so on.”

“She was quite the efficiency expert.  She would form assembly lines with the older kids to help with cooking, washing, and bathing.  Saturday night baths were like watching a Keystone cops movie.”

“She was a nurse extraordinaire.  Her knowledge of herbs and home remedies, taught to her by our great-grandmother, Mague, kept not only us, but some of the neighborhood kids healthy.  Scrapes and cuts, form a line, Nurse Lucero is on the job 24/7.”

“Yes, she was busy, but had time to play.  Jump rope with the girls, trompos, marbles, and catch, with the boys. We all remember the mud ball fights after a nice rain.  The clay soil could be formed into a small mud ball.  Our mom could fling a clay mud b all with the best of her kids!”

“For a significant time she was a single parent of six.  During this time, I can only describe her as a financial wizard.  Taking a few dollars a week, usually earned through the sweat of her brow, and providing us with our basic needs.  She either cleaned a few houses or ironed someone’s clothes to earn money.””

Recycling was also the order of the day, even before it became fashionable.  My sisters wore dresses made by mom from flour sack material.  I can still remember the white sacks with flower patterns.  Careful deliberation was given in the purchases so as to not select the same pattern often.  The younger boys received some hand-me-downs, everything always mended and cleaned.  Although she only had a third grade education, she would help us with our home work and encourage us to do well in school.””

Her life got a bit easier as we all grew older one by one we began to work or join the military.  Each of us helping support the younger ones, finally just mom.  Oh, but then came the 60 or so gran, great-grand, and great-great-grand kids, many of whom she helped raise in some fashion or another.  All of them gave her tremendous joy.  And, for the rest of her life, mom was showered with their hugs and kisses.””

Mom’s last few days were spent at home surrounded by all her kids, young and old.  Never alone, 24 hours a day, with sounds of family close by, just as she wished.  She passed with grand-kids holder her hands and in the presence of her two loving daughters.”

“Mom was indeed an extraordinary mother, not because she made any grand contributions to society or the world, but because she met and exceeded her everyday challenges year after year, after year.”

“Mom is no longer with us, but our memories of her will be passed on for generations to come.”

I just wanted to add, that when I met Chefa, I thought she had a formidable stature.  I felt a bit intimidated by her at first, but as I got to know her better, I understood why she had to be that way.  So many years struggling to raise her children.  All the sacrifices, and all the work she had to do were all well worth it to her because at the end one by one all children became great assets to society.

Thank you, Chefa, for your great example!

I also want to thank all the family members, young and old, who were constantly looking after our daily needs, whether, physically or emotionally, and who contributed so much by their presence, by bringing coffee, doughnuts, goodies and even food to the hospital.  And especially those who were ever-present at Chefa’s side. We don’t have enough words to say and want to show our appreciation by thanking you publicly at this time.

Love and thanks,

Art and Carmen Lucero