Category Archives: watercolor crayons

Life Book Week 24 – Dancing With Shadows

This week’s lesson with Tamara Laporte was about dealing with the inner critic and dealing with change.  The technique was to use symbolism and transformation in our work. Hence we did a paint over collage.  I did a similar class last year in Life Book in 2015, but I can tell I’ve learned more about shape shadow and color.

I began by looking through my fashion magazines for a three to four inch face without a big smile.  I had several girls I wanted to paint, but I chose the 3/4 face because I wanted to practice.  I’m taking a portrait class at the Community College and I’m also working on a 3/4 face.

After I found the girl, I found a really nice tiger to sit by her.  I then collaged other magazine pages that I thought would go well with the theme on awatercolor paper block.

Here is the before picture.  Tam said not to go overboard with the collage, but I loved all these designs so much I had to include them.


The next step was to add clear gesso and start painting the face.  It doesn’t look like much, yet!


In a few hours, I was able to transform the girl into a jungle girl and her tiger.


Tamara added an aura around her, but I decided to add a glow around her face.  The flowers around her head are also from a magazine and the butterflies are from a collage page and that peacock was also part of the page I cut out.  I added some green branches and a few rub ons.


 The tiger is very dignified, but he allowed me to put a butterfly on his head.  I added a rub-on that says “live free.”


Here are a few close-ups around the main image.The four leaf flowers were part of the collage and I just added more color around the leaves and a rub-on in the middle.  I also finished her off by adding white dots all over her hair and a few on her face where I had laid my finger, so I went with more dots.  The Imagine word is also a rub-on.


And this is the close up of the face with all the white dots.


This is another one of my favorite projects of Life Book 2016 and my husband made me feel so good when he exclaimed “That’s beautiful, bet one ever.”  What a sweet thing to say.  I think he’s a keeper!

I though I’d show you my work in progress for my portrait class.


As you can see I need to paint the flowers and a wide brim hat.

Here’s a close up of the face,


and the tulips at the bottom of the canvas.  There’s still lots of details and tweaking to do, so I’ll post the finished product next week.


Thank you for stopping by, and keep on creating!


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 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!



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!


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 Eleven

I was waiting for this lesson from Jane Davenport because I took a Whimsical Girls class through Interweave.  If you click on the link, it should take you to YouTube’s preview of her class – Fantastic!!

The lesson included collaging the watercolor paper with our favorite things  – Drawing on the Outer and Inner World.  When she used flowers, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I used one of my former piece of art I created a couple of years ago and I transformed her into Frida Kahlo.  Haha!  She doesn’t look like Frida, but I did her uni-brow and now she can pass for Frida.

Here she is:


Frida, for the most part, wore flowers in her hair and her braids up on her head, so I cut out a cluster of roses, and an iris and set her on top.  She had a high forehead, but when I placed the flowers without the hair on her forehead, it looked like a helmet.  I think she looks much better now.  She also wore beautiful shawls, so instead of having her hair flowing, I made the shawl flowing in the wind.  I used Dye-Na-Flo ink to color the shawl and love the way it made it look like silk. I added some flowers to the edges and gold threads throughout.  She liked dressing in traditional Mexican attire, so I just gave her a bouquet of flowers to compensate for not giving her a “Huipil”  (A peasant dress).  She was such a rebel, so I used one of my Unity Stamps “The Rebel in me will never die.”  How appropriate!

The print out of the girl I used had light violet eyebrows, so I just darkened them a little and added a more hair to the middle of the bridge of the nose and of course, a few wisps of hair on her upper lid.


She loved beautiful jewelry, so I gave her some gold earrings with emeralds. She also loved parrots and had a pet monkey, but opted not to add it.

I had a lot fun creating this project, and will make lots more withe the techniques I learned this time.

Thanks, Jane!!

And, thank you for stopping by to see my work.

Happy crafting!!