Category Archives: watercolor paper

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!


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!


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!!



Unity Stamps Sketch Challenge

This week the challenge at Unity Stamps is to make a card using this sketch:


I decided to make a sympathy card for a dear friend who just lost her mother last week.  She is loved by many people so this sentiment is perfect for her.


I used watercolor paper because I wanted to use my Brushos color crystals.  They are intense paint powder that is water-based. The colors are brilliant and transparent.  They’re mainly for impressionistic work, but I love the way they run on water color paper when I use the wet-on-wet technique.  You can also do sprinkling, spritzing, and other techniques.  I’m still getting used to the intensity, and at first I was getting mud.  I’m getting closer to liking them much more now that I can control them better.

I started out by brushing gesso on the paper and after it was dry I then used a stencil and modeling paste with this awesome stencil.  I let it dry, then I used the Brush powder adding a little water on my palette and coloring the branches.  Then I just spritzed the paper with water and threw a miniscule amount of the crystals on the background.

I used a Unity Stamp that came with one of the Kit of the Month collection, What Lies Within Us.  I wanted the girl to be walking in a field of grass so I masked the stenciled branches and stamped her directly on the watercolor paper using Memento ink.  I also used the Brusho crystals.  I then went back and used a pen to outline the scarf, the branches, and the hair.


For the sentiment, I used printed vellum and outlined the edge to make it stand out, then I aded a few sequins.  If you look closely at the vellum, you can see it has faint leaves all over.


I hope you enjoyed looking at my sympathy card.  I want to give it to my friend personally, but she leaves on the west side and there is construction going on, so I’ll mail it.  Be sure and stop by the Unity Stamp store this week, they are having a FUNtastic sale!

Until next time,

Create something awesome today!


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!


Online Watercolor Class for Card Makers – Day 3 (continued)

Gelatos and Watercolor Crayons with Shari Carroll

Although this is the last day of class, we will probably have a bonus day, so you’ll have to put up with me and my cards one more day!

I made two cards with the techniques she showed us.

I made my first ever shaker card using the watercolor paper and Gelatos that was sprayed with water and a stencil.    I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the before that shows all the nice texture.

I used a heart die and also cut out “love you” out of gold shimmer paper.


You can see a bit of the texture on the top:


The second technique, she only made the card base, bit I made a card using Gelatos because I didn’t have watercolor crayons.

I made it into a celebratory card.  I stamped a single stamp with stars and stripes, embossed it with silver embossing powder, cut out some starts with a Martha Stewart punch, and added silver stickles to the stars on the stamp.  The sentiment is from Unity Stamps.  I used a spellbinders die.


Well, friends, that is all the samples I have for this class.  I hope we do have a bonus and I can make more watercolor cards!

Thanks for stopping by,


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!!