Tag Archives: canvas

Tim Holtz Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016 Weeks 1 -3


Hello my creative friends!  I took Creative Chemistry 101 with Tim Holtz about four years ago and I’m getting a refresher this summer.  Here are the tags I created for the challenges.

Week One

Friends, you just have to take this class.  It covered so many things you need to know about Tim Holtz products – it was amazing!

  Day 1 –  Tim is a wonderful teacher; he discussed the characteristics and properties of the products; dye vs. pigment inks, translucent vs. opaque, solvent, oil, or water based vehicles and porous vs non-porous materials.

Day 2 – This day we learned techniques for blending, stamping, and layering with Distress Ink.  Also, the wonderful way they react to water.  It was fun going back and create these tags, but with some of the colors from the 2015 releases.

Challenge #1

Blended Spritz & Flick


Brushless Watercolor


Wrinkle-free Distress

I think I went a little crazy applying all the different colors and got the tag too wet; but it is wrinkle free!!


 Week Two

Day 4 – We learned techniques for coloring backgrounds using re-inkers and how to store our ink creations.

Day 5 – Tim showed us some wonderful techniques for creating background, stamping, and using stains for marbling effects.

Day 6 –  The techniques Tim shared with us for coloring and stamping with distress markers were awesome!!  He also discussed the features of the markers and why they are different to other markers, but I didn’t have time to make the tags.

Challenge #2

After going over days 4, 5 & 6, our challenge was to make tags using the techniques we learned.

Day 4

 Watercoloring with Reinkers


Layered Misting


Creating a Custom Pad


Day 5

Stained Kraft Resist


Stamping With Stains


Marbled Stains


We skipped a few days and went on to

Challenge #3

  This week’s challenge was to make tags using Perfect Pearls and Distress Inks or Stains.

Day 8 – We made some awesome distress crackle objects and paints and learned how they react.

Day 9 – All about Perfect pearls and Pearl mists we made ourselves.

Day 8

Paint Dabber Resist



Crackle Paint Resist


Shattered Stains Technique


 I also made a card for the Unity Stamps Masculine Challenge


Day 9

Perfect Distress Mist



Perfect Distress Technique


Perfect Splatter Distress


That is it for now, my friends, Thanks for sticking with me until now.

Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to make something awesome!!

Happy crafting,



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 23

Your Inner Wizard with Jenny Grant

This week’s lesson was delightful!  Jenny is a new artist to me.  Her art is so ethereal.  I love her grungy style.  There are so many layers in my painting, I think I got heavy-handed again with the gold highlights.

I love the see through effect I got in some places.  I started out collaging papers – which I found very meditative.  Then I used acrylic paint to stamp several layers on the corners with foam stamps.  I let those dry, then added more colors in complimentary hues.


After those layers dried, I drew the face with a stabilo all black pencil, then I added flowers with molding paste through a stencil.  I couldn’t find the stencil I like, so I picked a bigger one because the face I drew only used half of the canvas and I didn’t want to leave a large empty space.  I also used a Tim Holtz stencil with white molding paste and waited for it to dry.  Then, I smoothed it down using fine sand paper.


I also added a single flower on the lower left side.  I really love that all the layers can be seen here. I dripped some see throuogh liquid acrylic paint for contrast and to give it a grunch look, but I was afraid I would drip too much on the face; afterwards I thought I should have dripped some paint on the side of her face.  In this photo you can see the different media I used including the sketching.


 I added Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold for a reddish gold hue, and sepia acrylic color to the edges to frame it.  To make it shine, I used gold acrylic paint on the surface of the dried stenciled molding paste.  I just love all the layers that can be seen in the lower right corner.


Lastly, I added translucent white acrylic paint on her face and some white highlights on her upper eye lids, bellow her eyebrows, on her nose and a bit on her lips.


Since I used a 12×12 flat canvas, I’m going to buy a frame for it because this is one of my favorite paintings so and probably more to come!

Thanks for coming by, and please leave me a comment.  I want to know what you think.

Have an awesome week and be crafty!


Unity Stamps Anything Goes Challenge

This week’s challenge over at the Unity Show and Tell Facebook page is to use any Unity girl stamps to create a card, scrapbook page, mixed media project or anything else, using Unity Stamps only.

March24-31 AnythingGoes

I love mixed media so I took the opportunity to play with Donna Downey’s stamp Kit, Calliope.  The girl’s image is 5×7.

This is an 8×11 canvas board that I primed with clear gesso so I could work on the face.  I first worked on the background and left a space for the image.  I used several Unity Stamps after laying down three different colors of Deco Art media fluid acrylics in Pthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow Light, and Liquitex heavy body acrylic in Payne’s Gray.


After the acrylic colors dried, I started stamping randomly using Unity Stamps Numbers, Etc.; the script from the Let it GO & Focus set; Donna Downey’s Peony and She; and Layers of Life kit Paper Hearts.


 I also added some doodles with my white Signo pen.



Then I went to work on the girl’s face and body.  I first stamped her on Rice paper so I could get a good impression then glued her with matt medium.  Some of the colors I used on the face were Americana acrylic in Fresh Tone, Golden Brown, Natural Buff, White and Liquitex Basics in Light Portrait Pink. For the lips, and cheeks, I used  the Tombow Art markers.


While that was drying, I used Donna’s stencil and applied gold and green Art (C) molding paste I found on clearance at Michael’s.  Great stuff, by the way!  It came in three small containers with three different colors – enough to try out!


I used one of Heidi Swapp’s stencils and her glittery silk screen molding paste here…


…and here.  It was the first time I used it and was very impressed with the creaminess and the shine – just like her glimmer mists!


after everything was dried, I stamped the She stamp on regular printing paper so it would have a good impression, cut it out, and glued it on the canvas with matt medium.


Then I worked on her hair, glasses, and dress. I used three different colors of Tombow pencils and ArtDeco Interference to make it shine.  I also added shading to her face and body using Pitt Markers.

I added glossy accents on the glasses and a few white lines to make it appear as the glare on the glass.

Thanks for stopping by to see my project and leave me some love in the comments.

Happy creating you all!


Everyday Life , and Life Book 2015 – Lessons 29 – 32

Hello crafty friends!  I’ve been quite busy the last few days.  I went to a Faber-Castell Gelatos class at Michael’s on Monday with my crafty friend Maria.  It was a “free” class, but we had to purchase a $25 kit.  Good thing we had 50% off coupons!

Our instructor, Carol, showed us how to use Gelatos on different substrates.  It was fun taking the class, even though, I had already used Gelatos on other occasions, but I did try different materials included in the kit.

This was plain chipboard which we covered with gel medium to work as a resist.  Then we applied different colors of gelatos rubbing them with our finger.  I then added some paper, used my gellatos as ink and applied onto a foam stamp.  Then using a small stencil that came with the kit, I used the gelatos as watercolors. (There was no texture paste available.)


Next up was the raw canvas and the embossed paper.  I had never used the raw canvas and it was interesting to see the effect of the Gelatos on it – they feel so creamy and have lots of pigment.  On the embossed paper, I tried to create an ombre effect and used water to combine them, but I found the embossing disappeared.


I love the corrugated chipboard.  I took some of my Gelatos and found some metallic ones that I used on this piece and they really blended well and made the colors pop!


Lastly, I made a small desert scene using the gelatos like water color.  Good to remember the next time I run out of a watercolor.


These last two are embossed cardstock and velvet.

I’ve used Gelatos on Heidi Swapp’s papers before and I love the effect.  You can’t see the last piece, which is velvet, but I did not like the Gelatos on this at all.


Last night I gave a scrapbooking class to three of my friends and it was an opportunity to work on my photos as well, but didn’t get the chance to take some pictures.  I need permission from my friends to post their scrapbook pages.

This morning  I felt like having bagels and lox, but I didn’t have the smoked salmon 😦

Doesn’t this look scrumptious, just looking at it makes my mouth water!  (I used a google image, yumm!!)

I went to my Alberston’s store and in addition to finding the smoked salmon, I also found two terrific sales on Rib eye steaks and fresh salmon!  Both were $5.00 off per pound!  I saved $18.00!  yay, me!!

When I got home, my husband’s car wasn’t there, so I knew something was up.  I called him up and he said he was at my aunt’ apartment and that she needed to go to the emergency room because she wasn’t feeling well.  My aunt is 91 years old and is having trouble remembering things.  She forgot I had already taken her to see her doctor for the same thing, but I took her anyway.  We spent four hours waiting – which is really good for an emergency room wait, and her diagnosis was the same as before, so I took her home and when I returned I went straight to take a nap!  And that was the end of my day – and still no bagel and lox!

I know tomorrow will be a better day!

Now on to Life Book 2015!

Week 28 with

This week’s lesson was Tiny – Story Telling with Danielle Donaldson who creates beautiful lithe fairy worlds in her artwork.  This was indeed a fun bonus lesson.  We created a little person and then attached her to a clothes pin and on to a bowl filled with strips of words, and sentences.  The object is to pick random strips and put them together to form a story.

I just happened to have this bowl that had a heart on the bottom – perfect!!


This is the tiny person on a large clothes pin and the strips of words and sentences.


And this is the story I came up with after picking up strips randomly!


“Here’s the thing about her.  Every once in a while, the girl craves happy rainbows of periwinkle unicorns floating above her hair.”  (Really random!)

Week 30

Letting Go and Letting In with Flora Bowley was about intuitive painting.  I’m beginning to like these lessons, but I still have the tendency to apply too much paint.  The process was to start off by practicing on paper and black acrylic color.  She had us do “marks” and “patterns” on the paper first then use them on our watercolor paper or canvas.

The idea of letting go was interesting to me because when I paint something I like, I want to highlight it, but not this time.  We had to let go of that image and just do marks and patterns all over the canvas.  I did two at the same time trying not to use the same colors.  Although I did cover up a lot of the marks, you can still see they appear as texture – I liked it!!


I kind of used what I learned in other lessons – like color blocking and doodling.


Be bold –  I used some bold colors here!


Can you see the texture?  I really like that!!


For the second painting I chose bright colors against a silver background.


Here again is the texture.


Week 31

Traced Hand Hamsa Protection with  Rachael Rice.  This was a short bonus lesson.  She shared with us her ‘protection’ methods as a highly sensitive person.  As Rachael says: as artists, many of us often seem to be more sensitive than the ‘average’ person out there, so I think it’s a good idea to consider how one can make sure not to take on too much energy or suffering from others.

First of all, I am not a superstitious person, so this lesson made me a bit uncomfortable.  I don’t rely on symbols or fetishes to protect myself for other’s energy, but I did follow her lesson while leaving out all the superstitious stuff out.

Instead, I was thinking about the beautiful Henna tattoos I’ve seen on other people.

I used watercolors for the background…


I added some gold acrylics and a stencil to make the frame and the swirls on the background also,


and doodles and zentangles for the patterns on the hand.


Week 32

You Are Wise With Tamara Laporte

This lesson, given by Tamara, was focusing on transforming limiting beliefs into liberating beliefs, which was August’s theme.

The limiting beliefs that Tam talked about was about our progress and growth in life.  The “I’m not good enough,”  Tam writes:  “We look at how we can ‘be present’ to these thoughts, really become more aware of them and possibly change them somewhat. I think even just becoming aware of them and sitting with them, seeing them for what they are is a great start in this area.”

Here are some examples of limiting beliefs:

I’m not worthy • I’m not good enough • I don’t deserve to be happy • It’s hard to making a living off a creative career • My paintings are not good enough • I can’t paint • I should not shine/ be seen/ be noticed • Dreams are silly • Working must be a chore • Life is hard • I will never be able to … •

I’ve had those limiting beliefs myself.  When I was younger I had a low self-esteem, but as I grew older I learned to honor and love myself through self examination and through my art.

This is the image I have of someone who “can do it.”  I used a stencil on the right and bottom of the girl using sparkle texture effect and blue acrylic paint.  I love the texture!


I really like her sweet face 🙂


I wrote down some things that make me feel powerful.  I gave her a butterfly wing and stat bracelet…


and lift me up!


A closeup of the earth all shiny and blue.


Well, there you have it, folks.  I hope you’ve enjoy looking through my art and laughing with me about the everyday things that happen in my life.

Until next time, keep on crafting!!


Spring Time In Paris

Michael’s stores is having a trip to Paris giveaway on their Face Book page.  You can read more about the contest at Michaels.com.  Today is the last day to enter!

I’ve been working on this mixed media project for three weeks.  I took it to my acrylic painting class and worked on it while my teacher gave me pointers. I googled Paris in the Spring time and this is the picture I chose.  It’s a picture of the Eiffel tower taken from a park filled with flowers and trees.

It’s a 16×18 canvas.  I used acrylic paints for the background as well as tissue paper, stencils, stamps, and molding paste.  For the inside of the tower I used speckled molding paste and black acrylic paint.  For the metal around the tower I used a bronze acrylic paint marker by Sakura and bronze acrylic paint.  I also added different color stickles to the flowers and trees just to give it a bit of “shine” all around.

I may not win anything, but if I don’t enter, I’ll never know what the judges think!

eiffel3a eiffel2

The first picture I took inside and I like the way the tower shimmers so I entered that one into the giveaway.  The second picture was outside next to my lavender bush.

Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting,


It’s Always Tea Time

I got my inspiration for today’s post from Alice.  Alice in Wonderland that is.  I bought a gigantic coloring book with Alice In Wonderland illustrations and then I remember there was a file in the SVG Attic shop with all the elements I needed to make a 12×12 mixed media canvas.

The file I used, Mad Hatter Tea Party currently being remade to be compatible with all cutting machines and you can check the store at a later time for it if you don’t already have it.

I started out by applying Mod Podge and pretty napkins to the bottom layer.  Then I found more Alice in Wonderland images on Google and printed those because I wasn’t about to cut up my fabulous coloring book.


After the first layer was dry, I added a couple of vintage doilies, and the Alice and the Mad Hatter to the middle right corner.  On top of that layer, I added Dye-Na-Flo fabric paints which are translucent, but permanent after drying them with the heat gun or ironing on fabric with a hot iron.

AliceAndHatter WM

I downloaded the Alice in Wonderland free font and welded the title “It’s Always Tea Time!”  as well as the “Drink Me tag.”

clock WM

I also used a stencil and black distress paint for the clock and.  The Mad Hatter’s hat has the tag with 10/6 on it.  If you look closely at the bottom of the canvas you can also see the Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit, and The Knave of Hearts.  I also added stamps, rub-ons and stencils

All the elements were cut with my Cricut using DCWV paper.

This is going in my kitchen because we love tea and it will remind us that we can drink it any time we want.

Thanks for coming over and happy crafting!!

Carmen Lucero

Mixed Media Whimsical Cat

A Facebook friend/old classmate of mine saw one of the canvases I made for Life Book 2015 so she asked me to make her a whimsical cat.  I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, but I did before I added the sign and a butterfly.  She promised to take a picture when she gets it; in the mean time here it is!


This is an 8×10 canvas.  I collaged some designer paper, painted a tree with branches, stenciled in some modeling paste for texture and for the leaves, and added rub-ons.  I made a wooden sign that said “Cats Leave Paw Prints On Our Hearts” and hung it on the tree.



I also made a 3D butterfly and glued it on the trunk.

I will update the picture when I get a copy of the finished product.

Thanks for coming over to visit today!!

Create something awesome today!!


Here’s the update on the Whimsical Cat.


I added a crown (Yes, cats think they are the masters of the universe), and the sign “nailed” to the tree


“Cats leave paw prints on our hearts”

I used balsa wood and stenciled in the letters and the paw prints

Thanks Marilyn Lefler Miller for sending me the pictures!!

Love your pets!

Coffee and Love

For today’s project I created a 12×12 mixed media canvas


Since love is on every one’s mind these days.  I thought I would combine coffee and love.  I collaged papers that had coffee related words as well as some pink dots and cupcakes.  I also used acrylic paints, glass bead paste, stamps, stencils, washi tape and glossy accents on the heart.
The SVG file I used was All I Need.  The description says “vinyl design perfect for your wall or to mount on a board, tile, or mirror.”  It was intended to be cut out of vinyl, but I used paper in different colors instead
I modified the file by adding the word LOVE to the bottom from
This is a closeup of the top


This is a closeup of the bottom


There are so many ways to use these files, I hope I have given an idea so you can create something new today.
Thanks for coming by.
Go create something awesome!!

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