Here's why you need to bring your art supplies with you on vacation :)

I know my friends think I’m a kook when I show up with a watercolor palette or a bag of craft supplies, stamps, copies…. whatever. I know because they tell me 🙂 But I need to have them… I need to know that whenever I need to, I can (keep learning to) sketch, or paint. If I get stressed or bored, I can pull out pretty much anything creative and change the way I’m feeling or thinking. And sometimes it comes in extremely handy!

Take this week…. I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta since the 13th, and have done a little painting (I’ll share more later) but not much. But my friend Pam and I met several members of a family down here to celebrate the mom’s 75th birthday. We’ve hung out with them a couple times and plan to meet them tonight for dinner. Because I have my supplies with me, including a couple palettes of Daniel Smith paints, and several pieces of Arches cold press watercolor paper, and my brushes, (which are so beautifully contained in the case my daughter made for me just because,) I have a lovely card and a gift.

I folded a couple pieces of my watercolor paper in half, and had a couple of 5×7 cards. I painted two, because who knows….. I could change my mind. I ended up getting some Spanish language help from the staff here at the hotel to turn my 5 balloons card into a birthday card. Then, because I saw her admiring a lot of florals last night at the night market we went to, I painted a picture of pink florals…. I painted the “Pink Florals” along with Sarah Cray at Let’s Make Art. And voila! A card and a present. It is now after a fun night out for dinner and hanging out on the malecon, and I can tell you my painting and the card were a big hit with the family, and Jean is going to frame both!

(I did manage to “wet-out” the incorrect date and make it 2020!)
“Happy Birthday” en Espanol!

Cutest. A.A. Shirt. Ever!

So, I’m off to Puerto Vallarta on Monday with my friend Pam, who also happens to be my sponsor. I wanted to a. try the infusible ink and b. make myself a T-shirt for the trip. This is the result, the cutest slogan shirt ever. I think I will make some for sale in my Etsy shop after the trip 🤗

Well, hello 2020!

Just checking in to say hello, and see how your 2020 is starting out. It’s always so exciting to start a whole new year with a fresh new calendar, and a whole lotta resolve.

I’m sitting at the Palm Springs airport waiting to board my flight to Seattle where my DEEOGY is waiting for me, and the great grandbabies (and grandbabies!) are, I’m sure, waiting for me to return with hugs.

I spent the whole week laid up sick which is for sure less painful in a desert than a rainforest. I’m not a golfer so I didn’t miss out on that, but I do usually get some fun in. Instead I’ve spent the week reading about other crafters experiences with YouTube and blogs, specifically Jennifer Maker and Ruth Soukup. And I’m inspired and excited!

But for now, the plane is boarding. See you soon!

Welcome to the Encouragement Blog Hop 2019!

Welcome to my blog! For this occasion, I created 3 cards, each using at least one technique I had never tried before. I am really thrilled with the way all of them turned out! And I also took inspiration from watching Nicole Spohr and”shopped my stash”, mixing products from different companies.

Sending Hugs, BIG hugs.

The first new technique on my first card here is stitching on an image that was die-cut into a cross-stitch pattern using the Cross Stitch Flower Frame die from My Favorite Things. I had already stitched the Stamp Market dotted rainbow and because it only has 5….. bows? strands? rays? , I was not able to include purple in my rainbow… so that’s how I came up with purple for the flower. (Scientific eh?) This little flower was very quick to stitch up. My very first ever craft hobby was cross stitch, and I still go back to it now and then, so I have quite a bit of embroidery floss on hand. I took all 6 strands of a length of DMC #208, separated them out and put them back together for a fuller effect. I knew I wanted to make a shaker card, but it is a little tricky adhering the stitched back of an image to a card, so I didn’t even bother trying to use this to directly adhere a piece of clear acetate. I created a background panel by starting with my second new technique (for me…. I know, right? who hasn’t smushed ink!!) using some Distress Oxide Inks which I patted onto my worksurface, sprayed with a pretty good amount of water and then smushed a piece of 4.25″ by 5.50″ Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock into it and kinda swirled it around. I must have had just the right amount and ratio of ink and water, because I was super happy with it on my first pass! I let it dry on it’s own while I worked on another card. I came back to it when it was dry, and stamped the Hero Arts Knitting Pattern Bold Prints stamp (an extra from the May, 2019 My Monthly Hero,) using Versamark ink, onto my background panel; then using the Hero Arts embossing powder that came in this month’s kit, I heated it til it was as smooth as it was going to get with that powder which is kinda chunky and fine all mixed together. I was curious as to how it would show up on the darkish background but it just came out regular. If you look at it at an angle you can see that beautiful blue effect. I cut the panel down to 4″ x 5.25″, then I die cut a circle sightly larger than the flower center, squeezed out a lot of Gina K connect glue all over the thread on the back, centered it over my circle and set a few acrylic blocks on top for maximum assurance it was staying there. I cut a piece of Hero Arts clear acetate slightly larger than the die-cut circle and adhered it using 1/8″ Sookwang tape. I figured out where the circle was going to show up on my card base and colored it with a light amount of raspberry preserves distress oxide ink using the Picket Fence life-changing brushes…. and piled up a bunch of fanciness to shake around on top of that. I used Spellbinders Splash Zone sequins, and also had saved the little dots created by punching out the die cut cross stitch pieces I made, so I threw that in there too. I lined the back of the card panel with a double layer of scotch foam tape and tried my best to add it to the card base somewhat centered. I then went sentiment hunting in my stamps and dies, and found “Sending Hugs” in the Lawn Fawn Simply Sentiments stamp set which I stamped on a scrap of white cardstock using the Raspberry Preserves. I then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I popped that up with a single layer of the foam tape directly beneath the flower. I also grabbed the “Big Hugs” dies from Simon Says Stamps and cut that 4 times and adhered them all together with the glue tub that came with the Simon Says Stamps kit of the month for July, which I have decided is entirely too messy for this use. You have to manipulate those little letters too much to get them lined up and they are so tiny, you just can’t keep from making a mess. And by the way…. do you feel me when I tell you that trying to stack up those TINY little tittles for the “i” in “big” is just. too. hard. I only got 3 of them together. I need to figure out plan B for this. There are some seed beads in the Spellbinders sequin mix… that would have been a much better idea if I had had it at the time. I adhered some sequins from the mix randomly around the card, used Wink of Stella on the paper part of the flower and “big hugs” and Card #1 Done! By the way, when I was almost done taking pictures of my cards, I noticed on the photo that there was something weird in the shaker area… turns out I had somehow left a piece of the foam tape backing paper in there when I was adhering it (you can see it in the first picture.) I managed to get it out by slicing under the flower and grabbing it with the tweezers… and got it all back together and you can not tell anything was ever amiss! 🙂

Okay, on to card #2, which also includes stitching, but I actually used one of my stencils with an embossing paste, making that two new techniques for this card as well.


When I bought the rainbow and flower dies, I also bought the Altenew stamp and die combo of Sewn With Love, which has a beautiful color-layering floral image and includes two sizes of hearts. As soon as I saw them, I had the idea I wanted the rainbow to be pouring it’s color (and love!) into the heart… or vise versa (maybe our hearts and love send the color to the rainbows!). I monkeyed around with the placement of the two of them together for quite a while before I came up with this arrangement. It was so fun to sew! I used more DMC floss, 4 strands for the rainbow, and 2 for the cross stitch, again taking them apart and putting them back together for nicer coverage. I used 3838 for the blue, 973 for the yellow, 906 for the yellow, 335 for the pink, and 741 for the orange. After I finished, I fussy-cut the image since I stitched this on plain white cardstock. And I was ready to try another new technique – using embossing paste with a stencil. I have had stencils and embossing paste since before I started making cards a year and a half ago, and knew about the technique… just never had the ….. whatever to try it. I received this sunshine stencil in the Ocean Minded kit from Gina K Designs and loved the narrow rays of the sun, and the removable center. I sprayed the back with some Elmer’s adhesive, and I placed it off-center on my cardstock panel. I messed around with adding ink into the paste but didn’t like it so much so I just used it as is… white and matte. After it was all dried, I colored it using a life-changing brush with distress oxide ink in mustard seed, concentrating most of the color in the center and slightly fading out as I worked my way out to the edge. I decided on my placement of the stitched piece and again used a bunch of Gina K connect glue to adhere it down. The word and the sentiment are from the Simon Says Stamps Say It All Friend stamp set. I stamped “Friend” with Distress Oxide in Blueprint Sketch and heat embossed it using clear embossing powder. I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of white cardstock using Hero Arts Intense black ink and popped it up on a little foam tape.. I then adhered some Studio Katia April Crystals around the card using Gina K connect glue. I adhered it all to an A2 landscape top-opening card base and called this Card #2, done, and I love it!

DMC embroidery floss
Stitched image

My 3rd card for the blog hop has only one technique new to me, and it’s a pretty simple one but I guess I just never had the occasion or need for it before. I have very recently started watercoloring, and had yet to do a wash. I did a wet on wet wash using some blues and blue combos using some Daniel Smith hand-me-downs I got from my sister. I thought it was kinda cool looking just as it was, but I wanted something more interesting.

Forever Beholden

I stamped a Simon Says Stamps background stamp called Deco Diamonds over the paint with Versamark and sprinkled Bridal Veil embossing powder by Ranger over the ink and heat embossed it. I dropped a little bit more color in a few of the rectangles and was pleased as punch with it. I was inspired by several videos I’ve seen in the last few days of the new Simon release products where folks were using the floral dies and went to my stash. I cut out 3 of the blooms in the Pinkfresh Dainty Blossoms die set. The one of the right I cut out once; the one in the middle I cut out twice, and the one on the left I cut out 3 times. I stacked them and adhered them to my card panel with Gina K connect glue. I like the difference in the heights. I then cut out the Grateful die from Sugar Pea Designs four times! I love the sentiment in that, I love the font, and I love love LOVE that there is no tittle to mess around with! I then stamped the sentiment “I will forever be beholden to you”, which I love partly because it sounds very Rhett/Scarlet to me. I stamped it using Distress Oxide in peacock feathers and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder then popped it up using a little foam tape. That sentiment is from the Pinkfresh Oval Foliage Wreath stamp set. I adhered the panel to the front of an A2 size top folding card, added some sequins from my jar of Spellbinder Splash Zone sequins, used Wink of Stella on the blossoms and the die cut word, and that completes card #3!

Forever Beholden

Those are my 3 cards for the 2019 Encouragement Blog Hop. I want to thank Courtney, Mary, and Jenn for putting this together. It’s hard to be a newbie in such a huge community where everyone seems to know each other and everyone seems ti have been buddies for years, and this has been huge for me to feel a part of something like this.

FYI… I’m just putting this out there as a reminder to myself. I just tried 4 new techniques that I didn’t have confidence in myself to do but I did a pretty bang-up job, if I do say so myself. I love all 3 of the cards I designed and created. I feel like I can even try a few of the other techniques that I have been wanting to try, and that I maybe even have purchased the supplies for. Some of those techniques are: no-line watercoloring (um, yes, I did say I just started watercoloring ) 🙂 ; heat embossing on both vellum and acetate (well, I did try heat embossing on acetate and I have a curled up little shrunken flower in my scrap box to prove it); interactive cards – I have purchased the slider die and a couple others; scene cards; there are so many! I have been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately. On my instagram account recently I posted a gatefold card with a belly band, and also did some watercolor squares by masking the background! I’ve only been card making for about a year and a half and when I look at one of those first few I made, I laugh. I cringe first, but then I laugh! Anyway, enough out of me. Thanks to everyone participating in this blog hop and to all who are visiting our blogs and checking out our cards. And especially, thanks again to my 3 amiga! QUICK update: I created a scene card which you can see on my instagram account and I made a slider card which I will post soon!

For the next stop in the blog hop go to

Simon Says Stamps July 2019 Kit

Well, i got my kit a little, (a lot) late because of a doopy problem with my email address on my SSS account. Because I paid with PayPal last month, my SSS account populated with the email address associated…. and sent my invoice to that email address. Along about the middle of the month (well probably sooner) when I didn’t have my kit but I was seeing cards on Youtube, I called them and found out where my invoice was. And paid it immediately… and my kit was in hand 3 days later! My whine is over now… and I can post a couple cards I made last night!

@SimonSaysStamps July kit

The first card is a shaker card I made using the cute little hexagon die that came with the kit. I cut it 3 times out of a piece of patterned paper from the Honey Bee Stamps “The Bees Knees” paper pad that was in the kit, lining the die up each time with the previous cut. I filled it with the adorable sequins included… there are yellow and black, along with two different golds. I stamped the bee, the word BEE (I cut apart the “BEE yourself” sentiment stamp) and one of the little hearts and watercolored them. I fussy-cut them out and adhered them to the card with foam tape, which I taped to a top folding cardbase made from Neenah 110# Solar White cardstock that I doctored up by coloring a 1/2″ strip on all 4 sides with black ink. I stamped “yourself” with Memento tuxedo black ink and added some more sequins and also covered the heart with some glossy accents. I had to use a little hexagon I cut from the patterned paper scraps to cover up a pen boo-boo from when I went around the outside of the paper with black ink. And that’s my first card!

My second card is stamped directly onto some more patterned paper from the Honey Bee paper pad. It’s a wood-panel image, and I stamped the two bees holding hands, a heart, and the honeycomb, using Memento tuxedo black ink and colored them with my Zig markers. I stamped “You’re the bees knees” and “Thanks for bee-ing there” on the upper right side. I added some sequins and used glossy accents on the heart again. I used tape to add it to another piece of the patterned paper for some contrast and adhered it to my Neenah cardbase using foam tape. A super easy card.

I will definitely be making some more cards with this kit!

Hero Arts MMH June 2019 5 Cards

Here are 5 cards I have completed using the June 2019 My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts, “the jungle kit.” It is a beautiful kit and I was super excited that there was a realistic elephant which made me think that I might actually scrapbook my 2017 trip to Thailand where I volunteered at an elephant sanctuary. No… I’m probably not going to get around to that :). Anyway, it included some Daniel Smith paint dots and since I have just recently been trying my hand at watercoloring, that was pretty exciting too. There were some fabulous extras also, and the kit is still available at Hero Arts! In addition to my monthly kit, I purchased the Jungle Frame Fancy Die as well as the Chameleon Stamp and Cut set.

I have not been videoing or even taking in-progress photos but I do have pictures of my completed cards. I clearly need to work on my photography skills…. I used to photograph my seaglass jewelry for my Etsy shop and I took some beautiful shots, so I have the capability… just need to spend more time on it. Anyway, here are the 5 cards.

For my first card, I used the included watercolors and painted the elephant, a couple of the leaves, the adorable little (sad looking) monkey, and the snake. Next thing I did was lightly ink-blended some distress oxide inks on a 4.25×5.5″ piece of Neenah cardstock and added some layers of grass I cut out using the MFT Grassy Fields Scene die. I then used the frame die to cut out the foliage shape and spritzed it with Tim Holtz distress oxide spray in peacock feathers. I popped it up with foam dots on a card panel using Neenah cardstock (yeah, I did! That is a lot of teeny tiny pieces of foam dots in some cases!) I then popped up my elephant using some more foam dots, and adhered the leaves, snake and monkey directly to the frame cut using Gina K Connect glue. I stamped the sentiment from the kit “sending a jungle of joy” on some Hero Hues cardstock in the color Paradise with Versamark and heat embossed it with white embossing powder and adhered it directly to the frame cut with some more Connect glue. I have no idea what I used to cut the sentiment out with to get those curved stitching lines lol. Finally, I went over all the stamp lines using my Tomboy Mono drawing pen, used a black gel pen for all the eyes, and fancied up the headpiece on the elephant with some Wink of Stella, and popped it all onto a top-folding A2 cardbase of Neenah 110# in Solar White. I like it 🙂

For my 2nd card I used alcohol ink and successfully used the ink-lifting technique. I had tried this in the past and failed – of course I didn’t bother reading directions or watching any Tim Holtz instructions… but still…. First I used some Yupo paper and after inking it up I stamped the tiger, the leopard, and some leaves with Tim Holtz Alcohol Lift-Off ink about 3 times, wiping the excess ink off in between. I used some Yupo vellum with some alcohol pearl inks and added some foiling to it randomly while it was still sticky. I used the Jungle Frame die to cut out the vellum, and adhered it to the background with Gina K connect. I stamped the sentiment “hello friend” from the kit directly on the background using Stazon jet black ink and called it good!

My 3rd card uses the elephant again and is a birthday card. I watercolored the elephant, the toucan, the branch, and some foliage. For the background I lightly ink blended a piece of 4.25×5″ Neenah cardstock using oxide inks and used some water splatter for that effect. I cut the fancy frame (can you tell I love that die??) from watercolor paper and painted it with the black paint dot. I adhered all my elements directly to the background and adhered it to a top-folding A2 cardbase. It was missing something so I made a frame using cardstock and a couple of the Hero Arts Nesting Rectangle Infinity dies. I added some interest to the frame with an MFT Basic Stitch Line die, and painted it black and added Wink of Stella. I popped it up using thin strips of foam tape. I stamped “happy birthday” from the kit with the Hero Arts Intensified black ink cube that was included in the kit – after everything was adhered to the cardbase, so I lucked out being able to get it stamped as well as I did, although “happy” is a little squishy. I used my gel pen again for the eyes and some of the details on the toucan, Wink-of-Stella’d the elephant’s headpiece and the card is finished!

My next card uses the Chameleon Stamp and Cut add on. I used distress oxide inks in a rainbow pattern and water splattered it. I cut out the jungle frame again but this time I left all the pieces in place. Well, i tried to… I spent a fair amount of time putting back the pieces to the jigsaw puzzle it became when a lot of the little pieces automatically fell out when I took it off my Big Shot. Good thing I enjoy jigsaw puzzles! And crawling around on my craftroom floor looking at tiny little pieces of paper to find the last couple pieces 🙂 I then stamped the chameleon, the branch, the dragonfly and the ladybug directly onto the background. I colored in the chameleon using the distress oxides and an old eyeshadow applicator. I colored it using whatever color of the rainbow background it happened to fall in, but darkened it up quite a bit. I colored the ladybug with a zig marker and a black gel pen, and left the dragonfly as-is color-wise but added Wink of Stella. I found the little “smile pretty” in some old scrapbooking supplies.. and used it because the chameleon IS smiling…. it is! I cut the sentiment up so I could leave out “a” because I thought “you’re one in chameleon” flowed better than “you’re one in a chameleon”. Anyway, that’s it! It’s pretty much a one-dimensional card that looks very dimensional, don’t you think?

The last card I have finished is my flamingo card. I colored the flamingo from the set using Zig markers and fussy cut it out. I didn’t want to use the die because I didn’t want the lines as nothing else in the scene has lines. I won’t be doing that again by the way. I added some Wink of Stella and glossy accents to make her gorgeous! Again I used distress oxides for the background. I cut out the piece for the sand/shore line from some scraps using the MFT Beach Scene Builder dies. I also used that set to cut my clouds and the Palm Tree using scraps from a previous project colored with oxide inks and… a stencil? some stamps? I think the shore and the other scraps were all using the same techniques and product, but…. I don’t remember. Anyway, I used the wave lines from the Hero Arts Seas The Day Seagull stamp set for the water. I stamped some flamingo “friends” on the background panel and put my gorgeous girl in front of them. I stamped “you amaze me” using a sentiment in the kit and heat embossed it in gold – again using scraps; it was already basically in that shape so I just used it as is, but I popped it up using a little strip of foam tape. But Go Me using my scraps, huh! And after using Wink of Stella on my clouds, card # 5 is done!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my cards. I have some more images watercolored and ready to make into cards and I am working on the “ideas” part of the process.

I clearly need to learn a few things about this blogging business…. not the least of which is making the cards the correct size so you don’t have to scroll for days to get to the end of the post. But I am liking this so far… I have a bunch of blogs I follow and find it so much more satisfying reading everyone else’s posts and watching tutorials than spending hours looking at videos of kittens and puppies doing goofy things. NO… I love dogs and cats.. I have a dog (Deeogy) and two cats (Mudbuddy and Turtle)…. I just found getting lost in la-la land for two hours watching the videos to be less than the best use of my time 🙂 I’m also keeping a list of things I am trying to figure out and am hoping to find someone in the community that can take the time to help me out a teeny bit by answering some questions 🙂

Simon Says Stamps Artful Flowers

Here is one of the cards I created today using Simon Says Stamps Artful Flowers. I don’t yet know how to make a video of the process, and I didn’t take any in-progress pictures, so we have just the one picture of the completed project.

Simon Says Stamps Artful Flowers

I watercolored the flowers and stems using Zig Real Brush markers after stamping with Versamark and embossing with white embossing powder. I added a leaf stem from the Hero Arts October 2018 kit, then placed them all in a jar that I stamped and modified (I sliced about 1/4″ off the right side of the jar to make it more proportionate) using a Stampendous stamp which I also colored using the Zigs. I adhered that using LOTS of Scotch foam tape to some Hero Hues cardstock in Sand that I had embossed with a Spellbinders Deco Chevron Texture Plate. I successfully stamped “Friend” from the Artful Flowers set (I say successfully because I had already adhered the jar to the card base) in Hero Arts Intense Black ink. Speaking of successfully, I wrapped the jar with Lawntrimmings from Lawnfawn in Hemp AFTER it was popped up and adhered to the base. Pfewf…. I luck out way more often that not! Finally, I stamped “You Make Life Beautiful” from SSS “You Got This” sentiment stamp set on some more Hero Hues cardstock in pitch black and white embossed it.

Thanks for stopping by to look at my first posted card! Unfortunately I don’t know how to link to supplies for you….. and I’m not sure about tagging the companies whose products I used…. but I’ll learn. Probably from reaching out to some of you in the community!