Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011!

i'm sending each one of you a huge choco-thank-you for taking the time to stop by my little blog this year
(and attached is a big hug for being so supportive!)!

wishing you a most blessed Christmas,
and a fabulously creative New Year!!

i'll be spending some time with my family next week.....
see you in 2011!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

inspiration monday

i was at the craft store the other day (or maybe i'll just start calling it my "vacation home".....) and as i was making a bee-line towards the back of the store, a bag of these fun little marshmallow-shaped pieces of foam caught my eye.......

and then i started thinking about this little doodle i created last year......and realized that those yummy little foam pieces reminded me of my sweet friend and provider-of-non-stop-inspiration elf-in-chief, lenny!

so i couldn't resist the challenge of bringing that doodle from paper to reality!   i took one of those foamies and added a few embellishments to it.........some red polka-dot felt plus a little gold jingle bell for a hat, some wire for the arms and legs, green felt and gold beads to make a pair of cute little elfie shoes, a poinsettia and leaves cut from some decorative paper, and a micron pen to draw a sweet little face! but no elf-in-chief is complete without a little sign to carry.....a fun reminder of that ever so famous elf-motto to always add some "play, play, play" to your day!!!

lenny was created using the materials listed above.....and his sign was created using this stamp, decorative paper, and a toothpick.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the best intentions

this year i was all set to wrap my presents in brown craft paper that had been stamped with fun hand-carved Christmas images (if i only had the time to carve the stamp and stamp the paper!).....and then finish them off with some of that adorable twisted kitchen twine. but i've noticed that the calendar days keep ticking off, and i don't seem to be crossing things off my "to do list" very quickly.  and now i'm realizing that my brown-craft-paper idea will have to wait until next year......when i'm hopefully more organized......and maybe decide to start in august (since i had this brown-craft-paper idea last year, too!).

but for now, it's back to my store-bought-wrapping party.....
hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

inspiration monday

every once in a while i come up with what i think is a really great idea......and i've decided that instead of trying to keep it stored in the archives of my memory banks, i'm going to start writing it down!  (seems like the perfect excuse to sit down and create a fun journal page......what could be more inspiring than to get out the microns, watercolor pencils.....and chocolate?!)

 here's a better look at a cute little tag i made using 
of my new rubber stamps!

hope your day is filled with great and inspiring ideas!!
journal page finished using micron pens, watercolor pencil, 4B graphite pencil, pan pastel, decorative paper, ribbon, great idea stamp

Sunday, December 12, 2010

red rubber results!

a huge thank you to everyone who joined in my red rubber giveaway!!  i SO appreciate all of your  heartfelt comments and sweet interest in my new rubber stamps......consider yourself bear-hugged!!!
and here are the giveaway results:
shortly after midnight, the random integer chose the number 9......
and that means that milkcan a.k.a. julie over at balzer designs has a package filled with three new art stamps coming her way!  woo hoo!!
(p.s.  if you don't know julie yet, check out her's busting at the seams with fabulous ideas and tutorials!)

thanks again for playing along.......i hope you have a fantastic sunday!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

red rubber giveaway!

it's's december.......(and baby, it's cold outside!)......
what better reason to celebrate than with a giveaway of my new rubber stamps! woo hoo!  
so let's start with a reminder to always "be you".....nobody does it better!

and how about a little incentive to keep those colored pencils, paint brushes, and crayons moving to color every delicious part of your world!

and because you inspire me so, i'm adding this one to the mix, too!

these stamps are made of deep-etched red rubber and can be used with almost any ink or paint......and i'm  giving away all three of them!  all you need to do is leave a comment (one per person, please!) on this post by midnight saturday the 11th of december, and i'll randomly choose a name and announce it on sunday!  

edited:  comments for the giveaway are now closed.....thanks to everyone who participated!!

you can read more about my new stamps in my etsy shop here!

Monday, December 6, 2010

inspiration monday

if given enough time, little seeds of inspiration can grow into dreams......and if those dreams are nurtured and taken seriously enough, they can grow into beautiful kind of realities.....

actually, i have blogland's mondo beyondo cheerleader carmen torbus to thank for helping me to rediscover a little seed of inspiration that's been hiding in one of those dark corners of the creative side of my brain.....way back where all the cobwebs are thick and having wild parties. carmen asked me in a recent interview what my big dream was.....and after breaking up some serious cobweb parties and clearing out several dark corners of the creative side of my brain, i discovered a seed that's been waiting......for a long grow. for whatever reason, i have long dreamed of seeing my lettering in rubber.....deep-etched red rubber stamps......and thanks to little seeds growing up into beautiful reality gardens, it has happened! i am thrilled to introduce you to my first deep-etched-red-rubber-stamp!!!

but what i find most interesting is how easy this whole process has been.....what i thought was so mysterious in having rubber stamps made was really nothing!  if i hadn't put so many hurdles up in front of myself, maybe that little seed wouldn't have gotten buried......and i could've been using my rubber stamps for all these years!

so the moral of this (long) story is: grab a flashlight and a broom and go hunting in those dark corners of your brain. sweep those cobwebs away and find those sweet little seeds of inspiration.....plant them....and watch them grow into gorgeous gardens of reality!!

i had some extra stamps made.......look for a giveaway soon! 
 i'll keep you posted!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

sweet nativity

i just love looking at all of the decorations at Christmas time......especially nativity scenes.  and this adorable little nativity comes courtesy of ale balanzario over at with blueberry heart.  ale paints the cutest little illustrations, with just the right touch of sweetness and whimsy!  
and the really wonderful thing about this nativity set is that you can have one too!  ale has lovingly offered the artwork to all of us to print, cut and enjoy......just click here for the details!  

thank you for sharing this with us, ale......i absolutely LOVE it!!!  xox

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity"

these are the last two pages in my orange journal......and my first journal to have artwork on every page (i have several that are all "half-finished"....)......woo hoo!!!  
what a great opportunity to take a celebratory nose-dive into my chocolate stash!!

click on image for better view.
journal page finished using acrylic paint, micron pens, uniball signo white gel pen, 6B graphite pencil, white chalk pencil, pan pastel

Monday, November 29, 2010

inspiration monday

kristina werner  makes really fabulous cards and she's very generous in sharing them with us in her weekly "make a card monday"  videos.  and along with that, she's created a holiday card series, giving us "25 days of Christmas" card ideas!!   this card from day 18 is super cute and has totally inspired me to break out my holiday papers and start playing!  i hope it brings you heaps of happy inspiration too!
(you can watch this video in larger format here at you tube)

you can see kristina's other holiday designs here 
(and make sure you sign up for her fantastic prize pack giveaway!!)
and if you'd like to see her card designs from her holiday series 2009, click here!

p.s.  lots of activities last week took me away from my computer, so it's been a while since i've visited you.....i'm so sorry!!  i'm looking forward to getting back into the bloggy swing of things and seeing what you've been up to!! xo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

so thankful for you!!

"there is a calmness to 
a life lived in gratitude,
a quiet joy."
ralph blum

wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

inspiration monday

remember when we were kids, and Thanksgiving week rolled around and we would make those turkeys by tracing our hands in school.......and then we'd take them home and our moms would proudly attach them to the fridge using about twenty magnets?!  well, i was thinking about that, and i decided to be a kid again.....but instead of tracing my hand, i used my all-time favorite heart-in-hand and had a little gobbledy good fun......
do you think it's "fridge-worthy"?!  

Friday, November 19, 2010

the other reveal

i've had a little feedback that the pictures of my artwork in yesterday's post were a little small to see......i didn't have too much success trying to photograph the pictures in the book, with the glare on the page, and on and on.  so, i'd like to share some photos that were taken before i sent the artwork off to the publishing house last year!

"keys to a happy home"
materials:  provided "swap fabrics", brads, house keys, beads, thread, 
batting, buttons, sharpie pen for lettering

"inspiration garden"
materials:  hand-carved stamps, stamp ink pads,  batik fabrics,  
letter stamp set, batting, thread, beads, buttons

"live, laugh, love"
(this is a photo of the page before it went into the round robin book)
materials:  page template, batik fabrics, batting, seed beads, buttons, 
hand-lettering, computer lettering, thread

thank you all SO much for your sweet comments......
i sincerely appreciate every e-hug that you've sent!!!
hope you have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

secrets revealed
it's here!!!!
after months and months of creating and waiting, this fabulous book that chrissie grace has authored is finally here!!!
right now i'm feeling like a giddy schoolgirl who just found out that recess has been extended by 15 minutes, and when we come in there's chocolate cupcakes for everyone!!!
and now i can finally reveal some of the projects that i was working on last year....

project #1:  this is the project where a group of seven of us each purchased a yard of fabric and sent it to chrissie.  she then cut each yard into equal pieces, and then mailed a package back to each of us that contained one piece of each participants' fabric.  then we all created our own projects with the fabrics that were provided (you can read more background here).  i created a little wall quiltie entitled "keys to a happy home".

one of the many things that i love about this book is that the photography is excellent, and each step shows a photo so that you can make one of these yourself!  there's even a little diagram to show placement of the pieces!

project #2:  this is another little quiltie that i lovingly call "inspiration garden".  for this project, i used hand carved stamps for the flowers, leaves, and vine background.  the instructions are included for this one, too!

and the third project that i was honored to participate in was the round robin book.  the theme was "she said" (see more here) and this photo shows only a small sampling of the participants (my page is the third from the left, the one with the hearts).....but let me tell you, this round robin book is an absolute masterpiece!!!  i was especially treated because my name was the last on the list to receive the i got to see what everyone else had already done!!  my little dutch sweetie chuckled at me because when i first took it out of the box,  it was just like handling a newborn baby!!  it truly is a special artpiece.....and chrissie provides a template in the book if you're interested in creating one of these structures for yourself!

i could go on and on about what a spectacular job chrissie has done in coordinating all of these artists and projects!  and i'll forever be thankful for the opportunity to participate in such a once-in-a-lifetime project......this has been such a sweet, sweet blessing!!!  
thank you, chrissie......and congrats to every artist who participated!

you can read more about this book on amazon here !
please click on images for a larger view!

Monday, November 15, 2010

inspiration monday

"there are always flowers for those who want to see them."
henri matisse

here's to nurturing the beautiful inspiration garden
that's growing in your heart!

wishing you a wonderfully creative monday!

journal page finished using acrylic paints, pan pastel, micron pens, 
uniball signo white gel pen, 4B pencil

Friday, November 12, 2010

gingham birdie

i stumbled upon this sweet stamp set over at hobby lobby the other day, and immediately fell in love with this fabulous gingham birdie.  and the fact that i had a 40% off coupon burning a hole in my jeans pocket made the decision easy that this little cutie was coming home with me! 
 after we got home, it was time to get acquainted with each other, so i stamped the image onto a piece of scrap fabric.....

and then i gave him some much needed legs (they're long and lean, just like i wish mine were.....) and a wing that was a former tear-shaped shell button, along with a black bead for an eye.  but no gingham birdie is complete without a happy garden to wander in, so i stitched some colorful french knot flower buds to make him feel right at home.  
and now that we're good friends,  i might even show this little birdie where my chocolate stash is......well, maybe.....

hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DQ happiness

it's wednesday afternoon......
could there be a better reason to celebrate the crowned jewel of brazier foods?!!
happy pnutbuster parfait to you!!!


Monday, November 8, 2010

inspiration monday

okay, so technically martha's birthday isn't until tomorrow......but when you have a dear friend who inspires you as much as martha inspires me, that's worth getting the party started a little early, don't you think?!!!
 most of you already know martha as an extremely talented and accomplished artist, but did you know that she's also an absolutely gorgeous child of God, has a heart the size of texas, is a fabulous listener, will cheer you on like there's no tomorrow,  will tickle your funny bone with her witty sense of humor, is an absolute blast to go to calligraphy workshops with,  and can draw and paint like one of the masters (i know that falls into the "extremely talented and accomplished artist" category, but there are some things that could never be stressed enough!)?!!  

martha, your friendship is such a sweet, precious blessing,
and i celebrate you not only today, but every day!!
much love and happiness to you always, birthday girl!!!

want to wish martha an early birthday?! click here!
artwork finished using micron pens, watercolor pencils, handcarved thumbud stamp, 4B pencil

Friday, November 5, 2010

play happy

in order to push through this "limbo thing" i've been going through, i decided that the best thing i could do for myself was to stop thinking, and just start doing.  so, i went to all of those secret-stash-spots in my studio and started pulling out things......things that i loved, in colors that i loved.  i knew that i probably wouldn't use everything, but just the act of pawing through my supplies began to inspire me......

and before i knew it, i had created this!  

i cut apart some chair tassels and whimsical brads and used them for the center of the flowers, and then just layered some of my favorite fabrics  (the yellow layer in the middle is actually a piece of card stock) and did a little distressing on the edges to give it more texture.  and then i decided with all of that wonderful dimension in the flowers, that the letters looked flat, so i used my 4B pencil to add some shading, and to my surprise, the pencil worked great on muslin!  i also discovered that pan pastels can be used on fabric (i added a bit of color around the edges of the fabric).

but the most important discovery i made for myself is this:
stop thinking.  
start playing more.
keep playing more.  
play every day. 
 and play happy.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

starting point

i've been going through this "thing" lately that i want to do something......i just don't know what that something is.  i don't function well when i'm in limbo.....i get impatient.  and then my impatience can lead to frustration......and i warned frustration a long time ago that it isn't allowed across the threshold of my studio door.  

so, i've decided that my limbo/impatience/hovering frustration might be my creative self's way of letting me know that maybe it's time to do a little "let go, and let grow".....maybe it's time to do something a little different.  so, today i've put away my journal, my papers, and my glue stick and i got out a piece of muslin fabric.  and you probably know me well enough to know that if i'm gonna let go, i'm gonna let-grow-happy.....and for me, happy comes in the shape of letterforms.....happy letterforms.......using a new pilot fabric pen that has japanese lettering all over it.

i'm not really sure where this piece is going yet......time to start rummaging through my growing collections of "essential supplies" and hopefully add a bit more happy to this.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

inspiration monday

 my friend donna owns the most spectacular rubber stamp store .  not too long ago, she showed me a wonderful card structure.....

and i thought it would be perfect to make one for our friends who have just welcomed their first baby into the world!  it's really kind of two cards in one.....the smaller piece on the front opens from left to right......

and the larger piece opens from right to reveal a sweet message inside!

and this version contains a little gift card inside!
here's how to make it.....

i've made a quick little video showing the's super easy to put these together, and it only takes about five minutes!  have fun!!

you can watch this video in larger format here!

card dimensions:
larger card:  cut one piece 4.25" x 9.5"
score at 4" from the left side
smaller card:  2.75" x 7.5"
score at 3.75"

Friday, October 29, 2010


i hope you all have a spooook-tacular halloween.....

and make sure you set aside some of those sweet choco-treats 
for yourself!!!

happy weekend to you!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the bats are back....

it's that time of year again.....bat season!!  they're hiding in my bushes....

and hangin' out with the jack-o-lantern......

and even found their way inside and are playing in my fabric stash!!  but these aren't just any bats......they're martha stewart bats!!  click here and you'll find the bat template and video instructions for these super easy-to-make little cuties!!!  

p.s.  i shared these little guys on my blog last year, but they're SO adorable i couldn't resist showing them again!!  have fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

inspiration monday

i recently finished taking an online color class with master calligrapher and color expert teri martin.  she warned us when we began that we would probably get addicted to painting these color wheels, and boy was she ever right......i can't seem to stop myself, and i've started to accumulate quite a stack of them!

but the really great part is that after you've mixed all of that luscious color, you get to do something fun with something a little 
yellow-green and blue-violet doodle kind of fun!!

wishing you a colorful day filled with inspiration!!

this doodle art was inspired by the colors aureolin yellow, 
quinacridone violet, and ultramarine violet. 
  other supplies:  micron pens, 2B pencil, and fabriano medioevalis paper
click on image for larger view

Friday, October 22, 2010

journal sale!!

i'm doing a little reorganizing, rearranging, and general tidying-up in my etsy shop, and thought this would be the perfect time to put a few things on sale!  

and after chasing some dust bunnies around for a while, i decided to put these on sale, too!!  
if you're looking for a nice gift for that someone who has everything.....
or maybe just want to treat yourself......
now's the perfect time......take advantage of 30% off!!!
(dust bunnies not included)

more information about these journals can be found in my shop here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

amazing artist

just a little wednesday reminder......
whether you're near or far,
high or low,
east, west, north or south......
you are an amazing artist!

p.s.  and you're also 
bold, fearless, gritty, sassy,
and quite bodacious, too!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

inspiration monday

my little dutch sweetie treated me to a weekend getaway to a beautiful resort about an hour north of where we live.  since we would be gone for just a couple of days, i definitely wanted to pack light.  throwing the clothes, make-up and various hair paraphernalia into a suitcase was the easy part......but when it came to packing my "art bag", i ran into a bit of a challenge.  how do i "pack light" when it comes to art?!  how in the world do i narrow down all of my art-loves?!  so i decided i would take only my journal, and a small case to hold some supplies.  now.....what to fill the small plastic case with......

i thought about taking my watercolor pencils, but they're all my would be hard to leave some of them behind, and that little travel case won't hold them all.

and then my pen collection came to looks like there's too many of these to fit into that tiny travel case, too!

finally, i decided that my pencils would be the perfect thing to play with......and my travel case is the perfect size to hold several pencils, an eraser, a couple of smudging stumps, and a sharpener!

and at the end of the day, i decided it really doesn't matter what supplies you long as you're inspired (and maybe sitting poolside!), you can always make it work!!

this journal page was finished using a 2B pencil, a 6B pencil, and an eraser.

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