Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tree Gal

Better late than never. My art life has taken a backseat to my 850 art students. That's right, 850. It seems a little unreasonable, with a half hour "lunch" and 15 minutes of "plan" a day, it is no wonder my personal creativity gets staled. This will all change in five months when I retire. So here I am, testing the waters. I am going to venture into the world of digital art, invitations, and digital scrapbook elements. There is a lot out there, but we all offer our own brand of style, and I hope my whimsy has an appeal to keep me a little busy! I just opened an Etsy Shop with this lonely little image. I have more on the drawing board so stay tuned. “Tree Gal” is fun to color digitally or with markers. I printed off a dozen in two color palettes, and then added a little colored glitter glue. They are pretty festive on the stark white and easy to “crank out” if you are in need of time as I always seem to be! Please let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Non Traditional Christmas (Colors)

This simple card is in response to the Stampotique “Non Traditional Christmas” card challenge.
I have such a fondness for these muted colors and the blend of these neutral tones. The colors remind me of a beach cottage, the smell of the ocean, and the color of sea salt.
I think a pale “skirt” of ice aqua ribbon would look nice tucked in-between the two contrasting patterned layers. It’ll be a start to make variations on a theme.

Stamps used: Mr.Snow, 9197 and Wish, 7191.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Copic Alternative

I keep my drafting table in my classroom. On occasion, when time permits, I will demonstrate some art techniques for students who complete their projects early. I think it is important to show children the variety of media and the difference in quality. While I have let my students play with Prismacolors, I had to draw the line in freely allowing them to dig into my Copics. They had discovered some of my older Design markers and really liked them, so I needed an affordable alternative.
The BIC Mark-it set is a great value; I have seen the set of 36 for as little as $15.00. It is a perfect gift for young artists. If you are new to markers and can’t afford Copics I think these inexpensive markers are terrific!
While there are only 36 colors, it is certainly enough to blend and get Copic marker effects – in fact, I’ll bet it would be hard to tell the difference on a finished drawing. The BIC Mark-Its work with the Copic “O” Colorless Blender, although it is not necessary.

Working with values is easy to get the hang of. I prefer to begin with the lighter value, while wet ,quickly add/ layer my darker value, then “chase back” with the lighter value for smoothness.
The BICs also work well with the tip-to-tip technique. Hold the lighter value pen to the tip of the darker value to absorb the darker pigment – apply to the paper with the lighter pen – as the darker area blends, continue to go over it with the lighter color.
I have also noticed that the lighter colors can “pick up” dark areas. If you have gone too dark, you can soak the area with the lighter marker until it lightens up in value.
If you are new to markers it is great to start small. These Twinchies (2 inch squares of art) were designed for color practice – all of them are made with the BIC- Mark-its.
If you have any questions, please contact me at:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brown Eyed Girl

When I came across the “Less is More” challenge for the week I didn’t think I would be able to make a submission. After cutting a few hundred blank “inchies’ for my enthusiastic ten and eleven year olds, I decided I needed to make a little something before the day was out.
The challenge is to make a simple card, white space, with the color of your eyes. Since the blog is from the UK there sure were plenty of blue and green submissions!
So here is one from the brown-eyed girl from Arizona.
The little “pretty party dress” is stamped in coffee. Old book scraps, brown chalk edges. A little stitch and button accent. That’s it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I’m not so sure my dogs like the Trader Joe’s natural dog treats nearly as much as I enjoy the packaging.

The lettering is too inspiring to toss in the recycle bin, so I used it as my inspiration for this gift card holder. Cas-ual Fridays put out a challenge to use ribbon as a tab or a loop. So here is my response, featuring the word “treats” from the Trader Joe’s dog treat box. Believe it or not, this was fast to put together. I created the card holder and made a pouch that was ¼" wider to accommodate the fold and the card. I extended the dimensions to create a side and bottom tab to glue the pouch closed. The pouch was decorated with Tim Holtz Distressed Ink in Milled Lavender, and scribbled with NeoArt water soluble wax crayons. I used Stampotique stamps; dots Medium checkerboard . The "inchies" are cropped from my Corie and Little Skull Boy images also Stampotique. I used a circle punch to allow the card to be pulled easily from the pouch. A piece of ribbon attached with a grommet. Pop in your gift card and you are all set for a spooky and sweet surprise!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Verde que te quiero verde. Verde viento. Verdes ramas.

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.

This is the opening of the beautiful classic poem, Romance Sonambulo by Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca. Albeit it is as tragic and strikingly similar to Romeo and Juliet, I do love the way the opening words roll off the tongue, in English and in Spanish. You can hear this beautiful poem in song on You Tube.

I am mentioning this poem as it is my inspiration for the Cas-ual Friday Challenge. A monochromatic palette with three of a color and brown? Clean and simple? Even with my hectic schedule I can certainly manage that! (I do happen to love green and brown together).

I created this simple "thank you" card so the back extends out to show a compliment scrapbook paper. The edge is fihished with a folded ribbon. Stamp Stampotique ribbon border # 2. and ribbon border #3 in coffee colored ink…a little color with Coptic markers and Prisma colors , brad on a few paper flowers and viola! Clean, fast, and simple!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Halloween Package Tag

Stampotique's Designer challenge by team member Kaz calls for a color challenge using black and white and a hint of color. This package tag perhaps has a little more than a hint but I thought I’d upload it anyway as it is fast and easy to put together.

Brush Pearlescent green and yellow chalks through a small sheet of sequin waste. Stamp Cooper and Skullboy with black dye ink. Stamp “Cubes in a row” with VersaColor sage – heat set. Stamp “Boo” over blocks (both Alphabets by Stampotique). Use a fine point permanent ink pen to embellish cubes.

Re-stamp Skullboy and Cooper on additional white cardstock. Carefully cut around bodies. Add shadows with watercolor or markers. Add clear glitter.
Crop and mount on black card stock. Add grommets and ribbon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pocket Pamphlet Stitch Tutorial

Who can resist a sweet little blank book?  I can't.

My little book obsession dates back to early childhood.  I loved to create little books out of scraps.  While my "itsy bitsies" (as my mom so lovingly called my creations) embedded themselves into the bronze shag carpeting, I continued to snip away on my bed as a makeshift studio.

The pamphlet stitch is the easiest of stitch bindings.  In its basic form, it is a 3-hole stitch, but can be made into a five or seven-hole stitch for taller books. I make these little pocket pamphlet books for gifts or to stuff in my own purse.  Colored wax linen thread is terrific to stitch with but you can use embroidery floss, dental floss, thin ribbon or twine.  This measure should be about 12”- 14”.

You can punch holes with a Japanese screw punch, an awl, or a small hole punch.  If using a small hole punch you have to be a little creative and punch the pages while folded at the spine to be able to reach. Using an 1/8” hole makes it easy to stitch without a needle!

1.      For the text pages I cut and stack 8 ½” x 11” text weight paper in quarters. The text page measures 5 ½” w x 4 ¼”.  Fold and crease with a bone folder or a (used) gift card to get a sharp crease.  This is a folio.  Stack about six.

2.      The cover paper is fashioned from a piece of cardstock or weighty scrapbook paper.  My measurement is 5 ¾” x 4 ½”.  I like my height of the book flush with the pages, the extra ¼” to the width allows for the text block.  Crease with bone folder.

3.      Align text pages in cover.  On the spine, measure and punch through all layers a center hole, and a hole on either end about 3/4” in. 

4.      Follow the diagram above.  Begin pulling the thread to the inside from the outside center hole – leave a tail.  Go to either hole and exit to the outside again – now skip the center hole and enter in the remaining hole.  Exit through the center.  The two ends should be on either side of the center long stitch.  The process looks like a pretzel formation.

5.      Adjust the tails, making one short and one that will be long enough to wrap around to the front of the book. Double knot and snip.

6.      Now for the fun part.  Add a closure for the front so the little book can have a wrap and close.  You can use a decorative brad or a circular disk attached with a grommet.  Add a little embellishment to the end of the string and bring it around the front of the book to close.

There are lots of possibilities with this little book.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chicken in...

The beginning of the school year cold is one week in. It was one of those sleepless night mornings where I rolled into my studio after feeding the doodles.

Humphrey ran away with a roll of ribbon, which knocked over an art journal.  I came across this tiny watercolor experiment after getting my Pentel Aquash™ Water Brush a while back.  If you don't have one it is a wonderful little gift to yourself that you will treasure.

I digress.

The little landscape needed a chicken.  My Stampotique cube chicks had the perfect one.  For copy I stamped Just Chicken in on You, also from Stampotique.  Simple, fast, easy.  The chicken is raised with a little sticky foam. 

Have a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Stampotique Tykes are Here!

I am pleased to announce that the Stampotique Tykes have arrived!

I had so much fun doodling a line of kids -- many of them remind me of my students.  Stampotique also has new amazing images from their other artsists as well.  Check it out!