Happy New year -2016 Reflection 

Good Morning creative friends, wow here we are on New Years Eve 2016. I can attest that the older you get the quicker the years go by. For all of us the end of a year is a time for reflection. Many have had magnificent things happen in 2016 and many have had devistating things happen in our lives this year. When I sit back and think on things well it’s always the “big” thing of losing my dad that comes quickly to forefront it happened so fast we were all blind sided from it for sure. But if I really take a look at the year I have had sooo many amazing things that have happened as well. At the beginning of the year I had my first commissioned mural painting that I did for a Church’s healing room. What a blessing it was to be asked to do this !! 

Even though it was extremely difficult to realize I was losing my mom to dimentia it was a blessing to find her a place at Keepsake Village here in Liverpool where she has amazing and loving staff they look after her everyday and I don’t have to worry quite as much. 

I took a wonderful relaxing and much needed restoring vaca with my Hubby in August to Naples Florida 

We have enjoyed the holiday season and have gotten out even in the cold weather to the Farmers Market and Walk though Lights on the lake. 


My family did lose about beloved Budha Pug but I know in my heart she is no longer suffering. 

I made so many new art friends this year it’s been sooo amazing !! 

Learning that I would be a part of the Jessica Sporn Design Team not only was a huge honor and blessing , it came at a time when I needed this positive creative force and to feel part of a supportive group more than anything. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that Jessica has given me, and the fact that she believed in me enough to give me a chance has just meant the world to me !! 


StencilGirl has honored me over and over again by sharing my art and I had my first guest artist post for them in April, still it was a huge shock and honor to have made their top Nine on Instagram with my art tags. 

Another huge honor bestowed on me was my feature in Syracuse Women’s Magazine in February 

I have also been honored and blessed to have been Facilitating the Art Therapy Group for IOP (Intensive Out Patient) at Ophelia’s Place now for almost a year and couple months ago got asked to Facilitate their support group as well in which we also do art. It has made a difference in my life working to make a difference in others. Which brings me to my Word for 2017

So my word for 2016 was Grow. And wow did I ever in more ways then I can even count!!  After pondering this years word I have selected not only a word but a phrase as well. My word is “Change” and my Phrase is “Make a Difference”. Which I will reference to my statement in the above paragraph. It means so much to me to be doing something on a local level and I have truly been blessed with these opportunities this year !!

May your 2017 be blessed with much love peace and happiness. Thank you for all of your love and support this past year it has meant so very much to me. When you think you don’t make a difference…think again because you so do. Right here in my life you make a difference!! When I have been at my low points your loving comments have brought be back up and you have made me feel loved. When I have been at my highs I want to share them with all of you and we have celebrated them together. So know in your heart when you spread kindness even on what may seem the smallest level it makes a difference. Peace , Love and Happiness to all and Happy New Year 

Holiday Catch up and repurpose those Holiday Cards

Hi friends I truly hope everyone has been having an amazing holiday season.  I know for myself it’s always a bit of ups and downs along the way, but such is life and we just have to go with the flow or we get too bogged down in the what could have should have been nonsense.

So a bit of a holiday catch up here.  Below are some of my favorite ornaments on my tree.  They are “our first Christmas together” that Dan and I got way back in 1999 , the second pic is the oldest ornament on the tree from when I was in Kindergarten it has my name on it in glitter and the year 1978 (yeah I know along time ago lol), next is a pug in a stocking that my sister gave me years ago and then one of my sons Christmas pictures when he was 5 (1998).  Most of my tree is made up of very special ornaments, given to me from others from the time I was small.

 

And here is a pic of our tree Christmas morning

Here are some holiday pics from time spent with my mom

 

And some pictures of our Holiday at home with my husband, son and his girlfriend

 

Okay so now what have I been up to creatively well, more than you might think.

How about a little tutorial on how to repurpose those holiday cards into some tags- yes I know I too am all Holidayed out but if we do this quick now before putting them away then you will have them for next year when the time rolls around and you will remember YEAH they are all done.   So I started out with some clothing tags that I would have normally just thrown away.

And now take those holiday cards and some punches or if you don’t have any you can just wing it and cut out some of the pics in easy shape like squares.

 

Use some gesso and paint your tags and then select a color or 2 and paint your tags

add some more paint / colors with stencils, I choose a star stencil from Stencil Girl and used some red and gold with it.

next you can just glue on some of your cut outs, add some accents with a black pen and some doodles with a white pen, even add some glitter if you want – glitter makes everything look great and holiday-ish 🙂

Don’t forget the backs you can paint them or glue them to some of the cards and have a picture on the back as well

and here are the finished tags and I actually have lots more cutouts I can use later on or next year.

 

One more quick tip, so if you have some old calendars that you are going to just throw away STOP before you do lol.  I took one and cut it up for beautiful collage pieces and tags to use throughout the new year.  But they also make excellent art journals just gesso over then and bam you have a nice larger sized art journal.  They usually have thicker pages so they make a great choice for an art journal.

here are a bunch of the pieces I got out of just one of mine it was a sunflower one and I even cut out the names of the month in case I want to use those for a planner etc.

Just look at all these scrumptious pieces, this calendar had quotes at the bottom of each page so I cut those out as well or at least the ones I loved.

Thanks for letting me share with all of you hope everyone has an amazing evening xo

 

 

Holiday Tags- gift card holder and more 

Hi friends just a bit of a catch up on what I’ve been up to since my last post. I was trying to get in one more tutorial before the holiday but it’s probably not going to happen. Things just seem to going so quickly. So for those who follow me on FB I did a live video on this gift card holder that I made. It’s still on there if you want to check it out and it has the measurements you need for creating it. 

As many of you know I’m a huge fan of the magazine Bella Grace. So this winter issue is as amazing as always.  Just look at all this winter / holiday inspiration. I love it !!

This story “Two February Coffees” was beyond touching. I have read it to my husband and the people at the support group I facilitate and each time it brings tears to my eyes. 

Of course another one of my favorite past times is sipping some good coffee with my puggies sleeping near by. 


After having to put done our oldest pug a few weeks ago it’s been a bit different at home and Pebbles is now my oldest baby she is 15. Budha who we just lost was 17. And let me tell you that the older they are does not make it easier 🙁 



So am a December baby (December 21) and this year I have to work on the evening of my birthday so last weekend we went out to dinner. Then took a walk downtown to see the big tree here are some pics of us as you can see we have lots of snow lol. The last pic is my son and his girlfriend 

This is my husband and I before we left for dinner. I just love this man so very much. After 17 years he still make my heart skip a beat ❤️


Elias and Destany 


This is where I started a tutorial and just didn’t keep going lol. So this tag I created I used Jessica Sporn’s Frames Stencil with Wendy Vecchi’s Gold embossing paste. 


Here if the finished tag. The image came from a free printable from Astrid’s Artist Efforts. A little tip on making the gold more vintage looking. Once it’s dry use your ink blending tool or a sponge and go over it with some brown archival ink. It’s really gives it a beautiful vintage look. 

Flowers are Prima. I added White distress stickles to the red flowers and some gold to the leaves and the green roses. Then added a bit of gold glitter to edges of the tag. Let it dry and the. Used the brown archival ink to go around the edges to again give it a vintage look. Go right I’ve the gold glitter bc again it will keep its shimmer but give it a vintage look. 


Thanks for joining me today wishing all of you lots of love and peace in your day and week ❤️❤️❤️

Giveaway today on Instagram 

Hi friends I just wanted to pop in quick to let you know I’m having a huge giveaway on my Instagram. You can click the link to my Instagram on the side there to see all the details to enter. Happy Day friends ❤️❤️❤️

Mixed media holiday art cards with StencilGirl Stencils 

Hi friends can you believe we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas. Seems like just yesterday it was fall. Time sure does go fast and I hope you are enjoying every second of the holiday season.  I have always had a love / hate relationship withy the holiday season it does tend to get a bit too stressful at times and I can add unnecessary things to my “to do” list as I’m sure we all do. So the past few years I’ve been scaling that back and taking more time to really enjoy what the holiday season is about. One thing my husband and I really enjoy is watching a Christmas movie each night on the Hallmark Channel (yes I know sappy) but I love it. You know all those movies have happy endings and well I’m all about that  :).   And there is nothing quite like snuggling up with a hot mug of coffee, a snuggly festive blanket and of course my hubby and puggies. I also tend to skip the farmers market in the holiday season many times but not this year. We have been heading out each Saturday morning, coffees in hand and all bundled up to enjoy some fried dough and get our fresh veggies for the week. Would love to hear what all of you do during the holiday season.  If you are like me and put too much on yourself try going through that list and see what really matters and what can be cut out so you can enjoy more time with friends and family and time for yourself. ❤️ 

Ok so on to the project at hand. I used just 2 stencils to make 6 festive art cards. The other stencil I used is the Holiday Stencil By MaryBeth Shaw. 

And the second stencil is Military Stars by June Pfaff Daley. 


So start with a piece of cardboard cut to the size you would like. I had some in my stash I think they are 2-1/2″ x3-1/2inchs. Add a layer of whit gesso 

Then once they were dry I took a sheet of old book paper and tore strips to add to each card and adhered it with some Golden Heavy Gel Matte Medium 



Let them dry before the next step or use a heat gun. 

Next I took the stars stencil and some Postbox red dylusions spray and with all 6 cards placed close together I sprayed the ink, moved the stencil to the other side and sprayed again. This is not being precise just getting some color and a layer  down for the back ground. 



Now I took my Holiday Stencil and I had already cut them apart into the individual stencils for easier use and selected 2 I wanted to use:  a tree and one that reminds me of retro branch from a pine tree. I applied the texture paste over the stencils with a palette knife. 



Now I added a strip of glitter washi tape to the bottom of each. I used the matte medium to adhere it to be sure it would stay. If you don’t have any you could add some ribbon or a strip of patterned paper. 


Once they were dry in went in with some green (Mowed Lawn ) distress spray. Adding another layer of color to the main focal points 

Once they were a little dry but not completely I went  in with some mica powers. The first was this mint green and just dusted it on with a dry paint brush on  my focal points and wow what great shimmer ! 


Then I used a rust which is more of a brown color to add some accents and grunge it up a bit. 

Then on each card I added some of the heavy gel matte medium to random spots and pressed in some ruby glass beads. 

Then while the medium was still wet I took a pinch of distress glitter in vintage photo and held the card over my trash can and just sprinkled the glitter around where the beads were and tapped it off to get off any access 



I used my brown archival ink pad and a foam brush to ink the edges of each card as well as on the edges of the textured focal points. 

I took some white gesso with my fingers and added a bit in random areas and also took the back of a paintbrush to add some white dots. 

When every thing was dry I took a black sharpie and wrote Joy, Peace or love on each of the cards. I could have used a stamp but if you plan to stamp do this in the beginning because once you have all that texture on there you will have a hard time getting in there with stamp and getting a clear image. 

Here are some close ups of the completed cards 



I posted lots of final pics hoping to get some good angles so you could just see the beautiful shimmer on these. 

These could easily be turned into tags by punching the top of the card and adding a ribbon or turned into a holiday card by adhering them to the front of a blank card. 

Follow me on Instagram, I will be having a huge give away once I reach 1300 followers and I’m soooo close 🙂 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and as always your comments mean so very much to me if you have time to leave me a comment it will be cherished ❤️. 

December StencilGirl Club Voices

Hello Hello Hello friends, it’s such an honor this month to be a part of StencilGirl Club Voices.  This month’s stencils are designed by Artist, Gwen Lafleur and are just simply amazing.  Here is what this month’s club stencils look like.

If you haven’t heard of Stencil Club before you totally need to check out all the details here.  Here are a few of the fun details about the club:  Each month you get 3 exclusive stencils, yup that’s right exclusive stencils that can not be purchased anywhere else.  Always created by one of the StencilGirl Artists and always amazing! I have been a part of the club for over a year now (yeah I know only a year – that’s only because I hadn’t heard of it before!).  You also get a wonderful video tutorial showing you how they used their stencils and that again is exclusive to club members and …….you get access to a private Facebook group that yup you got it is exclusive to club members.  Now I know you are thinking there are tons of FB groups for art and yup there are, but this one is sooo different, it’s super interactive with lots of the StencilGirl artists also being present and commenting / posting etc in the group and on your artwork.  Even the StencilGirl herself Marybeth is in the group all the time.  I honestly could go on and on but I think you get that it’s the most amazing Club out there and something you must check out for yourself.

Okay on to some art.  So what did I create with this month’s club stencils…… Well when I heard that the Artist was Gwen Lafleur I just knew that I wanted to do something regal with these and something that had some bling.  If you have ever seen Gwen’s art it is always filled with gold and gems and glitz (truly amazing!)

So I started out with a sketch of a girl, anyone who has been following me knows that I have been working on my “whimsical girls”

To draw the bottom of her dress I used this part of the stencil, when I saw it, it totally reminded me of a ball gown.

I first painted her face, this has several layers of both watercolor and acrylic paints.

I am working on a watercolor pad, so I took out some of my inktense pencils and a watercolor crayon and lightly scribbled some background color and used a wet brush to blend it out.  I wanted to keep the background more simple so not to take away from my “girl” as the focal point.

I painted her dress in a magenta, actually mixing in some of the left over face color.

I wanted her ball gown to have one of these gorgeous stenciled flowers and chose the larger of the two in the set and stenciled that in white and added some yellow in the center.  Later on I change my mind about the yellow and go back over it in a deep violet color.

 

These adorable motifs on the large stencil were perfect for adding some additional accents to the dress and I stenciled those using a white acrylic paint as well.

Now it’s time to give her a crown.  Using Cobalt Violet hue for the outline I stencil that first, then filled it in with the gold using a small paint brush.  Once dry I went back over it with the cobalt violet again and then use a small round paint brush to close up the stenciled lines so it no longer looks like a stencil but solid lines.

Now I do like the crown as it is but she’s royalty right?!  So I decided to add some glitter and gems

I used my stickles and put some on my palette and applied it with a small paintbrush to the crown, the 3 bottom diamond shapes on the crown I did not have a gem small enough to fit in them so I used the stickles from the bottle to fill them in creating what looked like a gem.

I ended up giving her a gem necklace and added some glitter to her dress as well on the flower and those little motifs I stenciled around the bottom.

Tying it all together I added 3 of the same motifs that I added to her dress to the top of the page and drew hearts hanging from them.  I used a purple identi-pen (marker) to draw the lines and hearts then added glitter to the motifs at the top as well.  Painted the hearts in with a turquoise blue and then she was done.

Thanks so very much for stopping by my blog, all your comments are cherished so if you have time to leave a comment it would mean so much to me.  If you want to get in on the action and get this month’s amazing club stencils here is the link once again.  Wishing everyone one a day filled with Royalty. xo

Holiday Blog Hop

 

Hi Friends and welcome to the Holiday Blog Hop for the Jessica Sporn Designs Creative team.  Today I am hopping along with Jessica Sporn, Kristin Van ValkenburgKaren Gaunt, and Denise Alloca to share some fabulous holiday creations  using Jessica Sporn Designs stamps and stencils.  ALSO ….. we have an amazing GIVEAWAY – Three Lucky commenter will win  One of these three beautiful items:  Jessica’s Blessings Stamp, Jessica’s Handmade ornament and Denise’s Love Memo Board/Photo Display (see the photos below of these gorgeous items) – all comments on all the blogs count so be sure to hop on by each blog and leave some love on each one.

 

Today I’m sharing something a bit different.  Today’s project I have used an old piece of wood that I found in my basement and altered it into a holiday / Christmas themed decoration.

I used a light layer of gesso to go over it mainly because when you paint on a piece of unsealed wood the paint tends to really seep in and you have to add several layers in order to get the color you are trying to achieve.

Next I used the “Doors and Windows Stencil”  selecting one of the doors and one of the windows that I thought went together and using some black Dylusions paint (because I wanted a matte finish and it’s the only matte black I have ) I stenciled the door and then the window right above it.  While it was still wet (takes a bit longer to dry on wood I’ve noticed) with some red matte acrylic paint and I choose to do it while it was wet because I wanted the door to look more worn so this helped the black run into the red while I was painting it. I also took some more black paint and closed up the stencil lines on the door and window so they were solid lines and no gaps.

Next I found in my stash this “pine looking” pipe cleaner (I know right who knew lol) well it was perfect for making a wreath for my door.  I decided on the size I wanted it to be and then just twisted it around twice to make it a little more full, then added this tiny bow that I also found in my stash (I didn’t buy anything for this project it’s was created by things I have collected over the years).  I glued the wreath on with some E6000 glue and I left it to dry for probably and hour.

Then using the “Herbs Stencil” to create the look of an evergreen tree, I stenciled on the edge of the wood to make it look like there were branches hanging in front of the house and used a matte green acrylic paint.

Working on the windows a bit more I added another layer of white and then a thin coate fo the Nickel Azo Yellow (this is a very transparent yellow and worked perfect for the look I was going for).  As I wanted to make it appear that there were lights on in the house.

I then took the 6 Point Stary Night Stencil  and added some stars above the window I used the Sugar glitter paste by Bo Bunny.  You just apply it as if you were using texture paste with a palette knife just be sure you wash your stencil immediately because this stuff tries really fast and it will ruin your stencil.

Once the stars dried you can see they are barely visible so to make them pop and stand out a bit more I took a sponge and just dabbed on a bit of distress ink in fossilized amber.

To give the windows more of a “glass look” I used my DecoArt Media Liquid Glass and applied a thin coat to all 4 windows – this takes a bit of time to dry so I would definitely do this part last and just let it set over night if you can.

Then to embellish it just a bit more I found a few more goodies in my stash.  The first were these little mini presents I used my E6000 glue and glued them right to the wood in a stacked manner to look as if there were presents stacked outside the door and then a little tree.  This isn’t actually a tree – you know that scented “stuff” you can get at craft stores that has pine cones and other items in it – I guess it’s called vase filler.  Well I had some of that and in it was this little piece of pine.  I turned it upside down and it looked just like a little mini Christmas tree so I took a piece of this fluffy garland that I had that was meant for a mini tree and wrapped that around it and then this little cardinal that came in a flower arrangement I received years ago and have saved all this time and glued that to the top with my E6000 glue.  I glued the whole tree next to the door with the same glue and left it over night to dry secure.  This particular piece of wood is large enough that it stands on its own.  I think it’s 1/2″ thick, but if yours can’t stand on it’s own or you prefer to hang it you could certainly add a hanger to the back of it or some nails or pegs to the top or back and add some twine to hang it as an idea.

Here are some photos of the final project and a couple close ups.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win one of the great items listed above and be sure to stop by the other blogs listed here: Jessica Sporn, Kristin Van ValkenburghKaren Gaunt, Denise Alloca and leave a comment by 12/12/16 9AM EST for more chances to win.  The winners will be selected and announced on Jessica Sporn’s Blog on 12/13 7AM EST.  Happy Holiday Season my friends !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New art cards 

Hi friends hope everyone has been having an amazing weekend. We had a lot of fun this weekend we went to our local farmers market for some fresh veggies and organic meat. I was excited to see a local amazing bakery there and scored a yummy Italian cookie platter that we happily snacked on while we decorated the tree Saturday evening. If you look close my coffee cup is sporting a very coveted santa cozy made by one of my amazing Etsy friends who lives in Canada. You can look her shop up if you’d like it called:  My Handmade Trends. 

So just a little catch up on things I’ve been working on. First I’ve been having lots of fun with my new stencils that I received Friday from my Cyber Monday order from StencilGirl.  That there is a Pile O Stencils my friends. Lol 

So I dove in and created this art journal page with the Snow Storm stencil in the back ground, Star Map by Mary C Nasser and Words to Live by, by Carolyn Dube :  Embrace Your Voice art Journal page 

Tonight I’ve been working on some art cards – positive affirmation card. 

I started out trying a new technique. I took a card and used a layer of gesso then several layers of Matte Acrylic paint by Blick Arts. 

Once dry I took some rubbing alcohol and dropped it on my card with an old paintbrush look at the cool way that it pulled the colors apart so you could kind of see a ring of the color below 

Then I took my archival trinkets in different colors just to try a few out and dropped a couple drops on the cards. Added a bit more rubbing alcohol. And tipped them to drip. 

Then the really cool step came I spritzed with water and I made the ink separate so it gave this really cool look. Not sure I was able to really capture it on my camera. 

See in the photo below the really far brown areas it almost looks like when you add oil and water. Like the pigment separated from the liquid. 

Here is a good photo of how it looked once it started to separate. 

Then I took these 3 stencils. The 2 small ones are by Maria McGuire and the large one by Carolyn Dube. 

I mixed the blue and pink paint to create a deep purple to Stencil the heart that day art heals and used the green paint for the other 2 cards. I edged the card with some brown “coffee” archival ink. To help them pop a bit. I could have doodled around them but you know sometimes I like simple and I didn’t want to take away from the affirmations so I decided to leave them as they are.  😊



Wishing everyone a wonderful and peaceful evening. ❤️❤️❤️