December 31, 2019

#dailycreating AUGUST 2019

I thought it would be fitting to start out the new year -- the new decade!! -- with a little gallery of my drawings I created as a member of the #dailycreating Facebook group, hostessed by Visual Artist and Creative Encourager Terry Runyan. Since the last posting of drawings was of my July favorites, I hereby present to you those from August 2019. 

Each Sunday, Terry announces a week's worth of prompts on the #dailycreating group. The prompts are optional. Some people in the group never pay attention to the prompts, while others, like me, follow them religiously. I just like the idea of having an "assignment" for each day. Some of these prompts succeed in making me create way outside my comfort zone. Other times, I loosely interpret the prompt and make it my own. 

For example, this week all the prompts have to do with cooking. The prompt for today was Pots & Pans. Not wanting to just draw pots and pans, I searched my brain for subject matter that could be associated with that prompt. Something that I would be interested in drawing. What better candidate for this drawing than the Muppets' Swedish Chef? I drew the Swedish Chef with a big pot in front of him that contains a smiling chicken. 

Anyway, every month or so, I have been posting on my blog a handful of my favorites from a specific month. Now, as I noted, we are up to August. Following you will find 11 of them. Above each drawing I will note what the prompt for that day was, as well as any other information I have on the subject matter.












I am excited to report that my daughter, Emily, is working with me on learning how to get some of my drawings ready for printing as Giclee Prints. So far, I have had two prints made, and I am delighted with the quality! 

Giclee printing is described as a process that uses fade resistant, archival inks along with archival substrates to print on large format printers. Prints made in this manner will last in excess of 100 years! 

Once I get my feet totally drenched in this process -- without needing Emily lurking in the next room to be my troubleshooter -- I plan on having some of my drawings made into Giclee prints. This said, I will be offering any of my drawings for sale. 

The drawings I show in my posts are not the quality you will find in prints. I merely take a quick photo of the day's drawing in the morning so I can share it on Facebook with the #dailycreating group members. The drawings that will be made into prints will be fussed over and made as perfect and as close to the original as possible. Of course, through this process, I am also able to remove or correct any flaws that may show up on the originals.

Please contact me if this interests you.

More of my drawings can be found on my Instagram account. I would be honored to have you as a follower.

The Small Print: Please remember that these are photos of my original artwork and are not to be reproduced in any manner without my express consent. Thank you for respecting this.


December 28, 2019


The last four days were nearly perfect. Our family was all here! It doesn't happen all that often, even though we only have two daughters. Life is busy. 

One of our daughters lives in the same town we do, so we see Sarah and her son, Enzo, on a fairly regular basis. However, our other daughter and her family live more than two hours away and have frantically busy lives. So, it was a treat to spend these days with all of them.

We all did a few special activities in the past days. One of the most interesting little trips was a visit to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, home to the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibit each fall.

My daughter, Emily, her husband, Stephen, her daughter, Stella, and I were the ones who partook of the interesting exhibit that is there currently: Origami. Being an avid paper lover, I really wanted to see it, but was extra delighted when the three of them agreed to see it with me!

The brochure for the Origami exhibit at 
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin: 

Following are a handful of photos I took while we were enjoying the Origami exhibit.

Stephen and Stella enjoying the wall full of origami koi:

I find it incredible that the next two photos are created from paper. 
These pieces were huge!

Upon entering the origami exhibit that was 
found downstairs at the Museum, FaunaFold:

Some of the exquisite origami fauna created by Robert J. Lang, 
who was also the creator of the wonderful koi wall shown earlier.

Whenever there is an exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, they always furnish Activity Guides that encourage both the young as well as the not-so-young to get more involved in the exhibit. 

Below is a photo of one side of the Activity Guide that I found especially intriguing. The first paragraph reads (if it is not legible to you):

               A recent New York Times article referred to origami as the science of paper 
               folding -- a combination of geometry, math theory, and patterns -- single 
               squares of paper transformed into intricate 3-D sculptures.

To work with this science of paper folding, Robert J. Lang, who is a physicist as well as an artist, creates diagrams called "crease patterns", using a computer program that he designed. 

The larger of the diagrams depicts a portion of the crease pattern he used to fold The Sentinel II, Opus 627, which is pictured in the top right of the Guide. Incredibly detailed, the crease pattern is a work of art in and of itself. Don't you agree?

To keep with the spirit of the Origami exhibit, Emily and I folded a paper butterfly and box in the Art Park downstairs. Intended for children, we just could not resist following the brief videos to create little works of art to take home and enjoy, as well as to remind us of the wonder that is the Origami exhibit.

A photo of Emily and me standing outside the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum:

If you ever find yourself in central Wisconsin, be sure to look up the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Their exhibits are always world class and wonderful to behold. For further information about the museum and their exhibits, please tap the above link. You won't be disappointed. Seriously.


December 24, 2019


It's Christmas Eve . . .

Wishing you and yours 
a wonderful and safe Christmas.

Although I meant this post to mainly be a greeting to all you celebrating Christmas, I wanted to also include a tutorial on how to create a card like this in case you feel like doing a little creating in the next few days.

A card that is easy to create, it is completely one layer:

Bermuda Bay cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Bermuda Bay ink
Gray Granite ink

Snow Front stamp set (page 45, Holiday Catalog)
Retired Joy stamp

Pigment Sprinkles ((page 179, Annual Catalog) I used Bermuda Bay for this snow scene.
Water Spritzer Bottle

Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

The main portion of your card will be done on a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock using Bermuda Bay Pigment Sprinkles and water on a Craft Mat. 

To make the background: 

Sprinkle a tiny bit of Bermuda Bay Pigment Sprinkles in the center of a Craft Mat. Spritz with water until bubbles of color have formed. Lay the cardstock directly on top of these bubbles, dragging it around a bit. Look at it. If too much water has accumulated in any spots, dab it off with the corner of a paper towel. You will have some white spots remaining. Even though you don't want the cardstock to be completely covered with color, you want the white areas to be sporadic. Repeat the first step, and continue doing so until you are happy with the background. 

Use the Heat Tool to dry the piece before moving on to the next step. 

Once it is completely dry, use the various stamps from the Snow Front set to create a winter scene that appeals to you. You could either copy my sample or create something completely new. If you have a blank spot with no stamping in the lower center, the way the sample shows, stamp the word "joy" or another substitute in that spot. 

Making sure the adhesive goes close to the edge and the corners of the stamped piece -- since it will be somewhat warped -- adhere the finished scene to the card base.

Once again, I hope you are able to enjoy the beauty, peace and love of the Season. If you don't celebrate Christmas, may you also experience beauty, peace and love in your life.


December 21, 2019


Christmas is almost here. I know some of you are still scrambling around worried about finishing and wrapping up your gift shopping. Gratefully I am finished with all that. Whew!

If you are planning on giving any gift cards, I have a quick and easy way to present them so receiving a gift card is a bit more fun -- and jingly sounding!

At last week's Stamp-In Workshop, my girls made these cute little gift card holders. Prior to the workshop, I had prepped one packet for each girl attending, using different Christmas Designer Series Paper for each project. The girls were then able to choose their favorite to create. All of them had Garden Green cardstock as their base, and the to/from was the same for each one. Only the DSP changed from project to project. It was interesting to see the little differences the design of the various DSPs made in each of them.

The weight of the jingle bells keeps the gift card holder somewhat closed. When open, there is a pocket inside into which you can slip your gift card.

I picked up two gift cards for presents since I made this gift card holder. Unfortunately, many gift cards come attached to a cardboard base that is much too large to fit inside a holder made in the dimensions I am showing here. To alleviate that critical situation, I went back to the measuring drawing board, and just added to the sizes of cardstock and DSP I used, and voila!, I had gift card holders that fit the larger size needed for the cardboard addition.

But, the instructions I will be giving you in this post will be for the holder that I have shown which fits just a single loose gift card. If you would like me to share photos and measurements for the larger sizes, just mention it in the comments. I would be glad to share that with you!

No need to purchase expensive jingle bells. I got this package of 32 at the Dollar Tree for -- you guessed it! -- a dollar. That is enough bells to create 16 gift card holders!

There are lots of similar gift card holders to be found on YouTube and Pinterest. But, I think the difference in cuteness here is the presence of the happy jingle bells.

Following you will discover the supplies needed and the instructions on how to make this quick last minute gift presenter. Of course, you can change the Designer Series Paper and the to/from to use for any occasion whatsoever. So, don't think these are just for Christmas!

Garden Green cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Designer Series Paper

Real Red ink (or ink to coordinate with the DSP)

Retired to/from stamp (there are any number of stamps you can use for this piece.)

Jingle Bells
Garden Green Baker's Twine
2 1/4" Scallop Punch
1 3/4" Circle Punch
Tear & Tape (page 183, Annual Catalog)
Simply Scored
Envelope Punch Board (on the CLEARANCE RACK right now!) for the corner rounder

You will be using a 3 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Garden Green cardstock as your gift card holder base. With the Simply Scored, score the cardstock at 2" and 6". Crease well on the score lines. Round the two corners of the smaller section. 

Attach Tear & Tape to the two sides of the larger section to form the pocket for the gift card. Remove the backing from the tape strip and seal in place.

From selected Designer Series Paper, cut two pieces that measure 1 3/4" x 3 1/4" and 2 1/4" x 3 1/4". Round the two lower corners (if there is an up/down design) of the smaller piece. Adhere this piece to the small flap. Adhere the larger of the two DSP pieces to the pocket front.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the snowman to/from in Real Red ink. Punch it out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch.

Put out a 2 1/4" scallop circle from Garden Green cardstock.

Cut a length of Garden Green baker's twine. Tie a jingle bell to each of the ends. Tape the folded baker's twine to the back of the snowman piece.

Adhere the snowman piece to the scalloped circle.

Glue the finished piece to the top flap.

Go shopping. Buy a gift card. Insert it in the pocket. And make someone smile!


December 17, 2019


The Christmas Crowd, found on page 10 of the Holiday Catalog, is so very adorable. I found it completely irresistible. 

So perfect for coloring with the Stampin' Blends, that was my original intent when ordering this cute set. Although I love coloring with the Blends and taking my time, not everyone is as enamored of that process as I am. Since the set is so adorable, I wanted my Stamp-In girls to experience it in some way. But I didn't want to have them spend an hour coloring the whole gang. 

To get a definite taste of the crowd without so much time consuming coloring, I decided to have the girls do a spotlighting card. In this case, just Santa's head and a portion of his body needs to be colored.

Once that portion of the crew is colored with the Stampin' Blends, the cardmaker grabs a circle punch and punches out the colored portion. A little of the other <uncolored> characters also comes along within this circle. But, that's good. That's OK. 

The punched out circle is carefully placed over the original stamped image. Doing this small amount of coloring gives the impression of even more coloring having been done. And it looks cute!

A closeup of the colored/punched portion:

Using only Stampin' Dimensionals and a few sequins, the card is almost completely flat. 

I should mention that I found this cute spotted card base -- including envelopes -- at Target. As soon as I spotted this set, I knew I had to figure out something to put against all that happiness for my next Stamp-In.

I will give you the brief tutorial on how to create a card similar to this one. Here you go:

Target card base and envelopes
Whisper White cardstock
Real Red cardstock

Christmas Crowd stamp set (page 10, Holiday Catalog)
Retired greeting (that I love and will use forever and ever)

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends in Santa colors

1 3/8" Circle Punch
Real Red 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon
Red Sequins
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Oval Dies
Paper Piercing Tool

In Memento Tuxedo Black ink, stamp the Christmas Crowd onto a piece of 3 1/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock.

Fussy cut this image, leaving even white margins around the stamping. This is an easy piece to cut out, especially by keeping the white margin.

Stamp just the area surrounding the Santa head on a scrap of Whisper White cardstock. Using the Stampin' Blends, color in the face, hat and upper part of the suit. Use a 1 3/8" Circle Punch to punch him out. Adhere him directly over the same portion of the original image. Adhere the finished crowd to a 2 5/8" x 3 1/2' oval die cut from Real Red cardstock.

If desired, use the Paper Piercing Tool to fray the ends of a 5" piece of 5/8" Real Red Grosgrain ribbon. Tape the ribbon to the back of the crowd piece so even ends of ribbon extend at the sides. Set this aside for now.

In black ink, stamp the sentiment on a strip of Whisper White cardstock that measures 1" x 4". Adhere this centered across the bottom of the card base a little raised from the bottom, so some of the cute dots show.

Use Stampin' Dimensionals on the back of the oval/ribbon piece and add it to the card overlapping the sentiment a bit.

Add an uneven number of red sequins as desired.


December 14, 2019


I have a lovely set from a few years back that has as its main image a truly lovely poinsettia. It is done in line work, so just screams out for any of a number of techniques, many of which I've used on it in the past.

However, with the advent of our stupendous Stampin' Blends, using them is how I chose to finish the flower for this card this time.

The flower and leaves turned out quite striking after attacking them with red and green Stampin' Blends. I had stamped it in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, followed by the Blends on Whisper White cardstock. I tried to get the poinsettia as saturated as I could to try to mimic the beauty of the real flower.

After the color was added, I fussy cut the flower. 

At this point, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. I knew I wanted the poinsettia to be the undisputed star of my creation. But, not knowing what I was going to do with it, I let the cut out flower lie amidst the mess that is my Creation Station for quite some time.

Eventually I came back to it and decided to put forth a concerted effort to use it in some way. I decided that the perfect background for this traditional Christmas flower would be some sheet music. I had a piece of printed vellum from a loooong time ago which featured music in gold. 

I adhered the piece of vellum to a metallic gold card base just on the two sides. But, as everyone knows, it is difficult to adhere vellum to another surface without any sign of the adhesive showing. I opted to alleviate that problem by adding strips of the same gold cardstock over where it was adhered to the card base. It gave a nice finishing touch, as well as disguising where my adhesive was.

I wanted a little bit of a sentiment on the card, but I didn't want it to overpower the poinsettia at all. The way I did that was to use a tiny "peace" stamp, stamped in VersaMark on a scrap of the vellum I used in the card, covered it with gold embossing powder, and heat set it to emboss. I trimmed the vellum very close to the letters and mounted it fairly unobtrusively alongside the flower.

The card is perfectly flat, making it perfect to stick in an envelope and mail off to someone. However, it is still residing on my computer desk, and I have a feeling that is where it will remain.

I would just like to point out to you, if you aren't already aware, that Stampin' Up! is holding its annual Year-End Closeout. Some of the retiring products are discounted, others are simply being discontinued. You can access all the information about this promotion HERE. Please, if you feel inclined, mention my name as your demonstrator if placing an order. I'd appreciate it!

Hope your preparations for the upcoming Holiday activities, no matter what you celebrate, are going splendidly. Take care.


December 10, 2019


The Snow Front stamp set, on page 45 of the Holiday Catalog, is perfect when you are looking to portray a typical wintry scene -- at least, where there's snow! It is a set that allows you to be as minimal or as maximal (?) as you wish to be. I love that versatility in a set.

For a card my girls made at the November Stamp-In, I definitely went with the minimalist look. Simple but effective.

A closeup of the stamped portion of the card:

Another cool thing about this card is that it is just one layer. And even though it is almost square and an odd size, 4 1/4" x 4 1/2", it still fits within a standard A2 envelope, both features that make it easy to mail.

I do wish I hadn't had my Christmas cards already made when I designed this card. Because this is an example of a card that would be easy enough to make in a quantity. 

The fact that you never know what your sky will look like on each of the cards is another reason I love to do this technique. Each one is unique. You'd never be able to duplicate it exactly.

Following is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make this type of card.

Whisper White cardstock
Pool Party cardstock

Snow Front (page 45, Holiday Catalog)
Retired "Peace" or any small-sized stamp you may have

Pool Party ink
Real Red ink
Early Espresso ink

Clear Block D
Water Spritzer

Fold a piece of Pool Party cardstock that measures 4 1/4" x 9" in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

You will be doing the rest of the work on a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures 4" x 4 1/4".

Use a 2 1/2" x 2 3/4" clear block (Clear Block D) for the next step.

Bringing the Pool Party ink pad directly to the clear block, stamp on the block until it is covered with ink. Spritz the inked block with enough water so there are bubbles of water over the entire block. Turning the block with the ink towards the paper, stamp the color block in about center. Lift the block straight up. If there are pools of ink anywhere, dab them with a corner of paper towel.

Dry the piece with the Heat Tool so you can move on to the next step. It needs to be completely dry at this point.

Stamp the winter tree in Early Espresso ink so the top and bottom of the tree extend past the inked area.

Add cardinals to the tree branches as desired in Real Red ink.

Add a little mound of snow beneath the tree in Pool Party ink.

Stamp "peace" or any other small sentiment you may have on hand in the white space created by the snow.

Adhere to the card base.


December 7, 2019


Do you remember a few posts back when I featured a card I made with detritus that was supposed to be thrown away? In Wasted Snowflakes, I told you about the most recent Paper Pumpkin kit I'd received. After punching out all the elements to set aside for a later date, I was left with other waste products besides the cute snowflake "stencil" I used in Wasted Snowflakes. They are pictured below.

 In one of my responses to a comment elicited by the post, I mentioned that I may try to do something with the deer next. 

See the deer in the photo below?

Well, this is what I finally came up with using the deer "stencil":

Because the deer were so mashed together on this sheet, it would have been impossible to work with just one of them. In order to get one to work with, notice how I cut the lower right one free from the rest, trying to preserve as much of the paper surrounding it.

I had planned to use Sponge Daubers to do my inking. However, it would have been so easy to be over zealous and ink beyond where the deer was. So, I used Post It Note tape close to the danger zones to avoid doing this, as well as for holding my stencil in place while I worked with it.

Since I wanted my deer to seem to be out in the winter elements, I chose a very old piece of Designer Series Paper that boasted a swirly design that simulated snowy conditions that a deer would experience during the winter -- at least, here in Wisconsin. The design in the DSP was faint enough that my stenciled deer in Soft Suede covered up the swirls underneath the deer.

Being super careful in my inking, I was pleased with the final result:

After accomplishing this, I let it sit for a few days. I couldn't decide where to go with it from that point. 

Finally, it bothered me enough that he was feeling so forgotten that I decided to go back to work on him. 

My first step was to cut the DSP and deer into an oval. I added a larger oval to that in Shaded Spruce.

Not sure where to then proceed, I searched through my seasonal stamp sets for the perfect element to incorporate into the composition. 

I came across this sprig of holly from a retired set. After stamping the sprig twice in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink on Whisper White cardstock, I used Stampin' Blends to color in the leaves and berries. Then came the fussy cutting. To make the cutting a bit easier, I left a narrow white margin all around. 

After adding the holly branches on either side of the lower part of the oval, I tied a pretty bow to finish it off.

A 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Pool Party cardstock was added behind the Shaded Spruce oval, since that was the closest current color I had to coordinate with the color in the DSP. In some lights, it looks great. Other lights, not so much.

A Whisper White card base completed my experiment with this majestic deer.

I am so pleased that another of my weird experiments worked. Another example of "don't throw anything away -- it is a possible art supply"!

When I started to write this post, since I called my first one Wasted Snowflakes because I was using something as a stencil that someone else may have considered waste and thrown it away, I thought it would be appropriate to title this post Wasted Deer. That's how I saved all my photos, so that's the title I went with. 

Once I started writing, however, ding ding ding inside my brain. The title turns out to be not so cute. If you aren't already aware, there is an affliction that affects white tailed deer called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Now, I feel bad.