Monday, January 31, 2011

Hand made watercolor journal with unique fold out pages

I finally made a watercolor journal that is light weight, compact, pages large enough to complete a drawing ,painting, collage and can easily be carried in your purse.  I was inspired by journals that are hand made with accordion pages stitched together.  Each journal I made is 9" x 8".  Inside I have thread  bound sheets of  140lb watercolor pages with unique fold out pages, when open measures  9 x 24, that are folded into 8" sheets.  So I have 12  9" x 8" pages that I can create on.  I like this size because it's big enough for me and  I don't feel the pressure to fill more than 12 pages.  I will be offering these journal in my etsy shop today.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gerber flowers

For the past two weeks I've been working on a 12 page spread of various flowers in my watercolor journal that I made.  Gerber's come in many colors, and I happen to love them in purple.

IF-- Surrender

There are many things in life that we have to surrender to.  For me, surrendering to God on a daily basis makes my life so much better and richer.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I got a little creative with this watercolor.  Used photo shop to color in the flower.  The original I needed to re-work the white on the flowers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris painting done in my 12 page watercolor journal.  I really like working in this small journal.  I can see endless possibilities for more subjects.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Orange Poppies

About a week ago I made another 12 page watercolor journal with one sheet of  22 x 30 watercolor paper.  I thought doing a journal with only 12 pages was doable and it would give me an opportunity to try different techniques and subjects.

So this first journal is filled with flowers of various types.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chinese New Year

For the past 2 years I've been taking Chinese brush classes with a wonderful teacher Nan Rae. If anything I've learned about painting this style is to paint spontaneously which has been rather freeing.  Since Chinese New Year is coming up and it is the year of the rabbit,  I plan to make this Chinese brush painting into a Chinese New Year card for a family friend. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

1st Calligraphy project

 Today I worked on my first Calligraphy assignment from the new Calligraphy book I'm reading.  I practiced using different nibs.  I like using the calligraphy markers the best. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coptic binding

With today's technology it is so cool to be able to go to You Tube and find a tutorial on any subject you would like to learn.  In this case I found a video on how to do a Coptic binding.  I used this video
Coptic Binding.

So at 10pm I decided to try to make a journal and bind it using the Coptic binding method.  Sorry about the was a little dark in my studio.  Once I got the hang of it, the sewing part was really easy.

I'm still on the fence about this binding method.

Calligraphy 101

Product Details
Today I bought this book by Jeaneen Gauthier at Joann's using my 50% off coupon. Don't you just love it when you get a deal!!!  It looks like a really complete book on calligraphy and it came with a DVD.  Jeaneen has projects that you can do as step builders.  This should be a nice way to fill up some of those journals I've been making.

When I was in college I did learn calligraphy, but like anything if you don't use it often, you forget how to do it.  I really wanted to take a local class, unfortunately I'd have to drive into Los Angeles or Santa Monica.  I've even thought about taking an online class.  I'll give the book and DVD a try and see where it takes me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

new little sketchbook

 Today I got two new stamps that I bought from Elvie Studio.  One says "color your world" and the other says "write". 

Since I've been making so many watercolor journals using my bind-it-all, I thought I'd try something different.  Teesha Moore has some neat videos on You tube showing how to make a 16 page journal with one piece of 22 x 30 watercolor paper.  I thought I'd modify her idea and this is what I came up with:

I took two pieces of 8.5 x 11 white card stock and scored each sheet at 4" and 8" leaving  a small piece on the end which is about 3.5". Next I cut each piece in half  4.25", giving me 8 pages to work on.   For the cover I used a piece of printed card stock  4.25" x 8".  I assembled the cover and pages.  In the center of the book I made three wholes, going through all the pages
cover.  Next I hand stitched the pages together.  Teesha
does a good job of explaining the binding part.

With my new stamps, attached one on the front and one
on the back.

With this little sketchbook I plan to practice doing

Friday, January 21, 2011

watercolor journal

OK I promise last post of the night!  For the past week or two I've been making watercolor journals in various sizes.  I think the two sizes I like are a 8 x 8 inch journal and a 6 x 6 inch journal.

To make my journals, I've been using illustration board cut down to size and then covering  the board with printed card stock paper.  The inside of the cover I use a solid complimentary color.

Today I got to thinking...why couldn't I use heavy white card stock instead of the illustration board.
So with this watercolor journal I took white card stock cut to  6 x 6 inch and then covered the front of journal with this cool postage stamp paper.  Inside cover I used a solid burgundy card stock.  Then I used my bind-it-all to bind the book together.  The cover was heavy enough that it offered the protection of the journal pages without being flimsy.  I think tomorrow I'll be experimenting with different sizes using this new process.

Valentine card # 2

I'm not sure what's going on with blogger but I'm having trouble posting more than one image per post.

This is another sample of a Valentine card I'm thinking about making.  I really like this card and might just add a heart shaped paper dolie under all this hearts.

Valentine cards

Valentines day is not to far way and I'm still trying to figure out which card I like best.  On this card I like the heart border and the hearts of various sizes.  I don't think I like the writing or the key.  So I guess it's back to the cutting board.

IF -- Dusty

Sophie is a Fairy dog angel who spreads fairy dusty all around to give happiness and well being.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Windshield Wiper eyeglasses -- Sketchbook project

Towards the end of  my sketchbook project book I was running out of ideas.  My husband gave me a few suggestions and I ran with it.  This illustration is one of his suggestions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

IF -- Chicken

 Even chicken's like to dress up when they go out for some serious shoe shopping!

school bus for the sketchbook project

This is another illustration that was included in "It's raining dogs and cats.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pages from the sketchbook project

Here is a page from my sketchbook project "It's raining dogs and cats".  I surprised myself by mailing it more than a week from the deadline.  Once I get notification that my book has been checked in, I'll add a link.

New stamps

Look what I got in the mail...New stamps from Elvie studio  here.   Simplify and inspire...two of the things I'm trying to do in my life.  Check out her blog...not only does she create rubber stamps she also does wonderful hand made books using the Coptic binding.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy blog-a-versary!!!! Blog Candy Give away

Today is my blogs anniversary.  It's been  5 years since I started my little blog.  I can't believe how much  art I've created, which was the whole purpose of the keep me painting.  Not only have I painted but I've explored other mediums...colored pencils,watercolor pencils,book binding, card making, Chinese brush; learning how to make jewelry, and getting better with my knitting.  If it wasn't for this blog, I would not have created.

It's because of the support and kind words from my readers, I will be giving away a packet of note cards.  Please leave a comment in this post with contact information.  I will choose a random name tomorrow night and will announce the winner Thursday morning.

Handmade watercolor journals

For the last few days, instead of painting, I've been making watercolor journals using my bind-it-all machine.  As you can see, I got a little  obsessed with these journal.  I made some that were 5 x 7 inches; some that were 5 x 5 inches; 4 x 6, and finally 10 x 10 inches.  Each journal holds about 30 sheets of watercolor paper.

Making these journals gave me an opportunity to use some of the pretty card stock papers that I've been hoarding.

Maddie and the snowman

Last week it snowed all day long,  dropping enough snow that took at least 5 days to melt.  On the last day of snow left, my husband decided to make a snowman for Maddie.

Maddie was more interested in licking the snowman and trying to figure out how to eat his eyes and mouth.

Friday, January 07, 2011


Deja-vu...the illusion of having previously experienced...going for a walk with woman's best friend.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Magnificent Frigate Bird

I've never heard of a Magnificent Frigate Bird.  It's a different type of bird commonly found in Florida and on the Pacific coast from Mexico down into South America.  He has a rather large Scarlet throat.  I thought he was rather unusual looking.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's snowing outside

Sophie says "it's snowing outside", as she presses her nose against the window.  I've been wanting to try encaustic painting for a long time.  So this painting was just an experiment with beeswax over watercolor and then I went over the painting with embossing powder. 

Monday, January 03, 2011


Chickens!!!  Having chickens in your back yard seems to be the latest fad.  When I lived in Washington state, my stained glass teacher had a special hen house built for her dozen or so chickens. I thought the hen house was so cute and the chickens seem to be comfortable in their house.  I love chickens and roosters, so people aren't surprised when they come to visit and find my many chickens and roosters though out my house.   The French believe they bring good luck; so I figure the more I have, the more good luck I will get.  My chickens and roosters are ceramic and very colorful.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Shih tzu puppie

Shih Tzu puppies are so cute.  This is what I had in my mind of what I thought my Shih tzu puppy would look like when I first started to look for one.  Maddie is all chocolate; so much for thinking about one color and getting something better.

Today I woke up to snow.  I live in the high desert, so it can snow maybe once a year.  It's been snowing all day.  Maddie's first experience with snow was to try to eat it.  The cold snow didn't brother her as she ran like a crazy dog all over the yard.  When I finally got her to come back in, snow was stuck to her legs and belly.  I'm not sure if she appreciated my effort to dry her off.  I finally had to take out my blow dryer and dry  her off.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!  What better way to start the day then to paint something whimsical ...Home Sweet Dog Home.   My dogs make my home a happy home.
I came across the inspiration in Somerset Workshop magazine Autumn 2010--a creative lettering project by Rena Askey.  Instead of making this a house, I made it a dog house, hence home sweet dog home.