Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Scrap Collage Cards

Frances Holliday Alford here.  Happy Holidays to all.

I usually make my cards for the holidays and other occasions.
I have a method that I have been using for a few years.  I start with a large piece of paper, some acrylic medium and a large hodge podge of scraps.   I used foil candy wrappers, vintage stickers, wrapping paper and printed tissue paper.

I started by gluing the pieces down, overlapping and with random placement.
I like to put glue (acrylic medium, Modge Podge or other white glue that dries clear) below and above the pieces.  I used some spray ink and some alcohol ink on this one.

After the sheets are completely dry, I cut them into 4"x6" pieces.  It is interesting to see how each one comes out after the random placement on the page.
I add Washi Tape to the edges of most of the cut pieces and then glue them to a 6"x8" card.
I have also made some with paper that is painted and glittered.  I used ink spray by Dylusions and added glitter.  Once again, I cut them into 4"x6" pieces.   I added German paper cuts of Christmas Trees, angels, and other images.  Like the others, these were glued to larger folded cards.

I ordered the Strathmore blank cards from Amazon.    The German paper cuts are available on  Ebay and also at http://www.etsy.com/shop/32NorthSupplies.  The Dylusions Ink Spray is available at
www.interweavestore.com/and also on Amazon.   A great source for glitter is http://www.artglitter.com/.  Washi Tape is found on Ebay and Amazon and is a Japanese masking tape that comes in a large variety of beautiful colors and designs.
When you are all through with this project, your cordless hand vaccuum will be your best friend.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A deep, rich Holiday Color- Desiree

Hi everyone, Desiree here! I love the holidays and all of the colors that surround this special time of the year. For me the holidays are full of mixed emotions and filled with many complex colors. For my sketchbook class I had everyone bring a special ornament to paint, one that had meaning.
My mother and I collected Anna Lee dolls every year and this year I found gingerbread ornaments for our collection.
I have so many ornaments from parties I had in my younger days, they have special meaning, given by friends that have long moved away but never forgotten. I enjoy it when I decorate my tree and bring out these handmade ornaments, I immediately remember the person who made it. I say a prayer for them and their family, remembering all the good times we had together.

After I painted these ornaments in my sketch book I wanted to journal but didn't want to effect the original painting.  I scanned the page and printed it on paper. This time I cut out the ornament and, using a glue stick, glued the edge onto my sketch book, so I had a flap that I could journal under.
I glued the cut out ornament to my sketchbook.

This ornament flap doesn't compromise the feel of the painting, but created a special place to journal! This is an easy way to add a journaling element to your sketchbook.

In mt sketchbook class we painted our ornaments but after everyone left I painted a few more ornaments and then I was led to a special tree. This tree sits in my daughters room every year, a special gift from my mom during a time when we thought our lives were over. A tiny tree that would come to stand for the hope of something miraculous and big! A tiny tree, symbolizing a life, not forgotten but remembered.
Jennifer's special tree
If you want to know more about Jennifer's special tree please feel free to jump over to my blog  and check out my very personal post. There you will be able to go to Jennifer's link and read her story. So I guess my holiday color is a rich, deep color, filled with love and appreciation for all of those special people in my life. What holiday colors will fill your sketchbook this year?? May your holiday be bathed in love and filled with the color of family and friends. Much love from me to you, Desiree

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Colored Cards

Kristin La Flamme here. I've been a bit distracted of late, as I imagine most of us are, with holiday preparations and visitors. I don't have any holiday colored sketchbook pages, but I do have a simple project that uses supplies one might have on hand for sketching, painting, or sewing.

First, I gathered fabrics that I had previously prepared with fusible web. Patterned papers would work just as well, but I like fabric and have a lot on hand. :-)

Then, I added acrylic paint by sponging and splattering. I kept my color palette somewhat tight, using  primarily greens, but adding a bit of red, yellow, and dark blue.

I kept adding until it looked festive. I may have gone too far. White brightened things up a bit, and scribbly paints added nice line work. The final touch was a sprinkling of glitter (yes, over the top, but I think appropriate for this instance). 

After the fabrics dried overnight, I cut them into strips.

Using a ruffly rotary blade I cut the strips into triangles.

One triangle is fused to the front of a plain greeting card. See, it's a Christmas tree!

The final detail is to sew a straight line down the center of the card as a stylized trunk. I tried metallic thread, but it is notoriously finicky and didn't like sewing through paper, A bright green quilting weight thread worked a treat. I had to guide the cards firmly through the machine as they wanted to slide around. Several layers of masking tape acted as a helpful guide to the right of the presser foot.

Ta da! Finished cards for Christmas. Holiday color with on-hand supplies.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It's hard to believe that the sketchbook challenge will be 3 years old in a few weeks!  We posted our first theme back in January of 2011 and we've been going strong ever since.   I am happy to announce that the sketchbook challenge will continue through 2014 with this terrific all star line up of artists:

We will no longer be doing a monthly commercial post on the last day of each month.  Instead you can click the tabs at the top of the blog to find out about our workshops and classes, books, dvd's and our tutorials.

Since we won't be using the last day of each month for a commercial post we've decided to make that day all about our followers.  We'll be posting an slide show of the images from the sketchbook challenge flickr group that were uploaded for that months theme.  To be a prt of that slide show you'll need to tag your photos with a special code and you'll find that code in the theme posts that go live on the first day of each month.

Remember that you can join in the sketchbook challenge at anytime and you'll find more information about how the challenge works as well as some information on how to use flickr here.  You'll find a list of all the themes that the sketchbook challenge has had over the last 3 years here.

I want to thank you all for following along and participating in the sketchbook challenge.  I wish you a very happy healthy holiday season and a new year fill with lots of laugh, laughter and creative fun!

Sue Bleiweiss

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pages from My Sketchbook

Jamie Fingal checking in.  Here is my small Moleskin Storybook Sketchbook.  This has become by 'all time' favorite type book to draw in.  It's small and fits in my purse, so I can take it everywhere.

The drawing areas are 2x2-1/2" - easy with no fear of a blank page.  I love seeing the houses on our street all decked out for Christmas, and that was my inspiration

and then there are those things that go with the holidays - hot chocolate, gifts, candles, holly and snowflakes

I took my sketchbook to my local copy store and had the pages enlarged by 50%

The reason for the enlargement, is that I wanted to paint them with watercolors, since the theme for this month is Holiday Colors

So, here are the houses in their grouping

detail of aqua house with whimsical trees

red house with stars and trees

a red gingerbread house with kindergarten trees (meaning the kind of trees that I drew in kindergarten)
Orange house with snowmen

Getting into the spirit of Christmas

Hot chocolate with peppermint, cinnamon and yummy marshmallows

Candles to set the mood and bring in the scents that remind you of sentimental times in your life

Gifts for the people that you love

Holly, snowflakes and a heart ornament.  May your days be merry and bright!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Luscious Layers of Holiday Color with TEXTures 2 stencils!

Hello all, this is Jill K. Berry, I am excited to be back here as a guest to show you
my new stencils with one of the sponsors here, Artistcellar. 

The stencils are abstracted poems and writing inspired by some of my favorite people,
and make great backgrounds and patterns for journals and decorative papers.

The theme this month is holiday colors.

The first project is blue and white, the unofficial colors of Hanukkah.
For this project I painted watercolor paper in lots of shades of blue acrylic.

I used white paint with the Picasso stencil over the top with a stencil brush.
The paint should be fairly dry on the brush to get crisp images.

Then I cut out this cute gift box that latches together by small slits in the paper.

You can download the pattern for this box HERE.

The second project is a Christmas Journal photo box in green and red,
the traditional colors of this holiday.
For this one I went wild with all shades of green on the paper.

Then I used the Bird stencil, which is a Maya Angelou quote
“A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” 
I used red acrylic with the stencil brush to do the entire sheet.

This paper was made into a small wrap box to hold special photos or small sheets of paper
for a Christmas journal. Give each person in your family a paper,
have them write their memories and wishes and keep them with photos.
You could start a new tradition for your family by making one of these each year.

One Christmas my daughter was kissed by a sea lion.

You can download the pattern for this box HERE. Enlarge it to fit the contents you wish to add, and weave in a ribbon on the lines indicated.

My last project was a page in my journal that I did to celebrate and learn about Kwanzaa, an African holiday celebrated throughout the world. The colors of Kwanzaa are green for the fertile land of Africa; black for the color of the people; and red for the blood that is shed in the struggle for freedom.

This year the theme is "Sewing and Harvesting Seeds of Good."

I used the Gera stencil to decorate the papers for the candles and the girl's skirt.
Gera is inspired by the talismanic characters of the African artist Gera.

Fill your holiday season with the colors that make you happy!

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning,
and unallied with definite form,
can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”


Leave a comment and tell us what colors you would choose for your own holiday. 

On Dec. 19th we will pick a winner here for a set of these stencils. 

Visit the rest these blogs for more chances to win!
12/10 Brian Kasstle  
12/11 Mel Kolstad 
12/12 Kim Rae Nugent 
12/13 Jodi Ohl 
12/14 Effy Wild 
12/15 Tamara Laporte 
12/16 Jane Davenport 
12/17 Chris Cozen 
12/18 Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal 
12/19 Jill K. Berry