Friday, July 22, 2016

Art Journals!

After a nice vacation for a couple of weeks, I've been (far too slowly) getting back to work. I have plenty of new art painted for graphic sets. That's the easy part. The hard part - scanning, cleaning, promoting - I still have to do. So no new graphic sets here yet. Next week.


On a more fun note, I decided I needed a bit more time off and I started an art journal for the fun of it. I never make art for myself. It's always for work or for a trade or for some course I'm taking. I think the last thing I painted just for fun was a couple of years back. Way too long. So I decided this would be the summer of art journaling.

I made my own 8" x 11" journal and stuck in some nice Bristol board and some cool Stongehenge drawing paper (which I proceeded to paint on), stuck it all together with a pamphlet stitch and boom- one hand made journal with a small number of pages so I can actually complete it.

Above is a double spread... pretty girls, my fave thing to paint. And below are a couple of pages about giddy excitement (new journal!) and fave imaginary creatures.




Happy PPF!



Friday, July 8, 2016

Back from vacation!

I've spent the past few weeks in Europe with my family having a great vacation! I'm finally back and am trying to get caught up with work and painting away. I'll have more art to post next week when I've had some time to finish new projects.

Here's my husband (painted by Frans Hals in Haarlem, The Netherlands). I think my husband sort of matches the painting with that long half grey beard, lol. And that's my daughter at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. What a beautiful city!


Below is a set of pretty folk art birds I painted as a graphic set. I just love a whimsical style of bright, cheerful art and thought cute birds and funky trees go well together. This set is available in my store as well as on Etsy and CreativeMarket.


Happy PPF!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DIY: Watercolor Gift Tags


Watercolor tags and cards look so pretty! And they're super easy to make.

Instructions & Materials

Here's what you'll need to make your own pretty gift tags:


  • Watercolor paper. For these tags, I used the cheap paper that comes in pads for $5 or so. There's no need to use your expensive paper for the tags but the weight should be 140 lbs rather than the 90 lb version.
  • Watercolor paints, any brand is fine. 
  • White gel pen or white paint for lettering and designs. 
  • Stamps with white ink pad (optional).
  • Twine or pretty ribbons to tie your tags.


For creating the tags themselves, I simply used my paper slicer to crate the rectangle shapes. As you can see by my photo (at the top), I made my tags in different lengths and widths for a bit of variety. I used scissors to snip off the top corners though you'll need to be a bit careful here to ensure that you snip the same size of paper from each corner.


I wanted to make my tags full of bright shades of blues and reds. I started with the darker colors at the bottom and moved up with lighter shades of blue and red. You can basically do what you like here - be it a strip or a ball or even a single color covering the entire tag but you will want to try and get some color variation happening so you get the full watercolor effect on your tags.


The brand of watercolors I used here is Winsor & Newton's Professional Watercolors though you could use any really, even child's watercolor paint. But the colors won't be this bold and saturated with kid's paints.


Once your paint is dry, it's time to add a pretty design or a sentiment. You could paint the letters on if you have a steady hand a small paintbrush but I prefer to simply use a gel pen. I always use the Uniball Signo since it's my favorite white pen but others will work too. Another option is to use your stamps and white ink pad as I did below in the bottom photo. The stamps look fabulous too!


Another option is to paint a simple little flower or set of leaves on your tag as I've done in the bottom photo.


To create the holes, I used a hole puncher and then added my twine and ribbon. Voila! All done.


If you don't want to make your own or you don't have all of the materials, I have a print and cut freebie version that you can download. You can still make your own! Please check out the blog post and the downloadable file here.


Here's my blue set! Happy creating.





Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Freebie! Watercolor Gift Tags


I love cute little gift tags and I don't always want to make them from scratch. So I've made up a set of watercolor style gift tags for you to download and print from home!



All you'll need is some cardstock to print the file on as well as some pretty patterned paper (optional) to use as a backing and some twine or ribbon for the tags.

Download the PDF file here.

The "how to" is simple! Just print your PDF onto some stable paper. I chose 110 lb cardstock and it worked perfectly.

I glued some pretty patterned paper on the back of the printed tags (I used a glue stick for this). Once the papers are sealed together, cut out your tags. I used a slicer but scissors work well too.

To create the hole for the ribbon, I used a three hole punch though you can purchase single hole punches of course. It figures that I couldn't find mine when I needed it!

Add some twine or ribbon and voila! Pretty watercolor gift tags.

These watercolor shapes come from my Pink Watercolor Shapes Set. They're in PNG format and can be used to make your own tags, cards and products!

Happy creating!

Please don't distribute this file. I'd prefer it if you linked back to this blog if you want to share! Thanks :)




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Coloring Books & Christmas... in June. It happens.



I'm thrilled that this Adult Coloring Book is finally finished and available! A group of us from the trading website IllustratedATCs.com created this fun little coloring book to raise money for our website server costs. It's filled with 33 awesome pages of illustrations and designs in many themes from fantasy to flowers to zentangles, animals and more. There are 29 artists involved, including a few visitors to this blog. It's a downloadable and printable PDF, meaning that you will need to print it at home. You can find it in my store if you're interested and it will likely be for sale at some point on Wonderstrange too. Two of my coloring pages are in this one.


I know! I know! It's way too early for Christmas painting, right? I can't help myself. I'm excited already, lol. It's my favorite season of all. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. I really like Halloween. So totally my second favorite season of all! It's crazy to start this early but since this is an illustration set, I have to get a move on and have it ready for all of the lovely designers out there. Hence, Christmas in June!


And finally, a Throwback Thursday, but not me. It's art from years ago! I bought this most amazing handmade watercolor book and I meant it to be my special mixed media art journal. And yeah, we all know how that goes. Many of you know how hard it is to fill an art book or a sketch book. It's like this impossible goal way out there, years in the future, "One day you will be able to fill an entire sketchbook! One day!" I'm still not there yet. Some of my sketchbooks have been around longer than my kids. So yes, this is a book I really need to finish. I started it 6 years ago. Maybe this is the year. SIGH. I don't even believe myself anymore.



Happy PPF and happy weekend!