Mixed Media in under 20 minutes

I really enjoy playing with a variety of media and mixing them to create fun layers. And I want to encourage all of you who are scared to dive in, to give it a try. It is really easy!

Creating complex-looking mixed media pieces doesn’t have to be complicated

This evening, I dropped a couple of drops of red, blue and yellow acrylic inks on watercolor paper and spritzed them with some water. The results were immediately breathtaking.

Red, blue and yellow acrylic ink spritzed with water and making patterns

I may have gotten over-zealous when spraying water on to the inks and I didn’t just want to wipe it all with a paper napkin or rag…so I picked another loose sheet of watercolor paper and pressed it on top of this wet sheet. And then another.

Three completely different painted papers from one “mother sheet”

While the inks were still wet, I also used my Gelli Arts mini tool to drag through and make a pattern, more in some areas and less in others.

You can see how distinctly different and grungy each of these papers look and this was literally done in 7 minutes!

I decided to tackle the brightest of the lot, which I am calling the “mother sheet,” first.

Draw a shape and mute out the background with a neutral color

I used white pan pastel at first to “sketch” out a leaf but realized I wanted something stronger to bring out the shape. Water-soluble Stabilo pencils were within reach so I used a white one to “carve” the leaf out. I also scribbled with it around the leaf to give the “background” a rough, waxy finish. Then I used some water to spread some of the pigment around while leaving some areas untouched.

It’s amazing to get a watercolor effect with acrylic inks but have the ability to layer on top of it with various other media.

Write something or carve out Art Marks while the paint is still wet

At this stage of the painting, I grab a dotting tool, a graphite or charcoal pencil or even a pen and write out what I am feeling in the moment. It doesn’t have to be legible or even make sense to anyone…but I like to imbue the painting with those feelings.

You can see in these images, how, without the use of any texture pastes or “complicated” mediums, this piece already has so much movement, drama and layering to it.

My next step was reaching for a grey water soluble Derwent Inktense pencil to add some shadows around the leaf. It helped add some more dimension to this piece. And lastly, I grabbed a couple of Caran D’ache NeoColor 2 crayons to add some color and marks throughout.

All in all, this piece took under 20 minutes to create in a very stream-of-consciousness-grab-what’s-within-arm’s-reach kind of way. I hope it inspires you to try something like this as well.

Some drops of color, a simple shape and whatever tools you have in hand…that’s all it takes

Grab a couple of watercolors or alcohol inks if you don’t have any acrylic inks. Play with them. Sketch out a shape that speaks to you. Blend everything out around it. And see what emerges.

I’m leading a 7-week mixed media workshop starting next week (June 22) where I will share a lot more techniques on how to create your own unique paintings. At the end, you will have 10 complete projects with as many layers. Want to join me? The ticket sales have ended but if you REALLY want in, let me know.

Whether or not you join the workshop, I want you to know that mixed media is easy…just give yourself the permission to play and, most important, have fun!

Happily Ever After

I have a soft spot for critters but as you know, if you follow me, I’ve not really had the confidence to paint them without any clothes on. Fur intimidates me. So, I was thrilled when I saw the new “Happily Ever After” stamp and die set from Colorado Craft Company’s June Release. These characters already came with clothes!

As I stamped them on to my Fabriano Watercolor Paper, I knew I needed to turn this into a story. A friend had recently surprised me with these Daniel Smith watercolor sample cards and I was itching to try out all the 238 colors, so making a mini book seemed a perfect fit!

As I started imagining the love story between two girls and their dream to spend a lifetime together, I started borrowing images from previous stamp sets in the Anita Jeram Collection.

Specifically, I used stamps from the following sets:

Given that it is Pride Month it seemed appropriate to introduce some rainbows into the mix. To be honest, I just need an excuse to paint rainbows at all times. Lol.

I got to test out most of the watercolor shades! I now know which ones I absolutely will purchase! I watercolored each page of this mini-book except the wedding page since I wanted that one to stand out…almost like a moment frozen in time.

It wasn’t the original plan, so you can see how I traced over the archival ink stamping with a metallic gold pen throughout. As I was finishing up the mini-book with some stitching details, I decided to make the couple stand out with a black glaze pen outline. I hand-wrote some words and stamped others as needed to bring the story together.

I hope you enjoy this interpretation.

I am no longer on Instagram or Facebook, so please know that the comments you leave here are my only way of connecting with you and I so deeply appreciate your taking the time!

If you’re participating in the blog hop, you arrived here from my coloring idol Sandy Allnock’s blog and your next stop is the extremely talented Kassi Hulet.

Colorado Craft Company is doing a generous giveaway again to accompany the June release. If you’d like to be included in the drawing for one set of the new stamps, you’ll need to leave a comment on each blog in the blog hop. You can enter your comments up until midnight Eastern Time on the 16th and winners will be announced on the Colorado Craft Company blog on June 17. 

Blog Hop Order

  1. Colorado Craft Company- Adrienne Kennedy
  2. Jenn Gross
  3. Bibi Cameron
  4. Jennifer Kotas
  5. Kelly Griglione
  6. Angelica Conrad
  7. Daniel West
  8. Caly Person
  9. Sandy Allnock
  10. Mansi Bhatia <– you are here
  11. Kassi Hulet
  12. Erin Thompson
  13. Melissa Andrew
  14. Donna Hitz
  15. Nichol Spohr
  16. Emily Midgett
  17. Amy Tsuruta

Instagrammers

  1. Joe Syvath
  2. Traci Jenkins
  3. Marci Snee

Thank you so much for being here and I hope to see you again, soon.

Related Colorado Craft Company Releases

Sharing the Joy

As I wrote in my morning pages, there was suddenly so much clarity, such a definite sense of purpose and such a strong urgency to lean hard into my intuition.

I create because I need to. I share because I love to. Why does it have to be any more complicated than that?

I don’t create because I must share something multiple times on a social media feed every day. I do it for myself, regardless of social media.

I paint because I love losing myself in the moment. I do mixed media because of the tactile nature of the pastes and the textures. I sew because I never have before and it’s fun!

And the fact that I get to share how I do what I do…it brings me joy! I’m not doing it for “likes” or money…I’m doing it because I truly want to demystify the process and help others enjoy it.

My motivation is to make art accessible. My intent is to encourage and help. My goal is for more people to enjoy the creative process and not be overwhelmed by it.

Not being on social media, many said, will hurt my goal … yes, my reach may suddenly have become very small but even if I help one person experience the joy of creating freely — that, for me, is enough.

I will have made a difference in that one life.

Making Art for Me

Many of you have been following me religiously on Facebook and Instagram and know how much I love to share my techniques, ideas and art. Today, I am shutting down my Instagram and Facebook accounts. There will be a lot of questions, as is understandable. And to all of that chatter, I can say: there is more to life than social media.

I don’t need strangers to tell me my self-worth nor do I need validation from a sea of unknown people. I don’t care for follower counts or number of likes received. And I don’t create because it’s a business to me. I am not building a brand…I have always wanted to build community. And I thought social media was a great way to do that. Until I realized that people project their own agendas, their own motives and their own insecurities on my work, without knowing who I am or where I come from. I don’t need that.

Nobody does.

My art is my safe place. It’s my sanctuary and I am protecting it. So, if you’re here, please know that I am not giving up on creating. My core values are empathy, credibility, making a difference, intuition and simplicity and I am going to continue having them lead the way for me.

I will continue to create and share. I will stay present in my real life, collaborate with people locally and create a life of simple giving.

And I hope you will continue to create, too … with your heart first…and your hands will follow.

CCC Coffee House + Winner Reveal

If you’ve been following along my journey of painting Colorado Craft Company stamp coloring, you’ll know that I love giving my critters clothes. I couldn’t resist making these three cuties from the Coffee House Stamp Set wear glittery outfits and look like they are dressed for a party — because it FEELS like it will be a party when I FINALLY get to meet my besties for a coffee date after a year and a half of staying quarantined.

I painted the background with instant coffee, which was an interesting experience! And also created a matching envelope (painted with coffee with a little bit of stamping done with coffee as well). I’m always trying out new things like using my own photos as backdrops for cards, so I hope this encourages you to try something new as well

And if you entered your name in the comments of my previous blog post, then don’t forget to scroll down and check if you’re the winner of the $25 gift card giveaway generously sponsored by Colorado Craft Company!

So, without further ado, here is the name of the giveaway winner: April W. Please email me, so I can send you a code for your gift card. I hope you enjoy your shopping stint!

List of all supplies used:

If you’d like to support my work and offset the cost of hosting this website, please consider using the links above to shop. They don’t cost you anything extra but do help me out. Also, if you’d like to see my favorite supplies and tools for things other than card making , visit my Amazon Store Front.

Happy Hedgehog Day

When I saw this stamp set the first time, I chuckled. Then I Googled. There is, indeed, something called a Hedgehog Day! Apparently, it was a Roman tradition preceding the modern Groundhog Day. This spine-tacular illustration makes me want to celebrate all things Anita Jeram, that’s for sure! 🙂

I used Daniel Smith watercolors again with this set from the Colorado Craft Company and I feel more confident with my color mixing now than I did with my first painting.

These little critters were so fun to color and so scary to die cut! My original intent was not to cut them out at all, so I spent a significant amount of time getting the sky and the trees just right…you’ll hear more about the nerve-racking die-cutting experience in the video below.

I ended up using Green Tea ink to cover up the blue sky from the die cut image and added some Ground Espresso distress oxide to the bottom of my photo and cardstock so that there was some continuity. I also love using Dura-lar and Double Tack Mounting Film in place of acetate on my cards. It’s such a good combination when you don’t want to have to add any jewel/sequin embellishments to cover up adhesive marks.

I hope you enjoy watching the process video for this and make sure to use my FREESHIPPINGMB code when shopping for this stamp and die combination on May 17 and May 18. You can check out the entire May release here as well. Also, if you’d like a chance at winning $25 to spend on whatever products you desire at Colorado Craft Company, make sure to participate in the blog hop and leave a comment.

More CCC Release Posts

Getting Creative with Stamps

It’s no secret that I love painting the Anita Jeram series of stamps from Colorado Craft Company, but today I’m trying something new and 3D!

Transforming Backgrounds

Don’t discard those “meh” prints! These are awesome backgrounds that you can transform into anything your heart desires. Look at what I did 🙂

One Day at a Time

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in our lives and the more worried I get, the more I realize that art is the best form of self care and therapy.

List of all supplies used:

If you’d like to support my work and offset the cost of hosting this website, please consider using the links above to shop. They don’t cost you anything extra but do help me out. Also, if you’d like to see my favorite supplies and tools for things other than card making , visit my Amazon Store Front.

CCC May 15 Reveal

I am so excited to be part of another wonderful Colorado Craft Company reveal today! Every time there’s a new release, I feel like I fall in love with these stamps a little more. Lots of talented folks are participating in this release blog hop today and I’m excited that one of you lovely people will have the chance to win a $25 gift card if you leave a comment at each stop! Link to all the blogs are at the end of this post.

For today’s card, I decided to marry my love for photography and painting. I used Daniel Smith watercolors, a medium I am still quite unfamiliar with, on Arches Cold Pressed watercolor paper to paint this image from the “Watch This” stamp set.

As usual, I used my favorite Gina K Warm Glow amalgam ink for stamping the image, Princeton Neptune Brushes for the watercoloring and Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils for some subtle shading in the nooks and crannies after the painting was done.

I also created my own envelope for this square 4.5×4.5 card using my handy envelope maker and used another dog image from the same stamp set (colored with a metallic gold pen) to bring it all together.

This time, I decided to stay away from giving this dog clothes, since I wanted to try coloring a more “realistic” painting…did I succeed?

Besides using my own photo from Cabo as a backdrop for this card, I also used “sand” texture from Liquitex to give this a little mixed media feel. I also loved using Dura-lar in place of acetate to mute out the photo in the back so the focus is on the dog. The Hang In There sentiment is from the citrus-berry cupcake stamp from Colorado Craft Company.

More Colorado Craft Company Releases

Seasons of Life

Your life journey is never a straight path between two points. Mine has certainly been circuitous and very insightful. Here’s a snippet of what I mean.


List of all supplies used:

If you’d like to support my work and offset the cost of hosting this website, please consider using the links above to shop. They don’t cost you anything extra but do help me out. Also, if you’d like to see my favorite supplies and tools for things other than card making , visit my Amazon Store Front.


Since this is a giveaway blog hop, I trust you’re going to visit all these talented folks and leave them some encouraging comments:

BLOG HOPPERS

Colorado Craft Company- Adrienne Kennedy

Debby Hughes

Jennifer Kotas

Kelly Griglione

Bibi Cameron

Angelica Conrad

Daniel West

Sandy Allnock

Mansi Bhatia <<<<YOU ARE HERE>>>>

Sara Torzullo

Kassi Hulet

Erin Thompson

Laura Volpes

Donna Hitz

Nichol Spohr

Koren Wiskman

Marci Snee

Emily Midgett

Amy Tsuruta

Jennifer Gross

INSTAGRAMMERS:

Chris Dayton
Joe Syvath
Traci Jenkins

Painting Gift Tags and Giveaway Winner

I am sharing these cute gift tags I painted for my kiddo’s birthday gifts this year. She is going to be so excited when she sees them! I worked late into the night painting them after she went to bed, so I didn’t really have the advantage of painting these in natural light. But that’s what LED lamps are for, right?

These are some of the tiniest stamp images in the Colorado Craft Company Anita Jeram collection, so coloring them didn’t take long. It was adding the details that took a while.

I watercolored each character the same way I’ve done earlier, using distress ink reinkers. I used distress ink stamps to create the tags…basically swiped distress inks in rainbow colors on one sheet of watercolor paper, sprayed water with the Distress Sprayer, sprinkled some clear embossing powder and heat set it.

Then I used my tag puncher to cut out tags in two colors that complemented my painted images. I also created colorful eyelets for the tag on my gel plate and adhered them on. The sentiments were all stamped on Grafix Dura-Lar film and adhered with Grafix Double Tack Mounting Film.

I just love how each of these tiny images packs a punch! Do you have a favorite of the lot?

Giveaway Winner!

Also, if you entered a comment on my previous blog post before midnight Pacific Time on April 13, then you must be curious to see who won!

Well, here is the name I pulled out of the hat: Nadine Mortimer . Congratulations!

I will be sending you an email with a coupon code to entitle you to a $25 savings on the Colorado Craft Company website.

Specific Supplies used in this project:

Stamps from the Colorado Craft Company

Distress Ink Reinkers

Princeton Brushes

Strathmore Ready Cut Postcards

Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils

Sharpener for super-pointy pencil tips

Magnifying Glass

Sakura Stardust Glitter Pens

Sakura Glaze Pens

Distress Sprayer

Grafix Dura-Lar film

Grafix Double Tack Mounting Film

If you’d like to have a look at my favorite watercolor supplies, including links to brushes, paper, distress ink reinkers and paint palettes, please visit my Amazon Store Front. I get a teeny-tiny commission from any sales made through these links without any extra cost to you.

Watercolor a Scene with Colorado Craft Company

I am back again with another watercolored stamp set from Colorado Craft Company‘s new release and a FREE SHIPPING code!

The main image in this card is called “For Dad” and I watercolored it with distress ink reinkers just like the previous stamp sets, giving each character some clothes but also introducing some background imagery to create a scene.

If you’d like to watch a detailed video on how I watercolor with distress ink reinkers and listen to my tips, don’t forget to click here. Also, remember to enter the GIVEAWAY — you have time until midnight, April 13 — click here to enter a comment on my blog and then go to each designer’s blog and leave a comment.

I really enjoyed combining stamps from a previous Anita Jeram release for this postcard. Specifically, I used images from the Wall Words, This is Us and Wishing You Happiness stamp sets. It was so fun to make this one of those “freeze the moment” scenes where you know what’s going to happen next.

It made me giggle even as I was plotting the scene…I didn’t do any masking or use any special techniques…just aligned the images and inked areas of the stamp I wanted showing up on my paper.

When I watercolored the scene, everything including the background and the paintings hanging on the wall were super vibrant. I felt it was taking away from the main storyline, so my last touch, before adding the embossed sentiment, was using a white pencil to make everything except the main characters in the foreground “fade away.” So, you can see how the little mouse has fresh drips of paint on the walls but the focus is still on that laden brush with drops about to fall on dad’s nose!

These stamps are just so fun to color and I hope you’ll check out the entire Anita Jeram collection…there is bound to be something that tugs at your heart!

And Colorado Craft Company has a special offer for April 12 and April 13: you don’t have to pay for shipping when you use the code “FREESHIPPINGMB.” So go ahead and indulge. You won’t regret it!

Specific Supplies used:

Stamps from the Colorado Craft Company

Distress Ink Reinkers

Princeton Brushes

Strathmore Ready Cut Postcards

Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils

Sharpener for super-pointy pencil tips

Magnifying Glass

Sakura Stardust Glitter Pens

Sakura Glaze Pens

If you’d like to have a look at my favorite watercolor supplies, including links to brushes, paper, distress ink reinkers and paint palettes, please visit my Amazon Store Front. I get a teeny-tiny commission from any sales made through these links without any extra cost to you.

“Amazing Mom” with Colorado Craft Company

I’m always excited when it’s new release time at the Colorado Craft Company, especially so, when the release involves the Anita Jeram set of stamps!

The exceptionally cute stamps are a painter’s dream and I have taken to giving them clothes (as with a previous release). I love giving them personalities and, today, I share with you how I color these critters with distress ink reinkers. Scroll down to watch the video and partake in the blog hop!

Before I forget, you can enter your name in the hat for a $25 giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment here and visit each designer listed below and leave a comment on their blogs. The giveaway will end on April 13th at midnight and winners announced on April 14.

  1. Adrienne Kennedy (CCC)
  2. Amber Rain Davis
  3. Angelica Conrad
  4. Bibi Cameron
  5. Caly Person
  6. Cathy Zielske
  7. Chari Moss
  8. Chris Dayton
  9. Daniel West
  10. Donna Hitz
  11. Emily Midgett
  12. Erin Thompson
  13. Jennifer Gross
  14. Jennifer Kotas
  15. Jennifer McGuire
  16. Jennifer Shurkus
  17. Joe Sysavath
  18. Kassi Hulet
  19. Kathy Racoosin
  20. Kelly Griglione
  21. Koren Wiskman
  22. Kristina Werner
  23. Laura Volpes
  24. Mansi Bhatia — you are here
  25. Marci Snee
  26. Nichol Spohr
  27. Sandy Allnock
  28. Sara Torzullo
  29. Traci Jenkins
  30. Yana Smakula

Ok, so without further ado, here is the process video. I take you through the colors used, my technique and biggest tip when working on projects like these that have small images and lots of details. Be sure to watch the whole thing.

I will have another blog post on the 12th revealing another stamp set from this collection, so be sure to come back! And if you’ve entered a comment for a chance to win $25, good luck!

If you’re not the betting kind, then I support your decision to shop right now! 🙂

Here’s a look at all the stamps and coordinating dies from this new release. Click here to shop at the Colorado Craft Company.

If you’d like to have a look at my favorite supplies, including handy links, please visit my Amazon Storefront. I make a teeny-tiny commission if you make a purchase following these links without any extra cost to you.