Let Loose With Mixed Media

Let Loose with Mixed Media is live! I led my first of seven sessions this evening and I am still smiling. When the workshop started I had asked for a show of hands in response to “How many of you are afraid to let go and play?” More than half the attendees raised their hands.

After the hour-long session I asked the same question and the responses I got were: “Not anymore!” “I love playing!” “This was therapeutic!” “I can’t believe I made this!”

Photo courtesy Tammy P.

It fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude and humility to know I could inspire courage.

Because really that’s what this seven-week workshop is about: the courage to embrace imperfections; the courage to enjoy the journey without worrying about the destination; the courage to stare ugliness in its face and not care; the courage to create something we’ve never created before; the courage to believe that we are ALL artists.

A small sampling of creative backgrounds from session 1

I share this here as an invitation to anyone who has been on the fence about this workshop.

It’s so much more than learning how to create mixed media projects. It’s about discovering your inner artist and unleashing the curious child inside you. It’s about trusting your instincts and leaning into your intuition. It’s about silencing that inner critic.

It’s about self-care.

All sessions are recorded and available for replay

I hope you’ll consider this as your personal invitation to partake in the joy that comes from playing with absolute freedom.

A Quick Mixed Media Demo

I did a quick YouTube live this afternoon to demonstrate how you can create a complex-looking piece with just a few supplies.

And because I had an extra 20 minutes of playtime this evening (yay for the love of reading my little one is cultivating!), I created another leaf in magenta. Playing with simple shapes allows you to hone your techniques. Pick something that speaks to you and try variations of it…you’ll notice that the dynamics of each piece will be different even when using the same motifs.

I did end up splashing some more red inside the leaves at the end. Something about that bright color was calling to me today. Both paintings also have some yummy textures by way of texture pastes and stencils but I didn’t go overboard because I really wanted the eye to rest on the one big detail first before finding all the hidden treasures . Also a tiny bit of gold pen detailing adds a little extra oomph to the pieces.

Of course, when we do the 7-week Let Loose With Mixed Media workshop, we will do a lot more collaging, layering, texturing and editing. But I wanted to showcase, through these examples, just how easy and fast mixed media can be.

I hope you’re staying well and continuing to do something every day that fills your heart and soul with joy. Even if you are able to steal away 10 minutes for yourself, know that you are worth every second of it!

Supplies used:

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


  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

Take a breath

Life is too short to be rushed all the time. Take some time to look around, close your eyes, inhale, exhale.

Trusting the Process

It’s important to give yourself permission to change course midway. Trust your gut, honor your feelings and immerse yourself in the process.

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!

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

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.

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:


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


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.