Pop Up Box Birthday Cards: Fun to Make; Fun to Open

Two Silhouette Pop Up Box Birthday Cards Full of Surprises

I made these two pop up box birthday cards for two special friends. Neither of the Sandi Idelman pop up box cards were designed as birthday cards. I really enjoy making these print and cut cards. I also enjoy watching the recipient pop the cards open to see all the delightful little embellishments.

Two Silhouette Pop Up Box Birthday Cards Full of Surprises

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Testing the Silhouette 2 AutoBlade and More

Today T Stands for Testing the Silhouette 2 AutoBlade Plus Some Hot Chili Sauces

Welcome to today’s T-party where we share what’s happening in our lives along with a beverage. Today T stands for testing Silhouette 2 AutoBlade plus hot chili sauces at Sonora Grill. Silhouette 2 Autoblade wins, but I’ll stick with the milder sauces.

Today T Stands for Testing the Silhouette 2 AutoBlade and Hot Chili Sauces

Tuesday, Chris and I went to Sonora Grill in Guadalajara for lunch after our monthly grocery run to the big box stores. His drink was a dark beer and I had a margarita on the rocks.

The margarita came with a sprig of fresh rosemary. I left it in place and was delighted with the aroma each time I took a sip of my drink.

Today T Stands for Testing the Silhouette 2 AutoBlade and Hot Chili Sauces - Make Mine Mild

Before we even ordered, the waiter set out this lovely arrangement of bubbling hot queso fundido (melted cheese) with beans, chips (in the standing fabric bag), and six stone pots of chili sauces, from mild to hotter than Hades. I only tested the white pots because the waiter warned us that the black pots held very spicy sauces.

To learn about our weekly T-parties, visit Bleubeard & Elizabeth at their Altered Book Lover Blog.

Silhouette Portrait 2 Autoblade Test: Pop Up Birthday Card

I just upgraded my Silhouette Portrait 1 to a Silhouette Portrait 2 with AutoBlade compatibility. The main attraction for me was the AutoBlade and it didn’t disappoint.

Silhouette Portrait 2 Autoblade Test: Pop Up Birthday Card

This quick and easy pop up birthday card set is the first design I made with my new machine. The file included not only the pop up card, but also a matching envelope and note card to tuck inside.

I finished it just in time to take to Dianne’s birthday party at a local restaurant.

Silhouette Portrait 2 AutoBlade Test: Quick Precise Cuts

Here’s the card fully open …

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Art on Display: Local Artist Exhibit at Our Cultural Center

Ajijic Art Expo 2 5 5

My friend, Juan Navarro, who is a marvelous tenor in our choir as well as an international award winning-artist, is exhibiting his art in a local exhibition. The exhibit features artists ranging from Juan’s students to other internationally known artists. The pieces above are metal work.

Ajijic Art Expo 2 5 4

This is a mixed media piece by Juan titled “Huellas” (footprints).

Ajijic Art Expo 2 5 3

This is a mixed media piece by another well-known local artist, Javier Ramos. We own two of his earlier oil paintings.

Ajijic Art Expo 2 5 1

This wonderful bronze made me think of a griffin. But the body is more dog-like and the beak is quite exaggerated. Might we see this mythical beast in the next Harry Potter?

Finally thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Playing with Color Schemes

Today T Stands for Playing with Color Schemes: Triadic, Analogous and Complementary

I’ve been playing with color schemes recently. So today T stands for triadic, analogous and complementary — the three color schemes you’ll see below.

Playing with Color Schemes: Triadic, Analogous and Complementary

Welcome to today’s T-party where we share what’s happening in our lives along with a beverage. So here’s my first beverage for today’s party: a bottle of Pepsi to sip while I started painting a background in my junk journal.

Playing with Color Schemes: Analogous

I used white, blue, yellow and green heavy body acrylics to paint an analogous color scheme page of blue, blue green, green, yellow green and yellow. Perhaps it will be a landscape. But maybe not; I’m not happy with the blue.

Mine was a crazy busy week. The main thing that kept me busy was preparing for our condo’s annual general meeting. Chris is the Treasurer and I’m the Administrator. This work was interrupted by a couple of exciting events (not!): a car that wouldn’t start and spent two days in the shop; and purchasing a new toilet.

Somehow, I managed to squeeze in a page for Jo’s January Something New challenge at Art Journal Journey (AJJ). The condo meeting was held Saturday and went pretty well. When we got home, I collapsed in relief. After a bit, I got myself up and headed straight for my art table to start the page above. Art: the best therapy I know!

So how was your week?

To learn about our weekly T-parties, visit Bleubeard & Elizabeth at their Altered Book Lover Blog.

Triadic Flower Arrangement

Triadic Flowers

Isn’t this a gorgeous flower arrangement? The open lilies are six-inches across and the daisies are four inches. It’s huge. Our Board President and my good friend, Dianne, presented this to me at the homeowners’ meeting to thank me for all my work as administrator. She commented that they’re my favorite colors.

Dianne once asked me what my favorite color was and I realized I don’t have one. Is that weird? Anyway, I blurted out the goofy geeky answer of, “Triadic.”  Purple is actually Dianne’s favorite color, so she chose the triad of blue violet, yellow orange and blue green.

If you look at the top left corner, you can see my second drink reference — the glass of Chardonnay that I had just poured.

Complementary Color Year of the Rat Journal Page

I created this red and green journal spread to commemorate Chinese New Year, which was January 25.

New Year of the Rat Journal Page

I love the altered calendar graphic. And I loved the background that I created earlier. However, I went overboard on the spread. That’s just the way it goes, but there’s always something to take away from a finished page.

New Year of the Rat and Rat Symbolism in the Chinese Zodiac

So I plan to keep creating, practicing and learning. If you were born in a year of the rat, you can expect new beginnings, wealth and lots of creativity. So happy lunar or Chinese New Year!

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Finally thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Year of the Rat Journal Page

2020 Year of the Rat Journal Page and Rat Symbolism in the Chinese Zodiac

While I’m not thrilled with the final spread, I had fun and learned some interesting things while creating this Year of the Rat journal page. I learned the symbolism of the rat in the Chinese zodiac and also the qualities attributed to people born in a year of the rat, which occurs every 12 years.

New Year of the Rat Journal Page

I love the altered calendar graphic. And I loved the background that I created earlier. I just went overboard on the spread. That’s just the way it goes. But there’s always something to take away from a finished page.

New Year of the Rat and Rat Symbolism in the Chinese Zodiac

So I plan to keep creating, practicing and learning. If you were born in a year of the rat, you can expect new beginnings, wealth and lot of creativity. Happy lunar or Chinese New Year!

I’m pleased to share this journal spread for Jo’s January Something New challenge at Art Journal Journey (AJJ).

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Art for the Heart and from the Heart

Today T Stands for Art for the Heart and from the Heart

Welcome to today’s T-party where we share what’s happening in our lives along with a beverage. Today T stands for art for the heart and from the heart.

Today T Stands for Art for the Heart and from the Heart

So here’s my beverage for today’s party: a bottle of Pepsi to sip while I watched a live Facebook art lesson in blind contour drawing. Blind contour drawing stifles the inner critic and soothes the heart. Art for charity is also heart healthy.

To learn about our weekly T-parties, visit Bleubeard & Elizabeth at their Altered Book Lover Blog.

Blind Contour Drawing Experience with Amy Maricle: An Eye Opener

At 11:00 a.m. Friday, I joined a live Facebook lesson in blind contour drawing led by Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio. By 12:30 I had a whole new finished page in my junk journal.

My Blind Contour Drawing Experience with Amy Maricle Was an Eye Opener

The hand drawings are a bit wonky; but the fact that I could draw something this well this quickly without looking at my drawing, was a real eye opener. The experience blew my mind. Plus drawing in such a way was very relaxing. Since I wasn’t looking as I drew, my inner critic was blindfolded too!

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Art from the Heart. Think Globally. Act Locally.

I’ve previously mentioned the Villa Infantil (V. I.) local orphanage and our church congregation’s efforts to help the children. We donated money, food, paid for drinking water, bought Christmas presents and school supplies. We did what we could locally.

V. I. Graphic Design Postcard #1

Then a miracle happened. Some caring, dedicated and persuasive local people took our efforts global. With the funds that the V. I. Auxiliary has raised, the children now have a more secure compound with a wall to protect them from floods, fires and intruders. Then the bougainvillea plants to beautify the wall as well as provide another layer of security.

Wall Beautification Web 1

Can you imagine planting 255 bougainvillea plants? I sure can’t. But I have the honor of documenting the fruits of the Auxiliary’s efforts with these graphics that the V. I. Auxiliary sends to the donors at the completion of each project.

VI Playground Web

The most recent project completed is a state-of-the-art playground with durable weather-resistant equipment. Previously, the 30+ children had a large field to run around on and play soccer, but the only play equipment was a rusty metal swing set and two rusty metal slides.

I look forward to sharing more with you throughout 2020 because this is a massive effort from the hearts of many.

If only you could see what the Villa was before. The children were always lovingly cared for by the sisters in charge. But the Villa was at the point financially where the sisters could only eat every two or three days to make sure there was enough food for the precious children in their care.

Finally thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Blind Contour Drawing Fun With Amy Maricle

Blind Contour Drawing Experience with Amy Maricle: An Eye Opener

At 11:00 a.m. yesterday, I joined a live Facebook lesson in blind contour drawing led by Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio. By 12:30 I had a whole new finished page in my junk journal.

My Blind Contour Drawing Experience with Amy Maricle Was an Eye Opener

After completing the blind contour drawing and painting part, I went rummaging in my Words to Live By box. The magazine headline, “Be in Your Moment,” practically jumped into my hands. That’s exactly what the exercise was about. And that’s how I felt at the moment.

The hand drawings are a bit wonky; but the fact that I could draw something this well this quickly without looking at my drawing, was a real eye opener. The experience blew my mind.

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Artful Eats and Toasty Treats for Tea

Are You Ready for Some Artful Eats and Toasty Treats?

Welcome to today’s T-party where we share what happening in our lives along with a beverage (reference). Today T Stands for artful eats and toasty treats. So for those of you who live in lands of ice and snow, I’m serving toasty mugs of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. Please help yourself.

Are You Ready for Some Artful Eats and Toasty Treats? How about a Hot Cup of Cocoa?

It’s chilly where I live. That means low 50s F (10 C) in the morning before the sun heats up. In the afternoon, it’s in the high 70s (21 C) most days.

As I type this, it’s early morning and I’m sitting at my computer bundled up in two heavy sweaters with a scarf around my neck.  When I leave for yoga class at 8:30, I’ll still need one sweater outside. When I leave the yoga studio at 10:00, I’ll just wear the scarf.

However, when I return to the house, the two sweaters and scarf will come back on. The house doesn’t warm up during winter. So I know — poor me.

Are You Ready for Some Artful Eats and Toasty Treats? How About Chang's Duck Spring Rolls?

Speaking of artful eats and toasty treats, isn’t that a gorgeous presentation of spring rolls?

On Monday, Chris and I went to P. F. Chang’s in Guadalajara. He had a doctor’s appointment and then we did some big box store shopping. Next we headed to our favorite restaurant. Chang’s had some new items on the menu. The duck spring rolls were fabulous! Because it was a pretty heavy appetizer, we shared a serving of Chang’s spicy chicken for the main course and took half of that home for Tuesday’s dinner.

To learn about our weekly T-parties, visit Bleubeard & Elizabeth at their Altered Book Lover Blog.

My Cup Runneth Over and So Does My Mailbox

After all the lovely Christmas snail mail I received and then a New Year’s card’s as well, last week I found a mail art postcard from Deb at Learning to Just Breathe. Truly, my mailbox runneth over. This is so much more fun than junk mail and bills!

Ferns Ladybugs Pc

The 5 x 8 1/2-inch postcard came through the mail in perfect shape. Deb was concerned that the layered modeling paste ferns might crack or peel off. Isn’t that a clever technique? The different shades of green along with the layered paste create visual and tactile depth. I love the cute little ladybugs too.

Ferns Ladybugs Close Up

Aren’t they darling? The faux brass corner plates are also cool.

More Quick Backgrounds in My Junk Journal, Including Some Artful Eats and Toasty Treats

Page From Chris Book 4

I prepared a few more backgrounds in my junk journal using Pearshaped Crafting Chrisapproach to setting up a junk journal for 2020.

Page From Chris Book 5

Here’s one. I used pieces of the takeaway brown bag from our P. F. Chang’s lunch. Can you spot them? Just joking.

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

This spread started out as one of the quick backgrounds to finish later. But I finished it right away. Sometimes you just have to go with your heart.

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

I followed Laly Mille‘s mystical way of approaching a journal page. The approach is very new to me, so I linked this journal spread to Jo’s Something New theme at Art Journal Journey (AJJ)

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Exercise Detail

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Finally, thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments. Happy T-day, everyone!

Love Your Heart Journal Spread

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

I’m working to improve my cardio health. This Love Your Heart journal spread expresses my joy that I’m able to dance my heart out once again.

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

For this spread, I tried some techniques that Laly Mille shares in her videos. She starts with a fairly dark and busy collage background. She always includes words and images that “speak to her.” Laly lets them guide her to focus in on the ideas, wishes or dreams moving through her mind. By the time the page is done she has eliminated some of the words and images to express the essential that she found in her heart.

It’s a mystical way of approaching a journal page and that’s very new for me. So, I’m pleased to share this journal spread for Jo’s January Something New theme at Art Journal Journey (AJJ)

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Exercise Detail

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2020 More Art to Come: Are You Ready?

Today T Stands for 2020 More Art to Come! Let’s Get Started!!

Today T Stands for 2020 More Art to Come! So, are you ready to journal, craft, paint and create more in the New Year? This is a great time to begin anew. We all take detours or are sidelined by life’s challenges. But then the clock ticks on. We get through our challenges … somehow … and then we need to pick ourselves up and start again. So, if you’re an artist and/or crafter, that means a return to your true self … your true creative self.

2020 More Art to Come: Are You Ready?

Welcome to this week’s T-party where we inspire each other and share a cuppa, along with what’s been going on in our lives. Here’s my beverage reference for today’s party. I sipped my diet Pepsi while I started another background spread in my junk journal. Thanks to T-lady Chris, I’m trying a new approach to getting past the blank page. I’ll explain more below.

To learn about our weekly T-parties, visit Bleubeard & Elizabeth at their Altered Book Lover Blog.

A Happy New Year’s Card from Erika

Erika New Year Card

Look at the surprise I found in my mailbox last week! It’s a Happy New Year’s card from BioArt Girl Erika. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Erika used a wonderfully textured cardstock and sprinkled glitter all around the delicate snowflake sticker

Erika New Year Card 1

I think I captured more of the shimmer and detail in this photo than the scanner could pick up. But the colors are duller. Life is just full of tradeoffs, isn’t it?

The quote really speaks to me.

Do the best you can, in the time you are given.

That’s another one of life’s tradeoffs — having to choose what’s best for us in each and every moment.

Thank you, Erika, for the thoughtful card and the aha moment!

Journal Faster Tips from Chris: A Junk Journal in a Jiffy

I took a page from Pearshaped Crafting Chris’ book, from her new junk journal actually. She not only created and bound the book for the new year; but she also started backgrounds on all the pages.

2020 More Art to Come: Erase the Blank Page

This was my first background spread made with scraps of paper, mop-up and over-spray pages, plus text from my Words to Live By altered box. A collection of Words to Live By was an idea I got from Laly Mille.

Some readers thought that I finished this page, because the snippets of text started to tell a story.

2020 More Art to Come: Erase the Blank Page Detail

But no, there’s more to come.

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Finally, thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Journal Faster Tips from Chris: Just Do It!

Journal Faster Tips from Chris: A Junk Journal in a Jiffy

I took a page from Pearshaped Crafting Chris’ book, her new junk journal actually. She not only created and bound the book; but she also started backgrounds on all the pages. I was so impressed and inspired by her uninhibited and varied backgrounds. So I decided to give her approach a try. Following Chris’ journal faster tips, I think I can finally finish the junk journal I started in May, 2018.

Page From Chris Book 2

I just sat down with some of my accumulated stuff and scraps. Then I threw together some page backgrounds. My mantra was,

It’s only a piece of paper and a bunch of scraps. I can fix anything I don’t like later. White gesso is my best friend.

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