Color Play and a Happy Hello!

with an Ode to Sarah Renae Clark

To begin, with a “hello”! Today I am exploring some color fun with My Favorite Things & Sarah Renae Clark. (Seriously, I don’t work for MTF, I just love the product and the business practices of this company!) Now, I want to share with you about a product.

It is important to me that you know, it is a product I purchased, and I do not gain anything from sharing about it but the knowledge that I have passed on 1. a great product to like-minded peeps, 2. supported an artist! 3. a bit of fun


I am drawn to bright colors in pure forms (ROYGBIV) under many circumstances. I do, however, love all colors and recently I noticed my cards had been drawn to pure colors again and I stopped adventuring a bit into other color tones. I do love me some pastels, but they are not a go-to. Have you ever been like that? Well, with the release of the “color cube”(more on that in a minute) I was reminded to play more in the colors tones I love but aren’t my go-to colors. It’s a great way to get your mojo in a good mood. It’s all play. Play is important to creators. Mojo needs new ideas and new play often. Sometimes I forget about all the resources I have.

What is a color cube you speak of? First let me tell you about The Color Catalog. There is an artist I follow mostly because she is as silly about color as I am. I just love her. She is an Aussie and one day I really hope we meet for a coloring jam. She is remarkable and I recommend if you would like to learn a lot follow her on YouTube HERE.

She spent thousands of hours I am sure, creating a tool for people that like to color (adult coloring books and cards and what I would call fine artists) called the Color Catalog. When I purchased this product, it was for the color palettes as much as the conversions to Copic and various color pencils I owned. Let me tell you if you are stuck this is a remarkable tool to get you going! She even made a keyword search so if you are not sure what colors you want but you maybe know it’s a summer color you are going for you can find a color pallet that is keen for summer. ALSO, if you know you are using a say soft pink you can search by COLOR she really put a lot of thought into this product. I like the detail I like the detail!

Picture from sarahrenaeclark.com click for more information

I did use the Color Catalog to make the card from the Tall Hello Card I made with My Favorite Things Tall Hello Die and the Stitched Blooms.

She has now created a sibling to the Color Catalog. It is called the Color Cube (Vol 1 & Vol 2) I purchased them in a pre-order and don’t have my hands on them yet. but You can return here soon to see the review of what I think is to become a staple on my desk. As of this post, there is a special pre-order price which I think is going through October. So, if you are crazy about coloring like I am check it out.

Picture from sarahrenaeclark.com – click for more information

Hopefully, you can give Sarah Renae a peek and see what great things she is up to. DO yourself a favor and follow her on YouTube she puts out EXCELLENT content for artists!

Enjoy your weekend! It is World Card Making Day tomorrow so you know I will be back with more fun soon.

Keep Creating!

Blessings e

Monday Mojo – Reindeer Love

Reindeer Loves Poinsettias

Sometimes when I get a little stuck on what to use I just stamp many images out from my “recent purchases” basket and just color them in different mediums. Copic Markers, Color Pencils, or watercolor are my usual go to for this kind of project. Then I will put them in baggies and slip them in the stamp sleeve for future use or reference.

That is how this card was started. My Favorite Things order was in the “recent purchases” basket and I couldn’t wait to color the poinsettia so I had the previous night colored them using my Faber Castelle Polychromo Pencils. In the morning I had decided to use the Reindeer Love (MSTN-011). I used my Copics as I was in a marker mood.

One of the things I love when companies put out challenges that I have those ideas knocking around in my brain. When these ideas are milling around I tend to have the OHHH I know I can use Sparkle or I can use an interactive die. Often marrying many challenges unintentionally. This particular card was born from this process. It met two challenges but also a personal challenge. (I keep a list of ideas of things to try when I am in a rut.) The challenges were 1. Simon Says Stamps (Sparkle) 2. My Favorite Things (Out of the Box – Winter Scene) and my personal list (Mix Coloring Mediums)

I still had the Pretty Poinsettia (DBD-002) on my desk while coloring the Reindeer Love (MSTN-011) and it surprised me how much I liked the two styles together. Not only are they pretty different styles but they also were colored with different medium. The be Merry die (MFT-2383) was already cut in white and sparkle so I went with it. I added some fun color cardstock Next thing I realized is I had hit on three challenges and I had a card done! Mojo returned!

All this to tell you that just reading challenges can help you find a missing mojo.

I also wanted to point out that the sentiment on the card has snow which was done with at fantastic white paint pen.

(Link on photo)

OH yeah one more thing. I used the Outside the Box Level Up Set for the Card (MFT-1874) but replaced the backing of the card with the new Elegant Stitched STAX (MFT2398) and really loved how it looks. All the items with the item number is new from My Favorite Things Septement release – Check it out because it is a fantastic release.

My Favorite Things New Collection

FYI don’t miss out on Spellbinders Current Sale. There are some really awesome deals

Spellbinders Fall Sale

STAMPtember is almost done and I should have a lot of fun new goodies to play with I did link it here because there are a few left of some of the items. Most are sold out.

Have a crafty week my friends I will be back soon with more.

Mask Painting

As I live in a desert, I obviously fell wildly in love with the My Monthly Hero August 2022 card kit. The kit came with fabulous stencils and some die cuts to use alongside.

One of the things about desert dwelling is the stunning sunsets. I was playing around with making a background to use with my stencils and after layering several sky colors on a sheet of watercolor paper, I had that little light bulb go off.

I love the stencils, but I noticed that the dies would cut a desert stack and a nice cactus. So, I cut them from some Gina K Masking paper and mixed some watercolor to create the desert scene in this card.

Use the cut-out negative edge to create the shape of the landscape and the cactus. I was worried that the watercolor would seep through and leave a blob. I am happy to report they did not. While the lines aren’t “crisp” that’s okay because watercolor rarely is “perfect lines”. I was really WOWed by how this masking tape both maintained the integrity of the masking paper but also how it came off the watercolor paper without any tears.

Start by taping off a frame on your watercolor paper. I used Canson XL paper. Once it was taped down spray water on the paper and allowed it a few moments to soften the water. Using a reference photo I added the sky and land to a horizon.

Once I paint the sky and horizon line I was able to place the negative cut masking paper and adding the first layer of color to the mountains in the image. I added the mountains with the masking paper by placing it on the paper after I had put down my sky. (Which is more than half of the cut paper.)

Following that, I added the cactus in the same manner.

I then slowly layered the colors up by drying the layers between each application.

I brushed on some watered-down glue (2:1 ratio) and sprinkled on the bronze Pearl Ex for a nice textured border.

Once I had all this done, I added the white flowers using Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White and did a little touch-up to the shadows.

I hope you are inspired to try this fun technique.

You can use the product links which helps me out a little as it is an Affiliate Link (full disclosure).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Great News!

It’s been a few since my last post. I have been working on something and think I can share the news. I have been able to get my camera and now have the video editing software. I am still learning all the how-to’s, but I think you will soon see the first video up on my youtube channel! Filming starts this weekend.

I don’t want to leave my blog unloved, so I am adding this fun card I made using Honey Bee Stamps Designs – Market Card Builder.

Now I have plenty of cardstock something in the crafter of me must not only use but save all the scraps that I could possibly find a future use. While I was making this card, I realized a couple of things. One that it is a fantastic scrap paper user. Second that if you use a large scrap, you can get impressions from the acrylic plates (they of course have cut hundreds of dies and do like to leave behind some lines and shapes on the paper usable portion of the remaining scrap. Usually, I just toss them if they are too bad. To counter those little impressions, I took a lesson from the hot foil tricks and tips. I found after placing my die on the scrap, that cutting it around the die before running it through my machine preserved the rest of the paper for future use. All the dies in this card with the exception of the actual cart are scraps.

This tip is really effective on foiled
and specialty papers

I’m excited about what is coming to my blog and I look forward to sharing, inspiring, and educating. If you have any questions just go to my contact page and send me a note!

Blessings to you all!

Please like, share, and follow!

Bullies gotta Bully

A special thanks to Concord and 9th for the perfect products for this card! I used
August 2022 release Friendly Florals and Apple Orchard

LONG POST but it is an important message. I made this card for my sister. Let me tell you why.

NOTE:

There are no names used in this account so please forgive all the non-specific identifiers and “my sister”repetitive use. I am trying to just share something that is all too prevalent in our current society that needs to be addressed and not point fingers or be what I am so upset about.

This is a hard one for me to write. I always thought, as someone that was bullied horribly in elementary school, that it was just a thing kids did. I moved to a different state at the end of elementary and didn’t have much of a bullying problem in my new school.

My sister is being bullied. The sad thing is, I guess it can go on even after school years. Let me paint a little picture for you.

My fantastic sister left a lucrative career to become a teacher. It was her passion. For 18 years she has given up a lifestyle that would have allowed her to live a MUCH easier life. Why? She loves kids and not just any kids but the middle-year kids. That’s right, those awkward, sometimes smelly, coming into hormones and dramatic middle schoolers. This is where some of the absolute most terrible bullying is reported. (Oh, the stories I could tell.) Even when she was a single mom with four of her own she gave all she could to her students. Many long nights of grading and planning outstanding lessons. She is the teacher always with an open door and stays to run the after-school care, to ensure kids are in a quality program, teaching summer school investing her own funds to give the kids the best opportunities for high school and beyond. You get the idea.

So imagine my heart, when I get a call and she is literally sobbing on the side of the road unable to drive because a mother in her class has begun attacking her. May I mention this “mother” is sure everything (including a B her child received on an assignment) is because my sister is a horrible teacher? In the following months, this woman took it upon herself to verbally attack my sister’s amazing reputation (did I mention my sister has been the teacher of the year. TWICE)? Did I also mention this person harrassed my sister via email and phone conversations demanding responses on the weekends and holidays all this leaving my sister in a mental and emotional crisis? Well, she has, and the worst part, she is a teacher, in my belief, a teacher that wants my sister’s job. See my sister teaches highly gifted students. A desirable position that requires many additional hours of training and certifications.

At the end of last year, my sister broke down on the phone and I felt her pain so deep in my chest, I cried with her. She had done everything right. Taken the steps to ensure the student was best cared for and yet this mother continued to drive her misery onto my sister. Relentless, harassment, threats, and ganging up with other educators to try and push her out. As the summer approached and the light at the end of the tunnel one might say, my sister, told me she may not be able to return to school because of the physical, mental and emotional toll from the last semester. Have you ever seen someone physically ill from being bullied? I have, it’s not pretty. It’s gut-wrenching!

This saddens me greatly. In our state, the teacher shortage is so severe, that you don’t even have to be a teacher to teach. As long as you are in college for education you can have a physical classroom and be teaching. My sister has served the children of her district for 18 years! Never one complaint or reprimand until this woman. This bully.

With her class in mind, my sister returned. She loves those kids. She wants nothing but success for them. She always goes the extra mile. I’ve witnessed all she has done through the years. When there was a lack of interest from parents to chaperone several field trips, she would beg me to go. I always would because she wanted the kids to see and live the experiences she was teaching in the classroom. She worked many days from 6 am (in class) to after 8 or 9 pm on campus only to return home and spend the rest of her night planning and grading papers.

Now, let’s move forward to this year, she has been attacked again. A student in her class proclaimed, “Ms. XXXXXX is my favorite teacher!” when called into the office due to an incident regarding my sister trying to show compassion and caring about the child’s feelings at what the child thought was bullying. Asking the young person what was said and trying to make sure she had the facts right my sister tried to explain that bullying is never okay, but we need to be sure it’s not miscommunication. She spoke with the child about the differences we all have in what we believe.

The child told her mother what had happened and the mother, another teacher in the same program as the previous child’s mother, went not to my sister for clarification, (because you know, middle school children NEVER get dramatic for attention) not to the principle, no she marched into the superintendent’s office and demanded my sister be fired. And began her campaign of terror.

Giving a lesson (district mandated I might add), on how to give a peer review. The other children told the child in question that Ms. XXXXX is talking about you in class. (Which she was not. It was a lesson on how to be kind in your words but still be able to give constructive criticism — I mean middle-schoolers are never overly dramatic — never.) My sister was again attacked. Meetings and complaints all require her to write responses and spend time on things that are not benefiting the child. HELLO, THIS. IS. NOT. GOOD. for anyone!

The call went like this, “Oh Erika, it’s starting again! Oh no, I don’t think I can handle it for another year.” the grief in her voice was so prevalent I felt my heart break. She was so sick to her stomach that she couldn’t go to work.

Here we are. She now has another year of writing responses being attacked and who protects her? Not the school administration. NOPE, they are worried about lawsuits and making the MOTHER happy. I have news for ALL of you, THIS IS BULLYING! To attack a person that is trying to give the children the best education possible to YOUR kids… it’s wrong! You are an adult. ACT LIKE ONE. Try talking to the teacher, or the adult involved you probably don’t have the full story if it came from a child POV! Not because your child is a liar, but because children are very self-centered and they don’t usually see the other side of the situation. You don’t have to “see the manager!”

It is okay to protect your kids. Just don’t be a bully! It’s okay to intervene if your child can’t get a problem resolved! You can be a good parent and still be FAIR!

I don’t know what is going to happen. My guess is she will keep being the punching bag for these people. I will keep getting calls from my amazing sister crying and hurt because she is in a position of service. I will need to keep trying to build up what these women tear down. I will see her do things for these kids that their parents don’t know or even appreciate. The administration will let her. Honestly, the administration is the parent of the bully which is a bit of a bully itself. The administration is cowardly! Stand up for your teachers! They are working twice as hard with such little pay that goes back to the school in the form of supplies and teaching materials. If you ever wanted to know why more teachers quit teaching in the first 3-5 years. Let me tell you, I know.

If you are a bully, to your kids, your spouse, your kid’s teachers, the employees you manage, the barista at Starbucks, or the clerk at the retail store, think about this… You may be feeling powerless, you are hiding in your anger. To feel better about yourself if you are hurting others. Please, seek a mental health professional for your anger issues. I don’t want you to have that hurt.

Am I angry? You bet I am. My sister is one of the best people I know! I am hopeful that if you are a bully you can see that you don’t have to bully. You can be a support to help find a solution without hurting others. If you have a child that is a bully. Help them it doesn’t go away bullies teach their kids to be bullies and to bully. We don’t need that we need love.

That my friends, is why I made this card for my sister.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to vent my broken heart.