Monthly Archives: May 2013

30 Reasons to Participate

Hello, friends.  Here is a great list of 30 reasons  to participate in 30 Days of Creativity which starts tomorrow, put out by the folks at 30 Days of Creativity.  I wrote here about how I’m adapting the concept so I can do it without making myself nuts.
I encourage you to participate at least on some level.  And remember it isn’t “Create a perfect masterpiece every day for 30 days” but rather it is to “Encourage people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days”.  June is suggested by anytime you want is also ok.  See?  Create anything.  Toss a nice salad.  Doodle on your To Do list. Put together an interesting outfit.
Encourage is a great word.  Give support, confidence, or hope to someone.

Garner a sense of accomplishment.
Form a(good) habit.
Conquer the fear of the unknown.
Find new friends.
Solve problems.
Refine your skillz.
Experiment with something new.
the resistance that’s in your head.
$ by being creative.
your portfolio.
friends and family to be creative too.
the creativity we’re all born with.
writer’s block.
the drafting table, DLSR Camera, Guitar you bought years ago.
the monotony of not doing anything creative.
your mom proud.
with other like-minded people.
yourself daily.
Show off
and be proud of your creative work.
a creative community.
something free of judgment.
beyond your comfort zone
excited about new things.
time management.
self discipline.
this as an excuse to buy a new (camera/screen printer/piano/etc).
stuff you’ve been wanting to do anyway.

I’m packing a bag of craft supplies because Rem and I are going down the coast for a few days to celebrate his birthday and I’m bringing crafting along. We are going to stay in a hostel at a light house, visit Half Moon Bay and see the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC

30 Days of Creativity 2013: Art Journaling

30 Days of Creativity (30DOC) is a global social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.  I’ve done it for two years (see Year 1 and Year 2) and though I have loved many aspects of it, it has also made me kind of crazy.

Sometimes it was both fun and chaotic, like when I tried making chocolate bowls by painting melted chocolate on balloons. They popped. Fail.

Chocolate Splattered

Last year, when the month had ended, I made a decision I would not do it again this year. But I’ve revised that decision: I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do my own version of the project.  The first two years I created many different crafts and recipes.  I did something new for each day and I photographed the results and posted them here.  Some of my time was spent crafting and some was spent finding things to try, shopping for supplies and scrambling to get the project completed, photographed and a post up and published each day.

I enjoyed the creative challenge, building and stretching my creative muscles, trying new things, and the camaraderie with other participants doing 30DOC.   But working full time and getting something made every day and photographed and posted made for some high-stress days and low-sleep nights.  Not really the goal or the idea of the project.

As it is, I often feel like I don’t have as much time to craft as I’d like.  So to spend time and money on craft projects that I wasn’t really loving didn’t seem like the best decision.  This year, Year Three of 30DOC, I’m going to do 30 Creative Projects in 30 Days.  I won’t try and post every single day (though I will when I can) and if I don’t get to the craft table for a day or two, I’ll catch up on the weekend.  I’m going to focus on one craft, Art Journaling, and explore it in more depth.

Artist's Journal

My decision to participate in 30DOC but to bend it to suit my own needs and desires comes in part from my recent visit to Virginia Simpson-Magruder’s studio, Kentucky Girl Designs in Novato.


Her studio is packed full of art supplies and a stunning collection of Art Journals.  The picture below shows just a few of the journals she filled when she was doing daily spreads in art journals.

Journal A Day Collection

DAILY!  For over two years!  She told me that after she’d been doing the daily practice for awhile  (like over a year and a half), she would sometimes let a day or two or even three go by without journaling and then would catch up with a batch of pages. That really struck a chord with me and made me think I might be able to do the 30 DOC on my own terms.

When I learned she had a workshop coming up, I reserved a space immediately.  The “Express Yourself! Introduction to Altered Books and Collage Workshop” was such a pleasure!  Virginia has LOADS of wonderful supplies, so many that I couldn’t even begin to try everything out.  Stacks and stacks of magazines, ink pads in a huge variety of colors, water-soluble oil crayons, baskets of lovely rubber stamps that I didn’t even get started on, scissors, glue, paint, markers, glitter and way more.

Paint, Brushes and More

There were just four of us in the workshop and I was like a kid in a candy store.  We were surrounded by creative projects on every side in the sunny space. It was all so colorful and inviting.

This is a book that has been recreated into a shrine.  A niche has been carved into the pages of the book and special items are displayed in the space.

Altered Book Shrine

This is the cover of Virginia’s beautiful journal about doors for her “Altered Books as a Way of Seeing Workshop Portals: Doors, Windows and Gates“.

Portal Work Book

Here is the work table where we dug into the creative process, getting our fingers smudged with ink and sticky with glue as we crafted.

Work Table

One of the students, Susan, is intent on her design.


Her first spread that started with picking a color and writing about it, with Virginia’s guidance.  Layers of color and then collaged images fill the pages. I like the giant watch faces, rising above the animals and girl on the page like a full moon.

Susan's 1st page

For the second two-page-spread we learned how to make pockets (on the right, below) in which to tuck small items, such as business cards or post cards.  This is also Susan’s work.

Susan's Pocket page

Detail from the pocket page: “wonder more”.  I love the woman, almost hidden, and how she is turned away from the viewer.  The flower seller on the other page looks away as well.  The tag, tucked into a pocket says “The picture is half the story”. So true!

Wonder More

Jane (one of two Janes in the workshop), shared a spread she created.  She left early and I didn’t get a picture of her second spread.

Jane and Her Book

The other Jane, attending her second class at the studio, shows what she has been working on.

The Other Jane

“Seeking Peace” has a dreamy quality with soft blue, green, yellow and red.  Golden fish swim across the pages.

Jane's First Page

Her pocket pages have deeper colors with rich reds, and lots of interesting images, layered with flowers and swirls.

Jane's Page on Color

My first spread, the color page, started with “Periwinkle Blue” and words I associate with that color.  I rubbed the pages with stamp pads in vibrant shades of blue, purple and turquoise ink.  Then Virginia gave us 20 minutes to look through magazines and find some images to use.  I could have quite happily worked on that task alone  for about 2 hours.

My original composition didn’t include the music on the upper left.  Virginia suggested it would balance the music on the lower right and it worked perfectly as birdsong..  This is how the pages looked at the workshop.  I’ll share the changes and additions I made at home.

Big Ampersand

My pocket page has artwork from a Marin calendar and the pockets work perfectly with the images of rolling Marin hills, fog and the Golden Gate Bridge tower showing through the grey.

Fog in Marin HIlls

I created a few tags during the workshop and finished the others at home.  Since the bridge is almost obscured by the fog, I made tags with images of the well-known bridge and then added a cow tag and a California poppy.   I inked the cord to go with the famous International Orange color of the bridge


Virginia also showed us how to make a pocket in the back of the book.  I’m not sure this spread is done yet.

Back Pocket

Another technique she taught us was a way to add a postcard or envelope or some element that you don’t just want to glue down on a page, but be able to see both sides.  This is called a tip in.

In this example, we cut or tear two pages down to about an inch and half wide.  Insert your tip in, in my case some pieces cut from greeting cards, photos and magazine pages.  This is my garden spread.   I did this at home on Monday.

Garden Page

Here is a look at my desk – I was having so much fun with the journal that I didn’t stop to put supplies away.  Hmm, does this sound familiar?

Covered Craft Desk

I was so glad to have time on Monday for crafting.  It was wonderful to take all the ideas and techniques from the workshop.

The blue page was my first project.  I made some changes, adding new elements and embellishments.  More bling with a fancy cuff bracelet, a silver ring and some sparkle to the dangling gems. I even added nail polish to the thumbnail and the words “Unique” and “Delightful”

Blue &

I removed the image of a laughing woman and I’m very pleased with the final result.

This is my first window page – the image of the Native American woman smoking a sacred pipe on the left is from an article about people who are some of the last speakers of dying languages.  On the right, a shuttered window with leaves floating on water below.

Window Page

The shutters open and you can look through the window and see a path through trees.

View through the Window

When you turn to the next spread of pages, you can peek back through the window to see the wise woman outside.

Back through the window

Or close the shutters to see the branches on the other side.


The last page I completed in my new Art Journal was a kind of happy accident, which, by the way, I think happens quite often in art if we are open to it.

I had pulled a page from a magazine because I liked the image on it.  But when I was looking through my collected pages, I saw the image on the reverse and was drawn to the expressive face of Jane Goodall.  A few minutes of online research for a quote from Ms. Goodall and the pages were practically done.

Jane Goodall

Make a Difference

A big thank you to Virginia and her  Kentucky Girl Designs studio and to the other students taking the workshop with me.  In the words of Jane Goodall: “What you do does make a difference…”  I feel inspired and ready for the upcoming 30 DOC challenge.

Thank you for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

You Can’t Choose

Friday, 5/24/13,  marked one year from the day my father died.  For about a week or so leading up to that date I felt crabby and out of sorts.  My energy was low and I seemed to drag through each day.  I slept through the alarm and didn’t make it to the gym.

I finally figured out the connection between the upcoming date and my feelings.  Treating myself with love and kindness seemed like a better response than feeling guilty about eating poorly or skipping a workout.  Once I’d acknowledged my feelings I was still sad but it wasn’t wrapped up in shame.  A vigorous evening hike with my sister Sarah and two other friends helped me feel more myself again (pictures at the end of the post).

My dad didn’t have a choice about the way his life ended, other than taking his own life, which I know some people choose to do, but wasn’t ever on the table.  What I’m thinking about is that we are all going to die but we don’t get to pick what is going to be the cause.  We don’t get to choose when it will happen either.

Yesterday morning, as I do almost every Saturday morning, I was taking a hike with my sister.  She brings her dog, Ruby and I pick up my  mom’s dog, Molly.  Kathleen’s little sister, Ariel, joined us.

We were heading for a familiar loop around Phoenix Lake in Ross.  It is a popular spot with lots of hikers, runners and bicyclists.  We walked up the dirt fire road from the parking lot to the lake and had just started around the lake when we came to two men, their bikes on the ground.  One was talking on his cellphone, the other kneeling.

My first impression was that something was wrong with one of the bikes.  But as we walked closer we saw it was much more serious.  A woman was on her back, apparently she’d been walking her dog and had just collapsed.  The man on the phone was speaking to a 911 operator and asked us to go back to find someone to open the gate from the parking lot for an ambulance. Neither of the cyclists or anyone in our group knew CPR.

There was a dog with a leash running around the tense scene and we quickly learned it was the woman’s.  We took the dog with us and went back to where we’d seen park personnel who radioed to someone down at the gate.  Meanwhile other people had come upon the same scene.  Two runners sped past us, seeking a nurse or doctor from the walkers and runners they passed.

A nurse was found and he, along with his young daughter, the runners and the park staffer raced back to the scene in her SUV.  We could already hear sirens and in a very short time emergency vehicles roared past us with lights flashing, raising plumes of dust.

Our peaceful morning walk was interrupted by this sad scene.  Many concerned people reached out to try and help in some way.  We walked back around to the cluster of trucks and paramedics, runners, hikers and cyclists.  We mentioned to a paramedic that the dog had tags with phone numbers in case the woman had no ID, which later proved to be the case.

The nurse was doing chest compressions and later I saw a paramedic take over that effort.  It was quite some time before the woman was loaded into the back of the paramedic truck. Her dog was with a ranger.  The crowds of people on either side of the group of trucks and SUV’s drifted apart as hikes and rides were taken up again.

I tried to find a story with more information this morning in the local paper online. I don’t know what happened to that woman after she left the park.  But I know she was out on a beautiful morning, walking her young dog in a lovely, scenic spot.  I can only guess at her age – perhaps my age (53), certainly not elderly.

She could have been driving her car when what ever caused her to collapse on the trail happened.  She could have been at a desk at work or in her kitchen fixing breakfast.  She didn’t have a choice.

After our hike I went to see my mom and told her about our experience.  We both had emergency numbers in our cellphones but realized we could add a note with our own name and contact which we both did.  A CPR class may be in my future.

My brother came by with his girlfriend for birthday cake (mom baked more of the delicious oatmeal cake).  Mom and I were having lunch (cake followed) and the four of us talked about life and death and how we just don’t get to choose about the death part.

In the afternoon I visited my dad’s grave and talked to him a bit. I sang a few songs and cried some tears. Here are links to previous posts on my dad and his cancer:

Sometimes Life Just Piles Up

On Caring

Be Loving

Keeping Busy

Goodbye, Papa

Just Less Orderly

Papa’s Stone

We do get many choices in our lives and I’m trying to make good ones.  Being outdoors in the beautiful area we live in, spending time with friends and family members, singing with my choir members at bedsides of people on the threshold, and making time and space in my life for my creative endeavors. I believe these choices are ways that celebrate the life and the opportunities I have.

Here are photos from the hike I took earlier in the week with my sister Sarah. We started by Andy’s Local Market on San Pedro Road then hiked uphill, taking in the gorgeous views.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge with Oakland and Bay Bridge in the background.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge

Loch Lomond Marina and the parking lot where we started at Andy’s Market.

Andy's Market & Loch Lomond Marina

Mount Tamalpais.

Mt. Tam

It’s quite a hike up to these swings, but the views are beautiful.


McNear Brickyard on the front of the peninsula, the quarry is on the back to the left.


The hikers heading back downhill.


Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Life

Graduation: The Party (plus a recipe)


(from Google)

A social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment.
Enjoy oneself at a party or other lively gathering, typically with drinking and music.

In honor of my sister’s graduation on Saturday morning, family and friends gathered for a party  Saturday evening.

There were dancing girls.

Dancing Girls

…and live music. My brother Beau is the drummer with the band The Soul Section – we had a subsection of The Soul Section play at the party. However, I failed to get him in the picture.  Oops.

The Soul Section

Not just the live band outdoors but a special piano solo just for Kathleen: Pomp and Circumstance played inside.


There was flirting.  Yup, this little cutie stole everyone’s hearts.  Including the drummer’s from the band.

Beau and Raima

The food was delicious –  with guacamole and tortilla chips, salads, trays of veggies and fruit, meatballs, cold cuts and rolls.

Little Fruit Eater

And not one but two cakes made from scratch.

This Oatmeal Cake is a Faw Family favorite.  It is a moist sheet cake with a delicious, buttery, coconut and walnut topping.  My mom made it and her recipe is at the end of the post.

Oatmeal Cake

The second cake was made by Ariel, Kathleen’s little sister.  The outside: chocolate ganache. It is so yummy.

Checkerboard Cake

Inside: dense vanilla and chocolate cake in a checkerboard pattern.

Inside Checkerboard Cake

In the photo below if you look carefully, you’ll see a dog hoping for a bite to get dropped in her direction.

Piece o' cake

We even had a cop show up because of a complaint about loud music, which some say is the sign of a successful party.  But the band had packed up by 8:15 PM so he couldn’t even tell them to turn the music down.

The MOST important ingredients at the party were the people, the laughter and the love.

Kathleen’s first little sister, Tricia, was there with her husband, Jason, and their four beautiful kids: Lora, Silas, Jace and Raima.

Tricia and JaceJason and JaceSilasJaceRaima

Lora is Tricia’s oldest and she’s dancing here with Ariel, Kathleen’s current little sister.

Ariel & Lora

My nephew Sam, sat in on the drums for two songs and played a solo.

Sam on drums

My niece, Leah, voguing with the girls.

Leah Voguing

Lots of kids, lots of dogs, lots of fun.  Folding laundry and grading papers were put aside for awhile and we celebrated together.

it was a wonderful evening!

Party Crowd

Congratulations again, to Kathleen.

Oatmeal Cake


1 ¼ cup boiling water

1 cup quick oats

¼ lb. margarine (mom’s recipe – I would use butter)

1 cup brown sugar

 1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Topping Ingredients:

6 tablespoons melted margarine (or butter)

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup canned evaporated milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl combine boiling water, oats and margarine or butter.

Stir in both brown and white sugar and the eggs.

Sift flour together with baking soda, cinnamon and salt and add to first mixture.

Pour into lightly greased and floured 11×13 inch pan for 40 minutes.

Combine topping ingredients and spread on baked cake.  Place under broiler until browned.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Cooking, Life


Graduation Podium

A big congratulations to my sister, Kathleen, on her graduation on Saturday, from Dominican University of California.  She has earned a BA from their School of Business and Leadership and graduated with honors, earning both Cum Laude status and a Departmental honor.  I’m so proud of her accomplishment!

I made a card a card for Kathleen using an Itty Bitty Banner (like these) and a drawing of a graduation cap, tossed in the air.  I used to have a rubber stamp with a similar design but  I couldn’t find it (I probably gave it away when I did my Big Craft Clean Up).


I should have started the Itty Bitty Banner earlier because I used Diamond Glaze dimensional adhesive to give it a  hard, glossy coating.  It doesn’t show in the photo, but it has a thick, shiny finish.  I tried to hurry it along with a heat tool but that made it start to bubble up.  Oops.  I finally put it in the freezer when it was almost set but still a little tacky and that did the trick.

The graduation was held in a huge tent at Forest Meadows Field.  Ariel,  Kathleen’s little sister (Kathleen has been an active Big Sister volunteer for many years), came early to save seats. My mom, sister Sarah, and I got there almost an hour before the ceremony started.

This is Ariel with my sister and mom reading their commencement programs.

Hi, Ariel!

It was a little chilly in the tent but I’m really glad we didn’t have to sit out in the sun for three and a half hours!

Here is the tent with Mt. Tam in the background.

Tent & Tam

Since we had plenty of time, I took a walk around.

This is the Class of 2013 Shield: Wisdom in Community.

Class Shield

Lots of diplomas for the 500 or so graduates.


Empty chairs ready for the graduating students.

Chairs for Grads

They would be processing from across the campus, led by a bagpiper and entering the tent down this aisle lined with banners.


People were saving seats for friends and relatives.

Reserved Seats

Many had made signs or brought balloons or flowers for their graduate.

Grad Picture Doggie Balloon "13" or is it "31"?

At last we heard the bagpipe.  We couldn’t see much but excitement was mounting!

We could see the flag and see a few caps through the crowd.

Entry of the Grads

After the bagpiper entered  and completed his piece, we finally heard the familiar notes of Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”… and I lost it. I looked over and saw my mom had lost it too.  We were thinking about my dad and wishing he were there with us.

Sarah and Ariel had gone out to watch the graduates process in and Sarah came back teary-eyed.  There is something about music that just goes right to your core.

After the typical speeches, awards and long list of names as each student received her diploma, the ceremony finally came to an end and we were able to congratulate the new graduate

Kathleen & Ariel

Sisters & Mom

Kathleen was wearing a beautiful silver and turquoise bracelet borrowed from my mom as a way to honor my dad.  My parents grew up in New Mexico and Papa almost always wore a piece of turquoise jewelry.

All of my siblings and I, without any planning or discussion, wore silver and turquoise jewelry to my dad’s memorial service.  I was pleased that Kathleen thought of this way to have Papa at her ceremony.

Turquoise Bracelet

We enjoyed the reception with cold lemonade, brownies, strawberries and other treats.


Congrats to everyone who is graduating and to their families and friends who offered support and encouragement while they worked towards this goal.

Eena the Graduate

Coming soon: The GRADUATION PARTY!

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Crafts, Life

Message Tape from Oh, Hello Friend

I saw a link to this message tape on a friend’s Facebook page and immediately followed the link to Oh, Hello Friend to enter their message tape giveaway.  I didn’t win free tape but ordered some for myself.  How could I resist?

Message Tape

It’s masking tape printed with different messages..  I love it!

I also added a bread wrapper tab (above, on end of heart printed tape roll) to save the end of the tape.  I saw that on Facebook too, along with a bunch of other tips which you can see here.

I used several pieces on a bottle of wine Rem and I were giving my mom for Mother’s Day.

Wine Bottle with Message Tape

Along with the card I made for her.

Mother's Day card & wine

It’s always fun getting crafting supplies in the mail, especially when they have little bonus items (I got some fabric tape and a pencil with “be productive” printed on it) and pretty packaging.

Look at this great saying printed on the back of Oh, Hello Friend’s business card:

Never Let Failure

That’s worth remembering!

The stack of different tape had a cord wrapped around it with this tag attached at the top:

You Are Awesome

Also really worth remembering.

I was so pleased using the tape for the first time on the Mother’s Day wine bottle.

Business Card OHF

Thanks for the visit.  While you’re online, why not take a look at Oh, Hello Friend and see what they’re up to?  I’m not at all affiliated with them – I just think they have some pretty cool stuff.

1 Comment

Filed under Crafts

Strawberry Shortcake with Sweet Yogurt-Cream


When I was walking through the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, I passed a stand and was drawn by the sweet scent of strawberries.  Just what I needed to try the recipe I saw on The Pioneer Woman, Mixed Berry Shortcake, except I was going with an all-strawberry version.

But first I want to show you the adorable apricots I got.

Apricots & Strawberries

These strawberries are pretty big but I don’t think I’ve ever had apricots this tiny! I could have made Strawberry Apricot Shortcake if I hadn’t eaten all the apricots.  They were so sweet and wonderful, I couldn’t resist eating them unadorned.


But today I’m telling you about a yummy Strawberry Shortcake recipe.  It would make a wonderful Mother’s Day dessert.  The only thing is that though  the biscuits were good in the recipe at The Pioneer Woman, I love the Buttermilk Biscuits from Smitten Kitchen even more.

This is a combination of those two recipes, adapted (barely) because I hardly ever use unsalted butter unless I buy it specially, so I made the biscuits with salted butter.   I also found the ratio of biscuit-to-topping in The Pioneer Woman recipe was not as generous as I like. Using the Smitten Kitchen recipe yields fewer biscuits which is more in balance with how I loaded them up with strawberries and Sweet Yogurt-Cream.

This Sweet Yogurt-Cream is what really knocked my socks off.  It doesn’t whip up as stiff as whipped cream but it is silky, rich, but not quite as rich as full whipped cream, tangy and sweet and seems healthy because, for heaven’s sake, it has yogurt in it! Rem said it reminded him of cheesecake when he tasted the whole dessert.  Even if you want to skip the buttermilk biscuits and slice up some pound cake, do try the Sweet Yogurt-Cream.


Strawberry Shortcake with Sweet Yogurt-Cream

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen)



Makes 6 Large Biscuits

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons  sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

9 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small chunks

3/4 cup  buttermilk


2 pints strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

zest and juice of 1 small orange


1 tub (7 ounces) plain Greek yogurt (I like the regular Fage yogurt, not nonfat)

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Dry Ingredients



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick spray.

Put dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (or in a large mixing bowl).  Add butter and pulse until butter is cut into the flour and mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (if mixing by hand you can use a pastry cutter for this step or your fingers and rub butter into the flour – as above).

While pulsing processor (or stirring), slowly add buttermilk just until mixture barely comes together.

Turn onto counter and knead together a few times until dough holds together and is no longer crumbly.

Drop by 1/4 cup onto baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Big Buttermilk Biscuit

Confession: I over-mixed my biscuits.  Don’t be like me.  They were still delicious.


Wash, stem and slice strawberries and put in a bowl.

Add sugar, orange zest and orange juice and stir.

Let macerate for 15 to 30 minutes until juicy.

More strawberries


In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, heavy whipping cream and sugars and whip with mixer until stiff, though it won’t be as stiff as regular whipped cream.

Strawberry Shortcake

You can split the biscuits or just pile the sliced berries on top and dollop on the cream.  Now doesn’t that look good? And, by the way, this is delicious for breakfast.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Cooking

More for Mom

Here are a few more ideas for Mother’s Day from past posts.

A beautiful, rose-covered Mother’s Day Hat Card.  The tutorial has lots of pictures, directions for making the swirled paper roses and a template for the hat card.

Mother's Day Hat Card

Last year, I made a Mother’s Day Butterfly Card: a bouquet of stamped and cut out flowers with a vellum butterfly embellishment.

Butterfly Card

A Glass Tile Pendant would make a pretty gift.  Consider a photo in place of decorative paper used in this project.

Glass Tile Pendant

Speaking of  a photo, these Glass Marble Magnets use just that – and what mom (or grandma) wouldn’t enjoy a set of magnets for the fridge with photos of her kids or grandkids?

Glass Marble Magnets

The classic Mother’s Day treat is breakfast in bed.  In bed or at the table, these Buttermilk Lace Pancakes are beautiful and delicious.

Lacy Pancake

If Mom wants to sleep in on her day, she should be allowed that luxury.  Serve her Baked Feta with Greens and Avocado Salad for lunch instead of breakfast.

Baked Feta and Avoado Salad

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars are easy to make and would be a nice make-ahead for either breakfast or a treat later in the day.  A flexible recipe means lots of yummy possibilities when making these oat bars, loaded with dried fruit and nuts.

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

Thank you for stopping by.


Filed under Cooking, Crafts

Watercolor Heart Card for Mom

It’s May and Mother’s Day will be here before you know it – Sunday, May 12, to be specific.

Watercolor Heart Card

Here is a beautiful card you can make for mom, that looks harder than it really is.  I was inspired by this stunning card  at oh so very pretty, complete with intricate calligraphy, but knew my version would be a little simpler.

With the right tools and tips, you can make one too!  It isn’t just for Mother’s Day either –  I’ve already done a version of this card for a retirement and a birthday and I think it would be perfect for a wedding.

Paints and Crayons


Watercolor Paints or Watercolor Crayons like the awesome Neocolor II Water-soluble wax pastel by Caran d’Arche.  You can buy individual crayons at art supply stores.


Watercolor Paper

White Ink Pen  – mine is the Uni-Ball White Gel Pen and the label says it is pigment ink

Colored Card Stock to complete the card

Scrap Paper for making a template


Adhesive I like Tombow mono adhesive

Paper Trimmer (optional)

Heat Tool (optional) This makes drying time really short, but if you have more patience then me, you can still make this without a heat tool.


Determine the size of your card.  I often use a half-sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, scored and folded in half to make a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card.

I actually just started with my white watercolor paper and painted the heart then built a card using that.  But my card is not a standard size and I will need to make an envelope to match.  So it might be easier if you start with the card.

Determine the size of your watercolor paper piece for the card front.  If using a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card, a piece that is 3.5 x 4.5 will work well.

Cut a heart out of a piece of paper, creating a heart-shaped template for your card front.

Heart Templates

I recommend painting more than one heart on separate pieces of watercolor paper, because in addition to being fun and very satisfying to make, the results are lovely and work beautifully for other occasions.

If you DO make want to paint more than one heart, it’s really a good idea to make a new template for each one.  The edges of the template get wet and painty and it is very easy to smear the edge of a second heart since your template already has paint on it.  Take it from me.

Put a few dabs of the mono adhesive around the backside of your template – I put one at the v in the center and at the point of the heart at the bottom plus a few around the edges.

Center the template on your piece of white watercolor paper, tapping gently to adhere it but don’t press too hard because you want to pull it off when you’re done.

Now use your watercolor paint or watercolor crayons and fill the heart with color.  I love the rich pigment of the watercolor crayons – it isn’t really obvious until you add some water.

Crayoned Heart

You can scribble bands of different color than go back with a wet paintbrush and paint it over the crayon.

Painting Water on Color

I experimented with different brushes and color combinations.

Foam Brush Heart

Watercolor paints work very well too – I swirl water into one color until my brush is loaded then I paint overlapping bands of different colors.  I think it looks best using analogous colors so it doesn’t end up getting muddy.

I was having so much fun, I decided to try some small hearts.  I used a heart-shaped punch for the template.

Small hearts template

I painted a row of hearts and then cut the heavy paper into individual little cards.

Little Hearts

But I’ve gotten off track.  These next steps are very important: when you finish painting, carefully lift off the template. If the edge of the painted heart is a little uneven, you can use a small brush and a little paint to even things out.  On the other hand, I think the raw edge of paint adds to the finished project.

Heart no template

Now let the paint dry.  This is really important.  If you have a heat tool, you can use that to dry the paint.  If your watercolor paper is really wet, be cautious how you aim the heat tool so you don’t end up spraying paint around.  Just keep moving the heat tool around until the paint is dry.  I found the paper started to curl so after awhile I flipped it over and heated the back.

If you don’t have a heat tool, you will need to use your patience.  If you try and write with the white pen on the heart, and your watercolor is still a bit damp, you won’t end up with white ink.  So be sure the paint is dry.

Now is a good time to rub off any bits of adhesive that were left behind from the template.  I have a little rubber square for this purpose, but a clean fingertip will do the job too.

Use the white pen to write a sentiment on the heart.  Go slow and easy.


I found that even when the paint is dry, the pen tip scratches into the watercolor and needs to be wiped off.  Having a paper towel handy made it easy to wipe the tip of the pen.  Other times I scribbled onto scratch paper which helped to keep the white ink flowing. With most of the blue paints I was happier when I wrote over the letters a second time so they looked white and not light blue.

My hand-writing isn’t the best so I referred to a sheet I printed showing a font and used that as a guide.  This is called the Vimala Alphabet and I found it in the quirky yet fascinating book Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life  by Vimala Rodgers.  That is another project that so far hasn’t really gotten off the ground for me.  If nothing else, it is an interesting font.

Let the white ink dry then trim the piece of watercolor paper to the size you want.  If desired, you can paint on “Dianne Dots” a little row of three dots.  For this I made a template using a small hole punch and painted the dots to the right of the heart.  Again, lift off the template and let the paint dry (or help it along with the heat tool) before proceeding..

Painted Dianne Dots

Cut card stock for the card and another color for a layer and adhere the watercolor to the layer and adhere that layer to the front of the card.  Keep the watercolor theme going, and take a small brush and use paint to paint a message on the inside of the card.  I pasted a piece of white watercolor paper inside for this purpose.

Painted greeting

Scribble with the watercolor crayons onto scratch paper to make a little palette. Swirl a wet brush through it and pick up the pigment to paint the greeting on the inside of the card.

Here is another card I made using the same technique.

Memories & Dreams

I think the sentiment written in white ink looks as if the white paper is showing through the painted heart.

Even without any text, the watercolor heart is beautiful.

Painted Heart with Template

I don’t even know how old I was when I first put brush to paint, but my mom was almost certainly the one who washed my blue and purple fingers when I was finished.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, with lots of love.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Crafts