Tag Archives: heart

Listen to My Heart Song

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I’ve started my second e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts; this one is called Spirit Wings. This was the first angel I painted and I did it during our vacation. Every evening at the B&B or motel, I would get out my carefully-packed bag of art supplies and spend half an hour or 45 minutes immersing myself in the process of creating. It was wonderful!

This uses the same combination of collage and painting that we did in the first course, Hello Soul, Hello Mantra, and once again my primary tools are my fingers, so I really get into it: ripping, smearing, scraping, and smoothing.

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I followed along and it felt like a little magic to do shading and come out with a face that looks like a face.

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I am imitating and following the style of the artist and teacher, Kelly Rae Roberts but I will start to explore and develop my own style.

As I worked on her swirly hairdo and rosy cheeks, I knew who I wanted to give the painting to: my friend, Irene. She and I sing in the Threshold Choir and the pair of us sing together for clients every Saturday, singing at bedsides in care facilities.

 

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Irene is a poet and songwriter and we sing some of her songs in the choir. I thought I would use one of her song. The lyrics are: “In the quiet of this moment, I am at peace, all is well.” But every single time I worked on the angel, this other song was in my head.

I know Irene loves angels and decided I’d better listen and use the words I was hearing.

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Irene loved the painting, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to see it on the wall of her apartment, a cozy place with many, many angels, and now home to one more.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 28: 30 Day Journal

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“We are all thinking, willing, knowing, conscious centers of Life.

We are surrounded by, immersed in, and there is flowing through us a creative something… call it what you will.” ~ Ernest Holmes

It was a hot day yesterday and our apartment was pretty warm when I started to work on this. I often manage to start journaling or maybe pick out some images before work and spend some time on the project during my lunch break. I had some images but lunch came and went and nothing went in the journal.

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After dinner, I sat down at my desk. With a fan wafting a faint breeze I reviewed the magazine pages I’d pulled out in the morning and reached instead for watercolor paint and Neocolor watercolor crayons and went at it.

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Section by section I created a vibrant heart with drips and splatters of paint spreading outwards from it. Some drips start at the edge of the page and move inward to the heart.

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Around 9:00 I had made good progress. Rem and I left for a drive, wanting to get out of the stuffy apartment.

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An hour, one ice cream cone (each) and 6 degrees cooler later, we returned and I sat down to finish my page.

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I added the lyrics from a song by Tina Greene, from the Threshold Choir repertoire:

In this moment, I open my heart. In this moment, I open my heart.

And receive all the love, that’s always surrounding me.

In this moment, I open my heart.

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For Day 28 of this #30DayJournal project, this was my journaling, this was my page.

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Thank you for your visit.

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Day 6: 30 Day Journal Project

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“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” ~Marc Chagall

Loved this page! I had done finger painting on Day 4 and had a big pink heart that I pretty much knew was going to make it into the journal. I cut it into strips than into small squares. Than I covered and decorated the little inchies (slightly larger, actually), retaining the pink for the heart, keeping the white line and using other colors around the heart. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of the original finger painting.

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I included special details, like the paper for the tiny house is from a local map, there are pieces from gift wrap, greeting cards and old calendars from friends.  Items that mean something to me are part of the piece.

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I didn’t finish it last night…but got it laid out and ready.

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I completed it during my lunch break at work (homemade green juice in the bottle = lunch).

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I also collected material for today, Day 7, (Next Post). But one last look at Day 6.

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Thank you for visiting.

#30DayJournal

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Art from the Heart 2015

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Rem and I exchanged handcrafted Valentine projects with each other.

Last year we did it a little differently and instead of each of us working on an item for the other, we created something together:

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I had an idea for a message for my project this year but hadn’t figured out a medium or design. Rem wanted to think about the whole thing and after doing a little research (at Michael’s) he agreed to another swap.  I am glad because I really love the items he’s made for me over the years and the little gallery of Art from the Heart we have on either side of our bed.

We worked on them independently and save the finished projects for Valentine’s Day. This might mean I hastily grab some paper to cover my project when Rem comes out of the bedroom or I might find glue out on the dresser after work.

My heart for him this year has a number on it.  I cut each tag out of aluminum flashing and used metal stamps to stamp the number on each tag.  I used ink to enhance the numbers.

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The rest I just wanted to look kind of mechanical and the antithesis of a lacy, flowery, sweet Valentine.

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It doesn’t actually turn or move (except the little tags with the numbers, which will swing on their pins if you tip the heart), but it looks kind of like it could do something.

I picked up different gears and wheels at Michael’s and also used a small roll with a gear on one end from a tape runner, covered in copper foil tape from the hardware store. A larger roll held ribbon before I covered it in aluminum foil tape. A few brads and buttons were from my craft supplies and I picked up a piece of aluminum flashing and a small brass knob at the hardware store.  That visit included a fun conversation with a salesman (I need to take the finished project back in to show him how it turned out).

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There is a small heart, which I punched from corrugated cardboard and covered with aluminum foil tape with wings that I also found at Micheal’s. A piece of foam core backed the aluminum flashing and I used gold embossing powder around the edge.

The number represents this:

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Rem told me he found two hearts, the larger one made of wood and the smaller one of foam.

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He wanted to cover them with something red.  He asked for help finding the red stones, which when he saw them, he said thought they were perfect. He got a bag with several shades of red, some translucent, some not.  I love the rich color.

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He looked for something smaller to put in the center to cover the smaller heart and found red beads.  He said he considered covering the base with aluminum foil before gluing on the glass stones, but decided he didn’t like how it looked.

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It is very sweet having someone craft something just for you and this shiny red-covered heart looks luscious, kind of like a cherry pie filling.

Thank you for you stopping by.

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Castle Card

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Along with making Valentine’s last week, I had a birthday card to make.  Not just any birthday card either, but a birthday card for a Princess.  What does every Princess need? A castle! So I made a castle-shaped card.

Although I saw several different castle cards on Pinterest, I didn’t find one that was fitting my mental picture, so I just sketched out what I wanted with a pencil, and starting cutting it out with scissors and an Exacto knife.

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This shows it unfolded all the way, which shows both the front of the card with the big medallion (sticker) on the front door, but also the birthday greeting on the inside

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The flip side includes a strip of vellum on the far left  (it added stability to the tall tower).  When the card is folded, the doors open to reveal “Welcome!”

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It was fun using little scraps of paper for the turrets and rooftops, and than using different pens to add even more details.  Sparkly glitter tape is perfect for a banner on either side of the entrance.

To go with the Castle Card, I made a little garland of needle-felted wool hearts in ombre shades of blue.

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A few years ago, this is the  card I made for this friend:
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Thank you for taking time to stop by.

 

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Art Journal: Home

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This is my latest page in my Art Journal: Home.  I bought the Autumn issue of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio and was inspired by a spread I saw by Darlene Maciuba-Koppel.  This is similar to inchies but these are a little bigger – a little less than 2 inches on each side.

Maciuba-Koppel wrote

Art Journaling is a gift I give to myself.  After a few pleasurable hours of choosing images, painting, cutting scraps of paper, and pasting, I feel a sense of calm envelope me.

I feel that too.  Her houses page was about creating and pursuing your passion.  Mine is about home and what home means to me . There as a little blurring of lines here because home is usually where I create and I including “creativity” as one of the words on my page.

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I probably spent as much time seeking out words in magazines and searching through my paper and scraps for just the right bits and pieces as I did actually crafting the page. I was at Sea Ranch when I did most of the work on the page and I’d brought a nice selection of supplies with me to work with.

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It isn’t obvious to the casual observer, but there are bits and pieces from maps, sheet music, dictionary pages, envelopes, postage stamps, old calendars, and greeting cards.  I know there are items from at least five different friends whom I think of when I look at these little houses.

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As with the inchies, I find I really enjoy the tiny canvas of each small space occupied by each little house.  I have gone back to add little details several times, adding a window here, a doorknob there, coloring in the background or sticking a slender bit of washi tape onto the page.

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I’ve had a wonderful 2-week vacation and much of it was spent at home (or at home-away-from-home: Sea Ranch).  I did a lot of cooking. After using up a package of corn husks we had 28 tamales.  Today we used the rest of the almost 10 lb. bag of prepared masa to make 22 queso fresco pupusas, tamale pie and a dozen tamale muffins, using masa in the bottom of each muffin, then tamale pie filling, grated cheddar and more masa for the top.  The freezer is well stocked. Rem and I baked treats for our neighbors as well.

A minor surgery before Christmas kept me from being as active as I could have been.  I’ve really enjoyed having no schedule and maybe a few too many mornings sleeping late and lounging around in my nightshirt and slippers.  It’s been good to relax at home; I’ve done lots of of crafting, reading, some blogging, and all of the cooking.

We’ve also spent some time cleaning out drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, sorting through kitchen tools we no longer use but that have been crowding our limited storage space. Rem donated several bags of items that we hope will be useful to someone else.  We planted bulbs in two boxes, inspired by an article in Martha Stewart on layering  bulbs for blooms throughout the spring: the late bloomers go on the bottom, mid-spring blooming are in the middle layer and the earliest bloomers are on the top.  Gravel on the bottom of the planter for good drainage and we hope to have a beautiful display of crocus, daffodils, tulips and iris all spring.  Something to beautify our home.

My toe is almost fully healed now and I took walks yesterday and today.  Tomorrow: back to work.

Thanks for the visit.

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Confetti Heart Cake Topper

Confetti Cupcake Toppers

I love how these little confetti hearts look!  Yes, ISTOP (I saw them on Pinterest) and followed the link back to the awesome Aunt Peaches: “Messy. Sparkly. More fun than a bag of possums.”

You need some tissue paper and scissors to make the confetti. Than you need hot glue, the confetti and a toothpick or skewer.  Oh, and parchment paper to work on.

One behind the other

I cut up two batches of confetti but only took pictures of the multicolor one, not the red and pink Valentine one.   Stack up some tissue paper and cut one end of it into a fringe.

Cutting Confetti

Then cut across the fringe to make little confetti bits.

Confetti Cutting

For some reason this technique reminded me of chopping onions. Without the tears.

Tissue Paper and Scissors

With multiple sheets of tissue paper, this goes surprisingly fast.  Aunt Peaches suggests adding metallic bits by giving some Christmas tinsel a haircut.  Without Christmas tinsel, I cut up some shiny silver ribbon but later realized it was dull grey on the reverse side.

The basic process is: create a shape with hot glue, quickly put a toothpick in the glue and add another layer of hot glue.  Quickly dump confetti on the hot glue shape. Once it is set, turn it over and add another layer of hot glue, again retracing the original shape, and dump more confetti on it.

So, from the top:

Trace your shape on parchment paper (or, if you feel brave, go ahead and draw it freehand).

Trace shape

Use hot glue to draw the heart shape.  Quickly put a toothpick into glue.

Stick in pick

Trace over the heart with more hot glue and dump confetti on it.

Dump on confetti

Let it cool off then flip it over (shake off the extra confetti), retrace the shape with more hot glue and scatter on another handful of confetti.

Back - more glue, more confetti

It is really pretty fast and easy and don’t they look cute?  I thought cake toppers really needed cake to be shown to their best advantage so credit goes to SusieCakes in Greenbrae for the lovely and delicious cupcakes and the adorable, tiny heart-shaped sprinkles.

Two confetti hearts

Thanks for your visit!

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Coat Hanger Heart

Coat Hanger Heart

Here is the second Heart Wreath project I mentioned (this is the first one here).  I started it at the free Tuesday night “Craft Gym” at Once Around in Mill Valley and finished it at home.

I like projects that don’t take a lot of time or skill and use supplies I have on hand.  In this case: a wire coat hanger, some fabric left from a previous project (clothespin dolls), ribbon and some adhesive.  The small heart is made from floral wire that a friend in the craft class gave me.

First you need to bend the hanger into a heart shape.  Some people in the class chose to do the heart with the hook at the bottom.  The idea being you can hang the heart on the wall with the hook at the bottom and use the hook to hang your coat or hat or car keys.  Here’s a link to a yarn-wrapped Heart Wall Hook.

Since I’m hanging the heart on the door for decoration, I wanted the hook at the top.  Pliers are helpful for shaping the heart.  Don’t worry about creating a perfect shape.  Part of the appeal of this heart is the whimsical, folk-art vibe.

Next, you need strips of fabric to wrap around the coat hanger heart.  The narrow strips are better when you are navigating the corners and hook but wider strips are great on the other parts.  I tore the fabric because I wanted the texture from the torn edge.  You could also use pinking shears or regular scissors to cut it.  While wrapping the torn strips, I sometimes trimmed off some loose threads that got tangled up with each other.

Coat Hanger & Fabric

A bit of double-sided adhesive strips or dots are helpful for getting started.  Put a little strip of adhesive on one end of a strip of fabric and start wrapping it around the coat hanger.  I started at the hook but I don’t see why you couldn’t start where every you want.  I tied off the last strip and trimmed the end.  Some adhesive or hot glue would also be a good way to make sure the last strips is snugly in place.

You can also use ribbon for this heart.  Keep in mind, if you use narrow ribbon, it will take more work to wrap the coat hanger.

Trim for Coat Hanger Heart

I am still liking my 2014 Valentine Color Scheme of red, black and turquoise so I used that for this Coat Hanger Heart.

An extra strip of fabric tied at the base of the hook was the only embellishment, though I thought an old skeleton key hanging from the little heart would look cute, but I don’t have one.  I tried a button and I tried a little felt heart with a button and decided I liked it best plain and simple, just the little heart hanging inside the big heart.

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I love how the little heart looks.

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I bent the hooks around until I was satisfied with how they hung together.

I’m still working away at my Valentine cards and should post another photo soon.  The other thing I made today (Rem and I made it together) was this delicious Cheesy Garlic Bread from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  We don’t have a TV and aren’t watching the Superbowl, but we didn’t want to miss out on the yummy snacks.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Leftover sausage and some sauteed greens and dinner is ready!

2 hearts are better than one

Thanks for stopping by.

Update: Here is another Coat Hanger Heart Wreath that is completely different from one of my readers and fellow WordPress bloggers, Cathy at nanacathydotcom.

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Paper Heart Wreath

Paper Heart Wreath

I love to decorate, at least a bit, for different holidays.  Rem and I both like to observe and celebrate things from the mundane to the fantastic. We used to have a seasonal box of stuff that we would put up in and around our apartment for various holidays and occasions. We didn’t always manage to get the Chinese Lanterns or shamrocks in place in time, so now we focus on just a few holidays and Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites.

I’m just a huge fan of hearts. Plump, curvy hearts make me happy.  So here is the first of two easy Valentine wreaths you can make.

Heart Wreath on door

I saw this on Pinterest (I think I’m going to start using “ISTOP” as an acronym for “I Saw This On Pinterest”), my go-to inspiration site.  The one I saw was on oval shape, but the one I made is round.  You may remember some heart-shaped ornaments I made using paper strips.  These hearts are similar…but different.

For this wreath you will need:

8 strips of double-sided patterned paper (or 16 strips of single-sided patterned paper), 2 inches x 11 inches

adhesive to stick the paper together (if you don’t have double-sided patterned paper) – I like Tombow mono adhesive tape runner

mini glue dots to form hearts and stick hearts to each other

hole punch

bakers twine

If you are using single-sided patterned paper, you need to glue the strips back-to-back to make 8 strips of double-sided patterned paper.  I used my Tombow tape runner but a glue stick would be fine.  You’ll want to let it dry for a few minutes before shaping the strips into hearts.  Glue all the way to the edges because when you start bending it, the backside will show if it isn’t really glued together well.

Strips of Paper

Fold each strip in half.  That creates the point at the bottom of the heart.

Folded Strips

On one end of a strip, put three mini glue dots.

Glue dots on paper

Curve the two ends of the strips inward so they meet, forming the curves at the top of the heart, and the heart cleavage. Press together to adhere.  I found it easiest to do this with the paper it’s edge on the table.

Continue to glue all the paper strips into heart shapes.

Hearts

Once you have all eight hearts, put two glue dots on the side of one heart and press it go another,  gluing the hearts together.

I initially tied a ribbon on either side of the top four hearts to hang this wreath, but the wreath started to look distorted. I decided to punch a hole in two different hearts (one to either side of the top, center heart) and string some bakers twine through the hole.

Heart Wreath on Table

Adorable?

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I think so!

Here are a few more Valentine decorations from past posts:

Have you seen this cute, Needle Felted Heart Garland I made? Or this Punched Heart Garland with Vintage Paper?  It is a very simple project.  The rich colors of these Crayon Wax Paper Hearts are beautiful in a window.  One of my all-time favorites are the Heart Strings, which I have up year round.

I’ll post another cute and easy Heart Wreath soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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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

Supplies:

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.

Brushes

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

Scissors

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.

Directions:

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.

Grateful

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.

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