Showing posts from November, 2009

Holiday Cards Step One: Embossing

The countdown to Christmas is on in my house, and today I started working on my holiday cards. The finished product will be a flat white card layered on top of a flat red card with scalloped edges. The first step is to apply the embossed stamp image onto the flat white card. I used an ink pad with metallic ink (but it can be any color you want), a variety of holiday stamps, an embossing powder heat tool, and clear embossing powder. I applied the ink to the stamp, imprinted the image onto the paper, and sprinkled embossing powder on top of the image area. I tapped the cards to shake off any excess powder. Then I fired up the ol' embossing tool and, with quick circular movements, covered the image area with hot air. This only takes a couple of seconds, and you will know it is done when the powder melts together. The shorter the heat time, the better. If you leave it on too long, the paper will start to warp with the heat. I found that the best stamp was the "holiday cocktails&q…

Happy Thanksgiving and a treat from Tallarico Family Brewing

Happy Thanksgiving! A little while ago I posted that I planned to create beer labels for my brother-in-law's brew. Well, the beer has been brewed, bottled, and labeled in time for us to enjoy at Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to my first taste of Tallarico Farms Five Finger Turkey Ale, described as an amber ale recipe with the dark coloring and nutty flavor of a brown ale and a hint of hops, reminiscent of an I.P.A. 

The Ink Pad in NYC

Saturday was warm and sunny and a perfect day for a trip to NYC. After brunch at Sarabeth's, Ran and I spent the day wandering around the streets of Soho and Greenwich Village. Since leaving New York a few years ago, this was my first time back doing my favorite New York activities: wandering, people watching, and stumbling upon interesting little shops that you never knew were there. I was so excited when we walked into a little store called The Ink Pad. In a space no bigger than my kitchen, rubber stamps fill the shelves from floor to ceiling. They have stamps for every occasion you can imagine. It was hard to choose just one. So we chose two! Ran bought a decorative skull stamp and I bought a pretty dandelion stamp. The Ink Pad is at 22 8th Ave and their web site is

Easy Fall Decoration from The Crafts Dept. (

If you need DIY decorating ideas for Thanksgiving or Christmas, this site is a great source. My nephew, Will, is bringing his homegrown gourds with him for our Thanksgiving centerpiece but I might try this idea for a mantel decoration at Christmas time.

easy fall decoration « The Crafts Dept.

Watercolor Tips & Techniques

I took a watercolor class at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston about 7 years ago. At the time I was comfortable painting with acrylics and oils but I had no clue where to start with watercolor.  For me, it is the most difficult of all the painting methods because the color must be applied very quickly. At the same time, it also requires a lot of patience to STOP and WAIT before your page gets too wet. Otherwise, you end up with a muted mess of brown and black (see photo of me at age 3).

Here I will demonstrate some of the tips that I learned in my class.

1. Start by transposing your artwork onto your watercolor paper.

Teacher's note: The reason you don't want to use a pencil directly on your watercolor paper is because you do not want any indentations on the paper. Indentations form wells for the color to sit in. Another reason is that if you mess up your watercolor painting, you can simply transpose a new image on a new piece of watercolor paper. You will save yourself the ti…

DIY holiday cards - with your kids!

My sister, Sarah, sent a photo of the holiday cards that she and my 4 year-old nephew made together. These are so colorful and unique! This is an excellent use of recycled art projects as well as a fun lesson in cutting and tearing different shapes out of paper. I can't wait to get our card in the mail. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

My Etsy shop is open for business!

I am very excited about my new etsy shop. I created a bunch of hand-stamped cards for the holiday season. Due to my lack of cat-free creative space, about half of them fell victim to paw smudges from  Luna and Soli. Lesson learned! Needless to say, the other 4 sets of 4 have been carefully checked for quality. Check out my photos below of the cards and of the cat culprits.

Splashes of sunshine in 2010

It's that time again! When I need a little color inspiration, I look to the Pantone fashion color report. I'm already excited for the "splashes of sunshine" in 2010. I guarantee you will see these colors in my stationery designs this spring. There's even a color called "Tuscany" -- perfect timing for our trip to Italy at the end of April! Click this link to visit the Pantone site where you can download your very own copy of the report:

2009 Holiday Cards

I decided to make it easy on myself this year and buy my holiday card supplies at Paper Source. By "easy," I mean I won't hand carve the rubber stamps like I did in 2008. This decision was also influenced by my inability to resist buying no less than 4 variations of rubber stamps. Now my family and friends can be pleasantly surprised by the stamp that I choose for them. I am a very exciting person - this is the level of anticipation that I strive to achieve. Check out my new supplies! Scroll down for images of my 2008 cards.

Traveling Art

Whenever I go on a trip I usually bring way too many art supplies in hopes of being so inspired that I come back with a small collection of masterpieces. I finally learned that it just doesn't work out that way when that much needed vacation comes only once a year. I have since downsized to a portable watercolor set and a mini pad of watercolor paper. I painted the piece on the right while on our honeymoon in Mexico. The photo is of a house next to the condo where we stayed. I hope this post will bring some sunshine and warmth to your day as winter is fast approaching.