Betty Crocker or from scratch?

Princess Castle Box Card

My niece’s birthday is tomorrow.  Can you imagine someone more passionate than a child born on the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius?  Her parents have their hands full I assure you. Though she is turning 4 I have only met her once. But that is a story for another time and another forum.  At any rate I am told by her grandmother that she is quite the Princess and will be having a princess birthday tomorrow. I wanted to make something special and of course the box card I made for my mom came to mind and so I did some research on Pinterest (where else?) and discovered the  castle in a box card which when the template is purchased comes with about 5 other designs for box cards. I plunk down my paypal account and bought the set for a reasonable sum.

Because I have the tools and the know how I downloaded, converted, printed and cut the template out toot sweet as they say. ( Does anyone say that anymore?)  The hardest part was finding the right size and color paper. Apparently I did not own 12×12 pink cardstock. So I had to go shopping ( awww…gosh I HATE shopping :) ). Anyhow once the particular shades of pink were purchased it all went along swimmingly.  And so there it is put together, mailed  along with the children’s book Twelve Dancing Princesses.  I do hope she likes it or at least her parents do.  Though I can never tell with them.

My dilemma with this is more cerebral. Bear says that its because I can’t except my own talent. I say its because I am trying to be honest when someone asks…..did you make that? My answer is usually along the lines of….well I put it together. It is a template. I have the tools to make it look easy. But I didnt design it. Admittedly I picked out the colors and patterns and accessorized it making it unique.

Bear says it is not necessary for me to explain about templates and that saying I DID make it is ok.

I guess its in my definition of “making”. To me making something  means original work. Something I created from “scratch” I  likened this to a Betty Crocker brownies. He disagreed.

In the end I doubt my niece ( or brother and sister in law) care. Its fun and cute and she will no doubt rip it apart in her glee. And thats ok. I made it and then I released its fate to be what it will.

But I am just not sure I actually made it so much as constructed it….followed directions and decorated.

Published: November 20, 2015


Digital Version

I sent out a thank you card recently to a woman who is a yoga teacher and whom I have known for sometime. She had generously shared a copy of a sketch she had drawn and mailed it to me. I wish I could say we were dear friends but it just never happened. She is however someone I admire greatly and support as I can. She is deeply real about her journey and her life and that is something I aspire to as well.

Originally I had planned on doing a digital version and printing the flattened result. I wanted to take advantage of all the digital scrap papers I have. And it would have been very pretty I dare say.

But in the end my love of texture won out and I made the card more dimensional.  I had the “Scan and Cut” cut out the lotus outline and I glued in some handmade papers behind it. It came out beautifully and all I can say is that I hope she likes purple!



Side view




When I look at the finished versions of my cards I am always kind of amazed that I made them. My inner child is like; “WOW! I made that! I mean seriously…I really MADE that.”  I am not sure why I am so amazed at that. Maybe it is acknowledgement of skill or ability which is a big step for me. I tend to downplay any innate ability I have. I chalk things up to luck or coincidence. I am not claiming my work is classic and timeless just that I am acknowledging I can be creative. its not something that comes easily.

Published: November 6, 2015

i “heart” u

3D Card inspiration

3D Card inspiration

Long distance relationships suck and  they are especially hard when you and your kid are far away from each other and one is having a rough time. Mine is all grown up but believe me the old saying that no matter how old the kid they are always your kid is true. I love her and worry about her and most likely spout far too much advice. ( Actually I do advise too much…working on that) Anyhow I know she has been struggling lately and I needed to send her some stuff so I thought I would make her a card. The inspiration from this one came from everyones favorite visual site; Pinterest. I have been interested in paper cutting since last fall but frankly its more than a bit intimidating trying to think 3D. But this one seemed easy enough and after a couple of rough drafts I succeeded in a decent version.

For my background I scanned one of my smush pages (smush pages are just pages smeared with leftover paint and such from other projects) into the computer and added additional color to it. The I put the template I created over the background and printed the whole thing on card stock. Kinda cute. Hope she likes it.

Original Smush page

Original Smush page

Digitized Smush page

Digitized Smush page

I “heart” you- Final

Published: September 4, 2015

Thank you!


Original art

Original art

What a wonderful surprise getting a gift in the mail. I love getting mail. Back in the day when all we had was mail I lived for note mailed to me in summer bymy boyfriend. We wrote weekly to each other. Anyhow that is another time and place. Mail is wonderful and it gives me a good reason to make a thank you card in response. My inspiration actually came from a picture I cut out for collage ( remember all those magazines?) I loved the whimsical collage feeling of it and decided to use that as my basis. I struggle with the whole “copying” an image thing. I mean my brain tells me copying is bad but then I know artists look at things all the time. So I cant tell what is right and what is just me being hyper self critical.

Digitized Final

Anyhow  it is what it is. I also wanted to acknowledge where we were from and where we are now so I wanted some map pieces in there. I made the skirt and the map from
some scrap pieces I seem to save and pile up and so up close there is somewhat of a 3D effect with a bit of a drop shadow. Other than that I let it create itself. The only problem I have when I do that is sometimes I start thinking too much and this is what happened with the flowers I really did not like the two giant flowers hanging over her like eyeballs.

Luckily I have the means to fix that and into photoshop she went where I could enhance and add some items. First some ferns and leaves to make it more garden like and then I worked on the flowers. I moved the stem over and put some petals around the map pieces (actually rose petals from a scan I took a couple of years ago). I popped up the contrast and messed with some filters and came up with the final piece which is about 6×8. It looks washed out but because when a piece gets printed it darkens up again so I have to really lighten a picture up to print it at a level I find acceptable.

Now of course it needed to be shrunk and this is where I feel like I always misstep. As a card it was about 4×5 and the thank you on the front is dark and harder to read when smaller. So before I mailed it out I outlined it in white and that helped a lot.

I enjoyed making this as it was my first time back at art journaling in some months.  Hope you like it too Anne!


Published: September 2, 2015