Color Study Mini Albums: Peach and a Summary

color mini 1

As I’m about to begin sorting and packing up the next art supply box, it’s nice to look over these tiny minis that hold some of my favorite scraps in a portable, artsy way. This peach booklet encompasses all shades of yellow, orange, peach, and pink that I felt belonged together.

peach booklet

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peach booklet end

Color Study Mini Album: Pink

pink mini

As with the blue booklet, this pink booklet combines scrapbook embellishments and ephemera with watercolor patterns I made a while back. All of these are attached to the base, hand created paper made from the leftover pages of an old notebook.

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pink mini final

Color Study Mini Albums: Blue and an Introduction

color-minis_thumb.jpg

I finally began packing up my art supplies for the coming move and as I did so, I tried to filter out as much as I could. This box was mostly smaller scrapbook embellishment types. I gathered that which wasn’t my taste to offer to friends, tossed the more pathetic scraps I hoarded for no reason, and, finally, bundled what I could in to little booklets.

These mini books are made with the last pages of a handmade (not by me, I got it a hundred years ago at a craft festival) notebook. I combined leftover embellishments with vintage scraps and pieces from my mood board color study, found here.

blue mini

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blue mini final

March Wrap Up

march journal experiments

Long time no chat! With my house being staged to sell, midterms, and work, I haven’t had as many opportunities to make a mess or art. I had to abandon my NYE resolution to make a wall calendar page a month as I can’t hang anything on my walls currently. Instead, I just experimented with a water brush I bought during Black Friday; because who doesn’t visit art supply stores on Black Friday?

march desk set up

Here’s my palette and new brush alongside old sketches. I thought I would test out the line and wash look with the water brush before using the brush solo. All the colors are, once again, from my Windsor Newton set my grandmother gifted me at Christmas.

march flowermarch notebooks

Goodbye March! Hello Spring Break! I recently had a chance to start some projects that I hope to share with you all soon. I’m also working on a new blog name and look that I’ll be phasing in, so keep an eye out.

Painting Floral Birthday Cards

birthday line and wash - withcraftsandlace

Happy March!


In February, two of my lovely friends, who happen to be best friends with each other as well, turned 23, in the same week. At the moment our house is staged while being sold and therefore, most of my stuff is packed in the garage. Still, I kept some Faber Castell pens and watercolors with travel sized paper under my bed for a moment like this one. To keep from mussing our styled space, I painted outside on an oddly sunny, February day.

birthday sketching      birthday watercolor

The paintings from sketch to color. Amazing what color does.

One of the girls loves country music and has made me join her at a country bar, twice, which is an amazing feat of persuasion as I hate country music. In honor of those ridiculous memories, I sketched out and painted in a little cowboy boot on her card using my own cowboy boots as inspiration. I know, you don’t have to say it: I’m a country music hater with a pair of cowboy boots. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. I tried to keep a warm color palette for this card and a cooler one on the next, as you might be able to see and used primarily my small set of Windsor Paints I mentioned in previous posts.

birthday cowboy boot - withcraftsandlace

My other friend is, thankfully, also a hater of country music though a lower-key one than I. I tried to consciously keep the cards from turning out too similar in style as was likely to happen since I was painting them simultaneously. Though they ended up both sharing the wash background, I focused on differing other aspects: the cool vs. warm tone difference and the more structured, botanical look vs. the loose flowers of the cowboy card.

birthday botanical watercolor - withcraftsandlace

I’ll hopefully be dragging some of my better papers out of the garage and having the luxury of making a mess soon. Happy birthday to two beautiful gals!

Suspended Watercolor Planets

Suspended watercolor planets

I like painting planets because they’re easy and pretty, like flowers, but more subtle and cool.

I used watercolors to paint these on a large sheet of what I believe is watercolor paper, but may be print paper, it was from a large folder of miscellaneous art paper hand-me-downed from my grandmother. I mixed all the greys because 1) I don’t have gray and 2) I wanted more dimension and variety to the color than just using mixed down blacks. Once done and cut out, I suspended them with thread and push pins (I know nails look cooler but I love the ease of a thumbtack), attached to the wall in two spots to keep them each still at an angle, unwavering.

watercolor planet paintingCutting out watercolor planets

Also, here’s to back to school!

Watercolor Owls

Watercolor Horned Owl -based on my cat

This is a bit odd, even for me, but the watercolor above is actually me reimagining my cat as an owl. I, and those I know, have always thought she had more of an owl-like feel to her than the average cat. So here is my cat turned into a horned, patterned owl. In case you’re newer to my blogs and don’t know Kristy, I have supplied a photo of her below. She cute, I know.

Kristy the Cat

My first owl attempt was a basic barn owl I experimented with.

Watercolor First Try at Barn Owl

Mood Board Updates and a “Blue” Color Study

mood board update winter 15

This mood board is a bit late, it was the result of experimenting back in December with holiday catalogues, mostly from Anthropologie and White Stuff UK, along with watercolor “studies” as show farther below.

mood board back

The board itself I created with the intention of an antique, distressed wall look. I used primarily old house paints, neutral colors including white and soft browns, mixed with a few craft acrylics in colors like yellow ochre and black with a touch of a glaze-style paint I found in select spots. I built up the texture with some layers of tissue paper mixed into the paints, hard brushes and chipping at the paint. I also blended the ombre and splashed effects with a large sponge.

blue study

I was experimenting with different shades of blue watercolors and came up with this little study sheet. The patterns were inspired by the same catalogues on the mood board.

The board is free standing so I can lean or tuck it in where ever I like. It is, however, quite large for elaborate inspiration boards if I wish and to be used as a photo backdrop.

free standing mood board

2016 Calendar Update: February

2016 Calendar February Page

To keep the flowers from being too classic flower-y pink February, I went for neutral shades. I was thinking more of a sepia-filter effect than the Autumnal look I got but it works.

First thing I did was dip my paper in leftover coffee. I kept the calendar lines casual and carefree then lettered in the numbers and heading based on my font book. The flowers and vines are all watercolors. I enhanced the original coffee ombre dip with distress inks.

Happy February!

Hand Lettering Practice: Round 1

Hand lettering journal Steinbeck Winter of Discontent

As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I want to explore lettering more this year. The intro page below was done a while back, the first time I resolved to practice lettering more…woops. This time, however, I have made it much farther on my mission.

Update: I believe that Steinbeck quote was misfiled in my phone notes and is actually from East of Eden, I have a vague memory of Samuel saying something like that after speaking with Lee…Embarassing

Hand Lettering Journal Intro Page

The background for these photos is actually my new “mood board” that I painted and texturized for a faux distressed wall look, I’ll be posting more on this later.

Hand lettering journal A study

Hand lettering journal B study

So far, I’m mostly doing alphabet letter “studies.” Over Christmas, I borrowed some art books from my Grandmother, an actual artist, including this very old lettering book picture below with my practice journal.

Hand lettering practice books

Most of the fonts after A and B are from this lettering book. I even labeled which font I used for each line of my resolutions page below.

Hand lettering journal New Years Resolutions

Along with alphabet studies, I’ve been starting to work on quotes. I have a habit of quickly adding quotes that strike me while reading to my iPhone notes. The goal now is to begin moving these quotes out of my phone and on to paper. The quote pictured at the beginning and end of this post is by John Steinbeck in his book, The Winter of Our Discontent.

Hand lettering journal Steinbeck quote