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!


A Card Shooting for the Moon

shoot for the moon birthday card with watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Recently, one of my old French roommates had a birthday so I painted up a watercolor card to mail overseas. I used both sides and went for a really cheesy message as a joke. The side with the moon has a gesso background but the back painting was applied directly. Everything was watercolor except the black lettering which was pen and the white lettering which was acrylic paint to minimize transparency.

To take full advantage of my overseas mail opportunity, I included a generic card for his mother who hosted me for Christmas. I loosely attached layers of sketchbook paper I had had used watercolor on previously and one of my favorite embellishments.

Happy birthday to my friend!

shoot for the moon birthday card with watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Monthly Entry: April

april lilies withcraftsandlace 2015

I realize this is a bit late but May is always quite busy, being the end of the semester and all. Still, I found a good moment to reflect back on April and it’s highlights to create my monthly art journal entry. In April, the most important things were filled with love. My friend’s baby girl was born and named Lily. She was my obviously my main inspiration. Just days after her birth, I attended a family friend’s wedding and it was a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and sweet reception. She deserved such a happy day.

april lilies withcraftsandlace 2015

For the entry, I mixed gesso with a bit of blue and then green acrylics to make a lightly washed background. The lilies were loosely sketched out with pen and let to dry before I messily watercolored the blooms. It is a simple entry but a reminder of special moments.

april lilies - with crafts and lace

Monthly Journal Entry: March

Spring Art Journal Entry by WithCraftsAndLace for March 2015

Looking back on March and its toasty warm weather, I felt this month’s entry was all about Spring. I kept it simple in illustration, instead adding many layers for dimension. In a way, it was meant to reflect the style of a “mood board” or similar.

March Spring Themed Monthly Art Journal Entry - Withcraftsandlace The background is made of handmade paper ripped from a notebook, given to me long ago. On the textured paper, I choose to simply drop watercolor inks randomly on the paper.

March Spring Themed Monthly Art Journal Entry - WithcraftsandlaceI then alternated paper layers between packing papers and scrapbook papers for a textured, simple entry. With that, more ink was dripped or painted as needed. The final, small, focus points are the month’s label and a ripped side of a Windsor and Newton Ink packaging box, stains and all. Though I like Spring, I am glad to have this early April cooling-off period right now.

Happy April everyone!

March Spring Themed Monthly Art Journal Entry - Withcraftsandlace

Two Entries, One Post: Acrylics Journal Edition


As a way to practice with my acrylics, I have been painting versions of birds and plants in some old illustrated birding books we have. I love chubby birds and I love yellow birds, so here we are. I had also bought a book a while before these entries that features a little yellow bird, see the right corner. I actually got two hooks, one in the sweet yellow and one in a soft turquoise. Obviously I have yet to actually hang them…


This was actually a bit of a stretch for me. I rarely paint living items beyond simple plants. But I actually like how this warbler turned out, I was quite surprised!

The first week of official Spring is always exciting. I love early Spring with comfy mornings and heart-warming sunshine in the afternoons. I only wish we would get Spring a while longer before the horrors of Summer kicked in (I’m a winter-y kind of gal.)


What are your Springtime plans?

Do You Call it a Mobile or a Chandelier and How I Made One

My friend has one month left in her pregnancy. To both our excitement, she is going to have a baby girl. So naturally, I needed to make her a baby-related craft. Now I remember these as “baby mobiles” but often when I see crafted versions, they are called “chandeliers.” I don’t know if that’s a way to make us feel like we can hang such things in our non-baby households (which we totally can) or if I’m just old-fashioned. What do you like to call them?


Anyways, here’s the finished mobile (above) and I’ll give you a quick walk-through on how I made this baby (pun intended) happen.


First thing, you need to make the lacey pouf thing-a-majigs. I had some scraps of old lace from my grandmother that I chose to use up. I cut the lace into small circles, with the guidance of a mini embroidery hoop, I cannot cut a circle freehand to save my life. I popped a paper coaster in the back to keep it still and then snipped the edges.


So once you have a circle, fold it in half and then either in half again or in a triad. You’ll get a bit of a triangle-like shape, consider it a petal. Make three-four of those and gather the tips to make a pouf-flower-deal. I clipped mine in place with clothespins to hold them in place for the next step.


Now that you have some nice little lace poofs. You will want to stitch up around the tail poking out of the clothespin. I knotted the thread and strung it through the inside and up out of the tail before sewing them together so as to hide the end. You could extend the thread a long way for hanging the poofs but I chose to just tie it off and trim the thread and use a different string to hang them.


Around the time you’ve finished catching up on Better Call Saul, you should have a collection of lace flower/poofs/poufs/bulbs/petals/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. I made 5 whites, 4 pinks, and 3 blues. Now put those to the side and prepare your hoop.

I am using the inner piece of an old, large embroidery hoop. You could use the outer, I just already used that piece to make a dreamcatcher a while back. You need two sticks, mine are just old pieces of bamboo. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few laying around. Cut the length of the sticks to about the diameter of your circle.


Form an X with the sticks and glue or bind (or in my case, both glue AND bind) where the sticks connect. Pop your X in or on (however it fit, mine fits inside one way and on top the other way) and glue them in place. I honestly just used some basic tacky glue, hopefully it stays together. Now back to the cute part of this mobile (chandelier).


So at this point, I was worried all these pastel lace poofs weren’t girly enough and decided to add some pearl beads. (I didn’t use the pink ones because they are not rounded.) I didn’t trust regular thread to be durable enough so I used some beading thread that I, once again, just happened to have on hand.


I did as before, knotting the thread and stringing it through the lace flower from the inside through the top. Use string that is cut a few inches longer than you want the pouf to dangle. Then, at random points, I strung on a bead. I found I needed to tie some of the bigger sized pearls in addition to just looping through to keep them in my desired position. Repeat this for all your lace-y bulbs. Now back to the hoop.


This is optional. The mobile looks really cute with the embroidery hoop showing but I wanted to give this one a bit more finish. And of course, it was still not girly enough. For the hoop covering, I grabbed a floral ribbon/sash strip that was in my grandmother’s lace box and folded it over a lace ruffle to hide the ruffle’s raw edge. You can see it pinned in place in the photo above. I sewed it once, normally, to keep it folded and attach the lace. Then, I sewed it with a loose stich so I could lightly gather it a bit. Now to put all the pieces together.

I didn’t take a photo in between the steps here, my apologies. I tied my lace poofs onto my hoop. I did this while the hoop was hanging so I could better see how they would fall. I do not recommended doing that, try to plan the lengths of your flowers and where to place them ahead of time so you don’t hurt your shoulders and neck as much as I did. I arranged the flowers like so:

  • white poofs on the hoop part, placed as though on the points of a ‘star’
  • pink poofs on a slightly higher level than the white and placed on the X part, one on each section
  • blue poofs higher up but also on the hoop part, following the points of a triangle

Glue the fabric around the hoop, I used hot glue this time, and you are done!



I’d also like to enter this in Simon Say’s Stamp Monday Challenge, though this is not as paper-y as I usually do, but I can’t resist because B is definitely for Baby!


Monthly Art Journal Entry: February

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed a board about altering day planners. I bought a planner I liked the size and format of last year thinking it would cover fall semester of 14 and then 2015. But when I ripped that goodie open, turned out it was really only useful for 2015.

So I found a simple agenda on sale to use until I could switch to my preferred one. I chose a pretty hardcover one to re-purpose in the new year, a process I will discuss more at another time. I have decided to do a spread for each month, focusing on some theme or event that stuck out during those weeks. 

Since I spent most of January preparing to leave the UK and then settling back down in the US,the pages focus on transitions/changes, as highlighted by the leaves falling – my first time playing with my acrylic paints since September. 

Make any Jars Vintage-style and Sweet

Someone gave me a handful of little glass jars that were used as wedding favors. I usually let glass jars be since they are pretty and useful without work but these had a permanent logo printed on them. Because of that, I decided to mess around with a more extravagant decoration style, just for fun.

These were painted in yellow ombre. The ombre is not only on each individual glass but when lined up like they are in this photo, they are ombre compared to each other. Hard to tell in this though. They have also been mod podged, decorated with vintage lace in multiple places, have mini pearls attached on top and have yarn and twine and lace bows.

Prepping my Travel Journal 8

The right is a card stock divider covered in vintage style scraps and of course distressed.

Prepping my Travel Journal 7

The statement floral paper is actually two pieces sewed together as an envelope with the tag sewed on to the front piece. I thought having a tall top open envelope would be good for quick stashing. Plus the print is gorgeous.