Monday, September 5, 2016


Hello Creative Carte Blanche Community and every one else who's stopping by my blog today!  I'm so glad you're here.

This month, the lovely Linda Ledbetter is hosting our unique adventure.  For your inspiration, please check out THIS VIDEO on Youtube.  It's an amazing conglomeration of visual delight and various talented musical artists coming together to recreate that old Beach Boys 1966 classic "God Only Knows".

We are asking you to stretch your imagination and use this musical video as your inspiration to create something; anything related to the song and link it up to our blog.  It will be fascinating to see everyone's personal "take" on the lyrics, the sights and the sounds you will view on this video.

As I was viewing this video, I was overwhelmed with the bright colors, the whimsical flowers, hot air balloons and cloud like images that seemed to be pouring out of my computer screen. Combined with the wonderful lyrics, the song began to take on a whole new meaning for me and I tried to express that through the symbolism of my card.

For me, it's not so much a song about love between two people but the love we should have for all people.  In this modern world, we are all so interdependent on each other and wouldn't the world be a far better place if we thought about how "God only knows what I'd be without you"?  Thus the symbolism of my piece.

This was my first time to alter a playing card.  I had so much fun!  This is one of those pieces that came together in no time.  It's a small work surface so that helped but I tried to create a lot of meaning, detail and dimension in that small space that shared the feelings I experienced while viewing the video. That was a bit more challenging.  But I did it and here is my finished altered playing card ...

I used primarily DecoArt Media products but you can use whatever acrylic paints and other mediums you choose.  Here's the steps in creating this altered playing card:

I began with a regular playing card, a die cut of Tim Holtz' Vintage Globe (cut from plain Grungeboard) from his Movers and Shapers Vintage Fan and Globe set, and some die cut mini people from Tando Creations.   

I painted a healthy coat of DecoArt media Gesso over the surface of the playing card and also over the surface of the die cut globe. 

I heat set the Gesso on the playing card and purposefully got the card a little too hot to make the Gesso bubble on the surface.  I liked the texture it created!

Once the Gesso was dry, I added DecoArt Media Modeling Paste to the continents of the globe to create dimension and more texture.  Then I let that air dry.  
Note:  Clean your brushed immediately after using the Gesso and Modeling Paste!

Next I began to create the outer space realm for my planet to rest on.  I used brush and lightly painted on a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cerulean Blue and Titanium White.

For more depth, I wiped just Cerulean Blue onto the card using a baby wipe.

To begin to pull the color into the center and create a definite darker blue edge to the card, I added Phthalo Blue around the edges using a baby wipe.

Finally, to further define the edges of the card, I added a touch of Paynes Grey using my fingers around the edges.

While the playing card was drying, I painted six of the mini people in different colors; representing different races and genders and orientations. Let dry.

Now it was time to bring "life" to planet Earth. I began by painting the oceans with combinations of Titanium White, Primary Cyan, Prussian Blue Hue and Cerulean Blue.

The water was created, now it was time to create the land masses and give them more of a realistic appearance.  The first layer was Yellow Oxide followed by shadows of Burnt Umber and highlights of Titan Buff.  Let all of this dry.

I added a bit more white to the background of the playing card behind the area that planet Earth would sit.  Then I glued the globe in place followed by the six mini people.

I painted Diarylide Yellow followed by Primary Yellow onto a piece of heavy white cardstock and gently heat set it.  Then I drew little flowers of varying sizes onto the yellow and cut them out to create layered flowers to add to my altered playing card.

I dabbed a bit of Glossy Accents onto the bigger flower and let it dry.  Then I added the top flower (using a dab of Glossy Accents on the back) to create a little bit of dimension. I then glued the flowers onto the green stems and let them dry.

For more detail and a "cloud like effect", I added a little Glossy Accents onto the card surface and sprinkled White Flocking over the glue then shook off the excess.  It left little puffy white clouds!

Across the bottom of the card, I glued my flower stems in place.  These would soon be covered by a "cloud" cut out of white cardstock and coated with the White Flocking.

Here you can see the added cloud and the computer generated "God Only Knows" title along with some little musical notes I drew onto the card.  Finally, I added Glossy Accents to the centers of the flowers and over the mini people to add a bit of gloss and also dimension.

Throughout the month, my insanely talented and creative cohorts will be posting their unique art to our Creative Carte Blanche blog.  You won't want to miss those! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope that my little altered playing card has inspired you to join us at Creative Carte Blanche for our September art adventure.  Just add your creation to our community by using the Inlinkz button.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!

Last summer I had the pleasure of traveling to New York City with my daughter and a dear friend.  While there, I got to hook up with my super talented art buddy and one of the nicest people on the planet, Marjie Kemper.  

She met up with us and we toured some of the city, stopping for lunch at the Boat House in Central Park.  While there, Marjie's "very expensive" (being sarcastic) pair of sunglasses popped a lens.  She trashed them but little did she know I fished them out of the trash because I had a sinister plan for them!

Well, I was FINALLY able to put the plan into action a few days ago.  I completely transformed Marjie's poor old broken trashed sunglasses into a new, improved pair of rockin' steampunk shades!

Since Marjie is also a member of the DecoArt Media team, I thought it would be appropriate to share them on the DecoArt Media Blog and give a complete pictorial step by step tutorial.  Now, you can use the simple techniques I share for these sunglasses to alter anything!  Just a few simple steps and you're on your way!

So Marjie....this one's for you!  Rock those glasses, girlfriend!

Check out the entire frames HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!  Your comments here and on DecoArt's Media blog are always appreciated!


Friday, August 5, 2016


Good day blogging friends!

It's a new theme at Creative Carte Blanche brought to you
 by the lovely and very talented Yvonne Blair.

This month's theme is "Sun, Moon and Stars".  So many possibilities!!

I have created a sweet little vintage card using a couple of my favorite things:  the sentiment from Tim Holtz' Life Quotes stamp set, the sweet image of the little boy and my DecoArt Media line products.

My whole inspiration for this card was from the sentiment.  While Tim Holtz did not originate this sentiment, I really liked the font he used on his stamp.  When I thought of "moon", I thought of Tim Holtz' Crescent Moon and Stars die cut. Perfect for this theme and perfect for my card design!

Here are the basic things I used to create my design for the card.  Pretty simple but through the magic of color, amazing things can happen!

Here is the little boy image I used for my card.  You can just right click on him to save him to your computer.  Isn't he adorable?

Now let's move on to the tutorial as to how to create this card.  

I am listing the actual products that I used but you can substitute products you have on hand or prefer.  Totally up to you.  Let's begin ...

Begin with a piece of 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" white cardstock and apply DecoArt Media White Gesso over the entire surface using a palette knife.  Heat set to dry.

Paint over the gesso'd surface with DecoArt Media Prussian Blue Hue Fluid Acrylics.  Let dry or heat set.

To lighten the Prussian Blue Hue, add a touch of DecoArt Media Tinting Base to the paint and randomly add this color over the surface of the cardstock to create a "night sky" effect.

To give a bit of a shimmer or a "star shine", lightly add some DecoArt White Pearl Dazzling Metallics to the surface.  Let dry.

Now that the background is in good shape, let's move onto the design of the card.

Die cut the moon and stars from Tim Holtz' Plain Grungeboard.  Cover the surface of the moon using DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste to give a rougher, dimensional texture to the lunar surface.  Let dry or gently heat set.

Paint the surface of the Grungeboard stars with a mix of DecoArt Media Yellow Oxide and Hansa Yellow Media Fluid Acrylics. Let dry.  Then using your finger, give a light coating of Mercury Glass then Stardust Stickles to the surface of the stars.  Let the Stickles dry between coatings.  This will add a bit of a starry shimmer and give the stars more of a vintage look. 

Once the Texture Sand Paste is dry, brush on a layer of DecoArt Media Yellow Oxide Fluid Acrylics.

For a deeper, richer lunar surface, randomly add DecoArt Media Raw Sienna around the perimeter and center of the lunar surface.

Next add touches of DecoArt Media Quinacridone Gold randomly at the perimeter edges and along some of the ridges of the lunar surface. I even used some of the Quinacridone Gold to create a subtle "blush" effect on what would be cheeks if the moon have a face.

Finally to better define the edges and some of the detail of the surface, add touches of DecoArt Media Burnt Umber Fluid Acrylics.  Let dry.

To create a shimmer from the glow of the stars in the night sky, add touches of DecoArt Media Metallic Silver and Gold to the ridges and edges of the moon's surface by using your fingers to lightly apply the paint.  I also added Silver and Mercury Glass Stickles around the outside edges of the moon top better define the edges and give it more of a vintage look.

Now to colorize the sweet little vintage boy ...

Using Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons, apply color to the little boy.  He was originally printed out using an inkject printer and semigloss photo paper.  The color was applied with a Tim Holtz Detailer Water Brush.  The color was brushed from the crayon tip then applied to the surface of the photo paper.  Let dry then cut out the boy and use a Black Distress Marker to blacken the white edges around the boy.

Lay out the little boy, the moon and the stars on the card top to get spacing.  Glue everything in place (minus the boy) using Glossy Accents.  Leave an open section on the moon's edge where the little boy will be placed.

Add a narrow decorative metallic gold Dresden trim around the perimeter of the card front using 1/4" Scor Tape to secure the trim in place.  

Next secure the little boy in his place sitting on the moon by adding adhesive pop dots on his backside.  Then position him and glue in place.

Paint a light coating of DecoArt Media Metallic Gold Fluid Acrylics onto a piece of scrap white cardstock.  Heat set.  Heat emboss the sentiment onto the gold surface by stamping the sentiment onto the cardstock with clear Embossing Powder.  Sprinkle Fine Black Embossing Powder over the Embossing Ink, remove the excess powder and heat set.  Cut out the individual words, ink the white edges with a black Distress Marker, lay out and glue in place using Glossy Accents.

Add an antique gold brad to each corner and pound them to give them a vintage look using Tim Holtz' little hammer and pad.  Set the card top to the side.

Cut a piece of cardstock to create the greeting card.  I used a piece of taupe cardstock that was cut in a 6" x 12" strip.  Fold the card in the center.  Using your finger, add a strip of DecoArt Media Metallic Gold Fluid Acrylics to the outer edge of the card.  

Add 1/4" Scor Tape to the back outer edges of the vintage card top you've created and glue it in place evenly on the greeting card surface; centering the top onto the backing. I left the inside of the card blank so that a personal thoughts and message could be written.

And here is the finished vintage card!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and checking out my "Sun, Moon and Stars" piece for Creative Carte Blanche!  

I hope that this has inspired you to come join us by creating anything your heart desires as long as it follows the theme.  Then link it to The Creative Carte Blanche website so that your art and your process can inspire and educate all of the lovely artists in our community!

Sending hugs out to all ... 

Monday, July 25, 2016


Hello everyone!  Happy Summer!

We recently had the most fun vacation ever to Gulf Shores, Alabama with our children and grandchildren.  For two of our grandchildren, it was their first time to be at a sandy beach and see the ocean.  We got to be there to experience that momentous occasion with them!

This adventure was something I will always remember.  Enter the DecoArt "UNDER THE SEA" Challenge theme!  Perfect timing!

I created this lovely 9" x 12" canvas to display in our home with seashells from the beach and a photograph of my husband and I with our grandchildren.

To celebrate summer and possibly those summer vacations at the beach you may be taking, DecoArt is featuring an Under The Sea Challenge.  From July 11th through August 12th, the DecoArt Media Design Team will be sharing our interpretations of this theme.  Then you are invited to join us by entering our challenge with YOUR Under The Sea art project.

The winner will receive ...

YES!!!  That's a $100 DECOART GIFT CARD!!!!  How's THAT for a prize??

Okay, back to my project ...

This is something anyone can do and it's not difficult at all!  Create your own very personalized memories to display in your home using DecoArt's amazing Media Line products!  Want to know how to do it?  

Here's the list of products you will need for this specific project and all of the step by step instructions:

  • DecoArt Media White Gesso
  • DecoArt Media Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media White Shimmer Mist
  • DecoArt Media Modeling Paste
  • DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmiun Orange Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Hansa Yellow Medium
  • DecoArt Metallic Pearl Acrylic Paint
  • 9" x 12" canvas
  • Paint brushes
  • Cardstock cut into rectangular shapes and also one fairly thin strip to use on the fence
  • Paper Towels and/or baby wipes to blot off excess paint or mediums
  • 1/4" Scor Tape (double sided tape)
  • Finnabair Mini Stones
  • Andy Skinner Whirlpool 6"x6" stencil
  • Tim Holtz Bubbles Stencil
  • Wooden Craft Sticks from craft store
  • Wire
  • Palette Knife
  • Small piece of chipboard underneath the photograph
  • Pop Dots
  • Hot Glue
  • Tim Holtz Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glossy Accents
  • 4" x 5" scrap paper (to represent photograph)
  • Various little sea shells
  • Various textural objects such as skeleton leaves, pearls, corkscrew wire or other items that would fit in well with a beach theme.
  • Mini Mister water bottle (for creating your own shimmer spray)
  • Perfect Pearls Pearl

Step by Step Instructions:

Begin by brushing DecoArt Media Gesso over the surface of the canvas, including the sides.  Let dry or gently heat set.

Cut various cartstock scrapes into regtangular shapes and glue them in place on top of the gesso'd canvas using DecoArt Media Matte Medium.  Simply brush the surface of the canvas and the backside of the scraps.  Lay in place and then brush another coat of the Matte Medium over the scraps.  This glues and seals them in place for future steps.  You can either gently heat set or let air dry.  I also added some Finnabair Mini Stones for added interest around the edges of the canvas.  Do this by brushing on a generous amount of Matte Medium and dropping the stones in place.  Let air dry.  Then gently brush over the stones with more Matte Medium in an attempt to set them in place.  You will still lose some of them in later steps of dry brushing.

I added another layer of a stenciled image over the surface of the scraps using a Heavy Clear Gloss Gel and let it dry but later discovered that it really wasn't necessary.  But if you want to add that, do it now.

Spray over the surface of the colorful cardstock with DecoArt's Media Shimmer Mister.  It is semi opaque thus allowing some of the patterns and color of the cardstock to show through.  But your objective is to have a pretty much white or white washed appearance to your canvas.  Let air dry or gently heat set.

Add more interest and texture to the canvas with Andy Skinner's Whirlpool stencil and DecoArt's Media Modeling Paste.  Lay the stencil randomly on the canvas and scrap the Modeling Paste over the stencil using a palette knife.  I thought this resembled ocean waves.  Let air dry or gently heat set.

Next I added a few more "bubbles' to the canvas surface using Tim Holtz' Bubbles stencil.  I did this in the same way as the Whirlpool stencil: randomly and using a palette knife.   Let air dry or gently heat set.

As the top was drying, I carefully added DecoArt Modeling Paste to the sides of the canvas using my finger.  Let air dry.

While the canvas was drying, I started working on a little "fence" that I wanted to add do my canvas to represent the weathered seaside fences you commonly see at beaches.  I used 12 wooden craft sticks measured to 2 3/4" in length to create the picket fence.

To make the fence look more weathered and realistic, I added a coat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff and then lightly added a topcoat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber to add an aged look.

Then I began wiring the pickets together to create a fence.  I marked lines at the top and bottom of the fence to keep my wires in the right place on the individual pickets.

Here is the fence.  I cut a 4" x 5" piece of cardstock to represent the approximate size of my family photograph that I would be adding.  This gave me an idea of how my fence would look in relationship to the photo.

Here is the way the canvas looks at this point with the area for my photograph and the fence's placement.

To make the fence even more "sandy" and believable, I created my own sand using DecoArt's Media Texture Sand Paste and mixing it with a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff paint.  I mixed them together using a palette knife.  I then added a fairly narrow strip of torn scrap cardstock across the bottom of my fence with double sided tape.  Then I covered the paper with the sand mixture.  I then added a few shells and little sand dollars to the sand using Glossy Accents just to be sure they held in place.  Let it air dry.

And here is the sea fence that I will later even add a bit more Titan Buff over the surface of the fence to soften the brown tones and make it more "shabby" in appearance.

Now it is time to create my design on the canvas, leaving a space for my photograph.  I created an asymmetrical design for this.  I glued everything in place using DecoArt Media Matte Medium and a brush or my fingers.  Add a generous amount of Matte Medium to the areas of the canvas where you want to lay shells, pearls, metal corkscrews, rings ... whatever you choose.  The colors of the objects don't matter as they will all be covered with DecoArt Media White Gesso.  Just layout your design and gently brush over each item with the Matte Medium as well to seal it to the canvas.  Let completely air dry; sometimes overnight.

Gently brush over all of the raised objects and even on some of the canvas with DecoArt Media White Gesso.  In this photograph, you can still see some of the details from the original cardstock that was the first layer of the canvas.  I even brushed a little Gesso over the skeleton leaves at the opposite corners of where my photograph will be placed later.  The gesso bottle is laying in the area where the photograph will be.

Create your own colorful spray mist using a Mini Mister bottle, water, a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue, Titanium White and a pinch of Perfect Pearls Peal powder.  Skake it well inside of the Mini Mister and begin spraying the soft blue ocean color onto your canvas, leaving areas of white open around the outer sides of the canvas.  Let the blue color radiate out from under the photograph.

Here is the canvas after is has been sprayed with your homemade shimmer spray using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics.  Be sure to rinse out the mister bottle when finished.

Now to begin the detail work on your canvas by dry brushing over the raised objects to bring out their patterns, colors and interest.  I chose to use softer "beachy" colors that coordianted with colors in my photograph.  So I created my own shades of soft yellows, peach and blue using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmium Orange Hue, Hansa Yellow, Cobalt Teal Hue, a touch of Titanium White and DecoArt's wonderful Metallic Pearl paint.  This paint can make your acrylic paints have a bit of a subtle shimmer to them!  Love it!

 Bring out all of the detail of the shells, starfish, pearls and so forth by DRY BRUSHING the various DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics colors over the objects.

Keep adding more dry brushed layers of paints as you continue to cover everything.  Blend colors as well for beautiful shading and depth.  I also took a small make up sponge and added just Titanium White over some of the Andy Skinner Whirlpool stencils to capture a bit more of the ocean waves feeling to this canvas.

Here is a closeup of a small section of the canvas so you can see all of the texture and depth you can create with dry brushing and just adding subtle bits of color to edges and so forth.  

And finally, I used Scor Tape to adhere my photograph on top of a piece of chipboard.  I matched up the colors from the photograph to the sides of the chipboard so that the photo seems to continue off of the edges.  Next I added stacks of Pop Dots on the back of the photograph so that it sat level and comfortable in place.  Finally I added small pop dots at the very bottom of my photograph, stuck the seaside fence in place and hot glued it onto the canvas at the sides.

I hope that this tutorial has given you some ideas of ways to display your family photos and possibly you've picked up a trick or two along the way.

Please join us for DecoArt's Under The Sea Challenge.  We'd love to see your art and have YOU inspire us with how you use your DecoArt products!

Happy Crafting!