Pet portraits in watercolours

Two posts in one day! That must be some kind of record for me…but that’s how I roll, feast or famine folks!

Lately I have been really getting back to one of my first artsy loves – watercolours. I have tried a new technique using a photo as a guide and sort of monochrome palette and that is very nice. You can see sweet Amelia’s portrait here. I also did this one of my pup, Sass, at the beach (well, the pic is from the beach, I did the portrait in my little studio!)

Sass wc

Next up is a bittersweet portrait of the adorable Chief. My daughter commissioned it as an “in memoriam” gift for friend who cherished Chief for 15 long years before having to make that difficult decision. RIP Chief.

RIP Chief

For this one, I expanded my colour range a bit. Next I am going to try a cat portrait and see how I do with that. If anyone is interested in a commission please comment on here, or private message me over on my facebook page – Made with Lafter.

Thanks for stopping in again, peoples. Hope you are having a very enjoyable Sunday!!


Look at those eyes! (Masking Fluid Watercolour Technique)

amelia closeup

I have a very dear friend, the very best of friends actually, and she just became a grandma for the first time. She has the most adorable little granddaughter ever! (and I can say that because I don’t have any grandchildren yet, I might change my mind!, he he).

Anyway, back to the story, I saw this great picture of little Amelia and I knew it would be perfect for a technique I had been wanting to practice. amelia (Isn’t she just the sweetest? <3) 

I first saw the technique here and thought I would give it a shot. I did try it a couple of other times before this project, one I will show you a picture of later in the post, and the other was a commission and I forgot to take a picture of it before it went out the door to its new home. (oops. I do that ALL the time! not good with the camera.)

Again, I digress. So this technique utilizes masking fluid to keep your white areas white, and then a watercolour medium for the main part of the painting. It is done from a photo, so you have to choose your photo carefully…it works best with high contrast, clear photos, that don’t have too much going on in them. You digitally manipulate your photo to desaturate the colour and increase the contrast to near 100%. The blogger I linked to gave me some pretty clear instructions and then I just figured it out on the photoediting program I was using. I printed out the photo on plain paper.

Then I set up a makeshift light table using a plastic form I had already and my bright task lamp.amelia lightbox

I taped the printed photo to the lighttable and then taped a piece of 140lb Strathmore watercolour paper over top so that I could see the photo through it. (Yes, I know, it is not the pic of Amelia on my light table…work with me, folks!) Then I lightly traced the areas of light and dark out on my wc paper.  After removing the paper from the lighttable I used an OLD paintbrush to paint on masking fluid in the areas I wished to remain white.   Old because this stuff WILL NOT come off brushes easily or really, at all, even with the most rigorous scrubbing. (Don’t use your good brushes. You have been warned!)

Set this aside to dry for an hour or so.

amelia prep

While I waited for the masking fluid to dry, I mixed my watercolour. I used shades of blue-grey Inktense blocks and mixed up several varying strengths. Super easy,  just smoosh the block into the palette and add water. You can use a little grater on the block if you like.

amelia set up







Then with the photo as a guide, I used washes of colour to shade in the picture. Make sure you allow time between washes to dry or you will end up with a bit of a sodden mess. (*voice of experience*)

amelia wip

Finally, use an eraser or your fingernail to start removing the masking fluid “skin”. Once started it pulls off easily and voila! your watercolour masterpiece is revealed! A simple frame in a coordinating colour (thank you Great Canadian Dollar Store!) and my friend’s gift is complete.

amelia framed

Oh yeah, my other project with this technique…


It is perfect for pet photos too! (my little Sass-monster! such a good girl)

So I hope you enjoyed this little photo tutorial and that you give this technique a try!


Kindness is the root of all good things

Jelly beans Art card

Hello everyone! My New Year’s resolution to blog once a week seems to have gone the way of most resolutions, lol!

Ah well, I am here now with some photos describing a card I made for a coworker’s daughter. He told me she is turning 14, loves jelly beans and the colours yellow and green, and is having a candy-themed birthday party. The rest was up to me!

I have been playing around a lot lately with watercolours and other watersoluble mediums so I thought I would go this route for this card. After I had completed the picture for the front of the card using Faber Castell watercolour pencils on Strathmore 140 lb paper, I really liked the way it turned out and thought, “now wouldn’t it be neat if she could save this picture, without having to save the whole card”…sort of, card as art.So I mounted the picture on some cardstock and then again on a 5×7 piece of watercolour paper so that it would fit into a standard size picture frame. Here is my little piece of art:


7 card art

To attach it to a card base, I took a 8 1/2 x 5 inch piece of heavy cardstock (100lb) and scored it on the long side at 7 inches.

2 base 1 start

I used repositional glue dots to attach the card art to the base.  I lined it up carefully to make sure the card would stand evenly.

4 closeup

3 attach base

So there we have it! A little piece of art in a card, that the young lady can save and frame if she decides to!!

6 Jellybeans for Genesis

Lots more to work on so I am going to head back to my art area..enjoy your day, my friends!!

Sprinkle kindness around like confetti!!

annd we’re back!

It’s been a crazy summer! My mother has given up her home and moved in with me and what a lot of work that is! 25 years in one spot and you accumulate a lot of stuff (and it makes matters worse when your children (myself included! use your house as a convenient storage site!!) Anyhow, we are on the downside of it now and she is getting settled in here so I found some time to do a little crafting.

This project is a 16 x 20 canvas for a dreary spot at work that needs some livening up. I originally did this canvas


Mixed media canvas using Faber-Castell's Whipped spackle tinted with Gelatos, some stenciling and stamping to finish. Pitt artist pen for quote.

but then it looked perfect on my living room wall so I couldn’t give it away! Oh boy, back to the drawing board!

So I promised myself that this one would go in to work with me FOR SURE and sat down to do some creating this past weekend.  Here’s the finished canvas and then I will show you some step-by-steps of my process.

 walk gently butterfly

First I gesso’ed the whole canvas, laid down strips of my patterned paper using gel medium to adhere them.

 step 1 step 2step 3






I gesso’ed again and also used some white acrylic paint to create a focal point.I used a couple of stencils and light Modeling Paste for the texture on the perimeter of the canvas, and also mixed distress ink and white acrylic paint to stamp some more texture in a light bluey/grey/green tone.

My previous canvas was a serene birch tree by pond scene and I knew I wanted another gentle scene from nature. I was inspired by a moment in my garden as a butterfly landed fleetingly on a coneflower. I tore strips of text and music paper to shape the wings and petals, and used Distress Inks and gelatos to colour them in. I was wracking my brains to figure out how to make the tracery on the butterfly wings when I remembered a texture stamp from Tattered Angels…perfect!

step 4 butterfly wings step 4B

I used Glass Bead Gel mixed with gelatos and india ink to create the middle of the flower and the butterfly’s body. I just love the texture that gave!!

close up finished canvas step 5 flowerstep8 writing

Finished the sentiment and butterfly details with Stampers Big Brush pen and smudged the edge of the canvas with Iced Coffee and Black Cherry gelato from the new Steampunk collection (love the metallic shimmer) which I had also used on the edges of the butterfly’s wings. What do you think? Have I captured that soft moment when a butterfly lands near you?

Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to walk gently, my friends!!


Supplies: Liquitex gel medium, modeling paste and Glass Beads texture gel, Daler and Rowney gesso,  DecoArt acrylics, FaberCastell gelatos and Stampers Big Brush pens, Tim Holtz Distress inks, My Minds Eye Lost&Found Two paper, Perfect Pearls spray – Biscotti


So I have been trying to clean, purge and reorganize my craft area. Not an easy task but that’s a story for another post.I was making some progress today when I got distracted by some little pieces I had leftover from another project and the next thing I know, I am sitting at my table making a card!

I made one of those “thinking of you/encouragement/you can do it!” sort of cards that you just need when you need it, y’know? so I do like to have a couple on hand, just in case. Fortuitously (you don’t get to use that word in everyday conversation very often!!) I had just impulse bought  picked up  a WeRMemoryKeepers Anthologie paper pack that was the perfect match for my little leftovers!

Anyhow, here it is:

awesome today

And I am back to cleaning/purging/organizing…oh wait, what’s that little stamped image?….


Supplies: Anthologie 6×6 paper, Momenta textured cardstock, Canson 140lb watercolour paper, ivory 5×7 cardbase, Unity stamp “You Did It”, Versamark ink and AC Zing embossing powder in Aqua, Distress ink in Crushed Olive, Tea Dye and Tumbled Glass, Distress Paint in Tarnished Brass.

More Watercolour for Cardmakers – Masking fluid


This will be quick because I love you guys but it is 22 and sunny out there and I am on a day off!! Dizzy with anticipation, I am! I think everyone, North America wide anyway, will agree it was a long dreary winter and I can’t wait to get out of hibernation and enjoy the good weather!

I am still working on some of the earlier techniques before I attempt the freehand stuff. This card was made by printing out a sentiment block from the internet (I didn’t have the stamp I wanted) and then using masking fluid to cover it over before layering on my watercolours. After the paint dries, you just peel off the masking “skin” and you are left with a lovely white background in the middle of your vibrant colour. Cool, huh?

Day 2 masking

Then I did a little splattering and dropletting (yupp, going with it, real word or not!) and adhered it to a 4.25×5.5 base in a coordinating colour. And c’est tout!

best dad ever

I’m out folks, that sunshine is calling me! Enjoy your day whatever it brings!


~Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. ~ Eric Hoffer

Day 5&6


whoa, falling behind at Watercolors for Cards but you know what? Not stressing because with my registration fee, I have full access to the lessons, videos and pdf’s even after the class has finished!! So I can go back at my leisure, refresh and review the techniques, and practice whenever works for me!

I needed a quick birthday card last weekend so I tried the misted Distress markers on a stamp. I combined it with some patterned paper on a kraft card base and added a twine bow for pizazz! Most of the techniques in this class lend themselves to quick cards – minimal effort, maximum wow factor-now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!!

Day 5 a

I tried Swarthup’s artistic stamp colouring technique next and..well, it needs work! I don’t have a lot of floral stamps, or outline stamps, so I think I will have to put on my thinking cap and figure out how to use my supplies with this technique because I just love the effect!

Here is my attempt:

Day 6

Finally, my mother’s day cards fundraiser went over so well, I have decided to try and do a few Father’s Day ones before the Relay on June 21. Here is the first one, using the emboss resist technique with broad swathes of watercolour as the background! I used a CTMH stamp from the Cloud Nine set, and a Unity sentiment stamp with some Authentique Seasons: Summer patterned paper. Distress Inks were used for the background in Walnut Stain, Faded Jeans and Scattered Straw. (PS I make most of my cards 5×7, I just like the bigger size!)

hip hip hooray

I hope everyone is enjoying this class, and my posts, as much as I am! Enjoy your day, people!


~If you can’t be kind, be quiet~

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