Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Die Embossing and Rock 'n Roll Tecnhiques

I watched a video by Jennifer McGuire where she highlighted the “Die Embossing” technique with layering dies.  I was fascinated and ran to my art studio to give it a try with my Fun Stampers Journey dies. This is the end result of my studio play time!

I don’t have the circle or oval dies (yet!), but I do have the rectangle and long rectangle piercing die sets.  I decided to use the long rectangle dies, so I laid them out & placed a few pieces of scotch tape on the non-cutting side to hold them together.

It took a few tries to get the right sandwich combination for my Grand Caliber die cutting machine. This is what works in my machine (bottom to top): Base Plate, Tan Embossing Mat, Cardstock, Taped-together Dies (cutting side down), Adapter Plate & a shim that was cut from a manila folder.   It didn’t feel tight when it was rolled through my machine, but the embossing came out beautifully.

Now that I had an embossed piece of cardstock, I had to decide what I was going to do with it. I thumbed through my Fun Stampers Journey stamp sets looking for the perfect set to work with my embossed piece.  Ah ha!  I have matching dies for the Autumn Days (SS-0006) set.

 I used Fun Stamper’s Journey Pineapple Smoothie ink on the oak leaf stamp, then “rock ‘n rolled” the following colors on top of the Pineapple Smoothie ink: Green Olive, Rich Coral, and Dark Roast to get the variegated colors.  I used the matching dies to cut the leaves out – so much faster than fussy cutting!

The bottom leaf is glued down flat at the stem end & the top of the leaf is popped up; I placed the tape close to the edge of the image. The second leaf has more tape toward the top so that it pops up more than the bottom leaf.  The leaf on top has tape all over it and a double layer of tape at the top for extra dimension.

The sentiment came from the Summer Garden (SS-0078) set and was stamped in Dark Roast ink. The panel was glued onto a piece of Green Olive cardstock and that panel was glued onto a Whipped Cream card base.  I tied a length of twine into a double bow & used a glue dot to adhere it to the card front.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fun at Bali Studios!

Last Thursday was Open Paint Night at Bali Studio in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  I planned on painting a dragonfly again because my granddaughter has the first one I did.  I really like that dragonfly painting and want one for my art wall!   But when I got to Bali Studio, I decided to do something different, something that I hadn't painted yet.  So, I chose the heron silhouette.

This was a fun, FAST painting!  I was done with it in about an hour, and that included drying time!  

The background was done first, starting with light cream for the setting sun, then gradiating out with darker colors.  The silhouette was drawn freehand (no stencil, oh my!), then painted black. The leaf fronds and birds were created using with simple brushstrokes.   Voila! It's done!

If you would like to join me at a paint class, look up and "like" Bali Studio on Facebook. Sheri posts her events there. Here is a link to her page: https://www.facebook.com/Bali-Studios-196419721201/

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fun Stamper's Journey, "Tickled Pink"

This card is for this week’s Try a New Technique Challenge on Splitcoaststampers.com.  The challenge was to create a  “Bordered Sentiment” card.  I have been seeing quite a few cards with flamingos lately & they have been “growing on me.”  So, I decided to use Fun Stamper’s Journey Tickled Pink set for the card.

Here is the finished card

After stamping the sentiment onto a piece of Fun Stamper’s Journey  Whip Cream cardstock, I drew the border lightly with a #2 pencil & masked it off using blue painter’s tape.  I stamped the flamingo first & colored it.  I masked the image before stamping the tree trunk & palm fronds.   I drew the coconuts using different colored markers to add shading.  Once that was done, I colored in the palm fronds and tree trunk.  

Once that was done, I carefully peeled off the painter’s tape & stamped the three flowers & leaves on the right side above the sentiment.  Then I went over the pencil marks with a marker to create the border & erased the remaining marks that were inside the flower petals.   I water colored the sand and sky with marker ink & my watercolor pen.

Ugh, I did not like this card after all that work!  The left side of the bordered area was empty and I didn’t like how the flowers looked.  So, I stamped five more flowers & eight leaves on a piece of scrap cardstock, water colored them, then fussy cut them out. After that was done, I glued them onto the card & added a bit of glimmer to the yellow centers & sentiment using Sakura gold & clear glitter pens.

When I was happy with the card front, I trimmed it down to 4” x 5-1/4”. I layered it on top of a piece of Sweet Berry cardstock that was cut to 4-1/8” x 5-3/8” and glued that entire piece onto a card base of Black Licorice cardstock.  (8-1/2” x 5-1/2”, scored at 4-1/4” to create the base).

You can purchase the cardstocks and Tickled Pink (SS-0265) stamp set on my Fun Stamper’s Journey page, 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fun Stamper's Journey Poppy Days

I received my first order from the 2016-2017 Fun Stamper's Journey catalog yesterday!  I am soooo excited!  I ordered two large stamp sets,several ATC's, and Pan Pastets (more on those to come).

The first thing I opened was the Poppy Days stanmpset!  I love poppies because they are so cheerful and easy to paint freehand.

Look at all that lucisouness!  I used all of those products to make the sample piece at the bottom of the picture.   I noticed, though, that I did not include tmy Fun Stamper's Journey Black Licorice inkpad.

Here is a close up of the sample

This is a multi-step stamp set. You start with the lightest color and build up to the darkest color.

If you love this set as much as I do, you can click on  This Link to my Fun Stamper's Journey page to order it.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Giveaway - Fun Samper's Journey $25 Gift Certificate

Wow!  Here's a fabulous opportunity to win a $25 gift  certificate from Fun Stamper's Journey!

Go to the the Scrapbbok Expo Freebie Friday post and leave a comment.  One luicky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate AND a catalog!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Another Art Impressions Watercolor Card

Yep, I’m obsessed!   Today’s picture is another practice piece that I did using Art Impressions style of watercoloring.

The container is a stamp from Fun Stamper’s Journey that is on the  retiring list; it is available for 40% off (until supplies last)  

I only inked the container part of the stamp using a Marvy LePlume marker then stamped it onto 140 lb watercolor paper. Then I used Art Impressions stamps from the floral and foliage basics sets to create the rest of the image using green and violet LePlume markers. I used a die to cut the frame using Fun Stampers Journey Pretty Amethyst and Rock Candy cardstocks.   I used a Sizzix die to make an easel stand so that this picture will stand up.

Below are links the Art Impressions stamps that I used.  These are affiliate links to Amazon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day Card 2016

This is the card that I gave to my mother this year.

It is an easel card that I created with Heartfelt Creations’ Peacock Paisley collection from 2015.  I also used Spellbinders oval dies and Heartfelt Creations daisy die.

This card was fun to create and easy since the paper is already colored. I die cut out one of the peacock images with a fancy scalloped die, added a few punched flowers and then layered it onto green & navy blue cardstock ovals.  I did the same for the lower image.  I added a daisy that I stamped, colored, then die cut.  The sentiment is from a Verve set. I stamped it with black archival ink then used a tag punch for the shape.

My lighting is a bit off so it looks like the green layers are different colors. However, they are the same color!

It’s easier to insert a link to a tutorial than to try to explain how to create an oval easel card. Here is a YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2HdBswS_BU

I love the Peacock Paisley collection! I need to make more cards since I have so much paper left still! So don’t be surprised if you see more of this collection in the upcoming months.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Art Impressions Style Water Color Picture

I have been obsessed lately with the Art Impressions style of water coloring!  I am trying to use what I already have in my stash of stamps and markers to learn this style.  I figure I’ll save money by not investing in new things plus it will help me expand my skills.  It’s been slow going and somewhat frustrating, though, because most of what I’ve been creating ends up looking messy with very little detail.

My Stamping Friend is a great teacher and I am very thankful for her!  She looked at the pieces I created and immediately knew what I was doing wrong.  Too much water.  The key secret to this technique is that the brush needs to be almost dry.  That’s what stops the ink from running together and creating a blobby mess in the center of the image.

My Most Awesome Stamping Friend made her own catalog of her Art Impressions stamps (and other stamps that will work for this technique) and included card examples that she found online.  She had been making those types of cards for several years but stopped for a while.  She almost purged all that stuff but decided to make the catalog instead.  I am soooo glad that she did that!    
We got together last Saturday and worked on a few water color pieces after watching an Art Impressions instructional video that she has.  The image in the attached picture is the best of the three images that I painted.  I may still put one of the others in a frame or on a card, but for now, they are in the stack with the other images that I have made as practice pieces.

The watering can in my image is not an Art Impressions stamp, but it works nicely.  The flowers, leaves, and grass are Art Impressions stamps and came from the basic floral and grass sets.  We used Marvy Le Plume markers and a water pen to paint the image. 

The other key secret to this technique is the water color paper – use a GOOD quality paper!  Some less quality papers either warp when the water hits it and/or it sucks up the ink & doesn’t allow it to move. We used Strathmore 140 lb cold pressed water color paper, on the less toothy side. The ink moved nicely and blended well.

I created a frame using dies & popping it up  over the image. I think glued on a black backing piece that is slightly larger than the frame to finish the front. I then cut an easel with a Sizzix die and glued it on the back. So now my picture stands up.

Try the Art Impressions style of water coloring ... you may find that you love it!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Freckle Fish!

No card to share today ... I've been making a few cards here and there, but have actually been spending more time organizing my studio. I am still working on the "Jennifer McGuire" style of storing my dies and stamps.  It has been slow going ,,, but as we know, "slow and steady wins the race!"

I went to Bali Studios  in  Cocoa Beach last night and painted this Freckle Fish!  Oh my, it was fun!  I forgot to put on an apron, so I got paint on my black top, but such is life.  If you look close, you can see the paint splatters on my arm!  lol

This painting is very easy and I will probably paint a few more at home.  It is three layers of sponged-on paint   (two of the orange/yellow background and one of the dark blue around the edges). Then, paint is splattered on top of that.  Next is the fish -- no stencil for that!  

Do you remember from your Kindergarten days how to draw a fish?  Where you draw the curved shape & add a triangle along the side?   Well, that's how you draw the fish, only using paint and a paintbrush.  Then fill it in with a base coat of white (I used creamy white).  While the base coat is still wet, blend in several colors of blue & one of a brown. Use the darker colors ar the bottom..  Paint in the eye, dot it up (freckles!), dry the piece, and you're done!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm Just a Wee Bit Late With This Post!

This is the Valentine's Day gift that I made for my Sweetheart.  He loved it!

I started the canvas at a mixed media class that I took at Bali Studios in Cocoa Beach, FL.  The owner, Sheri Stewart, is awesome!  She is an excellent artist, teacher, and friend!  If you have the opportunity to attend any of her classes, you should go! You will leave with a wonderful piece of art that you created.   Sheri can be found on Facebook at Bali Studios.

Anyway!   I printed  out  a free steampunk image (found here) and took it with me to the class. I also took a few other odds & ends that I found in my art studio that I thought might work.  The base of the canvas is torn scrapbook papers that are glued down with mod podge.  I cut out the steampunk image & glued it down on top of the scrapbook papers. I used the other "odds & ends" to decorate the canvas, then outlined the image with a black sharpie to give it more definition.

The pocket watch images were cut from scrapbook paper; the image on the left was covered with Glossy Accents from Stampin Up & glued on when it was dry. The cogs and chain at the bottom came from a sheet of rub-ons that I picked up at Tuesday Morning. The white dots were made by applying modeling past through a stencil.

This was a fun piece to make!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


This is my card for today's Teapot Tuesday challenge on Spltcoaststampers,com. This week, our cards are going out to Mrs, Utterback in Alderson, WV.  Mrs. Utterback will be celebrating her 103rd  birthday soon!

I apologize for the brevity of today's post ... I am going to type the recipe for rhe card and leave this post at that.


Cardstock - Fun Stamper's Journey
Ink - Stazon black, Memories sand
Stamps - Cornish Heritage Farms (poppy), Fiskars (jar & frame around sentiment), Verve (sentiment)
Accessories - woodgrain embossing folder, blue sharpie pen (water in jar), Prismacolor pencils, scrap piece of clear plastic packaging material

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


This is my card for this week’s Teapot TuesdayChallenge.  This week, our cards are going out to a Sister-SCS’er, Cheryl (cherylquilts).  The theme of this week’s challenge is “threads, pins, needles, patches.”  I took some creative license and expanded that into quilting since, according to Cheryl’s username, she is a quilter.  

Since I am in the middle of reorganizing my art studio (and it is a disaster area right now!), I wanted to keep to a simple card that didn’t require dragging out a lot of supplies.  While cleaning out my paper scraps earlier this week, I ran across a 6x6 pad of Basic Gray “Out of Print” designer paper that I had forgotten about.  The flowered sheet is perfect for a quilted motif – all I had to do was emboss it with my We R Memory Keepers 3D embossing folder. The black border is also from the same Basic Gray paper pad, so of course, it coordinates perfectly with the flowered paper.     Easy Peasy!

I had strips of both papers left over, so I used a border punch along the black piece. I flipped the flowered piece over and stamped on the white side. (I apologize, but I do not know what company the stamp is from.) I then glued the two pieces together, trimmed them to size, used my clear glitter pen over the sentiment, and popped up the piece with 3M mounting tape.  I found the Lindy’s Stamp Gang brass butterfly charm while cleaning and had set it on my desk.  Turns out that it was perfect for this card so I used teensy pieces of 3M mounting tape on the back & attached it to the card.

The card base is Fun Stamper’s Journey white cardstock and I used Archival Black ink.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Butterfly card

This is a card from my stash; I am sending it out in response to a card drive request on Splitcoaststampers.com.  I don’t remember much of the details but I wanted to share it because I haven’t posted anything for a few days.

The butterfly is a Joy Craft die and is available from Frantic Stampers   .  The image is Carved Damask (Product # [AT-0075]) from Fun Stamper’s Journey; you can order this stamp through my FSJ website.  It was stamped then heat embossed.  The image was cut with Spellbinders Label One and matted with a decorative Labels One.  I do not know the brand of the designer paper or the name of the collection that it is from.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Masculine Thinking of You

This is definitely a Clean And Simple (CAS) card!  And it was fairly quick, too.  I “copied and shared everything”  (CASE) This Card found on Stamp & Create With Sabrina .  I love the elegance of her card and I also like that it can be used for other occasions.

I used Fun Stamper’s Journey  Butter Cream cardstock for the base and all layers, so this card is very heavy  (just how I like them!).  I didn’t measure the image panel, but it looks like it is about 3” x 4”.  If you are CASE’ing my card, you might want to cut it a little larger & then trim as necessary.  

 The image comes from Technique Tuesday’s Greenhouse set; it is dated 2012 so it might not be available any longer.  I used Momento cat’s eye pads in Olive Grove for the stems and Rich Cocoa for the pod.  The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up Wetlands set and I used Fun Stamper’s Journey Black Licorice ink for it.  I then used a clear glitter pen over the word “Thinking” only.

I used Stampin’ Up Square Lattice embossing folder for the embossed layer. It was cut at 4-1/8 x 5-3/8, embossed, then trimmed to fit the card with an even border.   I used a piece of fun foam to pop up the image layer.  The solid backing from the fun foam will insure that the card will go through the mail and not be crushed.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentine's Day Card

This is the card that I made for my Sweetie.  I can finally post it on my blog now that Valentine’s Day is over!  He doesn’t read my blog, but I was afraid that if I posted the card early, that would be the one time that he did …. and then the surprise would be ruined.

Without further ado, here are the deets about this card.

The image panel (Fun Stamper’s Journey Oatmeal Cookie cardstock) is cut to 4-3/4” x 6-3/4” then stamped with Stampin’ Up! Gorgeous Grunge using brown, red, and gray inks to create the background.  The hearts were punched with three different sized punches from Stampin’ Up Cherry Cobbler, Fun Stampers Journey Oatmeal Cookie & Black Licorice cardstocks, and an unknown patterned designer paper. I also used a Sizzix embosslit for the smaller embossed hearts.  The banner was stamped with a Sizzix stamp then cut out with the matching die and the sentiment is from Stampin’ Up’s Teeny Tiny Wishes set.  The sentiment is actually straight, so I snipped the edges of the rubber & shaped it into an arch when I put it on the acrylic block.

I used ink to distress the edges of the hearts and used Fun Stamper’s Journey's  Journey Glaze on top of the smallest hearts to make them look like glass. The twine is from a roll that I picked up at a thrift shop several months ago, so I have no idea what the brand is!

After the main image panel was complete and the glaze was dry, I layered it on top of Fun Stamper’s Journey River Stone cardstock that was cut to 4-7/8” x 6-7/8”.  This panel was then glued onto a 5” x 7” card base using Fun Stamper’s Journey Whipped Cream cardstock.

Monday, February 15, 2016

White Pencil Highlighting

I have been wanting to try Jennifer McGuire’s White Pencil Highlighting technique  ever since watching her video from Feb 5th.    I needed a card for a friend’s mother, so I finally decided to try it last night.

My first attempt was not good at all, so it ended up in the trash.  It was so bad that I didn’t want to take a pic!  I used a floral background stamp, white pigment ink, and a white stabilo pencil; the details of the stamp got lost and it ended up looking like a mess of white lines.  Yuck!

I looked through my floral stamps and finally settled on an image from Penny Black’s Petal Party stamp set.  And! I was doing the Happy Dance after I found a white Prismacolor pencil in with all my other colored pencils!   I used Colorbox white pigment ink for the image and stamped it on the left side of the Fun Stamper’s Journey Pretty Pansy cardstock. I followed Jennifer’s instructions on using with the white pencil to feather and soften the ink. I liked this one sooo much better than the first one! 

I stamped one of the sentiments from the same stamp set with Versamark ink then heat embossed it with detail white embossing powder.  Then, I decided it was too stark and plain so I thought I would use Fun Stamper’s Journey Pretty Amethyst cardstock to layer underneath the image.   I decided to do something different and lay the front so that only the right side and bottom edges of the Pretty Amethyst cardstock was showing.

Oh. My Goodness!  This card is just not making me happy at this point.  I like CAS (clean and simple) cards, but this one was far too CAS.  It also almost ended up in the trash can!  Since this card really needed some help (and fast!), I figured that making a frame around it with the white pencil couldn’t hurt. 

Eureka!  THAT was what the card needed!  It makes me smile now, and I sure do hope it will put a smile on my friend’s mother, too!   

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MMTPT394 Butterflies for Carolyn


This is my card for today’s  Teapot Tuesday  challenge at Splitcoaststampers.com.  This week, our cards are going out to Carolyn in Douglass, KY.

My card is a very loose CASE of  this card    that I found on Pinterest.  Since my card is very different, it is probably more accurate to say that I was inspired by Hansi's card rather than call mine a CASE (copy and share everything).  Oh well!

I used Papertrey Ink dies to cut the flourishes and Memory Box dies for the butterflies. The sentiment is from  Simon Says Stamps set  #SRHA15.  I used a clear glitter pen over the sentiment and the butterfly antennas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hand Drawn Poppy

Hand drawn and watercolored poppues

Last night, I doodled this poppy and bud while talking on the phone.  The doodle turned out nice, so I decided to color it with my Zig watercolor markers.  The worst that could happen was that I messed it up so, if nothing else, it would be good practice.  In the end, I was happy with the results! 

After I colored the flower, bud, & stems, I thought it looked a bit bare and needed a leaf.  Well! Instead of looking at some poppy stamps that I have to verify what the leaves actually look like, I decided to cut a stencil using a Heartfelt Creations leaf die.  Rather than of tracing inside the negative space of the stencil, I traced around the actual die cut so the leaf ended up being too fat.  Then, when I colored it with the Zig markers, it got worse!  Oh well, practice makes perfect!   Once the leaf was semi-acceptable, I decided  to stop messing with it! 

I used a black charcoal pencil to draw a line around the image then smeared it a bit with my finger to give the image some depth. After erasing away some of the extra smudges, I sprayed the whole piece lightly with hair spray to set the colors.

After the hair spray was dry, I used my MISTI stamp positioner for the sentiment.  It’s a good thing I did because I had to stamp the sentiment twice to get a good impression.  I then went over it with a clear glitter pen to give it a bit of sparkle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mixed Media CAS Thinking of You

Today's offering is a mixed media CAS card that was super fun to make!

I stamped the background first, using pink ink, then stamped the tulips onto the background with black ink. No need to maks the images at this point.

I stamped the tulips again on yellow, red, and green cardstocks, did a little shading with coordinating markers, then paper-pieced them onto the background.

After stamping the sentiment, I went over it with a clear glitter pen.  This qualifies this card for this week's CASology challenge to use glitter.

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Brother's Birthday Card

My brother's birthday was this past week. When I talked to him on his actual birthday, he hadn't received his card yet due to the blizzard that hit the northeast over the weekend. Hopefully he has gotten it by now!   But he doesn't read my blog (he probably doesn't know that I have one!), so I am not worried that he will see it here before he gets it in the mail.

I enjoyed making this card. I wanted to make a scenic card built around the focal image stamp.   The trees in the background were stamped and drawn with various stamps.  The sentiment is an Elizabeth Craft Quietfire die.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Flower Card

I saw this card on Pinterest and fell in love with the stampset. It is now retired, so I had to find it on Ebay.  I was fortunate enough to get a good deal on it, though.

Here is my CASE  (Copy And Share Everything):

I used the same stampset, color scheme, and layout as the card from
Kirsty Brown's blog.  Most of the inks are Tim Holtz distress inks, so after I was finished stamping, I spritzed the image with water so that the inks would bleed and blend.

I  used Dee's Distinctively Dies "Thinking of You" die instead of stamping the sentiment.  I colored over the die cut with a clear glitter pen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Forest Scene

I drew this forest scene several weeks ago, and  saw it again last night as I was flipping through my art journal . So I thought I would post it.

It was very easy!  I used colored pencils and followed This Tutorial that I found on Pinterest.  It's certainly not perfect, but I am happy with the results. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lasting Hearts Card Drive (update)

 Here are most of the cards that I sent to the Lasting Hearts card drive. The stamp & die set used on the cards in the first pic were purchsed from Simon Says Stamps.  

These cards are also posted on my Pinterest "My Cards" board

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lasting Hearts - Card Drive

Instead of rewriting all of the information, I thought it would be easier to post a link to Sandy Alnock's blog post about the card drive for Lasting Hearts:

Sandy Alnock - Lasting Hearts

Lasting Hearts is a ministry for families who have lost a child due to a miscarriage.  The grief is real and can be long lasting, as I know all too well after having lost a baby due to an ectopic pregnancy in 1989.

If you feel led to donate some cards to Lasting Hearts, here are a few guidelines from the Give Forward page seen here:

Cards with "Thinking of You," "Hugs,"  or "Sorry For Your Loss" as the sentiment are probably best.

You can either leave the inside blank, or sign it very simply. A suggested signature is  "You are in my thoughts and prayers" and then your first name and state.

Put the cards inside unsealed envelopes.

The address to mail the cards is:
              2892 N Bellflower Blvd Ste 216              
              Long Beach Ca 90815

Thank you.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy Anniversary

This is the card that I sent to my stamping friend and her husband for their wedding anniversary.  It was a quick and simple white-on-white card, but it sure did help jump start my creative mojo that took a vacation over the holidays!

Card size – 5-1/2" square
Paper – Stampin’ Up 2015 Sale-A-Bration DSP, Georgia Pacific base
Accessories – Tim Holtz die (sentiment) and Darice die (foliage)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year! My Word for 2016

Wow!  Time is flying by  (just like my mother told me it would when I was a kid  lol)

My word for 2016 is "Focus."   There are things that I need & want to focus on and they are:

1. My relationships with God, family (immediate and extended), and friends 

This is especially true for the man in my life.  We are two very different types of people and so it makes our relationship interesting, especially given that we live in separate homes.  He is a night owl and I am an early bird. He works long hours, so he is more relaxed about keeping his house tidy and I am somewhat of a neatnik!

My talent & ministry is cardmaking so I want to send out more cards througout the year. More than birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas; I want to send cards for no reason other than I was thinking about that person.  I also want to donate more cards to local organizations such as assisted living facilities for the residents to use or charitable organizations that serve animals.

2. My finances  

I want to pay down my credit card debt this year; the best way to do that is to take control of my spending habits and "shop" from my stash of art supplies first.

Paying down my credit card debt will free up money so that I will be able to donate more money to my favorite animal charity, The Mr. Mo Project .  This organization saves senior dogs from shelters around the country, finds fosters for the dogs, then pays for the transportation to get the dog to the foster, AND they pay all of the dog's medical bills for the rest if its life.

3. My art and my blog  

Once again, I have let life get in the way of both. I am not going to commit to posting here every day or even every week, but I do want to make a concerted effort to post more often.  However, one commitment that I can make is to spend time every week day in my studio, even if it is just to clean up or reorganize.

4. "Lighten My Load"  

This is an ongoing project and one that I will make progress, even if just baby steps, if I shop my art stash first.  I have joined a Facebook group called 40 Bags in 40 Days and read the posts daily as added inspiration to lighten my load.  My 40 day start date is tomorrow, Jan 6th, and my plan is to start in my art studio.

So, there you have it, Friends. In my mind, putting this into print seems to solidify my accountability.