Monday, September 21, 2015


It's starting to feel crisp and cool in the mornings. A few trees have started to change color. Autumn in Michigan is so beautiful. It's my favorite time of the year. Vibrant colors. Cooler temperatures. Apple picking. Bon fires. It's like a breath of fresh air to my soul.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hand Lettered ABCs.

You might have notice my creative focus has been changing over the years.  When I started this blog it was all about my scrapbooking pages, then I added some home made cards.  When I went back to school there would be some drawing and lettering.

Now that I'm done with school, I've been thinking about what I want to do. A full time job out of the house would not work during this stage in my life, so I need to find something I can do from home and with flexible hours.

I've decided to focus on my hand lettering and calligraphy and see if I can turn it into something. Like they say do what you love, and I love words!

That means you will be seeing more hand lettering and calligraphy on this blog, with some card making and other crafts when the mood and time strike.

I have been posting most of my work on Instagram.  Please follow me @SM3WKL to see all the latest.

The project I've been working on is a collection of hand lettered ABCs.  I did one page of each letter in different styles. It was interesting to see how many different ways I could find for one letter and now I have a wonderful reference book for future lettering projects. Here's a few examples of the pages. The whole collect is on Instagram or check out #ABCHandlettering for more inspiration.

Friday, September 4, 2015

With Sympathy

If you have been around my blog over the years, you know that I enjoy making cards.  This past month, unfortunately I had to make several sympathy cards.  I really have a hard time with this type of card. Not only because it's a sad subject, but I don't want the cards to look to cute or frilly.

This set of cards was for the same amazing person that will be truly missed. They were sent to his spouse, son and granddaughters (my nieces).  This gentleman was a lover of the outdoors and hunting. I didn't use any stamps. I decided to draw the images and used color pencils and copic markers to color the images and my calligraphy pen to write the message. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A few more cards

I was on a roll with my Copic coloring for awhile so had many images to make into cards.  Here are a few more using an image from Saturated Canary, called Spring Time.

I've been focusing more on my calligraphy and hand lettering lately.  If you would like to see what I've been doing you can see it over on Instagram, my username is sm3wkl.  I'm currently doing a lettering challenge. I will post something on here when I'm done, but if you would like to see the day to day Instagram is the place to see that.

What are you focusing on right now?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Photograph Scavenger Hunt

Many of the bloggers I follow like to participate in Rinda's photo scavenger hunts.  I always enjoy seeing how everyone captures the different prompts, so I thought I would join in with the summer hunt.

We had a special summer trip planned to Europe. We were taking my mother back to her home town for a visit.  It's been close to 20 years since she has been to Germany to see her friends and family. She turned 78 this year and we thought it would be a good item for her to visit one more time.

This photo is not on the hunt but was a favorite from my trip. This is my Mom, her brother and sister-in-law and me and my family.

I asked my boys to help me with the hunt when we went to Europe for our summer vacation. We had a good time getting many of these photos and I have to admit being on vacation helped capture these items.

Item #3 Person walking an animal. We had several photos of people walking their dogs.

Item #2 Ornate door knocker. Not sure about the knocker but this door was so ornate that I figured that was close enough.

Item #22 People eating Outside. Since we were in Europe during a major heat wave this was very easy to find. No one wanted to be inside since there was no air conditioning in the hotel.

Item #7 Turtle. One of the many toy shops we visited and found this wonderful turtle.

Item #8 Someone "plugged in" to social media.  This is one of my favorite photos from our trip. We were taking a walking tour of Rothenburg ab der Taub and these guy was so plugged in he didn't notice when our tour guide stood on the bench and a crowd of 100+ people stood in front of him. When he finally realized, he just smiled and went back to his devices.

Item #15 Flag pole with a least three flags.  This was the closes we could get to this item.

Item #11 Satellite Dish. As we walked along the mid evil town wall we noticed these satellite dishes. Love the old and the new living together.

Item #5 Architectural columns.  Just gorgeous, what else can I say about this building in Munich.

Item #1 Bouquet of flowers.  I gave my Aunt the bouquet of flowers on the table. The last time I saw my Aunt was almost 16 years ago and I saw my Uncle when I was a teenager. It was so special to see them again.

Item #17 At least two people wearing matching outfits. One of my boys noticed these gentlemen and captured the photo for me.

Item #10 College or University.  We happen to notice the beautiful painting as we were walking and noticed that this was the side of the University in Munich.

Item #20 A Natural Body of Water. Very cold but refreshing after a long hike.

Item #16 Panoramic view, taken high. Again, this was an easy photo to capture in Europe. Up in the Alps looking down - Just amazing.

Item #23. Someone holding an umbrella. With temperatures over 100 I wasn't surprised to see this umbrella.

Item #12 Public Restroom. We saw some interesting restroom, I just felt weird taking a photo. But I did snap this one of the girls door.

Item #6 Metal Bridge.

Item # 13 Merry go Round.

17 Items out of 21 in one trip.  Not bad for our first time and we still have a few weeks before the end of summer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Playing with watercolor pastels

These cards were inspired by a technique that I saw over at Kristen Werner's blog.  She is an amazing card maker and I love seeing all the cards she creates.  When I saw this smooshing technique I knew I would have to try it.  I love the look of watercolor and had a set of Neocolor II Watersoluble wax pastels that I've been wanting to use.  I also used some dies from Simon Says Stamp - I'm getting addicted to these dies and have many on my wish list. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Boy Cards

 Having three boys, I never have enough boy cards. I find that creating cards for boys, especially pre-teen/teenage boys can be very, very difficult.

Both of these great boy images are from Saturated Canary. Yes, I had some fun on her web site one day and I'm just getting around to using the images (hint: there are more to come.)

The paper I used for these cards is from Echo Park and is call All About a Boy. Something I had in my stash for awhile.  When we still had local scrapbook stores around here I loved to go in a look, I would usually end up with an arm full of items and if I say anything that was boy related I would buy it. Over time I've gotten quite a large selection of boy items.  I miss the local stores because I just find it more satisfying to see and touch the item instead of just looking on a screen.

For this card I actually only used the upper part of the image. I can not remember the actual name for this image but the png was called Give Big Boy. Once again I used my Copic markers to color the image and used the Perfect Pearls Mist to add some shine.

I really love this image called Gamer. My boys all love video games and Star Wars so I felt this was a must have. The game on were some basic grey chipboard letters I've had for a long time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm on a roll....

This week I decided to use this beautiful image I got from Saturated Canary called Orchard.  I used my Copic markers to color the images. The sentiments were from some other stamp sets I have and then I added some bling and used Perfect Pearls Mists to add some shine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sets of Three

I like to make multiples of similar cards, especially if I'm hand coloring an image.  I figure if I'm going to pull out my Copic markers I might as well get a few images done at the same time.  This is a great way to test out different color combinations.

In my quest to use what I have I decided to use an old Close to my Heart set called Ms. on the Go.  I think the saying born to shop not to mop is funny and would make a great card for many occasions.

This next set of cards has been waiting a long time for me to complete. (Sorry about the blurry photo) The stamp set is by Art Impressions and it's called In the Tub. I had just spent the weekend with some girlfriends in a hot tub drinking wine, so I just had to get the set.  I plan of sending these cards to those friends on their birthdays.

When you make cards do you do one at a time or do you create multiples that are similar?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is a big day of remembering for me.  I lost my Dad over 16 years ago from Alzheimer's disease.  Today I will spend some time going through the scrapbook I made so that my children would know my Dad. I will spend time remember many of the fun and everyday things we would do together. I will feel sad that he can not be here with us so I can give him a hug and tell him thank you.

Today is also a day to celebrate. Our celebration will not be that grand. My husband is out of town for work so we will be postponing our celebration until he returns.

I did send a card to my father-in-law wishing him a happy Father's Day. He's a wonderful man and always very helpful with advice and support when we need it. They live on the other side of the U.S. so we don't get to see them often, but they come out for visits at least 3 times a year.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

OLW - April

My word and I took a little break the last few months. I was in survival mode, which I do not enjoy. Things were so busy and I was just trying to stay afloat.  I'm working on trying to not be too busy. I want to relax, sit, think and wonder. We don't do enough of that.

I didn't have any baseball card divides so I used what I had on hand. I actually like the different shapes and the mix of images and words.  I took pictures of the items that represent what I'm starting; calligraphy, creating, moving, drinking (water), yoga-ing, reading.  The descriptions were written on the images after printing (putting my calligraphy practice to use).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Use What You Have

My kids school year is wrapping up tomorrow. This past week we have had many celebrations and exciting activities.  I will have a child starting High School, one starting Middle School and a fifth grader next year.

Between all the running back and forth to school and chaperoning I've been trying to declutter our house.  When we remodeled our kitchen everything was tossed into the basement.  Last weekend I decided to have a garage sale to help remove the clutter.  This weekend I have Purple Heart coming by to pick up the rest.  

We also bought two computer desk for my boys and husband. We moved the old Mac to one of these desk, which has freed up half of my desk.  So now I need to declutter and reorganize my room.  I've noticed the last few times I wanted to sit down and create I spent most of my time trying to find supplies. I've changed the way I create and the set up that use to work for me just isn't cutting it.  I will make sure I take some before and after photos but this is going to be a major undertaking.

While I started going through some of my supplies I realized I have 1.) too much stuff and 2.) some great stuff that I bought and never used.  So I'm setting a challenge to myself - Use What I Have and stop saving it for something better.  This doesn't mean I can not buy new supplies – I mean, come on I just had a garage sale and have some money to buy fun stuff. It just means I need to stop holding on to items for a rainy day.

So first up on the Use What You Have goal are these great butterflies. 

 I'm not even sure who made them but I do remember they came on a 12 x 12 sheet and you popped them out.  I've been holding on to them for years.  I decided to use them al and make some cards.  My card box was getting very empty and card making is something I need to do more often.

This card used the last two butterflies and some scrap paper I had on my desk. The sentiment was hand drawn.

I decided to use two wooden stamps that I've had for many years as the background for the rest of the cards. Both stamps are from Hero Arts La Letter and Raindrop Background.  I embossed the Raindrop Background with clear embossing powder.  The bling in the middle of the butterflies were another item I've been saving.  The ticket, star and swirl are all Tim Holtz's items.

The happy birthday sentiment on the cards above was hand drawn.

This card I actually made a mistake when written happy birthday so I used some scrap paper and another stamp set I haven't used enough - Any Time Message by Hero Arts.

My goal is to start making myself use an item that I've been saving instead of refiling the item.  Do you have a habit on holding onto items too long?  If you do, join me in actually using those little gems.