Tag Archives: Life Book 2015

Life Book 2015 – Week 48

Can you believe the year is almost over?  I can’t!  But you will be seeing more creations because I’ve enrolled in the Life Book 2016!

We only have three more classes and then we’ll learn to bind all our work in a book.  I can hardly wait!  I’ve been wanting to learn how to bind pages for a journal since I started my mixed media journey.

I don’t recall if I told you the theme for this month – kind of late because this is the last class for November – any way the theme was Celebration and Play.

Since I just started working with watercolor media, this lesson really interested me.

Danielle Donaldson‘s lesson was all about “My Favorite Things” – It’s a celebrating of what makes me me.  We worked with pencil, watercolors and our imagination to create an illustration of our favorite things.  I practiced small scale illustrations and then colored them with a tiny brush and watercolors.

I enjoyed writing my name with the brush and watercolor – although she kept saying it would be hard, I found it quite enjoyable.


On this one I tried a little different font, and my names farther apart from each other and my L came out better.


And lastly, I tried different colors of ink and splattered watercolor with my paintbrush.


Then we doodled on a piece of Bristol paper…


…and put it all together!


Here are some close ups…




I hope this inspires you to create some of your favorite things in watercolor!

Thanks for stopping by!



Life Book Weeks 47 and 48

Life Book Lesson 47 –  Intuitive Painting With  Chris Zydel.

 I didn’t feel at ease with this lesson because of her philosophy, but I did the homework nevertheless by following her prompts because I want to be open minded, but not so open minded that my brain falls out.

I get the part about using the intuitive painting as a vehicle for getting more deeply in touch with our own intuition and our muse, but my muse was out on vacation.  LOL

In other words, it was hard for me to grasp the concept of her teaching style by not demonstrating her painting process, so I was truly grateful that Tamara stepped in to demonstrate her take on this lesson.

In the first segment, she said to use five minutes and just throw paint on the paper without thinking, and that’s what I did.

 Kind of looks like a couple of a stick figures.5minutePainting

The next segment was to paint something in 30 minutes without thinking and this is it…


I looked closely and sea creatures appeared,


a whale, and a porpoise.


And a seahorse or female figure, and a mermaid that I sketched in pencil.


Life Book 2015 – week 48 – Bonus: Smush-Book – 9 Muses – with Donna Downey and Bonus: Playful Word Fusion with Lynzee Lynx and a combination of the two with Tamara.

Had so much fun working on these three bonuses.

Donna’s video was showing us how to use left over paint in a ‘smush’ page, although this is not the page I used, but I wanted to show you what a smush page would look like; I’m going to use it on my next project and make more silhouettes.


After adding acrylic paints and stencils, I created this page.  the silhouettes reminded me of aliens so I added three planets on the right hand side.


I used my 6×6 Urban Landscape stencil by Ronda Palazzari by adding white acrylic paint and outlining it with a black pen.


I added the three circles and which became planets and added the words on the stencil “Wander and Explore” and where the planets are “Travel and Journey.


 and Lynx had us work on a word fusion exercise.


The fun part was combining both smushing and fusing and bringing them together in a very fun way!

Tamara’s video I introduced us to the gelli-plate (which I have already tried and love) and then create a painting like Donna’s and used the fused words too!

 I hadn’t used my gelli plate in a long time, so I had so much fun creating these prints.

Then I took one of the plates I created and made a smush page that didn’t turn out as beautiful as Tam’s but I’m already thinking about the next one I will create.

This is on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock which held up pretty well even after I added all the acrylic paint, splatters, and black ink.

 Mh, butterfly wings, another insect wing, or angel wings like one of my friends said – you decide!

I used the word fusion for this one – Playmily and Funting using my interlocking stamping letters.


Stay tuned for more Life Book 2015.

Thanks for visiting!


Life Book Lesson 46

Life Book Lesson 46 – Glorious Childhood Tales with  Violette Clark.

This was such a fun lesson! Violette showed us how to make a beautiful cartoon/story board of our happy childhood memories. And I had many indeed!!  

At home I went by my nickname “Licha” because my mom’s name was Carmen and my aunt’s name was Carmen.  Licha is for Alicia.


When I was going through the introduction I was really eager to start because I remember so many fun things I did growing up in Mexico.  I was a precocious child; always asking questions and wanting to know the why, where, and whens of everything.  You would find me reading in the car, on the floor, in bed, while visiting my parents friends, at the bull ring, you name it, I had a book in my hand.  (Yes, you read that right.  The men in our family were bullfighting enthusiasts, but I hated watching!)

I had very curly hair and mom would comb it in ringlets or “bouclettes” for the French influence in Mexico.  Sometimes, she would get tired of my hair being so messy and she would wet it with lime juice and pull it so tight to make tiny pony tails or braids, my eyes looked Asian, LOL!


Life now a days is so different than when I was growing up 50+ years ago. We would stay out late playing with the neighborhood kids until it got too dark to see the ball or whatever we were playing with.  And we really entertained ourselves without television.  Since there were very few girls in the neighborhood, I often played by myself.  My fondest memories are when I would play “grocery store.”  I would grind up the red bricks for red chile, the dirt for cocoa, and the sand as flour.  I made my own scales and weighed everything out and put it in paper cones for the “customers” to take home.

With the boys I learned to play tops, marbles, and ride bikes, much of which mom hated!  I went to a private school where we were made to act very proper, so most of the time during recess I would play Jacks.  And in my quiet time and at school my favorite pastime was to draw and color.


I loved paper dolls and spent many hours playing with my sister.  Mom was very crafty and made more dolls, clothes and the furniture out of match boxes.  The clothes were traditional clothing from different regions in Mexico.  The big boxes were the beds and then she would make chairs, and dressers with the small match boxes.  I never got bored!


When I was seven years old my dad finally bought an RCA television.  And, that’s because he caught me watching the neighbor’s TV through their window after paying them .25 cents to watch.  He felt so bad, the very next day he went and bought us a black and white set.

That’s when I came in contact with the English language because dad would watch American television programs.

In Mexico, we didn’t have a lunch period.  Dad would pick us up and take us home to eat a warm meal mom had prepared for us.  After lunch, he would relax by watching The Secret Storm, The Edge of Night, Days of Our Lives and other nightly program.

There you have a story board of my childhood memories.  By the way, that’s my little sister hurrying me to go play paper dolls with her.

Here’s my tag and spinner!

My favorite snacks in the summer were the “raspas” or cherry flavored snow cones.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy creating!!



Life Book Lesson 45

Well, here I am again bringing you some exciting projects – ha!

As I said in my last post, one of my favorite lessons with Tam was the gorgeous swan girl.

Second time I’ve worked on two pages so it did take a while and I spent way too much time playing with my background.  But I am very pleased to bring you my rendition.

This is the right side of the page before I changed the doodling.

Swan Girl

This is the finished piece.  I attached the two pages so I could take pictures of the whole project by using painters tape on the back and on the sides.

SwanGirlTwo pages

I played around with the left side and the deer appeared looking surprised.  I also used a stencil for the various images and a Unity Stamp for the arrows.


I made the bottom of this page with a stencil using green molding paste as well as the body of the swan.  The bottom doodle is a combination of my imagination and a Pinterest idea.


After googling for some Native American symbols I found out the Thunderbird I had stenciled represented the “Bearer of Happiness.”  How appropriate!

I also added more stencils on the borders.


The heart is colored with watercolors paints and I also added more symbols and stenciled with molding paste.


I’m very pleased with the way this girl’s face came out.  I also added some feathers on her head-dress and a necklace on her neck.


And, finally the swan’s head.


My daughter really like this and asked me not to give it away, but since is part of Life Book 2015, I’ll have to make her a canvas.  Hopefully it will look like this page as well.

Thanks you dear friends for stopping by.  I’m almost caught up posting all my projects for this year.

Happy creating everyone,


Life Book Weeks 39 – 41

Life Book Week – From Here to There

with Roben Marie

This week’s lesson with  Roben-Marie is all about finding connection with our wholeness again through the pages.  Roben-Marie talks about the therapeutic aspects of journalling and shows us how to create a beautiful journal page from ‘here to there’! 

Using watercolor paper I first made marks all over the page then started layering different media including stamps, stencils, pages from magazines,  sheet music, and old book pages.  I also made some of my own tools and applied them on the page.  It is not as bright as Roben-Marie’s but I like it!


These are the closeups of this page:


This is the bird cage stamp I used and the bird is a paper I punched out with a circle punch


Some of the marks we did were circles with a paper towel tube

I used them to stencil in some flowers


This is part of a magazine I used and left the image inside the circle also


This shows some of the book papers I used to make circles and attached them to the page where I thought needed to be covered


Lastly, we made tags and put them inside a pocket I made using my sewing machine so it wouldn’t obstruct the page.  By the way, Roben-Marie was making the tags along with each layer and I didn’t realize she would be using it for the journalling, but I went back and created three tags and will use them on other projects.  The stamp I used is from Unity Stamps.


Week 40 – was an interview with Chris Zydel she teaches intuitive painting and mark making and her class is sometime in November – looking forward to trying it out!

Week 41 – Kristin Vanvalkenburgh

I found this lesson by Kristin to be very moving. It was  a very therapeutic  exercise.  I got a little teary eyed when I was watching the first video because she shared some memories of when she was younger with us.  So this exercise was about writing a letter to your younger self and be accepting of the future.

I enjoyed working on this lesson too, because I allowed myself to be free and not think too much about the process.  One thing I did was use lighter colors and I really like the look.

This is the page I created using spray inks, acrylic paint, stencils, glitter and lots and lots of texture with gesso.


This is the heart I created with burlap using the circles stencil I made myself.  I attached a piece of card stock to the back of the heart and sewed around the edges with a straight and zig-zag stitches so the burlap would not unravel.  Since it’s a very personal message, I stapled it shut so no one else can read it but me!


Close up of all the texture I created using paper towel tubes, a comb and a plastic tool with a different edge on it.


I had never used glitter on top of spray inks before, but it looks like it adhered well.  I applied mod podge juste to be sure the glitter would not come off everywhere.


Finally, the left hand side showing more glitter and more texture.  This was so much fun, although, it did take me three days to complete.  I am keeping these techniques for future projects of my own for sure!


There you have it, friends, let me know what you think and have a fabulous week!

Hugs, Carmen

Life Book 2015 – Weeks 36 and 38

Week 36 – Finding Strength with Donna Downey

This is one of the many class I’ve been waiting for in Life Book 2015.

Donna used one of her stencils and a different substrate to teach us several techniques, but if we didn’t have the stencil, Tam shared a step-by-step PDF to create our own figure.  You can also google it and find the instructions to draw one.

I did both and loved how they came out, so I made several because I’ll be participating in a craft show on Sunday, the 25th and I’m going to sell them!

Donna usually works on canvas or a journal, but she chose to work on a piece of fabric, which she first primed, and then stretched to create her own canvas.  I couldn’t find the wood stretchers, so for this one I used canvas paper.

I wrote a few words in the background with India ink and then transferred the image using the stencil.  I’m going to staple it onto a flat canvas and frame it.


I created this one on an 11 x 14 canvas following the PDF instructions.  I was going to frame it, but I just finished the edges.  If anyone asks about a framed one, I’ll have to quote them a higher price to cover the cost of a frame.


“She colored her thoughts with only the brightest hues.”

I used Flex and Fill paste which I bought at the hardware store to add some texture on the corners and painted them with Golden’s Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.  The quote is one of Donna’s stamps:


This is the Blue Girl.  I created her after I saw Picasso’s.


“Your beauty comes from within like a lotus flower unfolding.”

I added some hearts on the upper left corner because it was lacking something.


I also used a stencil with the paste for the bottom right corner and a Lotus Unity Stamp.


This is Donna’s girl project done in orange and green.  I added more texture to this one and a Donna Downey stamp.


“She pursues BIG dreams instead of small realities.”


Week 38 – The Journey to Acceptance with Jill Berry 

Jill had her journey earlier in the year when she found out that she had a huge heart aneurysm and had to be rushed to a hospital to have open heart surgery! She’s been on a journey of acceptance about her new path ever since.  Her video was very touching and she shared a couple of poems with us.

Her technique was really exciting and interesting.  She is known for her collages using maps and other interesting papers. She showed us howto make “multi-layer gel skins.”  It took me a week to make the gel skins because I had to wait for them to dry in order to add more layers.  Also, how to make backgrounds using artists tissue paper.  I didn’t have the tissue paper, but I used rice paper I bought to make another project which I will share in the next post.

This is the Egyptian Goose I drew on rice paper and collaged onto an 8 x 8 canvas.

On the top of the canvas I glued the gel skin which looks like a tree branch.


The stones by the stream, are a circles stencil I painted with different acrylic paints using a sponge on rice paper.  The green paint that looks like it has flowers is a gel skin also.


A close up of the gel skins and the rice paper.


I hope you enjoyed looking at my creations and if you’re in the El Paso, TX area, I hope to see you at the craft fair which will be at the Marty Robins Recreation Center.

Thanks for dropping by and see you soon!


Life Book 2015 – Week 34

This week we continue with the Healing & the Feminine Archetype theme.  This lesson was taught by  

Alena Hennessy who showed us how to paint a muse!

Alena talked about the different goddesses and what they represent.

I chose again to go back to my roots and explore the Aztec goddesses.

I chose the goddess Chicomecoatl. (chico meh, co atl)

Her themes are fire, providence, energy, community, abundance, fertility and strength.

Her symbols are hot spices (especially chili peppers), corn and fire.  In Mexico the goddess presides over maize and all matters of plenty during the time of harvest.  She is also the earth goddess and provides warmth, energy and fertility to those in need.

I chose her because she represents abundance and strength and because I love corn tortillas and chili peppers.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art : “the headdress is known as amacalli(“paper house”); it is the most typical attribute of the corn goddess.”

One aspect of the Aztec gods and goddesses were their insatiable thirst for blood.  I will spare you the details of how she was commemorated every September.

She comes in various appearances: a girl with water flowers.  She is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Cinteotl, their symbol being an ear of corn.

I really enjoyed drawing and painting this girl. I used watercolor paper, Pitt markers, india ink, and acrylic paints, and color sprays.  I might have taken too long and not be too intuitive, but I wanted to include all the symbols she represents.


The title – Chicomecoatl goddess of Maize and Strength






Strength and Abundance


Her sweet face 🙂


That is it for now, friends, posting this goddess made me hungry for tacos!  LOL

Keep having fun and thanks for coming to visit!


It has come to my attention that the image I used to create “Chicomecoatl goddess of Maize,”  was actually posted on a blog  without the original artist’s permission.  I publicly apologize for this omission, but just as I explained to the artist, Oesparza12, (sorry, she didn’t leave her full name on her comment on this post) I used Google’s search engine and it took me to the blog where this art was posted.

Life Book 2015 Week 20 with Jenny Doh

This week’s lesson was by Jenny Doh is – Unraveling Through Mark Making.

First of all, this lesson was way beyond my comfort zone.  Some people are able to make awesome intuitive creations, but I had a hard time with this.

I created two today because the first one was done totally without thinking, spent too much time on it, and I feel it was a total mess.  I used fluid acrylics, high flow acrylics, fine line applicator, Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, and palette knives.

I started out by dropping two colors of ink and using my spatula to make marks on the paper, then I switched to the fine line applicator and some black India ink.  I didn’t like what was going on so I started on the left side of the paper just using the red and violet.  I could see what looked like a red hat, so I went with it; then added the face.  I call her The Red Hat Lady.  She’s looking pretty sad because she just saw what was behind the curtain on the right side.  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!  LOL


This is a closeup (she’s so sad!)


I also dripped some of the paint and added red lines – doesn’t it look like a shower curtain?  LOL


The next piece is my sort of non intuitive painting – I didn’t know what I was going to make, but after laying the paint and making some circles, I decided very soon into the process that I was going to make a face – yeah the face of punk girl!

The word for this one is Just Be – whatever you want to be – Just Be!


Close up of the face (purple mole, or is it just a stain?)


I used a pink neon high flow acrylic paint for the title and made other marks with the violet, red, and black inks.

Well, I’m just glad I did it and got it over with.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for doing this type of art, but I gave it a try and hopefully next time I will like it a bit more!

Thanks for stopping by and…

Keep on crafting!


Life Book Week 19 – Shadow and Light

Wow, two posts in one week!!  I must really be behind!  Nah, just taking my time, LOL!

This lesson was presented by Jessica Swift.  She is an awesome pattern designer from Portland, Oregon.  She designs hand carved stamps and other media.  You should go to her shop and see all the amazing things she creates!

This was so much fun!  I got to use some of the stamps I created myself when I took Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Stamp Carving Class a while back.  Please go visit her too – she is obsessed with carving stamps LOL.  I also purchased her book Carve Stamp Play which is full of wonderful carving and how-to pictures!

But I digress, sorry about that.

I only made one stamp for this class because I tried to make the one thing I have difficulty with – circles!

Since I will be creating a big journal at the end of our creative year, I opted for creating two pages on one large watercolor page.

I divided my page in half by adding painter’s tape to the middle and right hand side so I could have a border.  I will be cutting off the paper on the left side, then folding the whole page in the middle.

The left side is the light part.  I used acrylic paints in greens on the bottom layer and Speedball block printing ink in turquoise for the stamps.  I used a favorite stamp of mine at the bottom because this is the one my grandson’s friend made for me.  It has two small ants at the bottom of the flower, cute!  Then I stamped the leaves on the borders followed by one small stamp I turned right or left to make a border.  Then I made lines with my dotted home-made stamp for journaling.

The dark side on the right is a combination of different shades of purple acrylic paint and then I used a pink Speedball block printing ink with the home-made stamps.  I also added some white dots with the white paint marker.  My husband was really impressed when I showed him this page .  Made me happy!


This is the upper part of the light page.  I added black dots with my Pitt pen.


A close up of the border I used between the two pages.


Sorry about the picture bellow, it warped a bit on the right hand side.  You can see a closeup of the 1/2 flower I made with the leaves on the dark page.


The bottom right with the line stamp and white dots.


And the closeup of the flower with the white dots.


I was really happy to use all the different types of pens and materials I have accumulated in the past seven years since I started playing with paper.

I go to Joann’s, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and go straight to the clearance section to find anything that is on clearance I can use  in the future.  I have found quite a bit of goodies every time!

Next week we will be having a substitute instructor – I promise to be nice to her, LOL!  Apparently Flora Bowley is having some family health issues and will not be posting so Jenny Doh will take her place and Flora Bowley will do her class in the summer.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned, lovely friends, and see what new project I have in store.

Until then,  happy crafting!


Life Book Week 18 – Here’s Looking At You Kid

This week’s lesson was interesting in that I had never done marbling with paints.  So Kristin Van Valkenbergh showed us how to get the kid inside of us to come us.  The interesting thing about Kristin is that she makes such cute mixed media pieces with whimsical wide eyes girls, but she showed us something completely different.

I used watercolor paper again on this one.  I created a marbling effect with only four different colors of acrylic paint.  I then attached my favorite photo and painted an aura around it. Then cut out a small door where my inner child would appear.  She had us write a letter from our “kid” about never loosing that inner child and representing our childhood with bright colors of acrylic paint.  I think if I do this lesson again, I’m going to use more neutral colors.  I think it came out too dark.


I used molding paste on one of Tamara Laporte’s whimsical stencils on the upper right hand corner and then used oil pastels (first time ever!) to color and add dimension.


For the door, I used card stock that looked like wood and Washi tape for the “hinge” and enhanced it with acrylic paint, stamps and more pastels.  I don’t remember the stencil I used on the bottom, but I also added more pastels to it.


My inner child used bright neon acrylic paint, chipboard banners, hearts, spirals and heart confetti.

The picture ended up looking like a lime sherbet cone!


After I uploaded the above picture, I decided that it did look like a cone so I outlined it!

2015-05-02 13.28.38

Well, I am keeping up with the classes up to now, just not posting as soon as I finish because real life gets in the way some times.

Until next time, friends, happy crafting!