Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wonder "Full" Holidays

So here we are, the end of one year, the beginning of another. 

I can't believe how much  my life has changed nor how much our three grandsons have grown in one year.

They are walking, beginner talking little wonders with big smiles, big hugs and most of all, big personalities.  They are my joy, my bliss, my creative muses.

They are just like their grandma.

They love to color, paint, and throw their sippy cups on the kitchen floor.

I love to color, paint and throw the ball to Bella, my puppy, on the kitchen floor.

As they continue to grow and change, I am dedicated to making more fun, more art, and even more music.  

My stamping has slowed down as has my time, but this year I am dedicated to making sure that more creative time is put aside so that I have time to play and dream and make.

2014 is the year!  Take the vow, make yourself a promise that you will find time to do what you love!  

Life is short, so make it wide!

Happy New Year to all my friends, family and acquaintances!  Thank you for being a part of my life!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo, the cutest puppy in my home

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wedding Wishes for a Wonderful Summer of Memories!

So, What is your summer looking like?

Ours is one of travel, wedding, travel, wedding, travel, wedding, travel, wedding, and on and on and on until the weekend after Labor Day!

You got it - we are on the road for weekend weddings from June through mid-September with only two weekends unaccounted for!  That is only because we will be on vacation those weekends...this schedule is worse than my business convention schedule ever was!

So my workshop has been busy with making wedding cards for all the brides and grooms along with sewing rompers for the "3 Amigos" so they have matching Disney Wear when we hit Main Street USA !  Grandma sure likes to keep busy :)

If you like this card, it is about as simple as they come:

Pick a color and run with it.  I chose a light lavender cardstock for the card itself. 

Cut your cardstock to 5.5" x 8.5".  Score down the middle of the card at 4.25"

Cut another piece of white cardstock - you choose the size*** as long as it is smaller than the 4.25" x 5.5" folded cardstock that you just did.  ***mine was 3" x 3".

Stamp your pretty little image - I chose a brown dye based ink.

Copic markers colored in the small flowers.  My Pink Pan Pastels did the outer edges of the dress and I used a Blue Pan Pastel for the edges of the white cardstock and some of the outer edges of my lavender cardstock.

I then used double stick tape and layered the stamped card onto the lavender cardstock.

GLITTER GLUE!  The best invention yet! 

Insert a piece of wax paper between the fold of the lavender cardstock and using your lavender, blue or crystal glitter glue tube***I used crystal on the white and blue on the lavender, outline your cardstock on the edges.

Let dry. 

WALA!  You are done and ready to put on your party dress and eat cake!

Hope this helps all of you to remember that keeping it simple, in cards as well as in life makes for a happier life!

Good words for the bride and groom as well, don't you think?

Hugs until my tires wear out, my dancing feet are worn out and my tummy is full of cake and happy memories of beautiful brides, handsome grooms, toasts a plenty and smiles for all.

Laura Anne and Bella Boo, the puppy who loves to dance to her own tune

Saturday, June 15, 2013

When Do I Get My Cookie?

Happy 4th Birthday to Bella Boo!

What a good puppy she is, the best ever!  She puts up with my long photo shoots, my long nights stamping, my grumpy moods and still, she wags her tail at me as if I am the best thing since sliced bread.

Wish I could be more like her...

My patience has been at an all time low these days as my creativite space has been inhabited by nonsensical gremlins of various sorts.  I am beginning to name these invisible time killer gnomes so that I have someone to blame when I can't do what I want to...you know them as well I am sure...  "Errand  Go Bad", "Casa Dull Dirt", "Laundry Be Done", and of course "Dishes Do Mount" to name just a few.

So for today, Bella and I will put away the dish towels, the cleaning rags, the vaccuum cleaner, the lawn mower and whatever else is trying to sap our energy and we will play, eat cookies and hug.

Yes, ladies (and gentlemen), I am turning off my cell phone for the weekend, telling the grown-up kids that I am busy, the hubby that I am off the clock, and all the others who "need" my attention but really don't (you know who you are), that I am busy celebrating the puppy love of my life! 

Once she falls asleep, I will creep downstairs into my studio and create something worth while or not, but I will create something that will heal my soul, make me smile and is worth a cookie for both Bella and I.

Bella and I have waited long enough to share those cookies of friendship. 

We have waited long enough. 

Today is our day.

Here is hoping that your day is worth celebrating, your heart is worth healing and your puppy is beside you sharing in your joy as you create a life worth living!

Happy Birthday to ALL,
especially Bella Boo, who has taught me to eat the cookies of life slowly and to remember to enjoy my life regardless of what comes my way.

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Silly!

If you are looking for something simple and wonderful and don't have a lot of time, this is your lucky day!

I love making circular pictures or cards!  Not quite sure why - maybe it is because I am always running around in circles and feel like I accomplish little if anything...LOL

So here you go - this is a 16" x 20" pastel (chalk) picture that I taught my students to do years ago.

It is a lesson in color theory.  Hot vs Cold. Color opposites.  Color analogy. If you don't have a color wheel, this would be a great time to get one so that you can truly understand what I am saying in this post.

Anyways, Here we go!

On any size paper that you would like,

  1. Draw circles with a light blue pencil, stopping at the points of the circle(s) where they overlap to give your peice some dimension.
  2. Now choose  two "friendly" colors - they are colors that are next to one another on the color wheel -these are your "friendly colors".  i.e. yellow and orange, green and blue.
  3. Now pick another set of "friendly" colors.  This time make sure that if you chose two warm hues, choose two cool hues to help set off your composition.
  4. On one side of the circle, use one of your "friendly colors" and color in 1/3 of the circle.
  5. On the other side of the same circle, color your other "friendly color".
  6. Blend the two colors together towards the center of the circle.
  7. Continue coloring all the other circles in the same manner using different combinations of "friendly colors". Make sure that you don't put two of the same friendly color combinations next to one another. 
  8. Once all your circles have been colored in, color black in all the surrounding areas that you have not colored in yet.
  9. WALLA!  You are done!  
I like to use a little aerosol hairspray on my chalks to set them so they don't smear or come off on my hands at a later date - but I will leave that decision up to you as to how you want to finish your piece of.

Warm vs Cool - spectacular color choices when making a greeting card.  Use one for the images and the other for the background or vise versa.

You can't go wrong using this color theory!

Have a creatively great day!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo                  


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cloudy weather, storm front approaching...

I am seriously hoping that there is a silver lining behind the clouds that seem to be hovering over me.

My creative energy has been sapped - well at least for now.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a well known psychologist who has written many self-help books, states that when one is having difficulties in their life, that is not the time to work on the hard stuff, but rather the time to sit quietly and wait until you feel healthy and ready to step out again. 

So, this is where I am - sitting inside of myself, hoping that the chaos and turmoil that surround me because I am unable to continue doing what I have always done finds a resolution on its own.  While others around me try to change my stance, I am the only one who knows what my limits are, physical as well as emotional. 

I am not always as healthy as I would like; I am not always as giving as I would like to be; I am not always able to say "yes" to all who need something.  Still, I give as much as I can and try to see the beauty within all who pull at my heartstrings.

Life changes.  Priorities change.  Hopefully people will change as well - to grow, to learn, to understand that what once was, is no longer a viable option.  Responsibility lies within each and every one of us to be our own advocates, our own friend, our own master.

So as the day continues to grow cloudier and darker and the storm front gets closer with loud thunderous booms and the lightening strikes with an angry force that cannot be denied, I will hug my children, my grandchildren, my husband, and my puppy with strong arms, a true heart, and the conviction to move my life forward in hopes that when the storm is over, I will be on the other side of a rainbow that proves how true my colors were to those who were not only truthful, but also true to me.

Listen - the rain is not far behind.......

Hoping that tomorrow is a brighter more beautiful day for all of you!

It will be for me as I am the maker of own life.

Laura Anne and Bella Boo, the most wonderfully warm puppy on this planet

Monday, April 22, 2013


With all the babysitting duties that I have been doing this year, my creative time seemed to be getting lost in the abyss of diaper changes, formula to be made, bottles to fill, babies to rock and hugs to be handed out.                                                                     Don't get me wrong, there is no way that I would ever change my "grandma" duties as the "three amigos" are the apples of my eye, but being an artist, there is still the need to create and in mid-March, when the skies are grey and the north winds blow so that you feel like the winter is never going to end, one needs something else to do in Chicago besides sit inside and look out at the dreariness that seemingly surrounds you.
Fortunately for me, the local newspaper served up the just right challenge to get this old grandma's creative juices flowing again -  An art contest at a local art gallery!                     
6" x 6" canvases would be handed out to the first 80 artists who showed up on a chosen day.  The theme was "Botany Magnified" and the painting, photo, etc. was to be handed in within 6 weeks.  A week later, there would be a formal showing of all 80 canvases and 3 winners would be chosen.  So...I got started...two weeks before it was due...not unusual for me...I love to procrastinate and feel the heat...well, at least that is what I tell myself.
I didn't win but I had a lot of fun thinking about it, creating it, and dreaming it up.  A few of my fellow artists whom I truly enjoy and think highly of, praised my piece which meant more to me than a blue ribbon.  I value their critiques more than those of the judges who were interior designers because my artist friends truly know what goes into the creative thought process and the actual execution of any piece of artwork.  My husband, children and grandchildren attended the event as well and it was fun to have them all there with me cheering me on. They made the night even more special.
I hope to participate in the contest again next year.  Maybe I'll start working on my canvas as soon as I get it...probably not though...the challenge of time management seems to be the drive in my creative journey.
So for today, I will meander down roads untouched with my paintbrushes and my stamps and tomorrow, if need be, I will put the petal to the metal when and if another deadline approaches.
Hoping you all find a contest or two to keep you going on your creative journey.
Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Belated St. Patty's Day!

While you are all creating wonderful cards and scrapbooks, we have been having fun celebrating St. Patrick's Day with green hats, shamrocks and lots of milk - dyed green of course!

I am always in the mood for these three little amigos and the silliness that they bring with them.  They are my own "little leprechauns" - full of mischief, full of giggles and full of movement. 

Someone should have told me that being a "Grandma" was going to be more wonderful, more magical and more work than I ever imagined.  The 3 Amigo's keep me running, smiling, and most of all - YOUNG!

Besides changing diapers, serving up a 24 hour milk bar and chasing after these active little men, I have been working on two art projects.  One for a friend - a tryptic of his granddaughter Irish Dancing, leg kicks high with her bouncing hair and another painting devoted to "Botany" which will appear in a local art studio on April 11th.

The canvases have been primed and the backgrounds painted while I work on the photos to add to them.  Both projects will be a composition of paint, Pan Pastels, and transfer immulsion that will hopefully give my projects a feeling from a past era.  

The Poloraid Transfer Immulsion technique is one that I fell in love with years ago at the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show.  I taught the class in Cincinnatti, OH a few years back and loved teaching it. 

The Poloraid Transfers come out with a sepia tone in them and leave you feeling like you are looking at a photo taken in the 20's or 30's.  They make wonderful overlays or fabulous backgrounds depending on what medium you use as a base.  Either way, the end results are beautiful no matter what mistakes were made in the initial stages of the creative process.

I am so turned on by these projects that I am burning the midnight oil to get them on canvas and that is no blarney - so stay tuned in to see them within the next week or two.

Wishing you all a little mischief, a little green beer, and alot of fun as we move into spring!

Happy St. Pat's Day,
Laura Anne and Bella Boo, the only Irish Schnauzer on the block

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Cool Ocean Water.
Flaming Hot Sunsets.

What color do you dream in?  Is your color quiet?  Is your color loud? 
Dream. Design. Draw.


Let the artist in you come out and dance on the paper, the canvas, the fabric, the sidewalk, the dance floor, the range top, the table saw.

Today is the day to make the time to create whatever brings a smile to your face.

Be bold. Go for it.  Fail.  Try again. Try again. Succeed. Smile.

Whatever you do, DO IT NOW!

Time is short.  DO IT NOW!

Jump start your day with a smile and a plan to create. Then DO IT NOW!

Enough!  I am heading to my studio.  I am going to create.  I am smiling.....

Hope you are too!

Laura Anne and Bell Boo

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 has opened it doors with flu, colder weather and lingering thoughts of the holiday season.

With the fiscal cliff threatening our futures, politicians who won't work together, guns, violence, and flu bugs filling up the hospital emergency rooms, I realize that now is the time to hold hands so we can all become "one".

Strong women hold hands, weak women let go...strength is in numbers and not lost in egos; strength is apologizing as well as forgiving; strength is honesty; strength is doing what is right even if it we won't be the winners.  This is the very essence of love and virtue. 

I am currently holding the hands of many, big and small, ill, healthy, young, old and even furry.  I refuse to let go.  They are the fire inside my furnace of creativity. 

I am currently working on sewing a few pair of pants and some t-shirts for "the 3 Amigos" as well as a few small stamping projects for friends.  These cloth and paper projects are keeping my mind off the news and my three week old cough.

I have had these projects laid out in my studio and on my to-do list for months but the inspiration was just not there even though the desire was. Cloth, paper, paint, ink, whatever your medium sometimes creative blocks take hold. 

Creativity can be illusive, cold and dark with no one to turn to, but over the years I have found that listening to my heart and waiting out the dark, my patience will be rewarded.  Creativity will burst forth and the projects in my mind will become more than I could have ever imagined.  The hard part is waiting out the dark, that is when we need to hold hands with one another, share a cup of coffee, tell a story or two until the darkness descends and the light rises to the top.  Believe me when I tell you, it is worth the wait!

So as we find our way through the noise that the media has created, the fiscal mess the banks, wallstreet, and our government have made and refuse to make it right for their customers and constituents, as the colds, flu bugs, runny noses, coughs and winter doldrums send us into that place called "cabin fever", I ask that you hold my hand so that I can hold yours.  We will get through this; we will prevail and before you know it the days will become longer, the shadows shorter and spring will burst forth with new and wonderful ideas so that the dead of winter turns into a distant memory.

There is a creative answer to the place we are all standing in.  Someone will find it; someone will share it; others will spread the word and all we need to do is hold hands, hold tight and listen with an open mind and heart.

Wishing you a day where the sun streams in your window with dust particles dancing about like fairies at a winter wonderland party hosted by Jack Frost!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo