Monthly Archives: January 2015

Wintry Mix

Wintry Mix

Living in Connecticut, “wintry mix” is a common phrase in our forecasts from December through March. It usually means the roads will be a mess, but if the mix leans toward snow, we may get a bonus of beautiful on the trees outside, and since I’m rarely forced to go out in bad weather, the snowy beautiful makes up for the messy mix part pretty much every time.

My wintry mix today, however, is a bunch of cards made from the Simon Says Stamp January Card Kit.

Snow Much Thanks by BraveBeanArt

For this one I did some stamping on the snowy patterned paper to add a few more flakes with Versamark ink and the Perfect Pearls included in the kit. I added some of the Snowdrift sequins from Simon as well as a snowflake cut from vellum with the Stitched Snowflakes die set by Lawn Fawn. The banner piece is cut with Simon’s Bundle of Stitched Shapes banner die, and the patterned paper with a Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles die. The sentiment is from Simon’s Hand Lettered Winter Wishes stamp set, in the kit or sold separately. (I’m entering this one in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Winter Stamping–check it out!)

Happy Day by BraveBeanArt

Here are more flakes and sequins and rectangles. I loved the colors and patterns in the patterned paper from Bo Bunny that was included in the kit.


Thanks card by BraveBeanArt


These last two are variations on a theme–water color and heat embossing. For the top one, I did the water coloring on Tim Holtz water color paper using Distress Inks, then heat embossed over that with Zing black embossing powder. It was a little messy, but I can live with that! For the second one, I heat embossed the greeting with Zing white embossing powder first, then water colored over the top using my Koi water color set. I like the vibrancy the Koi water colors gave it. I added a few splatters and sequins to jazz it up a little.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Heart

Have a Heart

Love You by BraveBeanArt


Wednesday’s challenge at Simon Says Stamp is called “have a heart,” which inspired this card. I’ve been making a lot of colorful cards lately (coming up in a separate post!), so I wanted to do something a little more toned down and neutral. I started with the larger heart, which I cut with a Martha Stewart heart punch from a piece of white card stock I’d painted gold some weeks ago. I heat embossed the sentiment from the Love This stamp set by Simon Says Stamp and brushed over the whole thing with my clear Wink of Stella brush (hard to see the shimmer in the photo, but it’s there; you’ll just have to take my word for it). For the card base I used the Tiny Dots stencil from Simon and some glossy embossing paste by Dreamweaver. The ribbon was left over from an old card or scrapbooking kit, and the wooden hearts are by Studio Calico. Simple and sweet.

Everyday Cards

Everyday Cards



After making a whole lot of Christmas cards the last couple months, I took a few weeks off from card making, but I’ve regained my inspiration lately. It has been nice to work on some all-occasion and birthday cards after all the merry, merry holiday themes!


I picked up the Be Awesome die and stamp set at Studio Calico over the holidays during a sale. It’s a very simple card, but I kind of love it. I think it would make a great guy card, and I’m entering it in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, “It’s a Guy Thing.”

Awesome card by BraveBeanArt


Hello card by BraveBeanArt

This is another very simple one, on a kraft base with a few bits of paper scraps from older card kits.  That sweet little “hello” stamp is from the Simon Says Stamp Thought Bubbles stamp set.

happy birthday card by BraveBeanArt

This birthday card also uses the Thought Bubbles stamp set. I die cut the banner piece using a die from Simon Says Stamps Bundle of Stitched Shapes set. I cut the circle from a piece of white card stock I’d used to mop up a Distress Ink reinker experiment.

Yay banner card by BraveBeanArt

This one and the next one are both from the December card kit from Simon Says Stamp. This one’s banner was inspired by a card I spotted on Pinterest and just loved; you can see the original here at DIYcraftyscraps.

Sparkle&Shine card by BraveBeanArt

This one uses that lovely December card kit again, as well as a heart die cut from the Bundle of Stitched Shapes set. I used a little Wink of Stella on the heart. The December card kit is sold out, but you can pick up the Sparkle and Shine stamps separately, and they are pretty fun.

A Little Art Journaling

A Little Art Journaling

Although card making took over much of my studio time for the past couple months, I did make some time for art journaling along the way. This first spread, in my Dylusions art journal, came out of a conversation with my daughter and daughter-in-law about the possibility of my getting a part-time job. I used some drywall tape from the hardware store, lots of paint and stamps, and some of my favorite wooden alphabet stamps The woman figure is from a stamp set by Dyan Reaveley, and I colored her in with Tim Holtz Distress Markers.

What to Do art journaling page by BraveBeanArt

After that job conversation I resolved to refocus my energy on my art, and this simple page came out of that. Nothing special going on here, just the desire to keep growing my art, keep practicing creativity, keep refreshing my love for making stuff.

Grow Your Art journal page by BraveBeanArt

This last page is a little dark in more ways than one, but I often use my art journaling to work out difficult emotions and insights about myself. This is a simple acknowledgement of the striving to be OK by being perfect that has marked my whole life. I’m working my way out of it, but it’s not a short journey. (That girl stamp is by Stampotique; I adore her.)

To Be OK art journaling page by BraveBeanArt

Sketching Again

Sketching Again

Tree sketch by BraveBeanArt


One of my Christmas gifts this year was the book Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques by Thomas Thorsprecken. The book is full of excellent instruction by someone who really knows what he’s doing, as well as tons of inspiration in the form of on location sketches by the author as well as others. I had set aside sketching in November after completing a drawing class, which ironically sucked the joy out of drawing for me (temporarily, as it turns out). This book lit me up again, and I’ve been sketching daily since opening it on Christmas morning.

Marmalade sketch by BraveBeanArt


My sketches are full of mistakes. I can hear my drawing teacher pointing out this or that perspective error, off-kilter angle, and unrealistic shadow. But I remind myself that I love looking at sketches that are full of wobbly buildings, impressionistic trees, and wonky lines. They are full of life and charm.

Red Cup sketch by BraveBeanArt


So I’m going to keep sketching. I have a lot to learn, but that’s much of the fun for me. I’ve signed up for what I expect will be a more inspiring sketching class than my dispiriting drawing class this past fall, an online class by Jane LaFazio. I cannot wait–but until then I plan to keep my sketchbooks ready and active.

It’s Twenty-Fifteen. Really?!

It’s Twenty-Fifteen. Really?!

So I took a little blogging break in December. It felt as if all I was doing was making cards and running errands and making cards. That can’t quite be true, but cards were really the thing for me art-wise last month. Here are a few:

St. Nick card by BraveBeanArt

Those white dots on the card above are embossing paste smooshed through the very fun tiny dots stencil from Simon Says Stamp. The card pieces are from a big pack I purchased from Peachy Cheap; they’re by Chic Tags. Because they arrived when I was almost done making Christmas cards, I’m sure I’ll be using them next year.

Joy Shaker Card by BraveBeanArt

Here’s yet another shaker card. I used the Thought Bubbles Die from Simon Says Stamp, a new acquisition. The heat-embossed greeting is from Simon’s Peace on Earth stamp set. I watercolored the top panel, and the inner paper is from Lawn Fawn. I love the colors of this card. I’m entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday “Anything Goes” challenge.

One last card for today–not a holiday card!

Wishing card by BraveBeanArt


This uses the Thought Bubbles stamps set with the Thought Bubbles dies. I also used a stitched rectangle die here, but I don’t remember if it was from my Lawn Fawn set or from the new-to-me Bundle of Stitches set from Simon Says Stamp. Again I used water colors and heat embossing.

I’ll be back soon with some non-card artwork!