Friday, June 24, 2016

From A Simple Sketch To Printed Artwork


The little doodle that started it all!  Most of my paintings start out as a little doodle.  The challenge is to keep that spontaneity and translate it into the final painting.




Working on the “P.S. I Love You” artwork.  When hand lettering, it sometimes takes a couple of tries to get it just the way I want it.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What Red Lipstick Is Marvel's Agent Carter Wearing?

I was so excited when I heard that ABC was releasing the show "Marvel's Agent Carter".  Actress Hayley Atwell reprises her character, Agent Peggy Carter, from the films "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier".  After watching the first Captain America film, I wondered what happened to Peggy Carter.  I thought she was such a strong and intelligent character, but was left back in time, when Captain America woke up in the future.  Well, now we get to find out with this TV series.  I just love stories taking place in the 1940's, one of my favorite eras.


The series picks up after WWII is over.  All the men have come home, and now Peggy Carter is being treated more like a secretary than a secret agent.  Unbeknownst to her coworkers, she is being sent on secret missions by Howard Stark (Iron Man's dad).  And of course she looks fabulously stylish while doing all this!



So what is that perfect shade of matte red lipstick that Peggy Carter is wearing?


And now you know where to get that perfect 1940's red lipstick.  Isn't the packaging so cute?  Bésame recreates modern versions of classic luxury makeup.

Watch "Marvel's Agent Carter" on ABC Tuesday nights.  Catch up on all episodes on Hulu.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Chocolate Covered Pretzels


My daughter's class Valentine's Day party was yesterday.  For her Christmas party I brought Black Forest Cupcakes and it was a big hit with her classmates.  So this week I was looking around to find a treat that would have the same "WOW Factor" and be just as easy to make.  That's what I always look for, something fun, cute and super easy to make!  My 8 year old had a lot of fun helping me make these.  It went something like this.... one for her tummy, then one for the class and so on.

I found a recipe for Chocolate Covered Pretzels on a really cool blog called Love From The Oven.  Her photos are much better than mine.  I just snapped this shot really quickly with my phone before the pretzels were attacked by a bunch of hungry 3rd graders.  Yes, they were a big hit with the kids, the parents and the teachers!  Thanks Christi from Love From The Oven.  Through your recipe, I made a lot of people very happy:)

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
I used White Chocolate/Almond Bark (I found at Walmart)
Snyder's Mini Pretzels
Sprinkles, Pink Sugar, and Chololate Jimmies
Wax or Parchment Paper

Melt chocolate according to package directions.  Don't over cook or add water.  Cook for one minute in microwave at 50% power, then stir.  Return to microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power.  Stir really well.

Dip pretzel in melted chocolate. Tap pretzel against the side of the bowl, before dipping in sprinkles.  Dip the entire pretzel into bowl of sprinkles once chocolate has cooled a bit.  Then lay on wax paper to cool and set.  Pop them in the fridge if you are in a hurry to have them set.

If I was making these for grown ups, I would go easy on the sprinkles. But for the kids, we put a ton of sprinkles on.  They look so festive that way!

Happy Valentine's Day!!



Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding The Perfect Mascara

I'm always in search of the perfect mascara.  My lashes need a lot of help!  I found the Maybelline Full 'n Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black at Rite Aid.  It sounded like just what I need.  I have to curl my lashes and a lot of mascaras I've tried are too heavy and just flatten them out again.  So I was very happy with the Maybelline Mascara.  It felt soft, gave some volume, lengthened and kept the curl.  If I have the time and can apply several coats, it really does a good job on my lashes.  So I would buy this again.  The only down side is, that I would like more volume and the tube didn't last as long as some of the expensive mascaras.  But for under $7.00, I really can't complain:)Finding The Perfect Mascara

I have to admit that my daughter and I loved the tv commercial for L'oreal's Miss Manga Mascara, and this inspired me to buy it.  Of course my lashes did not come out as full and beautiful as the model on the commercial (I'm sure they used fake lashes on her), but it was comparable to the Maybelline Full 'n Soft.  My lashes were able to keep their curl and if I applied several coats, I could get the length and volume I wanted. But unlike the Full 'n Soft, Miss Manga mascara gave my lashes a more spikey feel.  I didn't like this or the bendable wand.  A couple times the wand bounced too much when I wasn't expecting it to and smeared Mascara on my eyelid.  Plus, there is a problem with flakes during the day. So I'm not so sure I will buy L'oreal Miss Manga Mascara again.


Friday, February 6, 2015

DIY Bluestar Cat Valentine's Day Tag - Free Download



My daughter is very into the Warriors books by Erin Hunter and her favorite character is a cat named Bluestar.  So this year for her class Valentine's Day exchange we decided to do a DIY Bluestar tag for some paw print pencils I found online on the Oriental Trading company website.  These pencils came in a pack of 24 for $4.25.  Which is perfect because there are 24 kids in my daughter's class.


I traced one of my daughter's drawings of her version of Bluestar and painted it in watercolor then lined it with a black Micron pen.  I also painted a heart and paw print for the border.  My daughter came up with the saying "I'm never blue when I'm with you".  Then I scanned this all into an Illustrator file.  I printed it on cardstock and used a mini Fiskars hole-punch to make two holes to slide a 1/8" (3mm) red satin ribbon through it to tie the tag on the pencil.


So if anyone else is a fan of Bluestar, Warriors, or Kitty Cats, here is a free downloadable PDF file for your own little Valentine's Tags that can be used to tie around pencils, candies or any other treats you can think of:)

Happy Valentine's Day!!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super Easy Black Forest Cupcake Recipe!

I made these cupcakes for my daughter's classroom Christmas party, but I think they could be for a Valentine's party as well.  They were a great hit with the kids and they were very easy to make.  I found the recipe on the Kraft website.


What You Need:
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Black Cherry Flavor Gelatin
1 - 1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
24 maraschino cherries with stems, drained

Make It:
Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes; cool completely.

Add boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min.

Whisk COOL WHIP gradually into gelatin until well blended.  Spread onto cupcakes, using about 2 Tbsp. for each.  Top with cherries just before serving.


Fresh out of the oven...mmm.


I was in a huge hurry so I added extra COOL WHIP to firm up the frosting which is why my frosting wasn't as pink as it should have been.  Oh well, the kids didn't seem to mind.


Some of the goodies at the class party.  I made chocolate covered strawberries too.  I felt I needed to add something healthy to the party.  At least there is fruit under all that chocolate, right?





Sunday, February 1, 2015

Free Shipping For The Month Of February In My Etsy Shop!

Hello everyone.  I took some unintended time off from blogging.  I was so busy with the holidays and then my household was hit with the flu bug over winter break.  It has taken me a while to get back into the swing of things.

Since February is one of my favorite months, having both Valentine's Day and my birthday in it, I have decided to give free shipping on all  U.S. orders of $10 or more in my Etsy shop! Use code FREESHIP10 at checkout.  Stop by and check things out.


If any of you lovely ladies would like to help me spread the word, that would be great!

Have a wonderful day!