Altenew Academy Beyond Basic Background

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Watercolor

Hi all, after a 6-month break, I’m back into trying to get my Altenew Academy Certification. I’m more than halfway into my level two and I “just” have another 15 or so courses to finish! 😉 Today I attended the online course at the Altenew Academy called “Beyond Basics Background” by the very talented Lydia Evans.

As usual, I learnt so many new techniques but I decided to combine two of my favourite techniques from the 6 different techniques she showed in 6 very detailed and instructive videos. I made my card using a watercolour background and water bleaching through the Altenew Watercolor Bouquet stencil, instead of using stamps.

Altenew watercolor bouquet stencil.jpg

On a piece of 300g watercolour paper, I first created a wash using Permanent Alizarin Crimson by Daniel Smith, in the middle, added some Scarlet lake by Winsor and Newton on the sides and Green Gold at the top and sides. I waited for it to dry a little and then placed the Altenew stencil over the watercolour panel and tapped through the stencil with a damp tissue. This lifted some paint from my watercolour wash leaving the outline of the rose stencil. The rest of the stencil also moved the paint underneath, which mixed the paints and gave a wonderful effect, don’t you think?

Altenew watercolor bouquet stencil cu

As you can see, by adding a darker red in the middle where I would be creating the flower, it created a nice dark border, highlighting it even more from the rest of the card.

To finish, I stamped the beautiful sentiment from Altenew’s Beautiful Quotes stamp set, cut it with one of Sue Wilson’s nest rectangle dies and matted it on a card base I created. I’m really very happy with the effect this method gave and thankful to Lydia at the Altenew Academy for inspiring me this way!

Well, thanks for dropping by and I hope you liked my card too. I would love to know your thoughts! Have a great day!

Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m sharing this with:

Inspiration challenge.jpgAltenew Inspiration challenge – I didn’t use tulips but I did use the three colours in the picture

sssmchallengeSimon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Make It Girly

the flower challenge.jpgThe Flower Challenge – Anything Goes

Yes VirginiaYes Virginia’s March Show and Share

CAS stencilling.jpgCAS Stencil – Ghosting

2019 A Year of Opportunities

Painting, Watercolor

Hi all. It feels like I haven’t blogged for ages and its not for a lack of desire but I’ve been working on my painting and I started 2019 with a few orders for my handmade cards and another project for a German charity group, so busy busy! I’ve decided that 2019 will be a year of opportunities for my paintings, which means I will sell them and I will improve my techniques by daily online lessons. Hopefully I will also find my style in the process or at least find what and how I love painting the most!

flowers in a stream

Flowers on a river – a Jean Haines inspired painting


At least I’ve put together a palette made with colours which I love, actually I made 2 palettes, one for floral paintings and one for scenery as I just started taking a “real” physical painting class at my local community college, called the Volkhochschule in German. Online classes are great for the variety and the instant access, but nothing beats the real time feedback from a professional while I’m painting and all my other more experienced class mates are so supportive and helpful too.

vibrant tropicals

Colour overload – trying my new palette in full force!

The theme for this class is “Light and shadows” and this is the result of the first class. In the process of painting it (afew times), I started out with just trying to paint the colours, before I realised I needed to understand what I was painting and once I did, it got better! Sounds logical doesn’t it but we all see paintings in different ways I guess and I see colours before shapes!

vh light & shades lesson 1

I also decided to refurbish my Etsy store and stock it with paintings instead of my pop up cards, even if they were selling really well. In fact Etsy said I sold better than 75% of other shops and my shop was Number 2 in Germany because of them, but I hated making the same design over and over again and they took alot of time. Whereas if I sell my paintings, once they’re painted, they can sell as prints or to be printed on products, so more time for me to paint!

I’ve been researching on how to do this and decided to use Etsy, linked with a print on demand website, mainly for my American customers, and Zazzle which is a website for customised product with designs from Independant artists, like me, for my European fans! 😉

wild flowers

Its hard work trying to do all this though and I never seem to have enough time… and I feel a little guilty my housework is getting very neglected… Anyway, I just feel very lucky my family is very understanding when the house is less than perfect and the food is on the table late, although they should be used to it by now! My friends are actually calling me too, to see if I’m still alive…😂

On that note, I do have to go get some laundry done cause there might be a little riot if they have nothing left to wear! Happy Monday everyone and I hope you do a little of what makes you happy this week.


paint signature base

Soft Blooms

Addicted to Stamps and More, Cards, The Ton stamps, Watercolor

challenge 325

Hi all, Its Wednesday so you’re in for a card marathon treat! 😅 For the first of 5(!) cards I will be sharing today is a relatively simple watercolour flower card I made for our challenge over at “Addicted to Stamps and More” where we have a beautiful photo Inspiration for you. I hope this inspires you to get creating and I look forward to seeing your beautiful projects in the link up.

I know it must be strange to see this photo in the middle of winter, I know I was surprised, but then I remembered our coordinator Kylie is from Australia, so its summer over there. And how nice for us here in the Northern Hemisphere to be reminded of flowers in bloom again when all we have to see out our windows are skeletal trees & a grey dark landscape (beautiful in its own way of course). So I loved the photo and was inspired to do a soft pastel water-colouring on a flower bowl stamp I got from The Ton called “Peony Bouquet” but was too intimidated to use until now.

The ton peony bouquet main

As I didn’t want to spend my usual “4h to paint” my stamp, I just wet a page of watercolour paper and plopped in some pink, violet & green paint in areas and once it was dry, I stamped the bouquet and then the bowl, sprinkled some Wow embossing powder over it and heat embossed them. Easy Peasy! To finish, I fussy cut them and arranged them on a card panel I had diecut using My Favorite Things scallop rectangle die and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment which is also from The Ton.

The ton peony bouquet cu

To create a more blended look, I also added some watercolour onto the scalloped card base, before I added my flower bouquet and bowl, this whole panel was then adhered onto a light teal card base from Hero Arts Pool collection.

Well, I hope my card has shown you that water-colouring does not have to be difficult to create a beautiful effect and I look forward to seeing what you came up with from that gorgeous photo inspiration. Do pop over to the Addicted to Stamps and More blog and see the other wonderful interpretations my talented team mates have created just for your viewing pleasure!

Thanks for popping by and have a great creative day!



I’m sharing this over a:

crafty addictsThe Crafty Addicts – Anything Goes with an optional theme”make it girly”

Crafty creationsCrafty Creations – Anything Goes

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Anything Goes

Naked in public

Blog, Painting, Watercolor

I have the chance to live in a country where being naked in front of strangers is completely normal. And while some might see this as completely abhorrent, I have come to embrace it (not while I’m naked mind you 😆) and I will try to expose the reasons why I unrobe in public without batting an eyelid, and not because I’m staring so hard… 🤣

I had a “normal” Asian Christian upbringing, meaning puritanical and guilty about everything 😉 which didn’t mean I stayed like that, in fact I went the complete opposite way…but that’s for another post. Nevertheless I don’t think I saw another naked woman until I was 26, at the gym showers in France, and of course all those topless women on the beaches in France. I picked up the topless bit on the beaches fairly quickly but never really felt comfortable and still walked around with a towel in the gyms.

25 years later and I find myself in Germany, where kids and adults unabashedly strip naked on the beaches and lakes to get into and out of their swimsuits (the naked swimmers come at sunset…), where they sunbathe in the raw in parks (the Englischer Garten in Munich)  and the famous public “textilefrei” (free of clothes) saunas and pools, where you even see whole families with kids enjoying the heat of the numerous saunas together, without a stitch of clothing on!

I’m the very “when in Rome” type of person so I tried it at my gym for the first time. When I walked in, there were only women so I laid down and relaxed. Then they left and a man came in and despite trying to stay calm , I counted up to ten and left! I didn’t try it again till 6 months later and now I’m hooked!

I love the FREEDOM of being completely unashamedly stripped of all inhibitions and not caring in the least of what people think! Coming from France where the culture of being slim is omnipresent, it was such an eye opener to see people of all sizes walking around and just letting it all hang out (pun intended), without a care in the world! I was also (mistakenly) under the impression that since the Germans are so used to seeing all that nudity, that they don’t bother looking, so I felt almost invisible in my birthday suit! I myself don’t let my eyes wonder below the waist (yes I promise!) and anyway, at the times I go, I rarely see anything worth looking at! 🤣

There is something really powerful about being able to be so exposed and not worry about any consequences. It created a real shift in the way I think and changed my perspective on how I do things now. For one, I don’t let other people stop me from doing what I want to do, well I never really did…, but now its the physical aspect too. For example some people (my husband included) don’t like going to the sauna/visit places/do stuff if its too busy and there are just too any people. I don’t care anymore, if I want to do it, I can now blank out the rest of the world and enjoy what I went there to do. I’m also less affected by what people think of me (I actually don’t really think about it).

Mind you, I still haven’t come to the point of walking around completely uncovered as some do in the common areas of the sauna, and I still don’t love my body 100%, especially with my clothes on 😉 but I no longer feel disgusted when I see my belly rolls. I’m eating healthy and going to the gym and at 53, I know I can’t get my 25 yr old body back. I definitely don’t want that skinny 46kg body with all its complexes and doubts back either.

Well thanks again for listening to my ramblings. Oh and the painting is a my first sky painting and its for a Christmas card I’m making, which you can see if you come back tomorrow evening. Its supposed to represent the heavens opening up for the birth of Christ and I love it so much I’m going to try and do a much larger version of it!

Have a great day doing something you love!


Daniel Smith extra fine watercolour – Payne’s Blue Grey, Moonglow, New Gamboge, Green Apatite Genuine

Winsor & Newton watercolours – Lemon Yellow Deep  & Scarlet lake

Da Vinci Cosmotop mix B no 10 brush

Clairefontaine 200g cold pressed



Blow & Spit…

Cards, So Suzy stamps, The Sisterhood of Crafters, Watercolor


Hi all, I’m back this Wednesday to invite you to join us for a new challenge over at The Sisterhood of Crafters, where the theme for the next two weeks is “Humour.” So I hope you grab your funny or snarky stamps and make a card to make someone laugh, or just yourself, while you’re putting it together!

I have quite afew funny stamps, as I can’t help buying something that makes me laugh, but then I’m at a loss as to who I can give them too, as some of them are quite snarky! So I was really happy when I found this over at “So Suzy Stamps”, my favourite place to get humorous stamps, as its funny but still appropriate to give it to anyone, even kids… or rather especially kids! I put it together with this diecut from Spellbinders called “Joyous Celebrations” as I thought it funny to show a whole line of kids rushing after the birthday cakeOct Humour

The diecut was cut from one of my many watercolour practise sheets. This one below was to learn about coordinating colours. I rarely throw any away as I like to look back and see how far I’ve come… or sometimes see that I was better in the beginning! LoL!


The die was adhered to a yellow card base and black paint splattered all over, to reenforce the idea of spit.. although I think I went too far! Well I hope you enjoyed my card and had a laugh in the process. Do pop on over to The Sisterhood of Crafters blog and see the cards my team mates have made to give you a laugh too!

Thanks for popping over. Oh, and if you thought my title meant something else… all I can say is shame on you… 😆 Have a great day!

Hugs, 0aablog-signature2-1