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It’s a change my mind kind of a day here. Whatever I think the plan is, it’s going to change as I make a piece of art to remember my word for the year. Unless I put my word on the wall where I’ll see it, I forget it before February. This year, I couldn’t choose just one, so I went for four of them. Which made it a bit challenging to fit them all on one canvas.

While making this there was a big O.O.P.S. and evidence of why I should never be your neurosurgeon. As if you really needed any help coming to that conclusion.

It began with this mulberry paper that I tore into it’s circles. Not all of them ripped perfectly, but one of them lingering on the counter top gave me an unexpected idea later in the play.

The plan was to put one word in each circle. But that changed when I decided to go with one letter in each circle using my Feelings and Emotions Alphabet stencil from StencilGirl.

The four words for the year that I chose are Adventures Exploring Curious Boundaries. Why those? What does it mean exactly? I really don’t know. There are several ways I could interpret it, so for now, I’ll let 2021 unfold and reveal how it fits with these words.

But now it’s not going to neatly fit on a smaller canvas. It’s a lot of letters in those four words. Now the canvas has to be bigger than I planned.

While hunting for a big blank canvas, I saw a colorful one hanging up that I thought was finished long ago. Nope, changed my mind, and suddenly it needs another layer. That lead to a big O.O.P.S., an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.

To glue these down, it is just a matter of using lots of a fluid, or really runny, glue. But if it’s going to be very fluid it is going to be rather wet. And that was the problem.

Long ago, I used a Stabilo pencil as the top layer for some scribbly mark making. Since those pencils react quickly and strongly to water, they tend to be on the last layer or so. Even years later, they’ll react to water.

As soon as I started moving the glue around for the first letter it became very dark. Then I realized it was the Stabilo smearing. End of the world? Nope. I just wiped it all off quickly. And all the other Stabilo on the canvas. Once again a baby wipe or two saved the day.

What was the opportunity in this O.O.P.S.? There were two: I get to show you what to do if it happens to you and that letter that turned a dark gray, it is in my pile of scraps and will be just what I need for something in the future. No idea what yet, but the bowl of remnants is often a gold mine of ideas.

The final circles were torn from the mulberry paper. A rather easy process and strangely satisfying. That is until I started gluing them. Words can not do just to the fumbling – you’ll just have to see it in the video.

Now on my wall, I have subtle reminder of the words that will guide me through the year.


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I ran out of Scotch tape while wrapping gifts. O.O.P.S.! It was an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly so instead of running out to the store, I did something else. I gel printed a big piece of paper and sewed the gift into a pouch. No tape needed!

This was speedy gel printing all about just getting the white space covered with pattern and color. To make it easy I stayed with all pinks and red. And in the video, you can see it’s willy nilly printing.

Since the paper was going to be sewn, I used a heavier weight paper. It comes in a pad of 18×24 size pages. If you don’t have this, a great substitute is a paper grocery or shopping bag.

Sew up 3 sides, then insert your gift and sew up the last side. Add a bit of ribbon and a gift tag and you’ve got a wrapped gift ready to go!

If your gifts are smaller, then you can use smaller papers. Since I was putting these in a box and shipping them, I needed them to be sturdier. If you’re handing someone a gift, you might be able to use a thinner weight paper and have it work just great.

Wish me luck that the line to ship is short and sweet! Hope you have a relaxing and as peaceful as possible holiday!


The neon pink and Cadmium red medium were from Plaza Art.

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Join me for a fun conversation with Nat Kalbach, the wizard behind Creative JumpStart. Which is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary! Grab a cup of coffee and come hang out with us. I’m sharing what’s off limits for me when adding color to my house – yes, I have limits, and what brings me joy and toilet paper.

What is Creative JumpStart? It’s an online mixed media workshop is designed to stoke your creativity and kick off the new year with play. You’ll get a new video every day, Jan. 1- Feb. 14th, each from a different artist. I’m over the moon excited to be one of them! This year’s theme is storyteller.

Each video is just about 10 minutes in length, making them the perfect bite-sized portion of inspiration to help make creating a part of your daily routine.

Join us in the virtual classroom, discover new techniques and grow artistically through the videos, and share your work and passion with other students.

You can see all the details and get registered here.

Jump in before it begins on Jan. 1st and get the early bird price!

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