Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Open Sky

Sincerely, Susie ~
Monday, February 20, 2017

Surely Spring

Sincerely, Susie ~
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Heart is with You

Happy sweetest day my friends!

Today I have a short post, and a card I created a while back for our grandson. Although today is Valentine's Day, an exciting day for most, it can bring on a little anxiety if you are a little one.  Oh, it's tons of fun to color and paint, and make valentines when you are around those you know.  It's a different story when you have to bring those valentines to class and pass them out (she smiles).

The sweet story of the Kissing Hand, authored by Audrey Penn, and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper, is about a little raccoon named Chester, who wasn't sure he was ready to leave the nest and go to school. But mama promised him she would always be with him and placed a kiss in the palm of his hand.  Now that's a confidence builder - right?
Love Lives Here stamp/die set from Papertrey Ink
Designed by Susie Lessard
I've kept this card tucked away for just such a day.  I think today might be a day we take our young grandson and his mama out for a Valentine's Day lunch to celebrate how much we love them both.

Love Lives Here is one of my all time favorite sets, designed by Melissa Phillips and Nichole.  Papertrey Ink is celebrating 2010 the past, present, and future with this set. Congratulations to Papertrey, Ink on your 10th Anniversary.

Happy Valentine's Day.   Come, sit, stay a while.
Susie ~
Saturday, February 11, 2017

Doodles, Letters, and Love

   Inspirational artist and card designer, Kristina Werner, recently shared three DIY watercolor designs with minimal and inexpensive art supplies.  All three card designs were delightful.  Kristina shares an imaginative and loose style that brings out the kid in all of us.   I think Kristina may be a natural encourager as she leads us step-by-step with some Crayola watercolors, a black pen or marker (your choice) to create the cutest Valentine's Day cards ever!   Hmm... I reached back in my archives for some late night doodles of my own -- done with pen and Sukura Koi Coloring Brushes. 

Another way to create with minimal supplies is to create with doodles and lettering.  Again, I used a micron pen, Sakura Koi Coloring pen, and a little watercolor wash in the background.  Creative lettering, simple hearts and little bluebirds sing a tune that encourages the heart.
With Kristina's card in mind, I thought I'd take it a step further.  Since the idea is to use minimal and inexpensive supplies and design using simple shapes, I wondered if our young grandson might like to try.
With a little assistance he created his card - cloud, flowers, and leaves complete with vein (she smiles).  A four petal flower within a flower, a long stem and wait for it - a hand written sentiment (Love You).  Because all you need is love.

Come, sit, stay a while.

Susie ~

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pen and Wash

Several years ago I was so inspired by the beautifully illustrated fall Starbucks cups that I created a card with one of the cups.  Copic pens were used to color my card front, and the sweet little mouse image is from the fabulous Penny Black.  
But... I was also inspired to pick up my Copic multi-liner pen and sketch a fall still life inspired by the doodle leaves on the Starbucks cup.  I started with a few loose lines, circles, and ovals. Hatching the pinecone seeds to emphasize the focal point, and doodle lines to provide a whimsical appeal to the leaves. 
This type of art is referred to as 'Line & Wash' or 'Pen & Wash'.  The wash part comes in when you add watercolor. I love the soft, forgiving nature that allows me to go outside the lines.  Doodle lines don't have to be prefect either (she smiles). My initial sketch above can stand alone as an ink drawing. But, with a little watercolor pencil, the sketch takes on depth and whimsical acorns look like upside cupcakes.
 Add some pan watercolor to the background and the mood softens even more. As if you'd found this on a foggy fall afternoon.  Many line and wash pieces are flat with no variations of hue.  Which appeals to you more, the line or the wash?  Or maybe both!   Because sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't!
Do something that makes your heart sing today.
Come, sit, stay a while.

Susie ~

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunset over Enchantment

Autumn in the desert holds my heart like no other. Remains of ancient wetlands leave behind red rock cliffs carved by the forces of the upper Sonoran desert. These magnificent red rock cliffs rise around the city of Sedona, which straddles the Coconino and Yavapai counties of the great state of Arizona.
Once home to the Sinagua; now cliff dwellings, rock art, and pueblos are the legacy of the nomadic people who lived in the Verde Valley between 450 A.D. - 1400 A.D.
Jump - Designed by Susie Lessard for Splitcoaststampers 2014
Primary colors of azure, rojo, and verde change in hue throughout the day captivating and enchanting the senses.
Ocotillo, Prickly Pear, and Desert flowers
Summer's hot colors wither to sepia in the autumn sun as the desert prepares for winter,
and the sweet, slumbering sun sets over enchantment.
Young Anna's Hummingbird
Come, sit, stay a while.

Susie ~

Friday, February 3, 2017


Hello Friends,
Charleston, South Carolina, birthplace of America's oldest romantic garden, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  Unlike most formal gardens characterized by form and symmetry, the gardens at Magnolia create a tranquil setting where nature and humanity come together in a peaceful and spiritual way.  Truly a place where rhythms of rest exist. Informal pathways meander through camellia, azalea, and bamboo gardens.  All splashed with still and mysterious black water ponds that are home to the Tupelo Gum trees.  A place that beckons the soul to 'Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.'  ~ William Wordsworth

Camellia Japonica 'Pink Perfection'
Camellia Japonica 'Pink Perfection' dates back to the 18th century and features beautiful, formal double, medium-sized flowers.  The Camellia Japonica has a nice bloom time providing color during the winter months from mid - to late season (January to May) in southeastern states.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," is reference in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet -- for me, the Camellia, although it does not have a fragrance, wins my heart time and time again. 

Tupelo Gum Trees

What lies beneath black waters still and deep where gossamer wings doth fly? Sentinels of bald cypress knees keep watch by day and twilight casts last light as fairies dance and play.   The plantation and gardens of Magnolia will keep you spell bound with beauty.
Come, sit, stay a while.  I think we're gona be friends.

Susie ~

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