Happy Singles Awareness Day!

Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday. Every year when it rolls around I groan a little. I don’t have any particular reason on why I do not like it. It does bring a smirk on my face when I can create sarcastic cards for it though. Joy Clair has a new stamp set that is perfect for all the folks out there who don’t like cupid and his holiday. It is perfectly title “#Single”. I created this card using the new stamp set:

How to Create “Happy Singles Awareness Day!” Card

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide is how I created the background. When working with water based pigments it is important to keep the color theory in mind. Basically you want to keep all your red undertone colors(warms) together and blue undertone colors (cools) together. If you mix them you will get mud. That is okay if it is the look you are going for, but if not don’t mix things like green and red. The color that is the exception to this rule is purple. The only colors you can mix purple with are red OR blue. If you mix it with any other color you will get mud for this card I stuck with pink, red and purple (on the bottom).

This card has a square cut out that was created to use as a shaker. It also looks cute with an image in the box. I stamped the hearts and colored them in. I finished them off with a little clear glaze by Nuvo and Dew Drops.

After the sentiment had been stamped on the bottom, three coordinating ones were stamped along the bottom and finished off with the Nuvo Clear Glaze.

If the card front was not enough to make the recipient giggle the inside is sure to do so.

Do you like Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure to hop through all these amazing designers to see more of the new releases!

Betz Golden (YOU ARE HERE)

Kerry Urbatch

Monica Maier

Martha Lucia Gomez

Helen Gullett


Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

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Ford’s Theater

Ford’s Theater and the surrounding area was my favorite part of town. It was close to where we were staying and we passed it almost everyday. Abe Lincoln is one of my favorite US Presidents. I remember visiting Ford’s Theater as a teenager and I was excited to finally take my three teenagers to it.

The Tour

The first portion of the tour of Ford’s Theater was a fantastic walk thru of a museum three floors down. The presentation in the theater was great! It was a monologue in which the actor portrayed the head of the police department that was in the theater the night Lincoln was killed. Walking to our seats down the hall there was a tick tock sound in the background like a clock. One one side of the hall it gave a time line for the Lincolns. On the other there was a timeline for Booth.

Background on Booth

Booth was part of an eight person Southern sympathizing crime ring. He handed his card (a well known actor) to Lincoln’s security before entering the suite President Lincoln was in. Booth wanted to be known. In fact, Lincoln had seen Booth perform and might have been a fan. There is a possibility that he would have invited him into his suite.

Lincoln died 10 hours later in the boarding house across the street from Ford’s Theater.

Boothe was apprehended and captured in Virginia along with his crew including a woman. She was the first female to carry out the death sentence in the United States of America.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Lincoln emotionally broke upon the killing of her husband. She buried her son and husband and it was to much for her. The nation did not like her because Lincoln’s first two months in office she spent $20,000 on her wardrobe and the White House when the Union troops fighting the Civil War did not have so much as blankets. No matter what she dd she just never could redeem herself.

Mary Todd was charitable and often extended a helping hand to to those in need. Lincoln often looked to her for advice on political matters too which rubbed the cabinet the wrong way. Her heart break and public criticism lead her to be committed to an asylum for a time. Mary tried to sell some of her gowns in New York because she was broke, but no one was interested. She was black balled by society and forever gone down in history as a whack job — which upsets me. it just goes to show that we need to deal with negative stigmas associated with mental illness.

Abe’s Cafe

The little home in the wall across the street from Ford’s Theater has the best little cafe upstairs over the gift shop. The Vietnamese coffee at Abe’s Cafe was one of my favorites that I had while in D.C. The shop was clean and picturesque with a perfect view of the historical Ford’s Theater.

Until next time ~ Happy Travels!

You Make me Horn-y

Joy Clair has amazing stamps that are being released. The “I Think You’re S’Whale” has snarky and silly sentiments as well as cute images. For this card I chose to use the Narwhal because I really wanted an excuse to stamp “You Make me Horn-y”.

To create this card I laid out a few different shade of blue Colorburst. I misted watercolor paper first with water. By misting it before sprinkling the color it allows the powder to stay on the paper. After the Colorburst was sprinkled I sprayed it with water again until the color and consistency was satisfactory.

I stamped the narwhal on a white piece of card-stock and colored him in with alcohol markers, He was trimmed out and paced on the cards with pop dots. a few dots of clear Nuvo dots completed him.

The stamp set includes bubbles and I stamped those in white. I added a little clear Nuvo Glaze on them and finished the card off with random placement of Nuvo drops.

This is a great card to give a loved one to make them smile. What do you like better a narwhal or whale? Answer in the comments!

And here are the other fabulous designers showcasing a few more releases!

Martha Lucia Gomez

Helen Gullet

Betz Golden— YOU ARE HERE!

Karen Letchworth

Lindsay Adreon

Connie Hyde Mercer

Ceal Pritchett

Kerry Urbatch

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

Washington DC – Smithsonian Art Museum

I thought this would be my least favorite museum, but I adored the Washington DC — Smithsonian Art Museum! Ironically my least favorite section was the contemporary art, but I still liked it. I appreciate art that incorporates history, social issues and creativity to invoke emotion. One section of the gallery did this beautifully. Some pieces offended me, but I still respected and adored them because they forced a strong reaction from me.

The Smithsonian Art Museum was so much more than I expected. A half day is all I thought I would need to wander the halls and see the paintings. My intention when I visited was not so much to enjoy it, but to do it because I had to as an artist. I grew up sitting in galleries full of oil paintings with my Grandma. I thought this would be similar only on a larger scale.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. The museum was the most spectacular gallery I have ever stepped foot in. Here is only a small portion of what the Smithsonian Art Museum houses.

The Classics

Here are a few pieces of gorgeous iconic art that one would assume would be in a museum of this stature:

American History Portrayed

The Smithsonian Art Museum is known as one of the leading art galleries in the world. However, it is evident that it is an American museum that puts a lot of emphasis on showcasing American history, issues and politics through art. 

The Hall of Presidents

The hall of presidents houses portraits done of every American president. Each president choose who painted them. By choosing who painted them it also dictated the personal style of each and gives the viewer a deeper view into past nation leaders psyches. 

Play on Lights

Some pieces are touring through the Smithsonian Art Museum including a series that uses light to create shadows.

Contemporary Art

The contemporary wing of the museum showcased modern pieces. My favorite was the life like image of a woman sitting at a table eating her lunch. I thought she was a real person for the first 20 minutes I was wandering around the wing. I only noticed she was not real, but a piece of art, when I got closer and thought how odd it was for someone to have groceries and eating lunch in that spot. 

The Human Body

The human body was on display in many areas of the museum. 

Mixed Media

One of the traveling displays was a series of mixed media pieces.

Deconstructed Portraits

The last wing I walked was my favorite because it showcased deconstructed portraits. The gallery contained art by Titus Kaphar in which the rules of portraiture are manipulated to expose the marginalization of African Americans. He takes historical Anglo-European portraits and puts African Americans as the subjects in them. Kaphar physically assaults the paintings so African Americans are not left unseen like they have been by traditional art museums. Kaphar pushes the viewer to confront the absence of the importance African Americans have played in United States history. 

The Smithsonian Art Museum is a must when traveling in the Washington DC area. Allow yourself a day, drink plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes. There are lots of spots to sit and reflect on what you are visually taking in. Give yourself time and let the art speak to you no matter what kind of emotion it invokes. One art enthusiast I spoke with at the museum said that he hated the deconstructed portraits because they made him angry. I told him that is exactly why I enjoyed them. They provoked strong emotion.

Until next time ~ Happy Travels! 

Betz Golden

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Public Transportation Story

Before I tell you about our lovely day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon I have to tell you about our experience with the Transit. Since we were in a big city we opted to use public transportation and Ubers instead of renting a car. This worked out great for the most part (and we discovered that with a party of five Ubers were more convenient and cheaper than the bus). To get to Mount Vernon we had to take a train and a bus. We had tickets at 1:00 to tour the house. I made the mistake of inquiring about purchasing a week’s worth of bus passes and the conversation caused us to miss the bus. The problem was the buses only came once an hour on Sundays. The next bus was not going to be there by the time of our tour. We called and Uber and it all worked out.

Mount Vernon

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is on the Potomac in which George Washington’s Dad, Augusta, purchased and built a house when George was a boy. He inherited the property and 11 slaves once his Dad passed away. George married later in life to Martha. She had a daughter and came from a wealthy family. George built on the 1600 square foot house his father built up and around it turning it into a mansion. He had over 300 slaves, yet was against slavery (or that is what the history books would like us to believe).

Treatment of Slaves

George allowed his slaves to visit their spouses on other properties on Sundays because it encouraged family bonds. His neighboring plantations did not appreciate that he allowed his slaves to do this, but George did not stop them from doing so. He also encouraged the slaves to harvest on his property and sell whatever they grew. George and Martha would buy from the slaves too. Washington allowed a few of them to have access to fire arms and would buy the slaves’ game.

One one occasion Martha was visiting the troops during the war. The property manager beat her slave dress maker when Martha was attending the men. The dress maker told him if he continued to hit her she would tell her lady. No record of if she actually told Martha, but she was no longer abused.

The Grounds

There still is a farm with animals on the property. All the animals are off spring of the animals from George Washington.

The Retired General and First President

Washington resigned as General of the Army after the war. He wanted to return to Mount Vernon and work the land. George Washington never lived in the White House. He finally retired in his childhood home. Washington died in his bed at the of 67.

Rumor has it that he was working outside and it started to rain. He did not change his clothes and caught a cold that lead to pneumonia that took his life.

Martha lived there until her passing. His nephew inherited Mount Vernon since he had no children of his own. His nephew and great nephew stayed in American politics. One was a judge. There are no living heirs of Washington today.

The Inn

On the site there is a wonderful gift shop and restaurant. The Inn was a fabulous place to eat a meal. The selections are inspired from Washington and property.

Until next time ~ Happy Travels!