Flamingos, flamingos!

I announced several weeks ago that BFF and I have an Etsy store for selling sets of five notecards, each with original art. (Check out alacardostudio.etsy.com.) BFF and I got our first commission a week or so ago for two sets of cards featuring flamingos. BFF did five cards, and so did I. We had one happy customer! Here are a few pix.

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A New Art Trick


BFF and I enjoy watching artists’ YouTube videos, and I just recently learned a very helpful trick from artist Adele Sypesteyn in this video “How to Get Unstuck in a Painting” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgGFqJUVyE. You see, I do a very crappy job at imagining what a painting is going to look like if I’m contemplating a change to it. Here’s an example. I made this abstract picture that I really liked as is (see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/05/31/betty-krause-ish/), but then I decided to make it a little more representational by making my marks into flowers and creating a “pot” for the plant. CRAP ALERT: Below are my revisions. I DO NOT like it now! That pot is damn ugly!

But Ms. Adele taught me this brilliant trick. All you need is a sheet protector. I painted this potential revision directly on to the sheet protector taped to my painting. I like the shape but I think the black/white pot is too stark in contrast to the rest of the painting.

With a little bit of elbow grease and a baby wipe (my granddaughter insists we call them “art wipes”!), I cleaned the sheet protector and then added a pink and yellow pot that brings out the colors in the flowers.

This I can live with! So I painted the yellow and pink directly onto the painting, added a few black lines, and I’m now much closer to a finished product.

As I usually do, I’ll live with the painting as-is for a while before I make a few more changes. But Adele’s trick kept me from making a difficult-to-fix error. Thanks, Ms. Sypesteyn. I’ll keep this trick in my crafting toolbox!


Cards in Progress


The Etsy shop — A La Carde Studio — is off to a good start. BFF and I love our time in the studio creating art to put on the front of our cards. Who wouldn’t welcome a note with a piece of removable art?! Here are a few photos of some cards in progress.

Don’t forget to check out alacardestudio.etsy.com!

Betty Krause-ish


I’ve been intently following an artist named Betty Krause. Her work is colorful, abstract, and filled with light and energy. Betty is very generous by sharing process videos and live paint-along sessions. The painting above is one I made last week in one of Betty’s paint-alongs. This is the first time I’ve been moderately successful making my work look Betty-ish. CRAP ALERT: Unfortunately, I’ve played with this first iteration, made it into a pot of flowers, and now it looks more crap-ish than Betty-ish. See Betty’s wonderful work on Facebook and Instagram by searching for Betty Krause Art.

A La Carde Studio Debut

BFF and I are debuting our new Etsy shop!!! Each one-of-a-kind card has original art on the front. We sell them in sets of five for $20. That’s only $4/card — cheaper than Hallmark and a hand-made keepsake to boot. They are blank inside for personal messages.
We’ve had such fun. Visit us at alacardestudio.etsy.com for a look. Please do some shopping too! Now’s a great time to send a card to a quarantined friend or relative to brighten their day. Here are a few of our offerings.

A Piece of Work

America the Beautiful

Bonfire Hearts



Pull Up a Chair

You Are My World