Empty Tomb Watercolor Card for Easter – Hand Lettered Matthew 28:6

Update March 2022: An updated version of this artwork is available on my Etsy Shop for instant download.

Empty Tomb Watercolor Card for Easter - Hand Lettered Matthew 28:6

Last year I shared an empty tomb illustration from my art journal, but I was wanting to do something like it again. This time, I selected Matthew 28:6, “He is not here, for he is risen!”

Empty Tomb Watercolor Card for Easter - Hand Lettered Matthew 28:6

I wanted to add some color this time, so you’ve got grass and a flower. When the bunny idea hopped (see what I did there?) into my head, I just couldn’t help myself. I love that it looks like he’s bending his head over to see inside. It’s exactly what I envisioned. That doesn’t happen very often. πŸ™‚

Pin it Button from mamasbrush
Empty Tomb Watercolor Card for Easter - Hand Lettered Matthew 28:6

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Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

The other night when I was putting my kids to bed, I asked them what I should paint. “Bunnies” was the overwhelming answer. This cute little guy is one of the pieces I created that night. (The other one’s still to come.)

It all started with a 4×6 inch scrap of watercolor paper. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it, so I put the frame on first. I don’t usually do this. It’s usually the last thing I do. So there I was with an empty frame.

Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

I did some sketching on my graph paper (my big “secret” for starting most projects), until I knew what I wanted to do. When I found my idea, I lightly sketched it freehand onto the watercolor paper and traced it over with my black artist pen. I gave it a few minute to dry completely before erasing the pencil marks and then started with the watercolor paint. (Make sure your pen is waterproof before you add watercolor!) I picked only two colors for a simple look. Pink for the ears and nose. Blue for the background “sky”.

Super happy with the way it turned out. Give it a try. The shape of the head doesn’t matter. It can be an oval, circle, triangle with rounded corners… I’ve done all kinds. Give it a try. The ears make rabbits iconic. Make up your own version and give it your own style. Then leave me a link so I can see yours! Or head over to link up your pic on my pin so we can see that you “tried it”.

Pin it Button from mamasbrush
Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

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April Egg Log – Bullet Journal Style Record Page

April Egg Log - Bullet Journal Style Egg Record/ Log for keeping track of your flock's egg production.

Remember these?

Last year I hand drew some bullet journal pages to keep track of my chicken eggs. Sadly, we’re poor on the follow through and rarely remember to fill them in. πŸ™‚ But they were fun to make and some of you really liked them. I know that you are really good at keeping records about your flock, and I want you to have some cute record sheets to use!

Watercolor Chicken Artwork by mamasbrush

I created some cute chicken artwork just for the occasion. I’ve set myself a goal of creating these egg logs each month, but life does get busy in the spring/summer, so no promises. πŸ™‚ If you don’t want to miss any, click to “follow” in the side bar! πŸ™‚

Download your April Egg Log here.

You can print them full size and put them in your 3 ring chicken or farm binder or on a clipboard. You can also shrink them when you print and glue or tape them into your bullet journal. Let me know what you decide.

Update March 2022: New in my Etsy shop… I now have egg logs for all 12 months with seasonal artwork to bring some fun and whimsy to your daily tasks! Come on over to check them out!

Gathering here.

Kitty Cat Birthday Party Theme on a Budget

Kitty Cat Birthday Party Theme on a Budget

The other day I shared a how to on making a Kitty Cat Cake, but today I want to share the rest of the party. When I say “party”, please know that it’s nothing big. It’s just us (we are 10 people when my mom and sister join us, so we are a party already!) And the budget isn’t big either. This whole thing took a shopping trip and an afternoon to put together. Not too bad. And with more help, it could have been even faster. (My sweet husband did blow up all the balloons for me… that was a huge time saver!

**UPDATE: You can find my new
Kitty Cat Party Pack
on my Etsy shop here!**

I’ll be linking to my Pinspirations throughout the post, but you can find a bunch of Kitty Cat themed ideas (ones I used and ones I didn’t) on my Kitty Cat Party Board. I would have done more if the week weren’t so crazy already.

Kitty Cat Chalkboard - Kitty Cat Birthday Party Theme on a Budget
Pink and grey balloon “ears” on top are a good example of how things don’t always work out but kids like it anyway. πŸ™‚

I didn’t have a lot of time for the chalkboard this time, but she thought it was the best board ever because it had a kitty face on it. (Another perfect example of how things don’t have to be purrr-fect for them to love it.)

Kitty Cat Nose and Whiskers on Balloons and Tableware - Kitty Cat Birthday Party Theme on a Budget

I found the idea for the Kitty Balloons at Best Friends for Frosting. Looking at them just now, I realized I forgot the ears, but they were still really cute and no one missed them. Hers may have been cuter, but no one here noticed. πŸ™‚ The cups were Martha Stewart inspired, and again, not exactly the way I did it. Hers had eyes. The plates were inspired by a cat party from Writing about the Journey. Jump on over there to see more of their ideas!

When she told me she wanted “Mama Made Pizza” for her birthday dinner, I was very excited. Full sized kitty pizzas jumped into my brain. I did some “research” and found Pinspiration in a Cat party by My Paper Crane. (Her cake was a litter box cake… you have to see it!) But I think the mini Kitty Cat Pizzas I pinned were just as cute.

Easy Kitty Cat Cake from a Box Mix and Standard Pans

And then there is my Kitty Cat Cake (Don’t miss the how to I posted earlier this week!)

How to make an Easy Kitty Cat Cake from a Box Mix and Standard Pans

How to make an Easy Kitty Cat Cake from a Box Mix and Standard Pans

**UPDATE: You can find my new
Kitty Cat Party Pack
on my Etsy shop here!**

I know, I usually share my artsy stuff here, but really it’s my creative space. Where I can collect all the creative things I do into one place, for reference and for sharing. And I find that I can work in all sorts of mediums. Confections are a super fun one if you ask me. Bake the cake (or the cookies) and then use frosting to make them pretty! πŸ™‚

This weekend we celebrated our youngest girl’s 7th birthday and she is loving cats these days. For months now we’ve known we’d be having a cat themed birthday. On Saturday we did the big part of her celebration, complete with Kitty Cat Cake. πŸ™‚ I found my Pinspiration from Perfect Parties, but I didn’t think to read their instructions. They “torted” their layers (I learned what that means in their post) and included a strawberry filling. Check them out for some great ideas on a slightly more sophisticated cake.

Otherwise, read on to see how I did it super simple with a box mix and 2 nine inch cake pans. (Everyone said it was really good!)

How to make an Easy Kitty Cat Cake from a Box Mix and Standard Pans

I started with a yellow cake mix, but pink or white or marble or rainbow or whatever would be fine. You could even use brownies if you wanted to. We tried to make pink box mix cake, but it went flat, so I made a second with another box I had on hand. Follow box directions for prep, baking, cooling etc.

When they were cool, I used a bowl (Corelle cereal bowl for size reference) place on one of the cakes (at the edge, not in the middle) and cut around it with a steak knife. Then I cut two small triangles from the left overs for ears and used the rest of the edge for the tail. I did cut some off until it was the size I liked.

I didn’t cut the domes off to make the cats flat. I liked the rounded face and body, plus it was less “waste” (not that scraps of cake are ever wasted around here with myself and 6 children in the house.) But you could.

How to make an Easy Kitty Cat Cake from a Box Mix and Standard Pans

For frosting, I mixed up a recipe of American Buttercream (but your frosting of choice would work just as well I’m sure) and dollopped a bunch on each part and started spreading. It wasn’t a supper neat job, but I cleaned it up after. It was probably the trickiest part, but just keep at it, gently applying and spreading it over all the surfaces until it’s all covered (More is better for avoiding crumbs if you aren’t doing a crumb coat. It can always be scrapped off if it’s too thick.)

I added red food coloring to the rest of the frosting to make the pink and added the rest of the details. (I had green frosting in the freezer for the leaves, but you could separate your left overs to make some pink and some green.) You could do almost anything here, or leave it plain. I was supposed to make it a pink kitty, but forgot to color the frosting before I spread it on, so the details I added in pink were a sort of redemption attempt. She loved it and said it was fine. The pink balls are oversized sugar pearls.

***A word about making cakes (or about anything else) for your children: it doesn’t have to be perfect. Mine rarely are. Birthday cakes (and birthdays in general) are about making your kid feel special, not about making them look perfect. I’ve made some flops in my day (this year even), but kids have great imaginations (sometimes I tell them what it’s supposed to be and they get just as excited). Give it a try… you’ll get better every time. Anything extra you do is huge for them. And my kids are always more excited about something “mama made”. :)***

Gathering here.

2019 {Hand Illustrated} Mini Doodle Calendar ~ Free Gift Printable

{My new 2024 calendars are now also available! Find them on the blog or in my Etsy store!}

Mini Doodle Calendar 2019 - by mamasbrush
Mini doodle calendar by mamasbrush

Being behind seems to be my theme these days. Let me explain the lateness of this particular project. You see, I work better with a deadline. So many different things going all the time often means a given project has to wait until its deadline is looming and it forces its way to being top priority.

Mini Doodle Calendar 2019
Mini Doodle Calendars by mamasbrush

Last fall, however, I was was actually ahead of schedule. I knew I wanted to design another doodle calendar for Christmas gifts, like last year, so I made a point of designing them. Problem is, though, that printing is another issue entirely. I needed my husband to do it for me. He has the ability to do it pretty inexpensively at work, but it means adding one more thing to his work load and I kept putting off asking him. When I finally did, he sweetly did his best, but had some trouble with printing on the watercolor paper like we did it last year. The machines just couldn’t handle it. Long story short, I decided to wait until after the new year to mess with it. Too many things on our plates in December.

But the problem is, once a deadline is passed, I often just let go of something entirely. Too many things loom in the distance. New deadlines. Sigh.

Eventually, I did bring it up again and my sweet husband gave it a try. This time I told him that if the watercolor paper didn’t work right off, I’d take it on cardstock and just distribute the files for people to print themselves.

And that’s exactly what happened. He printed me one copy and I’ll just email the (now very late) 2019 Mini Doodle Calendar file to our friends and family for Christmas (in March… oops). Hopefully they won’t mind printing them on their own.

Fast forward to now, I’m finally getting to it.

On the plus side, I’ve decided to include the printable file for all of you as well. It’s my gift to you my readers! Okay, yes, it’s the middle of March. Sorry. But, hey, you still have 9 and a half months to use it. πŸ™‚

Download your own 2019 Mini Doodle Calendar.

  1. Print on heavy cardstock or other heavy paper.
  2. Cut on the lines with paper cutter or scissors.
  3. Place on small easel (I saw some at Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure other craft stores would have them too.)

They are business card size, approx 2.25×3.5 inches.

Would you please help me out by spreading the word. It is March already, but maybe you know someone (or a bunch of people on social media) who would like my little calendar to finish their year with. Please don’t distribute the file yourself, but be sure to give me credit and link back here for them to come get their own download.

And please leave me a comment to tell me where you will put it. On your desk at work? On the kitchen windowsill? If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to see a pic snapped, so leave me a link in your comment (please also leave a link to this page in your description for others to find!)


Mini Doodle Calendar 2019 - by mamasbrush

***Official legal stuff: Copyright remains my own. Please only use them personally in your home, office or classroom. But please don’t distribute them online or claim them as your own. If you want to share them on your own blog or social media platform, please be sure to give me credit and include a link back here. Thanks! They are my original work and I’d like to be able to continue sharing what I create with you all.

Gathering here.

My February Art Journal Prompts

February Art Journal Prompts - Week 1

This month, I decided to join in with Awesome Alice and her February Hand Lettering Prompts. That said, I’m doing it my way. πŸ™‚ (I almost never follow a recipe exactly.)

What are my tweaks? First, I’m doing a combination of hand lettering and illustration, depending on my inspiration. Second, I’m not necessarily doing one each day (obviously, since I have the first 7 done already.) But for me, it’s more something to push me out of my comfort zone. I joke with people that if I just painted what I was comfortable all the time, I’d only ever paint pumpkins. But there is some truth to it. πŸ™‚ But I do intend to do all 28… whether I want to or not.

Below, I’m including the original prompt with the pic.

Rose - hand lettered February prompt
1. “Red Roses”
A love note from God - hand lettered February prompt
2. “Be Mine”

This is one of my favorites. Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: β€œFear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (emphasis mine.

Jesus, You are enough - hand lettered February prompt
3. “You are enough”
Hearts - hand lettered February prompt
4. “Heart”
Romantic Bunnies - hand lettered February prompt
5. “Romance”

This is my first attempt at bunnies. I never would have tried them without the prompt.

I love you - hand lettered February prompt
6. “I love you”
Cupid's Bow - hand lettered February prompt
7. “Cupid”

Okay, so it’s cupid’s bow. I decided it was close enough.

It has been a super fun challenge for me so far, but I am pretty sure it’s just going to get harder. πŸ™‚

Gathering here.

A New Way to Frame My Watercolor – Calipso Watercolor Illustration

Last year we enjoyed a family membership to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It was a drive from our Pennsylvania home, but they have these member nights when there are only a limited number of people there at a time. We literally had entire exhibits to ourselves sometimes!

And with our membership, we were able to bring guests with us, so a number of times, we invited a friend of ours and her daughter to join us. So when Christmas gift giving time came around, I thought it would be fun to make them an ornament to remember our trips to the aquarium together.

So this is Calypso. For those of you who don’t know, he’s kind of a star at the National Aquarium.

And I’m just loving this new framing method. It doe attach it permanently, so I may have to tweak things if I want it not to someday, but for ornaments or other permanent things, it works great!

I blogged about the other ornaments I framed this way here. And I learned how to make these here.

Gathering here.

Old MacDonald’s Farm Birthday Theme

Just after Thanksgiving, one of my little guys turned 5. He wanted a tractor birthday… but not a construction tractor, a farm tractor. And if he had anything to say about it, there should be a barn and a pig. Well… I had to see what I could do.

I try to do a little painting to go along with the theme of each birthday. The kids love them and have come to expect them.

I think this was my first pig. And barn and tractor and hay pile actually. I was pretty happy with them. I love that art can be art even when it’s not perfect. But I’m pretty sure my son thought it was perfect.

Hint: if you are just starting out, make stuff for your kids. They will think you are great even if you don’t! πŸ™‚

For example… the cake. While structurally sound, it’s not the most attractive cake I’ve attempted. But, except that it was supposed to have a man on it (who went missing at the last minute) and that the cow was “supposed” to be in front of the barn (my bad), he thought it was great!

Breakfast and dinner went much better. Missing from this post is the pic of “pigs in mud” (baked beans and dogs) that we had for dinner. A nice and simple meal.

And there you have it… our Old MacDonald Birthday.

Gathering here.