Leighton Meester

I didn't stop sketching, sorry. I like how this came out, so much so I don't even mind telling you who it is supposed to be.

Cupcake inchies

This was just an excuse to be naughty - I bought a cupcake punch just to do these inchies.

I used ruche paper for the frosting, and did a little shading with a pencil. A little red bling cherry was the perfect topper, and I would have been done, except my background was just some thin scrapbooking paper, so I glued them to some nice inchiearts inchie bases. The bases are so thick, I painted a little glue on the sides and dipped them into glitter, so now my cupcakes are well frosted, indeed!

Juliet Arrighi

Lots of cards - card workshop

A girlfriend asked me to design a card workshop for her, so I did, or at least I did most of the way. She wanted "Thank You" cards, and her girlfriend wanted two birthday cards for her 6yo twin grandchildren, one a boy and the other a girl. Third, I had some black duplex cardstock and some silk flowers that were asking to get used.

This "Thank You card is based on a card my friend Chris designed, only I used the Sands of Time papers instead of the Willoughby (TAC papers). Her card used one of the tags that comes with the papers, but I wanted all the people at my workshop to be able to make the same card, so I designed my own tag.

This is the only card I designed that didn't use TAC papers - this was a paper I picked up at Michaels, and the hydrangea silk bush that provided the petals was something I grabbed at Joann. I don't see the point of buying Prima flowers when silk ones are so cheap. I used silver brads because I thought it would brighten the gray in the paper.

The ladies at my workshop had a wonderful time ripping apart the bushes to get the flowers off.

These two cards practically made themselves. The background paper comes with the words on top and the stripes and solid color on the bottom. All I had to do is stamp an image, color it (I used stardust pens for sparkle), and layer it with scraps from the opposite sex paper. I was able to cut 3 boy and three girl backgrounds and mats from the paper, so it was a good thing that not that many people wanted to make little children's birthday cards. I set out some other TAC papers, and they went crazy. Mostly, they only stamped sentiments, and had a ball sticking silk flowers on everything.

After they left, I made a few cards with the scraps left on my table.

These were such easy, straightforward cards, but for most people, that's all you really need. Not everyone is a Technique Junkie.

Juliet Arrighi

Pink Label

Another portrait from HOG magazine - in the magazine, she looks a little native american. I made the eyes too large here. I did enjoy working with darker colors. I might try this one again.

Juliet Arrighi


As you probably realize, I use photos in magazines as my models. I'm getting a little tired of doing fashion models, in that in seems the measure of how well I've drawn them is not how well the drawing matches the photo, but how pretty they are. This fellow is from HOG (Harley Owners Group) magazine, who, in addition to his age and weight, is squinting against the sun and has helmet hair. It doesn't really matter if he is pretty, does it?

Juliet Arrighi

Iris inchies

The last time I posted inchies, I griped about the size and several other things (inchies can be frustrating). Lisa at Inchie Arts decided she would help me out, and sent me some wonderful inchie bases, and some inchie plus (one and a half inch square) and twinchie (two inch square) bases too for my artistic inspiration.

First of all, let me say that these are some amazing bases - solid core matboard, diecut, and acid free, made from farm grown trees. In the past, I've used scraps and trash for my inchies, so I guess that affected how I felt about them after they were finished. These bases are gorgeous - real museum quality art material. I had seen them in online shops, but I didn't really think about buying them until I saw them in real life. This is one of those things that makes everything you do with it look better.

To be honest, I was a little afraid of them. What if my art isn't good enough for such nice bases, I wondered. Then I had a light bulb moment - if I didn't like what I drew directly on the bases, I could always glue some background paper on there and make a different kind of inchie. The base would get used, either way. Whew!

Thus encouraged, I whipped out some new pens - Staedtler ultra fine point pens. They have a .3mm tip, which is pretty close to the .25mm tip on the Micron One that I like for zentangles, and I got 10 colors in a nice case for about 9 bucks at Staples, a real deal!

I thought I would try something different. I'm not sure whether this would be considered Pointillism or Stippling, but it's a new technique for me. It's fun, too. The trick is to take it slow. If you go too fast, you get dashes instead of dots, and the shading is off (yeah, I learned that the hard way). However, if you go slow, it is a lot easier than drawing line, in my opinion. Try it! I continued the stems and leaves around the edge of the base - you can do that with these bases, because of the solid core. It's a really nice look. It feels like art!

Juliet Arrighi

Hair Model

I took a friend to her hair appointment and sketched this from a hair magazine while I waited.

Juliet Arrighi


It is REALLY hard to do teeth. It is also hard to blend in small places with my finger, which is why all these women look so bug-eyed - I can't shadow the eyeball at this size. I may have to invest in some blending stumps. The scale of the nose is wrong, too. It is good to see where I am going wrong, because that means I can fix it.

Juliet Arrighi


I'm working my way around to a face forward view.

Juliet Arrighi

Oil Pastels

My sister gave me a pep talk about how going on that retreat made me rethink how I wanted to express myself, that making cards and inchies just were not going to cut it any more (I wasn't telling her that, she was telling me. That's what sisters do)

So, today, instead of making a card or inchie, I played in my sketchbook. I see that I will have to do this a lot more often if I want to become any good. My sister is awesome, but she has been doing art a lot longer than I have.

Juliet Arrighi

Technique ATCs

I'm a little behind on my swaps, so I've been working on some technique ATCs.

The background on this one is called Sanded Coredinations. Coredinations is a line of cardstock with a colored core. When you dry emboss it and sand away the raised portions, the color shows through. It may not be obvious in the scan, but the core is pink. I've been sanding white core cardstock for years, but having colored core cardstock is a fun twist.

The little rose was made be me using the directions I found in Chris's site, but I used pink crepe paper instead of cardstock. I think the pink crepe paper was very nice for this style of paper flower. I will give the advice that too tight or regular of a spiral does not make a better flower.

This card started with a technique called Rubber Rubbing, and it is exactly what it sounds like - making a crayon rubbing over a rubber stamp face. After I did it, I decided that the paper was too white, so I gave it a coffee wash. Coffee won't bother crayon at all. Anyway, after I did all that to the background, I didn't want to cover it up, and I wanted to use my new pearlescent EP, So I embossed directly into the background. a little gold chop in the corner seemed to be all that was needed to complete the piece.

Juliet Arrighi

Mother's Day Card

A couple of weeks ago, and I went to a workshop and made a Mother's Day card. It was a lovely card, with little pearls and lace, and I knew as I made it, I could never send it to my mother. My mother would know it was a generic card, just like everyone else's. I had to make one with my own stuff, and in the best case scenario, with stuff she gave me. Here is the card I sent her:

The card is purple because she gave me a large supply of Purple Bazzil cardstock, and I felt I needed to use it. The patterned paper is from a K&Co set that I split with her. The little crown is grungeboard painted with Silver leafing pen, and yes, that is a little tag peeking out from behind the focal image - I saw this idea in a challenge sketch, but I don't remember whose challenge (if you know, please help me out!). There is a little message on the tag, nothing too mysterious. There is a lot of doodling and glittery stuff - both things that my mom likes.

I'm pretty sure she will know I made it just for her.

Juliet Arrighi

Counting coaster

In an effort to be a little healthier, I have made a couple of lifestyle commitments, including the goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day. While trying to remember whether I was on my fourth or fifth glass today, I realized that I needed a way to count glasses, and while I was considering the possible solutions to that problem, I reflected that a coaster would be nice, too, as the condensation on the glass kept it sitting in a perpetual puddle. Could I make a coaster that would help me count my daily glasses?

I quickly determined that fabric would be the best way to go, and recalled an old cleaning trick - fold your cleaning cloth into quarters, and you have eight surfaces with which to clean. When one side gets dirty, just flip it to a different side and keep going. I decided that I could use the same theory - a square of fabric folded into quarters has eight surfaces, 4 on one side and four on the other. My mind started to concoct all the different ways to mark the eight sides, quilting, embroidery, applique, when I suddenly realized that I wanted it NOW and if I made the project too complicated, I would never have the finished project. I ran to the basement, grabbed the first scrap of fabric I saw, whacked it into a square, and grabbed some paint, and within a half hour (paint takes time to dry), I had my counting coaster.

This is how it looks folded:

Obviously this is side number three. I decided to use domino dots instead of drawing the numbers mostly because they are easy. I used a pencil eraser dipped in paint to make them.

This is how it looks open. (other side). No, it isn't a very good square, and the edges are unfinished, but it is complete and it works, which really is the most important thing. Now, if I want to take the time to quilt/applique/embroider a fancy one, I will have this one to use while I am working. Sometimes, that is enough.

Juliet Arrighi

Art blogging

Calamities of Nature, irreverent webcomics by Tony Piro
See more comics from Calamities of Nature

This strip for the webcomic "Calamities of Nature" really resonated with me. Nothing has made me more self-aware than trying to create art. However, blogging about it in someways has cheapened the effort. Am I focused on my muse, or my audience? If you have an art blog, how does posting your creations affect how you create?

Juliet Arrighi

Grunge orchid

A friend of mine was having trouble with a personal challenge - using these very unusual orchids on a grunge card. She concluded that orchids and grunge don't mix, and I agreed with her, up until the second I hit the "post" button. Could I make a grunge card with the same orchid?

The orchid was digitally altered into black and white line art. After printing, I gave it a wash with some strong coffee, adding some splatters for extra measure. I sanded the pinkish cardstock (don't ask me what color that is), and put several colors of distress ink on the Kraft cardstock base. It looks pretty grungy to me. After I made a big card, I tried an ATC:

By the way, the coffee wash is called the Aged Parchment technique. I like the results. It's a terrible thing to do to coffee, though.

Juliet Arrighi