Sip sip hooray! (more gouache!)

I’m still at it with the gouache! I’ve been a little obsessed with it for months, actually. Check out this post for a brief intro to gouache and a set of cactus cards.

Today I’ve got a card I made for a friend who’s going to be retiring in August. So happy for her! Here’s the card:

Sip Sip Hooray! by Lisa Spangler


It all started out because I wanted to use this stamp set from Studio Calico — it’s the only one that I have with a retirement sentiment. It has a ton of other cute sentiments too! I can’t believe it hasn’t sold out.


I especially like the “sip sip hooray” and the “you can do it — coffee” :)

Now here’s a look at my inspiration for coloring the mug:


Aren’t those colors just amazing? I sure wish I could have purchased this mug but it’s sold out — darn! I guess painting it will have to do. I’ve had it on my wishlist for so long. Guess the saying is true, if ya snooze ya lose!

I started off by stamping the mug on kraft paper with soft granite ink. Then I went to town. Love how gouache is opaque so it can go right over the kraft paper.

Now how about three ways for using gouache!

#1 Add Water + Dry Brush

For the white part of the mug, I wanted to duplicate the brush strokes in the inspiration photo, so I watered down some white gouache and then I brushed it on with a dry brush.

Gouache Mug by Lisa Spangler

So cool, right?

#2 Stamping on Gouache

The second way I used gouache was to stamp on it! It works great — just as if you stamped over ink or watercolor. Here you can see where I stamped the coffee inside the mug as well as the steam coming up over the top.

Gouache Mug by Lisa Spangler

I adhered the mug to the card from using foam tape to give it more dimension.

#3 Mixing with Watercolor

The third way I used gouache was to mix it with watercolor. Yes, you can mix gouache with watercolor to make new colors. YEAH!

Gouache Mug by Lisa Spangler

Here I mixed the yellow gouache from this set with brown watercolor to form that middle stripe. I just used an inexpensive watercolor set from Michaels since it happened to be on my desk.

I also added a little pink watercolor to my peach gouache (the official name is “flesh tint” but I think peach sounds better ha ha) to form a darker pink. I painted this one on really smooth to get even coverage. Love that matte finish.

Of course you can also mix different shades of gouache together, too!

And there ya have it! I kept the card pretty simple to keep the focus on the gouache. Sip sip hooray!


Here are the main supplies that I used. These are affiliate links, so I’ll receive a small commission if you make your purchase by clicking the link. There’s no extra fee to you! :)

SC = Studio Calico and AZ = Amazon.

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The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge: With Gouache!

Hi there and welcome to “The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge” Blog Hop. This challenge is the genius creation of the amazing Kathy Racoosin. Can you believe this is her 5th challenge? It’s gotta be a ton of work. She’s one of my stamping heroes!


The premise of the challenge is to color something everyday even if it’s for five minutes. It doesn’t matter what you color or what medium you use. You can jump in or out of the challenge at any time. Find out more right here on Kathy’s blog.

I can’t tell you how much I love playing along with the challenge. Because a day without coloring is just not the same.

FIVE Cards (!!!!!)

Five cards -- with Gouache! by Lisa Spangler

Yeah, I got a little carried away — what can I say! I love coloring. :)

I ended up making five cards — and I could have kept going! But I had to stop and take photos to share them with you.

These all use gouache. It’s my new addiction. :)

So, what the heck is gouache?


I thought I’d start off with a little bit about gouache — rhymes with squash. This paint is so cool. It’s kind of like watercolor, but it’s opaque. This means that you can use it on dark cardstock and it will block out the layer underneath it. Love!

It also dries to a matte finish — double love! And it doesn’t take long to dry at all, especially in this Texas heat.

Just like watercolors, you can mix colors together to form new colors. I like to add a little water to the paint to make it easier to work with. Just enough so that it spreads well. Some of the colors need more than others. You can even mix gouache with watercolors if you like!


One last thing you should know. There are two kinds of gouache out there in the world. One is waterproof when dry, while the other reactivates with water. Generally, if the tube has a word on it that kinda resembles “acrylic” on it then it’s waterproof. It’s best to check the manufacturer’s info before purchasing. Neither one is better than the other, it just depends on what you want. Some of mine that are waterproof have the words “acryl” and “acryla”. I can’t wait to try some techniques that take advantage of this! Art journaling, anyone?

When I’m working  with gouache that dries to be waterproof I like to squeeze it out on a disposable paper plate or wax paper — that way cleanup is a snap. Before I realized it would dry hard I used a watercolor palette, oops! I’ll never do that again. I’m going to purchase this “stay-wet palette” to see how that works — I’ll report back!

If you’re just starting out with gouache I’d recommend getting some FUN colors and some basics. You could start with the primary red, green and blue and mix your own, of course. Here’s my list:

  • Winsor & Newton white and gold — both of these can be reactivated after they’ve dried! You can also mix them with watercolors. I’d say they are must-haves.
  • Turner lumi. rose and lumi. red — these have a bright, vibrant look that the camera just doesn’t do justice. They almost seem to glow! I used them on all the cactus flowers. They are waterproof when dry.
  • Winsor & Newton has this basic set that I wish I’d got to start with. It includes white and black.
  • Turner has this basic set — the greens on the cacti are mainly the perm. green light that’s in the set. These are waterproof when dry! I also mixed that green with Winsor & Newton ultramarie blue for the dark green, or white + a touch of pale aqua for the minty green.

The Process

All five cards followed pretty much the same process. First I stamped the images from the Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Cactus set with soft granite ink (supplies are listed at the end), and then I colored them with gouache.

Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Cactus (SSS)

Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Cactus (SSS)

For this one, I stamped the pot on the left in black because I really wanted it to pop! You’ll notice that I didn’t even bother to mask them since the gouache covers everything up.


The plant in the middle and the other pots are from the Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Succulents set — it mixes so well with the cactus set.

Here’s the finished card!

Cactus Trio by Lisa Spangler


See how the pale yellow and baby blue gouache stripes can go right over that black ink on the flowerpot? It works the same on black cardstock.

Here’s another view — I went out in the driveway and took this pic so you could see all that golden shimmer! Got some weird looks from the neighbors lol! But I wanted you to be able to see it. :)

Cactus Trio with Gouache by Lisa Spangler

The white gouache makes for some awesome spines, am I right? :)

I painted the flowers freehand with lumi. red and lumi. rose gouache.

A Closer Look

Now how about a closer look the other four cards! I’ll just add a few notes here and there about ’em that I just have to share with you.

Card #2: Howdy: This one has gold and white gouache for the spines and the sand. Notice how the white gouache shows up against the green!

Howdy by Lisa Spangler

Howdy by Lisa Spangler

Here’s another view so you can see the golden spines + sand :)

Howdy by Lisa Spangler

Card #3: Greetings from Texas: I’m at it again with the white gouache on this one! LOVE this Texas set by Kelly Purkey. It goes perfectly with prickly pear cacti! We have some in our garden. :)

Greetings from Texas by Lisa Spangler
Card #4: All The Cacti!: I left this one blank on the front because I could’t bear to cover up any of those cacti! :) I think this one is my fave — I put on music and then just colored away.

All the Cacti by Lisa Spangler

ALL the Cacti by Lisa Spangler


Card #5: Cuddling Cacti: Speaking of not being able to cover up anything on the front — I had to stamp the message on the inside of this one. Don’t they look like they’re cuddling? LOL! I plan to give this card to my husband.

Cuddling Cacti by Lisa Spangler

Cuddling Cacti by Lisa Spangler

Here’s a look back at all FIVE cards!


Whew! Thanks for sticking with me! (Get it, sticking? ha!)


At the end of the hop you will find an awesome GIVEAWAY from Hero Arts: 2 shopping sprees of $25.00 each! YEAH! Winners will be randomly selected from all the blog comments of the blog hop.

Hop On

Your next stop on the hop is Virginia Lu’s blog! I can’t wait to see what she makes — just love everything she does. She also organized this hop — thanks Virginia! She is another of my stamping heroes.

Here’s the full lineup in case you’d like to start at the beginning or encounter a broken link:

Such a great lineup — love these talented women. Can’t tell you how much it means to be able to count them as friends. So thankful for Hero Arts for bringing us all together. My heart is full.

I also wanted to say BIG thanks to all of YOU for hopping along with us! Hugs all around, and yay for this community that brings us all together.

Hope you have a great day — with time to color, if only for 5 minutes. xoxo


Here are the main supplies that I used. These are affiliate links, so I’ll receive a small commission if you make your purchase by clicking the link. There’s no extra fee to you! :)

SSS = Simon Says Stamp and AZ = Amazon.

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Calligraphy Class at Studio Calico!

(photo by Maghon Taylor :)

SC Calligraphy Class

YOU GUYS! I just found out that there’s gonna be a calligraphy class at SC starting in June! How does SC always seem to know what I’m interested in? I seriously *just* purchased a pen holder, sumi ink, and nibs!

Class is enrolling now through June 15 and will be taught by Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes. I just love her happy style!

While supplies last you’ll receive a kit with a Speedball penholder and 2 Brause Extra Fine 66 nibs FREE! yay!

Here’s what we’ll learn:

  • Basic calligraphy terms and tools and how to use them
  • Tips for getting started, from correct posture and position to getting your ink to flow on the page
  • How to create your own unique lowercase calligraphy alphabet
  • Tips and tricks for connecting your letters into beautiful, hand-written words and phrases
  • Pointers and advice for continued calligraphy practice and improvement

Come join the fun and find out more right here — hope to see ya there! xoxo

Update! Class started today (June 14) and it’s awesome so far! Can’t wait for more.

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One Little Word! (Or in my case, two.)

You guys! I did it! I did it! I started my One Little Word journal. This is my first time doing it. If you haven’t heard about this, check out Ali Edwards’ page here.  I couldn’t settle on one word — I really struggled and tried to pick just one, but couldn’t. My words are ROAR and enough. So they balance each other out. Couldn’t do one or the other.

I’m using a DIY traveler’s notebook for my word (more on that below) — so for this month’s vision board assignment I decided to do a kind of fold out version. If you follow me on instagram you may have already seen it, but here it is again! I’ve got photos below for ya too — but it’s really hard to show in photos!

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Here’s a few notes about how I got started:

  • I found this Word notebook and thought it would be perfect! But I couldn’t find a cover for it…
  • So I made my own by following this video.
  • I used a scrap of leather from the remnant section at Tandy Leather — it was like a whole $3.
  • I’ve had that turquoise bead for forever — don’t even remember where I got it. Turquoise is my birthstone. :)
  • I had so much fun making the vision “board” that’s in the center. I actually had a dream about making it in a fold out like that.

I’m sure I’ll have more to come. xoxo

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Ranunculus: Part 1!


You guys! I saw some gorgeous ranunculus flowers at the grocery store the other day and had to try and watercolor them. Had to. You know how it is when you just have to try something, am I right?

Ranunculus practice by Lisa Spangler

I started out by doing a little practice in my moleskine watercolor journal just to try and get a feel for it. I love practicing things first in my journal.

Then I dove in and started to make cards! I have a bunch to show you after I get them put together — I almost wanna just sit down and color all day, it’s hard to stop and turn them into cards lol! Call me a little obsessed. Here are my first two.

Ranunculus Part 1 by Lisa Spangler

For both of these I used my #8 filbert brush and tube watercolors in various brands. I don’t remember all of the colors I used, but here are just a few:

  • Winsor + Newton Winsor yellow
  • Winsor + Newton Opera rose — this is my fave pink :)
  • Winsor + Newton Quinacridone gold
  • Daniel Smith Quinacridone coral — this is one of the first Daniel Smith colors I’ve ever tried and oh man it’s so pretty!
  • Winsor + Newton Sap green
  • Winsor + Newton Prussian blue

Now for a bit about each card!

Super Lucky to Have You

The World Is Super Lucky to Have You by Lisa Spangler The World Is Super Lucky to Have You by Lisa Spangler

Field Notes:

  • This one was done on Arches cold press watercolor paper that I had trimmed to 4×4″. You guys, this paper is like magic — it makes me feel like a “real” artist. Wah!
  • I used the “super lucky” sentiment from this Up the Happy set by Julie Ebersole for Ellen Hutson. Just gotta say that I love this set so much — ’cause it makes me HAPPY!
  • I stamped the message first to help in positioning the flowers by inking it up first with VersaMark ink and then without stamping I applied Studio Calico deja blue color theory ink right over top of the VersaMark. Then I stamped it and heat embossed it in clear. This is a great way to get more from your inks! And this blue is my fave navy of all time. I think using navy ink instead of black makes it seem more modern and fresh.
  • Had to finish it off with some splatters. Because yeah, splatters! :)

Just A Note to Say Hello

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler


Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Field Notes:

  • For this one, I used Strathmore 400 series paper — I picked up a pad for only $3 at Jerry’s Artarama and just had to try it! I have to say that while it isn’t as deluxe as the Arches, it still worked well! The paper is thinner and it tends to give harder edges to the flowers. The paper did curl a little while it was wet, but as it dried it flattened right out.
  • I started off by die cutting the Hero Arts Hello so that I’d know where to paint the flowers — I had a happy accident where it didn’t cut completely — I’m not even sure how I managed to do that, but I liked it so I went with it. Just so you know, it’s always cut perfectly before.
  • Then I painted the ranunculus trio near the bottom.
  • I added some yellow splatters but I got a HUGE one that looked so bad, so I grabbed a damp mop brush and used it to make a background wash. I added more yellow to the top.
  • After it was dry, I added some more splatters and painted the hello green. I got outside the lines a little but that didn’t bother me — I think it just adds to the charm!
  • Then I grabbed my clear wink of stella and went over some parts of the flowers to add a little sparkle.
  • And then! I added little drops of glossy accents here and there to make raindrops, plus I added a drop to the flower centers and all over the hello.
  • Some pretty pink posh sequins finished it off!

Update on March 13: Video!

The sun finally came out yay! And  I’m super grateful for the rain tho — we really needed it! — even though it was not so good for filming. Anyhow, here’s the promised video!

I’ll wait until it dries and then maybe do a little lifting — we’ll see! This was done on Arches cold press paper with the same brush + supplies as the other  cards.

Select Supplies

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