Dropping You A Line (Watercolor Card)

Happy Monday one and all!  It’s a chilly one here in North Carolina, with bright blue skies and a little less pollen filling the air.  The weather this morning made me think of hanging the clothes out on the line with my mother when I was a little girl.  We lived in rural Vermont and didn’t have a clothes dryer until I was probably 7 or 8 years old.  During the long cold winters, my mother would dry the clothes on racks inside the house. A lovely spring day such as this was an invitation to hang clothes out on the line my father built in our backyard.  My mother would sing as she hung the freshly laundered clothes on the line, the bright blue sky over our heads and the tender spring grass beneath our feet.  It was always my job to hand her the clothespins…and to sing along with whatever tune captured her imagination.  There is no perfume on the market that can rival the glorious scent of freshly washed clothes being hung outside to dry!  This memory prompted me to create this fun watercolor card, which I’ve titled, “Dropping You a Line.” (Remember, you can always click on the photos for a larger view.)

016 (2) Here’s a closer look:

017 (2)       I love that she is hanging clothes in her bedroom slippers!  There is something so whimsical and nostalgic about this stamp from Mo Manning. I have had this stamp for quite some time, but have never used it because I was intimidated by the thought of trying to color in this image.  The truth is (cue dramatic background music) I have not been overly successful in my attempts at coloring.  And since this stamp only measured 2.5 by 2.5 inches, I knew it would be a miracle if I could do a decent job coloring it in. So, I decided to try a new watercolor technique that I picked up from Jennifer McGuire’s blog. I’ve linked to it here, but basically, you use the detail nib of a water brush to pick up the color directly from the point of the watercolor pencil. Well, hallelujah!  It worked!

019 (2)My very first successful watercolor card!  Click on image for larger picture.


After stamping the image twice, I watercolored in the background images and everything except the quilt and the lady hanging it.  I watercolored in that portion of the image, dried it, fussy cut it, mounted it on foam tape and then coated it with glossy accents.  I don’t know if you can tell from this photo, but it actually casts a shadow on the background, which is a very cool effect!

019 (3)  I used my Spellbinder’s Large Label die to cut a frame out of watercolor paper and secured the image behind the frame.  I computer journaled the sentiment, “Dropping You a Line” onto this “watercolorish” paper, which I chose because it made me think of clouds in a spring sky.  A fishtail banner flag was cut from complimentary paper, backed with watercolor paper and stitched up on the machine.  Wanting to keep the focus on the watercolored image, I simply ran twine around the right hand side of the fishtail banner and tied the ends through a vintage button.

020 (2)  The inside of the card.  I kept it simple!

So, what did I learn today? Sometimes you have to move on from the failures of the past and embrace a new way of doing things in order to achieve success.  I know my watercoloring is still a work in progress, but for me, this was a huge victory!  I didn’t let my past failure dictate my desire to use this image, which conjures up so many warm feelings of home and memories of my wonderful childhood.  Keeping it tucked away in the box wasn’t at all satisfying.  But seeing it all put together makes my heart sing.  I think I can hear my mom singing, too…

That’s it for me today, folks.  I have my own laundry to attend to.  I hope today’s watercolor card has left you with a smile, rekindled some of your own childhood memories, and encouraged you to take a risk and try to do something you’ve failed at in the past. Sometimes the tiniest changes make all the difference.

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog, and for leaving me a comment, too.  You know your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time…



PS…I’m linking this post to The Moxie Fab World Wonder of Watercolor Challenge.

and to the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge: Color

Product used in this project; Stamp:  Stamp A Vie, Mo Manning, “Mummu’s laundry”; Paper, Vintage Button, String from my stash; Staedtler Karat Aquarelle Watercolor pencils; Ranger Industries Glossy Accents


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8 thoughts on “Dropping You A Line (Watercolor Card)

  1. Cath

    Hey Kathy! Thanks for linking this up to the Wonder of Watercolor Challenge in the Moxie Fab World! I’m so glad you joined in on all the fun! 🙂

  2. Anita Houston

    I’m back!!! That sounds stalkerish!!! I loved your story of your mother hanging clothes. My mother hung clothes too, and I can recall that yummy smell of the dried clothes in my mind to this day. I just lay every thing on my couch to dry now…no line…bummer! Your card is precious, and your intimidation to color things in has got to stop because you watercolored perfectly. Fabulous color and pattern making on the quilt! I love the marbled look of the grass and clouds…just super! Thank you for sharing your true colors with us this week here at Simon Says Stamp & Show!

  3. Tanya

    You did a fine job with the water colors Kathy! It seems weekly you are pushing the boundaries of what you know , to learn, and perfect this field of art you have invested so much of your life in. How I adore the real visual of this sweet lady in her house shoes….every card you make seems to conjure up some strong beloved memory of my past. This one reminded me of the old metal barrel in the side yard of my grandmothers farm; peeling paint, turned on it’s side waiting for a dreaming child. My grandmother would give me a blanket and pillow and I spent countless hours watching her hang the wash….that clean smell floating over the spring breeze….the clouds passing overhead in the clearest of blue. She too singing in her clear voice some hymn of praise to the one she loved most…..such a simple vehicle to so many thoughts of beauty these cards you make.

  4. ncguygirl

    Love this whimsical card, and that you stepped out of your comfort zone to use water colors on it. It turned out great! I can hear Mom saying “Atta Girl” to you as you ventured into coloring it. Great job! 🙂

  5. Theresa Lode

    SO wonderful! I love the memories you recall. I could almost hear your mom singing too. We never had a clothesline in my family growing up but it’s been a staple where ever we’ve lived. Hanging out clothes is one of my favorite tasks and yeah….no detergent or fabric softener can ever come close to the glorious smell of line dried laundry.

    Thanks for the heart warming story and the delightful eye candy.

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