Saturday, December 8, 2018


I had a pretty good time experimenting with new materials last month! 

1. I bought my first high quality paper watercolor block. I tested out the new Canson L'Aquarelle Heritage Watercolor Paper and found it to be great quality! It takes multiple layers of watercolor and gouache well and feels almost like cloth!

2. I made a new color chart by mixing my watercolor paints with white gouache to see the opaque versions of the colors. I tried to mix them 50/50 as accurately as possible and the colors came out rich and smooth.

3. I also purchased some new watercolor paints from Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton to try to fill up my new clear Transom 24-well watercolor palette that I also purchased a few weeks ago. Colors: Cerulean Blue (WS), Sap Green (DS), Undersea Green (DS), Yellow Ochre (DS), Carbazole Violet (DS) and Payne's Grey (WS).

4. I painted two small gouache still life studies from an online demo I found on Youtube to try and get more practice with gouache. Took me a couple of weeks (!) but I finished recently with a real sense of accomplishment. I still have so much more to learn but it's great to finish a piece and realize 'hey, it's not that bad'... :]

Be sure to follow along on my Instagram @lizzvisions
Have you experimented with any new art materials recently? 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


- Buying new art supplies.
- The support I got from the art community on my Instagram.

- I didn't really like what I was producing. My drawings felt forced. Nothing felt right and it felt like I was pulling teeth. After four days I didn't even want to use ink anymore.
- The pressure (self inflicted) to stick to ink all of October. (The one sketch I did enjoy doing this month was actually done in watercolor.

- I felt like I was being really hard on myself. Inktober made me realize I feel a bit "artist block" so I started reading a book I liked from years ago called 'The Artists Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity" to see if I could get past it. I'm still reading it right now and I'm really enjoying it.
- I might try again next year but if I do it next year I might tone it down and do one ink drawing a week instead of one everyday.

Did you do Inktober? How was your experience?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BOOK REVIEW - Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton | THE LIBRARY

BUNS (Hudson Valley #3) - a romance novel by Alice Clayton

The Scoop: A perfect triptych of tender romance for the cold hearted looking for warmth (a third edition without extra syrup to match the temperament of the protagonists)

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars


Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.


Here is my Goodreads review:

"An amazing love story from a start to finish. It swoops you up and carries you to the top of a mountain. And then literally asks you to take a leap of faith. Brilliant. Just what I needed to continue to feed my obsession with the Hudson Valley. What I love about Alice Clayton is that she gives us such relatable characters. Characters that make us feel human and connected and that flawed as we are, we too are worthy of love. That’s what hooked me into the first book and what ultimately got me to give this third installment five stars. PS - how often do we get real steamy romance stories where the protagonists wears glasses! Love it!"

Longer thoughts:

What an amazing story. Alice Clayton does it again with super relatable characters seasoned with a healthy spoonful of humor. I realize it was hard to wrap my head around these characters in the first two books because I couldn't really see them in my head, or "cast" them like I usually do. But once I read the third book where the characters were more fleshed out, I saw Clara as a young Emma Watson with a pixie cut and Archie as a lean, bespectacled Sam Heughan from Outlander. [NOTE: After checking the Goodreads reviews and seeing people cast Archie as Micheal Fassbender I'm feeling major SMH. He would have been perfect! *facepalm*

A love story! A love story where the protagonists wear glasses and don't have a lot of romantic experience but still manage to open up, let go and explore their emotional sides with each other! A love story where everyone didn't fall in love in high school and didn't have the perfect childhood but still managed to work through those issues (even if it's hard at first!). A love story about people in their mid-late 20's! Not 16 year olds! (I love YA novels but sometimes I need variety... 😅) 

Alice Clayton's ability to portray Clara and Archie's initial (and practical) resistance towards sweeping romance will feel like close comfort to weary romance readers like myself who might be stepping slowly into reading these types of stories again. The careful hesitation feels real and tangible and is part of what makes the characters feel so relatable to me. 

"Get thee (me) to the mountaintop!" Mohonk Mountain House, that is. It is the upstate New York castle(!)/hotel resort that inspired the author to write the fictional Bryant Mountain House. [Lightbulb moment: Dirty Dancing took place in the Catskills at a place just like this!] I checked the website and stalked their Instagram. The location is beautiful. I feel drawn to the Hudson Valley even more. 

Theme: Love as an actual, literal leap of faith. (Brilliant!) More themes: Friendship. Family. Tradition. Community. Creating and building new families. Love after loss. Vulnerability. Dynasties. Home. Preservation. Change.

Pick up a copy of the book here:
Learn more about the author Alice Clayton here:
Learn more about the resort that inspired the novel here:
Follow me on Goodreads here:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Mijello Mission Gold Watercolor Mixing Chart | ART + DESIGN

Hello, all! So I've had these tubes of high quality watercolors for some time (a birthday gift from my older sister a couple years ago <3) and sadly I've never really given them the attention they deserved.

I'd like to get better at using watercolors so last week I started out with doing a simple watercolor mixing color chart for the nine tubes I have! I believe this will serve as a good reference for when I want to mix colors and now you can use it too! These are 9 introductory tube colors from Mijello Mission Gold Watercolors Set. They mix beautifully and are highly pigmented. The colors I used are: Burnt Sienna, Peacock Blue, Permanent Red, Permanent Rose, Permanent Yellow Light, Rose Madder, Vandyke Brown, Viridian and Yellow Orange.

Here's a link to where you can purchase the watercolor set: 

Hope you enjoy! :]

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BOOK REVIEW - Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton | THE LIBRARY

I read a suggestion once that you should read books about locations you want to move to. As Pinterest and Instagram have long inspired my obsession with beautiful homes and interiors I looked to a place that has kind of always been on the back of my mind since 6th grade. Beautiful, upstate New York landscapes. Specifically, the Hudson Valley.

Lo and behold, there is an author who writes stories set in the same dreamy upstate locales that I've been saving on Pinterest.

Alice Clayton's "Nuts" (Hudson Valley #1) had me dreaming of upstate New York farms, small town life, Jeeps on an open country road, homemade diner food and a certain farmer named Almanzo. Not to mention laughing my butt off at any and all parts involving Roxie and bumble bees.

The book was a great read. I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I shouted out loud. (All of the things a good book should make you do). But most importantly, I identified with the main character, Roxie Callahan. I felt like I was her and she was me. Going through a lot of the same issues that comes with growing up as young woman - wanting to let go of the past and grow into who you want to be - not a persona placed on you by the people you grew up with/your hometown, complicated relationships with parents, first love, wanting to protect your heart. (This list is by no means exclusive.)

I have not read a fiction book (let alone a romance novel) in a long time and I'm glad that this was my first foray back into it. I'm glad to say that now I will be checking out the other books in Alice Clayton's Hudson Valley series (and checking Zillow for homes in the Hudson Valley...) :]

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Hello, blog! It’s me.’s been a while! Some things have happened since I’ve last posted...actually a lot has happened. But a recap wouldn’t really do it justice so I guess I’ll start with where I am right now and what I’m trying to do.

Not too long ago I bought some new art supplies with the hope of getting right back into the swing of things. I sat at my desk, cracked open some stiff paint tubes and to my surprise the watercolor paints were just as vibrant as the day I first got them. Maybe even more so. But equally to my surprise, it didn’t come easy.

I tried a simple drawing and watercolor of a home front only to realize this is much harder than I thought. My skills aren’t the same place they used to be. Watercolor is difficult, the colors don’t mix the way I want them too first time around but they take work. This whole process is more difficult than I remembered. Getting back into the swing of things, starting over.

I can’t go back to the artistic levels I was at before (at least not immediately or without practice), the same way no one can go back in time to be the people who they were once before. Before life knocked you down, before you knew heartache or sorrow or trauma. Sometimes looking back at some of my favorite blog posts is like looking at a ghost. We can’t go back, we can only go forward.

We can start over.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Start over with my art, start over with my poetry, start over with my writing, start over with how I create.

So allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Lizz, and I’m starting over. Welcome to my blog and I hope you stay a while.