Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art U Can Do

I repainted my half bath a couple months ago and added some stripes--it took me forever but I love the way it turned out. My art students use this bathroom, so I wanted it to be fun and creative, but not too "childish". When I saw the stripes and knew I needed some "polka dots", so I created this art as the focal point. Here's a tutorial on some really easy art you can create for your home. I recreated a small piece to show you how it's done. If you can draw a circle and pick up a paint brush, U can do this art! Keep in mind that this is a multi-step process and can't be done in one sitting.

You will need a canvas, some Modeling Paste (I use Dick Blick brand) and a palette knife (a regular plastic knife should also work fine). Also, acrylic paint colors of your choice, paint brushes, items to create additional texture and varnish.

First, using your palette knife, spread the modeling paste over the front of your canvas. It's easy, just like icing a cake. Get it thick and let the texture show...nice little peaks and curves.

Now, with the point of your palette knife, or a pencil, end of a paint brush,etc., draw your circles, shapes or design. Don't worry about them being perfect, concentrate more on your pattern spacing and balance.

Now, using your texture items (this could be a stamp, a sponge, bubble wrap--anything that will leave a cool imprint), imprint onto the paste in a few places. This adds some extra interest.

Let this sit until it's completely dry--at least 24 hours.

Now, ready for the fun part?? Ok.... let's paint.

Chose a color for your base coat. I used a light tan/beige color. Cover the entire canvas. Let the base coat dry--yes, you must wait again. Usually a couple hours will do the trick.

Now, you are going to chose some colors to dry brush across your canvas. What is dry brush, you ask? I'm sure there's a technical definition, but I would explain it as when you get a dry paint brush (I use one with a coarse bristles) and dab it in paint and then wipe the majority of the paint off the brush before you apply it to something else. I wipe it off on another sheet of paper until just a little paint is left on the brush. Then when you run your brush across your nicely textured canvas, it makes the the patterns pop right out. I used three colors; a sienna brown, a black and a creamy yellow.

The great thing about painting is that if you mess up, it's easy to fix. Just paint over it or add more paint. Have fun experimenting here...sometimes mistakes are your favorite surprises.

Now, paint your circles in. Add some darker and lighter colors around the edges of your circles to give the shapes some depth.

If you like the distressed look, add a darker color to your edges and then wipe it off. Some of the paint will stay on the texture giving a nice, aged effect. I used some metallic paint over the top of my circles too, to give them a nice glimmer.

After your paint dries, apply a clear, non-yellowing varnish. I like Delta Cermacoat in a satin finish. And there you have it--You did it! Your own original work art!

**I love to share how I create things, but please don't copy or sell my original designs. I would also appreciate credit if you repost any of my photos or artwork.

Thanks so much and happy painting!

I'll be partying this week at these fun places. Be sure to check out all the great ideas:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sappy, Sentimental Me

I'm a sappy, sentimental person and I love my home to be decorated with things that have meaning to me. My Pawpaw recently passed away and my mom, aunt and uncle have been sorting through all of the things left behind my him and my Nanny. While getting "all their stuff" isn't that important to me, I love having some things in my home that I can look at throughout my day to remind me of the wonderful times I shared with them. And while I don't have a lot of their things, but the ones I do have are very special to me. My mother found this painting that my Nanny's best friend, and my God-Mother, comissioned an artist to paint of me when I was little. Everyone always says my youngest daughter is the spitting image of my husband, so I was amazed to see how much this painting of me looked like her! I couldn't wait to get it displayed in her room. I also had this shelf given to me by my father that my Grandpa (paternal grandfather) made. I needed a frame, so I dug out this old mirror that has been collecting dust.

With a little spray paint and sanding these all worked beautifully together.

I'll be joining these creative parties with this post:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As I sat quietly this morning thinking about all the things I have to be thankful for, I'll have to admit that every time I would say something to myself the little voice in my head would remind me of something negative. Grumbling......ugh!

So I have to take my thoughts captive and remember that I am THANKFUL......even for those things.

I am thankful for the pile of laundry on my bedroom floor. Thankful that I have a washing machine and dryer, and don't have to wash our clothes by hand. Thankful we have so many clothes to wear and wash. Thankful I have a floor for them to pile on.

I am thankful for a sweet little person who wakes me up at 5:30 am, even on mornings when I could sleep in. Thankful that she wakes up and that I wake up to her. Thankful she can crawl into my bed and snuggle and giggle. Thankful we both have warm beds to snuggle in.

I am thankful for the pile of unpaid bills and junk on my kitchen cabinet. Thankful I have electricity to keep us warm, and that we are able to pay the bill. Thankful that I have my sight to see my junk, bills, the kids school work and drawings.

I am thankful that I have a car to run all my errands today. Thankful that I have my health so that I can get out and do the things I need to do.

I am thankful that I have a house to be messy. That my kids have toys that I can step over. That we get to eat meals and leave leftovers that sit smelly in the sink. That I have running water and a dishwasher to wash them up.

I am thankful for my unanswered prayers. Thankful that I have a personal relationship with a loving Father that wants the best for me and my family. Thankful that I live in a place where I can open my Bible and read his word and pray to him out loud.

My list could go on, but when I look at it with a Thankful heart, it doesn't really bother me anymore.

Wishing you all a Blessed Thanksgiving! See you Saturday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Personalized Placemats

Here's another great hand made gift idea. It's a little labor intensive, so if you would rather just have me make one for you, I'd be glad to : ) I do make these custom and sell for $30 each, or 2 or more for $25 each (plus shipping). I don't have an Etsy shop open yet-so if you're interested, just email me for more info. or check my website for more gift ideas. I will need Christmas orders to be placed by Dec. 1st.

If you would like to try one yourself, here's how I do them. I use 100% cotton duck canvas-natural or white. Cut out your place mat with fabric scissors to your desired size. The canvas will need to have two layers of gesso before painting your design. I usually tape off a border with blue painters tape.

Then using acrylic paints, paint your base coat. After this dries, I give it one more coat of paint.

Pull off your tape and it's ready for the icing!

Have fun with your design! These would be great with a Christmas design or even just a simple monogram letter. Or something fun for the kids, like their ABC's. When you're done painting your design, I apply three coats of Delta Cermacoat Varnish. When it's dry I trim any stray threads off the edges and press under something heavy to flatten. This can be cleaned with a damp rag with a mild soap, like dish soap (no harsh cleaners). Very durable and great for kids

* I love to share my ideas for you to copy, but please don't copy by designs. Thanks!

I'll be posting this with the creative ladies over on these sites: