Key to my Heart

Key to my Heart

Going through the house to fill the donation box, I kept picking up frames in one room or another. Some were old, some new, some broken, some brand new from the craft store. So there I was with a stack of frames & wood & inspiration struck… Holiday ornaments and tags were just waiting to be discovered in those wooden pieces…pumpkins needed to be adorned, ornaments wanted to be created and all in all- it was time to create! I also had a wonderful box just delivered from DecoArt full of amazing products from their new mixed-media line to try…I have several art projects in mind for these new products (especially their fabulous fluid acrylics!)…but today I was thinking more decoratively in my home for my mixed media creating! Since I felt a little sparkly, I went with ornaments first (I know- out of seasonal order, but who can resist the possibility of spreading a little golden cheer!) I grabbed the first frame, and old book, several awesome products from DecoArt’s new mixed media line, a stencil or two & raided the junk drawer for some old keys, buttons & an assortment of what-nots!     I began tearing pages and deco-paging the background. When dry, I did a soft wash using white antiquing cream to soften the look. Then I took one of my new favorite products,  DecoArt’s Metallic Lustre – Gold Rush, and rubbed it with a rag along the edges and details of the frame- Love! To create the center image for my frame, I used a key stencil, gesso & a palette knife. I taped off around the key I...

The Red, White & Blue Monogram

There it was, the box waiting for me.  New paint. Not just new paint, but a new type of paint, filled with the promise of new colors, chalky finish, and oh-so-many possibilities! Freshness, possibilities, makeovers, new looks. All this awaits in the box of new paint! The box is open, new designs are forming and the Fourth of July is calling! I was inspired to create a patriotic sign that would be fun for the fourth, but could also decorate year-round. Pulling from my studio stash of boards, I found an MDF board in a 20″ x 12″ size just perfect for a rectangular sign. I base coated in the wonderful new Chalky Finish Paint from Decoart, then selected the beautiful Legacy blue and Romance red for the next steps in the project. I laid out the center circle and banding, then traced out the chevron stripes from my stencil. Painting the chevron stripes in the Rouge was a snap, since the paint was so creamy. After taping and painting the bottom three inch band with blue, I pulled out some simple alphabet stencils to do the bottom lettering. I laid the wording out with a pencil for spacing, then stenciled American Made in Primitive Chalky finish paint. While I had that color on my brush, I also painted the center of the circle.   When completely dry, I grabbed my 100 grit sandpaper and distressed away. My hand lettering finished off the sign with a little fun personalization.  I was so excited about this project, I invited a few friends to the studio to share the paint fun. I...

Resolution… Remember!

When New Year’s rolls around, talks of resolutions & promises engage most discussions. Have you made yours? What do you want to change/add in/take out for 2014? What big life-altering, scale-number changing, triathlon-completing, goal-gaining choice are you going to make? Well, this cute little crafty encourager helps keep your goals easy, accomplishable using… The resolution board!   A simple and easy project to propel you forward in 2014, or at least be a cute little craft you can check off and feel you already completed a crafting resolution accomplishment for the year & be done! I have lots of wood scraps around the studio, but these could easily be found at your local DIY center, or perhaps you garage! I cut a leftover piece of wooden molding into 8″ lengths. I grabbed a few of my favorite Americana colors, and base coated the scraps, allowing to dry, then distressing with rough sandpaper. Finding tiny wooden clothespins handy, I painted those in contrasting colors. At this point I did wish I had tiny little hands as well as a tiny little brush, or even a few elves looking for extra work after the end of the Christmas season, but the job still was accomplished effectively. A quick hint for drying the tiny clips to keep them from being painted shut – pin into a glass jar until dry then remove the pins were glued on and i grabbed my collection of whatnots to decorate the tops: from old jewelry to cabinet knobs to metal scrapbooking embellishments. After gluing on the chosen finds and letting dry, I stapled a bit of...

Alphabet Song

My three year old loves, no LOVES, singing  the ABC song I mean LOVES singing it! All the time, down the halls, at bed time, in the car, at church, in the store A, B, C, D, E, F, G… So when I happened upon these adorable ABC stickers at the Dollar store I knew in a flash what I had to create! I rushed home (as the ABC tune wafted from the backseat) and found some old wood begging to be recycled in the storage shed, brushed a quick coat of black latex enamel (I highly recommend Decoart’s Gloss enamels!), taking extra care to be sloppy and haphazard in the brushstrokes in other words, take your brush and only apply sporadically to the surface, pulling up quickly to leave ‘brushstroke tails’ that reveal the wood beneath When dry, I placed each brightly colored consonant and vowel dollar store sticker across the surface, spacing somewhat evenly I did not measure, nor mark out,(in the hopes of) creating a hand-painted sign feel I grabbed a handy can of white spray paint and sprayed a quick coat I used spray paint here, as I wanted a light, uneven coating on the surface that would be easy to sand and distress when dry, I carefully peeled up each letter, revealing the darker distressed imprint below After distressing with a few strokes of the sandpaper, I added a couple hangers, a burlap ribbon, and found an empty nail on the wall A B C D E F G H I J K LMNOP Q R S T U & V W X Y...

A Quick Painting Tip

Need a quick update to a frame, piece of furniture, a whatnot or whatever? Well, grab a candle… If you want a distressed finish, with a contrasting color showing, the wax in the candle will act as a perfect resist to the paint. Any paint that is layered atop the candle wax can be easily rubbed off with a fine, or high-grit sandpaper or steel wool.  A little elbow grease (and it will only be a little bit if you let the wax do the work for you ) and you will have a beautiful contrasting, distressed...

Hands of Clay

I have started a new ministry at our church for teen girls, using art as our missional medium. Our last meeting was a different, more reflective get together. This means that while we weren’t slinging paint, we were still elbow-deep in creativity…just in a sitting position. It was Palm Sunday, and a time to reflect…a time to mold and shape just what the week ahead held for our faith…in fact it held the very basis of Christianity…of why we believe. there is something so calming about squishing clay between your fingers…molding and shaping until something appears…smooshing down, pressing , rolling…all to retry again  It made me reflect upon what I am being shaped into…how I can be pressed down to smooth rough edges, or reshaped in a different way, and how I resist…not wanting to move in the direction I am being molded. As the girls were read the Easter Story, I hoped that the action of the clay would cause the same reflection I was experiencing…Of the cross, of our path, of becoming beautiful in the Potter’s hands. Do you want to feel the clay squishing between your fingers…want to gather your kiddos into the kitchen and laugh and play in the mess? Tell them the stories of how they are being molded…how their actions and decisions mold those around them…how life is good, and fun, and hard…but good change is always possible… Dive in…Here is the easiest air dry clay recipe using goodies around the house: (makes about 2 pounds – the recipe can be halved). 2 cups baking soda 1 cup cornstarch 1.5 cups cold water...