Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Smoothfoam(TM) Valentine's Day Hedgehog

Here's a quick and easy
Valentine's Day project ... this
would make a great centerpiece for the
classroom or the teacher's lounge!

Supplies: 8" Smoothfoam(TM) Half Ball
Acrylic Paints: Red, White, Black, Brown
Sharpie Marker, Ruler, Stylus
Tracing paper & Transfer paper
(to transfer face to body)

 Base coat the Smoothfoam(TM) Half Ball
with two coats of Red paint.

Once the paint has dried, transfer the
hedgehog's face to the body
using transfer paper and a stylus
(or the handle of a paintbrush).

 Mix the red and white paint together 1:1
and paint the hedgehog's face pink.

Use brown paint for the inside of
the ears, the nose, and the patch of hair.
 The eyes are dip dots of black paint.

Use the ruler and measure out
1.5" from the head in the center of the
half ball ... use the stylus to poke a hole
every 1.5" along the hedgehog's back.
Repeat this until you have enough holes
 for the number of suckers you need.
(I only needed twelve, but there's plenty of
room for more if necessary!)

Paint a small heart onto each hole.

Once paint has dried, use Sharpie marker
to outline all the details.  Insert
a sucker into each hole.

~ Peace and Happy Valentine's Day! ~

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Goodie Jar

I love to upcycle ... here's a painted
Valentine's Day Goodie Jar ~

I don't usually skimp on chocolate,
but we've been battling snowy roads and
the dreaded flu ... somehow extra
chocolate evaded my consciousness as
I shopped for chicken soup and Be Kool strips
these past two weeks.
(I'll have plenty of time to stock up
before Valentine's Day!)

Supplies: empty jar with lid
Acrylic Paints: Red, White, Black, Yellow
Tracing paper and Transfer paper
(to transfer design to painted jar)
Masking Tape
Mod Podge (for sealing)

Use masking tape to tape off the
top and bottom of the jar ~
so you can paint a large band with
a 1:1 ratio of red and white paint.
(or use pink paint ... but I didn't have any
of that in my household stash
so I had to go all Old School and use
my paint mixing skills).

Paint the jar lid with the same color.
Use transfer paper to add the
main pattern lines to the painted strip.

Forgive me for not taking more
step-by-step photos ... perhaps my fever
was getting to me.

I painted the entire outline of the bee
with white.  Once the white paint
dried, I add the detail lines with the
transfer paper and painted
the bee black with yellow stripes.
I added tiny pink hearts to his wings.

Base coat the heart with red paint.
Once the red paint dries,
you can add the lettering with
the transfer paper and go over the
transfer lines with a thin brush
and black acrylic paint.
I also used the black paint and the
thin paintbrush to outline my
entire design ... you could use a 
Sharpie marker if you prefer.

Once everything has dried completely,
I coated the lid and the painted
surface with Mod Podge to
protect it from chipping off.  No
one likes chipped paint in their chocolate!
~ Peace and Happy Upcycled Jar Gift ~

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Simple Snowman Gift Tags

Christmas has come and gone for 2013,
but we are still snowed in!
I made a super simple gift tag, and
it turned out so cute, I made dozens more
and thought I'd share:

Kraft cardstock and XL punch
1" sponge dauber
Acrylic paint: white, black
Dimensional paint: orange
Pink Powder Blush and cotton swab

 Punch out your tags ...
Dip your sponge dauber into white paint
and pounce ... either in the center,
or over to the side (I wasn't sure whether
I might want to add a name or a message, so
I pounced on the far side of the tag!)

Dip a stylus into black paint
to add the eyes.

 Use the cotton swab to
apply blushed cheeks to each
snowman head.

Add the carrot nose with the
orange dimensional paint.
To see a tutorial on how to make
these dimensional noses,
as well as the dots ...
click here.

Use the stylus dipped in black paint
to add the mouth.  Dipping the stylus before
each dot will give you same-sized dots.
To get dots decreasing in size,
dip once and dot two or three times
before redipping.  Experiment
on scratch paper first so you'll be happy
with your little black dots!

~ Peace and Happy Snowman Tags ~

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mini Canvas Ornament

Wordless Wednesday

~ Peace Out ~

Clay Dough Ornaments

Bright, White Clay Dough

While I can always use the salt scrub effect
on my dry, papery man-hands ~
(you know, rinsing my paintbrush after every
color change really does a number
on my skin!)
~ I've made the salt dough ornaments.

You know, the classic 
"been there, done that"
so when I found a recipe for smooth, bright
white ornaments ... I had to try it!

Here's the recipe:

2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Cornstarch
1 1/4 Cups Water 

 Stir ingredients together in a 2 quart saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat,
stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir until mixture is boiling.

Once the mixture starts to boil,
things will happen quickly!  Continue to
stir ~ suddenly the mixture will
resemble mashed potatoes.

As soon as the mixture looks like mashed
potatoes, immediately dump onto
a cookie sheet and cover with a damp
towel.  Allow mixture to cool.

Spread work surface with a light
dusting of cornstarch.

Divide dough in half, keeping the
unused half under the damp towel to
preserve the texture.
(It dries out fairly quickly).

Use cookie cutters or small knife to cut shapes.

Don't forget to poke holes for hanging!
I used a straw.
You could also use rubber stamps
to make impressions on the soft dough.
Love the idea, but we were iced
in and unable to even leave the driveway
and my stamp collection resides
down the street and across the way in my
studio.  Which might as well be in
Siberia since I can't leave my house.

Shapes will air dry, but you can speed
the drying process along by placing
them in a preheated 250 degree oven.
After 15 minutes, turn the shapes and
continue to dry, or bake another 15 minutes.

Allow to cool before painting
and adding ribbon for hanging.


~ Peace and Productive Snow Days ~


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Personalized Canvas

Now that I'm comfortable painting
Cardinals, it's time to switch it up and
leap outside my comfort zone ...
to Hornets!

I painted this personalized canvas for a
teenager - I wanted to make it big and bold
(since my last hornet was only 2" tall!)
Let's pretend I still have a photo
of the blank 12" x 24" canvas ... and that
I took pictures while I base coated it.
uh - hm.
Visualize a paper plate with a large puddle
of dark gray acrylic paint and a large
overlapping puddle of white acrylic paint on it.
Now visualize rolling a sponge paint
roller randomly through the paint and
applying it to the canvas.
Does your vision look something like this?
I made a pattern of the boy's name and
the oversized hornet and used
transfer paper and a stylus to get the
main pattern lines onto the canvas.
Then I took a flat brush and wet it,
blotted it on a paper towel, and dipped one
corner of the brush in a small puddle
of the dark gray paint.

Next I went around the left and lower
sides of each main pattern line,
reapplying paint to the brush as necessary
(usually after every long stroke).

You're just going for some quick dimension here,
don't focus too much on perfection.
I always shade again after the base-coating
has been completed.
Next, I added some short, quick highlights
on the top and right sides of the letters
with white acrylic paint loaded the
same way; on a clean blotted flat brush
with the paint only on one corner.
I base coated the main design.
(using school colors and more than
one coat for opaque coverage)
Yikes!  Scary eyes!
More fitting for a demon than an
aggressive little Hornet.  We'll fix 'em!
I added a basketball for this Hornet.
Grant is our basketball star, after all!
I used a darker shade of my base color
to go over the bottom third or so of each of
my letters.  This adds a bit of interest.

Now its time to repeat the shading around
the left and lower sides of the
letters and the hornet design.  Once the
shading has dried, I apply highlights in the same
manner, but to the top and right sides
of each design element.
I added some highlights to those scary eyes,
and to the parts of the hornet I
wanted to appear more dimensional.
I used a very thin liner brush dipped in black
paint to outline the hornet and the letters.
I used a 1/4" flat brush to add some
border lines around the edges of the canvas.

My paint supply at the house was limited,
so in order to paint the top third
of the letters with a lighter shade of blue,
I mixed a tiny bit of white in with my original
blue base coat color.

I thought the border outline was a little
boring, so I added a thin white
line to the top and right sides of the
main black border line, and a little gray
to the left and lower sides.
Still didn't pop, so I used the liner brush
dipped in black again and sort of
outlined each design element
(letters, border, and some of the hornet)

I added some highlight lines
with the liner brush and white paint.

Once the paint was completely dry,
I used an emery board (limited supplies here)
and sanded a bit off the basketball
and the right sides of the letters.

I brushed two coats of sealer onto the
top and edges of the canvas.
I used Mod Podge in matte finish as
my sealer.  I let it dry overnight and it looks
pretty great!  I hope Grant likes it!

~ Peace and Personalized Canvas ~