Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Using Martha Stewart's Stucco Paint

It's always a lot of fun trying out new artsy or crafty products isn't it? There's always a bit of mystery involved. It might be homemade, bought, or given. No matter the case - a lot of creative fun is sure to be had. A couple places that often have crafty goods for lower cost are stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Many times I have gone in search of something as innocent as socks and end up coming out with 6x6 paper pads, notebooks, stickers, Thickers, and other random goodies. Ha! At least they are a good price, right!? :)

A couple of weeks ago, while on the hunt for new shoes for my daughter, I found some Martha Stewart Stucco Paint at TJ Maxx. I had never used it before and thought it was probably something like modeling paste. Now, you know I adore modeling paste (especially Liquitex) so at $1.99 for the jar - I couldn't resist. It is no where near the size of the Liquitex tub, but I just wanted to give it a try. Plus, it's Martha! How could I go wrong?

When I was ready to play a bit with it, I opened it up and found it to be exactly what I thought -  thick consistency, perfect to be applied with a palette knife or popsicle stick. It is a lot like modeling paste, but definitively not the same "creamy" texture. Liquitex modeling paste looks a lot like butter cream frosting to me. It actually has a really pretty texture that can be pulled up into peeks, much like cupcake frosting. If I didn't know any better I would smear in on top of my dessert :) The Martha Stewart has a must grainier texture to it.

I tried my best in the collage above to show the difference in texture. The Liquitex is on the left in all three pictures. Can you see the creaminess? But, the point is to use it on canvas for texture and not eat it! Sooo, let's see how it works on a tag using a stencil shall we?

1) Martha
2) Liquitex (swoon)
3) Both tags side by side
4) Mixing in a little Martha Stewart craft paint (which I adore)

I can see the gritty texture of the MS brand in all of these pictures and after working with it, prefer my good ol' Liquitex. But, the stucco paint would definitely do the job of adding texture to any mixed media project. Some people may even prefer the grittier version. Either way texture is created! I am glad I picked it up. (They totally stick all these random goodies in the purchase line. It literally called my name. Seriously! Along with alphabet stickers and nail polish. Ha!) I will use it all up in a few projects and think it was a good artsy buy.

Have you tried anything new lately? 
Do tell!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seek, See, Go - Mixed Media Art Journal Page


Holy Smokes! It's been awhile. I guess I took a mini blog vacation. I have been creating...just not posting. I think we all need that from time to time. You know - just some "unplugged" time. :) I have been working on my Project Life album which I am LOVING you guys. I mean - LOV-ing. I am not a scrapbooker (although I have always had a love affair with all the little scrapbook goodies. They have so many uses really). But, this way of documenting life is really working for me. I am going to be putting together a PL post very soon so I can show you! Also, I went nuts the other day and cleaned out my pantry. I threw away all kinds of things...expired dates we won't mention. Lol. PLUS, I have to share these divine little goodies we baked the other day. So yummers!

Pictured above: my pantry stuff, messy Project Life table, DIY title cards for my album, and delicious "healthy" cookies. 
Recipe at the end of this post!

Enough of all the blog writing procrastination business! Let's get on with the journal page shall we? I was inspired by a picture that my Hubby had shown me of a desert. It was a beautiful sandy dune with the richest color of sand against a turquoise sky. SO pretty. Then...enter a sale on Americana paint at Michaels. The paint was on sale for 50 cents a bottle, so I grabbed a few and found the color Terra Coral. A perfect partner for my collection of aquas and the desert colors I had in my mind.

I created the background, which you see above under those goodies, by layering some paper, acrylic paint, stamps, Caran D'ache watercolor crayons, and pen. It had been awhile since I worked in my 9x12 art journal. So, it felt fabulous to get my hands all mixed media messy. After working on the background, it sat on my studio table for a few days. I left my journal open to this page on my table. I do that quite a bit. My studio space is in an open loft area upstairs. There are no doors to shut. I pass this space it seems a zillion times a day. I leave my projects sitting there on purpose. After passing by them so many times...I finally get a burst of creative mojo and finish them. :) 

In this case, I spotted a portrait. Once my family was tucked in for the night , I got to painting. I didn't initially like the quick pencil sketch I did. But, I decided to keep going and not worry much about it. I really like the colors, her quirky hair, and the small butterfly stamps.

There was a textured piece of layered paper right above her eye, perfect for a stamped word. I stamped see with my tiny dollar alphabet stamps. Then I completed the little saying with stamping seek above and go under. I also wrote the words, "I can only be me" near a stamped butterfly. I think I am trying to remind myself that I am unique. We all are. We all have a different story. We all have something different to say. It's no fun when we all try to be like each other. Right!? I just want to be true to who I am. :)

NOW, I did not forget about the cookies. If you like bananas - these are definitely for you! Even if you don't, you have to try them anyways. I am always trying to find "healthy" alternatives for my family. I think I originally found these on Pinterest. No shock there. :) I put healthy in quotations because they still have chocolate chips or non-dairy chips in them. But, they are WAY better than the standard cookie. Are you ready?? OK. Two bananas (ripe and speckled are good), 1 cup oats, and chocolate chips (or vegan chips). The measurement can vary on the chips depending on how chocolatey you want them. Mix that all together and bake them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. That's it!!

Now, go! Go! Bake!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Scrap Wood Mini Canvas - Bloom


Look at this cute little bloom doodle on wood! So cute, right? And...just perfect for spring. I have been working on a commissioned collection of three larger floral panels painted in this style. But, this little cutie came from the "trash stash" that I keep handy in my garage. Between my hubby and I, there is always bound to be some kind of project going on. So, I like to keep a plastic bin ready in the garage to collect any extra wood pieces. Initially, I was using this small piece of wood to test stain color. It measures smaller than 4 x 6. Super adorable! I needed to add some bits of sunshiny spring in my house and thought this would be perfect. I doodled this bloom using acrylic paint and my Uni-ball pen. It stands on this DIY (thanks very handy Hubby!) picture ledge (post coming soon!) in our front room.

Want to make one of your own? All you need is a scrap piece of wood (any size will do), acrylic craft paint (my faves - Americana & Martha Stewart), a white uni-ball pen, and some MinWax wood stain. That's it!! The wood stain comes in several different colors and I picked mine up at Lowe's. After you stain your wood canvas, follow the manufacturers suggestion for drying time - then get doodling! Don't bother drawing out a sketch with a pencil. Just go for it! I start with the white acrylic. Sometimes I will need to go back over it a couple of times to clean up my lines. BUT, I am totally OK with things not being perfect. :)

Once I am happy with the white, I add more happy colors. Typically on these pieces I have been using aquas, yellows, pinks, and corals. I like to add varying sizes of dots too. I just dip the end of my paintbrush into the paint to create the circles. I press my tip onto the wood using varying pressure to get different sizes. Q-tips, pencil erasers, and golf tees work well too. I make tiny dots and the really thin lines with the white pen as well. I love the look of the pen and there are so many things you can do with it to add visual interest!

These are supper fun to make and would make a sweet gift for someone special too. So, go grab some scrap wood and get busy! :)
I am going to make a bunch more to stick in my shop too.
 It needs some springy joy!
AND be sure to enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Little Snippets of Life - Instagram

Having my iPhone (which has become my go to camera) with me all the time has really taught me to focus on the little things. I love capturing the little snippets in life that happen day to day. I am so happy that things like Instagram, various different apps, and my iPhone help me grab these moments so easily. Now, I look for the details that I may have overlooked in the past and that tickles my heart. Here are some little pieces of my life lately...

A wood palette shelf to be stained, an Easter dress detail, yummy cookies baked by hubby with the kids, a basket of washi, the GOR-geous sky as we left Easter dinner, spring break play, one of the VERY loud frogs in our garden, decorated eggs, and a bike ride in the park - all the sweet, blessed moments granted to this very lucky lady.

All this good stuff helps me to remain present
To BE here. 
Right now. 
Ever thankful that God has given me another day.