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Thursday
Feb212013

Charming DIY Bedside Table


I was in desperate need of a new bedside table after we rearranged our bedroom.  After looking briefly in a few different shops, I decided to look one more place...my parents basement.  I managed to find this beauty buried under some old boxes.
I'm pretty sure this table has been painted every color you can fit on a palette.  The height was prefect for next to the bed, and I loved the little drawer.  The next step was to head to Home Depot and grab some supplies!
 I grabbed a quart of Behr "Vintage Chic" paint in "Ozone" in a matte finish.  Then found this awesome crackle paint by Martha Stewart.  The color of the crackle paint is called "Oat".
  First I gave the table a light sanding to get rid of some of the old paint layers.  Then I painted the body of the table the Ozone blue.
  The crackle paint tells you to use a Putty knife to apply the paint to your surface.  This was much harder than I expected and found that I couldn't apply evenly with the putty knife.  I found it easier to use the putty knife to apply a thick layer of paint and then use a brush to smooth it on the surface.  The instructions say the thicker the coat, the larger the cracks. I thought I caked it on pretty thick, but my cracks were still pretty small.  I used the crackle paint on the drawer face and the table top.


The crackle paint gave this table the perfect amount of vintage chic.  Made complete with design magazines, a creepy wooden cat, and an Ikea lamp, this table is perfect!

M.  

Tuesday
Feb122013

Hope Comes in Color: Making Art for Charity!


For the past few months my husband and I have been planning the 12x12 Art Show and Silent Auction that will benefit the Newton Sister City Project.  We have been working with an AMAZING team of artists, friends, and professors to make this charity art show a reality!

The Newton Sister City Project is near and dear to me because they helped me travel to Nicaragua to do service work when I was attending Lasell College.  From the NSCP website, their mission is "to work alongside our Nicaraguan friends to improve education and healthcare, and to employ appropriate technology at the village level." The project helps fund educational advancement, clean water and cooking technologies, and helps students travel to this amazing country to learn, bond, and grow.

The 12x12 Art Show and Silent Auction will feature an amazing group of artists of all mediums.  ALL pieces in the show are up for auction and ALL proceeds will go to the Newton Sister City Project.  You can visit the art show site here: http://www.digitalfisch.com/12by12/12by12.html and the Newton Sister City Project site here: http://sanjuandelsursistercityproject.wordpress.com/about/

Here is a sneak peek of two of the pieces I will be putting in the show!

This first piece is "Hope Comes in Color" 12x12 Acrylic on wrapped canvas.


You can buy prints and accessories of "Hope Comes in Color" on my Society6 account! Follow this link http://society6.com/SeeMollyCreate/Hope-Comes-in-Color_Framed-Print#12=60&13=55

 Canvas Tote Bags
$18
 iPhone Cases
$35
There are also several options for prints, framed prints, stationary cards, even Sweatshirts!

All proceeds from sales from the "Hope Comes in Color" Series will be donated to the Sister City Foundation!

This next piece is a 12x12 Oil on Canvas. The bird is a Blue-Grey Tanager that is found in Nicaragua. 

This painting is still in progress and I am very excited about how it is coming along. *Look for an upcoming tutorial of this piece here on the blog!

Thank you for taking the time to read about this awesome Foundation and our upcoming Art Show!

M.


Monday
Dec242012

Painting Baby Ben


Recently, I have been really into giving art as gifts for special occasions.  So when my college roommate had her first baby, I knew I wanted to paint her something for mother's day.  What better subject to paint than her beautiful baby boy!

I thought I would share a tutorial for this painting.  I really enjoyed the process.  I used oil paints for this portrait so it took a LONG time (about a year all together). I used their announcement card as a reference photo.

The early photos are pretty poor quality, so bear with me.

Once I had a sketch down on the canvas I started filling in color.  By placing dark colors down early, I was able to build the shadows and details.



 At this point I really start going in with dark colors to highlight the shadows.  Pay attention to all the nooks and crannies! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Don't be afraid to go too dark with oil paint! You can always lighten it by layering. That's the beauty of the medium.

I chose to use a thinning medium to change the consistency of the paint as the face progressed.  I use Turpentine. The Winsor & Newton Oil Painting Solvents are affordable and effective.  You can find them at your local craft store or Dick Blick online.


Thinning mediums (like Turpentine) are solvents that are mixed with oil paints to change the consistency. Basically changing the paint from fat to thin.  When you see oil paints that are glossy and shiny, chances are the paint was mixed with a thinner.

For the hair, I used a fan brush like this Royal Langnickel Sofia Fan from Dick Blick.

 This type of brush allows you to "fan" color on to the canvas, while creating a hair texture.

Here are some close-ups:




I went to Michaels to have this little guy framed. Their custom framing department is always helpful and they have a decent selection of frames and mouldings.


It was so special to give this portrait to my friend and hear now 2 year old Bennett point and say "that's Bennett!"

M.

Monday
Dec172012

Fast DIY Business Cards

The Problem: Need business cards fast!  The Solution: DIY!

A few weeks ago I was planning on attending a Crafts Fair.  I had ordered fancy business cards that were not going to be delivered in time and I really wanted to have a way to "tag" the wreaths I was selling and and have a way to spread my name. Also, let's face it, you feel pretty awesome when you can say "here, let me give you my card".  
I decided there was no time to have the cards done professionally, so I finally said "I can do this!"

First, I went to the store and grabbed a pack of Card Stock. I chose a multicolored pack that would cater to my indecisiveness and was more fun than a plain white pack


I had these two stamps that I've been dying to do something with, so I got them out.  If you're in a pinch your local craft store should have some basic stamps. If you have time, I definitely recommend browsing on Etsy!
  
Now, this is down and dirty business card making.  I am not proficient in the Adobe products (Illustrator/Photoshop), and my designer husband was at work, so I resorted to good 'ole Microsoft Word.  When you go to Word, start by figuring out what version you have  In Word 2003 or earlier versions, on the Tools menu, click Envelopes And Labels. In Word 2007 or later choose Labels from the Mailings tab.   On the Labels tab, click Options.  In the Labels Product list, click Avery Standard.   In the Product Number list, use 8371 or 5371.  This will allow you to use a business card template.   In the Address area, enter the address information for the business card.  
It will look something like this:
The only downside to using your fancy colored paper is that you will have to measure and cut the cards by hand.  I believe if you use the actual Avery Business Card Paper it is serrated.  The gridlines will not print so you will have to measure and cut your cards.  A standard business card is 2" x 3.5".

I made separate templates for my front and back and then reversed my printing so that the sides would match up.  

Once everything was printed, I took my stamps and got creative!

Here are my front and back views:
 DIY Business Cards just like that!  I love the multicolored cards and the charming stamps, they feel very "me"

M.


Friday
Nov162012

Fast, Fun, & Affordable Holiday Decorating!

The Holidays are expensive.  There's food, gifts, and travel arrangements to pay for. One thing that doesn't have to break your Christmas piggy bank is decorations, just DIY!  This is a quick tutorial to make a Holiday yarn wreath.  I won't go into detail about Yarn Wreath basics, those instructions can be found on my "Heavy Metal Letter Meets Pretty Yarn Wreath" post.

Wrapping the wreath form in yarn can be pretty time consuming, especially if you are doing a tight wrap as seen above.  If you want to save some time, you can do a loose wrap as seen below:
Back to our tightly wrapped wreath! Once the form has been wrapped in yarn, it's time to start decorating!  Think outside the box, do you have anything around the house that you can use? Any old mismatched Christmas balls that you don't need on your tree? An old Christmas broach that is to cumbersome to wear on your Christmas sweater? Perfect!  I use an assortment of store bought and found items for my wreaths.  Start by placing the items on the wreath. Play around with the arrangement until you like what you see. Then get out your glue gun and commit to placement!
 Hot glue can be messy.  I had this terrible blob of glue that was visible under the "C" in my Peace piece.  Don't fret! It's a perfect opportunity to add something! An ugly spot of glue is nothing a cute fabric flower and some sparkly leaves can fix!

Once you are satisfied with your arrangement, all that's left it to craft a quick loop so you can hang your Christmas cheer! Tie a piece of yarn around the top of the wreath and fashion a loop.  I secure my loop to the back of the wreath with a dab of glue.
 
And just like that, a fast and affordable Christmas wreath!

Happy Holidays!

M.