Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo of the Week


This little beauties have been growing all over my lawn, at least until my husband mowed it,  that is.  I'm not sure if they are wild flowers or not, but the spread like crazy!  I haven't minded too much... I think they're pretty :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cardboard Stencil Tutorial and Free Template

I've been playing around with stencils since posting my Stenciled Watercolors Tutorial.  In fact,  I ventured to make my own stencil out of cardboard.

 Here's what I ended up with... I love this one!  It's so happy and flowery :)

Watercolor Stencil Art


Want to make one of your own?  Just keep reading, follow my little tutorial and take advantage of a little freebie too!

Cardboard Stencil Tutorial 

Flower Stencil

Materials:

  • cereal box
  • exacto knife
  • cutting matt
  • scissors
  • scotch tape
  • paper cutting template of your choosing, or you can use mine- just click on the link below!



Step 1:  Print out the template and tape it to the back side of an opened-up, flattened cereal box.  I trimmed around my template a bit to make it fit better.  Lay it on top of the cutting matt.


Step 2:  Using the exacto knife,  cut around the edges of the template.  You have to press pretty hard with the knife to get through the cardboard, so you may have sore fingers afterwards, like me.


Step 3:  Punch out the cut-out sections.  Your stencil should look like this....

Watercolor Stencil Art


All done.... now go and use your stencil for whatever crafty projects you have planned :)

tip:  You can try laminating your stencil if you want to use it with watercolors like I did.  I couldn't fit it in my laminator, so I covered it in packing tape.  Not that professional-looking, but hey, it works!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A set of lions


Last weekend I made my first custom order ever!  It was pretty fun actually :)  A lady wanted a set of lion cards, just like the other watercolor animal cards I have in my Etsy shop.

I've had quite the dry spell with my shop this year.  Until the other day, I hadn't sold a thing since last December.  So I decided to take a few risks and actually pay Etsy to feature some of my stuff.  Looks like it worked!

I've decided that if I want to make this work I have to take more risks.  Naturally, I am not much of a risk taker, so I think this will be good for me :)



Just a question for those of you with Etsy shops....  How do you promote your shop?  Have you had any luck with advertising?   Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Photo of the Week


Good morning!  I've just been working on making some strawberry freezer jam (my favorite) so I thought this photo would be fitting.  I love spring, not just for the weather, but for the delicious fruit it brings :)

p.s. Is any one else annoyed that blogger changed it's format?  It's a bit confusing.  I seriously miss the old dashboard but, I suppose I will have to get used to it- sigh.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Butterfly Love


I got this new butterfly paper punch for my birthday.... and I LOVE it!  I've been punching through all kinds of paper just to test it out.  I even took the punch to one of my not-so-good paintings (yes, I have paintings now and then that just do not work out)  and recycled it into little watercolor butterflies!


These may end up as some decorations for my mom :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two Happy Surprises

I just love happy surprises and yesterday I got TWO of them from two good friends... who also both happen to have the same first name!  Cool huh?!  I'm so grateful for these friends :) Among other things, they have given me something to blog about since I haven't made anything lately :)

The lemon sugar body scrub and crochet wash cloth come from my talented friend who lives not too far away.  I always need some kind of scrub for my poor rough hands.  I hardly ever wear gloves when I clean (and I'm a little bit of a clean freak) so my hands get trashed.  Thank you for the scrub!



The second gift came straight from Hawaii, where my other friend lives... so jealous! She was my best friend in high school and a talented artist over there with a very cool style.  I feel pretty cool to have some of her artwork :)   Check out her Facebook page HERE!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo of the Week


This is what's growing in my new backyard- isn't it pretty?!  

I hope I never take my backyard for granted...EVER!  I remember talking to some other mom's at a playgroup almost a year ago (while I was still in an apartment), and all of them were complaining about having to take care of a yard-  I was amazed!  How could they complain about owning a yard and home of their own?!   At that point in time I would have given almost anything to have a yard of my own... and I silently vowed to never complain about having to take care of my yard.  

So wherever you are, if you have a backyard, go out and ENJOY it... because you can!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stenciled Watercolors Tutorial

watercolor elephant stencil art : Grow Creative

At the suggestion of a friend, I am posting a tutorial on how to make a nice watercolor painting using plastic stencils!  It really is quite a simple process and you end up with something that looks professional.  I love sharing these little secrets with people. It's fun!

So here is what you need to get started...

Materials: 
watercolor paints
paintbrush
plastic stencils (I found some cheap ones at the dollar store)
watercolor paper
               


Step 1:  Pick out the stencil you want to use and place it on top of your paper.

watercolor stencil art


Step 2: Hold the stencil down tightly with one hand.  With your other hand, load up the paintbrush with water and paint and dab some on the paper inside the stencil area.  Make sure not to move the stencil until you are completely finished.

watercolor stencil art


Step 3: To give it a varied look, add several different colors in random areas of the stencil.  Wet watercolors will mix together on the paper- plus it's fun to watch!

watercolor stencil art


 Step 4: Fill in the entire area of the stencil and ever so carefully lift the stencil away from the paper.

watercolor stencil art

watercolor stencil art


Step 5:  Let your painting dry completely and there you have it... your own mini artwork!

watercolor stencil art

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you notice that your watercolors are bleeding around the edges of the stencil you can try mixing less water with the paints.  The more watery the paint is, the more it runs and the harder it is to control.  I've also noticed that the quality of watercolor paper can affect this tendency to bleed.  Using a thicker, more absorbent paper will give you better results.
  • Another cool trick you can try is to sprinkle Epsom salt on the wet watercolor painting like I did with the butterfly.  When it dries, just brush the salt off.  It makes a really cool texture!

watercolor stencil art
watercolor bugs and animals

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Look at my Sketchbook

Well, next to unpacking, cleaning my old apartment, shopping for blinds and curtains for my new home, I managed to squeeze in a little sketching while hanging out in our backyard with my son.

I love having a back yard.... even though there are currently more dandelions in it than grass!  Oh well, they inspired this little sketch here, which I actually half-way traced and then colored in with the plants themselves.
It brought me back to my childhood days of  "painting" the sidewalk with dandelions :)


And here are a few other sketches of said dandelions and some other plants.....



Monday, April 9, 2012

Photo of the Week


This week's photo is a scene from our move to our first home! Hooray! We got our keys last week and spent the weekend moving in.  This little guy was super excited with moving stuff and exploring a new house- at least new for us. It's actually a renovated 70's home so it feels new!

More pictures of our home are coming.  We just gotta get things organized first- so much work to do!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Textured Pears and a Cropping Dilemma

I painted another version of pears, this time using some Epsom salt to get more texture.  I love that look!

The painting began as an 8x10, but I didn't exactly plan the composition really well.  For some reason, the 8x10 version looks a little funny to me.  So I started messing around with the cropping on the computer and I can't decide which I like best.

Which would you pick?

the 8x10

the 8x8

or the 5x7




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dyed Paper Experiments

We're busy moving into our first home over Easter weekend (Hooray!), so my son and I dyed our Easter Eggs early this year. We only colored 5 hard boiled eggs- that's plenty for my little guy. So we ended up having a lot of dye left over, but I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Why waste such beautiful vibrant colors? I knew there had to be something else I could use them for...... 


Hence, my dyed paper experiments. Dyeing paper is in no way a novel concept, but I had never tried it with vinegar egg dye before and it was fun! Plus I got some cool looking designs out of it!

So here's a rundown of my three experiments on plain white card stock:

1. Dripping dye on dry paper with a medicine dropper....


2. Dripping dye on wet paper with a medicine dropper.... 


3. Soaking paper, crumpling it up, and dipping it in the dye.. tie-dye style

Have a Happy Easter everyone and don't be afraid to re-use your egg dye!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Photo of the Week


This week's photo was inspired by my breakfast!  My parents gave me a plethora of grapefruit and I'm still working on them.  Good thing I love grapefruit!

Also, I'm just wondering how you all eat your grapefruit.....  I've tried peeling them like an orange, but it tastes too bitter.  So I still cut them in half and eat them slowly, one segment at a time with a spoon.  Is it weird that I put salt on them too?  Does anyone else do that?


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