Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Arm Knitting!

Create your own chunky knit scarf or cowl with arm knitting! Use jumbo size yarn to create the chunky loose knit pictured or use larger weight yarn for a tighter knit look! You can also double up yarns and follow the same directions with two strands to give a fuller scarf look! If you’ve knitted before, your arms just replace the knitting needles! 

What you need:

  • Jumbo 7 yarn, approx. 46 yards – I used Red Heart Grande/Jumbo 7 
  • Your arms! – this is easiest with no long sleeves and no bracelets or watches on!  
  • Scissors 

Casting on: This will determine the width of your scarf – I cast on 8 stitches, which made my scarf around 8” in width – when not stretched or bunched (as the knit is very loose). Cast on more or less depending on the size of your yarn and the width you would like your scarf to be!  

  •  Step one: create a slip knot at the end of your yarn. Place your right arm inside the slip knot and pull tight. Make sure you leave a tail to your knot – around 6” or so to help tie off at the end!  

Step two: Begin casting on stiches to your arm. I added 7 more stiches for a total of eight (the slip knot becomes one of the stiches). Keep your working yarn taut with your left hand, grab the working yarn with your right hand, twisting the yarn to make a loop (pictures 1 & 3 below). Continue with the same steps until you have the desired number of stiches!  

Knitting right arm to left arm: We will be taking all the stiches cast onto your right arm and knitting them onto your left arm! The “working yarn” is the yarn coming from your skein.  

  • Step three: Take the top loop on your right hand and carefully pull the working yarn through the loop. Place the new loop you’ve pulled through onto your left wrist, dropping the old loop. Pull the working yarn to tighten the loop on your left wrist. 

Step four: Continue step three for each remaining stitch on your right hand. 

Knitting left arm to right arm: Continue to knit from your left arm to your right arm!  

  • Step five: Hold onto the working yarn firmly in your left hand. Pull the top loop over your left fist and drop. Open your left hand and place that loop onto your right wrist. Pull the working yarn to tighten the loop.  

Step six: Continue with step five for all remaining stiches on your left arm.  

Step seven: Continue knitting from your right to left arm, and left to right arm, until your scarf is the desired length – make sure to stop when you have at least 36-48″ of yarn remaining. I find it easier to end with the stiches on my right arm. 

Casting off: Now to get your scarf off of your arm! The directions below will show as if you’ve ended on your right arm, however, can be completed in the same manor if you’ve ended on your left arm. 

  • Step eight: Knit two of your stiches onto your left arm (following step three), take hold of the top loop in your left hand, pull the bottom loop on your left wrist over your fist and drop it. Open your left fist, keep this loop on your left wrist. Bring another stich from your right arm over to your left (as in step three) and repeat by holding the top loop in your left hand while you bring the bottom loop over your fist and dropping. Continue until you have one loop remaining on your left wrist.  

Step nine: Finish off your last loop by bringing your last bit of working yarn through the loop and pulling tight (if you have a long piece remaining or still have some of your skein left, trim your yarn to leave a 14-18″ piece before pulling though).  

Finishing your scarf: Weave in your tails or make your scarf into an infinity scarf/cowl by “sewing” your ends together with your tail pieces!  

Art, Art activities, Drawing, Happenings, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!

Christmas commissions!

Now that Christmas is over I can safely share some of the commissions I’ve been working on the past few months! I enjoy getting to create these pieces that are often made in memory of a special pet or given as a personalized, memorable, gift!

Pastel 9″x12″
Pastel 8″x10″

Pastel 11″x14″

For the most part I start any commission from a clients photo, sometimes more than one photo – especially with multiple subjects or for correct coloration. The better quality photos I have to work from, the more details I am able to add in! However, I do like the occasional challenge of working from an old photo!

Pastel 9″x12″
Pastel 9″x12″

Pastel 9″x12″

While pastels are one of my favorite mediums (you can read more about what pastels I like to use here), I’m always thankful for those commissions that bring a different medium to the table and break up the pastel work!

Watercolor & Pen 10″x16″

Acrylic on canvas 8″x8″
Acrylic on canvas 8″x8″

Once I begin a piece, I send in progress photos to the client for their approval of the work at different stages – I like to work with them to make any needed adjustments so the piece represents their subject and personal taste best! When the final drawing is complete and approved it’s signed and packaged before being delivered, shipped, or picked up!

Charcoal 8″x10″
Watercolor & pen, 14″x16″

Some pieces take longer than others (depending on subject, size, medium, & adjustments needed), accumulatively, the completed pieces this season took between 80 & 120 hours to complete.

Handmade & painted pig crossing sign
Painted Mailbox
Digital Logo Commission

I’m grateful to receive commission requests and be able to do what I love! Thank you for all your support this season (and all year long)!

A few pictures of the commissions in progress!

Art, Art activities, Craft, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the Art Room? (December)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

Though there’s not been as many in person classes this month, there’s still a lot going on! Check out some of the happenings below!

Virtual Paint Alongs! Although we haven’t been able to do any in person paint nights lately, we have been able to hold some paint alongs virtually! These have been a lot of fun, a great way to stay connected with friends and family and complete activities together! If you have a birthday, holiday party, club or group – or just want to get together with some friends and paint, contact me to set up a virtual paint along! Check out paint along example paintings here or request a personalized painting!

Holiday projects!

A fun alternative to plain canvas – Students painted these burlap wrapped canvas made a fun surface to make a winter inspired acrylic painting on!

Miniature ornament scenes – students used a small chipboard box and found objects to create these fun miniature scenes in!

Encaustic Snowflake Art – Students made paper snowflakes and layered them, as well as other bits and pieces of papers, with encaustic waxes on a wooden panel to create these awesome mixed media pieces!

Ceramic Letters & Numbers! Students finished up their ceramic letters and numbers, adding them to a painted wooden board!

Prepping Grab & Go Kits! In a typical year I’d be able to hold classes at local libraries and venues – a bit different this year, getting supplies and kits together for local libraries and venues grab & go programs instead! Many of the projects I’ve posted have been created for grab & go programs. It’s been a lot of fun to make kits and being able to still keep in contact with many venues!

Upcoming Virtual classes! Also in the works are some exciting virtual Creative Science lessons – Partnered with UMES to hold a science lesson and an art project related to the topic! Youth can sign up for one, or all topics, which include; “Inking it up”, “Feed the Birds”, “Let’s Upcycle”, Explore the Deep”, & “Fish are Friends”. A supply kit is included in the cost. Check out some examples below of art projects we will complete! Find info on signing up here!

Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting

Salt Dough Ornaments!

Salt dough is fun and easy! The dough can be baked to harden, painted with acrylics and last for years! I had my nephew create some simple cut-out ornaments but you can also make 3-D sculptures with salt dough too! There’s various recipes for creating salt dough, and other similar dough – I’ve listed one below that we used with good results!

What you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Straw and/or Toothpick (or something to make holes in your ornaments for hanging)
  • Cookie tray
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Spray Sealer or Mod Podge
  • Ribbon
  • OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:
  • Beads to add to your ribbon
  • Glitter
  • Stamps – for making impressions on your dough
  • Sharpies
  • Hot glue or craft glue

Step one: Mix together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of warm water in a large bowl.

Step two: Add up to 1/2 cup more of warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms. Dough should not be sticky – if it is add a bit more flour!

Step three: Kneed your dough and roll it out on a flat surface – use flour to help prevent sticking if needed. We rolled it to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick for cut-outs. You can also make sculptures with your salt dough instead!

Step four: Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of your salt dough. Place cut-outs on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment).

Step five: Before baking your salt dough make sure to put a hole in your ornaments to hang from! A plastic straw works well or a toothpick for a smaller shape! Bake your salt dough for approx. 2 hours at 275*F or until firm and dried out. Time will depend on size and thickness. You can also leave your salt dough out to air dry. Be sure to fully bake/dry out pieces before painting and sealing to ensure they’ll last a long time!

Step six: Once your pieces have been baked or dried out, use acrylic paints to paint them with! We used acrylic craft paints!

Step seven: Paint your creations and let them dry completely!

Step eight: Once your paint is dry, seal your salt dough – I brushed on a layer of glossy Mod Podge. You can also use an acrylic spray sealer instead. Let dry.

Step nine: Add ribbon and beads to hang your ornaments from! Alternatively, you could also use pipe-cleaner or wire for hangers!

Step ten: Use a sharpie to add names, dates and details to your salt dough!

Step eleven: Hang those ornaments up!

We had a lot of fun making salt dough ornaments! Create your own ornaments from cut-outs like we did or create some 3D ornaments – you can use a little water to help pieces stick together. You could also make personalized gift tags & toppers, hand/foot print plaques, small sculptures (like snowmen!), key chains, pendents, pins, or magnets! Use Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers, or toothpicks for tools. Adorn finished salt dough pieces with pom-poms, pipe-cleaner, glitter, ribbon, beads, and other craft items! Try decorating pieces with marker instead of paint for easier clean up!

Art, Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!

DIY Ornaments!

Create some fun little ornaments with simple supplies! Find the instructions below each of the three pictured!

Snowman ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar Lid (not the jar band)  
  • Small piece of sandpaper 
  • Piece of 1/4″ wired ribbon – approx. 12″
  • Two small pom-poms  
  • Piece of ribbon/twine for hanging
  • Acrylic Craft Paint (White, red or pink, Orange)  
  • Mod Podge  
  • Scissors 
  • Paint brush 
  • Sharpie pen 
  • Hot glue or craft glue 

Step one: Scuff up the mason jar lid with your sandpaper to help the paint adhere better! 

Step two: Paint your mason jar lid with white acrylic craft paint – let dry and apply a second layer if needed. 

Step three: Once your white paint is dry, use the orange paint to make your snowman’s nose – I made a dot near the center of my lid and towards the edge, and then connected them to create the nose!

Step four: Use your pink paint or make pink by mixing a little red paint to white paint and give your snowman rosy cheeks!  

Step five: Once your orange and pink are dry, apply a layer of mod podge sealer over the entire surface, let dry completely! 

 Step six: Use a sharpie pen to give your snowman eyes & a mouth – check out the pictures below for face ideas! Also outline your nose. Tip: leave a white spot in your snowman’s eye to give him a spark!  Download some additional snowman face ideas and practice your own below!

Step seven: Hot glue a ribbon to the back of your lid for a hanger!

Step eight: Cut and glue a piece of your wired ribbon, from side to side of your lid, glue pom-poms on the ends to look like ear muffs! Use leftover ribbon to make a bow for your snowman if desired!  

Tree Scene Ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • 3” Embroidery Hoop 
  • 2 pieces of approx. 3”x3” decorative cardstock 
  • Small pieces of decorative cardstock 
  • Mini paper snowflakes 
  • Piece of 8” burlap like ribbon 
  • 9 Small foam mounting squares  
  • Sequins 
  • Glue gun 
  • Craft Glue  
  • Glue Stick 
  • Scissors 
  • Colored Pencils 
  • Additional items to decorate with, such as, stamps, glitter, ribbon, stickers, etc.  

Step one: Cut a piece of cardstock large enough to glue to the back of your hoop – this will become the background to your tree scene, use craft glue to adhere it to your embroidery hoop.  

Step two: Work on getting your trees ready while your hoop dries! Using smaller pieces of decorative papers, cut triangles for trees! Make different shapes and sizes for added interest! 

Step three: Use colored pencils to shade the side/edges of your trees, giving them a border!  

Step four: If your hoop glue is dry, cut the paper off around the edges, you can also use an x-acto knife.  

Step five: Add your trees to the hoop! Glue some trees directly to the background paper and use the small mounting squares to adhere some trees, making them “pop” off of the surface – stack mounting squares to add more depth.  

Step six: Add sequins as tree toppers and/or ornaments on your trees and add the paper snowflakes (I cut one of my snowflakes in half to use around the edge). Add any other desired decorations and glue the piece of burlap like ribbon to the back for hanging!  

Wreath Ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar Lid Band 
  • 6 Pieces of green pipe cleaner 
  • Piece of 12” ribbon/twine for hanging  
  • Glue gun or craft glue 
  • Items to decorate your wreath with – I used pieces of artificial greenery and berries. Some other ideas may include miniature ornaments, pom poms, ribbon, etc. 

Step one: Wrap all 6 pieces of green pipe cleaner around your mason jar band! 

Step two: Collect items to add to your wreath 

Step three: Glue your items to your wreath!  

Step four: Add a ribbon to hang your ornament!

Give as gifts, hang on your tree, or use as gift toppers! Have fun making your own!

Art, Art activities, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the Art Room? (November)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

Painted Panels! Students work on collaboratively painting panels which will be displayed at the Tyaskin Wharf. Finished panels that have been displayed are donated/auctioned off to raise money for the wharf! Over the past few years students have created more than 20 painted panels!

Alcohol Ink & Line Drawing! Students used alcohol inks on polypropylene to create the colorful & beautiful abstract “blooms” and used white chalk markers to create line drawings on top!

Ceramic Letters & Numbers! Students are in the process of creating a wall hanging with ceramic lettering and numbers! Pieces are in the process of being glazed & fired before being attached to wooden boards for a finished hanging piece!

What’s in Your Cup? Students have been working on drawing and shading cylinders, turning them into a custom designed cup of their favorite drink! We used mixed media for these awesome pieces!