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 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, card making, Craft, DIY, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!, origami, paper art, pop-up

Father’s Day Pop-up Fishing Card

Could you even fish for a better Dad? Make him a special Father’s Day card to let him know how Fin-tastic he is 🙂

What you need:

  • Card stock in the color you’d like for the outside of your card – 8.5″x11″, folded in half to make a 5.5″x8.5″ card
  • Card stock in the color you’d like for the inside of your card – 8″x10″, folded in half to make a 5″x8″ card
  • Watercolor paper – 8″x10″
  • Watercolor paint
  • Sea Salt (table salt can be used instead, however, the effect we’ll be creating will not be as dramatic)
  • A piece of a mesh onion bag (or any mesh bag you may get fruits of veggies in)
  • Tin Foil
  • Sharpies
  • Scissors
  • Paint Brushes
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Glue stick & Craft Glue

MAKING THE WAVES:

Step one: Prepare your watercolor paints. I prefer watercolors from a tube and mix them with some water. I used cool colors – shades of blues, greens, & purples for my waves.

Step two: Cover your entire piece of watercolor paper with your paint – Work quickly to achieve a “wet on wet” technique where your colors will move and blend together while all your paint is wet!

Step three: While your paint is still wet sprinkle sea salt all over your paper! The salt creates a cool effect on your watercolor paint that gives us a unique look for your waves. Your paint still needs to be wet for the effect of the salt to work – the wet paint will pool around the pieces of salt, creating the textured effect! Adding too much salt can cause the effect not to show as well. If you only have table salt you will still get the effect just not as dramatic as the larger pieces of salt!

Step four: Let your paper dry completely – the salt effect works best if your paper dries naturally vs using a hair dryer to speed up the process (you can move onto one of the other card making sections for the time being). Once it’s dry, brush off the pieces of salt.

Step five: Cut your watercolor paper into stripes – you need one strip that measures 8″x 2″ and two strips that measure 8″x1.5″

Step six: On the back of your strips draw a wave pattern and cut out – you can use your first cut out wave to trace on your other strips or create a different pattern on each strip. I saved pieces of the wave I cut out to use a splashes of water later (you can also cut splashes out of your leftover watercolor paper).

MAKING THE CARD BASE:

Step one: Fold your card stock papers for the inside and outside of your card.

Step two: On the folded edge of your inside card stock, complete the measurements shown in the photo.

Step three: Cut on the lines shown in orange.

Step four: Open your card and fold in the sections cut in the last step – use your fingers on the back of your card to push the sections through. Fold the sections on your same center crease line, just in the opposite direction! Create new crease lines at the point you cut to. (The top image shows what your card should look like when it’s closed and the bottom image shows what it should look like open)

Step five: Fold your card back up and cut on the orange lines.

Step six: Open your card back up and fold in the sections you just cut – the same way you completed step four. You will have two sections to fold on each of your original sections or blocks. (The top image shows the cut lines before folding, the image on the right shows the folds, and the bottom image shows what your card should look like folded)

Step seven: Once you have cut and folded both sides your inside card is finished and should look like the photo!

MAKING THE FISH:

Step one: Gather your sharpies, tin foil and piece of mesh onion bag.

Step two: Tape your mesh to your work surface and then tape your tin foil on top.

Step three: Draw and color your fish on the tin foil with your sharpies – the mesh creates a scaly texture for your fish! My fish are not much larger than an inch.

Step four: Carefully cut out your fish!

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!

Step one: Glue your fish to your wave pieces with a craft glue.

Step two: Glue each of your wave pieces onto the blocks you created.

Step three: Use a glue stick and add any splashes of water you’d like from your watercolor paper.

Step four: Close your card and using a glue stick, glue the inside card to your outside piece of card stock – your outside card is slightly larger so you’ll have a nice border around your inside piece!

Your card is complete! Decorate the front of your card and add a special message for your dad! Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads!

Art, Craft, Easter Eggs, Holiday

Marbled Easter Eggs

These marbleized eggs are a tradition in my family – I can’t remember a year where we haven’t used this method to dye some eggs! They don’t require very much to achieve the effect and have fun results. Everything used is edible so you can still eat your eggs too – we use our dyed eggs in an Easter bread, but they also make a nice decoration or Easter snack 😉

What you need:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Food Coloring
  • Cooking Oil
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Several Shallow bowls (one for each color you would like)
  • A Fork
  • Paper Towels
  • Clothes that can get messy and a protected work surface!

Step one: Fill your bowls with a couple inches of water and add one Tablespoon of white vinegar to each. Then add several drops of food coloring to each one – the more food coloring you add the brighter your colors will be. I used the primary colors (Red, Yellow, & Blue) to create all the other colors you see on my eggs!

Step two: Add one teaspoon of cooking oil to each bowl. Depending on your bowl size you may need to add more oil – a little bit goes a long way for this, you don’t want it to cover your entire water surface, use a fork to help break up and disperse the oil on the surface.

Step three: Take one of your hard boiled eggs and roll it around in your bowl of color and oil. Once the egg has been completely covered let it set on a paper towel while you roll all your remaining eggs! Tips: If you’re color is not showing up well you can clean your eggs with white vinegar first and/or add more drops of food coloring to your bowls. Roll eggs quickly (but gently!) to make sure you pick up some of the oil spots on your egg.

Step four: Take your colored eggs and gently wipe off any remaining oil with a paper towel. Now roll you egg in a different color – Keep in mind the first color you rolled your egg in and the second color will mix to create a new color! Tips: Don’t dip your egg into too many colors – it can just make your egg brown and loose some of the marbleized effect. Wipe off your egg before you dip into a new color! You may need to break up the oil on the surface again to help pick up the oil spots! Instead of rolling the whole egg you can just dip part of it for a two-toned egg!

We use our dyed eggs in an Easter bread every year but they’re pretty displayed in a bowl too! This is also a fun project to learn about color mixing and the science behind why oil and water don’t mix! Check out Mocomi kids for a quick lesson on the science and a density experiment you can do at home! Mocomi kids also has several egg experiments to do too 🙂 Have a Happy Easter!