Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Commissioned House Painting for the Holidays

I'm finally carving out time to get back in my studio and do some house paintings again. I haven't felt very creative in the last few months (ok, so maybe 12 months) what with my pending divorce and all (bla, bla, bla). But it's that time of year when people love to give these little gems as gifts, so I'm back in business! I really enjoyed this one when it finally came together. It's done and delivered. Now moving on to the next one— amidst all our other holiday festivities. Diet Mountain Dew to the rescue!

11"x14" Mixed Media Acrylic on Canvas
Materials: acrylic paint and glaze, book pages, paper pulp, wood, fabric, tape, molding paste


Holiday Cookie Exchange

I look forward to this Cookie Exchange, hosted by my friend Christine, every year! Now I have my Holiday Cookie stash. Thanks for all the delicious cookies everybody!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tis' the Season

My sweet nephew, Tyler.
Time to trim the tree this weekend! Can't wait!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Mysterious Tiny Door

The coolest thing about our old house is that we have a lot of secret doors that lead to little hideaways. We have bookshelves and walls and half doors that open into attic space. It's a hide and seek heaven for the kids. But this... this tiny door in our kitchen has mysteriously appeared recently, and we don't know where it leads.  A new resident perhaps? My youngest is convinced it's our elf—Pluto. Hmmm. Maybe so!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Family Travels — U.S. Map Peg Board "How to"

Earlier this year my friend, Sarah, asked me to host a creative workshop at her home. We decided on October for the date and I figured I'd do something centered around Halloween or a general Fall theme. But when I started brainstorming for ideas, I kept leaning towards doing something with maps. Perhaps because I love maps and have a small collection I've procured from garage sale hunting. But also because my friend Sarah and her family went on an amazing road trip across the country a few years ago. They called it, "The Ocean to Ocean Tour" and it took six weeks to drive across the country and back. They had a fabulous time and the kids learned so much! So I ditched my Halloween workshop ideas and went with a map theme. And I'm so glad I did because the Creative Workshop was a huge success!

I kept it simple and fun so all the workshop participants had to do was paint while sipping wine and reminiscing about their family travels. They learned some easy blending tricks to add dimension to their maps too! 

Love these color pallets!

This is my friend Sarah:)
All the white pins document Her family's "Ocean to Ocean" trip! Wow!

If you'd like to make one for yourself, here's what you'll need:

• 1/8" thick Wood Board (I got a sheet at Lowe's and cut it down to 12"x16")
• Wood Stain - (I used Dark Oak)
• Acrylic Paint (the cheap bottles will do ya)
• Black and Blue Sharpies (fine and medium)
Gelly Roll Pens (white, black, etc.)
Watercolor crayons (for blending)
• Q-tips
• Map Pins (at
• Flag Pins (Nickel Plated Steel Dressmaker Pins 1-1/4")
• Sharp Pencils
• Transfer paper (use white or light transfer paper to show up on the dark stain)
• Downloadable Flag and Ribbon Templates available here.

STEP 1: Cut your boards  to 12" x16" or desired size. (You can ask Lowes or Home Depot to cut them for you). Sand the edges. Then stain your board to your desired wood grain. Allow to dry 24 hours or as directed.

STEP 2: Enlarge a photocopy of the U.S. Map (provided in the Flag and Ribbons Template download above) to your desired size. For a 12"x16" board, you will want the U.S. Map to be enlarged to fit on 11"x14" Legal paper. Then lay a piece of carbon/transfer paper between your board and your enlarged map and, using a sharp pencil, trace your map onto the board. Lift the carbon to check and make sure the transfer is showing up on your board.

STEP 3: Choose your color pallet for your map and start painting! I usually don't like thin acrylic paint, but in this case, I love the way the paint is absorbed into the wood allowing the wood stain to faintly show through. This creates an aged look.

STEP 4: Once you are finished painting, use watercolor crayons (dark gray, black, mustard yellow and browns) around the edges of the states. Lightly color the edges of one state. Then dampen a Q-tip and gently rub it over the the watercolor crayon marks in a circular motion. Notice how it blends like paint. You can also blend with your finger(s), if that's easier for you!

STEP 5: When you are happy with all your watercolor crayon blending, you are ready to write in the state names. I used a mix of fine Sharpies and Gelly Roll Pens when labeling.

STEP 6:  Add your title Ribbon using the Downloadable Ribbon template I provided. Cut out your preferred ribbon size and trace it onto the board. Then paint, shade and add your map title.

STEP 7: Use the Downloadable Flag Pins template to create your own map flags. Directions for these are included on the template.

STEP 8: Add a Key and your Map Pins!


I've shared this post with my friends at

Skip To My Lou

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not one of my best qualities.

I recently bought a Daily Planner in hopes that it would help me better organize my days and not let things fall through the cracks. But I'm still having problems remembering even the simplest things.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Utility Box Art Complete!

Say "HELLO" to my completed Utility Box Art! It's on the corner of Orange Avenue and Grant Street. I wanted to keep my design clean and simple with big graphics that pop and catch people's eye as they drive by. I chose my favorite colors for the pallet and went retro with the design encompass the theme of Downtown South's South's past, present and future. The words on each panel describe Downtown South. I'm happy with the result!

 "HELLO" Welcomes all visitors and residents alike to our area featuring a classic and friendly greeter.

"THRIVING" DT South has flourished so much since I moved to the area 9 years ago. I'm so glad to be a part of its growth.

"URBAN" Us city dwellers love DT South because it's convenient to everything. 

"LIVING" We Live, Work and Play here.

 Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Georgia Estate

Earlier this year, I donated a Custom Mixed Media Home Painting as an auction item to the Vestavia Hills Elementary School Auction in Birmingham, AL. It's the school that my best friend Kelley's kids attend. The winners, Ken and Jackie asked me to paint their lovely estate in Georgia. 
 A Georgia Estate
11x14 Mixed Media Acrylic

A bit about the estate—The home was built in the middle of a pecan orchard that was eventually developed into a neighborhood. Now the home sits on an acre with twelve pecan trees. It was wood originally and was brick veneered in 1935. 
On the left is Jackie, the home owner and on the right is my dear friend Kelley.

I hope they like it!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kid Safe-Camp Fire: How To

Nothing says summer like roasting marshmallows over a campfire! So to celebrate the last day of school, I brought the (Kid Safe) camp fire to to the classroom! The kids had fun roasting marshmallows over the fake camp fire and then they enjoyed S'mores and had a watermelon seed spitting contest! Yes, there are still watermelons with seeds in this world! Whodathought?

Check out my easy "How To" for the Kid-Safe Camp Fire, so you can build your own!

What You'll Need:
• (2) Paper Towel Rolls
• (1) Paint Stick
• Download the Flames and Logs Templates
• Craft paper (or a small brown paper bag)
• Scissors or Exacto Knife
• Double-stick Tape or Glue

STEP 1: Cut the Paint Stick in half. (You can toss the other half.)
STEP 2: Download and cut out the Flames template I provided and adhere them to both sides of the paint stick leaving a 2" tip.
STEP 3: Wrap the Paper Towel rolls with the Log template and trim the edges as necessary. Adhere with glue or double-stick tape. Cut a rectangle in the middle of one so that the other PT roll fits snuggly inside. Then cut a small slit in the second PT roll. Crumple up some craft paper and stuff it in each end of the logs.

Put it together and viola! A Kid Safe Camp Fire!


I'm sharing this post with my friends at Sugar and Dots, Polkadots On Parade, and Skip to My Lou!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

House Mixed Media Piece — A Downtown Cottage

Just wrapped this painting up and delivered it to a customer:)
"Downtown Cottage"
11x14 Mixed Media Canvas


Materials used:
• Old book pages for the house 
• Canvas cut into shingles for the roof
• Paper pulp for the shrubs
• Chipboard trim and columns
• Masking tape background
• Molding paste greenery
• Fabric windows
• Acrylic paint

Friday, May 18, 2012

Downtown South Call for Artists - Submission

My neighborhood, Downtown South, in conjunction with the City of Orlando recently created a public art project sending out a "Call for Artists" to submit designs to transform eleven of the City of Orlando's metal traffic signal utility boxes.

Design Requirements:
1) 2-D design
2) Art must cover all four sides of the electrical box3) Center around the theme of Downtown South past, present and future
4) Incorporate the words "Downtown South" and the pointed logo

Here's my submission:

I wanted to keep my design clean and simple with big graphics that pop and catch people's eye as they drive by. I chose my favorite colors for the pallet and went retro with the design to encompass the theme of DT South's past, present and future. The words on each panel describe Downtown South. 

"HELLO" Welcomes all visitors and residents alike to our area featuring a classic and friendly greeter.
"THRIVING" DT South has flourished so much since I moved to the area 9 years ago. I'm so glad to be a part of its growth.
"URBAN" Us city dwellers love DT South because it's convenient to everything. 
"LIVING" We Live, Work and Play here.

The DT South pointed logo appears twice. Can you find it?

 I'll let you know if my submission gets chosen!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week— Our Teachers Are So Cool!

The theme for our school's Teacher Appreciation Week this year is "Fun in the Sun". Thoughts of summer at the beach came to mind— building sandcastles, jumping in the waves, frisbee and of course the ice cream truck! I grew up in Ormond Beach, FL with the "world's most famous beach" just minutes away from my house. Daytona Beach was, and still is, the only beach you can drive on. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of going to the beach was walking down to the ice cream truck and getting a bomb pop (those red, white and blue ones) yum! It was fun to bring one of my favorite beach memories to life  on a bulletin board at school. I think the kids will love it too. Who doesn't love ice cream?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Another Mixed Media Commission

I'm slowly catching up on my Mixed Media Home painting orders. This is #2 of 8! 

 Sunny Stucco
11"x14" Mixed Media Canvas

My reference

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Latest House Painting— Ivy's

I delivered this House painting to a repeat customer last weekend and they seemed very pleased. I was so glad too because I was late delivering the painting. I had promised it weeks ago and just couldn't get myself to switch gears from everything else I've been doing and slow down to paint. Don't get me wrong, I love painting, I just don't get to do it as often as I would like and as a result, I'm not a confident that the result will always be good. I know I'm my own worst critique. I sit and look at a blank canvas I think to myself, can I make this happen? Is it going to be good? It takes a long time complete my house paintings because I spend a lot of time just sitting and staring at my work trying to figure out how to make it better.

I spent a long evening on this piece last week and finally went to bed still not happy with it. Then I left it on my studio table for a week, knowing it was past due and feeling more and more like I wasn't going to be able to make this painting meet my expectations. Days passed and finally early last Saturday morning, I laid in bed and asked God to just let me paint. Just let me relax... and paint. So I got up and went out to my studio. And I knew, the moment I made my first brush stroke, that this painting was going to make me smile. I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed painting the rest of the morning:)

12"x12" Stretch Canvas

The part where I wasn't happy with it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lego Star Wars Comic Book with a Chocolate Twist!

A customer who purchased my Lego Star Wars Comic Book Invite asked if I could somehow incorporate chocolate Lego candy into the invite. So I did...
Made me chuckle.


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