Happy New year -2016 Reflection 

Good Morning creative friends, wow here we are on New Years Eve 2016. I can attest that the older you get the quicker the years go by. For all of us the end of a year is a time for reflection. Many have had magnificent things happen in 2016 and many have had devistating things happen in our lives this year. When I sit back and think on things well it’s always the “big” thing of losing my dad that comes quickly to forefront it happened so fast we were all blind sided from it for sure. But if I really take a look at the year I have had sooo many amazing things that have happened as well. At the beginning of the year I had my first commissioned mural painting that I did for a Church’s healing room. What a blessing it was to be asked to do this !! 

Even though it was extremely difficult to realize I was losing my mom to dimentia it was a blessing to find her a place at Keepsake Village here in Liverpool where she has amazing and loving staff they look after her everyday and I don’t have to worry quite as much. 

I took a wonderful relaxing and much needed restoring vaca with my Hubby in August to Naples Florida 

We have enjoyed the holiday season and have gotten out even in the cold weather to the Farmers Market and Walk though Lights on the lake. 


My family did lose about beloved Budha Pug but I know in my heart she is no longer suffering. 

I made so many new art friends this year it’s been sooo amazing !! 

Learning that I would be a part of the Jessica Sporn Design Team not only was a huge honor and blessing , it came at a time when I needed this positive creative force and to feel part of a supportive group more than anything. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that Jessica has given me, and the fact that she believed in me enough to give me a chance has just meant the world to me !! 


StencilGirl has honored me over and over again by sharing my art and I had my first guest artist post for them in April, still it was a huge shock and honor to have made their top Nine on Instagram with my art tags. 

Another huge honor bestowed on me was my feature in Syracuse Women’s Magazine in February 

I have also been honored and blessed to have been Facilitating the Art Therapy Group for IOP (Intensive Out Patient) at Ophelia’s Place now for almost a year and couple months ago got asked to Facilitate their support group as well in which we also do art. It has made a difference in my life working to make a difference in others. Which brings me to my Word for 2017

So my word for 2016 was Grow. And wow did I ever in more ways then I can even count!!  After pondering this years word I have selected not only a word but a phrase as well. My word is “Change” and my Phrase is “Make a Difference”. Which I will reference to my statement in the above paragraph. It means so much to me to be doing something on a local level and I have truly been blessed with these opportunities this year !!

May your 2017 be blessed with much love peace and happiness. Thank you for all of your love and support this past year it has meant so very much to me. When you think you don’t make a difference…think again because you so do. Right here in my life you make a difference!! When I have been at my low points your loving comments have brought be back up and you have made me feel loved. When I have been at my highs I want to share them with all of you and we have celebrated them together. So know in your heart when you spread kindness even on what may seem the smallest level it makes a difference. Peace , Love and Happiness to all and Happy New Year 

Holiday Catch up and repurpose those Holiday Cards

Hi friends I truly hope everyone has been having an amazing holiday season.  I know for myself it’s always a bit of ups and downs along the way, but such is life and we just have to go with the flow or we get too bogged down in the what could have should have been nonsense.

So a bit of a holiday catch up here.  Below are some of my favorite ornaments on my tree.  They are “our first Christmas together” that Dan and I got way back in 1999 , the second pic is the oldest ornament on the tree from when I was in Kindergarten it has my name on it in glitter and the year 1978 (yeah I know along time ago lol), next is a pug in a stocking that my sister gave me years ago and then one of my sons Christmas pictures when he was 5 (1998).  Most of my tree is made up of very special ornaments, given to me from others from the time I was small.

 

And here is a pic of our tree Christmas morning

Here are some holiday pics from time spent with my mom

 

And some pictures of our Holiday at home with my husband, son and his girlfriend

 

Okay so now what have I been up to creatively well, more than you might think.

How about a little tutorial on how to repurpose those holiday cards into some tags- yes I know I too am all Holidayed out but if we do this quick now before putting them away then you will have them for next year when the time rolls around and you will remember YEAH they are all done.   So I started out with some clothing tags that I would have normally just thrown away.

And now take those holiday cards and some punches or if you don’t have any you can just wing it and cut out some of the pics in easy shape like squares.

 

Use some gesso and paint your tags and then select a color or 2 and paint your tags

add some more paint / colors with stencils, I choose a star stencil from Stencil Girl and used some red and gold with it.

next you can just glue on some of your cut outs, add some accents with a black pen and some doodles with a white pen, even add some glitter if you want – glitter makes everything look great and holiday-ish 🙂

Don’t forget the backs you can paint them or glue them to some of the cards and have a picture on the back as well

and here are the finished tags and I actually have lots more cutouts I can use later on or next year.

 

One more quick tip, so if you have some old calendars that you are going to just throw away STOP before you do lol.  I took one and cut it up for beautiful collage pieces and tags to use throughout the new year.  But they also make excellent art journals just gesso over then and bam you have a nice larger sized art journal.  They usually have thicker pages so they make a great choice for an art journal.

here are a bunch of the pieces I got out of just one of mine it was a sunflower one and I even cut out the names of the month in case I want to use those for a planner etc.

Just look at all these scrumptious pieces, this calendar had quotes at the bottom of each page so I cut those out as well or at least the ones I loved.

Thanks for letting me share with all of you hope everyone has an amazing evening xo

 

 

Mixed media holiday art cards with StencilGirl Stencils 

Hi friends can you believe we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas. Seems like just yesterday it was fall. Time sure does go fast and I hope you are enjoying every second of the holiday season.  I have always had a love / hate relationship withy the holiday season it does tend to get a bit too stressful at times and I can add unnecessary things to my “to do” list as I’m sure we all do. So the past few years I’ve been scaling that back and taking more time to really enjoy what the holiday season is about. One thing my husband and I really enjoy is watching a Christmas movie each night on the Hallmark Channel (yes I know sappy) but I love it. You know all those movies have happy endings and well I’m all about that  :).   And there is nothing quite like snuggling up with a hot mug of coffee, a snuggly festive blanket and of course my hubby and puggies. I also tend to skip the farmers market in the holiday season many times but not this year. We have been heading out each Saturday morning, coffees in hand and all bundled up to enjoy some fried dough and get our fresh veggies for the week. Would love to hear what all of you do during the holiday season.  If you are like me and put too much on yourself try going through that list and see what really matters and what can be cut out so you can enjoy more time with friends and family and time for yourself. ❤️ 

Ok so on to the project at hand. I used just 2 stencils to make 6 festive art cards. The other stencil I used is the Holiday Stencil By MaryBeth Shaw. 

And the second stencil is Military Stars by June Pfaff Daley. 


So start with a piece of cardboard cut to the size you would like. I had some in my stash I think they are 2-1/2″ x3-1/2inchs. Add a layer of whit gesso 

Then once they were dry I took a sheet of old book paper and tore strips to add to each card and adhered it with some Golden Heavy Gel Matte Medium 



Let them dry before the next step or use a heat gun. 

Next I took the stars stencil and some Postbox red dylusions spray and with all 6 cards placed close together I sprayed the ink, moved the stencil to the other side and sprayed again. This is not being precise just getting some color and a layer  down for the back ground. 



Now I took my Holiday Stencil and I had already cut them apart into the individual stencils for easier use and selected 2 I wanted to use:  a tree and one that reminds me of retro branch from a pine tree. I applied the texture paste over the stencils with a palette knife. 



Now I added a strip of glitter washi tape to the bottom of each. I used the matte medium to adhere it to be sure it would stay. If you don’t have any you could add some ribbon or a strip of patterned paper. 


Once they were dry in went in with some green (Mowed Lawn ) distress spray. Adding another layer of color to the main focal points 

Once they were a little dry but not completely I went  in with some mica powers. The first was this mint green and just dusted it on with a dry paint brush on  my focal points and wow what great shimmer ! 


Then I used a rust which is more of a brown color to add some accents and grunge it up a bit. 

Then on each card I added some of the heavy gel matte medium to random spots and pressed in some ruby glass beads. 

Then while the medium was still wet I took a pinch of distress glitter in vintage photo and held the card over my trash can and just sprinkled the glitter around where the beads were and tapped it off to get off any access 



I used my brown archival ink pad and a foam brush to ink the edges of each card as well as on the edges of the textured focal points. 

I took some white gesso with my fingers and added a bit in random areas and also took the back of a paintbrush to add some white dots. 

When every thing was dry I took a black sharpie and wrote Joy, Peace or love on each of the cards. I could have used a stamp but if you plan to stamp do this in the beginning because once you have all that texture on there you will have a hard time getting in there with stamp and getting a clear image. 

Here are some close ups of the completed cards 



I posted lots of final pics hoping to get some good angles so you could just see the beautiful shimmer on these. 

These could easily be turned into tags by punching the top of the card and adding a ribbon or turned into a holiday card by adhering them to the front of a blank card. 

Follow me on Instagram, I will be having a huge give away once I reach 1300 followers and I’m soooo close 🙂 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and as always your comments mean so very much to me if you have time to leave me a comment it will be cherished ❤️. 

December StencilGirl Club Voices

Hello Hello Hello friends, it’s such an honor this month to be a part of StencilGirl Club Voices.  This month’s stencils are designed by Artist, Gwen Lafleur and are just simply amazing.  Here is what this month’s club stencils look like.

If you haven’t heard of Stencil Club before you totally need to check out all the details here.  Here are a few of the fun details about the club:  Each month you get 3 exclusive stencils, yup that’s right exclusive stencils that can not be purchased anywhere else.  Always created by one of the StencilGirl Artists and always amazing! I have been a part of the club for over a year now (yeah I know only a year – that’s only because I hadn’t heard of it before!).  You also get a wonderful video tutorial showing you how they used their stencils and that again is exclusive to club members and …….you get access to a private Facebook group that yup you got it is exclusive to club members.  Now I know you are thinking there are tons of FB groups for art and yup there are, but this one is sooo different, it’s super interactive with lots of the StencilGirl artists also being present and commenting / posting etc in the group and on your artwork.  Even the StencilGirl herself Marybeth is in the group all the time.  I honestly could go on and on but I think you get that it’s the most amazing Club out there and something you must check out for yourself.

Okay on to some art.  So what did I create with this month’s club stencils…… Well when I heard that the Artist was Gwen Lafleur I just knew that I wanted to do something regal with these and something that had some bling.  If you have ever seen Gwen’s art it is always filled with gold and gems and glitz (truly amazing!)

So I started out with a sketch of a girl, anyone who has been following me knows that I have been working on my “whimsical girls”

To draw the bottom of her dress I used this part of the stencil, when I saw it, it totally reminded me of a ball gown.

I first painted her face, this has several layers of both watercolor and acrylic paints.

I am working on a watercolor pad, so I took out some of my inktense pencils and a watercolor crayon and lightly scribbled some background color and used a wet brush to blend it out.  I wanted to keep the background more simple so not to take away from my “girl” as the focal point.

I painted her dress in a magenta, actually mixing in some of the left over face color.

I wanted her ball gown to have one of these gorgeous stenciled flowers and chose the larger of the two in the set and stenciled that in white and added some yellow in the center.  Later on I change my mind about the yellow and go back over it in a deep violet color.

 

These adorable motifs on the large stencil were perfect for adding some additional accents to the dress and I stenciled those using a white acrylic paint as well.

Now it’s time to give her a crown.  Using Cobalt Violet hue for the outline I stencil that first, then filled it in with the gold using a small paint brush.  Once dry I went back over it with the cobalt violet again and then use a small round paint brush to close up the stenciled lines so it no longer looks like a stencil but solid lines.

Now I do like the crown as it is but she’s royalty right?!  So I decided to add some glitter and gems

I used my stickles and put some on my palette and applied it with a small paintbrush to the crown, the 3 bottom diamond shapes on the crown I did not have a gem small enough to fit in them so I used the stickles from the bottle to fill them in creating what looked like a gem.

I ended up giving her a gem necklace and added some glitter to her dress as well on the flower and those little motifs I stenciled around the bottom.

Tying it all together I added 3 of the same motifs that I added to her dress to the top of the page and drew hearts hanging from them.  I used a purple identi-pen (marker) to draw the lines and hearts then added glitter to the motifs at the top as well.  Painted the hearts in with a turquoise blue and then she was done.

Thanks so very much for stopping by my blog, all your comments are cherished so if you have time to leave a comment it would mean so much to me.  If you want to get in on the action and get this month’s amazing club stencils here is the link once again.  Wishing everyone one a day filled with Royalty. xo

Holiday Blog Hop

 

Hi Friends and welcome to the Holiday Blog Hop for the Jessica Sporn Designs Creative team.  Today I am hopping along with Jessica Sporn, Kristin Van ValkenburgKaren Gaunt, and Denise Alloca to share some fabulous holiday creations  using Jessica Sporn Designs stamps and stencils.  ALSO ….. we have an amazing GIVEAWAY – Three Lucky commenter will win  One of these three beautiful items:  Jessica’s Blessings Stamp, Jessica’s Handmade ornament and Denise’s Love Memo Board/Photo Display (see the photos below of these gorgeous items) – all comments on all the blogs count so be sure to hop on by each blog and leave some love on each one.

 

Today I’m sharing something a bit different.  Today’s project I have used an old piece of wood that I found in my basement and altered it into a holiday / Christmas themed decoration.

I used a light layer of gesso to go over it mainly because when you paint on a piece of unsealed wood the paint tends to really seep in and you have to add several layers in order to get the color you are trying to achieve.

Next I used the “Doors and Windows Stencil”  selecting one of the doors and one of the windows that I thought went together and using some black Dylusions paint (because I wanted a matte finish and it’s the only matte black I have ) I stenciled the door and then the window right above it.  While it was still wet (takes a bit longer to dry on wood I’ve noticed) with some red matte acrylic paint and I choose to do it while it was wet because I wanted the door to look more worn so this helped the black run into the red while I was painting it. I also took some more black paint and closed up the stencil lines on the door and window so they were solid lines and no gaps.

Next I found in my stash this “pine looking” pipe cleaner (I know right who knew lol) well it was perfect for making a wreath for my door.  I decided on the size I wanted it to be and then just twisted it around twice to make it a little more full, then added this tiny bow that I also found in my stash (I didn’t buy anything for this project it’s was created by things I have collected over the years).  I glued the wreath on with some E6000 glue and I left it to dry for probably and hour.

Then using the “Herbs Stencil” to create the look of an evergreen tree, I stenciled on the edge of the wood to make it look like there were branches hanging in front of the house and used a matte green acrylic paint.

Working on the windows a bit more I added another layer of white and then a thin coate fo the Nickel Azo Yellow (this is a very transparent yellow and worked perfect for the look I was going for).  As I wanted to make it appear that there were lights on in the house.

I then took the 6 Point Stary Night Stencil  and added some stars above the window I used the Sugar glitter paste by Bo Bunny.  You just apply it as if you were using texture paste with a palette knife just be sure you wash your stencil immediately because this stuff tries really fast and it will ruin your stencil.

Once the stars dried you can see they are barely visible so to make them pop and stand out a bit more I took a sponge and just dabbed on a bit of distress ink in fossilized amber.

To give the windows more of a “glass look” I used my DecoArt Media Liquid Glass and applied a thin coat to all 4 windows – this takes a bit of time to dry so I would definitely do this part last and just let it set over night if you can.

Then to embellish it just a bit more I found a few more goodies in my stash.  The first were these little mini presents I used my E6000 glue and glued them right to the wood in a stacked manner to look as if there were presents stacked outside the door and then a little tree.  This isn’t actually a tree – you know that scented “stuff” you can get at craft stores that has pine cones and other items in it – I guess it’s called vase filler.  Well I had some of that and in it was this little piece of pine.  I turned it upside down and it looked just like a little mini Christmas tree so I took a piece of this fluffy garland that I had that was meant for a mini tree and wrapped that around it and then this little cardinal that came in a flower arrangement I received years ago and have saved all this time and glued that to the top with my E6000 glue.  I glued the whole tree next to the door with the same glue and left it over night to dry secure.  This particular piece of wood is large enough that it stands on its own.  I think it’s 1/2″ thick, but if yours can’t stand on it’s own or you prefer to hang it you could certainly add a hanger to the back of it or some nails or pegs to the top or back and add some twine to hang it as an idea.

Here are some photos of the final project and a couple close ups.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win one of the great items listed above and be sure to stop by the other blogs listed here: Jessica Sporn, Kristin Van ValkenburghKaren Gaunt, Denise Alloca and leave a comment by 12/12/16 9AM EST for more chances to win.  The winners will be selected and announced on Jessica Sporn’s Blog on 12/13 7AM EST.  Happy Holiday Season my friends !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday tags and Paper ornaments with StencilGirl’s Snow Storm Stencil

Hi creative friends, crafting this time of year is so much fun I almost have too many ideas that I want to create and definitely not enough time to get everything created. One thing I love to do for the holidays is make special gift tags that can also be used as ornaments on the tree. I have a hard time getting cards done if I create them all hand made so i focus on the gift tags which I can create a bunch at a time. So today I have decided to use this beautiful Stencil called Snow Storm found at StencilGirlproducts.com. 

I started out by creating a background on a sheet of mixed media paper with my brayer and some matte acrylic paints from Blick Arts. This is a tutorial I saw on PaperArtsy. 

It’s quite simple take 2 or more colors that go together and use your brayer to layer them. Don’t cover the whole sheet with one color just keep adding with the colors you picked to get a nice layered look with lots of depth. 

The matte colors I think work best bc they really give it a nice vintage look. But use what you have, Experiment, have fun that’s what art is all about !! 😊

Once you are happy with your back ground lay your Stencil down and go in with a darker or lighter color that will pop when you Stencil. Here I choose Violet Deep and just sponge on with the sponge of your choice. 

Here is how this sheet came out, I love it ❤️

On this sheet I choose a Magenta with some dabbing of thenoff white over the top of it. 



For the next sheet I took a plain white mixed media paper put my Stencil down and took a baby wipe and just used all the paint that had collected on my stencil to create this next sheet. It’s amazing how beautiful this turned out and I didn’t use any fresh paint


Next cut up your sheets in the sizes of tags that you want or use punches / die cuts whatever you love.  I did some in shapes of tags and some with a round scalloped punch in 2 different – layering sizes. 

Now comes the fun and the sky’s the limit to embellishing these babies. Here I added more layers in a complimentary color with the same stencil. 

I added some snowflakes using the texture paste then painted them once they were dry with paints and inka gold in a turquoise. 




I used some liquid pearls to accent the snow flakes. 


These are Holiday tags so break out that glitter. I used my stickles but I put some on my palette and brush it on 



I added some stamping to most of them with some hold embossing powder and again accented with the liquid pearls. 

Let them dry and add some pretty ribbons to the tops and you are good to go. The round ones I love to use for ornaments the layered ones I used pop dots to raise them. But if you don’t have those you can use a folded piece of felt or a piece of bubble wrap. Anything to raise it works. 



Thanks so much for stopping by. I am back on Jessica Sporn Designs blog tomorrow for my newest Creative Team blog post son be sure to stop by and check it out Here. Also next week we have an awesome blog hop going on so be sure to subscribe to her blog so you don’t miss all the awesomeness. 

Have an amazing day friends ❤️❤️❤️

Corrugated Inspirational Art Cards 

Hi Friends hope everyone had a wonderful week last week and is enjoying the weekend. We have been getting lots of rain still. It’s still better than snow lol. Today I have a tutorial to share with all of you on how I created these inspirational art cards. I know most call them ATCs but since I rarely trade mine I call them art cards ❤️. 

I acquired some great cardboard pieces from an online order and I know you are thinking what’s so special about this cardboard but not all cardboard is created equal. This was already cut in a 12″x12″ square and the top layer ripped off super easy without leaving any glue or paper pieces behind. 

So I started by cutting my cardboard into 6 pieces each 3″x4″ as you can see above. 

Then I used this deep red paint and added just a bit with my finger to each one. For some reason I have been drawn to red lately and I almost never use red so I have to figure out why or what that means lol. 



Then I took my DecoArt White Gesso and added some to each with my palette knife. That piece you see stenciled in the back was what I was going to use on these at first but as I got going, changed my mind and created a different sheet using this months 9″x12″stencil by StencilGirl From Stencil Club, which I will show you later. 


Then I decided I wanted to add some dimension and texture to these so pulled out my Modeling paste by DecoArt and some beads by Finnabair (Prima Marketing) 

I added the modeling paste with my finger because I wanted to be sure to get in down in between the raised parts of the cardboard. 

I took the beads and pushed them into the modeling paste but not to completely cover them as I wanted the color to still show. 

I used the turquoise beads shown above on 3 of the cards and the cobalt blue shown here on 3 of them 


So then it was time to set them aside and cut my hearts. Here is the stencil I used designed by MaryBeth Shaw 

And I sprayed a sheet of mixed media paper with DecoArt Turquoise shimmer over the stencil. 



I cut out 6 hearts in various shapes and sizes. Then 2 hearts I painted with the Deep red paint, 2 with pink light and then left 2 the turquoise. I loved how the stenciled parts was showing through the paint raallybhave then some depth. 

Below:  Spritz with water let it set for a few seconds then dab with a towel to reveal some of the color below as well as give it a bit of a vintage look. 


Once the cards were dry I used a black archival ink and my blending tool to outline the cards. Then added more red and cobalt teal paint to them. 


I took my black and white gel pens and added some accents around my hearts after they were dry. 

Awhile back I ordered some things from 7 dot studio. They had these very cool punch out paper pieces on clearance for I think it was $1. Once I glued my hearts to my cards I added an inspirational saying to each and for 2 of them I cut a smaller heart out of my scraps and glued them to the larger hearts. 



And the completed cards and a few close ups. 



I think I may actually make a wall haninging or something with these. I haven’t figured that out yet but when I do I will be sure to post a picture. Hope you enjoyed my tutorial. I hope I inspired you to create your own inspirational art cards.  Thanks for joining me here and have a wonderful evening ❤️ 

Blessing Stick Banner

Good Morning friends and Happy Monday. Hope everyone had an amazing weekend. Ours was quite cold and rainy but that makes for a perfect time to create.   Today I have created a project I’ve been thinking about trying for awhile now and I think it would be the perfect idea for Thanksgiving.  I call it a blessing stick banner. I made this one using stamps and stencils from Jessica Sporn Designs. 

The first thing you need is a stick. 

The one I’m using is probably about a quarter inch thick and about 16″ long. Of course any size you like will do but I wouldn’t go too thick as you don’t want it to be to heavy. I tend to collect sticks when I’m out walking and so have some always on hand in case I want to use them in my art. 

Next you will need some fabric strips. I rip them between 1/2″ to 1″ wide and length again is up to you mine are about 12″-16″ in length you will need some

Length to tie them on to your stick so longer is better. The stencils I used were : cascading leaves, Eastern Leaf-lotus flower and Three Trees. All can be found at StencilGirlProducts.com

I started with my gelli plate and rolled out some paint with my brayer placed my cascading leaf stencil over it and then laid my fabric strip on top and took my first print. 



I lifted it and repeated this step until I had it stenciled up as far as I wanted on the fabric strip. 

I did different colors and continued the process with various colored strips of fabric. 

I took the three trees stencil and some other strips of fabric and stenciled directly on to the fabric using some of the words on this stencils 


I continued to use the different stencils and different colored paints to stencil my fabric strips until I felt I had enough and then I moved on to the stamps. 






To the stars I added a little glitter as I felt the stars too dull after stenciling them 


All of the stamps I used are Jessica Sporn Designs and can be found and rubbermoon.com 

For the stamping I also used paint. Here I used the black Dylusions. Just be sure to wash your stamps right away or the paint will dry and ruin them 

I started with this cute butterfly stamp and stamped some butterflies on the green fabric. Love how they really pop using black paint. 




Above I stamped the tree of life in black and then “renew” in magenta. 

And here I used the be happy stamp over the cascading leaves stencil on a pink fabric. 


Then I decided to try something I had never tired before and that was to stamp on some feathers I had. Around where I live we have lots and lots of geese.  When I go to our local park in the summer you can literally collect as many feathers and your heart desires as they are everywhere lol. So I took a couple of those feathers I had and the paints with my stamps and gave it a try. 


Not too bad really. I liked how they turned out. 

I took all the pieces I created and tied them to my stick with a bit of space in between each one and then trimmed the ends or tops to my liking. I added a couple pieces of extra ribbon to kind of balance out the thicknesses and to fill in with some more colors. 


Lastly I took this really pretty yarn I found on clearance for a $1.00 the other day and I wrapped my stick around the end tied a knot and then wrapped the yarn around the stick and in between each piece of ribbon (fabric strip) 



Once you have that done tie the end to the end you started at to make a way to hang your blessing stick. 

Here are a few close ups of the strips 


Above is the completed hanging. My thoughts on creating this were to have everyone at thanksgiving write on the back of a ribbon something they are thankful for. This could be done with a Permanent marker or paint marker. Then you would have a beautiful memory with all your blessings to hang all year long. Thanks for joining me here today and as always your comments are a blessing to me. If you have time to leave one I’d love to hear from you. Have a beautiful and peaceful week my friends! ❤️❤️❤️

Frightfully Fall Blog Hop

Hi Friends and welcome to the October blog hop for the Jessica Sporn Designs Creative Team.

Today I’m hopping along with Jessica Sporn, Kristen Van Valkenburgh, Lizzy Wurmann, Marit Barentsen and Denise Alloca, to share some fall creations using Jessica’s stamps and stencils. We have an amazing giveaway – One Lucky Commenter Will Win: Jessica’s Cascading Leaves stencil and Tree of Life stamp.  All comments on all the blog hop participants count – so make sure to visit everyone and leave some kind words!

So what do I have in store for you today??? Well many know that I just absolutely LOVE sunflowers and I have painted them in every color of the rainbow.  So today I’m sharing with you my process of creating this Helen Keller Inspired canvas, (which of course has a sunflower) she has a quote that inspires me and is one of the reasons I love sunflowers:

Keep your face to the sunshine & you

cannot see the shadow.

It’s what the sunflowers do.

-Helen Keller

So Grab your paints and a canvas and lets get started 🙂

I started out with a 14 inch by 14 inch canvas, covered it with a layer of white gesso and then used the following colors: Primary Cyan, ultramarine blue and titanium white, with an old plastic store card just scraping the paint in different directions to create a nice and quick background.

I then used a piece of white chalk (kids chalk is fine) to sketch out where I wanted my sunflower.  Don’t be to fussy with this just get a general idea down and don’t worry chalk wipes right off with a damp rag or baby wipe.

Using a flat brush (any brush is fine this is my “got to brush” but you use the one you are comfortable using) and Permanent Violet Dark I painted in the petals. As you can see I did not worry about getting a thick or even coat.  This is just to give me guidelines, get a base coat down and create some depth.  For the stem and leaf I used Quinacridone  Burnt Orange.

Then I used my titanium white to put in where I want some highlights.

Many times when I’m working I mix 2 or more colors together so I will often put out on my palette several colors as I’m not always sure what I will end up using.  For this canvas I put out on my palette a medium yellow, cadmium orange, and yellow orange azo. Here I stared with using mostly the medium yellow and the yellow orange azo, mixed them a bit on my palette and put down a base layer.  Again I used a flat brush but a round brush will give you just as good results.  I stroke the paint inward towards the center. This is for 2 reasons:  It gives the flower petals the lines and creases that they have in nature and since I haven’t done the center yet it helps me stay in the lines starting from the outside and dragging the paintbrush inward.

Here is where you have to be patient and let it dry between coats.  The more coats the more depth your petals will have.  Mine have about 3-4 coats some petals maybe more.  I also mixed a little of the white with the medium yellow to bring the highlights back out.  I also used the Burnt Orange to accentuate my shadow spots, which you can also see above.  Remember the petals do not have to be perfect ( I actually prefer mine not to be) as nothing is perfect in nature.

On the stem and leaf I used sap green and vivid lime green and mixed them, then painted the entire leaf and stem in my mixed color. Then to give it a bit of a highlight I went back in with the same mix but added some titanium white to it on my palette then applied this color to one side of the stem and the top of the leaf where the sun would be hitting it.  I also accentuated the veins on the leaf with this same color.  I am still using my flat brush and just using the edge of it to create the thin lines.  Be sure to use a dry brush for your veins in your leaf with very little paint.  Do one quick stroke from the center of the vein out.

Moving on to the center of the flower the colors used were: Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Nickel Azo Yellow.  For this I use this really OLD ruined flat brush that I have.  But certainly a stipple brush would work.  The reason I like my old brush is because unlike a stipple brush, the bristles on my old brush are all uneven so I get a  more natural look.  Use a dry brush when doing this part, just dab in your paint lightly and apply in a stippling motion to the center, you can always go back and add more so again more is less here.  I don’t cover the entire center but go back in with a bit of the raw sienna and continue to work back and forth between these colors until I am happy with the results.  I also use the Raw Umber as you can see to go up into the petals a bit.

To get a look of pollen in the center I use the Nickel Azo Yellow in a very light stippling motion. This is a great color to use because it gives off a greenish yellow look over the raw umber.  I also add just a few bits of the medium yellow to accent the pollen in the flower.

Let your sunflower dry completely before this next step. Once the sunflower is complete and dry we are going to be using one of my favorite stencils by Jessica Sporn Designs called “Rain Stencil”

I selected the girl with her arms back and head up to the sky because it reminded me of the Helen Keller quote and so I decided to place her below the sunflower as if she was lifting her head high to smell the flower or to be like a sunflower.  I used my Dylusions black paint to stencil her in with a sponge.  I choose the Dylusions paint because it’s a nice flat black paint that I knew would give good coverage, as I wanted her to look like a silhouette. Just remember when stenciling, less is more, so go easy on the paint and be sure to really dab it off before going in to stencil, you can always add another layer if you want to make it darker.

Typically I do not wash my stencils but in this case I would or at least wipe it dry. The  Dylusions paint to me, seems like it stays wetter on your stencil longer than regular acrylic paint and since we are now going to use another part of the stencil I cleaned it off and then dried it with a paper towel before doing more stenciling.

One of the reasons I love Jessica Sporn Designs stencils is because they are SUPER versatile. Each stencil has sooooo many elements and gives you so many possibilities.  I  picked out 2 words from the different quotes on this same stencil that worked together and fit perfectly with the message I wanted to convey for this canvas.  “Embrace Today”.

Again using my black Dylusions paint and the skinny part of my sponge I went in and stenciled one word at a time cleaning my stencil in between to be sure not to transfer any unwanted paint onto my canvas. When stenciling small areas again I can’t stress enough with using VERY LITTLE PAINT, I added 2 layers here.  I stenciled it once then lifted – let it dry and cleaned my stencil while it was drying and then lined it back up again and went back over it to get it a bit darker.

Here are some close ups of the details and the completed painting. Hope everyone enjoyed this tutorial.  As always your comments are so very much appreciated and today they could win you a prize!

 

Thanks so much for visiting me on this blog hop, and don’t forget to hop on over to the other amazing blogs listed below. Remember to leave a comment on each blog for your chance to win the Cascading Leaves Stencil and the Tree of Life Stamp. You have until 9pm EST on Monday, 10/10 to comment and the winners will be announced on Jessica’s Blog Tuesday, 10/11/16.

Jessica Sporn

Kristen Van Valkenburgh

Lizzy Wurmann

Marit Barentsen

Denise Alloca