A Love-Themed Watercolor Art Piece

07
Being in my art studio, is way up there as one of my favorite places in my very small world, to be!
For the month of February, I was inspired to create something ‘love-themed’, to add as a decorative art piece for our home’s double-mantels. I was very much in the mood to get into a watercolor project, and I had some text in mind that I wanted to make a part of it, as well.
In this post I’m sharing the general concepts I used in creating this fun little piece, with a little chit-chat along the way. I hope you enjoy it.

01-watercolor-paint-brushes
Although I have sold several watercolor scenery or subject paintings in my earlier years, I still do not consider myself to be  [Read more…]

4-Leaf Clover Art

After having a nagging urge to paint for a couple of days last month, I finally found some time to sit down with my watercolor supplies, to create something. As usual, I wanted to make something that would have a purpose; as opposed to just painting for the fun of it, and then wondering what to do with it. (I don’t really like this quality in me, by the way. I’d rather be more creatively spontaneous. So I am working on that in another creative process.) As I figured out what to paint, I realized it was almost the month of March, and so almost time to change our home’s February/Love themed double-mantels.

March….the beginning of spring, and St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t think there is a lick of Irish in any of us, but I decided to go with the theme somewhat anyway, and make a piece of art for our March mantels: 4-Leaf Clover Art.

1_green-watercolors-paintbrush-palette-art

I had a vision in my head. I got my hues of green ready to go in my palette, and then free-handed a 4-leaf clover, on my ~11×14″ watercolor pad.

As part of the art, I wanted to include a phrase [Read more…]

A Simple Buttons and Love-Themed Craft Project

00_
I have promised myself that this year, I will spend even more time in the space in which I get so very much enjoyment and fulfillment in; my art studio. And so this past Sunday, that’s just what I did for myself! In anticipating our home mantels decor, for the month of February, I wanted to create something love-themed, in celebration St. Valentine’s Day, of course.  I chose to do a simple buttons craft project. I have a certain kind of love-thing, for buttons!  Do you, too? [Read more…]

Printable Valentines (free): Crazy Straws, Socks and Guitar Picks

01_valentines-free-printables

 Last year I designed some last-minute valentines for my kids to give to their friends, that go with a fun little ‘extra’, most of which can easily be found at a dollar store.
I think they are cute and clever. Although I have always said, “Nobody think my jokes are funnier than I do.”

This year I am offering them to you as free printables.  Aren’t I nice? :)  You will see that there is room for your child to write their friends’ names, after Valentine and before the comma, as well as a space for them to sign their valentine in the bottom right hand corner.
The link to the printables will be available at the end of this post.

02_valentines-free-printable-socks I found fun kids’ sock in different sizes at the dollar store. They came as 2 in a set (different patterns), for $1.
These would be for girls, but….

03_valentines-free-printable-socks-2 ….they also had some sets for boys.
We attached the socks to the valentine card using colorful paper clips. 
Worked like a charm. Or, a paper clip.  But with socks.

04_valentines-free-printable-crazy-straw This valentine was designed to hold a crazy straw.  All you need to do is cut a slot at each heart, and insert the straw.
A while pack of straws can be bought for $1 also at, of course, the dollar store.

05_valentines-free-printable-guitar-pick This is the perfect valentine for any little friend who is a budding musician of any kind!  If they have an appreciation for music, they’ll have an appreciation for this valentine.
I picked up the picks at a local music store.  They were for coin change.
We just stuck the pick on using a 2-sided sticky tab.

 If you like them, they are all yours!

They come 2 on a sheet for easy printing of a standard sheet size of 8.5″ x 11″ of heavy stock paper. Just cut along the center line for two!
So the individual valentines are about 8.5″ x 5.5″.  Yes a little large, to accommodate the socks and straws.

>>>>>>  You can get all of these printables HERE. <<<<<<

Click on the one you want.  Then look for options for actions, download to your computer, and print them from there.
(Any problems, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll see if I can help you.)
You can also share this offer on Pinterest or your other social networks for me, using the image below.

06_Valentines-free-printables-collection
ENJOY! 
– Laura –

A Christmas Cards Display Idea

00_Christmas-cards-display-idea

 When the Christmas season arrives every year, and the cards start coming in the mail, what do you do with them?  Do you just put them in a pile and let them stack up? Or do you like to display them somehow, for all to see?  If you display them, how do you manage that? I bet you all have had some pretty creative ideas yourselves.

We’ve had a few solution ideas of our own over the years, for the Christmas cards we gratefully get in the mail. Way back, we just put them in a beautiful Christmas basket. That was kind of sad though, as we know many are really excited about their cards every year, and we’d hate for them to be hidden. Especially the ones with photos of kids and families, or the special notes.
We’ve also just tied a pretty ribbon across a beam in our main living area, and let them hang on that.
Getting more creative still, for a few years, we stood a white folding accordion door in the corner of the room, and the louvers (slats) worked beautifully for hanging cards. Of course, like with the string idea, the vertical cards hung horizontally. It was still a nice way to display everyone’s cards though. 

Last year though, I came up with a new idea, that I think we’ll stick with for some time. It’s very homemade and rustic, and I just love it.
Take a look . . . .

01_Christmas-cards-display-idea What do you think? 
It was actually just a long scrap of plywood we had on hand. (Repurposing at it’s best!).  
This one happens to be about 11″x 76″.   You can use any similar long board though.  You just want to be sure it is thin enough to be able to clamp clothespins on.

03_Christmas-cards-display-idea We also used some rough rope, in which I intertwined some thin satin rope around, just to add some pretty to the rough look.
The roping is mostly for decorative purposes, though. It will hold some horizontal cards well enough, but if it slides, it knocks other down. And that’s just frustrating.
I like the look of the clothespins, and it helps secure the cards of all sizes.

02_Christmas-cards-display-idea So this scrap board was painted white and then rough sanded. I didn’t put a lot of effort into that wood-finishing part at all, because really….I was hopeful that if enough people thought of us whilst filling out their Christmas cards, most of that board would be covered, anyway.  😉
The scrap blocks of wood (you see) on the back, at the top and bottom of the board, not only add stability to the board for it to sit well on the floor and lean against the wall.  There is a notch cut at the top and bottom of the board, for the rope to wrap around to the other side inset, and then there is hole through the block for the rope to go though and be secured to the other side. It sounds complicated, but it really is simple in design.  Sorry I forgot to get a pic of the back side for you. If you are confused and  have a question on this, go ahead and ask in the comments.
04_Christmas-cards-display-idea Completely optional tidbit:  I soaked my clothespins in tea water overnight, to try and antique them some. It worked; but honestly, it’s too subtle for the effort in my opinion. Maybe I did it wrong?
I think at some point I will take these clothespins, and revert to what always works beautifully for me; a touch of my Annie Sloane Dark Wax. Love-that-stuff!

05_Christmas-cards-display-idea To really dress up the top, I added these large rusted-looking jingle bells, hung with twine. I love jingle bells! 

CONSIDER THIS:  You could use this whole idea, and change the whole style of it depending on how you finish it and what you use as detail elements!
For example: paint a smooth new board with a clean white paint, omit the sanding, putty and paint your screw holes, and use a wide frilly ribbon down the board, with a big fancy bow at the top!

06_Christmas-cards-display-idea But the rustic, farmhouse look suits us just fine.

07_Christmas-cards-display-idea Yes, just another crazy idea, from our house to yours! 
If you love it, bookmark it! You could try the idea yourself this year or some other coming year. Or simply share it with your friends who follow you on your social networks.  They’ll love you for it.
  And hey, while your here, say hello, and share your thoughts.

Hope your homes are feeling a little bit of your Christmas love!
These are the little things that make any house, a home, for the ones you love.
~Laura