Posts Tagged ‘art’

Tutorial: Getting the Most Out of Your Watercolors


It’s been a while since I’ve busted out the paints. I love painting! Painting was my life before I had kids.


When talking to friends about my love for painting the conversation usually steers towards watercolor, “the most difficult paint medium”They’re not as difficult as you may think. If you’ve got the right tools, you’ll be surprised how forgiving the medium is.

Periodically, I’d like to chime in here and there with a few tips on painting with watercolor. Let’s start with the basic tools and how to get saturated tones.



All Kids Are Artists


Penelope’s really come into a creative grove since she got her new studio. What’s even more awesome/remarkable is how all of the neighbor kids congregate in the tiny hallway to create artwork with her.

We’ve got quite a few budding artists on our street, including a 6 year old girl whom I’m convinced could be a fantastic calligrapher.


So I’m going to start a series. A virtual gallery stroll, if you will.

These kids are really inspiring to me, especially how they just freely create without any rules.


Penelope drew this bee for her aunt B. Get it? Adorable. She’s always creating little pictures and sculptures.

On the first Wednesday of each month, I’m going to be posting her creative endeavors and maybe a couple from the neighbor kids as well. I would love to see you participate! Use the banner above and post your kid’s creative endeavors on your blog on the first Wednesday of each month. We’ll link up for a virtual gallery stroll. For this month, feel free to link up in the comments to any artwork your child has done. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to submit your child’s work to me before the first Wednesday (July 3) and I’ll publish it here. I hope you’ll participate with me! See below for submission requirements.

Artwork must be 100% done by your child 18 years and younger. Photo must be taken in natural light and image must be at least 550px wide.

Penelope the Artist


Penelope draws things and tells me to frame them or to make things inspired by them. I’m loving this phase in her life.


See the drawing above, the girl on the lower right? Penelope wants me to make me a dress with see-through sleeves and a button down front. Who is this girl? The next big designer.

And I need that dress in my closet.


She also made this rad creature. The ears all over her head are awesome.

And speaking of ears, we’re up to our ears in all of her awesome artwork. The dilemma we’re having is what to keep, how to keep it and how to clean out the extra art without hurting her feelings.

Right now we call her stash place (a flat storage drawer in my studio) her collection. We have her put her completed art projects in her collection and then we’ll typically sort it all out from there. A few pieces (like Penelope’s monster above) goes straight in a frame. Goodness I love this girl’s style.


I started teaching Penelope how to use my dip pen (top left). I love seeing her experiment with holding the pen different ways. It’s hard to see her scratch and pull the nib on the page, but she’s so willing to learn and I’m more than happy to teach her.

It’s a few days past her birthday, but I still plan on turning one of our utility closets into a special studio for her. I can’t wait to see that excitement on her face.

Cropped Art Tutorial

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I’m over on Make and Takes today sharing an easy way to display children’s work, by layering/cropping.


Click here for the full post.



Inexpensive Minimal Gallery Wall



I’ve got another installment of the great Zero Budget Project. I don’t know why I’ve been dragging my feet on styling our bedroom. It’s not like it took that long or wasn’t fun to do. I guess I just needed to channel the right creativity.


I walked past these ribba frames while on a routine run to Ikea. They were $1.99 – and that spurred an idea. What if I did an entire wall out of these awesome cheap frames? I think the best part about these frames is that they’re an inch and a quarter deep. They don’t look as cheap as they are. So for just over $20 I was able to decorate this wall. Easy peasy.


It took a measuring tape, a level and a pencil. I measured out the width of the wall and graphed out where each piece should lie. It worked out to 10 inches apart. I went through old artwork and cropped down the pieces that would work (really only taking the pieces I liked that were just about 5×7). I had a few holes in my 11 piece series so I looked through Penelope’s stash and made a few new pieces as well.


Curating, prepping, cleaning, painting and hanging artwork took a few hours. All the while Chris was MIA, it was fun to reveal the newly cleaned and decorated space to him. Making him excited about our space really makes my efforts worth it.


The ribba frames come with these pre-cut mats, I didn’t use any of them for the artwork on display so I sandwiched an engagement photo of ours in between two of them using a flower frog (from Gather & Hunt).


I didn’t go with any specific style or color theme with this gallery, and I like it that way. I went with pieces that I liked and tried to arrange them in a way that would make them balanced.



I believe I made 5 pieces specifically for this gallery, it was a much-needed exercise to bust out the watercolors. Details on each painting after the jump.


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