Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Holly Jolly Tree

I love creating with my children...
 especially mixed media art. There aren't many crafts I can do with my kids yet. My children are too young to sew or use a hot glue gun, but even a 2 year old can paint.

 I love mixed media at because it is so free. There are no mistakes. It is wild and crazy and creative and adventurous and freeing and fun and wonderful. I love being able to express things through my art and I love sharing my love for painting with my children. 

Children are so fun to paint with because they have no inhibitions. In fact the wilder the painting session, the more fun it is. So often as adults we get hung up on our own inhibitions- I don't know how to paint. Mine wont look good. I could never do it as good as so-and-so. Maybe we all need to channel our own little 3 year old inside who says, "I get to use all those colors? ALRIGHT!" 

When you paint with kids, I can tell them to paint the background and they dive in. They are fearless. They will break the rules, mix the colors, paint with no rhythm or reason and the best part of all is they love it. Every now and then, they might look up at me and say, "like this?" and I'll say, "that's amazing, you are doing it just perfect" and they will smile like they've just won a million bucks. 

My favorite part about painting with children is when it's done, they will run right up to someone and say, look at my painting isn't it awesome! They love it... imperfections, mistakes, and all. It is unique and fun and beautifully all there own. They believe it's beautiful, so it is!

I wanted to do a fun Christmas inspired project with the girls and here it is! Some funky, fun, beautiful Christmas trees. 

Here are the supplies I used. 
An 8 x 10 canvas, some music paper, paint, Decou-Page (or use Mod Podge), a 6 x 6 pad of scrapbook paper, (this one is Merry by My Minds Eye, I just love the pink in it!), stamps and ink, brushes, scissors or a paper cutter, Faber Castell PITT artist pen big brush, doodle pens, toilet paper roll (or some other roll), glitter, alcohol ink, rub-ons (not pictured), alphabet stickers... I hope I got everything. :) 

If you don't have everything I used improvise. 

The first thing I did was covered the background with some music paper. I used Decou-Page (or use Mod Podge) on the top and bottom. Then I gave the girls some colors that matched the papers we were going to use and just told them to paint. I wanted this to be there canvas. I didn't want to tell them to do it a certain way. I wanted them to be able to do it however they wanted! Remember there is no right or wrong way to do it!!! Don't forget to paint the sides too!

Then I had some cardboard rolls I let them use for some more texture. They could simply dip it in the paint and stamp a circle. Mine were from the inside of some wrapping paper, you could also use a toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, etc. 

Here are the backgrounds... Each one turned out totally different and unique and I love it!

After the paint was dry, I gave them a few stamps and let them stamp all over the background. They love stamping. I just used black Stays On Ink because it's' permanent and won't wash away. We used some snowflake stamps, and some stars. 

Then I let the girls pick out some strips of paper that I had already cut. I didn't want them to be the same width. I had skinny ones and fat ones. They picked them out and lined them up. Then I cut them the right lengths for the tree and Decou-Paged them on again. We also added some fun ornaments and a star for the top that I simply cut out of the same line of paper. 

Then I did all the finishing touches. I used my Faber Castell Markers to shade and outline the tree and ornaments. Then I took a fine tip black marker and outlined and doodled on the tree. I also used a few rub-ons for added detail. Lastly, a splash of green alcohol ink, some glitter, and some sparkly silver Thickers to add a fun title. 

I also had the girls sign their names. This is probably my favorite part of the canvas. Every Christmas when I pull these out I will remember when she used to write her name like that. It makes it even more special and personal to me. 

I think they turned out so cute! Great job girls!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just be Me

Sometimes I create a piece because it's something I saw in a class. Sometimes it's an idea I found on Pinterest. Sometimes I want to try a new technique and sometimes I'm really inspired because I want to say something to someone I love. I love creating girls for people. I love creating layers of love through words and pictures. 

But sometimes when I'm really lucky I have a whole canvas come into my head. I guess this girl is so special because it was something I needed to say to myself. 

It had been a long week, a long day of changing diapers, wiping runny noses, and cleaning the house, and yes I was still in my sweats. 

I love going out to eat on Friday nights. It's so nice to get out of the house. I put on a really cute outfit. Loaded up the girls and went to our favorite place to eat. I even brought an art book I've been wanting to look at. 

The girls colored and ate and I enjoyed a minute to just be me. It felt so good. 

I want to give everything I have to my children. To be the very best mom I can. And sometimes I feel like "me" gets a little lost. And that's ok, I am happy to sacrifice and give and work hard for my children because I love them so much. They mean everything to me. 

But sometimes it's nice to put on a pretty dress, do my hair, take a deep breath, and get to...

just be me. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Finding my Inspiration

My husband surprised me with a fun trip up to Breckenridge. I was so excited to spend some time together and to get some new creative inspiration. I carried my camera around with me every where and told Tyler that I was on a photography field trip! I took pictures of everything! I was totally in love with all the fall colors and I can't wait to go paint some fall inspired pieces. 

Isn't this house cool with the pink and teal?? 

I was totally inspired by the aspens with the fall colors against the blue sky.

Isn't this a cool clock?

I have been to this fun store before and knew they had cute handmade things. It's called Magic Scraps. What I wasn't expecting to find was a whole bunch of mixed media pieces. 

Have any of you heard of Kelly Rae? I hadn't and instantly fell in love. I loved the different way these girls were portrayed. They were beautiful and inspiring and different then anything I had tried before.  

I bought some cards and quickly found myself on her website. I could have spent hours on there. I love her gallery, her jewelry and her story. I was so inspired by how she is a "possibilitarian" and believes in the possibilities. I found myself wishing and hoping and full of a new determination to become a mixed media artist. I don't know where this journey will take me, but I want to go. 

As I had a quiet moment one night I wrote in my journal some of thoughts and feelings and I want to share them with you...

"I can dream big. Where will this journey take me? I find my heart is drawn more and more towards art. It is speaking to me. It's calling to me. It's speaking to my heart. I love it. I never thought of art being healing for the receiver as well as for me. I want to share my art. I see so many people out there in the art community and I want to be a part of it. I wonder if it will ever happen for me. 


I am pleased with the choices I have made in my life. I love being a mom. I am busy and my life is unpredictable, full of exhausting giving, a lot of work, and full of peace and joy. I've never worked so hard and I have never been so happy. I love my girls with all my heart. They truly are a piece of me and they are worth every sacrifice. I'm happy with the road I've taken, but where will I go next? How will I get there and juggle the challenges of raising small children too?

When I start to feel small and discouraged I remember that my Heavenly Father loved me and I can trust in him because He will never leave me alone. I have gotten countless answers to prayers. I need to always remember to have patience and faith. My dreams will come true with time and so many of them have already come true. I always wanted to be a mom when I grew up and I am. My life is good. I am doing the right work. I love with all my heart and through the sacrifice and work and selflessness, I am happy. 

I just need to believe in myself and make that leap."

As I thought and reflected on my art journey, I realized that I have everything I need. I've always struggled with finding the time and competing with people who don't have children. But my children are my biggest inspiration. It's true that as I type this, my baby is rolling around at my feet babbling away. My toddler is begging for her blanket that is in the wash, and my little girl is at my arm, asking if she can play on the computer now. (smile) lol. I need to work harder to make my dreams come true, but I don't want this part of my life to pass me by. I am doing the right work. My is good, it is soooo good and I'm going to love every moment. I am going to let my children be my inspiration. I'm going to have patience and faith and see where this journey takes me. I am excited for the journey. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Trick or Treat

So are any of you ready for Halloween? I AM!! I can't wait. I was so excited to take Christy Tomlinson's class Pumpkins & Cider! I got all my Halloween decorations out in September. I knew I was going to want to make some more decorations, so why not get a head start right? One of the reasons I love Halloween is because we are always in town. It's great to get out all my stuff and shop the clearance sales after Halloween is over.  Well here's a look at what I have been creating. 

As you know. I love my sketch book. I took Christy's idea of doing kids in costumes and ran with it. I love using memories as inspiration. Memories of Halloweens with my girls. Memories of Halloween when I was a kid. I love capturing memories on canvas.

I knew I had to do a darling little Lady Bug. My daughter was a Lady Bug for her very first Halloween. I had this really cool vintage book on plants or something. And thought this branch would look so cool. 

Then of course I covered it up with paint. I really tried to paint with my fingers, which I never do. I have some baby wipes on my art table and am constantly reaching for wipes to wipe off my hands. I must have gone through like 20 wipes!! I just can't help it. 

So here she is. I love the play on red and black and white with the blue background. So cute. 

This is my first girl with a face!! It's super simple, but I really like it. 

I used lace on the wings and big the white dots with my sharpie paint marker. It's one of my new favorite things. Lately, fun sharpies have been like candy at the check out counter. I can't help but grab one or two and throw then in the cart. 

I had so much fun with run-ons on this canvas. I loves layering them up. I'm running low on my favorite "stitches" rub-ons. Anyone know where I can find more? I don't know what I'd do without it!!!

I also had to do a Bumble Bee girl, like Christy did in the class. I tend to stick to a more simple style, but I felt like, it's Halloween. This girl can be as bold and crazy as can be. I thought, just go for it. I just had to keep telling myself to add as much as possible to her. I kept feeling like it was too much and this was crazy, but in the end all the layers come together. I really love her. 

I seriously want to do like 10 of these little cuties in costumes. Hopefully I have time for a few more!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creating the Sky

So I had to make a preschool board where I could put the weather, and letters and different things we were learning. In the Mother Goose Time kit I had gotten, they had the idea of creating a garden and then hanging review items on a clothes line. I totally loved the idea and wanted to create a board like that. Now I could have just gone and gotten blue poster board, but what fun would that have been? 

I thought this would be a great project that would help stretch me a little as an artist. I was going to create a huge background to be the sky. I was only allowed to use the color blue and was only allowed to use my paints and sprays. I did a few layers, and thought it looked horrible, but what else could I do? 

I kept coming back to it every few days and would add to it. Add another layer, be a little braver. Add something else. It was a great project and I love the result. Whenever I'm teaching preschool I love using this board. It makes me happy. 

the sky

Don't you just love all the layers and texture?

My preschool garden board.