Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soft Chalks on Acrylic Ground for Pastel... or How to Relax With a Bunny Portrait

I have been enjoying some colour blending and thought I'd share. It's very relaxing.....

I guess it's no big surprise that I'm a bit of a STAEDTLER fan. I think one of my favorite things to play with to relax are their Karat soft chalk pastels.

I've been playing with them for ages. They're my go to feel good medium. I especially like to play if I have added some grit to my drawing surface. I use Golden acrylic ground for pastel to give my surfaces tooth. It's kind of like drawing on a fine sandpaper. The eye sketch above was the first time I used the two mediums together. It was about eight years ago? in Toronto at a course given by Golden to art instructors.

I usually add some colour to the acrylic base. This time I added a metallic pink.

I secured my thick paper to a flat surface until after this prep coat dried.

I like to leave brush strokes and I usually don't mix the paint up completely. I think added texture and colour make drawing more interesting.

I've added some colour and used a dry, soft, flat brush to blend the chalks into the background.

After the chalks are all filled in where I want them to be. I add some black lines to define the shapes. This time I grabbed my black STAEDTLER Karat watercolour crayon and scribbled onto some scrap paper.

I used my Heinz Jordan series 681 needle point brush to pick up the colour.

This is an awesome brush! It holds loads of paint and has the teeniest tip. I can paint forever without reloading and still get fabulous detail.

Here are some of the steps I took while blending out the chalks. There was no plan so there was nothing to stress about. I just played.....
Seriously addictive!

I think I need a series of bunny folk for the hallway now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Night Mehndi With Maggs

 When the girls were little, we did mehndi or henna tattoos in the spring. I haven't been able to find a good supplier lately so we haven't done it in ages. We picked Maggs up a gorgeous kit online and were going to give it to her on her birthday but I couldn't wait.

Here's what she did to her left hand. She's fabulous! I started her off by making the flower in the center for her but she built off of that and did the rest.

It really looks like a piece of beautiful lace draped across her hand. 

Here she is working on some curly cues and dots to fill the design in. You can faintly see an old design under the new black henna. We're relearning. It's like icing a cake. Loads of fun!

This is what I made on the inside of my wrist. I think it looks like a fish flower. These designs will darken up over the next few days and we'll add some progress shots to you can see what happens. Henna is pretty cool. 
Have you played with Henna?


Here are a couple shots of the second day. You can see how much darker the henna on my inner wrist got in one night.

Here is Maggie's arm. I really like how hers turned out. We'll Have to experiment more this summer. I'm working out a design in my head that involves an octopus.

I got this very cool Mehndi kit from an ETSY seller. Redwood Henna. Their instructions were very easy to follow and the scent they have mixed up for their kits is gorgeous.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Colourful Gel Nails

These are my natural nails with a splashy gel topcoat.

 I've added some of the flower and leaf canes I've made using STAEDTLER Fimo.

 I made some white nail polish dots too just to dress things up.

Here are the flower and leaf cane slices before I embedded them in the UV gel.

This is George..... He thinks the flowers are for him.
Silly kitten!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Things

I've been working away on these very one of a kind face moulds. I am adding them to the many prizes that the Lovely April will be sharing at her 
April is one of my STAEDTLER Design Team Sisters and her work is gorgeous and full of heart just like April herself. 

The retreat is in March and I hear there are still four spots open for some lucky art types. Read up and if you're in her neck of the woods (Arkansas) and needing a crafty getaway to keep things sane, you should contact her and reserve your spot!

Here are the goods inside the two kits I'm sending along to be given away as prizes. There is also a two page full colour pictorial included in each kit. 

It's going to be a ball. Wish I could join you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Snow Day Art

I came home for lunch today to find that It was declared a SNOW DAY!!!!!
My dining room held a gaggle of school girls completing an art project. They had to complete a self portrait with colour. One girl picked STAEDTLER Karat pastels and went to town filling in and blending the pastels into each other. Great job!!!

 My Maggs decided to use STAEDTLER Karat chalks after she sketched herself out into a mirror image.

Maggs blended the chalks with a dry paintbrush. The girls did a great job. I'm so proud of them. I think STAEDTLER might be helping me be a better Mom. They sure were happy to be able share my gorgeous art supplies. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 Here are some simple earrings and a pendant I made with STAEDTLER Fimo quite a few years ago. They're still my favourite Valentine's Day jewellery. I remember the day I made them both of my girls were home with me and making things around the work table. 

To all the Mom's out there... I wish for you a Valentine's Day filled with squeezes from your own little monkeys. I'll probably over squeeze the one that's still home......
But ohhhhhhh the away one will get hers too. I'm saving all the squeezes up for when I see her again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Studio Remodel...... whimper.........

I'm about one third of the way through a major studio remodel. I'm putting four rooms of studio materials into one large room. Mom picked me up the cool shelving units at Canadian Tire and they should work perfectly. But sorting through all the years of art and crafting products is a bit of a daunting task....... I'm a little bit overwhelmed. I'll post progress shots now and then to help any of you out there in the blogsphere who are going through the same kind of reorganization nightmares. 

We WILL get through this!!!! 


Cuddling with George at the moment......
Maybe some rum and coca cola will help?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Some Bunny Loves Me Tutorial

Here is a fun character card tutorial for Valentine's Day.

Things you'll need to create this card:

One package of STAEDTLER Fimo air basic in white
Decorative card stock I chose sparklie pink
one standard blank card
lace and ribbon trim
scissors and pinking shears
#4 round sable paint brush
Fabri-tac adhesive
rolling pin for clay
exacto blade or cutting tool
stylus tool or dullish pencil
damp paper towel

I used some parchment paper to protect my work surface.

 I rolled out my Fimo air basic to about 1/2cm thick.

 I printed out the basic bunny design and placed it on my clay face up. I used the large end of my stylus tool to trace the full design onto the clay. You will need to indent the clay enough so you can follow the design when the paper template is removed.

 With the tip of your craft knife remove any clay that isn't part of the design.

 Dampen a paper towel and use it to smooth out the edges of the clay. Let the clay dry overnight.

 Dip you paint brush into clear water and tap off the access. Use the dampened brush to pick up colour from the end of the aquarelle crayons and paint up your clay bunny.

 I started with a pink bunny suit.....

 then I added a peachy face......

 I made the paws and inner ears blue.

 I also added some deeper pink to the cheeks.

 I added detail with the triplus fineliner markers.

 I used a blue to fill in the tummy words.

 I made my bunny look like Mr. Jimmy!

 I put the bunny face down on the back of my decorative card stock and traced around the piece. Then I added a 1cm border and ct the card stock out.

 I also added a border of black felt by cutting around the edge of the piece with pinking shears.

 I used the Fabri-tac glue to stick the bunny to the decorative card stock shape and then to the felt. I also used it to add trim to the card and stick everything onto the card.

 I like my little Mr. Jimmy bunny card. I think I'll make a smaller one and turn him into a pin!

Add your own face to this bunny and create a personalized card for your someone special.