Dec
03
2013

I promised you guys yesterday that I would be posting tutorials for handmade holiday decor and gifts for the next few weeks, and true to my word I am excited to share this project with you guys that could easily be considered both and would make a fabulous gift for someone special. It's not precisely holiday-ish, but that makes this all the more exciting to give (or receive), since you won't be giving a gift with a shelf life of no longer than the holiday season!

 The materials you will need for this will vary depending on the size you want to make your painting and whether or not you want it framed or unframed. I recommend framed if you are planning a larger piece like the one I did here (30"x24"). 

  • Frame in size of choice (I purchased mine from Target for $30).
  • Poster Board, Canvas or Watercolor Paper in coresponding size (I actually used the frame backing and skipped this).
  • White Acrylic Paint - this will act as a primer for your poster board or canvas
  • Watercolor paint in your choice of color
  • Paint Brush

You will want to paint your poster board, canvas, watercolor paper or frame backing to give it a good priming. Poster Board is a nice thickness but it tends to have a bit of a sheen to it that makes it difficult to use with watercolors unless it's primed so be sure to not skip this step. It also helps tremendously when you are painting on canvas. 

 

Set up your palette. You can use any type of plastic shallow bowl or plate and simply add a bit of water and your chosen color. You want your water to appear fairly opaque (not see through) so you will add a decent amount of color to it. If you can't get enough saturation, you can also add a drop or two of craft paint or acrylic paint. It will work in a similar way.

Lay down your general pattern or shape. I began with my darker areas and added color in a relative wave shape, running all the way across the bottom and up one side and part of the top on that side. I used applied my color in a horizontal messy pattern at first and then switched to a circular pattern, only to switch back later to a a horizontal application. You will be able to feel it out as you go and do what feels most natural to you. 

Keep in mind that the idea here is to have the outside edges be the darkest, working your way to a lighter shade near the middle or inside edges of your shape. You will want to 

Kiddos 

You can layer your color to darken where necessary and honestly just slap it on there. You don't have to worry about keeping a 'wet' edge since we are basically working with water, so if you need to fix something along the way, you can!

Once you have your darker section applied in the shape you want, you will dilute your paint puddle by half and basically apply this lighter shade just above your previously painted section all the way around the inside edge.

You can vary the shape of this inside section from the outer section, so it isn't too uniform and looks organic and realistic (for whatever it might be). You can see in the images above and below that I didn't keep the exact same shape going and made it just slightly different.

Dec
28
2012
Project Image

Last year I didn't put up my standard big tree in the living room, because I simply didn't have time. I was frantic the entire month of November preparing for a live tv segment I was doing, for my local News 10 channel. Throw in the actual holidays themselves (Thanksgiving hosted at my house) and my monster mash boy Blake's birthday (also at my house) and you have one frazzled mommy blogger on crack. Ya true story...

Stay tuned for more holiday decor from this year to come, and my holiday card to all of you (late of course)... what can I say... 

Being a brand new mommy of 2 boys has put my schedule so far behind that it will very likely take me until the end of the first week, of the new year, to finish sharing all of our Christmas adventures, but hopefully you don't hold it against me. #newbornbabymamadrama

Celebrate 
Kiddos 
Feb
08
2011
Project Image

I finished these fabulous cubby shelves (plans for them can be found here) a while back, but haven’t had a moment to snap a few pictures to share. This build is so fast, it literally goes together in about an hour, even if you have the worst selection of boards ever…which I did, thanks to my screaming, fussing, tantrum throwing monster mash of a boy. He is so distracting at the worst moments, like while I’m trying to make sure I am not purchasing warped, curved, or wavy boards..which apparently I was! 

Having faulty boards makes a build so much more difficult to perfect, I can assure you.  Getting it right the first time around would have been highly preferable with this particular project too, since most of it is dependent on one type of board, a 1x12. Since you really only need to purchase a couple of boards total to build this plan, if one or both of those boards are problematic, the entire build is problematic. But sometimes going back to fix the error isn’t an option and honestly my complete lack of patience, more often than not, means I will give it a go anyhow and just end up with a frustrating experience overall. Word of advice…leave the kiddos at home if you can (which I never can, so if you can, I’m jealous)! Ugh. you may regret it if you don’t…just sayin… Misshapen Boards = Monstrous Build All in all, it worked out moderately and I don’t notice the flaws that much, which were rather major in this instance.  Just need to pile it full of stuff! Problem Solved! I actually had a board that was wider on one side than the other by almost an inch! But to a glancing eye, not noticeable…just don’t look too closely.

Estimated Cost 

Under $25

Length of Time 

About a week off and on given the *ahem* problematic boards I purchased... 

Lumber Used 

Whiteboards

Finishing Technique 

Oolong Tea by Martha Stewart for Home Depot in Eggshell Finish with a double coat of wipe on poly in Satin finish.

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