Layering Traditional and Modern

wood slice painting

I’ve been wanting to paint a wood slice ala hip and trendy style for a while now. In my grandfather’s old stuff, my mom found this slab for me. It had a print on it already and even though I always feel bad covering a form of art, I gessoed a handful of layers and got myself a nice wood canvas. I sanded down the gesso to a smoother texture, though the wood grain still added a nice texture to the base.

I chose to do my painting in this almost graphical-pop art-new wave style to counteract the traditional landscape subject on the natural canvas. It took tons of layers and I spilled some retarder which caused me to fear it may never dry. Luckily, it did and was thoroughly sealed and finished. It’s a handy painting compared to the framed paper paintings on my wall. For example, it makes a good…

1. Piece for wall art

mountains on wood

2. Table tray for cocktails and candles

mountains on wood tray

3. A miniature stage for toddlers to dance on

mountains on wood with kid

Hopefully I’ll scrounge up another slab of wood soon…


One of Each: Paired Paintings of European Buildings

european paintings paired (2)

Why choose between watercolor and acrylics? I got back into acrylics for the first time in a very long time with this British street scene. I went for almost an oils-approach with tons of texture and smudging. I’m crazy about acrylic mediums like gels and pastes. They make unimaginable depth.

england street on canvas (2)

As is often the case with me, this is based on a photo I took while abroad – this one in Nottingham.


The acrylic canvas was a spur of the moment idea but after I was so happy with it, I decided I needed it to be part of some sort of set. Because, of course. So I used the same general palette for a minimalistic, subtle, watercolor complement.

bath building in watercolor (2)

This one was a loose interpretation of a photo taken in Bath.


Miniature Warblers on Miniature Canvases

birds in a row

It’s that time of the semester that I start making a lot more junk and doing a lot less productivity. But here you are, three little birds, warblers actually, on three little canvases.

Mini birds 3 set

I had planned to do four (4 pack of canvases) but my TV show was almost over by the time I finished the third bird. Three is a good number for decorating anyways.

Bird 2nd of 3

All done in solely acrylic paint. I lined them up in between the top of my curtains and my ceiling.

Mini bird painting 1 of 3

May Journal Entry: Peonies and Books

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To fit all twelve months in my altered planner, I will need some months to be 1 page spreads. May Entry 2015 I choose May as it is always a whirlwind due to the end of Spring semester. It wasn’t my easiest Finals week ever but I got through safe and sound. To reference the academic focus of the month, I hand lettered an “M” made entirely of book spines and the occasional bookmark. It was a fun challenge and I felt a detailed statement would be good for this half size entry. I was inspired by the peonies resting on my desk/vanity/nightstand (I like to make my objects multi-purpose) for the entry’s coloring and pattern. I stole only two stems from my mother’s kitchen bouquet to place in my room.

may entry 2015may-entry-2015

I used my Acrylic paints to create a semi-abstract, messy interpretation of peonies and leaves encircling the monogram. A basic, black pen was used to add flourishes and a border on top of the floral. I, of course, tried a few versions of acrylic peonies in my acrylic journal before beginning my monthly entry. I have to admit my messy floral pattern doesn’t share much with the more structured practice buds. Lastly, I used a leafing adhesive pen to add spots of gold leaf along the edges of the entry, focusing on the corners. Here’s to summer vacation!

May Entry - Withcraftsandlace

Two Entries, One Post: Acrylics Journal Edition


As a way to practice with my acrylics, I have been painting versions of birds and plants in some old illustrated birding books we have. I love chubby birds and I love yellow birds, so here we are. I had also bought a book a while before these entries that features a little yellow bird, see the right corner. I actually got two hooks, one in the sweet yellow and one in a soft turquoise. Obviously I have yet to actually hang them…


This was actually a bit of a stretch for me. I rarely paint living items beyond simple plants. But I actually like how this warbler turned out, I was quite surprised!

The first week of official Spring is always exciting. I love early Spring with comfy mornings and heart-warming sunshine in the afternoons. I only wish we would get Spring a while longer before the horrors of Summer kicked in (I’m a winter-y kind of gal.)


What are your Springtime plans?

Monthly Art Journal Entry: February

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed a board about altering day planners. I bought a planner I liked the size and format of last year thinking it would cover fall semester of 14 and then 2015. But when I ripped that goodie open, turned out it was really only useful for 2015.

So I found a simple agenda on sale to use until I could switch to my preferred one. I chose a pretty hardcover one to re-purpose in the new year, a process I will discuss more at another time. I have decided to do a spread for each month, focusing on some theme or event that stuck out during those weeks. 

Since I spent most of January preparing to leave the UK and then settling back down in the US,the pages focus on transitions/changes, as highlighted by the leaves falling – my first time playing with my acrylic paints since September. 

Kristy the Kitty Cat Gets a Tent

Before I abandon my cat for an entire semester, I thought I should do another update of her kitty cat tent. She looks silly, falling asleep with half closed eyes. This is how the tent looks in soft morning light, perhaps I will take another photo to better show the designs later.

The tent is made entirely of materials I already had on hand: old tablecloth/sheet material, lace cut from an old shirt, fake flowers and leather, and bamboo sticks. I used my acrylics to paint the tent. I tried to create a sorta whimsical pattern – not too “boho” and not too “cutesy”. The color choices were inspired by new dresser knobs shown in the back. Back side shown here. 

I stuck an old, folded up, flannel sheet with a cat print (that my kitty amusingly loves to sleep on) in there for a nice cushy base. 

This project was adapted from this tutorial.  

Making my Paint Storage Pretty: Oils

I think this last box redo is my favorite. Seems Kristy agrees.

Look at the collar I made her awhile back aww

Making my Paint Storage Pretty: Acrylics

Here is another redecorated paint box lid.

Making my Paint Storage Pretty: Watercolors

I decided to cover the original lids of my new paint sets, featured here, as they were too dark, branded, and boring. I used my new acrylics over a gesso base. I also misted with my new butter colored spray, shown here, to tone down the stark whiteness of the gesso.

This was done during a paint session with an actual artist, my talented friend who you can see here.