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.



Painting a Botanical Card with Watercolors

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Although many of us take extra time to get through a University degree, some do some responsible planning and graduate on time. One of those successes is my friend. To congratulate her on her graduation, I whipped her up a vibrant, watercolor card.

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Before putting paint to card, I did some concept testing in my watercolor practice journal – focusing on greens. I finally got a succulent to work, something I’ve been having trouble with.

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

I also tested out a variety of purple and blue flower ideas. I don’t believe I used a single one on the card haha.

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Lastly, I streaked some gloss gel over the botany, focusing on the flower petals to give a bit more dimension and finish.

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

I streaked the main green color I was using over the envelope for an ombre effect and to bring the palette together.

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

To anyone else graduating, any school, Congratulations and Good Luck!

Botanical watercolors - withcraftsandlace

Make Yourself a Portable Flower Press out of Re-purposed Materials

Yesterday I remembered to check out a weekly challenge blog, Shopping our Stash, that I have been wanting to enter but have not yet had the chance. The theme (ending tonight) encouraged using corrugated cardboard and reminded me of the millions of coffee sleeves I hold on to. Why I hold onto so many, I have no idea. I decided this was the day I would use all of them! Okay, so I didn’t get to use all of them. But pretty close!

For my handmade mini flower press (think of it as a portable or travel press,) I did the following:

  • The top layer: was a thick, solid piece of cardboard found in some packaging or another. It was already a nice white so I only prepped one side with some gesso and painted the floral pattern with acrylic. I finished it with a paper tag, distress ink and sealed it.
  • The middle: uses pages that fell out of an old dictionary (I know, it hurt me to cut book pages too) layered with Starbucks coffee sleeves (I used only this brand to achieve a uniform size)
  • The bottom layer is a wood flooring sampler piece that was luckily the exact same size as my cardboard piece. I lined it with dictionary pages (ouch) and covered the outside with a heavily distress vintage postcard, cut to size.
  • The strap: I used bias tape for my strap sewed onto an old belt buckle. The little belt loop is just some well tied yarn.

I already own a lovely flower press, well I actually steal it from my mother, so I hope to find someone that would like this mini press as a gift someday. 

Entering SOS #167, Don’t crimp my style: Thanks for inspiring me to use up some of these coffee sleeves. 

Making my Paint Storage Pretty: Acrylics

Here is another redecorated paint box lid.

A Floral Birthday Card using Acrylics

Clean and simple birthday card for my “godmother.” I used my acrylics for the flowers and added embellishments. The tag says “grateful for you”