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…


Birds of a Feather: Paired Paintings

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m digging painting paired pieces right now. This holiday, I wanted to make my grandparents a different painting each but make the paintings complement each other.

My grandmother is a skilled watercolorist. Since she has been painting less these days, she handed me down a shoebox’s worth of her paints. I used many of those in these paintings from mayan blue to quinacridone gold.

watercolor bird (2)

I went for a bird theme to go with their house. A floral branch is more my grandmother’s taste and the rock is a nod to my grandfather’s participation in geology.

bird of a feather (2)

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.


Apartment Cocktails in Watercolor

watercolor cocktailsAs we begin the holiday season, you are likely planning out your season calendar of errands, family events, and work projects. On a related note, I decided to paint up the favorite cocktails in my home.

cocktail watercolor paintingDisclaimer: I have never wanted to try a bloody mary, but one of my roommates is a big fan so it is included despite my personal opinions on the drink.



Floral, Inspirational, Austen Quote on Watercolor Canvas

floral quote drying

Someone I care about a lot is going through a hard time, so I made this for them.

I used some watercolor canvas, a pad we had lying around the house. Can I just say, painting on this canvas is a dream! I really loved working with this rather than a basic watercolor paper or regular paper. It is so easy to paint and repaint over and over without it getting all weird. The paint really stands out on the surface. The fabric style of canvas gives the finished piece a really nice, soft look and easier to give to someone than just a piece of paper.

It does need to be slightly stretched and secured while you paint on it. I used regular staples on soft wood while painting, shown below, and only taped, as shown above, while spraying with a sealant.


This photo is pre-quote, just after I had begun to remove the canvas from the wood so I could use a window while tracing over my lettering. I traced my letters to avoid any pencil marks on the canvas. I made a dark gray mix with acrylic paints and used a tiny brush to apply the letters while canvas and sketched out letter were taped to a window.

The quote I used was from, as usual, Jane Austen. In this case, it was from her novel, Emma and goes as follows:

“If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.”

Altered Embroidery Hoop Art: ‘Frozen’ Themed

For this week’s theme, a midsummer’s challenge, I chose a quote from Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

Are of imagination all compact

I wanted to make something that conveyed the idea of this quote. To celebrate imagination and creativity as well as the driving force behind these qualities: that which we sometimes title as insanity. This all led me to Elsa from Disney’s Frozen whom I adore and resulted in this altered embroidery hoop wall art.

Everything on this project was hand drawn/painted/sewn/cut/written.

Entering Simon Say’s Monday midsummer’s challenge:

Altered Embroidery Hoop Art: Daisy-themed

I decided I wanted more doily hoop wall hangings. Here’s the one I made last night. It’s as huge as it looks.

I used the daisy crochet tablecloth scraps and various lace trims and fabric scraps. I like embroidery hoop crafts like this because it’s all tied together rather than glued- in case I ever want to change it or take it apart.

Edit: I had used the term “dream catcher” loosely to reference posts that inspired me including some wedding blogs and Free People articles that had titled their similar craft projects as “dream catchers” to help readers find me. I apologize for any confusion or offense.

Altered Embroidery Hoop Art: Round 1

My dream catcher, somewhat inspired by free people blogs. It’s not as dark as the photo shows.

Used a doily my mother made a while back for the netting. Lovely, don’t you think?