Friday, August 17, 2012


Today I have just a quick little tutorial on making one of these Anthropologie-like flower vases. 
They also sell cute little jars with the flowers on the top.
There are a lot of directions you could go with this project.  I still want to try to make a flower out of air dry clay and then try painting the flowers more like the ones on the jars and vase above.  But today, I'm just showing the most simple flower you can make.


The flower looks really, really ugly until you get it painted!  

First, get everything you need all lined up:  taper candle, scissors or tongs, plastic spoons, and matches or a lighter, and a hot glue gun, E6000 glue, or some other quick-drying strong glue.  It would also be good to have the vase you'll be attaching it to all ready and waiting.
Now you're ready to made each petal of the flower.  Hold a spoon, dome side up over the flame.  You can use tongs or a pliers to hold the spoon to prevent getting burned.  My directions said to hold it an inch or more above the flame but it takes FOREVER that way!  So I brought the spoon down really low and close to the flame.  Once it starts to melt and curl - it goes very fast.  The plastic will harden very quickly once you take it away from the heat source.  Then, crack off the handle about an inch or less from the bowl of the spoon.  
My directions said to heat the handle-stump, get it all soft, and then stick the petals of the flower together that way.  I found that the petals didn't hold together very well using that method.  So I ended up using hot glue to put them all together and shape my flower.

Remember?  I said it looked really ugly!
Just keep building until it looks the way you want it to.  You should use a kleenex to wipe off all excess carbon from the candle so the paint will adhere.  Then comes the fun part - you spray paint it with your chosen color!  And all of a sudden it looks great!

Let it dry completely and then hot glue it onto the vase.

I tried it with flowers from my garden, but I think they compete with the flower on the vase.  It would look really nice with a compact green plant, moss, or if I had a small-necked vase I'd put in a single stem.
This was my trial run to work out the kinks.  I have a craft day coming up with some friends and will post the pictures we take that day.  No two flowers are ever alike so it'll be fun to see what each person comes up with. 

 It's a perfect no-fail project!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Do you have some activity that you enjoy where the time just evaporates when you're involved in it?  Like when you're reading a really good book . . . and you get so involved . . . and you look up at the clock . . . and it's time to make dinner?  

Well, I have several things that make time go by in a snap - one of those is my new-found love of exploring with oil paints.   Time just dissolves once I get started.  

So I'm just going to share a few pictures of what I'm working on and that's it for today.

It all started with this beautiful book that I picked up recently, called The Comforts of Home.  The cover of the book really caught my eye because I love pink.  And, a pink sofa!  


(The inside of the book is beautiful too, with lots of great ideas.  FYI.)

But back to the sofa.  What I would REALLY like is to have that sofa in my pink living room.  But that's not going to happen so I thought I'd try painting it so it could at least hang on the wall in that room.  I have a long way to go but here is my work so far . . .

I'm practicing my color mixing, and looking for the light, dark, and shadows.  I'm working from the bottom up.  As you can see, if you compare the shadow under the couch on the book cover to my painting, I need to go a lot darker to get that contrast.  
If you paint, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's so fun and addicting.

I'll tell you just how addicting it is.  It's SO addicting that I actually FORGOT my lesson with Norma yesterday.  I have NEVER done that and I feel really bad about it!  Not only for Norma, but for my sweet instructor who wondered where I was.

I'd better use one of these from now on . . .

I'd love to hear from any of you with helpful hints from your oil painting experiences . . .

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I had a fun, busy day yesterday. Stayed home, turned off the AC, turned on a fan, and camped out in my little workroom.  Today's post is about three things that transpired - I'll go light on the words and just share pictures   

I started out the day by cleaning my workroom.  
(There's nothing like cleaning out your work space to make you feel industrious.) 

Miss Gillyflower and friends nearby as a reminder to get going on that . . .

Along with a great little bit of wisdom!
Some stuffed versions of the characters as a model . . .

I worked on a close-up painting of a sheep using a photo for inspiration.


Then, as a result of the Daily Paintworks Challenge I blogged about a few days ago,  I decided to join the DAILY PAINTWORKS group in September.  (My sheep painting will fit in the Up Close Animal category.)  
So, when a lot of my friends head back to the classroom in a few weeks, I'll try to add in some time spent painting every day.  There is a small fee to join but it's a place to be seen, get inspiration, and sell.    And you can join for a month or forever!  Kind of like Etsy but with a focus completely on painting.  

There are two main reasons I want to join this group:  

1.  It will challenge me to paint things I wouldn't normally paint.
2.  It will make me step out of my comfort zone and focus on using oils rather than acrylics.  It isn't that you must use oil paints, but most of the artists do.  So, you know, peer pressure and all . . .



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