Sunday, February 7, 2016

Painting on Glass

I had a bunch of pretty glass bottles that I had saved over the past couple of years and I wanted to try painting them. I read somewhere online that you can paint on glass by mixing white glue and acrylic paint. I was excited to give it a try. I didn't measure anything, but the glue to paint ration was about 1:1. I really enjoyed the technique. The look of the finish is painterly and still allows the light to shine through. I could probably add another layer to eliminate the streakiness. I don't think that my painted vase could be submerged in water, but it was able to withstand a wet paper towel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tissue Paper and Food Coloring

This a fun, simple activity that I did not have high hopes for. I had expected the tissue paper to tear when I opened them, and I really was not counting on such lovely designs. It's a great project to do with children since it has that extra bonus of surprise when you unfold your tissue.
Fold your sheet of tissue paper the long way so that you have one long strip. Start at a short end and fold back and forth into triangles. Mix three small bowls with a slightly diluted food coloring or other thin water based paint. Dip each corner into a different color. Let dry. Unfold!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Batiks on Paper with Crayons

I brought home a whole bag of crayons from school this week in the hopes of finding a project to use some of them up. Every time I turn around it seems as if more crayons have appeared in my school cupboards. I love batik and this project mimics the look of that process. I drew the flower on 80 lb white drawing paper. I layered on as much crayon as I had patience for. I then cumbled up the sheet of paper. You do have to be a bit careful, I ripped mine slightly. I flattened the paper. I then covered the entire drawing with a diluted layer of India ink. This settles in the creases giving the feel of batik. I blotted off the excess with paper towel. When it had dried I ironed out the creases as best as I could.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Stamping on Tea Towels

Creating your own stamps and printing them on tea towlels is a fairly simple project and the results are perfect to give as gifts or to add some color to your own kitchen. It's also a fun way to spend an afternoon with a friend.




white cotton tea towels


Speedball fabric ink


rubber brayer


sheets of craft foam


Tacky Glue




small clear plastic plates


I spent quite bit of time researching the best place to purchase the towels, I looked in a number of stores and at many sites online. I ultimately purcahsed the towels from Factory Direct Linen . They seemed to have the best quality and price. The Speedball fabric ink can be purchased at many places online and in some art stores.
In addition to the craft foam I also used material that is placed underneath area rugs that I purchased at the Dollar Store. I simply cut out different designs and glued them to the bottom of the plates. The reason that I chose clear plates is so that you can see where you are placing your stamps. An alternative to the plates would be sheets of plexiglass. I also used the plates as my surface for rolling out the ink with the brayer. Simply roll the ink onto the stamp and then press onto the towel. I find that a slightly padded work area, perhaps using some layers of newspaper, helps with the printing.
As you can see from the photo, I attached some of the textured material to a cork so that I could print a center for the flowers. The towels will take several hours or overnight to dry completely. Iron the back of the towel to set the ink. I have not printed the hearts yet, but will post when I do! Please feel free to contact me with questions.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Shaving Cream Marbled Paper for the Holidays

Red and green seemed like a difficult color combination for marbled paper since I anticipated that the colors might mix and I would end up with brown, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Marbling with the shaving cream is a great project to make with children. It's quic and tactile with very pretty results!




cookie sheet


red and green food coloring


large popsicle stick or spatula


shaving cream




white construction paper
This process is very simple and even smells good. Spread out the shaving cream on your cookie sheet until it is slightly smaller than the size of the paper that you are using. Add a few drops of one of your colors. Swirl the color with a fork. Add the other color. Swirl.
Press your paper on top of the shaving cream.
Scrape off the shaving cream with the popscile stick. Let your paper dry.
Mount your designs on blank cards or use as gift tags.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Simple Monoprints with Tempera Paint

Monoprints can have a light, painterly feel that will add a contemporary look to any room. It's a simple process that involves some serendipity and a willingness to be adventuresome, plus they are a great activity to do with children of all ages.
Just a few simple supplies are required which you may already have on hand.




1. Inexpensive bath/kitchen tiles from a big box store. Any size, as long as they are smooth.


2. Tempera Paint


3. Q Tips


4. Sponge Brushes


5. White Drawing or Construction Paper
Spread paint onto your tile with the sponge brush. Make marks in the paint using the Q Tips. Place a sheet of paper on top of the tile and press very lightly. It is key that you do not apply too much pressure as that will cause your lines to be smushed and disappear.
I kept a damp rag handy to clean off the tile between prints.
Since the tempera is not opaque a nice quality can be achieved by layering prints on top on one another. Have a lot of paper handy because this is addictive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hands-On Activity Guide for Children

As a nod to Giving Tuesday I'd like to share a link to an Etsy shop that is selling a wonderful activity guide for children. The proceeds will benefit the children of Kathreen Ricketson and Robert Shugg who drowned while snorkeling off the coast of Australia 2 1/2 years ago. The accident occured as Kathreen and Rob were embarking on a new project: a year-long road trip across Australia with the whole family. They were planning a book to document the whole experience.


With 'Earth' as your guide you can make a mini garden, play in the sand and make sand castles, bake rock cakes, start a worm farm, make nature prints and much more. My tutorial contribution was about using nature to make gelatin prints.