Monday, August 03, 2015

blue china inspired mugs

When my friends over at iLoveToCreate asked if I would try out their new PaintedbyMe markers and mugs, I was over the moon! As many of you know, I am pretty darn picky about the products I promote here on the blog but I am so excited about these markers and mugs.  FINALLY a permanent, FDA-approved, food safe marker is available (this is kinda a big deal)! This means everyone is easily able to decorate and bake unique personalized mugs that are food, dishwasher and microwave safe at home.
There are 13 colors of markers available, a variety of mugs to choose from and they even offer stencils to use on the mugs. 

I decided to wanted to make a pair of blue china inspired mugs- one for me and one as a gift for my mom to use when we have our monthly business meetings.

The process is as simple as shaking up the marker and holding down the pen to get it flowing. Then you can get creative drawing, writing or doodling!

I started by drawing flowers. 
Note: If you make a mistake or want to start over, you can clean the mug off with rubbing alcohol.

Once the entire surface was filled with blue flowers I added little touches of gold here and there.

The last step was to bake the mug in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. 
The blue mug is for me and I created a turquoise mug for my mom that I will be filling with her favorite herbal tea and goodies.

With a little creativity and a few simple supplies, it is SUPER easy to make personalized ceramics at home!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

whimsical bud vases

I love collecting little flower buds from the garden and I thought a set of tiny whimsical vases would be a fun way to display those bouquets.
I decided to use Fimo for this project- it is easy to use, affordable and from my experience, (and research) it is waterproof once baked in the oven.
I started by sculpting a simple head.

I added rabbit ears and small details.

I made a hole in the top of the head,  (deep) enough for a small flower.

The last step was to paint them with a light coat of pink acrylic paint.

Such a cute way to display little flower clippings!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 art journal must haves

I spend a lot of time in my art journals- it is where I work out my ideas, where I experiment, journal and document memories. While I will use anything and everything to create, I thought it would be fun to share 5 of my "must have items" for art journals! They are simple but really important in my process.

I prefer to make my own art  journals and since I have an excess of painted paper, I put it to use by binding it into one of a kind journals. I use a binding machine called the Bind-It-All. It makes the entire process super simple and easy. 

I love that I am able to punch holes into my favorite watercolor paper, hand painted paper and photos and turn them into art journals.

While I don't consider myself a scrapbooker, I do love using photos in my art journals. One of my favorite ways to use them it to actually print large pictures and then bind them with all the other paper.

I use these large photos alongside my doodles and drawings and I even use them as a surface to draw on.

My art journals are typically around 30-40 pages and I really like adding tabs to my favorite pages. I will use just about anything to create a tab but one of my favorites is to use is cut up small mandala drawings for a round tab.

These tabs help me stay organized when I create but they also add a really cool embellishment to my journals!

You will never catch me buying decorative paper because I LOVE to make my own! While I really enjoy painting and drawing on the pages of my art journal, I also like printing out colorful paper that I've made from my original work. I always scan my art, even the the simple things. When I need a colorful background or paper with pattern, I print it out and use it! 

I spend a lot of time drawing and doodling in my art journals and my must have supply is a brush and black ink. I love the bold lines that you can create with black ink- from drawing to doodling to free writing, using a brush (instead of a pen or pencil) is a great way to break free with your work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

lettering with makewells: hand lettered directional signs

Hi everyone! It's Megan from Makewells! I'm here on Alisa's blog today with another fun lettering project! This time, I used my hand lettering techniques to paint a super cheap and easy to make directional sign for our backyard. 

As renters, there are only so many ways we can spruce up our property. One aspect of our backyard that has been bugging me is the fence. It needs some serious help, but being a renter, there's not much I can do. So, I decided to add some life to it by hanging some bright and colorful signage. This is something that can distract the eye from the areas I don't like, while also being easy to take down and bring with us to our next home. It's a win-win project! 
Here's how you can make your own:

Simple enough, right? There is no need to buy wood, just look around your neighborhood for old fence boards. We had a neighbor replacing a new fence and asked if we could take the wood off his hands. There is always something to find on large trash removal days, all you have to do is keep your eyes open! Plus, the aged wood gives the signs great character that it would take years for a new piece to acquire. 
Old palettes are easy to find as well, just keep your eyes open and start collecting!

The next step is to prime the wood for lettering. 
First, sand down any rough spots and removed any remaining nails. 
Next, you can use basic acrylic based outdoor latex paint (or any acrylic will do) and slap on some color. (For the boards I didn't paint, I used an acrylic gel medium to seal in cracks. This makes the wood a little easier to paint on. It dries perfectly clear, but allows for a smoother surface.)

Let them dry.

While the boards are drying, do some sketches of the lettering you plan to draw. I mixed up script lettering with non-script, and tried to create a variety of styles.  
Once you are happy with your sketches, reference them and sketch lightly on the wood.

**Depending on the color paint you use, it may be tricky to see your sketches. I recommend trying a variety of pencils to see what will work for you. It can also be tricky to sketch on the gel medium primed pieces - if this concerns you, skip that and just paint directly on the wood.**

Next, start painting the letters. I like to get all the simple color blocking done first, and then go back for the details (shading, drop shadows, etc.)

This is where it get's really fun. A bold drop shadow can add so much dimension to your signs, and choosing contrasting colors/shades to makes your lettering really stand out. Add a little shading to give it even more pop. 

Once your pieces are completely dried, give it a protective seal. Anytime wood is left outside, it's going to get weathered, but using a clear sealer will slow the process! (The most durable I've found is Helsmans Spar Urethane.)

Lastly, install your new decor! 
I pre-drilled holes in each sign before screwing into the fence. Now, if we move, or our landlord decides to replace the fence, it's easy to take down and install again. 

A little note about our sign: yes, we call our house "The Wellsdorf Astoria". We get a lot of house guests, and like to think it's our little Florida resort :)

Have fun creating everyone!

You can check out all of my lettering posts HERE and don't forget to share your progress using #redefinecreativelettering. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)


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