Sunday, December 8, 2013

Herndon House Mixed Media Painting— A Christmas Gift

Wrapping up my holiday orders! Ok, I lied, I'm just getting started. I have a few more houses to go:) But just finished this Downtown gem. Ho-Ho-Ho!

"Herndon House"
11"x14" Mixed Media Canvas

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mixed Media Painting — Monticello

12" x 12" Mixed Media Acrylic Canvas

Just finished this commission of Thomas Jefferson's home. I understand it will be a gift for a teacher. The names at the bottom of the painting are all the names of the students in the teacher's class. They all went on a field trip to D.C. together this Fall. A creative way to remember a trip!

The Real Monticello

Thomas Jefferson, our third president (1801-1809) is on the two-dollar bill. My grandfather used to give all of the grandkids $2 bills and told us to always keep one in your wallet. We treasured them like gold. A few years ago, I gave one to my son and now he carries it in his wallet too:)

 Here are a few iPhone shots of my process. I started with book pages (above). 
Then I added dimension with wood and chipboard on the trim of the building. 

The shrubs were made with paper-pulp and a few buttons. I used molding paste for the columns and some of the trim as well.

I've been to Monticello a few times over the years. Painting this old house makes me want to go see it again:)

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Gnome Wreath - Teacher Appreciation Week

TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK 2013— It's serious business people! We have a "Teacher Appreciation Week" Committee appointed by our school's PTA. And every year, this committee recruits parents to volunteer to decorate classroom doors for all the teachers. This year is no different for me. I've been decorating doors for ohhhhh... six years now. And even though my time is very limited now that I'm a working mom, I still love the challenge of coming up with new and creative ways to show how much we appreciate our teachers. This year's theme was, "Thanks for Helping Our Kids Grow". I wanted to do something different than the old banner on the door thing. And this year, I wanted to get the students involved as well. So, I came up with a Gnome wreath. 
WHERE'D YOU GET THAT IDEA? The first question people inevitably ask me is, "Did you get that idea from Pinterest?" Yeah (duh!), doesn't everybody these days? Pinterest is chalk full of great ideas and inspiration. The key is to make it your own! Thanks to Sharon from Crafts n' Coffee for sharing her adorable moss rock wreath— my inspiration for this year's Teacher Appreciation Door Decoration!
HOW'D YOU DO THAT? The moss rocks were amazing that Sharon used for her wreath, but I didn't have time to order them online, so I bought Sheet Moss from the Craft Store instead, cut it into strips and wrapped it around a styrofoam wreath (with a glue gun). The needle felted mushrooms were fun and super easy to make. Here's the link to Sharon's "How To". Then I added some small creek rocks and a rope ladder where all the Gnomes would hang. The paper banner was the final touch. I secured that into the wreath with wooden skewers on each side strategically covered by red striped paper straws.
GETTING THE KIDS INVOLVED— I wanted the students to make something for their teacher, so I searched Pinterest again— this time for Gnomes. I had to keep it simple because I would be working with second graders. And viola! I found the perfect gnome...errrr.... elf:) Nix the scarf and add a fuzzy beard and we've got ourselves a cute little bunch of Garden Gnomes! The kids loved making them and couldn't wait to show their teacher. 

Thanks to all you teachers out there! We truly appreciate all you do for our kids:)
There's Gnome-body better than our teachers!

Monday, April 1, 2013

This is the Day!

My Great Grandmother, Mamaw Reba, read this verse to me when I was little and told me to say it every day. That's Mamaw Reba with my sisters and I, Easter 1976. See how she's leaning towards me? She loved me best, I know it.
Whenever I see that verse, it makes me smile and think of her. Today though, I truly felt like saying it for the first time in a long while. I feel really good about my life right now and know I can handle whatever lies ahead for me and my boys. And I'm so thankful to be surrounded by the love and support of my family and friends. Every day is a blessing. Note to self, remember that!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Mixed Media Downtown Bungalow

I finished this bungalow just before leaving for North Carolina for the holidays. It was for a friend, so I didn't want to post it and ruin the surprise. 

"Downtown Bungalow"
12x12 Mixed Media Canvas

Yeah, that's a Gator flag on the house. And no, I did not include it in the painting! If you look closely at the painting for a few minutes, you start to see the Seminole Marching Band coming through the painting...  Just kiddn'. 
This time I used a lot more wood and chip board to add dimension. Also used paper pulp, molding paste, Chinese papers, fabric and my signature button.
I've always painted on a small scale, but this is the year I'm going BIG! Like 3'x5' and bigger! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Commissioned House Painting for the Holidays

I'm finally carving out time to get back in my studio and do some house paintings again. I haven't felt very creative in the last few months (ok, so maybe 12 months) what with my pending divorce and all (bla, bla, bla). But it's that time of year when people love to give these little gems as gifts, so I'm back in business! I really enjoyed this one when it finally came together. It's done and delivered. Now moving on to the next one— amidst all our other holiday festivities. Diet Mountain Dew to the rescue!

11"x14" Mixed Media Acrylic on Canvas
Materials: acrylic paint and glaze, book pages, paper pulp, wood, fabric, tape, molding paste


Holiday Cookie Exchange

I look forward to this Cookie Exchange, hosted by my friend Christine, every year! Now I have my Holiday Cookie stash. Thanks for all the delicious cookies everybody!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tis' the Season

My sweet nephew, Tyler.
Time to trim the tree this weekend! Can't wait!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Mysterious Tiny Door

The coolest thing about our old house is that we have a lot of secret doors that lead to little hideaways. We have bookshelves and walls and half doors that open into attic space. It's a hide and seek heaven for the kids. But this... this tiny door in our kitchen has mysteriously appeared recently, and we don't know where it leads.  A new resident perhaps? My youngest is convinced it's our elf—Pluto. Hmmm. Maybe so!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Family Travels — U.S. Map Peg Board "How to"

Earlier this year my friend, Sarah, asked me to host a creative workshop at her home. We decided on October for the date and I figured I'd do something centered around Halloween or a general Fall theme. But when I started brainstorming for ideas, I kept leaning towards doing something with maps. Perhaps because I love maps and have a small collection I've procured from garage sale hunting. But also because my friend Sarah and her family went on an amazing road trip across the country a few years ago. They called it, "The Ocean to Ocean Tour" and it took six weeks to drive across the country and back. They had a fabulous time and the kids learned so much! So I ditched my Halloween workshop ideas and went with a map theme. And I'm so glad I did because the Creative Workshop was a huge success!

I kept it simple and fun so all the workshop participants had to do was paint while sipping wine and reminiscing about their family travels. They learned some easy blending tricks to add dimension to their maps too! 

Love these color pallets!

This is my friend Sarah:)
All the white pins document Her family's "Ocean to Ocean" trip! Wow!

If you'd like to make one for yourself, here's what you'll need:

• 1/8" thick Wood Board (I got a sheet at Lowe's and cut it down to 12"x16")
• Wood Stain - (I used Dark Oak)
• Acrylic Paint (the cheap bottles will do ya)
• Black and Blue Sharpies (fine and medium)
Gelly Roll Pens (white, black, etc.)
Watercolor crayons (for blending)
• Q-tips
• Map Pins (at
• Flag Pins (Nickel Plated Steel Dressmaker Pins 1-1/4")
• Sharp Pencils
• Transfer paper (use white or light transfer paper to show up on the dark stain)
• Downloadable Flag and Ribbon Templates available here.

STEP 1: Cut your boards  to 12" x16" or desired size. (You can ask Lowes or Home Depot to cut them for you). Sand the edges. Then stain your board to your desired wood grain. Allow to dry 24 hours or as directed.

STEP 2: Enlarge a photocopy of the U.S. Map (provided in the Flag and Ribbons Template download above) to your desired size. For a 12"x16" board, you will want the U.S. Map to be enlarged to fit on 11"x14" Legal paper. Then lay a piece of carbon/transfer paper between your board and your enlarged map and, using a sharp pencil, trace your map onto the board. Lift the carbon to check and make sure the transfer is showing up on your board.

STEP 3: Choose your color pallet for your map and start painting! I usually don't like thin acrylic paint, but in this case, I love the way the paint is absorbed into the wood allowing the wood stain to faintly show through. This creates an aged look.

STEP 4: Once you are finished painting, use watercolor crayons (dark gray, black, mustard yellow and browns) around the edges of the states. Lightly color the edges of one state. Then dampen a Q-tip and gently rub it over the the watercolor crayon marks in a circular motion. Notice how it blends like paint. You can also blend with your finger(s), if that's easier for you!

STEP 5: When you are happy with all your watercolor crayon blending, you are ready to write in the state names. I used a mix of fine Sharpies and Gelly Roll Pens when labeling.

STEP 6:  Add your title Ribbon using the Downloadable Ribbon template I provided. Cut out your preferred ribbon size and trace it onto the board. Then paint, shade and add your map title.

STEP 7: Use the Downloadable Flag Pins template to create your own map flags. Directions for these are included on the template.

STEP 8: Add a Key and your Map Pins!


I've shared this post with my friends at

Skip To My Lou

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not one of my best qualities.

I recently bought a Daily Planner in hopes that it would help me better organize my days and not let things fall through the cracks. But I'm still having problems remembering even the simplest things.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Utility Box Art Complete!

Say "HELLO" to my completed Utility Box Art! It's on the corner of Orange Avenue and Grant Street. I wanted to keep my design clean and simple with big graphics that pop and catch people's eye as they drive by. I chose my favorite colors for the pallet and went retro with the design encompass the theme of Downtown South's South's past, present and future. The words on each panel describe Downtown South. I'm happy with the result!

 "HELLO" Welcomes all visitors and residents alike to our area featuring a classic and friendly greeter.

"THRIVING" DT South has flourished so much since I moved to the area 9 years ago. I'm so glad to be a part of its growth.

"URBAN" Us city dwellers love DT South because it's convenient to everything. 

"LIVING" We Live, Work and Play here.

 Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Georgia Estate

Earlier this year, I donated a Custom Mixed Media Home Painting as an auction item to the Vestavia Hills Elementary School Auction in Birmingham, AL. It's the school that my best friend Kelley's kids attend. The winners, Ken and Jackie asked me to paint their lovely estate in Georgia. 
 A Georgia Estate
11x14 Mixed Media Acrylic

A bit about the estate—The home was built in the middle of a pecan orchard that was eventually developed into a neighborhood. Now the home sits on an acre with twelve pecan trees. It was wood originally and was brick veneered in 1935. 
On the left is Jackie, the home owner and on the right is my dear friend Kelley.

I hope they like it!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kid Safe-Camp Fire: How To

Nothing says summer like roasting marshmallows over a campfire! So to celebrate the last day of school, I brought the (Kid Safe) camp fire to to the classroom! The kids had fun roasting marshmallows over the fake camp fire and then they enjoyed S'mores and had a watermelon seed spitting contest! Yes, there are still watermelons with seeds in this world! Whodathought?

Check out my easy "How To" for the Kid-Safe Camp Fire, so you can build your own!

What You'll Need:
• (2) Paper Towel Rolls
• (1) Paint Stick
• Download the Flames and Logs Templates
• Craft paper (or a small brown paper bag)
• Scissors or Exacto Knife
• Double-stick Tape or Glue

STEP 1: Cut the Paint Stick in half. (You can toss the other half.)
STEP 2: Download and cut out the Flames template I provided and adhere them to both sides of the paint stick leaving a 2" tip.
STEP 3: Wrap the Paper Towel rolls with the Log template and trim the edges as necessary. Adhere with glue or double-stick tape. Cut a rectangle in the middle of one so that the other PT roll fits snuggly inside. Then cut a small slit in the second PT roll. Crumple up some craft paper and stuff it in each end of the logs.

Put it together and viola! A Kid Safe Camp Fire!


I'm sharing this post with my friends at Sugar and Dots, Polkadots On Parade, and Skip to My Lou!


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