Baby Shower Present - "Rachel" Painting

I love painting for kids' rooms!!!  I have learned a bit about painting doing them, and had tons of fun.  Here's one I did a few days ago for a lovely young lady at church who is expecting in March.  Her darling little girl will be named Rachel, and I went with something very simple even though that is not what I had planned.

I started out with an 18"x24" canvas, already primed.  I picked a font from MyFonts, a fairy tale font I thought made her name look pretty and adorable.  The font is Blue Goblet Serif, and I love it.  It is a little too spaced out, so I took tracing paper and traced the letters, bunching them up a bit.  Then I doodled flowers and vines coming off the letters.  Once I was done, I used my Artograph Tracer Projector (got it a Hobby Lobby 40% off) to project the words onto the canvas in pencil.  I used the tracing paper under the projector, which was a big mistake.  I started to notice my words were shifting around as I traced, and finally figured out it was because the tracing paper was wrinkling up from the heat off the bulb of the projector.

I usually start painting at this point, but the white has a tendency to show through the brush strokes and the pencil is hard to cover.  I decided to try something different with this painting.  I painted a base coat of khaki colored paint over my sketch thin enough so I could still see the lines of the drawing underneath.

Painting, painting, more painting..

Pretty pink letters.

Overworked it - drat!

Fixing my mistakes.

 And done!  Not the best picture unfortunately.  Glad to have it done, and I am happy with the result.


Art Room Chalkboard - Pinterest Inspired

Thanks, Pinterest, for keeping me busy.  Like I had nothing better to do.  Okay, nothing really better to do, but I have lots of laundry and housework that needs to be done.  Instead of working on my chores I am surfing Pinterest boards and working on pins.  Here is an good example.  I have seen tons of pins on how to make your own chalkboard, whatever color you want.  I first spied this project on Design Sponge.  It was in a DIY post called Bonnie's Chalkboard Planting Pots

.The project was written by Bonnie from Going Home to Roost.  Here's her recipe....

I kept seeing DIY chalkboard pins on my Pinterest feed, so I had to make my own.  I used acrylic craft paints to make my board and mixed several colors to add layers.  This is how my board started out.

I didn't like it plain so I stenciled some citron colored paint over that layer with punchinella.  Much better.  To frame the board I decided to paint something bold in black and white.  Here's the coat of white with a little note-to-self written in chalk.  I had to test it out!

Work in progress of my detail trim work in black and white. I used latex paint to do the black and white flower frame.  I got a little farther than this and decided to call it quits for a few days, which turned into a few weeks.  Then I couldn't remember why I stopped but knew I didn't feel up to doing it.

I put a movie in a few days ago and got back to it.  Hubby kept asking when I would finish it.  When I got started working I remembered why I stopped - it was literally a pain in the neck, and my back.  I am so short and I had to use a step stool just to stand on my tippy toes and paint.  And I had to bend over to finish the bottom part.  

Whine, whine, whine, complain, blah blah.  I finished it and here it is.  It was worth it and I am so glad to have it done.  By the way, my couch is never this clean.  It usually holds the laundry I put off doing for days at a time.  When it's not covered in laundry, it is covered with tons of toys.


Dreaming Big

Dreaming Big 
An Artist's Ever-Evolving List on Having Dreams and Making Them a Reality
*Updated* (2/27/13) (4/17/13) (8/13/13) (9/21/13)

This is not a complete list, but rather a list of articles, links, and books that have inspired me and made me try to live a more artistic life.  Please let me know if any of these links do not work, or if they need to be updated.

If you have suggested links, please email them to me at:


Publisher Submission Links

Interweave Press Submissions
Book Proposals
Cloth Paper Scissors and Cloth Paper Scissors Studios
Cloth Paper Scissors Readers Challenges
Interweave Knits
Interweave Crochet
Quilting Arts and Quilting Arts Gifts
Quilting Arts Readers Challenges

Northridge Publishing Submissions
Bead Trends
Scrapbook Trends
Cricut (TM) Magazine
Create: Idea Books
Simply Handmade
Cards Magazine

Somerset Studios Submissions
Submission Guidelines
Calls and Challenges
Altered Couture
Art Doll Quarterly
Art Journaling
Artful Blogging
Belle Armoire
Belle Armoire Jewelry
Haute Handbags
Jewelry Affaire
Sew Somerset
Somerset Digital Studio
Somerset Holidays & Celebrations
Somerset Home
Somerset Life
Somerset Memories
Somerset Studio
Somerset Workshop
Take Ten
The Stampers' Sampler

Online Articles and Links

Writer's Digest 50 Simple Ways to Build your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day

Getting Published by Whip Up - Very in-depth with lots of good links!!
How to Get Your Craft Book Published Part 1 (Getting Started, Finding an Agent)
How to Get Your Craft Book Published Part 2 (Build a Platform, Write a Proposal)
How to Get Your Craft Book Published Part 3 (Negotiating a Contract, Writing a Book)

The Art of Setting Goals and FAQs on Being and Artist by Alisa Burke.  Her insight into setting and achieving goals on your way to become a professional artist.

Magazine Submissions for Beading Projects and Jewelry Designs helpful links and tips from Beading-Design-Jewelry.com

After Rejection by Rice Freeman-Zachery.  An article about moving forward after a proposal is rejected.

Top Ten Tips for Getting Published by Cassandra Cyr of Glue Meets Paper for you scrapbookers.

50 Submission Guidelines Pages from Freelance Writing Gigs

How to Get Published in a Jewelry or Bead Magazine by Laura Bracken of Laura Bracken Jewelry and Art.  Excellent information, lots of links to submissions pages.

Helpful Books

Creative Time and Space by Rice Freeman-Zachary
The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin


Kelly Rae Roberts Learn/Take Flight
Flying Lessons - Tips and Tricks to Help Your Creative Biz Soar

Hello Soul. Hello Business.

Photographing Your Art

How to Make an Inexpensive Light Tent

Artist Endorsement

Also known as:
Pay for Publication
Artist Compensation
Publication Incentive Program
Product Development
Affiliates Program
Endorsement Program

Not making enough on articles?  Some companies offer publication incentive programs and will compensate you for using their product in an article featured in national magazines.  One I use often for projects is Sculpey. Every company is different, many have specific guidelines on how their product should be mentioned in the article for you to receive payment.  

Make sure you meet criteria!  Each company has their own guidelines that must be followed in order for you to receive compensation.  How terrible would it be to have a feature article with a product that offers incentive and miss it because you left something vital out?

Other tips:
Do not use competing materials.  
Make sure the product you use is a major element of your project. 

Polyform Designer Endorsement Program - Sculpey, Liquid Sculpey, etc.
Dick Blick Affiliates Program - Add a banner to your blog and get 10% commission off sales that originate from your site. 

Plaid Pay for Publication - Apple Barrel and Folk Art Paints, Mod Podge, Martha Stewart Crafts, etc.
iLoveToCreate - Scroll down to Endorsement Program to email them for more info.
Jacquard Products Opportunities - Endorsement Policy Guidelines and Request Form
Loew Cornell - Pay for Publication

Companies I have investigated that offer no incentives to date:
Ranger Ink - No incentives offered, but they do have a design team.

Eclectic Products, Inc. (E6000)

Nerd Stuff You May Need

How to make an image hyperlink - Hyperlinkcode.com
Share a PDF in Blogger - Staying Steyn
Hyperlink for Flickr
GardenBloggers - Add a GIF imaget to your header
Change the DPi of your photo
How to Start/Create Your Own Website: The Beginner's Guide A-Z by Christopher Heng of The Site Wizard.

Small Business and Marketing

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Artists and Creatives Make at Internet Marketing (and How to Fix Them) by Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action.  The article name says it all.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, also go HERE to find local assistance.
Kiva Zip, a branch of Kiva, a microfinancing non-profit organization committed to helping finance small business expenditures for people who would not otherwise have an opportunity.
The Business of Art: 4 Free Articles on Starting and Promoting Your Art Business a free PDF download offered by Cloth Paper Scissors online.

My Blog Posts on Submissions

Published in ArtTrader Magazine
New Linocut - Submission for Cloth Paper Scissors
Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES - My Art Published
Mini Books - New Set
My Art in Cloth Paper Scissors March/April 2012
Published in Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES 2012
Mailing it Out

Photos of My Submissions

My Submissions Flickr Set


A New Medium

I always have a bit of money in my pocket after Christmas to spend on myself, and this year I did the responsible thing.  I bought clothes with it....well, part of it.  With the rest I bought supplies for Lula's room and some gouache.  I got this set from Hobby Lobby.  It's Savoir-Faire French School Opaque Watercolor Gouache and had pretty good reviews considering it is a student grade paint.  I tested it out the first chance I got to get the feel of the paint and came up with this pretty garish creature.

Not my best work, but it got me familiar with the flow of this paint.  I really like it so far.  Like I'm pretty sure I want it to be my boyfriend and kind of want to tell it I love it sort of like it.  That kind of like it.  No, more like I want to marry it and I'm embarrassed because it's only our first date kind of like it.  You get the point.  I love it!!!  When thinned down it behaves like a watercolor paint, and out of the tube it is bold and opaque like acrylic.  And like watercolor the excess paint on your palate can be reconstituted with water.  So if I mix a perfect shade and have to feed baby a bottle I can always come back, add water, and start off where I was before.  

I love building up layers with gouache.  I hope to master the medium well enough to justify the purchase of some artist quality paints soon.  Here's some pics of me playing around with my new paints.

Have you ever tried gouache?  What do you think of it?  Any favorite brands?