11/13/19

Creating Custom Diamond Art from a Kit

One of the items in my Prime Con swag bag back in May was the Rainbow Tree Diamond Art by Leisure Arts (affiliate link). It's pretty, but as I got new Diamond Art projects to review, I kept moving this one to the bottom of the stack. Rather than complete it as intended...


... I used the kit to create my own custom design!


The first thing I did was to cut out a cardstock heart that was approximately the same size as the tree image. I traced the pattern onto the protective plastic using a Sharpie. 


I cut out the heart, following the lines I'd drawn on the plastic. I cut off the color guide from one side of the canvas and threw the rest of it away. 


Then I got to dotting! Because the canvas was printed, I started out by following the color guide, filling in the reds, oranges, and yellows on the left. 

Three problems arose: First, I didn't want the black branches to show, so I had to get creative there. Through experimentation, I found that hiding the black was the most effective when I did an ombre transition of color directly across the black areas. You can see a little bit of the black in the light yellow area, but it's camouflaged well elsewhere. 


My second problem was that there were two tiny areas (upper left and in the middle far right) where there wasn't any adhesive because my heart had extended slightly beyond the size of the tree. I solved that problem with craft glue. The dots stuck beautifully. 

Problem #3 was that the dots didn't perfectly fit the arbitrary heart shape I'd cut out. Take a closer look: 


The perfectionist in me was annoyed that the rows aren't smooth and perfect all the way around the heart like they are along the bottom left, but I got over it. I haven't decided what I'm doing with the finished heart, but I'll choose something that allows me to camouflage the edges. 


I completed 98% of my heart using the colors in the kit, but I've amassed such a large collection of leftover dots (see my storage system here!) from other kits that I used some other colors to help with the ombre effect I needed to cover the black.

I've been using my leftover gems to dot everything that doesn't move. It's so much fun! Tomorrow I'll show you a fun Christmas ornament and Friday my new hair accessory, both made with leftover Diamond Dotz.

Holiday Diamond Art

11/12/19

West Virginia 2018

I recently ordered a bunch of photos from our 2018 six-state adventure. West Virginia was actually the fourth of the six states that we visited but the easiest to scrap, so I started with it. 

West Virginia 2018 (affiliate link)

Since we were only in West Virginia for 24 hours, it was easier than usual to select my photos. I didn't include pictures of the inside of the Capitol nor of the downstairs area of the incredible State Museum, but I have plenty of photos of each in my blog post about our visit to West Virginia. I think the layout and the blog post complement each other nicely. 

More travel pages to come... eventually! In the meantime, I'm glad to have this one in the album. 

11/11/19

Plaid's Let's Paint Live: Farmhouse Pumpkins

Time to share another painting from Plaid's Let's Paint Live events! (Click to see my sunset cactusmy starfish and my other cactus.) I always learn so much during these paint events, which is what I love about them. This one took me WAY out of my comfort zone.


Not only is it about as far from my usual style as you can get, but it was my first time painting with a palette knife. That was a really fun challenge.

I didn't realize it when I started, but I accidentally challenged myself further. Since I didn't see myself displaying a heavily distressed, farmhouse-style painting of a pair of blue pumpkins, I opted to paint on watercolor paper rather than a pricier wooden canvas. My paper was 9" square (rather than 12" like the recommended wooden canvas), which meant I needed to scale things down. Not a big deal, except that I had to be a lot more careful with the palette knife to fit it into smaller spaces. Combined with the fact that the palette knife didn't move as smoothly across the textured watercolor paper as it would have across the wood canvas, I hadn't exactly set myself up for success. No matter- I learned a lot and I had fun. Mission accomplished.

Just for fun, here's a look at the sample project:


Compare it to this screen capture of the one instructor Jessie Pniewski painted live:


When I look at her two paintings together, I see why mine is so heavily distressed, even though that goes against my usual style. Because the tool and technique were completely new to me, I was following along closely with the live version, distressing heavily while Jessie distressed heavily.

Plaid hosts Let's Paint Live nights on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm Eastern, which means the next one is Thursday, December 5. Jessie will be teaching three adorable painted holiday ornaments. I can't wait!

11/8/19

Dirty Pour Coasters

Have you tried paint pouring yet? I've shared two paint pouring projects in the past (here and here) and it is so much fun! If you haven't done paint pouring yet, I hope this Dirty Pour Coaster project finally inspires you to try it. Affiliate links below.



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Dirty Pour Coasters



Materials:






Steps:


Pick up to 5 paint colors for your project. Pour equal parts of paint and Pouring Medium into each cup, and stir gently to combine. Learn from my mistake and do not introduce bubbles into the paint.

Protect your work surface and wear gloves (trust me). Elevate each coaster by putting it on an upside down cup.



I've titled this project Dirty Pour Coasters, but I'm not actually doing a dirty pour in the photo above. That's the first step to a Puddle Pour. To make a Puddle Pour, pour the first color into a puddle on the surface. Pour the second color into the center of that puddle, and repeat for each of the colors. Then pick up the coaster and tilt it to allow the paint to flow to (and eventually over) the edges.


For a Dirty Pour, add each color to a separate cup.


Pour the paint onto the coaster and let it flow over the edges. This is a basic Dirty Pour. Instead of pouring the paint, you can place a coaster upside down on the cup of paint, then quickly invert the two. This is called a Flip Cup, which is a type of Dirty Pour. Lift the cup and let the paint flow across the coaster.

We experimented with each technique.


A Dirty Pour tends to create more marbling than a Puddle Pour, but no matter how you make them, they're really pretty. 


Trevor and I had issues with bubbles, which I believe is because of my overly aggressive mixing of the paint and Pouring Medium. We each left the bubbles on some of our coasters, hoping they would go away on their own (spoiler: they didn't) and used a toothpick to pop the bubbles on the other coasters. This was tedious. Better not to introduce bubbles in the first place. 


We let our coasters dry for 48 hours, then removed them from the cups and painted undersides and any exposed wood on the edges. When that was dry, we cut self-adhesive felt to size and stuck it to the underside.  


I highly recommend getting some paint and Apple Barrel Pouring Medium and giving paint pouring a try. Obviously, you're not limited to making coasters, but I think they're a good beginner project. They make a great gift, too!

11/7/19

StickTogether Custom Portrait

It's been awhile since the last time I mentioned StickTogether here on the blog, and I am so excited to show you my latest StickTogether project!  


Do you recognize that handsome face? It's not just any rabbit. It's Trouble! StickTogether offers custom designs so that you can create a pixelated mosaic poster of a beloved pet, a person, or whatever else you'd like. The process is simple. Contact StickTogether (and tell them Cindy deRosier sent you!) with a photo you'd like to turn into a poster, and they will get back to you with a quote if the design will work when pixelated. 

I sent in this image:


And I got this proof back:


I thought the fence was distracting, so I asked them to take that out and they were happy to do so. My poster arrived in a mailing tube with all the stickers I needed. I've been working on it for awhile and have found that it is a great form of stress relief. And I am so happy with the finished artwork! The photo at the top of the post was taken from up close. Here is what it looks like about 8 feet back: 


And when I back up way into the kitchen, it looks even better. 


I'm planning to frame it and find a place where it can be viewed easily from a distance or up close. Thank you so much to StickTogether for a poster that was fun to make and that I'll treasure for years.