Sunday, August 26

DIY Glitter Ombre Nails

Ombre is very 'in' these days. Glitter is hard to wear 'appropriately' as an adult. Put these two simple facts together, and we have ombre glittered nails!

Here's how I did it:
1. Paint base colour on - about 2 coats to get a good solid coverage. Let dry to apply glitter, do this one nail at a time...

2. Apply top coat onto the first nail. Take a small brush (paint brush, make up brush, whatever you have that you don't mind accidentally wrecking) and dip it into loose glitter - I just poured a little onto a paper. Apply to nail in light dabbing notion, being sure to concentrate the most on the base of the nail - or tip, if you want to do it the other way around

3. Repeat on all nails and let dry

4. Apply generous coat, or two of top coat.

Dip brush in nail polish remover to 'rescue'. I used the brush that I use for masking paint on my watercolours, so it's already a 'destroyed' brush

I'm not sure how long this will last, but it pretty chic, especially with a neutral colour scheme.

Materials used: Essie nail polish (eternal optimist) and Martha Stewart loose glitter (florentine gold)

Thursday, August 23

My Creative Space: Inspire & Flourish

I finished another spread in my art journal after getting my hands on some lovely stencils from the dollar store. 

I really love the texture that I got from it, and the PanPastels just clung to it wonderfully!

I still need to work on word placement, but I'm overall liking this spread. :)

Materials used (in order): Gesso, Stencils & Gel Medium,Acrylic paint, PanPastels, Collaged paper, Sharpie Markers, Ink Pad, Acrylic protective coat. 

You can see more creative spaces, here.

Wednesday, August 22

Instagram Goodness

I just downloaded Instagram today, so just having some fun with it and all the filters :)

Tuesday, August 21

Meet Gary: My New Snail

Please meet Gary, my new aquarium snail :) I bought him to keep my aquarium with Ghost a little cleaner a little longer. He's pretty shy, but he did climb to the top of Ghost's "castle" during the middle of the night. 

Oreo is totally jealous, of course....he would be jealous of a snail!

And, Ghost isn't sure what to make of him. He consistently 'stares him down' though. Last evening, he must have stared him down for a couple hours straight. It wasn't until I tapped on the tank that he finally broke out of his trance and swam around a little bit.

Sunday, August 19

Summer Nights Update #1

I've just recently updated the online shop with some new paintings in a series that I am working on called, 'Summer Nights':
"Night Light" - Original watercolour painting, 9x12"
"Night Light" would have to be my favourite of this bunch. I just love fireflies so much! "Jar of Hearts" was so much fun to paint, with all those colourful glowing hearts and the star backdrop:
"Jar of Hearts" - Original Watercolour Painting, 9x12"
"Delicate" was created thinking more along a 'softer' line. The pastel pink cherry blossoms and white leaves give me a princess vibe from this piece, making it a perfect additional to a little girls room:
"Delicate" - Original watercolour Painting, 9x12"
"The Sleeping Tree" is a bit of a smaller piece. I thought it would be interesting to have different sizes in the series to give variety, and allow everyone to choose their own combinations and creative displays. All the little birds are resting for the evening...
"The Sleeping Tree" - Original watercolour, 6x8"
I have more paintings in progress in this series, but I just couldn't wait to share with everyone what I have completed to date. I am completely engrossed in this series with the deep, rich dark blue skies filled with little white stars. A perfect summer night.

Saturday, August 18

Healthy Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

I'm working this weekend, so I thought Friday night to make a big pot of Vegetarian Chili for dinner, then I could just warm up dinner when I got home from the hospital. This recipie makes a lot, so I might be eating chili for a week or two past this weekend.

You might be asking, Why Vegetarian? It's not that I am a vegetarian, but it's a little healthier - a lot less fat - and with the price of meat these days, it's a good money saving strategy to have a meat-free dinner every now and then. If you want to add some meat, then go right ahead. Just brown it ahead of time and add it when you add the beans (add less beans then). The pro to making this meatless dish even if you're a carnivore: this dish still has tons of protein and fibre from all the beans in it - so you're not missing much from not having the meat. It was also great way to use up little bits of vegetables in the fridge, and a hearty dish for someone who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle but are sick of the typical 'healthy dishes.'

 Here's the ingredient list and instruction, add what you have on hand and make it your own:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tbsp oregano
  • 1tsp cumin
1. Place a pot on the stove cook the onions in the olive oil. Add spices. Stir and cook until onions are clear.
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo pepper, finely chopped (put in 2 if you like it really hot)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (~1-1.5c)
  • 1/2c. corn - I just sliced mine fresh off a cob of corn I had extra from another night
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
2. Add chopped vegetables and garlic to pot and stir / cook until warmed through
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28oz.) - try for no salt added
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1/4c. chili powder (add more if you like heat)
  • 1 can each: kidney beans, black beans, lentils (you can choose whatever beans you prefer)
    • Be sure to rinse all the canned beans well. Try to buy canned beans with reduced sodium to be extra healthy
3. Add remaining ingredients, stir and bring to boil. Then, reduce heat and let simmer for an hour or so. 

You can add salt in pepper in the end to taste, but if you're like me - you'll find it doesn't need it; all that great chili flavour comes through wonderfully without the added salt. 

I finish up my dish with a dollop of fat-free sour cream, a sprinkle of old cheddar and some whole wheat bread toasted with butter or margarine, whatever you have on hand.

Friday, August 17

Inside the Studio

I've been working on a lot of commissions this past week. I got the one above done, and the one below almost finished as well. These family forests and family trees are always a lot of fun to do. I find the Family Forest especially relaxing to paint; and laying down all those bright colours is truely inspiring at the end that I just dive into something else!

The family tree was for a wedding, and it has a very modern and calming colour scheme. My favourite part was painting those two little love birds on the lower right branch. The pink heart gives just a little splash of warm colour to really bring the blues out with it.

I've also been busy in the studio with paintings for the shop. I started one - and completed it - last week and it just spurred an entire series that are related to each other:

I'm not going to share the finished pieces until they are all complete. The neat thing about this series is that the paintings are a variety of different sizes: 12x12", 9x12", 4x8" and 4x6", and that should make arrangements on the wall interesting. It also makes it accessible to a variety of people, which is always a plus in my books.

Thursday, August 16

Creative Space: More Love

Another Ed Sheeran inspired Art Journal page. The 'blossoms' make me think of the trees from The Lorax. A bit more quick of a page, but I love the complimentary colours together. 

Materials, in order: fabric tape, gesso, acrylic paint

See more creative spaces, here.

Wednesday, August 15

Inside the Sketchbooks

I've been doing some typography more lately for a friends wedding 'save the dates'. She wanted a more typography-based design with unique and scrolling / scribbley text. Trying to get it 'just right' takes some patience, and a lot of repeats. Once I'm happy with the outlining, I'll scan them in and play with them in Photoshop to add colours and tie everything together. 

I've also started another bit in my Art Journal. Just a first layer of Gesso and some texture. It will have to wait to dry completely before I can proceed with anything else... this Art Journalling life, waiting has got to be the hardest part...

Tuesday, August 14

DIY Polka-Dot Nails

Everyone who knows me, probably knows that I like polka-dots a little bit - okay, a lot. I had some time yesterday evening, so I thought I would do some polka dot nails. I saw online, months ago, someone who had done a 'focal nail' as well, with the colour scheme reversed; and so that was my approach. Since I do have to go work at the hospital with this, I picked a 'tame' colour scheme of two similar colours in different shades. But you could do something a little more wild of course! 

Colours: Maybelline - Peachy Petal and Sally Hansen - Sorbet
First apply two coats of your base colour (or as many coats as needed to get a solid colour). If you're doing a 'focal nail' pick which one; I picked 2nd digit, and paint it the other colour on both hands. Let dry, and then we're ready for some dots! Bobby pins work wonderfully for making dots! So pull out a scrap of something, I used tin-foil so that it wouldn't leak through, and put a little puddle of your nail colour on it. Next, dip the tip of your bobby pin and apply dots as you wish - random or in a pattern of a sort. Let dry, apply top coat (so dots don't chip off) and tad-da - Your nails are now dot-a-licious! 

Monday, August 13

Smashed* : Inspiring Quote

I haven't Smashed* in awhile, but this quote really stood out to me, and made me chuckle a little bit. It sounds like one of those things that a mother would tell her daughter when she's feeling low about herself. It's a great quote to make everyone realise that we're all a little different and we should love that about ourselves :)

Sunday, August 12

Etsy Spree

A little while ago, I was at a festival where some girls had come and brought Hula Hoops to dance with...yes, I know it might sound...em, 'juvenile' but it was so incredibly cool, and sort of sexy in it's own sense. One of them let me try, and for the minute or too I kept it up, it was a workout and a half....and I completely loved it! So much in fact, that I thought I'd go to a 'Big Box Store' and buy a cheap hoop to play with...except, it didn't work! It was horrible! But, it was also - cheap, $3 gets you only so much I get what you paid for. Anywho, that hoop went to James neices and I went to Etsy....

..and fell in love. I purchase this "Supernova Watermelon Sparkle" hoop from HoopMamas, and she was such a sweetie! She even let me change the tape up a little - make the Olive Green into UV Pink (yes, the UV pink, and the UV green will glow if ever I'm around a black light. I don't forsee that, but you can never be too sure). I adored the fact that I could get a hoop that glowed; and the pink sparkle was drool-worthy.

HoopMamas gave an excellent guide on how to pick your hoop - size and weight. And they had tons of useful information on their website. They have sold so many hoops that I knew I coudl trust them, and their feedback is wonderful - everyone seems so happy. I knew I wouldn't end up with another 'Big-Box Store Experience'. The hardest part was just picking a colour-scheme - but they offer 100% customizable hoops, so if you have an excact idea in mind, they can cater to you :) I just saw the sparkly pink and bright green and knew that one was mine.

I just ordered it today...a little reward for all the hard Etsy work I've been doing and sales that have been coming in (got to give back to other Etsy sellers :D ). So I cannot wait until it comes into the mail! Then maybe I'll post a fun video on my first ride with it...we all know that will be a laugh :D

Saturday, August 11

Ghost...still changing

A while back, I shared with you that my Betta, Ghost, had changed from this:

To this, with his body all "marbled":

and now...after a short while, he has gone even colour in his body, and his bottom fin has turned very vibrantly red!

It's very gradual these changes in him, but every now and then I'll stop and look at him and think: wait a minute.... His body has this neat purple / teal shimmer to it too, and his top fins are staying relatively clear, for now.

Vesuvius is still doing very well too...he's a 'true fighter fish' always darting, gills flared every time that I come close! He's also a pro at bubble nests: the top of his tank usually looks like a bubble bath, he has layers! I'll have to share sometime soon :)

Friday, August 10

Rainy Fridays

Sometimes, the rain is welcome. Today is one of those days - the rain is sending in a cool breeze through my windows, a making my apartment smell like spring. A very refreshing change from all the humidity that we've been having (although, I must say, I've gotten in so many beach days!).

I've finished running all my errands this morning, and so this afternoon will be free for artwork and such. I'm going to try and focus more on the art-side of business today than the online aspects (after this blog post, of course). Rainy days I find have always inspired me. They give a sense of renewal.

I spent the last couple evenings reading, I finished the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' series a couple weekends ago; and the last two days I read 'Bared To You' by Sylvia Day. So I'm a little 'read out' for a while, and I know I need to get back to the Dark Towers Series by Stephen King. I'm three books to the end of that series. There's also a couple parody books of the Fifty Shades series that I would love to read, they always give a good laugh!

I took some more pictures of my art journal from yesterday, so really show the detail in the texture from the string gel:

Wednesday, August 8

My Creative Space: The City

"City Lights" - Mixed media journal page. 
I wasn't able to take a picture of this super textured art journal page due to the poor lighting at the end of the day, but I wanted to share for the Creative Space Thursday submissions. If you click on it, then it'll get larger and you can see the details more :)

I've been listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran lately, and was listening as I started this spread. His song, The City, really sparked some inspiration after I had the initial texture of the string gel down.

Materials used, in order: Gesso, String Gel, PanPastels, Acrylic Spray, Gel Medium, Acrylic Paint, Black Sharpie, gold mica flakes, nail polish, acrylic varnish.

See more creative spaces, here.

Saturday, August 4

Copy Cat

"Copy Cat" - Original watercolour painting, 9x12"

Oreo, my feline roommate, is always 'chirping' at the birds outside at the bird feeder. Those who own cats probably know exactly what I mean - it's a very odd, spastic noise that comes out of his mouth. Since it's hard to illustrate him mimicking a sound, I thought I would paint him 'copying' the birds flying. 

It is available in the online shop.

Friday, August 3

Painting Process

Some mixed media canvas' that I'm working on right now. They are about 8x10" on stretched canvas. I'm not 100% sure of the direction of these, except that I want a lot of texture on them. I am really loving the top one right now...not as fond of the bottom one, but that will get better when I add more layers I'm sure.

Thursday, August 2

The Alphabet Tree..

"Alphabet Tree" - Original watercolour painting, 12x16"

I completed this colourful tree with a nursery in mind. So many of my friends have been having babies this summer, that it's hard not to think of cute little babies.