Creating Your Perfect Day: How To Manage Your DIY Wedding

These days, DIY weddings are getting more and more popular. They’re a way for you to really convey your own style and creativity on your big day and to save a little money by doing everything yourself. Here are some tips on how to manage your day… [Read more…]

Expressing Your Creativity

It doesn’t matter what age you are, exploring and expressing your creativity is good for the soul. Best of all, it doesn’t matter how you do it. You might enjoy arts or crafts. Perhaps you have a musical instrument you pick up from time to time. Are you a secret cake baker, or perhaps a wannabe photographer? It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re any good at it or not. It’s about relaxing, expressing, enjoying, and creating.

Some of the most creative people in the world have mundane nine to five jobs. Perhaps their creativity is just bursting to get out. And those that get to work in creative roles probably love their jobs more than most. It’s part of who we are as humans. We need to express ourselves through art, music, and other activities. How long has it been since you spent any time doing your favorite hobby? Why not make this weekend the start of a lifelong interest that you’ll prioritize some time for each week. After all, there are plenty of studies to show that we need these creative outlets for good health!

Sketching and Painting

Working on a new design

Some people knit, others sew. Either hobby is very creative, even if you’re following patterns or instructions. You’re making something and sometimes even designing something. There is something tangible to show for your efforts, and when it’s finished, it’s a job well done. That sense of satisfaction that you get is really good for the soul. If you haven’t dusted off your machine for a while, don’t panic. There are plenty of sewing machine parts still available to get you going at full speed again. Start with something small like a scarf. Then explore more intricate ideas.

Sketching, drawing, coloring, and painting are so therapeutic. They relax the mind by focusing it on the small details. Best of all, there are so many different styles, you can experiment to find your preferences. If you haven’t had a chance to draw for a while, take an hour this weekend to sit down with a sketch pad. You can free-draw. This is when the mind relaxes completely, and your hand just wanders the pencil across the page until something forms. Or maybe you have a subject in mind. Give it a go.

Almost Done

Almost Done

Before you throw out the trash or pile up the recycling, reclaim a few bits of cardboard or containers. Sculpting with trash is cost-free and freeing for your creative soul. You don’t mind your creative projects not working out when you’re manipulating trash instead of clay, art card, or metal. Build something, shape it, nurture it, and express your feelings within it. If you’re not planning on keeping it, be sure to take a photo for a social media pinboard. Keeping a record of your creative activities can be very rewarding.

Finding the time is never difficult when you commit to taking it. Let loose, go wild, and be free to express whatever it is you feel with your arts. Then make it a hobby you can commit to forever.

Wordless Wednesday

Special Delivery to Nana & Bop

Special Delivery to Nana & Bop

National Craft Month ~ March

In honor of National Craft Month, I am posting my efforts from today.  Granted they are not “handmade” but on the other hand, I did make them.

I received a gift of a Microsoft Office Suite which included 2010 Publisher Program.  My computer had been factory reset and I had lost the key to my previous Office Suite.  I was helpless!  Especially without my Publisher.  Do you have a program that you particularly like?  I LOVE Publisher.  It is so easy to use and I just feel like I can make it stand on end.

With our move to another Province, I decided my Art site needed an update and new name so I choose Skimmerhorn Studio.  I have also been going to a couple of markets where I need to have a business card; cards for my hand painted glasses, etc.  Improvisation was the name of the game.  For business cards I used small (I mean mini) watercolour paintings and for a company name plate I painted a picture, and little white tags for prices.

[Read more…]

Pop Up Mall

There is a new market in town, the Creston Valley’s Pop Up Mall.  A room with a great selection of vendors, small businesses and artisans from the area.  I tried out my new art studio glass creations there for the first time, with my new art name, Skimmerhorn Studio.  You can find my art work at http://skimmerhornstudio.blogspot.ca/

Skimmerhorn Studio

[Read more…]

DIY – Chalk Paint Curtains

Chalk Paint came into my radar before we moved last year.  Probably just about this time of year too.  I need to update my kitchen cupboards and decided it was my best bet.

They turned out fantastic and I was so pleased with the results I decided to do my coffee table as well.  It was looking pretty good, then my son used it for a platform to move things in the storage shed when we were packing up.  Now it has great big footprints!  Boys.  I do plan to redo it.

The next project was window treatment for my studio in the new home. [Read more…]

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

There be Dragons

“There be Dragons” 

Coloring Dragons by Pictura. Featuring artwork of John Howe. Coloured by DesignsbyLesley(me!)

Making a Sweet Little Apron

My mother taught me to sew back when I was just a nipper.  She had been sewing as a seamstress since she was thirteen.  She made clothing, curtains and just about everything in between.  She had an old Bernia that I learned to sew on and when I had the chance, I bought one very similar.  I love that old machine!  When she got a serger, I learned on that too and when mom moved a step up, I got her old one.

Sewing was a part of my life.  I made clothes for myself, my husband and our children.  At one time I even thought I would sew for a job.  That did not work out!  It was the “can I have this wedding dress by the weekend” on Thursday night call that did me in.

This is a long introduction to something so simple as a Sweet Little Apron.  If you know how to sew, you could use this as a picture tutorial.  It is pretty beginner, I think.

The town we live in does not have a fabric store, but rather a general store with fabric.  Most of their merchandise was for quilting, 100% cotton.  There was some really beautiful cloths and I debated on picking out one that was elegant, but then I saw the owls.  I could not resist those little faces.  I bought one meter (39″ give or take) and a package of wide bias tape to match.

I thought they would have patterns but no such luck.  So I decided to make my own pattern from an apron I had made for my husband ages ago, and add a few girly touches.

[Read more…]

Valentine Card – Ombre Heart

February is already sneaking up on us fast.  Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it.  Here is a quick card you can do and have tucked away for your special sweetheart.

I wanted to try an outline of a heart and thought of dots, but as you can see, it turned into an Ombre Heart!  Ombre Heart 7

Start with a small square/rectangle of watercolour paper as the base for your painting.  I cut out a smaller heart, this can be from anything that will hold some shape, like a good card stock.   [Read more…]

Easy, Mailable Christmas Cards

Do you mail out Christmas Cards?  My sister was telling me how many she has going out.  Forty or more just in Canada, then there are some going to the UK, Australia and the US.  I thought she may have to take out a second mortgage just to get them all sent!

I do love to receive cards but find that over the years and too many moves to count, we have lost track of friends over the years.  I still send out a few, those determined to keep track of us!

Handmade cards are still my favourite to send.  They can be expensive and a bit of a pain to mail however.  Canada Post likes to stuff your envelopes through this tiny slot to see if it “measures up”.  And that is the trick with handmade cards.  All those lovey embellishments that stick up or poke out just don’t make the tiny slot and you end up paying more for each envelope.

Here is a bright wintery card that will definitely make the grade this year.  What do you think?Christmas Cards 5

The stamped image is on watercolour paper.  I like to use watercolour paper because of the quality and the ability to wet it without having the paper curl on you. This does not have to be expensive paper.  You can buy a relatively cheap paper from almost any department store, or wait until Michael’s has a coupon.  I buy the Canson cold press pad.  It is 140lb, acid free.

Next I scored the a sheet into rectangles 3.5×4.5  This was just enough to print one image, the Christmas Tree.  I got six trees from one sheet of 9×12 paper.

Using a juicy ink, my white is hardly ever used so was perfect, I stamped the tree in the center of a couple of the rectangles.  Because I was going to emboss the trees, I only did two at a time.

With all the trees done in silver embossing, I was ready for the colour.  You can use petty much anything to add colour.  I used my Acrylic paints as they were bright and intense.  If you like a softer look, watercolour or pencil crayons would work.  For more intense the copic pens would be great as well.  But, as you know, I love to splash paint around and so used my Acrylics.Christmas Cards 4

The paint exceeded all my expectations.  I loved the look and how the colours blended into one another, without rolling out over the edges of the embossed tree.  While the last two were wet, I tried to sprinkle over some silver glitter.  Ha!  Glitter Dump!  It was fun.

The background was from my stash.  I cut them 4×5.25, smaller than my 4.25×5.5 cards but larger than the rectangle trees.  The edges are just run over with some matching ink.Christmas Cards 3

There are no embellishments of any kind, but the embossing power and the brilliant colours make the tree stand out.  I love them.

Do you send out cards?  Bought or handmade?

 

 

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