Cactus Flower Pumpkin

Hi guys!

I have officially become a crazy cactus lady. I can’t seem to say no to those cute little succulents at the hardware store! My collection has quickly grown and when I realized our Tall Pumpkin is the same shape as some of my beloved succulents I knew I wanted to transform it into a cactus. With a few colors and a thick coat of Patio Paint Clear Coat my Cactus Pumpkin is ready to join my succulent collection.

I base coated the pumpkin in Irish Moss and let it dry. It took me two coats to get a nice, even coverage. Using a 1″ Angular Shader brush, I added shading to the indents of the pumpkin and mopped up excess paint with a large mop brush.  To add more dimension, I highlighted the sections with lemonade using a large highlighter brush.  I drew out some flower petals towards the top of the pumpkin to add a pink cactus flower. Basecoat the petals in Cool White. Let dry and basecoat with Dragon Fruit. I added some yellow towards the center of the flower and tip of the stem with Lemonade and blended some Cool White in the tips of the petals. Using an Identi Pen, I outlined the petals to add some dimension. For the spines, I used a 6/0 Script Liner and Cool White to make random x’s.

To protect this project from the sun and weather, I added 2 coats of Patio Paint Clear Coat. To add some extra shine I also added a coat of Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray. Can’t wait to add this cute project to my succulent garden!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects, Tutorials

Merry Christmas Sign

The holidays will soon be here, and that is just crazy to think…I mean, where did this year go? Anyway, with the holidays just around the corner, it is time to get cracking on all of those holiday projects! This Merry Christmas sign that I created is quick and easy and is great for gift giving or to sell at your next bazaar or craft show. With just three stencils and some paint, you too can create this festive sign.

Here is what you will need:

Narrow Table Top Sign

DecoArt Americana:
Antique White
Light Buttermilk
Santa Red
Hauser Dark Green
Snow White

Identi Pen Black
Americana Doily Stencil
Christmas Curly Words Stencil
Pines & Holly Background Stencil
DecoArt Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

I chose to reverse the sign so that the base is at the back, that way it was easier to apply the stencils. First, sand your wood and then wipe the dust away. Paint the entire sign with Antique White. Let it dry. Lightly sand again with a piece of brown paper bag to smooth out the grain after painting. Wipe off surface. Paint a second coat of Antique White and let it dry. take the doily stencil and lay it on one side of the sign…lightly stipple over the stencil with Light Buttermilk. You just want a hint of the design, so make sure to tap out your paint on a paper towel before going to your surface. Carefully lift your stencil up and move it to the center of the board, overlapping is fine. Repeat the stippling again with Light Buttermilk. If you have a small odd space that the stencil didn’t reach, lift the stencil up and move it again to fill in the space. Let it dry. Shade around the outside edge of the sign with Cocoa.

When the background of your sign is dry, lay your stencil with the holly branch onto the right side of your surface.  Make sure to check your placement with the words “Merry Christmas” on your Words stencil. Then stipple/stencil over the holly and stem with Avocado. Then pick two holly leaves to stencil in the upper left corner and repeat the stipple/stenciling process with Avocado. Shade one side of your holly leaves with Hauser Dark Green. Highlight the other side with Margarita. When dry outline your leaves and add a vein down the center of each leaf with your Black Identi Pen. Lay your stencil in place for “Merry Christmas”, make sure you have it positioned where you want it and then stipple/stencil the words with Santa Red. Carefully lift your stencil up. Remember when stenciling to not have your brush heavy with paint. Using the back of your paint brush, add dip dots in Santa Red to create the berries. For the berries in the upper left corner, use a larger paint brush handle. Let the berries dry completely and then add a highlight dot to each one with Snow White.

Finish with your favorite varnish.

Now you have the perfect holiday sign that can be completed in just a few hours.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Fall Angel

This little lady is perfect for all seasons, but I couldn’t wait to get her decked out for fall! With just a few paint colors, you too can create this lovely fall project in less than a weekend!

Here is what you will need:
Angel with Heart #80851
DecoArt Americana:
Celery Green #13208
Mocha #13060
Honey Brown #13163
Persimmon #13516
Espresso #13261
Tangerine #13012
Light Buttermilk #13164
Marigold #13194
Weathered Wood #84146
Identi Pen Black #70830
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray #70836
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray #70835
Staining & Antiquing Medium #84126

Basecoat the main portion of the dress  with Persimmon,let dry, then highlight here and there with Tangerine. The lower portion of the dress is Celery Green. I painted the the stripes on the dress with a 1/2″ Comb Brush alternating colors of Persimmon and Espresso, these colors are watered down, you don’t want them too heavy. Paint the sleeve trim, belt, and center portion of collar with Espresso. The trim around the collar is Celery Green. Face, neck, and hands are painted Mocha. Hair is Honey Brown, highlighted with Marigold. Paint the strap and the heart Espresso. Once the heart is dry, brush on Weathered Wood and let it dry completely. With Light Buttermilk, paint over the heart. Let it dry completely. You can choose to add some lettering to the heart, or just let it be…with a pencil, I lightly wrote, with my own hand writing, “Fall”and then outlined it with the black Identi Pen. Spray with Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray. Then mix Espresso and the Staining & Antiquing Medium together (following the instructions on the back of the bottle), apply with a brush all over your angel. With a soft cloth, wipe off the antiquing medium from the areas you don’t want it to be. When everything is completely dry, varnish with Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray.

What a fun and easy project that will get you in the mood for fall. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did when creating her.

Happy Fall and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

New products from Jane Davenport!


I am an experienced painter but at aspirational watercolor artist. It is so pretty, but i never seem to have the patience to drag out the water, brushes, paints and wait for the layers to dry. Once I saw our new Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and Watercolor brights, I knew i wanted throw my caution to the wind and finally dive into watercolor painting!

The great thing about Jane Davenport’s books are they are essentially artsy coloring books. Her book,  Whimsical Girls, features lovely line drawings of beautiful ladies just begging you to add some color to their lives. I chose 3 of my favorite pages to start playing with these great products.


I started with the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers to add some base colors. They are so easy to use and would even be convenient to use on the go. I added additional layers with the Jane Davenport Watercolor Set – Bright. The paints are highly pigmented and really are so easy to use. A big plus to me is the packaging is really gorgeous!

Once these pages were dry i added some neon line work with our Gelly Roll Moonlight Bold – 10 pc. Set. Overall, I am no longer no longer afraid of watercolor! I can’t wait to continue painting these beautiful pages!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, New Products, Staff Projects

It’s Fall!

Yep I love fall! I have said that many times in the past fall themed blog posts! There is just something about this time of year for me…is it the colors, the crisp cool air, kids going back to school, sweaters, apple cider, boots, carving pumpkins…maybe it is just all of it that I love so much! With that wonderful change in the air, I love to fill my house with warm colors and projects that just make me feel the season all around me.

Sometimes projects don’t need to be very complicated to add to the joy of the season. Inspired by many ideas on Pinterest, on a daily basis…I saw a charming pumpkin made from just a chunk of wood and thought, I can make that with our Basswood Rounds!

I love the way this Fall Pumpkin Sign turned out…and I hope you will make one for your home this season too.

Here is what you will need:
Basswood Country Round – Medium
Vertical Plank Ornament (this is for the stem)
Fall Word Mix Stencil
DecoArt Americana Paint:
Papillon Deerfoot Brush Set or a stencil brush
Papillon Shader Size 20
Artificial fall leaves
Ribbon in fall colors
Hot Glue Gun
Fine grit sandpaper
Dura Clear Matte Varnish

Sand the surface if you think it feels a little rough, and wipe away the dust. Follow the natural rings of the wood. I followed the furthest ring that would also leave me a decent natural edge by the bark…with your flat brush and Persimmon, paint the center of the surface. Let it dry. If the grain of the wood has raised, sand lightly and wipe away any dust. Paint a second coat of Persimmon.

After your basecoat is dry, it is time to stencil. Take your stencil and center the word “Fall” into the middle of the area you painted. Using one of your Deerfoot brushes, or a stencil brush…pounce your brush into Espresso, then tap onto a paper towel to remove some of the paint, then start pouncing over your stencil. You don’t want too much paint on your brush, as it can seep under your stencil and not give you a crisp edge. if your edge is not perfect, that is ok, this is supposed to be a fun and rustic project.

As your stenciling is drying take your Vertical Plank Ornament and paint it Avocado. This may take two coats, paint both sides. I chose to use the side without the grooves for the front of my sign. Let dry.

Once all pieces are dry, use your shader and the Dura Clear Varnish and brush on the varnish to the stem and the entire from of the sign. When the varnish is dry, use your hot glue gun to glue the stem to the back of your surface making sure to center it. Then glue leaves and a bow to the front for the finishing touch.

See wasn’t that fun and easy?!

Happy Fall Everyone…and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Dot Rocks

Silver rocks with dotted patterns

I recently got inspired by looking through a rock painting book and decided to create my own little paintings. I couldn’t recall the last time that I painted rocks, but I’m guessing that I was using my fingers!

I wanted to try out a simple design using dots that formed curves and spirals. I’m interested in ancient artwork such as cave paintings and I find it interesting that humans have been creating abstract geometric designs from nearly the beginning of our existence. This can be seen across different cultures around the world. I googled Australian aboriginal art for some initial inspiration for this project.


I used these paints in this order for my rocks:

DecoArt Americana acrylic—Cool White (13240)

Shimmering Silver Dazzling Metallic (14070)

DecoArt Americana acrylic—Soft Black (13155)


I wanted to contrast the simplicity of my designs with a metallic silver background to give it a more modern feel. To make the silver pop, I first coated the rocks in Cool White. I used Soft Black for the dots. I pulled off the cotton from a Q-tip and used that to make sure the dots were similar in size and shape. But you could use anything you have lying around for this. The end of a paintbrush should work well too.

I decided to alter the dot pattern for each rock to make it more interesting. I let the rock’s shape be the main influence. As I worked, I tried to imagine how water might have flowed over and around the rocks to make them into their final shapes, and used that as the main guide for my dots.

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Floral Wreath Signs

I don’t know about you, but my mind is always thinking and seeing things in different creative ways. When I saw the Large and Small Floral Wreath Plaques by Walnut Hollow, I just couldn’t wait to create something fun on these pieces. You can be as detailed or as simple as you like with these pieces. I will show you two ways I painted them, that even the novice painter can do.

I used just a couple round brushes and two stencils to create two signs, one for everyday and one for the Christmas Season.

Here is what you will need for the Initial Wreath:
DecoArt Americana:
Soft Black
Hauser Dark Green
Hauser Light Green
Country Red
DecoArt Maple Gel Stain
Initial Impressions Quirky Stencil
Varnish of your choice
Round Brushes
Stencil or Deerfoot Brushes
Floral Wreath Sign – Large
Sponge Brush

Sand your plaque and wipe away dust. Using your sponge brush, stain your plaque. Let it dry, then lightly sand with a brown paper bag if you feel the wood grain has raised. Using a round brush to fit the size of the carved wreath designs, paint the lines with Soft Black. I then painted the outside line of each leaf with Avocado. Then randomly painted leaves with Hauser Dark Green and Hauser Light Green. When that was dry, I used a Deerfoot brush and the stencil to add the letter “M” to the center of the wreath. Using the back end of your paint brush or use a stylus, add berries here and there with Country Red. To finish the plaque I painted the outside edge with Soft Black. When everything is dry, finish with your favorite varnish.

Here is what you will need for the Noel Wreath:
DecoArt Americana:
Snow White
Country Red
Christmas Curly Words Stencil
Varnish of your choice
Round Brushes
Stencil or Deerfoot Brushes
Floral Wreath Sign – Small

Sand your plaque and wipe away dust. Paint the entire piece Snow White. Let dry and sand again. Wipe away dust and repaint with Snow White. With a round brush paint the vines of the wreath with Espresso. Alternate painting the leaves with Avocado and Hauser Dark Green. With your stencil and Deerfoot brush, stencil the word “Noel” onto the center of your wreath. Add berries with the back end of your paint brush, or with a stylus, with Country Red. When dry, finish with your favorite varnish.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

A First Attempt at Wood Burning!

When we brought in the Basswood Country Rounds from Walnut Hollow along with a wood burner, I just new I wanted to give wood burning a try. I thought, well, I will start basic with just outlining using a stencil, as I didn’t want to do anything too complicated this being my first time attempting this. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think I will give it a try again!

Here is what I used:
Basswood Country Round – XL
FolkArt Stencil Value Pack – Phrases
Creative Woodburner – Detailer

Looking at the size of the Basswood sign, I looked through the value pack of phrases and found that the “Let’s go on an adventure” sign fit perfectly! So, I positioned it in place and then with a pencil, traced it onto the wood. I followed the instructions on the back of the woodburner and let it heat up for about three minutes. I then went to work carefully following my lines, it was a bit tricky at first figuring out the pressure, but overall, it wasn’t too bad. I had a few slips here and there, but hey, I was stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new, which I ended up loving! I just took my time and before I knew it, I had all the words burned and I was done (and with no burns to myself or anything else but the wood…LOL)

I am still deciding whether or not to stain it lightly or just to brush on a varnish to protect it….but other than that, I am ready to add a hanger on the back and hang it on a wall at home.

Oh, and yep, I am definitely going to start planning my next wood burning project, so stay tuned for that!

Happy Creating Everyone!

Remember to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, no matter how basic it is…you might just find something else you love to do.

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, New Products, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Boo Pumpkin

In the blink of an eye, the season of ghosts and goblins will be here! So, to help you get ready for that, I have a fun and easy pumpkin project for you. (Yep, another pumpkin project…I told you I loved fall and pumpkins in an earlier post, LOL)

To create this fun and easy pumpkin, here is what you will need:

DecoArt Americana Paint:
Lamp Black
DecoArt Neons:
Torrid Orange
Other Supplies:
Tall Resin Pumpkin
Halloween Word Mix Stencil
Identi Pen Black
Raffia or ribbon
Highlighter Brush
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray

To start, paint your pumpkin with Jack-o-Lantern, this may take a few coats, so be patient and let it dry between coats. Paint the stem Avocado. With your 3/4″ Highlighter brush and Torrid Orange, highlight each raised section of the pumpkin. I did several coats of this gradually building the color. With your 1/2″ Highlighter and Espresso, rub gently into the grooves of the pumpkin. Start light, you can always build your shadow as you go if you prefer it darker. I highlighted the stem with Margarita using my 1/4″ Highlighter brush.

The next step is to take your stencil and center it where you would like on the front of your pumpkin. I used a pencil and lightly traced the word “Boo”, centering the middle “o” with the stem. Using the Identi Pen, I carefully outlined the words first before filling them in with a round brush and Lamp Black. After the words are dry, spray with your favorite varnish. I chose to use a satin varnish to give my pumpkin a shiny glow. The last thing was I made a bow out of raffia and tied it to the stem. You can choose to use ribbon in Halloween colors or to decorate the top any way you want…this is where you can express yourself even more. (You could add black and orange ribbon with artificial web and a spider, the options are endless, just use your imagination)

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

White Crackle Pumpkin

For those of you who love fall, but want a different color option for a pumpkin besides orange, here is a fun project for you! All you will need are a few paint colors and some fall decorative accessories (hopefully from your stash) and you are on your way to creating this pumpkin you can enjoy from September through November.

Here is what you will need:
Americana Decor Chalky Paint in Cameo and Everlasting
Americana Decor Creme Wax Clear
Americana Decor Creme Wax Deep Brown
Resin Pumpkin
I used these brushes from the Americana Decor line and it made things easier (but you can use whatever you have on hand):
Americana Decor 1″ Angle Brush
Americana Decor Waxing Brush (you can use a soft cotton cloth instead)
Americana Decor Crackle Medium
Fall colored ribbon
Artificial leaves
Fall berry vines
Hot Glue Gun

With your 1″ brush, paint your entire pumpkin with Cameo. This is just your undercoat, so, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I chose to do two coats though because well, that is the way I am…LOL

Once dry, apply your crackle medium all over the pumpkin, make sure to not overwork it. Let the crackle medium dry completely. Then with your 1″ brush, apply Everlasting, making sure to try and do this without having to go back over previously painted areas. Over working your top coat can really change the look of your crackle. Let dry completely.

When your pumpkin is good and dry, it is time to apply a coat of clear wax with the waxing brush. Just dip it into the jar and rub in a circular motion all over your pumpkin. Let dry. Then do the exact same thing but with the Deep Brown. With a soft cloth, rub off any of the brown wax from where you don’t want it. I chose to leave it in the deep grooves and try and have the raised parts of the pumpkin with less of the brown wax. If it isn’t coming off easy, just dip your rag into some clean water and rub again.

After the wax is dry it is time to accessorize your pumpkin. In my stash of items in my craft room, I had some silk leaves in fall colors, some fall berry vines, raffia, and plaid ribbon in rich fall colors (this is where you can let your creativity go). First I hot glued the leaves all around the top of the pumpkin next to the stem. I then grabbed a handful of raffia and tied it to the stem and hot glued it in position. After creating a simple bow from the ribbon, I glued that in place too, I even glued it in two small spots on the sides of the pumpkin. To fill in some areas, I took my berry vines and cut some small branches and glued them into place under the ribbon and around the back nestling the glued points where they couldn’t be seen.

I was very happy with how this pumpkin turned out…I might just have to make more of them for family and friends!

Happy Painting and Crafting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects