Time for Halloween Fun!

I love to decorate, and Halloween offers so many fun opportunities.  Whether you are a painter or not, this project is so simple that even the kids can join in for the creativity!  Be sure to watch the FREE video, click on the link below.

All you  need is a surface, Modeling Paste, palette knife, a few brushes, stencil (optional) and stone colored shades of paint.  I used a paper mache tombstone, which is inexpensive and nicely shaped.  Another option would be to cut a tombstone shape out of cardboard, wood or Styrofoam.

Just keep weather in mind if it is to be used outside.

Shatter Layering Stencil

Paper Mache Tombstone

Palette Knife


Modeling Paste






The stone-like texture is easily applied using a palette knife.  Don’t let the end results fool you, it only takes a little to create the stoney texture.   I used the stencil to add the spider web.  Simply place the stencil and scrape over top with the Modeling Paste.  Just a thin layer is all that is needed for eerie results.

After the paste is applied and dry, the paint is applied.  This is where the magic begins.  Start with the darkest color first and coat the entire tombstone.  Next, layers of graduating colors (ending with the lightest color) are applied creating the faux stone effect.                           Watch as the stone evolves with each layer of color!

You can be creative with the epitaph as well.  I used “Anita Newbody” as a suggestion from my employee, Drake (thanks Drake!).  After all, there are some days that I feel like I need a “new body”!!

Click on the link and enjoy viewing the FREE video.


All of the supplies, surfaces and paints are listed.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.  I would love to see what you created.  I hope you have as much fun with this project as I did.  I am sure it will create many comments and attract alot of attention!

New Tool Alert…


Angled Stylus

I love to find new tools that make my painting life easier.  I am excited to introduce you to the Angled Stylus!

Just as the name indicates, the tip is at an angle.  It is ergonomically designed to make holding it comfortable and easy to use.  With the traditional straight stylus, a crooked neck helps when directing the stylus to a perpendicular position to ensure round dots!  With the Angle Stylus, the visibility is awesome, control is perfect, easy on the wrist and neck!  Because you don’t have to struggle with keeping it perfectly straight, no oval dots, they will always be round!

I consider this a user-friendly tool.  With the comfort it provides, it is easy to control and use.  Best of all, it is only $.95!  Now that is a bang for your buck for sure!

I hope you watch this short video that shows the outstanding benefits of the Angled Stylus.  I think this is a tool that everyone needs in their stash.  I am sure it will be your choice when reaching for a stylus.

To Stamp or not to Stamp…

If you have never tried using stamps with acrylic paint, you are missing a fun technique that adds tons of interest to any project!  I wrote a blog about stamping with paint a while back.  View my older post here >>  

Spider Leaf

I wanted to share a quickie Halloween project that I painted using the stamping with paint technique.  The spiderweb and spider are always a hit, especially with the kids!  Actually, this project is so simple the kids will be able to create their own masterpieces.


Mini Halloween Cling Stamp Set

Halloween Cutouts Cling Stamp Set

One of the great things about the Tim Holtz stamp sets is that they contain a variety of stamps.  This means that many masterpieces can be created from just one set!  Another option is to simply change the colors.  Blues, purples, greens, can all result in eerie and captivating backgrounds.  Instead of Lamp Black, I used Payne’s Grey for most of the stamping.  This provides a little more color as opposed to a flat black image.

The secret to stamping with paint to achieve more detail and depth is a simple addition of floats of color.  Adding a shade or highlight of color will enhance with exceptional results.  Yellow floats will reflect the moon, blue and purple floats will give a cloudy night effect, reds will look creepy!  You can see how simply changing color will make a huge difference!

Maple LeafScooter PlateScallop Dome

With the many shapes and size surfaces to choose from, the possibilites are endless!  Maple leaves, mini scallop domes, mini scooter plates, ovals, circles, etc…  This technique works perfectly on any surface that can be painted, such as, wood, metal, or paper mache,  ,Make sure to read the details of my prior blog to master this simple technique.  To make it even easier, I have posted a quickie video to watch.  Once you actually see how quickly everything comes together, I know this will be the trigger to give it a try!


Are you ready to play?

You won’t want to miss out on this very artistic event.  The very talented Kelly Hoernig has set up an awesome seminar with 24 teachers, including me, for only $99.00! That’s right, you get 24 classes for only $99.00. How amazing is that?! Click to sign up for the series
<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=235423&c=ib&aff=269108” target=”ejejcsingle”>Click here to visit Kelly Hoernig.</a>
My class is not your typical painting…it is all about composition, balance, creativity, color, oh, and also, a great opportunity for re-cycling all those odds and ends! Here’s a sneak peak. Will show the rest shortly. Definitely a fun, easy and unique technique that is very impressiveKelly Hoernig is a very talented lady with some great ideas.  She wanted to offer a variety of classes at a great price.  She asked 24 amazing teachers, including me, to teach a class.  As a result, Art Play Date was developed offering 24 full length classes for only $99.00!  What a great deal, that’s only $4.95 per class!

I wanted to offer a class that would be unique.  I wanted to offer a class that would focus on technique, tips and tricks.  I wanted to offer a class that would focus on design, composition and layout.  I wanted to offer a class that would focus on color.  I wanted to offer a class that could be taken into differe



I wanted to offer a class that

<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=235423&c=ib&aff=269108&#8243; target=”ejejcsingle”>Click here to visit Kelly Hoernig.</a>

The Amazing Secret of the Stufftainer…

Stufftainers are a clear plastic storage unit perfect for cling stamps.  The containers are about 1/2″ thick, snap together securely, are designed to stack (no slipping and sliding) and even have a convenient hang hole.  46-17295-2__10137.1398822706.220.220

They are designed to hold two layers of cling stamps.  When placed properly, stamps are visible from either side.  Stamps are stored flat which makes them easier to use, won’t curl, stay clean, organized and stamps last longer.  This is a wonderful storage container to make order of many stamps

Cling Stamp Holder

Cling Stamp Holder

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon another wonderful use for the Stufftainers.  When doing demo’s at convention, I was cramped for space.  I was trying to keep my pattern visible, but out of the way.  It kept getting messy, lost or wrinkled.  The light bulb came on and I placed my pattern in a Stufftainer.  The directions were readable from both sides.  I propped it upright, out of the way (no wasting precious table space), it stayed clean, unwrinkled and at my fingertips!  WOW!!  I was so excited…my mind was swirling with more ways to use these amazing Stufftainers.  They would be perfect for teaching seminars, fantastic for students taking classes, they are thin and can easily store in a travel tote.

Pattern Holder

Pattern Holder

I had another great idea…how many times do we struggle with trying to keep a magazine open to the page needed.  Guess what??  Magazines fit perfectly into the Stufftainers!  No more ruining, staining, wrinkling those precious magazines!

Magazine Holder

Magazine Holder

I still store my stamps in the Stufftainers, but now I carry one in my travel teaching supplies,  have one on my painting table, and I have one hanging on the wall to display favorite articles.   Plus, I have a few extra…just in case…:-)

The BEST and fastest way to seal, basecoat, and varnish

As a beginner painter, the only choice for basecoating was a Flat Wash.  I usually used a 3/4″ or 1″, depending on the size of the project.  This was always a time consuming step that I dreaded.  First, a layer of sealer, sand, next the first layer of basecoating, another quick sand, then another layer, or maybe two more, to achieve a nice solid base.  If working on a 12″ plaque, painting 1″ at a time would take forever!  Plus, there are always all those square “stop and start” marks created by the brush!03-4550__55068.1398809321.1024.1024

As I progressed as a painter, I stumbled across the Oval Wash.  Wow, this is an amazing brush!  For one thing, no more “stop and start” marks.  The gentle curve of the bristles softly blends the strokes together effortlessly.  I was in love with this brush!

Oval Wash

Oval Wash

I still love my filbert wash for many reasons, but I have since found the most wonderful tool for applying sealer, basecoat and even the final varnish coat.  The Specialty Sponges are now my newest, best friend. They are incredibly versatile and functional.  The set consists of two sizes, each size has a small and a large end, which offer a total of four different sizes.  The foam construction is very dense and durable.  I have used my sponge for over two years and it is still going strong.  Because of the density of the sponge, it does not leave any ridges (unlike the brush), it does not create any bubbles (unlike most sponges), the hourglass shape helps keep fingers clean.

Specialty Sponge - set of 2

Specialty Sponge – set of 2

With my specialty sponges, I can seal and basecoat with two or more layers of paint in less time that it takes to apply a single layer of sealer using a wash brush.   I call these sponges my miracle sponges.  With the time saved, I can now spend more time doing what I love…painting!  Plus, the best part, they make my projects look really, really good!  No more brush strokes, no more varnish bubbles, no more messy fingers…  Because the sponges apply paint, varnish, sealer, etc… so evenly, drying time is fast and coverage is perfect.29-32227-3__78282.1398820317.1024.1024

Another feature is shading.  Load a small amount of paint on the edge of the sponge.  Using a small, circular motion, rub the sponge around the edge and see what a wonderful, soft blended shading it will create.  This is another super time saver as the results are quickly and beautifully produced.

Candlelight Christmas 04-PA1418

I was simply astounded at all the different ways these sponges can be used.  They are perfect when stamping with paint.  The large sponge will coat the stamps quickly and evenly, making stamping a cinch. To clean the sponges, I hold them under the faucet, squeezing until the water runs clear.  If you want your sponges to have a long life, make sure to keep them clean.  Once paint dries on them, it is not good news!

To sum it up, the Specialty Sponges have revolutionized my painting.  I can be twice as productive and the end results are much more professional.  I have decided that I love my microwave, but if given a choice between the microwave and my specialty sponges, I would miss microwave!!

Recycling with Style!

It always seems when the seasons change, I feel the need to freshen up my decor.  I love the challenge of redecorating on a dime.  I decided it was time to retire my hunter green theme in my living room.  I bought some new decorative toss pillows with touches of celadon and cinnamon.  All I need is an inspiration piece and my theme is on a roll!

lamp price

A bargain at $2.99!

My daughter was dropping some things off at Goodwill.  We decided to stroll through and see what we could find.  I was so excited when I saw a tired old ginger jar lamp.  Believe it or not, the lamp with shade was only $2.99!  I knew with my stash of Chalky Paints I could update and make it look fabulous.


Dingy and outdated!

I couldn’t wait to get home to start working on my “new” lamp.  I painted the tired, spotty brass with Lace (a very pretty creamy color).  To tone it down, I waxed it with Golden Brown Creme Wax.  Simply wipe on and buff off to create a soft sheen.

The lampshade was very dingy.  I was thinking I would just purchase a new one, but, with nothing to loose, wondered if I could paint it??  The lampshade had a fabric texture.  I thinned down the Lace Chalky Paint and used a large, thick brush to work the paint into the texture.  It took time to cover the entire shade, but it was worth it.  It looked brand new!

All in all, it was looking pretty good, however, I wanted a designer lamp.  I selected a stencil that would be perfect for my new decor.  I used the Chalky Paint to stencil the lettering Rustic (brown) and added some Cameo (cinnamon) highlights.  finished lamp

As you can see from the end results, the lamp is spectacular.  My confidence level is soaring and I can’t wait to start my next project!