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=”” 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=”; 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!



Stencil Pillows??…WOW!!

I love simple changes to home decor that make a big difference.  However, when it comes to painting on fabric, my track record has not been the best.  My first attempt was strokework on a lampshade.  Not sure why, but doing a sample before working on the shade did not cross my mind.  When working on fabric, there are no second chances, hence the terror!  Well, all I can say is the front area that everyone saw wasn’t awful, but NOBODY was allowed to look at the backside!


Chalky Paints and Supplies

Earlier this summer I updated my summer deck decor.  I purchased some very inexpensive plain, tan 20″ square pillow covers from IKEA for only $4.00 each.   They matched perfectly and looked very nice, conservative, but nice.  My intentions all summer were to paint or stencil something stylish on them.  I love to try all kinds of different techniques, mediums, paints, surfaces, but for some reason, painting on a pillow top brought back all those unsuccessful attempts at fabric painting.  I had a long talk with myself last night and decided that each pillow had two sides (that means if the first try was awful, I would have a second chance at redemption!) and if worse came to worse, they only cost $4.00!  I had seen that the new Chalky Paint works on fabric and did a little checking on the web.  Not only was it used for stenciling on fabric, but entire chairs (fabric and leather) were painted!


Designer Stencils

Today was the day to tackle the project.  I gathered up my supplies, Chalky Paint, stencils, stencil brush, ruler, painter’s tape, plastic trash bag, water, paper towels and lots of courage.  First, I covered my work space with a clean trash bag and taped it in place.  I know my studio table has remnants of prior projects and wanted to make sure no other product would accidentally end up on my pillow.  I inserted a piece of cardboard inside the pillow slip to keep the paint from soaking through to the other side and also to provide a smooth, sturdy surface to stencil.  I positioned the stencil and measured to make sure it was exactly where I wanted.  Next, I placed painter’s tape along any edge to prevent any over-spills from the stencil brush.  My colors are earthy, so I selected Cameo, Rustic and Heritage.  I wanted the words to be most visible, so I stenciled them darkest.  To stencil, load the stencil brush with paint and wipe onto a paper towel to remove any heavy, excess paint.  I used a very light, swirling motion to apply the paint softly onto the top of the fabric.  I didn’t want the paint to be solid, so I kept the brushstrokes almost delicate.  A second coat can always be added, but too much paint, especially on fabric, can be a disaster!  I let the brown color, Rustic, also coat the scrolls and designs, but much lighter than the letters.  Next, I loaded my stencil brush with Cameo, which is a deeper rusty red.  I wanted to add a shading to the decorative areas that became lighter towards the top, bottom and edges.  Finally, I stenciled the very tips with Heritage, orange.  Cautiously, I lifted the stencil and …WOW…I was so proud of the results!  Chalky paint is everything that they say it is and even more!  I can’t say enough how wonderful it is.Cafe Paris

finished pillow

Finished masterpiece!



I think what I learned from this whole experience is that the worrying about what could go wrong often robs us of venturing into creating without fear.   I am so excited not only about finally tackeling this project but also the fact that it turned out so well.  Was it worth all the worry and stress?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Would I stencil on fabric again?  ABSOLUTELY!  I am going to stencil more pillows, lampshades and even furniture!

Little touches make a huge difference.  My $4.00 pillows would retail for $25.00, how cool is that!  Plus, they are “designer pillows”  LOL!  My advise is to get brave and try some new adventures.   You never know what glorious results await!!


Last night during my evening walk I was surprised at how high the corn was in the fields around the house.  I stood on my tiptoes, reached as high as I could (I am 5’2″) and the corn hoovered another 4′ beyond my reach!  In spite of my daily walks, it seemed as if the corn had secretly grown incredibly tall overnight!  cornfield

Gingerbread 2005

Gingerbread 2014 from I Love Ornaments #3

I started thinking about my painting skills.  I paint just about every day, but I never stopped to think about how much I have grown as a painter.  When I look at what I painted years ago, the growth is quite evident.  However, when painting daily, often we don’t see the progress.  I think it is good to stop to realize how our painting enjoyment continually hones our skills and improves our talents.

Often we get discouraged if a project doesn’t turn out the way we anticipated.  We get frustrated when the strokes don’t behave.  Stop and take a moment to analyze your current level.  Would you have been able to paint as well a year ago?  Are the projects you tackle today more advanced?  As you continually push your limits, you are growing and increasing those talents.

I just finished a design and am so very pleased with the results.  I am very happy with what I do today, however, in the back of my mind, I know that what I do tomorrow will be even better.  I can’t wait to see what will be on my painting table next year!

Remember to never get discouraged, just like the corn, you will allways growing!

Stamping with paint…successfully…

I was never interested in the rubber stamping world.  I was very happy with all the variety my acrylic world offered, however, I was coerced into trying to use stamps with ink, but did so with a really bad attitude.  The ink wasn’t stable, it ran, it bled, it messed up my project…  Then I discovered there are many kinds of ink which respond differently.  Ugh, I was not ready to tackle another medium.  Do you have those moments when a light bulb goes off?  Well, I’m sure if I can not claim ownership, but it dawned on me that because I am so comfortable with paint, I know all the characteristics, I understand the dry time, why not try using paint with the stamps?!  I was told by stamping experts that paint will gum up the stamps and the images will not be crisp and clean.  Well…I figured that did not apply to me!

After much experimenting, I found an almost fail-safe way to stamp with paint.  I will admit that using paint may require more maintenance, but I LOVED the results!  I could stamp an intricate swirl (one that would take hours to perfect) in just seconds.  I almost felt like I was cheating.  The stamps are gorgeous and the possibilities are endless.  I was so excited, that I could hardly sleep.  I have been using stamps now for over two years and am still amazed at what a difference they can make.  A plain background can become a total show stopper, add designs to anything, Santa’s robe, a vase, breath-taking snowflakes, and words…ah yes…words are the best.  If I asked how many people like to paint words, I know the raised hands would be few (me included)!

Specialty Sponges

Specialty Sponges

Let me share my tips for perfect stamping.  First are the tools, I use the Specialty Sponge set of two to apply the paint.  These sponges are dense, sturdy, cover large areas quickly and keep your fingers…well…a little less messy.

Acrylic Handle

A clear acrylic handle is used as a base for the stamps.  The stamps cling to the acrylic, can easily be re-positioned, I like the clear because I can see exactly where I am stamping.



The biggest key is to use common sense.

1.  Surface:  Make sure the surface is smooth.  If using an acrylic handle, make sure the surface is flat.

2.  Handle:  Attach selected stamp to the acrylic handle and lay flat, stamp side facing up.  For curved contours, the handle can be omitted.

3.  Apply Paint:  Dampen appropriate size specialty sponge and squeeze in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  To load the sponge, squirt a small puddle of paint onto the palette.  Lightly tap the sponge into the paint and keep tapping until the paint is dispersed evenly onto the bottom of the sponge.  The texture of the sponge must be visible or there is too much paint on the sponge.

4. Stamp Image:  Turn stamp over, position and gently press down.  Too much pressure may smash the paint off the stamp.   Lift stamp directly up, any wiggle will smear the image.  Keys to remember, too much paint will result in a blurry image and not enough paint will make the image incomplete.  Reload every time.

5. Cleanup:  The stamps need to be cleaned immediately.  I usually drop them in my water bucket to hang out until I am finished and ready to clean up.  I lay the stamps in the bottom of my sink and use a soft scrubby brush to make them sparkling clean.  I place them on a paper towel to dry.  Clean both sides of the stamp and the acrylic handle.  It makes sense if either has paint build up, they will have difficulty sticking to the handle.

Sapphire Cherish Family Tray

Family, Food and Friends

Carte Postale

Sparkle Tree Santa

Dare to Dabble Fruit
















It won’t take long to understand and grasp the art of stamping with paint.  It can be fun and so very rewarding.  Keep an open mind because once you master it, you will get so excited you will become giddy!!  Oh, I do love my stamps, they really make me look good and I say that with a smile and a wink.