DecoArt Courage

When DecoArt asks me to do a project for them, I always try to push my creativity in an unusual direction to provide a new look at traditional painting.  DecoArt’s Media Line is intriguing because it is so different and versatile.  Matisse once said “Creativity takes courage”.  I titled this “Courage” as it seemed to sum it up as I stared at the blank journal.  I wanted to design something totally new and unique.  Learning new techniques and using new paints and mediums can be overwhelming, however, the results are so amazing that they are almost magical!  This project is the Featured Video in DecoArt’s Decorative Painting Newsletter.IMG_7663

Because journals are so popular, I decided to use this as my surface.  Everyone can use a journal…kids, teens, adults…we all need to make lists, write short mementos, or just jot down ideas!  Journals are a perfect and thoughtful solution for any gift giving.  My daughter creates stunning journals just for her that anyone would be thrilled to have!

This technique is very loose which can be a little stressful.  I encourage you to relax and let the brush take you to fantastic places.  I had a professor in college that emphasized that the painting always reflects your feelings.  With that in mind, relax and enjoy the ride!  The process always takes you through the “ugly stage” before it arrives at the impressive results!

Click  to see the  short instructional video creative process from start to finish…

All supplies are available from Cupboard Distributing

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics

DecoArt Media Misters

Loew Cornell Brushes

DecoArt Media Mediums


Instructions:  The design is painted on canvas paper, then adhered to the journal cover.  Coat 5” x 7” Canvas Paper with white gesso using small specialty sponge.  Allow to dry, lightly sand, wipe clean and repeat.

  1. Screenshot_01Starting with Turquoise Shimmer Mister, lightly spray top, left corner and ⅓ down left side.  Using Yellow Green Mister, spray from top right corner to bottom left corner.  Spritz a very light amount of Primary Magenta in the area of the pinecones.  While still wet, spray with White Screenshot_1Shimmer Mister to lighten.  Hold paper vertical and allow paint to “run” down page.  Lightly mist with water or alcohol using Mini Mister.  When drips are as desired, lay paper flat to dry.
  2. Screenshot_2Attach dictionary cling stamp to acrylic handle.  Using the Archival Ink Pad, coat stamp with black ink.  Stamp words randomly onto the background.  This does not need to be heavy or solid coverage.   Random and incomplete create more interest.
  3. Load oval wash with Burnt Umber and MaScreenshot_3tte Medium (50/50).  Using a slip slap motion, coat background area to tone down.
  4. Load toe of angle with Matte Medium and QBU to float across the bottom and part way up the right side.  Blend softly into background.
  5. Attach pinecone stamp to acrylic handle.  Coat stamp with black ink following instructions above and stamp image.  Allow to dry.
  6. Screenshot_4Load liner with Titanium White to paint first layer of pine branches.  Repeat with Sap Green and Turquoise Blue Hue.  Keep adding layers until branches are full.  Finish by adding a few qbo needles.  Keep these sparse, add solely for color interest.
  7. Load filbert with Matte Medium and Burnt Umber.  Wash over pinecones to tint.  Pick up Titanium White on dirty brush and press down to create the tips of pinecone layers.
  8. Load toe of angle with qbo and float around the outer edge of the pinecones and in between.  Without cleaning brush, repeat with Prussian Blue and finish by adding a light float of qbo.
  9. Load tip of filbert with a tan mix of Titanium White and Burnt Umber (50/50) to re-define the layers of the pinecone.  Load liner with Titanium White and highlight the top tips of the layers.
  10. To create the spatters, load round with a thinned mix of Prussian Blue and qbo.  Rap brush sharply onto another brush handle.  Always test on palette before spattering surface.  Spatter mostly around the outer edges.  Repeat with Titanium White, mostly in the darkest areas.Screenshot_6
  11. Trim paper to fit journal cover.  With oval wash, apply a layer of Matte Medium onto the cover.  Place painted canvas paper, smooth flat and seal with a top coat of Matte Medium.
  12. Using pad of finger, rub Titanium White around the outer edge (and spine) of the journal.  When dry, repeat with a touch of Sap Green.  If needed, add Burnt Umber.
  13. Screenshot_7With finger, rub a small amout of Ttianium White on the raised design of the metal frame.  When dry, tone down with a small rub of Sap Green.  Add a touch of qbo for interest in just a couple places.
  14. Varnish journal surface and metal frame with a coat of Soft Touch Varnish.
  15. To add the words, coat canvas paper with Gesso.  With oval wash, tint paper with Burnt Umber and Matte Medium (50/50).  Thin Sap Green with Matte Medium (50/50) to add a hint of color.  qbo may also be added.Screenshot_8
  16. Select word stamp of choice, coat with black ink and stamp onto the canvas paper.
  17. Cut word to fit metal frame and secure with adhesive.
  18. Cut fiber or ribbon and thread through the holes in the metal frame.  Allow enough length to tie.  Apply Quick Grip Adhesive onto the back of the frame and glue into place.
  19. Fill inside frame with Liquid Glass.

I am so impressed with the vibrancy of the Media paints.  It only takes a little to create rich, glowing colors.  Please visit Cupboard Distributing for more inspiration, information and for all supplies used for this project.  Email me with any questions

Postale Tissue Wrap…possibilities in a box!

If you haven’t played with the new Postale Tissue Wrap, you are missing out!  I am not sure what is is made of, however, the opaque tissue it is thin yet strong, it can be crinkled yet won’t crease (this means if it gets crumpled, it won’t be ruined), it can be torn straight or random pieces, it stores in a convenient box with a handy tear edge.  Each box contain a strip 12 inches wide by 15 feet long, so there is plenty for any project. 46_93181__26518.1416585851.1024.1024

Snowy Notes Pattern Packet by Chris Haughey

Snowy Notes Pattern Packet by Chris Haughey

I have used the tissue as a base or accent.  If using as a base, the end effect can be altered by painting a basecoat on the surface before adhering.  For a brighter look, basecoat with a light color such as an off-white ot light tan.  Using darker brown colors will tone down the print.  Reds, oranges or brighter colors will tint the tissue and create a fun effect.  To use the tissue as a base, adhere it directly onto a surface with decoupage. My favorite is DecoArt’s DecouPage Matte. Following manufacturer’s directions, simply apply a layer on the surface, place tissue, smooth to remove any wrinkles of bubbles and immediately apply a topcoat over tissue to seal.

(Get this pattern for only $7.50 on my website! »)

To use as an accent, cut or tear pieces to decoupage onto the project.  These pieces can be used as borders, accents or highlights.  Glazing can be added to tone down or mute the design to coordinate and bring it together.  Add shading around the edges for a cohesive look.  Stencil over top with paint or texture for interest.  The border design in the photo was created using Media Modeling Paste and Gothic Layering Stencil.  The possibilities are endless!


Keys to Heaven by Chris Haughey Everyday Blessings Painting Book


Border design using media Modeling Paste and Gothic Layering Stencil by Chris Haughey

I like to paint over the tissue, I often glaze over top of the print to mute the design.  Too much design can become too busy, distract and end up in chaos.  Mixing paint with Traditions Glazing Medium will create a transparent hue that tones down the design and allows the print to still be visible.

Using the tissue creates a lovely background that provides upscale interest and results in a high quality piece.  The tissue can be used alone or with paint to create a masterpiece.  This is a wonderful way to quickly produce stunning ornaments, decorative boxes, home decor, background magic and so much more.  Whether you are a paper crafter or painter, this tissue works well in both worlds.  What I love most is that the more I play with it, the more ways I can find to use it!   This such a trendy product, the possibilites are truly endless….

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=”” 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…:-)