Category Archives: Stuff that makes me smile…

New Shoes for FREE!!

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I love to test new products to see if they are really all they are cracked up to be.  When DecoArt’s new Patent Leather Paint arrived, I was not convinced that it would look all that great.  After all, how many times do you paint shoes, purses or belts??

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I looked in my closet and found a pair of brown sandals.  I really liked them, but rarely wear dark brown in the summertime. Determined to find out about the paint, I put the first layer on the leather straps.  Yuck, however, I did not except the first layer to cover perfectly.  So, I added a second coat, then a third.  At this point, I could see potential.  From experience, I know it is ALWAYS best to add several thin coats as opposed to a thick heavy layer.  This eliminates any lumps, bumps or ridges of thick paint.  One more coat…

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The last coat was beyond belief!  The sandals were smooth, and flexible, the color was stunning and, BEST OF ALL, they didn’t look hand painted.  These sandals look super expensive and very classy!  Check out my new “expensive” looking sandals!  sandals.jpg

So to recap, the new DecoArt Patent Leather paint comes in 13 amazing colors and can be used to refresh or restyle leather and leather-like surfaces with this high-gloss acrylic paint.  That means that it can be used not only for fashion accessories, but also for leather, or faux leather surfaces such as ottomans, chairs, cushions, etc… As well as used to embellish or add design to any of these surfaces!!!  In addition to being water based and non toxic, this paint is specially formulated to be flexible to prevent cracking or peeling.   My mind is absolutely swirling with all the possibilities that this unique paint offers!

DecoArt Patent Leather Paints available at Cupboard Distributing:  https://www.cdwood.com/collections/decoart-patent-leather-paints

Give it a rest…

I worked on a new design in January with great anticipation.  I wanted to create a rustic nativity scene on a weathered wood background.  I was pleased with the background and proceeded to work on the manger.  I kept the colors to a simple, earthy palette.  However, after I finished, it had much to be desired.  I set it aside to ponder on what to do.  I decided the small figures were lost with the busyness of the woodgrain.  At this point, re-painting the background wasn’t an option.

After a couple days, I added line work to make the figures more pronounced.  Outlining definitely helped, but the whole scene was very lacking.  I set it aside to mull over the next step.  I had two choices, either figure out how to salvage it or File 13!  At that time I was busy painting new designs for Vegas convention and a new book.  It was time to “give it a rest”.  My mind was filled with these new projects, however, the unfinished design was always lurking on my back burners.Penwork.jpg

After I returned from travel teaching and the Vegas convention, the huge task of getting my studio back in order loomed ahead.   I always need a few days after these long trips to rejuvenate and refresh.  Travel time is a great opportunity to plan new projects and gear up for the next round.  I pulled out the unfinished design and re-evaluated it.  It had good bones, but definitely lacked what I call that “POP” that takes it from ordinary to exciting.

Because I had nothing to loose, I opted to play with some stamping around the edges.  This was a huge improvement, but still needed more impact.  I used the white Uni-ball pen to enhance the stamping.  I was excited with the results…however…still needed more.  Sooooo…it was time again to “give it a rest”!Stamping.jpg

A couple weeks have passed and I focused my attentions again to finishing the piece. Today would be the day, either sink or swim!!  At this point, I knew that I needed to add a few more elements in the background and maybe some word art.  I had been jotting down different “sayings” and selected the one I wanted to use.  I added the background elements, painted the words, added a drop shadow and finished with some beautiful Glamour Dust.  I took a good look at the “finished” project and am quite pleased!Lettering.jpg

This whole process was unusual for me.  Normally, I “see” a design in my mind, sit down and paint it.  This one was quite obstinate!  However, we all need a challenge and I was determined to not give up.  Now that it is finished, I feel quite proud of myself for persevering, a little like Rocky!!

So, if you are painting a project and it just doesn’t seem to be cooperating, GIVE IT A REST!  Taking a break from a project doesn’t mean that you quit painting, it just means that you are switching gears.  While working on different designs, the brain can be analyzing and evaluating the problem child.  The satisfaction achieved is such a good feeling.  So remember, “giving it a rest”, isn’t giving up, it’s giving that creative energy time to figure it all out!

 

 

Viva Las Vegas!

16265266_1350454528308899_4036656819822082977_n.jpgThe Creative Painting Convention 2017 in Las Vegas definitely receives five stars!  Hats off to Jayne Jones and her terrific staff for a show that ran smoothly from start to finish.  With all the classes, exhibit hall, vendors and registered attendees, she has huge responsibilites, tremendous workload and still manages to give us all her sweet smile the entire week.
We arrived in Vegas on Saturday.  I taught the Sponsored Event “Signs of the Times” with Laurie Speltz on Sunday.  The class was filled with talented, eager students.  We had a great time sharing our unique techniques, tips and tricks to make painting easier and a little more fun.

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Whew…late night hours combined with weary travelers, slow the pace just a little.  However, we almost got finished and hope to see final projects posted on FaceBook.

For those that may not know, my husband, John and I are the founders and owners of Cupboard Distributing.  Because Creative Painting is such a great show and we have an awesome, hard working staff, we bring them to help with our booth. 17021801_1435103303188220_7574829373836147440_n.jpg(Left to right; Lindsey Applegate; Jen Key; Drake Newman…and no…they’re not our kids!!) However, Monday was a “play day”.  We went to see Hoover Dam.  Because our truck was packed to the hilt, and because we didn’t want to unpack the entire load, we were banned from entering the dam area.  LOL, if they only knew what was in those totes…class supplies!  Oh well, nice to know that Homeland Security is doing their job.    We did get to park and enjoy the scenic view over Lake Meade.

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Tuesday was set up day and this is no small task.  Thank goodness for capable employees.  Everyone knew their job and the booth went together little by little.  It is quite amazing to watch as those huge stacks of boxes and totes are transformed into a fantastic booth.

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Wednesday was opening day…and what a day it was. Our booth was packed from the beginning to the end of the day.17097513_1441580369207180_181651958227779787_o.jpgThanks to Jen and Lindsey for keeping the line moving quickly. 16864654_10155141875526209_7853455619886834793_n.jpg John and Drake had their hands full restocking the product.  I had the best job of all, talking to my painting friends, answering questions, showing off new product, tools and giving tips.

The patterns I designed for this show were a little different for me.  I worked really hard to create really unique, trendy surfaces and patterns.  I was a little nervous because these were outside my “box” and comfort zone. However, I was so pleased at how well they were received.  A big thank you to all of our customers for their kind words, support and patronage.  I am always overwhelmed with this wonderful group of painter friends.  I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love!  All surfaces and patterns are available at Cupboard Distributing  www.cdwood.com

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Because Cupboard Distributing is celebrating 30 years in business this year, we added a contest.  With every $30.00 purchase, customers received a ticket for a chance to win 30 of my newest pattern packets or a huge basket of Stampendous stamps.  We had so much fun promoting our 30 years with these great prizes.  Contest winners were selected after we returned home. Vegas Winner.jpg Congratulations to Kay Stahm for winning the patterns and Regina Oswald for winning the stamps!

Thursday evening was my last class.  We had a great time learning how to use stamps, as well as other unique techniques for creating unique projects and easily updating older designs.

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All of a sudden it was Friday and before we could blink, we were tearing down the booth! Whew…what a fun and high energy show!  I love this show and, even though I am bone tired, can’t wait till next year!

 

Is it still art??

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Much of the art that is trending today is a mix of many mediums.  The fresh new look is very appealing and I love the energy that it creates.   It is normal to see change in our decorative painting world and watch how fads evolve.  We live life in the fast lane which has a huge impact on fashion and art.


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Years ago, we had time to study, practice and learn strokework, color theory and composition.
Often it took weeks, blood, sweat and tears to create a single project.  Each project was a labor of love and a work of art!

As the years progressed, the tools, mediums and techniques were introduced to make our painting lives easier.  Instead of relying on practice and talent, we were offered new ways to achieve amazing results.  These wonderful tools were shunned at first and dubbed as “cheating”.  Remember the introduction of stencils into the “painting world?  Those who admitted they used stencils were referred to as “lazy or untalented”.

Now the resources that are available are overwhelming.  Not only can we use a multitude of mediums, we can combine them as well.  Instead of painting a rose, we can find a beautiful one and decoupage it!  Image Transfer allow us to create beautifully lettered words without stress.  04-pa1317-2.jpgStamps offer infinite and intricate variety.  We can add dimension, use markers, pens and even add fabric or cardboard.  No longer are we restricted to those rigid rules.

I love the freedom that today’s art provides.  It has taken a long time to allow myself to admit that I can’t paint a round circle.  04-pa1530.jpgI DO use stencils and I DO admit it!   I hate spending time working on lettering only to find out it still looks awful!  With awesome tools and tricks, I can paint and  create faster; and the results look better.  This allows me to spend more time creating and designing, which I love to do.

04-pa1525.JPGIf you are a traditional painter, I would encourage you to let your hair down, spread your wings and prepare yourself for a fun adventure.
Art is all about expression and creating.  04-pa1647.JPGSo, no matter if you are super talented, or if you can’t paint a straight line, if you have creativity, you can make art!
Art is color, composition, interest and expression.  Have fun, play and watch this amazing journey!

 

Who doesn’t like FREE???

DecoArt Media Give-away!

dask351-centered2017 is here and it’s time for fresh starts, new beginnings, trying something different, organizing, creating, and accomplishing many new and exciting projects!  To help you celebrate, Cupboard Distributing is offering a fantastic Media kit by DecoArt.  This fabulous kit will help get those creative juices flowing and help kick off your new year with pizzazz, bamm, pow and wow!!

I absolutely LOVE the Media line from DecoArt.  For those that are a little hesitant to invest into another line of paints, I would suggest a sampling.  So, if you aren’t the lucky winner of this awesome kit, here are a few of my favorite picks:

  1. Liquid Glass will give crystal clear dimension.  Perfect topping for berries, bubbles, eyeballs, dragonfly wings, etc…and with the precise tip, wonderful for adding texture.
  2. Matte Medium, I call it Magic Medium!  I use it for a varnish, decoupage, glazing medium, it is my most used “go to” jar!
  3. Quinacridone colors are rich, saturated color that explode on contact!  The Media Fluid Acrylics can be used in conjunction with regular acrylics, which means they will totally ramp up highlights to a new level. Plus, I love saying the name!!!
  4. Ultra Matte Varnish has the same sheen as acrylic paint.  I can varnish the surface to protect (I call this my safety net) and when dry, I can go back and paint on OR drybrush with excellent results!

All you need to do to enter this fabulous kit is make a comment on Cupboard Distributing facebook page on how much you love DecoArt, Cupboard Distributing, Pixelated Palette,…or me!!  To receive more chances to win like, comment or share with a friend!  https://www.facebook.com/CupboardDistributing/

Who wouldn’t want this fantastic set of pure inspiration.  Remember to comment, like and share to enter!  Contest starts Jan 15th and continues through the 21st.

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Fresh Start…

As 2017 commences, we have a sense of newness that is uplifting and inspiring.  Sunday, New Year’s Day, was a beautiful day filled with sunshine and fresh, crispy air. new-year For the first time…ever…I was able to take the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  It was a good time to reflect and restore.  Sometimes we get so busy and wrapped up in daily business that we don’t take time to look at the overall picture.  Last year was a roller coaster, filled with plenty of ups and downs.  There were quite a few times that I thought the downs were outnumbering the ups!  We always enjoy the “ups” but, in retrospect, I am in awe at the support and love of friends and family during the down times.  My heart overflows with the generosity and kindness bestowed during these dark times.

Looking towards the new year, I am filled with determination to make this year one of the best yet.  I am not big on resolutions, however, I think we all look at the new year as a new beginning.  resolutionsWith that in mind, I cleaned my studio, organized my shelves, and straightened my office.  Fresh ideas and excitement flood my mind as I pull out new sketchbooks.

 

Evstarten though my 2017 calendar is filled with travels, classes, and conventions, the list for new product and designs is long and ambitious!  I am so excited to start moving those brushes that I can hardly wait to get home to my studio!

I would encourage you to count your blessings, take time to love, give a helping hand, spread your wings, say a kind wordreinvent, learn something new, share with others, and take time for yourself.

Be sure to do your part, enjoy each day no matter what and I am sure 2017 will be filled with adventure, fun and memories!

Love and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!  Chris

A Weary Traveler’s Diary

I have just arrived home from several wonderful adventures.  I am physically weary, but so excited from all my travels.  It started with my fantastic visit to Las Cruces, New Mexico to teach a seminar with my dear friends at the Yucca Pod Chapter.  Life in New Mexico is so very different from Ohio.  I cherish my time there and enjoy the stories, food and friendship immensely.  This chapter holds a special place in my heart and 12806152_1103815366317017_1978786079583370450_n.jpgI look forward to our times together.8209_1103384786360075_1882210195690064580_n.jpg

Next was on to the high energy pace of the Creative Painting Convention in Las Vegas.  Wow, this year was even better than ever.  Hats off to Jay and Jayne for hosting such a successful and fun show.  The week opened on Monday with a Sponsored Event taught with Laurie Speltz.  We were excited as the class sold out months ago and we ended up with 96 students.  Boy, did we ever have fun!  We kept these gals on their toes with no time to waste!  They all kept up and amazed us with two almost (99%) finished pieces!12801354_1105043792860841_8874516103017299853_n.jpg

Next was the trade show.  OMG, the excitement on the was unbelievable.  It is always so much fun to see so many familiar faces and to make new painting friends.  I was pleased and honored at the great response to my new book, “Ornamania”, and my many new patterns.  This is what makes it all worthwhile!12805904_10156745626030045_1609345689542420811_n.jpg

Friday was my class, Midnight Delivery.  Again, the class was sold out, which is really great considering it was the last day of the show.  The class was a little calmer and slower paced, which was good for all of us!  We finished…almost, but always pleased to get to the tail end.  No one likes to take home UFO’s.  12670807_10156891538710045_6952912161240885560_n.jpg12791125_1348196855205788_7131115614674143149_n.jpg

 

A long trip home was made just a little longer with a few mechanical problems with our beloved truck.  It is funny that in the midst of trials, we get to meet wonderful people.  The hotel staff, the tow truck driver, the mechanics were more than kind and helpful.  Hats off to Oklahoma for making what could have been a nightmare a making it a treasured memory of kindnesses.10348448_1108875485811005_1772085511609722769_n.jpg

Home for a quick 5 days then packed the truck for a trek to Florida. 12832424_1111762608855626_8037750199486772444_n.jpg

I don’t think anyone in Ohio would be sad to go south during the month of March.  First stop was the Orlando chapter.  The gals there were so much fun and made our stay delightful.  Again, both days, we were able to get through both projects.10547590_1114778251887395_377377416582280814_n.jpg

Next up was Coral Springs.  What a beautiful area!  Just to see those gorgeous tropical plants, the amazing Atlantic Ocean, eat fish…ahhhh…  We laughed and painted and I met some really special and talented women.  It seemed that time flew and before I could blink, it was time to move on.10157115_1119659684732585_3581112444776369384_n.jpg

We had a couple days off and visited with my sister-in-law.  We ate (really well, by the ocean), shopped, laughed, ate really well (by the ocean), went to the Keys, took lots of pictures, ate really well (by the ocean), shopped some more and made some great memories!Keys.png

Last stop was Chattahoochee.  I was really weary by then, but the love and enthusiasm of this group rejuvenated me.  It was beautiful beyond words, huge hedges of blooming Azaleas of all colors, flowering trees, green, green grass, ferns, beautiful homes with unique architecture, seeping with history, quaint restaurants with unbelievable food, but the best part of all were the gals in the chapter.  We laughed, painted, ate (very well), prayed and bonded together.  12400992_1125342744164279_2581987407213123184_n.jpg

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As this adventure draws to an end, I am tired, but overall renewed in spirit.  I have realized that hearts can bond across miles;  even though we are all different, we share the same spirit with sincerity and love and it is cherished deeply.  My love of painting is reinforced and renewed.  Best of all…THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!