SLIDER

Hello!

My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.

NEWSLETTER

Friday, February 28, 2014

Homemade Cheese It Recipe!

I am so incredibly excited to share this recipe with you because it is so completely yummy and incredibly easy. One of Nora's go to toddler snacks is the cracker and I wanted to make her something with out all those preservatives and just a few ingredients. When you make these, the cheddar cheese smell that fills your kitchen is pretty heavenly. Nora parks herself in front of the oven and does a little happy booty scoot while waiting for them to bake. and you can do that to!

Ingredients:
1. Butter 3/4 cups of room temp butter
2. Salt- 1/2 tsp
3. Shredded Cheddar Cheese- 2cups
4.  1 1/2 cups of flour
5. Sea Salt for Sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the butter, salt, flour, cheese in an electric mixer. You have to let it go for a few minutes so the cheese can separate and become a big doughy ball of goodness. Pop into the fridge for 20 minutes and then roll out the dough onto wax or parchment paper to about 1/4-1/8 inch thick- the thinner the better because they will puff up. If you have a pastry wheel you can use that but I just used a butter knife to cut the dough and made 1 inch squares. I separated the squares and placed them on a sheet of parchment. You can take a tooth pick and poke the top to create that special Cheese It dot and then it's oven time. 10 minutes in the oven and be prepared for little cheesy clouds of pure bliss. Sprinkle with sea salt once they come out of the oven and enjoy!

 On a side note I am working on a paleo aka grown up version but haven't quite perfected it yet but I am close!
30 comments

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Art 101: Top 5 Tips in Picking Out a Watercolor Paint Brush

Watercolor is easily one of the most affordable artist mediums and the absolute best to travel with. Any time I go on vacation or out of town, I take my water colors because it's easy, compact and light. On the other hand watercolor is one of the most difficult mediums because it's so hard to control (well duh its water) and you can't correct mistakes. You can add layers to watercolor but there isn't really any do-overs and I know I make tons of mistakes while painting. I have used the same water color paint brushes for almost 10 years. A good brush or at least knowing a few tips in picking out a good water color brush will last you nearly forever as long as your nice to it. :) Oh and the best thing about water color brushes is that they can be used for other water mediums like gouache. yay!- I know it's important to have a multi-purpose brush especially if you plan on shelling out the cash.

 1. It is extremely important to buy a brush that is specifically meant for water color because you need brush that holds water and releases water. So a bristle brush like a hog will not work. You want more of a soft hair like a sable or mink. A squirrel or ox brushes holds more water in the hairs then sable or mink but they aren't as soft.
 2. The two main types of water color brushes are rounds and flat brushes. The reason why the round brushes are more tear dropped shaped is because the belly holds the water like a reservoir- and releases the water with your fluidity of your stroke.
 3. A watercolor brush uses a shorter handle because it requires a firmer grip causing the water to go to the tip of the brush.
4. Synthetic versus real hair. Synthetic is an easy choice because it is a cheaper brush. If you do buy a synthetic typically it will not last as long as natural hair because it will not retain it's shape and will not be as springy and firm. If you are just starting out- these are the way to go and I have some synthetic brushes that have lasted a long time- but if you plan getting a ton of wear and are hard core go for the real deal.
5. #8 round and 1/2 inch flat are great starter brushes and will not disappoint if you just want to dabble with water color.

 Happy creating! Psst If you want to read more in this non art school series- click here.
7 comments

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toddler Crafts: Potato Stamps

Nora is a very busy toddler and is into anything and everything. She loves to be involved, and lately is quite the bossy little lady.  When she wants to tell me something she takes my hand or pushes me to where she wants me and does a dramatic point and then tells me what she wants.  What can I say she is a girl that knows exactly what she wants. 

She is getting a lot of words every day and it actually surprises me how many words keep coming into her little vocabulary.  I love how proud of herself she gets when she learns a new word and points it out to me and says it so firmly and loudly.  It's amazing that all of sudden she has this big loud personality that says here I am and you are paying attention to me.  So I have been on a mission to come up with some toddler activities to help stimulate those little brain muscles and hopefully keep her busy. 

All I did was cut up a sweet potato into different shapes and tape down some paper. She liked the stamping at first but liked using the paint brush a bit better. Then she smeared her hands in it- I think I will call this art her abstract phase. The only draw back is that she keeps trying to eat the paint and is slowly learning not to and I have realized that I am going to have that kid that eats the glue.
21 comments

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Citrus Rosemary Fizz- Cocktail Recipe

I am a huge fan of savory cocktails because they always seem like a little unexpected surprise in a delicious drink. Why not unite a savory cocktail with citrus and with a splash of bubbles- sounds like a match made in heaven. Don't you think?  

Supplies:
a splash of Simple Syrup
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Lime
Vodka
Club Soda- just for the top of the cocktail
Fresh Rosemary
Cut the lime in half and squeeze into martini shaker and then cut the limes again and place them into shaker.  Use your muddler and pound the limes for maybe a good 30 seconds.  Take 1 rosemary sprig and remove the leaves and throw away the stem. Now chop the rosemary fine. Place into shaker and use the muddler again to release the oils in the rosemary and add your simple syrup.  Squeeze the juice of one orange and one lemon- I used a juicer but you can always use your hands.  Add a shot of vodka.  Place ice in cup and shake the martini shaker. Use the strainer and pour into glass, then add the club soda to the top for a little fizz.
Take a sip or a chug a lug and enjoy!
17 comments

Monday, February 24, 2014

Art Love: Mary Sauer

It's no secret that I love oil painting, not only because I paint with them but because there is this beautiful luxurious quality about them.  There is this ability to subtly capture a moment that lasts forever making it timeless.   I would love to hang one of these paintings in my sitting room or maybe even a study..now i just need one of those fancy rooms.

Mary Sauer is a New York artist that has an impressionistic approach to oil painting with a great representation of color balance, proportion and value of relationships .. basically a very technical oil painter with a high level of technique which I admire completely and maybe even a little jealous of.
25 comments

Friday, February 21, 2014

February Wish List // Spring are we there yet?



1//Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas, Advise and Project from 50 Successful Artists
2//Tumbleweed Sunglasses Handcrafted for Amelia Presents 
3//Public Bikes
4//Grounded in Glam Flat Coral
5//Flutter Fan Tank in Gray
6//Ona Bags - The Bowry
7//C'mon Fete Happy Dress
8//Havana Panama Fedora Straw Hat
9//Floral Authentic Lo Pro

Happy Friday! Yay! we made it to the weekend.  I am going to chime in and say I am so ready for a little summer sunshine or even spring sunshine or any type of sunshine for that matter.  I can tell I am longing for sun when all I am shopping for sunglasses, bicycles, and sandals.  I am too excited to get my hands on the book Creative Block by the Jealous Creator- it has so many of my favorite artists in the pages divulging all of their secrets and inspiration. A perfect read since during the winter I keep i my studio a lot and I feel like I get all my best ideas in the winter time or at least I would like to think so.
22 comments

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Prints on Etsy

I have been working on an Instagram challenge of making art every day in February and even though February isn't over yet, I decided to turn a few of my little paintings into art prints. yay! I have to admit this challenge has been tough because I am such a perfectionist and completely analytical about my work. I feel like it's good for me to really push myself and not over work something and maybe even leave some spaces empty with focusing more on artistic expression. The best part of the challenge so far is that I have been painting whatever I want and I can move on and paint something else the next day. I work really hard on my art work, more than anything I have ever done and love it so much.

 Oh! and here to get to my etsy shop. If you have any questions about the work on instagram or etsy just shoot me an email at erikaleesears@gmail.com.
21 comments

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Art 101: How to Clean an Oil Painting Paint Brush.

An oil painter's main tool is their paint brush, it is extremely important to know how to care for them. A good paint brush is generally not cheap, and by providing the right care and a little TLC, they will last a long time. Now some fancy art school terminology is called loading the paint brush. Loading the paint brush is one applies the paint to the brush. When you load the paint brush, you apply the paint to the tip of the brush and not further then midway because you don't want to get paint in the ferrule (the metal part of the paint brush that holds the bristles). If you get paint/solvents/oils into the ferrule it can warp the bristles and the brush wont maintain its shape. It's not the end of the world when it happens- you can clean your brush but something to be conscious of and try not get gunk up in the ferrule. Never, ever leave the brush in water or solvent- I will send the oil painting police for you.

 Supplies:
Turpenoid or Gamsol- turpentine substitute.
 Paper Towels or Newspaper
Dish Soap or Pink Soap (if you want to be fancy)
Gloves- if you don't like getting dirty ;)

Take your dirty brush and wrap your paper towel around the bristles. Grip the ferrule- tight and firm. Have the paint brush handle toward your chest and pull away from yourself. Do this a couple of times. Pour some clean turpenoid in a little container and swirl your paint brush in it (your loosening up the paint) and wrap and pull again. Pour the soup in your palm- about a quarter's worth- depending on the size of the brush. Dunk your brush into the soup in your palm and rub the bristles into your hand. The paint will come off onto your palm and you want to continue to scrub and then rinse in water. Then repeat until there is no more paint coming out of the brush. Once your brush is sparkling and clean, wipe it in your paper towel to get the water out of the brush. Make sure the bristles are somewhat dry because you don't want gunk in your ferrule. Shape the brush and place the brush on a flat table with the head of the brush beyond the edge.

Cleaning your paint brushes is time consuming but it is worth it because they can last a very long time and save you cash money.  Happy painting!

Psst: Want to read more in this non-art school series? click here.
7 comments

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DIY: Imagination Grows Here Wall Art

When I was pregnant with Nora, I had all these grand plans to make art for her room. I didn't make much art while I was pregnant because I didn't have an easy pregnancy and all my creative energy was just zapped.  Fast forward to now- I am completely motivated to make art for her room. The plan is to work on an art gallery wall- where I make some art, we make some projects together and hang some of her own creations.  I love having art in my home and am always rearranging, making new art and am always on the look out for new art.   I hope by making art with and for my daughter it will inspire her one day.

Supplies:
Letter Sticks- I used Project Popperz by Elmers
Acrylic Paint - I used Black, White, Gold, Turquoise, and Red- I added white into the colors to make them more pastel.  I would suggest not using the cheapest craft paint because it will be watery and it won't provide the best results. I like Delta, Folk Art, Americana, or Martha Stewart.
Acrylic Varnish- I used a matte, but a high gloss is fine.
Paint Brush- a big brush and then a flat head for details and lines.
Painters Tape
18X20 Canvas but wood would work fine also.

Lay out your canvas and I applied a layer of Gray paint (mixing white and black paint) and let dry. Put on the letters onto the canvas. Now tape off what you want to paint and apply were ever you want to color. Let this layer dry before removing the tape.  Remove tape and letters and lay down another layer of tape in whatever shapes you want and paint! You can remove the tape before this layer is dry but before applying another layer you want to let this layer dry completely (which should only take a couple of minutes because acrylic paint drys pretty quickly). Now apply as many layers as you want when I satisfied with the amount of layers and colors. I outlined the letters with black to make the letters pop a little more and not get to lost in the shapes.

I really love how it turned out and think it's a good start to Nora's art gallery.

12 comments

Monday, February 17, 2014

Art Love: Henry Hargreaves

One of my guilty pleasures is watching true crime reality television or those prison shows. (hehe don't judge)   I think what is so addicting is just seeing the crazy or seeing how normal or relatable inmates can be, and then hearing the stories of how they ended up in prison.  I was called for jury duty once and they shuffled me into the court house basement and it was creepy because it felt like I being watched.  It was a place were people got into trouble like going to the principal office.  I hated it and never got called to serve but I still love those stupid crime television shows. "No Seconds" is a photography series created by Henry Hargreaves of death row inmate's last meals.  I think what is so interesting is the humanity it brings to people who have done such crazy and horrible things and it makes what they did so final.. the end to what they did and there are no take backs, forgiveness, and your destiny is decided.

I'm not sure what I would eat for my last meal but if I had to choose today it would most likely be a pepperoni pizza, nachos, chocolate cake and a cheeseburger with big fat french fries. ok, yes i am a glutton.

What would your last meal be?

Want to see more art inspiration? follow me on Pinterest! 
13 comments

Friday, February 14, 2014

Last Minute X O - Valentine's Day Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day! I love Valentine's day because its a good excuse to share the love. :) and it's a good excuse for my husband to get me a present.. ok maybe not something expensive but something to show me that he cares. How do I show my husband how special he is? mind out of the gutter people.. I bake him a big pile of full fat, full of carbs, full of yumminess cookies. thats real love right?

Heart Sugar Cookies! (Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart- with a few tweaks)

Cookie Ingredients
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1 stick of butter- room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (the flour, baking soda, and salt). Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer until they combine, then add egg and vanilla.   Put the mixer on low and start adding the dry ingredients slowly. It should be doughy at this point and scrap it out of the bowl and divide into two and wrap in plastic.  Put in the freezer for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread a little flour onto the work surface and roll out the dough. (it might take a few minutes for the dough to loosen up a little bit since it was in the freezer.. brrr!) Roll out the dough and try to get it thin if you want those perfect heart shapes. Cut out the dough with your cookie cutter and then pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes.  I made a couple of bird shaped ones too because Nora's new favorite word is "bird".  Remove from freezer and pop them in the oven for 7 minutes and then rotate the trays after 7 minutes and give them another 7 minutes.   Place on cooling rack and then it's time to frost.
Buttercream Recipe
 3 cups confectioner's sugar
2 sticks of butter
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3-4 tablespoons of milk
food coloring- i used blue since it's Tim's favorite color.

Mix together sugar and butter until they are well incorporated and fluffy. Add salt and vanilla and then slowly add the milk depending on the consistency you like your frosting.  Then take out ziplock bag and place it into a coffee cup and then put 1/3 of the icing (doesn't have to be too exact) into the bag. The frosting that stills in the mixer add your food coloring.  Frost your cookies. Now snip the corner off one end of the ziplock bag and make your X's and O's- the sloppier the better. These are home made cookies after all. :)

Tim is going to be too excited for these cookies.  Well maybe I'm a little excited to eat them to!

What are you up to this Valentine's Day?

20 comments

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DIY: No Sew, Coloring Book & Crayon Pouch (made from an old T-shirt)

Besides making huge messes (my mini tornado), Nora's favorite activity in the whole wide world is to color.  I know coloring is the best thing ever and so I decided to make her this little coloring book and crayon pouch that could fit perfectly into a diaper bag.  An old t-shirt is the perfect thing to use for this project because if you mess up- its not a big deal because it's an old t-shirt, the fabric is stretchy and the best thing of all? you can throw it in the wash.  Oh and guess what else? this is a no- sew project. yay! hehe don't hate me sewers.

Supplies:
Scissors
An old T-shirt- I used an old size 2t shirt but you could use any size. I liked this size because it was big enough to hold a good size coloring pad.
iron on velcro
iron on hem tape
an iron
sewing pins

Lay out the T-shirt on a flat surface and take out those scissors. Cut the sleeves at a 45 degree angle cutting toward the neck line, and leave some of collar for the lip of the pouch.  Make the T-shirt inside out.  Plug in your iron.  The best way to describe this pouch is that it's in the shape of an envelope.  The front of the T-shirt is going to be v shaped that is going over the opening- so fold over the edges like a v and iron them down.   The back of the t-shirt is the inside lip of the envelope and fold it over and iron down. Take your hem tape and place it inside the little crevices you just made.  I took some sewing pins to hold the tape into place. Put hem tape on the bottom of the T-shirt to close it up.  Follow the instructions on the hem tape for heating instructions and iron away.  It's time for the velcro, and stick the velcro in place.  I put some on the tip like an envelop and then some on the inside edge.  Iron the velcro into place and presto change-o you have a little magic pouch.

Yay! happy coloring!
10 comments

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Art 101: How to Pick an Oil Painting Paint Brush

A paint brush is an extremely important tool in making art. I used to go into the art supply store and go to the paint brush section, look down at the bottom shelf where they kept the cheap brushes (sort of like how they keep liquor in a liquor store, hehe), and grab the variety pack. I used to think that I should be able to make just as good of a painting with a 20 cent brush versus a more expensive brush. 

I've learned that you don't have to spend a lot of money on brushes but its good to find a happy medium and it's really important to take care of your brushes.  In determining what size of paint brush there is a little number listed on the side of the brush 0 is the smallest which indicates the width of the hairs to the ferule (the little metal on the paint brush that holds the hairs)  A bigger number indicates a bigger brush and it's meant to cover a larger surface.  There are two main components in choosing a brush and the first is bristle and how well it holds the paint and then the second is the tip which allows the control for blending.

Here is my break down: 

HAIR
Bristle Brushes are from hog hair. This brush is meant for larger strokes and covering bigger areas.  It has a firm bristle and used for controlled blending and carries more color.  Bristles are usually much easier to clean.

Sable Brushes are from the weasel.  This is a softer brush meant for more fine detail and lines. Its used best when using thinned down paint by solvents.  These brushes are usually harder to care for because the hair is more delicate.

Mongoose Brushes. Mongoose brushes are more affordable then a sable but are an in-between firmness from hog to sable.

Synthetic Brushes are usually a blend of different types of hair or plastic which is chose to blend hog and sable hair.  This is a great way to save money on brushes because typically Sable brushes can be pretty spend-y 
HANDLE
Long Handled Brushes are designed for the balance because when painting your painting should be vertical and your paint horizontally creating optimal balance of oil painting flow.  It also allows the artist to view the painting from a distance

SHAPE
Flats are a rectangular shaped brush, primarily a blending brush  and provides a sharper edge.  great for large areas.

Filberts are a rectangular shaped brush with rounded corners, used for smaller blending areas and has the ability to get a softer edge.  

Brights are very similar to a flat brush but the hairs are shorter, meant painting when you want your strokes to show.

Rounds are used for dots and lines and detail.

Fans used for blending and texture. 

I typically use a 4 or 6 filbert in synthetic mongoose, while using a 0 round for fine detail and lines because I like to get all the little details.  If you are just starting oil painting I would suggest starting with a 6 filbert synthetic because it's the most flexible with getting your vision of your painting accomplished and its a good middle brush to start oil painting.

Happy Painting!

PS Want to learn more about this non art school series- click here.!


12 comments

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Home Made Raspberry Marshmallow Recipe

One of my favorite things to drink is a delicious hot coco and what goes with hot coco? Marshmallows of course! Marshmallows are one of the easiest, fluffiest, little treats to make.  Their cloud like texture and taste is what gives the illusion that it could be tricky but its surprisingly not.  The best thing about making your own marshmallows is that you can make them whatever flavor you want and if you aren't the perfect baker.. the marshmallows still turn out and they are quite delicious.

Ingredients:
Confection Sugar for dusting
1 cup cold water
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of gelatin (2 boxes)- i used flavored raspberry but you can always go with unflavored and add vanilla.
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Fit your electric mixer with the whisk attachment.  Use a non metal baking dish- I used just a casserole dish but you can use pretty much any sort of casserole or baking type dish and grease it.  After you grease the dish you want to dust the sides and bottom with confection sugar- a heavy handed dusting..  Marshmallows don't bake- they just have to take the time to set.  Put your gelatin and 1/2 a cup of cold water in your mixing bowl for your electronic mixer and give it a little stir- just to combine the ingredients.

Take a small saucepan and combine the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of cold water, salt, and corn syrup. Give the ingredients a little stir with a non metal spoon, but just enough to have the sugar dissolve and put the temperature on medium.  You will need a candy thermometer and you will want to get the temperature to 240 degrees.  The syrup should be bubbling and give it about 5 minutes and then remove from heat.

Turn on your electronic mixer and slowly incorporate the syrup.  If you are making plain vanilla marshmallows here is where you add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Now you want to turn the mixer on high and let it go! The volume is going to triple and the more air bubbles you create the more fluffy your marshmallows will be.  This will take about 10-15 minutes but you will see it fluff up.

Now pour into that dish you greased and you can smooth out the top with a damp rubber spatula.  Once everything is poured into the dish you dust the top with confection sugar.  You can let stand over night uncovered for it to firm up or you can place in your fridge for 3 hours for it to firm up.  Take a knife and cut the sides of the dish and then flip the dish onto a cutting board. You can cut them in squares or take a cookie cutter and cut out a fun shape like a heart.. Awww. I made hearts and then the leftover I made i cut them up into mini marshmallows. You will want to dust all sides of the marshmallows- I put them into a ziplock back with some confection sugar and shake it up!


27 comments

Monday, February 10, 2014

Art Love: Leah Giberson

This beautiful artwork is by Boston's Leah Giberson. Her paintings immediately make me think of summer, sunshine, and road trips- which since being stuck inside all weekend due to the snow storm.. sunshine is just what I need. or what sounds even better is a summer road trip in one of those adorable trailers. Leah's art process is that she starts out with a photographic print on panel and then paints over it- its almost like photography meets collage meets painting.

Want to see more art inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest!
7 comments

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Secret Bloody Mary Recipe

Our typical weekend is that Nora wakes us up around 8 am, (she is our family's alarm clock) and I get her from her crib.  She then sandwiches in-between Tim and I and we all snuggle in bed until it's time to make a big breakfast.  Big breakfasts are the best over the weekends and if we have friends joining us, I usually whip up a batch of Bloody Mary's.  Well.. I am a little reluctant to share my delicious Bloody Mary recipe because it is pretty darn delicious. 
Ingredients:
4.5 cups of tomato juice
3 stalks of celery
3 teaspoons of horseradish
2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce
1/4 of sweet onion- cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon of dill
2 tablespoons of hot sauce 
1 squeezed lemon
1.5 cups of vodka
Makes 4 Bloody Mary's

Throw in all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.  Now these Bloody Mary's taste better when you make them ahead of time and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours... or you can always make them the night before and in the morning give them a quick twirl in the ol' blender to mix them up.

Suggested Garnishes: A Stalk of Celery, a Strip of Bacon, Olives, Lemon, Salted Rim, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Green Beans, Peppers, Pearl Onions, Salami, or a small clove of garlic.. Now maybe not all of these for a garnish at once because that would be one wild and crazy Blood Mary. :)

19 comments

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Art 101: Free Online Artist Resources

Growing up- being an artist wasn't a real career choice to my parents.  My parents are both extremely hard working people and I know they just want the best life for me but I realized a long time ago that they might never really get my choice in making art or even living a life as a creative.  My mother always told me- Erika since you like to spend money you need to get a job that makes lots of money. Ironically, I was shopping at good will, local thrifts and making my own cloths but I understand now that she was trying to instill with in me that the world is an expensive place and that I needed a safe job... a job that could provide me everything that I wanted and needed.  I'm primarily a self taught artist and have taken a class here and there, but never went to full fledged art school.  I have spent hours upon hours tucked away in my art studio working on my paintings.  I also learned the my local library shares books with the art college in my town and have borrowed a ton of art books over the years. Over the last few weeks I have started a new series with the label Art 101 and it's about sharing some art knowledge- maybe its more about my contribution in spreading the word of art on the internet because I think it's important to inspire people to be more creative and that ones imagination can be endless in not just art but in life.  Here are a few of my favorite online absolutely free artist resources.

Wet Canvas is an artist community with articles, news, lots of forums, and information on art supplies. It is one of the largest forums geared toward visual arts and they are extremely passionate about providing tools to the artist.

Empty Easel main goal is to help new and professional artists with helpful artsy information.  They have a ton of amazing art tutorials, articles, business tips and they highlight artists on their website.  EE isn't just for painting tips but they have information on photography, photoshop, and  marketing
strategies.

Artisan HQ is a place for online art tutorials absolutely for free and there is a lot of them.  They update every week with the top 100 best art videos which some are more fun than educational.

A Singular Creation is a place that you can learn about art competitions and juried competitions.  They also host a monthly free art competition to showcase artists and it's a great place to start if you are thinking about showing your art work.
14 comments

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY: Painted Heart Shoes

I love a shoe make-over because it's almost like getting a brand spanking new shoe and I get to have cute little hearts on my shoes.  A flat is such a necessity because you can just slip it on and run out the door and the best part a flat is easy to wear with just about anything.   This project was a pretty simple one- I think it took me all of 10 minutes and I was able to do it while Nora supervised.  

Supplies:
Painters Tape
Sharpe
Paper with some hearts
Shoes
Gold Spray Paint
Scissors

First you want to print out some hearts.  I just made these in photoshop and I made a few different sizes to see which one would fit my shoe perfectly.  Then I lined up the paper on top of the shoe to see exactly where I wanted it.  Now you tape the stencil to the shoe but before you cover your shoe, if you use this type of flat you want to stuff the toe with paper so that the crinkles of the shoe become smooth.  Cover your shoe up with leftover paper or anything you don't want to get gold.  The trick to get the spray paint perfectly crisp is to go directly over the stencil and not at an angle and press the spray paint lightly.  Remove paper and take your Sharpe and trace around the heart. and that's it! Kinda adorable.. ok really adorable :)


26 comments

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Guide


1.  Jacobsen Salt Co.- Oregon Pinot Flake Salt
2.  Pete Betcher - Wine-o-saur Bottle Holder
3. Elmo's Valentine
4.  Chiara Ferragni - Lipstick Glitter Loafers
5.  Chef's Choice 830- Heart Waffle Iron
6.  Head in the Heart- Lets be Still
7.  Frankford's- Heart Umbrella
8.  Hug Tee Men's Grey
9.  Chomping at the Bite- Face Mug
10.  Five Amour Minute Pillow Case Set
11.  Tattoo Washing Gloves - Make Washing Dishes Edgy 
12.  Heart Balloons 

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and it's the one holiday cheesy pick up lines are totally acceptable, you can eat as much chocolate as you want and the best thing of all - you get to celebrate love in all shapes and sizes.   Awww I can I already feel the love (insert hug here) :). Isn't that mug that holds the cookies- pure genius? Who thinks of these ideas?
19 comments

Monday, February 3, 2014

Art Love: Rachel Baran

Rachel Baran is a photographer based in Ohio and she's only 20 years old. Her photos have the ability to immerse you into her world or I should say more like a rabbit hole, where everything is a little out of the ordinary and you don't know what is going to happen next.  Her ability to make the impossible possible is quite extraordinary.  

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© Erika Lee Sears