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.


Friday, March 21, 2014


We have been so sick this week.  Nora first got sick and then passed it around to the rest of us- isn't that how it usually works right? oh life as a parent. Thankfully since I am a lover of pancakes and there are healing properties in pancakes especially ones with cute little faces on them- we have been having pancakes most mornings. Pancakes, pajamas and watching far too many episodes of sesame street and bolt have been the path to wellness.  Tonight is date night which means once Nora goes to bed- its pizza and a movie. yay! which is exactly what I need and am so happy it's friday.

what are you up to this weekend?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Graham Cookie Recipe

Nora is turning into quite the little baker.  We have been spending lots of time in kitchen baking her snacks and treats for the week.  She pulls her chair up, and pours, mixes, rolls and of course her favorite taste test.  Like all kiddos, she loves her graham crackers but why not make them into cookies? The best thing about graham cookies is that it has the same honey taste but they are more of a cake like yummy taste , sort of like a gingersnap or snicker-doodle texture.:).

2 and 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp of baking soda
1 stick of butter- cold
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoon of sugar

Mix the flour, brown sugar and baking soda until they are incorporated. Dice up the butter into little cubes and then mix into the dry ingredients. The consistency should be a crumbly sort of mixture.  Add the honey, milk and vanilla until its sort of a sticky doughy ball.  Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350.  In a separate bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.  Take your dough from the fridge and make 1 inch balls of the dough.  Roll the ball in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and then place on baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for 12-15 minutes and enjoy! yum!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Art Love: Ben Giles

Wow! Birds. Flowers. Old Photos.  What more could you want in a collage?  Ben Giles alters old photos and uses collage and injects them with color and energy.  The black and white pictures with the over lay of big, bold, beautiful vintage images are so out of ordinary. Love so much!

Friday, March 14, 2014

5 Activities to Inspire Creativity.

Having creativity is such an important thing to your person and soul. There isn't anything better than feeling that surge of magic when you find that special something that inspires you. I get stuck every now and then and what helps is always being on the look out for inspiration and to have a few activities to help those creative juices flow.  Here are some of my favorite go-to challenges or activities that get me unstuck from a rut.  

1.  Go to the art museum and go straight to the current exhibition.  The current exhibition usually changes seasonally. The art museum usually has a few different sections that they rotate the art to make it feel fresh but there are some that are permanent display that are just plan boring. skip it and go right up to that amazing current exhibition and be in the world of the artist.  Walk slowly and let your brain enjoy what your looking at and ask yourself at the end how did they make that? Before you leave visit the museum gift shop and buy yourself a cheap postcard from the exhibit to always remind you of how awesome it was.

2.  Take 5 dollars and only 5 dollars and go to your local thrift store. Your job is to find an object that inspires you and it's ok if it's broken or missing something or dirty and basically the only rule is that it needs to be under 5 bucks. Once you buy the item, take a piece of paper and fold it in fourths.  Unfold the paper and write in each corner 1,2,3, and 4 (1 being in the upper left hand corner, 2 being in the upper right, 3 in lower left, and 4 in the lower right) Refold the paper leaving the corner 1 showing and draw that corner of your object, not the whole object just that corner.  Refold the  paper showing only 2, and draw that corner and keep going until your drawing is complete. Unfold paper and see what you made! yay!

3.  Wear comfortable shoes and make sure your camera phone has 100% juice. Go into your local city or town- somewhere busy.  Look for something that starts with the letter A and take a photo. Then go onto the next letter and the next.  You can not go out of order and it has to be alphabetical.  Now you can look back and see what happened.

4.  Make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sammich. Now if you don't like the PBJs that's ok too, thats not the point. Take a piece of paper or sketch paper and write or draw 20 different  variations of the PBJ- they can be as crazy as you want. and just for the record I like my PBJ with crunchy potato chips.

5.  Take out a couple of old magazines and newspapers.  Take a blank piece of paper and start cutting out only words that you are attracted to. Now stack the words on top each other like a list. On your blank piece of paper draw out each word and I am saying draw not write.  Writing is something you do everyday this is something that should be extra- ordinary. Now at the end- what did your subconscious say?

Happy Creating.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Art 101: The Color Wheel & Secondary/Complimentary Colors

Last time we talked about the primary colors and now its time to tackle the rest of the color wheel- secondary and complementary color.   My favorite things about the color wheel is that its an easy reference to figure out an exact color because a color in real life isn't just red or blue its usually somewhere in the middle. The color wheel is a great simple way to see if that color leans more warm or cool and figuring out the color that best compliments it.

A quick recap from last week is that the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.  The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet.   A secondary color is a color that is created by mixing  equal parts with it's neighboring primary colors. Red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green, and red and blue make violet. Complementary colors are colors that when placed next to each other they create a strong contrast and they enhance each other.  Complimentary Colors are as follows red to green, orange to blue, and yellow to purple.  You want to place Red opposite green, orange opposite to blue, and yellow opposite to purple. Sounds easy right? A great art tip is that to create an easy shadow use it's complimentary color.  So if you are painting a bright red apple try mixing in some green into that shadow to make that apple really pop.

I keep two handy dandy color wheels, one I made in a one of the few art classes I took in college and the other I bought at a local art supply store.  As you can see both have been loved.  You can easily make your own color wheel and this is how you do it.  You want to draw a rectangle on a piece of paper and take out your ruler and make a dot in the middle.  Draw lines to create pieces of the pie and start filling in first with the primary and then the secondary. You can do different gradients/shades going between the colors depending on how detailed you want your color wheel but I think having a simple one is the best.

If you want to learn more about color and how they compliment each other. A really fun art exercise is that you are only allowed to paint with 2 paint colors and they have to compliment each other.  So this is your chance to do that red and green Christmas painting I know you have been itching to do :).  Sounds a little cheesy but I promise if you really want to learn about color and shadow- its the best way to really see how they work together and against each other.

Hey want to read more in this awesome non art school series click here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Do It Yourself: Deer Silhouette Key Chain Holder

I am the only one who loves forest creatures, especially little deer? Well I certainly do! I was in desperate need of a keychain holder because Nora is extremely fond of keys because why? well they are way cooler then any type of block or stuffed animal. (obviously)  Babies and toddlers love keys, I know that this is not a new thing.  So now she knows I keep my keys in my purse and will push a chair over to my purse, climb on the chair and riffle through my purse until she finds my keys. Then she buzzes the car alarm on and off for a good 15 minutes and once she gets bored of that she puts them away in her hiding spots. Luckily I know her hiding spots- behind the toilet or underneath one of the pugs.  Oh and if take the keys away- she goes into a full blown tantrum and well the world is over until I give in and give her back the keys.  So I made an extra fancy key chain holder to keep our keys away from her ever growing reach.  This could also be used as a pretty awesome jewelry holder too!

1.  Wood Plaque
2.  Gold and Black Acrylic Paint
3.  2 Hat Hooks
4.  I got a different set of screws for the hat hooks because the ones that came with the hat hook were really long and I didn't want the screws going through the plaque. I got 3/4 inch wood screws size 8, but double check what size of screws that come with your hat hook.
5.  Pencil
6.  Sawtooth Picture Hanger
7. Paint Brush
8.  Acrylic Varnish Matte
Take the Wood Plaque and apply 2 whole coats of gold acrylic paint.  Let dry and then take your pencil and draw a silhouette of a deer. It doesn't have to be perfect and don't worry about the too many pencil marks, everything is erasable or you can always paint over it to fix it.  Use your paint brush and fill in black around your silhouette.  I left the very edge of the plaque gold but you can always paint black all the way to the edge.  Let dry and now its time to add your little deer antlers (hat hooks).  Its ok to make them a little crooked because they are antlers! Add a coat of acrylic varnish and let dry. Add your sawtooth picture hanger to the back and thats it.  Hang it up and put your keys on those antlers. yay!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do It Yourself: Gold Leaf Flower Pot and Ikea Hack!

I don't have much of a green thumb. What I am I saying? My plant survival rate is pretty bad, if I take a plant home the chances of it dying or getting eaten by the pugs are extremely strong. But this plant is special- this plant is my longest living plant.  This plant has survived college, Tim and I dating, us getting our first home and the birth of our daughter. I know this plant looks a little on the scrawny side but its the plant who lived.  This plant was in need of a new pot and I picked up this one at Ikea and wanted to add a little something extra. I used a gold leaf that is a two in one application because generally gold leaf you have to apply an applicator then apply the gold but the two in one is way easier and a lot less messy.

Supply List.
Ikea pot
Bristle Paint Brush
Gold Leaf
Painter Tape- if you don't have a steady hand.

Use the painters tape to tape of the areas you don't want gold.  If you have a steady hand then just paint on the gold leaf.  It takes about an hour to dry and I think it's the perfect home to my extra special plant.

Have you tried using gold leaf yet?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Art Love: Antoine Rose

Antoine Rose is a self taught photographer that shoots the series called Up in the Air.  He has been working on this series since 2002 and has photographed all over the world from the beaches of Rio De Janeiro to Miami.  He shoots these beach scenes from helicopters with out doors and being suctioned on to the sides of buildings just to get the perfect angle and view.  quite the dare devil eh?  I love the burst of color and even though there is a lot going on- they remind me of a large scale abstract painting the way your eye move from color to color.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Making Art Challenge

We are now in March. yay! and I am seeing signs of spring popping up. I can't believe February is over and I am all finished up with my Instagram challenge. My challenge for February was to make art every day and post it on Instagram. Sounds simply right, but it was tough!  With this challenge I wanted to be more brave in showing peaks into my sketchbook and my unfinished art projects. I did it and I made some really awesome art that I am proud of.  The only draw back about doing an Instagram art challenge is that I missed showing my artwork here and talking about it in my tiny corner of the universe.  I also reaffirmed how much I still love to make art and that I need it my life. I also missed doing art that takes more time and creating more in-depth work- so I am going to be sharing more stage by stage work and more paintings.

Currently I am doing a 30 day of lists challenge on Instagram. It is a list a day prompt for promoting more art journaling whichI need more in my life. The best part of the challenge is getting more wear and tear in my sketchbook and that it helps me create more ideas and create more artistic flow.

Have you ever experienced flow? It is when you work and everything comes out how you want it- its like all the stars align. This print is now available in my etsy shop. Happy Weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Art 101: The Color Wheel: Primary Colors

I love using color! I have a tendency to use vibrant color in my paintings because I just love the pureness of it and its pretty awesome how many colors you can make out of just the basic primary colors. The color wheel is probably one of the most useful tools that I use on a daily basis in my studio. A color wheel is extremely important for not just making art, but also plays a huge role in vision and design.  Anytime that I have a question about color and shadow, I refer to my handy dandy color wheel. It is a tool that illustrates the primary, secondary, and complimentary colors which comes down to color theory.  This post is going to cover only primary colors, but don't worry part 2 will be coming soon.

Color theory is pretty complicated but it seems like the most simple things are always the most complicated. right? What I have learned with practice and breaking it down into simple parts it can become easier. The three primary colors are based on our human vision- which is called trichromacy. Trichromacy are the three independent channels for conveying colors in our little eye balls. I have to say that I just feel smart by saying and using the word trichromacy. :) The color wheel is an extremely traditional form of color study and the first known source of a color wheel was Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.

Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. The three colors can not be formed or made by any other colors combined. Primary colors are the root for every color combination possible- the foundation. There are some artists that only use primary colors and white- because they believe they can mix any color themselves by using these three colors, and typically they are called purists. If you mix all three colors in equal portions it makes black.

Yellow (warm) is the most visible color of all colors, the human eyes processes this color first before any other color.  It is a color that brings creativity and registers on the left side of the brain.  Yellow is often used for signs to attract attention for traffic and is extremely common in advertising like those big yellow arches. Yellow is the color of hope and happiness.

Red (warm) is the the second most visible color to the eye.  Red is known to capture attention for things like stop signs or an emergency vehicle.  Red focuses behind our eye retina which forces the lens to convex which is why we perceive red as moving forward.  Red is generally a powerful color and one of the most expensive basic pigments.  It has the longest wave length of light which is why its at the top of the rainbow. Red increases blood pressure, enthusiasm and action.

Blue (cool) is a color that causes our eye lens to flatten.  Blue is a common color for making things smaller and/or further away.  Blue is often referred to soothing, spirituality, honesty and trust.

This is barely scratching the surface of these colors and hopefully this is a good start to learning more about color because hey color is pretty important.  Stay Tuned for Part 2! Next time its all about secondary and complementary colors and putting together a snazzy color wheel. yay!

PS Want to read more on this non-art school series- click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Do It Yourself: Bunny Mask

Just looking at this bunny mask makes me so happy. I don't know if it's the little red nose, the whiskers or if just the plan fact that bunnies are so freaking cute.   Since Easter is right around the corner- why not- make a bunny mask?
1. Scrap Paper
2. Card Stock or Watercolor Paper
3. Fun Paper
4. Sharpie
5. Red Glitter
6. Glue Dots
7.  Elastic Braided Rope- I found some at the Dollar Store with metal on the ends which worked out perfectly for me but most craft stores have it.

Fold a piece of paper in half and draw half your mask. Cut the outside of the mask and poke a dot on the paper for the eyes.  Unfold scrap paper and draw in the other eye and use that hole as a marker for the opposing eye to be centered.  Once your eyes are cut, then place the scrap paper and onto the water color paper ad trace to make the template.  Now that you have created a template you are able make several masks for all of your bunny friends over and over. Cut out the mask form the thick paper and then trace onto your mask paper.  Cut out mask- I used an x-acto for the eyes.  Use the glue dot for the nose and then apply glitter. Add the whiskers with your sharpie at your discretion. Now hole punch the sides of the mask for the elastic. Attach elastic to either side and ta-dah! awesome.
Nora loved her mask and we both had them on running around the park. teehee.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DIY Glitter Clothes Pins and Easy Art Display

My little Nora is officially growing up and we went to her first art class. yay! I was actually surprised at how much I or we loved it.  We are just going down to the local community rec center that offers a toddler painting class.  I wasn't sure what to expect- I mean I knew they would be making art but hey I wasn't sure if it was just a few tables with crayons.  It was actually pretty great. There were several stations set up, a play doh, painting, craft, and of course I can't leave out the best one of all the macaroni station.  Nora came home with all of her art that she made.  She is hands down the messiest toddler in the room. It's crazy how much paint, macaroni and play doh wind up in her mouth.  We are both covered in paint and art supplies from head to toe before leaving class but she loved it. Her brush strokes are determined and she not afraid of color.   I think what I love most is the freedom of watching little kids paint. So now since I am coming home with her paintings- I really want to put them on display because I am so proud and she should be proud of what she makes. Here is my extremely easy 20 minute project to hang art or even some polaroids.
Clothes Pins- I used the mini ones
Acrylic Paint- I used Red and Gold
Bakers Twine
Push Pins
Start out by painting the clothes pins- I did it in two rounds and it took about a minute to dry. Then apply a thin layer of glue on one side and apply glitter. I put a little pile of glitter on a piece of paper and then pressed firmly into the cloths pin. Then let dry.  Cut your bakers twine to the desired length and place push pins into wall. Tie the bakers twine and repeat on the other end.  Once your clothes pins dry- hang your art.

So easy and I think the longest part of the job is waiting for the glue to dry. Nora can see her art every day and appreciate it. This was a pretty fun and easy art display and it also looks fancy.. but really who doesn't love glitter?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Art Love: Yayoi Kusama

When I first saw this art installation I immediately thought of space mountain amusement park ride in Disney Land.  When I was about 5, I clutched my mother's hand so tight while waiting for the ride and I can still remember how scared I was but my mother laughed and insisted that I be brave.  I hated the ride but I loved all of the twinkling lights and how they glowed and flickered around me.  What makes an installation powerful? It's when it can transport you to another planet, which Yayoi Kusama does just that.

These art installations by Yayoi Kusama is a series entitled Mirrors/Infinity and is a room surrounded by mirrors and LED lights.  She embracing many mediums like painting, writing, fashion and sculpture. I had to include a picture of her because she is her art and is a living piece of her work.  Can you tell she is obsessed with polka dots? and at 84 is known as one the most important living artists from Japan. 

She currently and voluntarily resides in mental facility since the late 70's in Japan This facility houses her art studio and is a few minute walk to another studio and from what I hear is piled high with art. She has had hallucinations and obsessive compulsive disorder since she was a child and channels her neurosis into her work.  She has shown in tons of major places like MOMA, Tate Modern and the Whitney and many many many more big places all over the world.  In 2008 one of her paintings was sold at Christie's Auction House for almost 5.8 million which was a record for a living female artist. Geez, I know pretty amazing- a case of genius meets insanity.   

© Erika Lee Sears