Tuesday, May 26, 2015

boho wall hanging

So if you didn't know, fiber weavings are totally trending right now and as much as I love the bohemian look and feel of a weaving, I personally have no time to learn (not yet)! So I decided to come up with something that had the same look and feel but made use of the materials and skills that I already have- painting- to create a boho inspired wall hanging.

I am most comfortable using canvas but just about anything could be used for this project- fabric, leather, denim, even thick paper. I started by cutting a large strip of canvas and painting it white.

Then I sketched out my design. This took some planning but I finally settled on some shapes and pattern that I see in both weavings and rugs.

Next, I painted everything. Since the shapes and designs were simple, I really needed vibrant color to add some POP! 

Once the color was dry, I used one of my favorite supplies- Tulip Dimensional Paint (or puff paint) to add lots of tiny embellishments.

The last step was to create faux fringe at the bottom of my wall hanging. I simply cut the bottom into strips and then gave the ends of the fringe a little trim.

I really love the way it turned out. It's great way to add bright color and bohemian flair to a room!

Friday, May 22, 2015

memorial day round up

We are heading into Memorial Day weekend over here which which means summer is right around the corner! So I've gathered some of my favorite summer inspired projects for those of you looking for ideas over the long weekend.
1. potting shed makeover  2. inspiration to throw a picnic somewhere unique  3. family rock garden  4. homemade tortilla chips  5. DIY fire pit  6. my three favorite crispy treats 7. palette table  8. glue resist dyed tunic  9. garden sign  10. garlic ginger chicken wings  11. painted wedge sandals  12. messy painted bench  13. altered hoodie  14. infused water  15. thread wrapped sandals

Thursday, May 21, 2015

homemade raisin-quinoa granola

We love granola in our home and it is SO darn easy to make there is really no excuse (at least for us to buy it ). Today I am sharing the recipe that I make the most but the great thing about granola is that you can always tweak the recipe.


3 cups oats
1/2 cup quinoa, dry uncooked
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup of fat (I used butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Add butter and honey and mix together until everything is moist.

Spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Let cool, break it apart and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

cement stepping stones

We spend a lot of time in our backyard garden and as time goes by we continue to add fun little embellishments to the space. This year we wanted to add a fun little step stone path and decided this project would be the perfect opportunity to dig into our family shell and rock collection.

The first thing we did was pull out all of our shells and pick select our favorites. Then using slices of a product called Quick-Tube, we traced circles onto an old piece of plywood.

Quick-Tube is fiber building tube made for concrete columns but you can also slice it up and create really simple forms for stepping stones. (FYI- you can also use an old cake pan as a form) 

We had fun arranging our shells and rocks.

Next, Andy mixed up the cement- we used Cement All and added a little bit of pea gravel to the mixture. Then we poured the cement into the forms and on top of our shells and rocks. 

Andy braced the forms with some 2 x 2 pieces of wood to keep things from moving around.

Once the cement cured (we let them sit for about 24 hours), then we popped them out of the forms.

I created a little path with our stepping stones and large river rocks. 

Needless to say, the entire project was a HUGE hit with Lucy! And I love that all those shells and stones that we have collected as a family are embedded into the path.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

summer online classes!

Summer is right around the corner and I've got some fun learning opportunities available and this year I am trying something new. I know that summer can be a busy time of year with kids out of school, vacations and getting outside, it can be challenging to fit in time for online learning. So I have created what I call "micro classes"- small classes focussed on one topic. I think it is the perfect solution for those of you with a busy summer schedule but are still looking for inspiration and an excuse to create. The best part is that I have created these classes for all ages so everything that I teach can be used with kids, adults or even both together!

Each micro class is designed to teach you something very specific. Like the rest of my classes they pack a PUNCH! With demo videos, photos, prompts and downloads, each class is designed to give you a burst of inspiration and creativity.
Class goes live July 6th
A mandala is typically a circular form with a center point with all kinds of shapes and symbols emerging from the center. Creating mandalas are one of my favorite ways to get lost in the process of drawing. In this class I will be sharing my own techniques, tricks and tips for creating all kinds of different mandalas from a variety of materials.

register for class HERE

Class goes live July 27
There are so many unique ways to make marks in your artwork and they are one of my favorite ways to add texture, pattern and interest to my surfaces. Make Your Mark is a fun little class all about using a variety of tools and materials to create unique marks. I will be sharing how to look for inspiration, painting with your hands, working expressively, using non traditional materials, layering and more. This class is sure to inspire you to look at mark making in a completely different way! 

register for class HERE

Class goes live August 10th
Like many of you out there, I am obsessed with washi and decorative tapes and I use them in all kinds of different ways. In this class I will be sharing a variety of unexpected ways to put that pretty tape to use in your art journals, mixed media projects, drawings and paintings.

register for class HERE

Class goes live August 24th
There is nothing more important in my work than creating a really dynamic background and over the years I have developed and sharpened my skills when it comes to creating backgrounds. Beautiful Backgrounds is a little class where I am sharing my favorite techniques and materials for creating a really great background. From painting with watercolors, acrylics to using collage materials I will share my secrets for creating a really great background!

register for class HERE

$50  $45
Individual classes each cost $15 or purchase the "Summer Bundle" at $50.00 to receive a $10 savings! And for the rest of the month I am offering an early bird discount of an additional $5 off.

register for bundle HERE

Head on over to my shop HERE to view all of my class offerings!

There are many online workshops out there at different prices with different content. Back in 2009, when I decided to offer an online learning option, I set out to create a structure that is similar to taking a "live" class from me.  My mission is to provide an affordable class with a learning environment where you are watching lots of demos, learning techniques and then creating on your own art.

  • I have three different structures of online classes: 
Large Class: These classes are $50 and have 5 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. My large format classes dive deep into a variety of techniques, projects and information.
Mini Class: My mini classes cost $30 and have 3 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.

Micro Class: These classes cost $15 and have 1 HUGE lesson that includes videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.
  • My classes are a combination of video learning (with demos, techniques and me talking) and lots of photo steps outs of inspiration, techniques and process.

  • All classes are all filmed in my studio. Since 2009 I have been tweaking my gear and my process with the hope that video/photo content gets better and better. My #1 goal is to provide inspiring lessons and visuals that are easy to understand.
  • My classes do NOT have a required supply list. Instead I share the supplies that I like to use and then give you a variety of options and inspiration to use supplies that work best for your process and your budget.
  • All of my classes have unlimited access which means that once you register you can create and access at any time and work at your own pace. Whenever I "release" a new class- I release each lesson "live". Many people enjoy working in this format, as the lessons are posted each week but once all information gets posted there is unlimited time to access everything. I have found that some people prefer to work along with the live format when I release a new class, while others will wait months until they have the time, money and the schedule to register for the class. Either way works- just know that once you are in- there is no deadline or pressure to create.

Friday, May 15, 2015

studio style

When you work for yourself and by yourself, (and on the occasions when you do work with others- it's your mom and husband) it is really tempting to spend all day every day in pajamas. I love fashion but many mornings I have to talk myself into getting dressed. I do it anyway and always end up feeling so much better and like a regular working girl.

While I have a very non traditional job and schedule, I do work every day- some days I am filming classes, other days I am painting, creating DIY projects, taking photos and often my to do list involves making a mess. This can make picking out clothing really tricky because I still want to look put some what put together while not worrying about ruining my clothing! 

Here is what works for me:

I have two types of clothing in my closet- things with paint and things without paint. A lot of my painting clothes are normal, as in they are nice or cute things that just happen to have paint on them. I wear these things when I am making art or creating projects. All my other clothing (without paint) is reserved for filming, running around town, taking photos and anything else that doesn't involve paint! 

I like hats- A LOT! Living on the Oregon Coast makes styling your hair kinda tricky (hello rain and wind) and if I am being honest, there is really no need for me to spend lots of time on my hair. I almost always throw on a hat when I am heading to work because it cuts my time getting ready in half. I still can look put together while venturing out into the ever changing weather. 

I have a big collection of aprons and I love each and every one of them. My aprons help keep me clean (kind of). They have actually become one of my favorite accessories!

I always keep a fresh change of clothes in my studio. I can make a mess, like a really big one and if I need to run errands during the day, I like to change my messy clothes.

What about you guys? What do you wear when you are creating?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

studying under the masters online class

It's pretty rare to find me copying art- part of my creative practice is typically keeping my blinders on and not looking at other artists- but I'm teaching for Jeanne Oliver's online class Studying Under the Masters- a 6 week course where 6 talented instructors are sharing the life, history, techniques and work of their favorite artists. I'm teaching all about Jean-Michel Basquiat. I will be talking about how discovering the work of Basquiat when I was a 21 year old art major changed my life forever. I will be teaching and painting in his style, even replicating one of his paintings and sharing how I've applied his inspiration to my own work!

So if you are interesting in learning about neo-expressionism and early postmodern painting or are looking for a really unique class, you can follow the link below to sign up!


There is a lost art of studying the works of others to find your own style. All of the "masters" were first apprentices. The apprentice sat beside the "masters", listening to their process, paintbrush in hand, mixing paint, creating strokes that told a story, and stirred their creative spirit.

Have you ever taken an online course, gone to a retreat, purchased an art technique book and were taught an artist's techniques and mediums?  Have you ever been worried about what is your style and what is "their" style?  Have you ever been afraid to create art that was inspired by another artist?  This course is for you!

Join six artists as we become the “apprentice”. Through discussion and technique videos, each artist will share their week with a “master”. You’ll learn who their “master” artist studied under, who influenced their work and what techniques and mediums they used.

An integral part of the artistic process was to “copy” the master artist.  In this course, you will watch as these artists practice using the works of another artist. They will share what techniques they learned and what they learned about their own creative process.  You will then learn as they create art in their own style incorporating the techniques and/or medium of their chosen artist. 

Register now for $82 by clicking on the paypal button below or head on over to Jeanne's creative network for more information HERE

After you have paid from the above link  go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and register on the site where the course is held. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

lettering with makewells: lettering in your art journal

Hello! It's Megan here with another guest post about lettering
I've been a huge fan of Alisa's sketchbook and art journal posts for years. And if you follow along here on her blog, I'm sure you feel the same way! The pages in her books are just stunning and overflowing with inspiration. 
So today I'm sharing some tips on how to add hand lettering to your own sketchbook/journal. And you also get to take a peek inside my own art journal madness :) 

My first tip is pretty simple: just because it didn't originate in your art journal, doesn't mean it can't end up there! 

I have TONS of lettering sketches and doodles all over my studio that have no home. I draw things on the back of napkins, in my planner, and in other notebooks that are not designated art books. Some things I do real quick in order to scan and add to a digital project, and others were done while in a waiting room or on a plane. 
So instead of these little snippets of creativity being lost or thrown away, I love adding them to half finished pages in my art journal.
Use washi tape, masking tape, glue...whatever. But don't let your lettering end up in the trash. Play with ways to incorporate it into your art journal time!
My 2nd tip is this: if you want to add lettering to your art journal, but don't know what to write, think of simple titles or themes for your page. I love adding just one word to a page when I've used a photo. It's simple to come up with something (a name, a place, etc). and personalizes the page.

Try to find ways to make the lettering stand out without competing with the photo. Experiment with layering and using different materials on top of the paint, photos, and tape. 

And Tip #3 is this: practice drawing short phrases. I like to add Bible verses, lyrics to songs, or just random words floating in my head, but if I'm drawing the letters, I try to limit the length. It's easier to visualize sketching out 3-4 words than an entire song.

If you have more to say, just write! Save the hand lettering for words that deserve emphasis.
Below, I had a list of things to make swirling in my head. Instead of drawing out every thing on the list, I hand lettered the title and then wrote the list quickly.

You can have the lettering blend in with your page...

Or make it the main focus

So play, experiment with supplies, and remember to just enjoy the creative process!

Remember to use #redefinecreativelettering to share your work! I can't wait to see what you create. 


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