Monday, April 29, 2019

my favorite acrylic paint

As many of you know I LOVE working with acrylic paint and I love using both low and high end paint. Today I thought I would share a roundup of my favorite paint that I use in my process.

1. CHEAP CRAFT PAINT is something that I always have on hand when I am creating. At about .50 a bottle I am able to keep all kinds of colors around to use in a variety of projects. I use the cheaper paint when I am working on more crafty projects or if I am working with lots of colorful layers in canvas, fabric or paper projects. I have found that while the cheaper paint is not as vibrant as more expensive brands, it will works great for me. 
TIP: Craft paint is perfect for getting accustomed to working with acrylic paint without spending too much money. 

2. BLICK STUDIO ACRYLIC PAINT is also another favorite of mine. It is really affordable and is a great option for painting on canvas.  
TIP: There are all kinds of different brands of acrylic paint and often bigger brands will make student versions of paint that are more affordable but still a high quality than craft paint. Don't get too caught up in the brand until you have taken the time and practice to really play and experiment with acrylic paint.

3. BLICK MATTE ACRYLIC PAINT is something I have recently enjoyed using because it works great on paper projects, art journal pages and on projects that require some really good thick coverage. The paint dries matte which means there is no gloss or sheen which I really like. Because a lot of my projects end up getting photographed, I prefer the surfaces not to be shiny (it shows up in photos) so a matte finish is something that I really enjoy. It is also handy when working in a sketchbook or art journal because the matte paint won't stick which means you can paint all over your pages without things sticking together once dry.

4. Nobody makes more beautiful saturated color than GOLDEN ACRYLIC PAINT (in my opinion). But it can be really expensive which is why I only use higher quality, expensive paint on projects that will be hung in a gallery, sold to a client or used in projects for licensing. I paint so many different objects and things that I just don't have the budget to always use Golden paint but I do have a variety of colors on hand that I will use for special projects.  

TIP: Use more expensive paint to add some pop to a layer, colorful details
5. One of the best paint supply tips I can share is keeping HOUSE PAINT on hand when creating. Back in college when I was a painting major, many of us couldn't afford gesso so the next best thing was house paint and I have used house paint ever since! From priming different surfaces- to mixing it with acrylic paint- to splattering and dripping- house paint is a really great affordable supply to keep on hand. I like to keep a gallon of white primer around the studio but just about anything (even leftover paint from house projects) will work. Often if I have a bigger project that require lots of paint I will purchase colorful house paint to use instead of acrylic paint.-- 

Monday, April 22, 2019

play with lines

In my opinion, having a good understanding and appreciate for lines will make you better at drawing! And lines are everywhere- from the grain on wood to grassy fields to twigs and branches to the details on a flower- all kinds of lines can be found in the world around you, if you take the time to look closely.

A big part of my own sketching practice is taking time to document and explore lines. 

I don't spent lots of time or effort, often this is something I do when I don't have the time to sketch- but instead I take 10-15 minutes to look for inspiration and document all kinds of different lines in my sketchbook. I have found (after doing this for years) that becoming aware of lines and how they work has made me a better artist. Whether I am drawing or painting something (abstract or representational), I have become so aware of how I can use all kinds of different lines in my work.

I want to encourage you to take a little time and dedicate a few pages to exploring lines:
  • Start by looking to the world around you. Take notice of where you see lines. Use spring and things that come with spring as inspiration.
  • Challenge yourself to document those lines on your pages.
  • (As usual) forget about perfection and focus more on being expressive with those lines.
  • Challenge yourself to fill the entire page OR keep layering and adding lines to your pages over time. 
  • Use this exercise as a way to warm up, as a way to get creative when you have limited time or as a reference for future sketches.

Monday, April 15, 2019

tiny treat boxes

While I love to decorate Easter eggs, this year I decided to mix things up and combine some small decorative treat boxes with the eggs. While it takes a bit more time and creativity, this is a wonderful way to add a special twist on that candy. These pretty little boxes make a wonderful party favor for the adults attending your Easter gathering.

Looking for more Easter ideas?

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

creating with Jules: cross stitch pocket

Lately I have a bit of an obsession with cross stitch. There’s something so satisfying about feeling all those little stitched crosses all neatly sewn in a grid. I have been completing some projects using other people’s designs, but wanted to design one myself.

I came up with a small flower motif, and then added some patterned fabric at the top. I then decided to turn it into a pocket to adorn a skirt that I already owned. 

So grab your embroidery thread, and a skirt that needs a jazz- up, and get stitching!

You can stitch this in whatever two colors you want. I have given the numbers for both Anchor and DMC embroidery thread.

You’ll need:

6 x 6“ Piece of white cotton even-weave fabric in 28 count
Interfacing (optional)
Anchor threads 148 and 266 or DMC 311 & 471
4 3/4 x 1 3/4“ patterned fabric
Small piece of plain cotton fabric (for pocket lining)

Print out your cross stitch pattern HERE and find the centre of your fabric to match the arrow lines in the template. (The pattern looks off-centre but don’t forget we need to add our patterned fabric strip at the top.)

Optional: I ironed a piece of interfacing to the reverse of my even-weave fabric, as mine was quite floppy to work on and I also wanted to hide threads showing through from the back. This also helps stop the edges of the even-weave fabric from fraying.

Start cross stitching your pattern using 3 strands of embroidery thread. Cross stitches are simply little crosses stitched into the fabric, and it helps give the piece a neat look if all your cross directions are going the same way, ie. the first stroke of the x going one way, then the second stitch of the x all going the other way and then keeping them all the same on each subsequent cross stitch. With even-weave fabric you need to stitch your crosses over two threads like in the diagram.

Rather than putting knots at the back of your work, go under a few previous stitches at the back of your work, stitch back and forth under some stitches first before coming through to the front of your work. (For your first stitch just leave the loose end hanging and catch it under your first few stitches.)

Press your work when complete.

Take the patterned piece of fabric and fold under one of the long sides towards wrong side 1/4” and press. Pin to the top of your panel making sure it’s centered, placing it 1/4” away from the top of the cross stitch design. Top stitch fabric close to the fold.

Make a pocket template by drawing a 4 1/2” h x 4 1/4” w rectangle. Add a slight curve to to one bottom corner, and repeat the curve on the other side by folding your drawing in half to make the curves match. Now draw a 1/4” seam allowance all around and cut the pocket template out.

Lay template on wrong side of your plain cotton fabric and trace around and cut out. Then, cut the seam allowance away from your paper template, lay it back onto your fabric and draw around the template. This is your sewing line. Pin the fabric to the top of your cross stitch, making sure the cross stitch design underneath is all centered nicely.

Sew all around your pocket on the sewing line, leaving a small gap, around 2”, at one side. Clip corners and turn right side out, poking the corners out with something pointy. Press and then and pin in place to your skirt.

Sew around the pocket close to the edges, leaving the top open and backstitching at both ends.

Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:


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