About Crafts Inspire Me

Arts and Crafts are my passion. Inspiration is everywhere. Each new project is a journey to be shared.

Rainbow of Gems – Part 2

Multi Color Gemstones

Welcome to part two of our rainbow of gems tour.  The Warm Color Palette includes yellows, oranges, reds, and pinks. Qualities associated with each color are noted below. Warm colors call to mind images of blooming flowers, days at the beach, and barbecues in the backyard. Let’s find gems to inspire us.

Color: Yellow – cheerful, warm, motivational

Golden Beryl

Golden Beryl

You may not have heard of the gemstone called beryl, but I am sure you are familiar with two of its relatives, emerald and aquamarine. Although it comes in a few colors, yellow is the rarest.

Amber & Amber with an Insect Trapped Inside

Amber & Encased Fly

Even when the sky is gray, cheerful gold and yellow amber beads will brighten your day. Amber is often found with very interesting inclusions like the famous mosquito in the movie, “Jurassic Park.”

Citrine

Citrine

Want more light and positivity in your life? Citrine captures rays of sunshine you can wear day or night.

Lemon Quartz

Yellow Quartz

Yellow quartz quenches your thirst for beautiful gemstones like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day.

Color: Orange – joyful, playful, independent

Orange Coral

Orange Coral

Coral has been used for centuries in jewelry. Because it is susceptible to damage from direct sunlight and excessive heat, care should be taken when wearing or storing your coral pieces.

Orange Carnelian

Carnelian

Carnelian has a blend of color from light to dark within the same stone.

Orange Chalcedony

Orange Chalcedony

Available in several colors, chalcedony may also have bands of color. I must be hungry because these beads remind me of an orange creamsicle.

Peach Pearls

Peach Pearls

Known for their iridescent luster, pearls have been a worldwide favorite for every type of jewelry, from single pearl earrings to priceless crown jewels.

Color: Orange Red – energizing, attention-getting, self-assured

Madeira Citrine

Madeira Citrine

Named for a city in Portugal, Madeira citrine has a deep, reddish orange or brownish orange color.

Color: Red – bold, romantic, sexy, powerful

Red Carnelian

Carnelian & Pearls

In ancient Egypt, carnelian was worn as jewelry for its beauty, carried daily to energize the body, and buried with the dead as protection in the afterlife.

Red Coral

Red Coral

Red coral is typically harvested in the deep waters of the Western Mediterranean.

Garnet

Garnet

Garnets have a long history as symbols of love, power, and protection. Many rulers have worn garnet studded crowns as sign of their power and authority.

Rubies

Rubies

Rubies, the birthstone for July, are one of four “precious” gemstones, which includes Sapphires, Emeralds, and Diamonds.

Red Jasper

Red Jasper

Jasper can be spotted, striped or solid color. Warriors often adorned their weapons and armor with jasper to ensure success in battle.

Color: Pink – soft, feminine, sweet

Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite

This beautiful pink gem is honored by Native Americans. With frequently occurring “floral” patterns within the stones, rhodochrosite is a popular gift of love.

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

Transparent rose quartz is very rare, and the most prized comes from Madagascar.

This completes the warm color palette and the traditional colors of the rainbow, but there is still a treasure trove of gems waiting for their turn in the spotlight. Please share your thoughts about your favorite gemstones in the comments section and stay tuned for part three. To read part one, please click here.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Rainbow of Gems – Part 1

Rainbow Gemstone Bracelet

Mother Nature created gemstones for every color of the rainbow. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of her greatest works. We will start with the Cool Color Palette, consisting of violets, blues, and greens. Qualities associated with each color are noted below. Let’s delve into the fabulous world of gemstones.

Color: Violet – exotic, dreamy, calming, majestic, regal, passionate

Amethyst Geode

Amethyst Geode

Gemstones grow as crystals in a variety of colors. Amethyst is typically found in shades of purple, but as shown above, it also comes in green, which is known as mint quartz.

Amethyst Nuggets

Amethyst Nuggets

Polished gemstone nuggets serve as decorative home accents and touchstones or may be displayed in jewelry designs by drilling or wiring.

Faceted Oval Cut Amethyst

Amethyst Faceted Gem

Gemstones are graded according to several qualities including clarity, hardness (scratch resistance based upon Mohs scale), color, carats (weight), and luster (light reflection).

Purpurite

Purpurite Necklace

Colors for this opaque gemstone typically range from reddish purples to deep violets. Both ends of that spectrum can be seen in the photo above.

Sugilite

Sugilite Bracelet

Although this gemstone is usually seen in soft shades of lilac, it can also be bluish purple or deep violet.

Color: Indigo – mysterious, ethereal, enchanting, intriguing

Tanzanite

Tanzanite Pendant

Depending upon the viewing angle, tanzanite, which is rarer than diamonds, changes color from exotic violets to indigo blues.

Iolite

Iolite Faceted Stones

Iolite is the perfect marriage of violet and blue. With reflective properties like tanzanite, changes in natural or artificial light transform the color through the full range of blues to violets and back again.

Color: Blue – refreshing, tranquil, playful, inspiring

Lapis Lazuli – Rough Stones

Lapis Lazuli Rough Stone Necklace

Vibrant blue stones flecked with gold differentiate lapis lazuli from another blue gem called sodalite.

Lapis Lazuli – Polished Stones & King Tut’s Funerary Mask

Lapis Lazuli & King Tut Mask

Historically, lapis lazuli has been a favorite gemstone of royalty. The most famous example is the funerary mask of King Tut, which includes inlaid lapis lazuli, turquoise, and obsidian.

Blue Sapphires

Blue Sapphire Bracelet

Although blue is the most recognized color, it also comes in several rare varieties including green, yellow, pink, and star sapphire.

Sodalite

Sodalite & Clear Quartz Earrings

Sodalite is a blue stone with white and sometimes black inclusions, which are materials trapped within growing crystals. You’ll see a famous inclusion photo in the next post.

Blue Topaz

Blue Topaz Earrings

Light blue topaz gemstones are called Sky Blue, medium blue is referred to as Swiss Blue, and dark blue is known as London Blue.

Turquoise

Turquoise Jewelry

Green and blue turquoise typically have black or brown veins called matrix. The most coveted turquoise is Robin’s Egg blue, which has only been found in one location, the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona.

Color: Blue Green – successful, creative, luxurious, exotic

Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline Earrings & Pendant

This beautiful blue green gemstone is among the rarest in the world and is highly sought by jewelry designers and gemstone aficionados.

Color: Green – abundant, grounding, renewing, prosperous, fortunate

Malachite

Malachite Necklace

Bold green swirls and striations are hallmarks of this popular gemstone.

Emeralds

Emeralds & Diamond Pendant

Emeralds have been treasured throughout history, but surprisingly they tend to be easily damaged due to the presence of inclusions, which weaken the stones.

Nephrite Jade

Carved Green Jade

This is another ancient gemstone in beautiful shades of green, which can be carved for jewelry as well as decorative figurines.

Peridot

Peridot Chip Bracelet

Peridot, the birthstone for August, is also known as Olivine. Inclusions and fractures often found in these stones make peridot more susceptible to damage.

Aventurine

Aventurine Bracelet

The inherent shimmering quality of aventurine makes it stand apart from all other gemstones.

This completes our exploration of the gemstone cool color palette. I hope you have seen some old friends and met a few new ones. Do you have any favorites? Please let me know in the comments section, and please stay tuned for part two next week.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

From the Heart – Jeweled Box

Finished Box
Treasure chest? Jewelry box? What could it be? There’s something so exciting about starting a new project. Sometimes you start out with one thing in mind, which slowly transforms into a beautiful butterfly. Originally. I intended to paint geometric designs all over this box. A roll of rhinestone ribbon became my inspiration, which revealed my hidden need for a lot of bling. Who knew? Where will your inspiration take you?

How to Decorate a Wooden Box:

Plain Wooden Box with Heart Shaped Window
Plain Wooden Box
When selecting a box for your project, look it over carefully for damage. Check for splinters or dents, and test the functionality of the latch and hinges. I often find smudges of glue on the glass/acrylic. If necessary, compare several boxes side by side at the store.

Wooden Box with Open Lid
Plain Box - Open
This box, available through AC Moore, is wood inside and out.

Painted Lid
Painted Lid
I liked the look of the natural wood and kept most of it as-is, with the exception of the flat top, which was brushed with white acrylic paint to create a high contrast background.

Project Supplies:
Beads &; Paints
You will need a bag of loose rhinestones and fabric paints in turquoise, black and brown.

Additional Project Supplies:
Marbles & Rhinestone Ribbon
You will also need a bag of turquoise flat glass marbles, a roll of 1/2” turquoise rhinestone ribbon, Elmer’s glue and a glue gun. The rhinestone ribbon and marbles are available at dollar stores.

Outline the Heart with Rhinestones
Beaded Heart
Apply a large dot of fabric paint at the edge of the heart. Use tweezers to push a rhinestone down into the wet paint. Alternate the fabric paint colors to create your pattern. Repeat the process until the outline is complete. Just as reminder: the rhinestones are clear. It’s the paint that determines the color.

Apply Rhinestone Ribbon
Apply Rhinestone Ribbon
Rhinestone ribbon is glued in horizontal bands across the top of the box. Use Elmer’s glue because it will allow you to reposition as needed. Use scissors to cut the ribbon to fit. At the end, fill in any blank spaces by cutting rhinestones from the ribbon and hand placing them with tweezers and Elmer’s glue.

Completed Beading on Lid
Completed Lid
As you work around the center heart, you may need to pry off individual beads to make the ribbon fit. They say hindsight is 20/20. If I had to do this over, I would probably apply the ribbon first and then outline the heart.

Apply Flat Glass Marbles
Apply Flat Marbles
A glue gun will make this step quick and easy. Apply marbles on all sides. Ensure the marble placement will not interfere with the opening and closing of the lid. I found are marble that had broken in half, and placed it under the latch to complete the pattern, which you can see in the next photo.

The Completed Bejeweled Box
Completed Bejeweled Box
Large turquoise hearts are glued in each of the four lid corners. These hearts are actually jewelry pendants. A black onyx bead has been glued to each heart to cover the hole on top.

I’m considering lining the inside of the box with felt or velvet. It all depends upon how it will be used, and frankly I haven’t decided yet. What would you do? Please make suggestions in the comments section. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

The Ultimate Hair Accessory – Flowers

Girl in a Field of Flowers

Spending time in nature brings a renewed sense of balance, re-energizing the mind and body and nourishing the soul. Wearing flowers in your hair is a lovely way of taking a little piece of paradise with you as a daily reminder to stop and smell the roses.

Accessories by Nature

Butterfly & Flowers

Who needs an accessories store when Mother Nature provides everything we could possibly need and more?

The Power of One

Single Flower Focal Point

Sometimes all you need is one bold flower as a focal point. Of course, there is no denying that having green hands tends to be an attention-getter as well. (lol)

Hawaiian Traditions

Hawaiian Floral Traditions

Native Hawaiians celebrate beautiful traditions with music, dance, and flowers, and visitors are encouraged to join in the fun.

Timeless Flowers

Granddaughter & Grandmother

Weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries are all great excuses for floral accessories, but you don’t have to wait for a special occasion. Celebrate “Me Day” with flowers!

Flower Girls

Flower Girls

Sweet and sassy flower girls are experts at charming audiences and stealing the show. 

Back to Nature

Back to Nature

Turn an ordinary picnic in the park into a portrait session for you and the kids.

Fairytale Princess

Childhood Fantasy Portrait

Start with an adorable portrait of your precious crowned prince or princess (a.k.a. child) and let the power of photo software magically develop a fairytale image to be treasured for years to come.

Fur Babies

Flowers & Pets

If your kids are fur babies, a few flowers will render heartwarming photo results.

Love & Romance

Orchids & Lilies

Perfectly placed blooms evoke an exquisite romantic vibe.

Beaded Beauty

Indian Traditions

As the bride processes down the aisle, guests are dazzled by a delicately beaded headpiece and a ring of bold red flowers to complete this attractive updo.

All Eyes on Me

Floral Headbands

On the left, a copper headband wrapped in flowers, complemented by beaded copper earrings and shimmering eyeshadow, creates this lovely harmonious look. The more organic style on the right beautifully frames the bride’s face, while dramatic makeup and lashes draw attention to her eyes. 

Confidence is Beautiful

Floral Headbands

Soft and ethereal like a fairy princess or bold and sensual as a siren of the sea, flowers let your personality shine through with confidence.

Floral Fashionistas

Pink & Purple Floral Hairstyles

Makeup, hair, and jewelry accompanied by color-coordinated flowers are the key elements of these fashion forward styles.

Pretty in Pink

Peonies Crown

Peonies are so beautiful, and their scent is intoxicating.

Bold & Beautiful

Red Floral Bridal Hairstyles

If you want to stand out in a crowd, wear red. Flawless makeup with vibrant lip color will have them hanging on every word.

In Perfect Harmony

Beads & Flowers

A white pearl headband and earrings mimic the white hydrangea blossoms and charming lace wedding gown. A filmy pink dress calls for delicate mini roses and pastel blooms of spring.

Poetry in Motion

Mexican Traditions

Flowers, ribbons, and vibrant designs are an integral part of Mexican traditions. Her black dress and hair provide the perfect contrast for the fuchsia and green palette, with a brilliant smile as the cherry on top.

Belle of the Ball

Belle of the Ball

Start with an intricately beaded evening gown, layered with fabric petals and pearl centers. Wispy greens serve as the foundation for a lovely peach floral crown and matching bouquet.  A soft peach makeup palette completes this exceptional formal look. The belle of the ball will be dancing long after midnight.

Flower Power

Fairytale Wedding

If you love being the center of attention, a bold statement is the way to go, and this floral look is unforgettable. The makeup palette perfectly complements this jaw dropping composition. The only disappointment is not seeing how her bridal gown coordinates with such an over-the-top floral display.

Here we are at the end of our flower extravaganza. Hopefully you are inspired to incorporate more flowers into your life. Flowers bring smiles and we all benefit from more happiness.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

The Octopus & the Mermaids

Tropical House Closeup
A little piece of paradise – Isn’t that what we all want? That means different things to different people. For many, the idea of a cozy grass shack on a tropical island is a common fantasy. Of course it goes without saying that we’ll expect all the comforts of home in that “shack,” but that’s not important. Visualizing the dream is the focus here. This time of year so many people visit the seashore. An ocean-themed centerpiece, created one piece at a time, brings memories of vacations past to mind, and inspires dreams of vacations yet to come.

Beach House Before & After1
Before & After Photos: Tropical Home – Front Facade. What was once a home for tiny gnomes transforms into a tropical retreat with orange silk flowers, and a bamboo pattern drawn by hand on the exterior walls using a brown Sharpie marker.

Beach House Before & After2
Before & After Photos: Tropical home – Back Facade. The bamboo pattern continues across the back, giving it that island vibe.

Light House Before & After
Before & After Photos: Lighthouse. Whoever heard of a lighthouse without a roof? To make the roof shown, fold the paper into a cone and staple it as needed to hold its shape. Glue a soup can lid to the bottom of the cone and paint it gray to match the lower portion of the building. Add twine along the edge and down the sides to resemble a standing seam metal roof. Tie several knots in a piece of twine and glue it to the peak of the roof. Tint the glass votive holder yellow using a highlighter, and line the inside with orange paper to suggest a brilliant light glowing from within the tower.

Sailboat Before & After2
Before & After Photos: Sailboat. This sailboat only needed minor adjustments. The faded white stripes needed a fresh coat of paint, and the middle stripe was changed to orange. Because the opposite side of the sail was unfinished, the stripes and shells were duplicated on the back. A cute little blue bird was glued on top of the mast.

The Star of the Show: A Blue Ringed Octopus
Octopus Before and After 2
Before & After Photos: Octopus Closeup. It’s hard to believe the monochromatic octopus on the left is the same one on the right, but it is. It’s amazing what a difference a little paint can do.

Octopus with Candles
Original Octopus Candleholder: This whole project started with this silver metal octopus candleholder. As you can see, it looks top heavy with the large pillar candles, and the octopus is rather hidden underneath. Round candles were another option, but he looked like a juggler! (lol)

Blue Ringed Octopus
As with all creative projects, it’s helpful to gather a few photos for inspiration. The blue ringed octopus is a fascinating creature. Fans of James Bond 007 will remember the movie, Octopussy, in which Maude Adams had an aquarium with this beautifully patterned octopus, and she also wore a white silk robe emblazoned with its colorful, exotic image. Each octopus has a unique pattern, and the blue iridescent rings are impressive creations courtesy of Mother Nature.

Paints
Supplies:
Octopus (7-1/2” high x 4-1/2” wide x 1-3/8” thick)
Acrylic Paints – tan, brown, black, yellow, white, & metallic blue
1) Bottle fabric paint – white
1) Bottle fabric paint – brown
2) Paintbrushes – one for base coat, and a fine brush for details
Paint Palette
Clear Spray Paint

Octopus without Candles
This is how it looks without the candles. The large metal plates are too big, overpowering the beauty of this piece.

Octopus without Plates
The plates were removed using a Dremel cutting tool, and the tips of the tentacles were filed smooth. Now you start to notice the amazing sculptural details created by the artist.

Painted Tan
The color was the next issue to be addressed with two coats of tan paint. The artist painstakingly created a realistic looking octopus, but that thick coat of silver paint had obscured all those intricate details.

Painted Brown Spots
A brown pattern was applied to the entire body and the eyes were painted black.

Painted Black Spots
Black spots were added, overlapping the brown.

Painted Blue Rings&Yellow
Blue iridescent rings were applied over the black spots. Random yellow stripes wrap around the legs and head. A white dot was added to the pupil of each eye.

Painted Brown Irises White Outlines
The eyes were made more realistic with the addition of brown irises and white outlines.

Clear Coat & Suction Cups
Two coats of clear spray paint were applied to protect the acrylic paints. White suction cups were added to the underside of the tentacles and allowed to dry. Next brown fabric paint was applied over each of the suction cups to provide shape and depth. This beautiful sculpture now has the rich, colorful appearance it deserves, and makes an interesting conversation piece.

Finished Centerpiece
Photo: Completed Centerpiece. Black pebbles form little volcanic islands amid a vast ocean. In front of a cozy tropical home, a mermaid sits quietly reading, as a sailboat glides along the water. Another mermaid leaps out of the sea with a treasured seashell in her hand. The lighthouse makes a welcome rest stop for wildlife and a sunbathing mermaid. A feisty octopus playfully thrashes about the water’s surface. Palm trees swaying in the breeze display a pair of small signs that says it all: “Beach Please!”

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Unforgettable Baby Elephants

Bath Time for Baby

Baby Elephant & Family

All babies are cute, but baby elephants are so expressive like the one above having the best day ever!

Baby Nuzzles Mom

Baby Elephant & Mother

Standing beside their watchful mothers, they look so small and somewhat fragile.

Baby’s First Steps

Baby Elephant Walking on Dirt Road

With those big floppy ears, it’s easy to imagine them taking flight, playfully floating upon the breeze and coming to a landing in our love-filled hearts. Let’s bring some of that joy into this week’s project.

How to Paint a Wooden Baby Elephant:

Raw Wood Elephant

Raw Wood

In previous painted wood projects, the animals had feathers, scales, or fur. Elephants present a unique challenge: wrinkles. I must admit this took much longer than expected as I progressed through a series of trial and error to achieve the desired appearance by layering. Let’s get started…

Supplies

Supplies

Supplies:
Wooden Elephant (5” high x 6-1/4” wide x 1-1/4” thick)
Acrylic Paints – Gray & Black, (Pink is optional)
Paintbrushes
Markers – Gray
Pens -Black Fine Point
1) Bottle fabric paint – Brown
1) Bottle fabric paint – Black
1) Bottle fabric paint – White (not shown)

Texture Building

Build Texture

Start building texture with three-dimensional fabric paint. I used white, but any color will do because we will paint over it in a later step. Draw both eyes with a pencil. Thicken and shape the ears and outline the eyes with fabric paint.

Paint the Body

Paint Gray

Paint the body gray, including both sides and all the edges.

Draw Details with a Marker

Marker Details

Define the wrinkles using a gray marker.

Add More Wrinkles

Add Wrinkles

After viewing numerous photos, I added wrinkles all over the body using a marker but immediately regretted it. I should have followed my own advice: Draw or paint what you feel, not what you know.

Repaint the Body

Repaint

A fresh coat of paint gives us a clean slate to try again and allows the marker lines to lightly show through, which is great for the next step.

Cautiously Draw Wrinkles

Pencil Details

Using a pencil, slowly add details in key areas to imply overall wrinkles. Build up the eyes with brown fabric paint.

Trace with a Marker

Marker Details

With a gray marker, trace the wrinkles and outline the eyes. Finish building the eyes up with brown fabric paint and allow it to dry. Add pupils and a white spot in each to bring them to life.

Trace with Fabric Paint

Fabric Paint

Retrace the wrinkles with black fabric paint. You are probably thinking, “Here she goes again. Jumping in with both feet,” and you are correct. The difference is this time … I like it! Don’t worry about too much contrast because we will tone it down in the next step. Develop the eyes with the same fabric paint.

Repaint & Create More Texture

New Texture

By repainting the body with gray paint, the raised wrinkles recede, becoming part of the thick skin. Next, mix black and gray acrylic paint to create a darker gray. Dip a cotton ball in the new dark gray paint and dab it on a piece of scrap paper to remove the excess. Lightly dab the cotton ball all over the body to create new subtle layers of texture. Repeat as needed.

Trace with a Marker

Accent Marker

Retrace the wrinkles, ears, and eyes with gray marker. Add lines around the mouth and tip of trunk. At this point you could stop, but I wanted to add a few little details to make this elephant look like a baby. For that we need a little inspiration.

Adorable Baby Elephant

Baby Elephant

Three things stand out: eyelashes, the pink inside of the mouth, and peach fuzz hair running along the spine from top of the head to the tail. Markers or paint will work nicely for the first two details, but the third requires a special ingredient…

A Longhair Cat

Long Hair Cat

Yes, I am recommending the use of cat hair for an art project. I must say it is the oddest ingredient I have ever used. Longhair cats require daily brushing, so collecting soft hair is no problem. (lol)

Completed Baby Elephant

Add Hair

Glue on the hair with Elmer’s glue. Adjust and trim the hair as needed. Add eyelashes with a fine point black pen and paint the inside of the mouth pink.

Closeup of Elephant’s Face

Close Up

Although these details are minor, I think they provide softness and a “cuteness” factor to this baby elephant, just like his living counterparts.

Baby Elephant – Before & After

Elephant Before & After

This completes our project. Persistence pays off. Experimentation is a tremendous help in solving artistic problems. If you are not happy with the results, let it sit for a day or two and the inspiration will come to you just when you need it most.

Have you faced any artistic challenges like wrinkles? Have you used an unusual item, such as cat hair, in an arts and crafts project? Please share your ideas in the comments section. Thanks for joining me. Good luck with your future works of art.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

How to Make a Lilac Wreath

Purple Lilacs

Lilacs are such beautiful flowers, and their scent is intoxicating. I wish they could bloom all summer, but we can only enjoy them for a few weeks each spring. By creating a silk wreath, you can enjoy lilac blooms year-round. Let’s get started.

Heart- Shaped Grapevine Wreath

Grapevine Wreath

I chose a heart-shaped grapevine, but you can use any shape wreath made from whatever material you prefer.

Flower Layout

Flower Layout

While shopping for a wreath, experiment with flower colors and placement. You will also need wire cutters and floral wire. As an alternative to wire, you could use brown twine.

Wire Floral Picks

Wire Floral Picks

Choose a starting point and begin attaching each floral pick. Because I am working with a heart, I started at the top center point, and moved along the left side, placing each bloom as though it is growing upward.

Progress Photo

Progress Adding Lilacs

Continue adding flowers. When you reach the bottom of the heart, turn the blooms to climb up the right side.

Progress Photo

Progress Arrange Lilacs & Leaves

Adjust the flowers and leaves to fill in any gaps. Trim any visible wires as needed or tuck them into the back of the wreath.

Finished Wreath

Finished Lilac Wreath

I used a piece of purple ribbon to hang the wreath upon a wall. As an optional step, you can recreate that heavenly scent by simply spritzing the finished wreath with lilac essential oil.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Wreath making is a fun and easy craft anyone can do. Over time, the wreath can be easily updated with new flowers to coordinate with your décor.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Tyrannosaurus Rex – The Original Mr. T

T-Rex Skeleton

Sixty-five million years ago the Tyrannosaurus Rex, also known as T-Rex, spent his days hunting, eating, and making little dinosaurs. Archaeologists, writers, and world-renowned movie directors have been thrilling us ever since with all the gory details of this master predator.

T-Rex Hunting

Did they roar like lions? Were they solitary animals or did they mate for life? Having such short arms, I wonder, how did they get back up after a fall?

T-Rex Waiting Outside a Tent

After viewing this photo, who wants to go camping? (lol) The mere thought of facing a creature, capable of eating its prey whole, leaves us with mixed feelings of fear and awe. And we love it. To bring a few of those Jurassic thrills into our lives, let’s jump into our next project:

Inspiration

T-Rex Closeup

Huge jaws, piercing eyes, and razor-sharp teeth – what’s not to love?

Inspiration

T-Rex Roaring Sideview

When we look at large lizards alive today, we can visualize tyrannosaurs having thick, textured skin, consisting of scales and bony plates, with a ridge along the spine.

Inspiration

T-Rex Roaring Front View

Predators typically have camouflaging patterns and colors to give them an advantage while hunting. With these ideas in mind, we can begin the creative process to bring the T-Rex back to life. Let’s go!

How to Paint an LED Tyrannosaurus Rex:

Raw Wood T- Rex, Front

Original Raw Wood Front

This wooden T-Rex (available at Michaels) has preprinted details and cut outs to enable green light from a concealed LED bulb to penetrate the figure and cause an eerie glow in the surrounding area.

Raw Wood T- Rex, Back

Original Raw Wood Back

The back is plain wood with the on/off switch and battery compartment. The wood on the front is smooth, however you might want to sand the back lightly, however that is entirely up to you.

Supplies

Supplies

Supplies:
LED Wooden T-Rex (5-3/4” high x 7” wide x 1” thick)
Acrylic Paints – Cappuccino, Light Fuchsia, & Dove Gray
Paintbrushes
Markers – Brown & Black

Marker Drawn Details

Color Scheme Markers

Use magic markers to figure out the color scheme.

Painted Basecoat, Front

Painted Basecoat Front

Paint the entire body with the basecoat.

Painted Basecoat, Back

Painted Basecoat Back

Paint the basecoat on the back. I did not add any details, but you can if you wish.

Marker Drawn Details

Painted Details

Go over the details with markers.

Painted Gray Background

Painted Background

Paint the background gray to contrast with the tan body. At this point you could stop.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know there is a more advanced painted version. Please read on to discover how to give this dinosaur a more reptilian appearance.

Advanced 3D Painting:

Three-Dimensional Fabric Paints

Fabric Paints

Supplies:
1) Bottle fabric paint – Brown
1) Bottle fabric paint – Black

Painted 3D Details

Painted Three Dimensional Details

Using brown fabric paint, apply nubby texture to the body. The black paint is for the teeth, pupils, and claws.  I outlined the eyes in black too but didn’t like it. To me, he appeared to be wearing a pair of sunglasses. (lol) You can see the revision below.

Completed T-Rex

Completed T-Rex

This is the completed Tyrannosaurus Rex in all his glory.

T-Rex Before & After

T-Rex Before & After

I am always surprised seeing the plain original wood side by side with the completed project. Caught up in the creative process, it’s easy to forget where we started.

Lit T-Rex with Flash

Lit T-Rex with Flash

This photo, taken using flash photography, shows the soft glow of the LED light.

Lit T-Rex without Flash

Lit T-Rex without Flash

In a dark room, this T-Rex makes a cool nightlight.

I hope you enjoyed this transformative journey. Thank you for coming along for the ride. What is your favorite dinosaur and why? Please let me know in the comments section.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Painting 101 – Part 2

Watercolors

Welcome to part two delving into the inspiring art of painting. As we go, we will examine different types of paints and techniques to pique your interest. By the end, I hope you will have better insight into the many artistic possibilities and take away a few ideas for future creative projects. Let’s go…

Oil Painting: Produces incredible effects ranging from translucency to rich sculpted textures.

Oil on Canvas

Oil Painting Artist

Compared to other options, oil painting requires more supplies, such as solvents, primer, and varnish, and as a result the chemical fumes necessitate working in well-ventilated rooms or outdoors.

Smooth Application

Oil Painting Dog Portrait

Applying oil paints with brushes produces intricate details and luminous colors.

Thick Textured Application

Oil Painting Flowers

When oil paint is applied with a palette knife (a.k.a. painting knife), textures can be achieved with sculptural, three-dimensional accuracy found in nature such as leaves, flowers, and trees.

Fine Arts Collectibles

Oil Painting Egg

Prior to using oil paints, surfaces must be prepped with primer or gesso, and upon completion the finished work should be sealed with varnish to protect the paints.

Wall Art

Oil Painting Nightscape

The preferred choice of world-renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, and Michelangelo, and da Vinci, oil paints are excellent for a wide variety of subjects in styles ranging from classical to abstract and everything in between.

Paint Pens: Offer precise control for detailing and illustration.

Assorted Paint Pens

Paint Pens

Paint pens are prefilled with water-based paints, oil-based paints, or fabric paints in a variety of colors. Since many have strong fumes, you may need to work in a well-ventilated room or paint outdoors.  

Specialty Finishes

Paint Pens Butterfly

Tip sizes are available in fine, medium, and broad. You can create layers of colors and finishes, such as metallics and glitter.

Any Materials

Paint Pens Rock Painting

Whether you plan to paint rocks, plastic, metal or just about anything else, there is a paint pen for it. The only limitation might be very thin materials, which may allow the paint to bleed through, so remember to have a protective cover underneath to protect your worksurface.

Exterior & Interior

Paint Pens Birds

Interior or exterior projects are no problem. Be sure to check pen labels for usage because sometimes store displays become mixed up. Find the right pen for the job and it will last for years to come.

Hand Drawn Designs

Paint Pens Birdhouse

Let your imagination run wild on new DIY projects or existing items with a fresh coat of paint and custom hand-drawn designs.

Paint Pouring: Represents playful self-expression, where each combination of colors results in freeform, one-of-a-kind designs.

Mixing Paints

Paint Pouring Artist

Although acrylic paint cleans up easily with soap and water, you will need gloves, an apron, a covered worksurface, and drop cloths to protect the floor.

Abstract Art

Paint Pouring Abstract Art

Cups of paint are simply poured onto a canvas or any object, and then tilted back and forth allowing gravity to handle the initial composition.

Decorative Items

Paint Pouring Easter Eggs

Paint pouring utilizes unusual tools, including a hairdryer, wooden craft sticks, balloons, drops of silicone, and a kitchen torch.

Tabletop

Paint Pouring Tabletop

Lively patterns resemble natural stone, undulating waves, or clouds drifting upon the sky. Turn ordinary tabletops, ceramics, coasters, picture frames and more into unique works of art.

Abstract Art

Paint Pouring Abstract Art

Set your inner child free by exploring the playful world of paint pouring.

Watercolor Painting: soft and dreamy with vivid colors and subtle nuances.

Watercolor Basics

Watercolor Painting

For many people, watercolors are the first introduction to painting with beginner’s trays prefilled with paint. Watercolors are nontoxic and cleanup is easy with water.

Dreamy Gardens

Watercolor Painting Flowers

Be sure to paint on watercolor paper, which dries flat. Regular paper is too thin, resulting in bubbles when wet followed by warping when dry.

Water & Sky

Watercolor Painting Notre Dame

Watercolors are the perfect choice for painting water and sky, accompanied by reflections rivaling those in nature, but architecture presents a challenge. As you can see, the edges of Notre Dame Cathedral lack definition. Please refer to the photo below for the solution.

Watercolor Painting & Technical Pens

Mixed Media Taj Mahal

When you are painting a world-renowned landmark like the Taj Mahal, you really need to get it right because people will notice if something is out of place. Watercolors can be combined with technical pens, creating clean crisp edges for the structures and soft fluid movement in the reflecting pool and sky.

Aquatic Scenes

Watercolor Painting Sea Turtle

Ocean vistas and all the denizens of the sea benefit from the use of watercolors, which ebb and flow onto the page like the tide upon the sand.

Painting Gallery:

Oil Painting

Oil Painting Forest

Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Wall Art & Cards

Paint Pens & Airbrushing

Painted Cats Mixed Media

Paint Pouring

Paint Pouring

Painted Pottery & Ceramics

Painted Pottery

Oil Painting

Oil Painting Wood Plaque

Paint Pens & Acrylic Painting

Mixed Media Figurine

Watercolor Painting & Mixed Media

Mixed Media Hummingbird

Paint Pens & Airbrushing

Mixed Media Guitar

Oil Painting

Oil Painting

Mixed Media Sculpture Painting

Mixed Media Metal Sculpture

Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Lynx

I hope you have found some inspiration to paint whatever appeals to you in a style all your own. To narrow down the options, review the painting photos above and search for more online. Notice the colors, patterns, textures, subjects, and special effects. Notice which ones really capture your attention. Do you have any favorites? Please let me know in the comments section. In case you missed part one of this series, please click here. Good luck with your painting endeavors!

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Painting 101 – Part 1

Have you ever wanted to give painting a try? Anyone can paint. With a little patience and a lot of creativity, you will feel like an accomplished artist in no time. It’s fun, relaxing and reduces stress. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Acrylic Painting: Bold colors, unlimited finishes and surfaces, ease of use

Paint by Number

Acrylic Paint by Numbers

One of the easiest ways for beginners is with an acrylic “Paint by Number” kit, which comes complete with paints, brushes, and a preprinted canvas. Simply match the numbered paints with their corresponding locations on the canvas. There is a wide range of themes for all ages and skill levels.

Decorative Painting & Wall Art

Acrylic Painting1

Acrylic paints can be used in almost any application. Brushes are cleaned with soap and water, and the paints have low or no odor, which is great for those sensitive to strong fumes.

Furniture Painting

Acrylic Painting2 Chair Back

Make a new piece of furniture look like an old friend with decorative designs and an antiquing finish.

Statues & Figurines

Painted Statue

Upcycle a garage sale purchase with a fresh coat of paint and colorful accents.

Faux Finishes & Decorative Painting

Painted Wall Faux Finish Sponge Painting

Upgrade walls, or any surface with acrylic faux finishes and decorative painting, including Sponge Painting, Marbleized, Faux Wood Grain, Crackle, Metallic, Plaster, Textured, Stenciling, Stippling, Mural Painting, & Tromp l’oeil.

Airbrush Painting: Street art, murals, and no size limitations

Airbrushing

Airbrushing 1

Airbrushing requires compressed air to disperse paint onto any surface. Cans of spray paint work in the same way and are often used on building-sized murals.

Large-Scale Painting

Airbrushing 2 Telecom Equipment

This handsome German shepherd painting disguises an otherwise unsightly telecommunications box.

Automobile Painting

Airbrushing 3 Sports Car

Riding in style has a whole new meaning when your car becomes a mobile work of art.

Mural Painting

Painted Mural Butterfly

Let imagination run wild as any wall, inside or out, can be adorned with flights of fancy.

Tromp l’oeil Painting

Painted Transformer Airbrush

Tromp l’oeil means “Fool the Eye” and in this photo three-dimensional painting turns this electrical transformer into a lovely stable, complete with bales of hay and a friendly face.

Fabric Painting: Art, fashion, and home furnishings

Hand Painting

Fabric Painting1

Fabric markers can be used to layout your design, followed by fabric paint applied via brush or easy-squeeze bottles for three-dimensional paints.

Silk-Screening

Fabric Painting2 Butterfly

Silk-screening is like stenciling for fabrics. A separate screen is used for each color, which is applied using a squeegee.

3-D Painting & Appliques

Fabric Painting4 3D & Applique

Fabric paints can be applied to any surface, bringing designs to life in three dimensions. They also function as glue, sealing the edges of appliques and adhering beads and other embellishments.

Tie Dyeing

Painted Fabric Tie Dye

Tie dyeing is easy for kids of all ages, and the end results are always a surprise.

Designing Home Furnishing & Apparel Fabrics

Painted Fabric

Large-scale patterns are perfect for upholstery, draperies, and pillows. Apparel styles are constantly changing. Launch the next fashion trend by creating and wearing your own designs.

Glass Painting: Illuminating color, and painting with light

Wall Hangings & Suncatchers

Glass Painting1 Window

Luminous colors and intricate eye-catching details, hallmarks of stained glass, bring character and beautiful style to any décor.

Mosaic Glass Gems & Jewelry

Glass Painting2 Mosaic Gems

Earrings, bracelets, necklaces sparkle with colorful glass beads. Mosaic glass gems are perfect accent on crafts as well as vases, flowerpots, etc.

Glassware

Glass Painting3 Drinking Glasses

Drinking glasses and pitchers take center stage with hand-painted colorful accents.

Christmas Ornaments

Painted Glass Ornaments

With a box of clear glass ornaments, you can let your creativity sore. Paints can be applied inside and out, and the finishes range from metallic, pearlescent, iridescent, and glitter in every color of the rainbow.

Stained Glass Windows

Painted Glass Window3

Museums, churches, and many secular buildings are adorned with spectacular stained glass. Sunbeams are transformed into a dazzling kaleidoscope of heavenly light.

Painting Gallery:

Acrylic Painting, Airbrushing, & Paint Pens

Birdhouse

Airbrushing

Painted Airplane

Acrylic Painting & Airbrushing

Painted Carousel Horse

Fabric Painting

Painted Fabric Thistles

Glass Painting

Painted Glass Bottles

Airbrushing

Painted Porsche

Acrylic Painting

Painted Mural Dove

Acrylic Painting & Airbrushing

Painted Mural Theater Mask

Glass Painting

Painted Glass Jewelry

Acrylic Painting

Painted Wall Stenciling Sponge Painting

Acrylic Painting & 3D Fabric Painting

3D Painted Flamingo

Glass Painting

Painted Glass Horses

Painting is a wonderful pastime, which enriches your life and can be easily shared with family and friends. No matter what your style and interests may be, there’s a type of painting to challenge your skills and engage your mind for experiences that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the journey!

Please stay tuned for part two next week.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!