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One of the things I really wanted to do this year was to take some creative classes and subsequently get to know more people in my local community. I’ve been incredibly lucky; early on this year I discovered a lovely local shop called Miss Mandy’s that sells wonderful refinished furniture and local artwork. It is also home to my favorite tea shop All Things Tea. After having tea there a few times, I realized that the space also included The Backroom Studio. Every month local artisans teach classes that are appropriate for creatives of all skill levels. Last week I again took what has quickly become one of my favorite monthly installments, intuitive painting.
Intuitive painting is about coming, rolling your sleeves up, and playing. I’ve taken the class three times now, and every time it’s something different. The instructor Suzanne is a local artist, and her creative process is always evolving. Every class we are introduced to new techniques and products that she has been playing with. This class we went organic.
Suzanne has been playing with a lot of floral themes lately in her own creative journey. She brought in some of her more recent pieces to show us. We’d all taken classes with her before, and since it was a smaller class, we quickly came to the unanimous decision that we wanted to skew our class along this new theme.We spent the first part of class picking out lots of different colors/types of acrylic paint and doodling abstract flowers on the newsprint and eventually on our canvases. The painting process was kind of interesting for me; normally I am all about deep rich colors, but the subject matter was really inspiring me to go with bold bright colors. There might have even been an neon accent or two.
We topped the dried acrylic with tar gel and a matte medium that had tiny glass beads in it. Sounds a bit strange, but when it dries you get a lot of interesting shine and texture.The final product didn’t photograph as well as I would have liked, but in person I LOVE the shine and texture on the finished product. So much so that it isn’t hanging out in my office, it is currently propped up on the mantel in the living room. I haven’t quite found a permanent home for it yet, but for now I can run my hands over it and watch the light play over it whenever I want. I am excited to try some of the different techniques in my own at home painting.
One of the first things I did when Andy and I moved into our home 2 and a half years ago was paint. The whole house was this really blah beige and frankly it was depressing. I like color, I always have. These days, since Andy has to live in our home too, my color choices are more along the lines of sages and blue-greys vs. the kelly green and tropical turquoise I picked for my college apartments. Shade and vibrancy aside, the moral of the story is I like color in my living spaces. Or I thought I did, lately I’ve found myself drawn to home decor images that feature lots of bright whites that are then accented by brightly colored furniture. Maybe it’s just a phase?
It would take a lot of coats of paint to combat the current wall colors.
Images from here.
I have already shared on DIY from the incredible ladies at Honestly…WTF and I just have to share another.
I made a pair of these wonderful color blocked moccasins for my Mom this year for Mother’s day. They turned out so well I decided to make a pair for myself to take on my honeymoon to Savannah. These shoes are butter soft and the break in period is next to nothing.
Original Honestly…WTF Tutorial:
Our love of Minnatonka moccasins and obsession with Balenciaga‘s Fall 2010 shoes made this DIY we created for Foam Magazine a no brainer. With just a tube of Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, a pair of paintbrushes (one thin and one thick) and a pair of suede moccasins, you’ll be ready to make your own color block shoes. (Tulip Soft Fabric Paint is best paint to use, as it is highly opaque, flexible once it dries and great for suede.)
To paint the tops of the moccasins, the fringe will have to be tucked under. Simply untie the bow, pull the suede strings out of all the holes (note how it is assembled), and fold the flap under. (Click images to enlarge)
Start by making a test patch near one of the holes, as this part will be covered and it’s a great way to get comfortable with your brush and paint. Once you’re ready to tackle the rest, paint the inside edge of the moccasin with the small brush. Then, switch to the large brush to fill in the rest. Finish it with another layer or two for maximum color.
Let dry for at least 2 hours and reassemble the fringe to reveal your new pair of SICK color block mocs!
(images by Honestly…WTF)
* I added an additional step – after the base layer had dried (give it about 24 hours), I painted simple white daisies around the perimeter of the toes using a smaller detail bush and the rounded tip of the wooden handle of my paintbrush.