Still Small Voice: Free download

I want to share these prints I made for a lesson my sister taught this week! Both are intended to remind us to quiet out lives and look/listen harder for those subtle promptings we receive.Still small voice-01

Here is the download for the L. Tom Perry quote above: Still small voice. Just download and print.

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The second one looks like nothing is there but look closer! I love the idea that you can only see the this if you are really looking. Here is the download: Whispering of the spirit. Just download and print.

DIY Watercolor Canvas Backdrop / Curtain

This was a project that I was commissioned to do for a friend. She is a photographer and wanted a watercolor inspired backdrop for an upcoming shoot.

I was a little unsure about how to approach this project, but with some trial and error, I think I figured it out for under $30.

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PC: Loblee Photography

What you need

  • 6 X 9 drop canvas, or bigger ($7.26 @ Walmart)
  • RIT powder dye ($5.31 each @ Walmart)
    • I used two shades of the same color for depth
  • Large paintbrush ($1 @ Dollar Tree)
  • Disposable cups
  • Plastic drop cloth bigger than your canvas, I got a 9 X 12 ($2.98 @ Lowes)

*If you mess up the first time like I did, you might also need bleach diluted in water

Okay… so I had to do this project twice and I did it differently both times, but the benefit of that to you is that you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

Instructions

The setup both times is the same: layout the plastic sheet and then spread the canvas out on top. The first time I completely wet the canvas before I started, but I would recommend starting with a dry canvas.

Mix some (*not all) of your powder dye with hot water in a plastic cup as per instructions on the package. Because I used a lighter pink and darker pink, I also did combinations of the light and dark to make more colors. I made 4 cups with one light pink, 2 combinations, and dark pink. It is also very important that you keep some of the powder dye for later. In addition to your dye, have a cup of warm water on hand.

Now comes the fun part. Use your paint brush or pour the colors randomly on the canvas. In some areas pour warm water overtop to help the color bleed in areas. Leaving white space will help give the canvas more depth and helps give that Watercolor effect.

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The canvas during the dye process. The speckled parts are where the powder was sprinkled

Once you are finished with the hot water and liquid dye, sprinkle the remaining powder dye in areas where you want more texture or concentrated color.

This part of the process is the worst. You have to wait DAYS for this to dry. fullsizeoutput_3b14

Like I alluded to before, the first try didn’t work out. Why? Because I am impatient. Having pre-soaked the first canvas, it was super wet and after letting it air dry for a couple days, I thought I might just throw it in the dryer… BIG MISTAKE. It came out completely one pepto bismol color! (*see below about how I salvaged this pink fabric)

After I had already invested a few days in this process, I started all over again a second time and let that completely air dry and it turned out much better!

 

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Air dried canvas

Salvaged Pepto Bismol Drop Cloth

I decided to use this fabric as a curtain for my closet. I filled my bathroom sink with water and poured in some bleach. I scrunched the pink cloth randomly and dipped it in the sink until it had absorbed all the liquid. I then put this in the dryer and let it dry. It was really happy with how it turned out.

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Quote: Mothering

A few months ago, I was honored to have a good friend ask me to paint this quote to hang in her nursery. The quote is from her cousin who passed away not long after writing these words on a mother’s day post.

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I am not a mother, but I believe that children are the most precious gift. Children are constant reminders of what matters most- they are relentless at giving love, forgiveness, trust, and humility. Spending this last weekend with my niece and nephews was a much needed reminder!

Watercolor and Gold Sugar Cookies

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Flood cookies are hard… Seriously. These cookies are far from perfect but I learned SOOO much in the process.

What you need

  • Sugar cookies -I used this Alton Brown Recipe
  • Royal Icing- I used the recipe on the wilton meringue powder container which used meringue powder, Icing sugar, and water which I substituted with lemon juice for a better flavor
  • Piping bag and thin piping tip
  • Almond extract, or any other clear alcohol-based extract
  • Gold luster dust- You can get this at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn

Instructions

I stated by baking round cookies about 4 inches in diameter. While letting my cookies cool, I started making my royal icing. I watched a ton of youtube videos and searched other blogs to get an idea about that the consistency should be…. Ultimately I did my best, but trial and error was my best friend. Before you thin the icing down too much for the flooding, set aside some thicker icing to pipe on your cookies later.fullsizeoutput_3b62.jpeg

Frosting the cookies was next. I originally tried piping a border on each of the cookies that I could fill with a thinner flooding icing, but I did not like the way this was looked and it was taking a long time, so eventually I resorted to using a spatula to apply an even layer of royal icing on the cookies without the piped boarder. *I piped this border on later after I had painted the cookies to give it a more finished look.

Before you move on, make sure your royal icing completely dries. This make take several hours. I left mine overnight to ensure well dried cookies.

Now to the fun part. Painting the cookies! Use gel food coloring in the colors you choose like you would a watercolor, but instead of using water to dilute it, use your alcohol-based extract. The reason you use this instead of water is water may start to break down your icing, whereas the extract evaporates very quickly. I used a regular paintbrush to paint flowers on my cookies. Wash your paintbrush thoroughly because any residue from previous paint may contain inedible components.

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Instead of explaining how I painted the flowers, watch this

Use the thicker icing you set aside to pipe what will be your gold design on the top. I was using my cookies as place settings, so I piped the names of my friends on the cookies. This is also when I piped around the cookie to give it a more finished look.

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Again, make sure that this icing completely dries before moving on. Once the icing is try, mix almond extract with the peal powder (luster dust). Because the extract evaporates quickly, I mixed it up a little at a time. The consistency should be like paint. Using a fine paintbrush, paint over the white piped icing. I have seen videos where people use yellow or brown icing to help give a richer gold color. I found the white looked fine, but I had to do 3 separate layers.

I absolutely loved this part of the process because it combined my love for art, my love for food, and my love for handlettering together. To take things one step further, I also had a hallmark movie playing while I did this. I was a very happy girl.

And thats it! These cookies are definitely a labor of love, but I loved every moment. I can’t wait until I have another excuse to make them… next time they will look even better!fullsizeoutput_3b71

 

Quilting Project

I decided to take a stab at quilting. Naturally, I didn’t use a pattern and I just figured it out as I went. I made my own binding and somehow ended up with like 60 feet of black binding… oops.  This project took a whole week, which is much longer than I expected, but all-in-all I was very happy with how it turned out.

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You Are Enough

This is my favorite  idea from Brené Brown’s, Daring Greatly. I forget ALL the time that I am enough, just the way I am, so I made a reminder on a GIANT 18″ x 24″ piece of paper.

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Painting the world

There are so many things in this world that are scary, sad, upsetting, or a combination. I find that if I am not careful I can easily get bogged down by all the unhappy things in the world. In order to keep myself sane and remember all the goodness, I need to seek out the beauty that is there, but I just can’t see.

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I don’t know what it is, but there is nothing like creating something beautiful out of a blank sheet of paper, something old and ugly, or just completely from your mind.

I hope that this will be a place where I can post things that I make/see/do that I think are beautiful, and maybe your world will become a little prettier.