DIY Painted Leaves Tutorial

I published this blog post so late in the season last fall, that I wanted to share it again 
so that everyone has a chance to start collecting those leaves while they're falling! I think 
that you get the best painted leaf results when you press your leaves for at least a few weeks 
before painting them, if not longer. This gives the leaves time to press completely flat, 
and gives the moisture a chance to escape, so look for freshly fallen leaves and press those.
Here is the original post:

After painting acorns a few weeks ago, we were ready to move on to painting leaves! 
This is a simple project that has beautiful results, is a lot of fun, and everyone in the family can participate. I think the variety of shapes of leaves combined with the different paint 
colors is what was so appealing to me about this project. Check it out and let me know what
you think!

First we collected fallen leaves that were mostly brown, but not too dried out. Our leaves

were still a bit pliable but not crumbly. After we collected a nice variety of leaves, I 
placed them between a stack of heavy books for over a week to completely flatten them out. 
The longer you leave them between the books, the better your end result. I recommend 
leaving them between books for at least a week. I flattened a few for three days, and later 
found that after we painted those that they curled up a bit once the paint dried. If your 
leaves are still green, you will want to press them in between sheets of newspaper in between
the books. This will help absorb some of the moisture from the leaves as they dry out. 

Next we gathered our supplies: a variety of acrylic paints (I used whatever I already had at 
home), some newspaper to protect our table top, a few plates to serve as palettes, a variety 
of craft paint brushes, a cup of water to clean our brushes with, some wax paper to place
our leaves on while they dried, and a few paper towels.

 We used a variety of acrylic craft paints

A few fine-tipped brushes were great for painting thin lines and detailed designs

 I started with this leaf. Nice and dry and flat and ready to paint!

I began by painting a thin line just inside the edge of the leaf. I loved the way this 
metallic gold craft paint contrasted with the rust and brown colored leaf. 

Simple lines and dots

I love the vibrant autumn colors

Beautiful end result

I loved seeing everyone's unique, individual style come out when they painted their leaves

fancy leaf by duane 

I think our leaves would look fantastic framed behind glass in a picture frame and hung 
on a wall...

What do you think?
Which is your favorite?

My Favorite Things: Handcrafted Boho Necklace Trio

These are three necklaces that I made for myself a few years ago that I love to wear
together... Choker length:  a strand of 8mm faceted Chalcedony...Medium length: a 
rosary-like chain of 5mm freshwater pearls with fine gauge sterling silver wire (I think 
I used 24 gauge wire)...and the rectangular pendant is Amazonite surrounded in 
fine silver wire wraps with a circular moon and star bead above it. I love them all.

What do you think?

Inside Of My Studio: Soldering Jewelry Outside (...and my hydrangeas)

Okay so the the title might be a little misleading...I suppose it should instead read, 
Outside Of My Studio...

I love summer and I've got to say I'm kind of sad to see it come to a close, so I am sucking up
any tiny last opportunity to do things outside in the sunshine before the cooler months roll 
around. With my garden's last bouquet of hydrangeas on my backyard table (and check 
these out, I'm so proud of my three hydrangea bushes - one pink, one blue, and one 
purple!) I set up shop in the beautiful outdoors to solder up some pretty new pieces of
broken china jewelry. Soon I'll be flying out to Colorado to shoot two brand new jewelry 
instruction videos, and I can already feel a few work deadlines fast approaching, so I'm 
trying to stay mindful and move from task to task to get finished with what work needs
to get finished, while still finding time to do what I enjoy most, to just sit and create.

 I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer too. :)  -laura

Soldering a piece of broken china jewelry outdoors. I love this vintage grapevine china.

Working on a china heart pendant outside.

The last of my summer sad to see them go.

The wooden rim of my workboard keeps my projects from landing up in my lap. Hey,
that's one of my favorite skirts!

The colors are so pretty that they almost seem unreal! 

I planted these three bushes one, two, and three years ago. 

Early morning. 

Beautiful pink hydrangeas

What do you think?

What To Include In A Child's Art Box

FREEBIE QUOTE Printable Download... Great for the future playroom!

Making an art box for your child is a great way to help them learn about the world around 
them and also introduce them to the world of art. A collection of age appropriate art 
supplies is an essential fun learning toy for any child and will help them learn about colors, 
shapes and textures, as well as introduce them to different arts and crafts materials. Help 
feed your toddler’s desire to explore their world with a collection of art and craft supplies in 
their very own art box!

Above all, anything you include in your toddler's art box should first and foremost be safe. 
That means any art or craft supplies included in their box should be non-toxic and have no 
sharp edges or harmful chemicals. Be sure to read and adhere to age recommendations for 
any art supplies that you include in your toddler’s art box. Also, no matter how safe or 
harmless the materials you include in your art box seem to be, be sure to always supervise your children during their art playtime.

All you need to get started is an old sturdy shoe box or inexpensive plastic tote to hold your 
art supplies. Minimize mess by including an art smock or old t-shirt that your toddler can 
wear to protect their clothing. Include a variety of craft items that will help introduce your 
child to color, shapes, and textures. These items can be found at most craft stores, but take a 
look around your home and you will most likely find some cost-free additions! 
Here are my suggestions for some supplies that you may want to include in your child's  
art box:

Items that introduce a child to color:
Introduce your child to the world of color by including crayons, washable markers, colored 
pencils,  finger paints, and different colored construction paper in your art box.

Items that introduce a child to shapes:
Items that help introduce your child to the world of shapes include wooden Popsicle 
sticks, wooden cut-out flat shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles, that are about 
four inches or larger in size and that can be painted or colored are available at most craft stores and are a great way to teach your toddler about shapes. Peel-off sticker-back foam shapes are also a toddler favorite for sticking on construction paper.

Items that introduce a child to texture:
Things that introduce your child to the world of texture include pieces of felt, lengths of yarn and ribbon, material scraps, construction paper, clay or play-doh, pipe cleaners, feathers, pom-poms and cotton balls. 

Don't forget! 
Other essentials for your art box include washable glue, a glue stick, masking tape,

stickers, coloring books, tissue paper, a ruler, and simple, traceable stencils. 

With a little guidance from you and their own imagination, an art box is a wonderful way to entertain your toddler and help them learn all about art! Check out some of the neat family
friendly craft ideas below. 

Which is why I do a ton of art for religious school!

Maracas made from plastic spoons, plastic Easter eggs, and tape. This would be so cool for kids! and practically FREE :)
Family craft idea: Maracas made with plastic Easter eggs & plastic spoons. Fill eggs
with dry rice or beans, place egg between spoons and wrap with masking tape around
spoon ends and around spoons and eggs. Decorate tape with markers. 

What do you think?