Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paint Chip Projects

So...I received a bunch of comments on the paint chip projects I made for my son's recent birthday party. I have to admit...I've always been a bit obsessed with those "free" little color cards of inspiration. I love color....and most of them I would NEVER actually paint on my wall...but it is such a shame to not use them in some way! I can't walk by a display without grabbing a few...even if there are no painting/decorating projects in my future. Caleb's art themed party was a good excuse to start using up my collection (and...okay...I did make several trips to the local paint stores to stock up!)
Duron had the longest strips I could find...7 color blocks! I cut these down, and used the remaing blocks to punch out the 2" circle. Added a small hole punch and some string...voila! (After I took the photos, I did end up using my corner-rounding punch to round all of the edges.)
Piece of cake! Even all of the adults at the party took one...a free and useable party favor--a great combination!

I also made these matchbook-style notpads from Duron paint chips. I folded the bottom flap up, rounded the corners with my punch, and stapled. I folded the remainder in half, and cut down some sticky notes to fit inside (1/4" smaller that the area within the paint chip). The sticky notes stuck to the paint chip, the flap folds down and tucks inside of the stapled a match book. It's a handy little memo book to tuck inside your purse....the adults loved them as much as the kids did!

I cut these flags for the cake stand from Behr paint chips. Their chips are large rectangles. I also used them to cut 2" circles for hanging garlands, favor tags, and cupcake toppers!

Now, I was pretty pleased with myself for finding, fun and inexpensive ways to decorate and make party favors. Those projects were pretty cute.....or so I thought....
But then I stumbled over to a new blog called Infarrantly Creative. (By "new" I mean new to me...she's been at this for YEARS!)
Beckie has the same fascination with paint chips....and she puts my projects to SHAME!
This is her version of paint chip memo pads---made to look like little purses!!
The video tutorial is available on her blog here.

And if you think those are AMAZING...check this out! Beckie even makes JEWELRY from paint chips! It's pretty simple too...check out her video tutorial.
And Beckie's latest blog post is 5 Ways to Use Paint Chips.
(that's right....5 more projects to put my bookmarks to shame!)
Thanks for the 'Foxy Inspiration' Beckie...can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Calling All Artists: It's Party Time!

This past weekend was my son's sixth birthday party. He had 5 of his friends over for an art party on Saturday afternoon, then the artistic theme continued with a fun day with family on Sunday. It was a really fun theme to work with! Everyone seemed to enjoy the parties....but most importatly Caleb thought it was just awesome. We wanted to share some photos of his parites, in hopes that someone else would be inspired to have an art-themed party of their own!
It all started with one adorable, creative, and EXCITED birthday boy:

The theme was his idea. He came up with suggestions for decorations, activities and food. Of course, I had a few surprises for him...but he was a big part of planning and creating his party (just as it should be!).

Some simple invitations and thank you notes designed on
Some homemade decorations: A welcoming banner painted by the birthday boy himself, a chandelier of tissue poms, and a balloon centerpiece (Art billboard by The Purple Pug)

Of course there was a snack table!
Obviously color was a big part of the theme! Goodies included: rainbow colored Goldfish, M&Ms, Skittles, pretzel rods, edible crayons (pretzel rods dipped in candy melts, wrapped with crayon paper), fruit kabobs, water, and Switch sparkling fruit juice (my new fav! Colorful cans, and no added sugars or artificial colors.)

Details of the goodies:

I made flags for the straws with famous quotes about art, the kids had a chance to get creative while decorating their own cupcake, and the mini cherry pies were served at the family party (along with the colorful cake below!).

The Activities:

There were several art related activities.

  • Caleb wanted to play bingo, so I created an art themed bingo sheet using Picasa. (FREE!)
  • I found coloring sheets of famous masterpieces at They had everything from Matisse to Andy Warhol! (FREE!)
  • We drew self portraits. The kids enjoyed studying the shapes of their heads, eyes, and noses in their hand-held mirrors!
  • The kids also painted their own lizard toy (we needed one messy activity!). ($1 each from Michael's)
  • Caleb came up with the idea of Freeze Drawing. Much like the traditional party game Freeze Dance, but--you guessed it--they drew! Actually, they ended up in a free-for-all dance by the end of the game.....they just couldn't contain themselves when Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" came on!!
  • Total cost of all party activities $1 per child!

The big thrill for Caleb at the family party was his cake. He had great fun helping me make the cake batter. He measured all of the ingredients, added all of the food coloring, and cracked all the eggs!

The bunting for the cake stand was made from paint chips (I love paint chips!) cut in to flags and taped to the glass, then I covered the taped edges with the black polka dot ribbon. The cake was inspired by the rainbow cake over at One Charming Party.
The recipe for the icing, aptly named "That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had", is from The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog. And let me tell's named that for a reason. I'm not a big icing eater...but the whipped-cream like frosting was DIVINE!! We opted for fudge frosting in between the layers, because we thought the chocolate would be a nice touch (plus I think it helps the over all color-effect!).
The cake was topped off with a perfectly adorable cake billboard from glittery gal Kristy over at The Purple Pug. These should be showing up in her online store soon.
Caleb enjoyed tricking the guests, telling them, "my cake is soooo white and booooring".....he LOVED the "oohs" and "ahhs" as I cut in to it.

The Favors:
Each child recieved an art kit and bookmark. They ended up being the most economical favors I've ever handed out....yet they are actually useable!! How often do our kids come home from parties with goody bags of junk that ends up right in the trash? I didn't want to do that...but didn't want to spend a fortune on them either. The bookmarks are made from Duron paint chips...obviously, they were free. The art kits were at Michael's around Christmas time for $2.99! A steal! I wrapped them in colored paper, tied on a ribbon and two tags. One was a thank you message from Caleb, the other a quote from Picasso that said "Every child is an artist.".
It really was great fun to plan this party...and great fun to attend it! Can't wait to see what Caleb comes up with next year!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

VOTE FOR ME! A Shameless Plug!

My Fingerprint Portraits were nomintated as a finalist in The Knock It Off Contest on the seven thirty three blog! Please vote for ego could really use it! ;) Actually....there are a lot of really great knock off projects in the running (okay....a lot are better than mine!)....but most require sewing--and I'm not good with the needle and thread! Go check out the projects, pick your favorite....and then vote for me anyway! ;) Vote here!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Get Your Indie Fixx here!

print by Jen Collins of hellojenuine

I am loving what I'm seeing on the design, crafting, gardening, cooking,
um.....can I just say "lifesyle blog" Indie Fixx.
Yes, they have a fox in their logo....but that's not the only thing I love about them. Jen Wallace is the foxy chick behind Indie Fixx (and I was almost done writing this post when I noticed a link to Baltimore Etsy--she's a Maryland girl too!) She features the work of Indie artists and designers....a feast of eye candy.

There is even a mall where you can buy it all, the Indie Fixx Galleria.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick Tips: How to Make Heart-Shaped Cupcakes

Ever wonder how to make heart-shaped cupcakes...without investing in a heart-shaped pan?
It is even easier than I imagined! Definately going to use these for our class Valentine's Day party (which also happens to be my son's birthday!).

Thanks to Stylin' Stix Studio for sharing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dr. Pitt---even cooler than his brother Brad!

I've been having so much fun imagining how we will decorate our basement once it's finished (and construction hasn't even begun I've got a lot of time to play around here!). We don't have much natural light down we'll need to brighten it up with some bright creamy fabrics, glossy white woodwork, and a big brass chandelier. Oh...I can imagine myself down there now...curled up on the suede covered Henredon sofa under a cashmere throw sipping tea--wait---aren't suede and cashemre dry clean only? ....Yep...that's not going to cut it around this house! And, let's face it, as much as I love the picture above, it certainly isn't practical for a family with two small boys who believe bodily noises are hysterical (and a husband who agrees!). Our new family room will be all about movie watching and video game playing. It really should have padded walls, inflatable furniture, and a drain in the middle of the floor so that I can just hose things down when necessary.


Hellllllooooo Dr. Pitt!
(really, that's what it's called!)

Now this is what we need for our basement! I remember seeing these sectionals by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams years ago, but didn't have the need back then. far as my boys are concerned, this is all we need.
Well....maybe a 60" plasma screen tv for the PS3 and a fridge full of soda too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hand Cut paper art

I'm a long-time fan of cut paper. It is such an amazing talent---I can't even imagine the patience and steady hands this type of artist needs! My friend Kakki came acrossed British artist Julene Harrison online. Knowing my obsession, she passed it along to me. Julene does amazing invitations, save the dates, portraits, illustrations, and has a great resume of commercial work. Check out her blog, and I'm sure you'll fall in love with her amazing work as well!

Photograpy Project: A Color Hunt

Sometimes I need a little push, or "inspiration", to pick up my camera and go exploring; especially when there's no obvious event or subject to photograph. I need to practice with my camera, and I need some what's better than taking your camera out for a walk? I know, we are in the middle of a snow-filled winter here in the mid-Atlantic, but that's an even better reason to bundle up and get outside. The snowy season doesn't really last as long as it seems, and there are some great opportunities for beautiful photos that you just can't get in 80 degree weather!

Andrea over at Hula Seventy has given me so much inspiration to just grab your camera and GO! She has started a "color therapy" project with husband and wife duo over at Poppytalk. Picking a "color of the day" and then heading out to capture it on her camera. Especially now that so many of us are shooting digital....there is no reason to not get out there and click, click, click! I recommend sticking to one color theme per will help keep you focused.
Here are some examples of Andrea's color hunt....

hopefully I'll have some blog-worthy photos of my own to post soon!





Be sure to check out all of the other 'Foxy Inspiration'

over at Hula Seventy....

and share with me the photos of your color hunt!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Home Galleries

I've been searching the Internet lately for some inspiration for a gallery wall I'm planning as a part of our basement remodel. I have a gallery-type wall going on in my first floor hallway; sort of a mosaic of photographs, the kids artwork, and fox items. It's a work in changes every time I add something to it...and there's still lots of room to add!

I like the way it is working out, but I wanted to do something different in the basement. There are a bazillion ways to go about it, and I haven't settled on anything yet, but wanted to pass on a few that I found.

This is actually a wallpaper printed with frames. I first saw it years ago...and I've always loved it, I've just never really had a place to put it. It's very informal and fun! As much as I'd like to design a stylishly chic basement....I know that it's not the direction it is going to go (at least while there are still young boys living in this house!). So maybe this could be an option for now...then more on to something more sophisticated later?

This makes a great statement...but the photographs need to be pretty special!

Source: Pottery Barn

This is a good mix of simple and sophisticated. The square frames make it more interesting!

(I do, however, HATE the orchids on the shelves....ew!)

There are some other great blog posts on this subject (they've practically done all of my research for me):

Read HERE from the Creative Mama

and read HERE from Chas at A Woman's Haven

These blogs will show you TONS of great examples to creatively

display your family's treasured photos!