Category Archives: Art and Creativity

An Irish blessing

An Irish blessing for you, on St. Patrick’s Day:

irish blessing

irish blessing 2

irish blessing 3

irish blessing 4

And also… may you celebrate very quietly on my street in South Boston this evening.  I am tired.  And my shenanigans tolerance level is dangerously low.

Cheers to you and yours.

Also On Tap for Today:

Did you remember to wear green today?

On our walls | at the Cape

After three or four consecutive weekends in the city, we are back at the Cape, enjoying the peace and quiet of the off season.  Since closing on the house here in mid-October, we’ve been down as many weekends as possible.  We’ve made a lot of progress in some areas, but in other areas, maybe not so much… both kids’ rooms sort of look like the second child’s room in this hilarious BuzzFeed post that I can’t stop scrolling through. 

We have some really fun things up on our walls, though, so I figured we could start there. It’s been so fun to start from scratch, building an inexpensive collection of pieces we truly love. I think that’s really the only rule that matters when building an art collection: Buy what you love.

I’ve linked to products when possible, mostly because I think everyone needs at least one of Elizabeth May’s seagulls in their home.  Please note that some links are referral or affiliate links.

KITCHEN

on our walls kitchen

The first things to grace our walls were these Elizabeth May seagull prints (Seagull 15 + Seagull 16).  I absolutely love her style, and just saw that she has new Barack Obama and Joe Biden prints for sale in her Etsy shop so…. they will be joining us soon, along with her Maya Angelou and Susan B. Anthony portraits.  

Cool/important people art party at the Cape!

I used these brass matted Target frames throughout the house.  I am obsessed.

LIVING ROOM

living room on our walls

  • Photos of Grace, Nick + Clark,  all taken at the Cape
  • Minted signed print (Mid-summertime by Emily Jeffords) + a photo of Grace birdwatching with “the giant ‘noculars'” at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History 

*You can use your Ebates account for cash back at Minted (PSA for those not already using Ebates: sign up for an Ebates account and go to their website when shopping online– by going through them first, you’ll earn cash back at many of the sites you usually shop.  For me, that’s diapers.com, LOFT, Nordstrom, Minted, Athleta, etc.)

CapeAbilities flag

We have this Cape Cod flag, made by Cape Abilities participants, hanging on the wall heading upstairs.  Proceeds from these flags (this size was $35) support the organization, which serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod through a range of programs.  If you’re on the Cape, I highly recommend a trip to their farm in Dennis and store in Yarmouth.  They do wonderful work.

GUEST ROOM/DEN

guest room on our walls

I normally wouldn’t paint over someone else’s work… but I figured a mass market paint-by-number is fair game, right?  You can find similar vintage paintings at thrift stores and on Etsy or ebay, often with wooden frames, for $20 or so.  I used leftover paint from another project and simply blocked off a third of the image with blue painters tape and added a single coat of paint so that the original painting is still visible up close.

OUR BEDROOM

our bedroom on our walls

I hadn’t planned to hang the tapestry and Top Knot print together, or even in the same room… but then I saw them side by side and loved the repetition of those red stripes. The rest of our room is super white and restful, so these pieces punch things up a bit.

The tapestry is from the Pillowfort kids line at Target, but it totally works in a grown-up room.  Kids decor is often less expensive… and more cool.

GRACE’S ROOM

Grace on our walls

Grace fell in love with this swan (and her tutu), and who could blame her?  The framed print is actually a Valentine’s Day card that cost $3 ($15 including the frame). Framing greeting cards is an easy, low commitment way to add a little something to your walls.

NICK’S ROOM

Nick on our walls

One of the artists for Modern Map Art generously sent us this print, which I thought would work perfectly in Nick’s room (I’m going for a mostly navy vibe in there).  There are several options for Boston, all in local team color ways.  My photo doesn’t do the print justice, so I recommend checking out their website to see more detailed shots.  They sell similar prints for cities all over the globe, as well as some really cool ski maps.

I love how major and local streets have been painted over the map in red.  It’s really bold and graphic and I think it pairs well with the anchor tapestry (another kids department find).  

Plus, it’s nice to have a little Southie with us at the Cape. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite piece of art or inexpensive decor tip?

 

 

Get Messy Art Journal membership giveaway

If you find yourself looking for a new creative outlet and a supportive community (not to mention, a really healthy alternative to cable news) lately, you know I’ll be the first to encourage you to pick up a pen, paintbrush, pair of scissors or box of crayons.  

dont quit before the miracle

Materials used: Magazine scraps, matte medium, sharp/dangerous scissors, Jane Davenport canvas art journal.

As a member of the 2017 Creative Team, I am thrilled to be hosting a Get Messy Art Journal giveaway for a full year membership ($195 value).  I am so grateful for this community and encourage anyone (really, anyone) to check it out.  You don’t need to have an art background nor a closet full of supplies, just the desire to create.  To make.  To explore.  To play.  

An annual membership to this community includes:

  • Immediate access to the current season and entire archives of Get Messy
  • Four new art journal prompts every Monday during the season (delivered by email) to encourage and guide you in your art making
  • Link ups to share your art, build community and gain encouragement
  • Ten targeted tutorials per season
  • Inspiration to create from Guest Artists, Member Spotlights, Contributors, and the Creative Team
  • Access to the Messy Forums to share and receive wisdom + ask questions
  • Opportunities to build friendships and connect with art accountability partners 
  • Access to our private Facebook community 
  • First access to new classes

Each season lasts two months and has a dedicated theme (past seasons have included Dreams, Love, Music + Gifts).  You can do as much or as little as you like, but I personally attribute so much creative growth to this program.  

You can learn more here:

There are monthly ($20) and season ($35) memberships available as well.  If you have specific questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.  I also recommend scrolling through the #getmessyartjournal feed on Instagram to see what members are making.

GET MESSY ART JOURNAL GIVEAWAY

To enter the giveaway for a year-long Get Messy Art Journal membership, please leave a comment below.  This giveaway is open to all (there are Get Messy members all over the world) and closes at 6PM EST on January 31st. One winner will be randomly selected and notified after the giveaway closes.

This post contains affiliate links.

Also On Tap for Today:

What creative goal(s) would you like to accomplish this year? (And how can I help you get there?!)

 

The aforementioned purple chair.

Here’s the aforementioned purple chair I painted earlier this week.

aforementioned purple chair

Materials: Gouache, giant new square sketchbook (Seawhite Hardback Artists Sketchbook)

I imagine this is what Prince sits in while chilling in Heaven (and can we talk, solemnly, about the all star jam band Jesus formed in 2016…).  I got carried away with the cushion tufting, but hey. 

That’s one of the (many?) good things about imaginary purple-rain-inspired chairs.  You can get carried away with the cushion tufting and just pretend that’s how you intended it to look.  And then you can blow up your own spot and tell the internet that it was actually a mistake.  Because you were distracted by Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Please don’t be too intimidated by my high brow taste in movies films.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • I’m thrilled to share that I am on the 2017 Creative Team for the Get Messy Art Journal Community – – if you’re looking for a warm + enthusiastic crew and inspiration for regular art-making… check ’em out (all are welcome!)
  • For the record: the movie was cute, but generally… just okay (same goes for the chair…)
  • Why Being Warm is Better Than Just Being Polite from lifehacker

Who would you want in your all star jam band (on Earth, or otherwise)?

October goals + a printable calendar

This hand painted calendar is coming to you live and direct on October 3rd.  So I suppose my number one goal for the month should be… punctuality?  

PRINTABLE OCTOBER CALENDAR

october goals printable calendar

Materials used: Two leaves, 8 x 10 Gelli Plate (for mono-printing — such a fun tool to have on hand!), brayer, various acrylic paints (Golden liquid + high flow acrylics, Dick Blick matte acrylics, Martha Stewart craft paint), cold press watercolor paper, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor paint, #2 round brush (for the October hand lettering), calendar text added digitally (because it took 9 months for me to accept I can’t paint in a straight line, apparently)

You can download your free, printable October calendar here.

I went in a bit of a different direction with this month’s calendar.  My distaste for fall colors is well documented here (plus there was the time I almost committed a crime against our wedding caterer when she suggested decorating our wedding reception with fake pumpkins and leaves…).  But I do love a good fallen leaf.  Whatever that means.

Grace and I collected a few on our way home from this morning’s workout and used them in today’s art project (I haven’t been doing much painting on my own these days, but we’ve been killing the mom/toddler art scene.  Again… whatever that means.).  Using my Gelli Plate to pull prints of these leaves was a lot of fun, and the result was just fall-ish enough to be October appropriate… without being a fake pumpkin.  

Regardless, we’ve got so much to look forward to this month — Nick’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, baby Nick’s baptism, dressing up Clark (and the children, obvi) for Halloween, football football snacks, and a really exciting thing I’ll tell you about later, because I seem to have become superstitious.  And vague.

OCTOBER GOALS

Keeping it basic.  Like a PSL.

  • My primary wellness goal is, once again, consistency– consistent workouts, consistent hydration, consistent nutrition.  (I’d say consistent sleep… but… #babiesdontsleep).  The Mama Beasts fall challenge is underway, which gives me some much needed structure and motivation.
  • Make 1 new-to-me recipe each week.  You know, in an effort to stop making the same three things over and over.
  • Be more intentional about our weekends.  It’s often the only solid family time we have during the week.  I’d prefer we not spend it buried under laundry and/or rushing around.

And on that note: laundry awaits.  The glamor of my life continues to abound.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most looking forward to this October?

August goals + a printable calendar

Current mysteries of my life:

  • How did I get poison ivy on both feet and between all of my toes?
  • What is the point of a shirt that looks like a decent bum-covering tunic, but then has slits on both sides that go all the way up to your armpits?
  • Why is it August already?

I just don’t know.  I don’t.  Here’s a calendar.

AUGUST PRINTABLE CALENDAR

august goals printable calendar

One day I will use a ruler and paint those numbers in a straight line for you.  That day is not today.  But maybe it’s September 1st?  Only time will tell.

Click here to download your free, printable August calendar

AUGUST GOALS

  • Log an average of 20 miles a week for Charity Miles
  • Complete as many summer bucket list items as possible
  • Make it to all 3 Mama Beasts classes each week
  • Follow up on a volunteer opportunity for the fall
  • Share my “streamline everything” progress (believe it or not, there has been some progress!)
  • Watch as much of the Olympics as humanly possible

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH HOLLAR

back to school hollar

And because it’s nearly back-to-school time (I know, I know), I have something extra cute to share today.  Grace starts preschool in just a few weeks and our friends at Hollar (our new go-to spot for gifts and goodies) hooked her up with an Elmo backpack and all kinds of art supplies and learning tools.  Check out Grace’s feature on the Hollar blog here.  We’re really grateful to have partnered with them on this fun project.

Hope your month is off to a lovely start, friends.  And that you don’t step in any poison ivy.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your August?

What I made | 007: Gouache edition

What I made | 007 sounds so… James Bond.  I assure you what follows is less secret agent and more… lady making a mess on her coffee table.  I’ve been completely swept up in Mary Ann Moss’ Oh My Gouache class and have been using gouache in place of my usual watercolors, acrylics and inks.  I even made my own sketchbook (Who am I?) and promptly began painting ships in bottles… and bottles of Polar Seltzer.  

what i made gouache

So this post is all gouache, nothing but the gouache.  So help me, gouache.  

No need for more nonsense.  Here’s what I made recently:

What I Made | Gouache from Elizabeth D. on Vimeo.

I’ve also been making salads, fall schedules, and less-than-mediocre videos.  So there’s that.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you makin’ these days?

What I made | 006

It’s been ages since I’ve shared what I made.  Grace and I spend plenty of time drawing things like “Dad with a stroller” and “Dad with shoes” and “Grace in a bed” and “Grace in a different bed” and “Baby Nick with a shoe” and “Mom in a bathing suit.”  My solo creative time, however, has been a bit limited lately.  Everything is a bit rushed, weird, slightly ugly, and mostly unfinished.

Oh, and I’ll spare you the bathing suit drawing.

WHAT I MADE | 006

thoughts become things

Materials used: Actual gouache (Holbein, jet black and Winsor and Newton, gold) and Holbein Acryla Gouache — which is not really gouache, but it is really fun to use (pale aqua, luminous lemon, pale peach and pale mint), Bee Paper cotton watercolor paper (6 x 9 inches, 140 lb)

Just a quick little doodle while thinking about… thinking.  And the power of thoughts.  Keep ’em positive, people.

portrait collage

Materials used: Random letter stickers, Pilot Varsity pen (pink, water soluble), magazine clippings, matte medium, watercolors

The new season of the Get Messy Art Journal program centers on the theme of introspection (much more my jam than last season, which just didn’t do it for me).  This is the first self portrait I’ve done in years.  It’s a bit wonky, but so am I.  So maybe it’s very true to life?

season of introspection

Materials used: Acrylic paint (sky blue and black), magazine clippings, matte medium, Micron (black 01), Gelly Roll pen (white), watercolors

I love that smiling, proud lady.  I’ve been holding onto that image for a while and figured it was time to put her somewhere more dignified than in a stack of tear-outs.

ink blot

Materials used: Acrylic paint (Golden heavy body + high flow), watercolor and gouache paint

I really liked this week’s Get Messy prompt around ink blots (members have access to a great tutorial from Vanessa on this).  The mix of paint made for some really fun texture.

Materials used: Goauche (a mix of brands — Holbein, Winsor and Newton, Plakkaatverf, Daler and Rowney), Bee Paper

The top paintings were inspired by this month’s painting-a-day challenge on Creative Bug, hosted by Jennifer Orkin Lewis, a favorite artist of mine.  I love these courses for their short and sweet videos — perfect for inspiring a daily art making practice.

And the bottom doodle was in preparation for Mary Ann Moss’ gouache class, which starts Friday.  Just a little playing around with paint mixing and experimenting with how much/how little gum arabic would prevent my gouache pans from cracking.  Judging by the crack-iness, I didn’t exactly handle it

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you making this week? A mess?  A new playlist?  Some cookies?

June goals + a printable calendar

June already?! Oh buoy… (Sorry.  No restraint.)  

And apparently I cannot paint numbers in a straight line.  Let’s just pretend I painted this aboard a wobbly sailboat.  Or something.  

JUNE GOALS + A PRINTABLE CALENDAR

printable June calendar On Tap for Today

Materials used: Canson watercolor paper, Winsor and Newton professional watercolor tubes, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors (24 color set), Kissho Gansai Lumi watercolors (NEONS!).

Download your printable calendar for June here

Family

  • Complete a second 5k with the babes
  • Plan a few family day trips (including one for Father’s Day!)
  • Rejoin swimming lessons
  • Move Baby Nick into Grace’s room (hold me…)

Wellness

  • Track all meals and workouts (in an effort to be more mindful)
  • 4+ workouts a week
  • Log all runs/walks with Charity Miles
  • Make use of my workout/yoga Pinterest boards + magazines to mix up my home workouts

Home

  • De-clutter beauty products (because let’s be serious… all I really need is moisturizer, SPF, mascara + chapstick)
  • Come up with a more efficient packing system for workouts, class, day trips, etc. (my diaper bag is out of control at the end of the day)
  • Pack up winter clothes (toooooodles!)

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your June?

Don’t quit before the miracle | Midweek motivation

Because your Monday motivational pep talk (…to yourself) may have worn off, here’s a bit of mid-week motivation.

Don’t quit before the miracle.

don't quit before the miracle

Don’t quit before the miracle.  Keep working.  Keep praying.  Keep reaching.  Keep remembering to pack snacks.  And six changes of clothes.  Just in case.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your current mantra?