Friday, March 15, 2013

She Crafts Again!

National Guard weekends are fast becoming my crafting weekends.  It's the only time when I don't have a million things I should be doing [like being a responsible adult] but I'm not allowed to do fun things with my husband [because he is gone].  Last weekend was a special doozie, because his duty weekend started two days early. On top of that, he was shipped off to the middle of nowhere, meaning I didn't get the pleasure getting my feet warmed at night. *whining over*

In the name of trying to stay positive here, I did get a couple of long awaited projects finally finished.

And I "painted."  I say that in quotes because the only brush I used was a foam brush [which doesn't really count, I don't think], and the rest was drawn or stippled.  I've been cringing internally since we moved because our bedroom is. so. boring.  I know, I know, no one ever actually peeks in there, but I wanted it to look a little less like a bachelor's pad. But I'm not much of an actual artist, so painting anything truly amazing was out of the question.

I finally found inspiration when I ran across this pin, originating from Two Girls Being Crafty:

I had a few bottles of acrylic paint left over from *ahem* junior high, a paint pen, foam brush, and a gift card to the local craft shop. And that's how the adventure began.

I started off with the intention of trying to make my copy as close to the original as I could.  I did a lot of mix-experimenting with my paint and wound up with this color for the background:

When I finished painting half the canvas, I realized I didn't want any more brown in my life [being in the desert and all], so I changed things up a bit, and went instead with a grey that matched our comforter pretty closely. [I'm already starting to sound like an artist!]

Word from the wise: if you ever do something like this, mix up a ton of your background color.  You'll go through it faster than you think, and trying to replicate colors is a pain.

Once the background paint dried, the next step was to replicate the branches using a paint pen.  If you're pretty good at drawing by hand, but can't paint a straight line to save your life [like yours truly], then use a paint pen.

Looking simultaneously at the original painting and pictures of trees really helps with this process.  Realism, people, is what I was going for.

For the dots, I went cheap.  Honestly, I didn't want to go back out to buy circular foam brushes. So I scoured the house for anything that would make a dot the sizes I was looking for.  I came up with these:

the other end of the foam brush, a travel-size bottle of baby lotion, and a cigar tin.  [I ended up only using the foam brush and the baby lotion for my dots.]

After randomly placing dots in the colors I wanted [red, orange, pink, yellow, and white], I ended up with this:

While it wasn't bad, and it was decently close to the original, I felt like something was missing.  I sent a picture to the hubby, and his response was, "it doesn't go anywhere."


"I mean it doesn't take your eye anywhere.  I learned in my design class that a good picture will direct your eye somewhere. You should put birds or the moon in the space in the middle."

Well, I didn't want to put the moon or anything in that space, but I did see what he was saying. There just wasn't much to look at.  So, I moped about my failed painting [like a good artist] until I ran across this pillow:

That was what I wanted above my bed. [On a side note, this pillow is from Target, and if I had the finances, I would get it.]

 So I went back at it with the butt end of the foam brush.  I worked to make the branches into trees, and using the inspiration from the pillow, I aimed for a semi-abstract cherry blossom tree look.

While I don't know if I can say that my eye goes anywhere with this rendition, it at least looks more like something.

And our bedroom makes me smile a little each time I walk in now.


  1. Very nice. Stylish.

  2. Shelby! I love it :) really kudos to you. I love how josh is a critic too. Nick says things like that to me and I get all butt hurt and then end up realizing his advice was warrented. go figure!

  3. Oh, I know, Kat. I forget that I'm not the only creative one in this house, and that he's actually taking classes on art and design (in films). He probably knows more than I do (well, I'm sure he does, actually).

  4. Looks so classy. I love the gray, you go girl! When my mom was poor and young:) she covered canvas frames with fabric(think IKEA) of all sizes and then hung it up as decoration. The pictures I've seen are great. Good job, and you are an artist!

  5. that is so awesome! maybe we should be doing group national guard crafting weekends so we can all do amazing things!?

  6. Actually, the eye does "go somewhere". I saw it in the thumbnail pic on Craftgawker and that is what got my attention. The eye notices the lines, then moves up to the colors, where it roams around until it settles on the white dots, which is the main contrast from the rest of the picture. I think you have done very well!

  7. Thank you Mike! I really appreciate your appraisal :)

  8. WOW - this is beautiful. It is lovely and the fact that it makes you happy makes it even more lovely. Thanks for the inspiration and for the tip of a paint pen (who knew there was such a thing!). Truly - it is beautiful!

  9. absolutely love this....just bought a new bedding set and will try this with colors in it.

  10. I really loved it the first way you did it and intend to make one the same way but using the colors that coordinate in my living area. That being said, the redo you did looks great too. I am more of a minimalist when it comes to art so my preference is the first one..thanks for the great inspiration.

  11. I just finished doing it this morning. Such an easy fun project. Posted it on my blog too
    Thanks much :)
    - Ankitha

    1. Isn't it though? It makes me so happy to see that you made it your own! Thanks for showing me!

  12. what's a painting pen? The photo shows a Sharpie, those scare me because they're permanent: /

    1. It is indeed a sharpie brand paint pen. Paint pens use paint instead of ink - and they are also quite permanent :)