Category Archives: Easy art projects

Parenting magazine is looking for craft ideas

Hey crafters!

Parenting magazine is looking for fun, modern kid crafts to feature in our Halloween and Christmas issues. Got a never-been-published, original holiday craft? We want to see it! Send a snapshot of it to If your craft is selected, we’ll print it in the magazine and give you and your blog (if you have one) credit. Be sure to include your name, hometown and phone number in your e-mail to us so we can contact you about the instructions. The deadline is May 2nd.


DIY: Necklace Knockoff #2 …


Okay, so I think I got my necklace making-kick out of my system. This is my second necklace knock off this week and I think it turned out pretty awesome.

Check out the first necklace knockoff here.

At lunch yesterday, I went to the same specialty fabric store where I got the thread for the other necklace and picked up some yellow and gray buttons. (I love the store because there are hundreds – maybe thousands of different styles of buttons that you could choose from.) Each of these cost between $.20 and $.55 each.

All I did was thread them together with some silver wire. I rethread some of the buttons two or three times so they were sturdy and I connected them to a random silver chain that I found in my couch years ago that nobody claimed.

It’s not as neat as the one that I knocked off, but I think it turned out pretty awesome, especially since I’m not used to working with wire. Plus, it only took me about 15 minutes to complete.

HERE IS THE ORIGINAL NECKLACE (I found the pic online.)

HERE IS MY REPLICA (ps. I’m wearing it today.)


DIY: Necklace knock-off …


(ps. since this picture, I trimmed some of the fringe. It is a bit much here.)

A week and a half ago, while in the Dominican Republic (check out part uno of our trip here and part dos of our trip here), my sister-in-law, Nathalie, let me wear one of her necklaces around town. I fell in love and become obsessed. No, literally – I couldn’t stop thinking about making one of my own. So, last night, after collecting the beads and string on my lunch break, I made it. It only took me three hours to do it all – paint (and dry) the beads, braid the string and thread everything together.

I’m going to make more necklaces and bracelets in the upcoming days, so I’ll show you how I paint the beads in upcoming posts. (Hint: it includes bamboo skewers and empty cracker and granola bar boxes.)

Here are pictures of Nathalie’s necklace.

Here are pictures of my necklace.

Pretty good replica, huh?

Here is what I used:
1. Two pieces of fringed trim (I bought at a speciality fabric store. For a $1 a yard)
2. Three colors of cross-stitch thread (I already owned these from a previous art project – check my bird cage art here.)
3. Wooden beads (I bought a tub full for $5.00 with a 40% coupon at Michael’s. So it came out to be $3.00)
4. Acrylic paint (Already owned.)
5. Random beads (Already owned.)

So the total for this necklace is $5.00! Sweet deal!

Party garland that wows …


We’re having an intimate birthday party for Kai this weekend with some of his best friends. For the past month, we have been working on garland and streamers for the party almost nightly – basically all you have to do is string things together – we have a rainbow star, Backyardigans theme – so easy and so festive! Check out some of my inspiration. (Stay tuned to see pics of the party next week.) I also think I’m going to use some of these ideas for a new art project for my home, but I can’t work on it until after the party – so much to do!

Art project: colorful recycled magazine shadowbox art …


A few months ago, I saw a similar art piece on and fell in love with it. Since creating art is a passion of mine, I decided recreated some myself this weekend. Check it out.

I used:
3 white shadow boxes (I bought them from Ikea for $10 each)
old magazines
straight edge paper cutter
9 pieces of heavy card stock paper

Here is how I did it …
1. I browsed through my old magazines and ripped pages (mostly ads) that had pages with larger color-blocked sections.
2. With my paper cutter, which I just bought at Michaels for $6 (I love their 40% coupons), I cut the pages into even strips.
3. Cut the card stock to fit the dimensions of the shadowbox.
4. Glued the magazine strips onto the card stock.
5. I drew designs onto the card stock and cut them out.
6. I placed front card stock piece and then stacked the other piece behind it and then arranged the colored piece in the back.


(Next step: hanging them up!)

See more of my art:
Bird paintings

Photo collage

Dripping with circles painting

Garden signs

Chakra art

Kevin’s wedding present painting

Chic seashell art

Happy thoughts

Wedding present art + an Etch A Sketch drawing …


I finally gave my brother Kevin and new sister-in-law Marti their wedding present yesterday. (They were married in November!) It’s not like I was a slacker. I painted something a few months ago, but it was terrible. So, I hid the hideous art piece under my guest bed until inspiration struck me. And a few weeks ago, it finally did.

What I like about this piece, which I call “Connections,” is the big background squares/rectangles are separated monochromatically. The overlay colors are one step clockwise from the background colors implying an unifying connection. To me, this represents Kevin, Marti and their two kids (and my new niece and nephew) Maggie and John.

Here is a pic of Kevin and Marti during the big reveal.

Also, Alex was inspired on Kai’s Etch A Sketch. Check out this awesome piece. (I’m totally impressed because all I create on this thing is stairs.)







Colorful seven chakra art project …


chak·ra (chŭk’rə)
n. One of the seven centers of spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy.

In honor of my yoga practice, I painted the ancient seven Sanskrit chakra symbols – each on a separate 5” x 5” canvas. They hang outside of Kai’s room to always remind Alex and me to treat him with respect.

According to ancient Indian tradition (over 2,000 years), each chakra has a unique meaning and purpose. Click on the photo below for a larger and readable view of the graph that explains the chakras and their meanings. (I “borrowed” it from another web site that I can’t find right now. Oops!)

ps. I’ve painted the walls behind the paintings white since taking this pic.





Our Seattle trip: part two …

Alex was inspired after visiting the Seattle Art Museum and seeing the Kirk Cobain and Andy Warhol exhibits. As I drove around downtown and the hip Fredmont neighborhood in the rain, Alex – like a private eye – snapped away. Here are some of his top picks.

10 tips to Feng Shui your bedroom …

feng shui  [fuhng shwey]
the Chinese art or practice of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang, as in arranging furniture or determining the siting of a house.

While designing Alex’s and my bedroom, I was very conscious of the positioning of the furniture and other elements within the room so the energy flows properly throughout the space. Our bedrooms are where we rest, regenerate and retreat, so it makes sense that this is where I focused a lot of my attention in applying Feng Shui principles.

Here are some of the techniques I used while planning our bedroom:

1. Peaceful and serene colors: I chose light blues, whites, tans and browns.
2. Inspiring and meaningful art: Alex and I painted the artwork that hangs on the walls. Two of them are replicas of ones that we’ve seen in our travels. The one above the bed is an original that I painted one evening in less than an hour.
3. Symmetry: I created symmetry by placing a nightstand on each side of the bed.
4. Furniture placement: Following Feng Shui techniques, I positioned the headboard to the east side of the room, which allows the sun to rise at the top of our heads. Also, the headboard should be against a solid wall giving the sense of security. Idyllically (and fortunately for us), the wall should not connect to the bathroom wall. The foot of the bed should never face the doorway. The theory behind this is that the influx of the energy from the rest of the house will pour onto your bed, giving you a restless sleep.
5. Declutter your space: This is something I’m continually and constantly working on.
6. Keep the area under your bed clear: It allows the energy to flow more freely giving you a peaceful sleep.
7. No TV: Not only should you remove it because of the harsh electric energy that radiates from it, but the television is also a distraction from the serene and peaceful space you are creating.
8. Attract love and romance: Display pairs of objects around your room. Alex and I have two crystal bookends on a dresser that my grandparents bought on one of their road trips.
9. Only display photos of people who sleep in the room: I’m very conscious of this technique. I only have photos of Alex and me featured around the room and even in the hallway as you enter our room. I try to keep them in pairs to attract even more love between us.
10. Trust your own judgement: Does it feel peaceful? Does it feel right to you? Can you do anything else to make it even more serene? Ask yourself these questions and do what feels right for you.

My favorite Feng Shui book is called: The Western Guide to Feng Shui: Creating Balance, Harmony, and Prosperity in Your Environment. You can buy it used on Amazon for $.01!!

Free as a bird …


For almost a year before I finally had a chance to create it, I was obsessed with the idea of having a wall dedicated to three empty birdcages. I was egged on even more each time I window-shopped my local Anthropologie store. Originally, I wanted to paste birdcage decal stickers from Etsy on the wall, but I was nervous about eventually removing them and leaving a replica stain left in its place. Instead, I decided to go the cleaner and cheaper route and make them myself.

I recycled these canvases (meaning, I repainted them white) and painted the graphic birdcages on them, using the designs of the decal’s from Esty as a guide. For the chain, I nailed black ribbon for a clean straight line from the cage to the ceiling.

To complete the theme, I have seven colorful cagefree birds flittering around my guestroom. Most of the pop art birds are in flight, while a few are standing (to change it up a bit). For the birds, I scoured the web for a bird graphic that I liked and recreated it seven times on small individual white canvases. Adding to the Anthropologie-feel and to give the birds more depth and personality, I sewed funky wallpaper samples on their bellies and hand-stitched colorful thread around them.

For a HOW TO, scroll below the pictures.

Check out more of my art.

DIY: How to make your own Anthropologie-esque birdcages:

You’ll need:
1. Three larger canvases
2. Seven smaller canvases (I used a 5×5 canvas for the birds.)
3. Acrylic paint
4. Paint brushes
5. Fabric or wallpaper scraps
6. Needle and needle point thread
7. Search the web for bird and birdcage designs that inspire you
8. Pencil (and eraser)
9. Ruler

Instructions for the birdcages:
1. Paint the canvases white.
2. Print your birdcage inspirations in the largest format possible.
3. Use a ruler and a pencil to sketch the designs on the canvas. (Go slow with this part, making sure everything is even and symmetrical.)
4. Paint the birdcages black.

Instructions for the birds:
1. Paint the canvases white.
2. Print your bird inspiration in the size of your canvas.
3. Cut out the graphic and trace it on the canvas.
4. Paint the birds whatever color you like.
5. Cut out the fabric or wallpaper scrap the size needed for the bird.
6. Glue it on the bird.
7. Using needlepoint thread, loosely stitch the outline of the bird and the fabric/wall paper.