Thrifty Art Thursday: Cook Book Stand

Thrifty Art Thursday:

Cook Book Stand

As I was watching my friend’s Tara video where she revamped a picture into something new this idea was born. I broadcast Live video to my Facebook page, YouTube channel and from my home and take on a new project every Thursday at 2pm Central time.

My debut was about redoing this cook book stand, or, at least, that’s what I think it is.

there was nothing wrong with it, but the colors…

2 coats of gesso

So I got to work and applied two coats of white gesso. Completely unnecessary as I realized later.

I applied a nice coat of Mod Podge and added the torn sheet with quotes on top. You are welcome to download the free printable here.

Then, another coat of mod podge and more pieces from the same sheet.

Choosing colors can be a chore, so I went into my Pinterest Color Collection and printed out this one. I feel awful for not tagging where this color palette is from, I promise I’ll do better next time. If you know who this image belongs to, please, let me know and I’ll give them proper credit.

matching colors and paints!

I painted the stand making sure the mod podge was completely dry.

I added doodle designs with my gold Posca pen.

then, some glitter and let it dry.

The last few steps were far in between since it’s cold and spray paint took forever to dry.

and, the final product!

Fancy Number Sign for a Camper

I was very excited to hear from L.A. who was looking to add a number to the spot where her camper was resting.

She needed that number in order to have the deliveries know where to leave her packages.

I started with a little digital mock up.

Then, I used carbon transfer paper to transfer the image onto two wooden blocks.

I first worked on the numbers. They were to be turquoise. I use a hand rolled cone filled with paint to make sure the numbers were filled in nicely. I used DecoArt Americana in Sea Breeze. Such beautiful color!

the numbers took about a week to dry. They were dry to the touch, but acrylic paints need about 2 weeks to fully cure. I gave it a week and then started to work on flourishes.

I used Arteza Pearl Copper Gold A129 to create lacy swirls. Again, I did this with a hand rolled cone filled with paint. This is artist quality paint and it is much thicker than your regular craft paints. It was a bit harder to squeeze out of the cone. This part went much slower!

When the work was complete, I allowed it to dry for another week or so. Then, I sprayed two coats of clear polyurethane, letting it to dry thoroughly in between the coats.

And, of course, I had to add the image I sent L.A. after the signs were complete!

Kindness Rocks: How to Make them Last

Kindness rocks are becoming a more and more popular way for people to express their creativity while supporting others. One can find a kindness rock almost anywhere: left on a shelf of a grocery store, on a bench in a park, somewhere along a walking trail.

Some kindness rocks feature pretty pictures, other have funny faces doodled on them, some have positive affirmations while others will quote the Bible.

No matter what the kindness rock represents, it is about uplifting others.

When I started to create my carepebbles, I’ve learned quite a few very interesting things!

Acrylics take much longer then overnight to cure fully!

If you don’t want your acrylics to peel right off, give them at least a week to dry and set. It’s even better to give them full three weeks, but who’s got patience for that?

Your kindness rock needs to be sealed!

Very sad, but true, when exposed to the elements, your pretty art work will peel and chip! Oh, no! Not only it ruins your kindness rock and the purpose of it, it also puts the paint trash out in the nature. We don’t want that! We need to seal that paint!

Three ways to seal your rock!

Way number one. Use epoxy/resin. Mix a small amount, cover the top of the rock (after you allowed the paint to dry and cure, remember?), let dry completely. After 24 hours, if there are any run offs, use sanding paper on them. Next, flip you rock upside down and cover the other part. Give it another 24 hours to dry and take care of the imperfections.

Way number two. Also epoxy/resin. This is how I do it. Mix a small amount of resin. While wearing gloves (please, exercise safety and follow manufacturer’s guidelines), put a little bit of resin in your hand (with the gloves on). Pick up your rock and work the resin all the way around the rock. It’s much like getting soap to leather, accept for foam would be bad in this case. Let it dry for 24 hours (or as long as the resin package tells you). Use sandpaper to take care of the run off and such.

Way number three. And the Easiest Way. Do this outside. Follow manufacturer’s directions for temperature and humidity. Grab an old cookie sheet. Line it up with wax paper. Set your rocks on the wax paper. Spray with Polyurethane. Not too much, though! Allow 24 hours to dry. Replace the wax paper, set up your rock, this time upside down and stray again ensuring full coverage. Allow another 24 hours to dry. I usually allow my carepebbles another week to sit and cure before I’d put them out somewhere.

Do you make kindness rocks? How do you protect yours?

Do You Like to Color?

My art journey started with my very first attempts with adult coloring books.

A few years ago I really needed to find a way to have some “me time” while being a stay-at-home of two young boys. I picked up a couple of coloring books from Amazon, ordered some not-so-fancy gel pens and got to work.

Funny thing, I found out the coloring pages drove me even more stressed than I was before. Just an idea of matching or choosing the right colors was so intimidating! I was completely out of my comfort zone.

I also noticed how the lines on those sheets kept me “in line” and didn’t allow me to do my own thing.

Fast forward a few years. I am drawing my own coloring sheets just for the fun of it AND I have learned enough to be able to transfer them into a digital form for those who enjoy coloring!

I’ve uploaded two brand new sheets today; the Aloe Vera inspired by the plant in my driveway and the Succulents-1 inspired by the plants on my porch. 🙂

it’s coming back from winter, it will look much better in a couple of weeks, haha!

Guess who’s been spending some time in front of the house watching the boys riding bikes and playing with their friends?

I love my succulents! And they love my porch here in Central Texas.
check it out in the Shop 🙂 It’s free to download
this one is a free download too 🙂

Is Blogging even my Thing?

Ha! That’s a great question to ask myself when I feel like I’m failing everyone who reads my blog by procrastinating and not posting new entries.

The truth is that it is much easier for me to communicate through image and bullet points, my brain feels stuck every time I need write something decent.

As I’m looking for a good solution, I am starting to read Lisa Congdon’s book on How to Build an Artist Career. And, what do you know, she suggests that blog posts needn’t be lengthy and fully researched. They can be just a short share of what is happening in my life.

So it is. The decision is made! I will do my best to share my daily life, sketches that don’t make it into social media and whatever it is around me that inspires me to move this art thing along 🙂

How does that sound?

Are you my reader? Would you mind saying hello? I would LOVE to know if someone’s reading, LOL

Love you!

Mr. Bushy Tail Fox and Henna

bushy tail fox henna

Wow! This was a while back and I never published it!

This design was first created in my sketch book while I was sharing my vacation with my family at the Azov Sea in Ukraine. I shared the sketch in my Instagram feed and my good friend Grace reached out to me to have it done on her arm.

Beautiful Grace at West Pecan Coffee and Beer with her gorgeous Bushy Tail Fox

Henna is an amazing way to connect and reconnect. We had so much fun watching the fox emerge out of faint lines and getting framed in the juicy leafy diamond shape frame.

Juicy leaves

What is your spirit animal? Would you wear body art with it?

henna fox

Fall Mandala Henna

I created this design to help me teach the concept of combining ornamental elements, such as acorns here with a traditional mandala.

I had so much fun working with my model! She was my inspiration and as you can see below, the design came out crisp and very gothic. Gosh, I just love it and can’t get enough of it!

I think dark colored nails and purple glittery background totally helps with all the gothic impression!

The acorns are so cute and lovely! I have the acorns element repeat itself three time throughout the sleeve design.

The fingers were a bit tricky. I used parallel thin lines which got filled in later and since we were two hours in already and it was a bit dark, the fingers took a bit more work. The leaves on the top had finished them nicely, don’t you think?

How Henna Helps with Stress

How Henna Helps with Stress

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a real strong anxiety attack. I can track it down to my previous business attempts. Businesses I tried before I started doing henna.

There was nothing wrong with those business ideas. They were simply not meant for me. 

Two years ago I decided to let go. I remember it so well. I remember a call I had with my business coach for the time. She was certain I was doing great and had a great future in the area. I felt repelled by the whole idea. I realized that just because some people, highly respectable people in the area, think I have all I need to be successful doesn’t really mean it is my way to go.

I cancelled a workshop that had more than 115 people signed up for. I was supposed to teach them how to be unstoppable. That day I cut off my hair and cut off all ties with that business. I do not recommend you do the same. It was something I needed to do. I needed to hear my own voice through all this noise that was seeping through every crack.

Two months later I picked up my very first henna cone and never looked back.

Henna requires top notch concentration.

I have a lot going on. Just like any mom I have a lot to worry about. Have you ever seen this meme about what’s required from a mother in the 21st century? 

“How To Be A Mom in 2017: Make sure your children’s academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, understimulate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them in a screen-free, processed foods-free, GMO-free, negative energy-free, plastic-free, body positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering of independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free two-story, multilingual home preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard and 1.5 siblings spaced at least two year apart for proper development also don’t forget the coconut oil.

How To Be A Mom In Literally Every Generation Before Ours: Feed them sometimes.

(This is why we’re crazy.)” – Bunmi Laditan

pretty floral henna hand

When I have a cone of henna on my hand, all of this HAS TO go away. If I break my concentration, my lines become crooked and my designs start to show what’s on my mind. It brings so much satisfaction to see the lines build and create a cohesive, and sometimes not so much, haha, designs!

Henna is monochromatic

henna shins at the Azov Sea

Being a perfectionist and artistically inclined creates one big problem for me. Whenever it comes to color, I can spend hours, if not days, deciding which color combinations would work best together. Painting my house, or, rather, choosing the colors for my house, was agonizing. I still have to paint the master bedroom. We’ve lived here for eight years and I can’t decide on a color combo for my own bedroom! 

This is why the monochromatic aspect of henna is so relaxing to me. I can focus on thick and thin lines, spots and contrast and not worry about all of that coloring. My favorite benefit to that? If I do that with a black marker, it automatically becomes a coloring sheet for someone who prefers to color to relax.

What are your favorite ways to reduce stress?

Awesome Henna: Do’s and Don’t’s

This blog is written to help you enjoy the magical experience which henna is and help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe. There are a few things which, if kept in mind, will help you enjoy your henna art!


So here we are, at a henna booth. We are ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful designs in the lookbook. We are remembering someone we know having henna done and having a great experience. They had a gorgeous design on their skin and got so many compliments! It even stayed on for than a few days! Hold your horses, beautiful!


Just because one artist was able to provide that experience to your friend, doesn’t mean that the artist at the booth will do the same for you. It is much like choosing a stylist for your hair. You won’t sit in someone’s chair just because they have a sign “HAIRCUTS” and a few pretty pictures, right? If I’m wrong, just skip the reading and get it done, lol.


Now, let’s imagine we still truly care about the experience and final result. What do you need to know to make this experience fun?


First of all, let’s understand what henna is.


Henna is a plant. A plant that can only dye brown. Period. No purple. No red. No black. Different hues and shades of brown depending on where the plant was grown and what used to mix it into the paste.


Purple hues may be achieved in a natural way by adding jagua juice to the paste. – but if we are talking a booth at a fair, it is much more expensive and a lot harder to work with, not quite a fair material. More on jagua later.


Any other color, especially black, suggests that the henna was mixed with some additional chemicals to change the natural color. If that is the case, be warned and step away. The burns that occur in some cases are not worth the try. Permanent scarring is no joke.


If the color looks good, go ahead and ask the artist what’s in the paste. If she can’t tell you, ask her where she gets her paste from. Any artist that works with natural henna would be able to tell you what ingredients are in their paste. If not, – walk away.


If you are pregnant, go with only lavender essential oil. All the other oils may not do harm, but they were not researched to the same extent as lavender. And lavender is 100% safe.


Keep an eye on citrus essential oils, specifically grapefruit and lime. Some sources suggest these oils are great for better color development. Unfortunately, when exposed to sunlight, they may cause irreversible damage to certain types of skin. To me, the risk is not worth it. I don’t use citrus in my recipe for this reason.

Lots of henna recipes have sugar in them or some other sweetener. The sweetener helps the paste stick to the skin better. If sugar sensitivity is a concern, ask about sugar.


Most artists won’t mind if you stick around and watch them work. If you do, though, make sure to keep your hands and other body parts off her table. Nothing compares to keeping a straight face and politely asking a potential customer to remove themselves from the table, haha!


Once you sit down at her table, you are her canvas. So, please, put the phone down and try to not to talk with your hands. Believe me, creating the chocolate like lines on your skin is taking a lot of focus and it helps a lot if you can sit still.


Once the design is complete, it will be wet to the touch. Some artists squeeze lemon juice and pour sugar on top of the design, others just let it stay. Sometimes they would apply tape to your dry design to help it stay longer. It is usually the artist’s choice and none of the methods is better than others.


For instance, I make my paste sticky so I don’t have to seal it afterward.  The seal is usually sugar water with lemon juice. Flies and bees attraction, haha!


Here is what to do next. Keep your design on for as long as you can, but at least for an hour. Once ready, scrape the paste off your skin, NO water! Your design will be bright orange for the next 24 – 48 hours and then it will start to settle into that beautiful brown you were so looking forward to!


Treat your design (and your skin) to a balm or natural oils (organic coconut oil with a few drops of lavender or geranium is best!) before exposing it to water. Avoid washing it, using soap and scrubs and your design will last longer.


Do take a picture and tag the artist on Instagram, this is always appreciated!