Posts by Katie of Love Paper Paint

10 Minute DIY Thanksgiving Decorations

10 Minute DIY Thanksgiving Decorations

As much as I love crafting and making decorations, most of my time is spent creating for my clients’ painting and wedding projects. I’d love to have a moment to try out projects from Pinterest or think up some crafty goodness to share here on this blog, but heck…I’m lucky if I can manage a load of laundry and keep up with my kids’ schedules, while running this business and meeting work project deadlines. I try to get into the spirit of each season by doing some sort of decorating, but unless we’re hosting a holiday gathering, the effort is limited to items we’ve saved from previous years or things I find around the house. And it has to be something I can throw together quickly. So, I’m keeping it short and sweet with this post by sharing a really, really, REALLY quick DIY for Thanksgiving. We’re going to a relative’s home for Thanksgiving Dinner, so I just wanted something little for the mantel and our kitchen table. Of course, I always have duck/duct tape (yes, in gold)…and with leftover mini pumpkins from Halloween and leaves that had fallen from the magnolia tree in our front yard, I put something together in about 10 minutes (for each project) while waiting for a load of a laundry to dry and for a client to give me print approval…     Here’s a quick, easy and inexpensive idea for table coverings or placemats.  Use kraft paper (I cover the entire table with kraft paper, which I have a huge roll of at all times in my studio) and write “thankful for” with a few lines at each place setting. You can draw some pretty designs to indicate each place setting or accent where the plates and utensils will be placed. Write the guest’s name above “thankful for” instead of using place cards. I’ve done this for my ladies wine club so we can write down comments or ratings for each wine and dinner parties for listing menu items. For appetizers and dishes, I write the food indicators directly onto the kraft paper and draw an arrow pointing to the actual dish. Clean up is a breeze…just roll up the paper and toss in the recycle bin....

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Last Minute DIY BEEMO Costume

Last Minute DIY BEEMO Costume

It was the Friday before Halloween and we were busily working on our costumes to wear for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland that Monday, when Mason (our nine year-old) decided that he wanted to be BEEMO (from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time) for his “actual” Halloween costume. I was already inundated with all the costume and prop prep for our “Steampunk Robot Skeleton” -themed costumes, so I said, “you’ll have to ask Daddy if he’ll make it for you”…which wouldn’t have been a problem, IF he wasn’t asking to have it THAT night to wear to his cousin’s school Monster Mash. Everyone in my family is extremely creative and artistically talented…plus design, DIY and craft-saavy, so I didn’t have any doubts that BMO would materialize due to our costume-making prowess (we take costume making very seriously around these parts).  The real question was how we could pull it together in just a few hours? My husband and I work well under pressure and we always meet our deadlines, but we both had our “regular” work to do…and we didn’t have any of the materials we would need to make the BMO costume (well, besides gaffers tape, glue gun and label paper). So, being the awesome Dad that he is, and not wanting to turn down a costume design challenge, Aaron agreed (after Mason badgered and begged all through breakfast) to create the BMO costume in time for that night’s Monster Mash. And so the countdown to Operation BMO began. Once the boys were off to school, Aaron had some conference calls to do and I was tasked with shopping for materials after a morning of my own client meetings.  I ran a few errands for client projects, then found myself at Walmart on a mission to find the rest of the supplies for our Steampunk costumes and hopefully pick up everything Aaron would need for BMO.  I had no idea going in that I would find anything that would work. Here’s my text thread with Aaron while we tried to source materials. I arrived back at the house around 1:45 p.m., dropped off the materials I picked up from Walmart (totaling about $30) so Aaron could get started while I was teaching art in Isaac’s class. Here are the materials used: When the kids and I got home from school (3:30 p.m.), this is what Aaron had done.  Mason was super excited. After spray-painting the box, he began preparing the buttons (a mailing tube lid was used for the large red circular button and the rest were made from cardboard and colored paper) and cutting the extra aqua shirt (I bought two because I wasn’t sure which size would fit Mason best) to stretch over the opening to make BMO’s screen. Originally, he was going to have me paint BMO’s screen face onto a separate piece of poster board that was layered behind and cut holes for Mason to see out of. But he found that if a shirt was stretched taut, you could actually see through it. And the shirt was the perfect color.  The shirt was stretched and affixed to inside of the box using gaffers tape. After the paint was dry, he used more gaffers tape to finish the edges/seams.  Everything else was label paper. Inside the box, Aaron attached suspenders to help Mason keep the costume at the right height for the arm holes, and to help stabilize the box. A few hours later, the costume looked like this. He ran out of time to finish the buttons, but this was enough to get Mason to the...

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“I” is for Isaac and Ironman

“I” is for Isaac and Ironman

This is a personal post, not “paper” or “paint” related…but there’s certainly “love” involved. And while it ends with some cool painting that I did and how I scored “Rad Mom” points with the kids, it’s really about an experience my son, our family, and our neighborhood went through. It wasn’t an entirely uncommon occurrence for kids or parents…but it was the first (and hopefully last) time something like this has happened to us. Ah yes, the life of a Mom of BOYS. I guess scraped knees, bumps and bruises, a plethora of holes in new jeans and shoes, and dirty fingernails are to be expected when you’re raising two rambunctious boys (and I haven’t even begun to describe the kids…lol!). Just kidding, I try to keep my fingernails clean at least. 😉 No, really…having two boys is so much fun and it keeps me on my toes. And even though I grew up with two younger sisters, I think my interests and hobbies help me relate to my boys. My self-professed geekery and affinity for comic books, Star Wars, animation, cartoons, sci-fi, action heroes, video games, etc. means that I can pretty much hold my own with most kids. I’m really just a big kid at heart, preferring a weekend at Comic-Con with my family over a spa/glam getaway any day. I like being the fun Mom: trying out cool science projects, going to museums, drawing pictures for them, face painting, planning awesome birthday parties, playing games, hiking/exploring, making up weird stories, eating interesting things, trying out new experiences, encouraging them to be different and unique. But, I’m not the daredevil or adrenaline junkie Mom. You won’t see me parachuting out of an airplane. Ever. I’m afraid of heights. I don’t drive fast. So when it comes to that aspect of being a mom of two boys, I have a lot of anxiety about letting them do things where they could get hurt. My husband is the one who oversees the sporty activities…he’s the motorcyclist, waterskier, wakeboarder, snowboarder, mountain biker, football/lacrosse player, risk taker of the family. As much as I would like to keep my babies in a protective bubble every second of the day, I know that is just not realistic. I have to remind myself that falling down, getting hurt, making mistakes are the only way for them to learn how to get up, shake it off and be more careful next time. These are the lessons that we all learn as children and a part of growth and development…right? And as much as I’m constantly yelling, “be careful” or “don’t do that” or “watch out”, there’s just no way I could be there at every waking moment to protect them or prevent them from getting hurt. That being said, it’s certainly easier said than done (to give in to not being able to control everything)…and I was in no way prepared for what happened to my six year-old last week. So, we had just returned from our family vacation visiting Nana and Papa’s in the Bay Area, and the boys couldn’t wait to get home and play with their neighborhood buddies. They had been gone for almost three weeks and missed all their friends. Plus an eight hour drive had them antsy for some outdoor time and running around. No more than a few hours after we got home (I was in the middle of making dinner and still hadn’t unpacked or started laundry), there was a frantic knock at our front door. Our neighbor Jon, visibly shaken, said “Isaac broke his arm!” Apparently, he...

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Keeping Up With The Smiths!

Keeping Up With The Smiths!

See that gorgeous woman with the incredible smile? Who is she, you may ask? Besides being the only person I know who can pull of that look and make “bald” a sexy HOT fashion statement, that amazing lady is my friend, Marjeri Smith. Marjeri’s more than a pretty face…she’s a devoted wife and mother of two, a talented wedding coordinator/event planner, a lifestyle blogger, a daughter, a sister, a friend. She’s intelligent, sweet, generous, creative, optimistic and one of the kindest and most humble women I have ever met. And though she may seem sweet and gentle in that petite frame, Marjeri is one tough powerhouse. Who is she? She’s also a warrior…bravely and gracefully fighting a battle against cancer. Marjeri’s story in her own words: Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. I happen to be one of these people.  I am a 32 year-old, healthy, active and strong woman. I am also a devoted wife and mother to two beautiful young children. My life could not have been more perfect until May 15, 2013, when I was diagnosed with an incredibly rare and aggressive disease known as T-Cell Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALK+). Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood and my particular diagnosis has only been documented in 80 total cases in the world.   As you can imagine, the news hit us all really hard, as I was only having symptoms for about two months before I was diagnosed. I began to have back and stomach pain around Easter and it progressed to me needing a double small bowel resection surgery on May 15th. Initially, my thoughts rushed to my children and how they could survive without a mother or if they would remember me if I was gone. Then I thought of my husband and how difficult life would be for him as a single parent. Luckily, we were able to biopsy my small bowel quickly enough to catch my cancer early. Although this all sounds slightly depressing, my prognosis is better than I could have ever hoped for. When I finally regained control of my emotions, I started to research my diagnosis and quickly learned that my rare and aggressive disease is curable. My oncologist is confident that I will go into full remission after 6 sessions of chemotherapy. It’s an aggressive cancer, so we have to treat it with an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy drugs for 18 weeks. We are all aware that the next few months are going to be challenging but we refuse to let this new “speed bump” slow us down! When I heard the news of Marjeri’s diagnosis and what she was going through, my heart sank. As a mother and wife, my thoughts went to her and her beautiful family and how difficult all of this would be for them. I know that she has a wonderful support system of her husband, Herbie, and their family members, and lots of great friends all over the world. Still, no one wants to see anyone they love facing cancer. But Marjeri is just so incredibly vibrant, positive and strong. Her determination and strength is awe-inspiring. Within a short time after she found out about her diagnosis, Marjeri was already planning how she could help others facing the same fight. Despite her own battle ahead with lymphoma, she was waging a war against cancer. She amazes me with her selflessness and fierceness! In Marjeri’s words… I would love for you to help me raise money for the fight against lymphoma. My preferred method would be for all of my friends...

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Featured!

Featured!

Considering that Love Paper Paint doesn’t advertise or self-promote (with exception to occasional posts on social media via my Facebook page or Instagram feed), it was a pleasant surprise to be featured a few times, just in the month of July!  I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to design with talented industry professionals who make the effort to mention my work and my company… and include me as part of their team during their moments in the spotlight. First up was a mention in the July 2013 issue of San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, in an article featuring my friend, Landscape Designer, Susanna Pagan of SP Gardens, and her award winning garden design from last year’s San Diego County Fair.  Her design for the San Diego Horticultural Society’s Display Garden won eight awards and the antique door I painted for her was one of my favorite projects that year. Read about the hand-painted door and SP Gardens here. Thanks, Susie! It’s an honor to have my painting included in the beautiful gardens and landscapes you create throughout San Diego. Next, was a segment on the CW6 morning news show, Wake Up San Diego, featuring my friend Jessica Gillon of Events By Design, as she discussed Summer Bridal Trends. Not only did she mention Love Paper Paint many times and showed off the menus I designed for one of her most recent gorgeous weddings, she also gave me a shout out on Events by Design’s blog. Thank you Jessica, for allowing me to be a part of your amazing team of vendors! You know I absolutely love working with you and I’m so grateful for the incredible projects, opportunities and people you have introduced me to over these many years. Then, there was San Diego Comic-Con International, July 2013. While Love Paper Paint didn’t get specific mentions for the projects I worked on for Comic-Con, I was proud to be a part of the team that put together some really cool events for the biggest annual convention draw to America’s Finest City. The company I worked for, Hadley Media, received a lot of great press for their activation of the Adult Swim Fun House during the week of Comic-Con for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim network. Hadley Media hired me to paint, style/decorate and create props for several of the show-themed rooms in the Adult Swim Fun House, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, Robot Chicken, and Metalocalypse/Rockso.  The Adult Swim Fun House was a huge success and received “Best in Show” from AdWeek, plus features on Entertainment Weekly, and BizBash. It was so much fun and such a departure from the type of painting I usually do for my clients. I mean, how often does a decorative painter/muralist get to paint pretend kitchen appliances for a gigantic animated milkshake character; or fabricate “slimy squid skin”; or dingy-up a basement scene for a seven foot tall humping robot; or make a spiked nose and glittery “snow” walls for a scary rocker clown?   Thanks Patrick, Katie, John, and everyone at Hadley Media for bringing me in on a truly unique experience.   Last, but not least, I was surprised by a few features using photos of my family taken by my sister, Julie Cruz, of Lot116 Photography. The photos she captured of our families at The New Children’s Museum and The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center are used in their marketing collateral and websites, which is no surprise…since they hired her specifically for these shoots and we agreed to let our kids be “models”. But the surprise came when one of my followers on Instagram sent me...

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