DIY

Mud-Cloth and Driftwood on Your Dinner Table

Mud-Cloth and Driftwood on Your Dinner Table

Thanksgiving is just days away, and even though I’m not hosting this year, I tried a couple of really quick DIYs that I thought would be fun for future table decor next time I host Wine Club or a Book Club gathering. Using a Clorox bleach pen and place mats I found at Dollar Tree, I made mud-cloth inspired place mats. My current textile obsession, Mud-Cloth or Bògòlanfini, is a handmade Malian cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud. I’m drawn to the bold, simple patterns, and how it works with (imo) all types of decor…especially the nomadic bohemian vibe I’m drawn to. Simply squeeze the bleach gel onto the place mat, allow to dry completely, then rinse off the gel residue and toss in the dryer to set. For place cards, I used flooring sample pieces that you can find at home improvement stores. I had a bunch of grayish, distressed “driftwood” samples of laminate flooring from some client projects.  With a gold, metallic, oil-based paint pen, I hand-lettered (my name, of course) onto the sample piece.  For table decor, you can use these as place cards that your guests could take home as little “name plate signs” or keepsakes.  Just about anything can be used as place cards…just by writing guests’ names with Sharpie or paint pen or even chalk.  In the past I’ve used leaves, pieces of fruit, shells, corks, fabric swatches, coloring pages. Here are a few variations on how I would set the table if I was hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year, using brown craft paper as a table cloth (guests can write or color directly onto the paper and clean up is quick and easy), my faux mud-cloth place mats, “driftwood” place cards, and a driftwood succulent & votive centerpiece by Seafoam Driftwood.   Thank you to Arhaus for helping to spark the idea regarding holiday...

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FREE Printable Valentines

FREE Printable Valentines

I had so much fun creating and sharing my Valentine’s Day printables with you last year, that I whipped up some new ones for this year. The ones I designed last year are still super cute, so if you didn’t get a chance to use them, here’s the link: http://lovepaperpaint.com/2013/02/03/free-love-paper-paint-valentines/ As with most kids of elementary school age around here, my boys are into Rainbow Loom and Minecraft. We’re not allowed to give away candy with Valentines at school, but the boys didn’t want to do dollar store pencils or stickers again…so they’re looming and crafting something for each and every classmate! That means 30+ rubber band heart charms and 27+ Perler bead “pixel” charms (that my husband and I will most likely be helping them with). Wish us luck! Seriously, I’d much rather be giving (and receiving) candy conversation hearts or chocolates, but rules are rules! To go with my kids’ handmade Valentine’s crafts, I’ve created both Rainbow Loom and Minecraft themed cards. There’s also a third set of custom designed cards that are more my style (note my obsession with black and gold continues). There are four designs on each of three files, for a total of TWELVE custom Valentine’s printables from me to you. 🙂 Print them for your kids to hand out to classmates, share them with your family, friends and co-workers. Enjoy! Instructions are simple…download or open the PDF files. Print them out onto 8.5″ X 11″ card stock or paper and cut into 4.25″ X 5.5″ pieces (there are dashed lines for cutting guides). You can layer them onto colored card stock, put them in an A-2 envelope to send in the mail, or use them as gift tags for goodies. For the Rainbow Loom version, punch a hole and attach a handmade rubber band bracelet with ribbon or twist-tie. Note: These are for your personal use only. You will not be able to edit these and please don’t sell or distribute for profit. If you’d like to share these on your blog or website, please link back to this original post. Feel free to Pin the link to Pinterest.  I’d love to see what you do with them, so if you Instagram…snap a pic and hashtag #lovepaperpaint, or let me know on my Facebook page. Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO ~ Katie LPP Free Valentines 2014 FREE MineCraft VALENTINES FREE LOOM...

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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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