Category Archives: tutorial

Handmade gifts are awesome

Handmade gifts are awesome because they contain a bit of YOU. It could be as simple as a batch of cookies, or as complicated as a large bronze statue (though I don’t see anyone giving me a metal statue for my birthday…)

Gifts can be a quagmire though. Take the example of cookies: there are vegan cookies, sugar-free cookies, and cookies the person is allergic to, and regular sugar-laden cookies.

So, the safe thing is to make something pretty. I love hand-knitted and hand-painted things, like boxes and usable items like cardholders and coin purses.

The sky is the limit! Since my etsy shop is called Earth and Faery I like to make things that are magical but also down to earth.

Since school just started here, I thought of a gift a child might like and came up with a pencil box that I painted and embellished.

pencil box

This is the end result, a mystical night view with a fairy and a dragonfly.

I bought a box of raw wood, which I sanded within an inch of its life. Then I painted some primer, using craft paints. The last layers of paint are done with artist acrylics for better results. Pictures are in the sequence of production.

pencil box
primer
pencil box
primer
pencil box
lid artist paints

In the above picture I used three shades of purple to get the night sky, using artist acrylics.

pencil box
inside finished
pencil box
lid embellished with gold paint
pencil box
fairy and dragonfly

There you can see the details of the lid embellishment. Simple but fun and I think some child would treasure it, don’t you?  As a child I would have been enchanted to receive this gift.

We don’t receive enough homemade gifts in my opinion. All the cold store-bought things just inspire you to buy more (in search of that thing that gives a sense of satisfaction within.)

I prefer to give gifts people can use, like candles, edibles, boxes for keepsakes, knitted wash cloths or hot pads, a painting (IF the person professed a liking prior (unless they were lying…)) That’s their problem then. 🙂

Etsy is full of cool handmade gifts. Maybe this Christmas is a good time for a shift in gift giving, what do you think?

If you liked this simple tutorial on how to paint a wooden box, you can check out this blog post about making a handmade art journal. GREAT gift!!

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making.

An art journal for an artsy friend is surely the best gift.

I also have a short e-course on how to make a polymer clay mosaic embellished box. Check it out.

Polymer Clay Mosaic Box from start to finish.

I know we’re a long way from Christmas still, but now is the time to look into making handmade gifts. What calls to you? Yarn? Check out some local sales. It’s a good start.

Have a creative week, lovelies!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop right now just in case people don’t want to make their own…Earth and Faery.

 

I thought I would be bored

I thought I would be bored in the long run making polymer clay mosaics. Ever since I came across Laurie Mika’s book Mixed Media Mosaics I have been hooked. That was years ago and I still make them.

polymer clay mosaic
Polymer clay tiles

Check out that cute elephant. I pretty much use dragonfly charms for the center tile, but I’ve had this special charm for a while.

I used to do stained glass mosaics on tables and such, but that is very fiddly and I wasn’t really into beautifying furniture for life.

My main gig is painting, but I have a strong streak of “craftiness” and I find it soothing to plug away at crafty things, namely mosaics. Though I also make some handmade journals for those who don’t know how to start art journaling. Starting with a painted page is easier.

To go back to mosaics, my You Tube video on how to paint polymer clay tiles have gotten more views by far than any of my other videos. Lots of people into polymer clay these days, and that’s great!

If you haven’t seen the video, here is the link.

It’s really not that hard once you get the hang of it.  The variations are endless.

follow your heart
polymer clay mosaic wall plaque

I like to add some inspiring words to the art. People should be reminded to follow their dreams. Otherwise, life is pretty much wasted in my opinion. We all need something inspiring in this day and age….

mermaid
Believe in magic

If you’d like to find out more about making polymer clay mosaics like these, I have an e-course where you would make a box (similar to the one above) from beginning to finish. I show you every step of the progress.  The course is ONLY $23! Check it out.

Back to painting now! Wishing you a creative and happy weekend.

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. You can check out the journals and other things in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.

 

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Don’t follow the rules!

Don’t follow anything.  Break the rules and do your own thing.

With my art I have discovered that every day is different.  Some days I feel inspired to paint, others I craft, and then again, the crafts change as I see an opportunity.

I suck down a lot of Altoids due to allergies, so I end up with a lot of empty tins. They are too cool to throw away. Sometimes I recycle them, but lately I have had the idea to make travel shrines out of them.

tin shrine
Tin shrine

 

tin shrine
tin shrine

This is an example of one.  I used scrapbook papers, borders, polymer clay mosaic tiles, words, and a picture of Mary. I’m not even Catholic, but I like the classical pictures of her and what she stands for.  This shrine is for sale in my etsy shop. (Link in sidebar.)

I love it when creativity takes me on detours. I often have the notion I should paint, or work on my art journal, but I see something and I see possibilities with the items around my house.

I go where inspiration leads me. I made a video about how to make these Altoids mini shrines. You can check it out HERE.

They are very easy to make. Basically all you need is paper and glue. If you have any stray ribbons or mini silk flowers, they would work too.

It doesn’t have to be a religious shrine.  It could be a nature shrine, an inspirational shrine with a picture of someone who inspires you. It could be used as a small gift box. The sky is as wide as your imagination!

I have a 50% off sale on one of my e-courses: ART AS ORACLE.  It’s a way to tap into your intuitive answers through art. It’s a lot of fun also.  You can read all about it HERE.

The sale ends on November 3, so only two days left.

I also have lots of things for sale in my two etsy shops. Christmas is coming. Are you looking forward to it? I enjoy all the lights the most.

Have a creative rest of the week.

xo

Maria