Monday, July 21, 2014

Lily's PAD

I love making gifts!  Lily's pad is a sign I made for my friend Heidi's baby :) Lily Jane is due in September, I cannot wait to meet her.  

foam core in frame

I chose foam core as the base because it's light weight and the sign will hang from Lily's bedroom door. 

LOVE photos

After a gesso layer, then came a layer of LOVE photos...

gesso over LOVE photos

After sanding photos came another layer of Gesso.


Letters and number stickers and several hearts made up the next layer.  The baby's and parents' and big brother's initials staggered about randomly.

pink layer with green polka dots

A pink and lavender layer with neon green dots made up the next layer with stenciled hearts.

molding paste flower

A darker green went with water spatters revealing some of the underlayer colors.  Then I added some lovely stenciled flowers of molding paste.

tickets layer

When the molding paste dried, I added these sweet word tickets.

purple and yellow layer

Yellow and purple layers partially cover the tickets and add more depth to the sign.  

another gesso layer

More Gesso next, can you see the depth of layers here?

start of lily pad

Several different greens went into the beginning of this lily pad with blue water all around it.  I didn't like the shape much so...

more lily pad detail and background blue

I fixed the shape and made it look a lot more like an actual lily pad with dark and light greens.

crackle medium over purple frame

While I like purple a lot, I LOVE crackle texture even more!  


White crackling over purple

Isn't that white over purple crackle luscious?  

more lily detail

The white lines made me happy but some gold spray ink really helps this sign sparkle!

purple foam core letters 

Cutting the letters out of foam core and painting multiple layers of purple helps them POP off the lily pad ;)

Heidi at her baby shower

Momma really liked the custom made sign and I loved making it for her!  

Hope you enjoyed this peek at my process and Lily's sign.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

2 haiku

Magnolia blossom

Green leaves surrounding
Blossoms of magnolia
Perfect white petals

Treetops bathed in light
Bird songs echoing aloft
Crickets chirp down below

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painting with crayons

 A "painting" with crayon tutorial.


Melting crayons with a heat gun is F-U-N!

Corrugated cardboard and a heat 

Begin by painting the cardboard with a layer of Gesso, I chose to use white here.  Let it dry.

Molding Paste and Gesso and palette knife

Next spread a layer of molding paste with a palette knife onto the cardboard.
DON'T let it dry!

a bamboo skewer

Using a bamboo skewer, draw letter or image into the molding paste.  Let dry.  

A hole punch

Punch a hole in each corner of cardboard piece.  Pick a crayon and start melting it with a heat tool over the letter.  The texture of molding paste and ridges in the letter start to pop, can you see it there?!

Cotton swabs

In order to remove excess crayon in the letter ridges, I melted crayon in letter grooves slightly and cotton swabbed quickly.

individual letters

I added several colors to letter grooves and around letters to make them POP!


shank buttons and craft wire

I sprayed each card with shellac as the dried crayon surface was dull and I really like the shiny look.

Spray shellac

Using a variety of shank buttons and wire allowed me to connect the letters AND make a hanger for P-L-A-Y.

close-up detail

The buttons are fun and help to tie the colors together between individual letters.

This piece is a great reminder and hangs in the mustard studio.  


Finished PLAY piece

Dream was done on a canvas board with black gesso.  I just love how the crayon colors mix and glow against the black!


With dream-BELIEVE-do, I shaved small bits of crayon off and quickly hit them with heat gun so the colors wouldn't mix.  It looks like confetti to me.

dream BELIEVE do on canvas

Both these pieces are for sale and hang in Agawam's Java Stop.  

I have only just begun to explore "painting" with crayons and hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.  



PS.  I may just have to do a peace sign next, lol!!! 


cotton swabs
corrugated cardboard
heat tool
bamboo skewer
craft wire
spray sealer
hole punch
palette knife

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Introducing Jojo

I'd like to introduce you to Jojo...

Isn't she sweet?!  You may commence oohing and ahhing

Jojo (formerly known as Jolene)

We rescued her from our local shelter Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, who got her from a rescue organization based in Texas called Operation Pets Alive. We are extremely grateful to ALL the folks who helped us find Jojo, the newest member of the family!!!

With a special shout out to Ashley who fostered Jojo and her 3 litter mates from a high kill shelter in Texas!  THANK YOU Ashley!

We fell in love with this cutie at the shelter but she totally won my heart when she laid down in this sunny spot in the mustard studio, swoon.  

I hope if you are considering getting ANY kind of pet, you'll consider a rescue organization.  Dakin has cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, bunnies, etc...

Do you have a rescue pet?  

sleepy pup

We've been busy feeding, walking, training and scooping up after dear Jojo for almost a month now, but I am getting back into the studio and will resume blogging very soon.

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful summer and making time for YOUR unique art creations!

Peace and puppy kisses,


PS.  I'll be doing some updating and sprucing of the mustard blog, poor thing's getting dusty and looking neglected... see you soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Earth Day

Yep, you read right...

Yes, I know "Earth Day" was some time in April, but shouldn't every day be Earth Day?  

I took a walk down my street today and it made me sad and kind of mad.

This once, "country road" as my in-laws used to refer to it, is now a speeders cut through/short cut from one town to another!  I took my life into my hands walking today and never once did I NOT watch the oncoming traffic.  Thickly settled and speed limit signs must be for other people and not these folks.  It's sad really...

So you're wondering what traffic has to do with Earth Day?  All along the sides of our street (yours I am betting too) I saw litter, nip bottles, bottle caps, coffee cups, plastic bags, beer and soda cans.  And I am pretty sure my neighbors and I didn't toss it there.  

When there was no traffic, I could hear bird songs and a babbling brook and felt cooling breezes, and saw a pretty yellow butterfly too.  Nature is magnificent and resilient and reassuring in its persistence.  

I wondered, not for the first time, WHY people think it's okay to use and abuse this precious planet we live on?  HOW can they justify tossing trash ANYWHERE they please?  I just don't get IT!!!

I am and always will be a lover of nature, a seeker of PEACE, a sensitive soul and a believer in the goodness of human beings.  So I propose that we ALL start treating the ENTIRE earth like OUR one and ONLY home, because it IS!

This is the only planet I personally have access to, how about you?  Seriously, in a fight of man vs. nature, nature WILL win.  Humans may pollute ourselves into extinction but the planet will adapt and evolve. 

I like to keep things positive and encouraging here on the mustard blog but I feel strongly about many things, so once in a while I'll share what's ruminating in this artist's heart and mind.

I am encouraging anyone who will listen to NOT litter (save it for a trash can), to recycle and to conserve our natural resources in any way they can :)

Peace out