Archive for June, 2010

June 30, 2010

Color Palette Generator

My co-worker was cool enough to tip me off on this color generator from BigHugeLabs, and I think you should know about it:

What is it and why would you want to use it? Well, it’s great for helping you pick paint colors! Let’s say that you see the following photo in a magazine, and you love the image – especially the project colors. Maybe the yellow in the card is the exact same as your bedroom wall . . . . (scroll down) . . .

Fresh Home, Spring 2010

and you want to paint a coordinating accessory to go into your room.  Let’s say you need help choosing colors.  To solve your problem, you take a trip to the color palette generator! You upload the photograph into the generator, the hamster runs its wheel and a palette like this results:

Is this cool or what??  You now have a printout that you can take to the store, assisting you in choosing your acrylic paint colors. If you are really hard core, it gives you the HTML color codes AND lets you download the palette into Photoshop.  Ingenious! Visit here for the link and give one of your photos a try.

June 29, 2010

Tuesday Huesday: Emily’s Studio Door

I love Design*Sponge – really, who doesn’t?  DS features fabulous trends and “best of” articles that inspire me regularly. The above photo is a Design*Sponge image from their “best of front doors” feature found here.  If you think about it, a front door really does set the mood for what’s inside. This door above enters into an artist’s studio, which is no surprise given the palette. Sometimes I don’t know how colors work together, but they do, and this is a great example.

I built my palette with FolkArt colors (from left to right): Neon Purple, Lemon Custard, Grass Green and Cayman Blue.

Tip: If you ever use regular acrylics outdoors (as opposed to FolkArt Outdoor paint), make sure to use a very strong enamel sealer for durability.

June 28, 2010

Make It Monday: Tie-Dye Deco Block

Are you looking for an easy-to-create home decor project with a bright spray of color? I’m loving this Gallery Glass tie-dye block.  It’s all about spreading Window Color by blowing through a drinking straw, and even I can handle that!  Find the complete instructions and supply list here. Customize the colors to whatever palette suits you and your decor.

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June 25, 2010

TGIF Project: Tiered Terra Cotta Planter

Amy from Positively Splendid takes the standard issue clay pot and turns it into something fabulous with a little paint!  I’m so impressed with the bold colors and her tiered effect – what a perfect way to brighten up a porch without spending a lot of money.  You have to visit her blog entry right here for the full tutorial.  And I must say, if you are interested in using acrylic paint that is weather resistant, consider FolkArt Outdoor.

June 24, 2010

Technique Thursday: Gallery Glass Leading

Have you always wanted to create beautiful stained glass projects, but don’t have the time or the funds to take a class? Gallery Glass is a great alternative! You too can have traditional stained glass looks for a fraction of the cost. Gallery Glass dries to a shiny, glass-like finish, is repositionable and removable.  It’s also non-toxic and made in the USA.

There are a few things you need to learn before tackling a Gallery Glass project, and leading is the first. With Gallery Glass leading, you can get the look of lead lines with no soldering.  Join Carol Smith as she takes you through the process by watching the video below.

June 23, 2010

Interview with Carol Smith

You know her as the queen of Gallery Glass!  Carol Smith has worked in the arts and crafts industry for over 30 years, with multiple television appearances and published works.  Carol is working for Plaid Enterprises and still crafting her heart out – with more plans for Gallery Glass in the future. Read a recent interview with her below.

What made you want to be a crafter and designer? I have always loved crafts, even as a child. I majored in Home Economics Education and my favorite category was Applied Arts, which is primarily crafts and needle arts. I can’t remember a time when making something with my hands wasn’t my ultimate goal for the day. It has sustained me through many of the catastrophes of life.

What inspires you – how do you decide what to make? The seasonality of a project is my most motivating factor. I was working on Father’s Day projects last week, now I’ve shifted to 4th of July. Whatever holiday is coming up next is my priority.

Share with us a few of your favorite projects. These three pieces (shown below) are my favorite works of all my 30 years. I painted them for a QVC kit about 10 years ago; we interpreted some of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s windows using the Gallery Glass Window Color. I was amazed at how much we were able to duplicate the look of real stained glass. I picked these three designs and did them on 24″x36″ Plexiglas. It was an enormous creative leap for me. Duplicating the color choices and shading of the foremost master glass artist of all time taught me more than I could ever have learned in a lifetime of painting on my own.

Peacock porch stream

What is your studio or workspace like, and how do you work in your studio? I have a large built-in desk that opens into the sunroom where the TV is located and I can see it clearly from my desk. I spend most evenings sitting at my desk working the “project of the day” and listening (if not watching) to some movie or my favorite home makeover shows.

How would you describe and think of your style? I guess I would call my style preference–traditional elegance, in the stained glass category, at least. I have over 500 stained glass pattern books and I gravitate towards the designs that are traditional and exquisite, especially in line design. I like to put my own interpretation to the color palette and don’t usually imitate anyone’s style, unless I am doing a Tiffany design. I find his choice of color and texture to be unbeatable.

My favorite crafting resource is (and why): Dover Publishing. I study every new Dover catalog and order every new stained glass pattern book that they publish. I love that many of them come from the Pictorial Archive series and are copyright free for crafters to interpret and adapt for their own projects. I think that I have them all. I also buy their coloring books and their cut-your-own stencil books. I’m really a Dover “junkie.”

What has been the most rewarding moment in your crafty career? When I was selling crafts on shopping networks, Plaid was lucky enough to get to sell a number of special bargains of the day. My best days in crafts were the ones that we sold out of–my worst days were the ones when there were many thousands left at midnight. On those occasions, it was a long way home.

What new directions do you hope to move in the future? Do you have big plans, new ideas or designs you will be exploring soon? Gallery Glass is my baby! I was product manager when it was born and I would like to take it as high as possible. I believe that every household in America has a window that needs Gallery Glass. I am working towards communicating the features and benefits of the product to all those households–not TOO ambitious, is it?

Looking back, knowing what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently (in your crafty career)? I missed the opportunity to build a career around designing glass paintings. I was known for Gallery Glass and it has been my signature product on the shopping networks, but my career was more about promoting all Plaid’s products–not just Gallery Glass. It would have been a coin toss situation, really, because I enjoyed the road that I took, as well.

What is your biggest crafting tip? The Tape Tip is the key to really nice outlining–the first step of any glass painting. Many people struggle with “Leading” and can’t get past the obstacle of creating a neat outline. I am always encouraging my students to learn the quick, easy technique of taking a 3″ piece of cellophane tape and twisting it onto the end of the bottle tip to make a cone-shaped precision applicator for the leading. One of the best benefits is that it is disposable. You can pull the used one off just before your next leading project and apply a new fresh one. The Tape Tip will make any novice look like a professional in a matter of minutes. And it also conserves the leading because you can make thinner lines–therefore getting up to twice as many linear feet of leading from each bottle. I always use a tape tip for leading because it makes the bottle easier to squeeze and my hand doesn’t get as tired.  For a video on making a tape tip, go here.

Thank you, Carol, for sharing with us!  Please see one of Carol’s latest “before and afters” below.  She is truly an amazing Gallery Glass artist!  For more about Gallery Glass, visit

CPBefore DSC05276
June 22, 2010

Tuesday Huesday: Eco-Friendly Flooring

Fresh Home, Spring 2010

I recently saw this Trend Spotting: Eco-Friendly Flooring while flipping through Fresh Home magazine, and the colors made me stop. Not only is the flooring beautiful, but the color selections for furniture and home decor go perfectly with the neutral grain of the wood.  Are you trying to brighten up an otherwise boring/neutral space?  Consider some bold color combinations such as the below.

I used FolkArt Acrylic paint to create my color palette (clockwise from top left): Lavender, Light Lavender, Tangerine, Yellow Citron.

June 21, 2010

Make It Monday: Inspired By Cherries

Have you ever seen a picture in a magazine and thought “I love that – that matches my bedroom/kitchen/bathroom exactly.”  Of course you have!  I find inspirational pictures all the time. Have you ever thought about turning one of those inspirations into a craft project? You can.  Take a peek at the project below to see how it’s done.

Plaid designer Holli saw this picture of a cherries themed card in The Stampers’ Sampler (April/May 2010) and fell in love.  She wanted to make something new for her kitchen and it just so happens that these cherries coordinate . . .

Here’s what you’ll need to make this cute cherry shelf.  Gather these supplies:

  • Unfinished wood shelf – found at Michaels
  • FolkArt Acrylic colors – Sky Blue, Sunflower, Warm White, Maple Syrup, Fresh Foliage
  • Flat paint brush
  • Liner paint brush
  • 12 red buttons
  • Craft glue
  1. Begin by basecoating the entire shelf with Warm White.  Give at least two coats and allow to dry.
  2. Colorblock the shelf as shown in the picture. Paint the top, insides and front with Sky Blue. Paint underneath the shelf and the outsides with Sunflower.  Allow to dry.
  3. Use the liner brush to add Lipstick Red accents to the front and sides of the shelf as shown.  Allow to dry.
  4. Using the end of the liner brush, make Warm White polka dots on the front of the shelf. Holli measured and marked her grid with a pencil – then dotted right over the pencil marks.  Allow to dry.
  5. Using the liner brush, paint Maple Syrup stems randomly on the front of the shelf (wherever you want your cherries to be).  Allow to dry. Go back and paint the leaves with your flat brush and Fresh Foliage. Allow to dry.
  6. Add your button “cherry” embellishments with the craft glue. Allow your shelf to dry at least 24 hours before hanging!
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June 20, 2010

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!  Did you know that the first Father’s Day was in 1972?  Fast Company has compiled a fun graphic with tons of Father’s Day facts – click on the above image to enlarge and read.  Enjoy your day!

June 18, 2010

TGIF Project: Patterned Shirt for Dad

Father’s Day is quick approaching – have you made anything for the Dad in your life yet?  If not, this is an easy project that won’t break the bank, especially if you recycle something old of his.  Cathie and Steve painted this shirt above with FolkArt Fabric and some random foam shapes/stencils.  All you need is three colors of paint, and you can purchase a new shirt or pull an old favorite out of dad’s closet that he hasn’t worn in awhile.  Look for the instructions here.