Archive for September, 2010

September 30, 2010

Technique Thursday: Gallery Glass Pumpkin Suncatcher

I like pumpkins, yes I do – I like pumpkins, how about you?  Contributor Carol Smith created this pumpkin suncatcher to celebrate fall and Halloween using Gallery Glass.  It’s perfect for hanging in the window of a kitchen or child’s room, and beautiful when the light shines through.  Carol leaded (drew the black outline) of the pumpkin using Liquid Lead.  I asked Carol to share with me how she gets her perfect leaded lines.  I was shocked to find out that she uses a tape tip – made with regular Scotch tape!  Wow.  I asked for information to share with you, and here are her instructions to create a tape tip for your leading.  Cool, huh?

One more thing abou this pumpkin – Carol is so kind, she’s even provided you the pattern!  Download the image and then enlarge or size down to fit the item of your choice.  To fill in the pumpkin, Carol used Gallery Glass Window Colors Kelly Green (16008), Pumpkin Orange (16429) and Cameo Ivory (16003).  Customize to fit your own decor.

September 29, 2010

Nancy Standlee Talks Painting with Plaid

Nancy Standlee lylas painting

Arlington, Texas artist Nancy Standlee creates bright yet tranquil original paintings and mixed media pieces. Her involvement with the painting community of  Texas and beyond influences her style. She inspires other artists to paint daily, and shares some tips and insight in this conversation with Plaid.

You write about a painting being a journey. How do you know when you have arrived at the destination, or when a piece is finished?

This is a question many artists struggle and ask themselves. If you’re fortunate, you have a friend that calls out “Step away from the painting.” A simple answer I agree, but one that I use is “when it looks good”. I was in a collage workshop with Gerald Brommer when the question was posed to him. He said, “You can keep working on that collage until you can’t pick it up.”

Nancy Standlee Abstract Art

How do you approach composition for your small landscapes and other abstract works?

With the small abstract landscapes I start with a horizon line near the top or bottom of the support. I work intuitively with the abstract work and begin to cover the canvas with paint and see what develops.

As both a student and a teacher of art expression, what special advice would you give to budding painters?

Decide on what you really like and why you like it and find painters who work like that, study their work and if you can take workshops from them. If you can’t take a workshop, order a good art DVD and study it. Creative Catalyst has a great selection to study. Get good art books and do some of the exercises – don’t just look at the pictures. Paint as often as you can and get a good support group of friends so you can paint and share ideas.  I belong to a group of collaborative artists, Canvas by Canvas, and all of us have grown by our association. Keep a sketchbook journal of your journey and ideas. I have a notebook from each workshop and now I wish I’d used a sketchbook and added more images to these notes. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Live in the moment, not in the past and not thinking so much about plans for the next day. Give yourself some creative time each day. That’s why I encourage the students in my art journaling workshops to keep a journal and each day add an image or a notation and it helps keep them creative. I keep an art blog and contribute to several others and I’m on FaceBook and these are time consuming but they can also keep you art connected.

Nancy Standlee Robert Burridge Influence

Your work looks influenced by Robert Burridge, and there he is in your workshop roster. What was it like to study with him?

Yes, I can pick out other students work who have studied with him, also. I found Bob’s work by way of a Cheap Joe’s catalog that featured his coffee cup painting on the cover. I immediately fell in awe and then started my research. Who is this? Does he have a website? Does he teach workshops? How can I get to one? My first one was in 2006 at Dena’s Ranch near Marble Falls, TX. and now my 8th and 9th will be in 2011. My favorite Monday is still the first day of one of his workshops. He creates a safe and sharing environment in which to work, try new techniques and have fun. I like to be around his energy and the attitude he projects. He encourages you to paint the way you’ve always wanted to paint.  He is a generous instructor and shares all his secrets. He has some notes on his website about his Pep Talk to his Loosen Up class that your readers might enjoy reading

What subject material and painting techniques are you looking forward to mastering in the future?

In March I traveled to Colorado to take a 2 day Metals and Mixed Media workshop with Carol Nelson and I want to follow up with other work in this area. I haven’t taken the time to really put in use some of the techniques Carol shared. I’ve been experimenting with painted and stained paper collage and have recently finished several pieces. There are more ideas I want to pursue towards figurative collage. In December I’ve scheduled a 2 day Florida workshop with Derek Gores in figurative collage. Art is one activity where age doesn’t require retirement. You never get too old for art. You are never bored and will always have something else to learn.

– Interview by Jacki Schklar

September 28, 2010

Tuesday Huesday: Blue Plate Special

I was browsing through the latest issue of Flea Market Style and found an article called “Doing Dishes.”  It features Matthew Mead’s vintage dishware collection, with 8 easy decorating and entertaining ideas.  I love Matthew Mead (this guy can do the holidays like nobody’s business), so it doesn’t surprise me that he was able to take something vintage-y and make it cool.  I’ve never looked at these type of blue dishes before and thought that they had any purpose besides being old and tired.  I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve also created a color palette for you, in case you would like to get the same look on a craft project.


I created this color palette using FolkArt Acrylic Paint colors (from left to right): Ivory White, Medium Blue, True Blue, Blue Ink

September 27, 2010

Make It Monday: Pam’s Gourd Matryoshka

Do you remember Saturday when Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes tried FolkArt paint?  And she painted Matryoshka dolls onto gourds?  Well, she’s finished, and here they are!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  For someone who hasn’t painted since college – well, she sure fooled me.

Pam notes in her post that there’s only 90 days left until Christmas.  In crafting terms, that’s right around the corner!  These dolls are not only perfect for Christmas, but you could customize them for other holidays.  I’m seeing some witches for Halloween, perhaps?  Visit Pam’s brilliant tutorial at her blog here, and don’t forget to enter her giveaway for some FolkArt paint.

PS – Did I mention that painting gourds is coming back?

September 26, 2010

Sunday Giveaway: FolkArt Extreme Glitter

Have I ever mentioned that FolkArt Extreme Glitter is absolutely PERFECT for the holiday season?  It is!  EG has a no-mess application because the glitter is in the tinted paint base – so you can obtain a perfectly glitter surface without having to vacuum your house for nine months.  I’m starting to sound like an infommercial, but I really love the product.  Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

Here’s the good news, I’m not just flaunting Extreme Glitter, we’re going to give some away for you to try!  Plaid is offering five prize packs featuring the selection of 2 oz. Extreme Glitter above – perfect fall and Halloween colors for all of your decorations!

1. Sign up for Plaid’s RSS Feed or Subscribe to Emails.
2. Leave a comment saying that you did one of the above on THIS blog post.
3. Contest will end this Friday, October 1st at midnight EST.
4. FIVE winners will be selected by

Thanks for playing, and I promise that you are going to love Extreme Glitter!

September 25, 2010

Saturday Find: Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes Tries FolkArt

Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes hadn’t used paint since college . . . can you believe it?  Pam is amazing, skilled at a wide variety of crafts – so we had to let her try our fabulous FolkArt Acrylic Paint.  We told her to use the paint and give us her honest opinion. I am pleased to report that Pam loved the paint, and she even began a totally CUTE Matryoshka doll project that she will reveal in a future blog entry.  Go here to read the complete review.

PS – that isn’t all!  Pam is giving away some FolkArt Acrylic paint for YOU to try!  All you have to do is leave a comment, and the giveaway ends October 1st, so you need to jump on it.  Enter here.

September 24, 2010

TGIF Project: Happy Pumpkin Pot

I’m starting to see candy corn everywhere, and it’s ending up in containers near my cube at work.  Candy corn is kind of like bar peanuts to me – I can sit there and chat with a coworker and keep dipping my hands into the candy corn, eating and eating until I have a stomachache.  I can’t be the only ones who does that!

I’m going to put some candy corn at at my own desk, and I need a cute container to hold it.  Then I discovered Mr. Happy Pumpkin!  I love him.  I love the fact that he’s smiling at me as I gorge myself on candy corn.  I can make him this weekend, and he’s not going to be that hard.  You can find instructions for him right here so that you can make him this weekend too.

PS – SO glad it’s fall, aren’t you?  Now we just need the weather!

September 23, 2010

Our Holiday Contests – Have You Heard?

We are THRILLED BEYOND BELIEF to be hosting two BIG holiday contests this year!  Both are being hosted at the website, and both involve cash and prizes.  Read below for the details.


First up is Trick Your Pumpkin!  We want YOU to create a three-dimensional pumpkin using your favorite Plaid products – and there are no limits to what you can create! All we ask is that the pumpkin be three-dimensional – this means that no flat pumpkins are allowed – the actual pumpkin body itself must be at least 1/8” thick. Possibilities include real pumpkins, craft pumpkins, paper mache, clay pots, wood, fabric and more. Use your imagination and Trick Your Pumpkin!  Click here for the rules, prizes and submission guidelines.


Can you believe it’s only 12 weeks until Christmas?  Wow, is it coming up fast! No matter what holiday you celebrate, crafting is an important part of the season! Here’s your chance to show us your most creative and fun holiday projects for a chance to win cash and prizes! We’ll select a winner each week, as well as a grand prize winner at the end of our 12 week celebration!  Click here for the rules, prizes and submission guidelines.

September 22, 2010

Plaid is at World Maker Faire this Weekend!

Are you going?  I mean to Maker Faire?  You should be!  Plaid is going to be there represented by our friends at When Creativity Knocks, and we would love to see you there as well!  There are some fun projects planned, and you’ll get a chance to try some amazing products like FolkArt Extreme Glitter and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  We’re giving away some goodies and door prizes, and you’ll even get to “make-n-take” your own project!  The projects featured with be a bangle bracelet and a Halloween brooch – can you even hide your excitement?  Click here for the full schedule.  See you in NYC!

September 21, 2010

Tuesday Huesday: There’s No Place Like Home

Oh blue, how I love thee – especially with brown.  Certain blues and browns are gorgeous together, and this HOME banner from Somerset Home combines some fantastic shades that, for some reason, remind me of fall.  I think everything is reminding me of fall right now because I’m sick of being hot – but I feel soothed when I look at this banner.  I not only like the overall color selection, but the silver letters used as accents on the finished piece.  Simply gorgeous:

Here’s another view of the entire banner.  I’m increasingly enjoying banners as home decor.  For a banner (or any other home decor item) in this colorway, I’ve provided you with a palette.

Created using FolkArt Acrylic Paint.  From left to right: Parchment, English Mustard, Maple Syrup, Calypso Sky