April 14, 2017

Painted Seashells - Garden Decor - How To DIY

For as long as I can remember, my family has gone to the ocean for vacation and relaxation.  One of my favorite activities as a girl was collecting seashells.  I had my seashell guidebook to help me identify each type of shell.

In fact, I still collect seashells when I'm on the beach.  Back then, I would show off my collection while the young entrepreneur in me was trying to think of a way to sell them; oyster shells with a natural hole were strung on yarn to be worn as a 'necklace.'  In more recent years, I have brainstormed ways that I can turn shells into home decor.

After researching and testing, I narrowed in on three ways to feature seashells; ornaments, magnets, and now garden decor.  I found that due to their light weight, seashells make ideal canvases for hand painted Christmas ornaments. With the aid of gorillatough Gorilla Glue®, I turned smaller seashells into magnets; seashell beach magnets Etsy listing.  And most recently, I am using larger shells to make garden decor.

In this week's blog, I am providing a tutorial on how to make hand painted seashell garden decor. For this DIY, you will need:

  • seashells - I prefer clam shells for their round shape.
  • small paint brushes - size 2 and smaller
  • medium flat paint brush
  • acrylic craft paint
  • Mod Podge
  • paper towels

Step 1: Clean the shells with a damp paper towel to remove excess sand or sea salt.

Step 2: After planning and sketching out your design, begin to apply the acrylic paint.  For this design, I painted the black first on the shells with lettering and I painted the orange first for the Oriole Bird shell.  Once that was dry, I painted orange over top of the black lettering.  Then I sketched in the Oriole Bird design with a small brush.  Last, I filled in the black sections of the bird, making sure to put extra coats where needed.  

Step 3: The final step is to coat the shell with Mod Podge.  This seals the acrylic paint design and protects it from the elements.

These painted shells will make their way to my brother's house.  He is a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan.  But you can paint any team motto and mascot on your garden decor shells!!

Let me know how this goes for you!  Leave a comment below or send me a message.

April 2, 2017

Welcome to my new blog!

Several years ago, I had the idea to create a blog about books and hiking. I love being outdoors in nature, but I am also a bookworm. I can lose time in a used book store or sale. But, I had difficulty thinking up one of those witty blog names, and the blog idea faded away.

Fast forward to 2017, I have finally created my blog. Though I still plan to write about books and hiking, I will also be sharing:

  • my art
  • art & craft show adventures
  • how-to's
  • and inspiration.

To start with inspiration...
Since I was a toddler, my parents have immersed me in nature; camping trips, day hikes, learning about trees, and planting flowers.  They even allowed me to plant an acorn in the back yard when I was 5. 
"The mighty oak was once a nut like you"

Nature continues to inspire me. While I enjoy painting acorns, flowers and butterflies grace much of my art. My hand-made bags are primarily earth tones and include painted daisies. Pieces of nature form the backdrop for my product photos. I am looking forward to summer when I can paint outside on my back porch.   

I will end my first blog post with some of my favorite places I've hiked:
  • Yosemite National Park, CA
  • Minnewaska State Park, NY
  • C & O Canal Towpath, MD
  • Camp Echo Trail, PA
  • Anything overlooking or along the Susquehanna River
Gertrude's Nose, Minnewaska, NY

Thank you for joining me on this new journey!