Monday, October 20, 2014

woodland creatures pumpkins

Fall is here and for the last few years I have a tradition of coming up with a variety of unique pumpkin tutorials for my readers! I like to use pumpkins in my fall decorating and since I am not a big fan of traditional carved pumpkins, I challenge myself to get as creative as possible with paint and a pumpkin.

This year's pumpkins were totally inspired by Lucy who actually asked me to paint a bear on a pumpkin which then inspired me to create a little grouping of woodland creatures. Even though I have been painting my entire life, I am always so excited about the fact that a few colors of paint can transform anything!

You can read all about my pumpkin painting tips/tricks and view all the pumpkins I've painted over the years HERE.

Friday, October 17, 2014

exploring we will go- oysterville

A while back we made the promise to each other to always make time to seek adventure as a family (you can read about it here). Exploring new places and going outside is a big part of our daily lives and once in a while I like to share a little peek into our adventures.

Just 1 hour north of us and across the Columbia River is Washington's Long Beach Peninsula. With the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Columbia River and Willapa Bay to the east, the peninsula is 28 miles of absolute BEAUTY and what we call oyster country! We've explored the area but still have lots of places yet to see. Recently we took advantage of a sunny day and went on a little afternoon trip all the way to the northern tip of the peninsula to Oysterville. Oysterville is a tiny community frozen in time that looks just like it did more than a century ago. A church, schoolhouse and houses from the 1870's remain and the entire community is on the National Historic Register. I've seen a lot of beautiful places but this tiny community on the edge of Willapa Bay is one of the most magical places I've been. I grew up reading Anne of Green Gables and something about Osterville made me feel as if I was transported into my favorite childhood story.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

around these parts

I am pretty much smitten with Instagram and it is a place where I am able to document, show and share a more personal look into our life (without words).You can follow me HERE for a peek into our daily happenings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the art of painting pumpkins

I've been painting pumpkins during the fall for a very long time- so long that I kinda consider myself a pioneer of pumpkin painting! Back in 2010 my pretty painted pumpkins tutorial went viral and since then it has become a yearly tradition of mine to come up with a variety of unique pumpkin tutorials with the hope to inspire others to push the boundaries with paint and a pumpkin! While I've got a couple of fun ideas coming you way in the weeks to ahead, I thought I would dedicate a post to sharing a few of my favorite tips that I have discovered over the years painting pumpkins.

Any kind of pumpkin or gourd works great for painting. I typically like pumpkins that have an interesting shape and will use whatever is cheapest. I have found that white pumpkins make it a little easier if you are painting with light colors (or if you are collaging paper or fabric), while and the orange pumpkins work great when using dark colors. 

The question I get asked more than any- is why I don't use fake pumpkins and if I am sad when I throw out my painted pumpkins. Most people figure that if I am going to spend a lot time painting something then it should last forever. But I love the concept of creating art that is temporary.  There is something really cool, at least for me, about picking out a real pumpkin that I paint knowing that it's shelf life is limited. This concept is not for everyone but for me it's a great challenge to get creative with unique materials. And no I don't get sad when I throw them out :)

Most people associate decorated pumpkins with Halloween but I like to use pumpkins throughout October and November in my decorating. I use them on the front porch, as a table centerpiece and around my home and studio.

Starting with a quick base coat is the best advice I can give when painting pumpkins (unless you want the surface or color of your pumpkins to show through). Since pumpkins have a slick surface, that coat of paint will make it much easier to paint or draw on. I use a quick layer of either black or white acrylic paint and once that layer is dry I add my color or pattern. 

While I like to paint or draw on my pumpkins, there are so many different supplies and mixed media techniques that can be used! Back when I created my pretty little pumpkins, I was told that puff paint should not be used on slick surfaces but I didn't care! I had been using puff paint in so many different ways I knew it would work great and since I wasn't creating art that needed to last forever, I could be unconventional with my materials. Anything that can be in art or mixed media projects (stamps, stencils, paint, ink, collage materials, etc) can all be used on the surface of a pumpkin.

My favorite supply for just about any project will always and forever be a Sharpie pen. A Sharpie pen is wonderful and the best supply for drawing on pumpkins- they work great on slick surfaces and are permanent which means they will withstand the elements if you leave your pumpkins outside.   

Don't be afraid to express yourself! While it is really easy to duplicate tutorials that you see on Pinterest, try challenging yourself to use your own style and favorite mixed media techniques to decorate your pumpkins. With a little creativity and time a pumpkin can be transformed into a piece of art.

Looking for some pumpkin painting inspiration? Here is a look at all the pumpkins I've shared over the years-

painted pattern pumpkins    sketchbook pumpkins    messy pumpkins   black and white pumpkins


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