Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Well, I Heard

The response I got from the woman who commissioned the picture frame last week was that it was a resounding success!  Here's what she posted in a group on Facebook:

What a compliment!  It's reactions like those that make me smile.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Some More Fun... and a "New" Service!

Many years ago, when I was just 14 and first allowed to get my working papers, I got a job as a sales clerk at the Paramus, NJ branch of Lewis of London, a very high-end baby furniture store.  It was so high-end that it was even mentioned in this NY Times article in 1984!

Well, once I was there, I was also recruited - and paid - to custom paint designs on lots of their items for sale.  There was a stock of my hand painted baby bottles and step stools always in the store, but people would also commission custom items like toy boxes and rocking chairs, with baby names and paintings to match the bedding sets they were buying.

So when I was asked to paint a picture frame as a baby gift, it was only reasonable that I agree!  The photographer/gifter sent me this photo to work from...

... and explained that the boy's room is Mets themed and in the Mets colors.  Well, OK, then!  So this is what I did...

She absolutely loved the photo I sent her, and will be picking it up today for the party on Saturday.  I can't wait to see what she thinks in person and hear about her friend's reaction!

Meanwhile, between this, the hand painting I did the other night with fabric paint on my own new denim jacket,

(isn't that so cool?!)... and the custom logo painting I did a while back, it has occurred to me that I need to offer this is a service!  So I am!  Now you can order custom painted gifts and decor, and I'll work with you to create anything you like, whether you want something to be matched exactly or you're looking for an artistic spinoff.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Bayleaf Botanicals Face Paints: A Review

I so love trying out new face paints and body art products.  Well, I got to  last night!  I was recently contacted by Bayleaf Botanicals, a small family-owned American business, which has among its products a new face paint.  Based on the copy, I could see it being popular, as it's FDA-compliant, which you know is a requirement of mine, plus made in the USA, vegan, and free of parabens, nuts, fragrance, and latex.  It's also child-toy safety rated.  In my world, that means these face paints are about as safe as they come.

The set is comprised of 28 2 ml colors, which is enough to paint a lot of faces.  I spent years, even as a professional, using this size before moving up to the larger "professional size" face paints that I use now.

I tried them first with a sponge, and found that they blend very well.  This is a creamy style face paint, great for blending, rather than the "hard" type face paint, but I found it was still nice and sharp for linework.  It works up quickly and easily without a ton of water.

Then I had a little fun with a funky bee (of course a bee!), a little tribal, and a quick Spiderman.

These face paints hit the key points I look for in my products - the colors are bright and dense, the white has good coverage, and the black can achieve a nice sharp line.

You also may notice that I painted all of these on my left arm.  In between, it took me literally seconds to wash off each design; these face paints are removed incredibly easily, which is a huge plus.

For professionals, this size is on the small side, but for moms and volunteers, this set is absolutely perfect when paired with some good brushes from an art or craft store and some good face painting sponges (not makeup wedges; those are impossible with face paints of all sorts, get actual face painting sponges or a tack sponge to cut up).  It's easy to use, with good pigments, and a wider variety of colors than most "mom" sets contain.

Overall, I highly recommend, which makes me especially happy since I believe we should all support small business where we can.  So I suppose I ought to let you know that you can buy them at Amazon here.

I was provided with a 28-color set of Bayleaf Botanicals face paints in order to complete my review.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

On the Other Hand...

There is something acrylics are good for.  Canvas!

As soon as my good friend told me she was pregnant and what bedding she'd chosen for her little girl, I knew what I wanted to do.  It's called "Zoo Garden," but my friend called it "Purple Jungle."  I immediately found what she meant online when I got home that night.

Really cute!  I decided that I wanted to do a painting that went with the set, without actually matching, so I wouldn't just be copying.  And the fact that my friend had called the set "Purple Jungle" gave me a little license to add other animals that are found in the jungle.  I looked up giraffes, elephants, and hippos to make sure, and confirmed that they're all found in Africa.  Well, so are zebras and feral honey bees, so I added those too!  After all, zebras are really cute, and it just wouldn't be "me" without bees.

I drew it out first in pencil and Sharpie on paper to get the placement down, and then tackled the canvas with a vine charcoal stick.

I wanted to avoid black, and keep the paint colors soft ,but not bland.  It was a fine line to walk, for sure.

But in the end, I think I accomplished what I wanted, and my friend loved it!  Hopefully as her daughter grows up, she loves it too.


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