Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Valentines Chocolates Gift Box

Yes, this may sound cheesy, but it's sweet to give sweets to your sweetheart for Valentine's Day, especially when you can pick out her or his preferred type of chocolate. Here you can choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and or an assortment. You can also pick from a variety of designs on the gift box.

The assortment includes premium Belgian dark and milk chocolate or you can choose just dark or milk chocolate. There are engraved heart designs in the chocolate. There are 45 pieces in the assortment box and one large bar in the dark or milk chocolate only boxes.

The greeting on the box tops say, Happy Valentine's Day, which can also be easily changed on the template form. Just click on the assortment link below, then click on the design of your choice. Locate the text field (It will be to the right of the design.), backspace over the text that is there and type in your own personalized greeting.

Most of the lids have a heart design on them, ranging from techie designs to more romantic ones. There are also other ideas for those who want something other than hearts.

I designed the artwork on the boxes above. The chocolates (above), are shipped by Zazzle, and they have a 100% guarantee. Enjoy.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Cheryl Paton

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Zebra Print Shirts

Here you will find a selection of zebra print animal shirts that you can purchase online.

This first one features an outline drawing of a zebra walking. The stripes and the body of the zebra are the same color. You can have some fun coloring in the stripes if you like, making your zebra any color that you like.

Here the black stripes of the zebra are already colored in.

Did you ever wonder what color if the black or the white part of the zebra is its real color? I did some research online, and found out that the black and white pattern is actually the zebra's fur. Underneath the fur, the skin of most zebras is black.

I added a turquoise teal color to the zebra print and enlarged it for this shirt design. They make a fun choice.

Here is a fun zebra shirt with the arms showcasing zebra stripes, and the head looking like it wraps around onto the front of the shirt. It comes in ladies sizes.

This all over zebra print has an appealing curve look to it. This shirt comes in junior sizes, small to xx-Large.

Did you know that no two zebra's are alike. I guess they're kind of like snowflakes, in that respect.

Are you feeling creative? Would you like to design your own zebra print shirt?
Here is an idea. Create a stencil first. Then place a sheet of cardboard between the two fabric layers. Paint in the design, with acrylic fabric paint or acrylic paint with a fabric textile medium added to it.  Then carefully remove the stencil. Then you can add any outlines or touch ups. Let the paint dry, then remove the cardboard. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for heat setting the paint, if that is required.

Here is a cute zebra print design for baby. The stripes are black on white, and the bodysuit is trimmed in pink.

Cheryl Paton

Zoo Themed Birthday Party Invitations

Congratulations on planning a zoo themed birthday party! When our daughter was little, it was extra nice going to the zoo with a group of kids. They seemed to have a lot more fun. A good tip is to have the kids wearing the same color tee shirts.

Here you will find birthday party invitations that you can customize online, and also ones that you can fill in by hand.

Be sure to check with the zoo to see how they handle birthday parties. Some will even have pavilions where everyone can meet, have cake, etc. Some may allow you to bring in your own snacks, some may want you to purchase your snacks there.

It's a good idea to send out your invitations approximately two weeks before the birthday party. If you are including a trip to the zoo, be sure to include an RSVP contact, so that you can plan on transportation, tickets, etc.

This first invitation features a tiger, with the text - Meet me at the zoo. There is plenty of space on the back to customize your details with your text.

This one shows a variety of animals, including giraffes, tigers, and elephants. It has lines on the back to either replace with text, or fill in by hand after you receive them.

The above invites were designed by me. You can check out other Zoo Birthday Invitations from other designers at zazzle.com.

Cheryl Paton

Monday, December 21, 2015

Valentine Postage Stamps

Here you will find a variety of choices for Valentine postage stamps. You will find both cute and romantic choices.

These stamps have met the USPS Guidelines and are legal to use within the United States.

These are purr-fect for cat lovers. They feature my painting of a black and white tuxedo cat, done in pointillism. The text says, Happy Valentine's Day, which can also be easily customized to your greeting, on the template form.

If snow and Valentine's Day go together for you, then this stamp is for you. It features my painting of a white snowflake designed with hearts, on a red background.

On this one, the familiar saying of Be Mine uses a play on words. My painting of a honey bee is shown in front of a honey comb design, enjoying nectar from a flower, with the words, Bee Mine in between two red hearts.

No teddy bear should be alone. If you are ready for some company, this teddy bear will be happy to convey your feelings.

Last but not least is the option of colorful hearts, layered in different shades, with Happy Valentine's Day written in white. The greeting can also be easily customized on the template form.

The above stamps can be ordered in different sizes and/or denominations. You can find more Valentine Stamps by CherylsArt in my Zazzle store.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

Cheryl Paton

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Love Postage Stamps

It's fun to send a simple act of love. It can be as simple as adding a love postage stamp to your mailings. Along the way, the mail people can be blessed as well as the recipients that you are contacting through the mail - companies that you are sending payment to for a product and/or service that you benefit from, and or notes and letters to family members and friends.

Your message doesn't have to contain anything romantic inside. It can be a simple conveyance that there is love and that you wanted to express it in a simple way.

This first stamp features the word Love spelled out in white letters outlined by a colorful line around each letter. The background is bright yellow and the thin border is violet. This type of design can be for anyone at any time.

Another way of expressing love is simply saying, Thank you. Companies that you send your payment to that have provided a product or service that you enjoy and or benefitted from, can benefit from a simple thank you.

This design features a light green heart drawn with dashes, on a terracotta brown background. Thank you is written in a lighter shade of this green, inside the heart.

Sometimes it's nice to let others know that they are loved, even if not personally by you, but they can be. This design features a heart made of purple dots with, You are loved, printed in a similar color font.

If you do have a romantic love in your life and they are away for a time, then sending them some extra reminders of your love, can enhance their day. This design features a painting of a bouquet of flowers and hearts, with the words, I love you, written in red under the bouquet.

Did you find what you were looking for? You can check out other custom Love Stamps by CherylsArt at Zazzle.com.

May you have a love filled day.

Cheryl Paton

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Parrot Themed Birthday Party Supplies

Here you will find options for parrot themed birthday party invitations, along with ribbon, wrapping paper, and activity and gift ideas.

The main design is a colorful outline drawing of a parrot. For the invitations, you can choose from two sided invites and postcards. The text on each features an area to fill in the details by hand, or text can be typed in, in place of the lines - using the template forms.

An activity idea is for some unique coloring ideas. The outline parrot is printed on tee shirts, canvas bags, and cotton aprons. They can be colored in using fabric paint markers, or painted in using fabric paint and brushes. The paint markers make less mess. If you use paint brushes, then you will also need bowls of water to rinse the brushes in between the colors, and paper towels to dab them off.

Gift ideas include personalized door hangers and watches.

You can see the current choices here:

If you would like this design added to any other product(s), you can either let me know through my Zazzle store (you can use the link above), or email me at creative-brushstrokes@comcast.net.

For some color and decorations, colorful parrot windsocks will add a nice touch, also colorful streamers. This windsock is weather resistant; it measures 11 inches wide by 22 inches tall.

You can also create your own hanging birds from paper plates. The video features a dove, but you can add color to the bird and make it be a parrot. The kids can also have fun coloring the wings. It can be a pre-cake activity.

Another activity idea for the kids is to also play the REPEAT Game. Have one child think of a sentence and have them whisper it in the ear of the child next to them. Each child then repeats what they heard by whispering it in the ear of the next child in line. At the end of the line, the last child repeats the sentence out loud, seeing if it is the same sentence as what the first child had said. Then have the first child move to the end of the line and begin again with the child that was second in line. Repeat until all children have had a turn beginning with a sentence.

May you have a wonderful birthday celebration.

Cheryl Paton

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Calendars to Design Your Own on Template

Calendars are a fun way to share family photos and/or your own art. Here you will find a selection of calendars that you can customize online with your own images. There are various choices; you can choose to have a framed photo on your calendar pages, or no frame at all. You can also choose from three different calendar sizes: Small (7”x 5.5”), Medium (11”x 8.5”), and Large (14.25”x 11”).

You can choose your calendar year. Type in the year that you want displayed on your calendar (in the template box.) Then be sure to check the calendar start date (This field is displayed in the right side column.) to make sure the correct year will be incorporated when you design your calendar. Be sure to do this before you purchase.

You can also choose a different grid design. Once you're on the calendar design page, then Click on Customize for this option.

Each one can be personalized online, using the template forms provided. Be sure to update each page. You can also add text if you like by clicking on Customize, and then on Add Text. The text placeholder for the year that you'd like to create is provided.

This first calendar features the option to add one large photo per page without any frame.

This calendar features an assortment of frames to place your photos behind. The frames are different colors and include round, square, and rectangle shapes. These frames were made from paintings that I did.

This next one features a background color that serves as the frame for each page. Your picture sits on top of the background. Each page's frame is a different color.

This background color frame option is also ready in all white borders.

If any of your photos don't line up quite right, then click on Customize It. You can then re-position the photo and click and drag on a corner to re-size it.

Before uploading your photos, they print better when they are at least 300 dots per inch, and are roughly 13 inches for the longer length.

If you add text, you will also need to click on Customize. Then click on Add Text, type in your text, then click on f in the dialogue box to choose the font style. Choose your style first, then select the size of the font. You can also choose the font color by clicking on the rectangle near the font size box.

Happy creating.

Cheryl Paton

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tool Man Gifts for Handyman

Here you will find a selection of gifts designed for the handyman. The design features the words - Tool Man - spelled out using shapes of various tools. One design is a painting of the tools, the other is an outline drawing.

The tools included in the spelling are hammer, washers, square, putty knife, screw driver, tape measure, and nails.

The drawing is shown here on custom mugs. You can pick any mug style that you want. The design is printed on both sides. The painting design is also ready on mugs too.

The painting design is shown here on tee shirts. It can be ordered on any shirt style and/or color. Shirt styles also include hooded sweatshirts.

Some gifts can also be easily personalized. There is a template form to use on this personalized canvas tote bag.

You can view more of the products here, including neck ties, business cards, postage stamps, and more.

If you would like either of these designs or both of them, printed on any other products, you can either contact me through my CherylsArt store at Zazzle, or email me at creative-brushstrokes@comcast.net.

Cheryl Paton

You can also find some other product choices for the Tool Man design by CherylsArt, at Amazon:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Year Design Red Fireworks

Here you'll find a fun and festive selection of invitations for your New Year's Eve celebration. I took this photo of red fireworks as they were lighting up the night sky.

Red is such a festive color and a great choice for celebrating the New Year. Here it is shown on custom, two sided invitations. The details can be easily personalized on the template forms.

The pacifier is shown here in red, for any new babies arriving in the New Year. They come in a choice of 0-6 months and 6+ months. The back piece comes in a choice of white, blue, and pink. The text can be customized as the year, or personalized with the baby's name.

You can find this firework design on other products too, including custom cards, postcards, postage stamps, and stickers, here:

Happy New Year to you.

Cheryl Paton

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Personalized From the Kitchen of Lid Stickers

Here you will find an artistic selection of personalized - From the kitchen of - lid stickers, as an extra touch for your tasty gifts.

Some have fruit designs on them, some simply have a decorative circular border, and there is one with an assortment of fruits and vegetables on that you can circle the main ingredient or ingredients if you like. There is also a holiday themed one designed for Christmas.

This first one shows a painting of a pineapple with your personalized info to the left.

For the smaller, shorter fruit, the text is usually under the fruit, as in the apple lid stickers.

This is the assortment design for you to circle any of the ingredients used in your dish.

There are decorative circular borders and also solid ones.

And this one is designed special for the Christmas holiday season.

You can browse the whole selection here; you can choose the sticker size.

May you enjoy your personalized gift giving. Receiving home made jams, jellies, preserves, etc., are always a nice treat.

Cheryl Paton

Monday, November 23, 2015

Geometric Fabric Prints by the Yard

Geometric prints can look so visually interesting. Here you will find a selection of colorful options of geometric designed fabric.

With each of these designs, you can choose your fabric type, including cotton, polyester, and linen fabrics. You can order by the yard, and also by fat quarter.

This first design features a diamond shaped typed pattern of green, blue, purple, and yellow. It also looks like a pattern of X's on their sides.

This next design features polka dots, with the various colors of dots also making a colorful menagerie in this geometric pattern. The colors include red, pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

This third design features ovals, swirls, and curved diamond shapes. It looks like the design is arranged in panels. The colors included are pink, yellow, blue, and green.

You can find these patterns and more, here. Click on any image to see the fuller layout.

Happy sewing to you. If you have any design request for fabric, I will see what I can do. You can either contact me through my CherylsArt store at Zazzle, or email me at creative-brushstrokes@comcast.net.

Cheryl Paton

The quilt squares below, from Amazon, can be ordered in 6 by 6 inch to 25 by 25 inch squares.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Be Encouraged Encouragement Products

You'll find a selection of Be. encouragement quotes on various products here. Whether you're looking for a journal to carry in your pocket, a pin to wear, a poster to hang on the wall, etc., you'll find some simple and artistic encouragement.

Sometimes we need a reminder to just be. No more, no less. It's easy enough to read this message on tshirts. You can choose any shirt style and/or color, for kids to adults.

If you would like something to see that is more personal and private, a nice flameless candle can do the job. This LED candle comes in a choice of three sizes. Watching the glow and focusing on the word can be very meditative.

Some products also have extra encouragement, with - Be inspired. Be loved, Be yourself. These timely affirmations are printed on posters. The background color can be customized if you like, to fit your decor. The solid text statement can be customized on the template forms.

Here are some more Be. options to choose from.

If you would like this design added to any other products, you can contact me through my Zazzle store, CherylsArt, or send your request to me at creative-brushstrokes@comcast.net.

Cheryl Paton

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holiday Christmas Aprons for Adults

It's fun to wear holiday aprons to help us get in the fun spirit of Christmas. Here you'll find a selection of bib aprons, the ones that will also help to keep our tops clean, for adults.

This first design is for dog lovers; it features a fun painting of a pug dog wearing a Santa hat and a red bow. She looks so happy and bright. You can easily type in a message or name to personalize these.

Do you have a person's photo that you would like to showcase on a holiday apron? Perhaps a baby's first Christmas, newly weds, a spouse, a pet? This colorful apron features Christmas balls with one of them serving as the picture frame, for a photo that you have stored in your computer. All you need to do is to click on the apron link, then on the word Change that is under the image placeholder. You can then search for the photo that you want to use. If you need to adjust the size and/or position of your photo, click on Customize It and you'll be able to move and/or re-size your image.

Do you like building snowmen or dream of building them? This fun snow couple will help you to reminisce and/or to imagine creating your own snow creations. The text says, Happy Holidays, which can easily be customized on the template form. I enjoyed painting this happy couple.

If you are looking for a flower theme, we have the painted poinsettia flower in red and green.

Or perhaps you would like to showcase the jolly Santa Claus on your holiday apron.

If you think you might be feeling amorous over the holidays, you can donn this apron and tell your spouse that you are the present.

I own a turkey apron that I have purchased at Zazzle, and I have been quite impressed with it. It washes up well and doesn't need any ironing. Any splatters that I have gotten on it, I sprayed them with some Shout and threw it in the laundry; it always came out clean. This apron is the shorted length of the adult aprons.

Whichever design(s) that you prefer, you can order any of the above aprons on the apron style that is shown, or you can choose a different size or color. The adult aprons come in two size choices. The standard (shorter one) is 24 long by 28 wide; it comes to around hip level. The longer apron measures 30 long by 24 wide; it is longer but more narrow than the standard. The color choices are white, khaki, and yellow. The aprons are made of a 35/65 cotton-poly blend.

View more Christmas aprons by CherylsArt at Zazzle.

May you have a blessed and happy holiday.

Cheryl Paton

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Acrylic Painting Techniques for Beginners

The Basics

Acrylic paints are my preferred choice. The majority of colors are rated non-toxic and they are easily cleaned up with soap and water. I usually use diluted liquid hand soap or diluted laundry detergent.

Acrylic paint that comes in bottles tends to be thinner than the ones that come in tubes, but they still have some thickness. Different mediums can also be added to thin them or to thicken them and to add texture. The texture and consistency of the paint used can affect how they apply and blend.

You can give acrylic paint more of a transparent look, a sparkly effect, a shiny look, and more, by using different mediums; then all of the colors can become more versatile.

There are also mediums to make the paint suitable for painting on fabric. This may give it a longer life with repeated washing, but my experience has been that the acrylic paint that has ended up on my clothing has had a pretty good life time of staying set in the fabric, even with repeated washing.

Choosing your surface.
Acrylics adhere better when they have some tooth to grab hold of. So most porous surfaces work great, such a paper, canvas, wood, slate, and others.

If the surface is too smooth, sanding may help, as well as sealing the surface with an acrylic sealer. If wood hasn't already been sealed, then applying a wood sealer is a good idea. Wood is normally more porous and it can soak up more of the paint and the color, if it hasn't already been sealed.

Starting a Painting

I usually start my painting with a drawing, or else a painted blended background. Sometimes I may draw the drawing on graph paper first, this gives you the freedom of easily erasing mistakes. Once the preliminary drawing is ready, I transfer that image over onto my canvas. This gives me a cleaner canvas to work with, than regular pencil marks.

When I make my drawing on canvas, I usually use watercolor pencils. The colors get blended right in to the wet paint. This can actually be used as a blending technique. Place part of your wet paint brush on the colored pencil lines to enhance the color in that area.

I like using watercolor pencils, by themselves, and also to outline letters, sketch with, etc.

Using various colors of watercolor pencils for a base drawing helps me to see the final product more easily. I use the various colors to draw in different shapes, then the outline colors are already there.

Any remaining watercolor pencil marks can easily be wiped off of most surfaces with a damp paper towel after the painting has dried.


Blending can make your painting look more realistic and shapely.

A nice blending technique for acrylic paint is applying two different colors/shades side by side on the brush at the same time. With a clean brush, go back and forth over the touching areas of color, while they are still wet, and blend. For a more gradual blend, go further into each color as you work your brush back and forth. It can also be helpful to use a blending type medium to help the paint flow better.

Here are some examples of various blending techniques. These were all done on smooth cardboard.

The first example was simply brushed on the cardboard with the paint side by side on the brush (as shown in the above photo.)

In the second example, I brushed on the lighter color, then brushed on the second color while both colors were still wet. Being on the cardboard, the paint was drying quickly, and it started to lift up the layer of previous paint as I brushed back across the surface. The paint should work better if you were painting on canvas.

In the third example, I applied Floating medium to the cardboard first, and then applied the lighter color and then the darker color. It made the colors more translucent and also easily covered a wider area.

Another blending technique is to base coat the surface first, let that dry, and then add shadings and highlights. If I want a more thorough blending affect, I re-wet the dried first coat with a second coat of that color, and then blend in my new color(s). Base coating first and letting that dry, gives a more solid look to the blending that is added. Some colors of acrylic paint are more opaque or more transparent than others. The step here will depend on the look you are wanting to achieve. For a more textured look, you may not need the extra layer of a background color.

You can also apply blending medium next to the paint on the brush. This is helpful if you're wanting to apply blending along an edge, of just one color over top the other. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Also, to get a good working of paint in your brush, go back and forth on the palette with your brush a few times, adding more paint as needed.

I've learned from other artists before me.

Two of my favorite artists for getting started was Donna Dewberry and Priscilla Hauser. They both offer great ideas for blending, and yet they are somewhat different.

I like that Priscilla also uses a realistic touch to her paintings. She seems to begin most of her designs with a base coat and then goes back in to add shading and highlights, etc.

In this book, Priscilla also provides pages of illustrations that you can copy for personal use.

Donna Dewberry's approach uses more blending right from the start. She normally starts out with a couple of colors right on the brush, from the beginning. She usually keeps painting while the first layers are still wet.

This technique can be more fun and creative. It does help to have some practice in before tackling anything on a complex or larger scale.

Watercolor Look

Acrylic paints dry pretty quickly, especially compared to oils. Extenders for acrylics can be added to increase workable time. Floating medium and glazes can also be used to give the acrylic painting more of a watercolor look. Some people also use water. If it is a short term painting that you're just playing around with, water is fine. For a more long term painting, then it's better to use a medium that will help with the longevity. Acrylic paint bought in bottles is usually thinner, and is a better choice for thinning, if you want more of a watercolor look.

For watercolor affects, you can mix the medium with the paint, or paint the medium on the surface first, and then apply the acrylic paint on top of the medium while both are still wet. Try both methods to see which one gives you the desired look that you want.

Floating medium can be placed directly on the surface, and or mixed with the paint, or placed on a side of the brush.

Placing paint on one corner of the brush and floating medium, a glaze, or varnish, on the other side, provides a nice blending technique, that fades into clear.

If you use the Floating Medium, make sure that the blended area has dried completely and even let it set for a day or so after that, if you before varnishing your finished painting.

Adding Visual Texture like Lines, Circles, etc.

This rubber tool provides several options for spacing between the lines it will make.

I tried using a comb before, but the end teeth were longer than the teeth in between, so the middle teeth did not reach the canvas.

But you can still check around the house for other objects that will give you different textures and looks when you drag them through wet paint.

Bubble Wrap can be used to create abstract circular patterns,

Torn paper and or Painter's Tape can be used to partially cover an area or to create a rough or smooth edge.

Sponges can be used to create textures, bushes, blotchy clouds, and more.

Old tooth brushes can be used to create splatters.


Read and experiment; come up with your own ideas.

The direction in which you hold the brush can create a different look.

Try various ones; such as:

- hold the brush perpendicular, using only the edge of the brush as you make the stroke - different shaped brushes will make different strokes

- turn and/or twist the brush as you make the stroke

- push the brush down to spread the bristles out at the beginning of the stroke and then lift the brush slightly as you finish the stroke.

These are just some to get you started. Which ones can you think of? Have fun, experiment, play.

Choosing the brush type.

Fan brushes are great for painting pine trees.

The fan brush is popular for painting pine trees. Start at the top of the tree, dabbing from side to side as you increase the amount of the brush that touches the canvas, as you go down the tree.

The fan brush comes in different sizes.

Fan brushes can be used for more than painting pine trees. You can twist and turn them for swirly effects.

Since they have a rounded brush edge, they are also great for painting clouds, the ends of flowing dresses, and more.

The size and shape of the brush makes a difference.

Different shapes and sizes of paint brushes will render different affects. Rounded edge brushes give a more rounded edge and can be great in painting billowy clouds for instance. The straight edge brush comes in handy for the straighter lines that you want, the edge of a table for instance.

An assortment in sizes as well as style is a good foundation to paint a variety of affects.

The first recommendation for acrylic paints I saw was for synthetic brushes. I've also read that for soft affects that soft hair brushes, such as sable and camel hair are good.

A tip for helping your brushes last longer is to wet them first, then squeeze the excess off with a paper towel before dipping them into the paint. And always clean them afterwords with a cool soapy water mixture until the cool rinsing water is clear. Keeping brushes clean gives them a longer life.

Painting Knives

Provides a different look - use them for mixing, scraping, and more.

With thicker paint, as in the tubes, one can also use painting knives for an impasto look; a laying down of the paint thickly. Do allow for extra drying time for this technique.

They can also be used for scraping edges or lines through wet paint already on the surface.

If you have ever watched Bob Ross, he often demonstrates the technique of placing a roll of paint along the edge of the knife tool, and then sweeping it down on the canvas to paint the side of a barn or a quick background for where waterfalls will be.

Another great use for painting knives is for mixing colors of paint together; they can work like little spoons.

This set has wood handles and a metal painting applicator.

Painting knives for acrylics also come in an assortment of plastic options, which also has some different applicator styles, including ones that provide scraping parallel lines through the paint for texture.

The plastic set that I have also has a round ball on one of the ends. Round balls of various sizes are also great painter tools. You can easily paint in dots for eyes, polka dots, pointillism, and more. These are known as a stylus. You can use this link to find some at Amazon, by searching for stylus in their Arts, Crafts, and Sewing category.

See how the colors on the Gemstone Mosaic really stand out on the bag below? Well yes the colors are bright, but I also used varnish to help achieve the effect.

I coated all of the gemstones with a glossy varnish, and coated the black background with a matte varnish, which helped the gemstones to really stand out and shine. Here it is printed on posters.

The varnish type affects the final look of your painting.

Not only does the varnish give you a desired shine or matte look, it also unifies the painting, and provides protection for your finished artwork.

Varnishes range from matte to super glossy. They are made for interior, exterior, and also for a combination of the two. If the artwork is going to be placed outdoors and/or will be in a high humidity area, then select the exterior or combination option.

Acrylic paintings behind glass should be matted first so that the paint doesn't touch the glass. The acrylic paint can stick to the glass over time, so you want to allow the air space in between the two surfaces to protect your design.

DecoArt Varnish is my preferred choice of varnishes. It dries clear and flexible, is non-toxic; and also if I'm working on a piece that isn't to be framed, the edges still lay flat.

I used to make floor cloths from durable artist canvas. I found that some varnishes made the edges curl as it dried. This brand allowed the edges to remain flat.

Cheryl Paton

Meditation Prayer Pillows

It has been said that it is important to mediate and also to mediate on God's word. What better way than to remind yourself of a favorite positive feeling prayer, than when you're ready to rest your head. It's the perfect time to put in your mind, a positive prayer. Thinking about prayer in this way can also be a form of meditation.

Sometimes the best prayer is just to give thanks. This round pillow showcases a universal multi-racial hand that represents all the races, reaching up and touching the universal hand of Love, represented as pure energy. The design and prayer are printed on both sides.

This next pillow features a prayer of allegiance to God, whose real name is Love. It is displayed on a cloud like background and is printed on both sides.

See the Allegiance Pillow in pink.

A common prayer that a lot of people like to use is the Serenity Prayer. The pretty background scene for this prayer is the ocean, mountains, and sky. The prayer is printed on one side and the design is printed on both sides of the pillow.

This simple prayer of, Now I lay me down to sleep, is geared towards kids. The design and prayer is printed on one side. It features a nice design of moon and stars.

If you already have a favorite prayer, you can design your own pillow. Simply click on the DIY pillow, click on Customize It, to begin. You can then upload a background and/or small image to your pillow, and type in your prayer. Tip: type in your prayer and then choose the font (f) style and then the size of the font. If you don't immediately see the font (f) button after typing in your text, click on the text field box; it serves as a toggle switch and will alternate between the different options. The same goes for the picture field as well. If you want a design on the second side of the pillow, you will need to click on the image for the reverse side, and then design it again. Happy creating.

Many sweet prayers to you.

Cheryl Paton