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, and custom greeting cards, stickers, stamps, and even pacifiers for any new babies coming in to the New Year.

This design comes from my own photo collection. The 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 are 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 design on custom cards, postcards, postage stamps, and stickers, here:


If you'd like this design on any other products, you can let me know through my CherylsArtPhotos store at Zazzle, or email me at creative-brushstrokes@comcast.net.

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 our 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 features a fun painting of a pug dog wearing a Santa hat and a red bow. She looks so happy and bright. There is a placeholder for you to add your message.


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 a 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 your snow creations. The text says, Happy Holidays, which can easily be customized on the template form.


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.


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.


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.

View more Christmas aprons by CherylsArt at Zazzle.

Are you feeling creative? Do you have a Christmas image stored in your computer that you would like to add to an apron? You can begin here. Once you click on the apron, then click on Customize It. You can then choose Add Image or Add Text. A tip for adding text, type in your text, then choose a font style that you like, then adjust the size.


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

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.

Experiment

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






Monday, November 2, 2015

How to paint a Christmas scene on Birch Wood


Painting on a tree branch gives a nice organic touch to your ornaments. On this one I painted a Christmas scene and used some of the colors in the outer layers of the birch branch; it helped to tie in the colors.

Above are the supplies that you'll need, and also fine grain sand paper, acrylic wood sealer (for artists), your paint colors, and artist varnish.

I purchased the birch tree rounds already cut. However, they still needed sanding. After sanding, I coated the sides with the acrylic wood. This raised the wood grain again, so a second sanding smoothed it out.

The nice thing about acrylics is that you can layer the paints, so I began with shading in the background. I was going for an evening look, so I used a little Deep Midnight Blue (Americana) mixed with white. I kept the whiter area at the bottom, and the more bluish color around half way up and towards the top.

Once that is dry, you can draw in where you would like the cabin to be. I like using watercolor pencils for my drawing, then the colors of the pencils easily blend in with the paint. You can do a search on images online for cabins, and find the style and ideas that you would like to use.

I reversed the direction of the cabin shape that I decided to use, since I wanted the cabin to face the other direction.

Once your cabin is dry, you can add in your windows, door, shading, and highlights. Once those are dry, add in a blend of the snow colors over the door and windows.

Then you can decide where you want your trees. Paint them in with a darker shade of green and then add a lighter of shade of green while the first layer is still wet. Mix it around a bit to get different areas of light and dark. You don't need to be too exact here; snow will be covering up quite a bit of the green.

Let the trees dry, then paint in some snow on the branches. You can add the darker snow toward the deeper part of the branches and lighter snow towards the front edges.

The tree that I chose to decorate, I added lights and garland first, then a little bit of snow just on top of the garland. Most of the snow on this tree would have melted off.

You can add a path to your door if you like. I did this by painting in white, making it more narrow as it got closer to the door. Then add some different shades of snow along the edge of the path (where is has been smoothed out and shoveled.)

You can add in a mailbox if you want. Once everything is dry, you can add a coat of artist varnish for acrylics to help protect your painting.

I left the area to the bottom right open, so that I can sign it there (on the original), and to leave an open space for people to type in a year on my ceramic ornaments to purchase.

I used an eyelet screw that I screwed into the birch wood by hand. I did use a pair of pliers to help turn the screw. I started the screw by hand, then covered the eyelet part with a small piece of paper towel doubled over, then used the pliers to turn it the rest of the way.

Here is a photo of the painted birch ornament printed on round ceramic ornaments:


Let me know if you have any questions.

You can see other Christmas Ornaments by CherylsArt at Zazzle.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Baseball Birthday Party Invitations and Ideas

One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was playing baseball with the neighborhood kids. We'd all end up meeting in the field that was near our house and commence to playing a friendly game. I would have loved having one of these games as a theme for my birthday party. I'm sure other kids would love it too. Any number of players will do; it's all for fun.

To get you started here are simple party invitations that you can customize online or fill in by hand. It's a good idea to send them out two weeks before your party date.


You can order matching baseball party stamps too.

Fresh veggies sticks will be a good idea to have as an appetizer before the game playing begins. It's quick and simple and adds some healthy nutrition.

For after the game, you can serve cupcakes; they are easy for the kids to grab and can be easily decorated to look like baseballs. If you're not the baking kind, you can also order personalized baseball themed cookies. The name is easily customized on the template form.



If you want paper plates for the snacks, they can also fit your party theme.


Another great snack for after a game of baseball is watermelon; we used to love seeing how far we could spit the seeds. There could even be a little contest for this, having the kids all line up and spitting their seeds across the grass. Then you can provide favor bags; everybody's a winner.

You can find more matching baseball themed birthday supplies here:


Happy game day!

Cheryl Paton