Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday -- Spa Day

Here's a new blog that I found and she has the most wonderful spa recipes as well as some great decorating tips and craft ideas. Check her out at Beauty and Inspiration.  Leave her a comment when you visit so she knows your were there and how you liked her blog.  That's only polite.

Tutorial Tuesday: Homemade Hot Oil Treatment & Vinegar Shine Rinse

More spa goodies out of your kitchen cabinets! I decided to post this because of a request for it, and also, my hair is in sore need of a treatment. So here are my absolute favorite treatments for dull, dry scalp and hair. There are fancier recipes around, but I love these because they work for me and the ingredients are relatively cheap. Gotta love a great deal on feeling pampered!
Vinegar Shine Rinse
This needs to be prepared either ahead of time or while you let the oil treatment set because you'll need it for the last step of this treatment.
1 cup water
1 Tbs apple cider or white vinegar
Pour both ingredients into an empty bottle and shake to combine. Set aside for later. This is the rinse recipe doubled so I have extra for later in the week.

-Vinegar closes hair's cuticles (keeping it from absorbing excess dirt) and removes scaly buildup leaving hair smooth and shiny. It also promotes circulation in the small capillaries essential to healthy hair growth.
-The vinegar rinse can be kept in your shower and is safe to use once or twice a week after your normal shampoo for shiny, residue free hair. Over time it helps control dandruff as well.
Hot Olive Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment
1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs dried rosemary
DO NOT ADD ROSEMARY IF PREGNANT OR NURSING. Large quantities of this herb could cause vomiting, nausea, and muscle spasms in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The hot oil and vinegar rinse will provide more than enough conditioning and shine for hair.
Pour extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan. Add dried rosemary, stirring in slowly. Place the pan on the stove and heat over medium heat until the oil is warm. I set a timer for 2 minutes and then remove it from heat. You want the oil very warm, not scalding hot.
Strain through a paper towel to remove rosemary.
Coat hair from the scalp to the ends with mixture. For oily hair, use more on the shaft and ends and a small amount near the scalp. For extremely dry hair, saturate everything including scalp. For either hair type, pay special attention to hair ends.
Twist hair upon itself on top of your head and wrap in plastic wrap or shower cap.
Heat up a damp towel in the microwave until very warm (about 2 minutes). Towel should be steamy but not scalding hot. Wrap the hot towel around your head and let the oil treatment do it's magic for 20 minutes.
Remove the towel. Remove and discard plastic wrap. Wash your hair twice with a mild shampoo (when I say mild, I mean no Head & Shoulders) to remove all of the oil. Rinse the first shampooing out with very warm, almost hot water. Rinse the second shampoo with slightly warm, almost cool water. Going immediately from hot to cold water always gives me a huge brain freeze type headache so I don't do it.
For your final step, saturate hair with the vinegar rinse mentioned earlier. Let sit for 1 minute. Any longer and it might have a drying effect. Rinse with cool water until vinegar smell is gone. Cold water seals the hair shaft and locks in shine.
-Olive oil is an amazing natural moisturizer. It also works great as an all over body moisturizer on damp skin fresh out of the bath.
-Rosemary has been used throughout history in home therapy to deepen natural hair color
 -If it's the first time in a long time that you've done a deep conditioner, you may want to do the treatment once a week until you get your hair where you want it. Then you can deep condition only when you need it. Most people only need it once or twice a month.
Can you see the difference? I can! My hair doesn't look like it was abandoned in the desert anymore. It even feels better.
Before. Dried out and frizzy.
 After. The lighting's not so great, but you can immediately see that the hair is moisturized and there's zero frizz. If you could see it in person, you'd notice there's a HUGE change in deeper color and lots of shine. Try it and see!
Happier endings :) Still need trimming, but they're not dried out anymore.
You'll love your shiny, soft, dandruff free hair! If you try these recipes, I'd love to know how they work for you. Now that you have the recipes you can head to the store and grab whatever ingredients you don't have on hand in time for your next Spa Night. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Window Shopping Wednesday -- Sharon Tomlinson

I'd like to showcase one of my favorite artists here, named Sharon Tomlinson.  I discovered her a long time ago on YouTube and then found her blog quite by accident.  Since I believe that there are no coincidences, I decided that it was meant for me to follow her work.  Since then, not only do I follow her blog, but I took one of her online classes and I watch all of her videos.  She posts "morning art" videos on her blog--these are just little snippets of her working before she goes to work every morning.  I simply love her work; her ladies are not only beautiful, but seem other-wordly to me.

Please feel free to follow her blog at Norah's Art and leave her a comment when you visit.  She will respond and she is the epitome of the Texas lady.  I know you will enjoy talking to her.


Here is just an small example of this wonderful woman's work:

 Be sure to check out her new classes on Ning, too!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial -- Paper Mache Birds

Here is the tutorial on making paper mache birds. I cannot wait to try these. I simply love birds and I don't know why. These look like they are simple and fun to make. If you try these, let me see how yours turn out, okay?

This is from that artist woman. I hope you enjoy the tutorial!! Please click over to her blog and leave her a nice comment, won't you.  Her blog is very interesting and fun.


I guess I have a bird theme going here.

These are some cute paper mache birds we made recently.

They have wire feet which allow you to clamp them on an edge like a flowerpot or piece of driftwood or have them free standing.

- newspaper
- tape
- paper towel
-  reg. white school and tacky glue
- water and recycled container
- thin cardboard from a cereal box
- wax paper
- acrylic or tempera paint
- fine markers
- sealer like Mod Podge (optional)
- med. gauge wire
- embroidery thread or yarn

Take a quarter sheet of newspaper and crush into a pear shape.

Tape into place.  You can twist out a beak shape, click on this photo to enlarge to see this.

Cut some paper towel into strips about 1/2 an inch wide or so.  Pour some white school glue into a recycled container and add water in a 1 to 1 ratio. Mix well. Dip the strips into the glue mixture and start covering your bird.

With paper mache you want to overlap your strips for strength and smooth them down as you go.  Use a few dry strips to soak up excess glue.  That way your bird will take less time to dry you just want it moist not sopping.

Leave to dry in a warm place overnight...turn once to ensure even drying.

Out of thin cardboard from a cereal or cracker box cut out a wing shape...I used a teardrop shape.  Cut out a tail shape as well.

Take the cardboard shapes and cover in a coat of paper mache.

Leave to dry.

Paint with acrylic or tempera.

We used a basecoat first and then added additional color on top.

For the feather and eye detail you can either paint it in with a fine paintbrush or use fine sharpies after the paint has dried.

Younger kids to better with the markers.

If you want a shiny coat you can add a coat of mod podge but you might want to wait until after you add the legs.  This way it can stand up while drying.

To make the feet take piece of wire about 16 inches or so.  I don't what gauge this wire is as the label was missing but it's soft enough to bend with your fingers but firm enough to hold the shape without collapsing.

Make a foot shape with 4 toes and then twist the 2 ends of the wire together to form the leg.

Trim them down and bend in the knees.  Remember a bird's knee bends backwards.

I like the look of the silver foot but I wanted to add some color to the legs so we wrapped them with embroidery thread.  You could also use yarn.  Take the end of the thread and loosely wrap from the top of the leg down, double back and wrap tightly now.

When you reach the top knot off.

Using an awl or a knitting needle punch holes for the legs.

Put some tacky glue on them.

Push the leg thru the glue into the hole (remember the knees are backwards).

Add some more glue if needed.

Let dry. 

Here is the one my 7yr old made.

That's it.They look pretty realistic once the legs are on.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Mood

Today has been a lost day.  I worked this weekend on night shift, so for the last three days I have averaged about 4-5 hours of sleep.  Today was no different and I am so tired.  I did get some reading done and I managed to take care of the dogs, but I really don't have the energy today to do anything else. 

Tomorrow, I hope to paint.  I want to start my art journal and I really an excited about it.  I also read a tutorial about making paper mache birds that I really want to try.  But, that will have to wait until tomorrow because tonight I am just worn out.

I hope your Monday has been more productive and enjoyable.  Keep doing art!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Videos for a lazy Friday!

 Since I am having so much trouble getting started, I think I will go back to basics.  Art journaling is a great way to get your mind free and loose.  Here are some videos from a few of my favorite artists online.  I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artist Block -- Who me?

In case you haven't noticed, I went on vacation and apparently never returned.  I am having trouble getting myself back into the swing of things.  I haven't been keeping up my blogs, I haven't been doing any art, I haven't been reading good books or watching any good movies.  I just seem to go through my days in some sort of fog, performing necessary activities only.  I work, I pay bills, I walk the dogs, etc.  The only thing I find any time for is to sit in front of this computer.  I look at everything, it really doesn't matter the subject matter.  The computer is a treasure trove for trivia driven information and the computer can eat up large blocks of time. 

They say that acknowledging the problem is the first step, so here goes.  I am forcing myself to update all of my blogs today.  I am committing to keeping them updated at least twice a week.  I will spend no more than 2 hours a day just "playing" on the computer -- mostly I like to read about setting up websites and such.

I am going to make myself set aside a specific block of time each week to work on my art projects.  If I still cannot get going, then I will make myself sit there at my craft desk for the allotted time.  I want to paint, I just cannot get myself to start doing it, so maybe that will help.

So, with all of this in mind, I received an email today that resonated with me.  I am posting some of it here in case you are struggling with any of these issues.  I hope you find it helpful.


14 Days of Art Prompts

1. Be inspired by your breakfast: Use the
colors from your cereal box to start your next piece.

2. Use a mirror: Place a mirror on your work
surface and make a painting by looking into the mirror.

3. Draw without looking: Draw a still life in a
journal with your eyes closed.

4. Make a book: Google book binding and try
a new binding technique.

5. Add glitter to something: Try German glitter
glass or cut-glass glitter for a vintage look.

6. Create a Packing Tape Transfer: Place a piece
of packing tape over a photocopy image and rub
off the paper backing with a wet sponge.

7. Use old supplies: Use a supply in your studio
that you haven’t used in at least 6 months.

 8. Make a stencil: Take a picture of your
favorite pet (or person) in profile and make
a silhouette stencil.

9. Tear it up: Grab an old book and tear it up.
See what you can build/cover/create with the

10. Fold it up: Try a piece of origami, search
online for directions. Try it with vintage sheet
music or even fabric paper.

11. Go opposite: Use the colors on the opposite
side of the color wheel from your go-to palette.

12. Work big: Grab a piece of paper at least twice
as big as you usually work on, and stretch yourself.

13. Work small: Sharpen your pencils, and grab your
.005 Pigma® Micron pens and magnifying glass, and
work small.

14. Carve it out: Take a moment to make your own
artist stamp by carving an eraser with a craft knife.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Watch Gritty Jane as she paints--amazing!

You can follow her on YouTube at GrittyArts; you can follow her blog at ; you can join her on her Ning site Cloth and Clay Dolls where you can enroll in online classes.

She is one of my all time favorite artists and I hope you enjoy watching her, too.