Personalized Name Art (and Animal Print Download)

How to Make Personalized Name Art (with Animal Print Download) via #silhouette #diy #tutorial #baby


I haven’t made one of these in a while!  I just finished this “Courtney” painting for my niece for Christmas:


Here is Boo’s original one I made with a Peter Rabbit inspired theme:


They aren’t very hard to make with a little patience because they are done in steps!  Here’s a gallery of ones that I’ve made for some ideas and links to other tutorials:

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DIY Reclaimed Wood American Flag

DIY American Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


Here’s another painting I did last weekend from reclaimed wood….a rustic American Flag for our outdoor living area. It took under 45 minutes to paint:

Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


The only labor intensive part was making the canvas from a reclaimed wood pallet. First, the pallet was dismantled and then the pieces were attached to two boards: [Read more…]

Make Sure Your Heart Notifies Your Face

I’ve been wanting to repaint the main living area in our house for a while now. I distressed all the walls a few years ago and I’m kind of over the glazed look.  I’ve been adding paint colors to a few walls and last week I picked out a new greyish-beige color I thought would be a great change…..only to discover….. as Boo painted it on the wall…… that it’s: almost. the. exact. same. color. as the original beige color.  Basically I went from beige……to beige. Risky!

Painting beige.....over beige. via

It was a very productive weekend.  I narrowed down 3 shades of grey tones.  I like a very neutral, monochromatic living space.  Mr. LBB would love color….but he knows where to pick his battles. He’ll be happy if I just finally pick a color and stop painting patches randomly on walls around the house. He had to work again all weekend.  Boo loves to go to work with him and he took her with him for a few hours on Saturday.  Around lunchtime, I heard the truck drive up the driveway. I looked out the kitchen window and saw: Boo standing in her underwear, crying hysterically, and Mr. LBB frantically scooping strawberry milkshake out of the side of his truck in the 102 degree humidity. So what did I do? I kept eating my veggies and dip…..watching……with a tiny bit of amusement.

I’ve created a little mini me by the way. She is constantly working on projects…..and she leaves them everywhere.

Me: Why does she always have to start a new project right before bedtime?
Mr. LBB: Maybe because she’s your daughter…..look in the mirror.

A trail of clutter via

Forget the tupperware box…..I started threatening to throw anything that was left on the floor away without warning.

Cleaning up after my kid via

Since last Thursday I’ve had a total of 4 doctor’s appointments.  I’m doctored out…..but they were all just making sure things were okay.  My new GynOnc Dr. H is monitoring my ovaries and making sure the cyst that was causing so much discomfort is just that…..a cyst. I had an ECHO today to make sure my heart is okay after all that chemo and because Dr. Y thought my heart murmur sounded more pronounced…..but everything looks totally normal. Despite 23 rounds of chemotherapy, my ticker is still going strong with no signs of muscle weakness. Maybe I’ll go run a marathon now. I also had a gazillion vials of blood drawn to check everything else since I “lost time” (that’s a Primal Fear movie reference in case you missed it). I guess I’m about the only person that thought randomly passing out didn’t seem like a big deal.

I spent some of the weekend working on a new Choose Joy necklace design.  It’s my first real venture into jewelry.  The reason I’m so excited about it? Because I’m taking a trip up to Northern California to document the process of it being made. I know you all love behind the scenes as much as I do……so I’m making kind of a mini-documentary of it…..a “How it’s Made.” I know it seems so far away……but they will be available around mid-August.

Oh, and speaking of joy…..I heard the following in church yesterday:

Make sure your heart notifies your face via

So true. Choose joy…..but make sure your heart and face are communicating. That’s the only way to spread it.

P.S. A few ways to keep that joy while cleaning up after your kid.


How To Spraypaint Graffiti Furniture

Spraypaint graffiti furniture tutorial via


Boo’s graffiti-themed desk is finally finished and in use….it’s like a piece of whimsical artwork in her playroom:

Graffiti Spraypaint desk tutorial1 via

This is a super easy tutorial because if you mess up you just go with it! I started out with a $49 desk I found at the thrift store:

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“Spin-spiration” Folk Art (A Tutorial)


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via


When I first found a used lazy susan at the thrift store, I envisioned making it into a piece of “spin-able” art….but the first one was way to large and heavy to hang safely onto the wall (so it was turned into the wine-barrel lazy susan). I bought a slightly smaller 18″ lazy susan, and made this fun piece of Sticks-inspired art.  On the Lil Blue Boo Facebook page I asked people to fill in the blank “I am____” and got some great words and phrases to use (Boo’s contribution was “Iron Man”):


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

The lazy susan was painted to be a fun piece of wall art that Boo can turn every day and pick her mood:

Today I will be……awesome.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

This was a fairly simple project that took about 3 hours in total.  The carving was easier than I thought it would be with my new rotary tool and accessory kit:

Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

I also had my expert painter Boo as my helper. The key to painting with a 4-year-old is letting them paint freely and then just fix any large mistakes after the fact….when they aren’t looking.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

Here’s how the art piece was made:

Photos 1, 2 & 3: I used a pencil to sketch my design out.
Photo 4: With a rotary tool, I started carving. I found that it is easiest to carve a faint line to serve as a guide and then carve deeper on your second pass.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

Photos 5, 6 and 7: I carved all the designs out. They don’t have to be perfect…..I like slightly imperfect!
Photo 8: I used a block sander to clean up any rough edges.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

Photos 11 & 12: I blocked in the main colors using basic acrylic craft paint. I like to paint “imperfectly” for character. I let Boo paint the black and white border.
Photo 13: After all the colors were blocked in, I let the piece dry.
Photo 14: I used gloss varnish…..


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

Photo 15: …..and painted a light coat over the whole piece to protect the colors from the glazing step.
Photo 16: I carved out excess paint from the designs.
Photo 17 & 18: I made a glaze of black liquid acrylic and added some water. I worked it into the designs, quickly wiping off the excess with a damp cloth.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via


The finished painted piece!


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via


Using my Silhouette machine, I cut out the words “Today I will be” and applied the quote to the wall above where the lazy susan would hang:


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via


Some heavy hanging hardware was used to attach the lazy susan to the wall:


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via


Today I will be……on cloud 9.


Spin-spiration DIY Folk Art using a Lazy Susan via

Accidental Painting (A Tutorial)

Each and every time I finish one of these little hardboard nursery paintings I laugh a little at how “accidental” they are. I don’t plan them ahead of time…..and I never quite know how they will turn out until I’m about 80% done with them.


I took photos as I painted this recent painting to show my design process. I always start with just a basic light color. It’s easy to paint over and allows me to use the broadest range of colors.



I usually print out a few different mixed fonts and sizes of each name letter and cut them out so I can visualize the layout.



I start with the first and last letter and then fill the center letters in.



I kind of have a theme in my head….like flowers, or animals, or geometric shapes. For this particular painting I was trying to match some floral bedding so I started by sketching what I thought would be the largest objects in the painting: flowers.



Before I even have the rest of the painting planned I’ll start blocking in large areas of color:



I even start outlining letters and detail:



The first thing I noticed about this painting was the large empty space at the top. It needed something large and sweeping… I added a bee  spelling out “sweet girl.”



To unify the painting, and add some cohesion between the flowers and letters, I added some large circles. I grabbed a few random objects in different sizes to trace:

I then blocked in the circles with colors that would balance the painting. If an orange flower is on one side of the painting, I try to pull some orange to the other side of the painting by painting one of the circles. Light blue circles balance the blue “S” and pink and yellow pull the other colors around the painting:



I then started to add some more detail in the painting using my black paint pen….like the dotted line pattern in the large circles:



Tiny white dot flowers were a good way to subtly fill in some of the background area:



More detail:



The letter “a” looked bare and a little too mustardy so I added some white polka dots. I added a few white polka dots throughout the background as well as some dark pink dot flowers. The last thing I added was a dotted line throughout the painting as if the bee had flown through almost every letter….an easy way to help unify the painting:



Once the painting portion is finished, I placed little butterfly buttons throughout and marked them once I was happy with their location:



The last thing I do is drill and sew the buttons and embellishments on:



This “accidental” painting is for my new niece Sloan!


I float frame every painting myself…..see my other tutorials to see how to easily frame your own with a professional look!



Don’t even know where to start? Take a look at these:


Painting a “Monet” (A Tutorial)

Paint a Monet-inspired work via


I love painting small pieces of artwork. They are quick, easy and a great way to decorate bare walls. The painting in this tutorial is inspired by one of Monet’s water lily paintings:



The finished “inspired” painting….it took about an hour from start to finish:


Paint a Monet-inspired painting via


Materials needed:

Note: all of these materials can be found at most craft and hobby stores
9″ x 12″ Gessobord (or primed hardboard)
Acrylic craft paints (purple, white, mint green and slate blue)
Water soluble crayons (blue and green)
2-step crackle glaze
Willow or vine charcoal


**The key to a quick painting is to use your non-dominant hand. You will lose some control over your painting ability and the painting strokes will look better….promise!**

I broke this painting down into easy steps:

Step 1 & 2: Cover a piece of 9×12″ hardboard with purple acrylic paint. Work in long strokes….the coverage does not have to be perfect.
Step 3: Using willow charcoal (this can be painted over unlike pencil or graphite) draw out some circular water lily shapes.
Step 4: Using a mint green and a dry paint brush fill in the water lilies as best you can…..don’t try too hard to get it perfect….leaving some bare spots  is preferred.



Step 5 & 6: Mix a blue-gray color and fill in the larger areas. Again, the uneven coverage of paint is preferred and using a dry brush will help get this effect.
Step 7 & 8: Using a blue water crayon (water soluble)….outline the areas of the water lilies focusing mostly on the bottom edges.



Step 9: The outlines of the water lilies.
Step 10 & 11: Using the water crayons draw some sweeping strokes around some of the water lilies.
Step 12: Mix a slightly later shade of the blue-gray that was used for the water and use it to fill the water lilies using an uneven coverage.



Step 13: Using the same color, fill in the rest of the water again.
Step 14: Mix white into the blue-gray color to lighten it and fill in the water lilies again to lighten them up. Uneven coverage will allow hints of the colors underneath to show through.
Step 15 & 16: Using the same color, switch to a smaller brush and some water, sketch the circular shapes of the water lilies to add some texture.


Step 17 & 18: Using a mostly white, paint in a few water lily flowers using a few thick vertical strokes.
Step 19: Sketch shadows underneath the water lilies using a blue water crayon.
Step 20: Sketch “water current” using blue and green water crayons.


I let Boo draw most of the water current…..if a toddler can do it, you can too… no “I can’t paint” excuses!



Step 21: Using a damp brush, blur the blue crayon shadows.
Step 22: Using the same shade of blue-gray for the water as before, paint over the “water current” sketchings lightly.
Step 23: Let the painting dry thoroughly and shake up your 2 step crackle paint to get ready for the next step.
Step 24: Apply the 2 step crackle finish and let dry.



Step 25 & 26: Once the crackle glaze has dried, mix a watery brown color (I prefer Golden Liquid Acrylics) and apply to the painting .
Step 27: Use a rag or paper towel to remove excess glaze.
Step 28: Let painting dry thoroughly.


Applying Glaze and Crackle Finish via


A finished Monet-inspired painting!


How to Paint a Distressed Painting via


Here are a few other painting tutorials I’ve done…..check them out if you get a chance!