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Hello Spring “Nest” Canvas

Spring is my favorite season of the year. I love how the days get warmer and longer.  There is something magical about seeing everything starting to bud and bloom.  You can tell by my painting palette that these are also some of my favorite colors….the soft pastels, and vibrant clear colors of spring. I also love the smells of the season from the smell of the earth thawing and coming to life, to the sweet smell of the blossoms. And then there are the birds….I love seeing them make their nest, lay their eggs, and then their little families learning to fly.

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Valentine Wine Glasses

Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make an occasion special….and we all appreciate when someone makes the effort for us.  This design is super quick and can be put on wine glasses like I am showing you. Think about all the other valentine gifts you could make using this design… it could also be put on coffee mugs, an ornament, votive candle holder, a glass jar holding cookies or even on a card.

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Being More Creative

Many times I seem to get into creative slumps. This year I found two things that helped me be more creative.

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On the first day of November a post that I shared to my timeline from the year before showed up as a memory in my Facebook news feed. It was a challenge to make time for art every day even if only for a few minutes.  It tugged at my heart and I mentioned the challenge to my husband who encouraged me to do it.  I reluctantly posted on Facebook the challenge and asked if anyone wanted to join me.  To be accountable I then posted updates on my Jane Allen Creates Facebook page.

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Glass Glitter Houses

Last year I did a post on creating glitter houses which turned out to be very popular.  Many of my friends and family were inspired to create their own houses or have me teach them.

This year I am up to my eyeballs in glitter. 🙂  Our family made glitter houses after thanksgiving dinner, I am teaching two full classes at a local shop, and I have made houses to sell in the shop which after a week are almost sold out.

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Happy Thanksgiving from our House to Yours

I love the colors of fall and how the season encourages us to reflect on our blessings.  So today I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope my sharing of ideas,  both decorating, creating and recipes are a blessing and encouragement to you and your family and friends. Every time I get a comment or a new follower I am encouraged to keep sharing….and when someone tells me they tried a recipe or project and liked it I am over the moon.   Thank you!

Today I thought I would share a few glimpses of my fall décor before I dive into decorating for Christmas.

These two decorate my patio and front door.  The hose lady is a Shara Reiner design and the scarecrow is by Maxine Thomas.

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Shrinky Dink Jewels

A few years ago I was looking for something new to do with my grand niece Sheena when we went to visit her in San Francisco.   I am not even sure where the idea came from but I decided to take some shrinky dinks along to play with.  We made a lot of projects but mostly jewelry, and we made many trips to the craft store to get more supplies. 😊

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HOOT – A Painting Convention

I am sorry that I have not been posting for a while.  I put a lot of pressure on myself the last three and a half months, working on a book, and preparing to have a booth at Heart of Ohio Tole Painters Convention (HOOT).

I did the book with my friend Amy Mogish.  Not only did I design and paint the pieces for the book, but my husband and I did the photography for the book and I did the desktop publishing.  It was a wonderful learning experience and I enjoyed the process. On top of that I coordinated a Multi-author book.

janeandamycoversm       Allen_Mixed Media Xmas.indd

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Using the Gifts You are Given

I don’t know about you but sometimes it is easy to get discouraged with our art (or whatever your gift is).  It is easy to look at what others are doing and think what we are doing is not the right thing or our art doesn’t measure up; or, even worse, have others tell us what we are doing isn’t good enough, or that we should be doing something else. Continue reading Using the Gifts You are Given

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Spring Houses

When I was out shopping at Micheals I saw these cute houses.  I immediately had an idea of what I would like to paint on them.  When I got home I keep thinking about the cute flower cut outs they had and how they would make fun rooves on the houses.  So back to Michaels and then I started working on my updated idea.  If you don’t have a Michaels available to you, the houses could be cut from 2×4’s and the roof could be made out of scrape book paper glued to a heavier paper and cut out.

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My Best Posts so far…

One of the blogs that I follow is Jennifer Rizzo and she is looking for monthly contributors for recipes, crafting and home decorating.  To find out more about the contest go to her blog post Jennifer Rizzo Contributor Call-Out

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To enter you have to do a post showing your three best posts.  Since I do all three, I will show my three best post for each.

Continue reading My Best Posts so far…

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Painting Donuts

Normally I paint from a pattern or sketch from photo references, but sometimes it is fun to set up a still life and paint from it….so why not paint donuts.

The best part about painting donuts is having to buy a “collection” of fresh donuts to sketch and then eat them. 😀 Since my husband was more than willing to help and anxious to get started, I took pictures. I stacked them and also took pictures singularly from the top, side and at an angle.  After photographing many donuts I decided on these three.

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Decorating for the New Year

Once Christmas was over my home looked a little bare, but how to decorate?  Should I do snowies, a touch of spring or something creative.  You will see that I did a little of all three.  And since I design and also enjoy painting other people’s designs you will find a lot of Art in my decorating.

And since I am posting this in the middle of a huge snow storm I am glad that I did not over due the snowies.  This is a picture of my living room/dining room.  I went with a lot of green here, especially on the mantel but you can see I have a little snow fairy.

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Clothespin Snowies

I was moving some things around in my basement when I found the starts to these clothes pin snow people and thought you might enjoy creating them. You will need a few clothes pins, toothpicks, doll stands, some twigs for arms, butterfly stickers for wings, paint, glitter, glue, ribbon and tulle and any other embellishments you would like.  If you don’t have them already, you can get most of these supplies at your local craft store.

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Making a Birthday Canvas

Our family was celebrating my nieces 50th birthday on New Year’s day.  I wanted to do something special for her so I decided to make a mixed media Birthday canvas.  I had a general idea of what I wanted to do and was able to find the needed supplies at my local crafts store.  I started with a 5x7x2 wooden canvas (you could use a regular canvas), I wanted to put her age on the canvas, her initial, a crown, and possibly feet on the project so she could sit it on a table.

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Making Glitter Houses

I posted a picture on Facebook of me and a young friend making glitter houses, a number of people seemed interested in how they were made so I thought I would show you.  You are probably thinking this is too close to Christmas is she crazy…..but this could really be a fun project/ memory with your children, grandchildren or a special friend over vacation break.  In fact in would be fun to do every year and watch how their art changes as they grow.  When they leave home they will have their own Christmas village, much more valuable than any they could buy.

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Christmas House Tour 2015

This year I am linking my Christmas house tour to Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday House walk 2015 link party. Please stop over to her blog to see other wonderful holiday homes by clicking on the image below or by clicking Here.

linkgraphicFor those of you who don’t know me, I am a decorative painter.  I will paint something and then make a pattern and instructions so that others can paint my designs.  I also enjoy painting other people’s designs.  If you are interested in learning to paint, decorative painting is a great way to start.  You can contact the Society of Decorative Painters to find a teacher or a chapter in your local area or you can contact a local painting shop to see if they offer classes . Also today there are many online classes that you can take and learn at your own pace.

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Playing with Glitter

My friend Amy Mogish (visit her blog at http://classicamyjoanne.com/) and I went to a glitter class with Miss Mustard Seed aka Marian Parsons.  We used MMS’s German Glass Glitter which has an extra sparkle, you can find it on her web site.  It was such a fun relaxing class and the process is pretty simple:

  1. Place white glue were you want glitter.
  2. Sprinkle on glue with glitter.
  3. Shake off excess glitter.
  4. Repeat.

It is amazing how many things you can glitter in 2 hours. I had painted a small house and put clear glitter all over it, plus letters for two banners, snowflakes and pine cones.  These few projects added a lot of glitz to my holiday decorating.

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Marian had given me some old music pages which I wanted to put my one set of letters on.  Since the paper was fragile I glue it to some heavier banners that I bought at Michaels.  I then glued the letters to them.

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Advent Tree of Service

Last year I had read on Jeanne Oliver’s blog that her family had a service advent tree.  Instead of receiving a little gift or treat to count down the days until Christmas, they did an act of service for someone each day.  I love the idea and thought I would try it this year.  You could use any tree and attach stars on it each day but I thought I would make one.

I found these wonderful kraft stars at Michaels.  I did not want to completely paint them, but I wanted a little bling so I flyspecked them with two shades of gold metallic paint.  I used DecoArt Metallics – Emperor’s Gold and Splendid Gold.

image Continue reading Advent Tree of Service

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Tips on Trimming Your Christmas Tree

If you haven’t started already, I am sure you will soon be decorating for Christmas.  For most of us the focal point in the room is the tree.  There is no right or wrong way to decorate a Christmas tree, but I follow some basics steps on every tree I put up.   I hope these decorating tips will be helpful to you.

I always sit my tree on a towel, so that it is easy to move around if needed.  I begin by fluffing and shaping the tree.  If you use a real tree you can skip this step and just turn the best side forward.

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A pre-lit tree can be wonderful as long as the lights work.  I prefer a tree without lights.  If a string of lights goes bad you can easily replace them.  It also allows you to change out the color and type of light from season to season.

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Festive Fall Pedestal – DIY

I love to display things on pedestals.  When I was at Micheal’s (You can see by now that I go there too often) I found the little wooden pedestal and thought it would work with a cake pan on top.  You could use any type pan.  I wanted something with straight sides so it would be a little easier to cover with scrapbook paper.  The pan I used is the 8″ tray available from Della and Company

pedgettingstarted Continue reading Festive Fall Pedestal – DIY

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Say It With Pumpkins – DIY

I found this metal heart at Micheal’s and thought it would be fun to spell out some words with the heart symbolizing “love” or “heart”.  For example you could spell out GRATEFUL “heart”, THANKFUL “heart”, FALL “love” or WHO “loves” YOU.  I am sure you can also think of other combinations to spell out.  So first I had to figure out what I was going to spell out so I would know how many pumpkin blocks I would need. I had my husband cut out 8 sections of 2×4,  4 1/2″ long and sand them with a hand sander.  He then drilled a hole in the center top for the stems.  I cut tree branches 3″ long for the stems trying to keep them all about the same diameter.

Step1supplies Continue reading Say It With Pumpkins – DIY

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Fall Owl Painting – DIY

As you saw on my fall decorating blog post I have an “owl” thing going this year.  I didn’t plan it, it just happen.  I guess that means owls are big this year.  See Fall house tour – the Beginning and Fall house tour- The rest.

I wanted a painting of an owl, but wanted to keep is simple so I sketched out an owl and sized it to my canvas. I used a square canvas 24″x24″ and painted it Lamp Black (I used DecoArt paints). You could scale it to any size canvas.  I then positioned my owl and traced it on.  I outlined him in chalk so that you could see him better.  I decided I wanted him to sit on a tree branch and have a moon showing through the branches.  I cut a circle out of white paper for the moon and laid it in place.  Them using a piece of chalk I traced around the moon and freehand the trees and branches.

owlgetting started Continue reading Fall Owl Painting – DIY

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Chalk Paint and Gold Leaf Pumpkins – DIY

This year I have been seeing a lot of really wonderful looking pumpkins painted with chalk paint so I thought I would give it a try.  I went to my local craft store and bought some of the craft pumpkins and some bottles of chalk paint in the colors I thought I would like them.  I wanted my pumpkins to be a little funky and glitzy so I also purchase gold leafing and adhesive.  I bought as many as I could in white so that the coverage would be easy.

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Sharing Art – Blessing Others

A little while ago I share a mixed media project that I felt would be a good way to introduce others to art.  You can see the blog post here.  The beginning of the month some ladies from my painting chapter Penn’s Woods Painters and myself did this project at the Ronald McDonald house in our area.  The project was open to patients and family members.  These are the happy faces of our helpers.

carollindabarb Continue reading Sharing Art – Blessing Others

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Welcome Fall

I have been trying to decorate the outside of my home for a few weeks, but it seems many things are against me.  First I bought mums that were late blooming, so that I could have them longer.  The only thing is they are not blooming for my pictures.  Then it started raining and kept up for days.  So the one morning I got up it had stopped raining and even though it was cloudy I decided to take pictures.  Well, that day the fountain pump broke.  So next year I will have pictures of the fountain running…maybe.

!1FrontpathThe one thing I love this year is how lovely my annuals are looking for fall.  The front walk way is lined with orange and pink lantanas.

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Learning from others online

This weekend I was browsing through Pinterest and found the work of Karen Milstein http://www.fadedwest.com/.  I loved her faces and saw that she offered online classes so without hesitation I signed up for the simply painting faces.  I watched the videos and did the project with the supplies that I had on hand.  This is my results:

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Karen paints with gesso using pastels, water soluble pencils and crayons and some craft paints to add pigment.  She adds lots of layers with the gesso. Her technique was new to me, yet I found with her instructions it was easy to do and I was pleased with my results.  It was a fun relaxing project and I learned so many new things.

The wonderful thing about online classes is you can take them anytime and place and many of them give you unlimited access.

Happy Painting,

Jane

PS. I would love to hear about your favorite online classes.

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Share the LOVE of ART

A while ago I was asked to do an artsy project for a bachelorette party, that would be reasonably priced and would suit someone who had not painted before or very little. Something to have fun together.  I decided to incorporate mixed media elements into the piece and use stencils and scrapbook paper for the basic shapes. The project went well and everyone was happy with their ART.  Many were amazed at themselves…what a fun way to introduce others to the LOVE of ART.

Since doing this my painting chapter is going to be doing a similar project for Ronald McDonald house and I will be leading a workshop at my church’s woman’s retreat.  I thought you might also like to share this project with others.

stepfinalThere is no set way to do this project, you can add or eliminate steps.  I will share with you my process.  I started with a 9×12 canvas.  Using Matt Medium or Deco-Page glued paper to the canvas.  Using an old gift card I pushed the wrinkles out of the paper and then allowed it to dry.  (to speed things up I like to have a hairdryer handy),  I used Tim Holtz tissue papers on the background, but you could use book pages, sheet music or scrapbook papers.  When working on this project adding a coat of medium between layers will make it easier to wipe away any mistakes. Continue reading Share the LOVE of ART

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Still time to paint for fall

The days are getting cooler and I know that we are all anxious to get our homes decorated for fall.  How can we not be with all the merchandise being out in the stores for what seems like months.  In fact it makes us feel like we have already missed our window of opportunity. …but that is so not true.  We even have time to start painting a new piece or two for this year.  If you are looking for some great ideas you can find them in the new book Della presents

“Celebrating Fall with Friends”.Celebrate Fall cover copysm

These are pictures of the projects in the book, I think you will enjoy them. Continue reading Still time to paint for fall

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Making it yours…the beginning of designing

This weekend I was at a painting seminar at my local chapter with Amy Mogish.  We had  time to chat as we were prepping our pieces and one of the girls said that she just realized recently that she could make designs her own by changing things instead of making it exactly the way the teacher did hers.

When I thought about it I realize this is the beginning of designing.  First we use a different surface, then a different color on a few elements.  Next we are combining a few patterns to create a project…..and then we try our hand at making our own designs.

I had made some changes to Amy’s original design “Simple Goodness” which was placed on a tin cake stand.  I wanted to place mine on a canvas because I was going to put it  beside an antique cake stand that was my mothers.

Amy's original design on cake stand
Amy’s original design on cake stand

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Packing up Christmas 2014

If you remember from my first house tour post I had an empty stable.  Around the end of November I had mentioned to my husband that I might paint a nativity for the front yard.  I had the wood cut a number of years ago.  Before I knew it he build me a stable.  I had finished painting it a few days before Christmas.  Here is a picture of the whole yard with the nativity and also a close up.

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#nativity

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Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 2

Before I took you on a tour of my Living Room and Dinning Room, this week I thought I would show you the rest of my decorating.  We will start in my living room and family room which is one large room.  You can see by the colors in the room that I like to use red in my decorating here, but there are a few balls with pink on them. Can’t help myself. 🙂

This is a view from our family room into the kitchen.

&kit1 Continue reading Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 2

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Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 1

Hello Everyone,
It has been a while since I posted on my blog. My husband Al and I have been busy decorating our house for Christmas and I thought you might enjoy a little tour. As some of you know pink is my favorite color. So Al being the good husband put pink and white lights outside.  The little structure to the right of the front window is a manger that Al has built for me for a nativity that I am painting.  I still have a lot of painting to do so I will update pictures of the nativity a little later. (not sure what year :))
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!outside1 Continue reading Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 1