Friday, October 27, 2017

Alice in Wonderland Garden Plates

I'm a huge fan of MacKenzie Childs, the amazing ceramics and hand painted furniture makers from upstate New York.  When I saw the collection of enamel botanical plates, I was immediately inspired to create a set with my own favorite vintage floral images.  Instead of using a black and white checkerboard accent, I opted for a distressed harlequin.  For some reason these plates remind me of Alice in Wonderland, so that's what I called them.  Order up some wood plates from Walnut Hollow, print out my images here, and you can have a set of amazing chargers for years to come!  Remember to make your dinner table amazing and always Make Your Mark!
 I can't wait to host a dinner with these!
 I love the mix of prints!
Table set for four!
Watch how I made them here! 
Americana Acrylic Paint
Spray bottle with water
1.  Paint the plates front and back and let dry
2.  Carefully cut out your prints
3. & 4.  Trace the curved edge on each piece and cut
5.  Match the curved edges of the cutouts to the edge of each plate and crease the cutout along the center rim of the plate
6.  Clip the cutout up to the crease leaving the rim of the plate in tact
7. Mist the cut outs front and back
8. & 9. Spread Americana Decoupage on the back of the moist image and adhere to the plate
10.  Once you have your plate the way you want it, carefully draw a gold rim around the edge with a metallic paint marker
11.  Coat each plate with Dura Clear Gloss Varnish and let dry
12.  Serve up some dinner!

I think Alice would approve!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fashion Drawing Made Easy

Many of you know I was a fashion designer for most of my career.  I loved it, but working with fabric just wasn't enough for me.  I wanted to work with wood, paper, paint, glitter, and whatever else I could get my hands on.  Even though I left fashion long ago, I still sketch dresses whenever I have some down time.  Today I thought I'd share with you just how easy fashion sketching is if you have a croqui and some good supplies.  I'm using Marabu's Graphix Aqua Pens which turn into watercolor if you wet them.  This is a terrific way to get an awesome fashion illustration worthy of your wall!  To start, you'll want to print out my fashion croqui below.  This croqui is the key to a terrific sketch every time!  A little practice and you'll be the next Valentino or Chanel, I just know it!  Remember, practice makes perfect and never forget to Make Your Mark!
 A few framed sketches!  LIKE the Marabue FB page and you're entered to win one!
Ready to frame!

Watch how easy it is to fashion sketch here!
Watercolor paper
Round brushes
Sewing pattern paper
Dollar store frames
1. - 3.  Place watercolor paper over the croqui and with pencil, sketch your dream dress using the body as a guide
*Look at fashion magazines to see how fabric falls if you're stuck
4. & 5.  Fill in the dress with the Graphix Aqua Pens leaving lots of white space and concentrating on the creases and outline
6.  Using a clean brush with water, spread the lines inward to color the sketch
7. - 9.  Repeat on the 2nd dress and hair
10.  Add details on the face like eye shadow and lipstick
11.  Trace over the pencil lines with a black Graphix Fine Liner
12. Cut an old sewing pattern into 3" x 4" pieces
13.  Decoupage on the frame back with Americana Decoupage
14. & 15.  Cut and glue a measuring tape around the edge on top of the decoupage pattern paper
16.  Tape your fashion sketch in the middle and snap the frame together
Print out on 8 1/2" x 11" copy paper

Make sure to LIKE the Marabu FB to be entered to win an original sketch!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Floral Painted Vases Inspired by Vera

I've always been a huge fan of Vera Neumann, the legendary designer and artist (1907–1993).  Her philosophy was that fine art should be accessible to everyone.  I love her use of color and whimsey and how her art touched everyone from Marilyn Monroe to almost every household in the US.  Scarves, napkins, sheets, tablecloths and clothing were just a few of the things she mass manufactured.  She was everywhere!  I painted these vases in her style (which has always served as inspiration to me) with my stash of glass vases that keep piling up in my pantry.  I know you have a few, too.  Why not use them as a canvas?  Remember to paint everything and always Make Your Mark!
I may use these for my pens and pencils
 Love how they look together!

Vera and one of her thousands of scarf designs
Watch my video here!
 Love this book!

Very Vera!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cardboard Mosaic Table with Gel Press

This project took a couple of days to make and it was worth it!  The longer a project takes to make, the more likely it is that I'll have it in my home for years to come.  Recently, on a fantasy furniture shopping expedition, I saw a 1960s mosaic table made with beautiful blue and green tiles.  It was $3000 dollars and as much as I LOVED it, I'd rather spend that kind of money on a  hair transplant and some new shoes.  Still, I couldn't get it out of my head.  Cut to me using my Gel Press to create cardboard tiles that had a very similar feel.  A thrift store table and some Glaze Coat and I had a 60s inspired mosaic table sitting in my living room!  I love it much more than the one I saw, too! Remember to find ways to create something if it's out of your budget and of course, always 
Styled and ready for company!
 Bare and beautiful!

Watch how to make it here!
Thrift store table
Famowood Glaze Coat (2 part epoxy resin)
Cardbaord & Masking tape
Sticker Paper (I used 11 sheets to cover this table)
1. - 3.  Trace the table top on a large sheet of paper and then fold in half and half again 3 times to create "pie slice" folds
4.  Mark out 1/4 of the pattern with a marker
5. & 6. Center and mark the stencil in the middle of the pattern and 1/2 of the stencil around the edges
*This will help with your tile placement later
7.  Paint the entire table in Americana Decor Gold and let dry while you work on the tiles
8. Fill squirt bottles with Americana Decor in Adirondack, Gold, Morning Glory and Lily Pad
9.  Squirt small amounts of Adirondack, Morning Glory and Lily Pad on your Gel Press and use a brayer to lightly spread the colors
10. - 12.  Place the sticker paper on top, bray the back so "print" the paint and then carefully remove the sticker paper to reveal beautiful mottled pages
13. - 16.  Place the Tribal stencil on the Gel Press, bray Adirondack and Gold over it, remove the stencil and then Gel Press the stencil on top of the mottled pages
17. - 20.  Stick the pages to cardboard and cut out and 1/2 circles (from your pattern) using a craft knife
21. & 22.  Use the pattern to center a full circle tile in the middle of the table and the 1/2 circles evenly around the edges and then glue in place with E-6000 Glue
23. & 24.  Cut the rest of the cardboard into "broken" tiles and fill the rest of the table with pieces about 1/8" apart
25. & 26.  Create a barrier/lip around the table with two rows of 2" wide masking tape
*Make sure it sticks all the way around
27. & 28.  Mix the resin according to directions (I used 2 quarts) and then pour evenly on the tiles
29. & 30.  Smooth out the resin with a foam brush and then pop the bubbles with a small torch or long arm lighter
*Cover and cure overnight
31.  Once the resin is cured, remove the tape and sand rough edges with a sander or sandpaper
32.  Coat the sanded edges with a thin layer of resin and let cure again overnight

So proud and worth the effort!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vintage Halloween Lanterns!

 Traditions Holiday Stores (awesome stores, btw) totally inspired me to make something for Halloween with a vintage flair.  Fortunately, there are TONS of vintage Halloween images to choose from on the Internet, so you can easily print them out for this project.  Hit the 99c store for 5" x 7" frames and for just a few dollars you can make these gorgeous, glowing lanterns for your table or front porch.  Fill them with battery operated candles and you're good to go!  BTW, I recently got a Cricut Maker and was able to make some super cute pumpkin trim to add a little more flair.   No worries if you don't have one, they will still look amazing!  Have fun this Halloween 
and remember to always Make Your Mark!
 Glowing and gorgeous!

 Add a creepy plastic crow and you're set!
8 dollar store frames
Optional:  Cricut Maker for trim
Vintage Halloween images
Watch how to make them here!
 Tiny pumpkins always make a table look festive!
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Paper Spiders for Halloween

I love the kooky, colorful side of Halloween.  For me, not everything has to be old bones and tombstones!  Here's a fun kid's project using old magazines, pipe cleaners and the best craft supply ever....GOOGLY EYES!  I made these for season 1 of my PBS show, Make Your Mark, which now has it's own YouTube channel!  Have fun this Halloween and don't forget to 
Make Your Mark!

Watch how to make them here!
Americana Multi-Surface Satin paints
Glue gun
Magazine pages
Pipe cleaners
Needle nose pliers and wire cutters (or old scissors)
White glue
Googly eyes
1. Roll 4" x 8" magazine pages into tubes and secure the ends with white glue
2. & 3. Roll one tube to make the head of the spider and 3 tubes to make the body of the spider
4.  Hot glue a small roll and large roll together to make the body of the spider
5.  Paint the bodies in different colors
6. & 7.  Cut the pipe cleaners in half and glue 4 pieces on the body of the spider
8.  Glue googly eyes on the heads
9. Shape the pipe cleaners for legs
 Creepy cute!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halloween Bird Costume

 Dressing up, eating candy, parties and pumpkins.....I love Halloween!  This year I wanted to make something special, so I decided on a bird costume with a mask.  There are a few versions of this out there, but I wanted to use some of my favorite colors of Oly-Fun.  I also wanted to make it as easy as possible.  Believe it or not, this is NO SEW!  It took some time to cut out the feathers, but once I got glueing I was on FIRE!  The best part is that the base is a long sleeve t-shirt and it's super comfy to wear.  Have a wonderful Halloween (save me some mini Snickers) and don't forget to 
Make Your Mark!
Julie rocking the bird!
Mother of birds!
1 yard of each
Dollar store Mardi Gras mask
Glue gun
Black fabric (I used a heavy black denim)
Watch how I made it here!
Julie unmasked! 
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Magazine Art Journals

For years I've been subscribing to a very expensive magazine called The World of Interiors.  I rarely splurge on things like this, but I'm addicted to this magazine and I have STACKS AND STACKS of them!  It has wonderful, inspiring photos and thick, gorgeous, glossy pages.  When it's time to declutter, I save my favorite issues and turn the rest into art journals.  For some reason because these art journals are recycled, I feel more at ease going CRAZY in them.  I fill them with tons of color, experiment with all kinds of paint techniques and have no guilt about "wasting" pages.  It's liberating!  I thought you might want to know how I make them so here it is.  Remember to find ways to re-use and recycle and to always MAKE YOUR MARK!
Just a few of my journals

Americana Acrylics are the best because they're matte and don't cause the pages to stick together!
Watch how to make them here! 
Magazines with thick paper (National Geographic works, too)
Citri Solv (Natural Cleaner)
1. & 2.  Mark and cut your magazine in half with a band saw
*I prefer a band saw to a jigsaw because it's easier to control the magazine
3. & 4.  Drill holes at the binding 1" from each edge and then thread and tie ribbon in a bow or knot
*This keeps the pages from falling out
5.  Coat each page in Citri Solv to dissolve the ink a little
6.  While wet, close the journal and let sit for about 20 minutes
*When you open the journal your pages will look mottled and marbled!
7. When the pages are dry I like to stamp them with Art Foamies using Americana Acrylic Paints
*Americana Acrylics dry matte so they're perfect for glossy pages (no stick)
8. & 9. I create ombre effects by blending paint on the Stamp Buddy and then carefully pressing my Art Foamies into the mixture
10. Next I embellish the pages any way I want
11. & 12.  Go crazy with different Art Foamies designs and paint away!

Don't forget to paint your covers, too.