Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

This has to be the absolute coolest thing I’ve done with Sof, and it’s SO easy! She’s constantly asking me if we can ‘paint the driveway’ again…

Warning: Do not use anything but previously determined-to-be play clothes (and shoes) for this! It does involve food coloring which will not come out of clothes. Evar.

Recipe:

1 part cornstarch

2 parts water

5-7 drops food coloring (per spot in the tin)

Directions:

  1. Mix cornstarch and water very well until no lumps appear.
  2. Use a measuring cup to pour the mixture into the compartments of a muffin tin.
  3. Add food coloring to individual spots to make an artist’s pallette.
  4. Put it on the ground and hand your kid (or yourself) an old brush and get painting!

What I love about this is that it dries so pretty and pastel-y, as if you’d really be using regular sidewalk chalks!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(You’ll notice the shoes came off halfway through – Fortunately they remained fairly unscathed by food coloring. You may also have noticed the pile of garage sale items-to-be behind her in one of the shots… oops!)

So there are lots of different games and fun stuff you can do with your kidlet with this homemade sidewalk chalk paint. It’s WAY less expensive than buying the brand name stuff, and you can keep a box in the pantry for mixing up a quick batch any time!

I find it’s nicest on a super hot day, because the paint dries faster – but I’m impatient, your mileage may vary!

Easter Egg Painting with a Toddler

I’m dreadfully late in posting these, but if I told you that it was because I’ve been so super busy working on new art, some art and business courses, and enjoying the sunshine that’s just recently decided to join me in upstate New York, would you forgive me? Please?

My 2.5 year old toddler, Sofia, is at the age where she wants to “help Mommy” with everything. She’s great! She helps with laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and vacuuming. Okay, so it’s more like Mommy helping her so that the clothes actually make it into the dryer, the dishes don’t shatter, and giving her busy work. But she loves it, and so do I!

She also LOVES using Mommy’s paints! (I’ll post pics of her artwork soon!) I bought an Easter egg painting kit this year (this one) because I wanted to do eggs with her, but not just the same old, dip-dye ones. I love watching her hold the brush and apply the paints…

Candy Apple Easter Eggs

What’s so much fun with a kid is watching them make sense of what’s put in front of them for the first time. When I asked her if she wanted to paint eggs with me, she got “SO ESS-SITED!” without even having a clue as to what was about to happen, much less how much or little fun it really would be.

"Mommy! I SO ess-sited!"

Now, I grew up with an artist Mommy, and I remember drawing and coloring with her at the dining room table SO much. I think we did it almost every day sometimes. I loved it, but I also hated how her work was so much better than mine. LOL She would always tell me that it takes years and years of practice. She would tell me that my art will NEVER be the same exact thing as her art, because we’re two different people.

One of the things I want to teach Sofia is to keep the fun in it. Once it stops being fun, it’s time to find something else to do. I also don’t want to push her or really tell her what to do beyond the basics at this age. It’s all about discovery for her, and it’s so amazing to watch her learn on her own!

Yes, we have a lefty! <3

So here are a few more shots of the finished results:

eggs

How did you do eggs this year?

See more posts with Sofia here.

ArtLicensingShow.com Ribbon Cutting!

ArtLicensingShow.com Ribbing Cutting

I’m so super excited for being a part of ArtLicensingShow.com, I can’t even begin to put it into words!

It’s a fabulous place for artists and licensors/art directors to connect, like a 24/7 live art licensing show. If you’re an artist or art licensor or director, please don’t miss this super special event!

Things I’m Focusing On Now

Yep, if you’re wondering, one of those “things” is this blog. It’s my most-sacred-most-neglected of everywhere I am online, and I really don’t want it to be that way anymore.

If you look at my “day job” site, you’ll see that I’ve been working hard to help artists and creatives focus on building their dream businesses as creative people. For most artists, they’d really rather do just one thing – make art. For many, they have other jobs, and the last thing they want to spend their “free time” on is blogging or marketing or listing or whatever. For me? I work a full time project, plus work with artists and creatives, plus have a toddler. ‘Nuff said. My art AND my site have suffered severe neglect. Which brings me to the other thing I’m focusing on now…

I will make art every day.

make-art-every-day

Even if it’s a sketch, or a silly little figurine from polymer clay that never gets baked, or something digitally concocted. Anything, even if I only have 10 minutes to spare doing it. I’m going to make art every day. And I’m going to share it as often as possible.

Just to make things clear, though… it’s probably not going to be a daily blog post. More likely, you’ll be able to follow along either on my Art By Lara facebook page, or maybe if I can find time to get into it, my Instagram account. Definitely on the facebook page though. :)

I think what I’m going to focus on more here is the bigger projects (the whole ‘in-progress’ type stuff), insights into my life as an artist and mommy, introductions to new pieces available, eventually some tutorials and so on.

I’m also going to focus on other artists and cool products/books/tutorials/projects/people I think you should spend some time getting to know also. These are people who inspire me, whose work makes me smile, and who deserve all the love they can get. My aim right now, my hopefully not-so-lofty-goal, is 2 posts here per week (and of course that daily post on my facebook page).

Aside from all of this, I’m actually working really hard at getting away from the full time project so that I can spend more time on my art business. I’d rather be creating than anything else (besides spending time with my munchkin, of course) – Hey wait… that sounds familiar! ;)

Please be sure to follow my facebook page and share your thoughts and ideas with me. (You have to actually go to the page once you “like” it and subscribe to get notifications, else facebook thinks you’re only liking me to be nice and that you don’t really care about updates. Stinkers, they are!

 

Color Crush: Aqua/Turquoise

I’m kind of obsessing over aqua – and I have no idea why. It’s not (yet) a prevalent color in my home, but it’s just so Spring-like and pretty that crushing on it is impossible to avoid.

And check out this etsy treasury:

And of course – the new background I made for my site… hehe

I think I need to start incorporating more aqua and turquoise into my work… And on my furniture, in my wardrobe, in my bathroom (towels, anyone?), in the kitchen (I’ve already got an aqua kitchenaid mixer), on my feet… ;) What about you? What’s your current color crush?

The Polymer Clay Techniques Book Review

I’ve decided to share some of my favorite art books here on the site, in a new category called Book Reviews. Each post will have a summary of the book, other reviews, and my own take on the book. I hope you enjoy!

polymer-clay-techniques-book

This post is about The Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Sue Heaser

I’ve probably recommended this book more than any other, to people who want to get started working with Polymer Clay. It’s a great addition to your library because it goes through everything from the absolute basics to more advanced methods, and it’s GREAT for refreshing or cleaning up your techniques and style. It’s truly an amazing book.

You can achieve great results with polymer clay! With the 50+ techniques in this book, you can create polymer clay buttons or boxes or anything in between. Starting with the very basics (such as rolling, baking and gluing), Sue then moves on to more advanced methods: marbling, texturing, millefiori, bead-making, faux-stone effects and more. Feature spreads show exciting ways to combine techniques. You’ll find this a comprehensive guide to the medium, complete with everything from a listing of necessary tools and materials to inspiring examples of polymer clay art.

Amazon.com Review

It’s hard to imagine a material more versatile than polymer clay. What other medium yields perfectly convincing simulations of everything from marble, wood, ivory, and jade to metal, porcelain, mosaic, enamel, and semiprecious stones–not to mention flowers, food, and sculptural forms? With a thoroughness rarely found in other books on the subject, Sue Heaser explains all of these methods and more, supplementing her excellent instructions with good, clear photos. Although she includes a number of full step-by-step projects, this is primarily a techniques-driven presentation. Beginning with the preliminaries of materials, preparation, color mixing, baking, and other basics, Heaser then moves on to clay manipulation (beads, millefiori, molds, vessels, frames, flowers), sculpting (simple animals, faces, armatured figures), embellished treatments (stamping, painting, metallic effects, image transfers), and simulations (stones, antique effects, wood, miniatures). Chapter-opening spreads showcase exquisite works by a variety of polymer clay artists, and a helpful appendix compares the handling properties of all the leading polymer clay brands. Beginners will most likely be more comfortable with a more project-oriented approach, but anyone already bitten by the polymer clay bug will find this an essential idea book. –Amy Handy

From Library Journal

The variety of colorful creations that can be made with polymer clay seems endless, and successful results can be had with any level of expertise. These two books explore advanced techniques and artistic design. Well illustrated with works by polymer clay artists, they include projects for intricately pieced and shaped jewelry and art objects. The Polymer Clay Technique Book, in particular, has detailed step-by-step instructions for many techniques such as marbling, cutting, and making millefiori canes. Both are good additions to arts and crafts collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Sue Heaser is a professional crafter whose skills range from glass etching and puppet-making to textile crafts and pottery. She first discovered polymer clay in 1983 and has since published three books on the subject. She gives workshops and demonstrations on all aspects of her work in the UK and the United States. Heaser lives in the United Kingdom.

Grab your copy of The Polymer Clay Techniques Book NOW!