Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year!

there's something about the start of a new year that makes you think of years past.  for some reason i was thinking about when i was younger and i used to like to draw free hand letters on to large pieces of paper.  my objective was always to have the letters look right, but also be centered perfectly on the paper.  not an easy feat. so for nostalgia sake, i free-handed these onto large paper, and my sons jumped at the chance to color them.  guess i still got it- lol!





the ensuing photoshoot was not so easy, but i think we got a few keepers!







wishing you all a happy new year and a fabulous 2012!

-julia

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas!

the business side of our studio is shut down until after our kids go back to school in january.  we were traveling earlier this week, and now we are home getting ready for christmas.  thought i would share some pics from around our small, 1950s house.

this is elfie, our antique elf that is spending the holidays with us.  he once belonged to my great grandmother! 



we are doing our own version of "elf on the shelf" with him, and he has shown up in some interesting places!

artwork by heidi lingamfelter


artwork by winter rusiloski


we have a small, thin christmas tree because of lack of space, but it's still pretty when it lights up!






and you just can't escape the art over here.  it even peeks out from behind the tree.

artwork by omar hernandez


i am really liking sparkle this year, so the boys and i made some pretty leaves.  my 4 year old's preschool teacher gave him the largest leaf i've ever seen.  so we spray painted it (and some smaller ones) gold and sprinkled gold glitter on them while they were still wet.  i'm using them as a centerpiece on my table. 








i also found these shiny letters at hobby lobby.  with a few stitches, i attached the initial letter of each of our names on our stockings.




i ran sparkly ribbon down the middle of a closet door to display the photo christmas cards.  i think i actually need to add a second row now!


thanking you all for the best year yet for jaeartworks, and wishing you a very merry, magical, sparkly christmas!

-julia

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

easy way to frame kid art- no mat required!

with 12 days until christmas, i thought i would show you this super easy method for framing kid art, or really, any kind of flat artworks.  i love, love, love art made by kids.  and with a nice frame, it can easily be transformed into an awesome wall piece and/or a great gift!

i am going to show you this using these two pieces my sons made recently to go in their space-themed bedroom.  they started out drawing on cheap printer paper.  when they informed me they wanted to hang them in their room, my mind quickly started churning on how to make the pieces more substantial.  printer paper is not exactly high quality.  so i had them cut out the items that they had drawn on the printer paper, and then we glued the scene back together on black card stock.  once on the black, i had them draw in some embellishments with white crayon.  here are the results.  so quick and easy, and what a difference!

by zane age 6

by zac age 3 1/2


because of where these were going to be hung, i knew i did not want heavy frames.  so i found this 2 pack on sale at michaels for pretty cheap.  buy whichever frame you think will work best with your artwork.  what you want to do is buy the next size up from the size of paper your artwork is on.  so, the boys pieces were on standard sized paper, which is 8 1/2 x 11.  therefore, when i bought the frames, i bought the next size up which was 11 x 14. 




turn the frame over, open up the back, and take all the pieces out, except for the glass.



take the colored paper that was in the frame as advertisement and flip it over.  usually the back is a solid white.  if for some reason the back of this paper is not in good shape, you can easily cut another piece of white paper (or whatever color you choose!)  in that size.  you can use the paper that was in the frame as a guide by tracing it.  mine was good enough to use the back, so i flipped it and put a little bit of masking tape on each corner of the printed side.




then flip it back over and secure it to the masonite back-piece of the frame.  next, flip the artwork and put a little tape on those four corners too.  flip the artwork back over, center it, and secure it in the middle of the white one on the masonite.




now, many times with these cheaper frames, some genius puts a sales sticker right on the glass that doesn't want to come off.  and that was the case here.  i keep a bottle of goo gone spray gel in my studio for just such cases.  spray the sticker and let it sit for a few minutes.




then use a knife or razor blade to carefully scrape up the sticker and adhesive.  i use a palette knife.  make sure you clean the glass off with a little glass cleaner when your done to remove any traces of the goo gone because it is pretty greasy.



place the clean glass back in the frame, and then flip the artwork that is now attached to the back-piece over and slide it back into the frame as well.  push all the holders back in place, and voila!





inexpensive, easy, and no mat required!   i think it's a great way to preserve treasured artworks, decorate a space, and/or give a wonderfully meaningful gift!  

wishing you all a very merry christmas!

-julia


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

holiday happenings

this post is going to be quick this week, as i am up to my eyeballs in the studio with work.  first things first, though.  i had a portrait deadline this past week, which i'm happy to say that i made.  this is ellie.  her aunt comissioned her as a gift for her parents for christmas.  i sincerely hope this portrait brings them joy for many, many years!

graphite on paper      16"x20"


so, besides doing portraits, teaching private art lessons, and making my own art, i also do a line of kid art using hand prints and foot prints.  i like to call them "printworks."  you can see finished examples on my website here or on my facebook page here.    this past sunday, my friends in waxahachie hosted a party for me and here is the stuff i need to finish.



i didn't even get all of it this picture, hence my wording "up to my eyeballs!"  and, i can't forget that other full-time job i have of at-home wife and mother. 



my boys are only 6 and 4, so this time of year i also have that all important 3rd full-time job, otherwise known as "santa's helper."  no worries...i can do it all.  right??? 

i'll leave you with one more thing before i go.  last week i posted a cute upcycled lightbulb santa tutorial.  you can click here to see it.  my art students are still working on these, but one has finished so i thought i would show you.  this one is by carly age 11.



carly always likes to do her own thing over here, which i love.  she made hers in to mrs. claus.  she wasn't sure about how to give her hair.  i tossed her a thing of gray yarn and told her to figure it out.  and figure it out she did!  i think she was so clever in how she chose to wind it.  here's the top.



like i said, so clever!  i told you it was a good problem-solving exercise. 

so, i'm going back to painting now.  wishing you a joyous and creative holiday season!

-julia
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