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Showing posts from September, 2010

Tie Dyed Butterfly

This project is the final September posting!  One month done, eleven to go!

Very cheap thrift store find, I think it was 69 cents!  I repainted the whole thing cream and then made the butterfly outline.  Then lightly dipped my brush in various colors and dry brushed and blended.  After the paint was dry, I outlined the butterfly and painted the design.  I am hoping my niece thinks its cool, because it is going to be a Christmas gift for her.

Serving up some art!

Go to any thrift store and you can always find wooden serving trays.  This one is a bit larger than ones I have bought in the past.  It measures 12 x 19, a great size for a art.  Since starting this project, I have decided to make a wall of trays as art.  This is the first one.  I painted the entire tray black and then taped off sections and did different designs and techniques in each rectangle.  A bit abstract with a touch of a sixties vibe and some gold designs.  It looks great on the wall and is now awaiting company!

I love to decorate my home!

This is one of those little round tables that people use for a decorative accent.  Normally not my style, but my mom thought I needed more furniture and gave it to me.  With it I got a cornflower blue flowery table cloth topped with an eyelet lace tablecloth.  Ugh, sorry mom!  Not my style. 

The black and white fabric is from a curtain I had made for my last home.  I love the pattern, so I kept it.  Since it wasn't a tablecloth shape, I stapled it around the table and topped it with a red scarf from a thrift store.  Added a great little frame with my artwork and a stone carved saying for a cute accent in my living room. 

Are you surprised by the black and white and graphic pattern?  Ah, perfection!

Charity for Halloween

Go to any thrift store and you can find something like this cutting board.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  And I just love Halloween, so I did this one in that theme. 

Just so you know, I DID NOT use stencils for this one.  It's all freehand.  I love doing fun lettering, and being an artist, it is the most common thing that people ask you to do. 

- Can you make me garage sales signs, I need a sign for free kittens, etc. -

So, I have become a lettering pro. 

This particular decoration was donated, along with a Halloween teddy bear to a benefit one of my friends did.  It helped to raise money for a person struggling with MS.  It feels good to be able to use my talents to assist others!

What is it?

I think this is a plastic grocery bag holder.  Put the bags in a hole on top and then dispense from the front.  Not sure, but that is my best guess. 

I forgot to take a photo before the base coat of paint, but you can see that it had an apple design, a country motif. 

After several coats of red, I taped of the top and made a checkerboard border.  Then made a heart stencil for the bottom and just did my favorite 'doodle' design.

I am still not sure what to do with it, but I think it looks better.

It's calender time!

Oops, I am a bit late today, but work ran long.  So, today, is the beginning of my annual calender.  It started in 2005 when I was extra tight on money.  I wanted to give everyone something, but what?  I decided to make my own calendar.  The end cost was whatever Kinko's charged per copy.  I could give everyone a gift that was hand made. 
Now I do this every year, well, except 2009 when I didn't have any ideas.  No big deal, I made other gifts right!  Well, my family was all disappointed that they didn't get them that year.  I didn't know they liked them that much, but they did.  So, now I HAVE to make them. 
It starts with the basics, I draw out an outline for the days and dates and then photocopy them.  It gets too tedious to draw out 12 calendar blocks.  Next I fill in the months, dates and holidays.  Step one done!  This is my 2011 start.  As I finish the illustrations for the months, I will post them.  This years theme is food related songs.  The first years desig…

Give me another D!

Here is my second letter "D" - My goal is to have a wall of D's by the end of this blog.  The color orange just jumped out at me so my design is a little tiger inspired, but in my style.  My next initial project I think may be something crafty like a D made out of found objects instead of painting.  We'll see what happens, stay tuned!

Project Runway Inspiration

Today is Thursday, Project Runway day!  One of my favorite shows. 

I do like to dabble in design, and did go to FIDM for a bit.  Occasionally an idea hits me and I have to draw it out. 

In my younger days, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but after going to school for a bit, figured it wasn't for me.  I can sew, but not well enough for clothing design.  This one of my illustrations - black and white, my fave!


Hi, my name is creative Dawn and I use stencils. But...I do create them myself. Sometimes when you are drawing or decorating you need a design that is consistent, so I cut out my own stencils to use. It's great for symmetric designs like butterflies or margarita glasses. The painting and drawing afterwords is freehand, but sometimes creativity needs a little assistance. I usually use card stock or heavy paper, many times it is something that was used in the past to map out an idea so it's a form of recycling. These are some of my design patterns. You may see them pop up from time to time in a project. One of the many tools used to be creative!

Mondrian & Muffins

Yesterday it was Van Gogh, today Mondrian. Another thrift store find for just a few bucks. This box was screaming color block at me and what better artist to inspire that than Piet Mondrian. I painted the box dark blue and when it was dry, taped it to create varying rectangular shapes. What to do with it next? Birthday present for my sister in law! I baked some pumpkin muffins, not from scratch like I really prefer, but I did add in some pecans. Yummy, I love baked goods for gifts, especially when the weather starts to turn chilly. Happy Birthday Sis in law! Have a great day!

Inspiration...Van Gogh

How is this for a before and after! I have to say I kinda impressed (no pun intended) myself. Impressionism is one of my favorite eras in art and you cannot have it without Van Gogh. I bought this wooden jam jar for 2.50 at the Goodwill and painted it, but didn't like it. So I just painted it dark blue, then I started looking at these silk sunflowers I had gotten for another project that didn't work out and suddenly an idea was born. Blue, yellow and white brushstrokes created the 'vase' part and once it was dry, I hot glued the sunflowers and leaves on that I also embellished with brushstrokes. It turned out cool and no one would ever guess what it was before.

Halloween is getting near!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Even though I am an adult, I love to dress up and have fun. This year I have been flooded with craft/art project ideas for October 31st.
I got the black wreath last year after Halloween on sale for 75% off. I can't remember the exact price, but it was a good deal. It's been in a corner with me looking at it trying to figure out what to do with it.

I was going to the grocery store and was passing by Michael's, so I stopped. The ribbon has spider webs on it and was 1.19, eyeball were 4 to a pack at .99 and the paper mache skull was 1.99. It maybe took a whole 10 minutes to put together. The only thing that took longer was waiting for the paint on the skull to dry. It should look great on my front door ready to greet the kids on Halloween :)
Updated 10/8/10.  I was shopping and these orange leaves caught my attention.  A bargain at about 1.00 each pick so I got two.  I took them apart and hot glued them onto the wreath.  It was missin…


My friend Lynn asked me to paint this cute table for her sister. Her cabin is on Turtle Lake. Turtles are simple, but fun to do. Their shells can be decorated in so many ways. I wish I could have kept this one because it is so adorable.

Thank You!

People don't always say thank you when something goes right or if someone else just makes your day. Many are quick to complain about things going wrong. Do you thank your check out person if they are friendly? What about the restaurant worker that had to deal with your screaming kids?

I work with a wonderful lady that is always thanking co-workers and making every ones day. I admit, I'm stealing this idea from her, but is that wrong? Making someone smile or brightening a bad day is something everyone should do more often.

So, here is one of my thank you cards. I always make blank cards because then you can express yourself however you would like to, plus they are ready for any occasion. This card is going to a cashier at a gas station. She assisted my when my purse was stolen and was concerned and more than helpful. Add on a sweet treat and it's a nice little token that will make her feel appreciated. Spread some smiles today! You know you want to!

Musical decor

Growing up, my Dad wasn't like others. He was a musician and a big rock music fan. When it was time to buy cards for Father's Day and Birthdays, all they had were hunting, fishing or sports related items. Things are different now, but I had to be creative when it came to gift giving. So, whenever I find anything that is related to rock music or guitars, I buy it. Crafting is especially tricky, but I have managed over the years. This was unfinished and in the clearance bin because it had come apart. I scooped it up for a few bucks, brought it home and glued it together. It sat on a shelf for a while because I wasn't sure how to paint it. It was purple for a while, but it just didn't look right, so I repainted it red and made my signature design on it. I don't know whether to fill it with pencils or a small bag of candy, but regardless, a musically themed present is born. This will go into my Christmas gift stash until December. Hopefully my Dad will like it!

My Desk

I found this for 15.00 at where else my favorite store, the Goodwill. It was a cornflower blue color when I got it. Add a coat of black paint and a bunch of cool circles in white and there you have it, my desk.

As mentioned in a past post, black and white is my favorite color combo. For the circles, I used plates, paint cans and coasters. Geometric shapes, squiggles and doodles are my preference for designs, no flowers for this girl!

As with anything, you have to see the potential in an item. Just because it looks a certain way doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Use your imagination and make it your own.

Be brave enough to live life creatively...

When I graduated from high school, a friend of mine gave me this plaque. Actually, I got two. The quote from Alan Alda has remained one of my favorites. I have since used it in gifts, cards and many other things. I have had people visit my house and comment on it and asked if they could have a copy. It always inspires me when I read it. Today, instead of sharing a project, I am sharing this...

"Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself. - Alan Alda

I sew too!

I have a favorite gift to give my friends and family that are expecting. Teddy Bears! I found this pattern a long time ago in a magazine, I think it was Better Homes and Garden, probably a special holiday decor issue, but anyways, since finding it, have made probably 40 bears. The pattern was printed in three sizes, I usually make the medium and large ones. It is just nice to give something that the child can grow up with and love. This one is made out of 2 different fabrics. I never sew on eyes because of little one playing with it. You don't want any choking accidents on buttons. They are soft and cuddly and can be customized for the nursery decor. Every kid needs a Teddy bear to snuggle with!

Tuscan Table

This is something I painted for my friend Lynn. She brought me this small table and wanted something for her mom, Diane, Lady Di as we call her. She is one of those great older ladies, meet her once and she will forever remember you. Chipper, big smiles and no matter what a glowing example of vibrancy. I painted 'Lady Di Vineyards' to add a personal touch. This was a fun one because most of the time people want tropical or their favorite team when they ask for a custom piece. Lynn told me her mom had a Tuscan decor, so this was perfect. After painting, I put a coat of stain over the top for a more rustic look. She loved it! Sometimes the look on someones face when they receive a hand done item is even more satisfying than painting the object.

Light a Candle 9/11

Woke up this morning after a restless night of sleep following a busy night at work. Logged on to my computer and checked out FB posts before returning to work again. There was a lot of remembering where I was, thinking about that September morning and what has happened in the past 9 years.
Got ready left for work. Ran around and took care of customers and helped the staff. It was another crazy busy night in the restaurant.
After work, logged on again and scrolled through the posts and remembered the sadness, but also the solidarity of everyone at that time. I realize that what I deal with can be stressful to me, but nothing compared to the loved ones that were left to grieve on that fateful day.
Where is this going? What is creative to blog about today?
I do have a small project that should be good. I liked the way it looked in the store, it only cost 99 cents, but with a decorative finish, a clear glass and a tea light we now have a pretty candle holder.
Light a candle, think of a lo…

You gotta have a card!

Maybe 10 years ago or so scrapbooking and card crafting started to take off and now is huge. I have a friend that does custom scrapbooks another that makes cards. Well, I tried both and neither suited me. I would much rather draw my own than cut out paper, paste & journal.
After trying to get into the 'trend' I started to just draw my own cards. It was more of my style. I started drawing all of my Christmas cards, a few birthday cards, and blank note cards. Now, I give them whenever I can. It is a quick project and again a personal touch.
So, you gotta have a card when you give a gift right? This is the Wedding card for the gift posted yesterday.

Belated Wedding gift

This past Saturday, my husband's cousin got married. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it because of my 'real' job. Working in a restaurant can get in the way of doing things on the weekends like weddings and other gatherings.
The good thing about not being able to go was that I had a few extra days to finish the gift which I did today. I got a cute frame that says 'with this ring' and drew the picture. I love to personalize gifts, even though making it myself is budget friendly it is always appreciated that you spent time making a gift specifically for the couple. Congrats Tori & Jason!

Black & White

For myself, I love black and white or bold colors when it comes to decorating my home. I found this side table for 6.99 at the Goodwill, my favorite store. It was just a basic stained piece. I sanded it, painted an antique white for the base and then hand painted the design in black. The scrolling design compliments the table perfectly. I just need to replace the knobs, they have seen better days and my creation will be complete!

D is for Design & Dawn!

I love the craft store, so many possibilities! I look through the aisles, rummage the clearance area and always find something to make. I've been on a painting kick so let's keep it going for now.

People enjoy personalizing and monogramming things. It's a great gift that means you specifically thought of a certain person. This a wooden letter 'D' that was bought at Joann Fabrics for about five bucks. It's about a foot tall & will soon grace my bedroom wall. The design is not groundbreaking, but it is my style.
The designer D for Dawn :)

My table

I love the Goodwill! Great deals, unique items what more could a person want. I am always scouring the racks for clothes, chair, tables, miscellaneous items and am never disappointed.
I recently found an old table for 3.99. It had potential! Sanded down the top and painted it orange. My inspiration came from a serving tray. Fun colors, kinda 60's pop art style. It now proudly resides in my living room a great spot for remotes, books and my husbands feet.
What do you think???


I am not into memorizing quotes, lyrics, etc., but sometimes you hear something and it sticks with you. I grew up listening to the Beatles and John Lennon and love their music! The line that really says something to me is from a Lennon lyric, the song Beautiful Boy. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." It is so true! You work, take care of your homelife, go about your daily business and life is happening all around you. I painted the lyric on the walls of one of my former homes to look at as I entered everyday. Great song, great line, great inspiration!

You can never have too many shoes!

In the course of this year, there will be more shoes in different styles and mediums because, well, women love shoes! I am planning on painting more shoes and eventually making a display of them.
I love black and white, so my first pair that I painted is just that! Got them at the Goodwill for 2.50 and this is the result. Kinda fun and funky!

Ad ispiration

I love to look to at ads, but many are now computer designed. Although, I love the ads with the hands painted to resemble animals and other things. They are definitely creative and unique. This was two different ads for Perrier that I cut out and duplicated by hand painting it on a piece of scrap wood. It is an older painting, but it proudly hangs in my kitchen.
I like to keep a file of things that I can use for ideas. Ads, cool photos, labels, whatever I can find that is artistic in nature and makes me think of things in a new light. What inspires you?

Day 2 September 2

Oh! I have butterflies! I drew this for my friend Renee for a charity auction she is having for a friend with cancer. In this day and age people are always trying to raise money for different causes. I cannot always give money to these fundraisers, but I can give something that will help raise money. Throughout the year I probably make about 3 or 4 items for charities that friends have. A chance to create and give at the same time! Gotta love it. It is ALWAYS better to give than to receive. :)

Hello world! Let's get creative!

Creativity starts with an idea. Many times because of an event, birthday, wedding, christmas, etc. I start to think about what I can make for a specific person that they would enjoy. The most important thing is personalization, not a monogram, but an interest or a color scheme enjoyed by that person.

My first project involves my uncle and is for him from my mom. She bought a chair at a garage sale for about a $1 and asked if it could be made into something he would like. My uncle is mentally handicapped and loves superheroes, wrestling and Elvis.
I made my way to the fabric store and found fabrics matching many of his likes, but after a quick call to my mom, settled on the Elvis fabric. As you can see, the chair had seen better days. I removed the seat, tore off the old fabric and stapled on the new Elvis panel, painted the chair bright red and refastened the seat. Project number one done & a great bargain gift for my Uncle!
Today, I am starting my journey, hello world! Let's g…