Paint By Numbers

For our anniversary my sweet boyfriend decided to take me to Spirited Art to paint! I have been before and loved it and have been begging him to go with me. It was so sweet for him to plan this for our anniversary!

My painting
I love classes like these. Sometimes I want to do a particular craft or project but the task seems daunting and I feel like I can't do it. Classes like the ones at Spirited Art allow me to do the work myself but with guidance from a talented and knowledgeable artist. I absolutely love painting and even took classes in high school, but I'm not the best and I'm a little rusty. Even my boyfriend, who has no painting experience whatsoever, loved the class and his painting turned out phenomenal!

His painting
We were instructed how to blend the paints to achieve the right shade, techniques for applying it to our canvas, and some helpful tips along the way to help make the paintings our own.

I loved that our paintings were 100% made by us and it was something we did together as a couple. We had so much fun and loved doing something we normally wouldn't do.

Have you ever taken a painting class, or a similar one like this? What was your experience like? Do you enjoy these types of classes?

Anniversary Shadow Box

Yesterday was mine and my boyfriend's 5th anniversary. We decided to not spend a lot on gifts because we're wanting to build a house later this year. I still wanted to get him something special though since this is a big milestone in our relationship. My mom gave me a shadow box a few weeks ago that has been sitting around so I decided to search Pinterest to find some inspiration for ways I could use it.

I finally decided to do something similar to this, however I was not willing to pay the steep price for something I could do myself.

Here's what I came up with!

This is a perfect, simple DIY for an anniversary gift or would even be great for Valentine's Day! All you need is a frame or shadow box, scrapbook paper, and a hole punch or your Silhouette Machine.

My shadow box had a fabric backing to it to pin pictures or things on, so I needed a plain piece of scrapbook paper to cover it. The inspiration picture looked like the heart cut outs were from a book, but being a total bookworm, I could not cut up a book like that and still live with myself (haha!). Luckily, when looking through my scrapbook paper, I found one that had a handwritten message on it and it was perfect! Then I grabbed a red piece for one of the hearts and I was ready to go!

I thought about going to Hobby Lobby to get a heart hole punch, but decided against it and used my Silhouette Cameo. For anyone that knows me, they're probably thinking, "were you sick or something?" because I never pass up a trip to Hobby Lobby, but I can't ignore an excuse to use my Silhouette either! :)

In Silhouette Studio, I mapped out how I wanted to arrange my hearts. The cutting mat space is the exact size of the scrapbook paper so this worked really well as a template before I cut my pieces out.

I also needed one heart to have some sort of personal text so I decided to use our initials and the year we started dating.

2009 seems so long ago! We were babies still in high school!

Okay, back to business! Sometimes I just can't resist a trip down memory lane. :)

I cut out 25 hearts on the script paper, one more than I needed. I recommend going ahead and cutting out more because a couple of mine ripped or didn't cut all the way through. Also, I usually have my machine set to double cut, but I forgot this time, and I think this helps the problem of not cutting all the way through.

Then using the print and cut feature, I printed the text on the red scrapbook paper along with registration marks. Then I cut out the heart using my Silhouette machine.

Now it's time to glue them all down! I wanted the hearts to pop off the page since they're in a shadow box, so I folded all of them (except the red one!) in half and glued them down alternating sides.

TIP: Lay your script scrapbook page with the hearts cut out on top of the white page. Glue the hearts down inside the cut outs, this way they're all even and lined up perfectly! I should've taken a picture of this, but forgot! If you have any questions, just email me or comment below.

I glued the red heart near the corner. I love how it pops against the white and neutrals of the scrapbook paper and frames!

Before I got the chance to hang it up, I had to wrap it so it would be a surprise! He had no idea what it was! He loved it when he saw it and made me hang it up immediately!

With this new addition, I had to change up my gallery wall, which I was kind of thankful for because I wasn't loving how it looked. But now, I LOVE it! I can't believe I am finally satisfied with it! It only took me like 6 months! ;)

All of these pictures I found via Pinterest. You can find them on my boards: Art & Message In A Bottle. Most of them led me to Etsy.

The best part of this project (besides the fact that it is personal and for our anniversary) is that it was free!!! I had everything already at my house! Even if I didn't have any of this stuff though, I can't imagine it costing more than $15-20. Hobby Lobby has plenty of shadow boxes and you can always use their 40% off coupon and their scrapbook paper is super cheap!

Glitter Makes Everything Better

I love the idea of using glitter. Whether it be in an arts and crafts project or digitally to spruce up a print, I love adding glitter wherever I can.

I was playing around in Silhouette Studio the other day and made my own version of a little saying that I love. I've used fill pattern for objects before, but never words. I wasn't sure how it would look, but I love it!

It's so simple but makes such a difference! Here's how I did it!

In My Patterns window, I dragged and dropped some glittery images I found via a quick Google search (Pinterest also has lots of great options when looking for patterned backgrounds). I renamed them so they would be easier to find as my inventory grows.

I colored the other words black but left "sparkle" as is. In the Fill Pattern Window,  I tried out all of my glitter patterns before deciding on pink.

It still has the red outline around the words, so I needed to get rid of that. I tried no outline (as in the picture below) but the edges looked kind of jagged.

Using the eyedropper tool, I found a darker color within the glitter to use as the outline.

Now the edges look crisp and clean!

I love the extra special look the glitter gives to the text! And there's no mess!

I can definitely see myself using this quite a bit in future projects!


For those of you who are not from Arkansas or have not heard, the county in which I live was hit by a tornado last Sunday night. An EF4 tornado was on the ground for 41 miles and almost an hour as it tore through Mayflower and Vilonia. Both of these towns are on either side of where I live. Luckily, we were not hit, but a lot of people were.

Despite the utter devastation in parts of my state, our community has rallied together to help one another rebuild. Every day I see acts of compassion from my neighbors who volunteer their time to clean up the debris that was once a neighborhood or school. I hear of kids still in high school asking their principal if they can use the bus to take donations to relief sites. I've witnessed my community grow stronger within this past week despite losing everything. It is times like these that I can proudly say I am an Arkansan.

I had been planning on showing you guys art I had made a couple of weeks back, but I kept putting it off. Now seems like the perfect time.

A couple weeks ago, I changed up my gallery wall a little bit. When I first printed the pictures for those frames, I knew they would be temporary. I wanted a few art prints in them, but didn't feel like looking for ones right then. After seeing this pin, I knew I had to make my own version that would fit with the scheme of my living room.

Using my Silhouette Cameo, I used my Arkansas shape I already had and filled it with a watercolor pattern I found via a Google search (view this tutorial for pattern fill instructions). Then I typed out the phrase and arranged it like so.
When I first made this print, I thought of it just as an art piece. Now when I look it hanging on my wall every day, I am reminded of the strong and giving community that I live in. I am reminded of the compassion my state has shown to those who were affected. I am reminded that we are Arkanstrong.

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