Friday, May 30, 2014

Watercolor Card Designs

Feather Birthday Card Made with Watercolors and Stamps by Grow Creative

My latest card creations designed with ....... yep, watercolors!

I scored a new feather stamp at Michaels for $1...... I love finding stuff like that for so super cheap.  I slathered some watercolors on it and pressed it to the paper to make the design.  It's really easy, you just have to make sure to not use watery paint.  Keep it nice and thick and it turns out looking almost like ink.  Cool!

Feather Birthday Card Made with Watercolors and Stamps by Grow Creative

And these cards are decorated with butterflies punched out of old watercolor reject paintings.  Ones that were not going to get sold or hung up in my house.  So why not recycle them as birthday cards?  

Birthday Cards Made with Watercolors and Stamps by Grow Creative

And lastly, a fun stripey watercolor card design inspired by my watercolor header designs.  This one makes me happy :)

Birthday Cards Made with Watercolors and Stamps by Grow Creative
Birthday Cards Made with Watercolors and Stamps by Grow Creative

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vertical Tin Can Planters Tutorial

Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Summer is here and I'm adding more color and flowers to my deck using vertical planters made out of recycled tin cans!  Wooohoo.... I feel pretty good about using recycled materials for this project.  It's easier on the wallet.

These are really small planters and they are secured to the rails with bailing wire, so I had to go small with the plants.  The Moss Rose works perfectly for me!

Vertical Tin Can Planters Tutorial
Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Materials:
Empty Tin Cans, washed
Water
Nail
Hammer
Outdoor Spray Paint
Bailing Wire
Pliers
Potting Soil
Small flowers or plants

Step 1:  Fill cans 3/4 full of water and freeze.  While water is still frozen, use a nail and hammer to pound two holes 1/2 inch apart on the side of the can.  It works better if you place the holes about near the top. These holes are for the bailing wire that you will attach later.

You don't have to freeze water in the cans to do this, but I find it holds the shape of the cans better.  If you feel more comfortable using a drill then have at it!

Step 2:  Pound several holes in the bottom of the can to create drainage holes for your little planters.  You don't have to be fancy with this.  Just put some holes in there.

Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative
Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Step 3:  Spray paint your cans a pretty color that complements the flowers or plants you will be putting in them.  I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spay Paint in ballet slipper color- cool name!

Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Step 4:  Cut sections of bailing wire 4-6 inches long, depending on how wide the rails of your deck are. Slightly bend the wire and stick each end through a hole.  Pull through as shown in the photo below.  Make sure to cut your wire long enough to thread through the side holes of the cans and wrap around the rails.

Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Step 5:  This is the fun part..... planting!  Put a little potting soil in the bottom of each can, place your plants in and fill the the rest with more soil.

Spray Painted Tin Can Planters with Moss Rose

Step 6: Now it's time to make these planters vertical.  Choose a place on your deck that gets the appropriate amount of sunlight for your plants and attach the cans to the rails by wrapping the wire around the back of the rail and twisting to secure.  You have to twist the wire pretty tight to get these to stay up.  A pair of pliers comes in handy here.

All done!

Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative
Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative
Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative
Vertical Tin Can Planters, Outdoor Living Decor: Grow Creative

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Photos of the Week

Hey there...... I'm back from my break, back from AZ.  I saw some beautiful sites there and during the looooooooong drive there, but honestly, the best part about it was my family. 


My top two favorite smells in the world are (1) the wet earth after rain and (2) the smell of russian olive tree blossoms.  I was lucky to be home right as they were blooming... oh man..... I can't get enough!

Russian Olive Tree Blossoms Photography: Grow Creative

The reason for this awesome trip.............my youngest sister.  My favorite and most beautiful sister.  She has Downs Syndrome and she just graduated from High School.  She has taught me and my family so so soooo much the past 18 years and I'm sure she has more to teach us still.  It was amazing to see her at such a happy and exciting time of her life.  I couldn't be more proud to have her as a sister!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Creativity Takes Courage


I'm taking a blogging break right now, but I thought I'd leave you with a little quote from Henri Matisse.

I used to be sooooooooo afraid to share creative things.  I don't think I've ever been afraid to create things on my own, it's the sharing it that can be scary.  I was afraid to start a blog and almost terrified to open an Etsy shop.  What if I failed and no one liked my stuff?  

I remember one time writing down a list of 100 things I wanted to do before I died (guess that's called a bucket list now, but this was before that phrase came into being).  One thing on my list was to sell one of my paintings.  Crazy to remember that I was so scared to share my art that it was my goal to sell just one!
I have since faced my fears, sold many paintings, and my little blog here just turned 4!  Not everything I have done has been a success and I started out really slow, but it's been an incredible journey.  Finding out that I'm actually alright and that there are people out there that like my work.  Finding out that I can do scary things and after a while, they turn out to not be so scary anymore.  

So what's your story? How have you overcome your creative fears?  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Photos of the Week

bird nature photography by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
bird nature photography by Elise Engh: Grow Creative

Good morning! The weather has been amazing here and I've been out enjoying it.  One of my favorite ways de-stress is to go for walks and take pictures.  This was the most peaceful walk ever and it was good for my soul.  I found the peace that I've needed to find in my life.  My health problems are not going away and I still don't have any more children, but while on this walk I felt like everything was going to be ok, no matter what. That feeling has stayed with me and I hope it never leaves :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Pink Whale and a Purple Dog

I'm still on a kick with animals and hearts and I probably will be for a looooong time.  

Original Watercolor Pink Whale with Hearts Paintings by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Purple Dog and Pink Whale with Hearts Paintings by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Pink Whale and Hearts Painting by Elise Engh: Grow Creative
Original Watercolor Purple Dog and Pink Whale with Hearts Paintings by Elise Engh: Grow Creative

The dog design was for a custom logo design request from  my shop.   I don't think I would have tried a dog on my own- I'm more of a cat person- but this one turned out to be fun.  This lady's dog was so cute that I almost thought for a second I might want a dog one day..... almost, but then I remembered the one that bit my while I was running in college and ya, that ended that thought!

Original Watercolor Purple Dog with Heart Painting by Elise Engh: Grow Creative

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights Tutorial

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative

One of my favorite things about summer is eating and visiting with family outdoors. It really doesn't get much better than that! Add some fun decorations for atmosphere and you've got it made.

  I created these colorful party lights for a recent family party we had and they really added to the atmosphere.  Plus they were easy and cheap to make!

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative

Tissue Paper Flower Lights Tutorial:

Materials:
A string of LED lights: white or colored, I used my Christmas lights and they worked great.
Tissue Paper
Large Flower Paper Punch or Scissors
Stapler
Pen

Step 1:  Make some mini tissue paper flowers.  The basic steps are shown below.  For full instructions on these see my Mini Tissue Paper Flowers Tutorial.  If you don't happen to have a large flower paper punch, you can cut circles out with scissors.

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative

Step 2:  Use a pen to poke a small hole through the center of your flowers.

Step 3:  Attach the flowers to the LED lights by putting each LED light bulb through the hole in the flowers.

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative

Safety Note:  Please only use LED lights for this project since they do not produce much heat.  Tissue paper is flammable.  Regular lights may be too hot for this project and have a chance of lighting the tissue on fire.

All done! Hang up your lights and enjoy your party!

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative
DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative
DIY Tissue Paper Flower Party Lights:  Tutorial by Grow Creative

Thursday, May 8, 2014

California Flowers

Original Flowers Painting, Acrylic on Canvas by Elise Engh (Grow Creative)
Original Flowers Painting, Acrylic on Canvas by Elise Engh (Grow Creative)
Original Flowers Painting, Acrylic on Canvas by Elise Engh (Grow Creative)
Original Flowers Painting, Acrylic on Canvas by Elise Engh (Grow Creative)
Original Flowers Painting, Acrylic on Canvas by Elise Engh (Grow Creative)

The biggest painting I have ever painted......
30 x 40 inches of canvas covered in flowers!

Yep, I'm happy about this one.  Reminds me of my trips to California last year :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Flowery Watercolor Business Cards

I put my flower paper punch to use making some new business cards!

Watercolor Flower Shaped Business Cards: Grow Creative
Watercolor Flower Shaped Business Cards: Grow Creative
Watercolor Flower Shaped Business Cards: Grow Creative

I first printed the lettering on some card stock- it took a while to get it spaced just right for the flower punch.  Then I punched them out and slapped on some watercolors.  I'm too much of a cheap-skate to actually pay for business cards, so these work for me!

Watercolor Flower Shaped Business Cards: Grow Creative

Monday, May 5, 2014

Photos of the Week


Good Morning and Happy Cinco De Mayo!  I spent my weekend enjoying the gorgeous weather, thousands of pretty flowers, and my wonderful family.  Life is always better when the weather is warmer... don't you agree?

DCMA

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