Back To School Photo Ideas at The Real Thing with the Coake Family

Hi y’all! I hope you had a great weekend. Things have been quite busy around my house getting ready for school that started last week. Hooray!

Today I’m guest posting at The Real Thing With the Coake Family (clever name right?!) on Back To School Photo Ideas.


You should definitely go check it out!



Gilded Mini Photo Frames With Stampendous Stack Art

Stampendous Stack Art Frames

I was fortunate enough to be sent a Stack Art Kit from Stampendous Stamps. The moment I opened the package I knew what this kit is perfect for, miniature picture frames! They fit the little photos that always come with the school pictures, the ones that I have a million of and never know what to do with. I figured I could decorate them to match my work space.

Stampendous Stack Art

Stampendous Stack Art Angel Wings Kit
Stampendous Stack Art Angel Wings Stamps
Stampendous Gold Encrusted Jewel Technique Kit
Clear Embossing Ink Pad
DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint in Everlasting
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in Spa Blue
Heating Tool
Foam Brush

Start by painting the bigger and smaller frame a couple of coats of the Chalky Finish Paint. The paint was a little thick and left brush lines, which gave a bit of texure. Let it dry. Use one of the larger stamps, and the clear embossing ink on the larger part of the frame. Sprinkle with the gold embossing powder and heat it with the heat tool. Then put the edges of the frame on the clear embossing ink and emboss with the gold. Repeat on all sides.

Stampendous Stack Art Frames

Paint one of the hearts Spa Blue. On the egde, emboss with gold. For the other heart, emboss the whole heart with gold.

Stampendous Stack Art Frames

For the smaller frame, I put thin washi tape on it to make stripes, and used a different stamp, embossed in gold as well. I peeled off the washi tape and then painted the edges with the Spa Blue acrylic paint.

The kit comes with peel-and-stick adhesive to stick the whole project together. It’s so easy and turned out so cute.

I can’t wait to make more of these for the holidays!

Check out more fantastic Stampendous Stack Art ideas here!

10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter’s Block

I’ve been frustrated this week. Like seriously frustrated. I suffered from Crafter’s Block last week. It was pretty awful. Notice I didn’t post anything last week. I tried, I really tried. It was like someone built a concrete wall right in the middle of my creative process. Ideas I had previously just didn’t look right and I couldn’t think of anything new. I’m always influenced by holidays, but there’s not too much holiday inspiration in late July and early August. What’s a creative girl to do?

10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter's Block

So I searched all kinds of blogs and websites for information on creative blocks. Writer’s block, crafter’s block; there are tons of places to find information to help combat it. But all the info is the same. Go on Pinterest, buy a magazine. Blah. I love Pinterest (you should follow me!), but it’s a bunch of other peoples’ ideas. And there’s too much. Pinterest can pose a problem if you have Creative A.D.D. (Yes, that’s my official diagnosis.) Magazines are great as well, but the best ones are at the book store, and by the time I get there, deal with what the kids want to look at, find a magazine (probably British and overpriced), purchase and drive home, I’ll need a nap. So much for being creative.

So here are ten ideas I came up with that worked for me:

1. Clear your space. Sometimes when I have a creative block I look around and find clutter all over. Sometimes it’s my stuff…supplies from other projects that I didn’t put away. Sometimes Usually it is toys that belong to the kids. Regardless of who owns it, it needs to go. Clutter is distracting and really unnecessary. It’s also very hard to keep on top of. But if you can get rid of it, that clears up that much space in your brain for new creative ideas.

2. Cook something new. Cooking, baking and preparing food is creative. There is always a sense of accomplishment when someone devours some kind of culinary creation that you made for them. Use a new spice in an unexpected way. Today at Costco I had TajÍn on freshly sliced apples…common in Mexico but totally new to me. My tastebuds came alive. Play with your food.

3. Pick a color. Check out Design Seeds. It’s a site that has color palettes inspired by gorgeous photography. I often go there with a certain color in mind and discover amazing palettes based off of that one color. Or you can pick a color out of a paint deck. Do it randomly. Ask yourself what you could do with that color…

10 Ideas to Cure Crafter's Block

Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botancal Gardern 2014

4. Grab your camera and take a walk. You picked a color, or a palette, now go for a walk and take pictures of anything you see in that color. Take thousands of pictures.  Go to a park or the zoo. I’d hit up the Desert Botanical Garden here in Scottsdale or the Japanese Garden in Portland. But my creative works are very influenced by botanicals. Do you have an inspirational space? If your answer is no, maybe focus on finding one.

5. Take a class. Why not learn a new skill? Thank goodness for the internet. You are now able to take classes at 1:27 am via the internet for the price of  couple lattes (or Dirty Diet Coke if that’s your thing). Craftsy and Skillshare are the first two that come to mind. Oh, and the gorgeous ladies at A Beautiful Mess have online classes too! I will be taking French Macarons 101 pretty soon here. I think French Macarons are glamourous and probably calorie free. Don’t judge.

10 Ideas To Cure Writer's Block

6. Buy a box. New craft ideas delivered to your door? Yes please. Order a Whimseybox (<—shameless affiliate link!) and get a surprise craft box delivered to your door. Learn a new craft! I hear the calligraphy box was particularly popular. But branch out…try needle felting an adorable little birdie or even a happy turnip! Ok, so this isn’t an immediate fix, but it will definitely help.

7. Exercise. It sounds stupid but it’s proven that exercise helps clear your mind and elevate your mood. We all need that and a clear mind makes way for new ideas. If you don’t believe me, read this article by the American Psychiatric Association.

8. Repeat a project you’ve already done. Make it better. Chances are you have supplies left over from a project you made ages ago. You may have even blogged about it. Do it again and make it better. (And take better photos!)

9. Call your mom. Or your dad. Or someone else who knows your creative style. You’d be surprised on the input they have to give you. Even if the ideas seems stupid they are still ideas, and you can build upon them. (To my mom: Not yours! Your ideas are never stupid. Love you!)

10. Pinterest. Fine. I give in. Check out Pinterest or Craftgawker. Great ideas are posted on Pinterest every second. Just remember, there’s a difference between pinning and doing. You’re a doer.

Does this help? What do you do to inspire creativity? I’d love to know!


10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter's Block


Linked to ~ The Makers, The Creative Collection, Coast to Coast

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan

Painted Fan

It always amazes me on how a little paint can change something from ordinary to extraordinary! At least that is how I feel about this fan. It was a basic black circulating fan that I like to use in the summer. Of course I have the AC blasting since it’s 110 degrees outside, but every little bit of circulating air helps. But this fan was dirty and filthy (5 years of dust) and I considered getting rid of it. Then I saw this…

Vornado Vintage Collection

The Vornado Vintage Collection VFAN. It’s so sleek and glamorous, if you can call a fan glamorous! I wanted it, but had no desire to spend money on it, that’s when I decided to try painting the fan that I had. I figured if I ruin the fan, it wouldn’t be too much of a loss.

Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comHere’s the before picture. This thing was difficult to clean. See all the dust on it, even after cleaning once. I had to use Q-tips to get all the dust out of the crevices of this fan. The front part of the fan snaps off so you can clean the grill and the blades. Of course, make sure it’s unplugged first.


fan, can of spray primer, 2 cans white glossy spray paint, plastic grocery bags, painters tape, liquid gold leaf, foam brushes, clear spray sealant, hot glue gun, 1/8th inch leather lace in medium brown (50 ft)

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan Once clean, I sprayed the fan with a coat of primer, so that the spray paint will stick. I stuffed a bunch plastic grocery bags behind the fan blades, to protect the little fan engine from the spray paint. Originally I was not going to paint the blades, but then decided that I liked them better white than black. I used three light coats of the white spray paint to adequately cover the surface of the fan.

Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comAfter spray painting the whole fan white and letting the paint dry, I taped the fan to protect the side and the center. I then used a foam brush to paint on the liquid gold leaf. Brush it gently across the top of the fan. The liquid gold leaf goes on so smoothly. When dry, use another foam brush to get in between the spokes. Once adequately covered and dry spray with the clear sealant spray.

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comOne last detail. I didn’t like the look of the black cord. So I wrapped it with 1/8th inch leather craft lace, applying glue to the leather, in spots, to hold it in place.

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan

Cute, right! It so much prettier to look at now!




Linked to ~ The Makers, Show & Tell, On Display Thursday, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Link Party Palooza, Liz Marie Blog, Say G’Day Saturday, Funky Junk, Be Different Act Normal, Think Pink Sunday, The Creative Collection


Floral Imprinted Summer Coasters

Imprinted Clay Coasters


Hi y’all! Thanks for coming back  to check out my second project for the DecoArt and Stampendous blog hop extravaganza! See the first one here. Today is a large blog hop that should keep you busy all weekend. Don’t forget to leave a comment and check out all the other links, hopefully you’ll win the giveaway!

I loved making these imprinted coasters. They are going to look great on my summer brunch picnic table. It was fun and a little messy and the kids were able to make some of their own as well.






I covered my workspace with freezer paper, shiny side up, so that the clay comes up easily. Roll out the clay to about ¼ inch (or about 6 millimeters for our metric friends) thick. Make sure it’s not too thick that it won’t dry, but not too thin that it will break. Dab your rubber stamp with paint with some sort of foam sponge or a makeup sponge. Place your stamp down on the clay and apply even pressure on the entire stamp. I found the best results were by gently rolling my rolling pin over the stamp.
Floral Imprinted Summer Coaster #DecoArt #Stampendous

Let-Me-Point-Out-The-Obvious-Tip: Wash the paint off of your rubber stamp after each use, particularly if you live in the hot desert. It dries fast and took some effort to get clean.

Imprinted Floral Summer Coasters

Cut out your coaster shapes with something round. I used the mouth of one of our drinking glasses. Then  use a butter knife to smooth the clay around the edges. Place the round shapes on a cooling rack if you have one. Another tip: Once the top of the coaster is dry, flip the coaster over so that it doesn’t start to curl on the edges and remains flat. I flipped mine 4 or 5 times during the drying process. It will probably take 24 hours to completely dry. Mine dried overnight, but remember, I live in an oven.

While it’s drying, cut your felt or cork so that it’s smaller than the coaster, and will fit nicely on the back. Once dry, gently sand the side and rough edges of the coasters so they are smooth. Paint the edges with a light coat of Champagne Gold metallic paint.

Once that is dry, paint a coat or two of satin varnish on top to seal the coaster so it can withstand a little moisture. After the top  varnish is dry varnish the bottom, and stick on the felt with the varnish.

Imprinted Floral Coaster #DecoArt #Stampendous

That’s it! You can package them up pretty for a hostess gift or customize them to the colors of your summer table. Cheers!

Now check out all the other amazing projects in the blog hop!


The excitement continues as conclude our grand tour of amazing artists playing with Stampendous, DecoArt, and Princeton Artist Brushes via inspired by Willow Wolfe products! The inspiration has been amazing, and today you’ll be even more astonished! If you missed the beginning of our journey, be sure to go back and check it out! MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAY

Visit each blog, leave a comment! • Like Stampendous, DecoArt, Princeton Artist Brushes, and inspired by Willow Wolfe on Facebook! • We’ve also got a Pinterest Board started!

Louise Crosbie (Scotland, UK)

Lea Kimmel (North Carolina, USA)

Claudia Neubacher (Vienna, Austria)

Asia King (Oxford, UK)

Iliane de Fockert (Elly) (Niedersachsen, Germany)

Suzanne Czosek (Illinois, USA)

Julia Stratford-Wright (near London, UK)

Kristine Reynolds (California, USA)

Angelica Stark (Hudiksvall, Sweden)

Mark Gould (West Sussex, UK)

Debbie Cole (California, USA)

Jamie Martin (Oklahoma, USA)

Tobi Crawford (BC, Canada)

Wendy Price (New Jersey, USA)

Jessa Plant (Arizona, USA)

A few of the bloggers this week are new to hopping, so if you have an issue with any of the links, here’s a little tip! If you get a page that says “Sorry that Page is not here” or something similar, try clicking on the header of the blog, or look for something that says Home. The hop page should be near the top of the day’s posts. We will fix broken links as the day goes on, as well, so check back here if you are really lost.

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Linked to ~ Think Pink Sunday, Nifty Thrifty Things, Say G’day Saturday, Sunday Showcase, The Makers, Link Party Palooza, Coast to Coast, Show & Tell, Liz Marie Blog

Geometric Stamped Step Stool

Our great friends at DecoArt , Princeton Brushes, and inspired by Willow Wolfe are joining with us this week to show you what you can do with stamps and acrylic paint! You’ll be amazed how these simple craft items make amazing things!

stamped foot stool

Hi there! I hope your weekend was fantastic! I wanted to share this cute little step stool I painted as part as a fun collaboration with Stampendous rubber stamps and DecoArt paint. I honestly never thought of using rubber stamps with paint as a way to decorate furniture, but it really works!


It was a super easy craft that really updated this old step stool that the girls use in the bathroom. I painted it with three coats of DecoArt’s Chalky Finish paint in Carbon. (I’m super in love with the smooth finish of the paint, and the low VOC makes it so I can paint inside the house with no problem.)


I chose the Square Illusion stamp from Stampendous, and stamped it on with the Americana Gloss Enamels in White.


The best way I found to get the paint on to the stamp was to dab it with a little round foam painter used for stencils, but a makeup sponge would work great as well.

I practiced a lot on paper, just to make sure I get the paint amount and pressure right. But I learned that stamping with paint is not an exact science and not every stamp is even. But I like it! Once it was dry I finished up with a coat of varnish. I love how it turned out!

Now for the blog hop…


Visit each blog, leave a comment! • Like Stampendous, DecoArt, Princeton Artist Brushes and inspired by Willow Wolfe on Facebook! • We’ve also got a Pinterest Board started!

Claudia Neubacher (Vienna, Austria)

Kristine Reynolds (California, USA)

Iliane de Fockert (Elly) (Niedersachsen, Germany)

Julia Stratford-Wright (near London, UK)

Julie Robertson (UK)

Asia King (Oxford, England)

Jessa Plant (Arizona, USA)

Kathi Rerek (New Jersey, USA)

A few of the bloggers this week are new to hopping, so if you have an issue with any of the links, here’s a little tip! If you get a page that says “Sorry that Page is not here” or something similar, try clicking on the header of the blog, or look for something that says Home. The hop page should be near the top of the day’s posts. We will fix broken links as the day goes on, as well, so check back here if you are really lost.

The Official Rules are here.

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