Succulent Obsession! DIY Bath and Body Works candle jars

I've always loved being surrounded by plants and greenry, but i have more of a black thumb then a green on!! LOL

Well, that is until i discovered succulents! They are now my obsession and I am psychotically placing them everywhere in and outside my house... and they don't die!! yaay! 

So here's a very simple picture guide to using Bath and Body Works candle jars as planters for them. Those Jars are so great and scream with DIY possibilities!! heres one!

And thats pretty much it!! Arrange your succulents however you like, i water the soil a little bit once I'm done. They really don't require much water, and since i don't have a hole at the bottom of my jar I'm super careful to not over water them! 

Replaced the small candle with a small arrangement! With a 1 year old in the house i never lit the candle i had placed in the lantern, since its within reach. I love this new idea!! 

Replaced the small candle with a small arrangement! With a 1 year old in the house i never lit the candle i had placed in the lantern, since its within reach. I love this new idea!! 

ArtSnacks Inktober box review

Yup, thats my crazy house right now! Because A was super excited to decorate this year! 

Yup, thats my crazy house right now! Because A was super excited to decorate this year! 

Feels like ages since my last ArtSnacks box review, got caught up with this thing called 'life' and missed a few boxes! But with family visiting, preparing for the Sammamish Art Fair, and other shows; oh and with the littles! I have no idea where the days are going! Life here seems to be SOOO much busier then life in Pakistan! There you have help for EVERY SINGLE thing!! Here the days just go by with never ending lists of things to do!! 

And then suddenly I’m reminded of one of my all time favorite songs:

"And you've been so busy lately

that you haven't found the time

to open up your mind

and watch the world spinning

gently out of time" 

‘Out of time’ by Blur - https://youtu.be/SRkX1Up1vnc (yes please listen to it if you haven't ever, and if you have then hear it again just because it such a brilliant song!) 

So I spent the day playing with my kids, doing art projects on paper plate witches, white pumpkins, painting the human canvas 'mom's face', decorating the house and cycling in the rain!

A day well spent, which ended with me, my ArtSnacks box and my sketchbook! As you all know by now, A is always just as thrilled as me at the arrival of the ArtSnacks box! As with every box, I have to fight him off to get the first unpacking pic with all the contents! Which were:

 

1.Higgins black magic ink

2. Caran d'Ache black wood pencil

3. Cretacolor artist studio line colored pencils

4. Pigma professional brush pen by Sakura

5. Connoisseur bamboo watercolor brush

6. Zombie Gummy foot (imagine A's excitement!)

7. ArtSnacks tattoo (also consumed by A!)

I started off my piece with a quick sketch using the Black wood pencil; I just love the look of this pencil, so slick! Bonus points for being super soft and fun to sketch with, so far one of my favorites to keep. 

Next I started my shading with the Cretacolor colored pencils, in the Artsnacks intro card, these were described as; "... richly pigmented leads with a buttery feel to produce bold, vibrant color tones. Use these colored pencils to draw on top of other dark-ink art supplies." After reading this, my expectations were pretty high... and then they came CRASHING down!!! Yes they were soft, but bold they were not!! For example the eyes, I wanted them to be a bold popping out at you blue, which I don’t think I was able to achieve; even getting it to what they are was reworking again and again and putting way more pressure then should have been put! 

I have to admit I did get frustrated with them pretty quickly and moved on to the Brush Pen; great quality pen, I like the quality of ink as well as the nib. As is with most of Sakura's products! In the past 6 months of my subscription to Artsnacks box, I have seen some form of a black pen in almost every box, so my excitement about a good black ink pen has kind of fizzled out by now! But it was fun to work with; smooth for quick sketches which is an important quality for me! I finished off the piece with some very quick washes using black magic ink and the bamboo brush. I have always been a huge fan of bamboo brushes, when working with inks I always prefer a bamboo brush as apposed to any other sort of watercolor brush. It’s capable of holding a lot more ink and delivers a beautiful variety of strokes. Each stroke very effortlessly has so much character in it; I am a long time fan of these brushes so this was the highlight for me in this months box. And believe it or not I did not own one as yet, because I left mine behind in Pakistan! (WARNING: You will find me saying that ALOT!!)

This piece was a fun one, more of a quick sketch compared to some of the older pieces I’ve done with the art snacks box, but I was able to get a good feels of the materials.

I would LOVE to see some completely different materials in the ArtSnacks box in the next 6 months of my renewed subscription! 

 

 

 

A quick end to this post because since tonight I've decided to write and not watch crap on my laptop A and Z have both decided they MUST sleep in my bed and like little baby rabbits they need to feel the warmth of a body next to them, so while I try and feel productive; little people are trying to snuggle! 

 

 


Mosaic table DIY tutorial

The products i used for my table. 

The products i used for my table. 

So it's finally summer here in Seattle. And we've been spending a lot of time outdoors soaking up some good Ol' vitamin D! When we're not out of the house we spend time in the balcony while A plays with his sand box, baby Z sits in her rocker and I contemplate life and important issues such as why is this black table so ugly?! In one of my over ambitious moods I decided it HAD to mosaic it!

Being the impatient person that I am, I got to it fairly quickly, this is the first time I've attempted mosaic so there were lots of mistakes to make and lots to learn! Here are some tips and a guide so you don't make the same mistakes! 

Things you need:  

1. Mosaic pieces - I got a bag from the thrift store but those weren't enough to cover the whole table so then I got a box of mixed blue pieces  

2. Strong craft glue - I used Craft smart 

3. wheeled Cutter - I loveeeee this tool!!  

4. Sponge  

5. Rags 

6. Bowl for water  

7. Grout your choice of Colors I bought the Premixed one.

8. Sealer - optional  

9. Surface to mosaic  

The beginning... only to realise i needed to get more pieces! 

The beginning... only to realise i needed to get more pieces! 

Step 1: thoroughly clean your surface with a wet cloth and let it dry. Make sure your surface is nice and dry before you get started, as your glue won't work too well otherwise.  

Step 2: start laying down your tiles!  

As I had mentioned earlier I got a bag of glass pieces from the thrift store, these were all irregular sizes and shapes. But the box of tiles I got were 1inch squares so with my cutting tool I started snipping these. It was extremely effortless to do. I just snipped away without too much thought! I was first laying down all the pieces, and then picking them up again, putting glue on the back and then sticking them back down. But this was taking agessss and I'm not the most patient person! So instead I put the glue down on in a small section of the table, (about 3 x 3 inch) and then just laid my mosaic pieces down on that. Just make sure you have lots of glue and work fast so the glue doesn't dry out. This method also worked well for me because I wasn't following any particular pattern I was just going by how they visually looked next to each other.

All tiles glued down and ready for step 4. 

All tiles glued down and ready for step 4. 

This process of putting down your mosaic pieces takes a lot longer then I would have thought.... I was hoping to have it all laid down in one day! Yes, a little over ambitious I know! But realistically with giving it about and hour to two hours max a day; with distractions and ‘A’ laying down the tiles with me.... I got it done in about 4 days.

Step 3: let it dry! Let your glue dry over night. I used craft glue as it's easy to use, I already had it at home, it dries clear and it's got a strong hold. But glues specifically made for Mosaics are available also. I was happy with what I used. It did lightly rain one night and the table got wet, so I had to re-glue some of the pieces, which had come loose.  

grouting- Round 1!

grouting- Round 1!

Step 4: Grouting!  Yet another process I really underestimated! It just looks so simple and easy to do in all the shows on TV....it's really Not! THEY LIE!! Of course they didn't have a 3 year old helper so I'm sure that had something to do with it! I started off by laying down the premixed grout, covered all the tiles and rubbing it into all the gaps. The instructions on the grout said to let it sit for half an hour and then wipe it down with a sponge and water. Which I did, but between me and ‘A’ turning it into a game of pouring water onto the table with the sponge, I think we kind off over did it. Because once it dried the entire thing had lots of cracks. So I let it dry over night and then the next day once ‘A’ was asleep I re-grouted it. Technically I should have first removed the first layer but it seemed like that would take too much time. The second layer seems to be working perfectly!

Step 5: sealer- after letting it set for a few days I applied a surface sealer which was a very easy process of applying it with a sponge brush. Not a very necessary step, but since I live in Seattle and usually it rains a lot and the table is outdoors I thought it was a good idea, but of course since having done that it hasn’t rained at all! So, I haven’t really been able to test it.

But I loveeeee how my table turned out! Here are a few tips so you don’t make the same mistakes I did! 

TIPS:

Round 2 of grouting process- also applied a thinner layer this time. 

Round 2 of grouting process- also applied a thinner layer this time. 

1. Don’t be shy with the glue. Make sure to use enough so that each piece sticks. 

2. Wear gloves. 

3. When applying the grout rub it in all the little cracks. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer on top of each tile; it’ll just be more work for you later. 

4. i smoothened out my edges with an old credit card which worked perfectly!

5.Don’t use to much water when wiping it off. 

6. Use a soft cloth for cleaning when there’s a very light greyish residue remaining.  

Hope this helps with your mosaic project, if you have any questions leave me a comment and ill get back to you asap! 

Happy mosaic-ing! 

You can find some of the products i used here: 


TAADAAAAHHH!!!! 

TAADAAAAHHH!!!!