Friday, August 30, 2019

Ethereal Acrylic Backgrounds & Thoughts on Downtime

Dare to Get Dirty at Splitcoast always inspires me with new techniques to try.

Our super-hostess Ann came up with one I loved this year using stencils and acrylic paint. So fun and easy, so I made a bunch of backgrounds with it. I love any technique where I can pull out an interesting background from my stash and put a cute new stamp on it.

So let's talk about downtime.

I want you to appreciate your downtime. Your days with no structure, where you can do what you want. It's really, really an important part of adult life, just as much as it's pretty much the most important time in a child's life.

Those empty spaces are the workshop for your imagination and creativity.

Your brain is just like a closet. If it's so jammed full of stuff that it all tumbles out when you open the door, you're not in good shape.

You need silence, and peace and unstructured time. You know this instinctively when you're harried or in the middle of some unexpected event, but then you tend to forget it when you're in a "normal" stretch, and you let the clutter come in.

I'm here to tell you to Kondo your schedule like you do your physical spaces.

So I made a card for you to reinforce that point.

I used Ann's technique to create the illusion  of water for my little floating tiger. I brayered turquoise and ultramarine paint directly onto the card panel, placed this fun stencil on top of it, and removed some of the paint with a baby wipe. I love the way it came out!

I then cut a half inch off the panel, and separated two pieces of it, and glued them down, leaving me enough room for the sentiment. I stamped the tiger, which is in the set with the sentiment, in Amalgam ink, and colored him with Copics, and cut him out with the matching dies. Look how happy he is, having taken a minute to do nothing.
Now I say all this as a person who has a hard time sitting still. But that's not all downtime is. Sometimes it's a mindless doodle, or a backyard watercolor happy hour - my favorite - listening to the birds. 

I'm not a TV person, but I watch it to be social for a few hours before bed. But I can't just watch TV - it makes me restless and or I instantly fall asleep. So I do little things - I put cardstock in my stamp pockets, or zentangle - and my most recent favorite activity is this.

I used this teeny, tiny blue Sharpie, and these shells from Amazon. I will say - the seller did a great job making sure they weren't all smashed - the bag was thickly bubble wrapped. 

I bought the box of Sharpies, because this can wear on the tips after a lot of shells. 

Different kinds of shells give you different possibilities, as this amazing artist proved. Hers look like Wedgewood. Mine look like I'm doing them during Breaking Bad :).

Do you do something while you watch TV? Let me know in the comments!

And guess what? Just in time for your downtime, there's a big sale at Ellen Hutson! I have links to the stamps and dies I used today in Ellen's store below, or you can click the sale graphic to shop all the things. I hope you are safe and not in the path of the hurricane.

Here are all the things I used today.

Tentacles - A Colorful Life Designs
[ CLD ]
BB Sunshine & Friendship – MFT Stamps
[ MFT ]
BB Sunshine & Friendship Die-namics –...
[ MFT ]
Teal Golden Open
[ BLIC ]
Golden Fluid Acrylics - Ultramarine Blue
[ BLIC ]
Mermaid tidy towel case and glue...
[ ETS ]
White Ark Clam Sea Shells
Sharpie 1742664 Pens, Fine Point,...
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
[ ELH ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | CST ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]
Scor-Pal MINI SCOR-BUDDY Scoring...
[ SSS ]



  1. I not only need unstructured time I need it to be technology free sometimes too. I haven't been giving myself quiet.
    I keep my art bag and a stack of gel prints in the TV room and I have been weaving a lot too.

  2. I have to check this out - your card is too cute and the shells so pretty.

  3. I had a downtime DAY yesterday, and I felt so guilty. Now I feel less guilty, lol. I watch the news with hubby in the evening, until I just can't take it anymore. I am SO worried about Tongass National Forest now (and the Amazon), it literally is giving me stomach cramps. I play Frozen to keep my blood pressure down. Gorgeous water background and your shells are amazing!

  4. Once again, you say it all so well. Downtime is so important. For me, it is my "alone time", and nothing can stop me from it. And when it comes to watching TV (only carefully selected movies and programs), I must be doing something with my hands, which of course is making cards and gifts. Those shells might get added to my list!

  5. Your card is just adorable. And such a good reminder. I have to keep my hands busy while I'm watching tv or I'll be sleep before opening credits. Mostly, I crochet or cross stitch. Thank you for the encouragement to just do something for the fun of it. I can make my body be still (usually) but I have a terribly hard time quieting my brain.

  6. Oh my word - I am the same type of tv watcher. I suck at it! I usually do word puzzles on my phone or crochet. But we recently bought a condo in florida (which at the moment has black mold and might be hit by a hurricane - good times! But hey - the condo was my husbands idea). I was wondering what the heck I would do down there with crafty hands. This could be it!! Tons of shells just a walk away and sharpies don't take up a lot of room (very small condo) Card is awesome also


Every time you leave a comment, a new LOLcat is born. ALSO - don't panic if you don't see your comment right away - I moderate my comments to keep those spammers out, so your comment will show up in short order. Unless you're linking me to Russian brides or Nigerian princes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...