A Bit of Seaside

Here in the US, we are enjoying a long weekend celebrating Labor Day today. I realize we still have another three weeks of Summer and in SoCal we actually have hot weather right up til Halloween. But, Labor Day typically signifies the unofficial end of summer since school typically starts around this time.

Both kids are back in school now. College started a couple weeks ago for my oldest and my baby is a High School Senior this year. I generally love the routine of school – the kids do so much better with a set routine. But I do miss the lazy days of Summer, and vacations, and time to relax. I’m still thinking about that trip to Hawaii we took this Summer, which leads me into today’s project.

One of my favorite types of projects to make is a mini canvas. There’s just something about miniature artwork that intrigues me. I love trying to figure out how to fit all that cuteness in a small space. Surprisingly, I do take quite a bit of time to make these, adding just one element at a time, making sure I don’t overwhelm the whole piece with too much stuff. You can find mini canvases at local craft stores or art supply stores. This canvas is a 4″ square. I started this project by sponging pool party ink across the entire canvas. It’s mostly even coloring across the canvas, but I did leave some lighter areas and some darker areas for contrast. 
Since I wasn’t quite ready to say good-bye to beach days, I pulled out the stamp set Seaside Notions. I started by stamping all the pieces that I wanted to use and then watercoloring them with my aqua painter. I didn’t worry too much about even coloring because I wanted them to have all the different shading and variations in color. I kept the shells and coral neutral using Sahara Sand and Crumb Cake so that my seahorse would stand out. There is no coordinating die or punch for this stamp set so I hand cut all the pieces.Now, I’m sure you are dying to know what all the little pebbles are. They are a product called “art stones” that I found in a mixed media art store. I have no idea what these things are made of but they are super lightweight and come in a white/beige color. I was betting that I would be able to color them and sure enough it worked! I colored the stones using our ink colors so they would match my project. I made three separate piles of these stones and spray painted them with a mixture of our ink refills and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. The bottom color is Night of Navy, the middle is Bermuda Bay, and the top is Pool Party. Once I was happy with the shade of color, I spread them out on paper towels to dry overnight.

Then using our fine tip glue, I glued them to the canvas. To make the gluing process faster, I took off the top of my glue jar and spread the glue using a disposable paint brush. I started with the Navy at the bottom and then added Bermuda across the top of it. I glued the coral to the canvas about where I thought it should end up. Then I added the last layer in Pool Party across the top of the Bermuda stones, making sure to cover the base of the coral so it would look like it’s growing out of the stones.  

This canvas was given to a dear friend (hi Deb!) that recently moved from her home near the beach to a new place. I wanted to include an inspirational quote on the canvas, but couldn’t find anything in my stamp sets that said just what I wanted it to say or in the right size. To get just what I wanted, I typed it up on the computer and then printed it out on our card stock. 

Anyway, I hope when she sees it that it puts a smile on her face. I’m sure it was a tough decision to move from the home she’d had for many, many years. I’m a believer that things generally work out the way they should. And she loves her new place, which is all that matters. 

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