Illustration Friday - Danger

pigma, pitt, paint, metallic pens & watercolor pencils on paper and board

Illustration Friday's stimulating new prompt, Danger, has me finishing up this doodle I was playing with last month. These ladies look like a couple of trouble makers to me. 

Danger also brings to mind this fun little ditty from a few years ago on HitRecord.org. Peppina & Puppycat shared what has to me my favorite musical riff off the Red Riding Hood tale. I don't see a way to embed it, but you can have a listen here: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/723671  

What does "danger" make you think of? Want to play along? Share your take on your fave social media and link up at http://illustrationfriday.com. Or just pop over to see what other folks are coming up with. No judgement there - creations range from primitive to professional. Just creative folks having fun. Hope to see you there!


Reverse glass DIY with Liquid Chalk Marker review pt.2

liquid chalk marker doodle under glass

We've been moving things around lately and now have a brown couch, brown end table & brown lamp all together - blech. I've been meaning to paint the lamp forever anyway (next project) and might do the same with the table. But in the meantime I ordered a beveled glass top with plans to put some colorful papers and antique postcards underneath.

table top before - way too much brown

The glass arrived while I was playing with these colorful Liquid Chalk Markers. The Ander Blake Company sent me this set in exchange for an unbiased review, which I shared in yesterday's post. If you are curious, click here to check it out and see a couple of projects The Dude came up with.

Since I already had the markers out, and anything I made could be easily erased, I thought it might be fun to do a bit of reverse glass doodling. Years ago I worked in an antique shop that had many old reverse glass paintings in all states of decay.  It is a fascinating technique (and way more complicated than my scribblings.) 

This print of  Leonardo DaVinci's Study of a Face was propped up in the corner and seemed like the perfect muse. The glass was placed face (beveled side) down and cleaned with a swipe of windex. 

With these vibrant colors, I decided to skip the realism and just have fun with a fast doodle-tracing, very free form. I wanted a thicker smear with the white so just rubbed it with my finger before it dried. Liquid chalk dries quickly, making this a light and speedy project.  If I'd needed to erase anything, a rub with paper towel would have taken care of it. Once the face was done the edges were too empty, so I threw down some loose flowery scribbles.

Two things to keep in mind when you are working with reverse glass. (1) Your final piece will be viewed as the mirror image of what you are tracing. (2) If you build up layers of  chalk, the first marks made will in the foreground, with marks you paint on top of it appearing behind. I know both of these tips are obvious - just something to keep in mind as you play. 

This is a super fast project, maybe 10-20 minutes. I still didn't want to see brown table top through the clear parts, though. Since this is a temporary decoration, I topped the wood with a couple of pieces of tin foil. The glass was flipped over so the bevel side faced up. With the chalk side underneath, the image is safe from scratches or sweating lemonade glasses. 

A few What Ifs - If the glass were going directly on the wood, I'd have added some clear rubber feet to raise it up a smidge. While the chalk is dry, I don't know if it could still get trapped in the wood grain or not. If you don't like the tinfoil wrinkles sandwich some pretty fabric, paper or a mirror between the glass and table. If this was a design you wanted to keep, I'd suggest using a more permanent paint or paint pen instead of chalk and then spraying the back layer with Krylon Looking Glass Paint.

And if do you decide to play with foil, just trim or fold over the edges. Unlike my lazy self  (see next photo). 

Like I mentioned earlier, this is a super-fast, super-easy project and a fun way to change things up on a whim. The markers have a clean bevel tip for making smooth thin or thick lines on a nonporous surface. The liquid chalk applies fluidly, dries quickly and is easily removed with a paper towel (& if necessary a bit of windex).

If you have any thoughts or questions, please share. I love feedback.

For more info on these Liquid Chalk Markers visit:

The Ander Blake Company Facebook page and Website.

Click here to find them on Amazon (not an affiliate link). To sweeten the deal, they have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. 


Liquid Chalk Markers Review - Part 1 of 2

Disclaimer:  I received a free set of  8 Liquid Chalk Markers from Ander Blake Company in exchange for an honest  & unbiased review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

These chalk markers are so much fun to use! When the Tampa Bay Lightning were vying for the Stanley Cup, The Dude saw a photo of Harry Potter wearing their bolt logo instead of his usual lightning scar and decided to show some team spirit on his Sorcerer's Stone movie poster. Fortunately it is framed with a clear plastic cover, so this cute idea was a go!

Liquid Chalk Markers should be used only on a non-porous surface so that they can be cleanly erased. We pulled out our new markers for their first test run. The bold blue dried quickly and tweaks to The Dude's design were effortlessly erased with a paper towel and redrawn. Yet another paper towel when the playoffs ended ... and Harry is back to his old self.

The windows were spiced up next with a "Welcome Home" sign for his Dad. These markers would be perfect for decorating store fronts and car windows too, I bet. 

Getting started with these chalk markers really is child's play. Each one has a beveled point for altering the thickness of your lines. Plus, the liquid chalk flows freely without spattering and dries in minutes. Here is a short video that shows just how easy these are to use.

When I first saw these markers, I thought they would be good for dry erase boards or cafe wall menus. It turns out they are a great home decor accessory too. Quickly spruce up your space with lively doodles or holiday greetings, and remove them even faster. I love how the vibrant colors pop on mirrors! 

While we were playing, a piece of beveled glass that I'd ordered for a scratched up end table arrived. My plan is to eventually place some antique postcards and pretty papers between the glass and the table, but I thought I'd have fun with a bit of reverse-glass "painting" first. This lovely lady swiftly came together using only with the glass table top, Liquid Chalk Markers, and tin foil. Check out tomorrow's post for a simple tutorial.

For more info about Ander Blake Company products as well as project ideas, check out their Facebook page and website.

For more reviews of these Liquid Chalk Markers or to order yours on amazon, click here (not an affiliate link). By the way, they also have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. It doesn't get much easier than that.


Silicon Devices Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review

Disclaimer:  I received a set of  Silicon Devices Wireless Bluetooth Headphones in exchange for an honest  & unbiased review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.
Drawer/cabinet hardware
Pot handles
Paint brushes
... are just a few of the things I've snagged my traditional wired earbuds on. I'm an audio book addict and often have one playing while puttering. I'll be bouncing around the kitchen or garden, focused on my task and tale, when POP! out come the earbuds, or worse, ACK! my phone is yanked out my pocket by the connecting wire. Grumbling, I'll plug myself back in, rewind the story and get my groove back on. Has this happened to you too? I've always been a bit clumsy and this drives me crazy.

Silicon Devices has saved the day - and my patience - with some fantastic wireless bluetooth headphones! I have used them almost daily for a month and absolutely love them! Mine are connected to an iphone 5s, but they are compatible with multiple devices. These headphones are extremely lightweight and very comfortable, with different sizes of earbuds and earlocks that are easy to change out.

You can pick up a set of these Comfort+ headphones on Amazon (not an affiliate link). Mine arrived quickly and were well packaged with all of the pieces in a black zippered case.

Here's a peek at the contents. I was surprised by all of the accessories for a customized fit. There is also an instruction manual which I accidentally left out of the photo.

Testing the different silicone buds, I found my size (medium), and charged the headphones using the enclosed USB cable. They charged quickly. (A charge lasts around 4+ hours, even after a month of use). Syncing these with my phone was simple. The Dude likes to tease that I have "tech issues" but even I found the bluetooth easy to hook up. Reception is strong and stays connected until I walk a few rooms away. Sound quality is excellent. 

I love the freedom of wireless! It is perfect for when I have no pockets or need to charge my phone - and still want continue listening to music or story. It is perfect for working at the easel too. Best of all: I no longer have a wire to snag on absolutely everything. Another favorite feature is how easy it is to pause; just a click on the right headphone (which also has the volume button) temporarily holds my spot - so much faster than fumbling for my phone and finding the pause button while someone is trying to get my attention and chattering away.

1/2 asleep before morning walk. But, hey, the headphones look good!

I no longer run, so I haven't put these to an exercise test. However I do walk and garden with them in the hot Florida sun and can vouch for the "sweat proof" claim. (Remember old-school spongy headphones? They were super gross when sweaty. Yuck.) These silicone buds also have a great grip and don't fall out or become uncomfortable like the hard plastic earbuds that came with the iphone.

They also passed the kid-test. The Dude swapped in the smallest size buds and ran around the back yard without them falling out. He also keeps stealing them when they are charging and disappearing into his man-cave to play games and listen to music. I think I may have to get him his own soon.