On the fence about outdoor décor

by Meredith 17. July 2012 21:40

Surfing Pinterest inspired me to make some artwork for the backyard. Hunter had recently completed a fence project and there was some scrap lumber leftover. Stapling the wood together made some nice size canvases to play with.

The project combined two popular “pins” into one finished piece. These were how to distress painted wood and to make plant silhouette artwork. I won’t go into details describing how to do these techniques because I think the other websites do a great job but here is a brief summery of my steps:

I first painted the boards (6 total) a base color; 3 yellow & 3 green. I then coated one side of some plant cuttings with spray adhesive and arranged each onto a board. Next step was to carefully paint the board a second color using the plants like a stencil. (Note: Unlike the tutorial, I used latex paint and not spray paint because it was what I had on hand in the colors I liked.) I also added some random brush strokes of a third color just to add a bit more variation. Once the painting was done, I peeled off the plants and let the boards dry thoroughly overnight. The next day I did a little bit of paint touch up, adding highlights to some of the plant images. Then I used an electric sander to distress the boards; removing some of the layers of paint and in some places I took the paint completely off exposing plain wood. The final step of distressing/aging the wood was to lightly brush on a dark wood stain with a cloth. To protect the finished artwork I added a coat of polyurethane.

The only thing I would have done differently would be making the plants more firmly attached to the boards. It was very tedious to paint around them; often the wet brush would lift the leaves as I painted and made a mess out of the stenciled image. After applying the glue I laid a piece of cardboard on top of the plants and then stacked heavy objects on top of the cardboard (like you would do to press flowers). This worked well but I should have been more patient and left them on there for more than an hour (perhaps overnight would have been better). The more firmly the plant was adhered the easier it was to paint over them.

Overall I think the project turned out great and am really happy with how they look on the fence.

Rainbows, glitter and magic. Oh my!

by Meredith 30. June 2012 16:09

I got a request last weekend to create a graphic to represent the challenges of a particular project. Sometimes software is held together with rainbows, glitter and magic. Really it’s logic but not all of management recognizes that.

"All those 1s and 0s are just so sparkly!"

Bubble Art

by Meredith 1. June 2012 14:44

We had recently went crazy at the dollar store and bought enough bubble supplies to have a massive bubble party. The next step was to make our own bubble solution (recipe below) and create our own custom bubble wands. Now we have taken bubble blowing to the next level: art!

While surfing the web for craft ideas I found one that mixes a small amount of tempra paint into the bubble mix. Blow the bubbles so they land on the paper and when they pop they will create interesting paint designs. Added bonus is because the paint is mixed with soap clean up is super easy. Just add water and the kid is clean!

Creating the mixture was simple. I poured about 1/2 cup of bubble solution into a shallow container and mixed in ~1 tablespoon of paint (I used red, yellow and blue). Each container was given its own wand, otherwise the colors would get contaminated (Miss M did fairly well at keeping them separate). The instructions I had read said to blow the bubbles and have the kids catch them on the paper. As much as I tried I could not convince the two year old to chase the bubbles with the paper. What did work however was to stand over the paper and let the bubbles fall onto it. Once we figured out the correct angle they popped nicely and made some interesting patterns.

I think we will use the resulting art to decorate cards for all the grandmas. Maybe even a Father’s Day card too. Smile

Here is the bubble recipe that we used: 6 cups water, 1 cup Dawn dish washing soap, and 3/4 cup Karo syrup. I doubled this and mixed it in a water jug that had a tap.

The mural needs a photo shoot

by Meredith 17. May 2012 22:27

It would be nice to clean out her room and take some really nice photos with good lighting but setting that up is unlikely to happen for awhile. Until then, I have compiled all the photos we’ve taken of the finished mural into one gallery. I have also collected all the “Making of” images into its own gallery as well.

Flip the Bird got a good review from AppPicker

by Meredith 15. May 2012 22:21

Hey check it out, another good review for "Flip the Bird!" This one came with some really nice comments. Check out this one about the graphics: "The game possess fantastic graphics that are visually pleasing and fun to see."

AppPicker Review

Find "Flip the Bird" on Facebook

Play this game you must.

by Meredith 4. May 2012 16:45

Happy Star Wars Day from Flip the Bird!

Find "Flip the Bird" on Facebook

The Making Of Maddie's Mural

by Meredith 1. May 2012 22:50

I have collected all the “Making of” images into a gallery for easy browsing. I've also added captions to explain where in the process they were taken.

Flip the Bird: April Image

by Meredith 20. April 2012 22:26

Here's the April image for Flip...
(special thanks to John Cooney for the name idea "Flipsters")

Find "Flip the Bird" on Facebook

From the Graphics Desk: Flip the Bird Dev Update

by Meredith 20. March 2012 16:41

From my side of things... lots of little tweaks to the graphics that I think bump up the look of the game to a professional level. Really trying to create a cohesive look between the game elements and everything that relates to the HUD/user interface. A lot of it is subtle and buried within the details but I think in the end they add a lot of polish.

Now if we could just get the attention of the right people to bump up sales. :P Once this release goes out we're going to push marketing hard. At least as hard as we can without spending any money; we still have hardware to recover costs on. But I've got a list of over 100 sites to submit our game out for review. This will be an excellent experiment to see what the payoff of submitting to those sites can be.

Flip Dev Update

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A big thank you!

by Meredith 17. March 2012 22:30

Lovin' all the support. Thanks everyone! :D

Find "Flip the Bird" on Facebook

About Meredith Cook

Welcome to my repository of creative expression. I'm not a happy camper unless I am making something and over the years I have dabbled in quite a few different kinds of art projects. Some projects come from taking art classes, others are completely hobby driven, and projects like home decor come from a need to customize an item and make it better or unique. The overall theme behind what I do is to learn how to manipulate objects and practice what I know about visual aesthetic and good design. Oh yeah, and to have fun.