Is Paint Me Couture the New Sip and Paint?

Hello Lovely,

This weekend, I was super happy to participate in the first Paint Me Couture Event. You’re probably wondering what Paint Me Couture is. Paint Me Couture is a new venture where fashion meets art. Although one could argue that fashion is it’s own form of art, the art in particular is painting. Guests come weekly to paint live models who are decked out in Bahamian designer wear. This new activity is the brainchild of Delano Marc and Justin Moultrie (the same people who brought you the Miasma Fashion Show from earlier this year at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts.)

There will be a new model and outfit on display every week for guests to paint. The garments are made by Delano, while Justin offers expert tips for step by step assistance. So if you’re new to painting, or don’t have a single creative bone in your body, don’t worry. No one expects you to be the next Picasso. You don’t even have to paint exactly what you see. It’s whatever your interpretation is (after all, that’s basically what art is). I’m not a great painter, but I LOVE this idea. Of course, this idea isn’t completely original, but don’t be so quick to judge. Like others, I wanted to know how this would be different from Sip and Paint.

Although the event started late, I didn’t hold it against them, as it was the first event with a lot of kinks to work out. But once things got started, I felt completely relaxed and content. I even suggested the event be promoted as Art Therapy, because the act of free painting and creating something beautiful without the pressures of experts critiquing your work, brings a sense of peace that is incomparable. And the complimentary beverage (included in coverage charge) will help you loosen up as well! I ordered the lavender and thyme lemonade. The drink menu may change for next week

The layout made it easy to see the model, no matter where you sat in the room. Jazzy, a small framed model took centre stage, struck a pose and we went to work. I chose to sketch my painting first. While many artists would never do this, there are some that do and I prefer it as a stepping stone since I’m not expert. I took creative liberty with her leg pose and hairstyle.

Once I had my sketch I was ready to start painting. I painted her skin first, outlined the hair and then went to work on the dress. The finished product surprised even me! Are you ready to see it?

Everyone loved my designs and I think everyone had a lot of fun.

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Just so you know, this isn’t a “Get-rich-quick-scheme”. Justin and Delano both hope to study at St. Martins in London and are using the events as a fundraiser. I will gladly support and promote causes for young people’s education (being an educator, myself) and I hope you will to! Paint Me Couture is only $25 and makes the perfect group outing or date night. The event is held Friday nights from 7-9 at Incudesk in Palmdale (directly across from Janae’s Fabrics).

Holiday Painting Party

Hello Lovely,

Yesterday was a much needed holiday. I know school just re-opened last week, but after threatening to call a child's mother just to get him to stop talking back to me, I think I needed a quick recharge. The holiday we celebrated was Majority Rule Day. Majority Rule Day became a public holiday in 2014. It commemorates The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967, symbolising the promise of equality, a level playing field, and fair play for all Bahamians. 

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To celebrate the holiday I got three of my girlfriends together for a painting party. I started things off by serving brunch (my now famous Banana Nut Pancakes and coffee with a custom made Coffee Creamer).

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We didn't get to paint half the stuff I had planned for us but we still had fun regardless. None of my friends are really "artistic" so we had a little competition to see whose own would look the most like our inspiration. While three of us really tried, Krista gave up very early and did her own design.

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This is the inspiration photo. We all agreed Meghan's own looked the nicest.

We had so much fun figuring the patterns out. I tried to make mine look exactly like the original but throughout the process realised that I was putting way too much pressure on myself and I should just enjoy whatever I create. It definitely wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to copy this design, and with more practise I think I can get really good at it. I found and online class for painting patterns and designs so I can't wait to get started on that and show you what I create.

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After my friends left I made another picture, this time with markers instead of paint. This was the inspiration photo and beneath that is what I created. 

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I really like this painting, drawing thing. I used to draw a lot in high school but that skill got put on the back burner as I had to prioritise studying and writing papers. Now I'm getting back into doodling and it is so therapeutic!

How did you spend the holiday? Did you do anything with family or friends? Do you like to doodle and create artwork? Share your reactions and thoughts in the comment section below.

DIY Colorful Hand-Dotted Tumblers

Hello Lovely,

Gather your friends for a fun afternoon of crafting while making these colourful and unique hand-dotted tumblers. Along with being easy to create, the finished tumblers cost under $2 each to make. Pick up tumblers from your local resale shop or dollar store for a serious deal. Use enamel acrylic paints from your local craft store for longstanding colour, and you're on your way to festive gifts for everyone.

What You'll Need:

·        Any colour enamel acrylic paint you want

·        Glass tumblers

·        Paper towel

·        Cotton swabs

·        Sheet pan

·        Parchment paper

Directions:

1.      Gather the materials for creating the dotted tumblers. Use an enamel or all-surface acrylic for long-standing results. You can purchase small containers at your local craft store for around $1 a bottle.

2.      You can dip your cotton swab directly into the bottle like I did or use a paper towel. Squeeze out a small dollop of each colour of paint and then mix together to create additional colours for your tumblers. You can create different tints of colours by adding white. Or experiment with mixing the primary colours to create greens, oranges, and purples. Place a length of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and then place the glasses upside-down on the pan.

3.      Press the end of a cotton swab in one colour of paint, and dot around the base of the glass. Continue dotting with other colours to create a first layer of dots, and then let dry while working on the rest of the glasses.

4.      Press the end of a cotton swab in one color of paint, and dot around the base of the glass. Continue dotting with other colors to create a first layer of dots, and then let dry while working on the rest of the glasses.

5.      Let the finished dotted tumblers dry for an hour, and then flip them over on the sheet pan. Place in a cold oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes to set the paint. Turn off the heat and allow the glasses to cool in the oven for an hour before handling. Or you can use plastic cups that look like the real thing. No oven-time required.

6.      Give a set to someone special, or gift individually as party favours after a holiday gathering. Although the hand-dotted tumblers are ready for wear and tear, they will last longer when gently hand-washed and allowed to air dry.

 

How a Trip to the Salon Nearly Ruined My Life

Hello Lovely,

It's funny how one day before I was supposed to do something to cheer up my soon-to-be step-sister, I was in desperate need of cheering up myself. Wait, what? You're probably wondering what happened and who this soon-to-be-step-sister is. Calm down! Let's back-track shall we?

So I work in a school as a secretary. Not glamorous but it pays the bills. My dad's girlfriend, now fiance, has two daughters who both go to this school. They're only a little over a year apart with the youngest daughter being 13. Ouch! I know! Very difficult years to navigate! Well on Friday the youngest came into the office to call her mum because she had a bad day. After she hung up, I pulled her to the side to talk. Now I know it would be very easy to ignore this situation as we are nothing to each other. But I'm the bigger (older) person and I have to set the tone for how our 'relationship' will be, i.e. whether or not we'll even have one. I should mention that before this, we had never spoken. Even during the photo shoot, I just took their pictures and communicated through my dad. I didn't expect her to say much of anything to me (she's a teen, they're tough to talk to). But as soon as we were alone, she immediately opened up and began crying. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm awkward around tears (despite also being an MFT Intern). I either start crying too, or completely ignore you. I listened to her, shared some of my own relevant experience and in a last minute effort to win her over, I offered to come by on Sunday after church to do some craft projects with her. This really got her excited and we even hugged on it!

I was really proud of myself for answering God's call to lend a helping hand to someone in need. But this joy didn't last long. On Saturday, I went to my mum's hairdresser for a wash and TRIM. I emphasize the word trim, because it seemed simple enough, yet I walked out of there with more than three inches less, than what I walked in with. As angry as I was with her, I was angrier with myself. I knew that she tends to cut instead of trim, but I still went to her because the service was being paid for by my mum. I had a feeling that she was cutting off more than she should have, but I didn't stop her. I didn't demand that she turn me around so that I could see in the mirror exactly how much she was cutting off. I didn't speak up.

And trust me, I have watched enough episodes of Law and Order SVU and read enough textbooks to know that the victim always blames herself even though it's never the victims fault, but I couldn't help it. I cried all night. Even when I thought I was over it, I cried again. My mother, dad, brother, boyfriend, best friends, even my boss (when I ran into her after the incident) tried to console me and shared in my anger. I think what made this even more difficult was that back in 2009, after getting my heart broken by my first real boyfriend, one of my best friends helped me to dye my hair at home, and then like an idiot only one month later, tried to perm it at home. You're probably thinking it couldn't have been that bad, could it? Oh it was bad trust me! The bottom right side of my head was bald and the rest of my hair was thinning out. I had no choice but to cut it in one of the ugliest haircuts I have ever seen (a little on the top, practically nothing at the back). That was definitely in my top 5 traumatic experiences ever! So when my hair got cut again, it definitely brought back flashbacks and major PTSD. I was ready to skip out on Church and the crafts on Sunday, but I made a promise to her and at her age, broken promises make you good as dead to them.

So on Sunday, I wrapped my head in a scarf, ready to hide my shame, gathered my craft supplies and headed out the door for church. I wasn't crying any more over the haircut, but a dark cloud still loomed over me. But get this. When I stepped outside, I noticed that the Hibiscus tree was in bloom. And so were my mother's Lilies. Fresh flowers that weren't there the day before! It was a miracle. I knew instantly that, that was God's way of smiling down on me and letting me know that everything would be okay. Imagine. While my world was in chaos, the outside world was still functioning and better yet, BLOOMING! My mother's lilies hadn't been in bloom in about a year. I was struggling with my outer beauty, when there was so much beauty around me.

Sure I still had an anxiety attack at church and practically ran out of the room before crying again, but that was the last of it. Having dinner with my step-family and bonding over painting mugs and bowls was really therapeutic as it allowed me to get to know them better and create something beautiful. 

Now I am not an expert artist. Painting is not my forte. Nor my step-sisters. But we had a blast fudging our way through it. I think my mug turned out pretty decent and I'm proud I was able to produce a bowl to match. Sure the bowl looks a little tribal, while the mug is more like a cow skipping through an asymmetrical garden. But everyone loved the design and I think my grandmother will love it as a Mother's Day present! (I was originally going to give it to my mother but she reads my blog so that would totally ruin the surprise).

This is the beauty of healing through art therapy. In art therapy, words are not always necessary. A mere lump of clay or a blank canvas can be far less threatening than giving voice to painful feelings, words, or images. The simple act of a scribble on paper can likely bring light to darkness, ignite conversation, or be a release for a depressing thought. I leave you with this verse to encourage you throughout your week:

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.