You know how much I love Yao…and now she’s sharing her watercolor GENIUS with all of us! I’m so excited to paint along! This is the first in a series of five watercolor tutorials.
Yao has sweetly offered you guys 20% off at her shop or etsy shop using the code THEALISONSHOW !! So be sure to check out her gorgeous work.
Take it away Yao!
I am so happy to be introducing a series of tutorials on watercolor with you guys today! Starting with this first one on the basics and supplies of painting watercolor, I will be sharing techniques and tools of how I use watercolor. There are numerous ways to approach this medium, so I won’t be covering every technique there is out there. However, you can find lots of great information and demos here that will hopefully broaden your creative palette!
I have always loved to paint and create art, but when I discovered the wonders of watercolor a few years ago, I really feel like I have found my voice. I can probably talk about watercolor all day, but I’m going to just touch on some of the basics in this tutorial and go into more detail about different techniques later in the series! For me, watercolor is not only a wonderful medium to paint with, but it also teaches me a lot about how I approach my work. I’ve learned a great deal about just enjoying the process of creating a painting rather than worrying about the final result. The beauty of watercolor is that it isn’t possible to plan out exactly how it will turn out in the end. At some point in the process of painting with watercolor, you have to step back a little bit and just allow it to blend and dry how it wants. Embracing that aspect was certainly hard for me to do in the beginning as I like to be a perfectionist in my work! However, once I became more used to this quality to watercolor, it was liberating and so much fun to just let it do its own thing!
I’m going to first talk a little bit about the types of supplies that I have found to work best, and then I will touch briefly on some of my favorite techniques and tools!
On Father’s Day we blessed our little Radcliff Eric Roberston! As you may or may not know, I’m one of those Mormons, and when a baby is born we gather family and close friends and give them a special blessing in church. It’s basically just a prayer and a way to introduce the baby to the congregation. We blessed baby Rad last Sunday and then we had a luncheon at our house afterwards. I’ve been trying really hard to not go over-the-top with gatherings lately. Haha, for Eric’s birthday I even BOUGHT A CAKE. I know, I know. It was seriously really hard for me, but it made for such an easy, nice day and Eric really appreciated it.
For the lunch I wanted to do something special, but not stress myself out. So I bought some cookie cutters to spell out “RAD” and decided I’d make cookies and nothing else. I bought mostly prepared food from Costco and didn’t let myself make printables, labels, or any other treats. I didn’t go crazy on decorations either. I basically used everything I saw laying around on the floors. Haha, seriously those masks are all over my house.
It was such a fun and wonderful day. I was able to really enjoy everyone’s company and actually talk to our family and friends, instead of staying in the kitchen the whole time or hiding in a corner because I had tired myself out being a crazy craft lady. This may seem OBVIOUS to some, but I’m really not a moderate person, so it’s difficult for me!
Rad wore what Eric was blessed in. He looked so cute I just about cried every time I looked at him. I bought myself a whole new outfit at JCPenny. (Have you been there lately I LOVE IT!) My baby weight is coming off SO SLOWLY and I’ve been really struggling with it. I gained A LOT OF WEIGHT. But I figured I needed to stop moaning about it and wearing all black and buy myself something perky to wear in the meantime.
The pulled pork sandwiches were so easy to assemble. I just dumped pre-cooked pulled pork in the crock pot with a jar of Stubbs BBQ sauce. Then we toasted the torta rolls with provolone cheese. We served coleslaw from Whole Foods, along with kettle chips and pickles. Eric’s mom made homemade banana ice-cream and served it with caramel sauce. It was SO GOOD. I got the little serving trays at a party supply store and it was a fun thing to eat the pork sandwiches in piled high with slaw. It was such a fun and beautiful day.
I feel like over the last two years my blog has become less personal. I haven’t posted something like this little family gathering in a while. I think my distance was a gut reaction to me sharing too much of myself in my early years of blogging. I started sharing just crafts and DIY’s but not too much of myself. It’s hard for me to find a balance. I’m an all or nothing type of gal!
But in the last six months, and especially since the birth of Rad I’ve decided that I want my blog to be more genuine and meaningful to me, otherwise it’s a waste of my time, and probably yours. I know not to get too personal now. But I’m also so over sharing DIYs or crafts just for the sake of having content. So even though I might not post as often, I want to share real ideas and things that I love and that I use in my life that might inspire you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll share sponsored posts from time to time or write aspirational stuff and round-ups for pay. Mama needs money! But I try to still keep them sincere and relevant to my life. I don’t want to post random DIYs or crafts anymore just in the hopes of driving or attracting traffic. Nope. I feel like that’s the type of blogging that kills blogs…and bloggers! Ha. Blogging is a funny beast. Blogs are a funny medium and it’s taken me a while to decide exactly what I want to with mine. And what do I want to do? I want to keep it real.
So whether you’ve been around for a few weeks or a few years, I thank you.
I’m not rich, I’m not thin (anymore…but I’m working on it!) and my house is almost always a mess. But I sincerely love to write, share ideas, craft, and bake, (in that order) and I’m flattered daily that anyone might care what I have to say.
My favorite type of gift to give includes something I’ve made paired with something I’ve bought. I learned a while ago that not everyone really cares about receiving a handmade gift. So instead of forcing them on people like a crazy craft lady, I save elaborate/time consuming/super expensive handmade gifts for people who have either requested one, or people I KNOW will want one/ cherish one. Also this is kind of neither here nor there, but I’m also REALLY careful about making people things that have to display in their home. It’s hard to predict what people will like for their home, and unless you’re POSITIVE I say stick to an accessory.
This saves me from being offended when someone doesn’t use or display or really love something I make. After all, a gift SHOULD be about the other person, not about me, right? Haha.
ANYWAY a good friend of mine is having a baby boy! HOORAY! And she always calls everyone a “lil sucker.” So naturally I thought I was HYSTERICAL when I put the phrase on a onesie. Then right before she opened it at her baby shower I got self-conscious that it wasn’t nice enough (I paired it with some lil items from Baby Gap) or special enough. Or that I was the only one who would “get it.” I don’t know why. But I just felt kind of lame. When you make something for someone else you are putting yourself out there in a way.
But when she opened it she was really touched and excited about the present. She loved that I had remembered she uses that phrase a lot. And even though it had only taken me 30 minutes to make, she was so thankful. (She’s a really wonderful person I might add) But it just made me feel so good!
I’ve noticed in life that sometimes when I want to do a nice thing, I get self-conscious for whatever reason, and then almost talk myself out of it. I’ve learned this lesson before, probably even written about it before, but it’s just such a good reminder for me to not let my own insecurities get in the way of serving and loving others.
If I feel like doing something that I think is “nice” I should just do it and get over myself.
Anyway. Don’t be a lil’ sucker like me, go ahead and make one of these for a friend! Haha.
I have a lot to say. So NO SURPRISE I wanted a message wall (I’m not really sure what else to call it) in Rad’s room. I just figured the whole thing out as I went, and I thought I’d share my tips with you because the wall has really held up great! So ready or not, here we go!
I used these kraft letters from Joann. I waited til they were on sale, and then I used a coupon that gave me an additional 20% off on top of that. -SPRAY PAINT
Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultral Coverage is my favorite. It’s cheaper and better than Krylon. -DOUBLE SIDED MOUNTING TAPE
I used 3M, you can get a jumbo roll at Home Depot -PAINTERS TAPE -RULER, MEASURING TAPE
I measured from the top of the wall to mark, with a pencil, where I wanted the base line for my top row of letters. I made a mark every 12 inches or so, and then placed my painter’s tape UNDER the marks to form a straight line. You COULD use a level, but my reasoning is that I’d be basing the straightness of the letters in comparison to the ceiling. We have an old basement and chances are the ceiling is not perfectly level. I’m not sure, but I do know my letters look hella straight.
A great thing about having the whole piece of tape there is you can make sure the WHOLE letter is flush with the line (and therefore level) without making a giant pencil line on your wall.
I used the painter’s tape between letters (vertically) to make sure they were kerned evenly. I used three strips of painter’s tape to space my WORDS. I repeated this process for my second row of letters, except instead of measuring from the ceiling to establish the straight line, I measured from the bottom of the top strip of tape. Read that sentence a few times, look at the pictures, and I’m pretty sure it will make sense!
I centered my second row of letters by first measuring “MR RAD” all laid out on the floor. Then I measured the “CALL ME” (as it was mounted on the wall). I divided the difference in two, and measured in that many inches from the end of each letter (the C and the E). I hung the “M” in Mr. and the “D” in Rad first, to account for any errors I made in measuring and so that things would be perfectly centered FOR SURE, even if the words on the second row didn’t measure EXACTLY 3 pieces of tape in-between (like they did on the top row).
I used double-sided mounting tape and made sure to use A LOT OF IT. I haven’t had any letters fall down, and even though it says, “permanent” on the mounting tape it doesn’t really damage your walls.
I use this painter’s tape trick to mount everything now. I also used it to make the straight lines for the grid I made to hang my wall decals. But I’ll share some pictures of that too later!
Let me know if you have any questions! I’ve really been loving this wall, and I love that I didn’t have to put a bunch of holes in my wall to do it! I’m sure I’ll want to change the room up as Rad grows. And even though the wall is super bold, it’s not really uber permanent. In the future I might just want the “Mr. Rad” part, and I’ll still be able to use the letters. HIGH KICK!