Monday, March 21, 2016

Tips and Tools for Drawing on Rocks

(This post contains affiliate links)

The pictures of my rock doodles are some of my most popular pictures on my Instagram page. The first question I get asked is where do I find such smooth rocks? I'm lucky enough to live near a beach filled with them, but if you're having trouble finding your own, I suggest visiting your local garden center and seeing if they sell river rocks. Once you have your rocks, it's time to get supplies. Below is a list of my favorites.

For clean, white designs, my favorite pen to use is this uni-ball signo gel pen.

For bright, detailed designs, I love the Moonlight Series gelly roll pens by Sakura America. Be sure the gelly roll pens you purchase are the bold point. The tip is actually quite small. I've tried the fine point tips and the ink doesn't flow as well. 

For a smooth, paint-like effect, I use extra-fine point posca paint pens. These pens also work great on wood and other surfaces. 

For younger children, I really like these new neon liquid chalk pens by International Arrivals. You can also use them on glass, chalkboards and other surfaces. The chunky tip makes drawing designs and letters easy for kids.

When it comes to sealing your finished doodle rocks, my favorite sealant is this matte clear finish that you can find at Michael's. I always use matte because I like to maintain the natural stone appearance as much as I can. When I use acrylic paint I typically seal with mod podge, but when I use the pens listed in this guide I always seal with a spray so that the designs don't get smeared (I've learned from personal experience).

Remember, there's no wrong way to doodle on rocks. If you're unsure of what you want to do for your design, sketch it out on paper first. But really, the best way to create fun, unique designs is to just start drawing.

If you get a chance, head over to my Instagram page and let me know what you think about the guide. Next in the works is a guide for painting on rocks. I'll announce it on my Instagram page when it's finished.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Day Downloadable Coloring Pages

(This post contains affiliate links)

These fun heart coloring pages are perfect for Valentine's Day.  Print a whole stack of them for your Valentine's Day party. Or cut out your finished heart and turn it into a Valentine's Day card. Lots of options.

If you are looking for some markers to use with your coloring pages here are some of my recommendations:
-Prismacolor markers are what I used mostly for coloring in these two pics. Worth the higher cost.
-Stabilo 68 point, great value for the price and the tips make it easy to color in larger areas
-Sharpie 24pk, extra fine point. Lots of color options.

I'm always making new coloring pages and posting about my other creative adventures. Follow along with my on Instagram and see what's happening. @sam_thrive360living

Download this mandala heart here.

Download the intricate heart coloring page below here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids

I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are 100% mine. This post contains affiliate links.

When my very active son broke his leg I knew that we would be spending a lot of time at home and I wanted to make sure that we didn't spend too much time looking at screens. It was perfect timing that I was in the process of viewing the book "150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids" by Asia Citro. 

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids book covers everything from DIY toys, pretend play ideas, doughs, slimes, paints and mores. My favorite part is that I didn't feel overwhelmed by any of the directions, supplies or ingredients. In fact, most of the activities include ingredients that you most likely already have at home. As we flipped through the book, the rainbow colored pasta caught the eye of my son and we couldn't wait to make our own. 

I was impressed by how beautiful and vibrant the pasta turned out. The recipe could not have been easier to follow and not only did my son enjoy playing with the finished pasta, but he had a great time helping me make it. We made designs with the pasta, used it for necklaces and even glued it to cardboard to make our own pasta cars. 

150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids is a book that you will use over and over again as your child grows from baby to big kid. We can't wait to try more activities.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peg Doll and Playset Ideas

I adore painting peg dolls and coming up with fun new ways that they can be played with and displayed. If painting dolls just isn't for you, you can find all of these peg people sets in my Etsy store. Peg dolls make wonderful, unique gifts. 

These flower peg girls and flowers are great for teaching colors and color matching. The dolls rest perfectly on top of the flowers. 

This donut baking set started off as a game that I made for my son's montessori preschool class. The kids loved the bright colors and found a lot of different ways to play with the donuts and plates. They stacked them, matched them and also created patterns. To complete the set I added the peg doll baker, sprinkles jar and rolling pin. 

Recently I combined my love of painting story stones with peg dolls to make fun little story sets. 

This is rainbow girl, her best friend rainbow bug and her magic rainbow cloud. 

Rainbow girl even has her own rainbow shelf in my craft room. 

Sunflowers are my favorite so of course I had to paint a little sunflower doll, complete with her own special flower pot. 

Outer space girl is always followed by her shooting stars wherever she goes. 

Lightning Bolt man was a fun doll I created for my son one day after we had a freak thunderstorm. He creates storms with a simple wave of his thunder wand. 

If there's a special peg doll or story set you'd like customized just for you, I'd love to paint it. Just send me a message at my Etsy store.

To see more peg dolls and other creations I make, follow me on Instagram @sam_thrive360living

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