Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

I sketched out this whimsical tree illustration last year, but never got to do anything with it. This year when my mom asked me to make a cover for the book she was putting together for her aunt’s family tree, I knew the two would come together nicely. I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

My mom has gotten into the whole ancestry.com thing in the last year. She has a lot of time when she can’t do much else than to research online and so it is a good fit for her. And she loves it. I love hearing about it, but the research of it all sounds tedious and awful to me. Maybe it’s the stage of life I’m in.

Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

I barely had the energy this time of year to make it pretty for her. πŸ™‚ And though I procrastinated like crazy (I don’t usually want to paint after a day of being outside), I did eventually get it done.

Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

She’s putting together a binder of all the information she found about her aunt’s family. She is going to fill in these forms, but wanted them dressed up a bit. Her original request was for me to doodle something in the margin for her to color in. She really wanted to color it herself… I offered to paint it. While we were brainstorming, I asked if she wanted something for the cover.

Whimsical Tree Artwork and borders for Family Tree Record Books

That’s where this was born. I love the way the root tendrils frame not only the title, but also the “researched by” area. And the whimsy of it all just makes me smile.

Have you done any research on your family tree?

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Artwork and borders for Family Tree Records

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How to Style Patriotic Shelves for Cheap!

Today I’d like to share the patriotic shelf decor in my kitchen. Last fall my sweet husband made me these great shelves out of beams he removed from our old farmhouse fixer upper. I really LOVE them! They are American Chestnut… just beautiful! And it has been such a joy to play at decorating them for the seasons. (Check out how I styled them for Valentine’s Day.)

I styled them easily for fall and Christmas because I have a lot of decorations for those (though apparently I didn’t blog them. Sorry! I’ll try to do better this year.) But I’ve found that I don’t have much in the way of decor for the patriotic part of summer. While I’d love to go out and get everything I “need” for an amazingly decorated patriotic house, it’s just not practical. In reality, most of my house isn’t far beyond demolition and begs more for tidiness than for decoration. These shelves are a cute little space where I can bring in some seasonal fun. And I try to do it for as little money as possible.

My picks

Starting from left to right, I found that medal, lacy looking bucket at Joann Fabrics in the spring collection 50+% off during a big Easter sale this spring. I’ve had something similar on my list for a while, so I spent the last of a gift card on it. I picked white over the mint green or pink so that I can use it throughout the year and not worry about storing it. It will probably travel around the house for various seasons and holidays.

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

The artwork in the middle is one I created this year. (Head over here to grab up your own free copy!) I’m really happy with how it brings a summery feel to the kitchen.

The little jar with flowers in it I “stole” from my mom’s stash of little jars she keeps “just ’cause they are cute and we may want them for something.” And the flowers my 11 year old grows in our garden. Whenever they get tired looking, we just pick some new ones and bring them in. The colors are perfect! Forgive the pollen around them on the shelf… we can’t see it from where we stand. Apparently the shelves need a dusting. πŸ™‚

And that cute star is another new purchase ($3ish). Our favorite grocery store, Wegmans, is selling them this spring for the summer season. It’s melamine, which I don’t usually use, but I just bought the one for putting on my shelf. (One or two little new things each year isn’t too bad on the budget.)

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

Negative Space is okay

I’ll admit, I was starting to fret over not having “enough” to put on my shelves. Once I brought out everything I had for the Memorial Day/ Independence Day season, I was left with a sparse feel. What I wanted was a little layering. Instead of just laying everything out in a line to fill the space, I put some things behind and others in front. And wala, I didn’t have anything on the bottom shelf. So I did one more look around my kitchen.

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

There was that single red check napkin and a couple of little dessert bowls from my new “fancy” dish set. I put them by themselves on the bottom shelf and the negative space beside it has really grown on me. I think it gives it a clean de-cluttered feel without feeling naked or bare.

The take away

When I begin styling, I start by gathering anything I have (however little or much) that may fit the theme. For the patriotic theme, I pulled together anything in red, white and blue. Different textures, heights, and thicknesses help. You don’t have to use it all, but just seeing things together may inspire you. If something doesn’t fit, put it away again.

Begin by putting the biggest items up first, then the middle sized things, and finish out with the smaller ones. Keep moving them around until it makes you smile. Sometimes this may take a couple days of playing with it. That’s okay too.

How do you style your favorite seasonal space for summer?

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Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

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Hot Air Balloon Theme for Gender Neutral Baby Shower, Birthday Party or Event

Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

A gender neutral baby shower, birthday party, or event just lends itself to an adventuresome and colorful hot air balloon theme. I started with my own design for gender neutral nursery wallpaper, and this is exactly what we did for an expecting mama in our church a couple weeks ago.

Food Table Decor | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

I know this post has been a long time coming. Not only did I promise it was coming, but I also promised detailed prep posts. Well, that didn’t happen. Between kid sickness and normal spring busy-ness, I should have been more realistic. I was just glad to pull off the party at all. πŸ™‚

Cake, Cloud Cookies, and Rainbow Fruit | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

One of the friends of the mama to be has a sister who makes cakes. When she volunteered her, my first thought was that I wanted to do the cake. Then I realized that if she made the cake, I wouldn’t have to and time was at a premium. I accepted and I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it beautiful. I tried to get a website for you all, but she only makes them for family and friends. If that changes some day, I’ll try to get you a link! The cupcakes are gluten free and that basket was completely chocolate! Yummm!

Cloud Meringue Cookies | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

The dish next to the cake is my take on meringue clouds. (Find the tutorial here.)

Centerpieces | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

I adapted this tutorial and borrowed heavily from several other pics on my Hot Air Balloon Party Board to create these cute centerpieces. I had my 7 year old and one of her friends spread the left over triangles around the tables for extra color.

I created these tags using my own artwork. Find my inspiration for them here.

Gift Table Under the Clouds | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

Pops of color around the room came in the form of these pendent banners and adorable paper hot air balloons. For the balloons I used these instructions from Karen Kavett and this template. At the end of the party, I cut them down and sent them home with each of the ladies who came. I suggested that they put them somewhere they would see them and remember to pray for the family and new baby. They also liked the idea to hand them from the Christmas tree to remember the event for years to come.

Party Decor | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

The whole event really turned out beautifully. My sweet husband helped me to blow up and hang all these balloon clouds. I used this tutorial to string them together and it was pretty easy, but this one with glue would have been even easier.

What was your favorite part of this event? Please let me know in the comments! And as always, please…

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Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush
Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

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Patriotic Summer Time Free Printable

Summer Time BBQs. Grilling for everyday or those large family gatherings. It’s what summer is made for and today I have a fun patriotic free printable for you!

Patriotic Summer Time Free Printable from mamasbrush | grilling, kababs, lemonade, watermelon and other summer time goods!

I started this project last year for a design challenge, but I ran out of time and, when the deadline passed, I tucked the sketch away in a file of unfinished projects. When the Spoonflower Summer Design Contest came up a few weeks ago, I decided to pull it out and finish it. Kababs on the grill with watermelon and lemonade are what summers are made of! Am I right? (Leave a comment with your favorite summer grilling fare!)

Patriotic Summer Time Free Printable from mamasbrush | grilling, kababs, lemonade, watermelon and other summer time goods!

I began by tracing the original sketch and transferring it to watercolor paper. Then I spent a couple nights playing with the color and finished it with the black pen.

When it was time to design the repeating pattern for the fabric design, I scanned it and took it into Photoshop where I cleaned up the background and moved things around a bit to make it work as a repeat.

Patriotic Summer Time Free Printable from mamasbrush | grilling, kababs, lemonade, watermelon and other summer time goods!

But this one… this one is the way I made it for you. Download it, print it off and put it in a frame. Hang it on your wall or set it on the counter and smile when you think of the soon coming life you have outdoors! πŸ™‚

Head to my printables page to download the Summer Time free printable! Let me know where you put it! πŸ™‚

But please remember the…
***Official legal stuff: The copyright on the art presented here remains my own. Please only use them personally in your home, office or classroom. But please don’t distribute them online or claim them as your own. If you want to share them on your own blog or social media platform, please be sure to give me credit and include a link back to my blog at: https://mamasbrush.wordpress.com/. These are my original work and I’d like to be able to continue sharing what I create with you all.

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Patriotic Summer Time Free Printable from mamasbrush | grilling, kababs, lemonade, watermelon and other summer time goods!

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Summer Time Design for Fabric and Gift Wrap

Summer Time Fabric and Gift Wrap | BBQ Grill Outdoor Picnic Fun | mamasbrush

This week the theme at Spoonflower is Small Scale Summer . I came up with this basic design last year, but never took it beyond the sketch. When I saw the theme for this week, I immediately wanted to bring it back out. I transferred it to watercolor paper and got painting.

This would be great on fabric for a summer tote or purse or adorable on gift wrap for any of your summer parties! You can vote for your favorite design through May 7, 2019here.

I have a free printable of the original design coming up for you soon. Click follow in the sidebar so you won’t miss it! πŸ™‚

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Summer Time Fabric and Gift Wrap | BBQ Grill Outdoor Picnic Fun | mamasbrush

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Girl Jumping in a Puddle in my Art Journal

Another installment of my April art journal page.

Illustrating children - Jumping in a Puddle

A few weeks back I told a bloggy friend I follow that I’d be participating in this 100 day project and that I’d be working on illustrating people. Well, I did it a few times and even saw some improvement, but this isn’t a good time of year for me to be promising to do anything everyday. πŸ™‚ I can barely paint at all.

However, while I’m also trying to do a some of the April hand lettering prompts over at Awesome Alice, I decided that this “puddle” prompt should involve at least some of a person. πŸ™‚ So this is my “Little Girl Jumping in a Puddle.”

I love that I can get the playfulness of the moment without a face. πŸ™‚

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Illustrating children - Jumping in a Puddle

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Baby Shower Invitation – Gender Neutral Hot Air Balloon Theme

A new baby is expected this summer in our church… the first for this family. And when there is a first baby, that means a full on baby shower (as apposed to sprinklings). For this gender neutral baby shower we are celebrating with a hot air balloon theme.

Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Invitation

After my 10 day (unplanned) blogging break, I’m back and heading into a busy week of party prep. With no time to paint this past week, there’s not much to post around here, but, if I can swing it, I’m hoping to keep you up to date on the baby shower prep this week.

For church showers, I generally design invitations digitally and the church secretary sends it as a jpg embedded into the email to the whole church. The *cuteness* factor of a *real* invitation with the simplicity (and frugality) of email.

Mom and Dad are waiting to find out whether they are having a boy or a girl so I took my inspiration from my gender neutral wallpaper design last fall — Born for Adventure! It’s been fun to use something I designed for something real again!

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