Warning: This post may offend

I used to keep a spotless house. I used to wash walls every few months, mop the floor every week, clean the bathroom and dust the house every day. Then, I went to work full time and found myself struggling to be a mom and housekeeper while working. I finally decided life was more important that a clean house and I lowered my standards. Yes, it took some time, but eventually I found myself able to cope with dust on the ceiling fan and spots on the windows.

Even though I no longer have a full-time, outside-the-house job and my children are grown, I still find so many things to do that cleaning my oven is not a priority.

A few weeks ago, a friend posted this on Facebook:

32308_566710026679576_1538020803_nAnd I knew I had to have it hanging in my house. Of course, I didn’t want my husband to think I should be in heels and a dress everyday, nor did I want a reminder to clean the tub, so I created this:

CleanhousebyCandySpiegelI started with a 6×6 canvas. Then I used metal stencils (the chicken is from Dreamweaver, the dots are from Lasting Impressions) and Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio Gesso to create the texture. I just laid the stencil where I wanted it and used a puddy knife to spread the gesso and then lifted it off.

006I washed my tools immediately (this stuff is permanent if left to dry) and let it dry overnight.

Then, I used Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio paints and water and painted on the colors in my house … browns, blues, yellows …019

I used my Non-Stick Craft Sheet as a pallet and didn’t worry about cleaning my brush between colors. I started with the light and then went darker. Sometimes I used a dry brush, sometimes I made the paint into a glaze with lot of water … I heat set the paint between some coats and used a paper towel to wipe off the excess on others. I kept going until I had the look that I wanted …

012Then, I decided it needed a little metal, so I added metal corners from Tim Holtz. I wanted them to be a little more aged, so I painted them and then wiped the paint off like this:

025The one on the far right hasn’t been wiped off yet …

I glued them in the corners with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive.

Finally, I used American Crafts Cardstock and a Lifestyle Crafts letter die to create the wording. They, too, were a bit too bold when I was done, so I took my paintbrush and smeared just a hint of paint to the letters as well …

Candy Spiegel SignNow everyone knows my philosophy on cleaning!







Technique: Coloring Black-and-White Photos

It’s Thursday and time for another Technique Thursday.

I love the look of black-and-white photos with just a few items colored in. I’ve tried a variety of products, but never seem to get the look just right.

Then, I discovered a new technique from Claudine Hellmuth. She uses her Studio Paints and Extra Time Slow-Dry Medium to paint in portions of her black-and-white photos. The Extra Time Slow-Dry makes the paints even more translucent without changing the color.

Now, I am no artist. I can’t paint anything small and have trouble even coloring in the lines most of the time. But the paints are so soft that even I can manage to color in a small portion and have it look good. Absolutely amazing!

This is an old family photo … my dad is the baby held by his Aunt Faye.

Click here for Claudine’s video to show you how.


This is my daughter and my niece on my wedding day.

And here, you can download a color-mixing chart that teaches you how to make 51 colors out of the 15 colors available.

A few tips to share:

Use a LOT of Studio Extra Time. It gives you time to manipulate the paint and goes on sheer.

If there isn’t enough color, go back and add another layer. It is easy to make it darker, but you cannot fix it if you put it on too thick to start with.

I found detailed photos, like the clip art at the top, worked better than ones where all I had to color was clothing, like in the family photo. It’s hard to blend those lines around the skin.

If you would like to try this for yourself, I’ll be at Capture-A-Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. today, paint in hand, ready to help you create a unique look on a vintage photo. See you there!