Category Archives: decorating

Nantucket Mural


“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. You and I, you and I, oh how happy we’ll be…”

Sunshine, seagrass, sailboats, surf. The perfect subject matter for a peaceful family room mural. Especially when that was the setting for your wedding, as was the case for a Glencoe, IL family who contacted me recently to paint a Nantucket beach scene in their new family rec room.

The mural started with a small color rendering, laying out all of the details clearly.

mural layout

first a small color “sketch” is painted to plan the mural layout and details

Once the layout was approved, all of the elements were painted on the wall in stages…

First the mural is laid out on the wall...

First the mural is laid out on the wall…

the sky, sea, and surf are added

the sky, sea, and surf are added


more details are added

more details are added

Each day more details were added, creating a visual story for the mural.


beach mural detail

beach mural detail

Lots of fun details like families playing in the surf, Nantucket’s famous “rainbow fleet”, sea grasses, wild roses and one of Nantucket’s iconic lighthouses were added to give the mural character and personality.

mural detail

mural detail


beach mural

Nantucket themed mural

The finished mural was 22′ wide by 7′ tall. This was such a fun project for a wonderful family! I hope they enjoy it for years to come!!

To see more mural examples and ideas, please visit my mural gallery. If you are interested in commissioning a mural, please contact me for more information.




music nursery

Music Theme Nursery


This summer I had the opportunity to create a really fun mural for a lovely family in downtown Chicago. My client’s requests were simple and well defined with the help of local Interior Designer, Norma Zeiger of Entwine Interiors. She wanted something gender neutral, modern, and sophisticated. After our initial meeting, we decided on a large scale graphic approach which included musical notes, a treble clef, and piano keys on a textured background. I put together a few options for her. Her two favorites are featured below.

1) The first option was created with Faux Effect Plaster Tex and glaze. It was rustic in feel and neutral in color.

music mural ideas

sample for music themed nursery mural

2) The second option was more of a “modern” take on the same idea (see above) and featured the same elements painted and embellished with a clear “wax-like” product from Golden Decorative paints; “Smooth Translucent Glazing Medium” plus sheer color. The result was a change in sheen and a modeled effect over the painted elements.

The mural also included very subtle large scale musical notes “dancing” around the room.

music themed nursery

music themed nursery detail

To see more mural samples and ideas, please see my mural gallery page 

raven painting

Rustic Autumn Artwork, It’s Time to Decorate for Fall!

Hooray! It’s here…It’s time to decorate for fall! It’s the season of bonfires, hot cocoa, hoodies and new boots:) I love it!! I also love pulling out all of my autumn decorations and adorning my house with the colors of the season. Halloween and Thanksgiving provide lots of great inspiration for me:) Here are just a few examples of new and old pieces…most are available on my Etsy store.

Tiny pumpkin painting

This tiny folk art piece pulls all of my favorite fall colors together. It works great as an accent piece or propped on a bookshelf.

Pumpkins make great subject matter for decorating throughout the fall season! Put them out in September and keep them on display until you are ready to put up your Christmas decorations. I have special pieces that I pull out every year for the holidays. Each one holds special memories and will one day give my kids the opportunity to pull them out and revisit their happy childhood memories of home and family celebrations.

folk art halloween painting

“Trick or Treat” 12″ x 12″ x 1.5″ acrylic on wood panel

I love the halloween and fall colors, green, orange, black and tan are the most prevalent colors in my home:)

another small pumpkin painting

“Witches” 6″ x 6″ x .5 x 75″ mixed media on wood panel

Witches and pumpkins and black cats, “Oh, my!” This painting is one of my personal favorites.

"bad kitty"

“bad kitty” 12″ x 12″ x 1.5″ acrylic on wood panel

Crows and ravens also make great inspiration for halloween decor that also can be left out all year!

crow painting

“Crow” 12″ x 12″ x .75″ acrylic on wood panel

How do you like to decorate for the holidays? Leave me a comment and let me know! I’d love to hear…



Only 3 more weeks until IDAL Convention 2013! I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and seeing new products on the market. Tons of ideas and inspiration for decorators and decorative artisans!! Don’t miss it. Here are the classes I will be teaching. Sign up today at

grisaille landscape

Grisaille Landscape Mural Class Panel

cardinals on a branch mural

IDAL Convention Birds and Foliage class

I hope to see you there!

DIY Copper Pumpkins for the Holidays

Aged Copper Pumpkins

I was recently asked to paint and donate a pumpkin to Meadowbrook School in Northbrook to auction off at their upcoming “Pumpkinfest” celebration. I have had a ball coming up with ideas…now the hard part will be deciding which one to donate, which ones to sell and which ones to keep!! I thought I would share some of my ideas with you along with a “how-to” for my Aged Copper Pumpkins.

Pumpkin painted with the face of an owl
"rusted" pumpkin
back of “rusted” pumpkin
Old Tin Pumpkins


You will need:
-craft foam pumpkin
-spray primer (I use Bin 123) in white
-chip brushes
-Copper Schabin or decorative foil
Wunda Size or Faux Effects Aqua Size
-black paint
-Modern Masters metallic paints in copper, brass, and “reactive” bronze
-Modern Masters reactive paint activator in Blue, Green, and Black
-Modern Masters Permacoat Sealer

1) First prime your pumpkin
2) Apply 2 coats of black paint mixed with a little Brass metallic with a chip brush

3) When dry, coat with a single layer of size. Let size get tacky (about 15 minutes)

then add your schabin or foil. In this demo, I am using Schabin. I bought mine from Kathy Carroll at

4) Once you have covered your pumpkin, while leaving some holes or “holidays” use a dry chip brush to go over pumpkin and press down any loose leaves.

5) Now it’s time to “age” the copper. Using a combination of copper paint, and reactive paints, loosely scumble on paint with a chip brush, covering about 75% of pumpkin.
while the paint is still wet, pour the blue reactive and green reactive paints on top of pumpkin, letting it drip over sides, then spritz with the black reactor.

6) Let it dry and coat with the PermaSeal Coat to stop the reactivity.
7) I added some bronze carpet tacks which I purchased at Lowe’s

THAT’S IT!! Now go paint some pumpkins:)