Arting for 365 Day 246: Commissioned Coasters

Acrylic on compressed paper coasters

Acrylic on compressed paper coasters

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

I’m back to coaster making. Funny enough, my ventures into these things have proven somewhat popular. I’m now even being commissioned for them- this set being one of those commissions. Here are the specifics I was given to guide me:

1. The house these will be inhabiting has lots of deep purples, mauves, and tans (so no fluorescent/super bright colors please).

2. Also, the person would probably appreciate something more abstract or non-representational.

Because I love the idea of having one larger completed work of art that can be separated into smaller images, I began by taping the six pressed paper coasters together. Blending purples and reds, I created my base layer. I went back in and thickened up the blends in certain areas and after the paint had dried, I used a small squeeze bottle of acrylic to draw on the white design. The squeeze bottle thing was a first time experiment for me. I learned about it from an artist named Bryan Martin who also has a studio at Poudre Studio Artists & Galleries.  I finished up the piece by adding areas of solid color in order to create a more blocked effect.

Day 246: Commisioned Coasters scattered

I feel pretty good about the final piece and the friend who commissioned them seems pretty pleased with them as well – which always makes me happy. To finish the coasters off I will make prints of the originals, attach them to tiles, coat them with lots of varnish and add cork to the back. Below are a few examples.

Arting for 365 Day 153: Coasters in Black and White

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days
Yesterday I decided it would be fun to create some more coasters. Instead of using old paper brewery coasters, I thought I’d paint directly onto tiles I picked up for ten cents from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore.
Using ceramic paint that you can pick up from an art or craft store, I got to work on abstract designs.
I finished up by baking the coasters for 45 minutes in order to set the paint and sticking cork to the bottom.
A pretty fun project for a Friday afternoon!

Arting for 365 Day 114: Utilizing the Amazing Breweries of Ft. Collins

Day 114 (8/20/12): Utilizing New BelgiumGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

It turns out that our lovely little city of Ft. Collins is a bit of a mecca for microbreweries. In fact FoCo – as it’s known by some – has the most microbreweries per capita in all of Colorado. And seeing as how Colorado is a major player in the craft brew industry, this seems like a pretty big deal.

New Belgium Brewing is a top notch brewery here in town and the most recognized of the bunch. Their beers are tasty – sours being my favorite – they give fantastic tours, and they have some pretty fun coaster designs. Realizing that I needed to start supporting the locals with my coaster adventures, I swung by New Belgium yesterday and picked up a fresh batch.

Using the original coaster designs as a jumping off point, I painted these three brightly colored little gems. I worked to keep the paintings very simple and playful.  The first, a Shift Rocket; the second, a strange and fun little scene involving a tricycle; and third, a cat tail, fish, pitcher still life of sorts.

An endless supply of fun coasters: Just another perk of living in a beer town.

Arting for 365 Day 104: My Art/Craft Project Felt More like a Science Experiment Gone Awry

Day 104: Art/ScienceGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Yesterday, after spending a big chunk of my day on a painting I’ve got in the works, I once again turned my attention to coasters. But this time, instead of painting them, I thought I would use my x-acto to cut out patterns and shapes which would then be used to make earrings. -A clever idea, I thought.

I cut out about eight different versions. The boyfriend asked how I planned to finish the cardboard earrings. I quickly and smartly informed him that I would be using a resin to keep them sturdy and protected. I just knew the resin would look super cool, it had to be pretty easy to use, and would be a great finishing touch to these lovely little accessories.

I went to Home Depot and picked up a jug of the stuff. As soon as I began mixing it, two things crossed my mind. 1. The resin was a bit brownish – not at all clear like the resin I’d seen other people use. 2. Holy crap its fumes were toxic smelling!

As I dipped the earrings in the mixed resin, I realized I had nowhere to hang them. I grabbed a cardboard box thinking I could hook the metal hooks from it. Wrong. The earring hooks were too flimsy to pierce through the cardboard. No problem, I thought, I’d just lay the pieces on the cardboard for now and pick them up to hang as soon as I was done dipping.

This is when I encountered my next problem. The resin, whose label told me it dried in 15 minutes, seemed to be drying much, much more quickly. I got through dipping most of the earrings, but forced a set into what had become a snot-like substance (see result below).

It suddenly dawned on me that if the resin was drying this quickly in the little container, the earrings had to be drying and sticking to the cardboard. Sure enough. My attempts to peel the little guys off were relatively fruitless. Many tore and as I worked to peel each off, I could not help but get my sticky, grubby fingers onto every metal hook thus making them not something you’d want to poke through your ear.

All was not lost though! While I don’t see myself wearing these particular earrings beyond the picture taken below -due to the horrible fumes, I do have plans to make more. Perhaps the second go round I will implement some sort of a game plan prior to jumping in. I’ll be sure to share the results.

Arting for 365 Day 100: Kiwis

Day 100 (8/6/12): Kiwis (mixed)Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Okay, so I admit that pairing a kiwi and a kiwi is a bit predictable, but it doesn’t seem to take away from the fact that I still really dig this set of coasters.

I sifted through my inherited stamp collection once again for inspiration. As I came across the lovely green kiwi stamp, I knew I had to do something with it.

Initially I aimed for a simple design utilizing bright colors with a focus solely on the fruit kiwi. As I worked on it, though, I realized I could incorporate another bird. Birds and me lately – we seem to have a thing.

Originals and prints available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 99: Stamp and Coasters – Seperate Together

Day 99 (8/5/12): Stamp: Seperate Together

Acrylic, stamp and ink on Sierra Nevada paper coasters

Feeling as though I hadn’t quite hit the nail on the head in incorporating stamps into day 98’s project, I thought I’d take another crack at it. This time, though, I decided to scale back my stamp usage.

Using a single stamp as my starting point, and revisiting the idea of units making up the whole, I used the 69 cent (pricey – must be international) treasure as a connecting point for my initial four coasters. I then cut the stamp at the coaster seams and began painting.

As I was finishing up my abstracted mini landscapes, I noticed another stamp with a crane sitting on the table. It dawned on me that painting a crane onto two more coasters and inserting him into the larger landscape was the obvious next step.

I have to say, I am pretty darned pleased with the results. I love that each coaster works separately, while also working as a whole. I also enjoy that I’ve incorporated the stamp in a more subtle way, forcing you to look twice to really see what it is. I feel like I might be on the right track.

Original and prints available for purchase.

Arting for 365 Day 75: Roll With It

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Technically it is called a sphere, but I prefer ball. Either way, the object is such a lovely little thing. It has no top or bottom nor front or back. It presents itself equally to all and – due to its natural form – easily rolls with the punches. A lovely little thing, indeed.

Coasters, both original and as printed versions, will be available shortly on etsy. Until then, if you are interested in them, please email me at

Arting for 365 Day 71: Pinks and Oranges

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

I happily dug into my stash of Sierra Nevada paper coasters, again, to create day 71’s work. To begin the piece, I taped the coasters together, similar to day 48. I’m a fan of this process for a few reasons:

1. When you lay the finished squares together, you see a larger work

2. Each individual square is its own little work of art

3. I really, for some odd reason, like the leftover marks from where I pull the tape off.

This coaster making go-round, I opted for a bright pink and orange color palette. Using my trusty ink pen I drew some foliage, and added a smidge of green to complete the piece. I really dig the work and think beer pints are going to feel right at home on these bold little guys.

On a somewhat separate note, I found out that coating the coasters with varnish is a great way to make them last. So I am making a bunch of new sets, which I’ll have to share when I get finished. I’m also starting to make prints of the originals. The slideshow has an example of one of the prints on a ceramic coaster tile – although it’s a wee bit hard to see w/the glass on top of it…

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Original piece available for sale at

Coasters using prints of this design also available

Arting for 365 Day 34: A Place to Rest Your Beer

Day 34 (6/1/12): A Place to Rest Your BeerGoal: To create one work of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Friday’s may become my official coaster creation days. It seems the perfect day for it. My brain is working its way toward weekend mode  – thinking about the time I will get to spend with family or friends, time spent outdoors, with perhaps a summer beverage thrown in for good measure.  Basically, I typically feel like creating something fun.

Day 34 was filled with simple, bold designs using bright colors and cut up envelopes. I once again used old Sierra Nevada paper coasters to build on. When finished, I did my due diligence, ensuring that they work by testing them out with a glass of beer!

Day 34: A Place to Rest YOur Beer Detail 1Day 34: A Place to Rest Your Beer Detail 2Day 34: A Place to Rest Your Beer Beer Detail

Work available for purchase at or by emailing me at

Arting for 365 Day 13: Coaster Whimsy

Day 13: WhimsyGoal: To create a work of art each day for 365 consecutive days

There are days in all of our lives which are filled with tedium. For me, yesterday was one of those days. I anticipated dedicating a few hours to some computer-y type stuff (the tedium) and maybe another hour to an editing project. But as five o’clock rolled around I found I had sat bug eyed at the computer for way too long. Therefore I decided I needed to work on something that was bright, fun, and whimsical.

I pulled out some brown Sierra Nevada coasters we had laying around and proceeded to apply acrylic paints to them. Next I whipped out my trusty ink pen and began drawing. Initially I created more elaborate and intricate designs but I quickly decided that was the wrong road to take. Instead I aimed to keep the design and colors extremely simple. I used the existing coaster design and painted shapes to lead the way. The results are light-hearted and simple. -Just what I needed after a long day. Well that, and a beer of course.

Whimsy Hut DetailWhimsy Big Fish Little Fish DetailWhimsy Clothesline Detail





Work available for purchase at or by emailing me at