Friday, May 20, 2016


Dwellings by Lisa Fulmer
Dwellings by Lisa Fulmer - mixed media

I painted these two 10" x 30" canvases for a local art show called sight/unseen. Each participating artist had to create a piece that expressed some aspect of their identity. Click here for an interview about me on the Concord Community of Artists blog.

I looked through my grandparents' photos from the 1940s and found one of a Victorian flat in San Francisco where my mother lived as a child, and another of a ranch home in rural Northern California where my father spent his childhood.

Even though I grew up in suburbia, I've always felt connected to both the city and country influences from my parents' lives when they were young. 

I wanted these country and city dwellings to be "twins" in style. Even though they are not in scale when compared to each other, I like that the city house is smaller and the country house is bigger - it's how they felt to me as a child, despite being the opposite of how they actually were physically.

I blended acrylic paints to get all the colors I liked, and I ruled everything with paint marker to keep things bold and simple. I also painted the papers that are glued inside the windows, those pieces were trimmed from larger prints I made using a gel plate. 

Each artist also wrote a narrative to describe their work and why it's meaningful - here's mine:
My mom and dad met each other in San Francisco in the late 1950s when they were both working at a movie theater - Dad was an usher and Mom was a candy girl. Mom had lived in the city since she was about five. Dad spent his childhood in a rural area of Northern California, then came to the city as a young teen.

My folks left the city for the suburbs after marrying because they wanted a calmer life for raising kids. We’d make regular weekend road trips up north to visit my dad’s family on their farm - twenty acres of dusty olive orchards with lots of chickens, cows, dogs and cats. I remember the creaking sound of the porch door, waking to the rooster each morning and helping my grammy with chores and crafts. 
We took trips into the city to visit my mom’s family, too. The hustle and bustle of San Francisco frightened me as a small child; so many cars and people everywhere as we strolled through Union Square! But I remember admiring all the flowers in my grandma’s “secret garden,” tucked tightly between several big houses. I was also intrigued by the stairs everywhere and the long, narrow hallway of her Victorian flat. 
I cherish everything about growing up in a suburban town, but I also really love the influences of my families’ lives in both the city and the country. After college, I gravitated to San Francisco, living there for many years. Now I’m back in suburbia…but I still have yearnings for quiet time on the farm, as well as party time in the city!
I’m a little bit country…and I’m a little bit rock and roll.” — Donny and Marie

Monday, May 02, 2016

Melted crayon suncatcher

melted crayon suncatcher lisa fulmer

This melted crayon suncatcher is a quick and fun project for kids (and grown-ups, too!) to make - it would be an especially cute handmade gift idea for mom or dad.

crayon shavings to melt

It's a very inexpensive craft project - all you need are a couple sheets of kitchen wax paper and a few crayons. Start by twisting crayons through a pencil sharpener and sprinkle the shavings on top of a sheet of wax paper. You don't need too many shavings, but it's fun to pick multiple colors. Let the shavings fall randomly, or move them into a symmetrical pattern if you prefer.

melted crayons on wax paper

Place a second sheet of wax paper on top, then carefully press a medium hot iron down over the shavings for just a couple seconds. Slowly rotate the iron to move the melted wax around and blend or streak the colors together a bit. It's always a colorful surprise when you lift up the iron!

punch hole to hang suncatcher

After the paper and wax have cooled for a minute or two, the layers will be stiff and sealed together. Trim your piece into whatever shape you want, then place a small piece of clear tape at the top to reinforce a small hole punch. Insert a loop of ribbon or string for hanging in the window.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Etched stemless champagne flutes

I found a pair of plain, stemless champagne flutes at the local salvage store for a buck - and of course they were just crying to be etched. Because they are stemless, you can't use the typical wine glass charms to tell whose glass is whose. So I thought "what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours" was the appropriate inspiration for how to etch these two pretty little glasses.

I placed adhesive vinyl letters on each glass - one spelled "mine" and the other spelled "yours." Then I sunk each glass into a container filled with etchall® Dip 'n Etch liquid. 

To keep the glass from floating up, I filled it with water and leaned a knife inside it. I used an empty plastic wet-wipes jar - it was the perfect size to get the etching liquid up to the top of the glass. I wanted the whole glass to be etched like frost, with the letters reversed out.

After about 15-20 minutes in the etching bath, the glass came out, got rinsed under water, and the vinyl letters were peeled off to be used again. The Dip 'n Etch can be poured back into its original jar to be used again, too. They're a bit tricky to photograph, but these stemless champagne flutes turned out really cute!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Stenciled Easter egg design on a wood tag

Stenciled Easter egg design on a wood tag

This hip hop stenciled Easter egg design is another variation on the large wood tags I've been playing with lately. Super fun and easy - paint the tag white and sand back the edges. Then lay down some cling stencils with painter's tape in between and sponge on a few different colors of acrylic paint.

I had some cute washi tapes and border stickers in colors and patterns that played well with the stenciling, so I added those in between. Then I glued on my embroidered letters and my finished Easter egg tag was hatched. 

How cute would this be hanging from an Easter basket filled with candy? You can write the child's name and generic greeting on the back, then use it year after year. A stenciled wood tag would be cute as a creative greeting card, too.

Visit the Designer Crafts blog to see a link-up of more Easter crafts - you can add your own, too!

Stenciled Easter egg design on a wood tag

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Metallic Asian-themed greeting card and a giveaway!

Metallic Asian-themed greeting card

Time for another blog hop with the Designer Crafts Connection! This year, Fairfield came out with new yummy metallic colors in their Oly*Fun fabric line. I have an Asian-themed embossing folder that I hadn't used yet, and sure enough the metallic fibers hold the embossing softly, but nicely. I think the pinhole texture of the Oly*Fun is so much more interesting than plain craft foil for adding shine to greeting cards.

Metallic Asian-themed greeting card lisa fulmer

I just used everyday double-stick tape around the edges to layer the red and bronze sheets on to black cardstock. Be careful not to let pieces of tape overlap, because that little seam will show through the fabric. I added a rub-on of a cherry blossom branch and glued a coin to the center. Very easy and very pretty!
Want to win a bolt of metallic Oly*Fun fabric? Cut it, glue it, stamp it, stencil it, paint it, sew it - the word "fun" is in the name for a reason, you know.

Head on over to the DCC blog to enter to win and check out the links to all the other designers' projects in the hop.

Paint stamping a wood tag

paint stamped wood tag lisa fulmer

I love to paint-stamp any surface I can get my hands on - paper, fabric, wood and more. Recently I bought a pack of 4x6 wood tags - I've been using them like little canvases for lots of fun techniques - check out my tissue decoupaged wood tag over on the Bella blog.

I think oversized tags make great greeting cards, cute door hangers, or they even work as a giant key fob. A collection of them hanging on the wall would be super fun, too.

I'm taking part in my friend Jen's blog hop for National Craft Month, so I paint-stamped this spring floral design on a wood tag - it was quick and easy to make with just one little flower stamped in an all-over pattern with three different colors.

painted large wood tag

Start by painting the wood tag white - if you want white as your background color, I think sanding the edges after the paint is dry gives the tag a nice shabby chic feel. Otherwise, having white underneath will help another background color keep its true shade.

floral paint stamped wood tag lisa fulmer

I painted over the white with a coat of olive green, then edged the tag in mint green with a cosmetic sponge. Use another sponge to dab a light coverage of paint on a stamp, then stamp it on the wood. First I stamped a random pattern of mint green flowers, then after they were dry, I stamped more flowers in white, then pink. I painted the back of the wood tag in pink, then embellished the front with a sweet bug rub-on and a little bling.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Happy National Craft Month!

Favorite projects by Lisa Fulmer for National Craft Month

March might be the month for leprechauns, but it's also a great month for crafters. National Craft Month is always cause for creative celebration - it was started in 1994 by the Craft & Hobby Association to get people excited about all things handmade.

Today is also the first Monday of the month, which means the Designer Crafts Connection is hoppin'. We're sharing our most popular craft projects in the March DCC link-up. Click here to check it out!

My own top five projects that got the most hits over the last year were, not surprisingly, part of blog hops or link-ups, and they were all holiday-related, too. Clockwise from top left:

Star-spangled 4th of July centerpiece

Purple paint-stamped pet mat

Black and white polka dot ornament

Personalized etched glass tumbler

Holiday paper eucalyptus wreath

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Winter Summer" altered book

altered book by lisa fulmer

I love painting with stencils - the full tutorial for this altered book I made will be featured in a new e-book coming out in April - Around the World with 80 Artists. Click here to reserve your free advance copy. Should be very inspiring with 80 art and craft projects from artists all over the world!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Etched glass snack dish

etched glass snack dish

Pretzels, chex mix and a cold beer - perfect for when you're hanging out with friends at a party! I decided to give my plain glass snack tray a little more party style with an etched pennant border.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Clay mandala

I was thinking about those punched sewing cards for kids when I made this 4" clay mandala. I thought it would be fun to contrast the soft texture of embroidery floss with the smooth surface of air-dry clay. My full tutorial is on the Activa Products blog - enjoy!