Thursday, April 28, 2016

crafting for kids with Madolyn Oliver: easy nail art

Madolyn Oliver is back today with kid/teen friendly project for creating super easy nail art with everyday things!

I love fashion and accessories!  One of the ways I like to accessorize is with nail art.  This is easy and you can add a pop of color to whatever outfit you are wearing.   This is one of my favorite things to do when I have my friends over for a sleepover.  I can even talk my mom into sometimes.

You probably have everything you need to get started.

Geometric Nail Art

Washi Tape or Scotch Tape
Nail Polish

Cut tape into triangles

Place tape on nails with the top point of the triangle at the top of your nail

Paint your nails the color of your choice

Remove the tape while the nails are still wet.  Pull it from the base of your nail to the top.  

Let your nails dry and go and look fabulous!

Floral Nail Art

Cream or White Nail Polish
Light Pint Nail Polish
Green Nail Polish
Dark Pink Nail Art Pen
Stick Pin

Before you get started take your pencil and insert the stick pin into the eraser for a DIY dotting tool.

Paint nails with a base coat of cream or white

Use dotting tool to create pink polka dots on your nails.  Create 2-3 on each nail.

Use nail art pen to create three dots around the polka dots you previously created

Use the flat end of a toothpick and green polish to create two leaves on each side of the "flowers"

Use the pointed end of the toothpick and cream/white polish to create a flower center 

Let your nails dry and go show off your nail art skills!

You can check out all of the Maddy's kid/teen friendly projects HERE

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

smoothie bowls

If you haven't heard of smoothie bowls, you are totally missing out! Currently they are a breakfast trend that is sweeping the nation and I am super happy about it! While I eat healthy most of the time, I have a really bad habit of skipping breakfast. I've never liked eating in the morning. My problem is that nothing sounds good to me until about 10am which can be a challenge because I get up at 6am, exercise and need good nutritional fuel for my body. Then smoothie bowls came into my life and I am happy to say I am starting my day with a big, colorful bowl of goodness.

So a smoothie bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that you pour into a bowl and sprinkle with all kinds of yummy and healthy toppings. I think the reason I am enjoying smoothie bowls so much is because it feels like you are eating a giant bowl of ice cream for breakfast!


To make a smoothie that you eat with a spoon, you need to make it thick. I typically use an avocado to thicken up my smoothies.

I also don't go crazy with tons of fruit inside my smoothies- I typically try to use mostly green veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, avocado, etc) and then I add a small handful of fruit (peaches, mangos, banana).

I like to top my smoothie bowls with all kinds of healthy nuts and seeds.

My favorite toppings are always crunchy because it really tricks my palette into thinking I'm eating an ice cream sundae or a bowl of frozen yogurt. 

I like to adding toppings that are pretty! Slices of colorful fruit, edible flowers and herbs are my favorite way to add color and a little bit of sweetness.

I also like to get creative and make my smoothie bowls look super pretty because the more beautiful my breakfast is, the less likely I will stuff my face with doughnuts!

1. big handful of spinach, big handful of kale, half avocado, half banana, coconut water
2. handful of strawberries, two bananas, scoop of protein powder, coconut water
3. two big handfuls of spinach, handful of kale, half avocado, small handful of peaches, coconut water
4. three big handfuls of spinach, half avocado, protein powder, coconut water

two big handfuls of spinach, handful of blackberries and strawberries, one banana, coconut water

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

sea shell garden

I am obsessed with beach combing and this year has been a really great year for finding treasure! The result is a gigantic shell collection that I am always looking to use in creative ways. Lately I've been using some of my shells as little planters for my baby succulents.

I always set aside the shells that have a large opening. Also since succulents like drainage, I will set aside shells that have holes in them or I will even drill a small hole for drainage. 

I fill the shells with a little soil mixed with pumice and then I tuck my baby succulents into the shells.

While the shells make cute little planters and accessories to use around the house, I really like turning them into a little gardens. 
I use terra-cotta saucers and add all kinds of shells, rocks and my shell planters to create little gardenscapes.

 I use these little shells gardens mixed in with my potted planters and all over my garden.

Monday, April 25, 2016

beautiful birds preview

My latest class Beautiful Birds goes live today! This is a fun little "micro" drawing class that I created for artists of all ages! Here is a little peek inside the class.

sketching watercolor 2 from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.


I love birds! They are beautiful, magical and are the perfect subject matter for drawing and painting. This little class is dedicated to exploring a variety of techniques to create birds. From painting to drawing to using simple tools and materials, we will have fun drawing beautiful birds.

This class is what I like to call a "micro class" it is structured into 1 LARGE lesson.
All of my classes have unlimited access- which means you can create and access the information at any time and work at your own pace! There is no deadline or pressure to create. Head on over to the shop HERE to sign up for Beautiful Birds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

exploring we will go

Lan Su Chinese Garden is tucked into the middle of downtown Portand, Oregon. It is is a walled Chinese garden enclosing a full city block and truly a little slice of paradise in the middle of the city!


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