Quick Holiday Mug DIY Gift Project

7 12 2016

Quick Holiday Mug DIY Gift Project by A.I. Friedman

If you are anything like me, then every year after Christmas has ended you think, “Next year, I’m going to make EVERYONE a handmade present.” Then next year rolls around and it’s a week before Christmas, you are up to your elbows in glitter and it is just not happening. Well, I have the perfect project for you! This Quick Holiday Mug lives up to it’s name, it won’t take you hours of crafting.  Plus, everyone loves a good mug! You only need a couple things;  A blank mug and some DecoArt Glass Paint Markers (we carry them at our Port Chester Store).

Things you need to make the Quick Holiday Mug DIY Gift Project

These markers a great because after curing the paint in the oven, they are dishwasher safe!   Super easy to use and easy to care for afterwards. When you first open your markers, you will notice the tips are white.  With the cap on, shake the marker a lot. Then using a scrap piece of cardboard (I used the packaging from the markers), press the tip of the marker straight down to the cardboard.  You’ll notice that the tip retracts inward, hold it there for a while, it’s getting full up with the paint.  Once your marker tip is the right color you’re ready to go!

Using the DecoArt Glass Paint Marker

I decided to write “Have a cup of Cheer” on my mug because I thought it would be a cute present wrapped up with some nice tea or hot cocoa.  You can be completely creative and do whatever you want with your mug! Make a Santa’s Milk mug to leave out with your milk and cookies, a personalized mug, draw a picture, or whatever you can think of!

Writing on the mug with the Glass Paint Markers

You don’t need to press very hard to use the markers so just take your time and have fun! I really liked the look of the shiny gold marker and might need to make a mug with just the gold paint next! I added some extra little snowflake details on the handle of my mug.

Mug handle with snowflakes!

Once you have finished your creation you need to let the paint set for 8 hours.  If you are planning on making multiple mugs I would do all the drawing in one sitting and then let all of them rest for 8 hours together.  Yes, I know I said this was quick, but you don’t need to do anything to the mugs during this time, so it doesn’t count. Go use this time to wrap other presents!

Quick DIY Mug Project

Next we need to bake the mug in the oven. This is what sets the paint and makes it dishwasher safe for the future, so it’s important! Set your oven to 375 degrees, pop your mug in (don’t preheat, just put it right in!) and bake for 40 minutes.  After that is over your mug is completed! Stick a bow on it and move onto your next Christmas To-Do List item. Or, just sit down and have a nice cup of cocoa instead.

Finished Quick Holiday Mug DIY Gift Project

We would love to see all the festive mugs you create! Share your projects with us using #DIYwithAIF and Happy Crafting!


Holiday Crafts at Westchester Children’s Museum

5 12 2016

Stocking craft at the Westchester Children's Museum

Every month on the first Saturday  we host a free craft workshop at the Westchester Children’s Museum. We love working with WCM and it’s one of our favorite events every single month. This past weekend was our December workshop and we did a special festive project to get in the holiday spirit!

Our workshop helpers worked with the kids to make paper stocking ornaments! We brought lots of fun red, green and white papers to decorate the little Christmas stockings! Other materials we used were; scissors, fun shapes, string and glitter glue galore.


We thought it would be fun to check out some of the stockings the kids made here on the blog.  One of our favorite parts of doing these workshops at the Westchester Children’s Museum is getting to see all of the different creative ideas the kids have about their projects! We saw everything from super clean traditional stockings:

Kid's paper stocking Christmas craft

To a little more free and loose “messy is fun”stocking:

Messy is fun stocking craft!

We love how the paper patterns were matched on this one!

Patterned paper stocking craft for kids

Thank you to all of our workshop helpers who work to make our craft projects a huge success! Don’t miss out on our future workshops, keep up with them on our Events Page. We hope this helped you get into a festive Christmas crafting mood!

Kid's stocking paper ornament craft project


10 Artists You Should Be Following on Instagram

16 11 2016

Instagram isn’t only a great platform for selfies and pictures of that delicious burger you ate last night, there are also tons of amazing artists posting new content everyday!  Following these artists will help turn your feed into a mini gallery show that updates all the time.

  1. Friends With You (@friendswithyou)

Friends With You

Friends With You is made up of two artists, Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III.  Their mission is to spread “Magic, Luck and Friendship.” Friends With You is known for their large, fun, colorful installations and following their Instagram account will definitely add some cuteness to your feed.


2. Subway Doodle (@subwaydoodle)

Subway Doodle

Subway Doodle lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  He adds whimsy and fun to the New York Subway by adding monsters into everyday situations.  He uses his iPad to make these drawings and is a cool example of an Instagram artist since social media is the main outlet he uses to show these works.


3. Derek Myers (@derek_the_deliman)

Derek Meyers

Derek Meyers is an illustrator from Ohio who posts amazingly tiny detailed doodles and illustrations. Most of them are inspired by nature and combine geometric framing with intricate linework.


4. Rika Harimulya (@mulyahari)

Riki Harimulya

Riki Harimulya is an Art Director but the reason to follow his account are the beautiful photos he posts of his fantastic hand lettering. We love typography and meticulous hand lettering is our favorite.


5. Becca Clason (@beccaclason)

Becca Clason

Becca Clason is another typography artist but she creates her lettering out of objects instead of drawing.  Her work is creative and so fun, we want to jump into her pictures.


6. Katie Marks (@anotherseattleartist)

Katie Marks

Handmade ceramics amaze us and there are tons of great ceramic artists out there on Instagram.  Katie Marks’ is a great account to follow because she shows all the parts of her process including sketches, mixing, throwing, sculpting and glazing.


7. Danielle Fisher (@danielleportraits)

Danielle Fisher

If realism is your thing then you are going to love Danielle Fisher’s Instagram.  She creates amazing animal portraits with colored pencil and pastels. She posts both works in progress and finished pieces.


8. Mark Lobo (@oakandink)

Oak and Ink Creative

Mark Lobo of Oak and Ink Creative has a really cool project going on his Instagram account. He is working his way through the Pantone swatch book in photos.  Each photo posted lists the Pantone color it is inspired by.


9. Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles)

Danielle Clough

These embroidered portraits are so painterly, we can’t take our eyes off them.  Danielle Clough creates her beautiful embroidery work on mini hoops, tennis rackets, and shoes.


10. Zener Peled (@zemerpeled)

Zemer Peled

These awe-inspiring contemporary sculptures by Zemer Peled are made up of thousands of ceramic shards. She creates the ceramic pieces herself then fires them and breaks them before combining them into these sea anemone like sculptures.


We hope your Instagram feed will be infused with creativity by following these awesome artists.  If you need more great art content in your feed don’t forget that you can follow us on Instagram @aifriedman 

Fun Kid’s Name Decoration Project

27 10 2016

Fun Kid's Name Decoration

It’s always cute and fun to decorate kid’s rooms with personalized items.  These letters are easy to paint up and add a whimsical touch to a shelf! We carry these paper mache letters at both of our stores and if you aren’t in the area you can find something similar at your local craft store.

Materials needed for decorated lettersYou Need:



The first step is to mark our stripes, so they will be even. Using your ruler and a pencil, make a line that is a 45 degree angle from the top edge of your letters.

Make a 45 degree angle

Then you are going to make lines that are perpendicular to your 45 degree line evenly across the letters.  I originally drew these lines a half inch apart but then discovered that my painter’s tape was 1 inch wide. This meant that half my lines weren’t necessary  unless I cut my tape in half.  So, go ahead and make your lines as far apart as your painter’s tape’s width.

Make lines perpendicular to the first line

Repeat this process for all of the letters you are going to be painting.

Letters are all marked up and ready for painting!

Grab your painter’s tape and make stripes using the lines you drew as guides.  It should be easy to make nice even stripes.

Make stripes with the painter's tape

Now you can paint in-between the tape and know that you will have beautiful clean lines when you peel the tape off!

The painter's tape will give you perfect clean lines!

Feel free to go crazy with color options here.  Use the favorite colors of the child the sign is for.  You can even set up the lines and tape and then let your kid do the actual painting part. Get all your letters painted then peel your tape off!

Halfway done with the stripes!

Make sure you let this paint dry, then go ahead and tape over what you just painted.  Now you can paint the parts of the letter that were covered by the tape before.

More tape!

Paint your second color and then give your beautiful new stripes some time to dry!

Freshly striped letters

It’s time to paint the sides of your letters.  I didn’t use painter’s tape for this step because I felt confident I could avoid painting on the front side, but if you are having assistance from a child you probably are going to want some extra tape insurance.

Almost done with the letters!

After your paint is dry, you are all done! These letters look really cute sitting on a bookshelf or wall shelf.  You could also mount them directly to the wall using some Command Strips. It could be really fun to make a “Happy Birthday” sign with these or even “Merry Christmas” and then paint them with candy cane stripes!  We would love to see your unique creations, use #DIYwithAIF to show off your projects on social media.  Happy crafting!

All finished! Fun Kid's Name Decoration DIY Project

Hudson Valley Views by Phyllis Tarlow

25 10 2016

Artist Phyllis TarlowIn the A.I. Friedman Gallery this November we are featuring artist Phyllis Tarlow.  We are excited to share such an accomplished local artist with everyone! Phyllis has been working full time as a fine art painter since the 1980’s. She has worked as a commercial artist, illustrator, portraitist and fine art painter.  A strong focus for her are oil landscapes painted en plein air and in the studio.  She also create commissioned portraits of people, animals and homes.

Phyllis holds a Masters Degree in Art Education/Art Therapy from the College of New Rochelle.  She has also studied at the Cape Cod School of Art and credits it with giving her the tools needed to move into plein air painting.

Phyllis is a longtime member of the Mamaroneck Artists Guild, Garrison Art Center and The Scarsdale Art Association.  She has shown her work at Images Gallery, Briarcliff Manor, The Flatiron Gallery, and has appeared in group shows throughout the area.

Oil Landscape by Phyllis Tarlow

The collection of Phyllis’s work that we will be showing for the month of the November focuses on oil landscapes of the Hudson Valley.  Phyllis says:

“The beauty of Nature has always held a strong place in my heard, but it was only after years spent working professionally as an illustrator and portrait artist that I started painting oil landscapes.  Whether on location or in the studio, I now spend much of my time attempting to capture the atmosphere and colors of a particular scene and time of day in order to share my strong feelings about the wonders that surround us on a daily basis.”

We will have an opening reception on Saturday November 12th from 1pm to 3pm at our Port Chester location.

Five Art Blogs You Should Be Reading

18 10 2016

We love art and we love reading about new and inspiring art from all corners of the internet.  There are so many great art blogs out there but here are five our favorites that we don’t miss any posts from.

  1. Colossal 

Colossal art blog

Colossal has won several awards for internet journalism and if you aren’t reading it now, fix your mistake and add it to your list.  They focus on new and unique art from across all mediums, sculpture, painting, embroidery, installation, object design, and so much more. Every single of one of their posts is inspiring and fresh.

2. Brown Paper Bag

Brown Paper Bag art blog

Brown Paper Bag is a unique blog because it focuses on illustration, but not just traditional 2D illustration.  They will feature sculpture illustration, products with illustrations on them, digital and more.  We love their weekly post of 7 Illustrated Product Obsessions which will introduce you to more Etsy artists than you thought possible.

3. Design Milk

Design Milk art blog

As the name suggests, Design Milk is an online magazine that focus on well, design.  You’ll see new ideas from architects, object designers, interior designers, fashion, etc.  Because of the design focus you’ll get to learn about awesome upcoming technology innovations as well as visual design.

4. The Jealous Curator

The Jealous Curator art blog

The Jealous Curator is all about taking that feeling of “oh man I wish I had thought to do that!”and changing it to inspiration! Don’t be jealous of other artists works be inspired to do more yourself!

5. Bored Panda Art

Bored Panda Art

The main Bored Panda page has it’s uses (cute fuzzy animals, funny memes) but the art tab is where it’s at.  They have a bit more of a DIY focus than other blogs mentioned here but they have plenty of inspiring posts for your scrolling pleasure.

If you have an art blog that we didn’t mention here that you are dying to tell us about, let us know in the comments!  We are always looking for more awesome artwork!

Great Art Movies on Netflix Right Now!

5 10 2016

The Fall weather is officially settling in to stay and we are down to hang out by the fire, cozy under a blanket, maybe drink some tea and of course, binge watch some Netflix like you wouldn’t believe.  With the sheer amount of content on Netflix it can sometimes take up precious binge watching time just deciding what to watch.  We wanted to save you from this problem, and come up with some totally awesome art related options. They aren’t in any particular order but they are all streaming right now!

Frida (2002)

  1. Frida (2002)

One of the most fascinating painters of all time, Salma Hayek and an Academy Award winning score.  If you haven’t seen this Frida Kahlo biopic yet it is definitely worth a watch.


The Agony and the Ecstasy

2. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

The painting of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most legendary artistic undertakings of all time, so of course there is a movie about it!  Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II.  Though a lot of people have critiqued Heston’s over acting in the role, the sets and old school production value make this one stand up to the test of time.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

3. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Banksy’s Academy Award nominated documentary follows Thierry Guetta and his obsession with street art.  You can hear from notable street artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy (whose face and voice are obscured to protect his notorious anonymity) as well see some excellent works of street art.  Also the whole thing is a little ridiculous and once you start watching you won’t be able to stop.


The Rape of Europa

4. The Rape of Europa (2006)

Remember Monuments Men (directed by, written by and starring George Clooney), the movie about World War II soldiers saving art masterpieces from the Nazis?  Well, this is the documentary version of that story and it is way better. It provides more factual info as well as being generally more entertaining than the Clooney version.


Bob Ross Beauty is Everywhere

5. Bob Ross Beauty is Everywhere (1991)

You knew we couldn’t have a Netflix and art post without mentioning Bob Ross, right?  All 26 glorious episodes of happy trees, clouds and birds are waiting for your binge watching pleasure. Also bonus, rumor has it that Netflix is gauging interest with these episodes so maybe if enough people watch we’ll be treated to all 403 episodes of The Joy of Painting eventually.


Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery

6. Beltracchi – The Art of Forgery (2014) 

A fascinating look at Wolfgang Beltracchi who was charged with forgery and corruption after selling 14 fake works of art that total to around $45 million dollars.  Hear from this international art scammer who claims to be able to paint anything.


Netflix is always rotating their catalog of movies and shows so if you want to watch any of these, put them on your Netflix plans soon!