Marbled Blacklight Pumpkin DIY


If you’re a pumpkin crafter, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of nail polish pumpkins.  The thing with nail polish pumpkins; however, is that you have very little polish to work with and you generally can only dip smaller-sized pumpkins with them.  Also I personally think using nail polish is a lot more stinkier than spray paint (this may be a personal preference).  Anyway, after seeing this post a few years back Alisa Burke marbleizing paper and ornaments, I knew I wanted to try it with a pumpkin and I’m actually happy with how mine turned out.  Let me show you how easy and fun these are to make!

What you need:

— faux pumpkin
— various colors of spray paint (I used neon so they’d look good under blacklight)
— large bin filled with water
— Gloves (get the gloves, see below)

Before you begin:
Fill a large plastic bin with water. You want enough water so you can submerge your entire pumpkin.

Spray the first color on top. It will spread out as you spray into a halo shape in the water.
Keep spraying and adding more colors till the surface of the water is totally filled with colors.
Once you’ve sprayed the surface, immediately dip your pumpkin.
It takes a little force to push the pumpkin below the water.  It was hard for me to capture on camera, but once your pumpkin is totally dunked, you need to pull it up lifting off the paint from the surface of the water.
If there’s an area of the pumpkin that you’ve missed, you can dunk it back in and focus on that area. You may layer over top of a. section you’ve already covered, but because this is abstract and random, it’s hard to mess it up!
Remember when I said you needed gloves. This is why.  I got the spray paint on my hand and it took a couple days for it totally to be off my hand. There was a lot of hand washing those two days. LOL.

Here’s what it looked like when I set up my blacklight.  I was wanting the neon to really pop and pop it did!  I am looking forward to putting this in my glowing decorations this Halloween!





How To Paint Your Own Pennywise Pumpkin



This Halloween season, Pennywise, from the movie IT is the go-to movie to see.  I’m seeing all kinds of articles on how you can rock this clown custom for Halloween 2017, but I thought I’d turn Pennywise into my kinda craft- a pumpkin, of course.  Let me just tell you, taking the above pic was pretty amusing.  Instead of scouting for models, I went scouting for gutters in my neighborhood. LOL. I think the end result turned out pretty sweet.  And fun fact, I’ve never seen this movie or the original that all my friends were scared of when I was a child of the 90’s.  I do recognize a viral character when I see it, and knew I had to get on the clown action.

What you’ll need:

– White medium-sized pumpkin
– Red, black, and white acrylic paints
– Tacky Glue
– Paintbrushes
– Red feather marabou boa
– Scissors

Before you begin:  I painted the off-white pumpkin with white acrylic paint to give the clown a more pale complexion.

Next pull up a pic of Pennywise for reference…I did my project freehand, but you can plot yours out with pencil if you’d like.


I then painted my pumpkin as shown below…I started with a liner brush drawing the red on the lips, I then went back in around the lips adding outlines and shading.  Around the grin, I added lines to accentuate.

Next I drew the red lines that go from the grin to above the eyes. After I did that, I added in more additional shading detail and started to draw the eyes and frown lines.

I finished up the face with additional shading and red eyes. For finishing touches, I added some chin and face shape definition. Also clean up any messy details with white paint after everything has dried. My last step was to mix a little glue and paint to make faux cracks and gritty details to the forehead and face. The final step is to cut, then glue on the feather boa to the top of the pumpkin in a horseshoe fashion.


This turned out pretty fun (and creepy).  When I get into the zone painting, I realize how much I enjoy it.


Taking photos of this pumpkin may have been more fun than actually painting it.  For this one, I hid the pumpkin in some bushes and peeked through to get this shot.  Nothin’ quite like a creepy clown lurking in the shadows.


And I thought the dead grass and wooden fence at sunset made for a nice backdrop as well.

Let me know what you think of my pumpkin and if it creeps you out.  And fun fact, I actually like clowns…I grew up with paintings of them in my room  as a toddler.  They were mainly the hobo and circus clowns type.  I don’t know if I should watch this movie or not and change my perception.

If you love this project, share it with your friends, and check out this cute stop motion video I did using the steps above to create this DIY project.  I made this little vid for the Darby Smart app! If you want ot make your own DIY vids easily using only your phone, give this app a try. Available now in the app store.








DIY your own Tie Dye Binder



Here’s a fun back to school DIY you can make to personalize your notebooks and binders. I used a tie dye binder for this project, but you can use other stencils (not just tie dye) to do this technique! Of course, the tie dye stencil I used for this is pretty rad (you can get it here). Let me show you how easy this DIY is to create from start to finish!

I made this project for the Darby Smart app. It’s a cool DIY app where you can film and edit your videos like I did here. They even have layover type that you see at the start of this video 🙂 Hop on over to the Apple iTunes store and download this app now and get started making your own videos!

DIY your own Pumpkin Slime and Jar



If you’re planning a party this Halloween season for kids, this might be the perfect party gift they can make at the festivities and take home with them! In this tutorial (an exclusive I made for the Darby Smart app), I show you how to make the slime and the container in some super easy steps!

Here’s what you’ll need:
– Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
– Baking Soda
– Orange Food Coloring
– Saline Solution
– Orange Glitter
– Green Multi-surface paint
– Small Mason Jar
– Black Puffy Paint
– Paintbrush

Watch the video below to see all the steps!

I did this tutorial for Darby Smart, where they partner with cool companies like Retail me Not to bring cool DIY videos to the masses. You can see more videos on the Darby Smart app from more awesome creators. Download it here and watch some cool videos and make your own.

How to make your own Pizza Bank



True story: When I was in college, I remember scrambling up change to pay for a Papa John’s Pizza. I know it had to be REALLY annoying to the pizza guy when he showed up and was paid in quarters, dimes and nickels. So in the spirit of this, I created this funny pizza bank so you can store your change (and maybe some dollars) inside to save up for that next delivery. Watch the video below to see how you make it…

What you need:
– Old cleaning wipes container
– Puffy paint in pizza colors (yellow, red, gold, green, black)

If you like this simple tutorial, I share more on the Darby Smart app, which you can download now in the app store. Check out my channel and more creative designers on the app -and- make your own videos too!

DIY your own Slime Notebook



If you’re obsessed with slime and want to take it to the next level, make this slime notebook and be the coolest kid in the class! Fill your notebook with your fave type of slime and give yourself something to do to stay occupied.

Supplies needed:
Clear pencil case
– 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
– 1 tablespoon baking soda
– Tablespoon
– Spoon for mixing
– 1 tablespoon saline solution
– Glitter in your choice of colors
Food coloring that matches the colors of your glitters
Glue gun and glue sticks
Clear packing tape or duck tape
– Paper, glue, and scissors to cover your notebook

1. In a large bowl, mix 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Mix thoroughly.

2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of saline solution until slime forms.

3. Divide the slime into three small bowls.

4. Add a drop of food coloring into each bowl of slime.

5. Add coordinating color of glitter into each bowl and mix.

6. Cover your notebook in white cardstock.

7. Apply glue all around the edges of the front of your notebook. Immediately press the plastic pencil case onto the front.

8. Wrap the pencil case around the bottom and to inside cover.

9. Place slime inside the pencil case and spread around with your hand.

10. Close pencil case up and use tape to secure to inside cover.

11. Decorate spine with additional ribbon or washi tape if desired.

Now it’s time to show off your creation. All of your friends are going to ask you to make them one too…I think you should totally charge for it. LOL!

If you like this video, check out more of my project on the Darby Smart app, you can download it in the iTunes store.

DIY your own Mother’s Day Card with Bubble Painting


I love crafty experiments. I love pop culture. So let’s just say I LOVE to combine my passions into my crafts. For this month’s Darby Smart video project, I was given a challenge to create a Mother’s Day DIY, so I tried my hand at bubble painting and layered on stickers and some celebrity cutouts!

For this project, you will need just a few supplies…

– Acrylic Paint
– Water
– Dish soap
– Plastic of paper straw
– Paper cups
– Cardstock
– Stickers
– Markers
– Scissors
– Digital printouts or magazine cuttings of celebs

Simply mix one part water to one part paint in a paper cup. Squeeze in a little bit of dish soap, then blow into the mixture using a straw to make the bubbles start flowing out. Get the bubble effect on paper by either placing the cardstock directly onto the bubbles or scooping them up using a spoon. Continue making bubbles on your paper until your desired look is achieved.

I applied black stickers to my card that I purchased at Michaels, but you use paint or markers to write a message of your choice. Use Aleene’s Tacky Glue or double stick tape to apply your celebrity image. Of course,you don’t have to use a celebrity cutout, that’s just how I roll. Do whatever floats your boat!

For more of my DIY videos like this, follow me on the Darby App. You can download it now in the app store. You can even make your own videos using the app and create your own channel to curate and share your own vids.

Join the Darby Smart app + 10 cute canvas art ideas



I’m so excited to share that I’ve been made a Darby Smart host for the next year, where I’ll be sharing tons of video content on their official Darby Smart app.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, visit the app store and download it and take a peek.  It’s a nifty little app where you can watch quick and snappy DIY videos from tons of talented creators + upload and make your own!  I’m very impressed with all the cool tools they’ve been creating for the app!  My favorite parts of it are the rainbow type tool and ability to speed up and rearrange your video clips so easily!


Since Vine is officially dead (R.I.P.), this app has taken over that space for me and I’ve uploaded about 20 videos so far…a lot of them are exclusive to the Darby Smart app, but I’ve also curated a lot of of my own Vine footage into cute little videos like the one below showing how to make 10 clever canvas DIYs.  Take a look and I encourage you to follow me over on the Darby app where you can stay updated when I post my latest DIY video.  Every month as a Darby host, I’ll be uploading videos for the season.  I will try to post them here for you to view too, but the Darby app is where you’ll see them first!

What Dexter taught me about life, love, and family

handsome dexter 2

handsome dexter 2
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Sometimes the best moments in life are the ones you don’t see coming. The funny thing is, I’m not a very risky or adventurous person and I’m pretty calculated in my actions and life choices. It’s pretty rare that I make a split-second decision, but a few years back I went with my gut and ended up finding a new best friend and family member.

On a mild fall night in October 2011, my boyfriend (now husband) William and I were driving back from a wedding and were making our way through Oakdale, a small town in California. As we were driving by a factory parking lot, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a little blonde kitten dart behind our car onto a four-lane highway. My heart sunk at the thought of the poor kitten getting hit in oncoming traffic and I knew I had to turn around. I immediately made a U-turn, stopped, and William jumped out of the car to chase the kitten down. The little guy was so scared to see someone coming for him, and he tried to make a quick escape through a chain link fence. Even though the kitten resisted capture and did everything to wiggle through the tight opening of the fence, William returned to the car with the frightened feline in his arms.

baby-dexWe stopped at William’s mom’s house to spend the night and put the kitten in the laundry room, since it was small and cozy and he couldn’t really get lost in there. The little blond tabby immediately started coming out of his shell and showing his personality. I took this photo of him sitting in my mother-in-law’s dog food dish. It was at this point I knew he was a keeper.

This was the first time in my life that I was responsible for a baby kitten inside my home! We gave him a bath and got him acclimated to his new life in our apartment. William and I introduced him to Pixie, my older and skittish black cat, and she was not very happy about her new housemate at first. It took a while for them to bond, let’s just say it was and still is a love/hate relationship.


We decided to name him Dexter (after our love of the TV Show) and I quickly became THAT Mom … you could call me the “Pawparazzi.” I took a billion photos … I mean, just look at that face! We spent all of our free time with him snuggling and playing. I realized that Dexter’s carefree attitude and quirky and curious spirit was bringing a lot of joy, laughter and better communication out of both William and I. He definitely filled a void we didn’t know we were missing. What was cool about it was that this wasn’t “my cat”, he was “our cat” and that little two-bedroom apartment became a home filled with lots of love and happy activity.

A few years have passed and we are now in a house with much more space for Dexter to roam. Even though he’s larger in size, Dexter still very much remains our baby and it’s important to us that he’s healthy. Last year, he concerned us big-time when he navigated under our crawl space and became severely dehydrated. This resulted in a kidney scare and a stint at the animal hospital. Having faced such a critical situation, we knew we needed to take his daily nutrition needs more seriously. Luckily Purina Pro Plan has provided us with healthy formulas that put us at ease knowing he’s getting protein-packed ingredients that support his digestive health.


While we have normally served Dexter the dry variety of Purina Pro Plan, we recently added the wet food into his feeding routine. Dexter was crazy for the wet White Meat Chicken and Vegetable Entrée and couldn’t wait for me to empty it out of the can. What’s nice about the wet food is it’s a great way for him to get added hydration. He hasn’t always been the greatest at drinking from his water bowls throughout the day, and this food is packed full of moisture so I can be more at ease. If your cat is like Dexter and you are looking for ways to get him or her to drink more water, check out this article. There’s some great insights on why your cat might be avoiding the water bowl and what you can do to change up in your environment to help your cat stay hydrated.

dexter eating proplan

As you can tell, Dexter LOVED this this wet food. He licked the entire bowl and even tried to see if any was left in the can. If you are looking for a new, healthy option for your cat, follow this link to Purina Pro Plan’s Wet Cat Food site, where you’ll find a coupon to save on this food. There’s a ton of awesome flavors, proteins, and textures for even the pickiest of eaters, in varieties that include pasta, vegetables, cheese and rice. It’s also nice to know that Purina’s nutrition is backed by a team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists and veterinarians. Dexter isn’t just a cat, he’s a member of the family, and I’m grateful that Purina provides ingredients that elevate his quality of life.


Yeah, this little guy has my heart and I’m so glad I made the choice to make a U-turn and save him from that busy road. William and I are lucky to call him our own and the love we have for him grows every day. We can’t wait to share many more indelible moments together.

Until next time Swellions!

Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan. The opinions and text are all mine.

10 Funniest Adult Coloring Books



You would have to be stuck under a rock to not see how HUGE adult coloring books have become these past couple of years.  I’m not so much a fan of the floral and fauna coloring books that are out there right now.  If I have to spend time getting meditative while coloring, you better believe that  I’m looking for a funny adult coloring book that has some wit, pop culture, or sarcasm involved.  Hey, you might as well throw in a cuss word or two- I definitely think it makes the coloring much more enjoyable.  I was interested in purchasing some books for myself and thought I’d make a list that you might enjoy as well too! Here’s the top 10 coloring books I found that I hope will make you laugh while getting your zen on!

I am sick of this shit coloring book
The foul-mouthed sailor in your life who needs to wind down will love this “Swear And Relax” coloring book titled “I am sick of this Shi*t”  Haha, I think I know what half of my friends are getting for Christmas this year. Get the book here:

Unicorns are jerks coloring book

I always think of unicorns as mystical, magical creatures whose rare beauty leaves you in a glaze.  Apparently, this is not the case.  According to author Theo Nicole Lorenz, Unicorns are JERKS! Learn the hard sparkly truth about these majestic creatures here:

The 1990's Coloring Book

If you wore scrunchies, listened to Vanilla Ice, or couldn’t get enough of “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego”, then you’ll love “The 1990’s Coloring Book” by James Grange. The cover alone is giving me all the Saved by The Bell feels.  Get your copy here:

#MomLife A Snarky Adult Coloring Book Amazon
If you are a Mom, then you know the STRUGGLE IS REAL!  Wind down after a day of terrible parenting with this hilarious coloring book: “#MomLife A Snarky Adult Coloring Book” by ; it’s a great way to decompress all that Mom guilt you’ve been hanging onto.  This also makes a great gift for that friend who needs a much deserved “Mommy Time Out” too.  Get the book here:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 8.07.31 PM
If you’re a fan of quote art like me and you like some truth spoken to get a kick in the pants, then “Make Life Your Bitch” by John T might just be up your alley.   Forget the cheesy quote art and let’s get real friends!  Get the book here:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 8.12.13 PM
If you hate “Adulting”, then you’ll love the “Coloring for Grown-ups” book by Ryan Hunter & Taige Jensen. With drawings like, “Hipster vs. Homeless” and a maze that asks you to navigate through the perils of life without health insurance, you’ll get lots of laughs with this book. Get the book here:

Color me Swooooon
Color in the the hotties of Hollywood with Mel Elliott’s “Color Me Swooooon”  With over 125 images of handsome beefcakes, you’ll be more than satisfied! Get the book here

Apocalypse coloring book

The doomsday prepper in your life will love “The Apocalypse Coloring & Activity Book” by Theo Nicole Lorenz.  Not only will it be great gift for now, but you may wanna stock up for doomsday too!  You never know.  Get the book here:

Have some pun coloring book
Nothing gets better than depravity and a good pun, so “Have Some Pun” swear word coloring book” by the Swear Word Coloring Group may be the most epic of all these choices. Get your copy here:

Dinosaurs with Jobs coloring book
If you love watching T-rex do push-ups then Dinosaurs with Jobs by Theo Nicole Lorenz might be your jam.  Haha Dinosaurs doing jobs…this makes me want to get the book just to see how they are portrayed! Get the book here