Try something new & caulk your baseboards.

Do something you never have done before. It can be anything. Just the mere act of doing something new will expand your creative senses.

First off, this might seem like a reach. I promise you though, it is completely relevant to the goals of this blog. It may seem like the topics are flip flopping, but that is done purposely. Today I’m demonstrating how to caulk baseboards. You read it right, caulking baseboards. By all means, try it for yourself or try something else you haven’t done before. Maybe you have caulked before and this will act as a refresher. That’s just fine. Obviously, I had to teach myself how to caulk before sharing it here. Prior to this, I caulked my living room and one of my bedrooms. It took many times though to get it right. No matter which tool you choose to use, creativity can flourish. Find your something good. Do things impulsively. Try something new.

In my case, I’ve started a few ‘new’ things I have never, ever done before, all at the same time. My husband and I bought our first house about a year ago. All of the carpeting and baseboards were ripped out. Then, new carpet and engineered hardwood flooring were installed along with new baseboards. Granted, I’m still working on house projects, the list of things I’ve learned is endless. The list of things, projects and tasks I’ve tried my hand at isn’t quite as endless, but it’s getting there! To summarize all things mentioned up to this point, the more you expose yourself to, the more of the unknown you explore, the easier it will be to grasp your inner creativity, your something good. The process of using tools you normally might not, the steps involved in certain processes will help your awareness.

Now for caulking! Let’s jump right in. As a disclaimer, I’m no expert. It actually takes quite a long time for me to caulk a room, let alone a whole house. Below is a short video of the process and some before and after pictures.

Caulking tools

Now, the caulking gun shown here is probably an older model. Hopefully you have a much easier one to use.

  1. WEAR GLOVES, the caulk is hazardous; protect your skin
  2. place the caulk into the open slot
  3. turn the handle and push up to secure the tube of caulk
  4. when ready to caulk, turn the handle 180 degrees
  5. BE CAREFUL! when dispensing the caulk with the caulk gun trigger, don’t press too long or caulk will keep spilling out, even when you’re through with the first baseboard
  6. turn the handle back to its starting point to stop the caulk from dispensing
  7. repeat each time you need to start and stop caulking
  8. note: it might be much easier with a more improved caulk gun; this one must be as old as me if not older…

I forgot to mention, before using the caulk, you have to cut the tip. Cut it to the desired angle you’d like it at. Here is a picture of mine:

Caulk tube tip, cut at an angle Caulk tube tip, cut at an angle

Before and after, baseboard caulking Before and after, baseboard caulking Before and after, baseboard caulking

Caulking baseboards, 101 from Kalli Payment on Vimeo.

These videos I’ve been making are very basic. I’m trying to teach myself. Please share your suggestions if you have any!

After, baseboard caulking

That’s all for now. Go and try something new! If it isn’t caulking aorund the house, what is it? Share your experiences with me!



Easy & ultra quick Thanksgiving table decor.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Need a last minute table decoration or centerpiece? Check this out!

Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces

Scouring my house for vases and knick knacks, this is what I found:

  • a few glass containers
  • a pitcher
  • two vases
  • a mid-century owl figurine
  • some tiny topiary trees
  • wine corks
  • pinecones and other bits of nature
  • some orange ribbon
  • an orange colored container
  • oatmeal
  • lentils
  • sunflower seeds
  • popcorn kernels
  • oh, and a funky Pyrex bowl filled with caramel pieces (to eat!)

Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces

Directions for making your centerpiece:

  1. Grab your stuff and put it together you like; there are no rules!!

Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces Table centerpieces

Now go enjoy your holiday! Need more ideas? Check out MidwestLiving for more inspiration.


The changing course of an artwork.

This is a piece I completed in college. Its journey from ideation to completion was an interesting one.

First things first. This work would look best printed fairly large, maybe as a mural for a wall. It could be applied to fabric as well. In my opinion, the bigger the better. The hue structure is dense; it really packs a punch. If it is applied in large scale, the hue and pattern will visually be more spread out. The piece is busy, also another reason why it’d look its best printed large scale.

This was the first draft. The idea originated with collage techniques in mind. I love fashion illustration and I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow. Bustling city scenes are included to evoke the sense of movement and many things happening at once, much like what you’d find in the city.


First stage


Here are the fashion figures before I added them to the collage.



There are more elements added and layered to this next one.


Second stage


And again…


Third stage


I took out elements of each image above and came up with this; the final product.


Final stage


Different elements used in this collage process were:

  • photographs
  • maps
  • fabric
  • graphite drawings

Making this piece was tricky. What you call writer’s block applies to this situation, but perhaps as artist’s block. At the time, I was pleased with the end result. However, maybe another draft awaits. Sometimes a work is never truly complete.



Signage everywhere.

With text abound, these billboards steal the show. Anyone looking for discounted boat supplies?

Marine Wholesalers & Discount Boat Supplies

Marine Wholesalers & Discount Boat Supplies

There was already text in this picture, so I incorporated graphic elements to build around it. The picture might look familiar; it’s in the photo collage underneath the blog title. See if you can spot it if you haven’t already.

I’m going to be absent for the next few days for a mini-vacation. Don’t worry, I’ll return with more posts dissecting artwork and some other holiday whimsy. Stay tuned!


The puzzle pieces to an artwork.

The steps I took to create the artwork, ‘Time is Preserved.’

1913 vintage postcard, artwork inspiration

Front of postcard, ‘A Joyous Birthday’ is seen faintly at the top


1913 vintage postcard, artwork inspiration

Back of postcard

Let’s start with the inspiration. I was inspired by a vintage postcard dated 1913 from Kansas City, MO. The front title reads, ‘A Joyous Birthday,’ below it is an image of a beaming, beautiful rose. Other than the saturated hues and lovely detail in the image, the rose speaks to me for many different reasons. As an alumna of Alpha Gamma Delta, the rose is our fraternity flower and embodies our ideals. A rose is indicative of beauty just by being a rose. It is a popular icon, symbol, image and physical flower represented throughout the ages in many forms. Stereotypical beauty is suggested through the presence of a rose. To conclude the list, the biggest thing that strikes me about a rose is that the image has never changed. Roses always remain pristine and timeless in any representation, even 100 years ago.

Sketches and drafts for artwork

Sketches and drafts for artwork


'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

‘Time is Preserved’

With inspiration comes ideation, meaning the formulation of ideas or concepts. I wanted to further build on the idea of a rose (it’s image, what we see conveyed in culture and media) and it’s timelessness. In the piece, the rose remains as beautiful as it ever was, but the elements around it have changed from the quintessential image represented on the postcard, for instance. There are constraints modeled with wire, staples and tape. These ideas of constraint contrast the beauty and joy brought on by the presence of the rose. They also speak to how the world has changed overtime; in 1913 things were more simple and more elegant. Today, some things are simple and elegant, but the world is drastically different. There’s more noise and things are more disrupted. We’ve also evolved. Bringing elements normally not associated with a rose to this piece is suggestive of that as well. The clock represents time. Thus, time is preserved despite the changes and constraints in todays world. Even today, we still look at a rose and associate it with beauty. Its image will continue to prevail years to come.

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli Payment

'Time is Preserved,' copyright Kalli PaymentThen, the piece has to be put together! As mentioned, mixed media is my friend. To create this piece, I combined digital elements, with foam board, marker, electrical tape, matte medium, paint, duct tape, wire, staples, a dresser drawer pull and a necklace. Oh, and the clock! It took a few tries to get the imagery right in Photoshop. Once I finished that, I bought a circular cutting tool to cut out the rose and attach to the back of the clock. Then I attached parts of the layered rose to foam board and tacked to the large backing (also foam board). I laid the tape down, applied some paint then placed the stem and leaves on top. Lastly, the staples, marker streaks, matte medium wire and adornments at the top of the clock were applied.


Be inspired!

Pop some inspiration into your week ahead!

Be inspired!In Bountiful, Utah, there are big letters on the surrounding mountains. This ‘B’ stands for Bountiful High School. There’s also a ‘V’ for Viewmont High School and a ‘U’ for University of Utah.

What’s your inspiration?


What have you learned so far?

A continuation of the previous post, All about collage.

Comparing and contrasting the elements of projects you’ve completed will help evaluate your progress and clarify what you’ve learned. Each image below links to it’s primary post with the exercise/ project directions. I’ve also listed the important aspects of each assignment to summarize.

Who's there? collage pieces

Journal collage pages

  • what defines you?
  • when looking at images in magazines (or elsewhere), what draws your eye?
  • once you start collaging, keep going until you’re satisfied
  • DO NOT get discouraged
  • was it hard to glue or fasten stuff down?
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Step #1 & collage.


Adulthood: black/white collage

  • eliminate color, stick to just blacks, grays and whites
  • try not to use personal, sentimental items or family photos
  • try shopping at a thrift store for your collage materials
  • use specific periods in your life: childhood, youth and adulthood as inspiration
  • find symbols, elements and images that speak to who you are/were or represent your person; your personality during each time period listed above
  • division of time (childhood, youth and adulthood) sets a confinement for each collage; sets a limit to the subject matter, creates constraint within each collage-this helps build meaning and brings substance to the work you make
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Black/white collages, round 2.


Charles Schultz quote collage

  • working with words and images simultaneously works both sides of your brain; an important aspect of bringing out your true creativity
  • without both sides of the brain contributing to things you do, the ‘WOW!’ effect will be underwhelming; you will not have achieved your full potential
  • this exercise places more emphasis on integrating letters, symbols and words into the collage-while you may have used these elements in the two exercises/ projects above, it wasn’t the underlying intention
  • bringing intention and purpose to works you create gives meaning and ultimately more authenticity to your work
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Words & images, round 2.

Creativity discovery 101, or as I like to call it, the something good 101:

The progression starts with defining yourself. Based on those aspects, images, hue, pattern, texture, things, items, pictures, etc… begin to resonate with you. From here, instigating challenges (as opposed to just making a pretty picture because you like the way it looks using images and things you like) by making constraints and bringing purpose to your projects starts to work its way in. Once you get momentum, you’ll see the progression in what you’ve created, but also in how you think and how you view things. This same principle can be applied to works other than artworks; writing, music, leadership, the list could go on and on. If you’re a musician for instance and your working to become more creative, you may not necessarily relate with images or hue, but you’ll relate to other aspects that deal with music specifically. For the musicians out there, would composition and instrument techniques fall under this category; I’m not an expert or even a novice when it comes to creating music. Whatever comes before novice is where I’d place myself!

Next up, another dissected work. I always think I’ll be able to fit stuff into a future post. However, I get started and the next thing I know, I’ve written two pages without covering the next item on the to-cover/discuss list. Blogging has been a very good learning experience for me. My plan is to alter the organization of future posts and stick to discussing one particular thing, instead of two or more. After all, I enjoy writing and sometimes it takes over. Oh, not that it matters, but I’m going to lessen the amount of tags in each post. Apparently assigning 50 tags to a post isn’t neessary. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


All about collage.

Curious to learn more about the inner workings of collage?

On the Post Extras. page, I’ve recently added some new stuff. You’ll find information about different collage techniques as well as some revolutionary collage artists that have since set the stage for current artists and the like. Today I’m going to dissect some of my previous works, particularly ones that incorporate collage. I’ll compare and contrast these with the exercises and projects we’ve completed thus far. Remember, if you’re just joining us, you can find all previous posts in the calendar on the right hand side of the page or you can scroll through the post queue.

While reading this, remember the importance of collage. Collage is experimental, forgiving and really emits a sense of freedom. It might be fair to say that making a collage is easier than drawing on a blank canvas (for those who do not draw regularly). It is perhaps one of the easier ways to exercise your creativity or even discover it!

Here is a project from 2011. I called it ‘Escape.’ I completed this as a college assignment. It’s important to note that the process of creating this piece resonated with me more than other things I’d done in the past.

'Escape' framed on the wall

‘Escape’ framed on the wall


'Escape,' copyright Kalli Thurgood Payment


As a fresh college student, I had never made art on the computer with the exception of design layout for yearbook classes in high school using Adobe InDesign. It wasn’t until late in my sophomore year that I really grasped the concept of Adobe Photoshop and, later, Adobe Illustrator. Before going to college I had:

  • a passion for fashion and fashion design
  • a liking for art and design, specifically drawing and painting
  • a liking for scrapbooking and sewing
  • a liking for photographing things and places
  • moved, but also traveled
  • worked part time, went to school full time
  • a liking for pop culture, namely music and movies (fashion too!)
  • played softball (disclaimer: this was for a very brief time in high school and I apologize to my fellow teammates for really not knocking the ball out of the park…)
  • I could probably list more, but it’s almost hard to remember without researching via searching through photos and mementos

Working through finding my creative being, my something good, I quite literally stumbled on things and advanced on others. Ultimately, the discovery I made is that mixed media captures my interest more than any other media alone. This is a very broad statement. Here’s a more concentrated list of individual mediums I like (combine one or more to create mixed media):

  • collage and all collage techniques
  • paint
  • graphite
  • charcoal
  • pastel
  • ink
  • found objects
  • digital
  • adhesive
  • matte medium
  • metal
  • wire
  • again, I may have left out a few items

Just in case…

'My get up and go just got up and left.'Is this happening to you, right now? If so, it’s more than normal. There are many components and parts that plug into the creativity machine to make it work. I don’t want to lose you in the midst of the various topics discussed so far. Just remember to keep in mind what defines you, your personality, what you like, what you don’t like. Later, I’ll describe how I figured out that mixed media is my thing. There’s a lot more to the story than a list of things I did in high school and types of media I’m drawn to. Stick with me, you’ve got this!

Let’s look at the piece a little closer. Here’s a sample of scanned images from working on the project. Included in the piece are elements of everything shown, with the exception of the ruler.

Pieces of 'Escape'

Pieces of ‘Escape’

I would classify these pieces under found ‘household’ objects, as far as medium type is concerned. I used crayon on the scribbles. The overall piece is digital, so I’d say that’s the main medium.

After collecting the images of items I wanted to use, I combined them in Photoshop with photographs I’d taken; the balloon, the person on the ladder (that’s me) and the head (that’s my husband) to create a photomontage. The effects of collage techniques were all achieved in Photoshop. I did not create a collage prior to working in Photoshop.

This piece is available in prints on Society 6 if you’d like to purchase one. Don’t worry, that’s the only one there!

I think I’ve covered quite a bit for one ol’ post, but next time I’ll continue by comparing and contrasting the exercises and projects we’ve done thus far as well as dissect some other pieces. Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!



Check out this awesome infographic. It’s ideal for this blog! Thanks Spirit Button and Visualistan.

How To Be More Creative #InfographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan.