Sunday, February 28, 2016

Making the wheelchair ramp a group project

So far I've designed and painted all of the spindles myself but I've begun to ask other artist's to join me and I've needed help removing and replacing the spindles. Any large project goes better with friends and family included. it can create some fun memories too.

Guest Artist Becca works on a design in Black and White while Julia sticks to flowers from the garden as a theme.

Doug removes and installs the spindles as we go along.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Raising Butterflies, Painting Lilacs

The easiest way to start painting lilacs is to lay in shades of purple and green, don't think about this part too much. You're just looking for a general background to work the leaves and the flowers over.

Paint flowers over the purple areas and leaves and branches on some of the green ones.

After the branches and the flowers the way you want them to be put center dots in each flower with bits of yellow and brown.

We're going to be  raising and releasing butterflies in the garden off and on throughout the season this year so I've decided to start teaching myself to start painting them on everything too.

The Chrysalides were next.

I'm looking forward to our butterfly year and think you'll enjoy it too.

March 3rd was moving day and we put them into the habitat.

They were out and beginning to fly on May 7th.

I've  promised my sister that she can release them so they may have to wait until the weekend and warmer weather to be free.

Art Covered Wheelchair Ramp

 This project is going to take a very long time because I have each spindle removed and brought to the table where it's easier to paint on it.

It doesn't really matter whether it's possible to finish it or not because it's a great conversation starter and pretty to look at as well as allowing me to continue to paint and keep my days interesting. The doing of it is the important thing.

I don't worry whether people think it's a good idea or not, it's my ramp and I'm enjoying it.

 It incorporates all of the different sorts of designs that have appealed to me in my 45 years as an artist and it's fun to see what they look like side by side.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Painting Iris on Your Deck

I find it easiest to remove the spindles one at a time to paint them rather than leaving them in place and trying to reach around them but you'll need to choose the method that will work best for you.

The other advantage of doing them one piece at a time is that you don't have to be at the mercy of the weather to get your project done.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Making life interesting, sparking creativity

You never know where the good ideas will come from. I clipped this border off a letter that I received this week. I'd never thought of using this color as a background on my florals before and this incorporates a wider selection of flowers than I usually use so it encourages me to experiment and stop worrying about which flowers would or wouldn't bloom at the same time.

I hadn't quite figured out how to do Iris as a vertical border and this seems to solve the problem for me. The first way that I'll explore that is by painting them on one of the spindles to my wheelchair ramp.

Once I see how that works out I plan to explore variations of it on some dala horses.

I'm very excited about the possibilities. You never know where inspiration will come from. Start looking at things in new ways to make your life and everything around you more interesting.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tea Cozy Project


Start by rounding up all of the teapots, fabric and insulating materials that you've got. In this case an old and badly mended bath towel will disappear inside a to help keep things warm. 

Next will come your design decisions like which teapot is the right size for the bits of fabric that you have. In my case I'm trying to use the medallion is that dark blue fabric. 

The blue and white is the outside fabric. The old towel is in the middle and the yellow fabric is the inside lining. Think of it as sliding one bag inside another and then sealing them shut.

It's nearly finished now, I'm just doing a bit of quilting to neaten it up and keep all of the layers together.

  I would have liked it better if both of the outside pieces had been the same but the fabric sample just wasn't a big enough piece to do that with.

Here's what the lining looks like. It could be reversible unless you've made the inside pieces smaller.

I made each of the inside layers a bit smaller so that it would fit the teapot better.

The second tea cozy went together much easier. I sewed the outside and the lining together and then the lining on it's own and had cut it a bit longer so that I could fold it up over the front and make a binding out of it. 

You'll notice that I've made them different shapes and sizes to fit different teapots. The better that you fit them, the better job they will do of keeping things hot.

I'm pleased with the results so far and will make one more in patchwork of the scraps from the first 2. No matter how many of them are used at the same time, The colors are similar and they'll all look nice together. When I do a party, I make one pot black, one green and one tisane.