Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue bench, Baby bird and flowers

Yes, I spend a lot of time in the garden these days and so far the only company I've had (besides my husband who wanders through now and then with a cup of coffee or tea for me) are the birds, rabbits, squirrels and a striped gopher. Yesterday I got bored and decided to paint that bench blue. I like it better that way but since it's the only color in a yard in the whole neighborhood I'm wondering how well it will go over with everyone else.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iris Time

Things change so fast in the garden that I get just a few chances each year to capture "the poor mans orchid". There's a lot to like about Iris and after decades of trying I have yet to capture the feeling they give me. I've done them in pencil, ink, paint, thread and fabric but am always looking for new and interesting ways to share the magic.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trying times

Now that I've finished this all that remains is to try it on and see how it looks before I get back to wearing it.
Lighting seems to be a factor in my photography because the actual color of the shirt is somewhere in between that shown in these pictures.
No real art projects planned for the rest of the day, just some basic things like mending and cleaning.
The weather has gone quite hot and muggy so I may treat myself to the new iris that just opened in the back yard and get back to  the watercolor I started a while back. It sounds like a lot more fun than the housework I  "should" be doing. I guess you'll just have to wait and see what turns up in the next post, I know I haven't decided yet so it will be a surprise for all of us.

...let me count the ways

A friend gave me this embroidery floss so here's the Thank You card I made and the envelope I decorated along with the shirt I used some of the embroidery floss on. As you can see there are lots of ways to have fun with any project you do and it's even better when you can share it with the people that support your efforts. Everybody wins and that's what makes me happiest of all.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recycling project of the day: fun with frozen juice lids

A friend was sorting through her mothers things and discovered that she had saved all of the metal lids off frozen orange juice containers for years. Here are a few ideas I came up with to help her use them up in a way that will make everyone smile. A bright reminder and a fond farewell. Feel free to add more ideas on the subject in the comments. thanks.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Here are a couple more photos I shot in the front yard yesterday and there were a few photos laying around here from last years garden as well so I used those to make some nice note cards. Just about everything is (or are) art supplies to me these days and there are lots of ways to enjoy and share them as well. One of the other projects in the works today is the shirt that I'm embroidering lilacs on which of course you'll see here as soon as I get photos of my progress. There's no pattern or anything. I'm just making it up as I go which of course makes it all the more fun for me and a surprise for us all if it turns out as well as I think it might. Wish me luck!...and a bit of patience too. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Art by the yard

I'm still painting the arbor but I finished this birdhouse a few years ago. The next painting project in the yard is a butterfly house that a favorite cousin bought me for my Birthday. I've painted the roof on it and will be leaving the rest of it natural wood except for a few flowers that I plan to paint on it here and there.
Perhaps someday I may even do a painting of all my painted things...and the gardens they live in.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A lot of color running around the yard these days so I'm rounding up a lot of things and putting them into planters and various flower beds. I made a card out of the photo I took of the lily of the valley and then started a watercolor based on that. After I finish the watercolor I'll try them again in either pencil or paint. Everything moves pretty fast this time of year so it's unusual for me to work from photos (I usually do that over the winter) I'm just more or less caught in a loop attempting to find the best ways to capture the lily of the valley before they're gone...and then I'll move on to other things, including the Iris that will be blooming next. I got a bit sidetracked transplanting some roses but I'll be back to paper and paint projects by the end of the day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

For the birds

I never quite get that martin house cleaned out because there always seems to be one sort of bird or another in it. One of our feathered tenants seems to have pushed the door out on one side but there's not much I can do about it these days because there's at least one family in there now and the little ones are making quite a bit of noise. I keep trying to get pictures of the parents flitting back and forth so that I can find out just what sort of birds they are.
Other birds spend a lot of time in the garden. Years of composting give us great worms and all the sunflowers were tossed over there at the end of the season so there's a lot of seed as well. 

Meanwhile...back at the ranch...(more or less)

It's hard to believe this mess sits right in the middle of town. Some days I don't know where to start or why I bother. It's clear that I'll never have the time, energy, good health or money to accomplish the things that I 'd like to here but there's something about making the effort in spite of it all that does me good whether anyone else sees results or not. So far I'm rounding up a lot of the raspberries and other plants that tend to get away from me and putting them in containers before they run away to the neighbors and make even more trouble for me. Who knows? they may even look nice when they've recovered from transplanting. Speaking of recovering...I hope you've joined me in finding a comfy place to put your feet up and are enjoying a cup of good coffee as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A stitch in time ...and more lilacs

I had some stains on a new shirt so it was yet another opportunity to use lilacs in another medium. While my bush is blooming in the back yard I'm using it in as many ways as possible. This is the first attempt on fabric. The great thing about this was being able to use the embroidery floss that a friend gave me last week and a chance to model my efforts next time I see her. Speed is of the essence when it comes to the actual flowers themselves and a bit of a race to embroider the basic lines of my drawing before the chalk wears off. All of these factors keep the project fresh and interesting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sealed with a scribble

Not much art going on around here today, just a quick drawing on the corner of some of my outgoing mail. It looks like lilacs are the going theme around here these days...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

watercolor and pencil scrapbook pages (lilac bench)

When I got the photos of the completed bench I wanted to put them in my scrapbook. I was out of nice scrapbook papers so I used regular white drawing and watercolor papers to play with the design one more time. I painted lilacs on the one page and drew them in pencil on the other.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Before the rain

I managed to get a few photos today before it rained and will be using them to make some cards with in the morning. Who knows? If it goes well they may spill into paintings too.

Art, life and the ways they come together

Going through some old photos. It's been a LONG time since I was the girl in the little blue dress (which had been a big, long  one the year I got it). It's also been ages since I've been anywhere near a guitar other than appreciating and enjoying other people playing them. What's this got to do with art or gardening?
These days I look at everything around here as art supplies so it will be fun to see what I can do with these.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seed Money and Fresh Starts

I delivered the boards for the lilac bench last night and should have pictures of the completed project soon (I'm a painter, not a furniture builder). Now that I've got that project out of the way I'm headed outdoors to plant more things to paint and draw. My careful garden plan was to gab a few packets of flower seed that appealed to me, rip them all open and dump them together in an old diner style sugar shaker. The opening is large enough to dispense all but the very biggest sunflower seeds and those will go along the edge of the garden when I finish planting along the driveway. I think it makes things more fun because you never know what will pop up next to each other and it gets the creativity going by showing you different ways to combine shapes and colors in unexpected ways.

Monday, May 3, 2010


The Finish Line

This project has been EVERYWHERE with the studio still under construction (and full of who know what) I've been putting the clear finish on the boards for the seat outdoors on good weather and in the living room the rest of the time. Oh well, clean up is close and I should be finished with the painting on the back sometime in the next day or two.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More progress on the lilac bench

This is the last section of boards for that garden bench. I'm still "playing" with the design and my leaf painting technique. I actually ran out and bought new brushes because I wanted a crisper edge on the leaves and wanted more of a point at the end of them, No side or section of this bench is the same other than the fact that they're all covered with lilacs. I've actually picked some of the branches of my bush in the backyard apart to understand the exact composition of the flower bunches and placement of the leaves.
I'm headed outdoors now to put another coat of polyurethane on the seat before getting back to finishing this section. Just a few days left until it's all assembled and delivered...even I'm not sure what it will look like so keep checking in so you don't miss the surprise ending.