Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sailing into Summer

I came across a photo we took years ago and thought it might make a nice painting. Here's my first attempt. I can't decide wherther to continue to work on this one or whether I should start over and give it another try.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Our latest Recycle: Out of the dump and into the yard

Most people discard any unused pieces of vinyl siding but we've managed to use some up in this project. Not all of the trim bits were the same color but we're pleased with the results and the knowledge that we managed to keep a few things out of the dump and put them to good use.
We filled the bottom of the planter with weeds and the sod that we cleared from the area we put the gravel in. We filled the top with good soil and this hosta thinned from another area of the yard.
Inexpensive and good looking, there's a lot to love about this project.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Art and Letters

I found this old photo of myself and wondered why I'd kept it all of these years. I stuck it on a piece of paper and used it as stationery to write to a friend so I did a quick sketch from it on the corner of the envelope which she (and her mail carrier) might find interesting.
The watercolor is one I'm working on from time to time in the front yard and am not quite finished yet.
I got some of the liquitex heavy body acrylic paints that I'm so fond of and am looking forward to getting back to painting with them soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Before and After. Planter Box Project

I helped a little but for more information on this project please go to

More Gardening than Painting in the Painters Garden these days

Return of the Bag Lady

These strips of fabric were some that Carol brought in. The yellow was a bit wider and the blue was a bit longer but I figured they'd more or less make bags so I folded them in quarters, cut and trimmed them and used a bit of dark blue webbing I had on hand for handles. I thought I'd vary things a bit by making 2 of them tall and 2 of them wide and as you can see I'm really enjoying using one as a purse these days which of course reminds me that I need to learn to install zippers, somehow in the decades that I've been sewing I've just never gotten around to it. Anyway, the project didn't take long and we ended up with 3 bags with yellow linings and one with the blue. All in great and handy sizes I think folks will really enjoy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In and Out of the Front Yard

As I've mentioned on many occasions I have a very tiny house so whenever the sun comes out, I do too. I do a lot of painting in the yard...probably a lot more than I should because the weeds are taking over!

When it rains you'll find me indoors doing some more sewing and even a bit of housework from time to time. One of the gals at the senior center gave me a bunch of fabric and I made 13 tote bags, gave away a dozen and have started on another batch. What I decide to make depends on the sizes of the pieces of fabric I get, The width of a lot of these was just perfect for bags so I went with it.

There's still a lot of work to do on that tree painting so I'll post progress on it as I go along. You won't see much of the blue and yellow bags because  I'll just keep putting them together until I hit the end of the strips of fabric so they'll be more or less the same unless I run out of that dark blue webbing for the handles...unless of course you'd like to see a picture of them in a pile to see how many I made this time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Watercolor Tulips

For those of you just discovering this blog, I've never done much in watercolor so I'm still struggling with basic things like what sorts of backgrounds to use on various subjects. So far I'm not really happy with any of my attempts on this painting so I'll try darkening the background one more time to see how that works. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fast and Fun Recycle Project: valance into storage or gift bag

I made this valance a couple of weeks ago and decided that I didn't like it but didn't want to take it apart either.
My Solution?
1.fold it in half and sew the side and bottom. (be sure to leave an opening in that side seam to run a tie through the casing)
2. find something to thread through the casing to tie the bag closed (a piece of old cord from mini blinds, a fabric tie from an old dress, almost anything will work)
I make these little fabric tubes whenever I've got strips of fabric left over from anything. They come in handy for making pony tail scrunchies (when elastic is run through them) or as handles for tote bags. there's always something they come in handy for so this time I've stitched a couple of them together to run through the casing of this bag and tie it closed.
OK, it isn't beautiful but would come in plenty handy to pack or store things in. I'm assuming you've got better taste in decorating and fabric selections so yours might be gorgeous.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bag Lunch and Mud Pies

I had company for a while yesterday, had lunch and watched movies while I sewed a messenger style bag for a gal but we had such a good time that I completely forgot to shoot any pictures of the project which was completed and left with them.

Today we're headed out to fill the new box we build last week. Thanks goodness there are plenty of extra hosta around here to plant all 12 feet of it. I'll drag the camera along this time and will include a picture as soon as we get back to the computer.
Well, you may have heard that weather is pretty changeable in Minnesota. It looked fine when we went out and we moved a couple of wheelbarrow load of soil into the planter and divided one big clump of hosta from the front yard when it started to rain. I figured that wouldn't be a problem because I was planning to take a shower anyway. I got several of the new plants in as it began to rain harder and harder but I just wanted to finish with those last two. Well, I got my shower alright! I'll shoot a picture of the planter as soon as things clear up. How's the weather, and the gardening in your part of the world?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Few Annuals for color, planting before painting

Things are off to a slow start this season but I'm adding a bit of color until the next of my perrenials bloom. I've got a bit of sewing to do but hope to get back to drawing and painting as soon as that's done. I may blog about that project as well so keep reading you never know what I'll be doing next but it's always something fun or useful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before and After with Scrap Lumber, Problem Solved

As you can see the foundation of our house had been repaired on and off for years but was pretty ugly. My solution was to design this planter box that Doug and I built out of various scrap building supplies we had around the place. The only new materials used were 2 cedar 1x12's and 2, 1x4's.
You can see complete project photos and read more about it at
The thing that really excites me about this project is that I can put all of the plant debris in the bottom of it as I clean up the yard for the season and then top it with soil and plant it full of hosta which needed to be transplanted and thinned anyway. It will take less soil to fill it this year and I can always add more soil in years ahead as the plant matter breaks down. It seems to be a winning situation on many levels and the fact that our total cost was under $39.00 really made us smile.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts from the Garden on Watercolor Painting

This time as I begin to paint I'm not thinking about painting a vase of flowers. I'm taking some time to really look at them and work on the shading and contours of the different kinds of leaves as well as the flowers. I'm taking my time with this and plan to keep at it until I've filled the page and come up with a technique I like. It's more of a study or an exercise than anything else and with everything blooming so fast in the garden I'll have plenty of things to paint in the weeks to come. The daffodils are gone and the tulips are near the end, I just about missed them entirely this year as I spent too much time on a couple of the drawings. This fall I may try to work from a few of the photos I took but in the meantime I've got some germaniums, violas and a fuchsia to work with.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Old paintings, new money and what's next

I sold a couple of paintings this week and can't quite wrap my head around the idea because the whole reason I started putting images of my paintings and drawings on products at zazzle is because I figured that people just don't buy paintings anymore.

Now I'm not sure what sorts of things to be working on so I think I'll just "play" with my flowers as I answer my mail. I'm reaching for my pen and pencils now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Before and After

Yes this IS the same watercolor painting.
I started with the yellow background but wanted to add a bit of drama and some other colors. Thank goodness for technology! If I make a mistake or over work a painting I can always use the previous scan and nothing gets lost or spoiled.
I'd love to hear which image you like best so be sure to leave a comment.
You might want to stop me before I change the basket and table...

Thursday, May 12, 2011