Friday, September 30, 2011

So Many Hobbies , So Little Time

There aren't any pictures this time. I've been busy sorting through all the knitting machine supplies and making 2 more pair of slippers. I'm also sorting art supplies and re-organizing the studio. meanwhile the house is a mess so there's been a lot of general housework to do as well.
The good news is that I'm ready to start painting again so tomorrows post should be bright and interesting. I'm still considering starting a separate blog for the craft items but am waiting for a bit of feedback from you as to whether or not it's a good idea.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Woodpeckers and warmer weather in the Paintersgarden

The squirrels are still having a lot of fun running around with the walnuts and the woodpecker is back at work remodeling one for the birdhouses that I built and painted last year. The birch leaves turned a pretty gold but dropped right in the yard before we had much of a chance to really enjoy the view from the living room.
With nicer weather I had planned to get out and work on the yard and garden but I got carried away with my mail and the knitting machine so I never quite got around to it.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Here's a scrap crafted card I made for my hubby a decade or two  ago. I couldn't go shopping for him that year so I hot glued it full of pocket change. Imagine my surprise when we "found" it today while sorting through drawers in an old piece of furniture...of course when we picked it up it rained an assortment of coins but it was pretty funny anyway.

These days we're still busy making things. I'm crocheting here and he's untangling yarn for me.

Here's a photo from our first house (1978-2000) I hated the look of that air freshener in the hall so I painted that urn around it as part of the mural.

Eventually the mural was full of Iris and vines and  went up 2 stories. Yes, I've got more pictures if you're interested.

As you can imagine all of these projects fall under the heading of "it seemed like a good idea at a time"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scrap Paper Note Card Project

 It's surprising what you can make while cleaning up your work area. These were
made from bits of card stock and watercolor paintings mounted over a greeting card.
 Since this project uses up scrap items on hand you can be more adventurous with your designs and take more chances, after all-it's not costing you anything but time.
Relax and have some fun with the idea. It's a great way to re-use all those odd cards that come in the junk mail. (if you like the insides but not the cover art).
I can't wait to hear how it works out for you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Return of the Knitting Machine

A good knitting machine never dies (or at least this one hasn't). It's  a Bother  KH-260  that I bought back in the 1980's and haven't had out in about 6 years. I was surprised to see it in perfect working order and just needing to be cleaned off. The only real evidence of age was that the colors of the plastic housing had changed.

As I've mentioned before, the weather has cooled off around here so the first thing I  wanted to do was make some slippers for the family. Of course after all these years I couldn't quite remember how or find my pattern so I was pleased to see that there are a lot of resources for machine knitters on the internet so I was back to work at it in less than an hour and happy to find that I still enjoy it. I guess some things never change.

I generally finish off my slippers with pom poms, bows or buttons to cover the area where they're all gathered together but I was so excited that I couldn't wait to tell you about it and shot this picture anyway.
Thanks for stopping by and why you're here I do have a question. "since some of my posts aren't about gardening or painting, should I start another blog for crafts and fiber art?"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An easy to make cover for CPAP tubing

There are 3 good reasons to sew your own cover for sleep machine tubing:
1. It helps keep water from condensing in the hose.
2. If you purchase them from a medical supply they're both ugly and expensive.
3. You can match the fabric to your bedroom decor which cheers you up and is a bit less annoying to your partner.

I haven't included sizes or measurements as the equipment you use may be different. The main point is to sew a long tube that will be loose enough to slide on easily and be removed for laundering. Be sure to take into account that your fabric may shrink when laundered so cut generously.

Finish with a small hem on each end. I usually do that first  when the fabric is flat instead of trying to reach inside the tube and do it later but the method you choose is up to you.

Here's the finished cover installed on the machine.  A decorator touch to bring comfort and cheer to your medical needs at, if they'd just make these stupid masks in cute colors I'd really be happy. Sweet Dreams...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Drawing more Flowers

I drew iris on the corner of an envelope last night and picked wildflowers on the way back from the mailbox today. I'm planning some drawings and watercolors from them.

Tie Dye to the Rescue

I'm always getting paint on my clothes and when I don't have any luck getting it out  I figure I might as well add some more color.

I was pleased to see that things have changed a lot over the years when it comes to dye and setting methods. (I've been doing this off and on since the 1960's) My new favorite product comes in premixed spray bottles and  the finished garment just needs to be tossed into the dryer to heat set it.

I just did the old shirt (a "jammie" top I've been "living" in all summer) up with rubber bands and twisting. Then began spraying on the dyes.

I haven't done this in years but it was fun.

It needs to air dry before you remove the rubber bands and again afterward before you toss it into the clothes dryer.

I discovered while reading the instructions for this kit that you can also use these dyes to to watercolor painting on your clothes and linens and I can't wait to try that!!!
I've found these little 3 bottle dye kits at both
Target and Menards so you can probably get one just about anywhere for under 10.00

Friday, September 23, 2011

Winter Studio (the Dining Room)

I'm settling in for the winter. All of the recent work I had room for has been hung and all of the supplies have been brought in.

I sure like the new wall color better than last years, don't you?

Not much of a centerpiece at mealtime but i love to have my pencils and brushes handy.

Preparing for winter in the Paintersgarden

I'm not doing much out in the garden these days except for a bit of clean up but as you can see the squirrels keep busy picking up the walnuts and tucking them into all of my planters, Yes, they're doing quite a job re-arranging the hosta too.

Like a lot of people we're having to make the choice on what areas to heat this winter so I'm rounding up all of the paintings and trying to incorporate them into our living spaces. This Iris oil doesn't take much room but some of the other pieces are presenting more of a challenge.

I've been hoping for years to find a restaurant or coffee shop that wants these. Having them stacked next to the sofa was never a plan...

These are just sitting on the floor in the corner right now. One thing for sure is that I'm glad  I've gone to working on 8x10 inch panels that can be kept in the bookcase. There just isn't room for large scale work or the big easel in a 400 square foot living space.
Yes, these are things that make winter a pretty interesting season around here...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Horizontal Space

With my rocking chair out of the way I finally had room for the worktable where the Knitting Machine will "live" through the winter but as with any free space a number of other projects have come and gone across it first but as you can see I'll be installing the machine today as soon as I can find the clamps.
While we're waiting for that would you like to step back in time and see a few other pictures of this corner?
Back in April I had dragged the dining room table in here because the living room has the best  light and the most windows of any room in the house. In this picture I'd just received a lot of my merchandise from* and was using some of the cards to answer my mail.

Of course I also had to do a bit of painting in here before the  round table headed back to the dining room.
As you can see this has been a very busy room. No wonder it felt good to bring the old rocker in here for a few months and relax. I think I'll miss it...if I ever get time to...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scrap Project for bits of card stock and watercolors

My card stock is limited to scraps of assorted sizes and I thought it would be fun to mix them with the results of the salt experiments a few posts back to see what I could come up with.

There was also a floral painting in that little watercolor book that  I thought should "come out and play" too. I trimmed it with part of the watercolor I used on the other card and used bits off the top and bottom of the floral on the second card too. As they say in the movies "I love it when a plan comes together".

Here's that second card and below is a photo of both cards along with a few other things I'm working on.

What do you think so far? Yes, I mounted the paper bits on those watercolor note cards that I'm so fond of using. There's so much you can do with them that I order them in 100 at a time...several times a year.

The end of the Petunia Project

As you can see I've added a lot of detail since you saw this project yesterday and yes, I mailed this card to one of my sisters. I just love mail!!!

Here's the envelope. Wouldn't you like to see something like this at your mailbox? She's got the original but I'll be making a few products with the images in my*  store so that you can enjoy them too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deja Vu and petunias too

I couldn't let the garden season pass without making one more attempt at capturing this years petunias on a note card and envelope. Yes, I'd already given last weeks away...and yes I scanned it first to see how it would work on products at zazzle. I figure that way the widest number of people possible get a chance to see, use or enjoy it. I find that more gratifying (and useful) than doing a gallery show. Yes, that's weird but so am I and it makes me makes lots of people happy, and isn't that the whole point?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to the Sunflowers

I went back an forth between working the flower petals in Cad Yellow Med, Raw Sienna and white and working the leaves and stems with Hookers Green, Sap Green and white. It's sometimes hard to decide which areas to work first but don't let that discourage you. Just keep trying different things until you find what works best for you.

The centers of the flowers are base coated in Ivory Black

Flower centers are finished with small strokes of raw sienna around the outside inch or so. You can also do more layers in other color mixes if you want more definition of the seeds and texture in the area as well

Making Room for Creativity

I decided to kick the comfy chair to the cub to make room for one more work table in here. I have an old Brother Bulky Knitting Machine that I used to make mittens, hats, scarves and slippers on so I thought it would be handy to do some of that again before the really cold weather sets in. 

Amazingly my hubby decided to get rid of his recliner too and  they were gone in minutes!!!
It was nice to see people so happy to get them and we're looking forward to the changes in here.

There wasn't even time to snap a picture of both chairs. What an interesting way to start a day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunflowers in the Round materials list and details

The sketch is done in a round format because I plan to use this painting to design a necklace, key ring, magnets, coasters and stickers.

I like to use Liquitex Professional Acrylic Artist Color Heavy Body. The colors used here are: Titanium White, Ivory Black, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Hooker's Green, Sap Green, Light Blue Permanent and Cadmiun Yellow .

I'm using 2 8x10 inch canvas panels. One for the painting and another to lay my paints out on (this will become a painting of it's own later, I'm building a textured surface at this point) Place a small dab of blue and a small dab of white on the blank canvas panel but do NOT mix them there. I prefer to use a #8 flat or round brush  and pick up a bit of each color which I tap lightly and make small cross strokes on the painting which blend them some but produces a mottled, cloud like background.

I had some extra white left on my other board so I began using that with the yellow and raw sienna to make the flower petals more prominent.

now comes the fun part!!! Any extra paint on the other board gets spread out and worked with a pallet knife which of course is where some of the wild backgrounds for my other work start.
There's lots more to go on this painting but I'll take a break here.