Saturday, April 30, 2011

Recycle Your's black, white and green!

I've been trying to come up with a nice black and white pattern for some items I've been designing at  I'd done items with individual Iris drawings but I wanted a more abstract all over pattern so I printed copies of a lot of my old drawings to cut up and work with to create something new. After I'd cut and pieced a lot of it in a way that appealed to me I went back with a pen and did some drawing in between the images to tie it all together. So Far I'm quite pleased with the results and really enjoyed the work so yank out all your old sketchbooks and have some fun. You may be surprised at the evolution of some of your ideas which should lead to even more projects.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I'm still sewing up the last of those patch work bags and looking forward to getting back to my paints.
As I was doing that, Doug scanned these images from some old negatives we shot of my work in the 1990's so I thought you might enjoy seeing them until I have something more interesting to show you.
I'd done a sewing cabinet to go with that chair but didn't have any pictures of it handy so I guess these will have to do. Yes, there is merchandise based on this stool in

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Results of the Recycle Challenge

Here's another stack of materials in the latest recycle challenge. So far I've finished 4 place mats and have 10 small tote or gift bags in progress. The small bags will come in handy for making up little kits when I teach people to crochet or work on other projects.
There were a lot of quilt blocks cut out in that last batch so it made coming up with project ideas easy. I'm sure that there are still several things that can be made from the rest of this so I'll keep you posted on any further results.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Return of the Recycle Challenge

So far I'm doing large placemats with the solid and print on one side and the stripe and solid on the reverse. It doesn't look like much yet but should be nice once I've added some quilted details and possibly a bit of embroidery or buttons. They're a good size for end tables or nightstands as well.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Ain't Over 'till It's Over

Just as I was finishing with the last of the Iris paintings, I came across these old photos of the Iris I painted in the kitchen at my first house so I thought I'd share them with you as well. I'd painted the entire kitchen white but just couldn't leave it alone. There were 45 cabinet doors and drawers to "play" with and as you can see, I had quite a bit of fun with them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The last Iris

Here are the last of my Iris paintings scanned into Zazzle. It's interesting to have them all in one place and my next project will be to count how many there are in each type of media:
pencil drawings
pen and ink drawings
oil paintings
acrylic paintings
watercolor paintings
I've also painted them on furniture, embroidered them on linens, painted them on birdhouses and even on dishes. Now I'm not sure whether I've finished with them or if I'll find myself back in the garden this season drawing and painting as much as ever. I can't wait to find out, can you?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crochet Day

I crocheted a baby hat and donated that to charity but didn't have a scanner or camera handy so there are no pictures. It was blue and when I finished it I went back to crocheting potholders. I finished one of those and started another before the group broke up at 3:00. It's surprising what you can accomplish in a few hours while chatting with friends. I'm already looking forward to next months meeting with these gals.
When I got home I took another look at yesterday's drawing and decided that all the stems on the tulips should be the same so I inked out the other two to match that first one. My next move will be checking into some drawing books to see how it "should" be done. In the meantime I've had quite a bit of fun with the various stages of this drawing and have even created some merchandise with it on

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recycle Challenge

The first results of the fabric scraps from Carol and the buttons from Susan. Keep reading to see what's next...

Wrapping it up and moving on

 I don't really know what I could say to add much to these pictures, I guess they pretty much speak for themselves but I'm excited to start the week by clearing off the table (which in itself is a formidable task as I sort through projects and decide which ones to tackle next.)
The sun is out today and we'll be installing the last of the birdhouses that we built and painted last year.
I'm too restless to write, headed outside to play and then back indoors to see what's next.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Few Odds and Ends

Yes, I'm STILL working on the last few bits of doll furniture and a couple of napkin rings but have already put the plastic storage box they used to "live" in to better use as I move on with other projects here.
I'm mainly using dots in various colors as most of the design areas on these are pretty small. It's funny the way that various colors look (and sometimes seem to dance and sparkle) when placed next to each other and I can see how the pointillists got carried away with the idea... although I can't imagine painting large pictures like that. You have to wonder what Surat was thinking...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shifting Gears

I tried one more painting with those new paints and decided that I just can't work with anything besides my old friends the liquitex professional heavy body acrylics. I've been working with them for so many years and love the way they move and handle so well that I just can't deal with anything else. Does this make me spoiled or ungrateful....I hope not, the other paints did not go to waste as I gave them to friends at the senior center who were very happy with them.

I took a break from painting for a while and decorated envelopes for a friend and a couple of Aunts that I write to. It was fun to get the colored pencils out again and I think we'll all enjoy the mail this week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Twin Projects

Just looking at these it's probably hard to believe they were being created at the same time but there's a big differeence between the type of painting I enjoy and the work that people understand and like so I attempt a compromise from time to time. Here are the latest results...or at least what they looked like when I went back to work this morning...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Driven to Distraction and Enjoying The Trip

The sky is overcast so I'm not so tempted to run outside to play today. I never did get much work done out there yesterday because the image in the scanner of all my projects sparked my interest and made me want to create some stationery to write my friends that don't use computers so they could see what I'm working on too.
Well, one thing led to another and HOURS later I'd come up with about 30 new products. After all if I was writing a note, it would be nice if the stamp matched... and if the stamp matched... wouldn't it be cute to seal it with a sticker that matched... and so on...and so on... and so on...Silly, isn't it? But fun.
I did eventually get outdoors but just long enough for a cup of tea and to crochet a few more rows on that potholder.
Today I'm starting with a cup of coffee and that potholder in between loads of laundry and some other housework that had piled up while I was off working on other projects.
I've NO idea where today is headed but I can't wait to get there!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Something in Between

There are days when you're not quite sure whether you're "playing" with something or working on it. I call them good days because anytime you're enjoying the process is a great break from worrying about the bills.
It's sunny today with temps in the 60's and if there isn't too much of a wind it should be really pleasant to grab my coffee and go out in the yard to paint.
As you can see there are just a few of those bits of doll furniture to finish up and I think they'll make really cute Christmas ornaments if the people that collect my furniture don't buy them.
That's where I plan to start my day and who knows where it will go from there...that's the adventure of it all...and of course if I get bored I can always go back to painting the lawn furniture periwinkle and freaking out the neighbors...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Lunch

People are always saying "there's no free lunch" but then again maybe they're not the sort of people who clip coupons. We had buy one get one free coupons for burgers and concrete mixers at Culver's so we each grabbed a coupon, got our goodies and ended up with lunch for two at $7.70 so if you think about it one of us got a free burger and ice cream. The food was great and plenty filling and an added bonus was watching the geese enjoy the great weather and each others company on the little drainage pond next to the parking lot on the way in to lunch.
I'll bet you're wondering why I'm writing about this here but art supplies are expensive and saving money to pay for them is an important part of what we do here.
Besides that, with the economy being what it is these days, every little bit helps and I'm sure the information will come in handy for you as well.
I wish I'd been able to get a picture of those geese in that cartoon like pose where their sillouettes make a heart. They usually show it with swans but the geese seemed to be enjoying it just as much as were the surveyors who stopped a moment to watch.
This little quick stop for fast food was a great pause and a pleasure in the midst of an otherwise busy day.
I hope you take a moment to enjoy all these little things that slip by most people, it's well worth it.
I also had to laugh that at my favorite table there were tiny rainbow bits as the sun bounced off the light fixture in that little bay window...not as many rainbows as my solar crystal create, but welcome just the same.
You just can't be unhappy in a room with rainbows...

Another approach to decision making

I'd paint a while and then scan this again  to help me decide whether it was improving or not and then when it got to this point I paused and took it to Zazzle to try it out on a couple of greeting cards to see how it looks that way. The pale yellow background really helps to set off lettering for anything I want it to say so at least for now it's working for me.
I feel like progress is being made and I FINALLY finished scanning in the last of all my drawings a few minutes ago so I can clear off my worktable and move on to the next project.
The nice thing about doing things this way is that YOU decide when you like a piece. I check the blog for comments every day . When paintings sell on eBay or Etsy it's a pretty good indication that someone liked them and when people buy the images on thing at Zazzle it shows that they like them enough to have or share them so the over used phrase "it's all good" comes to mind. I guess the fact that we're all sick of hearing it doesn't change the fact that sometimes it's just true.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I'm not always the best judge of my work. I thought I was finished with this little watercolor until I scanned it in the computer and got a better look at it. This is one method of taking a more objective look at a piece another is to take a photograph of it and see how it catches the light from the flash.
Clearly this piece needs more work so I guess I'll stop writing about it and just grab the paints and go to it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Scan, Scan,Scan

After that last lovely day outside I got busy indoors and rounded up 22 scrapbooks of my work and have spent most of the last few days at the scanner getting everything into the computer. As you can imagine I'm rally looking forward to sitting down with my watercolors tomorrow. It will be nice to be painting again. Looking over so much of my old work has given my a few ideas for subjects I want to pursue in the future.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Signs of Spring

The snow is still with us but there's warmth and a hint of color here and these to give us hope and the sun felt so good as I changed the water in the bird bath and checked the feeders that I couldn't resist pulling a bit of the lawn furniture out today.

In this part of the country we just enjoy the warm spots when we find them. People driving by seemed quite entertained by the fact that I was running around without a coat in the middle of all of this and stepping around snow banks to get the long shot you see in the middle photo.