Saturday, December 31, 2011

Think Pink

Think Pink. As  well as being the name of cute musical number in the Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire movie Funny Face it's the general theme around here today. As I continue to crochet those pink scarves I'm thinking, about Barbie, peptobismol, an breast cancer awareness...not to mention the number of Pink Panther cartoons running through my mind.
And as these things ran through my mind we were fortunate to see groceries running through the house. Just as I'd been doing all of this crocheting for charity someone who knew about our financial situation brought us lots of groceries and paper products.
Life is just amazing, isn't it? And so are the people in mine. Thanks so much to Cheryl and Fred for today's miracle and to Jerry and Laura for yesterday's stamps and stationery.

It's looking like a Happy New Year after all

Going to extremes

After spending the last couple of weeks working with dark or difficult yarns I jumped at the chance for a change of pace. As the old saying goes "be careful what you ask for, you just may get it"
A woman dropped by crochet group asking about a scarf for a little girl, while I asked what size it needed to be one of the other women went into the supply closet and came out with the brightest, deepest pink yarn you can imagine.
I've gone from working with yarns I could barely see  to working with one that practically glows in the dark.
I need to put a lot more thought into my impulse control and making better choices, in the meantime there was so much of that yarn that I'm on to a second scarf that will be donated to a program for families...and probably another pink, pink scarf.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Crochet for Minnesota Action Council for Veterans

 You almost can't see the brown hat at the back of the table.
 People often forget that some women are veterans too.
I crocheted and donated these and one of the other gals in my group did 2 nice scarves and donated those too.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scanning the Dots

 This painting is much to large for the scanner so I've fed through in sections.
 I'm not sure how to explain which detail is of which section. As you can imagine there really isn't a typical top or bottom to this painting, Just acres of paint and far too many weeks, days, hours and minutes of my time.
 I'm enjoying it and still working on it from time to time but may head to Zazzle to see how it would look on a few products there to help  me decide whether or not I should finish with it before I get too carried away.
I'll shoot some actual photos so you can see how the whole painting looks soon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spending the day in the sewing box

 Like most people my sewing box can be a mess. Unlike some, mine's actually an old tool box that originally came fitted with garden tools. In Minnesota there are a lot more months that we can sew than there are that we can garden so it just made sense to make the best use of the box to keep everything handy.
 Small plastic boxes can help organize whether they're for sewing supplies, fishing tackle or screws and nails. Just find something that's the right size to fit in the box or cabinet where you want to keep your sewing things.
 The next step is to make best use of the compartments within those plastic containers. This one holds buttons, tailors chalk, pins, needles, bobbins, hook and eye fasteners.
Here's the way the bottom of the box looks now, I'm still working on the tray.

Scrap Yarn and Reflected Sunlight

 This scrap yarn scarf used up a lot of bits of novelty yarns. Nothing too exciting about it so I just tossed it in the scanner instead of bothering to shoot photos. It saves time because you don't have to pull the camera card and put that into the scanner.
As always this time of year I'm really enjoying the light show in my living room. Besides the sun on the aluminum tree there are solar powered crystals in the window that shower the room with rainbows from time to time. I really enjoy the way the light shimmers in here, it helps you relax, think and shake all of the creative ideas should try it sometime!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recycle Yourself

Looking for something new to do with yourself? Put together scrapbook pages with all of the hobby and craft projects that you've done over the years. You may discover a passion that you can share through a community education program or in other ways.
Photocopy the pages of projects that you think other people would enjoy and you can use them as handouts or illustration and instruction sheets for your classes.


I think this photo of the last painting is a bit better than the one I shot last night. Sometimes the lighting makes all of the difference.
The glass pieces on this sun catcher used to be suspended on brown cords and I thought it would brighten it up a bit by replacing those with these sections of a broken crystal garland.
I put the finished project in the scanner hoping it would be a bit easier to see. It looks great in the window when the sun hits it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finished Blue and White Dala Horse Painting

Here are partial scans
The picture on the bottom is a photo of the full painting. We'll try to shoot a better one tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Still horsing around

 This canvas panel is too big to go in the scanner all at once so I just did each end of it so that you could see how it's coming along.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The simple elegance of blue and white china and new ways to enjoy old favorites

 I've always enjoyed blue and white china and have managed to collect and use a bit of it for the last 3 decades or so. Some of it has even appeared in my paintings from time to time.
Most of the time I like to make up my own designs inspired by bits of various patterns so I'm using this painting to celebrate and explore this idea as well as to indulge myself one more time in the things that I enjoy most before I get a bit more serious about art and life in general...well, that sounds boring. Maybe I'll just go and "play" with my paints and leave the tedious things until Next Year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Off to The Races

Yesterday's marathon painting session took a lot out of me but the results were encouraging. It got me wondering what would happen with the idea if instead of sticking to my usual subjects I tried new designs, patterns or themes... build on the safe and familiar and reach for something even better.

 I'll be using a larger canvas panel this time and keep you posted on the results as soon as I have any.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dancing Dala Horses Painting

Exciting New Painting

This painting may not excite a lot of people but I'm really enjoying the way it combines all of the things I like to paint into a fun "Thank You" for the guy that cut out all of the wooden dala horses for me that I've been painting lately.

I started working on this little 8 x 10 inch canvas panel about 6:00 AM and am just taking a quick lunch break before getting back to it. As it progresses I find myself thinking that it might make some fun products on Zazzle too...that way even more people can enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paint Yourself Happy,This Season and Always

 Well, this may be another lame post about painting greeting cards or just a chance to remind everyone how nice it is to get some practice painting while making people happy as you answer your mail.
 This is the corner of the envelope
This was the card

Monday, December 19, 2011

Results of the mac and cheese challenge

The 3 brands tried were: Our Specialty at 37 cents, Great Value at 50 cents and Kraft at 88 cents. The prices on Kraft vary widely from around 80 cents to well over a dollar depending on where and when you buy it. The wild range of prices is what made me want to look into this. The weights and cooking instructions on all three were the same so you don't run into the differences until you get to the facts and ingredients panels. It would probably take a chemist to break those down and explain them so all I can say is that the old saying "you get what you pay for" seems to apply here because the taste and texture of each of the products was better at each of the different price points.
It is interesting that the best tasting one also has the highest cholesterol and had more protein as well as more calories. I find myself wondering why but wasn't interested enough to follow it further.
How does this tie in with a blog about painting? The answer is simple, there isn't a lot of money in art and sometimes those extra few pennies you save can help you stretch a dollar and stay fed a bit longer in between things.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thrift Store Find: Retro Tinsel Tree

 I consider it $5.00 well spent and just added a few special ornaments. The bells came from a dumpster back in the 1970's and were the first decorations my husband and I had. Isn't it amazing that they've survived this long?  Hey, come to think of it-isn't it amazing that we all have? The star is one that my Mom embroidered for us back in 1991.
The tiny metal tea cups survived a number of childhoods and were a sweet and funny gift from my brother.

It's kind of fun to sort through things this time of year and really enjoy them. Don't you think so?

Just Finished

 Both of these pictures are the same potholder. It always amuses me how different they look. This one is for our kitchen-Merry Christmas to us!

 This hat will be going along to the next crochet group meeting to be donated to whatever cause we're sending to that week. There are a lot of people and places that need them this time of year. I hope to finish one or two more before I go back next time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Mac and Cheese Price Challenge Following Crochet Group

Well, there are a few projects underway but I haven't finished anything yet. In addition to the potholder and hat I've got going here I crocheted the first half of a white hat for a friend. The dark hat you see here will probably be finished by the end of the night depending on whether or not there's anything I want to watch on TV. I may take as look at Chuck or Grimm, it depends on what sort of a mood I'm in.
Shopping was interesting today. I was looking for a box of mac and cheese and found the prices ranging from thirty seven cents to well over $1.00. I purchased one at 37 cents, one at 50 cents and one of the expensive ones so we'll be running a bit of a taste test this week to see just how much difference there is between them. Isn't it funny how widely prices vary on such a basic item?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Talent, coupons and the ride home

People are always telling me that I've got talent. That's nice to hear but small comfort when I haven't even got enough pocket change to buy a bottle of shampoo. There was a coupon at rainbow for fifty eight cents but it expired before I could get there (I don't drive and always have to wait for a ride)...which of course reminds me how funny it is that a lot of artists don't drive...

I like to think it's because we look at the world a lot differently and would be too distracted by everything along the road to be able to focus enough to keep a vehicle on the road.

What's your theory on the subject?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Other projects today

 Yes, there are always more cotton potholders to crochet and I keep it interesting by combining lots of different variegated yarns together to give the same type of charm as a rag rug, home spun and handcrafted. I love the way it looks and really enjoy having them around.
 I went back to work trying to paint poinsettia's on cards to answer today's mail with. Any of them that I really like may also get scanned and used on Zazzle.
I like the lighter approach I used this time-which one did you like best?

Painting a poinsettia in acrylics

 I start by clipping one flower from the plant so that I can see it better and keep it close while I'm working. The petals lay more naturally when they're not crowded by other blossoms.
 The colors I'm using are: Yellow light hansa, raw sienna, cadmium red medium, acra crimson, sap green and hookers green but you can use any shades of yellow, red and green that work for you.