Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goodnight Kitty

I just couldn't walk away from this one. I'll take another look at it in the morning light and see if I want to make any changes but I'm pretty sure I'm finished with the drawing and will be off to Zazzle to see what I can do with it.

Let's all dream of a great tomorrow, work hard and make life better- Goodnight...

Making Progress

Instead of doing an exact drawing of the cat I thought I'd add a few other buttons to it to make the new image a bit more interesting.

It's time to quit for the night and sharpen my pencils for tomorrow.

Drawing the patchwork cat

Natural light

The lighting is difficult to regulate in the dining room so there are some times of the day that you just can't see well enough to work in there. This afternoon it's both too dark and too light all at once so I'll have to get back to this drawing a bit later in the day. Yes, I prefer natural light when I can get it. Timing is everything.

Cat Drawing

Creating a new drawing from some of my favorite things.

Design Award 

Here's a link to a product that just won a design award in one of my new stores, I'm really happy about this one because the image is from a wooden horse that was cut out by a friend, carved by my husband, designed and painted by me and given to my sister in law as a wedding present. Thanks to everyone who was a part of all of the positive energy that went into making this happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finished Sunflower painting

 I kept working the background and doing some more outlining as the painting neared the end.

 At this point I was finished with least for now. I'm considering working some lighter colors into the background but haven't quite decided yet whether or not I should do it.

I thought I'd hang it on the wall and live with it a while before I do anything else to it.

Progress on the Sunflower painting

Changing seasons in the garden

It's rainy and cool in the garden these days. Things move fast and I just didn't get around to drawing or painting any of the leaves while they were still pretty. It could take a lifetime to really capture this place the way I'd like to. Each year I try to capture various plants, flowers or berries but there's seldom time to make more than a couple of drawings or start a painting of anything before it's gone.

It's easy to see why people just don't understand what motivates me or why I keep chasing the dream after all of these years.

A lot more goes into a painting than you'd ever see in a photograph. Often it's more about the WHO's painting than it is about WHAT's being painted.

A well captured subject can be around for hundreds of years. A lot of bad art happens in pursuit of that dream. Some of us just feel driven try to create the one painting that says everything in a few strokes. It makes no sense to anyone, it just is.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Learning to draw Bulldogs

So far I've just been watching "how to" videos on the internet and these are my first very first trys at drawing bulldogs. 

As usual when I'm learning something new I amuse myself and the people that I write to by combining my practice work with my letters and try to make it fun for everyone.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall garden clean up

There was a bit of gas left for the mower so I ran over a few more leaves to mulch them into the lawn.
It's kind of fun to do them that way and you save yourself a lot of lifting and bagging and don't have to worry about getting rid of bags of leaves.
I've got enough lawn furniture spread around the yard so I can sit down and rest whenever I need to.
As expected standing or walking aren't an option just now as I recover from my efforts but I'm headed back into my painting and won't really care.
We all have to find what works best for us and so far I can tackle most anything a bit at a time. It's just a bit embarrassing that I'm into the second week trying to get my kitchen clean. Thank goodness company yesterday stayed on the other end of the house! Oh, in case you're wondering-no one noticed that the mugs had been made from the painting on the wall.

Back to the Sunflower painting

This was the point that I started at this time. As you can see I was still having trouble resolving the background and had tried several different ideas.

I grabbed my painting knives and relaxed into my old style. There's something about moving tiny bits of color around. When done slowly it's calming. Working faster and a bit wilder it helps you blow off steam. I guess that's why I go back to it time and time again. It's less about what it looks like than how I feel while I'm doing it. I guess in artspeak I'm what they call a "process person".

Birds at the feeders this morning

It always surprises me when I see photos that they look so different than being there for real. I can see the birds clearly from this window whether I'm standing there or sitting at my worktable.

There have been quite a few different types of birds coming and going all morning. I guess I'd have gotten better pictures if I'd been sitting outside but the weather is pretty chilly these days and I haven't finished my coffee yet.

 I realize this is pretty hard to see but you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teatime in the studio

The fun thing about having company in the studio today is that the design on the mugs is from one of the paintings that hangs on my wall in there. I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone notices and what they think of the idea.

 A lot of my projects are piled up and waiting quietly on the sidelines until I get my worktable back.

A friend crocheted the pad under the teapot and I sewed the napkins. My tea selection is pretty thin while I wait for some new sales and can afford more but I think we'll manage.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project Updates

Work in the bag continues. The ultrasuede fabrics didn't respond well to most of the marking methods I tried so I ended up drawing on them with a regular pen. The ink lines will be covered by the embroidery so that won't be a problem.

With most of the drawing done on this piece I went ahead and sewed both the side and bottom seams so that I can keep all of the materials to finish it inside so that I'll have it all together no matter where I choose to work on it.

When I'm embroidering I dump everything into the lining so that I can work on the outside of the bag.
There's a LOT of embroidery to do so this project needs to be mobile so that it can get out of the way for all of the other things I'm working on.

Here's a short list:
tote bag
dala horses-carving
Photo display board (for a local senior center)
crochet hat (to be given to a program for kids who need them)
teaching myself to paint bulldogs
painting a mailbox (for my sister in law)
designing items for my Zazzle stores
re-arranging merchandise in the stores to make them easier to shop

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fiber Art Friday

I spent the morning finishing a crochet scarf that's being donated to the veteran's home. I suppose that's what made it funny that I felt like sewing when I got home. It was less about doing more fiber projects than it was about trying to finish this bag to get it off the table and clean house for company on Sunday. I'm always distracted like that and would much rather make things than clean them  How about you?

Back to the recycle bag

After sticking the pieces together there were a few scraps left so I used those to make some pockets that will be added to the bag later. I cut and sewed a lining for the bag but forgot to shoot pictures of that.

I'm using the odd spacing between the patches as an opportunity to teach myself new embroidery stitches and use up bits of my button collection.

 I plan a bunch of flower petals around this in the red to unify the design and I'm headed back to the worktable to do those now.

Monday, October 15, 2012


 I took a walk in the garden today and was glad and a bit surprised to find any flowers left at all.

 Most everything outdoors these days is dormant, dead or dying so it was sure nice to see a little pop of color out there.

I'll try and get a few drawings out of these as well. It's a bit late today so I'll wait until tomorrow to cut and bring them in.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recycling Upholstery Scraps

For me the first step is always to take a look at what I've got and then begin cutting and sewing fabrics together until I get a random patchwork piece that I like the looks of. Once I'm satisfied with that I'll fold it into sections large enough to make tote bags.
You can never go wrong by making more things to store or carry things in. I give many of these away and always keep one to store the materials in for the next project.

There's no pattern or anything, I just fold, cut and flip then sew again. Repeating the process over and over again.

 A few pins now and then keep things from shifting too much while cutting or sewing.

I enjoy this process and am thinking about adding some buttons and embroidery to it when I finish with the patchwork. I'm in no hurry to finish this one so I might as well indulge my creativity a bit-don't you think so?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Computer challenged

I found a great picture of one of my oil paintings from the 1980's that I wanted to share but I'm not quite sure where it went when I tried to upload it so I may just go back to sorting things out around here and do a bit of cleaning to get away from the computer a while.
Yesterday I was in love with the computer because I was redesigning some of my Christmas cards on Zazzle and finding ways of combining up to 5 images on the front of some of them.
Oh well cleaning off the dining room table has made enough space for me to get back to drawing and painting and I've got to say that I'm more interested in that than my old work.
As I was putting things away I went out to the studio space we started to build in the garage (before we ran out of money) There's so much I'd like to do here, with enough time and money this place could be amazing but as usual it's time to stop dreaming and get back to work.
I hope to have interesting pictures to post soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My windows on the world

 As I look out of the living room there's a glass heart from a friend, a sun catcher from my Mom, another solar powered hula dancer and 2 solar powered rainbow makers-You just can't be unhappy in a room full of rainbows so remember where ever you are and whatever is going on, you control how you look at the world and what will or won't bother you. Stay as safe as you can and make people happy...start with you!

 Back in the dining room with the lemon and orange trees I can watch all of the birds at the feeders and I've added some butterflies on the cabinet to brighten the view inside.

Kitchen Windows

This window is over my sink in the kitchen and always makes me laugh as the little solar powered hula dancer goes wild on the sunny days. I hate doing dishes so you're just seeing the top of the window until I work my way through the mess below it.

This window faces out into my back yard so you're only seeing the top of it until I get my yard cleaned up. You can see that the walnut trees have started to change color with the seasons and on my side of the glass of course is a great glass chime that makes the most amazing noises when I open the window or raise and lower the blinds.

It's a tiny room but these little diversions help.

Mulch ado about nothing

It's time to put my garden down for the winter and as usual I'm not getting around well enough to rake the leaves so I have a bit of fun just running them over with the lawnmower until they're cut up into a fine mulch that more or less disappears into the yard. Somehow it didn't inspire to to run into the house for the camera so there are no photos today either.
I mowed off the hosta around the trees too so it's looking a bit cleaner and neater out there.
There have been lots of birds at the feeders but I don't have any pictures of them either.
I'm waiting for the wind to die down a bit so I can finish the last of the projects that I want to spray paint this season.
In the meantime I'm moving cards from* into my card store* and stopping to re-design some of them along the way. There are 430 of them so that's going to take a while. When I'm not doing that I'm doing the research for that bulldog project and trying to get my studio space organized.
As I always say "my hobbies have hobbies, my projects have projects and my ideas have ideas"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

No photos but lots of interesting things

I'll bet you've been wondering what's going on around here the last few days. I'm at that interesting point between projects. The painted horses were well received and and I've been busy trying to teach myself how to teach bulldogs for a mailbox I'll be doing for a family member. Somehow in all of the decades I've been painting I've never really gotten around to doing animals so this will be quite a challenge. I'm starting with some internet research and looking at pictures so there's not anything on paper or canvas to show you yet.
There's also a lot of cleaning, sorting and rearranging going on around here to make way for this next project. There's one bag waiting to be donated to the thrift store this week and there will probably be more before I get back to drawing and painting.
Along with this as always I'm still designing a lot of products with previous artwork on them. My current favorite thing to do is make matching cards,postage stamps and stickers to allow everyone to send out great mail. I'm hoping to make the world happier a card at a time.
Yes, I realize how crazy that sounds but it's lots of fun and makes a lot of us smile through the hard times. That's enough to make me happy whether they sell or not.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Solving a problem and making people happy

Here's an update on that recent upcycle/recycle idea I had for a broken Christmas garland:

After I'd gathered all the materials together based on that catalog photo it occurred to me that each of the finished ornaments would have a hole in the bottom of it.

 For some people that would have been a problem but made them perfect for a friend of mine that had been making beaded Christmas tree and angel earrings.

 It will allow her to give ornaments to everyone in the family that doesn't wear earrings.

Now they'll all have a keepsake made by their Mom, Grandma or Great Grandma and I make a bit more progress sorting things out around here and finding useful things to do with them.

Here's the beginning picture again:

I'll ask her to shoot some photos of the finished products and let you know how many ornaments she was able to make from all of this.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Packing it in

It took a total of 16 horses, each painted differently to fill this box. I'd run out of the regular size so I included 2 mini horse ornaments as well. It doesn't look like much for a years work but it's been a great adventure in design and technique that will continue to inspire other projects to come while my originals rest happily with the family, given as a wedding present and enjoyed each Christmas for generations.

I realize that people don't understand what I do or why I do it, there's never any money in it and we go without a lot but it's important to me and the few other people in my world that "get it" and that's all that really matters, isn't it?