Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Painting the mail with watercolor brush markers

As I was sorting through things on the work table I decided to decorate a few envelopes, a card and a few random pieces of paper to use as stationery to answer my mail later in the day.

I'm getting more comfortable with the watercolor brush markers and the rate that the paint flows from them. I've only got 9 of them and 3 are different shades of the colors I've got so those limits force me to try other things in both design and color choices  making things more interesting for me and the people I'm sending them to.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The view from the computer,theme snacks for a movie,party planning

I'm sitting here waiting for the weather to dry up so that I can get back to painting that bright chair that's sitting on the table.

We're watching THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY and have noticed that most of the things mentioned so far are beverages (coffee, lemonade, elderberry wine, cider) so you've got lots of choices there. The food selections are a lot more limited. Just blueberry muffins and strawberries unless I've missed something. If I was planning on showing this for a group I'd decorate with fall leaves and a new England theme. You could always add more menu items from that part of the country. It might even be  fun to work in some tiny shovels with the decorations or in the invitations...after all "it's a movie you'll really dig".  Yes, even an old Hitchcock movie can be fun and we ran it early this year because the weather has been feeling like fall.

The birds outside my window at breakfast

I was enjoying breakfast so much that I shot this with one hand from the table.

After coffee I got up and tried to get a better shot of them. It looks like we've got a few squirrels this morning too.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Turning lawn furniture into garden art

Now that I've got things more or less where I want them in the front yard it's time for a pop of color to make things really fun. Painting the sections of this chair different colors makes it even more interesting because you see the mechanics behind it. I'll be adding purple and maybe even more colors to this chair as I continue to work on it.

As with most of my furniture I use a few black and white borders and areas between the bright colors to break things up a bit. I've been doing this for decades and feel that it comes from my love of quilting. It's a way of visually stitching the colors together.

There's something about this combination of colors that makes me want to party, how about you?

Additions and Furniture Arranging in the Garden

The windmill is a family piece painted blue to go with all of my things. The birdbath was a 15.00 find at a clearance sale. the thing I like about it best is that it has a solar light in it that makes pretty rays of light in a sunburst pattern on the lawn in the evenings.

"Everything old is new again" The big brown pot is nearly a decade old, the blue shepherds hook was a gift and I changed the paint color on the roof of the Iris birdhouse and it all comes together nicely to anchor the end of the garden.

I've set up the seating now so that you've got a choice of 3 different views when you sit in the front yard. I don't have cushions for everything but this could be really comfortable as well as pretty.

Of course there's the noise of the children on the playground, the landscapers mowing the school grounds and the traffic trying to drown out the birds here. It takes a good imagination and mental focus to enjoy the garden and ignore the distractions.

Here's the view as I've come in to write this, just looking at it calms me down and makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Garden and project updates

I've cut flowers for a couple other people since I've posted here and never got around to taking pictures of them. I finished crocheting a hat and donated that to the homeless and repainted the roof of the Iris birdhouse a nice shade of lavender which really brightens things up in the garden. The new location for that birdhouse is on the front corner of the yard near the yellow one. Since the Iris birdhouse was on a shorter shepherds hook I placed that in one of my biggest planters which holds a hosta and landscape rock so that there's still color in that pot when you don't see the plant. I haven't had time to get out and take pictures but plan to soon.
Meanwhile, out in the veggie garden the peas had slowed down and were looking really stresses from the heat so I picked what was there and then pulled the plants to make room for everything else in the garden.
The cucumbers and carrots seem to be coming along nicely and I'm transplanting the rest of the lettuce to a cooler location in the yard. So far it seems to have tolerated the move well. I even potted up some of it to give to friends that live in apartments and miss picking something fresh from the garden.
Aside from trying to get my own garden under control I've been helping someone with the landscaping on their new place. I was surprised to discover that several stores have already closed their garden centers for the season and have been to about 1/2 dozen places looking for just the right gazing ball as an accent piece on this project.
I'm sure there are a number of other things going on just now but I haven't had my coffee yet and will probably think of them after breakfast.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Making people happy

After painting these flowers yesterday I re-cut them and put them into another vase to give to a friend.

If the bow on this looks familiar it's because the other friend I gave flowers to returned the vase. Things just keep moving through here and making people smile.

When I finished with the flowers I went back to sorting through things at the worktable and using loose bits to decorate my mail. This was letter paper for an aunt. I had some markers handy, some were regular ones and others were the watercolor brush type. I clipped the picture of this set of dishes from a catalog and used it as my inspiration to practice a few brush strokes and designs.

Getting letters written on paper like this really seems to entertain people. Some of them make a bit of a game out of guessing where the pictures stop and the drawing and painting starts.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Painting yesterday's flowers in watercolor marker

The petals on the lilies were dropping fast so I decided to paint the other flowers in watercolors.

The color choice was a bit limited because I was working with my last few watercolor brush markers.

I'm sending watercolor to an aunt but now that I've scanned it as well I should be able to use the design on a few other things in a few other ways. That way it can make even more people happy.

So far I've added text and a bit of card stock in a few different colors to make Birthday cards and a nice note card. After "playing with it by hand" I'm ready to take it to Zazzle and see what I can do with it there.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lemon Lilies and Daisies

These yellow lilies were from my parent's place and always remind me of Mom who even painted her kitchen this color.

Daisies are another favorite that we share.

Easiest Berry Picking from a walker and bench

The raspberries were never supposed to be planted here. I just dropped some baby bushes and plants behind the studio one year that I was just to tired to deal with them. Since then they've gone crazy and taken up  about a twelve by fifteen foot section of the yard. Each year I try to move a few bushes and give a lot of them away but they just keep coming.

I grabbed the mower last night and tried to cut a path into this and then started cutting down some of the branches in my way with a long handled pruner.

The basket on the walker comes in handy as a garden cart to haul anything that you need it to.

It's handy to have an outdoor work table and this bench is in the perfect place because I can just flip it around when I want to pick the carrots and peas growing in large pots behind it.

Today of course I'm using it to pick black raspberries from the canes that I cut off out in the backyard.

I think I did pretty well today and these should be enough for 2 or 3 jars of freezer jam as soon as I get a chance to get rested up and moving better again. It was nice to sit over here and pick the berries because there weren't as many mosquito's to bother me and there was a nice breeze which had been blocked out in the berry patch.

It worked out a little better than I thought and made just over 3 jars.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The raspberries on the other side of the yard

Here are a couple photos of the best raspberry bushes in my old garden.

My yard and garden are so far out of  control that you can barely see the black planter box near the wood pile. Somewhere in that box were 25 strawberry plants. Some of them did well and I can't quite find the others. I'm planning to get in there and clean things up as soon as the weather cools down. I pick what strawberries I can early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

Today's wildflowers and other blooms in the garden