Friday, March 29, 2013

Encouraging news

I spent most of today crocheting an  granny square afghan for the veterans home and was thinking about all of the things I give away, the state of my finances and what I "ought" to be doing with my time when an e-mail popped in to let me know I sold some sheets of postage stamps with my daisy drawings on them. Finally, a bit of money coming in so I took a couple of hours to design some more and went back to my crocheting.
What is it about most creative people that makes the simple act of making some money to pay bills so difficult? Are our brains really wired all that differently from "normal" people with jobs? It's a question I'm giving a lot of thought these days. How about you?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Design Practice with Watercolor Brush Markers

Watercolor note cards are a great way to get some practice, play a bit and share the fun with the people that you write to. Here's the card.

Here's the envelope. I always like to paint a little something in the lower left corner of the envelope to dress that up too and keep the mail interesting.

Iris art and letters

I'm still trying to get comfortable using the set of watercolor brush markers that I bought recently so I thought I'd decorate some stationery that I can use to answer my mail today. Some of the paints seem to flow better than others so I'll be paying more attention to that as I continue working with them. Being more aware of which colors do what will make painting with them easier and possibly decide which subjects I choose to paint with the colors currently available to me.

The Set

 The card
The envelope

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Studio Space update

I continue to  sort, clean and organize my work space and feel that it's much easier to use than it used to be. The biggest improvement has been the way that material are arranged on the shelves.

Seeing all the wooden horses lined up on that top shelf gives me hope of improved finances and reminds me that I do have something to show for my time whether it adds up to cash or not.

There's always more

I am still enjoying this horse and finding other things to do with it, this makes half a dozen different images from it. I finished painting the other side and have the wooden horse ready to go to that sale in April. With that out of the way I'll be ready to clean up the computer images and try them on different products at Zazzle.

Everything I paint is fun in numbers of ways. It seems that I can make anything out of them but money and I can't figure out why that it, can you?

Four images In one with a scanner

This time I tried lightening things when I scanned it.

Also in the scanning process you can reverse the image. Yes, I got bored painting the other side and I was anxious to see how it was going to look.

As long as I was scanning it in I thought it would be fun to see what would happen if I changed the colors so I hit "invert colors" and this is what I got.

It's fun to hit "mirror" when scanning too. Now I've got 4 different images from the one painted horse and the ideas keep coming as far as what to do with them next.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I spent a few hours shopping for and arranging silk flowers today and all I cold think of is how nice it will be when there are fresh flowers in the garden again. I spend more time growing, drawing and painting them but it really feeds my spirit in a way that fake ones just can't.
Next winter I'll need to get some blooming houseplants to get me through the season in style.

Here's some of the stuff I picked up at a local Dollar Store to arrange in vases over at a local senior center. You don't need to pay a lot for flowers but you do need to select them carefully. Make sure no blossoms are missing, soiled or damaged. Sometimes there will actually be perforated edges because the manufacturer has cut all the way to the selvage edge of the fabric.

I made this out of some items they had on hand over there and we'll use that later in the year. Rearranging and reusing materials is a great way to save money and to keep things interesting.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Art, crafts, life and a blue horse

I keep wanting to start a painting but continue doing wooden horses because I've got a chance to send them to a sale next month and any money earned will be needed for supplies before I can get back to art.

For me there really isn't a difference between art and crafts but there's a lot of debate on the subject. I really don't care what people call things because everything I do is creative in one way or another.

Yes, I enjoy some things more than others but even cleaning and organizing the parts of the dining room that I use for studio space has been an exercise in composition, balance, function and color and the results are beautiful to me.

Doing the little wooden horses allows me to relax, try new brushes or brushstrokes and play with pattern and color . In a way its an exercise that limbers me up and gets me ready for the paintings to come.

The lovely thing is that selling the horses allows me to buy more brushes and things when needed so that I can continue to paint. It all works very nicely together whether people respect it or not.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Iris Horse

I continue to experiment with what is or isn't a traditional Dala Horse. This is my third attempt to design something interesting with Iris.  Each time I try different combinations of background colors and sizes or placement of the flowers.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A bright, sunny morning

I'm always happier on a sunny day and find it often influences the sort of projects I choose to work on. This morning I find myself painting sunflowers on one of the wooden horses I've been carving and sanding. I'm looking forward to planting some real sunflowers soon but until then, this will have to do.

I'm also sorting and rearranging my work space so that I'll have room for company in the studio from time to time so that we can film a few projects.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back to the sketchbook

I'm planning on painting more flowers on this when everything is blooming again.

In the meantime I thought I'd crop it in a number of ways and take the new images to the computer to see what else I can do with them.

My favorite so far is this last one which needs some more work but is coming along nicely.

A lot of ways to be creative

It was a fun start to my day to gather all of the Easter projects that I have made and use them together to decorate a local Senior Center to draw a little interest to the painting group that meets there and to remind people that there are a lot of ways that art can make the world a better place. I was so busy putting everything up and out that i didn't have time to take photos. I'll take pictures on Tuesday and post them after teatime.

At home I mailed out the latest horses that I'm sending a friend:

After that I began reworking a watercolor that I did last summer. I've lightened the background and darkened the flowers as well as the leaves and stems. I haven't quite decided what to do with it next but I'll post it anyway:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Iris drawn on an envelope with pencils

 I did other drawings and paintings on the letters I sent out today but didn't get around to scanning them all. It was nice just to "play" with all my watercolors, markers, pens and pencils while combining some of them to see what they will and won't work with. I really enjoyed it and think the people I mailed them to will enjoy them as well.

Watercolor Brush Markers and Ink

Monday, March 18, 2013

48 hours until spring

The view from the computer as I write this.

Before and after

I had so much fun with that last pair of earrings that I thought I'd try another shape and a different design. This time it didn't go quite  as well as the last one and I'm not quite sure what the problem was.

It's possible that some sawdust got into the ink from the horses I'm working on. That's the problem with a small work area, it's difficult to keep materials separate.

I'll put away the plastic projects for a while and get back to that horse I'm working on for Laura. I'll post pictures of that as I work on it.

Step by Step Pattern and Instructions for St. Patrick's Day Earrings from Shrink Plastic

1. Start with shrink plastic cut outs

I'm afraid I don't know much about where to purchase this or whether or not it's still available, this was given to me by my friend Colleen and I forgot to ask her.

2. Punch hole in top of shape

3.Begin drawing on the rough side with a dark green permanent marker

4. Fill the spaces in between with a light green permanent marker
 5. Add the light green design in the center
 6. Fill the background area with dark green
7. let dry
8. Bake as directed on package

9. Add Jewelry findings (beads, earring posts or hooks etc.)
10. Enjoy...keep them, give them as gifts or sell them to make a bit of money

11. My friend Irene put these together. isn't it great when creative people put their talents together?

Design in the round

This first design is in watercolor and has some interesting possibilities for stickers, magnets, necklaces and other round projects. Zazzle doesn't make earrings so I've decided to grab my permanent markers and try drawing something similar on shrink plastic to make earrings the old fashioned way.

St Patrick's Day Designs for Paper, Wood, and Plastic

I'm using the watercolor brush markers on this design for Zazzle. It seems to be going well so far, don't you think so?

This is the third horse I painted and I still haven't come up with a design I'm completely happy with so I've started another one and will keep at it until I'm satisfied. This pair is a gift for a friend so everyone is happy whether things quite work out or not and nothing goes to waste around here.

Here's a few on plastic:

The design ideas are endless for any shape or material you're working on.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stretching your decorating dollar

Making 4 bunches of shamrocks fill 20 vases. Each bunch had 5 stems so I clipped them apart and attached them to floral picks to make individual stems for each vase. These will be added to the picks I'd previously made and should go together nicely to get the job done.

I'll add pictures of the completed projects as soon as I get a chance too.

Here are all of the vases and tablecloths waiting to be put out on the tables.