Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Creative Chaos and Fall Projects

 Somewhere under all of this is (or was) my dining room. It's currently been swallowed up by sewing, drawing, woodworking and a number of other things.

 I'm avoiding wood carving and sanding in the house so I'm trying to get that done out in the garden before the weather makes it impossible.

Most of the painting happens in the house because it takes too many trips to haul all of the supplies outside.

In the middle of all of this I'm sewing some slippers for people that haven't been able to find any that fit. I'm starting with myself because various medical problems make it necessary to have different sizes for each foot. I'm sure a lot of people have similar problems so I'll practice on myself and when I get good enough at it I'll be offering to do it for others.

Somewhere in all of this I'm finishing things up in the garden and deciding what if anything I'll be growing indoors over the winter.

It sure confuses people when they come in here. This place is more of a workshop or studio than a regular house and i wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoy being able to grab anything i'm in the mood for and create something useful out of it. That confuses people too and it's OK by me.

Small Sunflower Painting

I was pleased with the way this painting turned out and even more excited about it when I saw how it looked on merchandise in my zazzle store: 

I started with a postage stamp and then went on to greeting cards, stickers and address labels to match. I'm back to work now to see what else I can do with it. The creativity just keeps on coming, I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fall Comes to the Garden

I'm amazed that the impatiens are still going strong. This entire planter full came from one tiny hanging basket that I divided and transplanted. It's hard to believe a whole season of  color for under six dollars.

 The weeds and plants got away from me this summer but I'm raking them out of the gravel now.

Things are a mess as we moved the campfire ring up to our little patio area but it's been nice to have as the weather cools off.

It's also handy for dealing with branches and old logs...and a good place to cook up a little something as well.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Green Wall Urban Farmstead

What's the first thing you think when you see this photo? Chances are you've got no idea that this is actually in the middle of the city.

All you see of my front and back yards is a sea of green. Layer upon layer of different bushes and trees tied together with a couple of grape vines that got loose, A lot of it is actually taller than my house.

They've just finished replacing all of the gas lines here. I'm glad to see the holes filled in and am wondering what will be done about that next.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The End of the Sunflowers

The birds and bees have more or less finished with the sunflowers so the rest seems to be keeping the squirrels and chipmunks busy.

Budget Birthday Party

Don't overlook discount and dollar stores in your party planning. I was able to do this entire thing including party favors, food, decorations and beverages for under thirty dollars and I had a great time with it.

I wasn't able to find a tablecloth to match so I used a big banner which only cost one dollar. I trimmed it to fit the table and then cut the leftover bits of it into streamers and bows for the balloons. That's what I call "a lot of bang for the buck".

We were all quite pleased with the results.

Some of the party favors included balloons, stickers, bubble blowers and poppers with streamers.

I kept the menu easy and mobile with choices for dieters as well as anyone else.

Coffee or tea

carrot sticks
celery sticks
beef sticks
cheese sticks
individual shrimp cocktails in shot glasses
Breaded/battered green beans, clam strips and mushrooms
Assorted cookies

Yes, a good time was had by all.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Red and Purple Carrots

Idea Pages To Boost Your Creativity

Materials Needed:
Double Stick Tape
Magazine or Catalog Clippings
Paper or Sketchbook
Scrap booking papers
Other inspiration source material

Here's what I was working with today.

As I clipped out the pictures that I wanted I stuck them to sheets of colored paper so that I wouldn't loose them and they'd have cute borders when I put them in my sketch book.

Once I had everything cut out and ready to go I sorted them into themes that I wanted to use for future projects.

The Theme of this page is designs in Black, White and Tan. As I consider which sorts of projects I want to work on I'll eventually fill the rest of the page with drawings based on bits of the photos and combining them in different ways until I come up with something that I like and want to move ahead with on various drawn and painted projects.

As I was thinking about designs in neutral colors I painted this wooden horse based on Rattvik style Swedish furniture painting designs.

Adding the photos of that horse and a printed tape furthered the design possibilities and I began to add some drawing in ink and pencil.

This page has a couple of hummingbirds on it that I liked and hoped might help me figure out how to design one made out of simple brush strokes that I could use on various items in my garden like the wheelbarrow, watering can and flower pots.

The blue and white pattern I just kept to remind me that even though it's shown on a round pot designs like this can work on any shape of object...and I LOVE blue.

I clipped the cat socks because I thought it would another way of expanding  the whole colored dots on black thing that I used to do on a lot of my painted furniture. It had never occurred to me to use group of the dots as paw prints.

Owls ,horses and other designs are just things I do and different approaches to them.

Any way that you look at it, this one afternoon playing with my "junk" mail will keep me busy for a long time.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Saving Radish Seed

Once the pods are dry it's a simple matter of removing the seeds and picking the empty pods out and sending them to the compost bin. Everything comes back as something next year- what could be more perfect than that?

Starting a New Strawberry Bed

The really funny thing about this was discovering that the strawberry plant had jumped from one flower pot and sent out daughter plants that rooted in 2 other pots. Rather than leave them like that I started a new strawberry bed.

Everything needs to be in the ground for the winter anyway and this bed will act as a decoy next summer to keep the animals and birds away from the new plants I'll be adding to the raised planter boxes next summer.

 I shot this picture before we planted them in the new location. I think it's lovely that nature spaces them perfectly so there's no figuring or planning.

I'm looking forward to next spring already.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Easy Card and Envelope Designs That you Can Do

Everyone loves sunflowers so here's an easy one on a card in watercolors.

Here's how it looks at each stage in the process. A bit of ink and drawing at the end is what makes this design pop. I just filled in around the flower with an assortment of leaf shapes and used my pen to bring them out.

  Here's the corner of the envelope that I painted for the sunflower card. As you can see I'm still experimenting with a bunch of different designs to come up with a center that I really like. Experiment with it and find one that works best for you.

 Here's an envelope for my next card. Same basic idea, different colors and petal shapes. I call this one my rose and it fills the lower left hand corner of an envelope.

Birds, Squirrel and Chipmunk

We've got 3 very large walnut trees (last time I measured around the trunk of one it was over 7 feet!) The squirrels not stop by for lunch they often decide to nest and live here as well.

I was surprised to find that not all of the birds will fly at or chase that chipmunk, some will even stop and share the feeders with him.

He was climbing up sunflowers to get here and often did somersaults and flips trying to get on and off the bird feeder.