Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Holiday Art and Crafts in the Studio

Looking around my place over the Christmas season you can sure see that I've been busy. I designed, carved and painted all of the Dala Horses. Here are a few of the hundreds I've made in the last few years.

The Christmas Stockings were made almost 20 years ago. I started by designing and sewing a patchwork fabric that I cut into the stocking shapes. before assembling the stockings I quilted the patchwork areas and did some embroidery. 

After getting them put together the finishing touches were to add the fabric yo yo's and buttons.

They're a great way to display and enjoy all of your favorite buttons or award pins and be able to enjoy them and at the end of the season you know that they're all stored safely.

Here I'd sewed the valances and trimmed the lamp shades. I'd also designed those thermal mugs with some of my artwork on them.

The tiny tree show's off some small wooden dala horse ornaments that I had designed, carved and painted. 

I used a kit to make the paper chains because my arthritis makes it hard for me to cut out all of the paper strips to make them with.

I've been making paper chains every year since I was a very little girl and it's still one of my favorite parts of holiday decorating.

It's not fancy here but it feels like a hug.

May Your Holidays Be Filled With All Of The Things That Make You Happy,

Bird Cam Photos

The bird feeder that we bought with the built in camera is quite small so about the only nice photos we've gotten are of the chickadees.

I'm not quite sure what this was, no real way to tell except that it was larger and quite dark.

Here's the keeper of the feeder.

Believe it or not this is all we get of the cardinals.

Next season we'll be looking for a larger feeder or some way to adapt the camera so that it can get full shots of the bigger birds,

We have several species of woodpeckers that I'd love to be able to show you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Interesting Experiments with Drawings and Paintings

It all started with this drawing from 1996. I'd never been too happy with it and it wasn't aging too well so I figured that I might as well play with it a bit.

I couldn't find my watercolors so I gabbed my acrylic paints and began adding those.

I found the early results promising so I continued adding other paints.

Looking back I think I should have stayed with the blue background.

I'm not quite sure why I went with the dark background except that I didn't like how the purple looked next to the blue.

I got carried away adding leaves and blades of grass which tilted the balance too far to the green.

I added more flowers to try to balance the colors a bit better.

I'm not sure how successful the finished painting was but I felt it was a useful exercise and it may work out yet. I plan to try it on a few products on Zazzle to see what it looks like in different shapes and sizes to see what happens.

Wish Me Luck

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bird Watching a New Way

I don't like taking my wheelchair outside in the winter so any way I can watch the birds from the house appeals to me.

I recently found this combination bird feeder and camera in a catalog:

We hung it with our other bird feeders because we were afraid that if we mounted it to a tree that the squirrels would get into it.

The problem with hanging it out in the open is that it is motion activated so as the wind blows it around you get a lot of photos of nothing.

Of the 120 photos it shot, these were the only good photos of birds that we got.

Obviously we'll be experimenting with other solutions to the problem and as always, I'll keep you posted.

This was our favorite this time.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Making the Most of your Work

The mind is an amazing thing and I was startled today to discover the similarity between my Tea Time painting and this ceramic button that one of my sisters had given me years ago when I was making some crazy quilt Christmas Stockings.

I was absolutely stunned at the similarity. Do you see it too? Apparently even things we're not thinking of or hadn't really noticed can really influence or inspire our thought processes.

I've been doing a lot of things with that painting since I finished it. This was a bone china cup that I had made for my Mom. It's a gift for one of her friends who hopefully isn't one of my readers. I'd hate to spoil the surprise.

I've been designing a lot of different things with that painting (or parts of it) on them in my zazzle store and I 'm pleased to say that I've already sold it on a postage stamp.

Here are some stickers that I made with some of the hats.

I love the design process and am so happy to see my art go out and play in the world.

It's always a challenge to see just how far I can push a design or how many different things I can turn it into.

It inspires me every day and seems to take on a life of it's own.

I can't wait to see where it takes me next!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Getting it Right: A Series of Changes to an 8 x 10" Tulip Painting

There's not much I can say about this except that I thought the painting was a bit darker and duller than I wanted it to be so I Thought about ways to brighten it up.

I wanted to be sure to stick to flowers that I grow in my garden so I decided to add daisies. Here I'm deciding where I want to place them.

I liked it better with the tulips but began to think they'd thrown off the balance.

I felt more changes needed to be made so I decided to pull my garden photos from spring and summer and add some lily of the valley to it.

It made it more interesting but I felt that I'd added too many blossoms, too close together but was afraid to tamper with it further right now.

I'm trying it under different lighting conditions and living with it a while before I make any more decisions on it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pulling Ideas Together: Hats, Flowers etc.

There are a lot of things I've been wanting to try for a long time and I've finally gotten around to working on them.

I started with a red hat and a purple hat to honor my Grandmother and my Mother.

Next I added a straw hat to honor my other Grandmother who used to take me to her little County Fair.

I threw in cups, saucers and a teapot to honor my friends who visit me for tea.

As you can see here part of the designs that are on the purple hat are the same ones that I used on the wheelchair ramp that I painted in front of my house.

So is the band on the red hat.

Of course the daisies began to creep in too.

Did you figure out why I put stripes in the background? I just had to continue with the theme I used on my wheelchair ramp project. I guess you could say the stripes represent the posts.

Grandma Julia, the straw hat is for you.

The design is still evolving and I'm working in some fun touches that remind me of my siblings as well.

I've wanted to include all the favorite things about my family and my garden so I needed to add roses here as well.

Things were looking pretty good at this point but I decided to add some lilacs because as kids we loved to play in the lilac bushes and I continue to grow them now because they make me feel happy and young again.

There are so many other things I want to say and do with paint but only so much room on this one canvas so I'm wrapping this one up and moving on to 2 other paintings.

All that remains now is to take this to Zazzle and find as many ways to share it with others as I can.

As always I will start with postage stamps, cards and stickers so that I can write everyone that's been asking me about this. Then on to all sorts of products for everyone else.