Tuesday, November 18, 2014

37 Days

Saw this post today, and had to share.  There are lots of great suggestions on ways to enjoy the holiday season. I'm looking for ways to simplify this year and liked all of these ideas.


Monday, November 17, 2014

38 Days

My daughter loves making Christmas presents and decor almost as much as I do. One of her friends came over to make a few fun projects. They made Styrofoam Christmas trees, snowflakes, and homemade window clings. Here's a sampling of their projects.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

42 Days to go...

Where does the time go?  It seems like we were getting ready for fall and Halloween, and now it's two weeks until Thanksgiving and it's getting close to Christmas.  I am working on several commission pieces and new craft items that I hope to share with all of you this weekend.  Lots of fun and lots to do!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

51 Days

With all the busyness of life, it's easy to get caught up in the details of the holidays.  Trying to have the perfectly decorated home, perfect Christmas card, and most delectable food can be exhausting and cause us to dread the holidays instead of cherish them.

I try to read the devotions from this website daily, but especially during Advent.  It's www.d365.org and it has wonderful daily devotions.  I make myself stop and take the time during the holidays to read and contemplate the scripture readings before going back out into the world.

So, I hope that you and I will take the time to refocus on what's important during the holidays and every day. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Two Months (61 Days)

Christmas is 2 months away!  I can't believe how quickly time flies by.

I don't sit still very well, so I have to have some sort of quick, crafty project nearby at all times to help me be still for a while.  Crocheting snowflake ornaments to give as Christmas presents is a perfect solution because they're quick, small and portable projects that I can work on just about anywhere (even the car line at school).

I look through a variety of crochet books for ideas, but I mainly use motif patterns and resize them for snowflake patterns.  I use a smaller hook and crochet thread to give that delicate, lacy look.

When I finish crocheting ornaments, I try to make sure I stiffen them so they will hang properly on the tree.  There are a variety of suggestions and methods, but here's what works for me.

First, I take a large piece of cardboard and cover it with wax paper.  Then I take my ornaments and spread them out and shape and pin them in place.  I take a small paper cup and mix 3 parts glue to one part water.  ** Note:  make sure you use glue, NOT school glue.  You need something that doesn't break down as soon as it's mixed with water.** I use old, cheap paint brushes, usually the plastic brushes in the kits from Wal-Mart work very well, dip them in the paint and brush them on.  I try to allow them to dry for a full day before turning them over and doing the other side.  Then I loop my crochet thread through to make an ornament hanger.

Here's what they look like when on the cardboard.  I haven't added the glue yet, but I will tomorrow.  I will take another picture once the tree is up to show how well they work on the tree.  These make great Christmas presents! Very excited to have a few projects done!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

84 Days

As promised, here's a fun, simple Christmas craft idea that anyone of all ages can make.

My daughter has a lot of earrings.  She has pretty jewelry boxes but she has so many costume style earrings, that they are overflowing.  She and I have been brainstorming on ideas to make something easily accessible, portable, and that can store a lot of earrings.  After much thought, this is what we came up with.

The only supplies needed are a paper towel roll, masking tape, scissors, shelf liner (the gripper kind with little holes in them), ribbon, and acrylic paint.

First, my daughter painted the paper towel roll in lots of fabulous colors.  When painting these, don't use any water on your brush or sponge.  It will weaken the cardboard.  Using acrylic paint with a dry brush approach helps strengthen the cardboard somewhat.

Here's a better view of the dried paper towel roll.

Next, we cut a section of shelf liner the length we desired and the width of the paper towel roll.  We simply used masking tape to attach it to the roll.  Then, we took purple ribbon and taped it over the masking tape to make it look nicer. 

Then it was time to start attaching the earring.  Because the holes are tiny in the shelf paper (you can usually find this at the Dollar Tree if you don't have any), it's easy to attach the earrings and their backs.

When you're finished, just roll up the earring holder, and tie a piece of pretty ribbon around.  Fun, easy earring storage.  This would make a great handmade Christmas gift for any girl.  It doesn't require any special material and it's very simple to make.

Monday, September 29, 2014

87 Days (2014)

My daughter and I are putting the finishing touches on a great craft project that is completely handmade, functional and would make a fun gift for any girl with lots of earrings.  I'm hoping we'll have it finished and pictures uploaded tomorrow.  It would be a fabulous handmade Christmas gift. Hopefully, I'll have more tomorrow!

87 Days.....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

96 Days (2014)

We finished yesterday's fun project of making our fun to-do list. We don't want to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that we miss out on the things we enjoy the most.

But all this preparation doesn't mean that we've forgotten about getting ready for fall. Yesterday we started decorating our mantel and the rest of our home. Today we made a yummy apple pie. Don't forget to enjoy each day as you plan for the future.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dutch Bantam

There's commission work, pieces for shows, pieces that practically scream to be painted and there are pieces like these. I hadn't planned to paint a rooster, but jumped in to try this Dutch Bantam. For some reason, looking at animals like roosters always makes me think of  Luke 12:27 which is the reminder that God makes the simple lilies beautiful and takes care of them, so why should we worry about what He will do for us? When I see how colorful the simple rooster is, I always think of that verse.

 I used Liquitex Basic acrylics for this painting.

After sketching out my rooster, I began painting my background, with my sky first.

Basic layers for the grass next.  I try to be careful of my brush strokes, especially with acrylics.  I want to show movement, direction and texture.

Now, the fun, colorful work begins.  I began working on the basic color composition of the rooster.

I've established mid-tones, so it's time to work on lights and darks.

Not it's time for detail work on the feathers, adding in the eye, making the legs and feet more distinctive.

Continuing to add details to the feathers, blades of grass and around the eye of the rooster.

Time to sign the finished product!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sometimes you have to paint something bright and cheery just for fun. Today was one of those days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Painted Back Door

This summer has been a fun, busy one.  I will share art camp pictures, commission work pictures, art show pictures and more very soon. 

Today I wanted to share a project that is a special one for our house. For months I've wanted to do something to our back door to liven it up a bit.  It's been bothering me in its' blandness for some reason.  At the beginning of the summer I came up with the idea of painting the panels in the back door with some sort of blessing or thought that folks could see as they left our house.  However, time was not my friend this summer, and my "beginning of summer" project became my "get it done before school starts" project.

I found the Bible verse from Numbers 6:24 to be perfect for this door, "The Lord bless you and keep you".  The rest of the blessing in Numbers is beautiful too, but I thought this verse was perfect for our family and friends to see and know that they are loved and prayed for.  What a great reminder!

I have a few touch ups to do, but you'll get the general idea.  This project didn't take long, added much needed color and blessings to our home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More updates, crafty ideas and more coming soon!  Go to my facebook page to find information on my latest giveaway!


Thursday, April 24, 2014


My obsession with magnolias doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Their beauty, charm and graceful look have fascinated me for a long time. Here's my latest attempt to paint them:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday Walk

It doesn't seem to matter when Easter falls, Holy Week is always a stressful week for me.  My nerves are frayed, time seems to be working against me, and my emotions rise to the surface easily.  In years past I have reprimanded myself for not taking more time during Holy Week to stop, reflect and pause on the meaning of the week.  But the realization this year is different.

This year has been the same as all the others, except that I've decided that my stress and emotions during this week might be exactly what they should be.  This isn't supposed to be a calm, tidy week of reflection, but an honest look at the grittiness, unpredictability, loveliness and holiness of life.  Miracles don't happen in the best of times; they occur when we are at our lowest and need them the most.  In order to feel the exhilaration of Easter Sunday, we must take an honest look at our lives the rest of the week.

I debated going to a sunrise service this morning before our regular church service, but decided to do something different instead.  I took my camera and went on an Easter Sunday walk, to see the glory of God's creation on this beautiful morning.  There is so much comfort in knowing that God took so much care in the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty that is within us.

Here are a few pictures from my Easter walk this morning:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Snow Day

It's an unexpected snow day at our house. Hopefully it will be an art day too!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The weather folks are calling for more snow next week, but so far I'm choosing to ignore them.  I can make spring appear on my canvas, paper, and other materials.  :)  So, I'm continuing my dogwood theme.  This piece will be donated to a local school's silent auction.  They are trying to raise money for new playground equipment and I'm hoping this piece of artwork will help them achieve that goal.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time is flying by as always.  While our daily lives seem to be hectic, I think most of us are impatient for the arrival of spring.  It's been a long, harsh winter and we are all longing for warmer, sunnier days.  In this part of the world, one of the most beautiful signs of spring are the blooming dogwood trees. In shades of white and pink, they are gorgeous reminders that winter doesn't last forever. 

I purchased a new set of enamel and glass paints, and set about trying to recreate those blooms on a large glass vase.  I was pretty happy with the results.  I decided to put this piece on my mantel until it sells as a reminder that spring will get here in its' own good time.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This project was a special gift for our pastor, who is retiring after many years of service to our church and others. It's a blessing to be able to make gifts for others who have given so much to us.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I try to create and donate pieces of artwork for local organizations whenever I can. This piece is being donated to our local arts council for their annual arts ball and auction.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Making a little progress. I like to slowly layer my paint as I work to hopefully give a more realistic look.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beginning stages of my new watercolor using my planned color palette.

Monday, February 3, 2014

I love to dive into new projects, but with watercolors it's best to take my time and have a plan. The transparency of watercolors make for beautiful paintings but can be a nighmare if you don't work from light to dark. I've been making a color plan before starting my larger watercolors. Here's a sample:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Finally getting to test out my new paints! Working on a few winter and Valentine's Day projects. I think my favorite part of this project are the hearts I put on the handle.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Starting new projects!  Just started my preliminary sketch for a new watercolor portrait.  I had forgotten how much I love painting portraits.  Working on ideas for a new acrylic landscape also.  Working on new ornament designs (with my new paints!) and crafty ideas.  Lots of updates (hopefully) very soon!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Here's the latest January painting. Its' theme is for those who are longing for Spring after so many cold days. It's still painted in a fairly limited color palette.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Here's the photo (hopefully it will work this time) of my new painting.

My latest painting is finally finished.  I'm enjoying the challenges of diving back into acrylics after spending many years painting mostly watercolors.  I've challenge myself to use a limited color palette to try to create a more uniform, serene feel to these paintings.

That also presents challenges in finding the right composition, balance, etc. in the painting.  In this painting, I only used 4 colors to achieve the end result. 

This was a fun, challenging painting to complete while testing out the acrylic waters.

I hope that you are trying something new and challenging too!

Unfortunately this site isn't letting me upload photos right now.  As soon as I can load it, I'll share the picture with you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The first step is the hardest...

As we start a new year it seemed appropriate to discuss how hard it is to start something new.  Whether it's going for those first few runs, tackling a home improvement project, or staring at a blank canvas, starting something new can be daunting.  I had to force myself to put a little paint on this canvas.  I love to paint, but challenging myself to try new artistic endeavors makes it harder to get motivated.  We are afraid of starting anything new because we are afraid of failure. But trial and error is how we learn. So if you're wanting to make a positive change, remember to pat yourself on the back for taking that first step!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Today was an unexpected day out of school because of the extremely cold temperatures.  I am very thankful that my daughter and I could stay in today.  I had planned to paint a little today and start a new project, but there was much to do inside and I also wanted to just stop and take in the day and spend extra time with my daughter. 

So, while I debate my newest project in my head, I hope that all of you are staying warm and dry.  I hope that you have the chance to take advantage of the cold outside to stay in and be with those you love.  Each day has its' challenges and its' gifts....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I am continuing to work on smaller watercolor pieces in a lighter, more loose style. The change in size and shorter time period to paint have made these projects very enjoyable.  Here's the latest project:

Friday, January 3, 2014

One of my goals in 2014 is to expand the styles of art and materials I use. (I call them my goals because I don't like making resolutions).I also want to paint a lot more in the new year. I love painting large paintings, but I am going back to doing smaller studies too. The painting below is the first watercolor of the new year. It's a dusk scene using a limited group of colors. Very loose and fun painting to do. I hope you are using the new year as an excuse to take the time to create too!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

First painting of 2014

I don't know how many of you have seen the "joy jar" project on Pinterest but it's a very neat idea. You take slips of paper and write down fun or exciting things that happen during the year and put them in the jar. On New Year's Eve we took all our papers out of the jar and read them. It was a great review for the year and set a positive tone for 2014.

Once we were finished, we realized that we wanted to do this project again for 2014; but what should we do with our 2013 papers? It didn't seem right to simply throw them out, but I didn't want more papers cluttering up our house (I have more than enough already). So, I decided to make a year in review painting. I drew out 2013 in the center and then divided up the canvas into sections that matched the number of papers we had. Then we picked out our colors and painted the sections. Once that was dry we took Sharpies and wrote in our information.  I thought the project turned out great and it didn't take long to do at all. I still threw away all those slips of paper but we have our memories of the year intact.