Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Painting Flowers...

I've been trying to tackle painting things that I've avoided in the past because I thought the were too "hard".  One thing I've always struggled with is painting flowers.  Since it's spring and there are beautiful flowers blooming all over the place, I decided that I should stop thinking about it and just do it.  :)  Here are a few of better ones.

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Paintings...

I've been painting twice a week for a month and as usual, I've been wondering why I sometimes stop.  I really, really love painting--it makes me happy.  And, I love it when I can see that I'm making progress in learning the medium and in painting in a looser style.  I still have a long way to go, but at least I'm more optimistic about being able to accomplish it.  :)

 This was painted from a picture I took of the apartment where we stayed when we were in Pienza, Italy.  It's one of our favorite memories of that trip.

 This was painted from a photo given to us in my Tuesday night painting class.  

 This is from a photo I took a few years ago at the now defunct Clear Creek Nursery during a Mother's Day photo safari with the family.

 A rose from my garden.

My first attempt at a portrait.  This was from a cover of a knitting magazine.  I want to try painting a few portraits but have been too scared to try it, so I just decided to go for it.  I'm happy with how it came out and now am excited to try more.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Christmas Sewing...I know It's a Bit Late But...

I've been really having a lot of fun this past month or so.  I have been in creative mode and have gotten quite a few projects crossed off my "To Do" list.  I have so much stuff that it's gonna take three or four posts with lots of pics just to show it all.  :)

I decided that I would start with stuff I specifically made for Christmas this year.  I finally convinced everyone that we really needed new Christmas stockings (seriously, I've been trying for years), so I was hectically sewing and knitting them two days before Christmas.  Gotta love those last minute projects.  :)

 I made two of these.  One for Al and one for Alex's girlfriend.

This is Alex's "Nightmare Before Christmas" stocking.

 Scott wanted a knitted blue and white striped stocking.  Because he wanted it knitted, I didn't get this one done until a few days after Christmas.

This is Hannah's Stocking.

 And this is mine.  This one didn't get done until after Christmas either.

I also finally decided how to decorate the plain Jane Christmas tree skirt that my mom gave me years ago (with the expectation that I would decorate it with pretty things.  Better late than never, huh?)  I hand embroidered fun felt ornaments on the tree skirt.  When I look at it in the photo, I'm still not sure it's completely done, but it's done for this year.  :)

Her are a few close ups of the ornaments.

I have lots more stuff to share--embroidery, sewing, knitting, jewelry, Barbie clothes (yeah, you read it right, it's my latest fun distraction)--so keep checking back.  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Making a New Wallet and Coin Purse

I've been wanting a new colorful wallet for a long time.  Brown leather is just not me.  :)  I looked and looked for one to buy but they were all either really big or really boring or really expensive. So I told myself, "Self, there are so many cool tutorials on the internet, you should be able to find one for a wallet you could sew out of fun fabric!"
After way too many a few hours of searching, I found this great tutorial from Modest Maven that looked like it would be almost exactly what I wanted.  The only problem was that it only had 6 slots for cards.  Well...I have a lot more cards than that.  For heaven's sake, I have two library cards!  So I decided that I would do a slight modification to the wallet to give me more card slots.  This is what I came up with.
Hah!  Nothing boring about these colors, huh?

I added a center section with more card slots.

Here's a better view of the inside.  There are 6 card slots on this side of the wallet and six more on the other side.  There's a pocket for bills along the top edge too.

Of course, once I finished sewing it, I started to move everything from my old wallet to my new one and hmmm...I still had too many cards for all the slots.  Everyone wants you to have their store loyalty card and since I'm cheap I like to save money, sometimes I don't say no.  :)
After many hours of pondering and looking online, I came up with an idea of an accordian pocket that I could sew right in the center of the wallet to store some of the extra cards I didn't have room for.  Out came the seam ripper so I could take the center section out and remake it with the pocket.  A little cutting, a little sewing, a little straining of brain matter, and after an hour or so here's what I had.

The only thing I didn't do was put in a little zippered pocket for change.  I decided it might be better to have a separate coin purse so the wallet didn't burst its seams.  :)

Later the same night, I decided to make said coin purse but got distracted when I did a search for coin purse tutorials.  I found this tutorial on CraftPassion for a really, really cool coin purse made with a zipper and ribbon.  Of course, I had to make it!  After all, we needed something to hold coins in the car too.  :)  What do you think?


Zipped!  Isn't it cute?

I love projects like these!  They're quick and lots of fun to make.  My only problem is that I want to make a lot more--there are SO many cool tutorials online now!  I'm constantly amazed at the brilliance and creativity of people's brains.  :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back Yard Photo Safari

I was talking to my oldest boyo a few weeks ago and was whining about not having taken any pictures at all in the last 6 months or so and he encouraged me to just get my camera out and get shooting.  I didn't feel up to going anywhere that day, but I decided I could just walk out to my back yard and see what I could find.  Luckily, the sun was shining and so I got some fun stuff.  :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Watercolors...

I have a couple of new watercolors to share.  These were both painted last week.   I have some new paintings from last night's class I want to post too but I'm having problems with my camera's focus and want to try to fix it before I take any more photos.  We'll see how successful I am.  :) 

This was painted from a photo I took a few years ago.  I like that I was able to capture the strong light and shadows and the reflections that appealed to me in the photo.

This is the second in a series of daisy "portraits" I'm doing (I forgot to photograph the first one and it's hanging in a show right now so I can't take a photo until I get it back).  I'm experimenting with a few new techniques and trying for very loose, almost abstract images.  I think I got closer to the effect I want with this one.  Now to try even more experiments!

In more painting related news, I entered 3 watercolors in a juried show at the local gallery here in town.  It's the first time anything I've painted has been hung in a gallery so it was a step forward for me in that regard.  I got honorable mentions for two out of the three paintings so that made me happy too.  :)  The show goes through the end of October so if any of you are in the mood, head down to the Sidney Art Gallery and check out all the paintings the South Kitsap Artists have done.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Making a Plein Air Easel with a Camera Tripod Base

Last summer my mom, my sister and I went to Bend, Oregon for a watercolor workshop.  We spent most of our time doing plein air painting and one of the painters brought a really neat easel made to use a camera tripod as a base.  I really liked it and was able to remember enough to have my sweetie shamelessly copy it and make one for a birthday present for my mom.

 Here is the easel all set up.

 This is the piece of wood that holds the tripod shoe.  Al put an insert with a 1/4-20 thread (the same thread that the tripod shoe uses) in the piece of wood and screwed in the tripod shoe.
The board hooked into the tripod base.

On the other side of the board is industrial strength velcro.  We also put it on the back of a hard watercolor board.  That way you can attach the watercolor board to the piece of wood and your painting won't fly away in the wind. 

Here is the board for your palette and water.  The slots on the right side are designed so that they rest against two of the tripod legs and that holds the board in place and keeps everything level.
 Here it is all set up on the tripod. 

And finally, here is the bag that I made to hold the easel.  Mom's really excited to go out somewhere and use it.  Now I just have to get one made for me.  :)