Friday, December 20, 2013

A Very Special Paint Party Friday!

  The wonderful  hostesses of Paint Party Friday  EVA and Kristin have organized a SURPRISE! Virtual Tea Party for Tracey Fletcher King to send lots of virtual hugs along with support and cheer. Tracey has been tenaciously dealing with breast cancer for many months now, and as I've mentioned before she has been battling it with grace, with art and with humor. So here's to you Trace, with love across the miles.

  The actual mug I chose to sketch:

  and my watercolor sketch:

  Don't be too hard on me- I know it's wonky and flat but I just HAD to give it a shot despite never having sketched from an actual object before. You need to go see Tracey's work-wow!! And here's the post I shared of Tracey's sketch of one of my mugs. So thank YOU Trace for at least getting me to do something I didn't think I would try anytime soon. I know now that  this is something I'll continue practicing with the help of an online class (more on that in another post :)

  And now, some art I decided to make all because I can't seem to get that ridiculous, silly song "What Does The Fox Say?" out of my head!!  I felt I needed to share the love:)

 I found this great website for making all kinds of origami things and was delighted to find a fox-aren't they cute?

 I also did a journal page. Here's the WIP:

 I looked online for some images I could work from then changed it a bit. The background was painted with acrylics. I knew I wanted to paint a blue fox so I chose a bright orange and pink for the backdrop. And here's the finished page:

  Linking this week to Paint Party Friday; Creative Every Day; Art Journal Every Day; Mandarin Orange Monday; T is For Tuesday.

 And in the event I don't get another post in before Wednesday, for all who are celebrating the holidays I wish them to be merry and bright!

" Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging."
                                                                                                                            Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's beginning To Look A Lot Like...

C h r i s t m a s !

  We got snowed in again on Saturday and I came down with a cold and sore throat. The good thing is I was able to get the trees up and the house decorated, then rested by finally beginning to watch the Downton Abbey series. Yes, I bought the DVDs and am just now watching from the first episode! 

  Here are some pics of my trees and displays which I will share at Inspiration Avenue for the theme of "Christmas" this week. My trees are also for "T Stands For Tuesday" with Elizabeth and Bleubeard:

 This is the main tree in the sitting room. I always adorn it with cardinals and my very favorite tree topper- a peacock! We used to have a 5-6 ft. tree but have downsized and simplified.

 And this is the tabletop tree in the den. It's filled with ornaments I have received throughout the years thru swaps and gifts.

 Here are a few pics of some of the displays. I tried to put it together as a collage in PicMonkey but it just wasn't working out for me this time :(

 I woke up this AM to, yes, another snow day! I only hope this isn't the beginning of a really snowy winter... but to keep warm I had not one but two cups of my favorite Sumatra blend Starbucks coffee:

  Here is a card I'm entering for the Simon Monday Challenge theme of  "Stamp Out 2013!" :

 This was recently made for a dear friend's special birthday. I used a sketch -Heather's Sketch which was one of the Simon challenges a few weeks ago.
 Products: 5" x 7" white card (Canvas Corp); white card stock; patterned papers (The Natural Matstack-DCWV); foam stamps (Making Memories); Grand Calibur die cut machine and Big Scalloped Squares Lg. dies (Spellbinders).

  And this is the card design I used to send to my family members in France.
  Products: white note card , card stock (Canvas Corp); patterned card stock-Figgy Pudding,Peppermint (Basic Grey); twine (Martha Stewart); glitter tree (Hobby Lobby); Grand Calibur die cut machine and Classic Ovals Large dies (Spellbinders).

  I'm also linking up with Aimee at artsyville for her final Glue It Tuesday-thanks so much for hosting!

 I hope wherever you are you are warm and cozy-whether it's by a fire indoors, or out enjoying summer in your part of the world.

 " Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
                                                                                                                     Marianne Williamson

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Squeezing in Art Time

  Thanks to everyone for all your sweet comments last week. Sorry I wasn't able to reply to everyone individually, but the holidays are fast approaching and I need to keep moving! Today I managed to get a bit of art time in in between mailing cards and decorating the house and that break felt good -even if it was in keeping with the Christmas theme:) But first, guess who came to dinner yesterday???

  After asking (just once this year:) for hubby to bring the boxes of xmas stuff down from the attic, he chose to do it before dinner. All the while I heard "I just love Christmas" repeatedly. I quickly went thru some boxes to get out the special character our son Todd and I renamed "Bill" some years ago. And he magically appeared at the table for dinnertime :):) It actually gave both Bill and I a laugh or two and his heart grew three sizes in the moment. That's it. Happy ending. The Grinch is now in his proper place.

 This is a variation on some of the Christmas cards I'm sending and is my entry today for this week's Simon Wednesday challenge "Let It Snow":

   Products: white note card (Canvas Corp); vellum (Hero Arts); patterned paper-Winter Twig (Little Yellow Bicycle, Inc.); rubber stamp (PSX); Vivid! Olive dye ink (Clearsnap); glittery foam stickers (source unknown); sewing machine and silver thread; Grand calibur die cut machine and dies (Spellbinders).

  I managed to do a simple journal page also, which I am linking to this week's Simon Monday challenge theme of "tissue". I began by covering the watercolor page with decorative tissue paper:

  I penciled in a figure, painted it in with white gesso, then filled that in with acrylic paints. I outlined the figure with a Pitt Pen. The "presents" were cut out from Basic Grey Wassail patterned card stock, painted with glitter glue, then adhered to the image. I added the words digitally in Photoshop.

  Besides the Simon Blogs I am linking to Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Mandarin Orange Monday.

                                   "A little of what you fancy does you good."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keeping Warm On A Snow Day!

  Snow was expected for today but what I did not expect was for it to arrive so early this AM, stranding my hubby, forcing him to park his car (a Mustang -which is NOT good in the snow) and walk home (at least 2 miles) wait-GET THIS-wearing shorts, work shoes -and no hat even!! Of course he's been told before to take pants and some warm things in an event like this-but noooo. Hopefully after today, lesson learned! I wasn't able to fetch him in my DEPENDABLE Focus because some roads were blocked and pretty bad because the salt wasn't laid down overnight-DUH! All of the local schools and some of the colleges even closed. The city should have known better since we had a small amount of freezing rain and snow yesterday and temps were in the twenties overnight. I'll have to keep my eye out on the local news-in case someone snapped a photo of Bill with a caption like "in denial" or something even worse :)

  So here's what I woke up to:

                      This is from my back yard looking toward the front. I suppose it IS pretty :)

  In order to stay warm inside I chose to wear a very warm pair of slipper socks which I photographed for the theme of "looking down at your feet" at Inspiration Avenue.

  I was in the sitting room enjoying this:

 The glass plate is part of a set that belonged to my great grandmother as did the little table.  I'm having a piece of my scrumptious double chocolate zucchini cake  which has a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon in it, along with a cup of Buddha's Herbs Green Tea With Herbs which has a bit of chamomile , thyme and peppermint in it. It can snow all it wants outside-I'm in heaven-and warm with this combination of flavors!

  I'll be joining Tea Cup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations and T Stands for Tuesday with  Bleubeard and Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover today.

  Wherever you are I hope you are warm and cozy!

     " Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things."     Chaim Potok

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Art Continues!

  How's everyone this week? Personally , I'm feeling that the days to Christmas are approaching very quickly so I have gone into the "ready,set,GO!" mode to get as many cards and things done as I can. Are you like me? Do you feel like you're not going to be ready on time only to find in the end that you had plenty of time all along? I really try to stay focused on the important things at hand and then whatever else gets done, either gets done-or not :).

 I have been so inspired by Nancy Maxwell James' "Very Vintage Christmas" daily tutorials on her blog which began Dec.1 and ends Dec. 7th. It's not too late to check out her blog posts-and she also offers her tutorials in PDF format if you'd like to give some a try for next year :) Thanks Nancy for so generously sharing your talent and ideas with us!

  These are two of ? many ornaments I'll be sending out this year:

  I created a stocking template then traced and cut them out from 90lb. watercolor paper after gluing patterned papers to one side. Other supplies are: Paper Whimsy images and words collage sheets; gold, silver card stock (Canson); Stickles glitter glue in gold and silver (Ranger); oval punch; scallop punch; gold and silver German dresden borders (Artchix Studio); mini tinsel in gold and silver.

  The next two projects are for the Simon Monday challenge which this week is "With a Flourish".

  Supplies: white note card and cardstock (Canvas Corp); felt scroll tree (Hobby Lobby); silk poinsettia; rhinestone; Diamond Stickles glitter glue (Ranger); Grand Calibur die cut machine and Fleur De Lys die (Spellbinders).

  My second entry for the challenge:

 This tag was inspired by one of Nancy's Vintage Christmas tutorials. Want a free downloadable collage sheet of Christmas tickets? Please visit Nancy's blog posts where she shares the link :)

  Products: tag (Hero Arts); image (Paper Whimsy); silver card stock (Canson); Silver Stickles glue (Ranger); felt glitter tree (Hobby Lobby); ribbon (Paper Whimsy but sadly no longer available); glittery paper scroll sticker (Michaels), music rubber stamp ( All Night Media); Stone Gray Staz-On ink (Tsukineko).

 It's not just about Christmas though. I managed to complete a journal page inspired by a quote Christi Wich ( our online instructor for the 52 Weeks of Creative Abundance course). She encouraged us to create a piece of art around it and I so loved the quote I knew I had to create something.

  I began with a page in my large (9" x 11") journal. The background had been done months ago so I figured it was time to use it. It began with a pencil drawing of a leaf stem:

                                                     (the pod-like stamp is hand carved)

  A variety of green and  yellow acrylic paints were used to fill it in. I then added a bit of blue Caran D'Ache water soluble crayon (LOVE those!) to create more depth. The leaf stem and words were outlined with a charcoal pencil and smudged to complete it. Isn't that such a lovely quote?

 Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll try and get around to see what you all have created for these challenges.

  Linking to Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Mandarin Orange Mondaythe Simon Monday Challenge, and Glue It Tuesday.

   There is no such thing as creative and non-creative people, only people who use their creativity and people who don't."   BrenĂ© Brown