Thursday, December 29, 2011

Child of Earth

After finding myself in a slump and no inspiration in sight I was able to create a little angel. I didn't see her as a "happy" angel and that was creating a conflict in me. Yet, I didn't want to change it.
I let it sit with me over night and this morning I was on edge about it ... got ready for the day and was going to head to Target before work but decided to look at this little character.  She seemed to be troubled and she seemed accepting of that trouble  (yes, she said ALL of that to me).
I thought I'd add a little paint here and there with my finger because I was after all heading to the store!
Well suddenly things started flowing ... my eyes were drawn to a vintage piece of sheet music that I hadn't put away with the other pages and the words just JUMPED OUT!!


Child of earth?? What does that mean?? I wasn't sure, and somewhat un-committed I added the words "of Earth" to the dress .... and then after some more paint the shapes appeared. I realized I definitely wanted the word "Child" in there as well.

In 25 min I had a vision and a poem to go with the painting and a plan to create a series of "Child of Earth" paintings each with a poem attached!!

This is still NOT finished, but I love where it is headed!

As of  last night ...

As of this afternoon

Its still not completed yet, I need to finish the background and do something more with the wings ... I added a smirk, but I think I might get rid of it. Her arms melt into the grass  ... I like the direction this is taking.

The poem that will go around the edge: A Child of Earth has wings tho she cannot fly, for they bear the weight of the world and all the tears that you cry.

I have images of her with animal type wings ... arms of birch trees and hair of moss ... on and on ...
A poem to go with each one!

Needless to say I did not make it to Target before work. I instead headed to Barnes and Noble after work and saw/bought this magnet :

Had I never decided to paint before work I would have gone to Target (I need a hair magazine) and completely missed this at the Barnes and Noble check out!  I think this is a sign I'm on the right track ...


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day Dreamer

I painted this little (6x6 canvas) owl for a good friend. Right after I painted this I hit a wall ... I'm still working on climbing over it, barging through  or whatever means I need to not be beating my head against it.

Here is the little Day Dreamer:

Didn't know I could paint so small
but I think I will like the 8x8 canvas' I bought better
and I'm loving purple eyes lately.

I like bringing the images around the edges too.

I learned to paint these lovely owls by taking  Juliette Crane's : How to Paint an Owl e-course ... painting these little creatures has been so addicting! I have given 2 of them away as gifts :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Simple Gifts

Its Christmas day and for the first time in the nearly 13 years that Chad and I have been together (7.5years married, 5dated/engaged), this is the first time we have not exchanged gifts. It was something we really decided on, but neither of us could really find things we really wanted nor did we have the time to actually shop for each other.

On Christmas Eve I was a little bummed about the whole idea of not having things to open on Christmas morning ... but as the night rolled on I was fine.  Exchanging gifts is fun, but not at all the point of Christmas ... we have blessings beyond the wrapping paper.  For one we have each other and a nice house, good jobs/careers, 2 working cars, to fun-loving dogs, friends, family and a kitchen that we recently stocked with food. Our bank accounts are by no means bursting at the seams, but our hearts are.

I worked this morning ... it was a choice I made, as I bid for my hours and I chose to be available to those who needed interpreting services to call home to their loved ones.  Sure it was hard waking up at 3:40am to get ready and be to work at 5am, but I was calm and at peace about it.

I was able to bring a small pad of water-color paper, water-color pencils, and a water pen ... over the course of 6 hours during my breaks I created this:

Its not a complex drawing, nor a fantastic work ... the title just seemed to fit. 
I hope you are finding joy in the "Simple Gifts" today and always. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Luigi and Tulip Style

You may or may not know that we share our home with 2 Italian Greyhounds ... Luigi 6 and Tulip5.  When they were younger and much more carefree we would dress them up for the holidays and take a yearly picture ... seeing as how they have learned to do the curmudgeon look we'll live in the memories of cuteness and Christmas magic :)

The scarf around Luigi's neck is actually mine
but somehow it seemed appropriate for 
him to wear.

People often wonder how I can possibly get
my beloved dogs to be still enough to 
take pictures ...

for the most part, they just let me do what
I want as long as treats are in sight and I'm quick.

Getting them to look like they care is a whole
other story. 

I knew once they had mastered the "Drunk look" my 
my perfect Christmas pictures were numbered. 
Tulip just sat there as the antlers
slid off of her head, both of them
dog-a-tonic, unwilling to move.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas
(scarf look familiar?)

and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

An Artful Christmas

Here is a look at a few of the gifts I've received from my mom and her boyfriend this season:

I'm very excited to read this book
here's hoping I find MY way and style

This book is so full of CUTE 
I just squeal at the pictures! 
I'm probably not going to make 
too much before Christmas, but 
it sure will be fun after the holidays!

This is AMAZING, a set of 3 double sided
 records from the 1930's!!
The art on the cover is just fabulous too.

Even though I have a record player, it was recommended
that I not play these ...
Its a wonderfully inspiring gift.

I hope you are finding artful ways to celebrate the season!
What is inspiring YOU during the holidays?

I will be writing another blog post ( my dogs in howliday wear) ... stay tuned!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home-Made Gifts for Mom

Things are just so busy with Christmas this year especially since I made things that are time consuming. We've also hosted 2 parties and are doing a gift exchange with my Mom and her boyfriend (a person she dated 22+ years ago and has just started seeing again) tomorrow at our house. Then celebrating Christmas with his family that I've know since I was about 3 and have not seen in 23 or so years ... his niece was my best friend for years, so this will be fun, I hope ... interesting to say the least! 
Then Christmas at my Mother-In-Laws on Saturday and then I work on Sunday from 5am-11am ... don't feel too sorry for me, I chose to work :)  The sad part is that there is no time for me and the hubby to buy and exchange gifts!!  I hope we can just find a charity to give to and make some spirits brighter :)

Anyhow ...
My mom has always enjoyed home-made things and since that is right up my ally, I created two things which I JUST finished tonight!

This is a picture frame that I altered ...
  • remove back of frame, glass and discard matting
  • carefully paint one side of the glass with magnetic (not metallic) paint (pain-in-butt and smelly)
  • add three coats, THICK (ignore all directions on can its full of crap), allow 3 hours dry between coats not the measly 30 min the directions say is required. 
  • allow to completely dry and place a pretty 12x12 sheet of  paper over the magnetic side of glass 
  • place back into the frame with the back-support of frame and secure
  • add an accent square with fun colored card stock 
  • place 2 business card magnets tacky side to accent square (allows it to be moved anywhere)
  • take a thicker ribbon wrap around the bottom 4th of frame and staple to back
  • hot glue buttons and magnet together
  • add some micro-mini clothes pins and a cute saying and hang from ribbon
  • place on the wall and add your favorite pictures, quotes, reminders etc                                                
I bought a similar frame for myself a month or so ago ... the owl paper that was used sucked me right in and I couldn't resist, (I rarely buy things I know how to make)!  I am not certain how the one I bought is made, but I'm 99% sure there is sheet metal instead of magnetic painted glass.

After learning how to paint owls from Juliette Crane I had to paint a smaller version of the 12x12 "Winter Dreams" owl I did during the class. 

This is done on a 6x6 canvas ... I'm happy to know I can paint on a "smaller" scale ... wasn't sure I'd be able to!

Hopefully my mom likes her gifts and hasn't learned how to find my blog!! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Commission Work Finished !!

Several weeks ago I was asked if I would make a couple of paintings for a co-workers two daughters for Christmas. I was so excited because I feel like I'm still "finding my way" artistically, yet in the midst of this journey I'm creating things people really like!

The goal was to create a representation of each daughter incorporating their likes, hair/eye color, some personality, favorite color etc ...

I asked questions, looked at pictures and well ... started.  I had to crawl in to my childhood self and see the world through those eyes. THAT was the hardest part. I'm 32, an only child and have no kids. I had to look at pictures of myself as a kid, to get into that mentality again. :)

Here is the first one I did. She is a flute player, loves the out-doors, likes teal and lime green, is very smart and loves to read and does gymnastics/circus activities with a local group.

The buttons are only (very strong) magnets
not part of the picture.

This is the second one. Just turned 4, loves vibrant colors you'll see in a rainbow, knows that when it snows it will be her birthday. Loves lolly pops and cake ... and is currently loving her hair in big curly pony tails and her favorite color right now is purple.  I actually had to RE-DO this one ... so this is take two!! I just didn't like the first one, and starting over was the easiest thing to do.

Again the buttons are magnets

For Kira's I made things more realistic in that the grass is green and the sky is blue ... I think once you get to that age you start to see things for what they are and are trying to make sense out of everything. The books are stacked on the grass because that makes sense ... the letter's of her name are stacked one on top of another and the flute is sitting on top. 

At the age of 4, things are just FUN! So for Lily's, I was thinking about my favorite cartoon when I was a kid "Rainbow Bright".  She had fun stripped socks and crazy clothes, there were stars that talked and she rode a unicorn etc. I thought about what it would be like to be at the start of a rainbow and imagined that  the colors all collide into one another and are not in a straight line.  I had these cup cake and candy papers and random flowers that were really fun ... PERFECT!  And when you are 4, lolly pops are like magic wands that make it snow in the middle of a rainbow. THAT is what went through my head :)

I've learned a few things while working on these two mixed-media "commission" pieces ... one of which is that I'm not willing to experiment and take risks. I had artistic freedom, but I didn't want to test the waters for fear of messing up. I used to believe that Canvas work was scary because it seemed so permanent, where as now I believe that canvas work is very forgiving especially compared to water color paper.  

In January I will be taking Juliette Crane's"How to Paint a Girl" e-course ... so I'm hoping that will allow me to loosen up and try more things should I do commission work in the future :)

I get to deliver these fun things tomorrow morning!!! Ahhhh!! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2 More Holiday Tags

I just haven't had time to post lately, but I do have a couple of pics to share:

I made two more tags

 I love this "vintage" style
should have made a tag for myself!

The other tags I made can seen in this blog post.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kitchen Renovations, OH MY!

I wasn't able to post for a couple of days as I wasn't feeling well . Then we hosted TWO Christmas parties, one with family and one with friends... on the SAME DAY!! Never again will we do that oh and we decided that it would be a good idea to remove the wall paper we hated in the kitchen and paint it ... the week before!
 Technically it was supposed to be done long before that, but I have a husband whose middle name is "procrastination". 

As with all things predicting exactly how something is going to go is nearly impossible and thus, things will go wrong.

Here is the Kitchen before things got started ...

To some this may not be that bad of a kitchen

 But keep in mind I'm only 32, my hubby is 39 
this is NOT our style! 

Once the wall paper had come down

We thought yellow would be a good color

However "Lemon Drop" was a really bad choice
I hated it. 
It didn't seem to coordinate with the  brown living room 
and dark purple dining room. 

So it had to go ... the day before a house full of people arrives we need to clean the house, prepare food and paint the kitchen ... again!

Okay ... let me be honest, with all that was going on. "I" did not do a single thing with the kitchen. I had bathrooms, bedrooms, a kitchen, and a basement to clean and 2 tables to decorate ... OH and our tree which took me the better part of 3 hours to do!

Thinking about the colors in the rest of the house and our ultimate goal and desired feel of the kitchen (eventually the cabinets will be refinished/hard ware added, counter tops replaced, back splash replaced, and tile added to replace the linoleum) a teal type color was chosen.

As you can see the color almost morphs depending 
on what is near it. 
The above picture looks more green, maybe playing
off of the dark green place-mats??
The picture below looks a lot more blue
same wall, same camera setting just facing more to 
the right??
The real color is something in-between the two. 
Maybe this is what happens when the Olympus 
is used instead of the Nikon ... well you get 
the idea :)

Here is one last shot looking toward the Dining room

I really do like this color but it is such a big change... I've looked at that awful wall paper for nearly NINE years, yet it only took one family event to make it all happen.

Here is our tree lit and decorated
I took this pic with my iPhone and used a "vintage" filter

Here's to a less-stressful (rest of the) holiday season !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First Commission Work Completed!

Its hard to believe that people like what I am doing enough to request I make things for them ... I mean its surreal!  I'm completely honored and terrified!

What if creating is a fluke? What if I can't really do this? What if they don't like it?!! All of these thoughts ran through my head, over and over.

Now that this one is finished I do feel better ... I think the recipients will like it too! I have another one to finish for the same person.

The requested : make a girl that is a representation of each daughter that includes their favorite colors and  interests for Christmas gifts.

Flute player, in circus/gymnastics activities, loves to read and enjoys the outdoors  ... there were other things I could have added, but adding everything would have been too chaotic. :)  

No worries, the person who requested this/these doesn't follow my blog ... and if they do and I don't know it... Surprise! LOL ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Tags

Right in the midst of a million things to-do to prepare for next weeks Christmas parties, I decided to make these tags ... thankfully I've been collecting odds and ends for a long time so having all the things I needed was no problem.

Theses are the the first tags I've ever made, and 
I am pretty pleased with how they turned out :)

This music tape is one of my favorite finds
and works really well for the look I was going for.

I went to a craft fair today and found some vintage accents 
and then went to Michael's and found some fun Christmas buttons 
and some "brads" 

These tags will go on the boxes of cookies we are making. 
Each Aunt/Uncle gets one and then my cousins who are married
get one for their families as well. Oh and grandparents ;)

*What are you making this holiday season?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You're a Star ... Let your true self shine, FINISHED!

I realized I didn't share this finished painting and this Owl deserves some blog time! It's amazing to me to think that before June of this year, painting wasn't a blip on my radar ... now its all I think about.  I think I dream in "Golden Paint" seriously, my life has changed!

This owl was the first I created out of the 4 I did during Juliette Crane's"How to Paint an Owl" , e-course. I like how colorful it is and yet how it all works. 

In case you forgot the popular colors of the 1980's :)

This is about following your dreams and letting the TRUE you shine through.  So often we listen to our gremlin (inner critic)  and that can keep us small, limited and scared. This represents that life can be much more rich and fulfilling by honoring your-self, following your goals and taking risks!  Everyone has their own story to write ... is your star shining? If not its time to turn on the light!!

I just wasn't feeling that blue bird any more, so he got covered

Remember to take time to evaluate your situation, whats working? What isn't? Keep what you like and adjust what may be holding you back. 

Those E.T. feet weren't working, and I needed a tree. I loved
the colors above the head and wanted to keep those.
I really struggled with the head of this owl , but ultimately I like
how it turned out.  For the belly illumination I created my own 
stencil ... I was so thrilled that it worked out :)

If you like what I've created and want to learn how you can tap into YOUR creative-self, then head to Juliette's blog and take one of her workshops. While you're there admire her Fabulous art ... she is truly inspiring :)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A new character... Mr. Fox

Ever since I saw the movie "Fantastic Mr.Fox" I've been loving foxes.. They are just so cute! I liked them as a kid too, but lately I keep running across these sly little fellows.

I looked up what it means when Fox comes across your path (not literally). And this is some of what I found:

  • Fox’s message and medicine is to playfully pursue your goals and objectives.
  • To get what you want out of life use humor and laughter  
  • There was also something mentioned about a "sniff" test, but I don't think that will be necessary lol!
Sounds like Fox knows I have some goals to achieve and is going to sneak along for the journey.
There was also something mentioned about a "sniff" test, but I don't think that will be necessary lol!

So today I begin doodling these little fox fellows and while they need some serious need of Fine tuning I think I will be able to create a lot of expressions as I refine them.  

Did you know that a Group of Fox are known as: a leash, skulk or earth?  An earth of fox seems like too many in my opinion ;)

Based on my other posts you know that OWLS are on my radar too ... but I'll have to save that for another post ;)

  • What Animals are crossing your path these days? What does it mean?   

Collections that Inspire the Whole Year Through

I don't collect too many things, well I guess that could be up for debate ... but for the sake of this post we'll say my collections are limited :)

Ever since I was in Kindergarten I have been in love with Nut Crackers. I saw "The Nut Cracker suite" in music class and I was hooked. I wanted to be Clara and ward off the Rat King with my slipper and listen to amazing music with a Prince by my side ... but ultimately it was the crazy uncle and the gift of a Nut Cracker that intrigued me.
Taken in 2009, and yes I also collect Victorian Santa's 
some of them are in the mix too. :) 

What a FUN present, something out of the ordinary and completely sweet. What girl wouldn't want a soldier to protect her?

It really wasn't until I was in High School that the collection started. Mostly I got them as gifts, I can only think of 1 that I have purchased and that was just a couple of years ago. 

They really come in all sorts and I have more then I can count! But the more Unique the better :)

He doth make me smile  :)

The real infatuation is hard to pin-point. Perhaps its because of my German heritage. My maiden name is Schraufnagel, and our ancestry is dated back pretty far ... Nepomuck Schraufnagel was the first of my ancestors to come to the United States with his wife (most of us Schraufnagel's are in WI/MN and yes we are ALL related). I wonder if Nepomuck would approve of such a collection?

A couple of these Gentlemen stay out all year and from them I gain a lot of  Inspiration! They always make me smile and I find myself humming music from the ballet all year round ... (did I mention that I collect different renditions of the Nut Cracker music too??  No? Well let's keep that a secret.)

My favorite Nut Cracker ... the ONE I have 
purchased  and I think the only authentic GERMAN made Nut Cracker.

Others make there appearance once a year during the entire month of December. They are loved just as much, but seem most content during the Christmas season. :) 

Some might say these Nut Crackers represent the things I like most in life, writing like Shakespeare or painting like Pierre.

Ultimately I think they carry that feel of whimsy and childhood wonder. When I look at these characters they take me back in time when houses were filled with family and traditions were held onto tightly.

If looking at this picture is puzzling after looking at the 
first picture, be not confused. This was taken today
the other picture was taken in 2009 before the wall color changed :)

My Christmas is different every year, and honestly that un-certainty is least welcome during the holiday season. My husband and I are both only children with parents who are not prominent in our lives. My extended family is heavily  relied on, but until we have children we kind of wander about trying to find where we belong.  Its not to say we aren't blessed and thankful, but our traditions are not set ... children and a piano are in my future. Why?  I've always wanted to sing Christmas Carols on Christmas with my family!  :)  

Ornament from my childhood

I guess you could say one tradition is decorating our house to the max with amazing memorabilia! The ornament above is something I remember from my very early childhood. I always remembered this hanging on my grandparents Christmas tree when I lived with them ... it was and still is my favorite ornament! When you pull the string his arms and legs fly out! When I was 17 my grandparents gave this to me and so I hang it on my tree now :)
Purchased this last year for about 4.00 , oh how I love this little gem 
my whimsical Christmas fairy!

I hope inspiration is buzzing about you this holiday season!! HUGS!! 

What collections do you have?

What gives you inspiration during the holiday season (the rest of the year?) and what traditions do you love?

What traditions do you want to have?