On my Desk: Watercolor Design Progress and Good Reads

On my Desk: Watercolor Design Progress and Good Reads

On my Desk: Watercolor Florals

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I have finished the watercolor and ink floral designs I was working on (read previous post here). I was a little nervous adding ink after finishing the watercolor painting, but I really think the ink adds a unique look to the designs and gives them the little bit of whimsy that I was going for. I had the images scanned this past weekend and will begin to format them for card printing. I am really excited to see these designs made into a card collection! I am still brainstorming some different words/phrases that may be good to put on the cards, so share any ideas you may have!:)floral design7
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floral design8

………

On another note, because I always enjoy seeing what other people are reading, I thought I would share a few books that are currently in my reading pile.

I cannot wait to begin reading this book… starting today!:)

etsy book

This book has also been a recent favorite… been taking time to practice this week.

portrait practiceI hope you are having a wonderful week!

On My Desk: Mixed Media Painting

On My Desk: Mixed Media Painting

On my desk this week:  mixed media painting

wip

I often create backgrounds for paintings without having a specific idea as to what the painting will be. Sometimes I will spend studio time just creating a bunch of backgrounds and then will put them aside for when I have an idea for a specific painting.

This is one of those backgrounds that I created a long time ago and had put it aside until recently when I had an idea for a painting.
wip1

This painting has a specific purpose. I am creating this piece for the annual LOL Gala. This is my third year creating artwork for the gala. You can see previous work here, here, and here.

Let them LOL is a non-profit organization seeking to “empower those who are experiencing unjust suffering by providing them with basic resources; a community here with a community there.”

 Thier hearts are for the people of Sierra Leone, Africa. Their mission is to spread hope. They work to bring clean water to the people there, have built a children’s home for orphaned and impoverished children. With the recent Ebola outbreak, they are working to provide help through “Digging Deeper” (read more here)

It can be difficult sometimes to grasp what is happening in other parts of the world and to know what we can do to respond, but we can have a part in helping, in using what resources we may have, whether that may be time, money, experience, etc. to contribute to those suffering in other parts of the world. I am thankful for organizations like Let them LOL who are fighting to bring hope to the suffering. You can read more about their story and organization here.

I want this painting to speak hope… that even in the dark, light is bursting forth.

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I am excited to see this painting develop and I will share more step by step photos with you in another post.

I hope you have a wonderful day!:)

On My Desk: Watercolor Florals

On My Desk: Watercolor Florals

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On my desk this week: watercolor floral designs

I have been working on sketching six different floral designs that I hope to use for printing a card collection. I have a few more sketches to create, but began painting a few that I have already sketched with watercolors.

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I really love the look of watercolor and ink together, especially for cards. I think the ink adds a crisp touch and compliments any writing that may be on the front of the card.

floral design

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I want the floral designs to have a little bit of whimsy to them, which I have tried to incorporate in the initial sketch, but also think adding the ink will help achieve that look.

floral design2

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I am excited to see how these turn out and to make them into cards. I plan to add words to some of the cards for a variety of uses.

What are some phrases or words you look for when you are buying cards to send?

Making House a Home: Rocking Chair

Making House a Home: Rocking Chair

We are slowly getting settled into what still feels like our new home, even though we have been here now for about 3 months. We quickly realized that we have a lot of vision for this house and that we need to pace ourselves and allow it to be a work in progress. Jesse and I both enjoy house projects and it’s something we can often do together, but we both have the tendency to want to get everything done now… and unless we want to drive ourselves crazy and be working all the time, we need to choose to take it all in stride. Not always so easy, but totally necessary and for us, its been a good lesson in patience and contentment.

Our friend recently moved and gave us an old rocking chair that she didn’t want anymore and one that needed a new cushion. We really liked the rocker and how unique its shape and size was, so we were up for trying to reupholster it. We currently don’t have furniture for what will be our living room, so we were excited to start small and begin adding some pieces to the room.

With most projects like this, it took a bit more time than we had thought, but we are really happy with how the chair turned out and the time was totally worth it!

We purchased some fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric, upholstery tacks, a little trim piece for the front, foam for the cushion, and some batting.

It was our first time reupholstering a cushion with springs (we have only done kitchen chairs before). The seat springs were already tied, but some had broke since the chair is so old. So we tied up the springs to keep them from poking through when you sit down. We added an extra layer of fabric to contain the springs, and then placed the foam piece and batting over top. Then it was staple gun time! We staple gunned the fabric, rotating to each side every few staples to keep the pulling of the fabric even. Then when the stapling was done, we trimmed the excess fabric and added the trim piece to the front of the cushion with a glue gun. Once that was secure, we hammered the upholstery tacks into the front. And that’s it! We had a newly reupholstered rocking chair!

here are a few photos of the cushion before:

as you can see from the edge of this cushion, it appears that the fabric was once green and has since faded to the yellow color you see on most of the cushion.rocking chair before rocking chair before1

A few after photos:

rocking chair after rocking chair close up rocking chair close up1I hope to continue sharing more projects we have worked on in our home. I like to call it making house a home, because our vision and projects come down to wanting our space to feel welcoming, to feel like home, to be comfy and a place to share with others!:)

So I hope you enjoy coming along our journey of making our house a home!:)

 

 

Kale & Apple Salad

Kale & Apple Salad

 

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Kale is one of my favorite greens. I love the hearty texture, unique flavor, and that it can be used for a variety of dishes (salads, quinoa dishes, soups, pasta, to name a few). We have been harvesting kale from garden and making many salads. I wanted to share with you a salad that we have enjoyed a lot and one that is good for adding variety to depending on what you have on hand or what you might be in the mood for. This is real simple and quick to put together too!

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Start with a bunch of kale, chopped (I filled a large serving bowl about 3/4 of the way)
Mix kale with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (just until lightly coated). Set aside.
 
To make the dressing:
 
In a food processor mix together the following:
 
4 heaping spoonfuls plain greek yogurt
 
2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
 
1-2 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup
 
1/2-1 small onion, chopped
 
*This is generally the measurements I used, but create to your own taste!
 
 
Add dressing to kale and mix well. 
 
chop up 1-3 apples in small chunks and mix into salad (we used apples from our backyard, so I am not sure what kind they are, but use whatever kind of apples you enjoy!)
 
 
To make sunflower seeds:
 
Heat skillet over medium high heat
 
Add about 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
 
add a few shakes of salt (more if you like more salty and less if you like more sweet)
 
drizzle maple syrup or honey lightly over the seeds just until lightly coated
 
stir frequently until seeds have a golden brown color
 
 
Let the seeds cool and mix them into the kale mixture.
 
This salad is better if it has a little bit of time to sit in the refrigerator, but it’s not necessary.

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So simple, right? And it is tasty, I promise.:)

This salad is good as is, but you could also add some other delicious toppings such as dried cranberries, raisins, cucumber, garbanzo beans, goat cheese and beets just to name a few.

kale salad

I hope you enjoy trying this out!:)

 

In the Shop: New Original

In the Shop: New Original

I am excited to share with you that my newest original is now available for purchase in my Etsy Shop. This mixed media painting has underwent quite the transformation which you can see here from a previous post. It’s amazing to look back and see the process this painting went through and how it has developed and is now complete!

I hope you enjoy taking a look.

She Found Freedom to Dance

This piece was created on a stretched canvas

The painting measures 12×16 with sides 1 1/2″ deep

The mediums used for this piece include vintage papers, modeling paste, acrylic paint, charcoals, marks all pencils.

Dancer 2 scan

rain girl collage

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 To see more details about this piece, stop by my Etsy Shop!

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Have a wonderful day!

A New September

A New September

Hello to September! I can’t believe you are here already! And already 10 days in.:)

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crisp air, changing leaves, season for sweaters and boots, beginnings, anticipation, warm drinks wrapped in a cozy blanket, time for reading…

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In a lot of ways, September can feel more like a fresh beginning to me than January. I am not totally sure why that is, but I love the anticipation of the weather changing, leaves showing off their beautiful color, and reflecting on change. For our little family, this summer has been full of change as we have moved from an apartment to our first home and are now anticipating the coming of our baby girl in early November. It’s hard not to constantly be thinking about it, trying to do everything we can to prepare, worry about what needs to get done, but this month I want to take time to enjoy what September holds.

reflection

There are so many little moments that I have missed out on lately because I have been consumed with the future and what our lives will look like once we have a little baby and what we need to do to prepare. Reality is, we cannot fully be prepared for the journey ahead as parents and it is going to be amazing and challenging all at once. September is a good reminder of the beauty that can come from change, from the process of life if we take time to soak in the moments.

September, I want to embrace the little moments you hold, choose joy and contentment over worry and fear, breathe in the change that comes with a new season, live intentionally and be present.

Happy September!:)

Starting with a sketch

Starting with a sketch

A little glimpse for you today from a painting I have been working on this week.

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a lot of background work so far: vintage wallpaper, old book binding material, acrylic paint, stamps, bubble wrap are a few materials that make up the background for this piece.

When I have a specific idea, I like to sketch it out first. I am excited to see the beginning pencil sketch develop.

DSC_0701This painting is on my “to work on this week” list, so I will keep you posted on the progress.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and enjoying the beautiful sunshine!:)

Recent Commission :: Bridesmaid Cuffs

Recent Commission :: Bridesmaid Cuffs

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It’s always fun to have a message in my inbox about possible commission work. I really enjoy hearing what ideas people may have for a specific painting or cuff.  I don’t often share commission work mostly because I am usually to excited to get the commission in the hands of the customer that I forget to snap a photo of it before sending it off. This is something I want to be better at and so here’s to starting today!:)

I was recently asked to make four cuffs from an original cuff I created as part of my lace collection for bridesmaid gifts. Weddings are so full of special memories, and I am honored that these cuffs will be gifted to people who are very special to the bride.

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Each cuff is hand dyed, made with pieces of antique lace (my favorite part of the cuff), and completed with pearls sewn on the middle of each lace flower

bridal party lace cuffs4Stop by my Etsy Shop to see more cuffs!

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Work In Progress

Work In Progress

Good Morning!:)

Although we are still in the process of getting my art studio setup in our new house, I have had some time to pull out some paints and create since our move.

vintage bicycle mixed media

I absolutely love old architecture and vintage pieces. We have purchased a few old ceiling tiles for decor around our home, and often take opportunities to stop by antique stores to see what we can find. What I enjoy most about old architecture and vintage pieces is the story they tell. It’s fun to imagine all the possibilities of where pieces come from, how they were used, who enjoyed them.

For this painting, I wanted  to create a vintage feel, incorporating architecture and a vintage bicycle. It is still very much in process, but I am excited about doing something a little different and am excited about the story that will unfold as I continue creating!

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Have a wonderful day!