Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crazy for color

My latest painting finished on Monday. As you can tell, I love to paint flowers and fruits, and I am totally crazy for color. I am working very hard on keeping my colors dynamic and not getting dulled or muddy by too much mixing or layering. I am now taking a second class on Thurday afternoons (just $5 a class so I can afford it). I am getting low on paper so I just ordered a bunch and will be trying out some new types that I have not purchased before. It was hard for me to click the "submit order" button when I looked at the total amount but I realize that I need paper to paint on and it was an excellent sale. I decided to start selling books again to make some money for art supplies so I will be working hard at that in the evenings.
I had ordered 3 12 x 12 brown corduroy binders from Crop Chocolate last week and they came yesterday. I have so many unbound layouts in piles so I knew that I needed to get some binders. Crop Chocolate sells Making Memories stuff quite cheap and I love the d-ring binders so this was a very good thing. I totally filled one binder this afternoon and will work for a while tomorrow and Friday to finish filing all of the layouts.
I had planned (LOL) not to spend any extra money this month but I purchased the binders and the paper so I need to be extra frugal next month.
My DH starts his immunology treatments at the VA hospital on Friday and will have them for 6 weeks. He was diagnosed last spring with bladder cancer, had surgery to remove 3 tumors, and had the immunology treatments last summer (basically he is injected with the TB virus and it fights the cancer) to prevent new growths. Unfortunately they grew back and he had surgery on April 15 and will now start the treatments again. He is very matter of fact about the whole thing but I have to admit I get pretty stressed out - I think that's why I am scrapping and painting so much - it really takes my mind off the problem.
Have a good week - I plan on joining the National Scrapbooking Day activities on SIS and maybe check out 2peas also.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some new paintings

This week has been a busy one - Monday was watercolor class, Tuesday the book store and watching Burn after Reading in the evening, Wednesday girls' day out with 3 friends (2 of whom were just passing through town on their way up north), Thursday shopping (I bought one blouse) and lunching with DH (sort of like a date), Friday to the library to pick up Twilight, finishing ATCs for year of color blog, and painting all evening, Saturday pick up SHARE order, create "free shopping" layout for SIStv, paint all afternoon, and go to potluck dinner with friends, and today do laundry, watch Twilight, and catch up on blogging. This afternoon I will go to the library to pick up an instructional watercolor dvd, watch the Sprint race on tv, and hopefully begin quilting on another of my quilt tops that were pieced while we lived on the sailboat but never quilted. Dinner will be a typical summery type of meal - chicken legs, potato salad, and cole slaw.
Oh yeah, I forgot that I took a few photos, posted some to flickr for the year of color polka dot scavenger hunt, and one to Tie one on, Amy Karol's blog about aprons. I keep telling myself that I am not going to enter contests or drawings but I keep doing it. I find so much inspiration out there on blogs and I just want to participate. One of my goals for May is to submit some layouts and projects to magazines.
In the two paintings above, I was working on different kinds of backgrounds. I tried creating deep darks in the iris painting. In the lemon painting, I used only a very few colors: I first did a wash of yellow all over the paper except where the edges of the bowl would be, then I painted the lemons with 2 different yellows and some green and burnt sienna. The leaves are combos of sap green, yellows, and a little ultramarine blue. The cast shadows are done in yellow ochre.
Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New quilted wallhanging

Photos of the tessellation wallhanging I finished on Sunday. The top photo is somewhat too light as you can't really see the many of the medium and dark values down toward the bottom. I actually got most of it quilted while I was in the waiting room at the West Palm VA hospital last week. My DH had a small surgery but it took quite a while so I passed the time quilting, answering questions from other people in the waiting room, and showing off my quilt.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Inspired by ..........

I received a free sample of the new Starbucks instant coffee in the mail and just had to create something with the packaging. I found this painted wood wall hanging for 50 cents at the thriftstore and the whole thing just made itself. the journaling reads - in case of caffeine emergency break seal
I did this layout last night for the free shoppin thread on SIStv. My items were lime green and pink paint. lace, and something vintage. I made the straw flower on the bloom loom that I just got - it's made of actual vintage raffia straw that I found at the Goodwill thrift store. I bought every skein that they had.
This layout is for Inspired by Amelie and is about simple pleasures that we love and that make life worth living. Here too I made a straw flower (better get used to seeing them). The vintage milk cap is the one I won from Julie (bmwgirl on SIS) and the valentine I won from another RAK. The ting bottle cap is from Trinidad and the photo is of the key lime tree in our yard (I have used a larger version of this photo as a model to paint and showed it in an earlier posting).
Today it is beautiful here and I am going out on the lanai to read - not only am I reading a great murder mystery (the various haunts of man by Susan Hill) but I also received a copy of the new Stampington magazine Marie (purchased on ebay) and I can hardly wait to read it.
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In my watercolor class on Monday, several people in the class wanted to paint their pets so we had a lesson on painting animals. I painted one of Hana and although I had a lot of fun painting it, I looked at it yesterday and was ready to rip it to shreds. Then I got depressed - oh yes, isn't that always the way? I have started painting in the past only to abandon it when things didn't turn out the way I though they should. Last night I was pretty down but this morning I reminded myself that it is only paint and paper so I began to practice painting fruit, especially pears. I had seen a beautiful painting in Splash 5 (which I got from the library) of fruit so I examined it closely and used the basic layout. My first attempt was a total disaster so it got chopped up for collaging or scrapping. Below is my second attempt. I am truly trying to follow Julia Cameron's philosopy in the Artist's Way and not let my inner critical voice rule me this time.
The next painting is the one I did of the key lime tree in our yard. Right now I am enjoying painting still lifes of flowers, fruits, etc. I am not ready yet to do animals. Next week in my watercolor class we are going to try Chinese painting techniques with ink and watercolor. I may practice some flowers this week to take and do in the Chinese style.
I am trying to find a flower loom in the thrift stores (I checked ebay and since Cathy of California demonstrated straw flowers on Martha, the price on vintage Ronco flower looms has gone up. I had actually gotten interested in the flowers before I knew about the Martha show (I don't watch it but over the weekend I watched the flower segment on the Martha website) but I guess I will just have to keep looking or wait till the popularity dies down. I did find some vintage raffia so once I find a loom, I'm ready.
I baked bread this morning using half the recipe to make cinnamon rolls. Yum!!! I read on Soulemama that the best way to store bread is in a cloth bag, and that vintage linen dish towels work perfectly so I looked through my linen closet and found the perfect towel. Now to sew it into a bag and add a drawstring.
Have a great week!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The winner is #8

Thanks for the lovely comments on my RAK posting. TA DA the random number generator says the winner is number 8 and that is
Katie said...
Visiting via A Year of Color. And what a wonderful, inspiring visit it has been! Thanks for the opportunity to enter your drawing. One of these days, I'll win something -- and if I'm super lucky, it will be those lovely fabrics.Thanks!
April 4, 2009 11:25 AM
Please email me at with your address and I will send you your fabric. Since I am still destashing, I will have another RAK probably next weekend - this time it will be vintage and/or scrapping stuff.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The weekend!!!!!

Happy Sunday! I did this on Friday for the Free Shopping challenge on SIS - the photo is of the tunnel to Paradise Island in the Bahamas
Then yesterday I did another SIS challenge - for both Free Shopping and Lift the Layout - the photos are of azaleas in our yard. When we lived in Jacksonville, we had 20 azalea bushes, many different varieties. Here we have only 2 varieties. I made the big flowers from some old K&Co Amy Butler paper. I am still in my NOT BUYING IT mode so everything in these layouts is fairly old.
I did this layout yesterday for the SATU challenge - Secrets. I have a folder of old old photos, some of whom I know who they are because they have names written on them but others? who knows? I think that's pretty sad. Actually my son really doesn't care much about our ancestors so after me, I don't know what will become of these.
Our bedroom in the morning. The quilt was made by my great aunt in the 50s from my great great grandmother's dresses after she died. I made the kimono quilt about 18 years ago. The sewing basket on the left of the bed is where my cat sleeps at night during warm weather. In the winter she sleeps in the basket under the chair to the right in the photo below.
When I was recounting my week in the last blog (be sure to go there and leave me a comment for the RAK for the Japanese fat quarters - ) I forgot to mention the pillows I made for our sofa. I had purchased some pillow forms last fall at Joannes on sale and I used fabric from some old silk Hawaiian print style shirts that I used to wear. The pillows were so easy because I just cut out squares from the shirts, making sure the buttons were buttoned and straight. I placed front and back right sides together and stitched around all 4 sides. Then I unbuttoned the pillowcover, inserted the form, and buttoned them back closed. So so easy and quick!
I finished my key lime painting yesterday afternoon and will post it this week sometime. Have a great Sunday!

Friday, April 3, 2009

RAK and the past week

I just realized that I have not blogged all week so while I sit here enjoying a glass of wine, I will recap through photos my week. Above is a watercolor that I am currently working on - I took the photo of the key lime tree in our yard last year and I love the colors green and yellow right now so I thought it would be a perfect little practice piece.
A view of my easel and my furry painting companion. This coming week in my watercolor and more class, we are going to paint animals so I have been sketching and photographing Hana in preparation for the class. I need to do some value studies and a final sketch for the painting.
This is the painting I did in class last week. It started as a free form watercolor, then I took real leaves and painted them with gesso, and used them as stamps on the watercolor. After they dried, I painted them and then did some negative painting to accent them.
I finally have my yellow and green sunflower wallhanging all pieced and layered with batting and backing. I have just begun to quilt it in the center.
I have also been reorganizing my studio and ridding out (destashing). I put my fabrics in 3 piles: those I loved, those that I wondered why I ever purchased them, and undecideds. I decided to RAK these Japanese fabrics - they are primarily fat quarters, I think one is a half yard so altogether this is approximately 1 3/4 yds of Japanese fabrics. Just leave a comment on this blog and I will randomly pick one on Monday 4/6.
I'm off to SIStv to advertise my RAK and to do a little "free shopping". I have already completed one free shopping layout and I find the list of items always stirs my creative juices.