Monday, March 3, 2014

Art All Around Us

Hello! We've had rain. Drats, I should have taken pictures of the water rushing over the edges of the gutters and my backyard puddling so my feet got wet when I walked the dogs out there (had to go out with them because they DID NOT want to walk in the big puddle). Ah well, no pics but just think of a good, hard rain coming and going for a few days and you'll have the picture. It was badly needed and doesn't put but a dent in the drought we are in but it was a good start!

I do have some pics for you though. This first one was for fun. I'd bought the pears with the intention of drawing them prior to eating them but they were getting eaten first so I finally drew the last one before it was gone.

These next two pictures are from my granddaughter's birthday. She loves animals so horseback riding was a great choice for her. Would you believe it costs $50 an hour per person? That sounds like so much to me but I am getting a bit older and out of touch with things like that. I remember when Disneyland cost $8 for a whole day! At any rate, she enjoyed the ride which I didn't go on.

  Instead, I drew one of the horses waiting at the fence. I drew it with a Tombow pen and then added watercolor. Tombows bleed when they get wet so it can hurt or help a picture. (They are really good when you want to work with just one color but want a bit of shading). The other pic is small photos of her day with the background made of the gift wrap taken from her gifts after they'd been opened.


These next two pics are from an article someone shared with me on Facebook by David Rankin ( http://davidrankinwatercolor.macmate.me/David_Rankin_Watercolor_Site/Faces_files/Sketching%20Faces%20Faster.pdf ). I tried his generic eye and then went on to a face in my Vegetarian Times magazine which my son gave me a subscription to (thanks James) and from that to my great nephew's face on Facebook because he looked so happy to be spending a day with his dad at the Army base starting with breakfast in the chow hall. I need a lot more practice both with getting his method down and with skill but I was actually pretty happy with these quick drawings. Since I made the lady's face too wide I overcompensated and made my nephew's face too thin and I need to keep to the pencil rather than a ballpoint pen for starters.





My granddaughters don't think they have the art gene but as you can see in this next picture, they do! I wanted my nails done and told them they could do anything they wanted. They know I like color so this is what they came up with. I was happy with it and it lasted for just over a week (it's time to get the remover out for sure now - gardening and doing dishes is not conducive to keeping manicures nice)

 

And lastly, I made some potato bread a couple of days ago. I save leftover potatoes in the freezer just for this as it makes a more moist and longer lasting bread and this is also why I never put pepper in my potatoes! I've eaten 2/3 of one loaf already and the other is sitting in the freezer to keep it fresh till my husband feels like eating some. Can you believe he doesn't feel the urge to gobble it up when I bake it? I mean, how can anyone resist fresh bread?

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Well, that wasn't the last thing afterall. Here is the ballerina picture I bought from Jennifer Edwards all framed. It was hard to get a good picture due to the mirror-like frame but I was very happy with how it turned out! 





Do I have one more thing? Oh yes, I do!


 I added new knobs from World Market to my kitchen cabinets! There are two of each kind except for one (due to an odd number of cabinets) so it looks pretty much like all different ones but if I ever find cobalt blue or bright red ones I may change a couple out. I like this so much better than all the same since the kitchen doesn't have a lot of it's own color but they don't stand out and shout "Look at me" either.


 

That's it. Really. Hope you have a great week.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Catching Up - Again!



First off, this is a busy time of year for my family. Yep, we just finished Christmas but January has two birthdays, February has two and March has one. Then it's on to Easter but that is still down the road. So the first thing was my granddaughter's 17th birthday. Since I am now in California I was determined to make it. She chose to drive down to her Uncle's in Oceanside so she could go to the beaches there. We started off with singing Happy Birthday, giving her her presents and having a cupcake before heading out to Oceanside Beach. We stayed for a few hours and then it was off to lunch at a local fast food place that dips their chicken and onion rings in fresh batter before frying! They have fresh French fries and make up the salads when you order one. She wanted their milkshake and French fries. After that it was a short ways down the coast to Carlsbad Beach where we stayed till the sun set. Then it felt chilly so we were ready to leave! The kids didn't really swim but they played ball out in the water for a couple of hours. The day ended with dinner at Olive Garden and a drive up to Simi Valley back to their house.

The pictures show the happy birthday part before the beach, having fun at the beach (my son was giving my daughter lessons in beach volleyball) and there had to be at least one ritual "bury her in the sand" job!  The fire hydrant was at Carlsbad beach and I just had to have a photo (if you like sketching these things feel free to do so) and the last pic are the sand and sea cupcakes along with part of the Happy Birthday sign everyone gets on their birthday at my daughter's (along with whatever they want to eat all day which was pie dough for Victoria last year for breakfast and a Chipotle burrito for breakfast this year).  She likes to make sure it is THEIR day and she is happy they are here!



 
While we waited the few days till the next birthday we went shopping where I saw this fountain with the girl and her kite and I thought of my online friend Jennifer Edwards and her new book Genevieve and the Kite.  Do you see the kite way up towards the top of the building?
 
I also had to pick out a frame with my daughter's help for the picture of a ballerina I bought from Jennifer for my granddaughter's birthday present.  Tena thought the mirror like frame would be like looking in the mirror as the dancers do when they practice.  (My granddaughter dances ballet and helps out with the younger children).  Her favorite color is purple.  How perfect is that?
 
Then I felt drawing withdrawals so I did a quick sketch page of the fountain in my daughter's backyard.  This fountain has weeds around it now but they plant veggies around it in the summertime.
 
My youngest granddaughter (who is almost 13 but that's next month) made me this frog cling for my window since I love frogs and she wanted to make something.  The pattern was in a book but she chose the colors. 
 




 
So now granddaughter number two had her birthday.  We had bacon for breakfast. We would have had eggs too but it was getting late and we were going to Yolanda's Mexican restaurant for lunch.  She is the socialite of the family so butterfly cupcakes were made for her dance class.  They were done just in time!  When she got home from dance we had present opening time and cake from the Olive Garden which is her favorite.  The picture I was giving her wasn't done being framed so she got a picture of it tucked in a card.  The picture here shows her with the gift from Victoria - a framed photo she took during her photography class of Little Bit's dog.  You can see it was a hit!
 
The next day we baked lots of cake for a sleepover party.  It was all done in bright colors with a piƱata shaped like a cupcake.  All in all it was a successful first round of birthdays!
 








 
 
Lastly, this is what I've been up to craftwise.  I am making some socks for myself.  It's a lacy pattern but a simple one.  It breaks up the variegated yarn pattern nicely. 
 
 I am also knitting a simple lap blanket for a sister of mine who is going through a rough patch emotionally.  I've already made a mistake and it shows.  I couldn't figure out how to undo it so I guess there will be a few crocheted flowers strewn on this when I am done knitting it. 
 
Then, I have joined in on some new journaling classes.  One looks like it has a plan to really cover a lot of ground in a few steps each day.  The course suggests using a weekly calendar but I am using a composition book.  I think once I get the hang of it, it will be a good tool.  There are places to put a theme for the month, colors and artwork for it along with small bits for each day.  We'll see how I do long term, lol.  The second class just looked like fun and I have already learned a good way to map out what I draw.  But then I goofed and any good artist will see it but I don't think it wrecked my page even though the rule was broken.  For those who don't see it, the general rule is to NOT divide the page in half and with my paint brush, you can see that is just what I did.  It was wonky on the palette so I didn't notice how it landed on my page.  I will be watching for that in future.  As they say, we learn far more from our mistakes....
 
The classes are:  1. No Excuses Art Journaling (which is a book you can buy and also a class you can take online)
2.  Draw Your Awesome Life given by Joanne Sharpe
 
My palette I call the Laure Ferlita palette as she uses it and suggests it and these paints for her classes at Imaginarytrips.com. 
 
Jennifer Edwards has not only Genevieve and the Kite book published but a poetry book called Words on a Line, and Letters to an Artist.  Check them out at Amazon or on her website Jennifer Edwards.
 
Hope you all made it this far.  Have a great day and go create something!
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Year!!
I've been busy. This is some of what I've been doing. I went to my granddaughter's Nutcracker Ballet. This year was the best production of the 3 years I've gone. It was worth the $20 I paid for a ticket. Little Bit looked and danced wonderfully as usual.

  I went over to my son's to help him decorate his tree (Oceanside - one hour away) before heading down to a retirement party for my nephew who is retiring from the Santee Fire Department after 30 years (one hour from my son's house). We had a nice time as I got to see people I haven't seen in a while and now that I am in California I get to make these events even if I do have to drive an hour or two! It's much better than a 6 hour drive! I also drove halfway between Hemet and Oceanside to have lunch with one of my sisters and to give her some fruitcakes and fruitcake cookies I'd made as she is the only one who likes them besides me.

I baked! These gingerbread men are vegan and so I took them to the retirement party (my nephew is so allergic to milk products he's almost died several times from touching something with milk on it)! I've also made brown sugar fudge which I took over the making of when my mother-in-law died. (It didn't turn out the first few times so I prayed about it telling God I was only trying to keep my mother-in-law's tradition for her son going and you know, it's never failed since in 30 years)! I made divinity for me, fattigman (Norwegian for Poor Man's Food - a cookie), Chex snack mix, fruitcake and fruitcake cookies and a bar cookie I veganized for my son. He says it's the only sweet he really cares about and has been after me to veganize it for a few years. We'll see how I did tonight!

  I have played a bit with pens making an impromptu Christmas sketch and working on a colored pencil drawing in my other sketchbook where I have six colored pencils I use, one each of red, yellow and blue in a warm tone and a cool tone. I was happy to see I could make a decent black with them!

I managed to get the two pairs of slipper socks knit for my son, a yearly tradition! 

And lastly, I made a Christmas card from a journal page I have shared already.  I needed one fast and realized this journal page would work if I cropped out my personal writing and bordered it adding a Merry Christmas.  What I forgot to do was ask permission from using Jennifer's poem on a journal page (which she was fine with) to using it on a card!  I will have to apologize for that mistake. 

So what have you been up to?  I'm sure everyone has their "too busy at Christmas" tales to tell! 

Merry Christmas again and see you next year!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Tree and A Poem

Hope you are all getting ready for Christmas but taking some time out for yourself. I was reminded to take a 20 minute breather today and it was lovely. Something I really needed. I was reminded by Jennifer Edwards who wrote the poem I put on my journal page.

 I tried drawing a One Line Tree but actually lifted my pen a few times. I had fun though and liked what I ended up with. Try it for yourself. Jennifer's One Line Tree is here. I'm sure you'll have fun coming up with your own version plus you'll feel much more in the holiday spirit afterwards too!

My tree (the real one which is actually an artificial one...hmmm, well it's as real as mine will be), is covered in handmade or gifted ornaments. The first year I was married I had only a very limited amount of money to buy ornaments so I bought a few kits and made many and then bought just a few glass ornaments. Over the years I made many ornaments sending them to my sisters who sent back some ornaments they'd either made or bought where they were stationed by the army at the time. My kids made some and even my grandkids have added to my tree. The Santa face you see on my drawn tree came from my nephew, now 45 years old!

I have been quite busy working on gifts and baking and visiting so had put "just having fun drawing" time on the back burner until this morning. Aaaah, I feel so good now. I think I'll go have a gingerbread man for breakfast!

Oh, the poem! Well, that's at Jennifer's blog at the second link I gave up above. It's also on my page so if you can enlarge the picture you can read it there too. Enjoy today and the whole season!