Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge-December

The best way to spend the last day of the year? CREATING ART! I'm excited to be submitting a mixed media piece for this month's theme at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. This month's theme is "Believe."

I choose to create a mixed media angel using NeoColor II watercolors, acrylic paints, stamps, papers, gel glass beads, gel pens and Posca Pens. The glass beads give an interesting texture on her shirt. It looks a lot different in person vs. in the photograph. In person, it's more of a shimmer, glassy look vs. little beads. The product is Liquitex Glass Beads. In addition to the added texture, the coating also gives a nice glazed appearance to where it was applied. Also difficult to see is the silver on her wings. A silver gel pen was used to outline the designs on her wings, as well as some shimmery paint. Stamping the word, "believe," on tissue paper and adding the verse from Psalm 28:7 completes the project.

I'm mostly happy with how she turned out...although her chin is a tad lopsided.

Playing with filters. I kinda like her in B&W too.

I've enjoyed being part of the MMC for 2017 and look forward to continuing (hopefully with more participation) in 2018. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Keep creating!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Holiday Hustle 5K and OC Campus

I haven't posted about any running events lately, so I decided to do a short write up on a 5K we recently ran near our home, The Holiday Hustle. The event is sponsored by Oklahoma Christian University and it an amazing event each year. The race is run on a trail that loops around the campus, one that we run on almost every day! We love the course and enjoy the festive activities post run which include live Christmas music, holiday costumes and a pancake breakfast.

The weather for the run was near perfect, it was in the upper 50's with a light breeze and fairly humid. This season the weather has been very mild around here and I was actually racing in shorts and a tank top!

A friend and I have been training after school, running speed work and working on getting a bit faster. This was our first 5K together and it was a lot of fun! I wasn't very good with pictures, so we only have a couple from pre-run and post run. Even with a bit of editing, they are still darkish, but I am glad to have them!
Beth and I on the start line...ready, set, GO!

My goal was to beat my time a week earlier from the Turkey Trot 5K, which was 22:52. We took off a little too fast (for me), so by the time I got to the third mile I was really feeling tired! I slowed down quite a bit, but still managed to beat my time by ten seconds...22:42, which is less than a minute off my personal best from about five years ago. I was happy to place first in my age group and win a $20 gift certificate to OK Runner

We both placed in our age groups! The prizes were gift cards to a local running store! We
didn't get any pics of the boys, but they also ran well and placed in their age groups.  

Each year the event has the most fun tech shirts. I really love this one and decided to give you a close up view with my "shirt selfie!"

Shirt selfie...:P

Aside from the run, we spend a lot of time on campus. We run there multiple times a week and also take our little beagle, Dylan, walking there. The campus is BEAUTIFUL! One of my favorite spots is a section that has a mini waterfall and trees. It's so peaceful there. This space is called, Hartman Place. Besides the waterfall, there is an area with a dedicated space for writing tributes to lost loved ones in chalk below a stainless steel etching of 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Dylan goes on a cool evening walk around Hartman Place. I tried to capture the Christmas lights, but they are
so much prettier in person!

Hartman Place...write a tribute to a lost loved one. 
I also wanted to show off the area during the day, plus Dylan was really posing for this pic! 

Cutest beagle boy ever! xoxoxo
Love this little guy SO MUCH! He is close to thirteen, but still has a hop in his step and acts like a puppy sometimes. We lost our other beagle, Abbey, to cancer about six months ago. We have missed her every day since. I wrote a post about her, but have been so heartbroken that I never quite finished it or added pictures. It was just too hard. Our fur babies are truly part of our family.

Hope each of you have a blessed week! Hopefully, I will have some finished artwork to share very soon! (**Counting down the days till Christmas break!)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Progression of a Painting/Paint Party Friday

Hello everyone! It's finally starting to feel a bit like Autumn around here. The leaves are falling and the air has FINALLY, FINALLY cooled off a bit. We've had a week or so of some absolutely beautiful weather. Seasonally, this is my favorite time of year. I love working in the art space and looking out my window, seeing the leaves blowing in the wind and creating a carpet of fall colors on the ground. I only wish it latest longer than just a few weeks!

I've been working diligently on one piece trying to finish it for an art challenge. The challenge has come and gone, but I am still working on it! That's okay. I'm loving the direction it is taking and I can't wait to finish it and hang it in my home.

I had started this painting awhile ago and had originally just slapped some color here and there on a piece of wood. It's a flat panel that I layered with one coat of gesso. After watching a short video on painting on wood surfaces, I learned more about what I should have done (which included three coats of gesso with sanding between layers...oops)! LOL. That's okay, as creating is about learning along the way. This painting has some awesome wood texture that I'm glad I didn't completely sand away.

Playing with colors and layering. This is my first time painting on a wood surface. Love the texture of it!

The hills made me think of homes and with inspiration from other artists, like Jodi Ohl, I  began sketching houses on my first row. Each house was coated with a layer of gesso. After the gesso dried,  I painted each house and then added windows, doors, and various designs.

First row of houses...

While houses on the first row were drying, I added another row and followed the same steps. I worked between rows while things were drying or when I couldn't think of what else to add to the houses! The two photos below show the progression of the second row and the beginning of the third row of houses. 

Second and third row of houses...lots of changes along the way.

Some of the houses needed a few changes...the red one of the first row (left side), just looked weird to me. I totally changed the shaped, size and color of that house. There are a few other houses that changed a bit as I kept adding layers to the houses along with stenciling and texture.

The current version of the houses. 
I have had so much fun working on this project. It has been very time consuming, especially with adding so many details on a larger piece. I feel like it is getting close to done and can't wait to completely finish it. Several houses still need details and the background needs to be finished as well, but I am happy where it is right now. As my first piece on wood, it's been an adventure and I think I would definitely use this material again.

I'm adding the last two photos to show some of the fall beauty in my backyard. Right now the ground is covered with so many leaves the grass is barely visible! The mums are in full bloom and are gorgeous. favorite place! Wish it were fall year round here.  :)

Happy creating this week! Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to lately. I always appreciate and enjoy reading your comments. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What Happened to September?

I'm not sure what happened to the month of September, but it disappeared in the blink of an eye!  Lately, each weekend has been filled with activities, which has left little time to create in the art space. I started a project for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for September, but didn't quite finish it in time. The theme was vintage and I had an adorable postcard from 1911 that I used to make a small mixed media piece. It is nearly done, but lacks the finishing touches on the frame.

The dogs on this piece were on a plain white postcard. The date in the lower left hand corners says 1911! I have several old postcards that were given to me by my mom. I really didn't know if I wanted to cut this one apart, but in the end I did. I figured that we would all enjoy seeing it hanging somewhere vs. being in a drawer. There are also some vintage stamps in the background. 

A close up of the mixed media piece.

Like the project above, I am excellent at the "getting started" part. I have many "in progress" journal pages, works on canvas and on wood, and various cards. However, I am Queen of the Unfinished Projects, as it is rare that I actually complete one! (Doesn't that sound like some cute journal page?) Anyways, below are the projects that have been ongoing for quite some time. I have updated the Butterfly on canvas from the Works in Progress post from August. The giraffe (lower right corner) also got an update with some added flowers and spots on the giraffe. I will post a better view of it when completed. The poor elephant and large canvas are just waiting to have some TLC. 

How many WIP's is too many??? LOL.

Then, as if I didn't already have enough projects going (and there are many that aren't in that photo), what did I do? I started another one! (What was I thinking??!!) The project below was inspired by the color theme for Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for October.  Currently it is in the beginning stages with a layer of papers, the first layer of paint and some stenciling. I plan on using this board as my "practice" for trying out new materials/methods with acrylic paint.  My mantra this month: "I'm going to finish on time...I'm going to finish on time....I'm going to finish on time." :P

The start of my MMMC for October. 
And finally, I created two more altered journals. I actually like these better than the original one I posted In the MMMC for August. I just finished these earlier today. They are both gifts for the teenage girls that live across the street. 

While it looks like I've been creating like crazy, I've really just been storing up projects to be completed. ha! As I have a bit of time this afternoon, I'm making it my goal to try and finish projects instead of starting any new ones. 

I have more exciting things to share, but will save those for another post! This one is already long enough! 

Thanks for stopping by to check out my projects and have a blessed week. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge: August

It's that time again...a challenge for Mixed Media Monthly! I had a project in mind for last month, but was not able to complete it. Dad was in the hospital for nearly two weeks and we spent a lot of time helping him and mom during that time. Thankfully, he is back home now and working on getting stronger each day (yay!). 

The day after we took him home, it was back to teaching. After our first full week, I was in desperate need of some time in the art room. I've spent the afternoon doodling around on various projects and finally completed a small one that I am entering in the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for August. The inspiration for this month is the photo below. I imagined sitting on the other side of those windows and doing a bit of journaling. While there, maybe even taking a peek at a beautiful view and the possibility of seeing a few butterflies flitting about the flowers outside the window. It inspired me to create an altered composition notebook.


This was a fun project that didn't require a lot of time, unless you count issues with decision making. It took me awhile to decide upon papers and what layout I wanted to use. There's so many cute options!  It is also a project that is very inexpensive. The composition notebook was about fifty cents at Walmart and the papers used to create it were just a few dollars (half price at Hobby Lobby). 

I started with a plain composition notebook. Using selected papers, ribbon and stickers, I attached my layout using a permanent bond glue runner. That's all there is to it! I played around with adding additional items, like embellishments, but decided I liked the simple version of it the best. While we were at the store last night, I picked up several more composition notebooks (for a quarter!) and plan on creating a few to use as gifts. I even thought it would be cool to leave some around my school with inspirational quotes inside...similar to the Kindness Rocks project, but a journal instead. 

Bargain notebook with not so cute cover. ;P

Completed cover...much cuter now, right?! Wishing I would have added a black background
border under the butterfly card....oh well! 

Inside of front cover
Inside of back cover

Back cover

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope your day is filled with joy and blessings. :)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Works in Progress

It feels good to be back in the art space tonight. This summer has been especially difficult for our family and I've spent less and less time creating in the last month.  I'm hoping that things are looking up for a bit and I can get back to a more normal routine that includes more art time.  I've really missed having my hands in some paint!

The pieces below are ones that were started early July and haven't been worked on since.  I'm loving the direction each painting is headed and am excited at the possibility of art time this weekend.

The butterfly canvas has many layers and has looked differently through its various stages. This one would have been fun to photograph and look at each layer. I'm looking forward to adding more details and finishing it up soon.

Butterly on 12 x 12 canvas 
Using a block of wood, I made a smaller version of my flowers on canvas that was given to my parents. I absolutely love the many layers of this, one which includes beeswax! The entire background went from an antique-ish brown layer with beeswax to the bright field of flowers below. It really amazes me at the changes a project can take from start to finish. I never know what will happen until I decide, "It's done!" A few smaller flowers and this one will be complete.

Field of flowers on 7 x7 wood block
Originally, the painting below was a mix of outlined flowers. Somehow it morphed into an elephant set against the evening sun. There's quite a bit left to finish on this painting, but I like where it is going and am excited to work on it again soon.

Elephant on 12 x 12 canvas
Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in some of the monthly challenges for July, but am super excited to create something for August. Looking forward to sharing those soon! I'm also looking forward to getting back and seeing what all of you have been creating in the last few weeks! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Class

For the last year, my friend and I have discussed taking a local art class.  This summer we actually made it to THREE classes at My Heart's Fancy.  We had so much fun and learned many different techniques. The first class was called "Master Page Creation" and was part one of a two part session. In this session we doodled, stamped, stenciled, and overall just had a great time creating our pages. We created several layers until our master page was completed...amazingly this page was worked on for about three hours. Did I mention how much fun we were having??

The next step, prior to meeting again, involved making color copies of our pages. Besides making copies for ourselves, we made extras to share with those in class. This way each of us could have many designs to create additional items. 

Cards, tags, bookmarks....oh my! ;P
During the second session of the class (a few days later), we utilized the color copies to make cards, tags, bookmarks, etc. The possibilities of creating things is endless! My tags are a bit messy and unfinished, but they were extra paint blobs and doodles. Eventually I will go back and finish them along with the tag holder. I would like to add some stitching to the holder along with ribbon and a button for closure. Photographs coming soon!

The final class we took was learning about Distress Oxide Inks. I have to say...those are pretty COOL! We went through multiple methods quickly and I didn't quite finish most of the projects. Those will come soon in another post.

Overall, I really loved being part of a class in person. I've always taken online courses and worked on art in my very spare time. It was a joy to create with others. I would love to continue taking a class here and there as time allows. If you are in the area, definitely check out My Heart's Fancy for amazing classes.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Quirky Giraffe, PPF and Monthly Mixed Media Challenge

Several weeks back, I started a new project. I had no plans for this project, just play around and see where it went. Starting with a scrap wood piece, 7 x 24, I gave a coat of gesso and allowed it to dry. The next layer consisted of torn papers randomly glued throughout the background. After that layer was completely dry, I took everything outside and prepared my surface for some paint spray! Using a few different stencils, I sprayed over the glued papers. 

Everything is set up and ready to spray!

Spray + stencils = fun colors and designs. (MMMC #32: Put a Stencil on It)
I looked at the sprayed version of this for several days and could not decide which direction I should take this project. Flowers? Birds? No idea?? The length and the shape of the wood worked perfectly for a giraffe's long neck. I sketched out a quirky giraffe and starting rubbing on paint for the background. It is hard to see in the picture, but there is actually quite a lot of texture in this project.  Torn papers and molding paste in various places make for some interesting textures throughout. While I didn't take any photos of the middle process, you can see the finished project below.

Outdoors photo in Abbey's Garden (more about the garden in the next post).

Completed quirky giraffe. 

If you look closely, you can see a few places where the background spray paint/stencils shows through. While my hubby thinks this is one odd piece, I think the giraffe is kinda cute. :P 
Hope you enjoy it as well!

Friday, June 2, 2017

King Edward Gets a Makeover....

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge

I'm not sure what happened to the month of May, but it started and was over before I knew it.  There have been many things keeping us on the go with little time for what is most enjoyable...creating in the art space. Finally, I slowed down to work on some of the challenges I had been thinking about all month.

There were two challenges at Canvas Corp Brands. One of the challenges for May was "Old is the New." A few years back, my mom had given me an old cigar box. I thought it was cool and that one day I could "do something" with it. I'm glad I still have the box as it was perfect for this challenge!

Old tobacco box...King Edward needs a makeover, right?
Often, I get caught up in creating and forget to pause for photos. That happened throughout this project! (One day I will get better at this!) The box has several layers.  The first layer included various torn papers adhered with matte gel. Next, was a light coating of gold/copper acrylic paints. Transparency was a goal, as I wanted some of the elements of the box to show through the paint. After the paint was dry, I wanted to add contrast to the gold and selected Golden's teal fluid acrylics.  The stencils that I had on hand weren't quite what I was looking for, so I opted for making my own. Using a hot glue gun, I drew various flowers, leaves and other shapes onto parchment paper. When they were dry, peeling them off was easy! (*If you make these, be sure to connect the glue in all places...think "one continuous stream of glue per shape.")

Using a hot glue gun to draw shapes for unique stencils.

A few of the designs that were created...I made about two sheets of various patterns and shapes. 

The stencils are fragile, so I carefully applied a coat of acrylic paint using a foam paint brush and stamped the designs various places on the box.

Here's a finished look at the bottom of the box. Stencils were used around the sides as well.

Using matte gel, I added the final touches to the box. This included embellishments such as ribbon, a button, flowers and found objects in nature (shell, twigs, leaf). 

The finished product, front view. 

Another view of the box.

Close up, top view of box. 
I'm submitting this project to the challenge "Old is New" and to Paint Party Friday. I'm also participating in the Monthly Mixed Media Blog Challenge, "A Year of Choices...Put a Stamp on It."