Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Butterfly Box

The weeks keep flying by and I haven't made much time for the blog. I miss it!

School has been back in session since mid-August and the days are full of activity. We've enjoyed two days off this week for Fall Break and it was wonderful to spend extra time with our families.

While I haven't made time for blogging, I have spent a couple hours on Sunday afternoons working on various mixed media projects. I have several started and a few that I just finished today. I will share those next week. :P

Today, I wanted to share a Butterfly Box that I created a few months ago and gifted to a friend. It was originally a stationary box that needed a makeover. I used some of my newly purchased Tim Holtz Idea-Ology goodies. These included  the Worn Wallpaper Layers-Botanicals  and Collage Paper.  I purchased mine from our local craft store, Hobby Lobby, but noticed they are also available on Amazon. I absolutely love all these elements and enjoyed working with them for this project.

Inside of Butterfly Box (my favorite part!)

Side View of Butterfly Box 

Top of Butterfly Box
Hope each of you are doing well and are having time to be in your creative spaces! Have a great week and Happy Paint Party Friday!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dreaming of the Ocean

So, I started this post a few weeks ago then got sidetracked and never quite finished it.  Now that school was back in session,  things have been crazy busy and I have lacked the time and energy to complete it. This afternoon is finally quiet and I was in the mood to do something creative.

Late July, we drove to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We rented a cute condo at Crystal Shores that had an ocean view. This was a first for us, we have never stayed anywhere that had a view of the ocean! My favorite part of the condo was the balcony! We ate just about every meal out there and also spent a lot of time hanging out there when we weren't doing other things. I really miss it!

A view from our balcony in the evening. Doesn't this look peaceful?!

We ate almost every meal out on the balcony. One of our favorites was a seafood boil from Gulf Shores Seafood. It's easily the best seafood I've ever eaten. We loved it!

Our to go order: Boiled and mildly seasoned shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and new potatoes. We got a side of gumbo that was also delicious. This meal was a great deal, $20, and it was enough for both of us to eat with leftovers!

One of the things I enjoyed most...sitting on the balcony reading or just hanging out. 

This was our first time visiting the area and there are many things to do while there. We spent a morning going on a hike hoping to see "Lefty" the resident alligator along the Rosemary Dunes Trail. We hiked about two miles (one direction), but had no luck seeing the gator. It was likely too hot for her to be out and about, and even with the cloud cover, it was in the 90's. We did get to see a beautiful, but small, butterfly garden before turning around and hiking back.

Lefty's home, but she's nowhere to be found!

Look closely and you can see the butterfly on the pink flower. 

There were several butterflies in the small garden at the end of the trail. Lots of beautiful flowers too!

Isn't this pink one gorgeous?!

The next day we visited Fort Morgan, which was used in the War of 1812 (known then as Fort Bowyer) and also as utilized during several other wars including the Spanish American War, WWI and WWII. It was an impressive site to visit. We toured the main area and the museum. There were several other buildings that we did not visit as it was just so hot, but we saw the largest portion of it.

Inside one of the buildings at Fort Morgan.

A view of part of Fort Morgan

 It was a super hot day, but we both worn long sleeves for sun protection. 

Another day we scheduled a dolphin cruise aboard the Sunny Lady. The ride was about an hour and a half and we did get to see several dolphins. It was a bit hectic as everyone was out in the area seeing dolphins at the same location/time.  It was almost like a boat and jet ski convention on the water! It was a nice outing, but I enjoyed seeing the dolphins from our balcony just as much! It was definitely more peaceful setting watching them early in the mornings.

Getting ready to head out aboard the Sunny Lady Dolphin Cruise.


Another dolphin a bit closer via zoom. 

We spent mornings and evenings walking along the beach collecting shells and just enjoying the ocean. Those were our favorite times as both were cooler and less crowded. I have quite the shell collection from our trip and plan to incorporate some of the shells into some type of mixed media project soon.

There's no place like the ocean!

Lots of beautiful views with the sunset and clouds. 

One afternoon I worked on a sketch inspired by our dolphin trip. I didn't get much done on it, as the balcony was very warm that afternoon. I came inside and read a book instead! I will hopefully get back to my arty weekends soon!

Dolphin sketch in my Visual Arts journal.

Travel supplies + a great view! Wish I were there now!

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to really relax on this trip. Whether it's travel or just taking down time during our busy lives, we all need time to recharge. I hope each of you find time in your days to take a walk in nature, spend time in your art place or do whatever make you relaxed and happy!

Happy PPF and have an amazing week!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Journal Pages

It's been a busy week around here! Between wrapping up some home projects (painting and scraping the popcorn ceiling) we've been trying to also do some decluttering and organizing. Currently the house is a giant mess. So today, it's time to take a break from the projects and other tasks and hang out for a bit in the art room.

I have several ongoing paintings that are in various stages of completion. I'm going to work on bit on those this afternoon, but wanted to share two final lessons from the Sketchbook Revival classes in May.

The lesson below was titled, Faces Made Simple: Mixed Media Girl by Toni Burt. Toni demonstrated holding a pencil very loosely to shade in facial features. Doing so leaves behind a hint of a face on the page, to which we later added layers of shading with watercolor and some darker pencil shading. Along the way, a few collage elements were also added. It's very simplistic, but I love the way the final page looks.

Mixed Media Girl on Watercolor Paper

The other lesson I completed was Sidewalk Cracks: A Creativity Starter with Carla Sonheim. I mentioned this class in the last post, Sketchbook Revival 2019. This is the quirky creature (bird??) that was created in the class. I added the torn papers element in Photoshop Express. I thought it gave a fun twist to a simple page! I think this creativity starter is a great way to warm up and get in the groove for creating more art, and of course interesting creatures too.

Sidewalk Cracks Creature

Both classes and teachers were amazing. I'm already looking forward to participating next year!

Next week I'm hoping to finish up some of the artwork that was inspired by our trip to San Diego last month. We are already wishing we could return to the cooler air as it is SO HOT here now! Temperatures this week are predicted to be 100+ degrees (insert sweaty person emoji here, lol). 

Stay cool, have a great week and HAPPY PPF!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sketchbook Revival 2019

The Sketchbook Revival classes came at just the right time for me. I was desperately needing some motivation to get back into the creative groove, when I received an e-mail announcing the event from Karen Abend. It was the first time that I have participated in this online event and it was absolutely wonderful! I didn't have time to complete all of the classes, so when time allowed I selected various ones to watch. One of the classes, How to Draw a Bird in Five Easy Steps, was so much fun. It was taught by Julia Bausenhardt. She has some amazing nature journaling classes that I'd love to enroll in one of these days.

During the Sketchbook Revival session, Julia taught us how to sketch a Blue tit bird and watercolor it. I haven't sketched birds much, but found her teaching style was very easy to follow and ended up creating a cute little bird in my sketchbook!

After the session was over, I went back and looked at my sketchbook page and decided to create a version for my dad for Father's Day. Once completed, I placed it inside a little hand made paper frame. He loved it!

Original Blue tit bird with handmade frame box. 

Since then, I've gone back and played with the framing options in Photoshop Express. I think both of the frames below give it a really nice look as well.

Photoshop Redwood Frame

Photoshop Multi-Colored Frame
Besides this class, I also completed the Sidewalk Cracks lesson with Carla Sonheim. It was also fun and such a creative idea! I definitely don't look at all those cracks in the sidewalk/street the same now. I'm always telling my husband that I need to take my camera along with me on our evening walks! If only I could remember that when we are heading out the door. ha! Once I have a few of these completed I will share them, along with the other fun things that came out of this event. 

Both artists have amazing websites and classes to offer! It's definitely worth a stopping by and checking out their sites. 

Hope you all are having a great weekend!  Happy PPF...just a few days late. ;P

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Being Away, Coming Back and ART!

So, I actually started this post at the end of March. As you can tell, I just never made it back to finishing it! I have a lot to share, but will go ahead and start with this post and what I originally had started several months ago, as well as finishing what I had intended to post....

(March post)

Hey everyone! I hope that all is well with each of you and that you are enjoying some beautiful weather in your piece of the world. It's been absolutely perfect here lately. I've enjoyed sitting out back listening to the birds and feeling the nice breeze this afternoon. (I miss this weather as it is now steamy, humid and so hot!)

I've recently got back into an art groove.  I've been away a bit, spending the most time I could with our sweet beagle boy. He was diagnosed last fall with a heart tumor and did really well until about two weeks ago. We said our goodbyes and since have missed him so very, very much. He will always have a special place in our hearts. We were thankful to have been blessed with him for just over fourteen years. He was an amazing dog, as was our girl, who we lost two years previous to cancer. They were both my little art buddies and it's hard sometimes to get back in the art space without missing them being there. Below are a few of my favorite photos of him. I especially love the one from behind when he is going on one of his many car adventures.

My precious beagle boy, Dylan. xoxoxoxox

Later this summer, I'll add some things to the memory garden I started for Abbey, our girl. It's a good way for me to remember the blessings they were in my life. I also love looking at it from my art room window. Below is a photo of what it looked like last year.

Last year's photo of the memory garden. 

Now...on to some art things that I have been doing the last couple months.

The final painting in the Fawn and Forest series by Micki Wilde is complete! It's an adorable little fawn and I loved every minute of creating it.

Fawn and Forest Final Lesson

The complete Fawn and Forest series

Since finishing this, I have also done some art journaling, started a new painting and continued on some works in progress. I have several things to share and am looking forward to doing so over the next few weeks.

I hope all of you are well! I have missed reading your blogs and am excited to go check out what each of you have been up to these past several months. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Paint Party Friday!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Another Lesson and TWO Paintings!

I've been blessed with few extra days to play in the art space these past weeks. We've had one day out of school due to ice last week and I've also had a little extra time on Sunday afternoons. It's been wonderful to spend more than thirty minutes painting or sketching. I'm always happy to take what time I can get! This afternoon has been rather chilly and windy, but fun watching the tiny snow flurries out my window while playing in my art journal. Nothing is really sticking, but it's still pretty!

I recently finished the third lesson in the Micki Wilde series, "In Search of Pinecones." I really enjoyed it! In this lesson, Micki guides the student to create an adorable little fox! When I originally started this lesson, it was on a piece of watercolor paper. Then I decided to also do one on an old canvas. I don't know why, but I ended up doing two of the exact same painting, just on different surfaces. I should have tried different colors or tweaked them a bit more, but was more focused on how the different surfaces reacted with the same materials being utilized.

The colors on the watercolor paper version are more vibrant compared the canvas. It was interesting to see how these two different surfaces absorbed colors and markings. The canvas had a LOT of texture from stenciling with pastes, so it was more difficult to sketch upon. In the end, I think they both turned out pretty cute. When I was creating them, I opted for a little flower on their heads versus the pinecone in the lesson. Honestly, I should have done one of each! I've really enjoyed these lessons so far and am looking forward to starting another one soon!

Little fox on watercolor paper.

Fox on highly textured canvas.

Close up version of the canvas copy. I couldn't resist adding a bit of enhancement of colors via Photoshop Express. :P

Another close up of the canvas to better see texture and markings.

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Art for Good Bundle and Micki Wilde Class

Hello again! I have missed connecting with everyone online these past few months. I haven't been around much, as my husband has been dealing with some challenging health issues. We are hopeful that things are now headed in the right direction. :)

Several months ago, I signed up for The Art Bundle for Good classes. I've been wanting to do this the past several years, but have always missed the deadlines. I'm excited to say that this year that wasn't the case! Stop by their website, Bundles for Good, to read more about the amazing things they are doing to help others in need and sign up for the April 2019 session!

Recently, I've downloaded multiple classes. One of those was Micki Wilde's Fawn and Forest classes. It was so much fun! I love the nature theme and have enjoyed sketching and painting forest critters.

As you all know, I'm all about the blue/green color scheme, so this was really out of my zone of cool shades. For this lesson, I decided to not overthink anything, work quickly and just have fun. This little owl is the result. She's quite quirky and I adore her! There's some awesome texture from many layers of a previously unfinished painting that was covered up. I can't wait to start another lesson from this series.

Quirky owl amongst wood chips in the flower bed outside.

A closer look at the little face. 

I love the etched in paint around the leaves! Lots of awesome texture in this project. 
Looking forward to seeing everyone's art this week at Paint Party Friday! Hope you all have an amazing week!!