Thursday, August 29, 2013

Painting Outdoors

Yesterday we spent some quality time with paints and brushes out in the front yard......

My son isn't usually interested in painting, so I took advantage of the small moment that he was.  Even if he doesn't grow up to be an artist (I think an engineer would be more likely), I still want my little boy to appreciate art and understand a little of what I'm so passionate about.

How do you get your kids involved in your interests and hobbies?



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Feeling Industrious

I'm turning old t-shirts into this......
Recycled T-shirt Yarn
and then this.......
Recycled T-shirt Yarn
Recycled T-shirt Yarn
Recycled T-shirt Yarn

I'll admit that cutting tees into long strips is a tedious task, but, amazingly, it's satisfying at the same time.  It makes me feel all industrious like the Utah pioneers who used their old bedding for clothing, then when the clothes wore out they turned them into rags.... then when the rags wore out they turned them into rugs... and when the rugs wore out they burned them and made soap from the ashes.  Crazy huh?!  I'm not nearly that conservative or hardworking, but I think we could all benefit from doing just a little bit more of "re-using" stuff instead of throwing it away.

So, for the sake of the planet and my wallet,  I'm turning all these old tees into a rug for my kitchen (stay tuned for the pattern).  I don't think I could ever throw one away again!

Check out this tutorial HERE or this one HERE to learn how to make your own t-shirt yarn.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Photos of the Week

large yellow sunflowers
large yellow sunflowers
large yellow sunflowers

Good morning! Time to enjoy a few photos of my sunflowers :)

We had a fun weekend with family, a visit to Temple Square, and some awesome lightning storms.  We don't get monsoons here like they do in Arizona and I miss that.  I love the excitement of a storm- seeing those huge dark clouds build up and make their way over to dump on us! Yes, we really do appreciate the rain here in the dessert!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Abstract Fun

Abstract Watercolor Painting Art

I don't paint abstractly too much with watercolors.  I usually have something specific in mind I want to paint, but sometimes I just need a little watercolor therapy. 

I used my Recycled Styrofoam Stamps for part of this piece.  The rest is all drips, long angled strokes, and splotches.  It's fun to paint nothing in particular for a change.  It takes the pressure off of having to produce something a certain way.  
Abstract Watercolor Painting Art
Abstract Watercolor Painting Art
Abstract Watercolor Painting Art

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage

Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage
Pink Yellow and Orange Zinnias

All the flowers in bloom right now leave me wishing I had a Luau to go to, or at least a wedding.  That way I could wear one of these pretty Zinnia Wrist Corsages!

Here's a tutorial for you to make your own:

Materials:
Cut and Washed Fresh Flowers with a thick stem near the base of the flower- Zinnias work great!
Elastic Thread
Needle- large enough to thread the elastic
Scissors

How to Make a fresh flower wrist corsage

Step 1:  Cut a piece of elastic string 8-10 inches long and thread it through your needle.

Step 2:  Stick your threaded needle through the stem base of the flower.  Make sure to get it through a nice thick part of the stem base to hold the flower in place firmly.
How to Make a fresh flower wrist corsage

Step 3:  Pull the needle through the flower and most of the string, leaving a tail end on the string measuring one or two inches.  Repeat previous steps until you have enough flowers strung to cover the circumference of your wrist.
How to Make a fresh flower wrist corsage

Step 4:  Tie the loose ends of the string together and trim the excess string.
Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage

Step 5:  Carefully slip the corsage on your wrist making sure all the flowers face outwards.  Admire how pretty it is!

Tip: If you need to store your corsage before wearing, place it in a tupperware, lightly spray with water, and store it in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage
Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage
Fresh Flower Wrist Corsage

Monday, August 19, 2013

Photos of the Week

pink and red geraniums with petals
pink and red geraniums with petals
pink and red geraniums

I love all the flowers that are in bloom this time of year!  I had fun taking photos of some of the dying blossoms of my geraniums- I could spare these because there's lots more about to bloom.   I think I may have to do a watercolor version of some of these photos!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Flower Photo and Some Random Thoughts

Here's a Dahlia from my front yard!  It's so pretty.. I could look at it all day :)

And now for the random thoughts...

  • I have some really awesome readers and supporters out there!  Thank you all so much!  I woke up this morning to some comments from a few of you that just really made my day :)  Blogging is fun, but it's also hard work.  Sometimes I don't know if it's all worth it, but today I was reminded that yes, it is worth it!  I feel like I'm doing something good here and not just wasting my time with arts, crafts, and web surfing- even though some may see it that way.  
  • Repainting a dresser is super hard work!  I've spent the past two weeks working on one and it's proving to be grueling, back breaking work.  I have a new found respect for all those people out there that refinish furniture.
  • I still love having my own house and my own yard.  Our apartment dwelling days are still fresh in my memory and I don't think I could ever live like that again.  It doesn't get much better than hanging out in our own shady back yard on a summer evening.  We bought a rope swing for our son and it's proving to be one of the best investments we ever made!
Alright, I've had my say.  Now it's your turn!  What's on your mind today?





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Colorful Inspired Art

Playing with some new watercolor designs......
colorful watercolor leaf design: Elise Engh- Grow Creative
Pink and Coral Watercolor Feathers
Pink and Coral Watercolor Feathers
colorful watercolor leaf design: Elise Engh- Grow Creative

It started it out with me painting a flamingo, hating it, and then painting these pink feathers on the backside of the same paper. I love the way the feathers turned out so I will definitely be painting more of those!  Then I played with a little leaf design.  I got the inspiration for that from some stationary I saw at a store.  

I find inspiration for paintings and colors just about everywhere.... in nature, stores, online, food, and clothing. Maybe it's because I'm always looking, always thinking about art.  Out of all the hundreds of ideas I have for a painting, only about five of them ever happen.  Partly because I forget, think of something better, or I just plain don't have time to paint them all.  

Where do you get inspiration for creating? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Photos of the Week


It's Monday..... and it's a nice cool morning here.  I couldn't be happier that we're taking a break from the hundred degree temps.  It means I spend more time outdoors enjoying nature and I don't have to water my plants quite as often!  Watering is quite the chore here, especially when you have to water everything by hand.

Is anyone else getting excited for fall?  I love summer, don't get me wrong there, but I always get excited when schools are starting up again and the weather starts to change.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Printing with Recycled Styrofoam

Recycled Styrofoam Stamps

Alright folks... ready to make some more art with me?!!  I promise you it won't cost much.  This simple art project uses recycled materials!

Recycled Styrofoam Prints Tutorial

Materials:
Styrofoam- you can use a take-out box or other food packaging
Scissors
Ballpoint Pen
Corrugated Cardboard or Wooden Block
Tacky Glue
Acrylic Craft Paints
Foam Brush or Paint Brush
Paper


Step 1:  Cut out a section of Styrofoam with scissors and make your print design by pressing into the Styrofoam with a ballpoint pen.

Don't be intimidated by making a design.  Even if you don't draw you can make a simple design with lines. Heck, you could even scribble on this and it would still be cool :)

Recycled Styrofoam Stamps

Step 2:  Apply Tacky Glue to the back of your Styrofoam design block and glue it to a piece of cardboard or a wooden block.  Set your foam block under some heavy books to dry for about 10 minutes.

Step 3:  Apply acrylic craft paint to your foam design block with a foam brush or paint brush.

Step 4:  Place your painted foam block face down on paper and press it down to transfer the paint to your paper.  Remove the block to see the print you created!
Prints from Recycled Styrofoam Stamps

All that's left to do is experiment with more designs and colors.  You can try painting multiple colors on your block to make some more interesting prints.
Prints from Recycled Styrofoam Stamps
Prints from Recycled Styrofoam Stamps

Happy printmaking!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bag of Colors

colorful crochet bag
I crocheted my first bag ever... pretty cool huh?  

 I had all these yarn left-overs begging to be used and this was the perfect project for it!  At first glance I didn't think these colors would work together, but I was pleasantly surprised :)

colorful crochet bag

colorful crochet bag
colorful crochet bag

So where did I get the pattern?  I used the free Sunny Shell Purse on Ravelry.

This pattern was a little harder to use than I expected.  My first attempt didn't turn out so well.  The pattern calls for only 4 double crochet stitches for each shell and mine ended up a bit misshapen that way.  It works so much better to use 5 double crochet stitches for each shell.