Thursday, July 31, 2014

Feathers and Flowers

Original Watercolor Purple Feathers Painting by Elise Engh

I've got a couple of new paintings in the shop:

This one was made with my handy feather stamp.  I love that thing!
Original Watercolor Purple Feathers Painting by Elise Engh

Original Watercolor Anemone Flowers Painting by Elise Engh

Anemones 8x10
This one was inspired by a floral arranging book I checked out from the library. Painting these Anemones makes me want to grow some next year :)
Original Watercolor Anemone Flowers Painting by Elise Engh

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photos of the Week

Enjoying the mountains,
bird photography

Summer skies,

and my garden's first ripe tomatoes!
red garden tomatoes


Friday, July 25, 2014

In the Works

Crochet Zig-Zag Chevron Blanket

I started another crochet blanket.  This time it's a chevron pattern and I'm putting all of my yarn left-overs in it.  It may take me another year to finish, but it's going to be awesome!

Crochet Zig-Zag Chevron Blanket

And then,

I'm getting some digital watercolor freebies ready for next week...... so stay tuned!

watercolor butterfly, hearts, flowers

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Look at my Sketchbook

garden vegetable pencil sketches by Elise Engh

I love sketching outside in the summertime!  This time I filled a few sketchbook pages with stuff from my garden and yard.

garden vegetable pencil sketches by Elise Engh
Feather and Twig Pencil Sketch

Flower Pencil Sketches

And then I had to make up some fun summer fruit designs too :)

Summer Fruit Design Sketches

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Abstract Stripes Watercolor Tutorial

Abstract Stripes Watercolor Painting Tutorial

Ok, I realize that I make a lot of stuff with stripes.  I recently concocted a new abstract watercolor design using them. They're just that cool!

Here's how you can make your own:

Materials:
watercolor paper (any size)
watercolor paints
paint palette
watercolor brush- a small flat one works best
water
paper towels

Step 1:  Choose your color scheme and mix up the colors you need on your palette.  If you are really stuck on what colors to use, find a photo that grabs your attention and use the colors from it.  Just try not to use too many colors.


I based my painting off of this photo I took of my veggies and flowers last year. I didn't stick to the exact colors,  but you get the picture.  It's inspiration!


Step 2:  Imagine (or draw) your paper divided equally into thirds.  Start painting lines of slightly different thicknesses and lengths along the top third section- painting from left to right (if you are right handed).  You can paint them right next to each other in places, so the paint mixes, or leave more space between in others.  

Switch colors often and randomly. This is kind of a pain because you have to rinse your brush in between each change, but the effect is worth it! I wiped my brush on some paper towels after each rinse to soak up the extra water. That way the pigments stay more saturated and bright.

Abstract Stripes Watercolor Painting Tutorial
Abstract Stripes Watercolor Painting Tutorial

Step 3:  Once your top line is finished, move on to the middle and bottom sections repeating the lines and placing the colors randomly. Let it dry and tadaaa!  All done!

Abstract Stripes Watercolor Painting Tutorial
Abstract Stripes Watercolor Painting Tutorial


Monday, July 21, 2014

Photos of the Week

My hollyhocks are in full bloom.... plus a bunch of other stuff!  I went on a little photo spree just for them :)


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rainy Day Abstract Watercolor

My latest watercolor painting......

........... made on one of those days where it felt like nothing could get worse.  I was dead tired (this endometriosis stuff wears you out), but I forced myself to pick up a brush and have at it on a large sheet of paper I'd been saving.  If you've never tried watercolor therapy I highly recommend it!  It works wonders for me!

Rainy Day Abstract Watercolor
Rainy Day Abstract Watercolor
Rainy Day Abstract Watercolor

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

Do you shop at thrift stores?  I've made it a habit 'cause I love finding stuff to renovate for my home.  I found these two beauties on my last visit, but they weren't really beautiful when I found them.  They just seemed beautiful to me because I could picture what they could be.

Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

Here's a run-down on the process.... it's mostly common sense, but I'll include it anyway.  

First order of business:  wash the stuff!  You have no idea where it has been or what's still in it.  After it's dry, get out some acrylic craft paints and brushes and start painting!

Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

The rainbow stripes of the bowl basket are fun, but I like the ombre paint job I did on the flat basket weaving the best.

Ombre Basket Home Decor
Ombre Basket Home Decor
Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

When the paint is all dry, fill the baskets with fun stuff.... like sea shells or pretty pebbles.  Or you can even hang them on the wall.  I did that with the flat one.
Thrifted Home Decor: Painted Baskets

Monday, July 14, 2014

Photos of the Week

Lilly Flower Photography

I drive by these flowers on the way to the grocery store every week and every time I vow to bring my camera on the next trip.  Well that never happens.  My brain is too full of that week's menus, so on a beautifully-overcast day last week I made a special trip just to snap some photos.  Maybe I'm just a little obsessed with flowers :)


And the rest of the photos are from a trip to a new park we found.  Just me, my son, and my husband having a grand time rolling down a huge grassy hill and enjoying the sunset from the east end of the valley.  It was one of those perfect evenings that reminded me just how blessed I am to have what I have.  


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Free Crochet Pattern: Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot-pads

Free Crochet Pattern:  Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot Pads

Have you tried making T-shirt yarn yet?  It's actually more simple than you would think and you can make all kinds of cute and useful stuff for your home with it.  Like hot-pads!

Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot-pads Free Pattern
by Elise Engh

Materials:
T-Shirt Yarn (check out this free tutorial to make your own)
Size I/9-5.50MM Crochet Hook
Darning Needle
Scissors

Abbreviations:
ch= chain
sc = single crochet

Notes:  This pattern makes a hotpad that measures approx. 6 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in.  To make a larger or smaller hotpad, increase or decrease the beginning ch, or use a larger or smaller crochet hook.

Ch 18
Row 1:  Sc in 2nd ch from hook.  Sc in each ch across.  Turn.
Row 2- 17:  Ch 1, sc in each ch across.  Turn. (alternate colors as desired)
Row 18: Ch 1, sc in each sc across. At the end of this row, add yarn for the edging.

Edging:  

Row 1: 3 sc in same sc as join, sc in each space along each side of the hotpad, making sure to 3 sc in each corner.
Row 2: 3 sc in first sc in the corner, sc in each space along each side of the hotpad, making sure to 3 sc in each corner. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Free Crochet Pattern:  Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot Pads
Free Crochet Pattern:  Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot Pads
Free Crochet Pattern:  Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot Pads