Monday, June 30, 2014

Photos of the Week

Capitol Reef National Park

Some photos from my trip to the center of Utah....... where I got to experience both the heat of the desert and the cool green of the mountains.  It was a beautiful trip!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sharpie Stenciled Shirt Tutorial

Sharpie Stenciled Shirt

I've always wanted to take some sharpies to a t-shirt.  I just never had the guts till now.  It helps to have  a stencil for this project............
and some bright markers!
Materials:
T-shirt
Cardboard
Permanent Markers
Stencil

Step 1:  Lay shirt out flat and put some cardboard in the middle- where you will be drawing.  This will keep the marker from leaking through to the back.

Step 2:  Tape down your stencil and hold it flat against the fabric as you color in the spaces. Then remove the stencil and you're done!

Sharpie Stenciled Shirt
Sharpie Stenciled Shirt
Sharpie Stenciled Shirt
Sharpie Stenciled Shirt

Monday, June 23, 2014

All the Pretty Little Thistles

Thistle Blossom

Ever notice how beautiful thistle blossoms can be?  Every year I find myself staring at them on my walks.  The actual stalks, I don't find so lovely, but the shapes and colors of the flowers are gorgeous if you get up close.  So here's a little tribute to the thistle.  Enjoy!

Thistle Blossom
Thistle Blossom
Thistle Blossom
Thistle Blossom

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dripped Watercolor Terracotta Pot Tutorial

Painted and Watercolor Dripped Terracotta Pot Craft Tutorial

I love watercolors so much that I had to use some on a terracotta flower pot for my deck. Ok, it's not actual watercolor paints........... just watered down acrylics, but the effect is the same. Here's how it's made:

Materials:
  • Terracotta Pot
  • White Paint for your base- you can use acrylic, latex wall paint or even spray paint.
  • Several tubes of acrylic paint in the colors of your choice- use these for the watercolor dripping
  • Paint brush, palette, and water
  • Spray sealer (optional) Krylon Clear Acrylic Coating Spray works well

Step 1:  Paint the entire outside of your pot with your base color.  I used white because I wanted the watercolors on top to really stand out, but you can use other colors too.  Just keep 'em light. Let dry and paint the top part of the inside of the pot.  Let dry completely.

Step 2: On your palette, mix some acrylic paint with water.  Water it down really well so that it will drip. Then with the pot upside down, drip paint with your brush.  Just apply it to the top and let it run.  If the paint doesn't run when you put it on, just add a little water to in on the pot and it will go!

Painted and Watercolor Dripped Terracotta Pot Craft Tutorial

Step 3:  Add more colors on top of the first, letting the drips run where they may.  I stuck with just three colors here.  They tend to mix as you apply them, so I wouldn't do more than four.

Painted and Watercolor Dripped Terracotta Pot Craft Tutorial
Painted and Watercolor Dripped Terracotta Pot Craft Tutorial
Painted Flower Pot

Step 4:  Let the paint dry completely, then take it outside to give it a good coat of sealer spray if desired. Your beautiful paint job will last longer than way.

Painted Flower Pot

All that's left is to fill your artwork with some pretty flowers and enjoy!

Painted Flower Pot
Painted Flower Pot

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Watercolor Cactus

Original Watercolor Cactus Painting by Elise Engh

I grew up around cactus (mostly the prickly pear kind) and I never thought of it as beautiful then, but ya know, being away from it a while has improved my opinion.  If you really look at a cactus you'll see all kinds of beautiful greens in there!

Original Watercolor Cactus Painting by Elise Engh
Original Watercolor Cactus Painting by Elise Engh
Original Watercolor Cactus Painting by Elise Engh

Original Watercolor Cactus Painting by Elise Engh

You can see this painting for sale HERE.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Junk Mail Flower Art Tutorial

Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art: Green Craft

Ready for another art project? This one is earth-friendly because it uses junk mail (we all have that around) and leaves (easy to find).  

I've had this junk mail project on my mind ever since I made my Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Fall Leaves last fall.  Once you have those two items made, the rest is easy and quick!

Materials:
Painted Leaves (I made these with yellow fall leaves, but you can use green ones too)
Heavy Weight Paper 
Pencil
Needle
Tacky Glue
Picture Frame

Step 1:  Cut your paper to fit the size of your picture frame.


Step 2:  Gather the Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves that you want to use for your artwork and arrange them as desired on your paper.  It works nicely to arrange the leaves as if they were the leaves on the same stem as the flowers.  But you can get creative and try all kinds of arrangements here!

Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art
Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art

Step 3:  With a pencil or pen, mark the spot where the center of your flowers hit the paper and then punch a small hole in that spot with a needle.

Step 4:  Open the brads at the back of the Junk Mail Flower and stick them through the hole you created. Press the arms of the brads down on the backside of the paper to secure the flowers. You don't even need glue for that part- awesome!

Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art

Step 5:  The leaves do need some glue.  So apply tacky glue to the back of your leaves and press them onto the paper. Let dry.

Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art

Step 6:  Sign your artwork and frame it!  A thrifted frame painted white and sanded back looks lovely with these :)

Junk Mail Flowers and Painted Leaves Art
Making Art with Junk Mail and Leaves: Green Craft
Making Art with Junk Mail and Leaves: Green Craft
Making Art with Junk Mail and Leaves: Green Craft

Do you have an other crafty uses for your junk mail?  I'd love to hear about them! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Photos of the Week

Grey Dove
purple allium blossoms
Purple Pink Thistle Blossom

The most beautiful time of the year is here............ and I'm eating it all up.  Nothing beats exploring trails on an early summer evening with my little family.

Thank you for the comments on my last post.  I am amazed at the kindness of people I have never met, never seen.  That's the beauty of blogging.  It can be such a good good thing.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Strength is Not the Absence of Weakness

Hey friends! I have something important to talk about today.  I know that most of the time I just post pretty things......crafts, paintings, photos.  Things that make me smile.  That's good, but once in a while I feel the need to talk about what's really going on in my life.

While researching Endometriosis last night, I came across a good article HERE.  I was so impressed with this one sentence and I knew I had to share it today.



So here it goes friends.  I'm taking a step of courage to share where I am right now on my journey with infertility.  Maybe this will help someone else out there not feel so alone.

  • Doctors have told me that my tubes are blocked and that my chances of conceiving naturally are almost none, but I still don't feel like I can give up that dream.  I don't know if I'm supposed to, if the Lord has another child waiting for me.  These days I rely totally upon Him because there is not much else I can do.  The more I research the more I am convinced that synthetic hormone treatments are not right for my body.
  • We've thought about adoption, but again, I realize that we're not there yet. 
  • I can't read a pregnancy announcement on Facebook without crying.  It's gotten to the point where I've almost banned myself from that website (except to update my blog posts).  It's too painful.
  • I think about what to do about all of this A LOT.  I have weird pains everyday and I'm always wondering what they mean.  Is the Endo getting worse, better, staying the same? I have no idea.
  • I avoid pregnant ladies and babies at church.  I hate that, but it's what I've got to do to survive right now.
  • At times I feel so close to the Lord.  I feel so much love from Him at unexpected times, even during the middle of the night when I'm awake because of cramps.
  • I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be.  I cut myself more slack these days.  Last week a lady asked me if I was pregnant right before church started....argggghhh.... I don't know how many more times I'm going to have to explain to people that you cannot ever ask that, but they don't seem to get it.  I stayed a few minutes, then I let myself go home to cry it out.  In the past, I would have felt super guilty about ditching out on church and I do want to be there, but now I realize that I have to let myself grieve.  I have to cry it out or it will eat me up.  After a good cry and a bit of ranting, I feel better.  I guess I'm learning how to deal with it better and I don't expect myself to be perfect all the time.

So there you have it.  The sometimes ugly truth, but this is how it is for me right now.  I know one day it won't hurt so much and I'll be able to sincerely be happy for others having kids.  I'm working on it, a little at a time. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with infertility right now, I'd love to hear your story too.  We can give each other so much strength just by opening up and sharing.  Have courage friends!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dianthus

More flower paintings.........this time it's Dianthus from my front yard!

Original Watercolor Dianthus Flower Paintings by Elise Engh of Grow Creative.
Original Watercolor Dianthus Flower Paintings by Elise Engh of Grow Creative.
Original Watercolor Dianthus Flower Paintings by Elise Engh of Grow Creative.
Original Watercolor Dianthus Flower Paintings by Elise Engh of Grow Creative.
Original Watercolor Dianthus Flower Paintings by Elise Engh of Grow Creative.

Of the two paintings that came out of this session, I like the smaller one the best.  The second larger one was kind of an experiment anyway.  I find that I usually paint with watercolors better on a small scale.  Yep, that's what I'm used to.  Is anyone else like that?