Friday, July 30, 2010

Crazy Cactus ~ Funtry Friday

Honestly - this was a very fun accidental art happening!
"Cactus Faces"

Check out the funny faces!

This was one of the little ACEOs that I created using a special technique.  Gouache is painted on watercolor paper, then (when it is dry) ink is painted over that.  After the ink is dry, the paper is placed under running water.  This washes off the ink and some of the gouache.  You never know what your artwork will look like when you do this because much of it is 'accidental'.

In this case, lots of little faces seemed to be peeking out of the cactus blooms!

Well, this is a new variety of cactus for me!

Have a blessed - and not thorny! - day =)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A little bit different - but fun!

I had fun doing this little ink and gouache painting!
Yellow Cat on a Red Pillow

Ink, gouache, and transparent watercolor on
140 pound archival watercolor paper.

The gouache adds some very fun texture!

Look for this in my Etsy shop very soon!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Remember this?

It was almost finished when I blogged about it before...

I use and ACEO to test out how I wanted to paint the bird.

Morning Song

Soon this will be listed in my Etsy shop!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Funtry Friday ~ Some "borrowed" cuteness!

Somethings are just a little tougher when you are short...

Like those darned old tall feed bins...
just can't reach that last leaf unless...

Hey ~ is it supper time?  Lunch is all gone...

And, yep - they do make fly masks that small!  lol! 

This is my neighbor Lorie's miniature horse, Izzy - short for Isabella.  She is 'in training' to pull a cart.  'Minis' are very strong - um, and, yeah - they can be just as feisty as their full size counterparts ;-)  Half the horse and all the attitude! 

Happy Friday!  Hope you had some 'country fun' today =)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking a little break...

...but due to the wonders of the 'cyber world' I am still here!

My family is gathering to honor the memory of my uncle.  I wrote about him in my blog post, Saying goodbye... 

As I said in the title of this post, I am taking a little break...  However, due to the wonders of the cyber world, I will ***poof*** appear through the amazing mysteries of technology.

In other words, I have scheduled some posts to show you a few of the new paintings I will list in my Etsy shop when I open it up again.  You can stroll on over there and click a little button to receive a reminder email when my shop is open again.  We'll wait for you here...  

Welcome back!  As I was saying I will post a few of my brand new paintings for you to preview.  This one is called "Taking a Break" - appropriately enough!  It is a pen and ink and watercolor with a smidge of watercolor pencil.  There sits the garden - but all the workers are taking a break in the shade!

Hope you are getting a few summer breaks, too!

Monday, July 19, 2010

On the other side of this keyboard... a real person...

If you follow me on twitter or you are my friend on facebook...  If you chat with me in the Etsy forums or are on one of my Etsy teams...  If you are one of my real life friends or lovely family members...

Then you probably know that I have asked for prayer for Crystal, my friend's granddaughter, who has leukemia.  We are praying that her next bone marrow test in about 10 days will show that she is cancer free!

If you know me from anywhere, you will also already know that I am a shy, quiet, ***wallflower*** who is always timid and...

NOT!!!  ***roflol***  So it should not surprise you that when I heard from my friend, I searched out everyone everywhere and asked them to pray. 

I even contacted one of my favorite ministries, Joni and Friends, because I saw that they took prayer requests.  And... I learned, once again, to remember that 'on the other side of the keyboard... is a real person.'  Sometimes we forget...  Here is my reminder ~

I received a lovely, encouraging note from Jan Marie at Joni and Friends ~ and an uplifting pdf E-Book by Joni, plus (via 'snail mail') this wonderful devotional.

Now at Joni and Friends there are people praying for Crystal...  praying...  wondering...  typing...  working... playing... and doing all the 'real life' things we all do.  Distinct individuals who do not disappear when I turn off my computer.

It's a good thing to remember and, for me, it makes me appreciate all of you even more!

Have a blessed day - both on the computer and in 'real life'!

PS And please say a little prayer for Crystal -
and Jan Marie and everyone at Joni and Friends, too!
Thank you!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Star of the Birthday Party!

Of course, she is always a star to me!!!

Here is Naomi and her little sock horse,
whom she named Hershey =)

I am sure that my Hershey is very pleased
that her little baby is named for him!

It was a wonderful birthday party!  And, of course, the best part for me was to be with this little darling.  Oh!  and, of course, the rest of the family, too *winks*

Hope you had as much fun on your weekend as I did!


Lo, sons (and daughters!) are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalms 127:3

Friday, July 16, 2010

A little Funtry Friday Camouflage

Here's some 'camo' - country style ;-)

Rocks?  or guineas?  Guineas!

AKA - I want to be a zebra...
Lova has great ambitions.  Odd, but great!


Oranges Bajoranges carefully concealed...
except for the tail!


Bethie playing peek-a-boo...
...and hoping for a treat!

more Cat-er-flage

Forrest in the garden - her favorite place to hide.
Not looking at me means that she is TOTALLY invisible!


Ummm...  well...  it was Benny a minute ago...

And me...  I am hiding behind a cup of hot chocolate - lol - that I let get cold ;-) because it's summer!

Where are you hiding?

shhhhhh!  I won't tell!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where did the creative spark begin?

Where, when or who did you learn your handmade craft from?  This is the question that was posed by BWSilver, one of the Etsy Blogger Team members.

Sometimes we forget where our creative beginnings were.  We forget to look back on where we started, what we have learned, and how our talents have grown.  It's a good idea to pause and take a little trip down 'memory lane' once in a while - just to see where you started and how far you have come.  I did that, and look what I found!

Here is a little drawing I did in grade school...

...of one of my bookends!
(Gee, are you surprised that I had horse bookends???
*roflol* or that I still have them???)

And here's another 'first project' for you!

This is my first sewing project -
done when I was about 5 years old - before I was in school!

You can see my most current sewing project in yesterday's post, A horse is a horse, of course...  I think that Nana would have liked this little critter!  Nana, my mother's mother, taught me to sew before I was in school - starting with choosing the buttons and sewing them on this little scrap of fabric.

Both of my parents were very creative.  Both of them painted at one time, and both of them always encouraged my artistic endeavors.  I did the little sketch when I was about 8 years old I think.  Want to see what I do now?  Check out my Etsy shop, tapestry316, and you can see what's on my easel now!

Yes - both of my parents were a bit sentimental and they liked to keep the things that brought back fond memories.  And, not surprisingly, so do I!

What charming little momento of your early creative ventures do you have?  I hope it brings back happy memories to you!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A horse is a horse, of course of course! Even a Sock Horse!

Here she is!

This little horse is taking on quite a personality!
Here is a peek at her mane and tail from the back =)

Hmmm....  I just couldn't help but think that she needed a little something more....

That's better!  Every horse needs a little blanket - and, since she is a bit 'girlie' she has a little necklace, too.  Well, she has a big star necklace =)  The theme for Naomi's birthday party this year is "stars" - so this little pony HAD to have one!

She is made from the Rockford work socks - just like the Sock Monkeys that we made in the 1950s.  With bows, button eyes, and an embroidered mouth all she needs is a little hug to join the Velveteen Rabbit and his friends!

I adapted the original Sock Monkey pattern included in the Rockford Socks to change the little monkey into a horse. While I was sewing away on this little gal, the theme to one of my old-time favorite TV shows was running through my mind...  lol!  No surprise - it centered around a horse  ;-)
Hello, I'm Mister Ed

A horse is a horse, of course of course,
and no one can talk to a horse of course,
that is of course, unless the horse,
Is the famous Mister Ed!

Go right to the source and ask the horse.
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mister Ed.

People yak-it-ti-yak a streak
and waste your time of day,
but Mister Ed will never speak,
unless he has something to say...

A horse is a horse, of course of course,
And this one will talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?
Well, listen to this...

I am Mister Ed

Well, she is not Mr. Ed - but both of them are fun ;-)  Sorry if you now have the theme song stuck in your head - but, hey (hay?) 'misery loves company'! 

So, have you even heard of Mr. Ed?  *roflol* or am I all alone in the fan club!?

Galloping off to creative land ~

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There's a Sock Monkey craze going on out there!

And I just couldn't resist putting my creative 'spin' on it!  So here's a little pile of fun stuff to start me out...

Any guesses?  what I am going to make???

I am 'spurred on' to create this little critter because I have a granddaughter who is turning four years old this week, so nobody had to 'rope me in' and convince me to make her a little something.  'Hay', you just never know - I might 'corral' her and get to play, too!  It's a 'shoe in', for sure!

Okay - here's another peek at the little critter in progress...

Meanwhile, 'back at the ranch', did you know that I used to make and sell collector's dolls?  yep!  That was a few years ago *roflol*  I enjoyed the creative process of doll making in the same way that I enjoy the creative process in painting.  There is something very satisfying about watching a pile of (fill in the blank with your favorite supplies) turn into (fill in the blank with the greatest artistic creation on the planet)! 

I have had a lot of fun shaping that pile of stuff into what is turning into a cute little critter with lots of personality. 

What have you had fun creating this week?  Have you been in your 'regular creative groove' or did you do like I did and take a little 'creative vacation' and do something different?


PS - Check back tomorrow and you can see the finished little critter!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A little att*I*tude adjustment...

A cat.
A cat is.
A cat is a walking attitude.

Have you ever noticed how a cat always tries to get whatever they want whenever they want it?  They just don't want take 'no' for an answer. 

And, have you ever seen the total attitude that a cat can have when they don't get their way???  Fussy to say the least...

I know, however, that my life is not so much about what happens as it is about what my attitude is towards what happens.   There is, I believe, attitude and att*I*tudeIf I focus on *me* in every situation, I will be disappointed.  If I take the focus off of the *I* (me) being in the center of my  att*I*tude, and return the i to it's proper perspective, I will have a much better attitude about everything.

And, I find that I am much happier when I do that, too - goodbye fussy me *laughs*

Having a good attitude also helps me to be more creative.  After all, who can be really cranky and really creative at the same time?  I know that I can't.

Yep, I'm going to go adjust my attitude a little bit and make sure that I have the right focus in my life - and then I think I'll get busy and create some art!  How about you?


I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Etsy Blogger Blogger of the Month! Missie of nwwonders =)

Prepare to be whisked away to the beautiful northwest country at Missie's Etsy shop, nwwonders ~
Missie said this about her lovely photograph ~ "I've never seen
a sunset like the ones I see from First Beach in La Push, Washington.
It looks like God approves and is giving it a thumbs up!"

God did paint a beautiful sunset there and Missie captured the moment very well!  I can't stop with just one image, though - feast your eyes on these lovely photographs ~
Want to have a daily dose of Etsy?  Then check out this busy lady's blog also, Sykin's One Stop Etsy Shopping Guide, where she will feature a new and different item from Etsy every day.  Keep an eye out, too, because she may have contests, giveaways, and reviews, too!
To search for more great Etsy Bloggers Team members, just search "all items" for "etsybloggers team" and enjoy all the fun things you will find!
Happy shopping!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Story of a Dog and Her Stick ~ Funtry Friday!

Here's a little fun in the country for your Friday! 
A little picture story about a doggie and her stick....

Bailey ~ The Dog...

 ...and her stick...

My part in this story? 
I must toss the stick as high as I can - 
straight up into the air.

Whoops!  missed that one....

Time to take a little break!

*roflol* the break was for me...  Bailey would have kept on playing!

Hope you are having a chance to play today, too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Need inspiration? Here are a few fun links!

Yesterday I talked about a great little travel brush for water media.  You can fill the 'handle' with water ~

Check out my post to see what I had to say about this great little brush ~

And then stroll over here to check out the details and get one for yourself!

Want to know what my very most favorite drawing ink in the entire world is?

This ink flows well and is very dense and rich.  I use a dip pen, not a cartridge pen - so clogging is not an issue for me.  This ink is lucious - hot fudge of the ink world =)

Want some fun hints for painting?  Check out Rita Squier's Tuesday's Tips.  She has a great hint every week!

Need a little inspiration?  Join Pam's new ACEO Challenge blog!  It's really fun and you could win some great prizes, too!

Not sure what you want to do?  Try learning a new technique!  There are lots of free online lessons out there - like these:

Feed your creativity and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Plein Aire Painting - Or - Why I am a Studio Painter...

Don't get me wrong - I love the idea of plein aire painting!  Taking your paints outside, painting the landscape in natural light, feeling the breeze and warmth that you are trying to convey with paint...  and I have seen some incredible plein aire paintings, too.  Beautiful!

So, today I decided to go have a little plein aire fun - and I had my checklist here to make sure I didn't forget anything -
  • I had my sun screen (number one recommendation from a friend!)
  • I made sure that I knew where I was going and what it would be like when I got there.  Things like drinking water and restrooms are important to me...
  • I wore comfortable clothes that I could splash paint on and not regret the mess later.  (a good thing!)
  • I didn't take an easel or a camp stool, but I often work on my lap and I knew that there would be something I could sit on when I got there.
  • I took my camera with me so that I could take some reference shots in case I needed to finish up my painting later (which I do need to do!)  You never know - you might also miss a great shot for another painting that you could do at home, too! (and I did get some great shots for future paintings!)
  • I didn't expect to do a large painting - I know that lighting changes quickly outside.
  • I had an adequate container for my supplies that was easy to carry and still left me with one hand free.
  • I kept my supplies simple - just watercolor pencils, a sharpie, and watercolor paper. Oh, and a brush - a really cool one that holds water inside it's handle.  That way I didn't have to take a brush, a cup and water with me to use with the watercolor pencils.

Ummm....  I forgot the bug repellant...  fortunately nothing carried me off.

I forgot my rag, but I used my shirt.  I only needed to dab a little spot.  Well, that's all you can 'dab' on an ACEO since they are only 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

Yeah, I know - I'm really adventurous ;-)

The only problem I had was keeping Bailey off my lap... 
Ummmm...  where did I go?   and who is Bailey? 

Weeeellll...  I went here  --->

Yeah...  Pretty adventurous! *roflol* it's my neighbor's garden.  I was playing with my watercolor pencils while I was watering - and trying to keep her red heeler, Bailey, off my lap at the same time. 

*laughs* grueling, huh?!  Sitting on the swing under the shade tree with the dogs and painting while the water runs and the birds sing.  It was fun - and another chance to use a few little minutes to create some artwork.

Seriously (no really!)  Seriously, you don't need to take a hike up the mountain with all your gear to enjoy the fun of plein aire painting.  Something as simple as sitting on your porch with your sketch book can fill you with lots of inspiring ideas.

And you can walk inside to get the bug repellant.

Happy creating!

PS  If you do decide to go hike that mountain, don't forget to take plenty of water, fill your car's gas tank up before you go, grab your fully charged cell phone, and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back!

What tips would you add for my next real plein aire adventure?






Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Free Shipping? Or not? That is THE Question!

Selling online would be perfect - if.... the purchase could be 'teleported' instantly to the buyer's destination.  At least that is my take on it!

Okay, for instance, here is my little 'quandry' over this...

Looks like a shipping envelope to me.  It's really stiff - I don't want my lovely artwork to get bent, you know!  It is kind of thick, but not hugely thick.  It is made of some tough stuff.  It's not bendable.  That's what I wanted - and I am happy with the little package... until I get to my local post office.

If I print out my shipping lable online, it usually takes three people to decide that it is okay to send this as a large and/or thick rigid envelope. 

One time I decided to ask what it should be called when I go online to buy my postage.  One employee (very nicely - he's a great guy) said - "I don't know.  I don't buy postage online."  Well, yeah - if I worked at the post office, I wouldn't buy my postage online either *lol* 

Then all three employees gathered at the window and measured the envelope, discussed options, disagreed with one another, and almost came to a decision.

Almost.  Because the manager came in and said that they had to close the window and get all the mail ready to go.  *emphatic "now"*

Ummm....  nope, I still don't know.

And, when I mail stuff in these, the prices for shipping are different each time I mail them...

In the meantime, I have a bunch of these and I like to use them.  So I am thinking that I will just stop having a 'shipping fee' and, instead, have shipping free.

If you have thought about this I am sure you have rehearsed the 'pros' and 'cons' of Free Shipping.  I have heard some, too.  Here are a few that I have come up with:

  • People are attracted to free shipping because they only spend the cost of the item.
  • No one can argue that you charged them for shipping and were 30 cents off. 
  • No hurt feelings when they see the postage amount!
  • It is simple to use.  Anywhere, everywhere - nada to figure out what the cost would be...
  • In the long run, things will probably 'level out' so that the increase in orders will offset the free shipping expenses.
  • There just might be that random rush of orders going out of the country that could cost quite a bit more than the orders stateside do.
  • Absorbing the shipping costs on more expensive items is much easier than absorbing it on a $3.00 item.  Tack on shipping out of the country, and that's a big cut into that little guy.
  • I will have to watch my cash flow carefully to make sure that it's not taking a big dive because of not having the shipping paid for by the buyer.
Well, I think I am going to give 'free shipping' a chance and see what happens!  I will keep you posted and let you know what happens when I get everything all changed over.  Anbody have any other pros or cons to share?  Post them in the comments!  Does your shop have free shipping?  or do you charge for shipping?

And then there's that little mailer...

Ummm...  I still don't know what to call that little envelope critter when I buy postage online.  Maybe I will drag it down to the post office in the morning and talk to everyone before their coffee has worn off... Or maybe I'll bake them some cookies ;-)

What would you call that... thing?

*waiting excitedly for help from all my friends!*

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independance Day ~ Happy 4th of July!

~~~Our National Anthem~~~

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Have a blessed Independence Day!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD;
and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eeyore - Just turn your back on the "oh bother" and get motivated!

How do you stay motivated to create?

Another great question - and a pivotal one, too. After all, if you are an artists and you can't stay motivated to create art then you are out of work. Yikes! The pressure is on!

So, how do you stay motivated to create? Here are 10 things that will get you moving!

• Fuel your creativity! Nurture it - feed it new ideas. Read books and magazines, visit galleries and shops, join other creative people for an outing - whatever it takes to give you a 'creative glow', get out there and do it.

• Don't be an Eeyore. Every time you have an "oh bother" thought, toss it out the window. Replace it with a positive thought, and get moving!

• Keep a photo journal of your creations. Take a look at how you have grown as an artist! Revisit some favorite creations and do a new 'take' on an old idea. Combine two or more of your previous ideas to make something brand new.

• Walk away. Literally! Take a walk and clear your mind. Keep your eyes open as you are walking - see colors as if for the first time, enjoy the weather, look for things you haven't noticed before - be inspired!

• Eat right and get enough sleep. I know - very basic; however, you can't be motivated to do much of anything if you are under fueled and over tired!

• Create a workspace where you enjoy "being". It doesn't have to be anything fancy. It can be anything from a small room, a table, even just a box with your supplies. Fill your space with things that inspire you - quotes that motivate you, pictures that you enjoy, patterns and colors that energize you - simple little touches that you enjoy.

• Keep your work area neat. Nothing chokes creativity faster than not being able to locate exactly what you need right now. And nothing wastes creative energy as much as a mess, either!

• Make a date with your art and write it on the calendar. Schedule time to create. Sometimes all the thoughts of what we "should" be doing will stifle our creative spirit. If you deliberately schedule time to create, then you can put mister "I should be doing…" down for a nap while you have some fun!

• Don't try to make someone else's artwork. Make yours! Learning something new is one thing, but imitating someone else is altogether different. It is difficult to be motivated to create if you are busy creating stuff you don't like, no matter how cool it is. Create the things that make you happiest to create.

• Set realistic goals for yourself. Deciding to create 6000 widgets this week could probably inspire you to chuck your motivation out the window - among other things. We should have goals that stretch us a bit and keep us moving forward; however, they do need to be reasonable and attainable!

Okay - motivated to create? Have you found something that keeps you motivated? Share it with us in the comments!

Happy creating!
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