Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bet you can make this Tracing Light Box in 10 minutes and for FREE!

I did!  Well, I made it with things I had laying around the house.  But, if you have to buy anything I bet you can make this Tracing Light Box for under $5.00 easy!

What you need:
  • A white box - I used one that held computer copy paper.
  • A 16 x 20 picture frame with glass - go to Salvation Army, yard sale, Goodwill, etc., and get the ugliest and cheapest one you can find. 
  • A sheet of tissue paper.  Only one - yep.  Preferably without a ton of wrinkles in it...
  • A lamp.  (Don't tell me that you have to go buy a lamp *lol* THAT is not in our budget!)
The first thing that you will need to do is to discard the computer box lid, open the two end flaps of the box (so you have a flat piece of cardboard, and the reassemble your box inside out.  Leave one of the ends open for the lamp and securely tape the other end closed.  Your box will then look something like this ~

Now take your ugly frame and get rid of any cardboard or paper backing (you can't see through that, you know *winks*).  Just keep the frame and the glass.  Set your frame on top of the box with the back side of the frame up.  Make sure your frame sits securely on the box and that nothing wobbles!  Now comes the tissue paper fun!

Take a piece of plain old ordinary cheap tissue paper and lay it on top of the glass.  My frame has these little bendable points in it which hold the glass in place.  I slid the tissue paper under the points.  If your frame doesn't have anything like this, make friends with your local picture framer and ask them if they could put some in your frame for you.  They may charge you a little bit, but it will be worth it!

Now you are ready to test this out!

Shine your lamp or bright flashlight in the box.  I like this lamp because I can aim it where I want the light to go.  Also, although it does get hot (it is kind of old), I can keep it from touching the glass, frame and cardboard.  And I never leave the light on in this tracing light box on when I am not tracing!

Does it work?  You bet!

Put your photograph, drawing or whatever you want to trace on top of the tissue paper.  This little image of Fiona is on regular photo paper from an ink jet printer - so it is heavy, but not as heavy as chip board.

That's a regular piece of 24 pound Xerox copy paper on top of the photo paper.  Voila!  That's photo paper is pretty heavy and I can still see the details well enough to trace them.
Here's a few last minute details...
  • DO NOT LEAVE THIS TRACING LIGHT BOX UNATTENDED.  You know - lamp, heat, hot, paper, cardboard - like, don't start a fire, okay!  Turn your lamp off if you are not tracing.  If you can trace from another room, I want to know what planet you are from and whether your arms telescope or stay that long all the time.  If your planet is not nice, nevermind - I don't want to know about the arms after all.
  • BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU HANDLE THE GLASS.  Please*please*please* always be careful when you handle any kind or any size of a piece of glass.  Do not use your glass to slice and dice any body parts.  NO!  That is NOT in the instructions!  NONONONO!
  • BE SURE THAT YOUR FRAME IS FIRMLY PLACED ON YOUR BOX AND THAT YOUR BOX IS ABLE TO SECURELY SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF YOUR FRAME.  In other words, please do not create a landslide that involves your box, frame and glass.  Please!!! 
  • BE SURE THAT YOUR BOX IS ON A GOOD SOLID TABLE AND THAT NOTHING WOBBLES.  No wobbling box, no wobbling frame, no wobbling tables are allowed!  No*no*no*no!
  • BE SURE THAT YOUR GLASS IS SECURELY HELD IN YOUR FRAME.  If you can't get your picture framer to help you out with those really fun little flexible points, then glue the glass in the frame.  That is why we bought a cheap ugly frame.  Glue the glass in and you will never be tempted to use this frame to put your artwork in it.  *shivers at the thought*
And - last of all, have fun and look at all the moola you just saved!  Go check out what a tracing lightbox this size would have cost you.  Yep, you can get a fancy coffee now - or, if you're me - you can make a trip to Pralines of Prescott for some real chocolate!

Happy tracing!

Not in Prescott and you still want great chocolate?  Pralines of Prescott will ship it right to you!  mmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

100 years in my hands...

Last night I had breakfast for dinner - not very unusual except that I had oatmeal which is usually reserved for breakfast in the morning. In the quiet of the evening, I realized something rather amazing...

I was eating Nana's favorite breakfast in a 100 year old china bowl from my Great Aunt Doll with a 70 year old spoon from my mother while playing Grandmother's favorite solitaire game on a computer.


Oh yeah *rolls eyes* and I lost the solitaire game =p

The grass withers, and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord abides for ever.
1 Peter 1:24b-25a

Friday, September 24, 2010

A little off Broadway Funtry Friday!

I love live theater!  Over the years I have seen many plays in lots of different settings.  There is nothing quite like watching real people on a stage bring a story to life.  Nothing that is, except perhaps a little ‘real life’ bringing some ‘off Broadway’ fun to your Funtry Friday! 

See if you can guess which play the Off Broadway Paulden Players are performing ~
Bird on a Cold Steel Roof

Around the Yard in One Afternoon

Round-Up and Old Weeds

Peepers by the Half-Dozen

The Importance of Being Forrest

Okay - I think those were pretty easy to guess!  What do you think?  Happy Funtry Friday!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wedding bells ringing? Give the gift of art!

Patch is hosting the EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival, and because she LOVES weddings, the theme is wedding inspired!  Here are some fun things from my little corner of the Etsy world that would be lots of fun to give that special couple on their wedding day.

A little moonlight, for romance...


 A wish for no cloudy skies!

Beautiful Summer Evening
Some good advice ;-)

Does this tail make me look fat?

Wishes for a happy family life!


And, a little candlelight to chase away the darkness ~ 

Do you hear wedding bells ringing?  Give the gift of art!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A (((very little))) Plein Aire painting fun!

Okay - I joke about my great Plein Aire painting adventures a lot!  And there is a reason for that - well, several reasons *laughs*  So I thought that I would show you a few of those reasons *winks*

Today, mind you, I have ventured off of the porch and I am sitting under a tree.  A willow tree, to be specific (not that it really matters - *lol* but just in case you wanted details *winks*)

I had a little bit of trouble juggling things today because I wasn't working on an ACEO*.  I was painting on a lovely Canson Montval 9 x 12 inch watercolor block.  That's still a nice size to hold in my lap, but the logistics of paint, water, brushes and paper just weren't working for me.  Being resourceful (and not far from the house) I hauled in the reserves.

Actually, I hauled over the wheelbarrow... 

It was the perfect location to put my little collection of goodies.  High tech, huh?!  Well, my 'paint case' is really 'high tech', too.  It is an extra bread pan from the kitchen.  Just the perfect size to hold my painting rag, my little ACEOs* (in a plastic bag which keeps them clean and keeps them from flying away in the persistent Paulden wind), my brushes, my little cup of water (very old coffee cup from the dark ages of Melmac), my little spray bottle (very little and very portable) and my lovely little Sennelier travel set of watercolors (yum!!!).

I like to work small (bet you figured that out) so this time I have done four little paintings on one sheet of paper.  The watercolor block is nice because the pages are all glued together so it will stay flat while I work - no matter how wet I get the paper.  Also, it will not flap and fly away in the wind.  Constant and persisitent Paulden wind.  Wind.  Lots of it...

but I digress...

I do have a couple of hints to help if you plan to do several paintings on one sheet of the watercolor block. 
  • First, draw some light pencil lines to show you where you want each painting to stop.  Ummm... and then pay attention to your pencil lines!  *laughs* 
  • The other hint is:  don't slop, don't splash, don't forget what is wet and what is dry, don't mess up what you have already finished *winks* or you will be unhappy.  Hey - if you were doing one 9 x 12 inch painting on that paper, the same thing would be true!
Here is one of the little paintings that I did today ~

The next step is to remove the sheet from the watercolor block and cut the little paintings apart.  These are all heading to my Etsy shop!

Hope you enjoyed our little excursion to the great outdoors for a little plein aire painting fun!  Are you going to grab your paints and a wheelbarrow and have some fun painting outside, too?


*ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals and they are only 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches in size.  Very portable for my plein aire adventures!  hehe!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ah, the dog breeders are at it again!

These are just too good not to share! 

~ Pointer + Setter = Pointsetter, a traditional Christmas pet
~ Kerry Blue Terrier + Skye Terrier = Blue Skye, a dog for visionaries
~ Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed

~ Pekinese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog

~ Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle

~ Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

~ Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

~ Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes
~ Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabrador, a dog that barks incessantly

~ Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by... oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway

~ Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

Happy Puppy Day!   Which one is your favorite?  *roflol*  Really hard for me to choose just one!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How to fly like a chicken.

Did you know that chickens can fly?  They can!  A chicken can fly over a four foot fence and tempt a dog to eat them.  If they employ all of their brain power, they can even fly back over the fence before that happens.  They can also fly up to the top of a six foot fence where they will sit in dazed confusion for a while before flying down.

Stepping Out
Guinea fowl can fly about 30 feet.  In any direction.  This means that they can fly over the entire dog yard and excite the dogs into a frenzy.  Or they can fly up to the peak of the roof where they can run up and down the roof until everyone in the house is awake.

Pea fowl can fly really far.  They don't have to fly away from my dogs, though, because Cookie and Lova are afraid of a bird almost as big as they are.  Pea fowl like to fly up and roost in high places especially where they can make their very *shy and quiet call* echo over the entire countryside at dawn.  Places like the rafters inside a barn where there is an awesome echo and you can't immediately find the bird...

Of course we all know that geese can fly, but did you know that there are times when they will not fly?  Fred and Ethel flew over the fence to come to my yard.  They got fed, so they never left the yard - not even to go into the empty field next door.  They never flew south for the winter...  They never flew to the lake...  They never flew to the top of the roof...

My rooster flying up to the top of a six foot fence is living up to his potential.  The roof top guinea fowl and the barn rafter pea hen are living up to their potential.  But did Fred and Ethel live up to their full potential?

For that matter... do I? 

Some of us are made to soar with the eagles.  Some of us are made to flap with the chickens.  We all have different talents and different limitations.  We also all have different potentials.

Well, whatever my potential, I am going to take a lesson from these birds and do my best to flap my wings and fly wherever the Lord wants to take me today!  How about you?


But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Friday, September 17, 2010

Funtry Friday on the road again!

Care to join me for a little stroll around the 'block'?  Grab your walking shoes and your camera!  Here we go....

Good morning, Penne!  Hungry?  Guess we should feed her before we take off for our walk.  Here you go....  I love the pretty green feathers on her neck.  She is molting now and I am finding all kinds of VERY cool fluffly feathers all over the place =)

Oh, look!

Wow!  those babies can run just about as fast as the adults! 

Quick!  one more photo before they dive into the bushes and dash away!  The babies have feathers now so they don't look all fuzzy anymore.  They sure do grow fast!

Okay, let's head down the road over here....

Well, what in the world?  Usually there are little birds at the sod farm, but these are pretty big and they have long stilty legs...  'Course, we have had a few lost pelicans and an egret here, too - you just never know what we will see!  Nice of the sod farm guys to give them a good puddle =)

YIKES!  What was that?

Oh, my!  how cute!  *whew*  I am not sure who was more startled - this little guy or me!  I almost stepped on him before he dashed out from under the bush and headed to the other side of the fence.  Hmmmm..... 

I think it's time to head back to the lil' old homestead and get out the paints.  That little guy is really cute and he needs to be a painting!

Well, thanks for joining me on my Funtry Friday walk!  I'll catch you on the other side of this little painting =)

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Never quite Wordless Wednesday - *roflol* No exception here!

Aren't these great!

I won!  I won!
I won the 7 Card Draw ACEO fun on Etsy!
*dances around the room*

I got to pick 7 cards from the 'prize pool' just for tackling Mr. Random Dude and making him pick my name *winks*  He has a weakness for chocolate, you know so I threw out a large pile and.... 

Naw - the random number generator really picked my comment number and that's how I won.  Check out the wonderful shops that these artists have!

The very fun puppy card, "Best Friends", and magnet aceo is by RaysOfGrace - I have a special friend who will receive this card soon.

That cool little rooster, "Good Morning Rooster" (yes, I have a weakness for all things chicken!  lol!) is by Lazyhawk.

Those two absolutely gorgeous photographs, "After the Rain" and "Covered in Snow", are by alwaysartistic (thank you for the little extra!  I love them both!).

The cute little kitties sitting on the fence having a "Midnight Rendezvous" are by BrokenMuse.

The very fun hot air balloon is by Raedawn - that is me up there!

The dreamy mountains with the soft clouds is by johnniebelinda - what a peaceful place to be.

And the tiny little city with the fall colored trees, "Autumn on the Hill" is by leepierce - It's a fun reminder of all the Fall festivities that are just around the corner.

Thank you all!  I am so excited to add these to my little collection!  

You want to have some fun, too?  Search the Etsy forums for the latest  "7 Card Draw" thread where you can win up to 7 ACEOs!  Lots of talent and lots of fun.  It was hard to pick just 7 - there is so much beautiful artwork there!

Have a winner of a day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some thoughts about now...

There are still lots of sunflowers blooming around here!  I love to watch them turn their little flower faces to the sun throughout the day.  I amazes me that a plant can move to seek the sun...  *roflol*  I know - crazy thing to be amazed by, but I am amazed!

This morning the whole roadside bevy of sunflowers were facing the rising sun.  Now, thy have turned and are starting to face west.  Relentlessly, they follow the sun - day by day, hour by hour...

When I watch them do this, I have a habit of calling them Sonflowers *laughs* Watching them reminds me to keep my eyes on the Son, Jesus.  Now if I could just be as diligent  as those flowers...

Sometimes I wonder what a difference it would make for our country, too, if we kept our eyes on the Son.  In any case, I think we would be wise to heed His words ~

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." 
Matthew 10:16

In the days following this anniversary of 9/11, we need to have forgiveness - and we need to also be watchful and pray for our leaders and our country.

Well, that's my 'two cents' worth, as my Mom always used to say!  Hope you all are having a blessed weekend!  Have a happy start of a brand new week =)


Friday, September 10, 2010

A little Funtry Friday with the Queen of all Cats!

Ah, yes - here is Forrest in one of her favorite places...  the garden!

It is especially her favorite place when the water is running...

Now, please take note that there is a full bowl of water not five feet away from where she is.  For some reason, muddy puddles are her favorite soda shoppe.  I have seen her tip toe through yards of mud just to get to the perfect rain puddle!  She really loves her outdoor watering holes.  When I turn on the hose, she comes running!

Well, she comes running until it is time for The Queen of all Cats to take a cat nap!

Hope you have a purrrrrfect day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Never quite Wordless Wednesday...

But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words =p

Okay... Well, I know that someone out there has had a hard time getting the 'family' to all pose for a picture...  and, I expect that you have all had at least one 'clown' that just has to do something to get all the attention!  In this case, Bethie got distracted by the yummy willow tree and, - yep, that's Forrest 'the clown' in the front with the great tail 'shot'!

Happy Wednesday!  (wordless or not *winks*)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What did I do this Labor Day weekend? Wellllll.....

I visited with friends ~

Yeah - he really is there!  Look in the upper left hand corner to see my little toad friend hiding in plain sight!

I rescued a little baby~

This little guinea got caught in the weeds.  I rescued him - and couldn't resist taking a picture, too =)  After he recovered from his little shock, he went happily off with his family ~

Then I spent some time just hanging out with the horses and I could resist doing a sketch of each one of them ~

"In the Tall Grass" ~ Hershey

"Time to Munch!" ~ Billie Jane

What did you do with your weekend?
Hope you had as much fun as I did!


PS - Yep!  Those little ACEOs are heading to my Etsy shop!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wow! I was featured on the EtsyBloggers Team blog today!

Today Pam of MagdaleneJewels wrote a really nice blog post featuring my artwork on the EtsyBloggers Team blog!

Check out the blog post ----- here ----- !

Thank you, Pam of MagdaleneJewels!  And thank you EtsyBloggers Team!

Stroll through the EtsyBloggers blog and you will find the blog roll of all the shops - there are some very talented people listed there!  Have fun!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

When is a bloom not a bloom?

Ah, yes, another post that says 'take a look at this - what do you see?"

One bloom?  two blooms?  a dead weed?  future munchies?  bird food?

Well, the flowers you see could be all of those things and none of those things!   Sunflowers grow wild around here and, indeed, these were not planted by me - they just sprang up when I watered what I did plant. 

Does that make them just weeds?  I guess I like to think of them more as a gift.  A bright, unexpected spot of beauty in my garden. 

And, in the case of this one, definite future munchies!

Where did they come from?  Well, seeds, of course *winks*  Some have come back year after year from the first plant that grew and went to seed - LOL - the one I did plant.  Some are definite imports from the wind or traveling birdies =p

But, one thing is for sure.  The dried up and withered flowers are very important.  They look usless and some would say ugly, but without the seeds that they provide, there would be no more flowers.  And no more future seeds...

So, guess what?  I am going to give those tired old withered flowers just as much attention as I am the final fresh blooms of summer.  After all, just because something is old, tired and/or ugly doesn't mean that it is without purpose and usefulness!

Hmmm...  I think I can apply that thought to a few other areas of my life.  Guess I will chat with you all later... I have a phone call I need to make!


Jesus said, "Truly, truly I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
John 12:24

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Right place at the right time! More baby pictures!!!

Check this out!

Tonight I was in the right place at the right time!  I snuck around the goat pen and ended up by my fence just about the time the adult guineas were moving.  The babies were on one side of the fence and the adults were on the other side.  And then......

The babies came through the fence - right between my feet!

That little fuzzy spot of blue in the up left corner is me! 

Isn't this baby cute!  They are all hatched with stripes like this - but in all different colors.  These are still very young so they don't have any real feathers except on the very tips of their wings.  You can just barely see the little wing feather on this baby.  Look at the baby's right wing and you can see where it is smoother and not quite as fluffy.

Here are some of the little ones heading over to mama and the other adults.  The grey one is the mama.

And off they go! There are more babies than what you see here - six or seven - *roflol* it is really hard to count them because they move so fast!

So, now you have Funtry Friday part two on Saturday *winks* Hope you're having a great weekend!


Friday, September 3, 2010

We have babies! No cheek pinching, please... Funtry Friday!

Not that you could find their cheeks - even if you could get close enough to them to try  =p

Not easy to get a photograph of them either!  There are three babies between the far left grey guinea and the first white guinea.

There are five little babies in here - possibly six.  I snuck up behind them to get this shot but I was still very far away.  Ummmm....  none of the brown lumps are babies...  Just a few very quiet road apples =p  

You know I have had one or two things to say about the lovely, quiet little call that the guinea fowl have *laughs* (never heard it?  search the internet for guinea fowl sounds!)  Well, the little chatter that they have with their babies is just the opposite.  It is a very melodious soft bird sound - very hard to describe.  The babies make almost the same sound rather than little peeps like chickens make.  The overall chatter between mom and babies is very sweet.

Mom is a grey guinea - but I can't tell you which one of the birds she is.  The babies will group under mom for a few seconds and then they run off and mingle with all the other adult birds. 

The funniest thing to watch, is when they are in the low weeds.  You only see the weeds moving and then all of a sudden a little bird hops straight up.  If you saw them running on the ground by themselves, you might mistake them for mice.  They dart back and forth and run very fast so it is just about impossible to count them!  These babies are about a week old now. 

They do grow fast!  Newly hatched guinea babies are so tiny that they can go through the wires in a standard bird cage.  Guess how I know that?  *rolls eyes*

Hope your Funtry Friday got your weekend off to a good start!  For those celebrating Labor Day - have a nice long and safe weekend!

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