Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paintings from Home

I'm still catching up on things I made during my trip to AZ here, so these are the two watercolors I managed to paint.  Not my best work, but I still like them.  They are images of my childhood home and so I will always cherish them for the memories they hold.

The first painting is of my dad's old shed.  He actually has three sheds in the yard now, but I like the color of the old rusty metal roof on this one.


And this one is a view of the cow pastures to the west of my house.  It's mostly brown this time of year, but it still looks beautiful to me :)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two Cute Birthday Cards

Among other cards and letters from family, I received two super cute birthday cards from my awesome sisters last week!  So, of course, I had to share them.  I may have to copy these designs in the future :)


I usually don't like to make a big deal out of my birthday.  I don't like huge parties and I don't even have my birthday listed on my FB profile- shocked?! Ya, it's not my thing.  But I absolutely LOVE getting cards and phone calls from my family-  they make it special :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Photo of the Week


Happy Monday!  Today I leave you with another photo of spring, which I took in AZ.  We've had some glimpses of beautiful spring weather in Utah, but today it's back to the blustery rain and wind- yuck.  I hope the weather is beautiful today wherever you readers out there are  :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

First Blossoms of Spring


While in Arizona last week, I caught the first blossoms of spring! Hooray!  They are my favorite things to look for in early spring.  I'm seriously thinking of doing some watercolors of these too.

Enjoy the photos!


PS. We will be closing on our house in a few weeks so things will be a bit crazy for me and I may not be crafting quite as much.  I'm so excited to move into my new home and start decorating it!  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Big Stinkin' Mess

So, I decided today that I would try and wash some yarn I have.  Since my stash mostly comes from the thrift store and it tends to be really itchy, I thought that would be a good idea.  Little did I know that this would happen- yikes!

At first I could only laugh- what else can you do?!


This is going to take me FOR-E-VER to untangle!  And to make things worse, I happened to do this right when we are in the process of buying a house- aaaah! I am so tempted to just chuck this stinkin' mess in the trash and forget it.

A word to the wise-  only wash one ball of yarn at a time!  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Photo of the Week


Hi! I'm back from sunny Arizona and it is so hard to come back to the snow in Utah- ugh.  Last week I took a much needed vacation to visit family and a much needed vacation from blogging.  That was refreshing!

Here's a pic I took at Patterson's pond in my home town of St. Johns, AZ.  We made two trips to the pond while we were there and my little guy could have stayed there all week- seriously.

I'll be posting more photos from my trip soon! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crochet Flower and Bead Necklace


Need some new jewelry ideas?  Well, I've got a few.  I didn't make anything new for this project... I just combined my bead necklaces with my crochet flowers and .... there you have it!  Kinda fun huh ?!


I used safety pins to attach the flowers to the necklaces, that way I can change the flowers around whenever I want. 


Don't you just love crochet flowers?  I sure do! They have so many uses and I keep discovering more.  They make me happy :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sewing Semi-Failure: Reversible Tote


ok, I'm not going to beat around the bush here- I struggle with sewing! I've tackled a few sewing projects in the past weeks and this little bag here is the best thing I've made so far, even though it has some issues.

It looks ok from a distance, but upon closer inspection the flaws become apparent. That's why I'm calling it a semi-failure.  I can still use it, but it's got problems.


Since I haven't had any success with using real patterns yet, I used a tutorial from Good Times Never Seem Sew Good to make this little bag.  I do so much better when I have good pictures to show me what to do!  It's an easy tutorial to follow- I only had problems because I tried to make my own variations.  I think I'll just stick to the basics from now on.


Well, I am off on a little trip to my hometown in AZ tomorrow!  I've got lots of family to visit so I won't be posting quite as often- just fyi.  I've got a post scheduled for next week and I'll try to post some photos from my trip!  Have a lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Crochet Owl Purses


 I tried out a new crochet pattern for Owl Purses, found at Mama G's Big Crafty Blog (cool name for a blog huh?).

I love these because they are so easy and quick to make- not to mention adorable!  Plus I was able to use up some left-over scraps of yarn- that's always a good thing :)


I think these will end up being gifts for my nieces.... little girls would love these right?!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Photo of the Week


Last week I had a little fun with Picnic, a free photo editing software that is sadly leaving in April.  I was just getting to know it too! Ah well, you gotta love free stuff anyway, right?!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Progressive Watercolor Art Tutorial



Ok, are you ready for another watercolor painting tutorial?!  I am having fun with these.  I love that I get to share some art skills I've picked up over the years with all of you.  It's the art educator in me that gets excited :)

So, today you get to learn how to make, what I call a Progressive Watercolor Painting.  It's something I learned in high school and it's pretty simple to make.  The painting above is the one I painted especially for this tutorial.  The one below is my very first progressive painting and to tell you the truth, I like this one the very best.  It reminds me of the ocean.



So here's how you make it:

Materials:
watercolor paints & brush
watercolor paper
a stiff board to tape your paper too
masking tape
pencil
blow dryer


Step 1:  Make a few sketches.

Take some time to plan how you want your painting to look.  It really pays off in the end. You can google images of cool looking plants to get some ideas.  Anything organic looking tends to turn out really well.

Here are a few sketches I made, just playing around to see what different shapes would look like.


Step 2:  Tape your paper down.

Lay your paper on a stiff board of some kind and tape it down with masking tape.  This secures your paper while you work and makes a nice border.



Step 3:  Draw the center of your design.

Locate the center of the paper and lightly draw the center of your design.  You only need to draw the very center at first.  I chose a flower design.  So I started with a basic flower shape in the middle.



Step 4:  Paint a light wash over the entire area of the paper.

Yes, you paint over the center drawing you made.  To make a wash, mix up your color of choice with some water and spread it as evenly as possible over the surface. The point of a wash is to create a smooth colored area.  Mine certainly wasn't perfect, so don't worry to much about it.

Dry the paper completely using a blow dryer.


Step 5: Paint another wash around the center design.

Paint over the entire surface except the center design you drew.  Then let it dry again.  The more washes you paint on, the darker and more saturated the color will be.  The object is to create a gradation of color from the center out.


Step 6:  Draw the next layer of your design.

I added more petals to my flower in between the spaces created by the center petals.


Step 7:  Paint another wash around the second layer and dry.


 Step 8:  Continue the process of drawing in more layers around and then painting a wash around each layer.

Make sure to dry each wash before starting another layer.  Keep going until you fill the frame of your paper.  I ended up doing about 5 layers on my 8 x 10 inch piece of paper.  I just kept adding more petals in the spaces.

Here's a look at the progression of the layers- it's pretty fun to look at!  Now you get why it's called a progressive painting, right?


Step 9:  Carefully remove the masking tape from the sides of your paper.


Ok, all done! All that's left to do is to frame it, hang it up, or do whatever the heck you want to do with it!  Whatever you do, remember to feel proud of yourself for putting in the work and creative a beautiful work of art!


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