Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Markin' stuff off the list!

*Spoiler alert* If you are my mother, close this page down now! If not, please, carry on.

Okay, no day job today so I took a few chunks out of my long to-do list. One of the most unfun adult chores, paying the bills, was done this morning. With that out of the way it was time to do some more pleasant tasks. Lots of creating going on these days which, is lots of fun, but can also be exhausting.
Case in point, last night this Mama had had enough and promptly took a drink and a hot bath!
I found my mother's Christmas gift last month which is amazing, but I wanted to add something homemade from the boys. I believe I saw this idea on Pinterest, and did a similar project this spring for Mother's Day. Simple and fun personal art with my boys, that's right up my alley!
My sons each did their own separate canvas board, but I connected the lines for them so she can display them together as one. Now I can mail out her package tomorrow and check two more things off my list.

I love their little fingerprints for the colorful lights.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Art with my boys

Last night Harlon asked to paint with watercolors. I love that boy dearly, he reminds me of the painting I should be doing. Unfortunately I was in the middle of a Mrs. Claus costume for the school Christmas program, so I promised him we would do watercolor tonight, which ensures I will get some painting done too! I let the boys use my college watercolors, not the expensive paints but not the cheap crayolas. Tonight's theme? Well the boys have received many fascinating stories and wondrous gifts from the ocean via my aunt, and it is her birthday this Sunday SO I thought we'd create her some art. The boys had fun filling their page with some of the items she has sent them and other various mammals. I decide to paint one of the lovely cowrie shells she sent. The ocean has such beautiful treasures. Here are the results.

Harlon painted the large pinshell on the upper right painting.
James painted a conus seahshell on the upper left painting.
I loved spending time with my boys and watching them create. Plus I got to teach them ( and they didn't even whine about it), I showed them how to pick up paint with their brush when they got too much on their paper. Then we shared a pear and some cheese while reading, all in all a really great night. Not bad for a Monday, not bad at all.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spendin' time

Recently I spoke with a fellow pinup artist to see if she had any suggestions for getting some art sales. My goal is to get enough freelance work to stay home part time or full time. So far I have only sold one art print, and thrown lots of money at it. This is very discouraging and some days I feel like throwing in the towel. Still something seems to drive me to create. I am not merely content with a "normal job", in fact it bores me to death some days. There is some balance to this, a day job keeps me in a schedule, something I think might go awry if I was a full time freelancer.
Back to my conversation with fellow artist, she had great suggestions, most of which I am already implementing so patience and persistence are the biggest factors. Not being my strong suit, I better figure out something to do in the mean time. So far I love making gifts for my friends and family, counterproductive I know, and it does take up some time. Currently I am making personalized Santa bags for my boys. More for my benefit, there is no wrapping, just a bag with their name on it filled with gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. Well, it makes me happy anyway, and hopefully inspired to work on some more of my art.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day Off

Today I had a day off from work, which I live for. I have so many things on my to-do list, it's nice to have some time to catch up. I often feel overwhelmed, but today I had goals/deadlines. So it helps me focus more. Daddy-O's birthday is nine days away and I usually drive myself crazy thinking about what to get him, and then end up getting us a room at his holiday party when I come up empty. This year his birthday party and holiday party are farther apart and I wanted to make him something. I am also on a very low budget this year, so I was cruising the net for ideas (again) and came across one on my favorite blogs, I am Momma Hear Me Roar. She has boys as well and has some great ideas. I tend to think that boys are harder to come up with homemade gifts for than girls, but surely there are some things that are easier with boys no?
Today my goal was to work on Daddy-O's gift while he was at work. The boys and I made him some work snacks, from a guest post of I am Momma Hear Me Roar's author, Cheri. I added the mustaches, which are definite giggle getter's. I had a lot of fun making this gift, and I used up some scrap booking materials.

James picked Whoppers, and his label is "sweet", Harlon picked peanuts and his label says "a real nut!" Mom picked out chocolate covered Ritz crackers and her label says "irresistible". Are we talking about the snacks? or the characters? :)

Daddy-O will also be getting some flannel pajama bottoms. The flannel is supreme, and so was the price but it will be worth it to call him Fancy pants. I got the majority of them sewed before I had to clean up for his arrival home.
Since the boys were at swim lessons, I did not help out at school this week, but I did bring home Ellie the elephant who needed some major surgery! So far I took out her insides, made pattern pieces and cut out some new pretty lining for Ellie. I hope to finish her up soon so she can return to reading to the Kindergarten class!
I also got some gold one shot delivered the other day, but did not get to that yet.
Lastly, my son came home last night and claimed I could color in his coloring book photo on the front of his folder. I started coloring it last night, makes me happy coloring, but didn't finish it. This morning I awoke to crying about how I wasn't supposed to color the whole thing in and his lips looked like girls. The whole nine yards. Thank goodness the school secretary came to the rescue and printed him out a new one! He told me tonight I could keep the colored in one. I think I will, and finish coloring it too!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas! AHHHH!

Okay so I snuck into my sewing room tonight to make some neck warmers for the boys since our walk to school this morning was a bit nippy on the face, and I accidentally caught a glimpse of my other sewing projects. (gulp) Well let's see, there is a cute top that I happen to have some white shantung like material for. This shouldn't take long and it would be perfect for that New Years party I'm invited to. There's some flannel waiting to be transformed into Santa sacs and flannel pajama bottoms for Daddy-O's birthday. Oh and there's a cream cable knit poncho that's destine to be throw pillows or a tree skirt. I also unearthed a bra, who's straps have lost their elastic that will work perfectly for some angel wing caps for my niece. So many projects so little time! I can get this done, I can do it! I better stock up on sugar and caffeine!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time? Does anyone have the time?

Ahh the holidays are here and the time is escaping me! November is coming to a close and so is the end of the year. December is a very busy month for me and I don't expect to get much art done at all. Daddy-O's birthday starts out the month and my son's ends it, plus squeeze in holiday parties, and the holidays and my December is GONE!
So tomorrow my plan is to start my Lincoln in watercolor. There should be enough leftovers in the fridge to keep me off meal duty for a long enough stretch. Looking at other art online inspires me to get into some paint.
I have started promoting my art for custom portraits for the holidays. It would be great to have some work orders in.
How do you keep in touch with your art during busy times?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Artist Date

Today I had a date! With myself! And my artist friend. It was lovely to slip away from the family and have a cup of tea and some girl bonding. I do not have a large amount of friends, and consider myself fortunate to have these sporadic get-togethers. It is also great for recharging my creative batteries. These dates are very important, and I have to fight myself the whole way. Maybe I should take the kids for Daddy-O, maybe I shouldn't go. It is driving a long way just for tea, blah, blah, blah. It seems rather silly to admit this aloud but I suspect I am not the only one. Once I go I am very happy I did, I can always benefit from an endorphin boost. So keep that date with your girlfriend or yourself, it's important!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Label for my Aunt

My aunt asked me to make her a label for her oils that could also crossover into business cards. So tonight I got three sketches done. I like the one with the large leaf the best but it will be up to her. I will probably work up one more sketch before I send them to her.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So that's what's going on up there

Saw this on Facebook.
This is exactly how I feel. Pinterest has helped some. It also has made it worse. So many ideas, so little time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In the Zone

Do you know when you are in the zone? Most days I am so busy, creating art is the last thing on my mind. But I need to be more aware of when I am in the zone and act on it. Today it was driving home from town, no boys, music cranked up and a feeling came over me. A feeling of peace and no worries about such things as dinner, homework, laundry, or baths. Now when I say no worries, this doesn't mean that I will not be completing these chores, but rather, I must change my thinking. I can hand off some chores to Daddy-O (after all he got his free time in the garage tonight), leave chores that can be done later, and crank up the music! Music is an escape from my non-stop mind, which allows me to create and feel joy!
Soon the little ones found me, as they always do, and wanted to draw as well. It is great to create alongside my boys and I am glad they love art as much as I do! In fact they goth got outstanding marks in art on their report card! Woohoo!
So here is some awesome work created by my youngest son tonight.

Drawing from a tin print on the dining room wall.

Even if you do not consider yourself an artist, please sit down and draw with your children. They may be an artist waiting to blossom! Even if we are not writers we read to our children, art is equally important.
Have a good evening!

The Lincoln Project

Worked on a project that has been formulating in my artist brain for awhile now. Inspired by a PBS show on Lincoln/Civil War, the election year, and now there is a new Steven Spielberg movie coming out, Lincoln, I have been working on a big sketch of Lincoln. I haven't decided if I want it to be a watercolor or fiber art yet, either way the color scheme will be green.
Lincoln's face expresses a multitude of emotion.

Lincoln was a leader at a very crucial time for our nation. We could have been torn into two countries, and yet he pulled us through, amidst his own depression. How he had the courage to make any decisions is beyond me. The weight of two sides who both claim God was on their side, must have been a heavy one to bear, especially when he was questioning his own spirituality. I think Lincoln's courage was most evident in the fact he explored the hard questions and went to the darkness. Most people would shy away from that, and most citizens do not trust their leaders right now which is a shame, because only when we delve into our darkness can we find the light.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Days Off

Hurt my shoulder today, so typing, drawing cutting, chopping all to a minimum for now. Hopefully ice and ibuprofen will improve things quickly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coffee Cup

My friend Amy, who is a phenomenal artist and could easily have her own gallery show, is doing some art lessons on Facebook for free! I'm taking advantage of this. Here is today's lesson.
And here is my homework.
I like the block/graph method of drawing, Amy is great at using her eyes. Check her out, I'm sure you'll find something you love.

Lazy Sunday

Make that lazy Saturday! Yesterday I was cooking/baking, but not much else. Today seemed to be going the same direction but then I decided to tie up a few to-do's on my list.
My art/sewing room is a project I have been avoiding. A recent picking expedition left me a small path to get into my room. This does not muster any creativity out of me at all!
Little bags of scraps were over flowing and stashed in various places making it difficult to find fabric for my projects. Little scraps are perfect for small projects, plus I have a future, not so small, project in mind to diminish my supply.
Organization can be so beautiful.

 A trip to the department store brought home three clear containers and a rainbow of scraps to my sewing room. Really my mess was not that bad but there were just some big pieces needing a home, besides it's really a shame to have your brother make you a custom art desk and not use it!
I find a constant battle in my mind over being overwhelmed with projects and not producing anything, to being focused and clear on a project and following through with it.
I try to roll with the waves, since life is never smooth sailing the whole way.
I ride out the lazy days and slowly work on small projects. Today's small projects were hemming some jeans, organizing my sewing supplies, and removing a tail and belly patch from last years Halloween costume. It feels good to accomplish these small tasks, perhaps I am on the start of an upswing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fueling your inspiration

I am completely sucked in to watching cooking shows lately. I always love watching cooking shows but the time to watch them is usually not available. Plus I have to compete with the boys for the TV sometimes, but today I was in a cooking mood, and I got that inspiration from watching others cook. I wish it were that easy with art. Beside occasionally catch old Joy Of Painting episodes at midnight they do not have many art shows on television. Such a shame!
Luckily artist are inspired by many subjects, so what refuels your inspiration? Usually plugging in my ipod and cracking up the tunes gets me inspired and submerged in my art. Unfortunately due to theft I am with out an ipod at this time, something I must replace soon.
Today I created pumpkin art! Pumpkin cranberry bread and Spiced Heirloom Pumpkin Pie. The bread turned out great, the boys loved it and the pie is cooling now. If it turns out well it may make it into my Thanksgiving menu.
Please share what inspires you to create.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What inspires art?

Watching "Sweet Genius" with my boys, and they are using bacon(not such a challenge?) and puppies to create desserts. "What are the puppies for?" my youngest son asks. Giggling to my self thinking that he is having visions of puppies going into cupcakes, I assure him "They are using them for inspiration.". "What's inspiration?" Children have the best qusetions. One definition, to stimulate to action; motivate, brings to mind a question. What inspires my art?
Surely I am aware of artists being inspired by love, poverty, religion, and money, but when I create art, I am not sure what inspires me. In a general statement I could say beauty, but really there is beauty in everything, and what calls to me in certain objects more than others? No answers....but perhaps no answers are needed. Here's what I do know, drawing faces, particularly women's faces, brings me much joy and challenges me.
Today I sketched, what else, a woman. I am not satisfied with her, but I rarely am, another curse of the artist, so I decided to stop. After all, this is just daily practice, not creating masterpieces!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birch Bark

I am much better at portraits than nature so perhaps some practice will improve this. I was going to draw a woman standing next to a tree but decided the tree was more interesting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The wonder of an art "first"!

Today I got to see the bright faces of children who had discovered something new with art today!

I am helping my son's teacher with her class while she does some state mandated evaluations. Today was the first time the class got to do watercolor, and I got to teach them!

We had some coffee filters that we folded up and then we put on the paint, seeing if we could mix two primary colors to get a secondary color! Seems simple I know, but the look on the children's faces when they opened up their filters to see their original designs was priceless.

 I didn't take any pics, but I am going back tomorrow to help again so perhaps I can sneak a few pics. Sometimes the simplest things makes children so happy and they are learning too. One watercolor set with paintbrush and some paper will set you back maybe ten dollars, and the hours of fun and learning are worth every penny.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day One

I think I spent too much time on this, not that it wasn't fun but, if I am going to commit to this everyday I may need to time myself. So today it was an ornamental pumpkin, because............... it was in front of me.
Time to read to the kiddies and get them tucked in.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I, as any mother, wear many hats, but the one I yearn to wear more is that gorgeous, velvet and silk halo hat with the bird cage netting. Such an impractical hat for my everyday life and it yet it suits me so well. My artist hat makes me happy, free, and powerful, so why do I banish it to the back of the closet, saving it for another day? The list of excuses are endless and transparent. Perhaps if I just take my hat out once a day and try it on for ten minutes? Likewise creating art should not always be a huge block of uninterrupted time(dreamland for mothers), so I will challenge myself to creating one piece of art per day, even if it is only coloring a page in my children's coloring book. I hope you will join me on my journey and add some more art to your day!