Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remembering Santa

   I am working on several projects that I cannot reveal just yet because you know, it's Christmas and somethings have to remain a secret for a while. But here is a look back at last year and a special project I had.  
  Last Christmas I painted a gourd and turned it into a special Santa Claus. It is a fun challenge to do because you have to think beyond the front view and come up with a plan for the sides and back of the gourd.  I could have just painted it red and declare it done, but that is just not me.  And I always think it's better when the story is in the details of the project, so here's the story about this particular Santa.
    He was to be a centerpiece for a party and the theme was old time toys at Christmas. The details tell about his personality and what kind of Santa he was.  I did some research on various ideas and came up with some old fashion things that would make him look the part.
Here he is about a third of the way through. You can see how I blocked in major color shapes for my plan. I painted the face early on because it has to go behind the beard, of course and because then it helps to have him staring back at me.  You may think I'm crazy, but it's like he was talking to me and telling me what to do next.
 He's been reading his mail and working on his list, thinking about what who should receive what. That's a feather pen in his left hand.  He's got a gingerbread snack in one pocket and a watch in another so he won't be late.
Like I was saying, I couldn't leave it just red. I wanted to give the back some design too. So he's wearing a cape with blue moons and stars on the trim and a tassel hood.
    I love how he turned out and it was very hard to give him away at the party for the raffle.  But he went to a very good home of my friend. So I know he will be brought out every Christmas and enjoy the celebration.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Time for Reflection

Thanksgiving is time to reflect on things we appreciate in life.  So today as I start the baking the pumpkin and apple pies, memories of cooking with my mom and my aunts. They taught me how to cook and at the same time taught me the value of being creative. Recipes were invented, written down, and traded.  The kitchen was also the place to be creative with sewing and painting. We used the counter to spread out the materials of whatever we were working on and just set to work.

This past week I discovered some new bulbs sprouting in my garden under the studio window.  I wonder how long it will take for them to show their blooms.

 And here's a peek at some little star boxes that I painted up for Christmas presents. Love the prim designs by Donna Atkins. I'm not sure who these will be for, but it's sure nice to have them done.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Windows Reveal So Much

  Today I am going to post pictures of an ATC swap I hosted on the Milliande Art network.  The theme was "Windows".   In the beginning I thought it would be a way for me to give back a little to this wonderful community of creative women who have shared so much with me creatively and personally.  Somewhere in the middle I realized that I was receiving so much from each woman who personally created cards and even sent wonderful extra pieces of ephemera along for me to use later in other creations.

 I loved opening up each envelope and package to see what treats for the eye they held and where they came from. Each one revealed a unique idea, but centered around the "window" theme. Some opened, some gave a view through plastic or gauzie fabric, some with cut-out sections, and others with sketched details. Colored, painted, inked, drawn, glued, sewn, stamped,  folded, and printed, each one so special I had a hard time deciding which to keep and which to send on.  

 I tried to save them all in my basket so that none would be misplaced.  A basket full of mail- treasure!
I would like to personally thank Kit Bauer, Sonja Milojevic, Dove Clark, Dawna, Barbara Dyrda, Anne Trudell, Kalona, Ruth Dailey, Monika Schmid, Pam Parker, Cindy Riordan, Pam Zirbel, Julka Vlajic, Sue Horsley, Christine Stuart, Patricia Gonzalez, Mary Larner, and Mary Austen for participating in my first hosted swap.

My own ATCs for this swap by cutting a 7"x2 1/2" piece of watercolor paper in half and inking it with a few layers to make a soft background. Then carved my own stamp from rubber for the front and cut part of the eye out so that it would be a little window. The stamps on the inside are some of my favorite stamps from other designers.

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