Donnerstag, 29. September 2016

In the Works

Whimsy Project  

This doll project is almost done, but it is drying now, until midday tomorrow, so then I can do the last bits and take pictures of the finished piece.

For now, here are some of the steps of In Progress:

The armature gets wool felted over it.

The bare head gets eye shading, eyebrows, and the beginnings of hair, in wool, yarn, and silk roving.

A length of silk fabric gets tea dyed, ironed, hemmed, and....

... stamped with autumn motifs, a border attached, and the top gathered.....

.... and put on the doll body.

Bits of this and that are sewn or set out for possible accessories.

A silk snippet makes a vest, and a braid cord a belt. In the upper right is a silk rose I made in the same burgundy red.

Then I put the head on, which is drying now. I still need to decorate the boots and style the hair and add accessories, but should finish that tomorrow, I hope.

Mittwoch, 28. September 2016

Shades of Art to Come

Look what I just got in the mail, along with a few other art necessities! The mixed media class got me excited to try mono printing with a gel plate. I have always loved the look of mono print techniques, but the expense of equipment and materials puts me off from trying it. This is a very approachable method, however, and I am excited to get going. 

I have so much to do today and the rest of this week, but I am not sure I can restrain myself... 

More to come! 

Montag, 26. September 2016

Gems and Stuff

The leaves are turning, but it's been really rainy lately. When it's nicer out and the trees are more colorful, I'll try to get a picture or so.

I tried to draw some colorful gems. I got quite frustrated with them. Also, I have added a white gel pen to my shopping list. Making indents in the paper with a closed retractable pen does not work as well as one might like for making extra shininess.

This one, I just reserved a spot for the highlight. It didn't work very well.

Not much art this past week, I'm afraid, although I did get a few of my several half-done books finished. (Reading, not writing haha) But, speaking of writing, I did enter my very first short story contest. It's a back-to-school-themed thing on Wattpad, hosted by Lenovo. But I thought maybe you'd like to read it. So, here it is. Yay! Lots of scariness.

In case you'd like some random odd facts about "Tadpoles"...
  • It was born Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at 12:09 a.m. (I know this because it was a middle-of-the-night brat that I scribbled down in my strange ideas/free-writes/unloading-writing-feelings journal. Haha. I don't know if I'm feeding the monster or helping it to be calmer by letting these things out onto pages; but it does seem to help my sanity the tiniest bit. Kind of like sticking things in the closet or attic or something. Out of sight, out of mind, but you know you can go look at it and pull it out if you ever want to.)
  • It is the first thing I have ever published on Wattpad. (I'm still kind of new to the site as far as using it goes, so I hope I did all right.)
  • While editing, I had a friend from art school read it over email and point out where I could add more words, to bring the count up to within the requirements for the contest and fill the story out. (I tend to write sparingly, I think.)
Now that I have done entirely much more blabbering than I had intended... At least this post isn't as woefully short (compared to my last) as I was afraid it would be. Of course, quality is always better than quantity. Unless you're practicing something, maybe. Like, I should be drawing lots more and not worrying about getting it just right. Right?

Sonntag, 25. September 2016

End of Season

First Sunday of Autumn
The last few roses are bravely putting on a last show of summer color....

... defying the cooler days and chilly nights.

It is time now for fall colors....

... even if they aren't forest grown or handmade.

And some cheesecake for what was probably our last grill of the year.  It was a fine evening and the cheesecake was much approved - a new recipe with fluffy egg whites - though it didn't look like much (so I added a fruit mix on top for color). 

The bunnies and ponies are getting fluffy, too.

And we brought in our pretty, big pumpkins. I started 15 sturdy plants from saved seeds,  of which a dozen were planted first and promptly eaten by slugs. The next three went into pots and turned into one pumpkin, one long orange squash and one round green squash - oh, well: variety. Then we found three volunteers growing on the manure pile, and those grew into these lovely big treasures. Think of the soup and pies.

Tomorrow may see some continuation of art projects.

Blessings on your Sunday.

Samstag, 24. September 2016

...And Up

Finish up and Put up

Those little decorative projects that were started yesterday needed to be done today. This how they turned out:



The lovely guest has arrived. The husband returned with bountiful produce from our own trees and vines. And tomorrow we have a grill.


Have a nice Saturday.

Freitag, 23. September 2016

In Progress

Bits and Pieces

The Welcome board in our entry needs a new piece on it. I took the summer insert down. This evening, after much bestirring of dust and cobwebs today, I pulled out some autumn motif wood pieces and started adding washes of color.

Tomorrow I will figure out how to finish them.

Fall Flourishing

Donnerstag, 22. September 2016

Do, Disaster, and Salvage


Yesterday I started my final class project, the one that is for my specially-extended class-of-one. It is for a polymer clay and felted doll on an articulated armature. To begin, I made and baked the back of the head, so I would have a stable surface for working the face. I baked that, with the feet that I had modelled a while ago.
This is the start.

The feet are supposed to fit in the class kit boots, so I had to squish them in the format.

After baking, try feet in boots: with some persuasion, they fit.

And likewise on the armature. So far so O.K.

Then I began the face - instead of doing the house cleaning on today's agenda. Around chores and duties, it came together mostly all right. So this evening I decided to call it enough and put it in to bake. And check, and bake, while doing lots of evening duties. And check and bake. And check and bake. OH, NO! Too much.
How it starts.

How it looked before baking. This was after major amounts of modelling and re-modelling, taking out an eye to reposition, taking off the nose to move it over a tad, adding more head clay, putting on the neck, and much more.

What a disappointment.


I have no time to model another, so time to get creative. I pulled out my acrylics and went to to work.

This will get more color details, but at least the dark is gone.

It will have to do for this one. This is just another practice piece, so it doesn't really matter, and I call it a lesson learned.
I still have to do the hands. Then it needs to be felted and finished. Later.
Tomorrow I really have to do the cleaning and numerous other things. So the final results will come later.


Today is the first day of autumn, a notable day.

Rose hips forming

Foggy mornings

Apples ripening

Leaves turning colors and fruits setting

Happy Fall to you and yours.

Mittwoch, 21. September 2016

Flowers and Peeling Paint Effect

The mixed media online class has ended.  It ended with quite a lot of inspiration from the work of other students.  I have lots of ideas, and a few pages left in my journal that I would like to fill, as well as some pages that didn't get very far and could stand some more layers.  My goal is to keep working on that as I am enjoying playing with mixed media very much.  Time is barely allowing, however, now that it is fall and the garden harvest still requires a lot to finish and now we are supposedly doing school every day.  This year I have 3 school age kids, plus a toddler and preschooler (and put together those two are sort of tornado-ish these days).  I also have several of my own educational goals including working through a course about teaching writing and an online book discussion/study group.  Supposedly I am reading The Brothers Karamosov for a discussion next week, except that I have only made it to page 40 out of, I dunno, 4 hundred million or something.

But art is fun and addictive, so I have bee doing a little here and there in my journal.  Here are the results.

The idea in the class was to just "get something down" on the pages and see what happens.  I have trouble with this.  I really like having a plan.  I am a planner.  It's what I do, fruitfully or otherwise.  I most enjoy having an idea in my head of where I want to go with a page-- I feel like it is all more cohesive that way.  With this page, I had it planned out about this far:

That is ruler lines with black and white china markers, then concentric circles and paint marker dots on the circles, watercolor over it all.  I actually like it a lot that way.  But I kept going...

Here is what I ended up with.  Tinted texture-paste chevrons, stenciled dots and flowers, a little rubbed gesso to blend some of it back and lettering on top.  I feel like it's a little busy with a lot going on, but I really do like it.

Another thing I've been wanting to play with is a technique that gives the effect of old peeling paint.

My kids tell me that this one looks like ladybugs.  Indeed.  I guess it does, and that is not what I was going for... But maybe I should add something to that effect with collage.

This next one was really fun.  I'm not a big motorcycle fan myself (I want to live, thank you.), but I know lots of people who love them.  And there is something about a motorcycle that lends itself to an interesting silhouette.  

I actually would like to try this again and use a vintage motorcycle ad or logo as the underlayer, if I can come up with such a thing.  The bike itself was a silhouette that I printed out, but the print quality was so bad that I ended up coloring it in with black paint markers and then adding a few details with white.  I quite like the effect.

We have also done quite a few trips to interesting places lately --some while my Mom was visiting us, and yesterday to the zoo-- and it occurred to me last night that it would be nice to show those here.  However, I am ashamed to admit that I have been horribly remiss in taking photos of our excursions.  Something about keeping my  hands on the toddler causes me to keep my hands off the camera... I do have a few things I can show, so hopefully I will get to that soonish.

Dienstag, 20. September 2016

Drawings, Drawings, Drawings, and a Lumpy Hair Scrunchie


So one night I wanted to draw something with my cool drawing pencils and color it in with my awesome Prismacolor pencils. So this happened:

For some reason, I drew and erased her lower body over and over again because I just wasn't satisfied. I think it was somewhat because of a bunch of stuff going on in my head. :P But yeah. I guess this is kinda cute.

I drew this portrait of my beautiful little niece for my dear sister Anna and brother-in-law Cody for their 1st anniversary. :) I find several faults in it of course, but that is because I'm my own critic. I give myself credit though, because babies' faces are extra challenging, and this did work out all right. I've done a friend's baby's portrait a couple years ago, but this one was even more special. They liked it, and I hope they enjoy it forever!

And this is something I made for my cousin's wedding gift. Again, I used my awesome drawing pens. This was a fun piece of work. I feel like the border is pretty boring, but the whole thing looks kinda nice, I suppose.


I tried drawing some "fashion figures", nine heads tall and all that stuff. I'd always wanted to try that slightly different style, but never got around to it until Sarah Marie mentioned that contest and I decided give it a shot.

Sketched with pencil first,

Outlined in pen, then erased pencil lines,

And colored with markers and pencils.

Tried drawing some guys, too. Because I neglect guys a lot. That's probably why I'm even worse at them: lack of practice. Haha.

I made a lumpy hair scrunchie this week, too. I used the sleeve off one of my little sisters' old rag shirts instead of cutting a strip and sewing it into a tube, so it wasn't uniform in width. But I just wanted something quick, because I was tired of the boring store-bought scrunchies I had. And I didn't have anything with enough of an autumn vibe to suit me at the moment.

I used about eight inches of elastic. Pinned the safety pin on the end to help me thread it through the "tube" (a.k.a. little sleeve), which wasn't as difficult as if I'd sewn an actual tube, so I almost didn't even need the pin.

I overlapped the elastic ends by about 3/4" and sewed them together all haphazardly with lots of knots and some blanket stitches.

Then I straightened out the material as well as it could be straightened and sewed the edges together sort of mattress-stitchy to close the "tube". (I sewed the first little section to the elastic so it wouldn't slide around, but instead the overlapped elastic and the joining seam of the cloth would be buddies forever.)

Ta-da! Lumpy scrunchie.

This is like my go-to work hairdo. Sloppy bun, slap the hat on, and we're good. The scrunchie doesn't hold the hair as tightly as a regular hair elastic does, so I don't get a headache as fast that way. :)

And I tried out some chibi drawing, too.

P.S. If you would like to see what I entered in the contest, it is here. I got my sister Anna to enter, too! Here is her drawing! I think you can vote on the stuff (it says something about once every 24hrs, too!? And the voting period runs until the 25th.). :)