Friday, January 23, 2015

She Art Class with Christy Tomlinson

She Art Girl

I am so enjoying experimenting with this Mixed Media thing!   I love being creative and have really taken to learning all I can about this fun way to express and create art.  Christy Tomlinson has an awesome blog and is so generous in teaching the rest of us how she creates the kind of art that she does.  There are oodles of videos available on Youtube that I have been watching in my pursuit of an education in creativity.  : )   

And she offers online workshops and this is the first time I’ve done an online workshop of any kind.  I was blown away!    I signed up for her She Art 2 class and was so happy with the video instruction and all the amazing content she offers with her class.  It was fun, I learned a ton, and the value was incredible.  Lot’s of workshops to pick from.  

So basically last Sunday I spent the majority of the day watching all the videos offered in the She Art 2 class.  And yesterday I got serious and created my first “piece”.  I love being able to use that word.  Ha!  And to be able to show it off somewhere.  I thought “Hey, you have a blog remember?!”  Post it there and share the fun.   The creative juices are flowing!    Happy Friday Everyone!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Turning A Photo Into A Watercolor Painting

Farmer's Market Final

Well this was just plain fun!  I have been dabbling with watercolors lately.  Found a basic set while out shopping for Christmas gifts and decided to pick it up for Santa to leave under the tree for me.  And now that it’s January and I’m pretty much trapped indoors for way much more time than I would like, I broke them them out and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with them.  Between working on some Mixed Media Collages, the watercolors have been keeping me entertained too.

So this morning as I was quietly sipping my coffee and digging through Pinterest when I came across a photo with a link to the blog Eclectically Vintage where Kelly had a blog post called How to Turn Any Photo Into a Watercolor. 

 

I am all over this idea like white on rice!! In her post she talks about a sketching app that is only available to users of an Apple phone.  But alas, I am user and  I might add, of the Android platform.  I sound really techy don’t I ?  : )  Anyway, light bulb!  I have an app on my phone called Pencil Sketch that I play around with all the time turning my regular phone photos into sketch drawings. 

Famer's Market Photo

One of my favorite place to go in the summertime is the Piedmont Farmer’s Market here in Greensboro.  I usually stop by there once a week when the weather is warm just to see what is in season and what I can find.  I often take my camera with me to take photos. So I dug into my gallery for a fun test photo to try this technique out on and pulled up this photo from one of my many visits to the Farmer’s Market last summer.

Watercolors3

So the first thing I did was to take that photo, turn it into a pencil sketch drawing using the Pencil Sketch App on my phone and then I sent the sketch drawing to my email where I was able to then send the sketch image to my printer.    I removed all the regular paper from the printer and took a piece of water color paper and cut it to the same size as the regular printer paper and then carefully inserted it into my printer so that the image would print on the painting side of the watercolor paper. And….VOILA!! It worked.

Watercolors 8

Then it was just a mater of painting in the sketch image with my watercolor paints.

Famer's Market Photo          Watercolors3     WaterColors 2 - Copy

       Before                During               After    

 

Farmer's Market 1

Here is the sketch after painting with the water colors and then defining the signs with a pencil and writing the name Farmer’s Market on it.

Farmer's Market Final

Then I went back over the lettering with a ultrafine tip black Sharpie pen and defined the letters. 

And this is the final resulting masterpiece!  So much fun to do this and incredibly easy.  I’m sure I will be posting more of these! 

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you have some fun things planned for this weekend.  I’ll be painting.  : )

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mixed Media Art Collages

Collage with Outline

Finding ways to keep myself entertained this winter has led me to the world of Mixed Media Collage!  I had a brief exposure to Mixed Media a few years back when I was in Ottawa Canada for a Girl’s Weekend spent with my college girl friends.  One of the days we were there we took a field trip to a small art studio and we each painted and embellished a canvas and created our own unique works of art.  I still have mine hanging in my laundry room.  That’s it there hanging on the wall in the photo below.    It was very simple and I still love it.  So after getting all my art and craft supplies and a trip or to to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for even more supplies, I sat down and started working on my first canvas.

Laundry Room 006

And now I have learned that there is a whole world of Mixed Media Art out there and lots of people willing to share their ideas, expertise, and talent on blogs, Pinterest, and Youtube. I have been Youtube binging on videos by Christy Tomlinson!  I love her work!  Her videos are so inspiring and informative and she shows you from start to finish how she creates her mixed media pieces.   I have seen so many really cool pieces of work elsewhere online and it has made me want to give it a try myself. I have become mini-obsessed with the artform.  You absolutely cannot do it wrong!  It’s such a fun and relaxing form of expression and it’s easy to loose yourself in it.  And that’s why I like it! 

 

Mixed Media Collage 006

I think what appeals to me most is the layering of media, objects, and color. For the piece I did, I started with a blank canvas that I applied a single coat of Gesso.  This helps everything else you add to your canvas really hold on tight!   At first I really didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted to do.  The only thing I had that I knew I wanted to use was the flower I sketched and painted with watercolors that I painted on a page from an old dictionary that I picked up at Goodwill for 75 cents.  I am starting to become addicted to painting on those dictionary pages but that is a blog post for another day. 

Mixed Media Collage 003

Anyway…I also had a little bottle of the prettiest aqua blue paint that I knew I wanted to use.  My photos don’t do that color justice but it’s a rich beautiful color on the finished piece.  After covering the canvas in the aqua paint and letting it dry, I started deciding what I wanted to include.  The dictionary flower was a given and from there I cut out the large heart out of some scrapbook paper. The butterflys have been sitting in a craft drawer while waiting for a home.  More scrap book paper was cut for the tall border on the side, a few letter stickers that look like typewriter keys spelling the word “Grow”and some randomly place trios of white paint dots and I was on my way.

Mixed Media Collage 004

My favorite find were the flowers.  I found them at Hobby Lobby.  They were in the embellishment section of the store and the box had 65 petal pieces in it for $4.99. and I used my 40% off coupon on that.  I also picked up a package of mini brads that I used to assemble the flowers and they couldn’t be any cuter.  I randomly glued them on my canvas, and use a large script stamp to add some randomly placed script for interest.  Then it was time for the words I wanted to use.  In the past I have been frustrated when trying to decoupage images and photos I have printed myself with my inkjet printer.  After some investigation with the help of Google, I found a solution that I decided to give a try and it worked!  I printed out the words in the size and shape I wanted to use and then I took some regular clear packing tape and I covered all of my words with the tape.  I cut them out and then Mod Podged them to my canvas and darn it worked!  No smearing of the ink!  The tape also gave the words some weight and made them really easy to work with.  Next time I might also use the tape on the back side…I was so worried that even though they didn’t run or smear from the backside they might have if they sat in the wet Modge Podge long enough.  Better safe than sorry. 

 Mixed Media Collage 002  Collage with Outline

And look here how much the small touch of outlining the works in a black Sharpie makes a before and after difference. 

Mixed Media Collage 002

So if you want to try something new, why not check out the world of Mixed Media?  There is an abundance of inspiration on Pinterest.  Just do a search on Mixed Media Art and enjoy the art show!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hot Off The Press!

Burlap Book

It’s official,    I’m published!!   After waiting a few months to see the final booklet that was going to feature my  Burlap Numbered Placemats, it showed up in my mailbox yesterday.     What a Happy Surprise!   My placemats can be seen peeking out on the bottom in this photo underneath some of the other projects on the cover of  Taunton Press’s new publication called Beautiful Burlap. 

Burlap book Page 14

And they are featured on page 14 of this delightful publication. : ))))

          Burlap Book My Name     IMG_5558

And in case you missed it …. my name in lights!!  And I was also very happy to see that they gave a shout out to my friends at Maison de Stencils.  I couldn’t have done it without them  They are my favorite source for  stencils including the number stencils I used for this project. 

 

IMG_5549

Now I am off to see if I can find it at my local Hobby Lobby.   You can also order it online here directly from the publisher Taunton Press or here  from Michael’s.

Enjoy your last shopping weekend before the Christmas holiday!  Oh the pressure!!

I would love to hear if you see this booklet in your travels…please let me know!

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and here’s to wishing  you and  your friends and families a very Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Vintage Christmas Mason Jars

Christmas Mason Jars

The decorating has begun.  So much more Christmas Spirit this year than in the last couple of years!  I pulled these out from a couple of years ago and plan to make more to give away as gifts.   Old Mason Jars that I have had the luck of finding at Good will and a can of glossy red spray paint make these an easy project.  I just love the one I found with the star in the middle.

Christmas Candle Mason Jars 2

Simply fill the jars with some Epsom Salts to look like sparkly snow…add a candle…and tie on a jingle bell with some red and white twine and you are all set!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Julia Child’s Orange Almond Cake

Strawberry Orange Cake 038

Sometimes one of my favorite things to do is read cookbooks and try making something new.  The other night I was sitting on the front porch pouring through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  So many of the recipes are daunting.  Crazy weird ingredients and techniques but at the same time some amazing recipes.  I’ve made a few of the recipes like the Beef Bourguignon and I have also made the Tarte Au Citron or a Lemon Tart  and they were both amazing.  Last night I attempted the recipe found on page 676 called Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes or Orange Cake with Almonds. 

       

Do you remember the movie Julie & Julia?  It came out in 2009 and was based on two books.

        Julie & Julia    

The first book was the autobiography written by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme  called My Life in France and the second was Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen which was a memoir written by Julie Powell.  She set out to make each and every of the 524  recipes in the iconic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking written by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck and she blogged about it.  Her blog grew and became very popular as she attempted to do this.  Amazing to me that she actually cooked all of the recipes.

So after coming home from Costco yesterday with a giant container of what will probably be the last of the summer’s season for strawberries, I was feeling somewhat inspired to do something different and delicious with them and I remembered the Orange Almond Cake recipe from my evening of cookbook reading on the porch and decided Hey why not?  Let’s whip up a couple of Julia’s cakes and see what we get.   Well, the cakes turned out great and the strawberries with the orange and almond cake combination was amazing!

 

Here’s the recipe.

Strawberry Orange Cake 046

Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes  Or Orange Cake with Almonds

 

Makes one round cake.  I doubled the recipe and made two cakes but the recipe listed below is for just one cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

A round cake pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches

1/4 pound of butter (one stick)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks  ( save the egg white, you will need them later)

The grated rind of 1 orange (I used 1/2 tsp. of  orange extract)

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3/4 cup pulverized almonds ( I used almond flour)

1/2 cup cake flour ( I used Gold Medal Unbleached flour)

3 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

Butter and flour the cake pan.  Measure out all of your ingredients.

Melt the butter and set aside.

Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating until mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a ribbon.  Add the grated orange rind, orange juice, and the almond extract.  Beat for a moment or two until mixture is light and foamy.  Then beat in the almond flour, and finally the flour. 

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and salt together  until soft peaks form.  Sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold the cool melted butter into the cake batter.  Stire one fourth of the egg whites into the batter and delicately fold into the rest. 

Strawberry Orange Cake 023     Strawberry Orange Cake 027

Immediately turn into prepared cake pan.  Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cake is done when it has puffed, browned lightly and the top is springy when pressed and a needle plunged into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes, until cake begins to shrink from the sides of the pan.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and reverse the cake onto the rack.  Allow to cool for one hour or two. 

.Top with some homemade Orange Flavored Whipped Cream.  Follow the link to the recipe I posted earlier on my blog.  Such a great finishing touch and might I also suggest that you might just like a dollop of that on top of your morning coffee tomorrow!  And don’t forget to add some shaved almonds on top of that whipped cream to really make it something special.

Strawberry Orange Cake 037

And in my best Julia Child voice…..Bon Appetite!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Yellow Rag Quilt

Yellow Rag Quilt 043

My latest Rag Quilt.  This time I stayed with just one fabric and the result is this soft and very girly shabby chic yellow rage quilt!

I used all the same fabric on one side and the back side is a solid pale yellow. 

Yellow Rag Quilt 031

I love this quilt.

Yellow Rag Quilt 042

I want to make it again in a bigger size size.   Right now it’s the size of a baby quilt.  I would love to have this draped across the foot of a bed or even to have it in a lap sized quilt size would be nice.

Yellow Rag Quilt 035

Perfect for book reading or TV watching.  Happy Thursday Everyone!