Art and Creativity

Creative explorations in paint, pencil and charcoal.

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Daily Painting

Everyday I create a small painting. The intent is to practice loose, intuitive painting that is reflective of an abstracted realism.

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Charcoal Drawings

I enjoy drawing very realistic charcoal drawings as a way of pushing my abilities to represent realistic imagery

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Accomplishment and Make it Mine

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Today I got a ridiculous amount of things accomplished. I painted the kitchen and am 3/4 done. I photographed and listed 6 more items in my Etsy shop. I had a nap. and I worked on one of the pet portraits that I needed to work on.

I’m not one that is able to sit still and do nothing for a very long period of time. I get antsy and start moving around too much. I HAVE to be doing things. I enjoy it though. I can get a lot accomplished when I put my mind to it.

I posted about my finished TEA wall plaques here and I finally have them hanging at my front door. You can see then when you walk in the kitchen and are just a nice simple statement.

The colour of the wall is my new paint colour but it is no very accurate. The actual colour is called Bluebird by Sico and is leaning more towards turquoise.  The colour here is a little more seafood green for my tastes. The light this morning was a little odd coming in the windows.

I also finished my next Make It Mine project. Oven Mitts from jeans. I was looking everywhere for a decent pair of oven mitts that were nicer than what Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire had and not $25 for each glove like some of our local stores had. Yes…$50 for a freaking pair of oven mitts. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. EVER.

So I went about making my own. Some Jeans, some felt and some scrap fabric and I had a fabulous pair of oven mitts and I don’t have to pay a darn thing!

So what up next? I have to finish painting the kitchen and then I had found this fabulous blog (but of course the info is on my work computer so I will just have to post about it later) with this woman that paints EVERYTHING and had painted a rug on those rubber foamy matt play things that you see in kids rooms. Well I am going to paint one for my kitchen so I need to organize that. Tomorrow while I am at school I will quickly post a link to this site. She is great!

I am making a headboard out of artists canvases, foam and some fabric so will probably finish that sometime this week. I need to paint this framed cork board so that I have something funky to take pictures of my Etsy products because I need to work on my merchandizing. And I have some old door fronts that I want to transform into a jewellery holder but you will have to wait on that one!

Busy, busy is how I like it!

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Pet Portraits

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Before Christmas i decided that I wanted to create a series of pet portraits for the living room. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats sharing our home with us (I know, I know any more and I become “that one” on the block) and i wanted to create something that would be with us forever.

These were created using watercolours and pencil crayons. I did learn my lessons about using the watercolour paints as a base though. You can’t see any watercolour because by the time I was done with the pencil crayons there was no watercolour left. I found that the pencil crayon had an intensity and luminosity that stood out from the watercolours. Don’t get me wrong they looked good as watercolour paintings but I was able to play with pattern and design because I used the pencil crayons.

Each layer of colour has a minimum of four pencil crayon colours to create the depth. So these pictures are 9 by 12 inches and it took me about 3 hours for 1/4 of the paper. I was cursing myself for that after a while but I am really pleased with the results.

I started by creating a silhouette of some photographs of the animals. I used head portraits because I knew that I wanted them to eventually have pattern in both the background and the image so i didn’t want the silhouette to be unnecessarily complicated. I then worked them on paper and later mounted them on canvas.

As I worked them I found that I had made some mistakes when drawing the initial image. Lucy is difficult to see because I was too faithful the the original silhouette and she has a weird jig at the top of her head which makes it difficult to see what is going on.

I still have one more portrait to post of my Shih Tzu Percy but I was loosing the light and so I will post that tomorrow.

Off to drink my oolong and make a stirfry for dinner! Tomorrow I will write about my INCREDIBLE DEAL at the salvation army and what I am going to make with it and show you what I made this week. And what I want to start next week….I have to many ideas floating around!



Categories: Blog

Busy freakin week

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With the end of the school semester wrapping up I am finding it hard to stay on top of things that are not somehow work/teaching related. So I down loaded the wordpress app thinking it would be somehow useful to me. However without the iPhone and only a touch to work from I think this might not get used that often. Meh… It was worth the try.

This weekend I am going to post some drawings that I have been working on of my pets! I like them a lot so pop back in to check them out!

Happy Friday!

Categories: Blog

Make It Mine Monday

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I was inspired by this purse. however it was WAY out of my price range. Using a car payment to  buy a purse is not how my Momma raised me!

But is did get me thinking about an old coat that I had that was too big for me. It was an awesome shade of burnt orange and was just begging to be made into something. I went searching the we and found this free pattern at JCaroline Creative and thought that the Hobo pattern was the right fit for what I wanted.

As I was working I realized that I was not going to be able to figure out how to do the beautiful cording that is on the bag so I started to think about what else I could do that would be interesting and I got one of those flashes and remembered a something that I had seen on some blog, somewhere…I can’t truly remember and I wish i did so I could give credit where credit is due. It is similar to these pillows ( the green one) but the felt circles were sewn MUCH closer together and folded up to that they created a texture not just a pattern. The pillow I saw was in grey and I wish I could find it!

Anyway I started with my old coat that had already been cut up and separated into its individual pieces.

One of the fun things that I did was take the  pocket piece and turn it sideways and put it on the back of the purse so that I can use it to put my keys into! Then i started cutting out about 50 circles and sewing them down the middle of the circle in random directions all over the front of the purse. I love how it adds a little something extra to a simple purse.

I also used this fun fabric that I had leftover from another project. I just love the pop it adds to the inside of the purse.

The only thing I still have to do is add a snap to close it up but I am very proud of what I did this afternoon!

Categories: Blog

New Knitting Book

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Mom and I did our Friday night ritual which is to go hit the mall and wander around town so that she can get out of the house. It has been super cold (windchill of -40) so it is nice to get out of the house and wander a bit.

The book store still had some sales on and I picked up a Stitch and Bitch Superstar knitting. I am not knitting as much as I once did but when I saw that I have lost enough weight that I don’t have to figure out how to enlarge the patterns but can just follow the pattern I picked up a copy. Not sure which one I will start with but I have some (and when I say some I mean too darn much) yarn in the basement and I can see a new sweater in my future. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the several patterns featuring skulls…I think I am just too old to comfortably wear skulls without feeling like I am trying too hard.

I also picked up a decorating book called 1000 Kitchen Ideas that features a more European style kitchen and while they have a few modern sleek kitchens they have more photos of worn, lived in and …well… livable kitchens. And it is mostly pictures which I very nice as I am such a visual person.

My other stop was at the clothing store…much to the chagrin of my wallet. Unless you have every been overweight in a small northern community where you had to drive for 3 hours just to look for clothes you will have no idea how much it sucks. For the past 10 years I have had to make day trips just to have 2 stores to look at clothing and I only had one place to shop for clothes here so my style was…boring, non existent and predictable. But I have been finding awesome inspiration on Grosgrain that I have been branching out and trying to figure out how to personalize what I have and MAKE SOME NICE THINGS!

I have not finished it yet but I was inspired by this sweater and am in the process of recreating one of my old cardigans into something way more interesting. That should probably go o my To-Do to TA-DA list. Tomorrow lovelies!

Also think I am going to do a feature day (since EVERYONE seems to do them and I should follow the crowd until I figure this whole thing out…then watch out world!)  Any-who I found this dress that I L-O-V-E here but there is no way i will every pay those kind of prices for clothing. So I am putting one of my Christmas presents to good use. Sew What:Skirts is a lovely little book all about how to go about designing your own skirts. Pencil, a line etc, etc. And as I said previously shopping for clothing in the North has been at the mercy of tasteless, uninteresting auto-bots of the corporate world. So on my “Make It Mine Mondays” I will hopefully have a lovely skirts inspired by the Anthropologie dress above.

See ya tomorrow!



Categories: Blog

T and E and A

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I was making examples of additive and subtractive methods of decorating and so thought why not make something for myself. It started out saying “EAT” but then I thought about it and decided TEA is a little more original and suitable for my walls!

My favorite parts are the flowers. They look hard to make but you would be surprised at how easy it is.

So next up are my clay wall butterflies. they have to be fired and then I am going to apply a slip into the pattern so that they have coloured patterns in white porcelain clay.


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Saturdays’ To-Do to Ta-Da list was a success! Not only did I find a beautiful colour for the kitchen ( A lovely colour called “Bluebird”) but I found and bought 30 interesting and diverse plates for my butterfly collection. I can’t wait to get these finished and get them up on Etsy.

Here is a peek…I need to work on my presentation and as soon as I have hooks on them I will post pictures of them hanging on the wall.



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New Ideas

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I am just brimming with new ideas for getting’ some art on today. i have to go to the thrift store and find the PERFECT plates for my new projects. I also think that I will be photographing some of the other things that I have made recently. So Saturdays To-Do is

  1. Thrift store
  2. Check my turquoise Paint and see if it will work for the kitchen
  3. Photograph- Tea Cup cozies…Kobo holder…Patterned Pet Portraits

That’s a lot to do for today and I have to work my nap in there somewhere and also have to exercise!

Off I go!

Categories: Blog

New Paintings

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Categories: Blog

Goals. 2011

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So it is that time of year when we start thinking about our goals and wishes and dream about what we want for our futures. My tendency is too lame out on the whole resolutions thing and make a resolution about something that I would have no difficulty in keeping. Such as ” I will not watch movies that feature a talking dog.”

But in the interest of becoming a little more transparent and accountable to my self I am actually going to set goals for myself this year. Some of them are things that I have wanted to start and have just been afraid and others are new things that I wanted to try.

1}Keep a blog and update it at least three times a week…Also a good excuse to get an IPhone sooner rather than later.

2}Continue on Couch to 10k and become the runner I want to be. Eat healthy and lose 60 pounds. I think that these two need to be intertwined goals. One cannot happen without the other.

3}Open an Etsy shop and sell 100 items.

In reality those are three BIG goals and although there are other things that I want to do I can always add them at a later date.

So off to figure out what is for dinner and knit and read a book.






Categories: Blog