Saturday, March 31, 2007

Art Lesson - 3D Tissue flowers collage

This lovely piece was created by a seconder grader. I was inspired by spring for this collage of flowers art lesson. Made with tissue paper and glue. I cut the tissue into circles to save time. An older child could do this their self. Then used the old, eraser of a pencil wrapped with the tissue and glued it. We twisted strips for the stems, and made grass with tissue cut into fringe. I tried to get her to use a variety of methods with the tissue paper. You can also roll a small piece into a ball. I like how she made the flowers look like they're blowing in the wind.

My week was so busy that I felt like I had a hang over today. Art lessons, my son's busy schedule, other unusual events, and an extra amount of volunteering at the school - that made for a small amount of time left over for my art. Usually, Sundays are my best day for lots of art making, so I look forward to that tomorrow!

I'm listening toJack Johnson now on Austin City Limits. Jack has got the most relaxing groove. How can something so mellow make you want to dance? It's a goodey.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back Home

I'm back home after a few days down at my mom's house. Then a day at my sister's. I'm not ready to post any art today, but I had to get something on to this blog. It had been too long. So I had to show a nice picture from my mom's garden this past weekend. A wonderful thing about Orange County, California is you can have a great garden year round. My mom's garden is a little bit of wilderness in the middle of suburbia. A little bit of paradise amongst the concrete jungle. My camera was malfunctioning so this was the only shot taken while down in OC. I couldn't get any pictures of my twin 16 month old nephews. I spent 24 hours with those little guys and what a joy that was. A busy, exhausting JOY!

I grew up mainly in Orange County until I was 21. Then I moved out to the mountains. I don't think I could ever live there again, but I do enjoy the lush, jungle-like gardens that grow there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Fling Tea with Artsy Mama

So glad you could stop by for a relaxing cup of tea in honor of springtime! Artsy Mama was so very kind to host this lovely party in which visitors from around the world attended. You should definitely drop by her place to join in the festivities!

I love any excuse to use some of my vintage tea cups. I'm sorry I couldn't make some hand made crumpets of some sort, but I do have these yummy mint-chocolate cookies made by Newman's Own Organics. I was busy volunteering at the school today, so I couldn't find the time to bake. I'm making it to the party just in time for tea time on the west coast - 3:30 pm.

Also, while you're here you should take a walk amongst the garden and see the fruit trees in bloom. Here's my plum blooming early in the warmth of this early spring on the mountain. Believe it or not, we'll probably get another freeze here before June, so these beauties will probably not transform into a fruit. This is the life on a mountain in Southern California.

I'm a huge fan of tea, be it hot or iced, green, black or any color. I can guzzle a pot of it down each day in winter. In summer my glass of iced tea is never far away. It's so nice that the beverage can be so beneficial for your health as well. It makes it fine to overdo it and have cups and cups of the stuff. So sit back, relax and have another cup! Happy Spring to you all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fifi The Wonder Dog - Art2

The Art2 Theme Week is "Circus." I've done Art Squared before, but this is the first time I've participated in the eBay group - Art2.

This is "Fifi The Wonder Dog." She's able to spread love and magic all while doing a balancing act with her busy life.

It is acrylic on 5x5 inch plywood. With lots of glitter and a final coat of acrylic matte varnish. Yeah, plywood is not the highest quality, but I like the way these look hanging on a wall in a group of other art squared. And once painted look very folksy and whimsical.

You can find it here on etsy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sweet Scent of Violets

The delicately tiny violets are blooming at my house. They are so cute, and have a very subtle sweet scent. I've got a few varieties. These are the two that have made their appearance. I know that I just posted a bit about my garden. I think I'm so looking forward to the warm months, and the flowers are starting to bloom, so I feel the urge to take some photos of them. I've also got a painting in the works and hopefully tomorrow I can post that.

Now on to photography. Many have probably seen that I don't always take the best pictures. I just can't get the lighting right all the time. I always hear that the best pictures are taken in indirect lighting - like on an overcast day. Well, the first picture was taken in the shade, the second was obviously taken with some sun shining on the flower. I think the sunny one looks better, I guess. But does it caputure the true colors? For now I'll just continue trying to get the best photo that I can, and maybe I'll master photography some day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Very Mod Easter Bunny Doll

This is quite a dapper Easter Bunny dresssed in his finest mod-attire. He's a little quirky and lots of fun. And he's ready to hippity hop down the bunny trail.

He's made out of an old dress that just didn't fit me right. Plus I added some cotton polka dot and muslin, some wool-blend felt, ric rac, and a cute checkered bow tie made from a ribbon. I machine quilted his suit, and embroidered his face. He's very folky, not perfect stitching. Meaning you can see lots of stitches. But that's part of his folkiness.

This is part of the VIM Doll Project on ebay. The VIM members were to do a doll in whatever art form they preferred. So as I've said before, I love to partake in challenges and theme weeks. So I gave it a go. I just know he would do better on etsy, but oh well.

I'm going to hopefully make some more bunny cuties for etsy real soon while it's still the Easter season. Stay tuned.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Ahead with a Crocus

Only in California can you have snow one week, and flowers the next! That's the way these crocus are though. They are the tough little beauties that bloom while the snow is melting around them. They are always the first flower that blooms in my garden, trumpeting the beginning of Spring! It feels like summer now in March, but I know that could very well change any day. Up here at 6200 feet our true official growing season doesn't begin until Mother's Day. After that we can plant tender seeds and annuals. I've also seen it snow in June so I have a feeling this bit of hot weather is just a tease, and only the hardy bloomers will show their faces for now. Still, what a joy to see the flowers return, one by one.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Frog Prince

My ACEO group's special promotion this week was "Frog". I did a Frog Prince. Is she about to plant a big kiss on this guy? Is it true love?

Can you tell I like to participate in challenges? I love being prompted with some kind of subject. Yes, it's a challenge, but it also motivates me. Lately, I do more challenges than anything. If it gets me to do some art, it can't be bad!

This is an ACEO - 2.5x3.5 inches. It's painted in acrylic. It's here on Etsy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Studio Friday - Let's Face It!

The subject for Studio Friday this week is "Let's Face It!" ...whatever 'it' is. What have you been procrastinating about and dragging your heels to do?

This is the story of my life. So to find just one topic was the challenge.

I've been putting off cleaning my desk, but not just my desk, the shelf above my desk. My cats have been in the house a lot this winter and they've made a mess of it. It's one of their favorite places to sit and look out the window, safe from the dog. Well, they really thrashed it with their clumsiness. I've also been meaning to paint the shelf, any color. I had to use some old acrylic I had. Not sure if it's the BEST color, but it was available. I even had some Christmas lights that needed to be taken down, how pathetic!

I couldn't reveal how bad it looked without an after-shot to go with it! And now looking at the after-shot I wonder... Did it change at all??!!! Still pretty cluttered (the result of a small house and way too much stuff!), but I do think the paint helped to cheer it up a bit. And definately not my favorite chore, but worthwhile in the end!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Illustration Friday - Hide

"Hide Your Love Away". I'm glad I could participate in Illustration Friday again. The challenges there are so very... challenging! It can really excercise your brain to come up with an idea.

What a coincidence to hear the Beatle song this morning. So this idea was born - a mama and baby kangaroo. Such a cute image of motherly love! This is an ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches).


Later in the night I heard another quote from a song that also gave me some inspiration - "All the things you try to HIDE will be revealed on the other side" from the song, "Hell", by the Squirrel Nut Zippers.I'll have to put that on the back burner til another day.

Art Lesson - Symmetrical Butterflies

This is an art lesson that I did in a third grade class. It's a good one for third grade because they are learning about symmetry in math. So it's always nice to have a little art to connect with math.

First they were to fold a paper in half. Then we drew half of the butterfly. You must watch that they are actually drawing on the fold - there's bound to be a couple that don't. I tried to encourage them to do their own design, and also to keep it large. It seems there's always some kids that draw so tiny. They can use pencil first if they are not comfortable with using oil pastels right away. I usually allow that because someone is bound to make a mistake. Then they traced over their pencil with a black oil pastel. Then I had them fold the paper in back with the drawing on the inside. After that I had them use a paint mixing stick to rub the design onto the other side of the paper. You probably did this at some time in grade school. When I was a kid we would use a pencil and totally color it with pencil to transfer the image. I decided the pencil is just too much pencil lead and is a mess. So I use whatever hard tool instead. I try to use something that's not so distracting - scissor handles, or clothes pins work, but they are distracting too! After the transfer is done (have them check and look at it from time to time) they need to darken the transfer and colored it in. Since I had some time left over I had them paint over the butterfly with watercolor. It wasn't necessary, but it's nice because this group hadn't done a watercolor resist yet this year. It can be amazing how the watercolor doesn't change the oil pastel, and they had some fun with that. When they were done, if they had time, they could do their own design. I was glad when many choose to do more symmetry and came up with there own creatures. That was very imaginative and fun!

Frank is the name of the creature, not the kid!