I enjoy decorating for Christmas. One year I had put up 15 full size trees and a number of smaller ones for a total of 23. I have not topped that record; in fact, some years I go very minimalist.
Would you like to spend some uninterrupted creative time with like minded artsy ladies. Well Shara and I have just the thing for you. We are planning two retreats in April 2020, one in California and the other in Pennsylvania. The main project for the retreat will be this 38″ wooden Santa that is embellished with Quikwood. We will also have some other goodies to keep you busy.
Isn’t it funny how spending time with friends creating can turn into something new and wonderful. Last summer Shara Reiner and I got together to play. Our plan was to create some of her birds dimensionally using Quikwood along with other things. The first day started off a little slow with each of us trying to see the others vision, but the next day that all changed. We were sculpting angels, Santa’s, and snowmen. We had so many ideas that we couldn’t keep up with ourselves. We sculpted from morning to night – it was a creative high. And then Shara said we should turn these into patterns and Shara Jane was born. We came out with our first set of patterns last fall.
This year my friend Mark Vickrey, who owns Blooms by Vickrey, asked me to do some glitter houses for his shop. I did some traditional houses like other years, and I also did some beach houses; but I wanted to do something different. I decided to do some white houses with gold roofs. I painted them with DecoArt Warm White and the roof and base with DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Emperor’s Gold. I then used glass glitter on just the houses and used a red ribbon on my wreaths. For more details on creating glitter houses you can go to:
My husband has a friend Gary who likes chicken pot pie, so I have been trying some different recipes. One day when I was cleaning up my studio I found an older copy of Cook’s Illustrated magazine folded open to this recipe. The magazine was dated February, 2006. The intro said that it is a lot of work but worth it. Since my friend Shara was coming that week, and I knew that she liked chicken pot pie, I thought I would give it a try. Funny how things work out. 🙂
This past weekend my painting chapter, Penn’s Woods Painters, Amy Mogish and myself did a seminar to bless Wendy and Kevin Young. Wendy is a very talented, sharing, sculpting artist and many of us have been blessed to be able to learn from her. In February her husband Kevin became ill and is now disabled. It has been financially devastating for them and as fellow artists we wanted to do something to help them.
With the start of summer I am always looking for recipes for good salads. My criteria is something that is somewhat healthy, tasty and of course looks good. I found this Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette in “America’s Test Kitchen – Make -Ahead Cookbook”. I took it to my cousins for Mother’s day and it was a big hit. It was so good I made it again this weekend.
I am loving spring with all the beautiful scents and colors. I love seeing the trees budding and all the beautiful spring flowers popping out everywhere.
All the beautiful spring flowers have me playing with Quikwood again (see Flower Canvas). I thought it would be fun to create these flower hearts. They are a sweet little gift for mom and/or anyone special in your life. They would also be fun to hang on someone’s door as a little surprise.
Not too long ago we talked about keeping a sketchbook which is an invaluable tool for an artist to keep quick sketches of ideas, resources, and to just practice. Another thing that I do is keep a photo reference file. I tear out pictures from magazines, and sales catalogues that inspire me. I organize them into folders so they are easy for me to find when inspiration strikes.
I know what you are thinking. Even though these are quick, Easter is a day away and I have a lot of other things to do. But they are not just for Easter. Think spring, or favors for a wedding or baby shower or a tea. They could be painted in other cute colors and you could easily add the place card holder/ornament hook like we did in the egg nativity.
Egg Peeps might seem a little strange unless you have been following my blog this year. Earlier in the year we made nativity ornaments / place card holders out of paper mache eggs. Then we made snow people also using the paper mache eggs. If you would like to see the older posts click below:
I always enjoy spending time with creative friends. These times usually involve food and catching up with what’s going on in our lives. Some of the things I really about being with my creative friends is sharing ideas and creative brainstorming. My creative friends help fill my well when it is dry, they encourage, and they get/keep me excited about my art. Sometimes we have so many ideas I think my head will explode…and I love it!
The other day I was with my creative friend Glenda Payne and she suggested each of us do a large floral canvas. One thing lead to another and we decided to do 10 floral canvases and hold each other accountable.
A number of years ago I bought a book where the artist painted the picture in acrylics and then went over her picture with a few accent lines in oil pastels – I loved how it looked both because of her happy colors and the looseness of the added lines.
Even though we are all looking forward to spring, especially those of us in the Northeast, I think our love of snow people will allow me to sneak in one more project. I think the flower in her hat means she is a Spring Snow Lady at heart. 🙂
Who doesn’t like a good cookie bar? These are just the right combination of shortbread buttery sweetness with the tanginess of cranberries. I have not made these for a while and forgot how good they were. In fact they were so good I made a second batch a few days later. And yes, I shared them.
Do you keep a sketch book? I have been keeping one for years. When I finish one I put it on a shelf with the other finished ones and start a new one. I take it with me almost all the time. Even if we are going around town I have it with me. You never know when an idea will pop in your head and you need to document it.
Nothing says “Love” like a dozen roses…so I thought I would give them to you this Valentine’s day in the form of a pattern…and also a video on how to paint them.
If your valentine loves chocolate and peanut butter then these are the perfect cookies to make for him or her. They are a favorite with my family and friends….and they are easy to make.
This is a fun little project inspired by those little heart candies that come out for Valentine’s Day with the sweet messages on them. It is a project that can be enjoyed by any age.
Today is my birthday and I would love to bake a cake so that we could celebrate together, but since that is not possible I thought I would do the next best thing and make a cake that you can also create.
Each day is a gift and deserves to be celebrated…so paint this cake and use it to celebrate each day.
This year at Christmas we created Nativity characters made from paper mache eggs and Quikwood. If you want to see them you can go here – Egg Nativity. They were fun to create and we added a hook at the top that could be used as a hanger or a place card holder. On that post I also had step-by-step videos.
As I was packing them up I thought this same concept could make some great snow people…and so I started playing.
Well the holidays are over but if you are like me and still craving something a little sweet I think you would enjoy these rolled sugar cookies. They are from the book “Great Cookies” by Carole Walter. I would recommend this book. I have already made many wonderful recipes from it.
I like to think that they are a cookie for every season because you can change them up by the shape of the cookie cutter and the color of the sugar you use on them. I also like that they look special without a lot of work.
If you are like me you make resolutions each year and many times they are similar to the previous year. One of mine is that I always want to improve and grow in my art. This year I realize there are two things that I have to do first if I want to grow in my art.
If you are like me you have been eating too many rich, sweet, heavy foods and are ready for something tasty that is healthy. This seafood chowder is a nice light meal, but still seems like you prepared something special for your family and guests. It would make a great New Years Eve dinner, pared with a salad and some nice bread. I often make this chowder for Christmas Eve.
Well it is hard to believe Christmas is almost here again. Normally I would be giving you a tour of my house, but I realize that my home doesn’t look much different than other years.
Yes, every year I try to bring out different trees and decorate them a little differently, but I find I keep going back to my favorite things. So I thought I would give you a little peak into my home, a couple of new things (or at least arranged differently) and those favorites.
I was talking to my cousin about her Christmas dinner and how she would like to have the “Reason for the Season” somehow on her table. As we were brainstorming, the idea popped into my head to make nativity characters out of papier mache eggs and Quikwood. The characters could be place card holders for dinner and then be taken home and hung on the Christmas tree. Each year that ornament would stir the memory that was made with it.
This lasagna recipe I got from an old “McCall’s Cooking School” cookbook. I have tried other recipes but I keep going back to this one. It seem to be a favorite every time I serve it.
Words are powerful. They can encourage, inspire, and help us to believe in ourselves. So why not put those words on a Christmas Ornament where they can be seen over and over.
During the holidays there are lots of little parties and events that we get invited to where we would like to take a little gift to the hostess. To be prepared I like to keep a few of my favorite things on hand so that I am ready when I need a little gift. These can also work great for those little gifts you need for teachers, co-workers, and personal service providers, i.e., mailman, hairdresser, or massage therapist.
Do you know someone who is having a hard time this holiday season? Maybe they are having health problems, experienced a loss, are not able to get out, or are away from family and friends for the holidays. I think we all know someone who could use a little extra love this year….maybe even someone we don’t know.
Getting away with other like minded creative women is not only good for your heart, mind and soul but also a great boost to your creativity.
A number of years ago I wanted to create a stone glitter house for our niece Emily and her husband Phil since they had just moved into a new stone home.
I was just with a group of fellow decorative painters. We were talking about painting and creating and how they like to change colors and different elements in a project moving things around from the original pattern or even combine two different patterns. They then said they could never design….but isn’t that the beginning of designing?
Now that it is getting a little cooler it is always nice to make comfort food. One of our favorites is meatloaf with mushroom gravy.
Today is the last day of the Ornament Exchange this year and Sandy, Deb, Lauré, and Wendy have wonderful designs for you. If you have not had a chance to see the other designs from Day 1 & 2 please stop by each of the artists blogs – you won’t be disappointed.
Today is the SECOND day of the Ornament Exchange Blog Hop.
I think some people are confused by what we are doing. We have a group of 12 artist who also have a blog. Each of them have designed an ornament and have put the instructions on their blog so that you can create the ornament.
I am so excited to be a part of this Ornament Exchange Blog Hop with all these other amazing artist. I hope you will take the time to check out all of their wonderful projects.
When I was making the last glitter houses (See Fall Sunflower Glitter house and Fall Pumpkin House) we wanted to have some fall trees. I was just going to buy some that come with the Department 56 or similar villages, but when I started looking they were either really expensive or I just didn’t like how they looked.
For my second Fall Glitter house I had visions of an orange house with a black button roof and pumpkins on the doorstep.
I decided to have a booth at NET (New England Traditions) this year. This has been a wonderful experience for me just being with other creative friends and also meeting new friends. One of the things that truely blessed my heart was having other people coming into the booth and telling me about some of my designs that they have painted.
One thing that I love about fall are all the beautiful fields of sunflowers. So they became the inspiration for this fall glitter house.
My husband and I both enjoy soup especially as the weather starts to get cooler. When I had originally found this recipe it was to have been as good as Olive Gardens Pasta E Fagioli soup. I love Olive Gardens pasta fagioli soup so I had to try this one. I have made a lot of tweeks to the recipe and it still does not taste like Olive Gardens, but I think it is a good hearty soup and easy to make. I hope you enjoy it.
This flower canvas can be painted to suit any season or décor. I had painted it before in pinks (you know me) and since I am showing you how to create it now I thought it would be fun to paint it in fall colors.
It is hard to believe this is the last official weekend of summer. If you are looking for a yummy dessert to take to that last picnic try my recipe for Peanut-Butter Silk Pie. The Chocolate Mocha topping balances the sweetness of the peanut butter filling. Not only is it delicious but it is easy to whip up.
This was the last week of our living with art classes. For this class we would be painting a canvas using tube acrylics.
This is the first time in probably 10 years that I have not worked in a booth at Heart of Ohio Tole Painting convention (HOOT). For most of those years my husband and I helped Della and Company, AKA Della and Bill Wetterman and last year I shared a booth with my creative friends Amy Mogish and Wendy Young.
I was not going to come, but at the last minute decided to come and spent the day on the trade show floor. I thought you might enjoy seeing pictures of what was happening there:
I want to share with you today how to make those sweet earrings that my one student Sara made out of Shrinky Dinks. Many of the techniques are the same that we used in making other Shrinky Dink projects (See previous post here)…..but the secret to making these earring is using a Shrinket cone tool to make the dimensional floret beads. The tool is available from Julie Haymaker Thompson.
What happens when you get a bunch of amazing artists together who like to paint Christmas Ornaments? That’s right, you have an ornament exchange and share all the wonderful new designs with your painting friends in a book.