Nov 17, 2011

The Camling House

So I've been updating my Amazon wish list for the last two weeks. It's a must for this time of year for two reasons. Birthday and Christmas. :) My mom and sister live for Amazon and how convenient it is. This got me thinking about things I need and want. One of them is the canvas brush holder that rolls up.
Pebble rocks in an old flower pot.
As I was preparing to paint yesterday I realized I wouldn't mind having a brush holder for the desk that held them up right. I'm getting a bit restless with how much my brushes roll around on my table. I did a google search and of course, Dick Blick came up. But so did a Sephora Inspired Brush Holder.

I had pebble rocks, I had jars, BAM! I have an instant brush holder. I painted and it was AMAZING the difference a brush holder makes. And...I didn't have to spend a cent.

To the left you'll see mine. I had jars, but when I saw this flower pot (attached to my heart) just sitting there not being used I thought it to be perfect. The soup cup is my water dish. I really like finding things around the house to use instead of spending money. Plus, I think it gives your studio and table some character.


One of my closest friend's birthday was yesterday. You might have heard of her...Candace Camling. If not, you should get to know her by visiting her blog HERE. As a gift, I created a bird house. She enjoys gardening, vintage, and bright colors. Also little critters like squirrels, birds, sugar gliders, and rabbits. I thought a bird house would be perfect!

I've painted bird houses in the past, and I wanted to give it another shot, doing a few things different this time.

I decided to use stencils first instead of painting randomly. I'm not very proficient in acrylic painting (and don't want to spend money on watercolor ground), so I have discovered keeping it simple is a good place to start.

I found it important to have a color and "theme" to start with. There are SO many possibilities with bird houses that it actually becomes overwhelming.

I first did the blue paint. Once it was dried I sanded it down to give a worn and weathered look. All of the trim and petals came way later in the process. I then moved on to imagery. I sponged in the branches, which left a lot more paint than I intended around my stencil. Not loving it I attempted to cover it with another layer of paint. I painted on the birds using a new tool (that worked much better...a sponge on a stick). After they were dry I then went in and painted them with a brush to bring the intensity of their shape back.

I discovered that I couldn't cover up the branches, but now they looked faded which was awesome! I took the sand paper and gently sanded away more paint from the branches in a few spots to bring out the lines. A happy accident. :)

Then came the detailing. I felt pretty confident with the direction and my imagination agreed. Things just started to come together. I kept thinking vintage, and the coral pinks went so well with the green blue. Reminded me of the old 3-D stop animation from the 70s (think Rudolph). I just started to add things that reminded me of Candace. A heart, the stripes, the line work around the hole which I thought looked like a large flower, etc.

I also added the white and pink trim to make the house feel more airy and sectioned. Adding her last name was pretty far towards the last detail I did. I thought if the house was outside how sweet it would be to have a personalized bird house. :) Alas, it is in her studio now, but still just as sweet.

Finally something needed to happen to the top. Brian and I discussed it and somehow somewhere I got the idea of doing a "cone" flower. lol It made me giggle but was so appropriate! So happy I did, because it brought the whole thing together!

All I did was glue on wooden shingle pieces I bought at Hobby Lobby for doll houses, then painted around. At this point I also learned of craft paint. Brian had some left over from college and it's amazing! Opaque like acrylic but more of a liquid. Much easier to work with! I then went crazy and brightened alllll of my whites. Totally made the piece pop! To finish, of course, the eyelet screw and a wee metal ball to decorate. I signed the bottom, added a yellow bow, and dropped it off.

Maybe when I retire (sheeeeah right) I'll make bird houses. ;)

Nov 9, 2011

Do you Braid?

Those who know me well...
know I always have a braid somewhere on my head. And if I don't, they know to look for my cross.

Braids have always been part of hair fashion and care don't think I need to research to say hundreds and hundreds of years!

To me they are a symbol of strength.
  •  Tribal women from all over the world braid their hair. In movies we see women of strength braid their hair to hold it back...while still keeping the length (something very magical about a woman with long hair). The braids represent a warrior.
A symbol of womanhood.
  • What is the timeless admiration of long hair? In art women with long hair is much more common than that of women with shorter locks. I believe it was even a representation of a woman's character or status. Today probably not so comes down to more of a fashion statement, but in my romantic mind I think it was much more hundreds of years ago.
A symbol of royalty.
  • As I read through numerous fairytales and stories as a little girl, I rarely saw any princess or queen with short hair. Let alone hair without some hint of braiding. The waves from a braid during sleep, a braided crown, braided hoops, etc. 
And a symbol of commitment.
  • One I am learning. It takes care and commitment to your health and care to have long hair. It breaks, it tangles, it pulls while you sleep, and it even gets caught in your armpits and pulls from there on some occasions. Being around small must always be up! And you don't want to wash it every day. What to do with that oily hair?! 
Do you braid your hair? Are you a WARRIOR PRINCESS? 

I braid it every day as my commitment to the Lord. I don't always want to wear my cross necklace, and I don't wish to yell out and voice every day that I'M CHRISTIAN. Instead, I want to live it out and have that be the focus. The braids, and the process of braiding is meditation for me to remember who I am in Christ.

I am beautiful, I have a purpose, I am loved, I am strong through the strength He gives me through His Spirit, and I am an heir to the Kingdom.

Go to my Facebook page and post a picture of your braids. If you don't know how to braid, do what I did: YouTube how to braid. By golly, you'll learn a lot fast!

Nov 3, 2011

The Three Pillars

What is your foundation?
Before I get into what mine is, I want to give a bit of background to the images you're going to see.

Towards the end of last year I introduced three little angels to you. One named Twilight, one Dusk, and the other Noon. Each one features animals and obviously, a certain time of day. This was the basis/theme for the series. To catch up, here are the two links to those posts:

Created by Sheila Lygo
Not too long after that, Crafts and Me asked if I would finish the sketches and create line art for digital stamps. And I did, you can find them here:

Many crafters have used these images and created gorgeous cards with them! It has inspired me not to give up on the images....but I still wasn't motivated on how to use them yet.

I have created many line art works for Crafts and Me, and there is something rewarding seeing all of your paintings and sketches in beautiful, black, and clean lines. I knew this past Monday I had to keep painting. Oceana is finished, and I'm still working on the months and another large WIP, but I believe I can do more. With two shows next year (more on that later), I need to be painting!

Though,  I didn't want to think about composition or the poses. I went through those beautiful line art works and saw the little angels. PERFECT! Now is the time.
But will I stay with the titles and theme? 
Here's what I wanted from these:
  1. The focus to be solely on the angel, and the background to be simple enough for licensing.
  2. Large enough to make an impact in person, but not so huge I will never get them done.
  3. They have to be sitting on something that can be similar in each and again, doesn't take away from the angel.
  4. To have a meaning worth sharing, that aligns with my faith, and inspires.
The results? The Three Pillars.

The Pillar of Love

The Pillar of Hope

The Pillar of Grace
(stay tuned! dun dun dun!)

These are the three pillars, or foundations of my faith and life. I truly believe, that if you give and have all three of these; Love, Hope, Grace; your life will be fruitful and filled with a sense of fulfillment. 

I am inspired today, Mae Day (as Brian likes to call it), the day I watch my baby niece, when I look at these drawings. Combining the two I am excited because these three little angels bring a message that in turn brings glory to God. What a beautiful image for young girls to grow up with, images they can relate to that show these foundations. I am so motivated to paint!

PS: this has nothing to do with the fact I'm reading a book on angels. :P Tho, if you're looking for some good information on them based on Scripture, check it out!