Saturday, December 15, 2012

Painting for my sister

I've loved painting for years but have never taken a lesson. I painted and tweaked and painted and did what I could to capture my ideas. Finally I began to buy some books that gave me important information and best of all, instructions. THIS is one of my favorite purchases.

Written and lavishly photographed by John Koury (copyright 2002), this book is luscious just to look at but best of all, there are scads of important tips and great instructions for painting the small details in nature.

I knew I wanted to paint something like this for my sister, Nancy, for Christmas. She loves the creeks and rivers of Oregon and the layered beauty you find there. So I jumped in with both feet.
Starting with the dark background, I added layered colors for the rocks both in and out of the water. I am so amazed when nothing becomes something in a painting. I always come to a point where it looks like it isn't working but I've learned to push through. Acrylics are my favorite medium since mistakes can be painted over and fixed. Mistakes? I've made a few. LOL!

It was not very big, but it was full of fun details. I enjoyed painting it!

Here's the finished painting. I eliminated the butterfly but kept the leaf. I thought it's beautiful detail was more than enough against the wet and dry stones. I also added the floating twig. I LOVE how this came out and Nancy did, too!

I painted this is 2009. In 2010 I quit painting because of my cancer treatment. My fine motor skills were iffy when I was deep in chemotherapy so nobody got paintings last Christmas. Instead I used simple freezer paper stencils to make personalized sweatshirts.

But you know, I'm feeling better and better. I've found I can still do fine crochet and hand sewn rosettes and even take on some bigger projects. I did a few paintings for my Etsy shop for Halloween using my most popular designs and I sold a few. That does it. Time to start painting again!

So, ahoy there, family! When you get a painting for Christmas, act surprised. : o )

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blue and White Wreath Redo Fourth Go Round

I am thrifty (cheap, tightfisted, etc) as all get out and I love it when I can get LOTS of mileage out of my decorations. Here is our Christmas door wreath for 2012....the FOURTH seasonal redo of my favorite twig wreath form and I think it's my favorite version yet.

It fits over the arched window in our front door perfectly, so it's a keeper.

Ooh aah!

I knew all those cobalt, teal and silver ornaments I found at yard sales, thrift stores and clearance sales would look great on this twig wreath. I've been collecting them all year. I especially love all the glittered ornaments I've found. 

Last year this wreath started out painted gloss black, with three black roses and lots of eucalyptus and twiggy sticks. I added silk leaves, flowers and real pumpkins for our autumn Thanksgiving door decor. LOVE the contrast and the bright colors!

Then I got out the cheap Walmart spray paint in gloss white and totally changed the look of the whole thing for less than $2! When it comes to redoing this big twig wreath, spray paint and hot glue are my best friends.

I scored some neat teal foil ribbon twist which I glued to wire curls and added a few blue balls.  I was super pleased with this pretty wreath on our Christmas door last year.

I found the bronze glittered butterflies at an after Christmas clearance sale and saved them for this springtime wreath. More wire curls got a shot of spring green and every time I ran across silk or plastic ferns and greenery, I snapped them up and stuck them on. By the end of summer this wreath was just LOADED with greenery! I made the nest from twigs and glittered the 3 eggs for a pretty touch and I even scored a green glittered butterfly.

Which brings us back to this year's Christmas wreath. I added beads and that pretty blue glittered butterfly and even a bath scrubby in a gorgeous turquoise shade. The more the merrier is my motto!

I re used the white wire curls from the spring and summer wreath and also re used the  blue foil twist curls from last year. I tried out some outdoor Mod Podge to make glittered balls. I'll be keeping a close watch on those to see how that Mod Podge formula holds up to winter storms.

I like it! I like it ALOT!

I took a couple of hours off from my long, long Christmas To Do List and just put this wreath together for some  fun. Sometimes you've got to squeeze something relaxing into your schedule. You might be surprised how rejuvenated you will be and ready to jump back into your busy life.

So this next year I'll keep my eyes peeled for even more blue ornaments for this fun door wreath. Who knows, maybe I'll even find another big twig wreath and I can double my fun with more wreath redos!

Have a great holiday season, ladies, and come visit the great blog parties listed on my side bar. You never know what you will find!

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