Watercolor Landscapes

Well, I'm back to blogging after taking a nice little break for Christmas.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

I was going to share the most recent birdhouse gourd I painted for someone for Christmas, but I didn't finish it until Christmas Eve and forgot to take pictures before I gave it away- sigh.  This gourd was the hardest one to paint.  It was a prairie scene with a windmill and trees.  I had such a hard time getting it done, but I finished it and was happy... until the person it was being given to decided not to join us for Christmas.  That was disappointing.  So the gourd was left there and I still don't know if it is liked or appreciated so I think I'm taking a break from gourd painting for a while.

So... onto happier things..... watercolor landscapes! These three scenes I painted years ago: two while I was in college and the other while my husband was still in college.  I have all three hanging up in my bedroom and they never cease to bring me joy :)

Grey Crochet Earmwarmer

grey crochet earwarmer

So, I ran across a couple more free patterns for crochet ear-warmers and of course, I HAD to try one out! These patterns are much cuter than the one I came up with a few months ago.  Nothing can beat the shell stitch with crochet- it's my favorite :)

I actually used two separate patterns to create this ear-warmer.  The pattern for the headband came from tangledhappy.com. Sadly, the site is no longer running so I can't link to the original pattern I used.  You can check out the Ripple Shell Ear Warmer Pattern on Ravelry for something that is similar.

The pattern for the flower comes from Melody Maria Fulone on Ravelry.  Check out her Cozy Flowered Headband.  I haven't tried out the headband part yet, but the flower pattern is awesome!

crochet earwarmer

And since I won't be posting again until next week, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

A Look at my Sketchbook

beach pen sketch

I'm still struggling to get those birdhouse gourds painted for Christmas, even though I only have a few days left to do it- yikes!   So for now, I'm leaving you with a sketch from last summer.  I was sitting on a beach in San Diego at sunset and it was heavenly.  I can't wait to go back someday!

Holiday Pine Cone Garland Tutorial

Holiday Pine Cone Garland Tutorial

I love pine cones!  They are beautiful, free (if you live any where near pine trees) and are great for decorating.  Here's one idea I came up with to put pine cones to use for the holidays.

Pine Cone Garland Tutorial

Pine Cones, washed and dried
Spray Paint
Push Pins

Step 1:  Cut a long piece of string and wrap one end around a pine cone.  Tie it off leaving a little tail at the end.
Holiday Pine Cone Garland

 Step 2:  Continue wrapping pine cones down the length of the string leaving even spaces in between. Tie a knot around each pine cone to hold them in place.  When you get to the last pine cone, leave another little tail at the end.

Step 3:   Grab your paint and beautify your pine cones. I used some gold metallic spray and it looks ama-zing on pine cones!

Spray Painted Pine Cones

Step 4: Cut small strips of ribbon and tie them in bows or knots in between each pine cone on your garland.

Holiday Ribbon
Holiday Pine Cone Garland

Step 5: Hang your garland on your walls, hearth, or wherever you like.  I tied little knots at each of the ends and stuck them with push pins to hang on the wall.

Holiday Pine Cone Garland

Happy decorating and Happy Holidays!

Pink flowers make me happy

pink dahlia flower watercolor painting

This painting makes me happy! Well, pretty much all flowers make me happy, but I'm even happier when I can capture one in a painting.  Especially since flowers are kind of scarce this time of year.

pink dahlia flower watercolor painting

You can also check it out at my Etsy Shop.... yep, it's for sale!

When I see fruit

 When I see fruit... my first thought is not to eat it (although I love fruit).  My first thought is to paint it!
Call me weird, but I actually pick through the pears at the grocery store to find the ones with the best shapes and colors.  And then once I get them home, I don't want to eat them right away.  I've had many pears go almost rotten because I didn't want to eat them until I had painted them.  I guess I'm hopeless.  I think about painting stuff A LOT.  It's my passion!

So enjoy more delicious fruit paintings by me :)

My first attempt at painting an orange in watercolor....

watercolor orange

And yet another pear... I think I've painted at least 10 of these now.

watercolor pear

Painted Birdhouse Gourds

painted birdhouse gourds

I've been working on a few gifts for family.... painted birdhouse gourds! 

I painted some with my family earlier this fall (check them out here), but this time I got my husband to drill holes in them so that they can be used for actual birdhouses. 

painted birdhouse gourd

With a little acrylic paint and a final coat of polyurethane, I think they turned out quite nicely :) 

painted birdhouse gourd
painted birdhouse gourd
painted birdhouse gourd

Photo of the Week

I'm back from a trip to Southern Utah and I have a photo to share- yay! I don't get many good shots with my husband's little point-and-shoot camera, but a little photo editing helps.  I'm hoping to get back into photography soon.  I have a feeling I might get a new camera for Christmas ;)

Metallic Pumpkins

I know it's a bit late to be decorating pumpkins, but I bought this gold metallic spray paint and I just had to test it out.  The stuff turned out to be AMAZING! I can't wait to get spray painting some pine cones with it for Christmas!

I bought these mini pumpkins way back at the beginning of October and they are showing no signs of rot yet.  My son and I "decorated" these little guys for Halloween.

Here is the before:

And the after:
gold metallic pumpkins

I may have to keep these around after Thanksgiving too :)

gold metallic pumpkins
gold metallic pumpkins
gold metallic pumpkins

Sketches of the litte guy

Here are a few sketches of the little guy I spend all day with- everyday!   I've been sketching from photos of him to get in some drawing practice and man am I out of practice- yikes!   Back in my college days when I was taking figure drawing classes, this would have been much easier.

I got a little frustrated with this drawing here below.  It is easy for me to draw a person, but it is soooooo hard to actually make the drawing look like them.  This has some resemblance to my son, but there is something about the eyes that makes him look different.  I  admire any artist who can really capture a person as they are. 

Straw Painting Art Tutorial

Well, hello everyone! I hope you are ready for another abstract watercolor tutorial!  I just love doing these.  I think what I like most is (hopefully)  inspiring others and helping them to discover that they can be creative :)

Watercolor Paper
Watercolor paints and brush
Stiff board to tape your paper too (optional)
Masking Tape (optional)

Step 1: If you would like a nice border around your painting, tape your watercolor paper down to a board with masking tape. 

Step 2:  Choose your color palette for your painting.
If you aren't quite sure how to go about this you can pick colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.  You could do: yellow, green, blue or red, orange yellow.

Step 3:  Load up your paint brush with some nice water-loaded watercolor paint.  You need the paints to be really runny for the straw technique to work.

Step 4:  Drop some wet watercolor paint onto your paper and blow the paint around with a straw.

  You can drip paint randomly all over your paper or try a more planned technique.  For this painting here, I dripped the paint most heavily at the bottom of the paper and blew it upwards with the straw.  You could also try dripping your paint in the center of the page and blowing it outwards in all directions.  Just experiment and have fun!

Straw Blowing Art
Straw Painting Art Tutorial

Step 5:  Continue to drip more paint onto your paper, alternating colors as you go.  You can drip layers onto other wet drips or wait till the first drips dry.  I did a little of both.  If you drip wet paint into wet paint you can watch the colors mix on the paper!  I find this fascinating!

Straw Painting Art Tutorial

Step 6.  Keep layering until you are satisfied with the look of your painting, then let it dry completely.  A blow dryer will speed up the process, but be careful.  The air from the blow dryer may move your wet paint around.

Step 7:  Carefully peel off the masking tape from the edges of your painting.  Go slowly- the tape tends to rip the paper if you're not careful.

Straw Painting Art Tutorial

Sign your painting and enjoy your new abstract artwork!

For another abstract art idea, check out my Abstract Watercolor Tutorial.

Straw Painting Art Tutorial

Fun with Watercolors

Last week I did a little experimenting with watercolors and straws.... and it was so much fun!

I got the idea when I saw a video on how to use a medium called ecoline, which is basically a liquid watercolor kind of paint.  Since I didn't have any ecoline, I tried out the technique with my watercolors.

This is a great way to have fun with paint and it's something the kids can do with you!  Stay tuned for the tutorial :)

straw blowing art
straw blowing art
straw blowing art

Easy Infinity Scarf

I found a great tutorial at The Cottage Home a while ago for an infinity scarf.  It only involves cutting two long rectangles of fabric and sewing them together.  Finally- a sewing project a beginner like me can handle!

infinity scarf

Everything went smoothly until the end.  I think the tutorial forgets to mention that you need to turn the scarf inside out again in order to sew one of the ends, or maybe I just made it weird.   But I figured it out eventually and I'm starting to get into scarves.....a first for me.

This one is perfect for a novice-scarf-wearer like me because there are only two ways to wear it- not too confusing :)

Simple Ribbon Flower Tutorial

ribbon flower

Brrr! The snow is here in Utah. I may be staying indoors and crafting a bit more now.  This is good and bad- I love making stuff, but geez, I miss my sunny fall weather already!

I've been experimenting with my ribbon and have come up with a way to make some super easy flowers!  Keep reading to find out how I made them. 

Materials: small strip of ribbon, thread, needle, and scissors

Step1.  Sew wide up and down stitches along the edge of the length of the ribbon.

ribbon flower

Step 2.  Gently pull thread to gather ribbon.

ribbon flower

Step 3.  Join both sides of the ribbon

ribbon flower

Have fun and try different ribbons!  You can even layer several lengths of ribbon on top of each other to make a puffier flower.

This red lacy one here I may be using for something for Christmas!

ribbon flower