Photo of the Week

Happy New Years Eve!

It was snowy and cold all week long, so when the sun managed to peek out for a few minutes I got a shot of the ice cycles on my house :)

I'm kind of glad to see the end of this year.  It was a big, busy, and stressful year for us.  We bought our first home and handled the many home-repair projects that came our way.  It was stressful, but also good.  But the reason why I'm the most ready to start a new year is to see if this will finally be the year that I get a handle on the migraines so I can live my life again.  Last year was better for the migraines, but not as good as I had hoped.  I'm now trying to get off medication, (as torturous as it is), to see how I'll do.  So this is to 2013... may it be less full of migraines and more full of fun!

Christmas Paintings

Now that Christmas presents have been opened, it's safe to post these paintings I made for my sister.

Another Japanese Quince and....

A custom watercolor portrait of the cute couple!  

I have a tutorial HERE, if you want to try your hand at making your own portraits, but I am also considering offering to make custom watercolor portraits through my Etsy shop.  What do you think?  Would anyone go for these?

The Old Broken Down Bus

Hey there! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Probably a lot of you are still partying and hanging out with family.  I would be too if my hubby didn't have to go back to work! It's just me and the little guy hanging out today.  At least we've got a new game of monopoly and more candy than we know what to do with to keep us occupied :)

So, I came across this little beauty while driving around my home town last spring.  It must have been in the junk yard for for-ev-er, but it had some awesome colors and rusting going on.  I snapped a quick photo because I knew I had to paint it one day... and that day has arrived.

Here's my watercolor illustration version of the old broken down bus.

Who says junk yards can't be beautiful?

Free Shell Infinity Scarf Pattern

Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf

It's here!  A little early Christmas present for you... the Free Shell Infinity Scarf Pattern!  Just click the link to open a printable pdf version.

Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf
Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf

And if you want to look it over not in pdf form, here ya go...

Materials:          Worsted Weight Yarn: I used  Red Heart Super Saver Medium (4) Yarn                                                                                   
                           Size  I/9– 5.50 MM Hook
                           Yarn Needle

Abbreviations:   sc= single crochet
                            dc= double crochet

Row 1:  Chain 20,  sc in second chain from hook, *skip 2 chain 5 dc in next chain, skip 2 chain, sc in next chain.  Repeat from * 2 more times. Turn.  (3 shells)

Row 2:  Chain 3, 2 dc in first sc, *skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc.  Repeat from * 1 more time, then skip 2 dc, sc in next  dc, skip 2 dc, 3 dc in last sc. Turn. (2 full shells, and 2 1/2 shells)

Row 3: Chain 1, sc in first dc, *skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc, sc in next dc. Repeat from * 2 times more.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 (turning each row) until you make 94 rows or until your scarf is 52 inches long.  Fasten off, leaving a long tail end. Using your yarn needle and the long tail end, stitch the two ends together with a whip stitch. 
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Merry Christmas and happy crocheting!

Photos of the Week

Winter is challenging for me.  I don't like too much snow or cold.  And it's hard to find anything green to take photos of.  I have to really search for it.  But it's good in a way.  I find beauty in things I would otherwise take for granted.... like the moss growing on my cherry tree.   It caught my eye while playing outside in the snow with my son.  The warm sunlight was melting the snow on the tree and bringing out the vibrant colors of the moss.  I had to capture it.... and so I did :)

In the Works

I've been working on a few crochet items and I have a new free pattern in the works.  Yay!

First is another shell stitch hat, now up for sale in my Shop HERE.  I've  already posted a free pattern for this one.

Next is a shell infinity scarf.  I also have one up for sale in my Shop HERE, but stay tuned for the free pattern.  It's coming soon!

Another Use for Junk Mail

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

I recently discovered something to make with junk mail... snowflakes!  That's what I did over the weekend.  It feels good to make something beautiful of all that extra paper that would otherwise be thrown away!

Many thanks to Michelle of Michelle Made Me for the idea and the awesome tutorial.  I had completely forgotten how to make snowflakes.  So this tutorial is appreciated :)

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

The snowflakes are now taped to my windows.  The colors really show when the sun shines through them.   I could look at them all day!  

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor
Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

Photo of the Week

Happy Holidays Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying some fun Christmas traditions.  We had a ton of snow over the weekend, which made it really feel like Christmas here!

Yesterday I went walking around the neighborhood in search of some good subjects for photos.  But I must admit, I'm always a little nervous about taking pictures of other people's plants.  I'm afraid they'll see me and think I'm being mischievous   Oh well.  It's worth the risk.  I found some festive red berries on a tree just down the street and they looked so lovely with fresh fallen snow on them!

Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet Tutorial

DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet

Two tutorials in one week.... that's right! I'm on a roll here.  Frosting stuff with Epsom salts is slightly addicting.  I couldn't just frost pine cones and leave it at that.  I had to try it out on some twigs too.  Turns out they look lovely as a bouquet on my kitchen table :)

Please enjoy this simple tutorial for making a frosted twig bouquet:

Twigs: washed and dried
Spray Paint ( I used Krylon Metallic Gold spray paint)
Elmer's Glue
Epsom Salt

Step 1: Lay out your twigs and spray paint them all over.  Let dry.
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday BouquetGolden Painted Twigs

 Step 2:  Apply glue to the areas of the twig that you want "frosted".  I left the bottoms plain because they were going in a vase anyway.

Step 3:  Immediately sprinkle Epsom salts over the glued parts of your twigs.  It's best to do this over a large pan as it is quite messy :)

Gluing Epsom Salts to Twigs

Step 4:  Let the salt dry on the twigs and then place them in a vase to enjoy!

Golden Frosted Holiday Twig Decor
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet
Golden Frosted Holiday Twig Decor

Frosted Holiday Pine Cones Tutorial

Frosted Holiday Pine Cone Tutorial

I saw these lovely acorns on Carolyn's Homework and was so inspired I decided to try out the same technique on pine cones.  Thank goodness I had tons left over from last year!

Here's how I made them:

Pine Cones
Spray Paint
Acrylic Craft Paint
Foam Brush
Modge Podge, or Elmer's Glue
Epsom Salt

Step 1:  Wash and dry your pine cones. You can even bake them in the oven to make sure they're really clean :)

Step 2: Give the pine cones a coat of spray paint in the color of your choice.  Let dry.

Step 3: Lightly brush various colors of acrylic craft paint onto the tips of the pine cones and let dry.
 (This is optional. The pine cones still look great without this step, but this gives them a little extra something.)

Spray Painted Pine Cones
Blue Pine Cone

Step 4:  Brush on some Modge Podge or Elmer's Glue onto the tips and bottom of the pine cone.  

Step 5:  Immediately roll the modge-podged pine cone in a bowl of Epsom Salt to "frost" the edges.
Epsom Salt Frosted Fine Cones

Step 6:  Let the modge podge and salts dry on the pine cone.  Gently shake the pine cones to remove loose salt.
Epsom Salt Frosted Fine Cones

Now that I've made all these little beauties, I'm trying to figure out how best to use them.  A wreath maybe?  These can be messy so I'm not sure. I may just leave some out in a nice bowl on the table instead :)
Painted and Frosted Pine Cones
Painted and Frosted Pine Cones

I Made me a Yo-Yo Pillow

I'm trying to get back into sewing, so I do a little here and there.  I've actually never really gotten into sewing for real.   It's hard to learn on my own.  So for now I'm sticking with simple pillows. I can't mess them up too much :)

Since I wasn't using my yo-yo centerpiece as ... well a centerpiece... I stuck it on a pillow.  I like it much better here! And the colors fit perfectly with my living room too :)

Crochet Bear Hats

I made these little bear hats for my soon-to-be-born nephews....and now that the baby shower is over I can post them :)

The pattern comes from Easy Make Me Happy blog and it's a free one!  Yea! It's actually for monkey hats, but I just changed the location of the ears to make them bears instead... I like them better that way :)

I can't wait to see these on my nephews one day!

Photo of the Week

The Christmas lights at Temple Square are beautiful this year (as always)!  Seeing them always gets me in the mood for Christmas.  That and getting out the Christmas decorations :)  What do you do to get into the Christmas spirit?

Still Painting Bookmarks

I'm really getting into painting bookmarks.  They're so fun!  I love that I can sit in my art room after my son goes to bed, put on some music, and paint whatever comes to mind.  Not all of them turn out, but I'm so happy with the ones that do :)

My last set of bookmarks sold fast (ya, I was super happy about that!), so I decided to list these as well in my shop.  Here they are...

                                               Bookmarks Set 1                                              Bookmarks Set 2

Since I'm staying at home this morning I may as well get some reading done... there's no way I'm going out on Black Friday around here. It's INSANE!

Not Your Average Dried Leaf

I found something else to use sharpies on....

Decorated Dried Leaves

 Pretty sweet, eh?
Decorated Dried Leaves

If you want to try this, you definitely have to use a fresh, pliable leaf. The old dried ones just crumble when you draw on them.  Draw on it first, then dry it.

You don't even have to be an artist to try this. Just trace the natural outlines and shapes on the leaf itself and add a few extra lines here and there to make it more interesting.

Decorated Dried Leaves

So there you go!
Now you can have leaves that are a bit more awesome than the average dried leaf :)

Decorated Dried Leaves

Photo of the Week

I managed to capture a quick shot of the view from my backyard as the sun was just about to go down.... it's been a rough day.  All I can say is that if I ever get to a point where I don't have migraines anymore I will be I will be doing cartwheels and running around like crazy.  I miss being able to be active...sigh.

Art Room Inspiration Wall

We moved into our house over 7 months ago and I'm still trying to organize my art room....

photo clothespin line

I always have pictures I paint from laying around, so I tried hanging them up on mini clotheslines on the wall.  Looks like it will work! Perfect! Now I have everything I want to paint from in plain view!

photo clothespin line

I count myself as extremely blessed to have a dedicated room for art and other such craftiness.  Gone are the days when I had to store everything under the bed or the back of my closet.  Hooray!