Hobbies

Painting and illustrating are just one of my hobbies. I have the quarterly Daughter’s of Promise magazine, my own personal projects, nature journals, and greeting cards, etc. Over the summer, however, painting takes a back burner to my gardening.

I raised literally hundreds of monarchs this summer from the milkweed in my garden! They have been so prolific I’m in the process of moving their milkweed patch to a meadow back of our side yard so that they have more room to grow!

I’ve also started my winter projects. I like to do some handwork in the cold days of winter when my garden is deep under the snow! I’m making a woven area rug out of denim strips from my boy’s bluejeans – such a great use for their worn out pants!

Also, I’ll be hand quilting this dresden plate quilt that I pieced together from squares I found at Goodwill! All the plates were hand appliqued of beautiful old fabric scraps. I really enjoy sitting under the warmth of a quilt and stitching with pearl cotton on a cold winter’s day!

The last project I’ve started is my own Bonsai tree from a juniper sapling I dug out of my back yard! I’ve pruned it and started shaping it with wires. I’ll transfer it to a real bonsai pot after the first year and it’s first root pruning!

I have a few more hobbies in the works: making my own herbal teas from the garden, propogating succulents for friends, and teaching an acrylics painting class at our homeschool group this year! Do you have some favorite hobbies? Are there certain kinds for each season? Do you have a new hobby you’re trying? I’d love to hear about them!

August = gardening!

I’ve been wanting to make a pair of culottes for years – and I fianlly did! They are a very practical garment for gardening since they offer full range of movement when planting, weeding, dividing, and otherwise wrestling with my plants!

I made side patch pockets for holding seed packets ; ) I also have a toolbelt to hold gloves, pruners, etc. depending on what I need out in the garden. This time of year I collect my flower seeds for next year: poppies, nasturtium, pansies, foxglove, calendula, marigold, queen-ann’s-lace, and nicotiana. Some I save to plant as seedlings in early March inside, and others I scatter now wherever I want them to sprout in the garden.

I’m very blessed to have a potting shed that my husband built for me – plenty of space for tools, pots, soil, etc. and it has a half roof of glass so I can use it as a greenhouse for my seedlings in the early spring! I’ve been busy in my perennial beds, dividing and transplanting plants for the winter – my “specimen beds” (a set of raised beds) are where I have the mother plants that I take pieces from for planting into my borders. I can also use them for cut flowers for bouquets.

I’ve also been so happy to have *hundreds* of monarchs visit my milkweed patch this year! Their chrysalids are everywhere – so I’ve even incorporated them into my hydrangea bouquet for fun ; ) There’s so much to do in August and September for the gardens with pruning trees and shrubs, and redefining where the perennial flowers should be growing in the borders…all in preparation for the next year of growing! Have you been busy in your garden?!

Sketchbook

Trying to capture what’s left of the summer before it’s over! I can’t believe school starts in a few weeks! I’ve done a little drawing/painting in my sketchbook when I can:

I feel like we’re finally getting back to normal life after the cross-country trip. I miss the pace and activity of being on the road, however, there’s nothing better then sitting on my porch with my kitty and seeing the hummingbirds and butterflies at the flowers!

My geraniums have done beautifully this year! It’s one of the flowers my grandma Eva liked to grow ; )

Summer!

Summer! We just got back from our family cross-country trip! (you can follow the whole trip HERE) It was awesome!! Now I’m looking forward to a relaxed rest of the summer ; ) The summer issue of Daughters of Promise magazine arrived just before we left, with my library illustration in it!

Then, as soon as we got back I had an illustration to do for the fall issue! I was glad to get back to drawing and painting after a month hiatus – but of course I can’t reveal the finished piece until the magazine is out ; )

So, now I can get back to gardening, porch sitting, and day trips with friends to the beach! I hope you’re having a lovely summer and enjoying every moment!!!

Painting Orchids

I’ve been teaching an art class at our homeschool group for the past three years. I enjoy it so much and hope to do it again next year! This was our last class of this year – painting orchids! These girls are great fun and have each learned to become more comfortable with their own artistic style!

Waterlotus!

One week!
Week two!

I’m growing lotus waterlilies from seed for the first time ever! I had an old seed pod from a floral arrangment I’d saved years ago and thought it would be fun to try a little lotus water garden! I was so pleased that 6 of the seven seeds sprouted!! When they start putting out roots I’ll plant them in a water tub outside. I got a betta to live in there with them (he’ll eat the mosquito larve)…hopefully, if all goes well I’ll have beautiful lotus blossoms in a couple years!

Natural Body Care

Friends of mine have just started a line of soaps and body care products. I’m having some fun doodling a logo for their brand and some label illustrations! They are using all delicious sounding essential oils: oat milk & honey, cucumber & mellon, sandalwood & oakmoss, eucalyptus, cinnamon & clove, lemon poppyseed, lemongrass, orange, lavender, and juniper. Their drying/curing room smells amazing! They gave me a couple bar soaps and a liquid soap to try at home. I’m in love!!!

Hello March!

A drawing of our kitty, Kilo – this is how she likes to nap. (The flowers were added from later doodlings)

Spring is just around the corner and the warmth of the sun is melting the snow away inch by inch! It always inspires me just thinking about the warmth, flowers, butterflies, and songbirds returning to the landscape! With all that happy anticipation, here’s a few pages I did in my art journal this week!

Has spring come to your neck of the woods yet? Or, like here in Maine, are there still a few weeks from finally finishing the winter weather! I’ve been turning my energy to some spring cleaning instead ; ) Getting everything indoors tidy and clean will allow me to spend all my time outdoors in the garden as soon as the ground thaws!!!

Pretty Housekeeping

I like this idea to display regular, everyday used, items as decoration – to recognize the simple beauty of a mundane thing like a handbroom! I’ve never been one to display things just for show…they have to have a history, significance, and/or purpose. What do you think?

There’s this trend for fancy, upscale-utilitarian cleaning tools – there are more beautiful housekeeping tools available everywhere! I think it’s partly the eco-friendly natural and the minimalist long-lasting fashions that have swept the world by storm! I found this darling broom and dustpan and now sweeping feels like a special occation ; )
Also, thanks to Marie Cando and the *spark joy* trend, I’ve been organizing, cleaning out, and re-evaluating all the spaces in our home too! It’s the perfect activity for these winter days when cabin fever is at it’s pitch!!

How about you? Are you ready for spring cleaning?! Or, like me, just couldn’t wait and have spent the winter digging out the recesses of every closset to discover what’s hidden inside!