Vacation Paintings

We did two different types of painting on our winter vacation! The first was a lot of work – we finished our west front room – painted ceiling, trim, and walls. Also, we finally hung proper curtain rods and curtains, mounted the pictures on the walls, and got a hutch we always had planned to have for the stereo…so this room is officially finished!!

The other painting was much more fun! I had a little watercolor class with Kaya, my son’s fiancee. We did johnny-jump-ups and I love how hers came out! She deffinately has an artistic eye for composition, proportions, colors, etc.

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New year!

I found a perfect calendar for this year! I have a few resolutions that I’m looking forward to tracking in the pages of these months. I like that there’s space for doodles, quotes, reminders, and inspirational notes!

I’m also using a free printable template for weekly meal planning – this year is going to be for better, healthier, tastier foods for the whole family! After an elimination diet I did this summer I’ve been finding ways of feeding all of us better!

I’m excited by all the possibilities that the year ahead holds and I hope to be mindful and present in each moment. Savour, Cherish, and Choose Well – those are the words I’m starting the year with. What words are you living by today?

Current Projects

I’ve been doing a little bit of different things this month: a new embroidery technique, a flannel drawstring skirt with a kangaroo pouch (so cozy!), planting bulbs for some winter color, and some graphic design for a friends business branding!

Wintery Desk

These beautiful, fragrant, white tulips came from my husband for my birthday last week! He knows just what I like and also got me chocolate and paint pens! I’ve been having so much fun labeling everything with the pens ; )

I’ve had my 37th turn around the sun and feel so grateful for all the amazing blessings in my life – I’m looking forward to this year to come with joyful anticipation!!! Winter is NOT my favorite season…but I’m finding special beauty in it and thankful for all the good things that come with being cozy inside with dear friends and family! 

Blue Knit Maxi Dress

This is a break from my normal art related posts, but it is a creative craft: sewing!

I’ve been shopping for a knit maxi dress for months now, without success. I was looking for a neckline that wasn’t too low, with the flattering/right fit of the bodice, material not too thin, and at the right price (I may have set my expectations a bit high!) I was lamenting about it to a friend yesterday, and she said, “Oh, it wouldn’t be hard to make one – you should try it!” I have had a nice piece of knit yardage languishing in the basement, so I thought I’d rather make a dress (even if it didn’t work out) then leave the fabric in storage for years!

I apologize for the quality of photos – it was snowing today, so I took the pictures inside ; ) I had a long sleeve knit top that I just layed out flat on the yardage and cut out around it to make my ‘pattern’. It’s possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever sown – front and back bodice, two sleeves, gathered skirt, and neckline trim. I didn’t even hem the sleeves or skirt – just leaving them to roll naturally!

Please excuse my awkward selfie photos! Fellow seamstress will be interested in the details: I did normal shoulder seams and extra long sleeves. One of the things I’m used to now with retail clothes is that long sleeves are rarely long enough for me…but these sleeves are plenty long! I did a simple strip of fabric around the neckline – left raw so it will roll – it’s top stitched to the neck opening to keep the neckline from stretching too much. 

In just a couple hours I had a comfortable dress with the neckline I wanted and a proper fit! This knit fabric was a medium weight  and not super stretchy, so it should hold it’s shape well. This dress has the long sleeves for winter, but I plan to make a couple more (in peach pink and sage green?) with short sleeves for summer!

Minimalist Culture

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There’s been an exciting trend growing in our culture to have quality over quantity and to value what you have rather then accumulate the next best thing.  I’m not a minimalist, though I tend to live by the “everything in it’s place” rule.  What I do cultivate in my own life/home/etc is to count my blessings and purpose to share those blessings I’ve been given with others.  For me peace and prosperity is found in living simply.  It takes diligance and purpose to limit yourself and say no to the extras life has to offer – so that I may fully enjoy the essentials in my life.

Have you had to make those choices?  To cultivate those things that bring joy into your life, and let go of those things that would prevent you from having peace and contentment?  Sometimes it is almost a daily task!

Autumn and Art Class

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I had to rescue this monarch from the cold, rainy day outside!  Autumn has arrived with it’s chilly nights and rainy days!

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I have a craft class to teach for homeschool group this year.  I’m doing a gift theme for all my girls this year.  Crepe paper flower gift toppers, hand stamped wrapping paper, paper cut pop-up greeting cards, and hand painted mugs for the actual gift!  I’ve got examples of the crepe paper gift toppers ready for the first class, to give them ideas for shape/color/sizes!

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I’m also working on a hellebore flower pattern for a publication this winter!  It’s a challenge to get the right proportions, shape, etc…but I think I’ve got them worked out – I’ll share all about this project when it’s finished and printed this winter ; )

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And, of course, I’m still doodling in my sketchbooks at every opportunity!  It’s basically my exercise/practice – keeps me limber in my mind and hands and pushes me to better performance!  That’s what I’ve been up to lately.  How about you?  What fills your free time?!

 

Autumn is Pink

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Pink is everywhere in my world these days – even at the zoo!  I’m drawn to it’s soft blush in the transition from summer to autumn.  My hydrangea, dahlias, and fall anemone are all in shades of pink.  I’m also working on a template for paper hellebore flowers!  Stay tuned for that ; )  Do you have a favorite late summer/autumn color right now?

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Summer

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This is the view from my porch – what I call the door yard.  I watch my birds at the feeders and relax on my shady porch with my kitty.  It’s my happy place!  My little slice of heaven on earth is right here ; )

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My Babe built me this beautiful little porch just last year!  We’ve been enjoying it so much!  It’s such a great place to relax and visit together with family and friends.  We both liked the idea of having a porch before we built it – but we had no idea how much we’d love it!!!

 

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This is my favorite chair – the hammock chair!

Also, My Babe and I have a wedding anniversary coming up soon.  Counting my blessings and so grateful to have a beautiful home and family with this man!  I’ve been married 14 years with this guy – My Babe ; )

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