Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am lost right now...

As is obvious, my attempt to challenge myself into art has failed miserably. Often when I set goals or guidelines, there seems to be a part of my brain that urges rebellion. It is as if it says that you don't really HAVE to do anything. Not a conscious thought process really but one that influences actions subtly. 

So I gave up on the challenge and because so have not even posted. I did make some crafty projects for our new granddaughter and will try to get a post done soon about those and show pictures of her and Thomas and Sam. 

Wanted to at least post a few words in explanation. I am always hopeful that some inspiration will lead me back to an artistic path again. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week seven

We had the boys with us this weekend.  I had a art and craft project in mind so that they could make something useful for their Mom. While rolling ideas around, I spotted the cardboard candy containers I had saved from Christmas candy, thinking to recover them for supply storage. This clicked with the thought of having the littles paint on some patterned paper with removable letters as I had seen on Pinterest. The example I had seen used tape, probably painters, but I thought we would try stickers, and even tested the removability of the stickers as applied to the paper.  In this pretest, they barely stuck, so I thought we would be good.

I measured and cut a polka-dotted paper and after Sam's morning nap and lunchtime got out the paints and them down to their skivvies so Mommy wouldn't be mad at me for ruining their clothes. Well, plans, as you probably know, are well and good.  Sam wasn't in an artistic mood, so I helped him dab some paint here and there and that was it for him.  Thomas, on the other hand, really did get into it.  He likes to paint. His favorite colors are blue and orange and he has no patience for waiting on paint layers to dry so there also ended up being a nice blend and complete coverage of his piece of paper. I didn't get any photos while they were painting.  It took my full concentration to help them out.  Wish I could have, though.

After our painting time was over, we had to have bath time, since they must take after Mimi as far as getting paint everywhere.  Later on after they had gone to bed, I went back to remove the stickers only to find that they didn't want to be removed, especially those on Thomas' paper. The paint and maybe the water had bonded the stickers. Sam's wasn't so bad, but even there some of the top layer came off. Thomas had completely saturated his page and it was really hard to get the letters off.  I felt like saying some ugly words and started to throw them away.  Being as stubborn as I am, I persevered and kept working with it to get it to work, finally ending up with something I could live with.

 
Here are the finished containers, one on top of the other. Glued the papers to the containers, adding a strip of coordinating painted book paper.  This idea is from Anna Corba and one I've used before.  I had to add touches of gesso or marker to make the letters show up. All somewhat messy, but we are going to pretend that is the look we were going for.


Their Mommy said she loved them and put them to good use holding markers and crayons on their game and craft shelves.



And below, some shots of the sweeties themselves.  Thomas loves his super heroes. They have the cutest PJ's for kids these days!  He chose to be Superman on Friday evening. This pic totally exemplifies his personality!  Funny and smart as a whip!




Below is our sweet Sam, wearing a tshirt given him by his Aunt Yaya (aka Holly).  We took them home to Tuscaloosa on Sunday. It was a pretty day, so Emily and I took them to a small local park, while the guys watched the Daytona Race. Here Em was holding Sam up so he could try the monkey bars.

 
Still a few off days left, so we'll see what trouble I can get into before having to get back to work starting Thursday.  Hearing rumors of possible snow and ice predicted for, of course, this weekend when I have to work.  Maybe they will miss this one as I hate to have to worry about getting to work or having to stay over.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weeks 5 and 6

A little late, as usual, with posting. My idea was to post weekly but my work week throws me off. Then the week I was off this last time was busy for various reasons and ended up sick the last of it going into my work time. I'm about to finish up that and start off time again. Will be keeping the boys this weekend. Looking forward to that!

I resurrected another sewing project and worked on that here and there the first 2 weeks of this month. Again I intended to also do a more artistic project but that didn't happen. Below you can see progress so far. Several years ago, I purchased a small quilted bag at the thrift store, intending all along to alter it in some way.  Some of the fabrics, especially the handle, remind me too much of the eighties/nineties decorating colors, so I wanted to "funk" it up a little bit.


Applique and embroidery on each square seemed to be the way to accomplish this. I'm making this up as I go along.  Not yet sure what I will do about that simple handle or what the purpose of this little bag will be.  Size is about 8" by 10". 


Close-ups of some of the squares.






This week, while shopping at a local thrift store, I purchased some tie-dyed, vintage look t-shirts with another project in mind.  I have several t-shirt scarf ideas on my "fabrications" Pinterest board.  Thought these colors and fabrics would make an interesting scarf.  Will keep you updated on any progress, if and when that happens, lol!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 3 and 4 of 52 week challenge

I realize it is past the time of the last 2 weeks of January, but I'm still trying to hang in there with the challenge.  I am cheating somewhat with the project for these two weeks as there is only one craft project to share.  I did work on it for both weeks, though, so I am going to count it for both.

Originally I intended to begin some fabric art, perhaps collaged cuffs, like I've made before, so I started sorting through several bags of fabric scraps and some tote bags with UFO's that had been placed in a cedar wardrobe since our move a year ago. Digging led to the thought that I might as well try to re-organize the junk/stuff and once that was done, I had already caught a bug of trying to finish one of the prior projects that is not too far from being done. The practical part of my brain has latched onto the idea that I could take this 52 week resolution as an opportunity to mark some things off that long "you never got around to finishing what you start" list.  Below you can see what is completed so far on what will be a Christmas stocking. Once intended for one of the girls (yes, this was begun SEVERAL years ago), this will end up being for either Thomas or Sam.  I also have a cat needlepoint stocking partly done and this may be what I complete for the other grandson.  There is also a pretty stocking front I have completed of a partridge and pear.  It needs to have a back and cuff sewn onto it. Since my sewing machine skills are at a very beginner level, I keep putting this off until I can figure out how to do it correctly.  It will be for my longtime sweetheart husband, when and if I get it done.


 
 
Speaking of grandsons, I can now announce that we have another grandchild on the way.  Those of you friends with me on Facebook have already been notified, but I really should make it official on my blog as well.!  Holly and Chris are expecting their first baby on July 25th of this year. We are so excited about the prospect of another sweet grandbaby!
 
 
During my week off we enjoyed a sweet day with Emily and her family at the McWane Center in Birmingham. I had never been before and thoroughly enjoyed myself! Be sure and visit the link for more information about this wonderful place! This is a shot of one of the beautiful aquariums.
 
 

Here is Thomas having fun with one of the interactives on the first floor.



 Sam enjoyed the Clifford exhibit as it had several activities geared toward the littles like him.  He is building a "sand castle" in this picture.


Here is Sam again having a great time with water play.


Thomas loved the giant "Lite Brite" playboard. I am sure he has never seen the original small game.  We had one left from when the girls were small until we were getting ready to move.  It ended up being donated to our local thrift shop. Yet another thing I wish I had hung onto...


Here Emily and Thomas plaIy music on the giant piano!


We all loved playing with the colorful push nails.  Kerry had held Thomas up so he could press his face into one side.  Here he is marvelling at the sight of his face from the other side.



  This is another game found on the first floor.  I love the expression on Thomas' face!


 
Would love to go back here again as I felt cheated on the time I was able to spend on the floor with the bird and dinosaur exhibits.  Included in the collections in this area was one of antique medical equipment.  That is where I was found when the rest of the family had finished looking and realized I was no longer with them.  I was so fascinated that I didn't even get my camera out to take any shots there.
 
I am in the middle of my work week right now as I get this post completed.  It has been a busy week. Hopefully this weekend we will get to see Thomas and Sam again.  Kerry's birthday is February 5th, so Emily wants us to come down so that we can celebrate in some way together.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Week One and Two


Well, been trying for a few days to get a post done.  Problem being that I wanted to do the pictures as scans since they looks so much clearer, but I have to do that on my oldest computer and it and Blogger are not playing well together.  I worked with the computer some trying to get it faster to no avail.  Continued to try since I am stubborn to a fault but never could get the pictures uploaded and the post saved without my computer shutting down all open applications. After 2 days of trying, I have resorted to taking pics with my iPhone and uploading with the Blogger app. 

I realize it is now January 17th and there have been no Week 1 or Week 2 art projects posted yet.  My work week is going to present a problem for me unless I figure out some way to get over it.  Seem to be so tired after working ten stressful hours of night shift that I don't feel up to doing anything when I get home in the mornings.  It was this past weekend, the middle of my off week, before I did anything artistic. My hubby has a way of "sucking the life" out of my off time, finding things for us or me to do.  Hard to turn down some of this because it will be projects that I've wanted done for a long time and know that if I don't take advantage of his interest, it could quickly disappear. 

So here is what I am calling Week One's art item:

 
Right hand page of journal spread


 
Left hand page of journal spread


These pages ended being about my present struggle of balancing the scientific work day with an urge to create or the two sides of my brain at war. The lines of cars and people are to show the way I feel about us having to work.  Started out with gessoed pages glued with wrapping paper scrap rectangles.  Then used aqua and pink acrylic paint glazes as well was more white gesso and streaks of black to blend over the paper pieces. Final touches are black gesso rings, chart paper from Woodland lab(in memory), various other magazine and book snippets, and the heart from paper used under painting projects. Fairly satisfied with these pages.


 
Cheating with the week 2 project because all I did with this one was repair a previously begun assemblage piece that was damaged in the move.  I still want to do more with this but haven't decided what to do yet.  I do hope to be able to add another real art project for this week but will have to see how things go.  Right now it is Thursday and I am supposed to be going in to start my work week tonight.  Due to the snow, I am going to have to go in early and will probably be late getting to leave tomorrow, depending on how roads are and whether anyone tries to come in on dayshift. So will be working lots of hours with now sleep, good for the paycheck but not a 52 year old mind and body!
 
Will leave this post as it is for now. Sorry it is so quickly done.  I do have hopes to do better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year with 52 week resolution

Good intentions have failed me in more ways than one.  I had hoped to do better about posting, but it was October last time I did.  Also, as I mentioned several times in the last year or so, I've kind of lost my artistic way and I'm still floundering as far as that goes.  I've told myself more than once that if I was supposed to be creating, I would be doing more than I have been.  Still I'm not ready to give up yet. 

I've seen where many bloggers take on 365 day challenges or weekly ones.  For me, a 52 week artistic challenge seems a good idea, one that should be possible, at least with very lenient guidelines!  To create one artistic item per week and blog about it, will give me 40 more posts than I got in last year. This may sometimes be no more than a journal page or include crafty stuff rather than true "art". We'll see how it goes.  I can't be more disappointed in myself than I am right now.

I owe several people a hand-crafted item, anyway, from a Facebook pay-it-forward challenge, so I am starting out with my procrastinating self way behind. This tends to start a cycle in my head where I question what I'm going to do, then am unable to decide and then do nothing at all and so forth and so on. 

But this is a new beginning and start of week one.  My work week runs Thursday night to Thursday morning and will be going into that tomorrow night, followed by seven days off.  Getting anything done while I'm working will definitely be a challenge so there may have to be adjustments in how I divide up my weeks.  Here is hoping for better and more artistic times ahead!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Actually feeling like fall



About a week ago, I took this picture of the pasture across the road from our house. Sorry it's not any closer, but it would have cut out the number of geese that there are. Below is a closer shot. We moved to this home at the first of this year, so we are experiencing the seasons in a new way here. There is a large pond somewhere behind us that I've only seen by Google satellite images.  During the summer, we could hear what sounds like hundreds of frogs as night fell. Also, there has been a smaller gaggle of geese that fly from the pond behind to the smaller pond and pasture across from us.  Sometimes it looked like you could reach up and touch them as they came in for a landing. In September we began to see larger numbers, I would assume, from migrating geese passing through. They would spend all day grazing the pasture like a herd of cows.  The last few days I have not seen or heard any, so they must have moved on a little further south. 

 
Alabama has been having some weather that actually feels like fall. This is not always the case around here.  There have been years that it was warm at Christmas.  I love autumn, so I am loving these cooler than normal temps.  A couple of weeks ago, on my last Saturday off, Kerry and I headed to Tennessee to David Crockett State Park.  We had been camping there before with my brother and his family some years ago when the girls were young.
 
 
The fall color has not started yet, but it was still a peaceful, beautiful spot.  All of these shots were taken at the creek and falls.  We did take a short hike through the woods, but didn't get any good pictures there. 
 
 
My favorite pics of the day are the one above and the one below.
 
 
These are all various shots of the same falls. 
 
 
A look downstream, as the creek meanders on through the woods.
 

We enjoyed seeing the park again and reliving memories of watching our children play there when they were young.  Moments like these remind you again of how fast time flies.
 
The park is located not too far from a large Amish community.  After we left, we drove that way and took the scenic drive to see the farms.  The Amish don't want their pictures taken so I only tried to get a couple of shots of the fields.  There were several acres of sheaved corn, which you don't see much anymore.  The pics weren't all that good, though.  Unfortunately we forgot to get some cash before we left home, so we were unable to stop and purchase any of the canned or baked goods or vegetables that were for sale from various farms. We did buy some peanut brittle from a small flea market nearby.  It was locally made, although not Amish and I found a lovely little handcrafted wooden tray. The back of it right below, which is cool enough, I think.
 

Then here is the front.  I may hang it on the wall now as part of a grouping of wooden boxes for which I seem to have a "thing" among the other collections I also have. Eventually it may end up as an assemblage base, if I ever get my artistic head back on my shoulders again.

 
Tonight we are expecting a low around 39, almost winter-like around here.  I am loving it!  We haven't even turned our heat on yet.  This is the time of year we save money on our heating/cooling bill.  Being so hot-natured we have our air set on 70, but until it gets consistently cold, we don't need any heat.
 

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