Monday, January 28, 2008

Hare Hair~

February's theme for TDIPT Mercantile is, "Bird's, Bees, and Bunnies Too!" And my offerings for the update on February 1st are all about the bunnies. Here is one I worked on for hours! I haven't named her yet, but you can see a little of the painting process, once she was ready to prime and paint. She has a clay head and bust and is sewn onto a cloth body. Her "paws" are also molded out of clay. Because I'm not as "practiced" with molding clay, getting the head "just right" took a few days of sanding, applying more clay, sanding, etc. And when she was ready for paint, I thought...hmmmm, why not try to paint fur? I usually paint fur on canvas, not sculpted creatures, but thought I'd give it a try. Well, 5 colors (for depth and dimension), and several hours hand hurt, but she was hairy! Here are a few photos of the process. (the photo of the back of the head shows the last color, a sandy white.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

~Nancy's Easter Basket Give Away~

Brrrrrrr....if you are feeling the winter chill, hop on over to Nancy Malay's blog to warm up!! She is thinking Spring with an Easter Basket Give Away. The basket will be filled with goodies, as well as, one of Nancy's treasured bunnies! Please go take a "peep". (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Little Tag and Some Changes

Shhhhh.....don't tell my husband I changed his banner for my blog! I loved his, but it's like rearranging the furniture in your home....I needed a little change! So, I asked the very talented Jan of Big Brown Dog Graphics to put something together for me. Isn't it great? Thanks Jan!

And while on "blog posting hiatus" for the give away, I was tagged by the also very talented Donna of Donna's Art (if you haven't visited her blog, you'll enjoy her paintings and the posts about Otis and Riley!)
For the tag, I was to list 4 things about each of the categories, and then tag four others:

4 jobs I've had
Lifeguard (summer high school job)
Singer in a touring Christian band (2 yrs. right out of college)
Elementary School Teacher
Faux Painter

4 movies I watch over and over
Wives and Daughters
Sense and Sensiblity
Jane Eyre
(is there a pattern here?)

4 places I've lived
Humble, TX
Monroe, WA
Mesa, AZ
Boise, ID

4 tv shows I watch
Antiques Road Show
Masterpiece Theater
American Idol (shhhh)

4 places I've been
Every state except for Hawaii and Alaska
San Juan Puerta Rico

4 people who email me regularly
My Sister
My Mom

4 favorite things to eat
Roast with all the fixins’
Baked Ziti
Berry Pie

4 places I'd rather be
locked in a room with all my painting supplies
a book store
an antique store
taking a class on a craft I haven’t tried yet

4 things I look forward to this year
more time to paint
a studio of my own??? (Ok, that’s not gonna happen, but I can dream!)
finishing another year of home school
working in the garden

I will come up with 4 people to tag, when I'm not too tired to plot and plan!!

Oh, and one more little change, (ok, big change for me!). I had my hair stylist chop 5 inches off my head! Well, she didn't "chop", she styled it, lol. It feels so light...but now that my neck is exposed, I see a lot of turtlenecks in my future this winter!

Here is a Before (my younger son took this photo, sorry the closet door is slightly open!) and After.

Monday, January 21, 2008

And the Winners are......

well, first let me thank you ALL for visiting and posting. I've enjoyed visiting new blogs as well as keeping up with friend's blogs this week!, here are the winners:

1. Cathy of Tadpoles and Teacups

2. Michele of the Holly Tree Blog

3. Tam of Humble Crow Creations

and a BIG thank you to those who posted on your blog about my give away....
here is the winner of that drawing: (her choice of a silhouette charm from my website or a set of 4 cards)

Cookie of Rolling River Prims

Thank you again everyone!.....that was fun, perhaps I won't wait for another 100 posts to have another give away!
Oh, and we woke up to blue snow again....another 2 inches or so. Early morning photos seem to have a blue tint to them....or I just need to adjust my camera!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

100th Post~ Give Away!! *updated*

(*please see update below*)
Well, the magic number has arrived! I can't believe I've posted 100 times, or rather, had 100 topics to post about since starting a blog! But here it is.....and in honor of the occasion, I'd like to have a give away to say "thank you" to all my sweet blogging friends, as well as, to new ones I've recently met and others I hope to meet.
So, if you would please leave a "please enter me" comment on this post, I'll add your name to my ironstone pitcher and draw 3 names next Sunday evening, January 20th at midnight (MST).

Here are the particulars:

1st name drawn: Will choose one of two charms: Cupid or the Rosebud. Cupid ( 1 inch sq.) is made using a print of my new Cupid Silhouette, and the Rosebud (1 3/4 by 1/2 inch) is hand-painted onto glass, and has a vintage-y-paper background. These charms are made with lead-free solder. I've used a 'forged iron' effect for an "Old World" look.
2nd name drawn: Will choose one of two smaller charms: the Rose or the Heart. Both are 3/4 inch sq., hand-painted, and have pretty paper backgrounds... pink for the rose, and sheet music for the heart. Each charm is soldered with the same 'forged iron' look.

3rd name drawn: Will choose one of 2 sets of note cards. A set of 4 Cupid note cards for Valentine's Day, or a set of 4 silhouette cards for everyday notes.

Please leave a comment by Sunday, January 20th until midnight (MST), on this post to be entered. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you whether this is your first visit, or you've graciously endured all of my 100 posts! :)

(Please leave your email or a link to your blog or website so I will be able to contact you if you win!)

*Update*~ thank you all for your comments! And thank you to those who have mentioned my give away on your blogs. If you do post about it on your blog, please comment on this post, or send me an Email giving me a link to your post, and I'll add you to a separate drawing...Thanks!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Masterpiece Theater Presents..........

....."The Complete Jane Austen". So get your VCR's, DVR's and Tivo's ready!!!! Miss Jane Austen's work will be visiting our homes on Sunday evenings for a 4-month stay starting tonight, Sunday January 13th.
New presentations of Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility will be aired, in addition to a new story, "Miss Austen Regrets", a true story based on her diaries.
Here are a few links to updated press about "The Complete Jane Austen".

Latest News

PBS News

(images from Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey)

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Passed"...and Current Art Form of the Day

~Folk Art~
Art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional culture, especially everyday or festive items produced or decorated by unschooled artists.

Simply put, that is the definition of folk art. Most folk art tends to be applied art, or artistic items that were made for a practical use, such as pottery. And in the culture of Early America, folk art reflects their "rugged existence" as they made "with their hands the objects they used in their daily lives."*
The Museum of American Folk Art, (which I would LOVE to visit someday), has divided folk art into categories:
1)Paintings~ works of art made with paint, pencil, ink, pastels, watercolor and applied to a flat surface.
2)Sculpture~ three-dimensional objects, usually made of wood, clay, stone, metals or marble.
3) Textiles~ spun or woven fabric decorated with stitching or other handwork.
4) Household Objects~ handcrafted items and utensils used in everyday life.

Folk artist were usually self-taught, and some grew so skilled in their craft that they were recognized as masters of their craft. These folk artists were everyday people, "the working class", who needed to work to provide for their families, and used their skills to do so. For example, a carpenter might use his skills to carve items to sell in his off-season. Or a sign painter might paint a portrait to earn extra money. Folk artists were also school children who practiced calligraphy which might be needed later in life in business.

Until industrialization came along, folk art was used to fill a need, such as warmth (floor cloths, woven textiles), teach the alphabet (samplers), or even to carry water (pottery). Another attribute of folk art is that it was not made by was all hand made, and one of a kind.

Do you have folk art in your home? Please share!

The rains have washed away most of our snow and sunnier weather is predicted for us. I think I may miss the snow, lol! Have a wonderful weekend!!

References: "Discovering American Folk Art" Cynthia V.A. Schaffner © 1991*
Museum of American Folk Art, New York
"Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog" portrait by Ammi Phillips (1830-35)
"Bird of Paradise" Quilt
Stoneware Churn (1870)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

~*Honeysuckle Lane's Simple Joys*~

Lana of ~*Honeysuckle Lane's Simple Joys*~ is having a 100th post give away!!! She is a dear friend and gifted artist......any lovely from Lana would be a treat. A set of handmade Valentine cards will be one of the gifts! (I can tell you these are beautiful in person.)
Please click the link below to join in the fun!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"The Daily Dose"

I was honored yesterday to receive an award from a friend and fellow blogger, Dana of Eccentricities Studio. She is a sweet person who has a caring heart, as well as, being a very talented artist. She has recently launched "Crow & Co.", a line of primitives through her Eccentricities Studio. Dana passed it along to me for my Friday posts, "Passed Painter of the Day".... (which I need to post with more consistency!) Thank you Dana.

Choosing other bloggers/blogs for this award is truly difficult. Since starting my blog (almost 100 posts ago! woo-hoo! check back in a few days for a 'blog give away' please), I've met so many interesting, thoughtful, clever, creative, kind people who inspire and encourage. Just the "short list" of these fellow bloggers is on my sidebar, there are many more out there in blogland!
But for the award to be passed along, here are a few blogs I find inspiring, informative....and all of the afore-mentioned attributes:

Lana~ for "encouraging" me to start a blog, and for reminding us to celebrate in the simplest of joys. (And by the way, she is having her 100th post give away this please go and sign up!).

Miss Maddie's (aka Susan)~ for her thoughtful and clever's always a treat to read her posts.

Carole~ for sharing her love of antiques and treasures from the past with well as her art.

Rachael~ for being our online docent and allowing us to tour her wonderful collection of early American fashions.

And there are many more blogs that I enjoy visiting on a daily, thank you all for sharing your thoughts and hearts with each of us who visit.

Monday, January 7, 2008

~*~*~* A Winter Wonderland *~*~*~ Part 2

Another snowfall covered our neighborhood this Sunday morning. We've had snow flurries and wintry weather for the last few weeks or so, and now we've had 2 "real" snowfalls so far this season. When I stepped outside to take these was so beautiful, serene, undisturbed....and blue! (I think that must be my camera's interpretation!)

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Passed" Art Form of the Day~*Little Treasures*~

"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
~Lawrence J. Peter

During the Christmas break I had great intentions of painting a large painting. I usually paint on canvas that measures 9 X12, and have painted a few that are 11 X 14 and some 16 X20. However, smaller size (9X12) fits easily into my scanner and a scanned photo usually shows more detail. But, I've had a few requests for larger/ "over the fireplace mantel size" paintings, so I thought I'd paint one over the break.......

.......well, that was the plan anyway! I still would like to do that, but I got a little sidetracked while I was shopping for a frame for the larger painting. Instead, I found several small frames and decided to paint miniatures, (yes, the complete opposite of my intended plans!)

I love researching and learning about art and artists of the 18th/19th centuries and this was fun and interesting to research before I started painting. Here is a little history on miniatures:

(the oval miniature is attributed to artist William Naish (1766/7-1800)

Miniatures date back before the 18th century....but were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries due to their size and "portability". A person could have their likeness painted on a 1 or 2 inch piece of ivory, or card and give it to a loved one to carry with them, much like we carry photos of loved ones in our wallets. Miniatures were also made into jewelry, such as lockets with a braid of hair encased within, or even painted onto small snuff boxes. Something personal for the bearer of the miniature to cherish.
Over the years, miniatures became a little larger and framed, so people could display and decorate with them in their homes.

I also found a wonderful and very interesting blog while researching. I could and did spend hours reading through his many links....Don seems to be quite knowledgeable about Miniatures and an avid collector as well: Artists and Ancestors

After I found my small frames, trying to decide what surface to paint on was my next step... Of course ivory wasn't an option, and I wasn't sure what the 18th century composition of "card" might be. So I cut fiber board to size and applied clay to that surface. After it dried and was sanded and made a very nice and smooth painting surface. And when it was finished, I thought it gave the painting a nice smooth and matte look to it, yet still looked "old" and vintage-y.

I've painted Polly, who wears a light mauve dress and holds her doll in her lap. She measures 5 x 5 without her frame and 6 x 6 with it.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!