Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Painting and Parasols~

Whew! It has been warm here, but beautiful! Can't complain too much when I know my relatives in TX are already experiencing triple digits, as many of you are....but it is still hot and in the 90's here in Boise, which makes it difficult to think about making something for a "Christmas in July" theme for TDIPT. I managed to make just a few whimsical snowpokes and some Scrabble tile Charms. Here is a link if you'd like to take a peek:

Pear Tree on TDIPT

I also worked on some offerings for Early Work Mercantile for July. I really enjoyed painting both of these. Working with one color (the Victorian flower basket) was challenging, yet rewarding to see how many different shades you can create for the overall effect of sepia tone.

And I think I have a new love....fashion plates! I really enjoyed doing a little research for the Parasol Stroll watercolor painting. (You can read the little info I wrote about the plates on my Early Work webpage, link below).

I mentioned to a fellow artist that I don't always consider what may sell when I paint, but that I just paint what I love and paint what I want to learn about.....and hopefully someone enjoys it too. But, that may be why I have a few paintings still 'hanging around the house'....literally! Lol!

As part of the learning experience, I started taking photos of the work in progress. But like last time, I kept forgetting to take the "in between" photos! You can still see a little of how she developed. First, I put a colorwash of a light tan or parchment color on the watercolor paper. Then I drew her onto the paper. (Forgot to show the colorwash step.)
Then started filling in, one color at a time....base, shade and highlight!

Here is a link to my Early Works page:

I think I need her parasol to shade me from this heat! Stay cool everyone!~

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Poppets Have Arrived!

Poppets, Portraits and Playthings of the Past was a little delayed in updating due to bad weather in Lana's area. But the pretty poppets were worth waiting for!! You can view Lana's new dolls and my new paintings and one new thing for me....a drawing, (I've temporarily placed it as my banner)....here is the link:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Poppets, Portraits and Playthings of the Past~

Will be updated later this evening at 8 PM central (9 EST, 7 MTN, 6 Pacific).
Lana had some storms roll in and knock her power out for several hours this morning, and she still needs to dress a dolly! So, please check back later this evening for the update......here is a link:

Monday, June 22, 2009

American Frozen Fathers...and some Flowers

Hmmmmm, weird title, but let me explain:

Father's Day was low key here at our home. We grilled steaks for lunch and then the boys gave Dad a gift of a quiet afternoon so he could have a nap! I think he had a great Father's Day,
Hope your family enjoyed a nice Dad's day.

It was a cloudy rainy weekend too, so not much gardening was done. But I needed to finish a few paintings, so the rain was a good thing. I cut a few flowers from the yard, snapped a photo and brought them inside for the rest of the rainy weekend.

We were given fresh cherries from a friend's cherry tree and I didn't want them to spoil. I don't think we would have been able to eat so many in a few days. So, I washed them and placed them in the freezer. Has anyone frozen cherries before? I hope they stay fresh and taste as yummy as they do now!
Here they are drying on the butcher block before the "Big Freeze"!

American Folk Art will update today at noon, with an Americana theme. I was able to finish one new item, a soldier silhouette:

(this gent is 5 X 6, framed)

Please visit to see all of the Americana offerings of all the artists.

......I think I covered everything in the title, but I'm not sure if it makes any more sense!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Garden Stakes and A Garden Gate

After taking photos in my last post about the gardens, the sky opened up and we had buckets, no barrels of rain fall from the sky! We were afraid all the plants were going to be washed away...but their little roots held their ground, so to speak, and survived the crazy weather. Now we are having a few clear and sunny days to dry things out.

A few of you asked about the garden stakes and what we used to make them. They are fun and simple to make. Here is a list of supplies we used:

* Mallet
* Anvil (or a hard surface)
* Spoons (we found large serving spoons at thrift shops....more room for your words!)
* marker (or tape) to keep a straight line while you are hammering
* Stamping letters (used to label metal/ steel tools, we found these in the tool section of the home improvement store)

After you decide what plant you want to label, flatten one of your spoons with the mallet on the anvil. (This is my son's favorite part!) Then, make a straight line across the spoon with a marker, (or a piece of tape) and space out your letters as you go.

(the steel stamping set)

I have some tarnishing liquid used to bronze and age solder that could be used to instantly darken the engraved letters, but I didn't use it on these....I'm just going to let them "age" naturally.

(the Rosemary is new this year...and didn't float away with the rain.)

(the stakes survived the torrential downpours we've had the past few days...but the dirt around the Oregano looks washed away)


Since it was a sunny day and we didn't have to duck and run for cover from the rain (you don't use umbrellas in the Northwest, ☺), we visited a 2nd hand remodeling store yesterday. We had heard about this place that builders and contractors take their "left-overs" or unneeded supplies to....so, you never know what you might find on any given day.

(the front side of the gate)

I spotted a pile of cyclone fencing and noticed something wooden and white entwined in it. The white turned out to be a little white picket gate! Of course it didn't have a price on it....so up to the counter I went to ask. The girl followed me back and said, "Hmmm, is $15 ok?", I tried to contain my excitement...and said, "Sure."

(back view of the gate)

I was hoping it would fit in the cyclone fence gate we have now...but it doesn't unless we rebuild the area around it. So, for now it will be a 'decorative element' in my flower and herb garden! I think we'll put some brackets at the base so it will stand on it's own, and perhaps grow a climbing rose or sweet peas on it next year.

Roscoe: "Finally, a sunny day!" (I'm sure that's what his little dog brain is thinking!) ☺

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weedin' and Readin'

It must be summer vacation because I either spend all day reading, or in the yard because the weather has been so nice!

I've just finished reading "The Little Giant of Aberdeen County" by Tiffany Baker
and really enjoyed it. Now I'm reading "Abigail and John: A Portrait of a Marriage" by Edith B. Gelles.......so I've gone from "entertaining fiction" to "historical romance" (tee-hee).

What's on your summer reading list? Any suggestions for my next trip to the library?

And when I'm outside......
We've had some sunny days, and some rainy ones. But the rain DOES makes everything green; including the weeds! So we've been pulling weeds, transplanting plants, and putting in our veggie garden.

And if the squirrels and birds don't enjoy them before we do, we will have four varieties of tomatoes (my husband is a tomato fanatic!), cucumbers, squash, carrots, beans, and zucchini. Here are a few photos of the newly planted veggie garden.

The herb garden has loved the rain and looks so full and green. Lana showed me these cute plant/flower/herb stakes online the other day, so I had my son make some for my herb garden.

He really enjoys making them....LOTS of pounding and hammering on metal (must be a "guy" thing), and a great outcome for me: cute name stakes!

Ok, now I'm off to read some blogs!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

TEA will be served.....

~ You're Invited to

an Early American / Primitive / Patriotic

TEA Party! ~

The Eclectic Artisans (TEA) will be opening for the 2nd webshow of 2009

on Saturday, June 6th, at 7pm eastern....that's Today!

Please join us and bring your friends!

Click on the teapot to begin your visit.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A Birthday Wish for Ben

Happy Birthday to our youngest son. He starts his second year of being a teenager and he is really good at it! :) I hope he is as qualified for all of his future jobs as he is for this one! (said with a "sarcastic Mom voice")
He wanted to bake his cake again this year, and this time I oversaw the ingredients list! You can read about his first attempt at baking his own birthday cake last year HERE.

Today, he will have a few friends over for some cake and I'll try to take a few pics of it to post before everyone devours it! Then we are off to watch the new Pixar movie UP.


The 1st is not only Ben's birthday, but also update day on two selling sites.

is having a "Day at the Fair" theme......the group had the Fair theme last year, but for some reason, this year I just had a "creative block" over what to make. I ended up painting vintage milk labels on a red checkered table cloth, and making a cow. Now Miss Holly (the Holstein) doesn't have any udders....either she was too shy or I was, but I just couldn't make myself put attach any! :)

I did find a very cute antique cow bell that fit her perfectly...so if you don't mind a genetically altered milk cow, you can see her, the milk label painting and a silhouette I painted of old hand tools...for Father's Day here:


Early Work Mercantile is also updated today. I decided to go with a nautical theme for my page. I painted a portrait of a a sea captain's wife. A Clipper ship that my oldest son wanted to keep for his room (guess I'll paint one for his birthday coming up soon!). I used air dry clay applied to canvas board for this painting and I really like the "old world" look it has to it. (The first photo at the top of this post is the new "old" ship painting.)

And a set of painted wooden blocks with a point star (stylized compass) and Tree of Life designs painted on them. Here is the link: