Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

This year, for our church's Christmas Eve program, I drew something with a Victorian theme in mind.

I hope you and your family experience many blessings this Christmas. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Suzanne

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fa La La La La



'Tis the season for singing. And choir concerts. My husband, (the choir director) is very busy this time of year and is ready for a long winter's nap. :)
He really enjoys it, and we enjoy participating and listening to them. There will be two this weekend, so Fa la la la la!

Decorating update: I pulled out the boxes of decorations, and now they are all sitting on the living room floor. Next step: I'll open them!, hopefully tomorrow, but today was update day on the Merc. (TDIPT).

This month I made some "wintery" things. A snowman named Parson Parley Brown. He was quite a bit of work (my busy husband helped with some of it, ie drills, wood armature, etc.)~

And some sledding in silhouette form~




Click on over to see more photos: Pear Tree on TDIPT

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Launch Time


I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. We ate well, but worked out later in the day.

(Yes, I typed the words, "worked out". My husband and I have been working out with Tony Horton of P90X fame.....I'll explain our craziness in another post, someday....when I'm ready to post those "Before" and "After" photos!)

After Thanksgiving, I try to pull out our Christmas tree, but I haven't quite gotten my Christmas decor out of the garage just yet, however; it is on the list for the week. Have you started yet?

Well, the artisans on TDIPT have some offerings you may want to take a peek at and perhaps add to your holiday decorating. This week on Ebay, TDIPT is having a "Winter Wonderland" Group Launch. I've listed two items, and have at least one more to list later this week. (Just click on each photo and it should take you to the auction.)





Winter Cardinal on Ebay

And to see all of the offerings from our launch, please click here:

TDIPT on Ebay

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter for the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

~May you enjoy the blessings of the season with family and friends~

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall's Favors and Flavors



Fall is a beautiful season. I think our family appreciates it even more after living in AZ for several years....not many colorful seasonal changes in the desert.
The show piece in our yard is our maple tree. I love seeing the leaves change from green to red, and yellow, then, they fall to the ground. THAT, I'm not so crazy about, the clean-up! But, when we all get outside and make it a family event of raking the leaves, it can be fun.

~So, this is what we will be raking this weekend~ (IF it doesn't snow...that is what the weather guys are saying. Snow and leaves mixed may be kind of difficult to rake).~



(I really haven't mastered the "fine art" of drizzling glaze, but this one turned out okay.)


This recipe makes 12, maybe next time I'll cut them into smaller pieces that aren't quite so big.


Last night, I really got into the "fall flavor" of things. With the "help" of our girls who provided the eggs for baking, I made some pumpkin scones. Now, I am NOT a cook, and I really haven't baked in several years. I just don't have the patience for cooking or baking, especially when your "creative endeavors" don't last for very long. Which is the point, I guess...but cooking really has never interested me. Thank goodness my husband loves it, or we would be eating a lot of take-out or pre-packaged meals!


So, I can't explain my recent culinary desire to bake, except that it sounded really good and the recipe looked easy enough for even me to have a modicum of success. And, I did!

These are SO yummy....I googled "Starbucks Pumpkin Scones" and came up with several sites. I chose this one: Pumpkin Scones, and the results have boosted my self-confidence when it comes to baking. They LOOK just as yummy as the TASTE!

("The Girls", minus one...who was a little camera-shy,
or maybe she is blending in with the color of the leaves!?)

Next on the baking list....Pumpkin Bread. I found a recipe of the same site as the Pumpkin Scones, and am just waiting for "The Girls" to lay a few more eggs so I can try it.


~Have a Beautiful Fall weekend~ and if you need a nice tea to accompany your scone or baked good this season, please check out my sister-in-law's website. She has some very nice blends.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Book of Life and other Stories


"I could write a book", is a phrase usually used when someone has a lot to tell about a negative experience, or something they've learned through trial and error. I just thought about that, weird, huh? Why not, "I could write a book".... about all of my blessings?

Well, unfortunately, I've been saying that phrase a lot lately about a not-so-wonderful experience we are going through with finding a developmental therapist to work with my son....but the road ahead looks brighter, so that's a good thing!, and my "book" will be published soon! Haha! But seriously, after what we've experienced, I feel for those with disabilities who don't have an advocate in their corner.

Well, that's where I've been for the last few weeks, and will still be busy with doing for many weeks ahead.

But there is ALWAYS time for creating!!

And, it is the beginning of the month (can you believe it?), and time for updates on TDIPT.

This month I went "a little Colonial" with my Christmas offerings.


Please meet AnnaBeth (this was the "girl name" choice that my husband and I had for a girl... if we had had one.) I used my "girl name" for the doll I made for the update. She is made of quilter's muslin and is 17 inches tall. Her facial features were created using Inktense pencils (like the Troll Dolls, but cuter!)



My second offering is a painting of a Rocking Horse. This was fun to do~ I cut up some burlap and adhered it to an 8 X 10 canvas with some gesso and Modge Podge ©, then painted on the burlap. I cut the burlap so that the edges would extend over the canvas. The edges of the burlap are painted and sealed so they won't fray, and they look neat!

You can visit both offerings on my selling page:
Pear Tree on TDIPT


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This is also the time of year for TDIPT's annual Open House! Which means Give Away Time!!

There are several ways to enter your name: Buy an item from one of the artist, sign up on our blog.....and a few other ways listed when you read the post.
Here is a link to learn more about the give away:

TDIPT Open House Give Away

(This is my "gift" for the Open House Give Away~For a chance to win this funny little guy, and other prizes, be sure to enter the give away!)

~*~*~*~*~


This is the first year no one asked to "dress-up" for Halloween. After 16 years of making costumes for two boys, I'm actually not too sad about not making one this year.
☺Happy Halloween Retirement to me!☺

Stay safe this evening~

PS. I finished the painting of the sisters walking hand in hand. It's my new "fall-ish" banner!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whatcha Working On: Wednesday

Lookey Here~ I'm actually updating on the correct day! :) And, I'm about to show you a few unfinished pieces, which, I guess is the literal meaning of what I'm working ON at the moment.



Here is what I've been working on......... (other than the Trolls in the last post)~
A Custom Portrait in the early 19th Century Style:

This painting started with a VERY patient customer sending me photos of her son. (I say "VERY" patient because this portrait process started awhile ago, and I'm working on it when I can.).




From the photos she sent, (it helps to have several photos to look at), I drew up a sketch.
After the sketch is approved, the painting begins.



Here is a photo of what is on the canvas now....mostly basecoats and some shading. You can see that we rearranged some things from the sketch...ie, boulders were added, the kite was erased and a sling shot/ bag of marbles took it's place.
The face looks a little spooky, but it will get filled it soon. (Although, it's a good look for Halloween!)

~*~**~*~

A Watercolor Painting:


And the other painting I'm working on is a watercolor. I started "experimenting" with watercolor about three years ago. I say "experimenting", 'cause it's just that when I try to teach myself a new medium....an experiment! I love to try new things, but there is always a learning curve and my "methods" would probably shock a true watercolor artist.

I would never presume to teach anyone what I've tried to learn by trial and error! But I do enjoy the learning process, especially when something turns out the way I envision it.

So, after three years of painting with watercolor, I decided to treat myself to some really nice paint, albeit more expensive paint. Up until now, I've used student-grade paints that you might pick up at Michael's. I did a little online research and discovered Daniel Smith watercolors. These were recommended on blogs, and websites of professional watercolor artists, so I thought I would buy a few and give them a try. I went with basic primary colors to start out, and this gives me the freedom to mix many more colors.

After using them, I don't know how I was painting before with just student grade....'cause now I'm hooked! These watercolors are easy to work with, and flow beautifully on the paper. I don't think I can go back now! (They are quite a bit MORE expensive than student grade, but I think they look much nicer. So, I guess I'll have to figure out a way to afford them from now on! Hmmm?, maybe I can convince the family to go without food once in awhile?! Ha!).

And, I'll let you in on a little secret......I would love to illustrate a children's book someday. That has always been a little dream. But, I don't know how good I would be with deadlines, etc.! :) Plus, it seems to be a difficult industry to break into. Ah, well, I can dream.


The painting is of sisters walking along a path on a windy day. The first step was to sketch or draw the scene. Then I stretched the watercolor paper (notice the brown tape around the edges) by soaking it in the bathtub. The graphite pencil sketch stays in place even after the paper is soaked in water.

After it dries flat with the tape securing it to my plywood board, I begin to paint. The painting part is the unconventional part of the process. Everything else I just mentioned is the "norm" for stretching watercolor paper. My painting process involves things like paper towel blotting, dry brushing (which seems weird when you are doing watercolor!), and a few other "made-up" methods.

Not sure where this will go, probably Etsy when it is done, or I might just keep it and hang it on my bedroom wall! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Published and Other News


We've had a crazy week. Nothing new there! Under the weather a bit with the season's change too. We've had rain and cold(er) weather, which somehow brings on sniffles, sneezes and other sinus-related "S's"! :)

The last post eluded to fun happenings and goings-on in my very small "art world".


("Belle of the Fall"~ Pumpkin Princess was one of my paintings that was featured.
She shares the page with Patti's pretty pumpkins Winding Vine Blog)



A magazine article!~ The group I belong to (and update monthly in), To Dwell in Primitives Thymes (TDIPT), had a 10-page feature in the latest PRIMS publication. PRIMS is a magazine published by Stampington and Co.

Here is a link to Stampington and PRIMS mag: Stampington & Co.

We were asked to send in an original art piece and then we filled out a survey sent to us by the coordinator of the article (and TDIPT member), Karen Brady.
She collaborated with the leaders of our group to write the article and then Stampington staff took photos of our art!

It is fun to see your work in print...thanks Stampington!


(My Pumpkin Patch silhouette with ribbon hanger up on the top left)

I couldn't decide what to send in, so I sent in two items thinking they would choose for me. It was a nice surprise to see both of my items in the article! (And, when you look through the article, you'll see that other members of the group sent in more than one item too.....that made me feel better, and not so much like a "greedy-goose"!)


(Plug: Both of these items have traveled back to my house from their photo shoot and are available in my Etsy shop: Pear Tree Primitives' Etsy Shop)

~*~*~*~*~

Did you freak out a little when you visited my shop? If you didn't click over there yet, let me prepare you for your visit!

What is that thing on the first row? What did she create? Is she trying to sell that?
These are valid questions you may ask yourself when you see my "latest" creation!

(Troll Twins~ up to no good)


( One of our chickens asking herself the same questions...."What has she painted now?")

My ever- diplomatic husband saw me painting these "troll dolls" and said, "Hmmm, those aren't your 'usual'." Nope, they are very UN-usual, and even kind of creepy (so say my children).
But, I kind of like their squishy little faces! :) ....the Troll dolls, not my children's faces!


I really have no rhyme nor reason for these little creatures other than I was just playing around with my new Inktense watercolor pencils! These were fun to play with, and I tried to create a "vintage-y" lithograph style for their faces. I'm not sure how that "look" will translate to anything other than a creepy little Troll doll face, but I'm going to continue to play with them and find out!

Here is a link to the Troll dolls on my Etsy, they aren't really scary.....just think " a character in a Brother's Grimm fairytale"! See them here: Troll Twins

Thanks for stopping by.....and next on the list of blog posts: New watercolor paints (LOVE these, and can't wait to share, and a custom portrait in the works.

See you Wednesday~

Friday, September 30, 2011

October Already?

Well, the "Whatcha Working on Wednesday" idea didn't keep me on track with blog posting!

I did take photos of what I've been working on....but then, life would distract me and I would forget to post. So......,this may be a long one!

Let's start with update day~ which is actually this evening. The artist of TDIPT will be updating their pages for October. I know that Autumn has only begun, and our leaves have not even changed yet, but this month I'm offering Winter/Christmas items! (not to rush the season, but there are only two updates until Christmas...yikes!)

I'm offering two silhouettes that were my submissions to Early American Life magazine for their Holiday Artisan's Directory.

~The Skater~ inspired by the 18th century portraiture of Sir Henry Raeburn and Gilbert Stuart, both painters of ice skaters.

And, ~Young Miss~ (not a particularly creative name!) was asked to fly to PA and have her photo taken at the Historic Rock Ford Museum to be featured in the magazine. (She was quite excited to be asked!).


And I can't really explain my fascination with Santa's face....I've painted three different Santa faces in the last two years! Lol!, Oh well, maybe it is his kind eyes and jolly personality? :)

I did remember to take photos along the way, so you can see his progression in the slide show below:





You can visit all three here later this evening: Pear Tree on TDIPT
(just refresh your page if you still see an owl peeking at you!)

Oh, and if you visit my Etsy Shop , you'll find two new offerings. "Owlettes"~ these are cupboard tucks or shelf sitters or just little creatures to keep you company.

See, I wasn't quite finished with Autumn yet! :)

Thanks for visiting...and I'll post more later this week. Still have a few new things to show you! Here is a snippet: A magazine feature, a custom portrait, and new watercolor paints to share!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whatcha Working On: Wednesday

How about "Whatcha Finished Working On Wednesday", since today is update time on TDIPT?

Owl, Pumpkin, Cat Eye, Dragonfly, Chicken, Bee~ Sounds like a really Scary movie! Combine them all and you may have a B movie scenario, but that's what I've been working on for September's update.

(okay, my mind is forming a really weird image of a creature with various parts of each thing I just listed!) Lol!

So you don't run for cover, you can see them all (Separately!) in the photos below!~



The above Dragonfly, Bee, and Chicken paintings and Cat Eye Pendant can be seen on my website. Click on the link "New Offerings" at the top of the page:
Pear Tree Primitives Website


~*~*~*~*~*~


Preston, Primrose and the Owl grain sack painting can be seen on my TDIPT page:
Pear Tree on TDIPT



~*~*~*~*~*~
Oh, and let's throw in some dolls....Dolls always make for a good spooky movie! :)


Welcome and Miss Fall can be seen on my website too. Just click on the tab "Wall Doll" at the top of the page:


Thanks for visiting......hope it wasn't too scary! :)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whatcha Working On: Wednesday


(Did you make this for me?)

Well, I guess posting anytime on Wednesday still counts, right? Better late, than never, I guess.
There have been lots of appointments this week, but when I wasn't taxing kids around, here is what I was working on:




Drawing and sketching ideas for Faux Linen Grainsack paintings...an owl, dragonfly and bee. The owl will hopefully be done in time for my update on TDIPT this Sept. 1st.



A Fall Wall Doll is almost ready to go on Etsy....she still needs her hands sculpted.

But Headless (Sleepy Hollow Silhouette) is now finished and in my Etsy shop:






(building the cabinet)

Since there wasn't much to report for the weekly progress, I thought I'd show you what my husband made for my birthday a few weeks ago. (August is a busy month for our family and extended family....Lots of birthdays and anniversaries!).


(Ready to paint)

(Painted black first....as an undercoat. We paint all of our "new" furniture pieces this way. We like the instant "age" the dark undercoat gives the new wood.)

He is such a handy guy with the tools. He has built most of our furniture in our "Colonial Cottage". We down-sized when we moved into our home a few years ago and when we bought our current home we had to get creative with our furniture and storage. Jeff has been busy building pieces to fit nooks and crannies ever since!


(The topcoat....a creamy white)

This particular cabinet was needed for my sewing stuff that was taking over a hall closet...the one that also has my paints, etc. ie my "craft closet". The sewing stuff just needed its own place!



(An inside peek at the new sewing cabinet....I'll do my best to keep it neat!)


(The new cabinet in its new place in our bedroom)

Love my new cabinet! and I think he may be done with building anymore furniture for awhile, at least. That was the last piece I had on my "request" list.....but, I'll probably be thinking of some other new furniture piece I need...soon! :)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary


....to us! Twenty-four years ago on August 22, on a VERY hot day in Texas, my husband and I were married. The wedding day was a big blur for the most part, (note the dazed look on my face in some of the photos!), but I wouldn't have changed a minute of it to experience the journey after that day....well, maybe running off and eloping might have been another choice. :)

Just kidding Mom!




Gosh!, We look so young!


The wedding party~ seems so long ago, but most of us still keep in touch.



The Folks


(I think that this is the longest I've ever had my nails. I like to keep them short now....for painting purposes!)

Our hands have done many things together in the past twenty-four years, and I hope to be holding yours for many more to come.
Happy Anniversary ~ I love you!