Tuesday, May 27, 2008

pondering questions

I've been a little introspective lately, asking myself lots of questions I cannot always answer. Like, 'Why do I keep a blog?' Is it for connection with others? Is it for the comments? Am I focusing too much on the amount of traffic I receive, or don't receive? Why should that even matter? Then I remind myself that the whole reason I started this blog was merely to document my creative process. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of posting my various projects - no matter how small. I think I've gotten a bit intimidated, though, when I look at other blogs and see how much they have going on - giveaways, contests, parties, etc. I also remind myself how much work it takes to maintain a blog like that and I'm just not there right now. I'm not sure if I ever will be there. I'm a pretty reserved person and it was even a stretch to start this blog in the first place. I considered deleting it a dozen times! So I now am choosing to stop worrying about being 'popular' (that just adds too much unwanted pressure anyway), hold my chin higher than I have been, just relax and enjoy all the creativity God has given me - which includes a lot that I haven't discovered yet (I hope)!

So, onward, friends!

I've decided to put the shelf giveaway on hold (Sarah understands, that's what friends do) and give it a try another time when I feel the time is right.

In the meantime....here's a neat watercolor that reminds me of Worker!

No, I didn't paint it. The illustrator is Jon J. Muth who is absolutely amazing. This is from the book A Family of Poems, compiled by Caroline Kennedy. I get simultaneously inspired and challenged at the same time. It's been so busy lately with the end of school next Thursday, I haven't been in my studio AT ALL and I can hardly wait to get some protected time in there!

And let me clarify that just because I don't want the amount of traffic or comments to govern my blog, I WOULD enjoy connecting with others and hearing comments, ideas, etc. - just like our dog Tenna (Golden Retriever) really enjoyed her new buddy Zeus!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I actually finished putting the glaze on the cabinet today - yea! I'm very excited about the results - especially since this is the first time I've attempted something like this. I still need to apply the clear varnish (otherwise I'm worried that dust will collect in droves since it's kind of sticky) and then put on the new hardware when it arrives.

For those who didn't see it the first time, here's the memory of the ugly cabinet's past life....

And here's the makeover version! Sorry about the clarity, I wanted natural light instead of the flash. I promise a better photograph for the final product.

Since I have all the supplies still out, I'm thinking about doing the same process to a wall shelf I've never done anything with. It should turn out pretty cute. And then I thought maybe I'll do a giveaway with it. What do you think? If you're interested in participating in the blue-glazed shelf giveaway, just leave a comment to this post and I'll draw a name from a hat next Monday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I thought it would be a good idea to show my progress on the ugly cabinet - which is not so ugly anymore, by the way! When I put on the first coat of blue paint - Bay of Fundy (funky name, hunh!) - I kept telling myself not to freak out since the white primer was showing through. So by the second coat I was a lot happier with the results and almost considered putting on the varnish and skipping the whole scuffing and glazing altogether since I'd never done that before! But I forged ahead (more photos to come).

It's amazing how quickly a project progresses when someone else is occupying the kids and you decide not to worry about the appearance of the house! BUT, then that time period is over, you have to return to reality and the project gets put out in the Back 40! I worked a little bit today right up until getting dinner started couldn't be delayed any longer. I think I see a window of opportunity on Sunday?? Wow, that's pretty far away.

Here's a fun quiz if you have a few spare minutes...

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

way too much going on!

I have so much to catch you up on!
Two weeks ago we did a really cool project for the 1st grade art lesson and now it's all put together. The students each got a section of the picture to paint with just three colors and they didn't know what the whole picture was.

The point was that they were more focused on the colors and mixing them than on the end result of their painting.

They loved seeing it all put together a few days later.

I feel so honored because the teacher wants to put it up for Open House this Thursday. We also worked on their end-of-the year art portfolios.

I don't know about you, but it suddenly seems like there's a lot more to do between now and the end of the school year. Open House, field trips, talent show, luncheons, parties to plan, not to mention teacher gifts! I'd love to hear any cool teacher gift ideas that are not too time consuming.

Plus, I've got lots of my own stuff too! I've been working on that ugly cabinet I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

I'm still not done, but I'm at the antiquing part now. I'll just show a few photos now and gradually add more as I progress. I was very thankful for Gavin's orbital sander which helped speed along a normally very slow step in the process.

And Sunshine helped paint the primer in all the corners - there were a lot of them!

We also finally planted the veggies in the garden. I asked Gavin to run out this evening to reinforce the wire fence to protect the garden from greedy deer! We'd all be so crushed if everything got eaten. It was a great way to spend Mother's Day (Happy Mother's Day, by the way, to all you wonderful, hardworking moms out there!) - the whole family outside digging in the dirt, getting the soaker hose ready, babying the seedlings. Now the hardest part is waiting for the harvest. The kids and I painted pictures of the veggies on scrap wood a few weeks ago, so we put them out next to the seedlings - we hope to put them on stakes soon.

So, of course, in the midst of this flurry of activity and busy-ness, I had to buy material for curtains for the kids' rooms - as if I needed another project! Actually everything was $2 a yard! I thought this fabric looked like buildings in a city, perfect for Worker's construction-themed room.

The girls have pink and purple walls and didn't really need a busy pattern, so this seemed just right.

I'm not too sure when I will get to them, even though curtains aren't that difficult. It all boils down to time.

Please don't even ask me about the Everyday in May thing - I haven't touched any of my watercolor supplies since last weekend. Maybe I'll be more dedicated in the summer?? Wait, the kids will be home all day wanting me to be their Planning Director. Despite my perceived complaining, I'm definitely looking forward to summer days and not having as tight of a schedule. The kids and I are starting to put together a list of projects (most are not that big) that we can do together. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

gifts for the kids

I almost forgot to mention the planned crafty activity during my trip to Lake Tahoe last weekend. We made bracelets, so I made two for the girls. I don't usually get into beadery, but it was a lot of fun!

Then I realized that my boy would not be that interested in a bracelet (well, maybe he would for about two minutes), so I had better think of something to bring back for him! Shopping was not something I wanted to do that day, so as I took a walk, I started collecting some rocks! I found all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. He was very excited about my finds.

Monday, May 5, 2008

painting on location

So I went to Lake Tahoe last weekend and it was just beautiful. The water was so clear! Although it was sunny, it was pretty chilly. I also didn't expect to see so much snow on the surrounding mountains - the lifts were still running!

So I stole some time away for myself and took out my travel watercolor supplies and actually painted something. Most of the time I pack that kind of stuff with the best intentions and then I never even take it out of my bag!

I was so excited to use my 'new' watercolor notebook. I cut watercolor pages from larger pieces, punched holes, tied it with heavy string, and put it in one of Gavin's grandfather's old leather pocketbooks (he had quite a fetish for them), and voila - travel watercolor book! I had fun with the pinecones because I tried to keep the painting looser than I usually do. I'm also finding that I really enjoy using a black fine tip pen to give more definition.

I was inspired by french toast girl and her idea of Everyday in May.
I haven't exactly painted every day so far, but twice in one weekend is pretty good for me. Of course, now that I'm back home to all the realities of life, maybe I'll change the motto to 'Every Once in a While' for myself! It's good to have goals, though, right? No matter how unrealistic sometimes.