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5 posts from January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crafty Little Fellas


Last week, as I was circulating around my favorite blogs, I came across Sharyn Tormanen's blog "Live From Tormville" and saw what her husband has been up to lately.  I laughed my fanny off.  These funny faces are golf balls that have been opened and carved into funny faces.  The artistic character of each one is truly amazing and I just had to share.  

Of course, being the complex creative that I am, I had to learn how to do this unusual craft if for no other reason than to pass the time when I can't sleep or have nothing better to do - yeah, right.  Still, I thought this could be loads of fun and would make a great gift for the golfer in your life.

So, as I was searching around the internet for instructions on how to make these crazy golf ball faces, I came across these videos.  Knock yourself out - they are delightful, funny, and will teach you how to make these darling faces on your own.  Just be careful - some of the tools you use to make them can be dangerous and should be used with caution and the proper preparation so you don't hurt yourself.

Part 1 of 3:

Part 2 of 3:

Part 3 of 3:

How about painting these little guys? Well, Mr. Whittler, as I call him, shows us how to paint the faces too ...

Part 1 of 3:

Part 2 of 3:

Part 3 of 3:

I like what Mr. Whittler has shown us here, however, I like Sharyn's hubby's faces better.  I think he did a much better job of carving, don't you?  He created a lot more personality and detail in his faces.  Still, if you want to try your creative hand at carving a few golf balls on your own, then Mr. Whittler here has given us all some inspiration on how to get started. Thank you Mr. Whittler!

And by the way, I think Sharyn and her hubby are going to start selling their golf ball faces.  Neat idea Sharyn!

Now, where did I put those golf balls?



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Cards - More Special than Ever


Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved making cards.  I think they are more personal than if you just buy one at the store, but that is just my opinion.  You can always look through the cards at the grocery store and get some ideas of what to say inside your own card.



For this card, I purchased some heavy card stock in multiple colors, and pulled out my trusty paper cutter from Martha Stewart Crafts, and a few other tokens, including stamps, that are easy to find at your local Michaels or Craft Store. 



My project was to make a "Thank You" card to attach to a Red Easel Master's Palette that I had made for a customer of mine at Red Easel.  Instead of having custom labels made for Red Easel, I decided, at least for now, to add a personal touch to the cards when I attach them to the easel and send them out.



For this project, I chose to use my Martha Stewart Crafts Light Blue stamp pad...



And my Martha Stewart Crafts paper cutter.    Have you ever been in the paper craft isle in Michaels?  The isle with all the Martha Stewart paper craft supplies?  It's enough to make you a crazy person.  Especially if you are a chronic creative like I am.  This is the first time I have ever purchased paper craft supplies and I was so excited to start this project for my palette customers.  See this device above? - You put your paper in the cutter and squeeze.  It cuts your pattern perfectly in the paper.  Then, you just move your paper down and line up the design on the cutter with the design that is already cut out of your paper for perfect cutting every time.  I could cut paper all day with this thing.



I also grabbed some ribbon out of a bottom drawer of my sewing supplies dresser in my studio.  I wanted to find the type of ribbon that has a little bit of wire in the sides so that it can be shaped.



I have a slew of stamps, but I only needed to find the one that reads "Thank you" - and yes, I found it.



I cut the paper stock with the fancy paper cutter after I folded it in half to make it like a card.  Then I stuck one of these fancy scalloped paper things on top of it to make it pretty.



Then I took my stamp, pressed it into the blue stamp pad ...



and, I stamped the front of the card.



I took a glue stick and put glue on the back of a nice heavy stock of white paper that I had already cut to fit inside the Thank you card.  Then I wrote my message of Thanks to my customer for purchasing my handmade Red Easel Master's Palette and I used a marker that looked like the same color as my stamp pad.



I punched a hole (with a hole puncher) in the corner of my card and tied the ribbon through the card and around the palette.  I thought it looked very personal and very nice.  I hope my customer thought so too. 


It is easy to make your own cards, and lots of fun too!  I especially like all the fancy paper cutters, and heavy stock paper you can choose from.  It really is enough to make you crazy if you like doing this stuff.  Now my card wasn't anything fancy.  I haven't learned how to get all fancy-schnancy yet.  I've seen some personally created cards in books that would make your head spin.  They are so beautiful.  For now, though, I think this works for me.

If you have children, you might also want to get them involved in creating their own cards - for birthdays, holidays, and Thank you cards.  I think it teaches our children a lot about respect and gratitude, love and appreciation.

Have fun!



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inspired by Van Gogh


10 years ago I started this pastel painting, inspired by Van Gogh's Irises, and I finally finished it.  My hubby is so happy.  I told ya this was my year for finishing all those unfinished projects lying around!



I pulled out the pastels and got to work.



There is one unfortunate fact about working with pastels.  They're messy.  Very messy.  And, you have to be very careful about not breathing in the pastel dust.  I don't have one of those air filters in my studio so I don't use pastels often because of all the mess and the dust in my eyes and lungs.  Pastel paintings are so beautiful, though.  Most artists who work primarily in pastels have air filtering systems working in their pastel tables or near their easels.  Me? - I had a hairdryer to blow the dust away, gloves, and a face mask.  Not a pretty sight.



The good news is that I finished the painting.  I removed a print from this frame and used it for the painting.  My Big Bear hung it in a prominent place in our family room.  He loves it and was so happy I finally finished it.  I am too!

So, pull out your unfinished projects.  Pick one and finish it.  You will be surprised how good it will make you feel.



Friday, January 15, 2010

My Mother - The New Grandma Moses


I've been trying for 12 years to get my mother to pick up a paintbrush and paint with me.  I don't know what finally clicked with her, but she said "yes" and I enthusiastically set her up with her own little tabletop easel, a canvas, and some paints, brushes, and all the necessities for creating her first painting.



I had her look through some reference images I had in a drawer and she found one of a Gazebo that she liked.  She decided to call her painting "Gazebo in the Park."  



She sat for about 2 hours painting away, listening to music from her era of the 30s and 40s that I have on my iPod, and I made sure nobody distracted her.



Check out this wrist action while she mixes her paints. 



And how she sits back to look over her work - just like a real artist!  I'm so proud of her.



She may be 85, but I think she has just discovered a new career.  She was completely in her zone.  I don't think she even noticed that I was taking her picture.


She has not finished her painting yet, but when she does, I'll be sure to post it here.  For her first painting, I am really proud of her.  She drew the scene on the canvas with pencil and I showed her how to mix colors.  It isn't Monet by any stretch, but it is my mother's first painting.  And that, my friends, is worth a million to me.



Monday, January 04, 2010

Sunbonnet Sarah Quilt


It's been years in the making.  Why I have so many unfinished projects I have no idea, but I really need to focus on finishing the projects I've started over the years and never finished.  I am always getting sidetracked - finding something else to do.  Maybe I have A-D-D  Which ADDs up to lots of unfinished projects stuffed in a drawer.  Well, today I made a choice to "try" (being the operative word here) to finish a quilt that I started years ago.  So many years ago, in fact, that I don't even know how many years that is.


So I pulled out the unfinished applique quilt blocks and took them into my cold sunroom.  Today was very cold - below freezing - but sunny.  Still, with ceramic tile, no carpet, and no drapes (something else I said I would do), I pulled up my britches and buckled down in front of the sewing machine.


First, though, I made sure I tested my satin stitch on a scrap piece of fabric.  I can't sew without having my seam ripper handy.  I use it a lot.



So, this year is my year - I think - for finishing unfinished projects, like this Sunbonnet Sarah Quilt.  I have paintings to finish, and quilts to finish.  I have kitchen cabinets to finish re-finishing.  Maybe I'll relieve a lot of the stress in my life if I work on these projects.



As for this quilt, I started by making appliques from the traditional Sunbonnet Sue pattern.  But then I got an idea - to take pictures of Sarah as a small girl and make appliques of her from those pictures, only with a sunbonnet on her head; and, so this is what I did.  


These 2 appliques were created using 2 pictures of Sarah as a toddler as a reference.  As soon as I find those pictures, I will post them here so you can see what I did.

Do you have unfinished projects that you need to revisit?  If so, tell me about them!  I don't want to feel alone in my failings.  



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