Monday, December 31, 2012

My New Years Bucket List

Each new year we start with hopes,goals even resolutions, dusted with optimism for the unforeseen year ahead. I like to set myself goals each year, writing them down and keeping them somewhere safe, but somewhere visible to keep me accountable. Something happens when you write them down, for me anyway, they go from being a dream to becoming something attainable. I guess you could say I make yearly Bucket Lists. I also like to break them up into categories. Personal goals, business goals, spiritual goals etc, this way I can see which areas need more work. I usually have a family goals category too. When the kids were younger it looked totally different than it does today, these yearly bucket lists should change and adjust just like everything else in our lives. I also make sure I set up some short and longer term goals in each bucket list category if I can. I find that it helps me look past the right now and see the target I am aiming for in the future. This year I have the blessing of being able to spend New Years with my mom and visit with my brother and sister. We don't do anything overly special except just be with each other and enjoy the time we have right now! I thought I would have time to steal away to write my lists but it hasn't happened yet. Instead I am basking in the happiness of still having my mom to visit. There is no one like mom and I pray next year I can do this all once again! Happy New Years!!!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I wanted to wish everyone a Very, Merry Christmas. I pray that each of us take the time to tell our loved ones how much we love them and give thanks for them. That we say a prayer for those who are facing the sorrow of loss during this time. For some, today will be almost unbearable. It is easy to let the stress of the holidays get in the way of what really matters which is family, friends, love, peace and mostly Christ. The birth which our family celebrates today. Wishing we could all be together and sip some Hot Chocolate while we celebrate together.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Sketching

First I want to say that I post this with a heavy heart after what happened yesterday in Newtown, CT to all the children. I can't believe this could happen and it leaves me with such sorrow for those families and all of us, what a huge loss. It has touched each of us as we are fixated to our TV's to try and understand why and how this could happen to innocent children. My prayers go out to all the families and the community!

We had our Christmas sketch class and I taught on painting different types of surfaces. I hopefully will have a video available after the holidays for the last few classes. The class was challenging but everyone did really well painting both a reflective shiny surface and an satin surface. It is a great time of the year to challenge yourself to those different textural surfaces. You have to ask yourself what is it about this that makes it look like satin or fur or reflective. It makes you really take time to notice small details that you might have not ever noticed before! Here is my unfinished painting from class I will finish and post it later, oh this Christmas rush is taking all my time, so sorry!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

New Fabric Ideas

I am working on a new Lil Miss Cutie Patootie Fabric line for Spring Market and I am gathering ideas, here is a sneak peak. I find that I don't paint the same way that I used to, I paint separate items then assemble them in Photoshop. This gives me more editing capabilities and I can make different scenes without repainting everything over and over. It feels a bit odd to create like this but I am getting better at it, I think. I end up with bits of art all over pieces of paper that Randy cuts up to scan better. Its like a big cut and paste scrapbook of ideas and items. The plus side is I can use them other places now since they are not committed to one painted scene. Now I paint a background, then a mid ground and the main characters and assorted decorator items! Its a bit like playing with colorforms, does anyone remember those? I loved them as a kid and would recreate scenes over and over by just moving the piece of plastic!  I love what I do and how much fun is it to do something that lets me be a kid again, over and over. LOL

Sunday, December 02, 2012

My Christmas Ornament Tutorial

I thought I would share my ornaments that I gave as gifts at my Christmas Tea Party with you. They are super easy and lots of fun to make. You can make many and use them as gifts or fill a bowl with them for your holiday table!

I found these plain ole paper mache fruit in the bin at Micheals as you are in the check out line. They were a dollar a piece and I bought the apples and pears. Some came in packaging some did not.
Here it is outside of the packaging. It would also be fun to paint them and then Zentangle all over them, another ornament idea for another tutorial!
I then collect the small cocktail napkins at places like Big Lots, HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning etc. I collect both holiday napkins and non holiday napkins for this project. Some ornaments I make non holiday since they then can be given or used all year.
Now I take the napkin and open it up and separate the top layer of printed design from the bottom white layer of paper.
After it is separated I cut it into four sections and use two sections per ornament. I then take gel medium, or mod podge would also work and a paint brush. Brush on the gel medium over half of the ornament starting at the stem and moving to the bottom. Then take the first section of napkin and place it on the top and start to paint medium over the paper napkin, it might crease and crinkle but you can smooth out most wrinkles with your finger. Once it is on make sure that it is throughly covered with medium and do the other side. Make sure you get all the brown covered. Be careful at this stage since your fingers will be sticky and can pull and rip the side you have put down since you are holding it from that side. I often have to go back and fix areas, just be careful. Once the whole surface is covered with both the paper napkin and the medium let it dry thoroughly. I make dozens in one sitting as it is messy and I want to be able to clean my fingers off without having to go back and do more.

After they have dried I take them outside and spray them with a high gloss sealer and let them dry. I will often do multiple coats of sealer. Once they are dry you can tie on a bow and put them in a bowl for decoration or give as gifts. Enjoy!!!
PS. I forgot to mention that I wrote "Christmas Tea Party 2012" on the bottom with my awesome white  Signo pen

My Christmas Tea Party- 2012

I love this time of the year, when I am able to show all the wonderful, supportive people in my life how grateful I am. I had the party on December 1st and was able to get everything decorated early, now I can just enjoy it for the rest of the month!  I throw an annual Christmas Tea Party as a thank you, and we eat and do a small craft and visit. It is a wonderful time to give back to each of them. I am so blessed to know each of these women, they are talented, creative and supportive. I can't do this without all of you and for those who do not live closer I wish you could have joined us.

 I made 3 different kinds of finger sandwiches, potato salad, chips, cookies, fruit, and then some of the women brought goodies to share. I made gifts for each person and we all enjoyed sewing a small house ornament from a pattern I found on Pinterest by Retro-mama, that everyone took home for their tree. I even received gifts! What a perfect way to begin my holiday season, spending an afternoon with my GF's! Here are some photos of our time together.

My ornament gifts to everyone, I have a tutorial!

Getting everything ready


The photographers taking pictures of their ornaments

The ornaments

I hope your December is off to a festive start, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Butterfly House

As I am busy decorating I thought I would take a minute to pop over to the Alliance for American Quilts and check out the auction fundraiser when I noticed my little butterfly house quilt is up for auction! I hope you will take a moment to check out all the amazing quilts being auctioned off for a good cause!

This little quilt was inspired by our butterfly house last spring where Jennifer, the twins and I raised some little caterpillars to adult butterflies.watching them grow and change became a wonderful teach opportunity as well as being an beautiful way to view nature. The girls fed them sugar water and when they were full they watched them fly off.

The quilt is hand painted and beaded then quilted by me. It is also signed and is an original Desiree design! I hope you have a minute to check it out!

Friday, November 23, 2012

So Beautiful!

When Randy and I went outside this morning to have breakfast I was amazed at how beautiful it was! I thought how many places in the country can you eat breakfast outside and it's 75 degrees the day after Thanksgiving!? I took some time to sketch my side yard where the lemon tree is growing. This tiny tree has struggled since I bought it as it was sick with something called leaf miners. For years we tried everything to kill them off but nothing seemed to work. Last year we heard of an organic spray called captain jacks and it worked! The tree started putting on new growth and setting little lemons! I was so excited since I had only gotten one or two prior to that. Well, it kept setting and setting and now it is practically laying on the ground with the fruit it produced this year! Wow, as everything else is preparing for winter this little tree is still ripening fruit! I will be buying ice trays so I can freeze the juice I cannot possible use fast enough this winter! Lemon aid, lemon tarts, lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, I will also be making lots of lemon things!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone many blessings today as you spend time with friends and family. We will miss you dad! I pray that you have a wonderful day eating all those calorie free foods!

- Desiree

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I was just minding my own business when....

This morning I was in one of those moods where you have so much on your mind its hard to get focused. I laid with my iPad and answered emails and thought about what I needed to buy for Thanksgiving, the food that needed to be prepared. I also thought about all the Christmas decorations that will be making there way out right after Thursday! I thought about my Christmas party and all the wonderful friends that will be coming to spend a few hours together, celebrating the season and each other before all the craziness begins. As I checked my mail and was going to start working on the portrait I got an email from my dear friend Ann Turley. She congratulated me on my quilt making the SAQA Journal! Wow, I didn't even know, I wasn't notified and it was still sitting all wrapped in plastic waiting for me to read! What an awesome surprise, thanks Ann, I don't know when I would have noticed if you hadn't emailed me! I sent that in so many months ago I had almost forgot. The little quilt was done with ties and boiling vinegar water and muslin. We had a play day where our art quilt group boiled ties. Check out the post! It was tons of fun and this little quilt was a result. It looked like houses and cars and there were big areas that looked like cracks. I called it Urban Sprawl. I grabbed my coffee, sat down and took a few minutes to enjoy the SAQA Journal this morning, have you read yours yet?

What a great way to start my day! What fun, I then went into my studio and FINISHED my commissioned portrait!! YEAH!! I am so glad it is finished early so they have time to get it framed before the holidays. The lighting isn't good for the photo but you get the picture!

Then, the fabric company called to say that they needed my next full line of fabric in two weeks!! Wow, really?! Sleep? I don't think that will be happening but I am so thankful that they decided on something they liked enough for me to develop. And then lastly, tonight, my husband came in to announce that my persimmon tree had 4 persimmons on it! I thought they had burnt in the heat in August and shriveled up and dropped off. Now with all the leaves gone the little orange ornaments show up on the sticks that are left. Such a tiny tree, only two years old, and to carry such a burden. Their limbs bent with the weight all the way out on the tips. I thought I would never get a persimmon, thinking the tree didn't like where I planted it, but look, four! Well, three because part of two are damaged but fruit anyway! Yippie, a good life day today for sure, so much to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving week! 
You can see the sunburnt area that looks bad but I have a knife!

Damaged but edible, expect some sketches soon!  I need to journal about this for sure!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November Sketch Class

We had a great class, mixing colors on our paper, learning how to make beautiful colors without making mud. We even made some beautiful grays for toning. We then took some beautiful fall leaves that Randy picked for us and painted a fall page using what we learned, letting the paint do its magic on the paper. They took lots of notes in their journals which will give them something to refer back to in the future. I will be working on a new video which will be available soon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun and Funky Friday!

Well after another night of being up all night I decided to get up and paint, it was around 3am. Its so funny how you think that painting is a quiet activity yet I seem to make so much noise as I get water, my paints etc. I find myself trying to be extra quiet but always seem to stub my toe or turn on the wrong light switch. It was late, or early, and I decided to take some of the background paintings that the twins have done and repurpose them. I love how uninhibited kids are with their art, full of adventure and a no-fear attitude. These new, recycled paintings will all go into a Recycled ARt category on my website and maybe blog, for sale. The idea behind the repurposing is to reuse watercolor paper or other papers,even painted fabric that were not successful and repaint on them. I love the idea of using items that would otherwise be thrown away. Its Affordable Recycled ARt! They will be small watercolor, mixed-media, gouache,fiber or acrylics that will be affordable for anyone looking to collect some of my artwork at reasonable prices. They will range in styles depending on the mood I am in or the time of day or night I ended up producing the little master piece! I hope you will take time to check them out and if you feel inclined to purchase one or two for your holiday shopping list. I guarantee that you will be happy with them or you can return them. Here are the two I did in the wee hours of the morning, a fun, funky beginning to my Friday! Enjoy.
Girl in Blue
4.5x6" watercolor/gouache $20

Blue Tabby
4"x5"watercolor/gouache $20

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Iris Garden

I did a 26' mural for a custom pool which I then turned into patterns for my art quilting group. Anyone that was interested could choose a section to work on. The only two rules was that they had to use two same fabrics and add a personal element to the quilt. They were encouraged to not work together but as individuals, making their piece uniquely their own. Each section is 36"x42" and they all meet and hang as one big unit. It was so exciting to finally see all the pieces hanging together, it was amazing. Everyones piece was so beautiful and was a true labor of love. We are also honored to have been accepted to hang at "Road to California" this January. Look for our quilt and see if you can see each unique element in each section of the quilt. These women worked so hard to make this happen, they appliquéd, painted, fused, embellished, quilted, designed some worked from other states. All in hopes that they would finish in time to submit it for the Road, congratulations to all of you!!
1. Nancy Williams
2. Ann Turley
3. Kay Davis
4. Desiree Habicht
5. Christa Elsee
6. Marilyn Fromherz
7. Phyllis Campbell
8. Anne Sonner  
9. Nancy Mastroianni

Monday, November 12, 2012

Working on a Christmas Portrait

Although I am not a portrait artist I am often honored by people who are willing to trust me enough to paint their loved ones. It is stressful process as I am so nervous about capturing their likeness as well as making everyone happy. I am not very far along but enjoying the process so far. Its so interesting as to how easily it is to miss the mark when doing a portrait. One eye shape off, a missed mouth expression often play into why the portrait doesn't work out. Keeping my fingers crossed as I continue on! And now I have booked another portrait commission, with four kids in the painting, OH NO!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gathering seeds and Fall Cleanup

I love to get ready for winter by doing a good Fall Garden Clean up! It is nice to get all the old dead or drying leaves, stems and stuff cleaned out of the yard. We prune everything back knowing that by early next year everything will be already coming back out. As I take out the old spend flowers I make my last bouquets and collect seed heads for next years plantings. I end up with many little baggies full of seeds that I label with a permanent marker. Some I send to my mom, others I share with friends there is always enough to go around!

Its a great time to journal about your collected treasures too. I have a special gardening journal where I can make notes, document problems I am having as well as successes I have. My garden, like my artwork, is often a test or experiment to see if I can grow it or not.
I find I am always inspired by nature, taking the time to stop and enjoy all it offers in every season.
The Nasturtiums are just about done too, few blooms are left but lots of leaves still. I started with many colors but seem to only have the yellow/orangeish ones left? I am also pulling out my summer garden getting ready to plant my leafy winter one.
 I also picked the last of my apples and made Susan Branches Apple Crisp, yummy. So nice that the weather has cooled enough for me to want to cook again!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Waiting for Breakfast

I think that anything is worth painting because they all are lessons that teach us something. We happened to be running through McDonalds for coffee and i saw the line for breakfast on Sunday morning. what intrigued me was the shadows from the morning sun. Waiting for breakfast has really changed over the past few years. Before it was grabbing a piece of toast or an apple but today it often means sitting in line at a fast food restaurant. I wonder what memories the kids today will have about breakfast, egg McMuffins in the back seat!?

6x6 watercolor


Thursday, November 01, 2012

FALL!! It's HERE!!

Before I begin my post I want to say how heartbroken I am to see the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused over the last few days. My thoughts and prayers are with those on the east coast. I will be donating art to Daily Paintworks for their fundraiser auction. Please think of someway that you might be able to help those who are dealing with so much right now.

November is here!! Yeah, I love the cooler weather, down blankets, fires and homemade soup! Holiday decorations, parties and the smell of cinnamon and ginger. Yummy. I am already making soup. I have been sketching and painting ideas for Christmas cards and I am still undecided as to what will make the final selection for my cards. I did this little bird and thought something simple might be nice.
But still undecided. I was outside looking a subject matter for another Christmas card idea. I have a strawberry tree that has fruit that is turning wonderful colors and I might do that. I also collected seeds from my Rubeckia and Red Zinnias for next spring. I am also excited to start planting my garden and putting out pansies for winter color in the yard. I picked all my apples and made Susan Branch's Cranberry Apple Crisp which was delicious! I will be making that all holiday season I am sure! 

This weekend we will be doing fall yard clean up and getting ready for winter, which doesn't really mean much in comparison to what some of you deal with. I have lots of trees and bushes that need their annual haircut and then my hubby hauls it all to the dump. I am not allowed to go with him anymore since I always find things at the dump that I want to bring home! Go figure that he wouldn't like that!

I will be at the Riverside Art Museum tonight for the Artwalk and the reveal the Orange Aid Oranges, please come by and say Hi! there are over 100 Oranges painted by local artists to be auctioned off or sold to sponsors to raise money for the museum. Hope to see you there. 

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