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!
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