Friday, December 27, 2013

The Quiet after the storm

I don't know about you but the older I get the more work the holidays seem. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, making dinner, having the whole family over, shopping, sewing gifts etc but that next day I find I just want to chill. This year our weather has been amazing, warm, sunny days and cool nights are perfect but you don't want to be inside around a fireplace! I dream of white Christmases but love the fact that I can still sit outside in the warmth on Christmas Day! Today is the 26th, the quiet after the storm of activity and the rip and tear sessions as we call it here. A day when all my guests can sleep in, where Randy and I could sneak out for our early morning walk, where I can grab my paints and journal about our Christmas together. After our walk I took my coffee and went over to the side yard where the trees are still colored up and dropping their leaves. Where the morning sun shines on the stucco wall and casts wonderful shadows from the surrounding foliage. It is somewhere I can sit in the dappled shade and enjoy the morning.

My mom and sister later joined me and we just visited for awhile. My mom asked me, "Does this relax you?" Yes, it does, I said. I thought about that for awhile. What is it that I do that totally relaxes me, takes me to a place of calm and quiet, a peaceful bliss. It is definitely when I am painting.

They both left to shop the sales but I decided to stay home, finish my painting in my journal and then play Boce Ball with Randy while I drink expresso from my new expresso maker!

It makes for a perfect day! What are you doing after all the rip and tear is over, after the busyness of Christmas day is over and the quiet starts to settle back into your home? For those of you who spend Christmas alone, do you look forward to the day after sales with all the commotion and excitement? For me, it is also a time to reflect and then look forward by setting some goals for the New Year!
Happy New Year to all of you that visit my blog, leave comments and have become such a special part of my life.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! 2013 is coming to an end

With so many wonderful things happening this year I am taking the time to go back and take a look at all the things I have accomplished and look forward and make a list of all the things I will work on in 2014. So many blessings, my art quilts featured in a book, publishing my first quilt book, fabric designs, solo art exhibit at the museum are just a few. By taking the time to really look back at what I have done I can see where I have done well and where I need work. I am looking forward to bigger and better things this art filled year coming up, bring it on 2014. Here are a few of my holiday memories this year, tiny snapshots of life in December. Enjoy

The kids making mom a holiday plate

Our newest grandbaby was born, Bryce Scott

Kids making cookies

Chloe at Target pretending to be Santa

The skies as we did our Christmas Shopping

My Twelve Days of Christmas designs are now ornaments!

My mom being able to come down for the holiday and meet Bryce. 

Our Tree

My gift to Janae

Marta's beautiful Mantel

Snowball cookies waiting for people

Pillowcase gifts 

This is an actual picture of a rainbow over my house, I truly feel like the rainbow has left me a pot of gold. Merry Christmas to all of you who have made my year so special!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Colors of our Christmas

This month on the Sketchbook Challenge the theme is colors of the holidays. I have so many colors that come to mind during the holidays that I took some time to think about this one. At our sketchbook class we painted ornaments, our favorite ornaments. In years gone by I have had many ornament parties for my artistic friends. They had to handmake their ornaments, actually twelve of them. At the party we all got to talk about the technique we used to make our ornaments and then everyone is given a box to collect one of each handmade ornament and take them home. I have so many wonderful ornaments that each year when I take them out of their tissue paper I remember that person that made it and pray for them. It is a special time for me since many of these friends have moved away.

I thought that I would share something very personal and special to me this season. It is a memory that is bittersweet, brought to forefront by a special remembrance that I bring out every year. Some of you may not know this story, some of you do, please forgive me if this is redundant.
Back in July of 2000, Jennifer, our third child, and only a week away from her 24th birthday, was hit by a drunk driver. It devastated our family, it changed all of our lives forever. She was critically injured and there was little hope she would live, but she did. She fought to stay alive and we fought for her! That Christmas, in 2000, Jennifer was starting to come out of a 4 1/2 month coma, the holidays were going to be hard at best. My mom, hated that fact that Jennifer was still in the hospital for the holidays and wanted to make sure she had a tree. She got these three artificial trees, more of forest type trees that came wrapped in burlap. She put lights on the trees and filled it with things that were special to Jennifer. A dove at the top to signify hope, a praying mantis since she loved bugs and to give her something she loved, an ornament with her name and lights to help her feel festive, an angel because that is what she was to all of us and we knew she had an angel watching over her. This little tree was delivered to Jennifer in the hospital and we plugged it in and enjoyed that little piece of Christmas when we didn't feel like celebrating at all. It reminded us that we still had so much to be thankful for, Jennifer had survived and we were Thankful to have another Christmas together. 

That tree has been set up every year in her room, as I plug in the lights I think about that horrible year and then the blessing of her surviving, something that many people thought was not survivable. It sits in her room today, a gift from my mom, that will always be so appreciated. That year we even sent out Christmas Cards, we had to hold Jennifers head up for the picture but we sent them out with the fragrance of thanksgiving. So I guess for me, the color of Christmas is this painting of a little tree that was given in love, to celebrate a life saved. It is multicolored and full of hope and love and blessings. 
Today Jennifer is a walking testimony to God's Love and Mercy. Jennifer has been telling her story on her blog, from her point of view, with our help since she was in a coma for so many months. If you are interested in reading about her amazing journey you can do so by going to http;// and go to the bottom so you can start at the beginning. She is an inspiration and her story is powerful. It is a story of hope, forgiveness and survival! We hope this Christmas you will remember what is really important and hug someone close to you, there are no guarantees that you have tomorrow.

Our family Christmas Card 2000, we have much to be thankful for, what is your color of Christmas?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last minute art gift ideas

A Christmas Plate for mom
I'm not selling anything but instead sharing something I did recently with my grandkids. I want them to start thinking of the giving part of Christmas and not just the getting part of Christmas. I know that these lessons take time and it would help if they had chores where they made money to actually buy somethings but oh well. I also like to make gift giving creative and something personal so I found a local shop that does ceramics. You go in and paint or actually apply glazes and then they fire it and you have a gift. I happened to have the twins and their brother Nathan before Thanksgiving and I took them over thinking it would be fun. It was actually fairly expensive as you pay per person for the studio time and then you buy the ceramic piece to glaze but decided to do it anyway. I first picked a plate and had all three of them paint the plate and when they were done we did hand prints on top. The underside of the plate is full of their finger prints and they each signed their names! It actually looks like a mess of colors but it is perfect. Thank goodness I limited them to Christmas colors thinking this would be a great holiday plate, as messy as it looks to everyone else, I love it! I can see their handprints, their names, written in pencil first then I went over with glaze. Rachel tried to paint a tree, Nathan wrote "I love you Mom", Megan painted hearts, It's perfect! A plate made with love, and some arguing, for their mom this Christmas. They wanted to do more but I needed to limit my expense so I found 4" tiles. I thought these were cheap and they could paint several for gifts as coasters for other grandparents etc. I was surprised to see how much they loved doing this  and really got into it. We ended up spending 4 hours there! Jennifer even painted a few things as did I, I couldn't resist! Although it wasn't a cheap way to go, it was by far the most memorable. This gift will not be forgotten in the years to come but cherished, they will relive that day and compare their handprints every year as they unpack their Christmas cookie plate.
The back of the plate

Their painted coasters that are painted on both sides so are actually reversible!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Create everyday in November plus more!

I did actual accomplish the challenge, unfortunately I was unable to always get to my computer to post so I will catch up now. Life just happens sometimes and good intentions fall by the wayside. I had a fabulous month and Thanksgiving! The next day our youngest daughter gave birth to our last grand baby, Bryce Scott at 11lbs 5 oz., what a butterball! The following days were spent consumed in the excitement of our newest member of our family, the blessing of new life and the wonder of all things possible. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, a special way to start that special holiday season.

weird lighting in the hospital but I finally got to hold him once he was released from the NIC unit!
The warm fall colors are now giving way to crisper temps and barren trees. I have some last bits of fall to share before I jump into Christmas! So many projects are on my table and with limited time these days every moment counts. I am taking an "Organize your Art Biz" class from Alyson Stanfield. It has been great since things have a tendency of getting away from me in the flurry of creating. I hope to start the New Year off all put together! Its a process and taking some extra time too. I hope you all are making plans and setting goals for next year. Things you want to do, things you want to accomplish, things that you would like to start. Time has a way of slipping away if we don't plan and set timelines, just like my last week in November!  Now for my painting, I happened to be on a walk and collecting all the colored leaves I found, everything seems to be a blaze of color. Here is my latest leaves from my walk and of course my new grand baby!

Bryce Scott Meyer, our littlest butterball.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24- Red Bartlett pears!

I love to paint fruit and vegetables for some reason. Their colors are amazing, so clear and refreshing! When I happened upon these red pears I was so excited! My husband thinking I bought them to eat but then coming to find out I had other plans didn't surprise him! After all these years he knows! I am painting them tonight so he can eat them while they are still good! What beautiful fruits are you finding this time of year at your local market?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22, sharing the fun!

I have the kids and we always do art projects. Today we went to google and googled Hello Kitty Coloring Pages. They love to pick from all the different pages then color and cut them out. Then they grab the tape and tape them up on the pantry wall under the bulletin board. 

The best day of creating is only made better by sharing and doing art with fellow artists!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 20 & 21- Fun fall cards

I needed to create some Fall cards to send out so I grabbed some paint, some leaves and some of my favorite stencils and managed to get some done.
My Fall Cards

I used a leaf and some watercolor to get this effect. Simply painting the leaf then pressing it onto the card and adding more color and some outlines. 

Stencils and gel pens!
 There is nothing better than getting a note from someone unexpectedly. I was the recipient of just such a card! I met with Alyson Stanfield a few weeks back. We met to talk about my business plan for my art and some other things. It was a great meeting and I am now taking her organize your art biz class which is going great! I needed someone to whip me I to shape! Yesterday In the mail I received a card from her with our picture together from that meeting!

Alyson and I in Del Mar
What a shock! And it also came with a nice note! It reminded me how these little acts of random kindness can make such an impact on our friends, family and clients! Why don't you join me and send a few cards out this next week! And just for the record I fulfilled my create for the day! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 18 &19- To tired to post yesterday so here is a BIG Post!

I worked all day yesterday on my newest grandsons mural for his bedroom. My daughter has decided to do it in frogs and wanted a cute mural. I searched high and low for some inspiration on the internet and found very little I liked. I managed to find something that inspired me to paint and made some preliminary sketches first. I do murals a bit different these post Jennifer's accident days. I used to fly all over and paint murals and do faux finishes. My clients were anything from home owners to doctor offices to interior designers and model homes. It was an exciting time in my life and I loved it. After the accident I started painting some of my murals or images on masonite and cutting them out and shipping to projects. This way they could be put up by the people doing the installation and removed after for reuse. It also let me still work, for awhile. It also was great for some applications but not for others. Full wall murals obviously didn't work to well but for the smaller image type it was okay. When I did Nathan's room I painted the whole room as a mural and it turned out great.

Remember I didn't pick the subject, the parents choose the theme and I did as they wanted. This is Nathan's room, done with a tiki, island feel. 
In the sand I added a message in a bottle and all of his favorite little toys I painted in the sand.

I think you can read it, a gift of fantasy and fun for my boo! Dated 2007, makes me cry to look at these pictures. The mural is gone when my daughter lost her house. Its hard to think about the changes we all face and how fast the babies grow and change!

 Melissa, the one who is having our newest grand baby likes the option to remove or move the masonite so I am painting some of the characters on Masonite and then they will be cut out and put up with screws. When Blake was born we did stuffed trucks and cement mixers. We later added some signs that  said dumping station etc. The room turned out really cute and she loved it. I don't seem to have finished pictures of his room, I will have to find some!

So as I said she wanted frogs for the new baby's room so I am working on those now. His name will be Bryce Scott and here are the prelim paintings before cutting out and finishing for the wall. I will take pictures of the finished room when I put everything up at the end of the week. 

This grouping will be next to the changing table and looking up at the baby! I am having the frog handing her Butt paste! LOL I am also debating about putting safety pins in the turtles blue spaces, like a pin cushion. 

This will be Butt Paste

Sorry its blurry, my eyes were blurry by this time. This will be above the crib, two frogs in a pond and dragon flies over head pulling a banner with the babies name on it. The colors are to match the preselected bedding.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 16 &17, viewing the world through rose colored glasses.

I got a little behind but hope to double post today! Well I suppose that it's a good thing to be able to view the world through rose colored glasses, and the older we get the harder that becomes. I accidentally found that my phone now has filters which allow me to take the picture with the filter or just apply a filter to an existing picture. You may be laughing if you think I am the last person to find these but I have been having fun playing with them. Today I did a sketch of a ceramic pumpkin in my entry, I then applied a few filters, fun! I think I sometimes do this to some of the events in my own life, cover them or tint them in a different shade or light.
Original sketch

one of the filters on my phone

another variation, subtle but okay
  Once I got the photos to my computer I opened them in photoshop to apply some more filters and see what I got. Here are the results. Its fun to take even a simple pencil sketch and apply these filters that can totally transform something average to awesome. I like the cutout filter the best, what about you.

This filter is called cut out, I like what it did to the sketch

This one I played with the hues and saturation

Diffused Glow, I like this too
Palette knife

This one is called Ink outlines

I don't know how well you can see the changes but they are really different and fun. If this happens with a simple pencil sketch think about what you could do with your nicer paintings or drawings. Thankful for filters and Photoshop

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