Saturday, September 28, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS To my lucky winner!!!

Hi everyone, it is time to have the drawing for my giveaway and I am happy to announce that Roxanne won the sketchbook, pencil, pen, and brush along with this sketch of mine. I want to thank each one of you for your participation in our blog hop and in my drawing. Your comments have meant so much to me and I just love hearing from all of you. Thanks again, and watch for more giveaways here!!!

Congrats, Roxanne!! So happy for you. I used Randomizer, which will select the winner from the list of names I entered. You were there lucky one!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Chalkboard inspiration! Another Tutorial!

I have been having a blast with this chalkboard art. Here is a link to my first tutorial which you can also find on the right hand column of this blog. You can turn just about anything into a chalkboard! I happened to be cooking one night and the pan that I have had for years, one of my favorites, had lost all of its teflon and everything was sticking to it. I told Jennifer that it was time to part with it, sadly I threw it in the trash.

 I stood looking down at it and a light bulb went off! I can make a chalkboard and write something to do with food onto my pan turned art piece. I was so excited I grabbed it out of the trash and did a huge cleaning on it, making sure when I painted it the paint would stick. It was a perfect size, not too big, just right.

After I had cleaned it really well I primed it with a Kilz sealer/primer. It is all white and so now I had an all white pan. I let it dry really well and taped around the inside edges, outside edges and the handle.

I went around as smoothly as I could so that I could paint a circle of matte black paint into the bottom inside and bottom outside of the pan. A double sided chalkboard!

I then sprayed the inside, I gave both sides several coats of black matte spray paint and let them dry. Then I removed the tape.

They both turned out great, very little clean up left to do. Now for the fun part, the color! I was having so much fun, grabbing all the wild color acrylic paints I could, choosing which colors I wanted to go together and then set them aside and began to lay down my base colors.

Aqua to start! I wanted this pan to be fun and bright, the primed metal covered great and I moved onto the inside base color.

Green, and not just any green, bright green, oh what fun! See all my awesome colors I have picked out, now to make sure I get to use them. Oh and I started painting the handle too.

 I now have the handle all painted and I am adding some details onto the outside base color, stripes!

Now for the inside, more stripes and some polka dots, my favorite!

 Then back over to the outside, and I added some flowers. By moving back and forth from the inside to the outside I allowed the paint to dry before moving on.

                   I then got my gel pens and started to add some smaller details to the handle, such fun!

            Back over to the inside where I added another design and some more details with my gel pens.

 If you look closely you can see all the fun details added to the handle etc. Every different surface was a design opportunity!

Back to the outside for some final details and I now know what I am going to write on my little chalkboard pan. I was going to a birthday party for Jamie Fingal, and she always asks on Facebook, whats for dinner. I knew my little pan would be perfect for her and that she would appreciate it! So off to the computer to play with different texts.

 Once I decided on the text I printed it up and made sure it was the right size, I then used Saral paper to transfer it to my black chalkboard. Instead of using real chalk I used the chalkboard pen I bought at Michaels and talked about in my first chalkboard tutorial.  It worked perfectly and looks cleaner and neater. I know this will not be used as a chalkboard but it is a perfect little piece of art for a kitchen. If you want to actually use it for a chalkboard just make sure you prepare you surface like before with chalk and rubbing it into the chalkboard part. You could post what your cooking that day or make a shopping list etc. I hope you have enjoyed this, I would love to hear what you decide to turn into a chalk board!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop- Houses and Hideaways, creating your own Hideaway

Hi everyone! For the Sketchbook Challenge we decided to have a blog hop! I know, fun right. Many of the contributing artists have gotten together to share their expertise and show you some really great examples of houses and hideaways. Some have posted videos, some tutorials and many are giving away goodies so make sure you check them out this month. I am having a giveaway, I will tell you all about it soon.

I wanted to share more about my hideaway, which is in reality my backyard and gardens. I love to be outside and often love to have my breakfast or coffee outside in the morning, soaking up the sun and sketching before I even start my day. When our daughter Jennifer was hurt we knew that our traveling was going to be limited and that if we wanted her to be able to share in family events we needed to create a place that was handicap friendly. We created our shangri-la, that can be shared but it is also my hideaway on a daily basis. Do you have a special spot you can get lost in, a place you love to go and just write or read or sketch? If not you can easily designate a spot to call your own, and it can move as needed based on weather or other factors.

Here are some tips to help you find your own space.

1. Are there a few areas that you just love, that bring you instant peace and allow you to unwind and just enjoy your surroundings? That would be the best place to start. I could be under the shade of a tree, in a big, overstuffed chair, it can be anywhere you choose. I just think it should be away from anything that causes you stress and it should give you a change of scenery.

2. Claim this area and get acquainted with the surrounding areas, make sure you can go there to escape the outside pressures and demands that are placed on you. A hideaway doesn't need to be a vacation spot or a elaborate set up although it could be, a hideaway that is close allows you to visit more often!

3. Add comfort, have a blanket within reach, maybe a pillow or have them ready to go out with you when you visit your hideaway. Do you remember when you were a kid and you made a fort, we are making adult hideaway forts again. Somewhere that offers you something special and you can't wait to go there and just play.

4. Stock your hideaway with things you might want to do while there. A good book, sketchbooks, notebooks for writing etc. If your hideaway is outside maybe keep a basket full of your supplies next to the door so when you go out you can just grab it and go, no running around trying to gather things. Being ready to go sketch or journal is half the battle. If your time is limited and busy the thought of having to gather supplies might cause you not to go at all.
My quilts are often inspired by my garden and my home and all of my sketches.
 5. Before you begin, start off by just taking notice of everything in and around your area and take on a attitude of gratefulness. By seeing the blessings that surround you, you open yourself up to the wonders and the intimate relationship an artist has with their subject matter. How is the light reflecting off the surface, what colors are the clouds in the sky actually, how many colors of green can you find in those leaves. How do the shadows make the lighter areas pop. This is learning to see your surroundings. Artists learn to really see.

 6. Make a date with yourself, a time when you will allow yourself to sneak away and grab some coffee, tea or a glass of wine and just get lost in your sketchbook. By saying you're important enough to make time for can be a big step but you wont regret it. That coffee in the morning, alone with my sketchbook, is very special. Sometimes I grab a glass of wine and go out to sketch around dusk. I love the way the warm sunlight dances off the trees as the wind blows through and begins to cool down the heat of the day.

 7. Take the time to capture a scene or an object that is near you. I love to walk the yard, searching for something that is begging me to be painted. Some days it may be the reflections of light, other days a flower or bee. It doesn't matter what it is if it speaks to you just paint it.

My girlfriend Pat came up and painted with me in my hideaway! Hideaways are fun to share too.
 8. Journaling is an important part of my sketchbook. I like to not only paint the scene or object but I like to say something about it, or how I am feeling or what it means to me. By taking the time to journal you turn a pretty sketch into a personal memory that you will have recorded for all time. I want to share my thoughts, a special moment when a child said something profound, I want to document it forever.
A little butterfly house quilt that was inspired by Matilla poppies I grow and butterflies we raised for the grandkids.
9. By taking time to enjoy some reflective time and the beauty that surrounds you you are better able to give back to those who need you. These wonderful adventures you have in your hideaway will translate into other areas of you life. Often my art quilts are a sketch I have done and then translated into fabric. 

Hollyhocks, I have cut pierce work into the leaves of the quilt showing the damage I have the snails that year.
I hope you will grab your sketchbook and join me by taking the time to sketch and journal the things in your life in your favorite hideaway.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and my companion post on the Sketchbook Challenge. I hope you will sign up to follow my blog and get my Newsletter(top right column). It comes out once a month and is full of wonderful art things, tutorials, my fabric lines and other artsy things I am doing and classes I am offering. I also will be offering some sketch classes online so sign up so you don't miss out!

 So my give away to thank you for taking the time to visit me and the Sketchbook Challenge is a sketchbook and mechanical pencil and a brush. I always have at least those things with me where ever I go. I may even include a sketch for you from me.

Here's a little sketching video I did for you!

I want to encourage you to make that special hideaway to record your life! All you have to do is leave me a comment and maybe tell me a bit about your hideaway. The opportunity drawing will be open until Saturday, September 28, 5:00 pm PST. I will then do a random drawing from the comments posted. I will post the winner that day and will need you to email me your information.

For some more tips on how to make journaling a daily event visit my previous blog post, blueberries for breakfast.

To see more of my artwork, art quilts etc visit my website! If you interested in purchasing anything feel free to contact me via my website.

To see more of my hideaway and gardens visit my garden tour post, all about opening up our home to raise money for the children's hospital.

Thanks for visiting!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What's For Breakfast? Some tips to make journaling more of a daily event.

Hi GF's, I was sitting down for breakfast this morning and started to think about my sketchbook. Finding the time to sketch and journal takes some planning and a determined effort. It isn't going to happen unless you make it happen and I find that some days the process will get pushed completely out of my schedule, does that happen to you too? Here are a few things that might help you to set that special time aside.

1. Actually schedule yourself a block of time to journal, paint or just create. If your goal is to try and paint and journal daily make a date with yourself by scheduling a small block of time, like a 1/2 hour to start.

2. Make a special place or make it a special event so that you can escape and be alone to really concentrate on your journal without interruptions. I like to grab a cup of coffee and go outside to my hideaway and just sit and enjoy the morning. Sometimes I just have breakfast with my sketchbook soaking up the early morning sun, like this morning.

3. Don't take too much time, if you are busy then sketching might feel like a chore and we want it to be something you look forward too each day or every other day. If you don't have time for a sketch just do some abstract washes on your page to return to at a different time.

4. Bite off small pieces to start. Don't try and sketch a whole landscape scene if you have only a 1/2 hour to sketch, save those big sketches for a day when you have more time. Pick something small. If you are painting from life, which I encourage, crop your view. You can crop your view by cutting a square or rectangle in a piece of card stock, like 3"x4" or 2"x3", now hold up your rectangle and move it around your area you are now looking through that hole to crop the view or subject you will paint and sketch. Your phone or camera are also another great way to capture a cropped scene or subject to paint. Sometimes just being outside looking around makes it too hard to pick something out to sketch, crop your view.

5. Don't worry about perfection, its so much better when it isn't perfect. Use a pencil first, make your sketch, correct anything you feel is grossly wrong and then you can outline with your permanent pen and erase the pencil lines. You might even try erasing your lines leaving only a soft outline to paint by and no outline. When you get some confidence try just sketching with your pen, no pencil first. Experiment and decide what you like best.

6. Remember its your sketchbook, yours to do with what you like. Take notes, make observations, jot down your thoughts, record how your life is opening up as you really learn to see your surroundings.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sketchbook Class has started again!

After teaching my sketchbook class for a few years I decided to take the summer off and regroup, reorganize, and rethink the direction the sketch group was going.  Much to my surprise the women are still happy to come and learn new techniques, practice old ones and we have decided to move into some fabric, sketches on fabric. One of my favorite things to do! It was such a wonderful class, everyone was chatty and happy to be back together, taking time to catch up from their summer hiatus. I missed everyone so much, it was heartwarming to see them all together again. I felt missed and like my friends were home! Here are some of the sketches we did, we worked on textured backgrounds, collage, acrylic paints, watercolors, and stamps then did some sketching over these backgrounds. I love the way they turned out!
We first did our backgrounds then I had a tray of silver serving pieces that they had to choose from along with a colorful item so they had some reflective colors on the silver. We all chose hot peppers, a gift from Ann's garden ! I love to paint peppers. We also played with gouache and liquid pencils very fun!
Karen chose the cake knife and fork in my silver tray, a very cool graphic from an old, vintage cookbook sits underneath her fork and knife.

This is mine, I stuck my pepper through my fork, I chose a gravy ladle and a fruit fork

Christa chose a salad serving spoon/fork and a butter knife, I love the graphic from the old cook book underneath her fork and pepper.

Marianne chose two silver serving spoons to draw and two different types of peppers, I love the swirly stamp and colors she choose. I also love what she wrote, she commented on the hotness of the peppers and the coolness of the silver. These opposites sure look great together!

I didn't get to photograph Penny's but I will add as soon as I can! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chalkboard Art- lets make some!

Have you seen all the craze out there about chalkboard art lately??? Its crazy and fun. I was asked to create some Chalkboard art for my licensing agent and I really had to go in and research it. Wow, I found a wealth of information on how to create it digitally and how to create it on a chalkboard too! It seems like the minute you start researching something you see it everywhere! My church is using it as the bulletin cover art, I just got a magazine with it on the cover, its all over!
Chalkboard art is everywhere!

 I had a blast creating some great sayings for some wall art and thought I would share it with you here, just incase you feel so inclined to jump in and give it a go! I also have free downloadable fonts and chalkboards available on my Pinterest page! I will be showing how to create a fun chalkboard art piece for your home, this will not be digital art, you will be painting it, don't worry, its easy!

I thought I would do a quick demo and tutorial so you can try one of these for yourself. They are really easy and fun and you can get the kids involved. You might be saying, what should I put on my chalkboard? Well, do you have a favorite saying, a poem, quote, just look around, they are everywhere. I happened to see the bag from Hallmark after buying a card and I love the saying.
This would make a great chalkboard for your home or write your own, its even better!

I love to repurpose things so I happened to find a frame I wasn't using with a mat, glass etc but you can just use any frame you might have available. I am doing a Halloween chalkboard since I found some cool papers at Michael's,  but you may choose to do more of a everyday theme, its up to you. All the rules apply the same. I also found a very thick, sturdy piece of cardboard that just happened to be 6"x6". I thought about throwing it away for a half a second and then thought that this would be a great little chalkboard for my demo and it fit my frame, kinda!

I didn't want to buy chalk paint and if you google chalk paint or check out my Pinterest board you will see how easy it is to make. But for this I just used black spray paint with a matte finish. I sprayed my cardboard several times, letting it dry completely in-between. That didn't take long with our heat and the fact that the cardboard soaked up the paint very quickly.  You can transform anything into a chalkboard, which opens up all sorts of fun projects for parties, holidays, dinner parties etc. I just finished a cute gift and will post later, after I give it to them. I will have a follow up tutorial soon.

I was still thinking about my overall design and while I was at Micheal's, picking up some art supplies that were on sale, I saw some fun, cool papers that I thought would be cute around the matte board that surrounded my little chalkboard. I could have left it white too but I thought this looked like too much fun and Mod Podge is an easy way to cover my matte board. See what cool papers you can find, fabric works too!
Next I went to the computer and laid out the text for my chalkboard. This is a great way to not have to free hand your lettering since you can easily adjust the size of the text to fit and print. I picked a fun, chalkboard font and printing the letters to make sure I liked the size. If you want to free hand your lettering remember to figure out your layout first so you don't have to redo. But whats nice about chalkboards is you can redo! I decided on Boo-licious and some lips for my demo but you can use any word or words you like. It was fast and easy. you can use your simple sketches and transfer for your art if you want some art on your chalkboard, lots of chalkboards are all text, don't get nervous!
Now, before I transfer my artwork and text I have to season my chalkboard. This is an easy process, just take your chalk and lay it on its side and cover your board.

 I rub it in with my fingers and then wipe it clean with a dry rag.

Now you are ready to make your chalkboard art. If you skip this process it could leave ghosting marks when you use your chalk on it.
To transfer my artwork I used a paper called Saral Paper and it comes in all colors, is wax free and easy to use. Or you can always do it the old fashion way of scrubbing chalk across the back of your paper and then use a pencil to trace onto the chalkboard. Once you have your text transferred onto your chalkboard base you can use regular chalk and make a point to write with. By dipping your chalk into water first will help create a nice, clean line of white. OR at Michael's they have some chalk pens! My girlfriend told me about them, thanks Lauretta! They remind me of paint pens but they are actually removable, or erasable and come in a wide variety of colors. I decided to use these since my area is small.
These Chalk Markers come with a fine point or like this one has a chiseled point. They can be easily erased with some water to fix boo boo's or blend and area.
After I had all the chalkboard text and art the way I liked it I went to my frame. I took out the paper and figured out how I wanted to put it on the matte and made sure it would look okay. The pack came with two of each papers so I had plenty. I painted the matte with Mod Podge and laid down the first paper.
I then turned it over and cut away the paper from the opening and around the edges with an exacto knife. I then laid the next piece on and matched as well as I could and then did the little decorator cut on my matte.
 I burnished it down as I went to try to get out all the air bubbles and creases as I laid the paper down. I did get a few but they burnished down and aren't even noticeable. Once it was dry I made sure my chalkboard was centered and taped it in and put my frame together. I don't think it needs the glass over it but I put it on anyway. This is a fun project for the upcoming holidays. I think it turned out pretty cute and my little gourd is a perfect addition. I hope if you do one you will share what you did!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

The First Sketchbook Blog Hop!! Don't miss out!!

The Sketchbook Challenge is having their first blog hop!

 The first ever Sketchbook Challenge blog hop is about to start!
Monday September 9th!!!

The sketchbook challenge hosts have a surprise for you.  For the next 21 days we are celebrating this months Houses and Hideaways theme with a blog hop!  Each day, you’ll find a new post on the Sketchbook Challenge Blog that will also include a link to the artist's own blog, where you’ll find tutorials, video’s, studio tours, exciting giveaways and more!  Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to get to know your hosts better by visiting some of their favorite hideaways and maybe their houses! Join in on all the fun as you can enter to win lots of goodies and still contribute to the Flickr group by adding your houses and hideaways. STARTS Tomorrow!! 

Check out the line up of artist that will be taking you first to the sketchbook challenge and then to their own blogs for tutorials, giveaways and more. Make sure you visit everyday so you can check out the amazing artwork and houses and hideaways being visited this month!! I am busy working on my part of the blog hop, my day is the 22nd! See you then!!

Sept 9 - Gina Lee Kim
Sept 10- Jacqueline Newbold 
Sept 11 Sue Bleiweiss  
Sept 12 – Jackie Bowcutt
Sept 13th Kristin La Flamme  
Sept 15Lyric Kinard
Sept 16 Terry Grant
Sept 17Carol Sloan 
Sept 18- Leslie Tucker Jenison  
Sept 19 Lesley Riley  
Sept 20 Traci Bunkers  
Sept 21 Lynn Krawczyk
Sept 22 Desiree Habicht
Sept 23 – Jamie Fingal  
Sept 24 Mary Beth Shaw 
Sept 25 Kari McKnight-Holbrook  
Sept 26 – Deborah Boschert  
Sept 27Susan Brubaker Knapp  
Sept 28Laura Cater Woods  
Sept 29Jane LaFazio   

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Flowers from a Friend

Hi GF's, summer is going to come to an end I promise, are you all melting in this heat? Its been an unusually quiet summer for me socially so when I had a friend call me to go to lunch with her I was so excited to be able to have some girl time. She arrived baring gifts as she often does, always something special, Flowers from her garden, calendars from an artist she likes to support, bear claws from her favorite bakery, you just never know what she might bring. They never feel like last gifts minute either, they are always full of thought and effort, she has a the special gift of giving. Today was no exception as I see her coming up to my door with her hands filled with a box that was bursting with color. I could hardly contain myself as I recognized the delicate flower bunches sitting atop mounds of dark, fuzzy, thick leaves, an african violet! It warmed my heart since there is nothing better than being important to someone, of being thought about. It's this simple gesture of giving of ourselves that can make others feel so valued. My little African Violet is sitting on my kitchen counter, reminding me of her and making me smile. Do you have the gift of giving? Who will you make feel special today!

- Desiree
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