Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want, seriously, It was the BEST birthday ever!

This has been the most amazing birthday!  We went to the Renaissance Festival- something I look forward to all year long!  And best of all, our friends Kelly and Jim moved here this Winter and we were able to introduce it to them!  Kelly is a professional photographer and I was lucky enough to reap the benefits of her talent- one more birthday treat- she took all these wonderful pictures!
Garrett and Caroline

Me and the fam....
Oh I WANTED this little critter- but he was $75.00, so I just posed with him ;)

look aren't they GREAT!

playing around with mud

my beautiful daughter Caroline

CC again.....

moi, pigging out WAS my birthday:)

one of the many characters at the Ren Fest- I LOVE the people watching opportunities!

me and Miss Kelly

I always get a thrill out of the jousting

the King and I (he offered to "knight" me in the corner;))

and we encountered a beautiful faerie child along the way....

my beautiful Emmie and her friend Anna....

the Dragon Lady- she MADE this dragon as part of her costume!

What a GREAT day- I had SO much FUN!

It's Auction Time!

It's time for Inspiration Avenue's auction for Angel Faces!
I've chosen to offer my
"Angel in the Garden"
for this wonderfully worthy cause!
she is painted on a 5" x 7" gallery wrapped canvas with the details and colors extending to the edges making her ready to hang on the wall.  

while painting her, I tried to fill the canvas with the magic of a garden evening- I LOVE her, I hope you will too!
Be sure to stop by Inspiration Avenue to see what else is up for bidding!  Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to obtain some beautiful art for your own  personal collection, it's also for such a great cause- our beloved Angel Faces and ALL our proceeds will go to them!  I'm so excited about this!
All items will be posted there by Sunday, May 1.
Here are the fine print details, 
although I won't make you read fine print :)

Bidding will take place in the comments section
of each posted item (bid only on Inspiration Avenue,
not on the artists' individual blogs).

When you bid, remember to leave your email address
so we can contact you if you are the winner.

Many items will have a starting bid suggested;
please bid in 1 US Dollar increments (no pennies please)

Shipping is paid by the artists, so a winning bid
delivers your item right to your door!

Bidding will end at noon on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

All proceeds will go to Angel Faces ~
read about their wonderful work HERE.
Thanks so much for looking!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paint Party Friday- April 29.

I know a lot of you have already heard me talking about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbooks, and that is what I worked on this week.  Because......this is IT!  They're starting their travels TODAY!
SO, I had a lot of bits and bobs to finish and do touch ups on....
Like; my sign in page- here it is finished:

And a spread dividing the sign in from the "personal info" page:

The personal page was supposed to be reflective of our favorite color represent a sense of who we are:
  I've been hearing a lot about projects people are doing with 21 Secrets (I'm REALLY tempted to sign up....:)) anyway, one technique that really resounded with me was to cover your journal page with writing before you add anything else.  Being the kind of person who usually chooses the hardest way to do things, I decided to do my writing with white souffle gel pens.  It was a little like writing with invisible ink- but the results were SO cool when I did my watercolor wash over the writing- like a watercolor resist! With my words, I was basically rambling on in a rather ADHD sort of fashion about color and colors I like.....
I painted over this with a rambling of turquoise, lime, blue and purple and then once that was dry, I went over it with blue-black; using liquid watercolors.
 I trimmed out a print of my (now infamous) self portrait and played off of a quote from my favorite movie; Ever After"- something Danielle said about choosing a favorite book; "I'd sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens!"  since I love this movie AND books I thought it was kind of neat to include a bit of it in my spread.
random-naming of colors
 Then on the back of the personal spread, I wrote a journal entry basically saying the same thing I've said here, so I didn't take a picture of it.  By the time most of you read this, my little "baby" will have started her journey- first stop is the UK!
The other thing I worked on this week was finishing my angel for the Angel Faces auction.  I'm really happy with how it turned out!  I'll be posting more about the auction today or tomorrow and it starts Sunday for anyone whose interested in obtaining some artwork for an amazing cause!.
Be sure to go see what everyone else was up to this week at Paint Party Friday-  I know I'll be spending the day visiting!
Happy PPF- I can't believe, I'm early for once!

Week 3 of Art Class

Wow, I can't believe the first 6 week session of art class is halfway over!  We started class by doing final touch up to the orchid paintings and removing the taped borders- I'm always amazed at how professional something as simple as tape makes children's art look!  Each child then posed with their finished masterpiece:

 Then it was time to get started on our new project.  I love Cooper Edens; he does the coolest little books with almost surreal illustrations and always adds the neatest little sayings.  Anyway, my Mom gave me one of his books a couple years ago and one of the spreads was "If you're afraid of the dark, add one more star to the night"  I just LOVE that!  And so, I turned it into a project starting with filling the inside square with oil pastel stars (any color they wanted because these are THEIR stars, and why should they just be white?) and then going around the entire border with the quote- I love words mixed with art!  Next week, they'll be painting a night-time sky over the words and stars and doing a self portrait of themselves holding a star- we'll also be creating ladders to "stand on" to reach the sky ;)

We took a little wiggle break to dance to "Who Let the Dogs Out?"...........

I can't WAIT to see these with paint and portraits!
See you next week!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Birthday Fun

Some of you might have noticed that I kind of like flowers.....well OK, I LOVE them!  Anyway, each year in the week leading up to my birthday my Dad takes me plant shopping.  Last year we got 6 blueberry bushes at the whole sale place (we now have our first crop of the little beauties ripening on the vine er branch ;))
Yesterday, we went to Goodness Grows and wonderful garden whole sale (gotta love those tax ID#'s they get you the best deals!) nursery and I went nuts.  Not only does this place have a the regular plants, they also have a lot of unusual varieties that you just can't find any where else, and for such a good price!  We got Old Fashioned Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) an annual that reseeds prolifically - I love it when garden gives back :)  also some Queen Anne's Lace which I LOVE, a pink Clematis with tulip-like blooms a Baptista and Russian Sage.  Except for my tobacco plant and the clematis most of my plants were fairly normal things that I've been wanting to add to my garden.......
I MUST remember this grouping when I plant my delphinium and foxgloves this fall.....

The entire place is set up like the most beautiful garden

Dad and my Nicotiana

View from the wrap around porch at check out

Ready for checkout- note: not ALL of these were mine- my Dad got some too :)

I LOVE this combination...

Me and my Dad

After buying flowers, we went for a beautiful lunch in Athens home of the Georgia Bulldogs and then got stuck in traffic for two hours.....all in all, what a GREAT day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge at Inspiration Avenue- "Angels"

The Inspiration Avenue challenge this week set by the mega talented Tammy of Art and Inspirations was "Angels" - I posted my WIP yesterday for Paint Party Friday and then got to work so I could have it finished for next week's auction.  And I'm REALLY happy to say that I'm almost done!  I just need to finish the leaves, tighten up the Impatiens and do a little touch up on her face.  I'm pretty happy with her and hopefully, someone else will be too- enough to bid on her ;)

Be sure to check ALL the submissions at Inspiration Avenue- I pretty sure it will be a bit like a sneak peek for other auction items.
Have a blessed day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Paint Party Friday- April 22

Yay, it's Friday again, and you know what that means; PAINT PARTY FRIDAY!   This week I was working on several things.  Sketching out two canvases and getting my journal ready to begin it's Sistahood travels next week.  
You might have read earlier this week that my Etsy team, Inspiration Avenue
is having a charity auction to benefit Angel Faces  
a wonderful group that puts together healing retreats and provides ongoing support designed to inspire adolescent girls with severe facial disfigurements to achieve their optimum potential.

Since the auction begins next week, I really needed to focus on my painting I'm donating. And since the theme this week at IA is "angels", I thought this would be perfect!  I took this picture from my garden last year (actually for a different IA challenge- "How does your garden grow") and always wanted to paint it.  So now I am and I'm really enjoying it!
Today I'll try to finish, it's very small 5" x 7" so I think I can get it done in time to submit for the challenge AND the auction!
Oh and one last note about the auction; we'd be THRILLED if you'd add the auction badge to your sidebar- it's such a worthy cause and we really want to get the word out.  We raised more than $500 last year and we're hoping to double it this year!
That's all for me this week- I'm to check out who's at the party!
Happy PPF!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And the beat goes on....week 2 of Art Classes

Before I tell you about yesterday's class, I must tell you about the trials (and tribulations ;)) of being ABLE to blog about it.  Some of you know that MY beloved computer with my photo program that I know and love is no longer alive.  So my daughter has very generously allowed me to use hers until we can replace mine.  Anyway, I haven't downloaded my image software yet 'cause I just started using Emmies 'puter this week.  I was downloading the pictures from yesterday, onto the windows program and somehow deleted them ALL from the computer AND from my camera- I had 63 pictures and not ONE of them made it to the recycle bin- they were just GONE!  So, the next hour was spent trying everything I could think of to get them back.  Then it occurred to me to Google how to restore images to your camera (not computer- which is what I'd been trying) and hey, presto, there it was.  Not only did it direct me to Recuva a WONDERFUL program, but they had easy to follow (i.e. idiot proof) directions and in 5 minutes, I had all my picture back!
SO onto yesterday's class.  We covered a LOT of ground between finishing the Orchid paintings and our watercolor explorations to practicing self portraits....A LOT of territory- but we only have 6 weeks to cram so many projects into!
Class always begins with sketchbook work- this week, I wanted them to really think about what faces look like- the shapes that make up the eyes and mouth and nose......

Next we pulled out our Orchid contour drawings and I SHOCKED them by telling them I wanted them to ERASE their beautiful work....WHAT?  If you've ever witnessed 6 and 7 year olds drawing; you'll know that even the loveliest drawings are drawn with that pencil pressed HEAVILY to the paper.  And I wanted their paintings to show a white line, not a black one.....So, I showed them what I meant and what we were going to do
the one with paint is what it looks like after erasing- we could see a faint line of pencil- enough to trace over with white crayon

After all the excitement of erasing and outlining, it was time to PAINT!

And spray to make the colors bleeeed......

and BLOT to get the white of the paper back
It was so much fun teaching them how to add color, take it away and manipulate it over and over again.  Of course, we were able to play with the paints this way, because I use REALLY good paper- to me, the quality of the paper is more important than the quality of the paint- watercolor is pretty much watercolor, but you can't layer water and color on typing paper....:)

I would say sorry for including so MANY pictures here, but after all the trouble I went through to get them, I wanted to use a lot!  If anyone want to see the rest; here's the link to ALL the Art Class photos.
Now I need to get off the computer, and get to painting or I won't have anything for this week's Paint Party Friday!