Wednesday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

A sketchbook Halloween doodle :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween! I know I cannot wait to see all the little trick or treaters tonight, and we have tons of candy to give away to them :)

Tuesday, October 30

Pumpkin Carving Goodness!


Jame and I finally carved our pumpkins last night (the giant ones that I brought from back home). It was quite the job - we probably spent a good 3-4 hours working on our masterpieces. Mine is the top one, and below is James'. James definitely has some mad pumpkin carving skills! 


His is to be the head of our headless 'dude'...he's old torn barn coveralls stuffed with straw...so sort of scare crow, sort of not. But his head will be on his lap - scaaarrry!


This third one (above) was a joint effort. This pumpkin was starting to look a little worse for wear, starting to get soft and well - just plan rotten. I think some slugs got into it. Because of that, we didn't want to do anything complicated, but knew we should carve it still! So we did old fashion, old-school and said it was Oreo's pumpkin. This pumpkin was huge...so you can see...my 'monster' cat doesn't look so large compared to it: it was that big! :)




And, lastly we had to get a picture with our pumpkins...this is not an easy task when a) you have to take it yourself, b) you're taking it with your cell phone, c) you have nothing to set it on to use the timer (because your house is still not fully unpacked), and d) you have to not only fit your two faces, but also two huge pumpkin faces. I think we did not so bad :) 


One tip we discovered: if you draw your design on with a watercolour pencil (and it will draw on good once damp), it comes off easy-peasy so you're not left with 'markings' on your carving :)

Sunday, October 28

Home Is Sweetest...Folk Art Mixed Media

"Home Is Sweetest" Original Mixed Media Folk Art on Canvas
 I've been playing with some new styles, just sort of "letting loose" lately and "playing" with my artwork. It has been refreshing - with all the craziness of life happening.


What developed was this painting "Home Is Sweetest". The entire quote reads, "Home is where the sweetest Roses grow". This piece took about a month, and there was zero idea of which direction it was going to take when I started it. 


Once the house, and the flowers were on there, I knew what the quote would be but again, it took awhile to think of a way to apply it that I wanted most. Some parts of this piece were working on successively - over a couple hours, and other parts where a "5 minute add-on" that I thought of randomly walking by it. Either way, I think that it came together quite cohesively - considering how it was worked on. 

Materials: collaged papers, acrylic paints, stamps / ink, tissue papers, washi tape, rub-ons, text-stickers, puffy paint, gel medium / collage medium, UV protective coat. 

It made me happy working on this piece, and I think that happiness emits from it with all the bright colours. I can't wait to create more like this. :)

Friday, October 26

A Walk Through My Backyard...


Since yesterday was such a beauty of a day, especially the morning, after my walk to the post office I wandered with my camera through my "back yard." It is all bush, and it backs / seamlessly turn into the West Rocks Conservation Area, which is pretty neat: I don't have to travel any further than my patio door to visit some beautiful conservation land! There some hammocks back there, and a fire pit.


Since this is a 'rocky and hilly' area, the conservation area gets pretty steep right away. Here are some steps to lead up to the first little bit of it from my yard. They already melting back into the earth. There was another little set of steps, but you would never be able to tell from a picture. 


Already rocky right from the start. There was so much smushy and soft moss from all that non-stop rain the other week. So very green and beautiful, despite turning into late fall.



 In this conservation area is part of the Bruce Trail, and I have a friend who actually does rock climbing on some cliffs further into the area. I didn't walk far enough into it to see the cliffs and lookouts, that will have to wait for another day! What I love about the hiking trails around here, is that yes - there are some 'groomed' trails (packed down dirt, heavily managed / monitored)...and then there are real hiking tails - climbing over / around rocks, over roots and trees...trying not to fall down crevices...those ones are just so much more fun.


The moss is growing on everything - trees, rocks, random unrecognisable items. And, it is lush! Look at that picture above, it's not a slight covering of moss...it's taking over the forest hehe.


It was great walking through there, I wish I could have spent some more time, but there is just so much to still do and my 'list' is endless. I cannot wait to venture further in. The trick: to come out of it in your backyard and not your neighbours hehe.

Wednesday, October 24

Starting to Get Spooky!

I've been slowly making the new house a little "spooky"...Halloween is less than a week away! 


I picked up a bunch of decorations last year right after Halloween at crazy discounts - and was so excited to put up those skeleton head lights! I added some orange lights too...honestly, just no where else to put them. Some lights, gelli-stickies and cobwebs = scary front door :)


My little house plant got 'spooked' out too...that will all get moved to the table on the night that we hand out treats, but for now it's out of our way when eating and such. 


My 'spooky' maple out front. You know those trees that just look spooky - this is one of them! All those wild branches and such. I will be hanging a ghost from it as well I think...just need the boy to help as he's got more height than myself.


And these are the huge pumpkins that I brought back from my parents (we went to the 'pumpkin patch' - leisure farms). They will get all carved up closer to the actual evening, I am eager for all the pumpkin seeds inside as well! I have special plans for the middle one. Special spooky plans, of course...I'm just waiting until it's closer, again: I don't want it to rain storm and ruin it. 

I'm not sure how many kids we will get trick-or-treating this year in our new place, but we are inbetween a high school and an elementary school, so it is a "kid-rich" area. To prepare, we got plenty of candy. And I'm decorating enough to 'attract' them. So either a) we will get loads of trick-or-treaters, or b) we will get few, and our dentist will get our pennies this year.

To leave you, I found this super cute, and super 'vintage' halloween short online, enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 23

Painting Progress


Setting up the new house has been busy, but I have made time to work on my watercolour commissions, and this mixed-media collage piece. Here are some details:






We have been busy organizing / putting up shelves / organization units, ect... and some stuff still needs to be moved in so I don't want to post pictures just yet as it's simply a big plain mess!

I must say I am thankful that we don't have to bring our stuff up a couple flights anymore - our front door is just steps from our drive way: so groceries are inside in 5 minutes, opposed to the many more minutes that a couple trips up and down took. I have so many more birds on my bird feeder...but also squirrels. That's okay...it's all for Oreo to watch anyways. We have a big black and white stray Tom cat that hangs around the neighbourhood...Oreo and this Tom have gotten into some 'between the window glass'-fights.

Well, must run and organize some more! Much love! Oh! and the winner and last week's giveaway is announced below in the post :) Congratulations to the winner, please email your information back!

Tuesday, October 16

Art Journal: Be Lots


After that plaster art journal layout I had completed, I wanted a 'quick' spread - something created fresh and quickly....and I came up with this.


I didn't apply Gesso first this time, as I wanted the ink to absorb into the paper. Then I went...em, stamp crazy...with a postage mark stamp to create a background with 

 
I had picked up a book of 'sticker stamps' and found two that I really liked: "Happy" and "Smile" and then painted in some text in my handy-handwriting script with a bright red paint. Red, black and white is such a classic colour combination that always provides a "pop!" outcome.

 
I added touchs of the red to other spots throughout the spread, just lightly in some, and dotted some edges. It is slightly transparent, so I'm able to see the stamping underneath.


The lastly, I went around the red lettering and the stamps with a thin black permanent marker...not sure which one I choose, but someting thin..


What I love most about how this all came together, and that the red lettering "Be Lots" can stand apart on it's own, and then you have "happy and smile" as like an echo of happiness!

Materials: Postage stamp, black ink, stickers, Golden acrylic: cadium red, black marker.

Monday, October 15

Giveaway: Washi Tape + Tags from DowntownTape!

So as you are reading this, I am currently driving up past North Bay to visit my parents! I worked the Thanksgiving weekend, so this is my 'late' visit...and the weather has been making me nervous, I will feel a lot better once my winter tires are on! So I leave you with this fun, fun giveaway! There's tons of way to enter, so you can gather a couple enteries!

I am pleased to annouce that I am hosting a giveaway from DowntownTape.com! This wonderful site has provided 10 rolls of washi tape + 25 tags for this draw.
 
 
I've been starting to use Washi tape more and more in my art journal, and just love how easily it can add a splash of colour, pattern and texture.
 
 
It can be used for so many other artsy and crafty ideas too! There are tons of pages online with all sorts of different projects for washi tape. I love this mini-banner they made for the above artwork.

 
It's wonderful to add a special touch to packages, and orders in my case. It doesn't take much - just a splash if washi!
 
You can enter below multiple times by completing various tasks :) Please provide information where requested for some of these tasks, as enteries will be check to be sure that they are valid.

 

Sunday, October 14

Bookplates - New in the shop!

I like to create new ways of sharing my artwork, and the other day I dabbled out a 'bookplate' sketch in one of my trusty sketchbooks.

I liked it a lot, and went to work trying to figure out how to make this a possibility...

Birds Bookplate Set of 12

Apple Tree Bookplates set of 12

...and I did it! 

I am now offering two styles of bookplates in the online store - Apple Tree Bookplates and Birds Bookplates. They are perfect for personal libraries, and for books that you gift to others to make it that much more special. I could even create a custom bookplate design for larger orders if you had a special idea in mind!

Thursday, October 11

Art Journal + Plaster: Fly Away

I must apologize for my creative space being a little late tonight...I got called in to take a shift at work today early this morning - so the whole day I thought I had ahead of me went away very quickly! :)


With the move, there hasn't been much time for 'personal artworks' and so I figured I would pull out my art journal and just give it a crazy go...how crazy?...how about plaster-crazy?



Yup, that's right - I laid down plaster strips and covered my pages with them. I wasn't sure how it would go, and I did face a couple snags...one of them being: the plaster lifted off the pages once dry, and so I ended up gluing it back down.


It was interesting working with it and the paint, as it is very absorbent. But I think that helped to keep the texture in the forefront of the work. 





I had these super cute butterfly stamps too, that I used to create a soft background, and then stamp with classic black ink for a strong impact. I must say I'm pretty impressed with the final look and end result...and boy did that plaster add a lot of thickness to this art journal!



Total items used: Plaster strips, glue, gesso, acrylic paint, stamps, black ink, mod podge, rub-on letters, puffy paint, gold mica, black marker

Monday, October 8

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish all my fellow Canadian friends a very happy Thanksgiving! This year has been an amazing year and I have been truly thankful for that, and for more recently finally moving into a home.

One of the 'Charlie's Angels' in my fishtank. Very hard to get
a decent picture of these active, darting fish

What I am also thankful for, but never quite like, is getting my flu shot this week as well. Since I work at a hospital, they come around and (hunt) find us. My arm was pretty sore and 'tired' feeling for a couple days. I know there's controversy around this shot, but I work with a lot of sick people, and at least it will protect me a little bit. I haven't gotten the flu in years, so it isn't hurting me! And yes, I've heard all the pro-arguements and all the con-arguements...my arguement is always this: if there is a flu outbreak at a hospital, typically I can only work if I have the shot. Those who do not have it cannot work, and do not get paid. Makes it easy to decide!

Some things to look forward to this month:
  • An amazing giveaway...stay tuned for that, you don't want to miss it!
  • My halloween 'costume' - homemade again this year, of course
  • Pumpkin carvings!
  • My new studio
  • New artworks...and some new art supplies
  • Sketchbook updates
  • Maybe a book review - I have an exam coming up for an online course, so I might be reading my textbook more than my book this month.
October already feels like it's flying by, so I hope I get to enjoy it a little bit before it's gone! :)

Thursday, October 4

Gary




I've been busy moving all week, that why there haven't been many posts. I'm almost all the way moved over to the new house. Just thought I'd share Gary's balancing act along my fishtank plants. He's got skills!