Thursday, February 24, 2011

*love* ruffles!

Oh my gosh. My blog surfing has taken me to this ruffle shop:

My mind is racing ... what can I make? I feel this desperate need to purchase some fabric :) But I have so many projects going on already *sigh* ... need. to. calm. down. and. go. back. to. my. existing. projects.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I like my painting!

Yay! This week I picked 4 colors and painted, painted, painted. It was finished fairly quickly, and I didn't paint to hide anything. *phew* AND I think I love my painting. Maybe that is the trick for me ... I need to be inspired by colors first and then start painting.



The blue in my painting is actually not that blue, it's more of a gray blue. Admittedly the gray and red are a bit off even in real life, but I am okay with it. Next time maybe printing the colors would have helped me match it better. I think this is one is going up on my hallway wall :)

Rain? What a lovely day!

The other day when it was raining the whole day, hubby made a little comment about how the rain just hadn't stopped. My four year old wisely said: Rain? That's when rainbows come out Daddy!

Sadly that day was just so gray and dreary, no rainbow would make an appearance.

The next morning it kept on raining lightly. Alex and I took Jasmine to school. We were desperately hoping for sun. For rain meant no recess and usually watching a movie in class (I don't mind the shows they watch, but truly, I didn't pay private tuition fees for TV ;-)

And who could have guessed, right after we dropped Jasmine off, there it was, the most beautiful rainbow. I parked on the road, so Alex could enjoy as the rainbow unfold from a tiny stretch to a full half circle (well, sort of). I love the area my kids go to school, we see full rainbows there quite a bit.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Painting again!

Yes, that's right. I have started this week with new optimism and great energy to paint again.
Get Your Paint On is a great course and has given me new inspiration. This week it's all about picking 4 color inspirations and painting with those colors. Inititally I was stumped. Which color combinations am I going to pick? There are so many options!

Today I went to Smilebox (I love Smilebox!) to create an invitation for my daughter's 6th Birthday party. I picked a card and a photo and send it off to family and friends. I was so pleased with the card I picked. I kept admiring it. Then it dawned on me. I love the colors so much, so why not pick them as my color inspiration this week. Ah. Which 4 should I choose?

Monday, February 14, 2011

On painting

Just 2 weeks ago, I totally, absolutely, without a doubt knew in my heart that I was in a very inspired painting phase and that I could pick up a brush and paint and paint and paint and paint and hang something breath taking in my living room - which is in dire need of "something".

To help inspire me, I started a course called Get Your Paint On. The course has been absolutely wonderful and inspiring. But my paintings ... well, not quite. I have enjoyed the process of painting, but I didn't count on it as being frustrating at the same time. I know, right? How can an activity be so contradictory?

My paintings are not quite what I have hoped for. However, I have learned a lot:

- Brushes are very important. Invest in them! I think it's not so much about how expensive they are, but my old brushes are stiff and shed. I don't like camel hair brushes, mine have been shedding like crazy. So far I really like the synthetic ones, they also allow more precise lines - if needed.

- It's all in the details. My e-course class is huge - over a hundred people it seems. All of them talented in various ways. While I admire all of their paintings, the ones that I'm truly attracted to and look at over and over again are the ones that have a lot of decorative details. So now, I am aspiring to be good at adding details.

- Just do it. If my painting turns out not to my liking, I paint over it, cut it, or scrap it. Mostly I have been painting over things. I can't say how many times I have painted things, then painted over it the next day. And hours later my hubby or daughter comment on how they really liked a particular painting and wondered where it went. I think I ought to at least photograph a painting before I paint over it, but when I paint all is messy and it's such an emotional process, I tend to just take a large brush and do the deed.

- The beauty of painting is that there are no mistakes ... well, not at my level anyway :) As long as it looks pleasing to me, I can be happy with it. I DO however, welcome any comment/criticism/suggestion. I'm always interested what other people think about my projects.

- I love painting many pieces at the same time. Initially it was because I hate to waste paint, yet I'm too lazy to save paint in a container. So I just use leftover paint on another piece of paper. Now I simply love the multitasking process. I distracts me from over-contemplating a particular painting. It allows me to keep moving on.

Last week I worked on 4 pieces. The first two I uploaded for my e-course. The idea was to think of a painter and take an element or two that inspired us and use it in our painting. These days I'm inspired by Pam Garrison - whose paintings are abstract yet whimsical. I was aiming for those qualities.

In the following painting, I was initially inspired by Pam Garrison as well. But after I painted the "waves" I felt that the painting needed a boat. Five minutes later someone in the course pointed out a wonderful artist named Shirin Sahba - whose painting have the most amazing details. One was of an ocean full of teeny tiny fish. And so I added the fish.

The following paintings were painted with the left over paint from the above. It's not finished. I'm not sure where this one will go. I like the color combination in it. So I'm not going to throw it away ... yet.

The following two were were originally painted on one piece of paper. On the left I painted the "butterflies" and on the right were decorative squares. I felt that they didn't belong in the same painting, so I cut it. I think they'll end up in my art journal.

I'm working to be looser with my hand. I feel my paintings are stiff. I guess I ought to take the advice I give my kids all the time ... practice, practice, practice ...  :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today was mostly spent at school, back and forth, back and forth to spend time with my kids in their classrooms, decorating Valentine's bags, cookies and helping them exchange Valentines with their friends. It was a special day!

Hubby and I had a quick and easy dinner at a diner while Jasmine was going to Ballet. Since I just had my wisdom teeth removed and I'm still suffering from pain, we found a place that offered Clam Chowder :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I was crafty ... I swear ...

Mmmm ... where does the time go? I ask myself that every day.
It's been a while since I've shown anything crafty on this blog, but I swear I have done a few things here and there. I really have.

I made a few pompoms for Alex's birthday. I know this project has been around the net, but I still can't believe that I did it and it came out beautifully.

I followed these instructions here.

For Christmas my kids and I made snowflakes. Okay, it's way past Christmas and I really should be showing Valentine's crafts ... but I just have to put this up, so in 10 years I have proof that time didn't just pass me by and I did nothing.

A couple of years ago my daughter and I made them out of regular paper. I learned that for a 3 year old cutting through folds of paper required great strength. My daughter has pretty strong hands and arms and completed a few, but I felt bad for her nevertheless. So this year we used tissue paper and we had much more fun. Initially I drew the designs and my kids followed my pencil lines.  After a few, my daughter created her own designs - which made me very proud.

Uhmm, what else did I make? Oh yes, I went to my daughter Kindergarten class and we made angels out of clothing clips (I think they are called something else, but I can't think of it right now.)

The first is my daughter's. The second shows mine next to my daughter's. Aren't they just cute?! I cut the wool and sewed the dress and the kids glued everything together using Aleene's super tacky glue. The only thing I had to help the kids with is glue the wings with a hot glue gun.

My daughter's kindergarten class is an all girls class. It was so interesting to see that almost all of the girls made the angels and played with them like boys play with their superhero figures. A sight I treasure and will never forget.

In the works right now ... okay there's a lot in the works. One of them is a knitted sail. Can you believe it? I can't. While on a roadtrip to Mendecino, we stopped in Petaluma and visited a yarn shop. I wish I remembered the name of it. But at the time, we were just walking around, looking ... just looking. I was soaking in the beauty of a $37 yarn. In the middle of the shop was a huge sail made out of all the knitting samples (I'm assuming) the shop has gathered throughout the years. My 4 year old was in awe. I agreed with him. We walked out and that was that.

Except ever since then my son has been asking me "Are you knitting my sail?" whenever I knit, crochet, sew or just visit a yarn shop. Recently I gave in and told him, yes honey! I'm making you one. It's going to be a looong process. I have just made a few samples so far ....

I have a couple more in the car. It's my "wait for gymnastics/Wushu/'name other kids' activity' to be over" project.

Oh, but more excitingly, I'm taking a painting e-course. I have come to love e-courses! This time it's with Mati McDonough and Lisa Congdon. The course is called Get Your Paint On

It's the first week and uhm, I'm feeling frustrated. I have painted and repainted the same piece of paper over and over. I can't believe how strong acrylic paper is! I start out by liking my painting, but as I go on with it I start hating it or make a mistake. So I redo it. And on it goes. Well, I have decided to see this is an opportunity to experiment, right? A way to see what I like and don't like; what works and what doesn't work.

I actually love my first painting, but it probably shows that there have been 10 other painting underneath it. Oh well, one day I'll paint it on canvas ... I think :)