Thursday, December 27, 2012

Projects of 2012

It seems odd that we will be starting a new year in just a few days.  2012 has flown by.  So what did we do this year???  It is nice to look back and see. (click on the photo to go to the actual post)

Sewed some dresses.  All scrap material I had on hand, cost: a few hours of my time. 


I spruced up a couple chairs with paint and roses.  They now reside in front of my sewing table.  Cost: zero, the chairs came with a table I had bought at a thrift store eons ago and I just had them in storage. 


I crocheted a cardigan that I still love out of bamboo cotton yarn.  Cost:  $30


We made our straw bale mini greenhouse garden.  It worked fantastic last Spring and now I need to toss in some lettuce and spinach seeds to get started.  Cost: 6 bales of straw at $7 each.  The lumber was scrap we had on hand and the plastic was too.  Total = $42.00


I bought an incubator to hatch chicks.  My first batch of Swedish Flower hens.  This was so much fun I did it again with Black Copper Maran eggs.  Cost for incubator about $150 (which worked great!), the eggs ran about $50, this is a new breed to the US so the hatching eggs are pricy, but a hen alone if $50 to purchase so the eggs were the way to go. 


We built a faux pew bench from plywood. 


One of the most popular posts this year was this on of the old buckets stacked and planted.  I did enjoy this all summer.  I think I would like to make a real fountain out of buckets this next summer.  


Another highly popular post was this one on How to Paint a vintage saloon sign.


I also shared tons of signs I shipped out to my wonderful customers.   Now I am working hard on a new website, trying to improve and make it easier to navigate.  

I am looking forward to another productive and exciting year!
Have a great day. 



vif187 Funky Junk's Sat Nite SpecialFarmgirl Friday Blog Hop Keeping It SimpleUndertheTableandDreaming

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Greenhouse Move


My greenhouse is another favorite space of mine.  And it has resided behind my garage for several years. I have shared about it previously in this blog.

I thought placing it here the best use of this otherwise rather awkward space but I paid scant attention to how little direct sun this spot gets. 

In the winter,  it gets none.  That is when you primarily want the sun to hit it.

In the summer the sun hitting directly on it is superfluous.  So, that being said, I have finally convinced by husband to move it to a much better spot.

This corner of our back deck.

Our home is built on a slope so this deck is high off the ground, you can see our neighbors roof straight back (the roof to the left is my studio).  Anyways, this spot is one of the few places that gets some direct sun in winter and now that the sun is once again heading higher in the sky each day it will soon get a lot more sunshine. 


A perfect, easily accessible place to start my seedlings for a bountiful garden this summer.

First we move all our current back deck stuff to the side and shovel off the bit of of snow.


He takes the greenhouse apart bit by bit as I try to keep up with clearing out my potting paraphernalia.


And move the panels to the deck.  We found many places where the snow bombs (heavy blobs falling from the trees) had actually broken parts of the frame and it was just a matter of time before it collapsed so this move was timely.


With all the repairs along the way the reconstruction is taking a bit longer than anticipated.


Then it began to snow so our hands kept getting wet thru our gloves.


And the snow kept on coming.


So we gave it a rest. 


I get excited every time I spot it out there.  After we get it erected we shall attempt to insulate it better, hopefully it will hold some heat.
I have different ideas on decorating around it so it will look nice from inside the house.  We look right out our slider and we see greenhouse so making it pretty is a must.
When not working on this I have been working on the website, still.  So much to learn but it is coming together. Right now I am waiting for a tech to tell me why my slider is not displaying the correct price in the ‘featured items’ slider.

Take a gander if you wish. 

My New Website

With all this snow and it being the holiday season there are many vacationers up so that means lots of homes to clean.  So take a guess where I will be…

Until next time, with photos of the completed greenhouse, I hope.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Painting Chickadees

Despite being knee deep in building my new website I take breaks now and again to just paint.  It is my relaxation and it is so nice to paint for the fun of it instead of rushing to fill orders. 
The looser painting technique I have been trying to learn is a challenge but I am enjoying it. The flowers are harder for me so I thought to give birds and animals a whirl. 


I painted these from a photograph.
Once I photograph  the painting of them I can spot where I need to touch them up. 
One, the head on the left bird needs to be a bit rounder, the tail feathers need to have a bit of white outline on them and when I flicked the snow on it put a big white spot where the his eye was and made him look like he has a cataract. 


One of the challenges of this method is knowing when to stop and let it be.  So I am giving this a few days before fixing what I think is wrong. 

I painted another cabinet door into a chalkboard but it became too dark to photograph it. 
I have gotten the website up and running but I still have some cosmetic changes to make and a lot more signs and paintings to load up on it.

Go ahead and check it out and let me know any suggestions you may have.  I still am debating on having a blog attached or not and whether to add a sidebar.

That is all for tonight.

Join us Saturdays at for
 the weekend wrap up party!I Heart Nap TimeDown Home

Monday, December 17, 2012

Learn to Paint A Simple Daisy

As promised, long ago, I am posting the how to paint a daisy tutorial.

This is part of the Learn to Paint series.  Click on link in navigational bar to see other posts in this series.

  I was working on a new chalkboard and thought the black background the perfect surface for some pretty summer daisies.  And since I was painting daisies this was good time to get the tutorial done.

This is a full shot of the chalk board so far. I may put a trim line along the side and bottom too or a daisy in each bottom corner. I am still deciding.


I also left the peek into my studio un-cropped, it gives you a quick idea of the “out of control chaos” goin’ on in there.

I will include links to several short videos.  The audio might not be the greatest but you really just want to see how I paint and not hear my yammering anyways.  They are short but many, I have not mastered how to splice videos together.  A techie trick I have to add to my ‘yet to learn’ list.

Now for the tutorial.

First off I have a drawing I work from.  Sometimes I don’t use one as I can just jump in and paint them but when you are starting out,  a sketch is good.  This came out of one of my painting books, I think a Priscilla Hauser one, not certain.


Since I will be working on a dark surface I will transfer the pattern with chalk instead of using graphite paper.  (there is white transfer paper but I am out of it at present)

I flip the pattern over and run a piece of chalk on the back surface mostly behind the drawing. 


Then I flip it face up, position it and take a pencil or pen and trace over the drawing. 

You end up with something like this.  I had hand drawn the circle in for the rose so I could position to daisies around it.


It is a bit messy with chalk dust but that dust brushes right off.
As is my usual practice I base in the leaves first, and the rose.  (to see how I do my leaves check this post: Leaves)


I undercoat the petals in an Vintage white.  I use a #6 filbert brush, Loew-Cornell. First I do paint in a small golden yellow oval for placement of the center.


Undercoat petals

When I am in a hurry I dry the separate coats with a blow dryer.  So between videos that is what I am doing.  If a coat is still to wet with acrylic craft paints it just pulls up the prior coat.

Once dry I apply the second coat to the petals in white.  You do not have to be perfect, if the undercoat shows around some edges that just gives it dimension.


Go over petals with white

Now for the centers. I go over the centers once again with the golden yellow color.

Shadow along the bottom of the center with a yellow ochre and along the top with a brighter yellow to highlight some.
You can tap it in or stroke it for whichever effect you wish.


work on centers

centers continued

centers dimple

finishing touches
Use a small flat brush to stroke in a small C stroke with Burnt Umber for a dimple. Seems I did not get a still shot of putting in that part but it is in the videos.

Here is the final result, some bright summery daisies on your chalkboard.


One final shot of the chalkboard.


That’s it for today folks.  Enjoy and happy painting. 

Today's Creative BlogDomestically Speaking 
Share your cup ThursdayFurniture Feature Fridaysshabby creek cottageFarmgirl Friday Blog HopFunky Junk's Sat Nite SpecialJoin us Saturdays at for
 the weekend wrap up party!I Heart Nap Time
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...