Kaelyn has thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas decorations this year and will be pretty sad to see the Christmas tree leave the living room. (Yes we keep them up the entire month of December... at least... more time to enjoy the magical sparkle.)
We don't have any real exciting plans for celebrating the New Year. The lovely SD weather has supplied us with plenty of snow and travel is not advised so we're a little limited on what we can do. It is okay though, hubby's been working around the house and I've been working on some design requests. Hopefully shortly we'll have some nice family time. :)
I know Kaelyn is always up for a good time. Whether it's singing, playing or dancing... she's ready to rock it! Ha, ha!
Then I've always wanted a nice way to show Christmas photos so I figured I'd make my own photo board. This frame was really nice but not quite my style. The cheaply framed cork board was going to be trashed at hubby's work so he brought it home for me. :)
So here is what I did with some primer and white paint:
There always has to be some fun time worked in! This was the night after the craft show when we spent a little time with family. K was roller skating for the first time. She loved it!
So this is what I've been up to the last couple days. Once I printed out a tiny Jesus Loves Me print I thought it was too cute so my awesome hubby made me a bunch more blocks! I'm thinking they would make fantastic stocking stuffers! The blocks are currently sanded and surface prepped. Next is to paint and adhere the art.
So I was planning on doing a painting from this photograph but when I printed it out today I fell in love with it. I think it's better to leave this one just as it is. I have my mother-in-law to thank for the shot. She took us on a little road trip to find some of their cattle. I love how the mamma cow has her ear straight up as if saying to the calf, "yes dear, I hear you." The print has a vintage color like feel to it that I love. And this peaceful country setting... well that is what I have grown to love. Having grown up here I've seen the sight of cows a million times, but now, I'm finally appreciating it. It's beautiful.
I thought others may enjoy this photograph so I added it to the shop along with the photo of echinaceas flowers that you may have seen in an earlier post.
My mother-in-law gave me a few treasures last weekend. I was so excited! One will be a perfect chair for this desk... just have to get it painted.
Linking up with Studio JRU today. Be sure to check out these other talented souls HERE.
Have a great weekend!
I think several of you would be interested in Meranda's work and story about her process so be sure to check it out HERE. Also if your in SD and near the Goss be sure to stop by. It has the neatest old architecture and its rustic qualities have been saved. A coffee shop, gift shop that will soon only carry handmade work, a restaurant and art galleries are only a few things this building holds. It's impressive in its self.
Another amazing thing happened for my husband today. Those of you who have been reading for a while know how much hubby likes to run and bike.. Well he found out yesterday that Lance Armstrong was putting on a bike ride about an hour away from us! I was seriously excited for my husband to go and I can say he couldn't wait either! So when the hour finally came this is what it looked like:
since my man LOVES riding and can kick butt going up hills, lots of people were dropped and he was able to place himself nice and close to Lance. (He did have to work for it though. Hee, hee.)
Above is my newest mixed media (thought provoking) piece, "Dispersing". It represents our life... the whole growth process. We, like the flower, are always changing. The more we learn about our self and apply the skills or rather talents we know we start blooming. Our goal is to bloom into a beautiful flower. The circles represent the petals than will eventually fall. Its like the memory of us that will be left behind. Hopefully we will have touched others in some wonderful way through our journey here on earth. The flower can be quite a powerful symbol... something beautiful but it won't stay around for long. It grows up so quickly and then disperses its self... so much like you and me.
A little difference don't you think? In the spring we will be working on a deck and a little landscaping. So happy to have this big job done. I'll tell you it was pretty scary! A friend lent us scaffolding, but boy it pretty much terrified me climbing up on that thing. It felt like I was 3x higher than I really was and when it wiggled I seriously thought I was going to puke! Thankfully my dad brought in his loader and lifted me up in that. It felt like I was at an amusement park. There was a section that my dad had to put David up high in the loader with a ladder on top of that to reach a part the scaffolding couldn't get to. That was extremely scary... yes, I was praying that everything would turn out smoothly and thankfully it did! And a huge thanks to my mom for watching K while I was working on the house! Hubby and I couldn't have done this job so quickly without the help of my parents!
Then the design job I just completed was a logo design which was then made into several vehicle decals. I've made a few decals for Larry before but he recently decided on adding trenching and some sort of graphic so here is what I came up with:
Freelance projects always keep my job interesting. Each request seems to challenge me in a new way, sure some I struggle with but when I get to the end of the design process and see the end product I can't help but be pleased with the outcome.
Finally this design has been put to color. I made this one the same time I designed "Radiating Love" but never got around to putting in the color until this week. I have a few boy color options that will be added to the shop soon.
This is a pretty simple modern design with lots of white space and placed in the upper right to resemble the placement of your heart. Isn't it wonderful knowing that God is always showering us with His love no matter if we deserve it or not?! I thought these would make great reminders for children's rooms. You can read more information about the print HERE if you're interested.
The rain clouds had gone by, there was food to eat, the scenery was beautiful and it was oh so peaceful. This was a much needed mini getaway. Even when rowing it was relaxing!
After participating in Kelley Berkey's drawing challenge I was asked to share some tips/hints on how I draw with charcoal. I figured there may be a few other people who would like to know a bit about my drawing process... I hope this information will help you in some way.
I go about drawing with pencil and charcoal in very similar ways. Above is an example of my pencil/graphite drawing and the drawing of Kelly done in charcoal can be seen HERE. I first start with a light sketch of my subject. I try to crop or angle to the most interesting view. I prefer to work from top to bottom especially when I use charcoal because it can smear quite easily. It helps to lay a clean sheet of paper under my hand if I'm working over something I have already drawn... I don't want a grungy looking mess to happen after all the hard work. Whether I use pencil or charcoal I never just use one pencil unless its a super quick sketch. If you aren't aware of the numbers and letters on the pencils, it is useful information. H means the pencil is hard and will show light lines, the higher the number is with a H the lighter it will be. B's are soft and give you darker colors... nice contrast to the H's. B's will give your picture depth. I use 6B to get my darkest areas in my drawings. When using graphite pencils I prefer working with the pencils from scale 4H to 6B. For charcoal I use HB, 2B, and 4B with a lot of blending and erasing to give an even larger scale of lights to darks.
For a realistic look, blending is key. I use pretty small pointed blending stumps... I've never had a need for the large ones. If I'm working with a large area, I use my finger. If I'm using charcoal and I want an area to look really black, I will not blend it. I simply work up the dark color in layers until it is solid and you don't see the paper any more. If you try blending it, it loses the rich dark color. I start with the lighter areas and gradually layer up with the dark areas/shadows.
Another useful tool that helps me immensely when drawing is a needed eraser. You only need a small one because you can keep pulling on it to have it clean its self. I like to roll it into a point and use it kind of like another pencil only it takes away to give lighter areas. This works awesome when working with charcoals and you want a smooth transition between light to dark or if you want to give highlights to an area.
I use my needed eraser and blending stump more often then I use my actual charcoal pencils. Sometimes when I'm wanting a light gray area, I will just use my blending stump. If there's already a bit of charcoal left on the tip I press softly with it to give light gray areas. I will then use the needed eraser to lighten any spots where there isn't a smooth transition.
How much time you spend on blending is entirely a personal preference. I like to layer up with a variety of pencils and then blend... sometimes it is harder to erase after you blend and of course the harder you press the harder it is to pick that color back up.
I suggest if you're new to drawing start with drawing a ball and play around with the light to dark ranges. Practice making it look and feel round. Make sure you think about the light source (where the sun or light shines on the object)... you will need a highlighted point (white area) somewhere with a shadow (your darkest area) that the light is not shining on. The contrast is what will make your image pop.
The more you practice the more you will get used to your pencils, blending stumps, and needed eraser. Have fun!
My first outfit ever made. Couldn't forget a matching headband. :)
These fun photos were taken by my talented friend from Dolby Photography.
When I get more then 5 minutes of computer time I promise to share a little about how I work with charcoal. I haven't forgotten about it.
Saturday our family headed to a wedding. Kaelyn was exceptionally good through the whole service. I had no idea how it would go as the ceremony was during her usual nap time. Usually when she's tired she falls apart. Other then having to run to the potty a couple times just minutes before the wedding started, she stayed nice and quiet and just watched all the people around her.
Then on to the reception. K had a blast! Well before the dance ever started she wanted to show her moves on the dance floor. It was so cute. Not too much time went by and more kids joined her and here is a shot of them making their own train. The little girls were bundles of giggles and the older boy got a kick out of them too.