Completed Outfit

Seriously, can time go by any faster?! My goodness, and in less than a half hour it will be October. It feels like September just began. This week I've been busy on lots of house projects nothing to big and exciting though. Some paint touch ups, a little wall texturing, and I completed curtains for the living room today... 8 yrds of material and that was only 2 windows. Its surprising how much a room can change by curtains and the wall color. Wednesday I had blood work done again to check my T levels. I have that done every 3-4 weeks. My body is still adjusting, but it looks like my daily medication is keeping the levels where they need to be. I'll be spending a lot of time with family for the next week plus and watching little ones, so not sure if I'll have any time to blog. I do have a couple pictures to share of the outfit I made for Kaelyn. More info can be found in my earlier blog post HERE.

My first outfit ever made. Couldn't forget a matching headband. :)

Yes, K's 2 and happy to let everyone know it... but not always in such a nice way. Watch out for the 2 year old tantrums. Oh my!

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.


Weekend Wedding Plus

Our days have been well filled, which has left little time for blogging. I did want to get a few fun photos posted from this last weekend though and share a little of what we've been up to. Last week I got a fairly large load of Kaelyn's baby stuff ready to consign for a Children's sale. A percentage of the profits go to charity which is nice and the consignor's also make a bit themselves. It was definitely nice getting rid of some big stuff but it is kinda sad to see it go too. It's crazy how much space baby stuff takes up!

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.

{me & my girl}

When the dance finally started K was mesmerized by the balloons. It was so funny with everyone dancing around her and she was just still holding onto a balloon. She acted like it was her job to hold it and couldn't do anything else at the same time. Ha!

Several people got a kick out of her and started handing her balloons. The guy thought she might start floating if he gave her enough. :)

{watching the newlyweds with daddy}

When she FINALLY let the balloons go and started dancing and pulled me out to dance with her they changed to the dollar dance so the actual dancing scene for her was short lived. We had fun, and she went the whole day without a nap which led to her sleeping all night... wow! That doesn't happen around here. She never sleeps!
On Sunday, we headed up to hubby's dad's place to give him a bike that David fixed up. David really needs to start taking before and after pictures of the bikes he fixes up because they turn out amazing. When David told me he was making his dad a CASE orange bike I kinda wondered, but after seeing it done, I love how it turned out...

Isn't it a beauty?! There's even a blinkie under the seat for any night riding. :) I hope his dad will put it to good use. It's definitely a good addition after having his heart attack.
I think I'll be adding a turquoise bike to my wish list. Good for your health and who doesn't want to ride in fashion!


Creative ADHD?

So my husband has said it before and really I can't argue with him... I think I may have creative ADHD. Seriously, I don't think I can stay focused on one medium for more than a couple weeks. Does anyone else have this problem? Its like my creative juices are having some kind of war with each other and I'm wondering if I'll ever find something that makes me happy enough to stick with. So anyway, onto my latest... drawing with charcoal.

Some people may look at the above picture as trash, I see it as progress. Lots of sharpening goes on when I'm drawing and just as my photo is focused on the details, it is much like my style of drawing... detailed. I've enjoyed drawing for quite some time and drew commissioned portraits for people during college for a little extra cash and have continued to do a few since. It's been a bit too long since my last drawing. I think its been about 5 years since my last actual charcoal drawing! Wow, time flies! Anyway, what encouraged me to get my pencils out again was Kelly Berkey's Stretching to Sketch challenge that she has going on at her blog. Kelly is gorgeous and very talented herself. You can read a lot more about her and the challenge HERE.

This is my charcoal drawing. You can go HERE to see the photo I drew from. It was definitely fun seeing Kelly come alive on paper!

If you're curious on what I used for my drawing, I used charcoal pencils 2, 4 and 6, a blending stump and my finger for some extra blending. :)

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Busy working on an illustration project and getting stuff ready for a children's consignment sale. New windows are also being put in our home by handy hubby... so excited about that, but lots of cleanup is also involved. Crazy, busy!


"Pondering" in the Studio

Here is my newest thought provoking mixed media painting, "Pondering". It's another piece for my painting challenge I'm involved in. We had a photo of a bird to do whatever with and I chose to just use its shape. The meaning behind the painting is that we often stay at a point we feel safe in our life. It's hard to take chances/risks... what if what we really want doesn't work out? We don't want to chance falling on our face or is it we think its just to much work to follow our heart. Well that's just what this piece signifies. The bird can fly away, where?... well that's the journey, or it could go back in its cage... to the place it's used to, safe... the ordinary. But is that the place it's heart really is? Most likely it is somewhere else, yearning for something greater. That is the reason for the red dot... the heart. For sure it will not be the safest, most secure route to go after but with life being so short why not follow what your heart is telling you. Fly.
Have a wonderful weekend!


Photo Book Revisited!

Some of you have wondered what happened to Kaelyn's first year photo book. I was finishing up the pages at night when we were on our vacation and when we got home soon after my computer was hacked so I lost quite a bit of my work on it. That made me lose all ambition for completing it for awhile... until I received an email from Blurb saying if I got it published before the end of August I would save $10. Well, that was enough to get me in gear again and I'm glad, because it is now finished and I finally have a few pictures of it to share with you. They don't show the details all that well, but I didn't want to make you wait any longer. So here it is... 110 pages, 7 inches by 7 inches, wrap around hard cover...

I used a variety of patterned papers to break up the abundance of photos and the other page I used as a journal... things about the pregnancy, after she was born and major events in her life... events I thought she would enjoy reading when she was older.

Kaelyn's definitely enjoying looking at the pictures!

All of the photos in the book except maybe 5 were taken with my Nikon 8700. Nothing overly fancy but does the job well and it takes little movie clips which are fun.

Here Kaelyn's looking at 2 photos taken by her aunt Amy.

For the back I scanned in K's footprints that were done at the hospital. It says [first footprints] so tiny yet already leaving large impressions.

I am very happy to be done with the book! It took several late nights and there were times I couldn't picture an end in sight, but I'm glad I pushed through it.

If you are thinking of making a book I suggest signing up with the company early on so you can get in on a good offer/discount. Make sure the photos you use are high quality, you can raise the dpi so they won't look pixelated if you enlarge them.

I upgraded with the premium paper from Blurb and I'm glad I did. That way when Kaelyn looks at it, it won't be easily damaged. The cover is also very durable so I'm very happy with that. The printing is a bit grainier than I would like. You can see it around letters and some of the pictures, but I'm very picky from making my own art prints. So overall, I'm a happy customer and will probably make another book using Blurb.

If you have any questions about making the book that I may have missed answering please let me know.


Rainy Day

It's a rainy, grey day here today and it made me think of this photo I took on the way back home from our vacation. Never did I think I would have hubby stop the car just a few miles from our house so I could get out and take a photo of our every day surroundings. The picture lost a little of its vividness when uploading and the rays are a little harder to see as well, but you get an idea of the amazing view we saw. If we would have stopped the car a few minutes sooner we would have captured intense white and turquoise rays. This natural beauty of wide open fields is what I love about South Dakota. I very much enjoy the peaceful surroundings... even if it's a rainy day. Each state has its own little magic... each one is special. I just wish it didn't have to get quite so cold here in the fall and winter.

What do you love about the state you live in?


This Weeks Creative Space

The last couple days I've been working on something completely out of the ordinary for me. I've always wanted to sew an outfit for Kaelyn but I am not a sewer. If you've read this blog for awhile you may remember me making curtains for our house, and that pretty much has been the extent of my sewing. When I saw a DIY kit for a swing top from littlefishbigpond that was on clearance about six months ago, I jumped on it and figured I could do that! The posting said Beginners could do it... ha! It really should have said you need a very good understanding of sewing to make it, because the directions left out a lot on what "beginners" need to know. The DIY kits are awesome, especially for those who know how to sew well. I just needed more help so thank goodness for my mom. She came and helped me along in the process of the top.

Then funny me, I had to make pants to go along with the cute shirt. Once I get the basic knowledge of something I don't set any limits. So without a real pattern I'm making some ruffle jeans to go along, and I'm hoping they turn out and fit! I must admit, this jean material is quite a bit harder to work with and of course I don't do anything the simple way... probably cuz I don't know how. Ha! Oh well, its been a fun new experience and I think the outfit may make some pretty cute pictures when its all done... keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

So I need to hurry up and get these pants done today so our kitchen table can be used for eating and Kaelyn's crafts again. I'll be sure to share a finished picture of the outfit with you all sometime soon... or when we get a good photo of Kaelyn modeling it. :)
This post is linked to Studio JRU. Check out Jennifer's blog and be connected to many more creative spaces. Have a fantastic weekend!


Kitchen Before & After

Our kitchen renovation isn't completely finished but I thought I'd share a quick before and after photo. Several things bothered me about the old blue cabinets. The upper ones didn't match the lower ones, a good number of them didn't like to shut properly, and the inside wasn't in all that good of shape. And the floor... "yuck!" that sums up what I think of them. As soon as we moved in we put a new fridge and dishwasher in. White appliances went better with our old house and we kept the white gas stove that was here. The fridge was too tall to fit so we had to knock out the cabinets above it right away which showed a nasty pink/salmon color behind them (reason for my big painting trying to cover it up).

I hand textured and painted the walls, made the curtains, and handy hubby custom made the beautiful cabinets out of ash. Now this space feels so much cozier and I enjoy spending time in it.

Yes, so much better don't you think? I still can't believe it's my kitchen.


Laid Back Labor Day Weekend

Full speed ahead... but making sure I was coming too. :)

K and I had fun in the park with another family while hubby was putting on lots of miles on his new bicycle. Overall, it was a good, quiet weekend. Hoping you all had a good weekend too!


In the Studio

This week I've been busy designing new digital typography prints. I've had the idea to do a Jesus Loves Me piece for quite some time since its one of my daughters favorite songs and I think its such a great reminder to have around the house/in her bedroom. One night when I was trying to sleep but couldn't the rays idea popped into me head. Maybe God was helping me out with the design. :) I'm really picky about getting the colors and design just so, so it takes me a good amount of time and test prints.

Here's my little printing space in my studio.

This is the first of my new designs that's available in my shop. Many more color options are on the way. A different Jesus Loves Me design will also be coming soon.



Here are a few photos of our recent outdoor activities...

When the cement is covered in colors in front of our house, you know it was a beautiful day.

I was finally able to work in my garden again. (Mosquitoes have been dreadful this year!) Although I've had gardens before, this year was the first time I grew potatoes. Lets say I wasn't very lucky at digging them out. I accidentally chopped a good number in half. Oops! Not a good guesser on where I thought they should be.
While I was digging in the garden, hubby and K were doing a little work themselves...
Kaelyn loved scrubbing daddy's pickup! Such a good helper.
This was from David's most recent 5K race. He did amazing! He was so close to snagging first place! Can't imagine... it was 90 degrees and I don't think they ran in any shade. Talk about determination.
I'm going to miss this nice warm weather!