Friday, February 25, 2011

Coffee Talk: Oscar Party

Welcome back to my little kitchen!  I hope you are in the mood for some coffee!  If not I have this amazing ginger peach tea that is to die for!

I also bought us some sweet treats.  Frozen dark chocolate Hershey Kisses!  They melt in your mouth when you drink them with hot coffee or tea!


So what are your plans for this weekend?  The husband and I will continue with the enormous process of cleaning and organizing our Cleveland cottage so we can put it up for sale. 

 My lovely mom is coming on Sunday to help out.  We are going to have an Oscar party!
Mom and me!

To be honest I have not seen all of the movies up for nominations.  I loved Inception though!  Black Swan looks cool but a little too freaky for me.  I have heard nothing but wonderful  things about The King's Speech and I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Colin Firth (I loved him as Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones movies!)  The best part about the Oscars for me is the fashion and celebrities!  I can't wait to see what everyone is wearing!  Well I hope you have a fantastic weekend!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kite Flying Music

Ivy's Guestroom is one of my all time favorite cds.  It consists of lovely covers of such bands as The Cure and Steely Dan.  This song in particular is a cover of Nick Heyward.  I usually am not a fan of covers but this  cd is amazing and summer-like!  I have had this cd for 8 years now and never tire of it!  The lead singer Dominique Durand has the most airy voice ever...totally reminds me of a warm spring day!   So listen to this song, light a spring scented candle like one of these

And think lovely warm thoughts!  Have a fantastic day:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sketchbook Sparker: Collecting Quotes and Images that Inspire

Hello!  How are you today?  Have I mentioned lately how OVER snow I am?  We got hit with a large amount of snow Monday night and now they are predicting a possible storm on Friday here in Cleveland.  Arg! here for an instant pick me up that will make you feel warm!

So today we are going to be talking again about sketchbook sparkers.  These sparkers are meant to give you ideas if you are ever in a creative rut.  Today's sparker doesn't involve as much drawing as last week's sparker.  It is meant more of as a brainstorming technique that could lead to more drawing and painting (I like to do both in my sketchbook!)

Have you ever heard a cool quote or seen one in a book or magazine?  The kind of quote that really makes you think or just makes a lot of sense?!  What about cool images that you are unexplainably attracted to while flipping through a magazine?  Why not start collecting them in your sketchbook!

Here is a little peek into two of my sketchbook pages that incorporate quotes and images.   I actually didn't even do much drawing on these sketchbook pages.  Instead I let the images and words do the talking.

This quote is something I heard Carrie Bradshaw say on a Sex in the City episode.  I can't remember for the life of me which episode or even which season she says this!  I thought it was so true about growing and changing as a person.

Here it is in my sketchbook  (top right.)


On the left is this quote I found in a magazine:
Sadly I always seem to buy the cheapest!

On these pages I also assembled pictures that inspired me and included my own little drawings and slabs of color with paint.

Here is another example:

A beautiful quote I found in a magazine

Here is how I incorporated it into my sketchbook page:

I also included some images that I liked along with a song lyric that was stuck in my head at the time.  

So if you are ever stuck for an idea for a sketchbook, incorporate a quote or image that inspires you!  It is a great way to get the creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tres Chic Nursery Finds for Girls

Hello there!  Today I would like to show you some very cool items I have found on etsy that would look excellent in any little girl's nursery.
 Being a new mom I have become quite interested in adorable girl things.  So here are some of my favorite finds on etsy this week.  I don't know about you but right now in my life it seems that all of my friends are either pregnant or have children.  These would make great gifts for new moms or they would be awesome gifts for your own children!  Happy looking!  

Sweet wall decals

These burp cloths

This beautiful quilt 

This adorable print

This cork sweet!

These cool butterflies

And of course...I must shamelessly promote my own artwork...

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crazy Cool Art Technique: White Acrylic and Watercolor

I hope your weekend was filled with relaxation and fun!  My weekend involved getting our home organized for the big upcoming sale and playing with Little I.  She is smiling and cooing like crazy which makes her so much fun!  I definitely took a million pictures of her doing the same thing over and over.  I am a little camera happy I think:)

Anyways....back to business!  I wanted to show you a cool mixed media technique that you might enjoy trying.  For those of you new to mixed media, it is basically when you use more than one type of art media.  Today we will be using watercolors and white acrylic paint.

First gather your supplies:
1.  Various watercolor media such as watercolor paints, watercolor colored pencils and watercolor crayons.
2.  Find a picture to draw from or draw from your imagination!
3.  White paper...does not have to be watercolor paper!
4.  Paint brushes
5.  White Acrylic paint
6.  Pencil

Once you have gathered all of your supplies you should draw out your basic shapes of your artwork with a pencil on your white paper.  Next begin to apply white acrylic paint to your sketch.  Try not to paint over your pencil lines or else you won't be able to see your drawing!

Here is my huge container of white acrylic...notice all of the colors mixed inside?!  Guess I am not so great about cleaning off my brush:)

Try these techniques using white acrylic:

1.  Swirls of thick white paint

2.  Scratch into the white paint to create textures ( I just used the tip of a mechanical pencil.)

Once your acrylic paint is dry you can start to add watercolor paint!

Just paint right on top of your dried white acrylic and be amazed at how the textures you created with the acrylic paint really pop out once color is added!

For finishing touches I like to add watercolor crayons or colored pencils.

And voila:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Coffee Talk: My Cleveland Cottage

Hello!  Happy Friday:)  Hope you have had a lovely week.  I just wanted to invite you to have a cup of coffee with me in my kitchen.

Here, I made you a latte!

I only wish that I had some sweet treats to share!  I can't seem to keep any in the house longer than a couple of days!  Anything with chocolate is a huge weakness for me!

So tell me about your weekend plans.  The husband and I are trying to get our house ready to sell so we have some major organizing ahead of us.  I am such a pack rat and keep anything with even a trace of being sentimental.  Hopefully I can part with some of my belongings in order to contribute to the organization process!

I really am going to  miss our Cleveland cottage.  It is such a cute little place that fits the husband, little "I" and myself perfectly.  We have lived here for almost 5 years and probably will not find anything like it again.  

On the plus side we are moving back to our hometown where our family lives.  So excited!  Family is so important!

Well I hope you have a LOVELY weekend relaxing and enjoying your time off.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Music

Good morning!  At least it is morning as I write this.  Right now I am drinking my second cup of coffee.  It is delicious.  Coffee is my absolute favorite!  It is so warm, wakes me up and tastes excellent with chocolate!  Too bad I have already finished off all of my dark chocolate supply or else I might be having chocolate for breakfast (again!)

Today it is going to be 62 degrees here in Ohio!  I am soooo excited!  I am planning on running outside as soon as the husband gets up and can watch little "I.". One song that I constantly play on my ipod as I run that puts me in the best of moods is "What I Wouldn't Do" by  A Fine Frenzy.   It is just the happiest song ever!  Give it a listen and see how your mood lifts!  What songs make you happy whenever you hear them?

Well I hope you have a fantastic day!  I am off to get the husband up!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sketchbook Sparker: Draw from a Magazine

If you are ever stuck for ideas on what to draw, try this brainstorming technique: 

1. At least 1 magazine with LOTS of pictures ( Old Domino magazines, Elle Decor, Lucky, Smithsonian, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart are some of my favs)
2. A sketchbook or pieces of paper
3. A pen (I like a black ball point pen)
4. Colored pencils, markers, watercolors, ink, etc.

Next complete these easy steps:
1.   Flip through the magazine.
2.  As you flip through, look for ANY images, fonts, colors that appeal to you.
3.  Using your pen begin to draw them on your sketchbook page.  Remember you are brainstorming so it doesn't matter how amazing your drawings are.  
4.  Begin to form a composition with your drawings.  You can do this by making the images interact, overlap, combining, etc.  There are no rules!  You will be amazed by what ideas come to you:)
5.  When you have filled your sketchbook page,  begin to add color or shade with your pen.
6.  When you are finished you will find that you have created a very interesting sketch!
7.  You can extend this idea by creating an artwork such as a finished painting or drawing from a section of your sketch.

Here is my magazine sketch from February's Good Housekeeping Magazine:

I used a black pen, watercolor colored pencils and chart pak markers.

Sometimes I just don't know what to draw and I find that images from magazines can be helpful:)  I hope this inspires you if you ever hit a creative block!

Well have a lovely day!  It was 50 here today in Ohio!  Yay!  It was so sunny and beautiful and really made me happy! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring Inspired Sketches

Hello!  Today it is sunny and almost 40 degrees here in Ohio!  Really gets me excited for SPRING!  So I decided to do some sketches that are spring-related.
I want to do a series with kites I think...they are so cool.  I am not the best kite flyer though:(

Here are some spring-inspired doodles...I love to doodle:)

Don't you just love to doodle?  It is so therapeutic and it really doesn't matter what the end result looks like.  Sometimes when I am stuck for an idea I like to doodle and see what comes out on the paper:) 

Well I am off to enjoy the sunshine even if it is still pretty cold out.  I think I will go on a run outside or maybe just make some more coffee and sit in my sunny kitchen and doodle some more:) 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope everyone is able to spend time with the people you love today:)  Little "I"'s Valentine present to me was sleeping until 6:30!  A whole night of sleeping!  Hooray!  

It is a little warmer here today but we still have lots of snow on the ground.
We are supposed to get 50 degree temperatures by the end of the week!  Yay!  I can FINALLY take Little "I" out on a walk!  I have been dreaming about doing that for a while. I definitely have some cabin fever!  Well I am off to celebrate the day, hope you have a lovely one!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Art Pen Pal Gift

Two days ago I received a package in the mail from my art pen pal.  It was by far the funniest thing she has ever sent me.

It is a packing tape sculpture of a bunny with peeps inside!  Packing tape sculptures are super easy to make.  Click here for a great step- by- step tutorial.  I really want my art club at school to make a bunch of packing tape sculptures for our spring art show.  The only thing is packing tape can be kind of pricey. are you doing?  I am doing pretty well.  Right now "I" is napping so I am trying to write a quick blog post!  I have slowly gotten her on a schedule so that is good:)  

I have been trying to get some art done but it is a slow process.  Here are two backgrounds I have created.  I still don't know what I will be putting on them yet.

I have been looking around my house lately for things that inspire me (especially since I cannot go is like 16 degrees out!)

Here are two things that have inspired me lately that I am going to try and incorporate into an artwork.

These two pears in my kitchen

These lovely silver twigs in my kitchen.

I think it is important to surround yourself with inspirational items.   I was thinking of doing a pear series...we shall see!  Well have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Alfresco-Inspired Art

I am obsessed with cafe scenes.  Eating alfresco is such a fun summertime treat!  Since it is super cold and snowy here in Ohio, I figured a nice alfresco scene would make me feel a little happier.  Here is my latest artwork.  I was able to do this while little "I" took naps this past week.

This artwork is about 8 x 10 and was done with acrylic and hand-painted paper on a wooden panel.  I hope to add it to my etsy store soon!  

Being a Mom and Artist

I always took art for granted.  I always knew I could do it whenever I wanted.  Even if I didn't do something creative for myself, I was an art teacher so I helped my students with their art everyday.  When I had a baby, things changed.  I was not able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  It helped me become less selfish.  However, I started to go into withdrawal without my daily art fixes.  Whenever "I" would sleep I would do a quick sketch (hence the revival of my 10 minute sketches which I still have trouble getting done!)  I finally figured out a way to get in an extra hour of art a day.  It is short and sometimes gets interrupted, but at least it is better than nothing!
There is this great interview with one of my favorite bloggers and artists,  Rosa Murillo   in which she talks about having children and working art into her life.  I loved how in the interview she says she is a mother first and then an artist.  She says that she is the most important teacher for her kids and I couldn't agree more!  I am so excited to share with little "I" all of my experiences I have had with art and to do creative projects together with her!  Rosa talks about how her and her children do lots of art together and it just made me so excited for when "I" is old enough to do art:)
For all of you artists and mothers out there, how did you fit art into your lives again after having a baby? What tricks and techniques did you do?