Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing all my American friends a safe and happy Independence Day!

 And of course, a safe and happy "4th of July" to all! ;) 

 (Beautiful cookies courtesy of my generous friend in Tennessee (from Stone House Oven)! 

 Thank you again!

 Have a fun weekend, everyone! 

 Mad Hatter's Tea next Saturday! 

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Love,
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Some Buggy Fun...

Hello, all!

 Last fall I saw something I thought was really fun; 

flower petals, blossoms, and buds placed strategically over some

 black and white insect clip-art, as if they were the bodies and wings.

I had waited too long in the season, however, for there to be anything remotely

insect-shaped blooming in my garden, but I kept thinking about it...

Here is my take on it, with watercolor instead of black and white images.

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I didn't have plans to post this when I started sketching (so no pics), but my first

step was to lightly sketch some insect shapes on heavyweight watercolor paper.

I went out and got a couple of the blossoms that I planned to use, to get the

approximate size... (I used Althea/Rose of Sharon blossoms and buds here).

I blocked in some color on the bugs, not really sure how I was going to proceed ~

(As in much of my life, "Flying by the seat of my pants")

At this point I actually planned to have a white background like my inspiration images,

or I would have waited on painting the insects ~ it's all good, though, it still worked!

~

I decided that a colored background would be better,

so I taped the watercolor paper to a board and wet the whole thing...

(I knew the paint on the insects was going to run, but I also knew I could fix it...

and that it would look like I had meant for it to be like that ~ ;) )

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I painted some big, swishy areas of watercolor, and dropped in some

yummy Holbein Brilliant Gold gouache for added fun...

then sprinkled liberally with kosher salt ~

I put it out in the sun to dry, and to let the salt do its starburst-magic

(the salt absorbs some of the watercolor, leaving the texture).

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When the paper was bone-dry (which didn't take all that long in the hot sun),

I used a fine brush and went back and finessed the bugs...

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And here are the results!

Now I'm thinking about what other flower-buds would make good "insects"...

Moonflower buds, for sure...maybe a praying mantis for those...

And rosebuds, for cute little fantasy-bugs.

This is an instance where the photograph becomes the art, as the

subject matter here (the flowers and leaves, anyway) is ephemeral!

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Try it! 

Have fun...if you don't want to draw the insects, use copyright-free clip-art...

either black and white, or tinted with markers, colored pencils, whatever you have.

Play!

I do, every day... :)

Love,
~
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Faerie Magazine

Hello, All!

I was delighted to discover that one of my little Fairy Houses ~ (credited, thank you!)

had been featured on Faerie Magazine's Facebook page...

Never have I had so many nice comments and views,

and I thought I would make it easier by posting some photos

of past houses, just for fun....

I am truly working on some new houses and will post another tutorial

here shortly... (I am S-L-O-W, maddeningly so, I know!)

In the meantime, in no particular order, here are some commissions

from 2013...and thank you again for visiting!


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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mad Tea Party 2015 is in the Works!

Hello, everyone! 

 It's almost that time of year again, gearing up to join Vanessa's 

 2015 Mad Tea Party!

Check out A Fanciful Twist for a list of other prospective revelers!

 More to come soon!

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 Love, 
 ~
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

A 2015 Fairy House & Garden ~ Part 1

Happy Spring, Everyone! 

 In our part of the world, truly "Spring-y" days are few... 

 we seem to go from cool enough to need the heat on 

 to hot and humid (especially humid) enough to need the air-conditioning on...

Often within a matter of days of each other,

 and sometimes back and forth, frustratingly!

 We already had to turn the AC on a few days ago. 

 Even so, it really is still Spring, and I think it's high time 

to start a couple of new "Fairy/Faerie Houses & Gardens"

beginning with my vintage kettle garden as the setting...

 Here we go!
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"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems."

Rainer Maria Rilke ~ 1875-1926

The Fairy Garden has already "started" itself...thanks to perennial herbs!

What would I do without perennials, those "poems" the Earth knows by heart?

I wonder if I would have the incentive to go out and buy everything new,

every year. I just don't know. But when I see these hardy little plants valiantly

popping up year after year, always fuller and more abundant than the previous season,

I want to go straight to the garden center to find more to add to them;

always loving the discovery of new perennials, but also choosing colorful

annuals to add to the mix, as well.

So far, the kettle has been taken over by Lemon Balm (left, and at the base),

Chocolate Mint (almost everywhere else!), and Japanese Painted Ferns.


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I placed my little dried gourd (more on that later) in the kettle, just to see...

As much as I hate removing plants, some pruning is going to have to

happen here, if I'm to have little paths and a setting for the house!

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Making paths....

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So far I've purchased one Rosemary plant, the annual Lobelia (such a pretty blue!),

and a wonderful little (hopefully perennial, as it says) ground-cover,

 Leptinella, this particular one called "Platt's Black Brass Buttons"...

Doesn't it look for all the world like tiny Faerie ferns??

I'm going to plant these in the kettle and see how much space that leaves...

more on this before too long!


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In another part of my garden, a true Heirloom plant ~

this particular one is a division of the mother-plant brought home by my Grandpa,

a rural mail-carrier, in the 1930s.

(Isn't the fact that it is that old just amazing? This was the Depression, and

people didn't buy plants like we do now...almost all ornamentals were

"pass-along" plants...)

Grandpa had seen it blooming somewhere along his route,

possibly someone gave him a "start" of it...but since it is most often

found in woodland areas, it was probably just something he saw along

a fence-row or roadside ditch.

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Grandma called it "Spice Bush", for its clove-y, slightly carnation-y

fragrance, and for years that's what I called it as well, not being able

to properly identify it...then a couple of years ago with help from a nursery

that specializes in old-fashioned and woodland-type plants,

I finally found that it is actually "Clove Current".

Mystery solved!


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It's kind of sprawling and not the type of plant you would normally

look for to add beauty to a landscape (it's rather non-descript when not blooming,

something you might see growing along a creek-bank), but I love it.

(To read what the Missouri Botanical Garden says about it, click here.)

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More soon!

Love,

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Late Winter Project...

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Everyone brings me pine cones (for my Faerie House roofs) ~

A LOT of pine cones...

I'm not complaining... I love them, and can't resist picking them up myself, still!

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So, when I saw this on Pinterest (it's been a while), I did a mental "file-away"

and decided it would be a nice, easy project ~

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Here goes... "Frosty" Pine Cones

Pine cones
White Acrylic Paint/Old Brush
White Craft Glue 
Epsom Salts
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Brush the tips of the cones with white acrylic paint and let dry.

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Then brush over the white acrylic with craft glue;

(I think the original directions said to just used the paint as "glue",

but it really isn't sticky enough) ~ then roll in Epsom Salts.

That's it!

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What do you think....Yes?

A "keeper" for next Christmas/Winter?

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Keep warm, everyone!

Love,
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Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Inspire Your Heart with Art" Day!

Hello there!

Can you believe it's almost February??

High time for a post!

A few days ago I was contacted by the daughter of one of my

favorite artists, Patience Brewster...

(Notice that little tea-towel back in the December post?

LOVE Patience's whimsy!)

Would I care to participate, along with other bloggers,

 in a day of telling what inspires me?

In particular, the Art that Inspires my Heart?

Why, absolutely...I would be delighted!

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Since writing about my own"arty-stuff" is the norm for me,

I wanted to celebrate some amazing artists who

continually inspire me...

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Leo says, "Excuse me...

You mean this isn't going to be a post about

Cats??"

(Leo manages to position himself between me and whatever I am

painting quite often...)

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I'll begin with my dear friend Wendy Mullen,

who has just finished her fourth book ~

this time a wonderful novel...

No spoilers, but if you love Anne of Green Gables,

you will LOVE Wendy's book...

It is a Kindle Edition  ~ (I  thought I was temporarily out of luck... 

then I found out that you can download the Kindle app, free!) 

...I know, I'm behind the times!

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You can check out Wendy's wonderful website  ~ www.VictorianChocolateMolds.com

and get the link to her book(s) on Amazon there as well.

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In Wendy's book, "Back to Green Gables", one of the characters

has a wonderful shortbread recipe...

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Now, this isn't my recipe to share,

but I can post a little "teaser" here!

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I had such fun making this shortbread...

and, if I do say so myself,

it was divine...!

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(Wendy, check out this "Mermaid" spoon from 1904...(engraved on the back)...

it could have been used at Green Gables!)

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Next, my other friend, Wendy...(aka Golders) ~

Tell me, now, how many can say they call TWO lovely "Wendys"

their talented friends? ~ Quite fortunate, I am!

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This is the fourth time that one of our "critters" (sorry, Leo, I know you are

really a little man in a cat-suit) ~ has been honored to have been included in

Golders' Animal Art Calendar...

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Okay, I know that Front Porch Toad wasn't technically OUR critter,

but we did enjoy "claiming" him for the summer...

Here he is, all dapper in his shamrock-sprigged bowler, as Mr. March ~ ;)

Golders' fine calendar ~ and much more animal art ~ can be found here ~

  http://www.zazzle.com/goldersbug 

and here ~ http://www.zazzle.com/goldersfora4c

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I asked Golders specifically for some examples of her fabulous

CROW art...("Sparkly Crow" that I am myself...) ~

aren't they wonderful?

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And her latest work... soon to be available in her Spoonflower shop,

these handsome watercolor Puffins..."Ahoy there, Matey!"

Check out Golders' delightful fabric designs here...

 http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/golders


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Leo says..."Hey, I knew this would end up being a cat post!! 
...and just look what's coming up! I knew it..."

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From the Pencilvania studio of my friend Karen Vesk,

her "fine art/fun art"... here, featuring the lovely Heather!

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Karen's art absolutely delights and inspires me! 

Heather and her Mousie friends are sublime...the expressions, the details!

My favorites here...the goldfish-lollipops, and the contemplative look

on the face of Heather's sous-chef as he surveys the pan of chocolate mice... ;)

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Too, too cute...(and Heather is obviously taking this "self-help"

 volume to heart...) 

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Oh, Heather...the shoes...the jewels...♥

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Love, love, LOVE!

Heather has single-pawedly inspired my own kitties to model for me...

they've learned from the best!

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Multi-talented Karen also creates amazing jewelry from the

beach-glass she collects near her home...

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All of Karen's artworks and links to her shops can be found at her

site ~  http://www.sunshinesketches.com/

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And last but not least, my dear friend Elaine...

she is so wonderfully talented in so many ways!

Here are two of her more recent creations, a fanciful little

Witch, and a sweet, swaying, "Mele Kalikimaka" girl... both gifted to me.

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Elaine also does beautiful crochet-work, makes jewelry, 

and HOOKS RUGS. 

(I want to hook rugs!!)

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Finally, a couple more of my fanciful, Faerie-tale inspired

Art Gourds...commissioned by my kind Tennessee friend who encourages me

to think "out of the box"...

Here we have Alice; this time she is visiting in Africa ~ ♥

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And a work still-in-progress, Cinderella.

These always end up being so much fun!

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So, Patience, Marietta...this is the Art that Inspires my Heart!

♥ ♥ ♥ 

     Thank you so much for asking!...

(Patience's wonderful, whimsical ornaments can be found here...



Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Love,

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