Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Before I cut it up.....

Yes, you read right, cut it up. I have to do an exercise for an art class I am taking where I have to cut up some paintings to collage them onto another painting I previously made. REWIND... that sounded confusing didn't it. HA!

This really was just a spontaneous, unplanned painting, more of a journal page really which ended up with me, as a bird, in a tree. Singing in my mind "I'm like a bird, I wanna fly away..." (don't ask me from what...)

Bye Bye birdie! Now to cut or to tear... sniff sniff. Oh get over it, you'll be fine... she says to herself. Funny thing is I didn't really think I liked it all that much when I did it. P.S. I video taped the whole session, video may be posted...

Have a wonderful labor day weekend everyone. 
the fairy

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Make your own blinkie!!!!!

I am posting this tutorial here for those of you who would like to make your own blinkie with a copyable text box for your blog. The direct links to all the Pimp your Blog posts will be in that section so the tutorials are easy to find. Hope you like!

Yeah! Here is my first one!

How to make your own blinkie for your blog.

Here is my full size blinkie. I create it rather large because it is easy to edit. 300dpi for nice quality and about 1000 pixels wide. You need to change it after you are done so it will fit in sidebars. 175-200 pixels wide is what I usually do.
You need to go into the window panel and select animate to make it have actions.

click on the image above to open it full size so you can read my directions on the picture!

Once it is finished and you are ready to save it you HAVE to save it in the web and devices section to make it a gif.

Again click on image to read my instructions, he he!

Now go to your photobucket account and make an album for your blog so you can add goodies there and stay organized. Once you have uploaded and saved it, hover your mouse over it to see this:
 Now that pink part I circled is what you are going to add into your code. I have posted mine below for the blinkie I just created but you are going to have to change the code to your own. I should have color coded it sorry but the code you are going to slip yours into is in yellow below. Be careful, change only the code between the comas starting at http and ending after your code gif. If you miss one comma it won't work.

The pink part in this picture is your blog url. You need to change that as well. Just change the url, no comas etc.

I am pasting my full blinkie code here but in this text box, the full code you see above will be in it. SO all you have to do is COPY THE CODE IN THIS TEXT BOX, go into your dashboard and click on add a gadget add html code and copy this code into it. THEN YOU HAVE TO EDIT IT. Just change the url to your own in BOTH SPOTS, then go to your photobucket page and copy YOUR DIRECT CODE YOU YOUR BLINKIE and paste it into the yellow sections, making sure to remove mine first. Click save and you have your own copyable blinkie! Congrats!

Grab the Code!


Almost forgot! A GREAT BIG THANK YOU  goes out to my new blog buddy Cat for cluing me in on how I could get a screen capture on my mac while the menu bars were open in photoshop!!!! You are the best Catherine!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painting fabric/product highlight....

The first product I want to highlight are my brand spankin new Derwent Inktense sticks.

What is great about these you ask? Well as the name suggests, they are made of ink, not the same as watercolor. While they are water soluble, once they have been wet and then dry, they become permanent! How awesome is that. I have used them on canvases and true to their word once I wet it, it became stable and permanent. I even blended them with gesso for some lovely intense colors. You can also use them on fabric, normally silk, and they are also permanent once they have been wet, with a brush and "painted" over. I am guessing that if you just dunked it then the ink would run out before it had a chance for it to set into the fabric. That is how I made the gingham fabric for my beet jar!

First I ran the block across the fabric. I then took a wet brush and stroked it over the strips to wet it and soak it into the fabric. I then dried it.


I then used a permanent marker to run rough little lines through the large watery looking ones for a bit of detailing. And that is it. Pretty low key. 

You can buy the pencils at your local art supply store in singles if you want to try a couple out before investing and they come in pencil and block form. Very cool.

the fairy!

Plum Pickled out!

Actually, I am not. I still have carrots to go, mmmmm... maybe some more beets too if my lovely mom in law can spare some more, pleaaaassssseeee. he he. Fall is coming on us fast, and fall brings canning. Nothing like homemade preserves and my two favorites, pickled beets and carrots.

I packaged them up nice and pretty just for you, to see in the photo I mean silly. I actually made that little scrap of gingham on the top of the sealer and I am going to show you how shortly when I do my Fabulously Fun Stuff to play with post. I am going to do occasional product highlights  to show you some of the products I use and why I love em! Always nice to find new artsy things to play with.

For now though, thought I would share my mom's pickled beets recipe with you since they are my fave and may one day be yours too and believe me, I have tried lots of pickled beets!

Bubba Helen's Pickled Beets

Start with fresh beets WITH THE STEMS ON! Cut off the stems making sure to leave a 2 inch tail! Ever had pink pickled beets? That is because the tail wasn't left on and when you boil them for about 45 mins to get the skins off and cook the beets they bleed out.

Sterilize your jars (boil them or I use the dishwasher and the sanitize setting) and place them on a clean towel with boiling water in them (I do this to keep them hot, hot beets in a cold jar is not great).

Take the cooked beets to the sink,and pour out the hot water and run cold over them to shock the skins off. You then go in with your hands and rub the skins off, they peel so easy. They will still be hot inside the beets so be careful, and put them in a bowl. 

Meanwhile make your brine:
this recipe makes 3 quarts, just double, triple for more.

2 c vinegar
2 c sugar
1 tbs pickling or course salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbs WHOLE cloves wrapped in cheesecloth and elastic.

Boil for 5 mins, discard cloves, turn on low to keep warm.

Put your lids in a pot to boil for 5 mins then just keep them warm.

Empty one jar at a time, cut the beets to bite size pieces and fill the jars to 1/2" from the top. Add the brine to 1/4 " from the top, make sure the top of the jar is clean for a good seal. Put a lid on, then the screw top and wipe and set aside for the lid to POP! If it doesn't pop or cave in then you will have to boil it for 5 or 10 mins to seal it or it will spoil.

Stay tuned for the fabric demo!!

the fairy

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do you talk with your hands...

Remember that painting I did on the wood block a while back. I also said I was going to make one to match? Well, I didn't! HA! I am so fickle. I picked it up and it had text on it from a novel I tore up. I read it, picked out some words and ran with it. 
I actually had this little head that I made with my newest fun things (water-soluble crayons) that was done on watercolor paper. Just testing them out really. Then I added some facial features with my next new fun toys (INKTENSE pencils). They are so wonderful, did you know that they are actually water soluble ink? Yes, INK which means once they have been wet they become permanent! I have used them on canvases (didn't believe it) and they worked! The background looked too plain so some rub on birdies, couple of houses in the neighborhood and some stamped swirlies later, I have She talks with her hands. My painting will be available soon on my website once I have it all revamped and prints done up. Keep your eyes peeled for some big changes coming over at the store.
Can you feel the fall coming? I can, I am not sure what it is that makes me feel it even when it is hot. Maybe the height of the sun, the subtle change in the smell of the air, but I have to say, I love it. Fall is my all time favorite season. Colorful, cool, fragrant and just plain wonderful. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My first painting video!

Whahhhhhhhh, I just uploaded my first painting video! It is a little funny because it ends abruptly. My video camera died. There are also parts skipped because, guess what, my camera died. It must have 99 lives. ha! Go easy on me gang. I think it is pretty slick for a first crack if I say so myself.

Oh, I also got some really crazy videos of a severe thunder storm we drove home in tonight. Will post that later.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sharing my pallet with you...

I always love to see how other artists use their tools. The pallet is one that seems to have a really wide range of styles that people use. I have some expensive professional pallets that I just don't use.

I actually use a Tupperware container, for shame, for my acrylics. I like to be able to just pop the lid on when I am done and they are sealed up tight. I keep a bit of water in there to keep them moist and I have a spray bottle with me at all times so I can occasionally mist the paint to prevent it from skinning. I also use it to spray my canvas if I need more time to blend the paint.

Here are some pictures of my pallet that I use.
I have little disposable cups in there so that I can keep the paints separate and I even create some custom colors for say skin tones and what not and mix them in the cup so I have enough for the entire painting and I don't have to worry that I didn't mix the color right the second time.
These are porcelain dishes that are meant for crackers and cheese that I use to mix my paints on. What I love is they are white so the color is true and if the paint dries on there I just add some water and it peels off. Sometimes I use these "skins" to add to canvases. No wasted paint no pollution. Recycle all you can. These things are really important to me, the impact my creativity has on the earth.
When I am all done, I stack the porcelain dishes on top of the paint cups and close the lid till I can squeeze another 20 mins in between dishes and laundry. HE HE!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Driving home from the city...

I have been carrying my camera around lately, in case inspiration shows up, and have started taking the strangest pictures. Kinda funny really but, as I drove home the other evening I started snapping off pictures and everything going by (while I watched the road mind you) so some of them were quite laughable. One came up all blurry but the comp was really nice. So I threw it in photoshop and added my own quote, at least I am sure it is my own and if it resembles another quote it was purely unintended.

I truly believe this. In fact the majority of the time I don't really know where I am going, I just have some sort of an idea. I really prefer it that way. My life for the last few years has had to be flexible and I have gotten used to it. I have come to the realization that it is good to have a direction but if you leave room for deviations you discover the best things you may not have otherwise found and you are far less likely to pine for things, which you totally expected, that never came to be.

Have a plan, but please do DEVIATE if and when you can. It can be so much fun.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cool Codes

I am going to be adding all kinds of cool information here that I have gathered through my years of blogging and teaching myself a bit of html coding etc. I will actually be adding code and instructions on how to PIMP your own blog up! Stay tuned for some really awesome info and fun stuff!

First on the list will be how to add your own custom made background. You will need a photobucket or flicker account (it's free) so if you don't have one get ready and go get one!


UPDATE: I just added instructions on how to create your own custom animated email button. It is in the PiMP ur BLOG section.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some homework...

I am currently taking WYANNE'S Paint Free ecourse and I had some homework to do. I won't expose the details as I don't want to infringe on the copyright of her course but what I had to do was write a letter and then paint over it. This was my resulting painting. 

If you look really closely you can still see some of the words. I had originally wanted to leave some showing but it just didn't work for me. The balance of lights to darks and the background was pulling too much attention. This is kind of inspiring me to do some illustrative artwork, oh maybe I will write a children's book in my 5 spare minutes. OY!

The weekend is here and looks like sunshine! Not so good for our fire situation. Drought is scary.
the fairy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Heartfilled Home...

I found some scrap lumber outside and decided I wanted to make a little painting on it. I have two actually but the other is not done yet. With my collage class on my mind, and wanting something simple, not too much thought into it, just let it go. I decided to roughly sketch a house on it, hence the crooked door... hahahha!

I actually collaged some papers on it first, then sketched it out with a charcoal pencil which needs to be a really soft one by the way (learned that the hard way). I then painted over it with acrylic paints. I painted the edges too but I think they are a little too bright but all in good time, I will get to it. he he. There was a blank space above the window on the right that just needed something there and shazam, out pops the cheesy heart. Sometimes I am really cheesy.

the fairy

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh La La...

Popping in to post a sample painting that I did for my mixed media collage workshop that I am doing here in our community this fall. We have an absolutely gorgeous new library which has a separate conference/multi-purpose room that is to die for and they host a multitude of workshops there. 

If you are local and would like to attend one of my workshops visit my workshop tab (still ironing out dates for the workshops as I am hosting 2 two day workshops.) at the top of the blog or contact the Library Allard in St. Georges MB.

I was totally inspired by this book I saw at Chapters which is completely based on these chic ladies with collaged dresses. This is my take on it. It was really fun. I actually used some rubber and acrylic stamps on here too. I even pulled out my Sharpie paint pens to add the detailing on the fence. 

And now, I think I better sit down and pour over some new images for my digital stamp shop. I have been sorely neglecting that lately. I see that some of the stores and the magazines are releasing Halloween and Christmas images. Do you ever feel like we look so far ahead sometimes that we forget to live in the present? I mean snowsuits and winter gloves at Costco when it is 40 degrees out right now and we are in the middle of a drought! Seems crazy to me.

the fairy