Category Archives: Art “Therapy”

Just an explanation…

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In case you are wondering what the latest pictures are all about… There is this website called “Polyvore”.  It’s a fashion website, basically, and you can make these collages.  I started basically because my daughter is crazy about it, and she wanted me to do it, too…. and besides, then I can keep an eye on what’s she’s doing! 

It’s quite a bit of fun, actually.  Maybe a bit of a time-waster, sure, but fun.  Try it for yourself!

Arts and crafts ~ handpainted Narnia purse, Reepicheep the mouse

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This is a canvas bag I handpainted for my daughter, the Narnia fan.  The cute little guy (although he’d be quite offended if he knew I was calling him that!) is Reepicheep, leader of the Talking Mice of Narnia.  Noble, brave, and maybe a little full of himself!  I painted this with fabric paints, then added some glitter, as my girl and I are all about the sparkle, lol.  On the back of the purse I wrote with permanent marker a quote from C.S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle, which is the final book from the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series.  Reepicheep is calling the others to come into “Aslan’s Country”, which is Heaven.  Reepicheep entered Aslan’s Country without experiencing death at the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Monday Munchies ~ In honor of Valentines Day, even if I think it’s a dumb holiday

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I think Valentines Day is dumb.  Mostly because it’s a slap-in-the-face holiday to anyone who is… well, not in a relationship, or in a bad relationship, or in any other way shortchanged in the gooey love department.  Seriously, I think the merchandisers came up with this one simply to make money.   I didn’t mind it as a kid – being the crafty sort, I enjoyed taking construction paper and doilies and making pretty hearts out of them… but since that point, I haven’t enjoyed it much.  Even as a married woman, well, some of my most painful memories are V-Day related.. so I would just as soon skip this dumb day.  Yet, it keeps on coming, in all it’s flowery, chocolatey glory. 

I have tried to at least do a little ‘cutesy’ decorating for the sake of my daughter, because, as I mentioned, I don’t mind the kid-part of the holiday.  Funny, though… she just turned 13, and she is a very introspective kind of child – she says to me the other day “you know, mama, I think Valentines Day is kind of mean… because if you don’t have someone who loves you, it’s just a day to remind you that you don’t.”  Yeah.  That about sums it up. 

I made her day, though, because my gift to her today was a huge poster of the actor she has a crush on (and no, it’s not a Bieber or a vampire of any kind!)

All that being said, I still wanted to honor the day in some way so my family would know I love them, so I made pink, heart-shaped pancakes.  It would have been waaay easier if I could have made normal, real pancakes…. instead I had to use coconut oil, coconut flour and xylitol… and they bake up kind of strange… but they were enjoyed and apprecitated by my husband and my daughter. 

The dogs, however, were miffed at me.  Pancake lovers that they are, they could not believe I threw the 2 extras away rather than let them eat ’em…. but I’ve heard xylitol is poisonous to dogs, so I couldn’t risk it.  Try explaining that to the sad brown-eyes looking up at you! 

Pink pancake batter:

I swear I’ve had better luck at shaped pancakes before –

Oh!  The perfect heart!

Kiki sliced some strawberries –

I stacked mine up with butter, berries and xylitol –

Kiki added a touch of sour cream

Why an owl made me think of chickens

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Last night I went out to feed Ollie (yeah, the stray cat…we named him “Oliver Twist” because of how much he loves food, glorious food..) And I’m not sure I should have named him – yet – because then you claim him – and he’s not really ours.  but I digress….  The thing is, I heard an owl hooting up in a tree somewhere in the yard.  My first thought was “do owls eat cats?” but Ollie didn’t seem worried, so I put it out of my head.  I did think about the chickens I’m thinking about getting… and how I’d better build them a coop to sleep in. 

The reason is the hens I lost back when I was a kid.  We had about half-a-dozen laying hens, who ranged free in our yard and laid the most amazing tasting eggs.  At night they roosted in the pine trees.  Then came a morning when one of our hens was missing.  Then a couple days later another hen went missing, then another.  Not only was I sad and angry but I was really irritated and confused – what the heck was happening to them??  That night, I went and sat underneath the trees and watched the hens roosting there.  All was calm…then stealthily and silently, an owl swooped down and landed on the same branch as my hens, between them and the trunk of the tree.   For whatever reason, I didn’t connect the owl with my hens’ disapearance… I just though “ooh, cool, an owl!” 

Now, hens, they sleep fairly deep.  You can gently move them around without waking them… at least that’s how my hens were.  So that sneaky old owl… he sat on the branch, then slowly moved over an inch or so.  All the hens scootched a bit toward the end of the branch.  Once they settled, that owl moved another inch or so… and so did all the hens.  I still had no idea what was going on… I guess I just thought he couldn’t get comfortable.  Or wanted to be near the hens.  I guess I’m not real bright!  Because this kept going on for awhile until the last hen was at the very end of the branch… yet still she moved over when the owl ‘shoved’ them… and as my poor henny fell out of the pine tree, that sneaky old owl swooped down, snatched her mid-air, and flew away with her!!!  It was horrible, and I had just set there and watched it happen!! 

Well, I finally knew where all my hens had gone.  That day dad and I built a cozy little coop and we didn’t feel that owl any longer.  Guess I better get busy building if I want to have hens now that stay safe out in my yard!

more repurposed cigar boxes

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Okay, here are the other boxes I did for Christmas gifts.  I realized I didn’t get very good ‘after’ pictures… in fact, they weren’t even totally finished when I last photographed them!  More details were added after these pictures.  Shoot.  But it gives you an idea what I did, if only a vague idea!

Oh, and no laughing at the Chinese Dragon, thank you very much!  I know, I know…. his face looks more ‘terrier’ than ‘dragon’….. ah, well.  He has lots of metallic paint, so it looks better than in this photo – didn’t have it lighted correctly I guess.

Well, gotta go find some other mess to make…..

More Crafty Christmas gifts…. Cigar Box UpCycle (repurpose)

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I have this love affair with cigar boxes.  My grandpa smoked them (and pipes), my dad smokes them (and pipes), my husband smokes them.  (I’ve even smoked a few, but let’s keep that our little secret, okay?) Actually, I have a love affair with boxes in general.  I have this feeling that if only I had enough boxes – for, let’s say, everything – then my life would be organized.  No more of the clutter and chaos that seems to define my life.  I’ve never gotten to totally test this, as Alan isn’t buying this theory, so I’ve never, ever had enough boxes.  But, I still cling to the hope!

Again with the fact that we were next to broke this Christmas, I came up with the idea of painting cigar boxes for my daughter and each of my younger nieces and my nephew.  Since everyone needs a box.  Today I posted pics just of the one I made my daughter.  I painted and repainted and repainted (I can’t paint a straight line to save my soul) so finally I just had to yell “STOP” and call it good.  One really cool thing is that I had this great necklace to give her that was a silver key – that nearly perfectly matched the funny little decorative key I put out with the box!  I added a whole lot of bling to it, you know, lovin’ the shiny and all… and it came out pretty.  And she likes it.  So that’s good enough.

Narnia picture blocks… a Christmas gift

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(I haven’t really figured out how to do the pics on here the way I want them… to see them better, you can clik on the first one then run thru them all…. thanks!  I’ll figure it out eventually…)

I decided I would quit griping about people and post a couple pictures of some gifts I made this Christmas.  My daughter is a HUGE Chronicles of Narnia fan, current movie included.  (We’ve seen it twice; once was a party of 6 girls we took to the midnight premier!)  Most of her Christmas gift wishes were “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” merchandise…. which, aparently, doesn’t exist in any large numbers!  We found a few things, but only a few.  Not to mention we have no jobs and no money, so this caused me to be a little more creative in my gift giving.

My daughter doesn’t really have a room of her own right now.  She has her own bed and wardrobe in a room full of other furniture that belongs to my parents.  I don’t expect them to put their furniture into storage so Kiki can have her own space, and yet I feel bad that she can’t really arrange or decorate a space of her own.  We’ve gone with posters (easy to put up, easy to take down)  and she has 6 Narnia posters up.  I thought it might be cool to make her some Narnia inspired artwork that she could set on top of her wardrobe or in the windowsill, but still use later when she finally gets her own room again.

Opa cut out the blocks from a 4×4, my husband stained them, then I decopauged pictures on them from a color-illustrated paperback copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  (That was the hard part; cutting up a book.  I adore books and I found this hard to do.)   After I did that, Alan decided I should also put some words on them… so I put words and more pics on the backside of each block.  The front sides I carefully tore the paper; the backsides are just cut  (because my hubby cut out the pages and didn’t leave me enough room… non-crafter!)  Last of all I varnished them with a glitter-varnish… ’cause I loves the sparkle!!

My Tie-Dyed bedsheet

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Well, here it is!  Not bad for a first-timer, eh?  I knew it was going to have too much white still showing, because I needed at least twice as much dye as I had, considering I was dyeing an entire sheet rather than a T-shirt…. but, it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it might.  I also could have used a few more hands – it was so big that I really didn’t have anywhere to lay it out, so I did it outside on the patio table… but it was really windy, and some of my pleats got way too big, but I got tired of fighting with it, so hey, good enough I guess!  Kiki was properly impressed – I rinsed and washed it this morning before taking her to the co-op (I couldn’t wait ’til I got home, I was too worried over how it might have turned out!  Last night I dreamt the colors all mixed together and it was mostly brown, with lots of undyed areas…) and she was like "Wow, that’s cool!  You even made green and orange!" (because the kit just came with blue, pink and yellow…um, yeah, I know how to mix colors, lol!!) Then she says "I’m proud to call you my mom!"  And I’m not sure if I should be happy or offended by that remark! 
 
Now I just need to figure out how to make an angel costume out of this…!!  It ‘s hard to really show you the colors, but these are pretty close.
 
Here is the sheet, folded in half, one pic of each side ~ to give you an idea of the size, this is draped over the back of my 7′ couch ~
The interior swirl ….

Check this out – looks like a snowflake!  I couldn’t have done that by trying  🙂

This section is how it should look:

But this section is due to the lack of dye, so you don’t get that cool intermingling of colors:

Well, there you have it!  I will post some more pics when I somehow pull an angel costume out of this… good thing it’s just a lil’ ol’ homeschool group!! 

My New Project

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I am doing a photography project that I call:
 
From
 To
!!!
 
I am trying to find every letter of the Alphabet to photograph, which I can then use to make wall designs and stuff like, our last name, or Kiki’s name for her bedroom wall, or…well, who knows?  I’m hoping to find some ‘natural made’ as well…. like these:
 
 
That last one, I’m not sure if it’s a Y or a V…. guess I should’ve gotten more of the trunk….
 
I even found a word: 
 
A good one for Mother’s Day!
 
This is what Alan and I did as we walked around downtown today…. I asked him if he’d mind, and he actually quite enjoyed it!  We saw things today in a whole new way, and we had a blast.  One last thing we saw today, that has nothing to do with letters ~
 
the first goslings of spring!