Monday, 27 July 2015

Hair: Art Class Number Nine

In case you noticed, I realize I haven't yet shared art classes six through eight. They're coming soon but first I thought I'd share this one, mainly because I've already taken photos of it.

I made this painting with a friend in mind using her favourite colours. She was turning 40 and her partner arranged a small surprise dinner for her. I really am grateful for a husband who's ok with me leaving him home alone for the weekend because I used the dinner as an excuse to road trip and catch up with old friends. 

The funny thing about this painting is that it was the hardest one I've ever done even though it looks wild and free. I'm a neat, precise painting and I struggle with mess and disorder. Given that this painting is meant to be wild and crazy, I had to really work to make it look inexact. 

I also was terrified to splatter paint but had been wanting to do it on one of my pieces so I decided this was the perfect piece. I love how that one red drop fell just below her lip.

Is it strange to have a favourite part of a painting? In this one, it's totally the edge of her shoulder and back. I love the smooth blending of the colours with the touches of messy grey.

The above photo was at the art studio when I thought I was finished. The more I looked at it, the more something looked odd but I couldn't place my finger on it. Finally I realized I'd forgotten to give the lady a nostril. I added one in and it was exactly what was bothering me.

Shared at: Ginger Snap Crafts, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, Natasha in Oz

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Circle Wall Hanging

Do you ever spend ages looking for something, only to find it after you've given up hope that it existed? That's exactly what happened with this project. 

I wanted something with circles for above the bed in the guest room. I'd pinned several pictures and had looked every time I went shopping since I started the room but everything I found was either not quite right or way too expensive. 

Last week I decided if I wanted it I was going to have to make it myself. I explained to J what I wanted and we brainstormed what material to use. I went to the city yesterday to run some errands and, while I was there, I planned to go to Home Depot and get what I needed. 

Thankfully I went to Winners first because I saw exactly what I'd been looking for. The best part? $39.99. When I brought it home, J even commented that it's almost exactly like my drawing.

The one hitch was the colour but that was an easy fix. A few coats of silver spray paint and it was perfect. 

These dings and dents might be damage or they might be part of the design. Either way, I really love the texture they add.

I let it dry overnight and hung it the next day. I love the pop of silver against the beige walls, and the circles are a nice contrast to the squares in the quilt. 

Shared at: What Meegan Makes, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess, Fluster Buster, Natasha in Oz

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Guest Room Curtains

Perhaps I should have called this post "Why I Broke The Rules" but I don't want to sound like too much of a rebel. In all seriousness, I made these curtains months ago (actually, almost a year ago) but haven't shared them. 

Here's the thing: I know curtains that are hung high and go to the floor are supposed to make a room look larger / better but that just doesn't work for me. For starters, I have a dog who sheds like a beast. She doesn't go in the guest room but her hair still manages to make it in there on occasion. Also, the curtain rods were hung quickly and I had no motivation to have them moved. Third, these curtains make me happy and it's my house so my happiness is more important than doing what the inter webs say is correct.

To make these, I followed the same steps as I did for my living room and kitchen windows. You can see the instructions here.  

I used Wonderlust Luna fabric by Pat Bravo with room darkening lining, opting not to go for total blackout. This was the first fabric that caught my eye and inspired the quilt, which was the starting point for the room. 

It was very hard to get a nice picture of these in the light but I think they're wonderful and I'm glad I broke the rules. What decorating rules do you choose to ignore?

Shared at: Diana Rambles, Natasha in Oz, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Fine Craft Guild, What Meegan Makes, Our Secondhand House, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess

Sunday, 12 July 2015

How To Slice A Watermelon

Summer has arrived and I could not be more grateful. It was quite the year - school was very challenging and I was dealing with some medical issues - and it absolutely exhausted me mentally, physically, and emotionally. Then, because I'm a genius, I decided to spend the first two weeks of my official holidays living in a hotel and marking provincial exams. In what world did I think 12 days of essay marking would be a good idea? 

I know that some people think teachers have it easy with summers off but I think those people are horribly mistaken. By the end the school year I'm an absolutely mess and need this time to recover. Honestly, I've given so much to my kids all year that I need some serious me time. While I plan on spending my summer getting things done, I've been spending my first couple days binge watching Orange Is The New Black and eating copious amounts of watermelon.

Which brings me to the reason for this post: how to cut a watermelon. I recently learned that I've been doing it all wrong, and figured I can't be the only one.

First I cut the watermelon in half. Lay it face down and cut off the edges.

Next slice the entire watermelon one way.

Then slice it the other way. Normally I put it in the container as I slice it but I left it all on the cutting board so you could see.

Seriously, it's that easy. I realize this may not seem like a big thing but it's fantastic. Give it a try. I promise, you'll love it. Also, the picture above is a lie. I've eaten about 7 times that much… since this morning… 

Featured at Diana Rambles

Shared at: Sew Much Crafting, My Pinterventures, A Stroll Thru Life, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess, Diana Rambles, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Natasha in Oz, What Meegan Makes, Nibbles By Nic, Sugar Bee Crafts, Fluster Buster

Friday, 29 May 2015

Simple Scrapbooking: Layout 1 - Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Now that you know the supplies I use for scrapbooking, it's time to share some pages.

One type of page that I make quite frequently is my least fancy. For the sake of simplicity (and because I'm really tired) I blurred any people and pets in the picture, rather than trying to remember who would be fine with the pictures being posted and who would prefer not to be shown. I've also blurred out my writing but left it smudgy so you can see where it is.

For this kind of page I only add pictures and writing, usually with a few stickers to fill in any blank space. I use a slicer or scissors to cut the photos and attach them with glue tape.

For the writing I always include the date - sometimes the actually date and sometimes just the month and year. I sometimes include a title, and I usually include a short writeup about the day/activities/places shown in the photos. If it's part of a two-page spread, I may only write on one page.

How much I cut the photos depends on how many I'm putting on a page. Sometimes I only cut 1/8 inch off the side and top, and sometimes I cut much more. I do like the spacing to be consistent between the pictures on a page (except where I'm writing) so I keep that in mind when cutting. Occasionally I don't cut them at all.

Hopefully you're starting to see that scrapbooking really doesn't have to be complicated to be something special. These simple pages are fairly quick to put together, can hold quite a few pictures, and are a great way to capture some special days.

Other posts in the series:

Friday, 22 May 2015

Birds at Sunset: Art Class Number Five

Just because I haven't been sharing my artwork with you doesn't mean I haven't been painting. It just means I've been slack about posting. Better late than never, right? 

This piece is one I did a couple months ago. It was actually one of the paintings I was most excited about in this series because I love the colours! It instantly became one of my favourites (Is it ok that they almost all become my favourites?) and immediately found a home in my guest room.

Rather than try to explain how we were led through this painting, I decided I'd just share the photos with you.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Simple Scrapbooking: The Supplies

Scrapbooking can be overwhelming. I get that. Hopefully, however, I can help you figure it out. 
Here's the backstory. I started scrapbooking back in university, thanks entirely to my mom. She thought it would be a great idea one summer to make three scrapbooks - one for her and my dad, one for my brother, and one of myself - essentially dividing all our family photos into three albums. Being the awesome daughter I am, I quickly agreed to help and we got started. That summer we spent way too many hours working on our foldout tables, sitting on the couch and watching entirely too much tv, but we both got hooked and have been scrapbooking for the 10+ years since.

However, I took an extended break. It wasn't intentional but somehow I got 3+ years behind. But that doesn't matter. I spent many hours getting all my photos printed and organized and have spent the last couple months working to get caught up. I'm currently mid 2014, so I'm making progress.

What is important to point out is that my scrapbook layouts are simple. I can appreciate other people's fancy pages but that's just not my style. The most fancy book I've done is my wedding album (which you can see here, here, and here), and even that wasn't too decorated. If you're looking for fancy, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest. However, if you're looking for a simple guide to the basics of scrapbooking, you're in the right place.

The first thing you need to start scrapbooking is supplies. In the beginning mom and I bought things we didn't need and I still have some of those supplies today. This list isn't about those things. These are the things I actually use on a regular basis.

Album - I like the 12 x 12 albums with the hidden binding. I do have a couple smaller ones and a binder-ring style album for my wedding but for my regular albums these are what I use. I buy them at Michaels when they're on sale or I have a coupon.

Page protectors - These have to fit the album (obviously) and typically an album comes with a few but I add a lot more to each of my books. Again, I try to get them when I have coupons.

Card stock  - I use 12 x 12 card stock. Over time I've learned that I'm not a fan of patterned paper and tend to use a lot more plain or textured paper in my layouts, and that I prefer light colours. That's just a matter of preference.

Small card stock - I love using these 4.5 x 6.5 pieces as mats for my photos. They're the perfect size and come in a variety of colours. I sometimes make mats from patterned paper but these are my favourite ones to use to frame a picture.

Paper slicer and scissors - I use both. I first bought a smaller paper cutter but quickly learned I needed one that cuts 12 inch pages. I've been using this one for years.

Glue and glue tape - I use both. Glue tape can be pricy but I buy the stuff from the dollar store and it works perfectly.

Markers - I use thin tipped markers for all my labelling and journaling. 

Edge rounder - This is not essential at all but I've used it a lot over the years, especially when making my wedding album. Mine was from Creative Memories.

Pencil with eraser

Stickers - I use stickers on many of my layouts, especially words and phrases. They're relatively cheap and can add a lot to the finished look of the page. I've shared how I organize them here.

In the spirit of keeping it real, I should let you know I take up a lot of space when I scrapbook. I keep all my supplies in containers and spread them out, open, all over the guest bed. I have one container for solid card stock, one for patterned card stock, one for smaller paper, one for scraps, one for stickers, and one for other supplies. 

I know I've told you all about the supplies you need, but what about actually making pages? Check back next weekend to see one of my favourite types of layout.

Shared at: Life on Lakeshore Drive, Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, What Meegan Makes