February Art Challenge: Write A Poem

Have To

I can feel it moving,
The blister on the bottom of my foot.
I know it’s going to hurt when it pops.
And it does…
It hurts more than I even imagined.
I walk on.
Not because I want to,
Because I have to.

The wind brings cool, salt tinged air
Across sunburnt shoulders.
With each step the pain dulls,
But I’m limping to compensate
Creating tears on my toes.
I walk on.
Not because I want to,
Because I have to.

I’m lonely here.
Pictures are the only companions
To memories better shared.
I should call a cab and go to the room –
Sleep away the hurt.
Still, I walk on
Because I want to.
Because I have to.

February Art Challenge: Take A Picture Outside Your Home

This past week has been interesting weatherwise. Sunday through Monday it snowed. It didn’t snow on and off. It didn’t snow a little. It snowed consistently for at least 24hrs.
Those in the northeast will mock me. Those is the deep south will be horrified. Here in my little part of eastern Kentucky, we got between 15-20 inches of snow.
Thankfully, it was light snow. If it was the heavy stuff, a collapse in society may have taken place. More on that shortly.
The light snow came, then the below freezing temps, then some more snow (the heavy kind), then the sleet, then just ice, then the temps went up above freezing, and finally the rain.
The light snow from earlier in the week had melted and refrozen where the salt trucks had scraped and have created barriers to the water causing it to sit in the roads. Water that does make it to the creeks, along with ice chunks, have caused some flooding. To add to the water misery, our water utilities have been shut off.
I could go on a tirade about the water, or how people seem to believe that it is OK to put your truck’s front bumper right on my back bumper. Yeah, I’m looking at you large pickup truck obviously bought to compensate for SOMETHING…ass…but I’m not.
As much as I hate being stuck, it has been nice to just read a book, do a sketch, play the ukulele, see my parents, and not feel like I need to run anywhere. The snow was beautiful…the ice, not so much. I got to spend my birthday with my parents just enjoying the day. I was able to help my Dad shovel his road and I’m really thankful I could do that on a couple of levels.
So, while I probably will gripe about certain aspects of this last week, particularly that douchebag in the pickup, there are a lot of things I am truly thankful for.
I’m going to try to remember that while I boil water for my sponge bath.

Oh! Here’s my pic from outside.

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This was taken while on a break from shoveling my parent’s driveway. My Uncle Preston and my Papaw built a treehouse for me and my brother. Since our home burnt down in ’04, it has served as a storage place for items we are still too bound up to look through.
We always say we’ll go through it, but we don’t. Maybe it’s easier to forget what you have than remember what you lost?
Still, it’s one of my favorite places and seeing it reminds me of games played, times with friends, and, most importantly my uncle, grandfather, and brother – my first friend.

Something Blue

‘Tis the season of Fall weddings and various celebrations abound.
That has nothing to do with what I made. I guess since what I made is predominantly blue….well, I’ve never claimed my mind to be a one tracked kind of place.
It’s been a while, but recently I’ve been inspired to do work that I am interested in or excited about. Don’t miss understand, I love my job teaching, but, at the end of the day, I miss working on my own ideas. Trying to guide between 25-32 students to find their creative voice and to be successful in their work is tiring to say the least. By the end of the day, I really just want to sit down, stare at a wall, and hope my cat doesn’t try to smother me.

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She’s tried before….

The last few weeks have been pretty great though, despite the constant frustration of feeling like you are doing your best, trying to do the right thing, and it just not working out.

Why can’t it just work out?!

Finally, after much thought, I’ve decided to try and make myself follow the advice of the amazing Jim Foose (Robert Foose to those who want to look up this amazing artist, teacher, and friend of mine) and treat my art making as a job. A job where I set my hours and expectations, but a job none the less. So, looking in my box of shirts I’ve planned on using as parts of mixed media pieces, I cut out a printed TARDIS and got to work.

I didn’t plan the composition so much as I just played with the materials. Starting off, I reduced the size of the TARDIS (realizing not everyone may know what the TARDIS is, it’s the Doctor’s mode of transportation in Doctor Who. The acronym stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space) and cut it apart. I then arranged the pieces slightly apart, adhering them to the canvas with paint. I then just kept layering colors on top. The result thus far is this:
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This is a bit further away from the start of the project which looked like….
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I like where this is going, but I’m looking to add some text to the background as a final detail.

It’s just nice to be “working” again.

Pinterest Pin Review: Colorful Wood Frames

Me and my husband have lived in our house for almost two years now, and I hardly have anything on the walls! I finally hung a few prints, but no family pictures. Seriously, I had a wall full of family photos in the apartment we occupied prior to buying our home. Pitiful, I know! Part of my reasoning for not hanging anything is, the frames I have are cheap, and are falling apart, and I haven’t brought myself to replacing them all. The other reason: pure laziness!

This week I’m going to use Pinterest to motivate me to finally put pictures on the wall! Today’s pin is from Chic Shindigs. She has a few DIY home things to enjoy, and recently she blogged about her new house, and I hope she has more to share! The chosen pin: colorful wood picture frames.

I have to admit, I almost didn’t do this pin. When I walked into Hobby Lobby, a few steps into the store, there they were! Already painted and (some) ready to be hung wood plaque frames! So, I decide to check them out. They are really nice, and would save time, but there was a few things I didn’t like. Only some of the frames were ready to hang, and the ones that were, only came in one size. The larger sizes were basically wood plaques with a square cut out of them. No backs, no hanging wire on them, and no glass. My biggest hang up was the price. Prices ranged from $15-$30. I would not mind to pay that if I didn’t know I could make it cheaper! If you’re like me, you prolly have half the things you need for this project; mod podge (and if you don’t have that, you can make some), paint (I’ll be using spray paint), you may even already have some pictures you want to use. All I had to buy were the wooden plaques which were 2.99 for the size I picked. I didn’t make time to check other stores, but, you may be able to find them cheaper. By the way, one of my favorite places to get pictures, especially if I want them fast and cheap: Walgreens. I only paid $.80 for 4 4×6, and they always have great deals!

This project hardly took a day to make. Like I said, I used spray paint, and I would do a quick coat in between taking orders from my baby (sometimes that would mean I would only have a 10 minute window of time!). One thing I love about this project is how creative you can get. I decided to center a smaller picture, making the plaque frame the work. The blog took the picture to the edge, which. My next set I think I might experiment with texture like lace. I also like how fast the turn over is. Waiting for things to dry is the longest/hardest part! The one down side to this project is figuring out how to mount it. The blog shows you one way, by using a stand. I have a picture hanging kit that I will be using. I’m sure you more creative people out there could fashion some kind of hanging system…channel your inner MacGyver.

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Our favorite spray paint is Valspar paint and primer in one. It takes less coats to cover your object, and it has such a beautiful finish!
You’ll notice that the pictures look white from the mod podge, don’t worry! It dries clear! Make sure to do light coats of it though, and with each coat, finish in a different direction. It’ll give it a beautiful, hatch mark finish, like a canvas and, if you bought the glossy mod podge, there won’t be such a glare in the finish. One of my pictures I thought I did hatched, but didn’t, and you will see in my final pictures, it looks a little more glared, and it looks like I painted it VS a more canvas finish. Also, on my blue picture you’ll notice I used too much hod podge, and you can tell. It’s still a nice product, but, it’ll be something I will notice forever!

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Here’s a picture of my final product! I let them dry over night. Another boo boo I made last night was, I didn’t wait long enough between coats, and the previous coat tried to come off. So, be patient, and allow ample time between coats.

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I love this way of framing pictures! I love bright, bold colors, and my color choice on my walls can attest to that! The best part though, when people come over and ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ ‘where did you get those done?!’ You get to tell them ‘I made it!’ And please, give your best super hero/heroine pose when you say it! You’ll be beaming, I promise!

This is an awesome project, it didn’t take up a lot of time, space, or money! Have fun, and post any ideas for this project in the comments. Also, I recommend giving any blog I link a read! These are some awesome people, with some kickass ideas!

When The Ideas Come

Or maybe it should be where the ideas come from….

Driving home is when the majority of my deeper thinking is done.  Those long hours provide a space in which my mind wanders.  It visits ideas for artworks, outlines for writings, plans for work, and the darker recesses where the thoughts one doesn’t want to admit having reside.

Questions are asked, few are answered, and the trip passes quickly. 

More

Dangerous knitting

In case you aren’t keeping up a home, the new season of Sherlock started last week, and it is not letting me down! I can’t say anymore, every moment is precious, and I don’t want to spoil anything!

What does this have to do with dangerous knitting? Last night I decided to knit and watch Sherlock at the same time…I’m pretty sure that’s either a crime against knitting, or against Sherlock, or possibly even against the great Cumberbatch! You can totally watch TV while you knit, but I think certain shows is a no go. Downton Abbey may be another example of that.

So how did I do you ask? Not bad actually! I’m working on a stocking cap for my husband. Inspired by the new Zelda game, my husband demanded a Link cap! This will be the second hat I have knitted since I began my journey in knitting several years ago. Yes, I have made many hats, but they have been crocheted. I can crochet a hat in an hour. This year for Christmas I knitted our niece Morgan a slouchy hat. It took me a week! I swore to never knit another hat (which I knew was a lie, that hat looked awesome!), but then here comes my husband, a week later demanding a hat! He sent me a slue of patterns, and made a special trip to the yarn store to pick out his yarn, how could I say no! The pattern I settled on is actually incredibly easy (stocking hat pattern), knitted flat, then it will be stitched together when I’m finished. This is the first hat I’ve knitted flat, and it’s fun to try a new way, and I still get to use my awesome needles (a Christmas gift from the hubby!). So, last night I dominated dangerous knitting, and ran out of yarn! This is my progress so far!

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Adam said he was going to make a trip to get me more yarn sometime today! And, this pattern is so easy, I’m hoping if I ever go into labor (yup…still no baby!) it’ll be something I can do to get my mind off painful contractions, and to pass the time until we actually get to go to the hospital!

In the mean time, I’m going to practice knitting a little less dangerously. I have a glove pattern,I’ve actually knitted one glove, but I didn’t like how it turned out, and I put it aside and never came back! Well, with these frigid temperatures, I thought, well, might as well! This pattern is a bit more difficult, so I will be watching Bob’s Burgers reruns, and avoid the Downton Christmas special!
Hope everyone is safe wherever they are! Stay warm, and watch Sherlock! But take caution if you decide to knit!

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Back to the Drawing Board… Literally

I’m getting back into drawing on a semi-regular schedule and I’m so excited about it! While I have many, many, MANY ideas, I need to start buckling down and work on them.  This leads to my scheduling art days.
Anyways, here is a sample of a work in progress.  It’s a pen and ink drawing where I plan on using hidden text to help with the shading and texture.
Thanks for letting me share because there is more to come!

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A wash will be applied!

Still without wash, but with some additions.
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