Thursday, April 16, 2015

Painting with a Fountain Pen

Hello Friends!


Things are heating up here quickly in South Florida!  Actually we've seen mid-eighties already and close to 90 degree mark one day.  It's a bit soon but soon we will be acclimated to those steamy days and nights and 80's will look like a cool front to us.  I know that some of you probably can't relate to those temperatures at all but it is rather the usual weather for us.  Now that you have the weather report, here's what's been happening in my neck of the woods.

Remember me saying I needed to practice sketching and spending more time in my sketchbook? Well, I've been playing around with ink, the kind that comes in a fountain pen.  It's pretty cool what happens when ink and water meet.

First I sketched the birds in pencil and then come back to outline them with blue ink and then use a small round brush dipped in clear water to go over the ink. The ink reacts to the water and begins to spread out. A few more times with the brush and water and a dab more blue ink to make the shadows pop. The whole time I was painting/drawing this I was saying: ooh, ooh, this is fun!  I hope you'll give it a try! 


Black ink will produce nice grey shadows when wet.  


Purple ink with the help of Inktense watercolor pencils on the Little Bird. 

Do you have a particular time of day that you like to draw or paint or be in your studio?  My perfect time is at night when the house is quiet, just before bedtime and my mind is shutting down for the evening.  I'm relaxed and not over thinking what I am doing, my creative side kicks in gear enough to paint or sketch something simple.  Or first thing in the morning, before I'm really awake is also a good time for creativity in my studio. 

I've been busy, how about you?  Anything to share? Do tell!  

Grab your fountain pen and paint brush and give this ink thing a go!  Let me know if something good happens....

Bee Creative
Suzy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

SPRINGTIME FAVORITES

Hi Everyone!

It's official! Spring is here and I've taken time to re-decorate the baker's rack in my kitchen with Springtime favorites.  I purchased the baker's rack in a consignment store about ten years ago with seasonal decorating in mind. Oh it serves other purposes too, holding a small collection of cookbooks and candles, note pads and an over abundance of pens and pencils in the drawers. And on occasions it serves as a mini buffet for desserts, coffee fixings and a birthday cake or two <wink>.

Shortly after Christmas I remove the traditional decorations and replace them with simple favorites. 


A small collection of pears, birds, teapots and my favorite teacups to bridge the gap between Christmas and Easter.

Then BIG BUNNY comes out! He is a hand-made ceramic soup tureen made by a dear friend and when she moved to Colorado she left him with me. Isn't he beautiful?



and little bunny follows.....little bunny was left behind by a co-worker as a gift, many years ago, she held pens and you can see where the ink bled out and turned her a different color.  Don't you think it gives her character?



bunny egg cup holders with a favorite plate

a bunny in a teapot 


BEWARE!!! If you put two bunnies in the same storage box...they tend to multiply and you have the beginning of a bunny collection whether you wanted one or not!
  


Happy Spring!

Suzy

Sunday, April 5, 2015

HAPPY EASTER FRIENDS


Hello Everyone!  Happy Easter!

Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail, hippity- hoppity Easter's on it's way! That's the song we used to sing when I was a little girl, we didn't know much about Easter in our house, the real meaning of Easter, sadly to say.  We thought it was all about bunnies and candy and dressing up in our new clothes to hunt eggs in the yard.  That was fun but our parents really didn't teach us about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross that day!  And sadly, I didn't teach my children and so they still think it is about bunnies, candy and dressing up to hunt eggs in the yard. 



 Easter is so much more than that, it is about the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins on the cross, HE paid our debt, HE redeemed us, HE died for us and HE defeated death and sin, AND HE ROSE AGAIN so that WE have the HOPE of eternal life with Him when we die.   When we are baptized we are baptized into Him, His death and Resurrection and we are given the gift of eternal life in Him. 


I love Easter and celebrating the Resurrection of Christ and I also love celebrating the traditions of dressing up, hunting eggs and eating candy with the kids.  It's a fun day with the family and an opportunity to share with others what Jesus has done for us and to say THANK YOU JESUS!  



HAPPY EASTER FRIENDS! 

Suzy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WELCOME SPRING BABY NAP SACK



WELCOME SPRING!
Just the other day a lady came into our office and presented us with a daffodil plant to remind us that Spring was coming.  The plant had multiple buds ready to pop out, it took a day and they began to open to the most beautiful yellow daffodils.  Daffodils always remind me of spring!  Today when I walked into the office the entire plant was covered with flowers! What a delightful reminder of Spring.  


In order to complete some looming project deadlines I had to take a little unexpected blog break the last two weeks.  Most of my deadlines were self imposed ones, but they were things that needed to be done and having procrastinated put me in a time crunch. Sounds so important doesn't it? LOL!  

Our Pastor and his wife are expecting their first baby soon and we were having a baby shower for them and my gift wasn't completed.  So I put the petal to the metal  er, the knitting needles into full warp speed to finish this darling nap sack and cap in a soft spring green baby yarn.






Lil' Sweet Pea 
Isn't it sweet?  There are lots of patterns for baby nap sacks on Pinterest and Raverlry.  Several patterns inspired me to take the parts I liked and improvise and embellish on their ideas.  Wee Leafy Baby Set (a free pattern) on Raverlry was the inspiration for my baby cap and The Accordian Sleep Sack  came from HERE inspiring the drawstring closure on my sack. The Accordian Sleep Sack had a knitted picot edging which I chose to simply replace with ribbing (as we don't know the sex of the baby yet) and I opted out on the Accordian style and went with a simpler straight forward knitting (stockinette) in the round for the sack.  This produced a solid background that would allow the crocheted vine and leaves to stand out.  The pattern for the leaves was from Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson.  

My daughter is expecting her second baby in August and she loved this baby sack, she wants one but wants to wait until the "reveal" and then she'll let me know what pattern she has in mind. LOL!  I have a feeling she'll keep me busy knitting baby items for the next several months.  

Of course, I'll share them with you! 

Happy Spring!
Suzy 




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On My Heart

Hi Everyone!

It's Heart Strings Tuesday where I share something close to my heart, mainly the little ones that tug on it.  You know what I'm talking about if you have children or grands...they tug on your apron strings and then your heart strings, they are never too old to tug on your heart.  


My little grands are growing fast and changing right before my very eyes. We are blessed to have our two little girls, Sunshine and Lollipop living close by and we see each other every week.  My darling grandson, whom we affectionately nicknamed Calvin Houdini lives in Michigan. We Skype each week and keep up with his antics on FB.  Little Calvin H. will turn two in a few weeks! I can't hardly believe he will be two, and the girls will be 4 and 6 this summer and CH mommy is expecting a baby in August. These are my HEARTSTRINGS! 

The page above from my art journal is to commemorate the fun Sunshine, Lollipops and I had when we made Valentines last month.  The project was a valentine heart made from paper strips and cut out and pasted to a card for their parents.  We also punched hearts from scrapbook paper and added stickers to decorate the cards.  These are left over scraps from that craft project I've glued into my journal and then added a little border and some paint to gussy up the page.  Each time I look at this page I remember the special time we spent together laughing and having fun.  A priceless memory. 

My Granny used to tell me when our children were young that " they might be tugging on your apron strings now, but soon  they will be tugging on your heartstrings".  Enjoy your little ones while they are small, be kind, be patient, be loving....they are only small for a short period of time.  
And it is true....they never grow too old to be on your heart.

Love and Hugs,
Suzy

Friday, March 6, 2015

SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Hello Everyone!

Each day I watch the Weather Channel and check out the local forecast before heading out to work.  The weather in the North is still in deep freeze mode and it looks like Spring might be another six weeks or so for these folk.  We're starting to warm up here, with the weather in the high seventies and low eighties, everything is green but then it is always so in So. FL.  Always green, something we take for granted here, the flowers are always blooming and everything is green year-round.  Quite the contrast to our Northern friends.

Looking back to last Spring when my daughter and grandson were visiting....we had such warm weather



                                     for walks along the river




                                     for picnics in the park,



for walking on the River Walk under the bridge,



                           for a stop at a cute cafe on the river and


                            for a lunch downtown at an outdoor cafe.

Here's a foretaste of warmer weather in our neighborhood: 

A few weeks ago, walking through the neighborhood this is what I saw in bloom....

                                    my neighbor's climbing roses

                            orange trees in bloom (heavenly smell)

                                      the ever blooming hibiscus

                                                lemon trees

                                                 orchids 

It seems that Spring is in the air here in So. Florida.  We'll enjoy the Spring-like weather and in another month, about the time everyone else will be thawing out it will be time for air conditioning here.  I know, it's crazy isn't it?


I wish for our Northern friends a quick thaw and warmer weather!!! It's coming...just hang in there!  

Suzy




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sketching On The Porch


Hello Everyone!  

Here in Florida where I live, we generally think of January and February as the winter months, and March is Spring weather.  The way the weather patterns are going this year, I'm not quite sure what to expect.  The folks up north are REALLY ready for SPRING!  I hope it comes soon for you. 

Here are a few sketches made on my friend's back porch, it was a good day painting. I love the way a sketch and some watercolor can bring back memories, sights and sounds.  My dear friend had just lost her mother to Alzheimer's, we sat on her porch while we reminisced and tried to capture the essence of red roses from the memorial service.



 It was a quiet, sunny morning, we sat drawing and painting and looking at family photos. I love old photos and she had plenty of stories to tell about her mother and father.  It was great to see the styles of the day and see places I recognized from my childhood too! 


       A mother bird with her babies. 


The Coral Cactus was extremely hard to capture with its twists and turns and funky colors! But even so, this is one of my favorite sketches, wonky pot included. 

Last month  I shared with you two of my sketchbooks, one new sketchbook and a revamped sketchbook. Wish I could tell you that I've been sketching everyday in them but alas, it is sporadic sketching at best. Still it is my goal to get into the habit of sketching daily....

Working on that.  How about you?  Get out your sketchbooks and get busy!! I will..... if you will. Check back with you soon. 

Happy Sketching!
Suzy