Tuesday, January 27, 2015

PAINT, PAPER AND PALM TREES

Hello There!

A few summers ago I was giving my guest room a summer make over by sewing seasonal pillow covers for the day bed.  The appliqued designs were in the Hawaiian style where the design is cut out in one piece and appliqued to the background. 

Palm Trees 

Sea Turtles
 I diligently traced and cut the patterns for a palm tree from drawing paper to make sure it would fit the background and test out the pattern before tracing it to heat and bond and to fabric.  After the pillows were completed I decided the drawing paper cut out would make a nice collage element.  I've had that idea on the back burner for some time now; finally the idea is ready to come off the burner into reality.  

Do you ever have an image in your head that you'd like to create and it doesn't exactly go the way you had planned?  The collage in my head was a background of neutral paper and paint on which the Hawaiian style palm trees would be placed. All I can say is that it looked good in my head. 



I selected  a 20 x 20 artist canvas and scrapbook papers with lots of texture in neutral colors. 

limited palette of craft acrylics in peony, linen, flesh and grey.  With a bit of water added to the paints, I laid on a light coat of color to the canvas with random brush strokes.  I like to add some color in the background along with paper just in case the papers don't overlap or touch there will be color to bridge the gap.


You can see in the photo above that I had already added a piece of scrapbook paper to the canvas.  I chose it because of the neutral color and the fact that it has text on it to add interest. AND it has my grandson's name JACKSON on it, in the final product it doesn't show but I know it's there <wink>.


When adhering paper to canvas I use Mod Podge or a gel medium.  Layering the papers and textures so they don't compete with the design is important.  I also add paint around the edges to blend any straight paper edges that look funny to me. 



Here is when I realize I've hit the grey paint a bit too hard in one section and it is standing out under the paper design like a sore thumb.  I tried applying more light color into the background but it wasn't covering the grey ......

Geez, this project just isn't turning out the way it looked in my head! 

Okay then, time to go to Plan B and you will have to wait to see how I solve this problem.  I'll be back in February with another post on the final outcome.  

Until then, grab some paper, paint and canvas and get busy!!


Bee Creative!

Suzy

     


Friday, January 23, 2015

CHANGES ARE COMING

Hello!

Time is rolling along this month at a fast pace and I'm jogging along trying to keep up.  Does that sound like you?  Seriously, I don't know if it is just me trying to keep up or if everyone else feels the same way.  We live in a fast rapidly changing world of technology where once we lived at a slower pace where people wrote letters and waited for a reply, it seems unreal and most unlikely today! Personally, I'd enjoy a slower pace but NOT that slow either, there must be a happy medium. 

Speaking of moving along, have you noticed Sunshine and Lollipops is getting a face lift? A new and improved format arrangement?  What do you think so far?  We are moving toward changes in content and posting on a more consistent basis. My 2015 goal is blogging on a regular weekly schedule. After three years of blogging rather inconsistently,  I've come to the realization blogging takes more thought and more preparation time and more planning than I have been willing to admit and it is important to me. It is important to make more time in my schedule to produce blog worthy posts rather than scramble at the last minute to meet a blog deadline.  This stuff (planning, blogging consistency) doesn't come naturally for me because I'm more of a fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal. But I am trying to change my fly by the seat of your pants style in order to bring you better and more consistent content. To help me with scheduling I've purchased several calendars (pocket and planner) to jot my notes in (because I'm old school), AND printed out a free monthly blog planner online AND I'm making use of an online calendar.  I know, it's a bit overkill, isn't it? Perhaps this is where I go wrong in my effort to keep everything written down (little obsessive that way), but I DO love planners and calendars! How about you? What methods do you use to keep track and on schedule?  

Planning ahead is key to keep things rolling along so I've also created a fun way to track my progress each month in a mini three ring binder (previously a SMASH journal converted to Blog Journal).  It's strictly for blog post ideas and a visual way to keep track of my TO DO and NOTES. I'll share one with you each month.  Here's my January planner pages: 

Goals for 2015 
Monthly Blog Calendar 

WORD Reminder 

Please join me each week for posts featuring Sketchbook Tuesday and Travel Journal Thursday, Heartstrings (featuring crafts, sewing, Home Decorating) Knitting with a Mission, HeART Craft (features Paint/Paper & Collage and Monthly Calendars).  Looking forward to celebrating my fourth year in Blog land with you! 

Bee Creative! 
Suzy

Thursday, January 15, 2015

CLEAN UP YOUR ACT

Hello there!

Does this happen to you at the beginning of each New Year, the need to take a good hard look at yourself and clean up your act?  It really just dawned on me that is exactly what all this New Year's Resolution stuff is about, at least for me anyhow.  Just a bit slow here....half a month into the "New Year" it occurred to me that some of the steps I've been taking in the last few weeks are to clean up my act and to get things more orderly.  

It started with a desire to make a change within, starting with getting back into a daily bible study habit.  I've grown lax over the last....well let's just say I've grown lax in my bible study and really felt the Lord was leading me back into the Word on a regular basis, this time it would be an online daily scripture study called Made For Community.

  Love God Greatly.com  is where you will find this study and although the online groups are closed, you can still get the bible study links to print out and follow along with.  The study started on Monday so you can catch up easily.  I like the way there is a Reading Plan with daily scripture to read with a writing exercise that takes me deeper into the Word.

Not only am I allowing God to do some interior clean up there is the outer clean up too.  Yes, like I said, things have gotten lax around here.  I've never been in the running for Good Housekeeping award (as most of my family and friends can attest to) but it is time to start paying attention to the outer clutter again.  Last year I did rid our home of excess clutter and mind you there was a LOT of clutter to go out the front door, even the hubby was impressed with my clutter purging skills.

  I've tried to be more intentional about the stuff that comes into our space by not buying unnecessary items, truly asking myself if this is necessary and can we live without it in our home.  Surprisingly,  we can live without a LOT of things.....things that clutter up our space.  I'm going on another clutter spree, cleaning out closets and drawers and really asking myself if 1) Have I used this item in the last year? 2) Do I really need it to function each day? 3) Do I really love/like it?   I am going to be ruthless in the process of cleaning out the clutter and happy to be blessing others while doing it.  LOL!  IF you struggle with clutter and lousy housekeeping skills check out FlyLady, she is a super hero of cleaning and de-cluttering HERE.

Speaking of cleaning up and cleaning out, I'm totally re-evaluating the time I spend on social media. Oh pleeezzz.....I hear the groans now.  But it is true, the time spent on social media, text and email on my I-phone and excessive TV watching take up too much of my time.
 Time is valuable and it is a gift. We choose what our time is spent on and how much time is spent on it, what we are willing to give up in order to have that time. Is it worth the time spent? Is it meaningful time spent? Could the time be spent doing something else that matters?   I want my time to have meaning and to matter. Lately, I've felt these things have been distractions to my real life and are not that meaningful to me. SO,  hold your breath and give me a drum roll..... I'm opting out of spending time on social media and less TV watching.  That means I'm giving up the time I spend on those things to make more time for the things I really enjoy: spending time in the Word, time with family and friends, serving in the church and in the community,  reading, art, knitting, sewing and blogging about those activities that make me happy and have meaning in my life.

I hope you are inspired to clear out the clutter and make time for what you love.


Suzy





Thursday, January 8, 2015

FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS

Well hello there,

Thanks for dropping by!  Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa of something warm and take a moment to catch your breath. Now that Christmas is winding down and we're into the first week of the New Year, have you made your New Year Resolutions? Are you one to make New Year Resolutions? Making New Years Resolutions is a toss up for me, some years I do some I don't. It's not like I don't have goals, I do but I don't always make them on or before New Years Eve. But WAIT, before we start on the Resolutions for 2015 maybe we ought to reflect over the previous year and see how those 2014 resolutions worked out.  

Hummm......one of my resolutions last year was to take more classes online and to spend more time doing creative things with friends. CHECK. I signed up for three online courses and my bestie also signed up with me.  We both started out taking the same classes. 


  Neither of us finished one and the other well, it kinda fell by the wayside with other things happening in our real day to day worlds. I don't think she even started the third one and as time went on we both set aside the personal painting, drawing, etc to work on a hat knitting project for missions in Guatemala and knitting for hospital newborns, and for the homeless. 

Spending more time doing creative things with friends: Does texting your BFF every night count?  We DO discuss our on going projects and new ideas too<wink>. CHECK! There were lots of fun times with the ladies making cards to send to shut-ins and as encouragement to others in need.   I knitted my first baby sweater for little Calvin Houdini  who lives in Michigan! And there were lots of arts and crafts with Sunshine and Lollipops each week! 


 All in all, I'd say my resolutions were fulfilled although not exactly the way I had planned them.  It WAS a productive year but sometimes it doesn't seem like there is much going on at all. 
 I get lazy, truly lazy and stuck in a rut but then who doesn't?  The thing is that there is plenty to do here, not really a dull moment but it seems that way when you are going day by day.  I'm never bored for something to do!  There are plenty of projects to work on in my world.  It is sometimes difficult for me to narrow it down to one project and to keep at it until the project is done.  Does anyone else have that problem? 

 Focus.  Maybe that should be my word for the year. FOCUS. Some people pick a word each year for the entire year....I did that last year.  Last year the word was RELEASE. 



 Did pretty good RELEASING a massive amount of clutter from my house too!   Maybe it might be a good thing to have a word like FOCUS.  Just a thought.  Anyone else out there have a word for 2015? Leave me a comment with your word.  I love words.  I love positive words that encourage and strengthen others. What about you? 

For 2015 I'm getting a jump-start on the handmade gifts for next Christmas, making the list of TO-DO, TO-MAKE. How's that for planning ahead?  On the TOP of the list are two Christmas stockings, one promised to my son in law before he married my daughter.  I told him he would get a handmade cross-stitched Christmas stocking only after they were married and it would be within the first 5 years. He has asked me for the last two years.  The other stocking is for Little Calvin-Houdini; I promised they will get them for Christmas 2015.  You read it here....they will match the Gingerbread-man pattern I made for my daughter back in the '80's. The cross-stitch fabric and thread have been purchased, soon the stitching begins.  

Sorry for the rambling thoughts today. I'm going to work on focusing my thoughts and other things <grin>.  Ya'll have a nice day and please, leave me a comment and let me know what you are up to in your neck of the woods.  

Bee Creative! 

xoxo
Suzy


Monday, December 29, 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas

Hello there!

 Merry Christmas! Yes, it is still Christmas, you know 12 Days of Christmas begins on Christmas Day and goes through January 5th.  So in that spirit I 
thought I'd share a few Christmas photos from around the house. Grab a cup of coffee or tea.

One of the first signs of the season.



Picking a tree.


Sharing time with the grands.


The stockings and wreath are hung



Decking out the china


Deck the Starfish!


A tree in the kitchen holds vintage elf and lots of kitchen gadgets. 


Little angel from the 50's and other mini angels.



Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy New Year! 

Blessings!

Suzy

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS



Blessed Christmas Friends! 

Wishing you a blessed Christmas Day filled with the love, joy and peace of Christ!  Let us remember the  FIRST Christmas:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And everyone went to his own town to register. 

 So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee in Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, " Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."


Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, " Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about".


So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  -Luke 2:1-20

May you treasure up these things in your heart and ponder the wonder of our Lord Jesus Christ who's birth we celebrate this day.  

Wishing you a blessed Christmas Day filled with the love, joy and peace of Christ! 



Monday, December 22, 2014

A GIFT OF ART

A Great Big Hello There!

I'm starting a new class the day after Christmas.  As a gift to myself.  I know. But I wanted to take this class since it was introduced in the summer, so why not after Christmas when there is some down time?  Last year I signed up for two classes to start the New Year, I'm getting a jump start on 2015.  And THIS time it will be different, I think I will actually stick with it for the entire 4 week course.  Last year was a kind of a bust for me when it came to sticking with classes. I admit that I was a bit hasty in my decision to sign up for not one but TWO year- long projects and became overwhelmed. And, well sometimes you find that once you get into a class it just isn't your cup of tea. At that point you can decide to either ditch the class or make yourself miserable. I chose to ditch both, one after the first month (not my cuppa tea) and the other after a few months (lost interest).  Yes, I lost a bit of money on the deal but I have No Regrets! Live and learn, right?

sketchbookery button

Recently an email reminder came through my in-box about Mary Ann Moss's Sketchbookery class that was all it took for me to zoom over and sign up! I knew from reading about the first class she offered in the Summer that the Winter course fits my time schedule as well as my love for watercolor and sketching. Besides, to be perfectly honest with you, I've been a big fan of MAM and her blog Dispatch From LA for a few years now, secretly admiring her travels, work, carefree attitude and crazy sense of humor. I love MAM style and her willingness to share it.  Go ahead, check out the class and let me know if you sign up, maybe we will see each other in cyber class! I can't wait to get started and I'll be posting here about it. 

Bee Creative!
Suzy

P.S. 
I'm still enjoying my class with Joanne Sharpe!