Collage Art

Recently I took an online  Collage class with the awesome talented, reknown Lynn Whipple. 
My focal point was Great Aunt Irma.  John's great auntie turned 106 on Sept 5th.  Up until May she was living alone in her own home.  Because of worsening vision, she now lives in a home

 I gathered papers and what nots to collage on to my canvas.
 Then Lynn had us paint over everything but the focal point and parts we wanted to incorporate.

With some added painting, lettering and dot to dots, plus some shading here and there resulted in the final product:

This final picture epitomizes Aunt Irma.  She is and has always been a lady; meticulously coiffed and dressed.
Five foot two, eyes of blue, she ALWAYS wears her high heel shoes.

  Irma grew up on a farm and then lived on a farm all her married life.  You would find her scurrying up a ladder, hoeing her vegetables, hanging out wash, painting the barn, doing her oil paintings wearing her low heeled pumps.  The first time I met her she was on the barn roof helping Uncle Harold repair a leak......in her heels.  I asked her if she shouldn't be wearing tennis shoes or something safer and she gave me a haughty look, pulled herself up tall and said.
"any darn fool can wear those new fangled shoes but it takes someone special to wear your own style."
I never doubted her again.  I know if she could see the finished product she would be tickled pink...her favorite color.


I Am Back!

I have been not been around for a while and  I have missed everyone.  We spent most of the summer
entertaining family, enjoying our new swimming pool and continued work on our yard.
We had 65 people show up for a family reunion and that was so nice to reconnect with relatives we haven't seen in years.  We will repeat it next year.

This is us and our family.  The only one missing is our son in law, Ryan, who was fishing in Alaska.
We have been able to spend a lot of time with family  all summer and fall. As Life goes there were some health scares and  joyous times as well.  We continue to be shown God's blessings in our lives every day.

Early this fall I dropped and fractured my laptop in many pieces....sighing.
I just got a new fancy laptop with windows 8.1, touch screen last week. (merry Christmas, happy birthday.)  I waited until I could afford a nice one.  I am finding it difficult to learn all the new technology and have been on the  phone with tech support more than a few times.......does this happen to anyone else?

Also, when  you buy a computer these days it no longer comes with Microsoft Word.  You have to buy it separately.  My photo program is no longer compatible and had to buy that as well.
Now my printer is not compatible with the photo program they recommended I buy. So  I have to call tech support once again.  They will know me by my first name before I get this all situated.

I had to have all of my photos and other data taken off the old hard drive and put on my new computer.  For some reason they uploaded my several thousand pictures mutlitple times.  When I got this computer back  it had almost 23,000 photos!!!!!   There were at least 8 copies of each picture!! I had to go through and delete each multiple by hand...one by one.

I am going to take the next few days catching up on all of my favorite blogs and reconnecting with each of you.
Hope you are having nice weather wherever you are.  It is looking like a green Christmas season so far.....temps in the 40's all week.

I can't believe Christmas and my 65th birthday are just a few short weeks away......wow.
Hope everyone is getting into the holiday festivities.  We are keeping very quiet here. John just had rotator cuff surgery repair this past week.  It is his right hand and he will be in a sling for at least six weeks.  His dr said he has to really baby it for the next 4 months due to the tendon damage. That will be very difficult for him.

I hope you are ahead of the Christmas rush.  I am making every gift we will give.  Since we won't be able to go visit all the kids and grands I have to mail all of them. I put myself on a time line and doing ok so far........


Project Yard Makeover

This past month we have both been so busy working in our yard.  After we got the pool area done and backyard all redone we started on the front yard.   The past three years I was unable to really work in the yard and flower beds and it got so disgusting.
This is our front yard right out off our front porch.
This is the weeded and barked revision.  The landscaping company we bought our backyard materials from offered us wholesale prices for the rest of the summer.  How could we not take them up on that? (next project is painting the milk cans--john's grandparents-- and the hand molds to the left.)

This is the side of our front yard and is a huge space ......I am sure the neighbors were so tired of looking at our sad weed filled 'garden'. One of them actually was caught spraying weed killer in our garden earlier this spring.

Cleaned up, it is so pretty and we have had so many neighbors come over and compliment us and ask us to redo their yards. Ha! (The only one who has not said a word is the one with the weed killer. He has always been very vocal about our weeds blowing over to his yard across the street.)

                     This is looking directly towards the back yard on the side yard.  A jungle!

               Now we can see back to the fence and the trees and flowers have room to show off.

                    This is the flower bed along the front of the house under the dining room window.

                        Now it invites you into the yard as opposed to staying on the porch.

           This flower bed was in the back yard and the only space left to do over.  Most of our junk resided here.

We enlarged the space, weeded it, added some flowers, then added the fabric and bark to polish it off.
We worked out in the yard every single day between 6 am -12 or 2 pm, depending on the weather.
It has been very hot here----80's-100 for most of the month.  We pushed to get it finished by the end of this month so that we could actually enjoy our yard and pool for the rest of the summer season.
It feels so good to have it all completed.  It was an enormous amount of work but we reaped an enormous amount of beauty. Two of our daughters were here last week to help us lay all the fabric and bark to get it completed.  They helped so much and kept us laughing the whole time.
I hope whatever yard projects you have going on, are keeping you working together and making you smile as much as we are.


Where Bloggers Create

It is time for the annual "Where Blogger's Create" Blog Party, sponsored by the lovely Karen Valentine @ My Desert Cottage.    This is my 3rd year participating and I love visiting the different studios out in blog land.

Pull up a chair and a cup of cold lemonade or iced tea and welcome to my creative space.

My studio is a first floor bedroom.  I look out into the front yard and can see part of our neighborhood when I am working at my large work table.  My sweet hubby built it for a birthday present a few years ago.  It even has a  safety glass work surface.

I have rolling drawers hidden under the table for added storage.  I have a ton of supplies junk.

I love fun cabinets and drawers.  I found this at a garage sale for cheap but it was painted a lime green.
I painted it pink with Annie Sloan chalk paint...red with an added white to get the pink I liked. I just painted the cabinet fronts and the rest is painted black.

                                         On top of this cabinet I have more storage for vintage what nots.

My little 90 yr old neighbor and good friend gave me this green wicker shelf so I have it filled with some special momentos.  She also made me this little gray and blue elephant in a ceramic class.

More cabinets.  I decoupaged the top library cabinet. The bottom one held tools and still has the original tags.  I had planned on painting this black but maybe later this summer/fall.

                                This shelf unit holds books/sketchbooks and jars of stuff.

This is my favorite piece of furniture in the entire house.  It was my grandmothers.  I want to paint this black.

                                         It holds part of my button collection and many things I hold dear.

This is my bride doll--I actually have two---both Christmas gifts when I was about 7. I also have had the two cupie dolls since youth.

I love mannequins and heads. 

More storage and my favorite rocking chair.  I spend a lot of time in it working on hand projects or my laptop.

                                                The closet affords me more storage above the door

and more storage on many shelves.  I am glad I can hide it all!

This sewing machine is my other grandmother's and still works!  My mom made all of my clothes and hers on this.

This Tv is new.  I used to have a little 12" tv up on one wall by the closet.  Hubby kept removing my shows I wanted recorded to record MORE sports. When he did that with two shows that were not available to see past shows, I got upset.  The second time he went out and bought me this new TV and now I can record my own shows and it doesn't interfere with his sports and old movies!  I usually watch cooking shows and listen to music channels on it.

                        My chandelier is from the house I grew up in. It was over our dining room table.

                                          I love funky containers for all of my junk stash.

                                                                  I love hands and hearts

                                        I also like my tools and art supplies out where I can see them.

                               This is a vintage petticoat and I thought it added flair to my chair. Callie loves it too!
In case you haven't noticed Pink is my favorite color and I like COLOR.  It invigorates me and makes me smile.

I also do stained glass and can't do it up here in this studio because of the toxic lead.  I don't want to drag it around our main living area.

So I set up a work table and space in our basement in the furnace room. It is perfect.  It has a cement floor.

I hope where ever you create it brings you joy.

Please follow this link to visit other creative spaces .  Thank You Karen.

Where Bloggers Create


When Is A Door Not a Door?

So you all know we have been busy in the yard.  I love to repurpose junk "found objects'.
(John says it isn't fair when you have to hunt them down to be called 'FOUND").
Last summer I painted two old doors that were part of our house since it was built back in the 50's and added planter boxes and loved them.
This year I wanted to add to my 'door' collection and whet my artist's soul as well as camouflage the car lot that went in next door after 40 years of garden and families there. (sighing big time).
The fence and landscaping will help but the arbor vitae will take a few years to grow together.
 I found these doors when I put out an ad for old doors on Freecycle.org.  We thought we were getting three but came home with four....SCORE.  Of course they were brown wood and grungy so I painted them with Krylon enamel.....like the outdoor furniture in the previous post.

                                  I bought a variety of plants and pots and made baskets to hang
                         Went through more junk found objects and started attaching those on the doors.

                    I had fun picking out my own flower combinations as well as the junk stuff.

      This was part of a railing we had no use for so I had John turn it sideways and added pots.

One just never knows what you will find in the junk pile!
For some reason we have a large assortment of horse/oxen yoke harnesses but we love them.
I love the bright colors and the flowers.  John was skeptical at first but always loves the end product.
He is so sweet when I say   "Hey I have an idea........." He might roll his eyes when I am not looking but he is always my 'go to guy'.
Here is to 'bright ideas' in your neck of the woods.