Monday, March 30, 2015

Etsy Shop and Give Away Winner!

An unexpected Saturday wide open gave me the time to finally to get some items listed in my Etsy shop. 

Ada spent most of the day with her grandparents at the circus. I was supposed to go out of town for the day, but plans fell through and well... this happened instead! 

I also got through a TON of photo editing that needed to be done, cleaned, had a lunch date with my hubby and found time to chill on the couch for about 30 minutes! YESSS!

What took the most time was figuring out my 'product photography'. I didn't want to slap just any ole images up. I have read and do believe that having nice photos goes a long way for online sales. I didn't want the process or set up to be too fussy, so I just tried to keep it simple.

I honestly have no idea what I'm doing with Etsy, but whatever! It's out there and it feels good to get that checked of my to-do list.

You can view my shop on Etsy or use the 'SHOP' tab at the top of the blog here.

I did a little Instagram give away over the weekend in honor of getting the shop open. I feel silly - but there were four people who entered! And @sarahmontell - you won this adorable 8x10 of 'Purple Pineapple'! CON-GRATS!

For now I'm sticking with art prints, photo prints and those cute little banners! I've got lots more ideas though.
Thanks for stopping by :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why we celebrate Easter and an easy kid-project to go with it!

Easter is a time when we celebrate Jesus's act of sacrifice and His victory over death on the cross, by rising from the dead. It is through this act that we are saved... any one that believes this in their heart can know Him and know salvation (can I get an AMEN?!)

SO - this year, now that Ada is a little older and definitely able to understand things a little more, I felt really strongly that I needed a way to help her start learning the true meaning of Easter. 

I of course started looking at Pinterest... do you know what I found? Eggs, bunnies, carrots and grass.

That would not suffice for my purposes, so we made up our own project! I just love when that happens!

With it being spring and all, we've been outside more and we found so many sticks and twigs from our weeping cherry tree. They were the perfect base for our painted twig cross project!

I found some that were about a foot or so long and thick enough that they stand up sturdy. I found 6 sticks - 2 for each cross, so I ended up with 3 total.

We used Ada's tempera paints. I mean these are sticks after all - so I didn't want to use any fancy acrylics.

We painted all sides of the sticks and let them dry. Ada really enjoyed painting on something besides paper. It was easy and I didn't have to supervise her much.

When the paint was dry. I broke off the ends (like just snapped them with my hands) of 3 of the sticks, so they would be shorter. These were the ones I used as the cross bar.

I let Ada pick out 3 colors of embroidery floss to tie the sticks together. She picked purple, pink and blue... shocking I know! ha! :)

I helped Ada get the string tied on to the sticks. I just double knotted it over the 2 sticks - like an X.

Then I let her wrap the string around and around - again making an X where the sticks intersect. We actually used quite a bit of string. I was also thinking you could use ribbon, or wrapping paper ribbon. Whatever you have on hand is fine - this is such a cheap project!

Once we had them all tied together, I got out some air-dry-clay I've had sitting around. This stuff is nice because you don't have to bake it or anything. 

We rolled the clay into slightly smaller than golf ball size.

Ada made clay snakes....

I pushed the crossed down into the balls of clay.

I pinched it up around the stick and made it flat on the bottom so it would stand up on its own.

I just left the crosses in the clay to sit on the table and dry. It probably took 24 - 48 for it to fully dry.

Here's the finished product! I had thought we might paint the clay bottoms, or glue fabric or paper flowers or moss to it for an extra springy look. Still might do that.

I also thought it would be cute to wrap washi tape or more string around the ends of the crossbar. I kinda like how simple they are though.

They stand to help us remember Jesus's sacrifice.
Explaining that concept to Ada is hard, but I did hear her explain to her grandparents that they had something to do with Jesus and how much He loves us.

I like that. A lot.

And here's some fresh bright springy flowers for you too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring's life lessons


I get long winded when I talk about life. Don't you?

Spring is like the hottest topic right now. I mean rightly so - winter was brutal!

I love the seasons. There is so much to learn about life, about God and about ourselves through nature. I think it is one of the biggest ways that God speaks to us.

While we were out on our first family walk of the season I started noticing some things about spring.

Spring is kinda ugly when it first starts!

(yes, my kid is wearing a helmet on our walk... whatever, don't argue with a toddler)

The trees are bare, the grass is brown, old dead sticks, leaves and other debris are left behind. What was hidden for months under frost and snow is now exposed.

These early days of spring bring hope, warmth and newness - but they sure ain't pretty.

It got me thinking about how the transition from winter to spring speaks a great analogy about phases of our lives.

For me right now I see 2 direct parallels to my own life.

The first is my own physical wellness. Man have I been a BUM for the last 6 months! My body is definitely feeling like these early stages of spring.

I'm not talking about being skinny or bikini ready, but about strength, endurance, energy and maybe a little about my sun deprived skin.

Being outside with my toddler requires running, jumping, spinning, bending, scooping, picking and so many more movements that I have just not exposed my body to enough in the last few months!

Spring is exposing what I have neglected and it leaves me feeling vulnerable about it!
Let me tell you the hips don't lie! Ha! This momma needs to get movin!

I am also hopeful and excited about some new things that have been changing and happening around in my life, but they are also scary. Like co-workers leaving for new job opportunities, applying for teaching jobs and discovering who I am as an artist, what I'm truly passionate about, working around the house to spruce up and diy some things and maybe growing our family this year.

That is a lot of stuff peeps!

I am trying to keep positive about the changes at work and trying to enjoy the process of the personal ones. It seems like all winter these things have been in hibernation. Not necessarily like they just came up out of no where, but they were in the works, slowly making progress and are now starting to push their way up through the ugly brown grass.

I know in a few months these things will start to show their beauty and their blessings, just like the spring will.

In fact, here's a little glimpse of what I'm sure is more to come of warmer months.

I took this with my iPhone off our back deck. No filters, no editing. Perfect just as it is. God's blessings are everywhere. Even in the brown bareness of early spring.

So much squishy love and joy to you my friends. We need more of it out there - don't you think?!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Our weekend and sketchbook updates

This past weekend was a lazy one. Ada came down with the stomach flu. BOO! And it knocked her out on the couch for 2 days. We rescheduled our monthly family outing. We were planning on going to an indoor water park! BOO! But laid low instead. We cuddled, watched way too much TV and movies and washed our hands A LOT.

Sunday we were all feeling much better and we got around to getting out some art supplies. Not too many days go by without us making art in some form.

I have really been inspired by the idea of making patterns lately. I've had a couple of projects come across my 'doorstep' that have required me to think about making my own prints and patterns. It's a fun challenge that gets me to think a little more strategically about painting and mixed media techniques.

Color is a huge source of inspiration for me. Coming up with new color combos is one of my favorite things to work through in my sketch book.

I am slowly rebuilding my supply of nicer acrylic paints. Here are few new colors I picked up last week at the Hobby Lobby.

I love neon pink right now. I have acquired quite a few articles of clothing in that same hot pink and they seem to work their way into my wardrobe A LOT lately.

These are a few of Ada's current art supplies of choice. The girl is all about purple and sparkly things right now. Where does that come from any way? The movies?

I have been encouraging Ada to try making shapes and more focused drawings and paintings lately. I love her paint scribbles, but I like showing her new possibilities too. She's learning her shapes really well right now and is quite good at drawing faces (like the circle, two dots and a line kinda smiley face) and bananas!

I'm not sure which of these I'm supposed to drink and which I'm supposed to rinse brushes in...

Here's some more patterns I've been working on.

I really love the contrast black lines add to a design, but I like the softness without them too.

STRAWBERRIES! Sweet strawberries. So looking forward to home grown ones out of my in-laws garden this summer!

A twist on the traditional polka-dot.

Playing around with color combinations.

Mixing iPhone images with mixed media and painting. This is becoming a fast fav technique of mine too. I like mixing photography and digital elements in with my painting.

I hope you have a marvelous week. The weather is getting warmer here this week. Can't wait to get out and play.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Hand Painted Midori Fabric Journals

I recently took an online class to learn the art of making a 'Midori Journal' cover. I had never heard of them, but the moment I saw one, I knew I wanted to try making my own.

There is a video at the bottom of this post that better shows how they work.

 Traditionally Midori's are made of a leather cover and are called Midori Travel journals. Their origin started with the idea of minimizing the amount of stuff that one might travel with. Within it you might keep a journal for documenting experiences and memories of a trip or to keep travel itinerary info in all in one place.

Today they have expanded into much more and are becoming very popular among planners and artists.

I started with white canvas and painted a design using acrylic paint and sharpie marker.

I actually finger painted the one on the left. THAT was a fun experience!

I then took white scrapbook paper and painted a design for the inside cover. To fuse the canvas cover and scrapbook paper together I used iron on adhesive and then stitched the edge to keep it from fraying and to add a more finished look.

The journals inside are made of a hand painted scrapbook paper and lined copy paper or sketchbook paper.

Sorry its so hard to hear!

Midori Journal Covers from emilyburlingame on Vimeo.

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