Monday, December 23, 2013

wishing you merry!

Since we're having record high temperatures for December 
and lots of rain instead of snow,  
the gigantic blue tarp remains over the structure of my new studio to protect it 
while it waits for periodic sunny weather.  
At least the construction crew are enjoying being home with their families for the holidays.

And I'm wishing you the same,
a very merry and blessed Christmas with those you love!

Don't forget to keep your name on the "nice" list throughout the new year! :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

new stamps by eileen hull with crafitti direct


My creative friend Eileen Hull has been showcasing some exciting news
over on her blog!  
Eileen has teamed up with Crafitti Direct to produce her
new line of clear stamp designs.
In preparation for their introduction at CHA in January, 
Eileen allowed me to take her first 3 stamp sets (shown below) for a test drive.


On my drive home from Eileen's home, I was already happily planning my project, 
a little holiday journal cover that would combine stamps from each of her sets.  
And of course, it would also be in her favorite color scheme.  
Below are the stamps I chose to use:

Since I'm primarily a painter, that's how I approached this project.
The cover and spine are made from 140-lb hot-press Fabriano watercolor paper
painted loosely with acrylics in Eileen's colors as background for
the stamped cover elements.

For the cover elements, I stamped the barn wood, flower wreath and leaf hinges
on smooth Bristol paper, cutting them to the shapes that fit my project.
For the spine, I stamped Eileen's "grill" pattern directly on front and back
of the fold, using black Staz-On ink for all.

The barn wood inset is painted with a light wash of
Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Yellow Ochre acrylic paints.
For the flower wreath and leaf hinges, I smooshed a layer of grassy green over the
stamped images with a Ranger Adirondack paint dabber (sorry, I couldn't see a paint name).
To paint in the details, I used a small round brush and
the same Golden acrylic paints plus Martha Stewart Beach Glass blue.
I added the impression of white snow on the leaf stripes with a
Sennelier white oil pastel crayon.
For the "real" snow, a line or dab of glue holds the Diamond Dust in place.
A frosty white button sewn to the barn wood cover holds the flower wreath in place.

Now my little holiday travel journal is ready for some watercolor paper signatures.
With the tree branches around my house bending under lots of snow, 
it's just the day for sewing in the pages.
I hope you are enjoying winter wherever you are!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

first snow equals stalled studio construction

After 8 months of proofing architectural drawings and
enduring endless county requirements and delays,
we've happily (finally) begun construction of my new studio.

So far we've accomplished de-construction, removing the attics and roof above the garage and family room, and then started construction with laying
the 40+foot-long support beams, the 20+foot long floor joists,
and the pressure-treated supports for the back balcony.
It may not sound like much, but it's very exciting to have finally started.

I'm hoping to show you photos as building progresses, although initially they won't be very glamorous. :)  The project is expected to take 3 months, but we've already been stalled by our first snow this season.

I hope you'll stay tuned as my small studio becomes a big reality by this spring.
With large windows and plenty of space, I'll have room again to
make my large-scale paintings and also for holding classes.

But first, we have to get through this icy standstill in northern Virginia.