Friday, October 24, 2014


Last week I decided to finally open up this stamp-making kit I'd had from my birthday. I'd been too intimidated to open up because what if I messed the stamp up?  

Turns out I didn't mess the stamp up but discovered a whole new hobby instead!  You guys, stamp-making is seriously fun.  And addicting.  

First I sketched a drawing on a piece of tracing paper, then rubbed the design onto the stamp piece with the back of my finger nail.  Last, I used the etching tool to carve away the stamp.  Easy-peasy! 
This is an honest look at my first markings, which didn't look all that great but good enough to want to keep trying!  
I kept carving more, here and there, and came up with the image on the right! I was very pleased with this one.  :)  Brett said it looked like an owl, so maybe it wasn't as great as I thought! It's supposed to be a vase of flowers.  
I also carved this little lady.  I think carving a much simpler design would probably be a good idea because some of her head details got lost in the carve.  You know me though, I'm almost never a fan of perfect things, so I think she looks imperfectly beautiful. 
I can't wait to carve more stamps!  See, even as I'm typing this blog post I feel myself waking up out of my slumber and excited to create again.  I read a quote by Ann Voskamp that said "Daily disciplines are doors to full freedom."  Perhaps this means creatively too?
  Last weekend I had the honor of photographing a family on our farm...I'm excited to show you those pictures soon!  I'll also start taking sign-ups for spring photos for those of you who like to plan ahead! 

Lately, with the much longer fall evenings, I've also really been into painting while I watch tv or hang out with Brett.  The page on the left is a favorite of mine for some reason. :)

What have you been up to creatively this week? I'd love to hear! 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A little studio sprucing...

The happy messes had begun to take over. 
I decided it was time for a little sprucing in the studio.  I had big dreams and visions of shelves being hung on the only empty wall in the room, or buying an Ikea cart so I could see all my paints and sprays and stencils all at once, instead of them being stuffed in five different cabinets all over the room. 

But real life won.  The truth is my time, funds, and energy are limited!  I've found this usually creates an outcome far better than if I'd spent days and days on something.  Motherhood has taught me many things, but among them-to think quickly and creatively on my feet.  

So that's just what I did. 

 I took the studio from looking like this...
 to this.  In just a matter of one nap time!  As an artist, I am still mama first.  So I don't have studio hours where childcare is provided or even time where I paint for my job and the girls do something else.  I go in this room at nap/rest time, late at night, or early in the morning.  Having it organized and appealing to my visual self is key.  I'm so happy with how this turned out! I've saved myself the $50 on an Ikea cart and instead used this old metal shelf from Anna's closet (that was empty) and spray-painted it to hold all  my art goodies!  
 My main goal with organizing so many things on the shelf was so that I could open up a bunch of counter space for photography projects, crafts and decorating, and painting/art journaling.  
 I tried to be thoughtful with the placement of a few favorites on the windowsill..
 and my inspiration wall is bursting with color and creativity, like always.
 I sit in this chair a lot and think the vintage quilt makes it even more dreamy! I have to watch Anna Ruth or she'll sneak into this room and pick off the paint...she doesn't like chippy paint at all!  
 This little piece of the wall makes me happy and reminds me of the stylist, Sunday, who came for the magazine photo shoot last May. I got to play along and "help".......I loved seeing her idea of layering the pinwheels on top of the paper piece.  Instantly more interesting!  
 I hung up this gold drape over the door that goes to the outside because this teeny room quickly heats up when the sun shines in!  With the curtain closed it casts the dreamiest glow over the entire room....
 Memories.....I'm a huge believer in printing out pictures and doing something with them! At least tape them to the wall if nothing else :) 
 I'm saving these old brushes for a secret project... :) 

 This is a peek at the spray-painted shelf!  I always feel bad for not reading more...but really I do!  It's just craft magazines, photography books, Artful Blogging, learning ideas for the girls....
 I got my first Goldens for my birthday.  I love how highly pigmented they are...but am definitely not ready to trade out my trust craft store acrylic paints for Goldens alone.  What are your thoughts?

 Sometimes the door stays closed to the craft room and then sometimes little girls and cats sneak in! 

 "Betsy, can you smile?" 
 Anna's been asking to paint in the craft room for a while, so today I let both the girls come in and help themselves to the art supplies on the shelf.  I quickly tried to explain how to use each one to them as they experimented.

They were in heaven!  

I love how beautiful this view of their canvas looks.....

I can learn so much from my girls, watching them create.  They create fearlessly, without pausing to think or wonder or worry. 

Do you have a studio or favorite place?  Someday I think it'd be fun to help others design a space just for them within their own home, using a limited budget and thrift store finds.  :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall fun

Have you been enjoying your fall?  
I read several blogs and follow some gals on IG who talk about not even having a fall.  Mind-boggling to me!  Here in the South, we definitely have fall.  I'm waiting to see if the leaves will surprise us with pops of orange and red this year or not.  So far, a golden yellow color has graced most of them.  Although I agree this time is truly golden, I'm aching to see a fiery red orange autumn tree.  
We shall see.  
I decided to teach the girls how to use the camera, my old Nikon that is.  It's in ok shape, but not great.  Good enough for an almost two year old and a three year old though.  Maybe the girls will grow up to be as passionate about photography as I am, maybe this is just a phase.  Either way, I like that they have the option.  So far they are pleased to point at something and press the shutter button.  Anna Ruth does a fairly good job keeping the camera held up and straight.  Betsy Grace is also doing well holding the camera and occasionally taking a picture!

(Anna Ruth always likes to bring me bouquets, specifically mustard yellow ones. My fave...)

We continue to go exploring away on the farm, enjoying the warm sun soaking into our bodies.  I suppose I'll need to find some sort of snow suits for the girls once it gets really cold.  Our lives definitely take place outdoors a good part of the time and when we're with Brett while he cuts firewood or taking a walk it can get quite chilly. 
We've also enjoyed many a warm, lazy morning or afternoon gathered around the dining room table lately.  I put an old toolbox out a couple of weeks ago, with pastels, colored pencils, and crayons.  It has been used over and over and over.  I love that the girls have the option of sitting down to create whenever the urge hits.  
Cat, a.k.a. "Dandelion" spends a lot of her (or his?) days inside with us.  I love this cat.  It showed up at the beginning of the summer, seemed ok, and never left.  

Twinkle lights have helped our fall evenings seem a whole lot brighter. I'm getting used to the rhythm of tucking into bed a bit earlier, or sitting with Brett to relax in the evenings.  

My little pro! The idea of letting your toddler use a nice camera might freak you out.  In fact, I'd almost guarantee it does.  If so, I recommend using a cheap digital one or even a kids' camera!  I think letting kids use a camera is a very, very good thing and why not start them early?

In previous years we've had a fall bucket list that was quite lengthy.  This year we haven't made one...I suppose life has just filled up a bit more and perhaps we've learned how to be a bit more spontaneous also, without necessarily needing a list to remind us to have some fun among the farm and house chores.
We took the girls to a local church to buy some pumpkins one weekend and boy did they ever get carried away putting the pumpkins in the wagon!  In fact, we even let them get about double the pumpkins we'd planned on buying in the first place.  It was fun though, watching the girls race around to fill up the wagon.  Later we carved one of the pumpkins at home. Betsy Grace wanted her hands completely in the seeds and "guts" and Anna Ruth didn't want anywhere near them.  Very typical for our house! :)

What have you been up to this fall?  We're not quite to fire and blanket weather yet....
just a cardigan maybe.  I suppose it's autumns way of letting us say a slow goodbye to summer..