Hope Art

Happy Halloween Eve everybody!  We have plans for two monkeys (Curious George times two) and a "Man with the yellow hat" costume.  Of course I'm typing this a day or so early and not entirely sure how I'll pull that off by Halloween night....but I'll try. :)  What are your plans this Halloween?

I've still been painting and am looking forward to completing some new ideas combining sewing with some of my painted pieces.  Where that journey will take me I'm not quite sure...but I'm excited to see! 

Here's a look at my process for a new piece of art I've titled simply "Hope". I had so much fun painting this one.  Before I started I was sketching some one night and thought "I really just want to paint flowers and girls.  All day long."   And immediately my next thought was "Why not?"  It is my art after all and I suppose the entire purpose of art is to share what is unique to the creator. And so, more flowers were painted.  

I started by sketching this out a bit first.  Sometimes I do that, other times I'll use collaged pieces, or even just paint freehand.  I like all three methods.
This is the finished piece!  To me, it screams "Happy!" 
(I need to add this to the shop soon! For now I've been enjoying it :) ) 

A bit of news...I applied for my first ever handmade/vintage market which will be happening in the spring (April, to be exact). I wasn't sure my application would be accepted, seeing as I was informed only a limited number of art spots were available.  But, I was accepted!  I'm a bit nervous, but mostly excited and have all kinds of ideas for things other than my original canvases and art prints and greeting cards (which I'll obviously have plenty of for sale as well)  I'll keep you updated! 

What's a word speaking to you lately? 

Our family photos

We had our family photos taken on the farm....
and I'm honored to share them with you.  

I feel like these capture us perfectly....
we're a family of four finding our way through raising two toddlers with God as the head of our household.  We love farm life.  Brett and I are much more deeply in love now than when we first met.  Our lives are rarely still and quiet.  Rather, each moment seems to be beautifully imperfect, "hard but good."  (but mostly good)  We're each made up of passions, interests, a need and love for God, ideas (both good and bad)....we don't have a 10 year plan, but to love each other and Jesus more fiercely and deeply and widely in 10 years than we do now.  

We take each day at a time and offer ourselves the grace God has extended.

This.......... is us. 

(photo credits go to Jamie Stricklin Photography and my white skirt and vintage quilt are from my favorite place, like ever-410 Vintage in Fayetteville!)

Last Call: Rosy Retreat Holiday Sign-ups

Friends, I appreciate the enthusiasm about my idea for Rosy Retreats.   I don't know about you, but having a table of women to craft and talk with for an evening sounds wonderful.  My goal for these nights isn't to be "famous" or make a lot of money or get the most blog or IG followers.....that's not me. I just love to craft and create.  I love to entertain and host others.  And it's a whole lot more fun to do those things with other people!  That's the purpose behind the holiday Rosy Retreat.  We'll make several super fun crafts (like these trees you see!), eat delicious snacks, and enjoy being together.

Right now the sign-up numbers aren't quite reflecting how many times the retreat info has been liked, shared, or read....in addition to the many questions I've had from local gals about who can attend and do you need to know how to craft?! 

I'm not sure if people are intimidated to come craft but if so, let me remind you this is a pressure-free night!  I aim to give you some fun ideas you can make your own, no prior crafting experience necessary.
Sign-ups will last 'till Friday and then close so that I can continue to do my best preparing the most fun night ever for the attendees! 

The retreat is Friday, November 14th from 7-10 p.m. at my farm, located 20 minutes from Fayetteville or Springdale. The cost is $35 for all supplies (we're making 3 different crafts), appetizers and hot drinks, and a few handmade gifts from me! 

This would be a perfect night to attend with a friend of yours or a family member to start the holiday season off, ready and rosy! 

Email me at sunshinebysara@hotmail.com to sign up! 

Pumpkin Patch

We seem to have pumpkin patch after pumpkin patch in our area...lots to choose from which is fun! 
For us though, we always stick with Vanzant's Produce stand. Just big enough for our girls to roam, but not so crowded it can't be enjoyed with your family.  
I suppose technically this isn't a pumpkin "patch" because the pumpkins are already picked.
I have the sweetest memories EVER of taking Anna Ruth to Vanzant's when she was just a few months old.  It was one of our first fun family outings that we knew would turn into a tradition.  I remember Anna Ruth scratching the pumpkins and trying to chew on hay and thinking it was the CUTEST thing I'd ever seen.  And it was, really.

And look at us now!! This picture sums up my entire world.  If you're a mama....you know the hours of baths, cooking, laundry, disciplining, loving, teaching, praying, playing, imagining, and hard work that goes into a glorious sight such as this.  I treasure these three more than anything....

What fun it is to have two toddlers to take places!  

It was very hard for my two sweeties to understand that they couldn't eat all these apples right out of the bucket! We left with more apples than I intended because *someone* took a bite out of some and helped themselves.  It's funny now that I think about it! The girls truly thought someone had set up an apple buffet for them.  

I could look at these rich fall colors all day long.  There's such a timeless, easy beauty about pumpkins isn't there?  No extra fluff needed-the pumpkin is pretty all on its own.  Perhaps without even knowing it is!  I think it would be super fun to do a fall photo shoot or dinner party among the apple trees! Perhaps someday. 

Have you been to any patches?


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! 

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.  :)

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...