Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On the First Day of Christmas...

I get together every few months or so with a few women that I took an ATC (Artist Trading Card) class with. A couple of years ago, we decided to exchange handmade ornaments of some sort for Christmas. This year, I decided to get back to making ATCs and make everyone a set of ATCs in a booklet of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It's not exactly an ornament, though I think you could hang them on a tree either individually or as a set. It was fun making them, but a lot of work.

The ATCs are based on a set of the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments I have. They are from the House of Hatten and designed by Denise Calla. My mom bought me several of them awhile back for Christmas when she was working at Miller Creek Folk Art gallery here in Holland. Sadly, that gallery closed and the ornaments are no longer made, so I've had to complete the set from purchases on Ebay.

I started by doing line drawings of each ornament and reducing them to ATC size (2 1/2 x 3 1/2). Then I copied them onto watercolor paper and painted them. Then I spray mounted them to a sheet of cover stock and cut them out. I put each one into a plastic protector and hole punched them in the corner. They are attached with colorful ball chain purchased from a hardware store with some colorful yarn.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Granny Square Slippers

Back on October 7 this link popped up from one of my Facebook "friends"; a yarn shop in New York city called Purl Soho. They have a website called "The Purl Bee". Now, if I lived in New York, this would be a yarn shop I would frequent. Anyway, this link was for a pattern for making Granny Square Slippers. Now, I know how to make a granny square and in the past have made a ton of them, so I'm thinking, "I can do this." Well, I pull out some left over yarn from a Harry Potter scarf and start to crochetting. No luck. Couldn't figure out how to make a granny square for nothing! I ended up scrapping a half dozen of the little buggers before I got the right size etc. Anyway, I just got a pair of slippers finished last night. I had this fantasy when I started that I was going to make them for the whole family. There was even a comment on that website that someone thought it would be a great idea to have a basket of them by the front door in different sizes for guests. More realistic was the one comment that said, "I made one and after weaving in all the loose ends, didn't want to make the other one." Well, I made both and here they are. The pair on the website is made with some beautiful handspun yarn from Uruguay and for mine I used Lion Brand Wool Ease. I'm pretty happy with the results, but not sure if I'll be making many more of these. Ultimately, I used a pattern from a 1981 Leisure Arts slipper flyer, but if you want to check out the original post that inspired me to make these, check out http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2009/10/7/whits-knits-granny-square-slippers.html

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Last Sail of the Summer.

The last sail of the summer was on Saturday, September 18 to Saugatuck, MI. We spent the day there eating hot dogs and watching the MSU game. We left for Holland that evening just before sunset and motored, with running lights, for Holland. Upon entering the channel we called Village Inn to deliver a pizza to the boat launch at Kollen Park where we picked up dinner and motored to Pine Creek bay to camp for the night. It was a wonderful, final sail of the summer. CRUSH is now put away for the season and were already looking forward to next year's sailing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's almost October!

Here are a couple of photos of ATCs I did for a swap on atcsforall.com
I couldn't let September go by without at least one new post. I'm not sure how I lost my mojo and stopped blogging, but I intend to remedy that.

I've been getting interested in fashion and deciding that I need to pay more attention to how I look and how I present myself. Clothes shopping to follow. I love reading some of the fashion blogs that are out there, though I doubt I'll be venturing into fashionista territory. Check out my favorite: Camille from childhoodflames.blogspot.com

For the past couple of weeks, I've been getting together with Aimee and Lori to do ATCs. It's been a blast and I know I'll be doing a blog post with lots of photos of ATCs from these get-togethers. We took a class at the arts council together and have been getting together for dinner every few months or so, but we decided we should get together and do art. We have two weeks to go.

I've just started making paper beads. I hadn't had much luck doing it in the past, but I found an old catalog at work that has colored catagory edges in all different colors. Perfect for making beads! And this time they are turning out great! I will post a picture when I get them made into a necklace. I found a cool idea involving recycling t-shirt material into jewelry.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting...

These are the fingrless mitts I just finished knitting for Jarod. He LOVES camouflage and when he saw this yarn he just had to have it. I used a standard mitten pattern and just bound off the thumb before decreasing for the end and knit the mitt portion to equal the thumb and then bound that off too. I think they turned out great and he loves them. The yarn is Bernat Camouflage Ombres in Renegade. It is really nice soft yarn for an acryllic worsted weight. I used size 4 needles.

I am half way through knitting this Peaceful Leaves Knit Yoga wrap. The yarn is Red Heart Ltd. Eco-Ways in Aquamarine. The pattern isn't tough, but I have to keep track of every row so I don't lose my place in the pattern. It's also a lot of knit one, purl one. I started this in May and hope to have it done before the weather gets warm again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sailcation (August 1-6, 2009)

Day 1: Left Holland at 6:00 a.m. Couldn't drive faster than 55 mph because the boat would sway. Stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans in Big Rapids. Arrived to rain in Detour Village at 2:00 p.m.; ate lunch at Mainsail. People very friendly, got ride from the grocery store to the marina, walked to the bait shop and bought a chart, by then sunny. Were on the water by 5:30 p.m. Waves 1-3'. Camped for the night in Pike Bay on the southside of Drummond Island. Had hot dogs for dinner, forgot condiments. Lots of mosquitos in the boat.

Day 2: Woke up to sun. Had ham on toast for breakfast. Waves 2' on the lake. Went to Whitney Bay and stopped at Fort Drummond marina. Bought a new extendable boat hook for $39.95. Decided to stay at the marina ($13). Decided to walk to town but made a wrong turn and ended up at the ferry dock. Walked 8 miles or so. Sky clouded up and was very windy but cleared up later. Got into boat early to avoid repeat of previous night's mosquito bloodbath. Make tuna sandwiches; double decker for Jarod and added cranberry and carrot to ours. Day 3: Woke up to sprinkles. Jarod got a Choco-taco from the marina store. Left for Detour Village at 8:30 a.m. Waves 1-2' Got a day slip at the marina in Detour for $5. Ate breakfast at Mainsail and coffee at The Garage. Jarod got a chocolate shake. Bought groceries and checked on the truck. Left marina after a shower to go to Harbor Island. Calm waters and mist to light rain and fog. Took about 1 1/2 hours. Decided to fish, Jarod caught a crawfish with ham. Three other sailboats in the large harbor one in the small. Day 4: Woke up to clouds and wind. Drifted and pulled up a 8"x5' log with the Danny. Bob made an omelet for breakfast. Jarod, peanut butter toast. Motored to Drummond Island Yacht Haven. Jarod got a Choco-taco. Walked 2 1/2 miles to the grocery store. Found a geocache at a memorial across from a museum on the way. Were startled by 3 blue racers on the way into town. Bob stepped on one on the way back. Ate lunch at Northwoods. Very good. Bob had a burger with ranch dressing, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese; vowed to make it at home. Motored to Whiskey Bay, ON. Checked in the customs at phone with 800 number. Very windy along the way, 2'3' swells. 18 mpg winds gusting to 30. Lots of spray and waves over the bow. got really wet. Got stuck on a sandbar just west of Whiskey Bay; Bob got out and pushed. Ended up turning around and camping for the night in a small bay on the northside of Teney Bay. Calm water all night. Watched terns fish.
Day 5: Freezing last night!!! Woke up to sun and calm water. Watched terns fish some more. Left Teney Bay and SAILED with main sail around the east side of the island; 3/4 smooth sailing, 1/4 rough. Motored around the southside of the island, after the winds changed, to Detour Village, decided to stay at the marina ($25), ate at Mainsail, slept well, six geese pooped all over the dock, our porta potty full too. After seeing weather reports for the rest of the week, decided to get going home tomorrow.
Day 6: Took shower! Ate breakfast on the boat after walking through town. Nothing opens until 9:00 a.m. Left for Drummond Yacht Haven to check back into customs. Weather was sunny and beautiful; only perfect day. Bought gas $17.50 for 5 gallons. Customs officer arrived at noon, we were seventh in line, but managed to be cleared to go by 12:25 p.m. Motored back to Detour Village and had the boat out of the water and on it's trailer by 3:00 p.m. Stopped by Spicy Bob's Italian Restaurant in Gaylord for dinner. Arrived at home at 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Life Drawing Sessions

I've started participating in Life Drawing sessions again. Our Holland Area Arts Council started offering the sessions in June. The cost is $8 and they are every Tuesday night from 6-8:00 p.m. I've gone three times now and am really enjoying it. I looked back in my sketch book at the first session and realized I hadn't done any life drawing since 2001 and before that I hadn't done life drawing since I graduated from college in 1987. There are generally six people there or so and the model is quite good. This time, I've decided to use those two hours to experiment with different techniques and materials. Now, none of these are masterpieces, but I've been quite pleased with the results.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What will become of it?

This is what's left of the electrical panel for our sailboat; a 1972 Helms. I would love to have seen it salvaged and remain on the boat. The old knobs are just too cool. But the workings are just too far gone and it needs to be replaced. So, being the creative type person that I am; I'm turning it into a mixed media art piece.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tulip Time in Holland, MI

I was going to title this "Tulip Time is over"; because if you lived in a town with a large festival that attracts thousands of people and makes your normal life moving around a lot more difficult for a week; you would say that too. Anyway, I really do like Tulip Time, not for the crowds or the junk food, but for the tulips. I LOVE them and we've got them all over town in all different colors. This fall I'm going to plant some in front of our house. I couldn't decide what color or colors to pick until I saw the ones above. I think I'm going to pair these with some pale yellow ones. They'll go perfect with the coloring of our house. Now I just need to find out what kind of tulip these are...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Watch my garden grow!

Two or more years ago, I tore out all the shrubs from the area by our front door and last year promised Bob that I would have something in there this year. Last week, we leveled out the area, using our first wheelbarrow in 15 years of marriage to haul a ton of dirt to the back yard. Well, this past Saturday, it got finished! I even went nuts and planted marigolds in the windowboxes and had enough for a hanging basket and two large pots. We had bought two flats and ended up returning one to get more mulch. That area took five bags! The rocks were already there, in fact, we didn't even use them all, the rest are along the road. Can you spot the two fake rocks? They are covering utilities and I intend to do some faux painting on them soon to make them look more "rockish". The plants in the front are: Blue Fescue grass, Batchelor Buttons, Purple Fountain grass and some kind of lavendar, I forget the exact name. They look a little sparce at the moment, but figure two to three years before the plants reach their full size and maturity.

Yesterday, I bought and planted six strawberry plants in one of the three half-wine barrels we bought to place in the area where we tore out some shrubs in the back yard. More vegetables to plant when the selection of plants is better. We'll probably do that after Tulip Time.

Oh, and I finally am going to get my clothesline up. Bought one of those retractable jobbies from Menards on sale yesterday. Bob loves the smell of sheets dried on the line and we haven't been able to do that at this house yet. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I've been meaning to post pictures of this super cute cardigan that I made last week or so. It's not an original design, but it is my original take on it. This idea was contributed by Cal Patch on the Craft Stylish website. Here is the link if you'd like to make one of your own. http://www.craftstylish.com/item/44793/how-to-upcycle-a-t-shirt-into-a-cardigan This was an old t-shirt of my husband's and I had already been working on doing a "shredded t-shirt" technique to it. Well, that ended up being just way too time consuming, so when I found this idea I knew I had to do it. The edges are crocheted with Noro Silk Garden. I did cut this a little too narrow, so instead of buttons, I usually just pin it at the neck with a fused glass pin I made years ago at my friend Jean's house. I'm really liking this "upcycling" thing; turning old things into something new.

In other "Earth Day" news. I had wanted to ride my bike to work or the MAX bus, but it is still way too cold and rainy to do that today and since my Wednesday noons are spent running to WW, I just don't have the time for the bus. Maybe tonight I can get those reusable mesh produce bags sewn up.

I'm going to try to blog more and Facebook less.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scallop-Edge Beaded Necklace

This was my first attempt at knitting with beads. I think it turned out nice and I'd like to do more of it. This pattern is the Scallop-Edge Beaded Necklace by Carol Metzger from the book 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holland Harbor Lighthouse aka "Big Red"

This painting of the lighthouse in Holland was done on a reproduction map from the museum and was painted in acrylics. I usually paint in watercolor and this may be the first acrylic painting I have ever done. I think it turned out fine and have a feeling that I may have to paint another similar to it in the near future.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spartan Dishcloth

Here is my first attempt at designing something. I really liked doing the heart dishcloth from krisknits and thought I'd like to make one with the Spartan helmet on it. So, using the heart dishcloth pattern as a starting point, I graphed the Spartan helmet and started knitting. I think it turned out really cool. My husband says this will be the first addition to the new sailboat. More on that later when it becomes a reality.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The longest Valentine's Day post ever!

I really wanted to share this super cute knitted dishcloth with a heart pattern. I can't take any credit for this. If you would like to make one, you can find the free pattern here: http://krisknits.blogspot.com/2008/01/valentine-surprise.html This was so fun to make and it was really easy. I wanted to make a few more for gifts but ran out of time; so a few lucky folks may be getting these later.

These are the little Valentine's Day packets I made. I can't take full credit for this "waterfall" card. The directions for a Halloween version that inspired it can be found here: http://beeswaxrubberstamps.com/Waterfall%20Card.pdf After I finished the card, I decided to include an ATC inside and then I made these little felt envelopes and tied them with pretty ribbon. I think they turned out really nice.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Creativity update

I've been working on the coolest cards and little extras for Valentine's Day! The only problem is that I don't know where to stop. One idea just keeps leading to another and most of them are turning out pretty cool. Well, except for the one idea of putting boucle yarn in a bottlecap and pouring "realistic water" over it and letting it dry. No, it does not look like yarn under glass; it looks like wet yarn underwater or strawberry jam or blood and guts in there. Not cool at all, but everything else is.
Ooh, ooh, ooh I can't wait to show you!
I'm also going through knitting withdrawal. I wanted to finish reading "Thunderstruck" (the novel, not the AC/DC song) and I did that (It got better about half way through and was really pretty good.), so now I can knit again, goody! In my quest to "use what I've got" in regards to art supplies; I'm knitting this cute washcloth with hearts on it. I'm using some of the "Sugar & Cream" yarn that was gifted to me. (Thanks again Marylynn!)
So many ideas, so little time...
Oh, and this picture is an ATC I made last year when I decided I was going to make one a day. It is oil pastel and if you don't know, ATCs are 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 size pieces of art that are traded and I just got back into trading them on http://www.atcsforall.com/ (same username there: KayakChickee)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Results from the Creativity Weekend

I got together with my friend Kimberly this past Saturday. We went shopping for supplies and then spent the afternoon making cards. We had a ball! Now I don't need to buy any more supplies for card making for a very long time. Well, maybe some more ink pads, but other than that...

I was just reading a blog about this girl who wasn't going to buy any art supplies this year. The exception was that she was going to budget $24 for the year just in case she ran out of something, that's $2 per month for art supplies. I know I could easily do the same thing and I probably should. Maybe I will.

NOTE: The address for the blog I refer to above is: www.futuregirl.com