Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Last of the Xmas Gifts

This post will complete the chronicles of all the stuff I made for Xmas this year. Which is good, 'cause I'm ready to move on!

Here's a tissue box I made for my Dad's office. It's collaged with maps and travel-related stamps.

And here's my mom's tissue box, which matches her red color scheme in her family room. I don't know why I went with a bird theme. Probably because I had a cool brass bird I wanted to use!

This is one of two ornaments I made for my sister and brother and their families. Somehow I missed getting photos of the other one. It's made from a paper mache form covered in lace and then painted, rubbed with Rub 'n Buff, and then little beads glued all over.

These two photos are the two sides of a large heart ornament I made for my parents. It's not really for Xmas, so can be displayed all year, or until they get tired of it! It's made the same way as the ornament above.

I enjoyed immersing myself in these projects prior to the holiday, And it was fun to watch my family members open and appreciate them. They all give me a hard time about my intricate handmade gifts and how I make them feel inadequate, but you can bet I won't let that stop me!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bachelor Pad Art

Here's round two of the handmade Xmas gifts. Kyle's new apartment needed some color and interest on the walls, so when I got home from Colorado I dove into two collages for him.

The idea for the first came from a comment he made about hating blank walls above the toilet. We joked that only a guy would really notice that (since they face that way when, well, you get the idea). I had purchased a stack of 1940s Esquire magazines at a garage sale, so those pin-ups and funky "be manly and wear this brand of sock garter" ads just begged to entertain Kyle when he might otherwise be bored. ;-)

The other collage is a little more mainstream. His guest bathroom is done in a shell theme with red and tan, so here's what I came up with:

Kyle liked both collages and is now pretty well entertained in both bathrooms!

Xmas Recycled Sweater Gifts

I promised to post photos of my handmade Christmas gifts, so I'll start with the recycled sweater felting items. They were well-received!

Here are my three nieces with their gifts, Maris, Alexa and Lindsay:

And here's little Lexi, a born photo model, and a close-up of her sweater, which was the first recycled wool item I made and got me hooked:

Maris's book bag up close:

Lindsay's purse up close:

I'll definitely be doing more of these types of items. It's so easy! Just wash the old sweater in the washer in hot water, dry it in the dryer, then use it just like fabric. When you cut it, it does not unravel. The only part that was time-consuming was the knitted fluff on the book bag and purse. It takes a while to punch holes in the felt, get the yarn situated ont he needles, then do the knitting. But I love the touch it adds.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year's Resolution (singular)

I'm doing something different this year. Just ONE resolution. And I'm posting it here so it's on the record and everyone knows about it. I want everyone to ask me how it's going, okay? And I mean from now through December. Because it's going to be tough, but I think it will be worth it.

I resolve to draw something every day this year. Even if it's my pen or my coffee cup or a floorplan for a room in my house, I am going to put pen or pencil to paper do so something OTHER than write words.

My goal is to improve my drawing skills, which I think will have a positive influence on all my other artwork.

I started this in Sedona over the past week. Here are a couple of my drawings. I'll post some here every once in a while so we can all see whether I'm making any progress, okay?

This one includes objects I found in my aunt and uncle's house and in my parents' house in Sedona. And the background sketch is the view of Chimney Rock from my aunt and uncle's breakfast room. As you can see, I have some work to do. That basket ended up looking like a space ship that landed on the rocks.

This one is a copy of a drawing on a large tile at my parent's house. It sure is easier to draw something when it's already flat!

Okay, I haven't drawn anything today, so I'm off to my studio . . .

Beautiful, Inspiring Sedona

Wow. The end of the year is like the second half of the biggest hill on a roller coaster. The past two weeks have gone by in about 48 hours!

I guess I'll work backward to try to catch up on all the news and artwork.

First, we just returned from a wonderful week in Sedona with Lianne and her boyfriend Dan. My sister Jennifer was also there with her family, and we had some fun game nights with them. The kids AND adults were mesmerized by the new Wii game system. It was amazing to watch my two-year-old niece play it successfully!

Here are a few photos of the gang and the incredible Sedona scenery:

Here are Lianne and Dan and my nephew Ryan and his stepbrother Jimmy at the top of a rock formation just behind my parents' vacation home that we call "No Name." I felt like I might throw up when I got to the top, but it was worth it!

Here is part of the hiking gang at a beautiful lookout spot on the way up. Even Tinkerbell made the trip.

This is my sister playing Vanna and showing off coffee pot rock from the viewpoint at the Sedona airport.

And here's the entire gang (minus the photographer).

I do occasionally insist that someone else take a photo, so I can prove I have been to these places I always talk about!

I can't say enough about how it feels to be in this unique place. I will always be grateful to have found a vacation spot that is so relaxing and renewing and unique!