Friday, December 21

Happy Holidays!


I hope everyone has a warm and safe holiday season! Be merry and spread the love around, now is a time for family and friends.

We were unfortunate to loose James' grandfather this past week, but he put up quite the battle and now he will be at peace. He was a great man, and I know he had touched James life beyond measure growing up so close together. He will be missed and he was truly loved by all his family, but he will be remembered.  It's been a sad time for us, but a time for everyone to appreciate the family and friends we have around to support us.



Saturday, December 15

"Rawr" Means Merry Christmas in Dinosaur


We put our Christmas lights up at the beginning of the month, but had an issue with our main attraction, Randy the Christmas Rex. We originally purchased the demo in the store, as that was the only one available but only noticed at home that only half of him lit up. So we promtly returned him and got one from the city when James was down that way for work. Actually, he told me that they had none either, and then I woke up and there was a Dinosaur on our lawn. "Gotta keep you guessing" he says. :)



Randy (named by us, not his "store name"), is quite awesome. He moves. He lights up. He has a Santa hat and a present. And, he's a Dinosaur. What part of any of that is not awesome? Easy, all of it is awesome!

 
 
He looks awesome in the day light too. I noticed cars driving by our house slowly the other night, and neither neighbours beside us have lights - so surely it was Randy :D
 

Thursday, December 13

Sketchbook Break: Looks Up With Wonder


A break from all the holiday craziness that comes this time of year to dabble, peacefully, in my sketchbook. Done with pencil, ballpoint pen and an inktense coloured pencil.

Monday, December 10

Woodland Paintings: Completed!

Dawn if you're reading this, make sure the girls are not around ;)


 I have finally finished the girls paintings last night. I put on the final, protective UV coat and that it is! Happy dance!! I really do hope they like these :)


The sides I covered with patterned washi tape, and then painted, or stamped - or both to unify it to the painting more.


Here is the first one, Dream As If You'll Life Forever Woodland. I felt the quote, which is on that little metal plaque was appropriate for this nighttime - midsummer evening theme that sort of developed as I worked on it.


The young girl in this one has butterfly wings that I added with rub-ons. She is a mixture of collage and painting.


Here's the metal plaque from Tim Holtz, and some washi tape. I also used some leftover kraft flowers I had from Maya Road. I used my own brads to keep them together.


This banner was made with pieces cut from Bazzill Basics pleated paper in newsprint. The trick to using this stuff, is to put some gel medium along the sewn part so that it doesn't all unravel as you cut it. I did the same thing in the other piece, but painted it a lighter blue. 

 

I love all the dimensional aspects of both of these pieces. Just so much 'sticks up' :) You can really see here too how the protective coat really evens out all the different 'sheen's' (matte / gloss / semi) that might be floating around in one piece.


Here is Live The Life You Have Imagined Woodland. You have already seen a lot of pictures of this painting, as it was the first that I did. But I added more to it as I was working on the first one, so that they would work well together and have similar elements. 


I used black marker for the girls outlines on both. It really helped to make them stand out with everything going on in these pieces. I wanted them to be vibrant, so knocking back the background wasn't an option I was considering.


I used the pleated newsprint for the bottom of the tree as well.


The same banner as in the first painting, but this time with blue paint accents and different words. The two girls receiving these paintings are young, and so I wanted them to have lots of inspiration and life motivation when they looked at these.


Once again, the 'texture' shot. Lots of elements adding dimensional aspects to both! I'm going to be very sad to let these two pieces go, but I know they are heading to a very good home.

Some of the materials I used (I'm sure they are some that I will forget): canvas, patterned paper, gel medium, mod-podge, glass bead medium, gold mica paint, molding paste, stencils, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, inktense pencils, prismacolor coloured pencils, sharpie marker in black, pleated paper, metal plaques, rub-on transfers, brads, craft flowers, stamps, stamping ink, bakers twine, washi tape, book pages, word and letter stickers, glue gun, UV protective coat in gloss.

Friday, December 7

Oh! Christmas Tree Goodness!

 
James and I finally got around to setting up our Christmas Tree and decorating the house last Sunday (house decoration photos to come in a future post!). We both had the day and evening off so we go right to work and I must say that this has got to be one of the most beautiful trees I've seen :D... it is also our first Christmas together...eeee! We have a lot of generic ornaments, since when you start putting up a tree you have to gather lots to fill it up, but we also have some special and more detailed ornaments. My hope it, as the years pass we will slowly take out the "filler" ornaments, and have a tree full of special memories :)
 

 
This angel is new for this year. The story behind it was we decided to get a new tree topper this year, for our first Christmas living together. James is a star guy, and I'm an angel girl. So we decided that we would pick out a most-awesome tree-topper star, and then I would pick out a lovely angel ornament. I think it was a pretty fair trade :) We don't have a close up of the star, but we went with a retro light up tinsel one that we saw in the store, it both reminded us of stars we've had on trees as children.

 
This is a snowman ornament from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie. I love that movie... He is just so sparkly, which is partially why I think James got him for me for my Christmas gift last year. He never got hung up last year, as I had a tiny flimsy tree and he's a little heavy. He would have totally weighed down and made the tree fall. So he makes his debut this year instead :D

 
This nutcracker is James'. We saw it when getting our angel, and I think he has an affinity for these guys. He is gorgous and all sparkly.

 
 
This is our newest Rudolph ornament (if you have read previous years, you would have seen we already own tons of ornaments from the old school movie Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer). We both love, love, love this movie. It has got to be our favourite classic, and so whenever we find characters, we just have to have them. This guy was a 'after-Christmas sale' purchase. He has a little snowflake that if you pull on it, his legs move :) I think our count of characters from this film are most definitly nearing 15 or more...

 
This is my Medical Radiation Technologist (aka X-ray tech) ornament from my good friend Anita. I was gifted it last year and love it. It's completely unique, and have been asked by many, many people how to get one. All I know is that she found it on Etsy, so I just tell them to search there :)

 
This guy isn't fancy but most definitly cute. We found him in our Christmas boxes, and we are not quite sure how he got there. Neither of us remember purchasing him, and he wasn't on either of our trees last year. I thinking a roomate of James must have thrown him in, but he was a surprise, and a cute one at that!


 
Annnddd...I'm so happy to say I was able to set up my camera on the counter and get a group picture of all of us...even the cat, although Oreo is a little camera shy and trying to get away right now.

Wednesday, November 28

....It's Been a Week!

It has been a week, and the week isn't even over yet! Lots of things have been happening to keep me on my tip-toes:

My printer died. It was a slow death, and wasn't resolving so I thought I would throw the towel in and call on the extended warranty that I had purchased. The printer wasn't properly feeding paper, and when I'm printing a wedding order of 120 invites...feeding them in one by one because the printer could not figure it out was not an option I was up to taking. So, as I type, I am setting up a new printer and then will go right away to continue printing out orders.

There was been car issues, it's being quite temperamental and must go to the garage tomorrow (by tow if it does not start). I have CAA so I'm not too concerned about the tow, as I have it covered - thought ahead there! It's due to a check up anyways. As well, for being an older car (8-9 years old I do believe), I have never had really big problems with it where it has left me stranded by any means, so I have been lucky on all accounts, especially with the amount that I drive it between my job sites, and when I'm on call after hours. And, I am 'stranded' with it in my driveway...at least I'm not on the side of the road :)

 I also started Computed Tomography training at a new hospital site, and that will last all this month, and possibly into January depending how things go. Tuesday was my first day, and there is so much to learn, but it is also just so cool what you can see on these scans. It's a very, very fast paced environment, sometimes dealing with critical patients - not that I haven't been dealing with critical patients in regular x-ray, it's just a different 'strain' of critical. I have been taking courses for this for a little while, so I'm at least accustomed to looking at the images and resolving typical things. But with training, it is full time hours this month. And with Christmas in the online store, that has  me busy than ever (which I am totally thankful for of course! I love, love painting!).

So if you do not see much of me online in this blog the next couple weeks, or if my posts are just pictures - it is because I am a very busy bunny running around :) I will try my utmost to at least share pictures of the ongoings, as there is going to be so much creative goodness happening this month in my life personally!

Monday, November 26

Sneaky...

 
Sneaky peeks at something artsy I'm working on. I love these macro shots and how they can show so much beautiful detail!


Sunday, November 25

Woodland Girls Painting Progress


The Woodland Girls paintings are coming along. After getting everything sketched out the other evening, I was able to start piecing things together. There are still a few 'kinks' or ideas that I am yet to think of, and some elements which will be added, but have to wait for later.
 

 
I cut out some pretty paper for the dress and for her hair, and then used a skin-toned ink for the intial wash for the skin. A great thing about the ink, since there is gel medium under, if I make a mistake I can 'scrub' it off. I used the new irridescent Golden paint colour, in Fine Gold, for the crown, and it really makes it pop - almost looks as though I used gold-leaf in person.
 
 I got some nice texture in the tree bark using some of my new Princeton Catalyst wedges and blades. I must say I simply adore these products! I bought one as a 'tester' to see if I could really apply it in my work, and I have been working on a painting, and so far have only used that wedge. They are just so cool and so utterly useful! I went back online and bought a bunch more wedges, and a couple blades. I admit I like the wedges more because I'm more 'one with' my art then, you really get in there, and really get dirty.
 
That 'wierd' white stuff at the top of this piece below (and on the trunk of the tree in the other painting) is just glass beads in gel medium drying. Once dry, it will go clear and there will be a very cool texture.

 
This second painting has a very 'sunset / sunrise' colour scheme going with it, and I think I'm going to work with it. A lot of complementary colours though, I so have to be very careful that I don't make 'mud'.
 
After I had a cuddle session with Oreo...thats my foot on the left in pink hehe, and yes my pants are green - I'm still in my scrub pants from work. I wanted to change / shower after I was all dirty from painting.
 

..and let the holidays begin!


This wreath is the first of my holiday decorations this year :) It's a faux pine / greenery wreath that I used every year, and just change the decorations on it. This year I've gone for a little bit more simplicity, and a beautiful, sparkly bow.

Saturday, November 24

Inside My Sketchbook.

 
 
This week in my sketchbook I was trying to 'work out' some figures to put on the two paintings I've started below. The backgrounds to the paintings are not quite finished, but I felt that in knowing where I was going better, I could better plan the details in the backgrounds a bit more, and not focus great detail in areas that will be covered up completely. 

 
I was also busy this week working on comissions, going to work, and playing a good student - studying away for an online course that I'm currently taking in Computed Tomography ('cat scans'). The exam was this past Friday, and I think it went really well. It feels good to have one more thing out of the way :)
 

 

Thursday, November 22