Saturday, September 27, 2008

I've been lurking

Hello. I have been gone awhile. I haven't been posting because I have been lurking on this lady's blog. She is amazing. She has furniture painting instructions if you want to get something used and make it shabby chic. On her blog she taught me about Craigslist. Now, I knew about Craigslist but I didn't know that you can get stuff for free. Free I tell ya. Here is a picture of a chair she got for $35. When I saw this I thought, "I should look for some shelves" since not only do we not have grass but I don't have any shelves in my closet. I found these shelves for $40. Aren't they cute? They are originally from IKEA and I put them in Art Girl's closet. Hopefully, she will be able to put her art messes in there and keep her room a little neater.
These are some shelves I got for FREE! It is actually a table and shelves and they are solid pine and quite large. You can't tell in the picture but they are about 7 feet tall. They used to be a candle display at a Hallmark store. I'm going to load 'em up with my art messes. Maybe then I can see the floor.
This, this piece is a miracle. A miracle that it was under $200 and that this seller was not interested in her hand me down froo froo stuff from her mother. I on the other hand LOVE froo froo stuff. This thing was HEAVY. I mean, I think it is made out of iron and then painted to look like wood. Rex and Ian and I could barely lift it. It is so nice and pretty. Like my friends. Mini Me is going to use it to store her scrapbook stuff. I'm telling ya, art is messy.
Look at these handles. On the inside it says Century. That is a high quality furniture manufacturer I can't afford. The woman I bought it from said it was $2600 brand new. I had to sneek out of the house to go get it. When my husband called me and asked me what I was doing I said I was getting some storage for the house. When I got home he was shocked and thought I blew a wad of dough. I love it. Now, go on Craigslist and buy washers or laptops for $5 or look at the free section. You might just find some huge shelves or a pretty armoire like I did.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Goofing Off!

Our Monkey's piano teacher is a very talented young high school student and wants to increase her artist portfolio so she can get into BYU. I think BYU is the best university art program in the country. Aside from going to an atelier for a REAL art education, I think BYU is a fine institution. They don't have nude life drawing for one. I mean, that is completely unnecessary, and gross. I can't even look at myself naked much less a complete stranger. I think that would scar me for life. Anyway, Our piano teacher needs to add some oil paintings to her collection of colored pencils and acrylics and baby stuff. Oil painting is the big time, the real deal, the "I'm a real artist- am too, am too" art. So Saturday she came over and we painted together. She painted an alla prima painting of Mini Me and I painted Art Girl. Mini Me held real still for her. Art Girl moved A LOT! I wasn't going to paint her for that reason but she wanted to model so bad that she got real upset when I wasn't going to paint her. I'm talking weeping, wailing and knashing of teeth. Knashing? No one ever says that any more. This painting is keeping me from doing my real project affectionately called "Church art competition painting". When I think of my deadline on October 10th I want to say "AAAACCCCKKKKKK!" I'm not done. Or close to done. I am just starting my "depths of despair" phase of the painting process. I still have "light at the end of the tunnel" phase, then "joy of finishing" and then "I screwed up on that part and I have to redo that" phase, sometimes known as "What was I thinking? I need to throw this in the dumpster!" phase.
Anyway, I think I got a pretty good likeness for just goofing off and Art Girl has a new painting. Oh, by the way, that blue background is straight Paynes grey and white. Her skin is venetian red and white or raw sienna and white. Seriously. This whole thing is mostly tube colors and white. For you painters out there- put down the cadmiums and pick up the earth colors. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are you jealous?

This was our breakfast this morning. Mmmm... homegrown cantalope. I actually just scooped some seeds from a cantalope I had purchased earlier this summer, put them in the ground and here we are.
I had two ripen this morning so we had to eat them. You can't tell, but they were HUGE. We scooped out the one on the right before I could get my camera out. It was good, too.
Here are some more babies out in the garden. I have never had cantalope this good before. I think part of it is that we moved next to a lemon grove where there are lots of bees. Sometimes there are so many bees that the kids won't even go out on the patio. The big wusses. Now, they are happy we have bees. We also have had a good crop of cucumbers, peas, and green beans. Bees, baby. They aren't just for honey.
Here is our breakfast two days ago. They are wrapped around the tomato plants. I know, you are really jealous now aren't you?
Well, since I have to wait a day or two for my paint to dry and I'm allergic to housework, I decided to clean up the garden and get ready for the fall planting. Not all of my backyard is full of weeds. To the left are my two left handed gloves and there is some soaker hose laying around. You have to have soaker hose. So now is the time for you Arizona people to plant your carrots, peas, broccoli, lettuce, corn... you get the picture. Last year we planted only one package of lettuce and we had salad every night for three months and even had some for the neighbors. My kids are getting gourmet on me and they held me down and tied me up and demanded I plant Sugar pumpkins and Buttercrunch Lettuce. Man those rope burns are killer. I will let you see the progress as soon as I get some. GO PLANT!

Second and Third Layer

I have been very fortunate to have found an old photo of my Great-great grandmother Louisa Sheen who was 5 years old when she came to America with her family. She walked across the plains in a handcart company with her little sisters and big sister. Tragically, she lost her 1 year old sister when they were about a month out on the trail. Their company, the Ellsworth Company, was actually very lucky to have been the first handcart company to leave that year. The following groups were the tragic Martin and Willie Handcart companies. Anyway, I have a photo. But, she is not five, dangit. So I have to make stuff up. I guess it doesn't really matter to anyone but me- but I want to get it right. Plus, I think she looks A LOT like my grandma who I love, love, love. Did I mention that I love my grandma?
Here we are with the second layer. I know it is real blurry, but that is just the foundation for the detail that is to come later. The black things are supposed to suggest boots. I'm going to paint long strands of grass over the top of them so we don't don't need to see much. Plus, when I shot B I didn't have any boots for the photo. The white blurs are going to be Queen Anne's Lace. I have been in Iowa during the summer and Queen Anne's Lace is everywhere. It is so pretty. Oh, by the way the sky is Payne's Gray and white. It really looks bluer in person but I think it looks natural. For all you painters out there...PUT DOWN THE CERULEAN!!! Thank you. Third layer. I think I got the dress better but that bonnet is giving me fits. And the curls. And the doll. Oh crap! I haven't even started the grass yet! I am starting to enter the phase of painting my art teacher calls, "the depths of despair". After that phase is "the light at the end of the tunnel" phase. I'm looking forward to that stage. (I actually think skin is the easiest part.)
I put another layer on her face but I need to rework her mouth. She reminds me of the Joker from Batman. I also know I need to work on her eyes, don't send me hate mail, I just couldn't find my 20/00 spotter. For you non painters out there, that's a paint brush with 3 hairs in it. My daughter was really upset that I painted her hair red. I had to make her cookies. Mmmm... cookies.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tall patch of bushy grass

When we moved into our new house we were too cash strapped to put in landscaping and the weeds are gross and out of control and I have spent about $100 dollars on Roundup and I still have monstrous weeds everywhere. Well, if you can't beat 'em... join 'em! Hello weedy backyard. I am sorry I ever grumbled against you.
Yes, this is really my backyard. The shorter stuff in front is Bermuda grass and the taller stuff in the back is Johnson grass. Sometimes I feel like a hillbilly, white trash, weed growin' barefoot mother of eight. Okay, I feel that way all of the time, but now I'm proud of it!
I love Johnson grass. That chair was dang hard to get outside our back door. I think I will plant Johnson grass in our next house's back yard. It sure would be convenient for photoshoots. Oooh... I could plant wheat. That would be cool and be green in the winter.
We shot these on Labor Day instead of going cliff diving like Married Girl, Married Boy, and Rex. They didn't wear sunscreen and got sunburned but we got these beautiful pics. Haha, we won. I would have posted these sooner but our power grid went out that night and blew my computer for a week and my man fixed it all by himself. Like a pro computer guy. My hero.
This one is my favorite. It was almost sundown and the baby was not cooperating and I am lucky I got any of them in focus. I think I will make this one my business card. This just goes to show you that you have to be grateful for what you have. If life gives you weeds, make pictures.