PagesPat's Ponderings

Friday, June 21, 2024

A Birthday Gift for My Daughter


My daughter is all about positive mantras and self-love (in a good way)> He birthday is coming up next month. AS a matter of fact, she was born on the 4th of July. She's into crystals, Ghibli anime and spreading kindness like confetti.

I chose to create a canvas for her. She likes mushrooms, hedgehogs, and all things dogs. An occasional frog will catch her eye. So I stalked Pinterest for some ideas and found a cute pin that included both a  frog and mushrooms. I drew my own take on the pin, using colors I thought she would like. 

I painted over one of my older canvases due to a shortage of canvases in my house! I have done a LOT of decluttering, but have not got rid of any canvases, so they're either leaving of their own accord, or I've been painting more than I realized! I used acrylic paints on a stretched canvas. I think she'll like it...

I just ordered something from EBay to add to my gifts for her, a little something she has expressed a desire for. And I plan to take her to her favorite restaurant to celebrate. How blessed am I that I am able to give her these gifts! That's about all for now. I'm working on a large metal wall hanging that will go out on my back deck, in addition to adding to my craft fair inventory for this Fall. Hope you'll come back to see the results!!

Challenges I am Entering:
Crafty Animals - Anything w/an animal Goes
Critter Crazy - Anything w/a critter Goes

Monday, June 17, 2024

Inspired by C. S. Lewis and the Path of Positivity challenge blog

 Hello, crafters! Today's make is an 18" round wooden canvas. Using acrylic paints, I created several layers by painting and pressing leaves from a neighbor's tree onto the wood. I used a wash (water and green paint mix) in between each layer of leaves. The covered layers of leaves were painted with Titanium white paint, while the top layer has a mix of white and green leaf imprints. It gives the canvas a lot of dimension, don't you think? I finished off the canvas with a coat of loss varnish.

The Path of Positivity challenge blog offers a challenge this month with an optional twist: be inspired by a few quotes regarding Dreams and/or Goals. I chose one by C. S. Lewis:

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ― C.S. Lewis

I've always wanted a summer getaway ever since Girl Scout camp when I was younger. Just before COVID hit (and after turning 60+), my dream came true. I now own an RV in a park close to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. I've spent many enjoyable days at the pool, met wonderful park neighbors and toasted many a marshmallow around the campfire on summer nights.

                                       Enjoying s'mores with nephew and his family last Fall

My trailer overlooks a small ravine so that I can hear the water flowing past after a good rain. It's hard to find as it's completely surrounded by trees. and i can't wait to get out there again! It's a dream come true, even if I did have to wait a few decades...

How do your dreams or goals inspire you?  Come show us at the Path of Positivity challenge blog this month!!

Challenges I am Entering:
Simon Says - Let's Paint

Friday, June 14, 2024

My Colorful Path

Besides being an eclectic crafter, I am also a writer. I've been writing since the second grade when my teacher, Sister Carlene, told my parents that writing was my calling. Through most of the first part of the year, I've had a touch of writer's block. However, the weather recently in my neck of the woods has not only left us with cloudy skies and a river almost overflowing its banks, but quite a few rainbows. I have a whole spectrum of colors from which to inspire my creativity and writing today.

Colors often stimulate emotions in all of us. As I walk through the changing of seasons, from Spring to Summer, I look down, seeing the brilliant green of well-watered grass and look up to see the plentiful shades of green as leaves wave in the breeze of trees finally awakened by sun and rain.. Green to me is a sign of rebirth, of beginnings. To others, it's also a color of envy and dissatisfaction. It amuses me to think about the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side." It's all a matter of appreciation. If you keep looking ahead, you will miss out on the wonders of what surrounds you now. You'll miss the beauty of your own "grass."

As I write, the day is overcast and grey. Is grey a color? I know Crayola has a crayon or two labeled grey, but it's just a messy merging of black and white, as if each can't make up its mind - should I be black or white, sunny or cloudy, happy or sad... Not my favorite color, especially when I'm painting and I merge the paints a little too much and that's what I get, a grey canvas - ugh. But just like art, grey has a place in life. No one is completely good or evil, honest or dishonest, and situations can become a confusing grey quickly. I'm not a fan of conflict and confrontation-maybe that's why I don't like grey? But I can't ignore it either, so instead of taking a shortcut or deserting my path, I try to press on. Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is working out differences or misunderstandings with others walking beside you...

Blue is one of my favorite colors. There are so many shades, and when I want to relax, I can (most days) sit outside on my deck and look up.  I've written more poems about the sky than I can count. Most of my vacations are spent near water, where the blues brighten and swirl and cerate lovely shades of cerulean and aquamarine and teal. Scientists have studied colors and emotions and have found that blue is the most relaxing color in the spectrum. Regarding personality, blue often represents creativity and innovation. Maybe that's why BLUE jeans are more comfortable than Black jeans?! LOL

Back on the Path, the flowers show off their colors after having struggled to escape their earthen slumber. Before my eyes is a botanical runway of high fashion in reds, yellows and oranges. Even some of the bushes join the line-up, the burning bush with its leaves of fire-engine red and the forsythia with its vivid yellow ones. There's no ignoring those colors, and they give me a rush of energy and motivation. How about you?

I could go on and on, sine there are as many shades of colors as there are fish in the sea. I'm so thankful I have the ability to see and appreciate the colors that nature offers us. On my list of Christmas presents to buy for family, I want to purchase a pair of those special glasses for color-blind people. My dad was colorblind, so I carry the gene (as does my daughter) and when my son was born, sure enough, he was colorblind. I would love to give him the gift of the scintillating bounty of color.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Spilling Things onto Canvas

 Today I felt like drawing, so I took out my trusty gel pen, opened my art journal and drew a tree- a naked tree. Instead of filling in its leaves, I decided to break out the watercolors and gave the tree trunk and its branches a bit of life. It wasn't until I saw the paint dry that whimsy took over and I opened the kitchen cabinets, looking to find some "leaves".

My first find was a container of dried parsley. I tossed some onto my page and fell in love with my new canvas! I was going to move my journal but the way the sun shone through the open blinds onto the pages caught my eye and I was happy to take the photo before sweeping the oregano off the page..

And then I was off on a hunt to find more next find came out of a drawer of baking decorations. I thought the stars would be interesting, so...

I love the way it looks. I just wish I could figure out a way to frame each canvas. While walking Honey, my terrier mix rescue, I spied several tiny branches that were similar to full-grown trees. I picked them up for inspiration. Now I will broaden my search for more entertaining ways to create "leaves" for my trees. I'll feature them in another post. Until then, keep crafting!

Challenges I am Entering:
  A Place to Start - Anything but a Card
Art*Journal*Journey - What Makes You Happy
DL.Art - Anything Goes
  Four Seasons - Anything Summer Goes
WeLove2Create - Anything Mixed Media Goes

Monday, June 10, 2024

Painting with Me, Myself and I

I love when Spring rolls out its lush carpet to welcome Summer. I get truly inspired by all the blooms and blossoms every time I walk out my door. So after finishing a canvas for an upcoming Arts Festival, I pulled out a couple small stretched canvases and let Mother Nature guide my brush.

I used several shades of green with light sweeps of the paintbrush. Once dry, I tried a new to me technique that's been showing on YouTube for a while. Using a balloon of=r plastic bag, I dipped it into a select variety of paint colors. I then pressed the painted (crinkled) bottom of the bag onto the canvas and these awesomely abstract flowers bloomed in front of my eyes. If you like to paint and haven't tried this technique yet, I highly recommend it! It's fast, easy and fun!!

Challenges I am Entering:

Dream Valley - Summer Colors
Beautiful Blossoms - Anything Flowers Goes
Mirtillamente - Anything Goes
Pinspirational - Flowers


Friday, June 7, 2024

Looking for Your Happy Place

Everyone has a Happy Place. A place, whether a physical location, passionate activity or rush of memories, that brings a smile to our lips and a warm feeling to our souls. Somewhere we can feel safe, or liberated, or just plain glad to be alive.

Sometimes Life throws out roadblocks and detours to slow you down on the path toward your Happy place. You have to remember that you're not alone. There are family members, from grandparents all the way down to grandchildren, to walk with you. Friends are great companions, too. Especially the ones who make you laugh when you stumble. Neighbors, school moms, church members, doctors, fellow students, co-workers. They're all over the place, throughout your entire life. At times you start out walking with them; other times you meet them on the path.

Sometimes you have to be mindful of what's on your path at the moment and savor the good things. Look up to find rainbows and race with the clouds, look down so you don't miss tiny pedestrians sharing your path and blossoms of joy. Look ahead in anticipation and look behind in fond memory.

Sometimes you have to be brave and seek out hidden treasures of happiness - they could be just out of sight. Don't give up! The path toward Happiness is paved with surprises, love, hope, kind acts given and received, family, friends, achievements, and faith. It takes the weight of the world off your shoulders at times and makes the journey worth every step, every stumble, every detour and every discovery.

I'd like you to try what I call the Smiles Collection Challenge. Yesterday I went to my doctor's appointment. Where I park is a long way from the building. I challenged myself to "collect" 10 smiles from those I passed on my way in. Sometimes just a cheery Good morning and a smile got me a smile in return. Can you collect at least ten smiles in one day? Let me know! I bet you'll have one happy day!

The above is a reprint from an essay I wrote for the Path of Positivity back in 2019. After COVID, mass shootings, political upheaval, war and new health threats, I thought this would be a nice read for those who have forgotten where to find by Jill Humbert, my sister-in-law

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

All about ME

Today's make is a journal page I created using gel pen, markers, diecuts and fun quotes printed off of Pinterest. I have enjoyed a sudden and prolific burst of inspiration, and wanted to highlight this week of artistic endeavors with a new page in my journal.

While most of the quotes I collected are about ART, some just describe the way I'm feeling right now, including my insatiable appetite for cozy mysteries. Honestly, I'm swallowing them so fast I'm surprised I don't have ink on my lips!!

This week I've painted three canvases, tried two new techniques, prepared a large metal wall hanging to alter/upcycle and gathered supplies to create some fun specialty pens. I hope to have them on hand for the Fall craft fair I'm selling at this year. These tasks are in addition to my never-ending de-cluttering project. I've started cleaning out the garage. I'm storing the winter tools and supplies, bringing out the summer items, and filling the trash can with stuff that I never should have kept to begin with! 

How is your month coming along? I hope it's a creative one!

Challenges I am ENTERING:
Art*Journal*Journey  - What Makes You Happy