PagesPat's Ponderings

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Painting Furniture Now

 Last summer a neighbor was moving out, and had put lots of "junk" at the end of her driveway for garbage pick-up. My crafty radar lit up when I saw 2 metal patio tables. The black legs were slightly rusted, and the tops were covered with these teeny tiny glass tiles, but several were missing. I asked and was given permission to take them and they've been in my garage for almost a year. I decided it was time to make some magic.
I took the tops off the tables, and 2 hours later I had chiseled off all the glass tiles. I sadly underestimated the time it would take to strip off the tiles. I had to use a wire brush to clean the legs, and afterwards, spray painted them gold. I think they turned out well, although my original colors were going to be pink and aqua. I couldn't find my spray cans in those colors, so gold it was!
Next, I set up my acrylic paints to do a fluid paint pour. I expected a lot more black to show up, but the pattern isn't bad, and in the sun, the black doesn't show up much.
You can't really see it, so I took a close-up of the sparkle I put

I am starting on my 2nd table top tomorrow. I know the pattern won't be the same, not with a fluid paint pour, but I'll use the same colors, so it will all work out.
I can't wait to take my tables to my "cabin in the woods" and start working on the other deck furniture! Meanwhile, my 2nd table top awaits.
Happy crafting, guys!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Mini Moonlit Scene

 I finally returned to acrylic painting, but on a small scale. In fact, a tiny scale. Last year (when thrift stores were open and joy was in the air), I managed to snag half a dozen 2.5x2.5 inch stretched canvases, with their easels!! On another trip in the ancient past, I also found an unopened package of canvases, same size, wrapped like a stack of paper plates. There must be 2 dozen altogether!
So I started with this teeny, tiny white square and wondered what I could fit onto it. I didn't expect to paint a whole moonlit scene, so I'm very happy with the outcome.
If I ever get around to mixing up acrylic paints for another pour canvas, maybe I'll use a tiny bit of each color and try the fluid paint technique on one of these minis. Might be fun...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Inspiration from Scribbles Designs

Today I'm updating my progress on my Gram's baby blanket. She made it 40 years ago and some of the panels she embroidered are falling apart, so during this time of self-isolation, I am embroidering replacement panels. The one above is taken from a digital image from Scribbles Designs called #503 Duck.
I traced the image onto a piece of cotton and then embroidered  with floss. When I get all the panels finished that I need, I'll sew them onto the damaged ones. The blanket as it now stands is below.
Scribbles Designs has some amazing digital images which can be used on digital projects as well as on paper, mixed media, and obviously, sewing projects, as well as whatever your imagination can come up with. Have fun at the Store!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Memes by Me

In case you didn't catch it on my Facebook page, I created a couple memes to hopefully make you laugh during the stay-at-home period:
I used a digi image from the Squigglefly Store. This one is from Marlene. The background is credited to Rush Ranch and I have a commercial license for it. It's called Good Vibes Journal Card. The font is called El Capitan. (If you noticed, I forgot to write the word "with" between woman and hand sanitizer).
This one uses a digital image from Rick St Dennis. She is part of a collection of characters called Morning Goddesses. I colored her with Copics. BTW, I wear jeans every day, just in case...
The image here is a free clipart I found through Google. I thought it went with the sentiment perfectly. Too perfectly.

I snagged the silhouette from free clipart library, and the paper and stitched frame is from Pixel Scrappers. The font is called Tall Marker.

I hope you enjoyed these memes. I'm looking for more ways to expand my artistic adventures, and since I love humor and puns, these fit me like a glove. Which reminds me, I need another box if I go out again...

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Birthday Wishes

 My mom is so cute. She turned 87 last month. Since we were all quarantined, my daughter and I created a poster, taped it to the glass on her screen door and rang the doorbell. And hid! When she opened the door, she saw the poster. Then we walked over by the door,keeping our distance, and gave her birthday wishes and virtual hugs and kisses.
This weekend, she and my sister stopped off at MY house to wish me happy birthday. They came wearing masks and said, "This is a stick-up!" and then Mom presented me with her own poster.
 She used digital images I had  given to her to color when she got bored during the quarantine, adding little quotes for each that corresponded to me growing up. AND she left some coloring for me on each of the images! So it's interactive!! LOL
Anyway, it's so nice to actually see them outside getting some fresh air. I mean, at least Wendy and I get to walk the dog every day. And even tho it snowed yesterday, it's in the mid-50'sF today. Anyway, now you know where I get my crafty genes from - my Mom!!

Happy crafting, y'all!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Back to Water Colors

I had some time today set aside for creativity, so I pulled out my watercolors and painted 2 pictures. One is shown here, and one  went into the circular file. No all my paintings are good. A few are awesome, but many are tossed. But the more I paint, the better I get comfortable with paint and water and blending and shadows and highlights and dimension. I won't say this has a lot of dimension, but I like the colors and the promise of a warmer season to come.
My daughter and I discovered a Netflix original series called the Greenhouse Academy. There are four seasons and we just started the 2nd one. I hope to finish that 3rd quilt panel while the show is on. Once I get a 4th panel finished, I can seam them and finally hand-sew them all onto the panels that are damaged. I'll make sure to show you the finished project!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Fixing a Creative Problem

Have you ever created a project, and although it looked, well, okay, you just didn't like it? Something about it just bothered you to the point that you put it away, not quite ready to trash it, but not quite knowing how to fix it?
I created a mixed media canvas for the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog a few years back, using an Ike's Art image called Robot 2. Here it is BELOW:

It's nice, but it bothered me. I didn't hang it up with the rest of my canvases; I put it in a pile of my non-favorites, where it collected dust...until the quarantine, when I suddenly had the time to do a thorough cleaning out of every nook and cranny in my house. I have found so many things I never knew I still had!! And you should see the pile of donation bags stacked up in the basement, waiting for the thrift stores and schools to reopen so I can get them out of the house...
Anyway, I found this original canvas and decided NOW was the time to pitch it or fix it. And I fixed it. Here's the new and improved canvas,with a few tweaks here and there. It went from a 6x6 foam board canvas to a 12x12 stretched canvas.
I think my colors are more cohesive, and my words are more clearly portrayed. I have several "triangles" of color that lead the eye across the canvas to take in the full picture, and more layers and texture.
This year I am focusing on Balance in my life-in my health, my creativity, my finances, my social relationships (what are those, huh?), my family, new experiences, travel, etc. I have made huge inroads in de-cluttering my house and organizing my crafts, as well as experimenting with new art techniques and media. I've also got another 2 months before my physical so I continue to MOVE IT and lose some weight while keeping my A1C and cholesterol numbers down.
Balance is my mantra, every day, every way. As my canvas advocates, Balance is the Key to Everything...
Challenges I am Entering:
Bleeding Art - Anything Mixed Media Goes
Ike's World - Anything Goes w/optional Paper Piecing

Friday, April 10, 2020

Found a Needle (not in a haystack)

I found a bag from the local sewing machine repair store, the one that originally oiled and got my 1970s model sewing machine working. Luckily, I had bought extra needles and some spools of thread. So, only a few days passed before I had a working machine again.
Instead of trying to make the masks again, I decided to use some leftover material to make a lightweight blanket for our dog, Wilson. He just can't have enough blankets. I took a photo of him settling in for his after-lunch nap. I think he likes it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Water World

Whenever I get into a slump, or get tired of working on a long term project, I turn back to watercolors. Although I throw away as many pictures as I keep, it still gives me pleasure to watch my colors mingle together, to see light and shadow emerge through the flick of the brush, and to finish a project in a short amount of time.
So, since the beginning of the year, and especially during my self-isolation" period, my watercolors are always at hand, and I've created several new watercolors. The first is shown above. I love the moonlight,and wanted to accentuate that on water.
Below, I painted an autumn scene, again with water. One of my friends loves the season, so it has gone to a good home.
Just one more to show you, and although the perspective is a bit off, it's my favorite memories of my visit to Florida earlier this year. I took lots of photos, so this won't be the last you'll see of beaches and palm trees, etc. But it is the last I'm including in my post today.
 Tomorrow it's back to needlepoint. I have two more panels to embroider before sewing them onto the baby quilt my Gram made me when I got married (poor thing is falling apart in places.). I hope you all are making the best of your "stay-at-home" time during the pandemic. Remember, my mission this year is all about balance, so I am balancing my craft time with personal care, fitness, cleaning the house, de-cluttering, organizing, and learning. 
When you look back at this period in your life, will you be happy with how you used your time? Stay healthy, guys!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lockdown is For Everyone

Wendy and I enjoyed nicer temps today and took our dog, Wilson, for a walk. We had just passed a tree and happened to look back at it. There was a huge hole just the right size for a squirrel in which to spend his quarantine time. It took me several attempts before I actually saw the critter, and took a quick pic with my phone. Can you spot him? The photo below will help:
He's as snug as a bug in a rug, as my Gram would say. Maybe he's riding out the pandemic like us humans?

Monday, April 6, 2020

I Broke My Sewing Machine

Now that the CDC decided everyone should wear masks when going out,  there are none to be had. So I pulled out my inherited portable Singer sewing machine (1970's). The last time I used it (12 months+) it was stuck in "wind bobbin" mode.
I was determined to get it working so I could make a few masks to go grocery shopping. I Googled and they actually had a PDF of the owner's manual for it! During the next three HOURS,  I managed to:
...drop the needle down into the bobbin case,
...take apart the bottom of the sewing case and recover it, the needle to pull the bobbin thread up,
...pulled out a massive knot of thread from the bobbin case,
...and finally sewed 2 pieces of material together. That was all I could handle that day.
The next morning I cut and ironed a handful of soon-to-be masks. I placed my first mask in position, stepped on the foot pedal, and it broke my needle!!
So my masks are hot-glued. They may not be pretty, they may not be able to go into the washer, but I can at least go out when my milk expires (or I run out of it).
The glue gun is to a crafter like duct tape is to a guy.
True story...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Thank You, Gram

By the time I was 14 years old, my Gram had taught me how to bake bread, make Hungarian pancakes (a cross between crepes and Swedish pancakes), darn, hand-stitch, embroider, sew on her (1920-era) Singer sewing machine,  and crochet. That was a l-o-n-g time ago, but some things are, like they say, easy to get back to, like riding a bike.
In my daily purge and organizational efforts during self-isolation, I finally tackled my "sewing stuff". Lots of old material, thread, bobbins to a machine I no longer have, yarn, zippers, crochet hooks - I even found 2 latch hook tools! I haven't seen latch-hooking kits in decades!
I also found the baby blanket that my Gram sewed for me.She sewed one for each of her 6 grandkids. She gave me mine when I got married (when Bill passed away, we had just had our 41st anniversary). So it's not exactly starchy new. In fact, as you can see below, a few of the panels that she embroidered have started to fall apart.
 With all this "free" time on my hands, I have been trying new techniques in art, but this week I am returning to a long-lost one from my past. Gram taught me the Back stitch, the French Knot, the Cross stitch, and many others, and it's slowly coming back to me. While she traced animals out of children's coloring books, I have a large collection of digital images from which to choose.
For my first panel, I traced Frog Prince digi from Tiddly Inks and started sewing.
The most difficult part?  Threading the needle!! LOL
I don't know if this form of crafting fits any challenges out there in Blog Land, but I might join a few Anything Goes just to show people I'm still alive and kicking!
Challenges I am Entering:
(there are none)