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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Illustration Friday---Red

Thought I'd try this out---here's my "Red" Illustration... it's a small acrylic, 5" x 7".

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


It seems to be a new hobby a lot of people are picking up these days. I'm not sure why it's become the latest thing, but I find it interesting since it’s something I’ve been doing for years. I struggled with teaching myself how to knit soon after we were married, then learned how to spin my own yarn & did that for a time, getting together once a week with 3-4 other friends & spinning, eating fabulous desserts and enjoying a night away from our Mom responsibilities. I made sweaters for kids & adults, hats, mittens, gloves, sox, scarves... Soon I started making hats to sell---baby & kids fruit hats, & that's pretty much all I knit anymore. It's something I can do while reading or watching movies. One of those “little” everyday things that I don't think much about anymore until I started reading about others picking up the "habit"! I like seeing it’s resurgence!

Oh, I said I'd show you the finished window installed---here it is!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Studio Friday---or Studio Envy?!

"We get to see these wonderful studios, - how about not showing our own, but choose among the great studios we know about now? Tell us a little about why you like this studio, what you would like to do if you could work there for a day as if it was your own..." ~ mereteveian

This was the Studio Friday topic this week---and the studio I covet is my husband's sign shop. It is a separate building from our house, right out the back door---just 10 steps & he's inside, nice commute! What I like about his place is the tremendous space available. Terrific high ceilings, large industrial sink, cozy computer area & tons of storage. If it were my space it would look way different tho---but that's just because we work in such different mediums. He uses his shop for silk screening, wood working (those sign boards just don't cut themselves), gold leafing, metal work, along with painting etc.

He has at times let me work out there, and welcomes company, but it's not my studio, so though I have taken him up on his offer, I usually just work a while, finish up then go back inside the house to my space---there's something to say about an area being yours---it's comfortable because it's set up how you want it to be. Your supplies are in their expected spots, and you don't feel like you're imposing on anyone else.

Because I now have my own pastel studio I feel less need for more space than I did a year ago---but there's always that thought in the back of my mind---"what if...."

This shows the view to the right as soon as you walk in the door of his shop.

Nice loft storage, high ceilings...

The mirror ball is left over from the parties my daughter had in the shop this past fall.

The fabric screen on the right is pulled over to protect the rest of the shop while he was cutting out sign boards this week---it's usually pushed back against the far wall, opening up the space further.

This shows the industrial sink area---and the door my daughter was painting this summer...

Lastly, a peek back under the loft area where my husband is busily working away on his computer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Digital Scrapping

Ok, have been wanting to learn about this, so saw the downloads available in Creating Keepsakes Jan. issue---(yes, I'm behind!), and played around today with their free downloaded goodies---this is what I made! Not sure if I'd print it out (my printer just does 8.5x11) ever, but was fun to figure out, and I may see what I can do with some painting images---maybe for card designs or something?!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow much fun!

I love snow when we get it here in the valley---it's so rare, such a treat, doesn't last long so we don't get a chance to get tired of it, which means when it does arrive I have to stop and get out in it! Because it doesn't snow here often it usually means a day off from school too!! One year tho we had a superintendent from Colorado---he didn't think our inch or two of snow warranted a day off---made for a lot of disappointed kids (and adults...!) He didn't last long ;)!

When I opened the curtain in our bedroom this morning I was amazed at how thick the snow was piled up on the branches of our plum tree in our front yard---had to go find our camera to capture this image!

We had snow on & off all morning but by afternoon the sun came out & things began to melt fast around here. It's supposed to be cold tonight so the patches of snow we still have will probably stay a bit longer, but I'm sure school will be back in session tomorrow.

Tho Brad was hard at work, I talked him into an afternoon break & we drove up to our favorite hilltop park & hiked around the loop in snow that was a foot deep or more in parts! A real winter wonderland---so beautiful with the sun sparkling and blue shadows reflecting the azure sky!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The window is finished!

Well, thanks for the crossed fingers---we didn't crack, or ruin the sheet of glass we were sandblasting! In fact it turned out pretty well. The hard part now is getting a decent photo... Monday was fun---I relaxed with my sister-in-law at her place, visited with my 15 yr. old niece, marveled over their 21 year old cat that still jumps up on things...went thru a few fun shops in old town Vancouver, all while hubby was sandblasting this + a couple other pieces for some sign jobs. He called at 3:15 to say he was just starting the window piece... I wasn't surprised, but thought he'd be a bit further along since he dropped me off around 11:00! I then was asked to call his sister & let her know we weren't going to be installing it that day (she may have been relieved to not have to fuss with us while preparing for her party that night!) It wasn't finished 'til after 6:00---but looks good, and those piggy trees actually look rather orchard-like after all! Click on photo to get a larger image....

The photo was taken this afternoon---can you see the bits of snow on the grass? How cool is that?! Love snow---at least the rare snow showers we get around here---it's been dumping on & off all day, then the sun comes out & melts it almost all away---temps around 37-39ยบ so not really cold enough for it to last, but once it gets dark maybe there will be enough to close school tomorrow!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Window designs...

A year ago, my husband's sister moved into their dream house---a beautiful home they had built on a filbert farm with sweet views of the valley & Cascade mountains. For Christmas we offered to help make a fancy window to go over their front door---now a year later we're finally doing it! Of course it's not been easy because not only do we have to work with his sister & her husband on the design (not the problem), but we have to work together on this!! We're usually so compatible my sweet hubby & I, but when it comes to working on art projects together, we just don't mesh sometimes! He's great with graphics, sign stuff, lettering, but doesn't have a lot of confidence when it comes to pictorials. That means when there are any pictures involved he wants me to totally take over & do them. That would be fine, but I can't see what he's visualizing, so that's where the problems come in---after a lot of grumps & false expectations we finally came to an agreement---if he can sketch in his ideas and then pull out reference materials, I can go from there. I had drawn up a nifty design a year ago which is what we actually gave his sister & brother-in-law for Christmas, so they had that to start with. With suggestions & photos they took from their view we came up with the final design. Last night we drew this onto sandblasting stencils attached to their window which were then cut out today to expose the first part of the glass to be sandblasted tomorrow. Not an easy or quick process---especially when we don't own any sandblasting tools! Luckily Brad has sign artist connections and a buddy of his in Vancouver is going to help him out tomorrow which means I get to spend that time hanging with my sister-in-law! Yay me! Once Brad's finished sandblasting, he'll pick me up & off we go to his sister's house to install the finished window above their door---all before her party guests arrive that evening! Nothing like a deadline to get us motivated...! I'll be happy when it's up, but since sandblasting isn't my forte` & since this is tempered glass, there are still a lot of variables that could go wrong! At least my part is finished---the design is finalized & if for some reason the blasting doesn't work, I suppose we can try again with another piece of glass... Keep your fingers crossed for us---hopefully I'll be able to show a photo of the finished piece tomorrow or Tuesday!! In the meantime, here are a couple of pics showing the sheet of glass covered with the stencil material and the design sketched on---the round "lollypop orchard" you see is just the rough layout of a filbert orchard---they should look more orchard-like after they've been sandblasted---however, if you enlarge the image a bit, you might see we began to get a bit loopy last night & some of the trees have turned into little piggies....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

Sorry for the absence...but we've been busy again! I keep thinking "ah, holiday's over, time to move on" when something else pops up! Luckily it's all been good busy---friends, family, fun---what more can you ask for?!

We escaped for the New Year's holiday to a cute little cabin up on Mt. Hood with friends---they called unexpectedly and said family they had been expecting had to cancel, did we want to join them? After quick consultations w/my crew it was an easy consensus! Heck yeah!

We were celebrating our holiday season with another family that day (Sat.) which is always a fun tradition---either here at home or at their creative abode---so we planned our travels to the mountain the next day, New Year's Eve. The cabin is nestled between some giant newer homes that loomed over the little place. It is one of about 15 that were built around the same time as Timberline lodge was---so it's reeking with history & funkiness! The woman that owns the place has the placed decorated with monkeys, bells & ski kitsch---it was full of oddities, but was comfortable for the 8 of us---4 adults, 4 kids (although 2 of those kids aren't really considered kids since they're 18 & 22!---but they're my kids, so they counted!)

Highlights were snowshoeing---first time for 3 of us; downhill skiing---2 went on New Year's Eve from 9 pm 'til 1:45 am; and we all played Loaded Questions (funny game!!)---great entertainment for everyone there---7-50 + years old!

The first photo shows the creek up the road from the cabin:

This is the cabin---loved the warm light shining thru the window---such coziness!

A glimpse inside---

So glad we went, played, and are now happily back at home with nothing on the agenda today---maybe I'll cook some sweet meat squash---how's that for ambitious?!