Archive for March, 2012

Art Night Rolls Around

This week, using, as usual, Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim, we had some fun with “blindly” drawing people from a distance. We kind of posed for each other–and kind of didn’t. Technically, we were supposed to be in a public spot, like a cafe or train station (you know, all those train stations available here on the prairie), but we compromised and sat around the kitchen table pretending we were at a cafe or a train station.

We were supposed to draw each other from “afar” without looking at the paper. Now, each artist decided how much he or she would adhere to this rule. As you will see. We also had a challenging time competing with the beautiful weather for the attention of some of our usual participants. As you will also see.

For example, Margaret popped in from outside for a quick drawing of Levi.


And after fixing some fence, Joey came inside and drew some pictures of Clara and Tim.


Tim captured quite a few subjects. I see Joey, Levi and Clara.


As did Levi. (I think that Tim and Clara are on the left and Charlotte and Amelia are on the right.)


Charlotte drew me…twice. I’m sincerely flattered.


I also made it twice into Clara’s drawings (along with Amelia and Eleanor and Levi.)


Is this Clara, Amelia? Or Eleanor?


Oh, here I am as “Fat Mom” by Eleanor.


Finally, I drew Joey, Amelia with Edmund and Clara. I have to say that I really kind of like the one of Amelia and Edmund.


So, there you have it. Art Night fun. As usual.


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The Happy Day Project Challenge #2: Drop It, Do It

Apparently, my blogging is mostly driven by other bloggers’ challenges. Oh, well. Whatever works, right?

Anyway, Alicia over at La Famille has started The Happy Day Project. We could use some happy around here, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. This week, I’m dropping it and doing it.

I am surrounded by a small band of insatiable mini-crafters who daily clamor for crafts. (I wonder how that happened?) So, today when math angst was setting in, I grabbed the copy of Family Fun magazine that just arrived in the mail and determined that we were going to drop math (temporarily) and just do whatever crafts we could with what we had on hand.


I opened the magazine to this page…and we just dropped everything and did three crafts.


First, we cut out flowers, folded in the petals and watched them unfold when we put them in water.




Then we made a balancing bunny.



And, finally, we created some fingerprint pussy willow branches.







My recommendation when you have clamoring crafters? Drop it, do it! We had a happy day.

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Barred Chain Stitch

This week’s TAST challenge surprised me. I was excited about this stitch because it is supposed to look kind of vine-y and I’m definitely “into” vines around here. I thought I would gain a wonderful new stitch for my projects.

However, I never could develop a rhythm to the stitching. I was basically annoyed and frustrated the whole time I was stitching. Let’s just say that I have enough annoying and frustrating activities in my life already and I embroider to ENJOY the process.

My first attempt at the Barred Chain Stitch was with two strands of floss since I didn’t want my lines to be too thick, making it difficult to discern the lettering.


I also kept my Twisted Chain stitches (that make up the “bars”) rather narrow compared to the line I was following.


Consequently, the “bars” are not very evident.


And since the Twisted Chain stitch was what was annoying me most, I wanted to see the effect it had, rather than it just looking like a kind of messy Chain Stitch. SO for the next word, I used three strands of floss and started the twisted stitch farther from my guiding line.


I was a little more satisfied with the second attempt.


I guess I haven’t totally dismissed the Barred Chain Stitch…more experimentation is probably necessary.

Anyway…progress so far:


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Art Night Has Returned

We’re back in the swing of Art Night (using Carla Sonheim‘s Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun). We laughed as much as we usually do. Because we were drawing portraits of each other with our NON-dominant hands. Oh. My.

For example, Charlotte was drawn by Amelia and Lydia.


Charlotte drew Lydia.


Eleanor and Clara portrayed Levi.


Eleanor and Levi drew Clara.


Jacob was pictured by Clara and Margaret.


Tim and Jacob drew Margaret.


Levi and Clara sketched Eleanor.


Margaret and I drew Tim.


Amelia was captured by Levi and me.


And I won the popularity contest (wait, we weren’t having a popularity contest…) by having my portrait drawn by Amelia, Charlotte, Jacob, Tim and Eleanor. I did feel special. Really.


Such fun!

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Crafting for Kindness

Once upon a time (which is another way of confessing that I have been LONG remiss in writing this post), I received a gift in the mail.


This gift came as a complete surprise.


It meant that someone was actually reading my blog. As in, reading THIS POST.


It meant that someone took time to make something especially for me. Something that she knew I liked.


She made something for me “just because.” It meant a lot to me because all of last year was just unnervingly stressful. And then I get this “just because” gift in the mail.

Then, this week, I was reading THIS POST on Beautifully Rooted in which Jami says:

i think generally, we save crafting for happy times and forget the power that handmade, meaningful gifts have during times of deep devastation or pain. in the case of grief, we often times feel awkward towards that person, when really, that person needs us to press in. maybe not in a huge way. maybe they need you to press in, but in a smaller way? the point is that we are saying, i see your pain. i feel it. and i care.

So, as I was wearing my beautiful “just because” gift from Sara today, I was asking God to show me where I might use my crafting to show someone I care. Just because.

P.S. I dearly love Sara and Laura who both give of their amazing talents so generously. Thank you, girls, for being you!

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Whipped Wheel

This week was a perfect example of the value of my participating in TAST: I have never attempted this stitch before. Of course, I have spotted it as I’ve pored over my many stitch encyclopedias. But I’ve never tried it. Until now.





It was an interesting addition to my 1 John 4:7 sampler.


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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Running Stitch

I felt like I was running a bit this week trying to complete my TAST challenge. But, here it is!

First, I just used a Double Running Stitch (or Holbein).


Then, I ventured off into Double Darning Stitch and a bit of Whipped Running Stitch and Interlaced Running Stitch.


This close-up of some of my Double Darning shows why I should not attempt this stitch on felt (vs. an even weave fabric), in a dimly lit room while watching “Secondhand Lions.” I had to really concentrate to finally get my rows of stitches to line up directly below the row above.


However, the Whipping Running Stitch and Interlaced Running Stitch didn’t provide so great a challenge as the Double Darning did. I embroidered them while watching “Pride and Prejudice” and they came out just fine.


Finally, I attempted Double Darning again–this time with a bricked effect. I paid a lot of attention to keeping my stitches even and straight and I was a lot more content with the outcome.





And…progress so far:


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