Abstract Flowers

While surfing the throngs of art on facebook, I came across a video of Mercedes painting simple white flowers. It seemed like a nice deviation from the faces I have been learning to paint, so I gave it a look see. I grabbed a brush and followed along. I am very happy with the result. Have a look at the video and grab a brush yourself, you might just like it!20170203_123154

Lifebook 2017

It is a joy to learn, I have come a long way for sure. This year I am once again enrolled in Lifebook through Willowing Arts. This week I was skeptical of the project, but pushed through and endured. Here it is.20170207_110843

Fall is in the ‘pumpkin’

 

I can feel it in my heart, and see it on the calendar, Fall is near. But the weather (California) would not be my indicator.

 

So what’s a girl to do?                Get a visual, Paint a pumpkin, so I dd.20160918_214115-1.jpg

 

But what  a lonely pumpkin. I felt sorry for it, just like the one (yes ONE) growing in my garden. I have never known a vine to produce but one pumpkin.

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I could not do anything more than feel bad for the lonely pumpkin in my garden, but my painting did not need to live alone, it would have a whole ‘patch’ of friends.

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So I painted pumpkins, lots of pumpkins,

painted with friends and they too have pumpkins.

 

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Kimmy and her first pumpkin painting

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Now it looks like Fall in my home and I am happy.wp-image-1901641856jpg.jpg

Reclaimed Wood + Ana White

squareWell, Here it is…. I have been pinning things on Pinterest, planning the semi remodel (updating ) of our Master Bathroom. I have also been scouring Ana Whites website. I think she is my newest idol.

I have always been able to show my hubby something and he would help me get the job done. (he did it)  But lately I am a little more impatient. I have more ideas than his time allows, so what’s a girl to do?

Do it Herself of course, there was just one tiny thing…. How to cut my precious pieces of wood that I have been saving and cultivating and weathering ( because the job didn’t get done when I first had the idea…), I am proficient in using the chop saw, but that would not work for ripping down the long fence boards. So I got a lesson on how to safely use the new big table saw. After all, I like my fingers. 2016-09-12-3

Now that I have that skill, and my tools, the sky is the limit, I say it is like sewing with wood.

I watched Ana’s You Tube video, and followed her directions pretty much.

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The wood I used is reclaimed redwood fencing headed to the dump, I have been saving it for projects like this.

We put the towel bar hook system together ( Another of Ana’s videos)

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and the next weekend we were going to build the organizer. But I couldn’t wait, so I did it. With the Kreg Jig, it was a piece of cake, and Tom was surprised when he came home and it was done. picmonkey-collage

I added a little toilet paper holder to hang next to it. And I have a place to display some favorite treasured things.

 

Plywood Sheeting to Beautiful Wood Flooring

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Well, it happened. After a couple years of drooling over Pinterest DIY plywood flooring, I convinced my man that it could be done. He was very skeptical. I have read lots of blogs on the subject, used Pinterest to highlight and show the results of ones I liked and ones I felt were not correct for our situation. He was still skeptical…….

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Also he is old school. ‘You don’t just wing it, it needs to be done right’. ‘The floor needs to be tongue and groove, how would you possibly hold it down?’  ‘You can’t just nail it to the floor.’  ‘ You can’t use plywood, you’ll get splinters when you walk.’      ‘It needs to be sealed.’  ‘ Top grade plywood is expensive.’          ‘ That would be a lot of work.’

 

Well he is right about a lot of things, and especially this last one. It IS a lot of work. But so worth it. We have pride when we walk on the floor WE MADE.

We had a flooring company come to measure our master bedroom and hallway for some rustic hardwood flooring, The cost was $7,950 installed for engineered wood. I was sure we could do better.

I had some sample boards from the store laying around while we selected the perfect one. I still wanted plywood. So I made a sample board of how I thought ours would look.

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Sample Board

We left it on the floor with the others for about a week and when friends came over we asked their unbiased opinion, most liked mine and were blown away when I said I MADE it. You what?

We lived without carpet for several months and when we got our heads wrapped around how this was actually going to happen, we started.

Here are the steps we followed.

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He can’t believe I talked him into this……
  1. Select the wood. We chose 15/32 plywood from Lowes. The cost per sheet was $15.95 per sheet.
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Cut into planks

2. Cut the wood, we chose to have plank widths:   6″ 4.75″ and 3.75″ This gave a cohesive randomness to the finished project. It also produced very little waste.

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Find your color, and stain planks. Wear a respirator. I put one on right after this photo.

3. Stain the planks, I used a combination of special walnut, natural oak and natural all from Minwax. I used these because that is what I had already that was not too red looking.

4. Let dry (and air out) overnight in the garage.

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under-lament for floating floors. We did this for sound and moisture

5. Install under-lament

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Place boards in order you want and make sure you have enough stained.

6. We laid the planks and spaced the pattern out before we nailed anything down. Then finished staining the remaining planks (outside)

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install using nails in each corner

7. Nail down planks. We made sure the boards were laying flush and did not creep. We used 2 5/8 panel nails (color Dark Oak). One in each corner of each board, then we snapped a line and made several rows to hold the boards securely.

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Sealed rustic farmhouse floor

8. Next we sealed it with three coats of Polycrylic also from Minwax.

 

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We had enough savings to justify a new bench…..

The result is fantastic. I am so happy with it.

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next is the bedroom……..

9.  Repeat steps 1-8 for the master bedroom.

10. Since we left our existing baseboards on and slipped the new floor under them, there was a small gap. This was fixed by installing base shoe trim along the floor. It finishes it off nicely.

 

 

When the going gets tough, KEEP GOING…

I completed another two lessons in the Lifebook course. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to make art…

They each have different things that attracted me to the lesson. Subsequently, each taught me something valuable.  The feather project from Alisa Burke was an eye catcher. I was excited to draw feathers simply because I love them, but her words were much more inspiring to me than the process of drawing a feather. Thanks to Alisa, I now have a field sketchbook and will spend more time outdoors sketching and collecting information and ideas that will help me grow into the artist I strive to become.

feather trio

As for the feathers, they are on my wall as a reminder to be original.

The second lesson I completed this week is by Juliette Crane. I think her subject matter and style are both cute and happy.  I have not done a painting like this before, and it was a challenge. I started out excited, found myself somewhere in the middle thinking, ‘Oh forget it” then pushing through with the notion ‘You don’t need to show anyone if it doesn’t work out”

Moonset Owl

Well, it worked out and it was relaxing actually, once I decided I did not need to show anyone.  This taught me persistence and the fact that a painting can always be rescued.

Heartfelt Thoughts

Well, it’s Wednesday, so that means another week of Lifebook with Tam at Willowing.org.

Heart layers

This week, we are embracing ‘Gratitude’ with a layered heart project.  The creating of the actual hearts was done with some Lifebook sisters and we always have a fun day making art together.

journal time

As I was alone finishing up the personal side of the project, the journaling, and reflecting, I was thinking about what I am grateful for. There are some pretty obvious things that stand out, my family, my home, my life and the fact I am able to create the space to make art. Then I dug deep into my thoughts and feelings as to WHY I create art…. What is is that makes me crave it so much, what is my purpose, why I feel a need to share it with people.

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I realized that  creating art, letting myself learn by doing and produce a tangible item, learning new techniques from new people, gaining knowledge, is very rewarding. However SHARING, it’s the sharing , the connectedness that makes me really happy and joyful inside. When I can help someone learn something new, teach them a new technique, guide them help them produce a tangible item that makes them happy, Then my heart is truly fulfilled. So I will go forth and share my knowledge and love of creating and helping others find happiness along the way.

finished Layers of my Heart project