Thursday, April 30, 2020

Superhero Cape (for a toddler)

April 28th was National Superhero Day.
Who knew?
I didn't even know that we needed a superhero day.
It seemd like a good opportunity to up-cycle a couple of old tee shirts!
A couple of Ron's old tee shirts...
A little Rit dye to make the white one orange...
Visit to Pinterest to get the shape right...
Stuff to iron and stick the design on...
Sew, turn, iron, sew, add velcro at the neck...
If an empty milk jug is simply better than any toy in Gram-E's playroom,
by all means, carry it around where ever you go.
It's easy to be a superhero when your Pop-E is a superhero! ðŸ˜
Of course I had to make one for my other little sweetie and put that one in the mail.  Hers is more of a princess cape though... pink tulle, pink lace, pink silky material... Perfect for twirling!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Purple Iris, the Silver Lining

I love irises. 
They bring the purple into spring every April.

Here are a few of mine that bring such joy each year. They are beautiful and I love them, but they don't really have a story.  The one in the painting has a story worth telling.

We moved into our new home the week of September 11, 2001. (Yeah, that September 11...) It was a busy time.  The country was reeling from the events of the week, the school year had just begun, and we were setting up our forever home.
A friend told me she was thinning her iris bed and asked if I'd like to have some for our new yard.  Um... YES!  Like I would ever turn that offer down!
Like I said, it was a busy time of getting settled, and building a flower bed wasn't high on the list of priorities.  But we had this great little hillside just down the drive. (I painted this little hillside earlier this year.)  I could just imagine this hillside covered with irises, so I poked the bulbs into the ground all over the hillside and waited... The next spring their light green flags were tall and beautiful... but not a single flower.  That's okay, it takes a year for them to get really grounded, so I waited... another year... and another... and another... Lots of green flags... zero flowers... ever...
Now, friends, look at the painting of the hillside, what do you see?  
Lots of trees... too much shade... not enough sun for irises to bloom... ever...

Fast forward... 8 years... 
Every one who has who lived in Northwest Arkansas for a long time will remember the winter of 2009... the ice storm of the century... branches breaking through the night with gunshot-like cracks, treetops splintered, no power for 8 days... devastation everywhere... 

So much clean up...  a mission team from a Baptist church in another county, men we didn't know, just showed up with their chainsaws... just came to help... so humbling...

Then the weather warmed... spring arrived... April came... and... 
The irises on the hillside bloomed for the first time ever!
How could that be?
All those toppled trees and broken limbs... let the sunshine in...
...a silver lining... 

Do you have a "silver lining" story?  Share!!

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Grace Reflected

Coronavirus controls and consumes our conversation, our activities our thoughts, and our lives right now. What better time for each of us to be reflective and to practice grace - give it, ask for it, watch for it.

Grace: /É¡rāsnoun  
   1. simple elegance 
   2. courteous goodwill.
   3. beauty of form
   4. unmerited favor
   5. refined movement

Reflection: /ri-flek'-shuhn/ noun
   1. mirroring
   2. careful consideration
   3. serious thought of a subject, idea or purpose

While driving to a hiking trail in the next county over, we came across these two swans in their pond. I chose to paint them in response to Sara's Inspiration Image, "Two by Two," from April's Inspiration Collaboration.  She says, "I could also have titled this image 'Reflections,' because that is what many of us are doing right now. Life has changed, and many of us have more time on our hands to ponder and re-evaluate what things are important to us."

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Garden Prep 2020

I guess this post is upside down since it goes from finish to start.

Spring is an exciting time.
We have several cold-ish days in the forecast, but then it will be time for the little plants to move outside!
My garden 2020 is ready to go!
7,948,621 shovels full later.
Empty at last!
Just one shovel full at a time.
A daunting task.
Around and around.
Where do these rocks come from?
Mixing it up!
Getting every last bit out, I guess.
Adding the contribution from the chickens.
Sprinkling the magic crystals (a.k.a. fertilizer from the store).
Someone is so interested he just can't keep his paws off.
Growing bigger every day!
They have a view of the garden where they'll live soon!
Grow little ones!!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Spring Comes

Winter is cold and gray... but... spring comes.
What we see every day in the news is sad and scary... but... spring comes.
Coronavirus occupies our thoughts and conversations... but... spring comes.

We are now beginning our fourth week of being at home all day every day. It's been even longer for my daughter's family on the East Coast where the numbers of those testing positive are staggering.  When the weather allows, they take their little one out for walks.  A few days ago she sent me this picture from outside their apartment and said, "The cherry blossoms are blooming anyway."

Things seem to be falling apart... but... spring comes.

I painted this in response to Sara's Inspiration Image "Strength & Hope for April's Inspiration Collaboration.  She says, "... there is always some beauty to be found, some hope to carry on."

Spring symbolizes hope. Pink blossoms bring hope of fruits and the coming green. Eggs in a bird's nest bring hope for new life and the sound bird songs. Spring comes... and brings hope.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

To purchase this little painting, just click Spring Comes.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Raggedy Ann Doll

Someone (You know who you are...😉) recently told me she thought Raggedy Anns were creepy. 
I cannot imagine how a floppy doll with big round staring eyes with zig-zags underneath, a red triangle nose, and out-of-control bright red hair could be seen as creepy!! 

I've always had a soft spot for Raggedy Ann.  Oh, how I loved mine!  My grandma made an Ann and Andy during the years when that crazy craft fake fur was so popular.  Instead of sewing all those red yarn pieces, she sewed neon orange fake fur to their heads. I thought they were the best! Looking back, I'm sure they were hilarious... even creepy.

I'm not sure where this Little Golden
Book on my shelf came from, but I've
had it a long time.
I still have this sleeping bag that I took to
every single slumber party when I was a kid., Love, LOVED this book so much!! 
Laura's Christmas Rag Doll, Charlotte,
had "beautiful black yarn braids."
I made this Ann & Andy set when I was pregnant. 
They got to sit in the bassinet beside my new baby girl.
Aren't we cute Raggedies!
I made these costumes when my little 
ones were two and five... a long time ago...
 In my art studio, I have a shelf where I keep some of my favorite things.  Recently (pre social distancing) my painting partner brought her granddaughters over for a painting lesson.  One of them kept staring  wide-eyed at this shelf.
She finally said, "Why is your Elf on the Shelf here?"
I told her that was just Leona's spot there with the Raggedies.
In disbelief, she asked, "How can she be here instead of the North Pole?"
Oops!  Ummm....
Well, Leona's kind of bad and doesn't follow rules.
What about you?
Do you have a Raggedy Ann memory?

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Raggedy Ann Doll" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Inspiration Collaboration - April 2020

Four new Inspiration Images are up for April!

It's easy to be a part of this creative community.
  1. Click over to Inspiration Collaboration to get a better look at the four new Inspiration Images and read the stories behind each one.
  2. Choose one that inspires you to create.
  3. Make it!  (Make it with paint... or wood... or yarn... or fabric... or words... or a camera... or clay... pen and ink... or... )
  4. Take a picture of your art and send it to us!
You'll find everything you'll need to know  when you click Instructions for Submission.