Thursday, May 23, 2013

Painting Happy!

Hello Everyone!

I'm so excited to share a new piece of art with you!  But, before I do, I need to give you a bit of info on how she came to be.....

You see, I was lucky enough to take a very special online painting course called Paint Happy.
It is given by the wonderful Micki Wilde of The Secret Hermit.

I've long been a fan of her work.
She makes whimsy and cheeriness look so easy....her faces are so full of warmth and character....her backgrounds are delicious....and it is evident that she adores what she does. 

What's amazing about this course is that it addresses every single one of those truths so that you can have them, too!  It delivers so much good and useful information on how to keep your art playful and meaningful, even if it sprang from a darker place.

Wait til you get to the part about your Wolf!  I don't want to give too much away...but that part was really powerful for me.  There is a wolf in me that hasn't yet gotten onto the page.  When it does, I'll share it here.
Here, check out the promo video for the course.  You'll see why I'm so excited!
Now, onto my art! 
I had so much fun making this piece.  I find I can be way too serious when I create.  I can get too hung up on details and my own weird sense of perfection that it can suck a lot of the enjoyment out of making art....and it seems to take a lot longer, too.
I whipped this one out pretty quickly (humming all the while, I might add)...and I couldn't be happier with the results! 
You can see the influence of Micki's style in her sweet face.
...and look at how her ideas and techniques transformed my background!
You can click to enlarge if you like :)
So much bright, doodly, colorful play!
I can't wait to try out more of her suggestions!
If you'd like to take the course or see more of her fantastic art, please visit her Etsy Shop and her Blog!
Everyone deserves to enjoy what they do!
Big neon colored hugs!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Peace, Love, Foxes

Last year, Maggie's Spy Party was a lot of fun....but EXTREMELY labor intensive and stressful.  As soon as it was over, I told her that the next year was going to be an "easy" party for Mommy and Daddy.....haha!
We did simplify a bit, but I hope it didn't look like we did ;P
These were her invitations this year.  I had quite a few extra, so I tried to incorporate them into the décor.
The colors were white and green polka dots, brown and accents of yellow. 
 I went to our local park to pick up lots of free, natural elements for our décor :)
The little hedgehog was a thrift store find.
I tried to add a woodland touch to everything in the house.  I just took the above photo tonight, so sorry for the lighting!  But, I forgot to take pics of everything on the day.
I found some cute woodland fabric to use as a tablecloth, but I also made Mags a special shirt from it for her special day.  The owl is an iron-on.
We had 2 craft stations for the kids. 1 for making painted rocks and another for coloring and beading their own bookmarks. 

I purchased digistamps and made the templates for the bookmarks in Photoshop.  I had them printed on cardstock and cut them out myself.
See the cute snail on that rock? :)
These were the Goodie Bags.
I hot-glued raffia and ribbon bows to clothespins to clip onto simple white bags.
Inside (again, night picture, sorry) was a sheet of Woodland Stickers, a fox bookplate that I turned into a sticker using my handy Xyron machine, a foldable owl friend, animal crackers, fruit snacks and a Tootsie Pop.  I'm not big on giving lots of candy.  I thought these things and the crafts were good enough :)
I found this cool guy here.
It was a super hot day.  I wanted the drinks to be super accessible. 
I made 2 kinds of iced tea and offered juice boxes and water, as well.  I decided not to put out food this year which was the biggest stress reliever of all!  The kids arrived, started their crafts, had a drink......then......
Went outside for the main event!
An Animal Show!
We were able to go to their Website and pick 5 animals for the show.  These were Maggie's choices.
A sweet little Hedgehog :)
A funny Armadillo :)
A fierce-looking Alligator. 
 I just love this windswept picture of Maggie...cheeks rosy from the heat.
A Fennec Fox.
This little critter made all the girls squeal with delight :)
The adults loved the animals as much as the kids. 
They were all asking questions and waiting their turn to pet. :)
This next animal stole the show and made everyone gasp.
This is Gizmo the Barn Owl.
It is so hard to describe just how beautiful they are up close....and how soft....
It really was so neat to have an event like this in our own backyard.  5 animals was just enough, though.  Everyone was getting thirsty and a bit over-heated. 
 It was time to go in and cool off with some cake!
Those rocks on the cake are actually candy. 
I think this is my favorite cake of all her Birthdays so far.
After cake and presents, some girls danced while others finished their crafts.  It was a very nice day!
Maggie has told me, though, that she's looking forward to the "hard" party she's going to have next year! She's already started making plans.
Uh oh! Haha!
Thank you so much for stopping by our little woodsy gathering!
I'll be back with some art soon :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

I've Got 3 Words for You....

I'm so sorry!
Well, those aren't the words I was talking about, but they are oh-so-true!
 I've been away from my blog for far too long....forgive me....pretty please :)

You see, it was Maggie's 7th Birthday last week and we had 2 parties for her over the past 2 for family...and one for just school friends.  I've been cleaning, planning, cooking, decorating and basically in Party Mode for 2 weeks straight.  I can't wait to get all the photos up here to show you, but that will be another post.

So, now that I'm officially "free", I've resumed my regularly scheduled activities! That means going to the gym. Boo! But also, painting! Yay!

I rescued a whole deck of these adorable flashcards from the trash a while back.

I started by gessoing them and adhering some paper to them.
Then I used my new favorite technique of scribbling on watercolor pencils....
....and gessoing again over it.
Then came some stamping.  I have a new "screen" background stamp that I tried here for the first time :)
Here's where the steps weren't documented so well....haha!  You know how it goes, you start getting to the heart of the painting and it's hard to remember to stop and snap a photo :)
I nearly finished one before I remembered to stop.
I tried something different for me.  I sketched out the faces in watercolor pencil which I later used to add the shading to the face.
Here they are all finished....complete with touches of glitter....because who doesn't love glitter?!
The 3 words I have for you are......"Gratitude"
...and "Simplicity"
Gentle reminders for good vibes :)
I hope my Stateside friends had an awesome Mother's Day yesterday....and that all my friends had wonderful weekends!  I'll be back with party pics soon.
Here's a sneak peek ;P

I'll be going now...but just 3 more words before I do.....
Thanks for visiting!!!
...okay, and maybe 3 more...
Love you guys!
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