The Best Inspiration

Hi everyone, how is your weekend so far? The sun is out and it is glorious here — I love a sunny Saturday. I like to clean our house on Saturdays (ummm, let me clarify – I don’t actually like to clean, but I like the results) so that is what I did first thing this morning. And now I’m done. YES!

Gary and I just got back from a little trip through Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The best inspiration ever is looking at God’s beautiful wonders of nature. I feel so happy about that. We visited Moab, Arches National Park and Zion National Park. Wowsers. There was some eye-popping scenery for sure, Gary got some great shots.

The arches were amazing and the soil in the park is multi-colored. So beautiful.


I liked the colorful foliage, too.

We had good chats with some artists we met along way. We stopped at Gary Russell’s Art of Iron gallery in Rifle, Colorado. Cool stuff. We met J.R. Lancaster in Bluff, Utah. Wow. He has some amazing paintings, photography and mixed media. We met some other great artists in Cortez, Colorado, super nice people

Oh, I almost forgot to show you these salt and pepper shakers that were on our table at the Arapahoe Cafe in Dillon, Colorado. Love them! The food was amazing, too. Gary had the ribs and gave them a 10. He gives NOTHING a 10, honestly, so they must have been something special.

Oh yes, and one other thing. We went to the Creative Cooking School of Las Vegas for one of our meals. It was a hoot! The hats especially. I took mine off after 10 minutes or so, because, well my hair is just not the type for a hat such as this, and it just wasn’t working, ya know? We had a great time and the food was delish.

I have lots more photos, maybe I can share more another day. I am working on some new art projects and I am excited to share those, too.

Have a great weekend!

Foggy Road Photo for Project 64 Colors

I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and there was dense fog all around. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera and headed out the door to see what I could find.

This is a shot of a fence and road disappearing into the fog. You can still see the farm on the hill. I love that. The only thing lacking was just a bit-o-light coming through to brighten things up a tinch. I thought the road might work for the Tan color for Project 64. I added soft light filter to the levels adjustment and used Kim Klassen’s Absolutely texture at 60%. I also made a few adjustments with Topaz. I have some more foggy day photos and I will share those in another post. I love learning and experimenting, what fun!

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My Sister’s Farmhouse Makeover

I grew up in a big two story farmhouse with lots of cool woodwork, beautiful windows and nooks and crannies galore.The house holds so many memories, i.e. elaborate theater productions in the basement (remember go-go boots?) complete with a clothesline curtain and emcee; James Taylor-esque sing-a-longs around the family piano; more snow than an eight-year-old should ever have to scoop out of a feedbunk; killer ping-pong tournaments; and reading long into the night, KOMA softly playing on my transistor radio. It was the best place to come of age and I am so grateful for the family God gave me — loving parents and a gaggle of sisters (there are five of us) who are fun to this day.

Recently #4 sister, Joan, and her family moved into the family farm house. They decided to make some updates to the place and honestly, it has been transformed by lots of long hours, lots of good friends, and a vision for where they could go with the space.

Gary and I went for a quick visit last week to help with some tile work and holy Toledo, it is looking SNAZZY. I wanted to share a few before and after photos, I wish I had more.

BEFORE

The kitchen was expanded from one room to a big open living space by knocking out two walls and adding a center island. Here it is in progress.

Everything got a new coat of paint including the laundry room.

AFTER

Here is the same kitchen wall with new subway tile. I wish I would have gotten a photo from the same angle showing the kitchen island, it is the heart of the new space and really looks cool. She re-purposed the existing cupboards by adding beadboard and trim to the front. Then she painted them antique white, brought out the lines a bit with a darker color, and added new hardware.

Take a look at the curtain in the next photo. It is a tablecloth! Joan said she found it at a thrift store, added a few straight pins and there you go. Can you say darling?

I also love these curtains over the kitchen windows that open to the back porch.

The picture wall is one of the first things you see when you come into the house, I love the warm brown color she chose and the artsy-ness of the letters.

One of Joan’s friends gave her this pie cupboard and she found the perfect spot for it along the patio door in the big room. Her collection of bowls is my favorite thing, especially the yellow one which she bought at a garage sale with my mom umpteen years ago. Mom had one just like it. They were bowl twins. Makes me smile.

The corner chimney wall makes the perfect spot for a mini-photo collection. Oh so fun.

The house is still a work in progress. I have no doubt more beauty will emerge. It makes my heart sing to know that something so well-worn and well-loved could be rejuvenated in a such a way that it will continue to give shelter and comfort and memories for many years to come.

Thank you Mike and Joan.

Violet Red Project 64

Hello friends, hope your weekend is going well. I have been hunting for something violet/red for the Project 64: Out of the Box photo challenge. Hmmmmm. I don’t really have much of this color around mi casa.

I thought maybe one of the flowers from the cute-as-a-button curtains Laura made for me would work. But I think the flower is a tad on the salmon side. Not a match.

Then I thought maybe the bandana on the girl from this Martha’s Vineyard poster might work. But, I don’t think it is quite right either. Plus, the poster is shiny and, uh, yes, you can see my camera’s reflection in the photo. That won’t work. :)

So I finally settled on these cake sprinkles from my cupboard. I am not sure they are quite right either, but oh well, it is as close as I am going to get this week. :)

I will be sad when this photo challenge is over. I hope to get involved with another one. Suggestions, anyone? Have a great weekend!

Red Orange Project 64

Happy Friday everyone. Did you turn the page on your calendar? I love March because I know spring is just around the corner.

I just got back from a sister trip with my four fun sisters. We went to Coronado, California, to celebrate my youngest sister’s birthday (I shan’t say which birthday, but it ends with a zero).

Anyhow, Coronado is a beautiful island with lots of fun things to do. I will definitely share more another day, it was a blast and I felt grateful for the time together. I hoped to spy a little red orange for this week’s Project 64 photo challenge, but I came up empty handed, so I’m pulling some red orange from another photo adventure day.

This shot was taken on a Sunday afternoon outing with my hubby. We spied this old truck in a field. I like the green color and the rustiness of it. I posted some shots of it awhile back I think, but I wanted to post it again because I think the blinker on the truck might be close to the red orange we are looking for.

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What do you have planned for this weekend? I am hoping to get off the couch and out of the house with camera in hand. Hope you can do the same.

Orchid Project 64 Colors

For the last year and half I have been driving to Lincoln once a month or so for a harp lesson with the fabulous Heidi Beran. It is such a joyful time and I love it with all my heart.

All of Heidi’s harp students (myself included) gathered last weekend for a recital. It was a beautiful afternoon. At the end of the recital, she gave each of us a beautiful rose. Lovely! Here is a photo of mine. I thought the inside petal might be close to the Orchid color for this week’s Project 64 Colors photo challenge.

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Sky Blue Project 64

My sky blue photo for this week’s Project 64 photo challenge was taken last summer in Colorado. Gary and I were at the tail end of a wonderful 10 day escape to the heavenly Rockies. We love (especially) Redstone, Salida and Crested Butte, along with the hot springs pool at Glenwood. Good times for sure.

I adjusted the levels slightly and used Kim Klassen’s Not Too Shabby texture at 60% with the multiply blending mode.

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Snowy Day Photo Outing

We had a wonderful snow day a few weeks ago. Gary said it’s a perfect day for a little photo outing so we bundled up, grabbed our cameras, and off we went. Here are some shots we found that day.

Snowy Old Barn

This barn has seen better days, but I like the character of it and how it’s still standing even though it has lost a good portion of its frame. Way to go, barn.

Snow Fence

I liked this snow fence, too. The red and brown colors caught my eye, and I liked how there was another snow fence in the distance. I like the curve of it.

Wintery Flowers

These flowers aren’t blooming, they are probably weeds to be honest, but I like flowers of all kinds. Even wintery looking ones.

Red Berries

This shot was actually not part of our snowy day outing, it is a close up of some red berries growing beside our building. It reminds me of a snowy day because of the white background. The sun was just setting when I took this shot.

It takes a lot to get me outside of my warm house on a cold day so that is another thing I like about photography, it gets me moving! I am very grateful.

Have you ever taken photos on a snowy day? I hope you will give it a try.

Art Sketches and Mixed Media Practice

I just got home from a fantabulous visit with Laura, Aaron and baby Elias. I got snowed in an extra day so that was a gift! While I was there we visited LeClaire, Iowa, home of Frank and Mike and Danielle from American Pickers. What fun that was!

I had quite an adventure on my trip to see the kids, the passenger window in our new KIA Sorento exploded! For reals! I will tell you about it but that is another day. :)

Here are some sketches and mixed media pieces I have been working on.

Sketching a Vintage Gumball Machine

We have a vintage gumball machine sitting on our fireplace mantle. I think it is kinda cool so I thought I would practice sketching a little with it. Here is my first try. It is fun to practice!

I had so much fun with this, I thought I would try sketching a photo of my grandson, Elias. I had to redo it several times and I still am not satisfied! He looks too old in my sketch. I think it is the eyes and the angle of the sketch, not quite right. But oh well.

Mixed Media Practice

I have been working on some mixed media pieces for practice as well. Here is a storyboard of some of them. I am learning about using pastel crayons and water color pencils. It is fun to try different materials. I need to find a better way to do lettering. I have some stamps but they don’t work very well.

I have lots to catch up on since I have been gone. Hope to post again soon.

Enjoy the day!

Yellow Project 64

Where we live it is snowing up a storm and we are battening the hatches for a cozy weekend. The woodpile is stocked high and I have a roast in the crock pot. I love a good snowstorm every once in awhile.

Project 64 Photo Challenge Yellow

I have been pondering awhile trying to think of where I could spy a little yellow for this week’s photo challenge at Project 64. There are some cool yellow photos over there so far, hop on over and take a peek. This morning I closed the cover to my sketch book and there was my yellow, literally right under my nose. :) tee hee. Here are a couple of shots of it. Yellow is such a fun color, one of my faves.

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Practice Sketching

I am practicing my sketching and I made a little sketch for a blog signature…..see below. It was fun and you know the best part about drawing yourself is you can make yourself look a little younger if you want, haha, which I did. When I started the sketch I didn’t know I was going to run out of room for my hair – I have a ton of hair folks – so it is cut off, but oh well.

I hope wherever you are, you have a wonderful weekend!