Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inspiration is where you look

In this case, it was in a single aquarium at the Brookfield Zoo.
It took several tries to get this guy with the circles.

Lionfish! I did a report on these guys in the 3rd grade. 

Color! Texture!

Coral! I like the vibrant green with the different shades of pink.

Wait for it...

Taa daah! 
I am thinking that my own wardrobe is too plain. 
I should be able to wear yellow-orange, magenta, and navy too.

More coral. More texture!

A step back, and yowza! So many colors, so many textures!

Go find some new color combinations!
It's a fun hunt, I promise. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beltane is coming! And a flower garland tutorial.

Beltane is coming! Beltane is coming! 
Beltane (Belt-ane) is on May 1. It's one of the eight major festivals of the wheel of the year. It is a time for celebrating the flowers, and the baby animals, and our own bodies for enabling us to move through the world and experience it with our senses. And it's a fertility festival-- the story goes that in the way back when, young women would go and make up comfy little beds in the fields while young men did manly things like chop down trees and jump over bonfires. Then the young men would seek out their loves in the fields, where they would spend the night together "ensuring the fertility of the harvest through acts of sympathetic magic". Which is a fancy way of saying they spent the night fornicating in the grass.
But I have children who aren't quite ready for THAT story just yet, so around here we celebrate having healthy bodies and the return of the flowers.

My bee's balm is about 4 weeks early this year--so we have REAL flowers for Beltane.
But usually everything is just starting to bud, so we have to make our own.

Assemble your supplies! It's time to get crafty!

Watercolor paper of any weight. 
Two jars of water (one to rinse out your brush & one to dip for clean water)
A palette (I use a styrofoam tray that came under some veggies)
A round-tipped brush (I used a #8)
Acrylic Paint 
Elmer's glue
Hole punch
Green embroidery floss

Brilliant Red, Yellow, Viridian Green, Pthalo Blue, Violet.

Cover your paper with paint. You can blend it (upper left corner), you can overlap it (red and violet), just cover the whole page & let it dry.

Once dry, flip it over and free-hand some flower shapes. Or get different sized round containers & trace. Or use a flower-shaped paper punch. 

Cut out your flower shapes (save your scraps!)

Get out your Elmer's glue, and glue smaller flowers onto larger flowers. If you used a flower punch, use a regular hole punch to punch out circles and glue those in the middle of your flowers. I recommend using contrasting colors.

Once your glue has dried, punch a hole in the top of your flowers. Tie embroidery floss through the holes. I used four different lengths of floss and tied 4-5 flowers on each. 
Then I hung them all together on one hook. 
You could safety-pin them to curtain tie-backs.
You could hang them in the windows.
You could string them across your mantel.
You could use the flowers as tags on your Mother's Day gifts.
You could decorate your bus stop.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Walk in the woods

Whenever I get in a funk, or feel uninspired, I take a walk.
I love to walk through the woods and observe the way they slide through the seasons.Today I walked through the woods at the end of our block (and remembered to bring my phone to take pictures!).

 The oak grove at the edge of the woods. The oaks are spaced at measured intervals, which leads me to believe they were planted. i love the idea that someone deliberately put them in the ground, knowing that years later they would be beautiful giants. And the smell of fallen oak leaves in the fall is one of my favorite things of all time.
 The path that leads into the woods. When summer comes and the trees are all leafed out, the light is a beautiful dappled green.

 Trillium! They only bloom in the spring, and are native wildflowers. And when I see one, it always reminds me of the divine Trillian Stars.

Tiny, delicate white blossoms--each is smaller than a dime.

Where do you go to find your calm?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Everyone should have...

A chalkboard!
Rust-o-leum makes tint-able chalkboard paint. Run to your hardware store and pick some up! It becomes hours of fun-filled entertainment. Between our front door and our dining room was this blank piece of wall that had been crying out for something. Chalkboard paint to the rescue!

Superhero bear and his secret lair!

(Look at how much stuff lives on the back of my front door! Alphabet magnets are the awesome.)

And the beauty part of chalkboard paint is that you don't have to put it on the wall. Paint up scrap lumber. Or rocks. Or canvas (available by the yard at your local craft store). Or picture frames. Or tabletops--how much fun would that be? A table that you can draw ON.