Woodland Animal Nursery Art in Watercolor (and a quilt)

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My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby in July and they are going with a woodland animal theme in the nursery.

And then we got the invitation for her baby shower… in California.  Yeah.  We didn’t go.  Not that I have anything against California.  I’m a California girl deep deep down.  I lived there my whole life until I got married and moved east.  But it’s far.  And far is expensive.

But we sent a gift.

img_3686My oldest daughter is 10 and she got a sewing machine for her birthday last year.  I try to find real life practical ways she can practice straight lines, so I came up with a simple quilt pattern that would hide the imperfections.  I did all the cutting, her 6 year old sister helped me match the blocks, and she sewed them all together.  The whole top came together in a couple hours.  I did the rest… layering and quilting and binding.

But I wanted to paint something too.  So I started with that cute animal print in the quilt.

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They aren’t the same… I added some of my own style into each illustration.  But I did start with the fabric print.

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Then I added the word.  And fit them together on the cards.

Then I picked a verse for each of them that I thought matched the character/behavior of each animal pretty well.  It was a fun part of the project.

Here they are up close so you can see the verses better:

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Gathering here.

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Scripture Cards for Graduation – Watercolor Illustrated Flowers

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Monday we were invited to our pastor’s home for a double graduation party.  Their adopted daughters both graduated high school this year and it was a fun celebration!

I knew I wanted to paint their cards, but I struggled to know what I wanted to do.  I played with some graduation themed illustrations, but they didn’t seem right.  In the end I went with encouraging their future instead of commemorating the achievement.  I may use one of those later this week if I paint one for a guy we’ve been building a relationship with at our grocery store.

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I just noticed that I hadn’t put the reference (Colossians 3:16) on this one when I took the pictures.  I did add it before stuffing the card into the envelope.  I put it along the stem above the left leaf.  I liked it.

I got the idea for this card from a pin I saved from Elvie Studio.  I’m still in that learning place where a lot of what I come up with starts with what I love about other people’s work.

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I got my inspiration for this one on Pinterest too.  Mine is different.  I like theirs better. 🙂  But it was good practice, and I still think it turned out fun.

Best of all, the girl’s liked them and it’s something they can take away to school next year and put up in their rooms if they want.

 

Gathering here.

Asparagus in my Watercolor Journal

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Our asparagus bed is four years old.  Last year was the first year we were able to harvest in plenty.  It was pretty exciting!  This year is even more exciting.  And I find that it can be tough to keep up with the production!

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My 2018 harvest log

You should see how much asparagus there is in my fridge all the time!  I try to serve and eat it as much as possible, but I’m admittedly a couple days behind.  And I sent at least a pound home with my sister!  If only the kids loved it.  That would help!

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As I was washing newly harvested asparagus the other night, I found myself wanting to paint them (you’d think I’d be tired of them by now, but I’m not).  I started with the paint, not sketches.  It was a fun challenge.

And with 3-4 weeks left of harvest season, I found that this was truly the asparagus challenge for 2018… just try to keep up!

 

Gathering here!

Playing with Sunflowers

Sometimes when you don’t hear from me for a week or two, it’s because I’m busy finishing a quilt for my 6 year old that I promised her when she turned 4, or figuring out how to save my family of 8 from the clutter monster, or exhausting myself working in the garden, or (soon) working tirelessly trying to switch cold weather clothes for warm weather clothes for 6 kids and just don’t have time, energy or desire to paint or draw.

But sometimes It’s because I’m in the middle of multiple projects and just don’t have anything finished to share or ready for people to see yet.

Sometimes both.

Today, I decided to share some “work in progress” pics.  As such, and because this was a last minute, late night decision, the pictures are not set up all cute like I prefer to do… and the light is blah.  But I hope you can see the gist of what I’m work on.

A friend of ours is getting married and I (joyously) get to help plan the wedding.  She wants to make her own invitations rather than buy them, so I thought I’d play with hand lettering/painting something for them.  I may not even use the sunflowers above, but I was playing the other night just the same.  Tonight I’m playing with laying out a hand lettered invitation, but that’s really not ready to share.

These sunflowers are not ready to be used as is, but I think I learned somethings about how I want to portray a sunflower in my next attempt.

What are you working on that isn’t quite ready for people to see yet???

 

Gathering here.

“Thanks a Bunch” Card – Radish Illustration

img_3474Several weeks ago we were invited to join another couple in our church for a birthday dinner.  We had a really good time and enjoyed food from a restaurant more expensive than we usually visit.  It was really good!

I wanted to make them a thank you note then, but life is busy and I have 6 little “distractions” (in the best sense) that sometimes make my best laid plans unproductive. 🙂  After the first week, it left my brain.  Thankfully, my husband asked me this week if I had ever done it.  OH NO!

So… here it is.  Not a super detailed or creative work.  And it didn’t take long to do.  But life is busy and it almost didn’t get done again.  And the odds are good they won’t ever flip it over and see that I made it myself.

Overall, I’m pleased with it.  It’s made me want to tackle it again along with some others that showcase green onions, and some others in a series of “Thanks a bunch” cards.

But now I’m drawing a blank… what other veggies would you group into a “bunch”?

 

Gathering here.

He is the God of Hope – Illustrated Verse Romans 15:13

The God of Hope Illustrated Verse - Romans 15:13

I mentioned that I had the opportunity to pray with a couple ladies a couple Sundays ago and it was a beautiful morning.

The service ended and everyone started to bustle around.  We gathered our things and I looked around at the people passing by.  Then a lady I haven’t talked to in many months came walking by.

A small hug. Some chit chat. Then the question, “How are you guys?”  Her answer was real.

“We’re doing okay,” she said with a little hesitation that told me “okay” was coming only by God’s grace.  Then, “but it’s been hard.  We’ve been going through some hurtful things.”

I didn’t know.  I still don’t.  But I asked her if I could pray with her right there, standing in the middle of the sanctuary with people buzzing around us.  And she said yes.

I prayed.  She cried.  And I knew I’d obeyed God’s call on my heart to minister to His people that morning.

The God of Hope Illustrated Verse - Romans 15:13

When the time came to design a card for her, I chose Romans 15:13.  He is the God of hope who is able to fill you with all joy and peace… no matter the season or trials you are walking through!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Romans 15:13

 

 

Gathering here.

Ask God for Wisdom – Illustrated Verse James 1:5

Spring Chick Illustrated Verse - James 1:5

Some Sunday afternoons, while we are driving home from church, I reflect back over the morning and realize that I didn’t have any truly meaningful conversations.  Oh, we may talk homeschooling or child raising or gardening and chicken raising, people may even be encourage, but too often nothing spiritual comes into it.  And it’s church!

My hearts desire is to talk about what we are learning in the Bible or to get down to the real story of where people are and to pray with them.  I was so excited last weekend to have, not just one of these conversations, but two of them!

A couple days later as I was continuing to pray for two different ladies I got to pray with, I decided that I really wanted to make a card for each of them.

This card is for a friend who is struggling in a new phase of parenting.  I chose the chick for spring (not because it matches the message), but the verse is the only one I could think to encourage because it’s one I need everyday!  I make thousands of decisions everyday, some are completely insignificant, but for others I stand clueless.  I lack wisdom!

“If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

The answer is right there… don’t jump online to find the answers to the latest problem.  Ask God!

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A few notes on the illustration:

First off, this is one of the first illustrations I have done straight from my head.  Most of the time I begin an illustration with an inspiration photo.  Often I have seen someone else’s illustration and I want to imitate it or, more often, tweak it to make it my own.  Other times, I have an idea I want to create, but I go in search of another artists version or even a photograph to draw from.  Those are fine tools to use, especially as you learn.  Don’t get me wrong!  But it was supper fun to see this little guy, just as he is, in my head and to sketch him out on graph paper (yep, I start everything on graph paper… it helps with symmetry and sizing.)

After the whole thing was painted and dry, I took out my artist pens to add the finishing touches.  That is such a scary moment.  Adding the pen lines to an illustration has the power to take it over the top, or completely ruin it.  This time…

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I gave him chicken pox!

It was horrible.

At first, I decided I’d just give it anyway.  No big deal.  It didn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.  24 hours later I was ready to start it over.  Then this afternoon I had a few minutes to take pics to share with you and I had an idea.

More feathers!

Spring Chick Illustrated Verse - James 1:5

I was going to trash it anyway, so what did it matter if it didn’t work.  But it did and I’m so glad.  So… lesson?  Sometimes you can add too much with the pen.  But when that happens, sometimes you can add even more and fix everything. 🙂

 

Gathering here!