Monthly Archives: July 2014

THE QUEEN CREATES: PAINT-BY-NUMBER ART

Standard

Ooooo, I can just hear some of you now….”Paint-by-number isn’t art”!   Nay, Nay, I say.

The term “Art” is subjective.  It means different things to different people.  It’s a noun that is by definition:  1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.  2.  the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

“TO LABOR IN THE ARTS FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN LOVE IS PROSTITUTION”  Steven Pressfield

Oh man, can I relate to that.  I am always trying to figure out a way to make my “art” profitable instead of just loving the process.  I am not a keeper of what I make (usually) and so I try to just make stuff to sell.  Which does not make me happy.

“ART RESIDES IN THE QUALITY OF DOING: PROCESS IS NOT MAGIC.” Charles Eames

When I was trying to make a business out of mohair bear -making, I would get so discouraged by all the teddy bear “artists” who would insist that if you used any piece of someone else’s pattern, you could not call yourself an “artist” nor could you sell your piece as an “original”.   I do not have the kind of brain that can make a pattern (tho I did try once and made bears out of it called, “Butt-Ugly Bears”!) but I can take a pattern and “mutate” it so even it’s designer couldn’t tell it was theirs to begin with, but no matter what you did to it, you still could not call it an “original”.

“ART ENABLES US TO FIND OURSELVES AND LOSE OURSELVES AT THE SAME TIME”.  Thomas Merton

I did not grow up “artistic”.  I had no love of art or crafts.  I could not draw well as far as I knew.  I had zero interest in being “artsy-fartsy”.   My mom was very artistic and our home at Christmas had her handiwork on the windows and mirrors.  And I even recall her painting a huge tulip on the bathroom wall.  The only “art” I ever did was painting-by-number on velvet!  I had a boyfriend at the time that drove me crazy by saying he was coming to get me at 6:30 on Friday night and never show up!  I would hear on Monday at school how he was out doing this and that all weekend.  So to keep myself from having a breakdown when he would pull that crap, I would steal some of my mom’s Valium (the doc’s gave it out like candy in the late 60’s-70’s and my mom had it to cope with my dad having a heart attack at age 36) and take it and then sit and paint to get my mind off of what kind of fun he was having without me!)  It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I discovered an artistic side to myself and I have been going great guns ever since!

“ART IS THE MOST INTENSE MODE OF INDIVIDUALISM THAT THE WORLD HAS KNOWN”.

I do not have any great artistic talent in any area that I have tried…yet!  But I keep trying new things because like everything else in my life I won’t know if I am any good at something if I don’t try it!   And if I suck at it, so be it.  It’s the “trying” that is important, not the outcome.

The older I get, the more courageous I get when it comes to “making art” be it in my hair choices (you do know I have multi-colored dreads, right?) or my home (such as painting my fabric furniture) or taking an old camper and gutting it out and not putting in a traditional sink/stove/cabinets and painting the outside by hand and doing crazy designs on it (not happened yet, waiting for the right weather).

I am energized by color.  I am excited by color.  I NEED color in my life like I need air and food.  I CRAVE color.  The brighter the better.  I have a book of photographs of galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and I can spend hours just enveloped in their beauty.  It does not surprise me that my God has created these.  I once read that God created color for no other purpose than to please us.  I am well pleased!

I guess it is now time to unveil my art…..

They are not yet “finished” but I was in a hurry to get this to “press” and so you will see the semi-before photos and then in the next couple of days, I will post the end results.  I have some “tweaking” to do on them to make them “mine”.

This first one, I changed a bunch of the colors as I was painting it as I wasn’t happy with how it looked and then in the second photo, I took waxing medium and blended a clear and a dark brown and rubbed it on the painting to give it more of an “old” look.  I had no idea if it would work out but if you don’t take risks in life (I am a real chicken in most areas of my life, believe it or not!!!) you will always be stagnant.  But it turned out as I had hoped and if you could feel it you would think it might be leather.  It has a really cool feel to it from the wax.  I am looking for an old frame to put it in and it will go down in my Cowboy theme livingroom!

imageimage

For some reason my Ipad has added weird lines to the second photo!  There are NO lines in the real painting.   But don’t you think the second painting is better “toned down”?

The next photo is of a painting that I am not quite sure how I am going to “tweak”.  I kinda like it as it is.  But I will put a protective, glossy finish on it since I am going to hang it in my bathroom and everything gets so dusty in there (and I can not figure out why…toilet paper fuzz????) so it will  be wiped down periodically so it needs a finish on it.

image

And lastly, this tiny little piece that I picked up at Bargain Bills in Rice Lake, WI for a buck and a quarter.  It wasn’t numbered per se, but it had the paints but I added my own colors.  Sometimes between big projects I like to do something small to get immediate gratification!  I am going to add some “bling” to this and maybe some pompom fringe….who knows, I will just see what I have on hand.

image

So now that I’ve shared a bit of what I am doing, what about you?   Do you have an artistic bend to your personality?   Or are you still stuck in the “I am not creative” rut?

I am hoping to start some Arsty-Fartsy classes at my house this fall and I promise you I can make you feel like a Picasso in just a day.   It’s all about attitude and honey child, you KNOW I am the Queen of Attitude!!!!

Till tomorrow when I show you some of my early stuff….

Your Queen of Farts…oops, I  mean Arts!!!!

Advertisements

THE QUEEN CREATES PRESENTS: PAINTING FABRIC FURNITURE

Standard

My home-ec teacher would not believe that I have become a crafty person.  Nor would she ever in her widest imagination believe I can cook, bake and sew.  I was a home-ec flunky.

BUT in the last few decades, I found  my “inner artist” and have made some pretty fun stuff and I am going to be starting a new blog thread (haha) about some of the things I have done and projects that I am doing nowadays.

I have no fear when it comes to decorating (much like my hair and clothing) and my wonderful husband gives me pretty much the OK to do as I like (I think he has given up trying to reason with me…it’s a full-time job and he is just too tired out!) so I have never liked my livingroom couch and giant chair so I decided to paint them.  I checked out how to do it on many googled sites and like all good artists I read their advice and decided to adapt it to my own budget and materials at hand.

The advice is to use a fabric medium to add to the paint and water.  Well I went and bought a bottle and used it all up  in one shot.  So, I thought, what is the worst that could happen and went on to paint the rest of my furniture without the fabric medium.

I am so loving it!  My furniture material is some kind of stuff that is soft but kinda scratchy and I have never liked the feel of it next to my skin so I am going to replace the material on the cushions and pillows and paint the back and sides of the couch and giant chair.

Because I am not working, I have a very tight budget so I decided to use all the left-over latex paint we have in the house.  Some of it is very old but so far, everything I have used has been OK.  And I am using those small, foam brushes (takes two per side as they fall apart half way thru).

To start out, I have mixed the paint and the water in equal amounts and stirred it up. Now I don’t know if it’s because the paint is old or what but it doesn’t mix up as well as I had hoped but I keep stirring it as I am painting and keep adding water to the paint as it gets thicker.  Using a flatter plastic container is working best as I can mix as I paint using the foam brush.

To begin, spray a section of the material with a spray bottle of water.  I do a section about 12×24.  You want it to be damp and I have to work the water in with my hand a bit since there may be a water-proof substance on the material as it just stays on the top of the material.  Once your material is damp, then dip your foam brush into the paint/water mix and really saturate the material, scrubbing in the paint with the foam brush.  It is quite fun to paint like this.  Make sure you have a rag to wipe up the drips and more water to add to the mixture as it gets thicker (yours may not if your paint mixes well with the water in the beginning).

I gave the rust side one coat, I like the look of it as it is….kinda like rust-colored suede with variations in the nape.  Actually, it all looks like colored suede.  image image

One coat on the back of the chair in yellow (it has dried to a gorgeous shade of mustard!)

image image image

The ottoman top was the hardest.  I wanted it a really creamy white and it took seven coats of paint to get it to the color I wanted.  I am going to be putting a little skirt-type thing on the bottom tier of the ottoman as I can’t paint it because it has a fold and there is no way to paint inside of it without it sticking together.  And I will hand-paint a design on the top of the ottoman to compliment the skirt.  (at least that is the plan for now!)

image

 

This turquoise side took two coats and I am loving how it is drying.  Reminds me of real turquoise stones!  Think I will do the back of the couch in this color!  But then again, the dried mustard yellow is gorgeous too…hmmm

image

Now this last color is supposed to be lime green but has painted on more of a neon yellow but I gave it two coats and I will wait until it is dry (takes about 12 hours to dry to the touch) and I hope it will be much more lime.  If not, I’ll just either add acrylic green craft paint to the latex paint and try that or repaint it in a different color.  No worries, mate.

image

I was thinking of painting the whole frame of the chair and the couch but I am not sure now as the painted fabric is kinda “crusty” feeling and it would feel uncomfortable on the arms.  So for now, I will leave the arms and the front of the furniture (behind the pillows) au natural!   I will redo the cushions and pillows in a coordinating fabric (or to be more honest, I will have someone else do them as they are beyond my scope of talent!).   And I will paint the legs of the furniture also.

I will keep you posted as to the progress of this project and stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition where I will amaze you with my paint-by-number skills!!!!

Your “what’s the worst that could happen” Queen

“Y” IS FOR YOU

Standard

AS IN, “YOU WANT SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE”?

Is it just me or have we become a society of whiners?

I do not remember my dad or my grandparents ever whining.  My dad would rant and complain about things (Ronald Reagan was blamed for every misfortune that befell anyone…no matter what it was!!!) But he never whined about his job or his situation.  My grandparents were seemingly grateful for everything they had for I’m sure there were times in their lives when they had much less.  It seems to me, the more we have the more we whine.

What really burns my buns is when Christians complain about something that they have prayed for, gotten and then decide that it isn’t all that they had thought it would be and so they whine about it.  It was better than what they had but in their minds it is not “perfect”.

I am not really a violent person but I tell ya, it makes me want to go up to them and slap them upside the head.  Do they not realize that it can be taken away from them as quickly as they had gotten it?   How do they think The Lord feels when He gave them what they asked for and now all He hears from them is whining?  Just think about how we feel when we give something wonderful to our children, that they have been begging us for, and once they get it, they tell you all the things they don’t like about it and wish that “this” was different and “that” was easier, etc.   I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to take the darn thing back and say, “There, now you don’t have to complain to me anymore about it”.

Lest you think I “walk on water” with a giant halo, nay…nay…I say.  I have done my share of whining (just ask my husband).  But as I get older and hopefully wiser, I see my blessings more clearly and have repented (and sometimes I gotta keep repenting) for whining about what is not how I would have it.

Open up your eyes, people.  Look around you.  See what God has blessed you with.  If you are a believer, shame on you for complaining for what God has given you.  If you trust in the perfect will of God, you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be, doing EXACTLY what He wants you to be doing AT THIS VERY MOMENT.   He may move you at any second to completely different circumstances.  So be grateful now.

If you have a job that provides enough for you and your family, PRAISE God for it.  There are millions of people who would think they had died and gone to Heaven for a job like yours.   PRAISE Him for the hours you GET to work.  PRAISE Him for the money you get each payday and the insurance that you have and the other perks that come with your job.  STOP focusing on the “negatives”.  There is rarely a “perfect” job.

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED is an old adage that if you apply it to your life, will make you so much happier.

Ok, I’m going to step down now off my soapbox.   Next time you hear me whining about something, remind me of this post.   Crow is crow even with ketchup on it!

Till next time,

Your not-so-saintly Queen

FIRST ANNUAL CRAZY COUSIN WEEKEND REPORT

Standard
The Crazies

The Crazies

I have crazy cousins.

I have a crazy mother.

I have a crazy sister.

I have a crazy aunt.

We all came from a crazy grandmother.

As the eldest child on this crazy side of the family (my other side is crazy too but in a certifiably crazy way) I have watched these younger cousins grow up and it was really fun to see how they are as adults (and I use this term very loosely as I saw some very juvenile behaviors this weekend!).

There were two sisters from each family represented this year.  Watching the family dynamics was very interesting.  I saw one sister sacrifice part of her weekend to care for her sister who had become ill.   I saw tempers flare and sincere hugs given.  Some were bossy and some were care-free.

I heard stories of how a couple of them had stayed with me when I was single and how much fun they had (sadly, I couldn’t remember them being there but I am glad they had fun!!!).

Some shared how difficult certain parts of their life is or had been.

Some had suffered great loss.

Some made me laugh so hard, I almost passed out from a lack of oxygen.  At times, there wasn’t a dry panty in the bunch!!!!!

Some swore like sailors and drank like fishes!

But no matter who they were (we had two third-generation daughters and two first- generation moms  from 19 years up to 82 years old) or what they did, the most prevalent feeling among us all was a sense of belonging.

We are blood.

They are my “peeps” and I love each and every one of them.

So by unanimous vote, we are going to do it again next summer.

To share our stories and our memories.

To laugh until we piddle.

To transfuse with love those that are a quart low.

To comfort those that are in pain.

To rejoice for new triumphs.

To brag about new grandbabies and to share funny stories of our own kids.

To let the love that Grandma Lou had for each of us seep from our souls to the generations to come that did not have the privilege of her unconditional love.

To gather together so none will be forgotten.  For when two or more are gathered and the memories are shared, the dead are never forgotten.  Their life continues in the stories and as each one of us departs for eternity, perhaps we will not be forgotten if the stories of our annual weekends are told for generations to come.

So to my crazy relatives I say, “Thank you” for taking time to come and reinvest in the past and to deposit into the future.  To KK and Brianna…you girls are witness to the preciousness of family.  Don’t ever think that it is not important to connect with cousins.  It took us way too long to realize this.  Don’t make the same mistake.  Don’t stop telling the family stories.

With the two midgets and the bucket, I just want to say, “Remember that cottage cheese is good for your garden” and “POP”…..

Love you all,

Robyn