Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween, Happy Fall!

Happy Halloween!  I've been hangin' on to this photo since last summer when we went to Six Flags, St. Louis.  It's from a poster, advertising their Fright Fest for this month.  Don't you love it?!

Ahh, fall.  I've been going through some photos on my camera and phone and I'm posting a few here.  This is a beautiful walk in one of the parks in our town.  I couldn't resist taking pics of the berries.  I'm glad I had my camera. 

Works-in-progress.  I'm trying to remember to take more of these types of photos.  The "drink me" bottle  was a little painting I made for my daughter's birthday/Halloween party invitations.

Rainy day, but I'm still taking pictures of the great backyard makeover.  This was taken from the back door (because I'm a big baby and didn't want to get wet). You can see the neighbor's garage in the background.  I love when those huge burning bushes start turning red.  We had a fire going in the fire pit a couple of nights this fall.  It's great to get more use out of the backyard.

I found a photo of Lucy kitty.  You THINK she wants you to pet her when she's laying like this, and it's sooo hard to resist.  But cat owners know better. :)

And what would Halloween be without a raven?  This was a fun (and scary) one I painted this year!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer's over already? Nope, not yet!

I'm starting to see things like mums and little round, pumpkin-like squash trickling into the stores this week. So it has me wondering, where has summer gone?  I have to admit, the image of pumpkins and falling leaves stirs some excitement in me.  Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, however I'm just not quite ready to give up on summer.  Yet.

I've been going through the photos on my camera and found some very summery pics.  These were from a day trip to Carlyle Lake, the lake in my home town.  We try to get there at least once a year for some sand castle building.  

 And of course I always seem to find my way to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis at least once (okay, several times) a year.  This summer was particularly a good one, because the Gardens began selling some of my hand painted pendants in their gift shop! (yay!).   

 This year they have a Chinese Lantern Festival at the Gardens.  It's truly amazing to see and well worth the trip. 

 I've included some photo samples of some of the hand painted pendants I sent over to the Missouri Botanical Garden's gift shop.  It was a fun challenge to create some new pieces for them.

I also found this photo on my phone.  It's interesting to see just what I can find on there, sometimes random pictures of sidewalks, etc. show up and I have no idea how they got there.  Although, there are lots of times I think I'm taking a picture and it turns out to be a video.  Phones can be so fun.  Anyway, I thought it would also be fun to include these "before" drawings of some summer items I painted and scattered throughout this post.  Some I painted in watercolor, some are acrylic.  Actually, there might be a mix of both here and there as well.

So for those of us living in Southern Illinois, close to St. Louis, MO (hey, that's me!), we know how August temperatures and humidity tell us we aren't even close to being into fall yet, no matter what the stores are selling.  Of course, come September 1st all of that changes and mums and pumpkins are fair game, no matter what the temp is!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paris In Springtime

It's springtime, so these days my thoughts keep turning to Paris.  I was inspired to paint and create this new Springtime in Paris pendant, and I love the colors so much I leave it out in my studio and glance over at it every day!

I was even inspired to paint these macaroons with watercolor paints.  I've never actually had a macaroon, but the photos and colors make them look so yummy, I like them before I've even tried them!

I remembered this time to take a photo of my pendant in the middle of painting it.  For some reason this is something I don't usually think of.  In this case it kind-of looks like wintertime in Paris.

We actually had the opportunity to visit Paris about 9 years ago.  We were only there for almost 3 days, and believe me that's not nearly long enough!  We did get to visit the Eiffel Tower and rode to the top.  As you can see, it was a little foggy that day but still just as exciting as ever.

Not quite France, but these pink tulips are still all spring.  This is a new pendant that will be added to my Etsy shop soon.  I can't wait to see the real ones in bloom in the backyard!

Happy Spring!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Great Back Yard Makeover Before and (almost!) After

I'm so excited to show you the before and (almost) after photos of what I've named "The Great Back Yard Makeover"!  We've come a long way but there's still more to come.  What's interesting is how much I'm enjoying working on this project.  It occurred to me I might like working on it just as much as I'll  enjoy it once it's completed.  I know, I know, but I've accepted that I'm kind-of that way with yard work.  I have a feeling it might be an ever-changing, always-tweaking type of project, and I will love it!

After living in this house for 7 years (new when we moved in), this is the best the backyard has to offer for grass. Not too plush, you say? I agree! You can see the circle area where the trampoline used to be. This is the view from our back door, so you see the front of the neighbor's house in the photo.  

Side view, even the shady area under the oak tree has problems!  I couldn't wait to change this, make it something totally different.

I could begin to see the vision coming to life at this point, but it still seemed almost impossible.  Almost. But we forged on ahead.

Bring on the pea gravel!

When this is completed, our plan is to have a fire pit in the center of the circle surrounded by chairs. I can't wait to see the chairs filled with family and friends.  The fire pit was always the main idea but with all of the work and excitement of pea gravel, bushes and pathways, it started to take a back seat at some point!  But now that it's almost finished and fall will soon be knocking on the door, we can see the fire pit vision again.  Cool nights, crackling fire, marshmallows tanning in the glow of the heat and then smooshed between graham crackers and Hershey's bars.  Mmmm.
Just look at that sad patch of grass.  It appears to be grass but it fools us. It's about half grass/half crabgrass.  I'm so glad it's (mostly) covered up!
Ahh, the beginning of something new! Making this path was a lot of work, but so well worth it.

Yay! Here it is finished from the opposite side. From this angle it looks so long. We added a little half circle for a bench and possibly flowers around it someday.  I have a feeling this project will be ongoing and ever changing.  (Just how I like it!)

This is the second pathway coming off of the right side of the circle.  Do you see the extra pea gravel we still have to the center/right side of the picture?  Still a work in progress! You'll have to close your eyes with me and imagine the boxwoods as fully grown hedges. Oh yes, now I see it!

Now you'll have to imagine the tiny little bushes in back as they'll be when they're fully grown.  And ignore the bag of mulch I accidentally included in the picture. Oh, and the overgrown strawberry patch in the back.  The garden has kind-of taken a back seat at the moment.

Fall is knocking...come on in!