Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fraktur Art

I have been working on this little 8" x 11" painting over the holidays and finally finished it yesterday.
Done in a style called Fraktur, it utilizes watercolor and ink on tea-stained watercolor paper.
Often called Pennsylvania Dutch/German Folk Art it was popular in the 1800's as a decorative embellishment on marriage and birth certificates. I have also seen it on old wooden or metal storage boxes and furniture, but this little piece was taken from a piece of artwork I had saved from a magazine article on this art form.
Although the design transfer process is a bit tedious and involved the actual painting is fun and relaxing.
Definitely an art form worth trying!
Have a very artistic, creative day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feeding Time At The OK Corral

I love crows....yes even before they were a popular motif in art I had a fascination with crows.
 Here where I live I am surrounded by farmer's fields that are largely planted in feed corn and meadows that are harvested a couple of times each summer season. Needless to say it becomes a favorite haunt of gulls, geese (as they migrate) crows and a variety of other feathered friends.
Winter is a hard time for some, the gulls largely stay down by Lake Champlain in winter, but the crows and small birds stay near the houses and wait for whatever gets put out for them each day.
During the summer the gulls come everyday for left over cat food that I throw out for them each morning but the winter belongs to the crows!
They usually leave one poor crow who keeps watch from a telephone pole and as soon as I emerge from the front door he sends out a signal call and they start to gather close by waiting.
Today there were more than usual and the cat food was gone in minutes so I went through the cupboard and got out old cereal (Grape-nuts and Corn Flakes) and threw that out on the road as well. I just had to scrape a little of the frost off the window and try to get a few pictures of them. 
With the wind chill here today it was -8 and I just had to admire these wonderful crows who brave the freezing temps and wait so patiently. 
As you can see the competition is fierce so I try to space it out on the road so all have a chance to get something.
I have a feeling I will be making a bread run to the store soon for dinner!
I want to take this opportunity to say I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with the greatest joy and peace! I am so looking forward to 2011 and I hope and pray it will be a year filled with great blessings for all of us!
Tina xo

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cards For Loved Ones

Over the last few years I have to admit I was not always conscientious about sending Christmas cards, I always start the season with the best of intentions and then, Phssssstttt...the air is out of the balloon and I aim for next year.

This year I decided to make, yes make, a few hand painted cards for family and get them in the mail lickedy split (ok so the lickedy split part went out the window) and here we are on the Tuesday before Christmas and I am just now headed for the Post Office. But darn it I did make the cards and here is one of the six I managed to finish.
Done in watercolor on 140# cold pressed paper in the Fraktur style of Pennsylvania Dutch/German artwork of the last century.
Next year.....ahhh yes next year.....maybe I should get started tomorrow on next years cards!!!
Have a great Tuesday and I hope you got your cards mailed out on time...:(
Tina xo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amelia and Life Out of Control

It feels like forever since my last post, and maybe it has been....eerie.

First I made a commitment to attend a few impromptu craft shows with a friend and that meant trying to come up with an inventory really fast and I had numerous projects that were in various states of completion that I wanted done for Christmas to list on Ebay!

Well we all know about the best laid plans of men and mice...but with all that said I did get this girl done this morning!
I'm calling her Amelia and she has a lovely taffeta dress, tea stained lace and a shawl that was a doily made by a sweet 103 year old lady named Evelyn who passed away last year.  

  I did Amelia as a stump style doll. The bottom of her dress has a sand insert so she stands on her own.  
It is amazing to me when I do something like this to find out how much work is involved. 
But the wonderful part of the process is to hold the finished lady in my hands and look into her little face! The seem to have a life of their own. 
Now on to the next unfinished project!
P.S. This is what I am talking about....I forgot to put her little gold heart necklace on before the pictures...*sigh*

Stay warm and well!

Tina xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fly Away Crow!

Number two of the punch needle saga....

 I love working on these small designs. It is fun sitting quietly and doing the art work and then choosing the colors and back fabric. I still had a few rusted beads from an old vintage necklace and used those on the points for interest. 
I'm putting ti on Ebay or Etsy, I'm not really sure which is the better fit. I'm finding Ebay a little boring lately.
Although I am working on another punch needle, I am also going to try painting a fractur this week. I also have 4 dolls for Christmas that are waiting patiently for completion! So why am I sitting here on the me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My First Punch Needle Design

I am really excited about this little fella! I drew out the design last weekend but had to wait for the needle to arrive in the mail so I was chomping at the bit by the time it got here!
I find this so relaxing and fun and found a use for some old jewelery beads that I had rusted and saved. After that it was just a matter of getting the little wood base and drilling a hole, adding the dowel, painting and aging.

I had been given some really old thread which was perfect for sewing the beads on. Then I soaked it in tea, dried and stuffed it and added the base. 

I am working on another original design featuring a crow!
This could be like eating peanuts, uh oh!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Madame Royale Marie Therese

I have been reading a great book called "Marie Therese, Child of Terror" by Susan Nagel, a history of Marie Antoinette's daughter who survived the French Revolution. 
It has been very interesting and inspired me to do a quick painting of my impression of her. 
Even though I have upteen things to do I just had to take the time to see if I could put my vision to canvas. 
Now it's back to all the other things clambering for attention....sigh!
Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Girl in Pink

I have been working on this painting off on for a month because there was always something else that just had to be done "right away" and working on this poor girl was put aside. 

Well this morning it's been raining, no one called with a problem, there were no commitments to anyone, the house was tolerable (laundry can wait) so I got to finish her!
I'm putting her on Ebay today....

I still have holiday dolls to finish and as soon as my new Punch needle arrives in the mail I will be starting on a really cute idea I have for holiday punch needle fun! 
I get so much inspiration from all of you blog friends!!!

Have a wonderful evening!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Better To Receive!!!

Yes I know the old saying "Better to Give Than Receive" and I do subscribe to that sentiment most of the time.....but in this instance I have to say I was way more thrilled to receive!
Last week I got my 5 art squares from the Swap sponsored by Jillayne @ a wonderful fabric artist whose work I admire. I was so excited to be a part of something I had never done before and I am so glad I did! As much fun as I had making my 5 squares for the swap I have to say receiving back 5 squares from various artists was WAY more exciting!!!

Being a consummate artist Jillayne made these lovely gift purses to hold our 5 treasures! A beautiful card and precious little cloth heart was included!
And now onto the other gorgeous creations .......
This lovely quilted bird was created by Lucille, a dear friend of Jillayne's who hasn't joined the blogging world yet but I am so looking forward to when she does. Aren't the buttons and topaz colored jewel for the eye a wonderful touch? Lucille also took the time to quilt this beautiful piece! I love the colors, subtle and Autumnal perfect for this time of year!
This amazing artist is named Genevieve and note how the center of this piece is 3 dimensional! It's like looking through a window at two friends exchanging gifts. She added a rich red velvet backdrop that just shouts Christmas to me and sets the holiday mood! The detail on this piece is unbelievable!
What can I say, this is so precious! Who doesn't love a sweet little girl with her crown and magic wand at the ready to bestow happy holiday wishes on everyone? This wonderful artist is named Marie and her art work is such a treasure.....note the glitter on the wand and the music sheet in the background, it is a piece of fabric! There are vintage buttons added for a homey Christmas feel. As soon as I saw this little girl I thought she should be named Charlotte!
Imagine how excited I was to see this little cutie....I love birds and this little fella looks like he is going to come flying right at you. Appleshoe I had never owned anything felted before and now I can see why it is all the rage! I love the texture and dimension, the bright red berries add such a wonderful punch of color! I love the shiny filament around the edge as I am a big fan of anything that sparkles. This little guy's label says he is a Tufted Titmouse! I love the little black bead eye as it seems he is looking right at you!

And finally the last Holiday treat is this fabulous piece by Michele who has a lovely blog with her mom where they create beautiful vintage pieces that speak of a time when family was all you needed to make a holiday special.
The background is a music sheet "Home Sweet Home" appropriately with a sweet picture of grandma reading to the little ones in front of a fire. The special touches that Michele and her mom added are a little wooden boy in a lovely gauze bag adorned with a rusty jingle bell! A sweet bit of vintage green lacework runs along the side! Wow!

I can still not believe the work everyone put into this swap! I am so honored to have been a part of it and again I have to say ..thank you Jillayne, for all the work you put into it (and it was a huge amount of work) for your help and patience. Getting to know you and all these lovely artists was the real prize! I am so looking forward to devising the perfect way to display my precious squares for the holidays and for many years to come whenever I bring it out for Christmas I will be reminded of all you wonderful ladies and your very talented hands!

Sweet yourself a favor and please do visit the wonderful blogs of all these lovely ladies, it is well worth the time!
Tina xo