Friday, August 19, 2016

Thrift store haul!

My day off began with helping Micah and the girls. A new seatbelt was needed in her van before baby Sullivan arrives (maybe in the next few weeks!). So, I followed her to the repair shop and she and the girls crowded into my car to wait for the van to be ready. We ate our drive-through lunches and the girls colored and played games on Micah's phone. We had a good time together. The mechanic is a friend of Micah's, so he gave her some good-humored ribbing about being pregnant AGAIN. He and his wife have four kids also, so he was only kidding. :)

As they drove away to do their own errands I decided to drop in and take a quick look at one of the local thrift/antique/junque shops. I ended up staying for almost 3 hours! My idea of a fun afternoon! I came away with a basketful of loot.

I got rid of most of my salt and pepper shaker collection before I moved, so I thought it was time to buy some more. I'm looking for cute little knick-knacks to brighten up the apartment.
I love this box of postcards. The artwork is inspired by matchbox cover art. I'll use these when mailing ATC's to make a sturdier package and the recipients will love the art!

 This little Santa nesting doll is in poor shape, but I love it as art. It looks cute on my desk shelf. The plaid box is lacquered and was made in India. It's in rough shape, too, but I think that gives it more charm. The lid lifts off and I'll find something to store in there!
 I bought these two frames mainly for the frames themselves. They look like something you would hang on the walls of your resort cabin. Someone put 1960-ish looking magazine pictures in the frames. But if you click on this to enlarge it you'll notice that the magazine picture doesn't go all the way to the top. Someone finished the picture at the top! I wish they would have painted the whole thing! This was something I hadn't noticed til I got it home. I'm hoping to someday make a painting or two to put in them.
 I got this because I love the illustrations. I wouldn't be above copying them for some ATC artwork!
 This funny box was filled with pretty stationary with interesting borders. I'll probably use these to wrap ATC's in. Some of the collagers among us will probably cut the borders off and use them in their collages. Or maybe I will. ;)
I don't know about you guys, but I read ALL of the Black Stallion books when I was about 10-12 years old. So, when I come across a copy I snap it up for my grandkids' library.
 I had sort of a souvenir theme going for a while...
 This tiny mug celebrates my Texas roots. It will sit on my desk and will eventually hold some art supplies.
 I just thought this was funny! It will work perfectly with my Keurig coffee maker!
 What can I say? I need a tea bag holder!
I also need a spoon holder...don't I?

So there you go. A lot of fun for not a lot of money.

In other news, I made this postcard for the MMH (Make Me Happy) Postcard swap. A gal asked for a painting of a mushroom. This little postcard is in the mail and bound for St. Petersburg, Russia! My first card to go to Mother Russia. I hope there's something left of the art by the time it gets there. It's sort of a funny feeling to spend time making  a painting and then to stick it bare nekked in the mail! But that's how it's done. Here's hoping she gets it okay.

For another Make Me Happy swap I made this ATC of a chicken.
 It's been a pleasant day off, and I'm feeling blessed! I hope you're having a good day and that you'll have a wonderful weekend!
Shalom, all!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hummingbird wars...

This little fellow (I guess it's a fellow!) has been hogging the hummingbird feeder. He sits guard on a nearby sunflower and when other hummers come along he attacks and drives them off. He was doing this this morning and was still at it when I came home from work!  See him silhouetted against the sky?

 Here he was craning his neck to get a better look at me. You can see his ruby throat. There's a lot of dive-bombing and chattering going on. He's still doing this as I type. Little rascal!
This woodpecker card is for a Make Me Happy swap. I mailed it out this afternoon.
We also have a monthly RAK (Random Act of Kindness) that we do at my ATC website. Each month someone is nominated who could use some encouragement and support. One gal lost her husband a month or so back, so we sign up to send her a "care" package. This is a bookmark I made, along with some other things I thought she might like; art materials and such along with a note. I think about 30 people signed up, so she will get quite an avalanche of mail. It's a nice thing to be able to take part in. 

 This llama was for another Make Me Happy swap. In these we send a card to just one person.
 Look what just came in the mail! MK, do you suggest reading the books in order, or can they be read in any order?
 I tried to capture the sunrise. Too bad about the power lines. Oh well, it was amazingly orange!
Almost forgot! Here's my harvest so far. Well, I did have one earlier. A lot of my tomatoes had blossom end rot, but it looks like I'll get a few good ones before cold weather sets in. That's all I really wanted. Just a few fresh tomato sandwiches and some to slice and douse with Ranch dressing!
I have a hankering for a sloppy joe, so I think I'll make some!
 Thanks for dropping by!
Shalom to all.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beatrix Potter swap...

Not much news. I'm on one of my three day mini-vacations, so I'm doing a lot of relaxing and know, like in recreation? Ha!

I just finished the "Potty About Beatrix Potter" swap. Potty. Is that an English term? The swap host is from the UK, so I'm assuming... Anyway, here are my cards.

Have a happy weekend! Shalom, my friends and family!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Paint on my hands...

Nope. I don't have an awesome photo of that, lol.

I bet you folks are heartily sick of looking at my artwork but, honestly, that's about all I do in my spare time. :) And I have to record it somewhere before I mail it off.

Let's see...where did I leave off? I only have one swap to show you (YAY!). This one was a little different. It's called a Rolo because you do art on Rolodex size cards which have holes punched in the bottom to make them fit on an actual Rolodex...if you can find one. My cards don't have holes because I don't own a Rolodex punch, and don't intend to get one! Anyway here are my cards for the Rolo! swap. (This was an open theme swap, so I just made whatever I felt like making. Well, I did do a little research by checking out the various people's profiles to see what type of themes they like to collect and that gave me some ideas.)

Whoops! I found another swap that I failed to post on here. Sorry! This one is called The Tenth Annual Personal Profile PAT (Pick-a-Theme). There are 40 players but we are divided up into 8 groups of 5 people. I had to make a card for each of the other four players in my group, and I had to pick a theme by reading their profile information and learning about them and their personal likes and such. It was a fun way to get to know more about a few folks. Here they are.

This was a host gift card. She likes boardgames.
 This lady is a Christian, and loves ballet. This was one of my favorite cards. I drew and re-drew those feet and I'm still not sure they're right, but I like how it turned out. :)
 This gal likes dogs and writing.
 One lady loves loteria cards. I'd never heard of them! But I can see why she does like them. They are decorated with lots of vibrant, colorful art. Are they lottery tickets? I'll have to Google that.
 The last lady is a Snoopy fan, and she lives in New Mexico.
Okay, I cheated a little. I do have more photos of cards, but these are a little different. One young lady on the ATC site is a pastor's wife in Berea, Kentucky. That's about 15 miles from where my son Josh lives, so I quickly introduced myself and got to know her. Anyway, she came up with the idea to give little pieces of art to people in need of some cheer in their lives. She asked if any of us ATC people would like to contribute some art. She was willing to trade and send us a card for each one we sent her, but most of us are just sending them without asking for a return card. (How could she possibly keep up?!? Anyway, it's the giving that's fun!) This is an ongoing thing and she will tuck these little ATC's into birthday cards and give them out in other ways. She has a lot of contacts since her husband is a pastor and knows lots of lonely folks who need a lift. Anyway, here are the ones I'm working on right now. Her one requirement was that they contain at least one word or a phrase/scripture as long as it's something positive and uplifting. I look forward to doing this for a long time!

I'll be posting finished versions of these later.

I decided to actually clear off my desk enough to do my painting there. I usually try to do it perched in my recliner leaning over to reach my paints on the side table. Not good! This was so nice!

Thanks to Jordan for this vintage makeup case. It works great to hold my acrylics and other odds and ends!

Well, if you made it this far...BRAVO! Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm up to. Blessings on your week!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Two more swaps under my belt...

I've really been going to town on the ATC swaps lately. I think I have about 15 going right now! I just mailed these two off, so I'm all caught up, but now I've discovered a couple of other types of mail art trading that I would like to try. One involves making a 4x6 postcard with art on one side and a message on the other. I'll be doing that soon. Another is for making 5X7 canvas board paintings. You only make one of those at a time and it's a monthly contest, so I can plan ahead. I have all kinds of canvas boards...just not 5X7's! So, I'll have to buy one or two before I can try that. :)

Here are the two swaps I'm sending off today.

The "Van Gogh" swap...
...and the "Crayons Are Back!" swap.

I'm thinking crayons are not my favorite medium. Some folks can get beautiful results with them, but I'm not one of them, lol. Anyway, you can never have too many crayons around for the grandkids! They won't be wasted!

Other than a foray to the post office, I've spent a quiet day indoors today. Our little town is having what it calls the Muskie Days Music Festival, which involves lots of events such as a 5k (which I've run several times in the past) and lots of bands playing within the two square blocks that constitute our fair city. Lots of tourists flocking the place. I may venture out later out of curiosity...maybe. A band called Chasing Clarence will play at 3:00. One of the members is a friend of my boys. They play folk/Christian type music. I might go listen if I get up my introverted nerve. I'm not big on crowds, but I really need to get outside a bit.
named after this guy...
Hope you're all having fine summer weather!
Shalom to all!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finishing up a swap...

Here are the last two cards for the No Butterflies/No Birds/No Flowers swap...

This cute little pirate's map was shamelessly copied from the internet. Isn't everything?

This was from an actual photo of one of my hubby Bob's old trucks which was gracefully rusting away in our woods.
One of my next swaps involves copying something by Van Gogh. I found this picture while looking around for a reference photo. I won't be tackling this one, but I love the feeling of this painting. Notice how the farmer has removed his shoes so his feet can have a rest. :)
Hope you're having a great day! I'm being a recliner potato on my day off. I just watched From Time to Time for the second time! I figured if I had access to it for seven days I might as well watch it more than once. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 22, 2016

A HOT day off...

I've been sitting in front of two fans most of the day. Hot out there! And in my apartment. I suppose I could get an air conditioner, but I think the really hot stuff will pass soon.

So, I spent a lot of time computing and watching You Tube videos. I also got my laundry done and ran to the store to pick up a birthday card for a granddaughter in Maryland, whose birthday snuck up on me! Kristen will be 12 on Monday! I think the card may be a little late.

I did a little reading in The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. Here's an excerpt with underlining and margin notes by a friend who owned the book before me.

I'm taking Dori's advice and reading just a page or two at a time, and really meditating on the meaning. His writing is packed with insights though these are elementary Christian teachings. As he mentions, we tend to wander away from the ABC's of the  Gospel when we think we've attained a new level and can do things in our own strength.

Oh, I also took a nice long nap on the couch. Very important!

Toward 8 p.m. I was looking over some of the swaps I've got going, and realized I hadn't done any art today. I always feel better when I've done a piece of art on my days off. I'm involved in a swap called "No Flowers/No Birds/No Butterflies" (or maybe that's the wrong order, lol). The idea is to avoid the cute themes we so often fall back on. We're supposed to come up with themes that are a little different. Here are my first two cards. The dinosaur is very similar to the one I did for the Cute Dinosaur swap, but I figured dinosaurs would be okay for this swap. :)

Note to self: Give that dinosaur some teeth!! (The color is sort of washed out in this photo.)
This is the second card I made for the Cute Dinosaur swap. We're only required to send one card for this particular swap, so the second one is a host gift.
I finally have some sunflowers!
And that was my day. Just trying to keep cool. Hope you managed to stay cool, too!
Bedtime soon, so I'll say "Shalom!"