Friday, November 6, 2015

Consider the Lilies

Last year a dear friend of mine lost her baby boy.  He was just one week old. She asked me to sing at the funeral and we chose Consider the Lilies.  I'm not sure how I got through it, but I got a lot of extra help that day.  

After the funeral I started this painting for her - of lilies of the valley (the most prolific lily).  It didn't go anywhere for a long time. Finally about a year later, I finished it and gave it to her. I hope it provides some additional comfort and a reminder of the words of the song.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween: family themed costumes

So it has become a family tradition to dress up in a family theme each Halloween.

This started about 5 years ago and even though we have grown and it's getting more and more difficult to choose a theme that accommodates all of the strong-willed participants, I hope we're able to keep it going as long as we can.

Here is a collection through the years:

Our first theme was Peter Pan in 2010:

Tinker Bell, Smee, Captain Hook, the blue fairy, Peter Pan and Wendy

The following year I must not have had my act together because just the kids dressed up in 2011 - and it was Sleeping Beauty:

Here is Aurora, the dragon and Prince Charming

And for 2012, we decided on Wizard of Oz

The whole group! 

For 2013, the theme was superheroes! And an eclectic group of superheroes too! 

Clark Kent, Captain America, Iron Man, and a couple Power Rangers

For 2014, the theme was Star Wars 

Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Yoda and Han Solo

The Force was strong in our family. 

AND for 2015, the theme is Harry Potter: (we've already had a party to go to!)

 Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hedwig, the Golden Snitch and Dumbledore

This year I was crazy enough to make all the costumes myself, so there may be another post on how that came about. 

We've already decided on the theme for next year!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vintage Sports Themed Art Prints

So I like to give away nursery art prints as gifts to close friends and family who have a baby.  Sometimes it takes me a while... my nephew was born nearly 2 years ago and I just finished the art prints I had planned on doing a long time ago (having a baby myself during that time was a large reason).  Anyway, I decided to start them the week before leaving to our family reunion, which wasn't exactly a great idea, but it got me motivated and was pleasantly surprised I finished in time.  

She wanted her boys' room to have a sports theme - and pinned some images she liked, which I did my best to replicate what she wanted.  Here is the result.  Each is on 20 x 20 canvas and painted in acrylic paint. 

And all together on her wall: 

Kitchen remodel

Well it's been over 2 years, I guess it's time to record pictures of our biggest home remodel project to date: the KITCHEN.

When we bought our new house in Colorado, there were so many things I liked about it:
the ceilings were gigantic, the amount of natural light was incredible, the windows were huge.

One thing I didn't like about it - the entire house was painted in shades of orange, YELLOW, rust red and brown. I've spent the past 2 years doing everything I could to tone those colors down. The hubs wouldn't let me repaint the entire house but I've done several sections.

The kitchen functionally was fine. Except the dishwasher was broken and had some water damage around it. I did not like the layout of the island at all and I can't stand walking on tile. Between the honey oak builder grade cabinets and the hunter green corian (!?) (serious design mistake),  I convinced the hubs to make this our first (biggest) home improvement project. 

Before pictures: (from our walk-through)
 So much tile.... everywhere....

So the first step - removing all the tile (which was NOT an easy task with the glue, cement, nails... it was a mess) 

Don't you love the yellow???!! Ew.

And another DURING: 

So we took the oak cabinets and converted the garage into my husband's work area. 
I don't mind seeing honey oak in the garage and they work great for storage. 

So we ended up gutting the entire room. We put in American walnut hardwood floors - unstained, so it shows the beautiful natural wood.  I love love love the walnut, but it is quite soft. Dropping pretty much anything will ding them, but after 2 years of wear and tear, they still look beautiful. 

And here is the end result: 

We went with cherry cabinets from Home Depot - in the Java stain.  Duston really wanted to go with the darker wood and with all the natural light in the kitchen, it worked really well.   

Finding granite to match was like finding a needle in a haystack.  I went to about a hundred stone stores.  I loved the look of marble, but I knew my family needed something stronger and more durable.  I finally found this granite in a small granite shop - the name of it is Vintage Classico. It is beautiful and the specks of burgundy and chocolate brown really highlight the cabinetry.  

The wall color is Sherwin Williams Popular grey.  It's hard to tell in the light, but it's a very mild neutral color. 

And the view from the other side.  We went with Bosch appliances - cooktop, double oven and microwave.  We opted for the LG fridge because the ice/water dispenser in the door is constantly used by all of us and this one got the highest reviews.  I have enjoyed all of them.  The dishwasher is so quiet I don't even know if it's on most of the time.  The fridge is great but so far 3 shelves have broken, so I can't recommend it to anyone.  

I love my sink - which is stainless and square. However, because it is so large and flat, the disposal does not work so well - I have to shove the food in to get it to work (and I read up on reviews and got a good disposal). I still love the size and shape of it though.  My hand sprayer is on it's own water line and is super powerful. It's one of my favorite things in my kitchen. 

The island is so nice and large and the whole family can fit around it - we eat most of our meals there.  It's also great for cooking large meals and doing homework and projects. 

Even though I couldn't get marble countertops, I was able to get a marble backsplash and I LOVE it. It is small subway tile pattern and the accent marble is raised with the bullnose surrounding it.   The pot filler is really handy, I use it regularly. 

It's so nice to have this project done! We spend a big portion of the day in this room, and it just makes me happy every time I walk into it. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Yearly update - (fairly) recent art projects

This was inspired by a beautiful quilt created by the baby's grandma. One of the squares had the same stripe/dot pattern I did my best to replicate in the border. I loved how it turned out. This one was one of my more time consuming projects. Stripes are enough to drive any perfectionist straight to the loony bin. I tried to use the silhouette to make a stencil for the stripes and it didn't work so well.
This was inspired by a sculpture in the baby's nursery of a porcelain giraffe. The colors were coral and gold. The sculpture didn't have spots but I wanted to include some - so I incorporated them into the border and I loved how it turned out.
This project was mixed media - I used cardstock cut outs for the flower and elevated it on the canvas. You can't tell in the picture but there is depth to it. I used my silhouette to make a stencil for the words. It worked ok but I had to fix most of it.