Monday, July 21, 2014

Time for flowers!

Dahlia, Fountain Grass and Lime Potato Vine.  (Purple
Million Bells in the pot next to it.)

Here are some beauties from my garden this year!  It was a great year for my Peonies, Hydrangea, Nasturtium and Clematis!  They did better than ever this year!  We're finally getting a break from the "hovering-around-100" stuff we were getting, so maybe I'll get out there and get rid of that awful ryegrass that gets in my beds!!  And, the crab-grass and the blackberries and..... ugh.... I do love living in a place where plants grow with wild abandon, but that means that *weeds* grow with wild abandon, too!!  Barkdust is a flower-gardener's friend!!  But, I've gone too many years without replenishing it.  I have to get these beds weeded and then lay down more BD this fall!  If a weed seeds itself in there, you can just pluck it right out!  And, it really keeps weeds *out*, for the most part.  Plus, it just makes the beds look so nice.  Hopefully, you can get the kind that I can get, locally - the Hemlock barkdust.  It's "splinter-free"; not 100%, but way better than the other types.

Crososmia "Lucifer", with Loosestrifes in back (yellow and

I've tried to grow Delphiniums, with no success...but, I know it's because that dang grass gets in there and crowds them out.  They never come back!  :(  I LOVE Delphiniums!!  Well, it's true for anything that I really love and don't have in my garden.....Foxgloves (I have one, I think)...they should put out babies like nobody's business...but I don't get that lucky.  Lupines?  Something always eats them down to a stub.  Hollyhocks?  (The old-fashioned variety, not the double ones.)  Those should really be planted by seed and when you have cats and there are about 10 million other cats in the neighborhood, well, not a good formula for seeds.

My dream is a cottage garden.  That's what I strive for.  But, you can't really have a cottage garden without Hollyhocks, Foxgloves and Delphinium, in my opinion.  So, I have to work on that!  I've also realized, after poking around on Pinterest this morning, that I need some Allium in the garden!  But, I do enjoy the flowers that I *do* have, don't get me wrong!  I love having flowers, right outside my door, to bring inside, while still getting to enjoy the ones left outside.  I just need to get things cleaned up out there and add more!!  Enjoy your trip through my garden!  And, enjoy the day!

 ~ Teri

Lavender, of course.  Bumblebees were going crazy for it that day!

Buddleja - Butterfly Bush.....honeybees and butterflies love!!

More of the Butterfly Bush... I *love* when this thing blooms!!

Petunia hanging basket, from one of my sons.  :)

Black-eyed Susan Vine
Nasturtiums - they've done wonderfully this year! 


Sweet Pea, the perennial variety

One of my finds from The Farm Chicks Show (!!) in with those little, annual Daisy-like flowers....can't ever remember their name!!  :(

Hydrangea.... this was its best year, ever!

Yellow Loosestrife


Clematis...this was the best year for this plant, too!

Lewisia, an Oregon native.

Mimulus, "Monkey Flower"

Ah!  A garden visitor!  This is a perennial dianthus - Carnation.

Speedwell with Day-lily in back
Gooseneck Loosestrife

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lost in Twinkling H2o land!

 Greetings!!  Oh, my gosh.... yes, I'm still alive!!  Thank goodness!  ;)  It's not that I haven't been busy creating.... I *have*!  So, this is what I've been focused on, as far as art goes, since last October.  I started taking a class - Mastering Twinkling H2o's, with Dion Dior.  So, last fall was the first class and now I'm taking the second one.  I can't say enough about these classes!  And, the "Twinks"!  Oh, my!!  They're amazing watercolors that have mica and binders in them, so they are shimmery.  It's very difficult to pick up all the shimmer in a photo.....most everything is more shimmery and vibrant in person.  I hadn't done any watercoloring for several years, so it's been good to be doing that again... plus, just drawing.  Dion gives us a drawing lesson each week, which is very cool.  She's so generous with her knowledge; people in the class have said that they've learned more in that first 5-week course than in all the years of taking watercolor classes from other people.  I concur.  I highly recommend her classes.

So, here are a few of the things that I've done.  I'm behind, but that's one of the beauties of her classes.... you can go as you like and you will have access to the online content (the entire class is online) *forever*!!  The first five pieces here are from Twinks 1; the last two are from Twinks 2.  The Peach is done on Yupo paper - it's a completely synthetic paper than has no tooth; it's completely smooth.  Paint or ink or whatever will just sit on the surface for a while, so it can be tricky to paint on!  I was a bit intimidated by the stories that I was hearing about it, but I didn't have any problems, at all.  It was fun to work with.

One of the activities we did was an ATC, which I've talked about before on here.  I love ATC's - they're so small that they're not so intimidating, but you can do everything on an ATC that you'd do on any other painting or mixed-media piece.  So, this ATC had to include frisket or masking fluid.  I had to toss my old masking fluid and actually bought what The Merri Artist recommended which was Pebeo "drawing gum".  Works beautifully.  It's thinner so you can get a pretty fine line.  I bought a Speedball calligraphy pen/handle with a very fine nib and that's what I use for applying the frisket.
   The butterfly was just a lesson on drawing butterflies.  :)


These next two were lessons on drawing leaves.  Dion has shown us how to make them curl, twist, etc.... and it's been wonderful to practice and play with those techniques!  Very fun!  So, even though the leaves in this first one may not have a flower, in real life, I wanted a bud on there, so I added one!  This wasn't about was about drawing and getting to know our Twinks better.  :)

 This next one is from Twinks 2.  We started out by working on various papers - this one is black gesso on cold-press watercolor paper.  I have a hard time working on the black substrate.  Yes, the Twinks can show up more vibrantly - but they don't always show up as the color that you expect them to be!  Once you get to know those little tricks that they play on  you, I guess it'd be okay.... you'll know what to expect.  But, I almost gave up on this one, actually.  I let them dry and then I completely changed the color of the upper-right one.  It was frustrating but, in the end, I was happy with it.

Peach on Yupo:

I think this next one might be my favorite, so far.  This was about tracing.  Lots of fine-art artists trace some of their work onto their paper.  "It's not cheating", our lovely instructor tells us.  :)  When you're working with expensive, high-quality watercolor papers, you don't want to ruin them before you even start painting.  Every time you erase, you're compromising the structure of the surface of that paper.  So, there are cases where you'll want to trace.  I couldn't find my tracing paper, so I opted to do it the cheap way.  Rubbing a pencil over the back of the paper, then laying it down over the "real" paper and drawing over my lines.  I'm working on one right now that I will trace the "correct" way.  ;)
Anyway, this was a Hellebore that I saw in a catalog.  If you're interested at *all* in learning how to watercolor, or learning how to work with Twinkling H2o's, in particular, I highly recommend Dion's courses!
Enjoy the day!  Happy Spring, by the way!
   ~ Teri

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My vintage finds

I went to The Farmhouse Show (in Turner, Oregon) for the first time, ever, even though I've been hearing about it for some years.  (I'd actually never even been to Turner.)  I found some great pieces....well, I found a ton of wonderful things (yes, probably actually one ton), but I only bought a couple of handfuls.  I love how people are using these double- or triple-tiered baskets in their studio/craft rooms.  They put fat-quarters in them, little bottles of paint, Stickles.... you name it!  This one is mostly twisted metal wire, painted and distressed...unless it's naturally distressed....not sure about that.  It doesn't matter.  I loved it and I've had my eye on one for a few weeks at, of all places, the grocery store!  Our grocery store has a lovely little gift section... and a table where they put out seasonal items.  There's almost always something that I love on that table!  (But, I rarely buy something just because I like it.)  Anyway, the one at the grocery store is even more perfect... it's not twisted, it's that lovely "shabby" green and it has a bird on it!!  Up on the top!!  What more could anyone ask for??  I've told my husband about it and I showed it to one of my daughters, hoping that someone will be so inclined to buy it for me for Mother's Day..... or my birthday.  I'll put them on my work-tables up in my "studio", after I finish purging, organizing and getting the work-spaces set up.  I've always loved the Shabby-Chic look, but it's never been real defined in my mind... as far as what I like.  I like too many things!  And, well, life happened and as we had four children, my home sort of decorated itself.  Any time I'd clear off a table top or the top of the piano and put nice things up there, a cat would think I made that little space especially for them and climb up there and knock over picture frames and whatever else they could needed to, in order to be comfy and happy.  It is all about the cats, after all!

Well, I'm working on defining my style.  What it is about Shabby-Chic/vintage-y stuff that I love and what I can live without.  I started working on an upstairs room that has sort of been a "black hole" for the last nearly-23 years.  Yes, we've been in our house for nearly 23 years!  I've made great progress but there's still lots to do.  And, I'm limited because the roof is pretty steep up there, so the side-walls are only 21" high!  :(  But, I've got some ideas brewing in my head!  I didn't think of taking "before and after" pictures of it until I was about half-way through with the purging!  But, that's ok.  You'll get the idea.

So, back to my finds.  Along with the wire two-tiered basket, I found these sweet, little jars with lids!  I realize now that it's kind of hard to see them in this photo (in front of the wire basket), but I've already wrapped them up and put them upstairs, where they will ultimately be used, so this picture will have to suffice.  Anyway, the useful part of them is only about 2" (at the most!) tall....then the lid makes them maybe 3" tall.  I'm envisioning things that I use, but that are loose, being stored in them...out where I can see them.  Like buttons, three different colors, each in a separate jar.  Something like that.  Whatever it is, it'll have to be small!  Any ideas?

The other thing in that picture is a cloche, which I've been looking for for a while now.  I want to do mixed-media pieces and create little vignettes, for holidays/seasons to put in there.  But, this one came with something already in it!  Two somethings, actually!!  There's a doily on the bottom.... (I love doilies made of crocheting cotton thread) and then a little "nest" of sorts.  I just loved the colors and when I got home, it went perfectly with the tablecloth that's on my table right now!  

The last thing I got at The Farmhouse Show was this little, green shelf with pegs on it!  I've been collecting these old-fashioned crocheted pot-holders.  I went to hang the ones that I'd just purchased a few days before and realized that the pegs that are on the cabinet above my stove are too big for these.  :(  So, I thought to myself, "OK, so I need to find something that has smaller pegs to put these on."  I think it was the next day (maybe the day after that) that I went to this show and found this shelf!  A perfect green, with a little shelf above, for sweet little things, and pegs below!  And, for under $20.00!  Yay!!  So, up it went, right after I got home!!  And, how sweet is that, with those pot-holders on it??

I went to a much smaller sale on Thursday afternoon...the Country Calico Antiques & Craft Spring Market.  I found some goodies there, too, which I will show you later!  Both of these shows also happen in the fall.  Not sure about the Country Calico one, but I'll definitely be going to The Farmhouse Show in the fall!

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend and that all you Mothers out there will be treated like Queens tomorrow!!  Happy Mother's Day!!

     ~  Teri

Friday, March 8, 2013

They called him "Mr. Owlie"

I saw this embroidery pattern on Pinterest and knew, right away, that I had to make it for my friend, Beki, who's crazy about owls.  It was meant to be an embroidery pattern.   Here's the link to the pattern -

But, Beki also loves wool, as I do, and wool-felt.  So, I decided to use wool felt on the bigger things and then fill it out with embroidery.  I guess I didn't take a picture of the back, but I just overlapped the fabric, by about 4", I think, to create an "envelope" back.  I bought some largish buttons and just cut open the wool, to create button-holes.  That's one of the cool things about wool.... you don't have to finish the edges!  It's not going to unravel!  I did a blanket stitch all around the outside edge and then did a running stitch about 1/2" from the outside edge, so that the whole edge would be flanged.

She hasn't received it, yet, but she rarely gets on the computer, so I'm pretty confident that she won't see this before I actually give it to her.  :)

On a completely different note, I've always used the word "unravel", to mean something that's fraying.  But, just now, all of a sudden, I wasn't sure if that was the correct word.  It seems sort of like fiction and non-fiction suddenly!  So, I looked it up and, basically, they mean the same thing.

Enjoy the weekend!!

      ~  Teri

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rooster towel

The pattern is from Yesterday's Charm and is called "Rise and Shine".  There are seven designs in the one pattern, for each day of the week, of course.  :)

Oh, I see the "underline" has finally disappeared!  Thank you so much, Blogger, now that I've accidentally deleted the entire button for "underline", since it wasn't responding to my telling it to stop underlining!!  UGH.  I'm seriously considering leaving Blogger.  But, I'm not sure where I'd go or how easy it would be to transfer all my old posts.  It sounds a tad overwhelming.  I know a lot of you have done this, though, so, please, if you have any recommendations for where to go and how to go about it, please share!

I'm doing The Sketchbook Tour for the first time this year!  I tried to put The Sketchbook Project gadget on here.... but, no, it just wouldn't take it.  Finally, I just saved their logo and then uploaded it here, just like I would a photo, without using html.  Very frustrating, though.  And, I don't like how they've changed the whole look of everything.  Just leave things alone, thank you very much!

Anyway, I hope you like the towel... Jana did!

And, if you have any ideas about switching to a more user-friendly place to have a blog, let me know!


  ~  Teri

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm still here!

Greetings!  I just wanted to say "hi!" and that I'm still here.  :)  I've made a few things, but haven't been able to post pictures because the recipient hasn't received the gift, yet.  (My bad, since they were for last Christmas!!)

Now, I'm working on a pillow for a friend.  I don't think she ever looks on here, but, just in case, I can't post the pic until I've given it to her.  I used wool felt and embroidery to create the pillow.... all done on a piece of wool felt.  Just bought the pillow form this afternoon, so now I have to figure out how to put it together.  The back will just overlap and I'll probably put three buttons across it.  Wool felt is great because you don't need to make buttonholes, you can just cut the fabric... kind of like polar fleece.  :)  So easy to sew with!  But, I think I want a flanged edge, that I will embroider a blanket stitch on.

I've also been busy making a flannel shirt for my husband, for Christmas.  It's been years since I've made a flannel shirt!!  This is a green plaid... it's beautiful fabric.... and, hopefully, will be a really nice shirt.  :)  But, hubby is home now, so I can't work on it.  My sewing/crafting/art space is the dining room table...and the dining room is right in the middle of the house... you have to go through it to get just about anywhere in the house!  :(  Some day... *some* day.... I'll have my own studio.  Until then, projects get put on hold as long as the recipient is home.  :)  Or, unless I can tell a little-white-lie about who it's for.  That works, too.  :)

Hmmm.....maybe I'll get my Christmas cards out and start writing some while I make some fudge.  There's an idea!

Have a great night!

     ~  Teri

Friday, November 9, 2012

A birthday card

Here's the card that I made for my sister, for her birthday.  I actually got it to her, along with her gift, on time!  (Even though she wasn't there to receive it.)  It's been years since I've managed to do that.  I'm so bad with getting things off in the mail....even if I have it all ready to go!!  (What's up with that, anyway??)

Anyway, it's hard to tell from this picture, but the butterfly was actually stamped, using Distress Markers for the ink, on a separate piece of cardstock, then cut out.  So, it's raised up from the rest of it.  I used Distress Inks for the background, liquid chalk on top of "punchinella" - that creates the little dots, markers (can't remember if I used Distress Markers - Tim Holtz, of course - or if they were my Tombow markers... I think they're the Distress ones, though.  Maybe a combination?  I added some Perfect Pearls or Pearl-Ex powders, not sure which...they're both great products!  Where you see any glimmer...that's from those.  I used Stickles on the butterfly, which is really hard to see here, but there are some little spots of it along the body and the biggest spots on the wings.  The green, flowery stuff that goes across the top and bottom is Washi Tape....wonderful, wonderful stuff!!!  So fun to use!!  I just added gems on the bottom.  The sentiment is from a little pack of vellum sentiments, on Love.  I had to trim it, to fit on this.  The flowers on the corners of that are Prima, with gems added.  I just happened to have the perfect color to match the green in the Washi Tape!  Yay!

Part of my sister's gift was this book, by Kelly Rae Roberts.  Her story is so great; she's such an inspiration to so many would-be artists.  My mom and sister were visiting in Sept. and we did some art-work while they were here.  I showed them how to do some things.  The only problem was we didn't have enough time!  They weren't here long enough for a trip to Salem, a trip to Portland (which we ended up foregoing, in order to do art) playing with art, music at the coffee-shop, an over-night trip to the yurts at the coast, etc...etc....!!  But, we did what we could and had a great time, regardless.

So, check out Kelly Rae's book.  Now, I need to get a copy for myself.  :)

Enjoy the weekend!

        ~ Teri