Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas is almost here.

this little gem was a custom mixed media painting for Heather.  she had a great quote and she asked me to make a painting based on it.  what an honor!

Christmas is just around the corner.  The last couple of days have been pretty nice... school is still going on (for two more hours), it is getting chillier, and I have sewn and/or painted my last order.  So, what have I been doing with myself?  Not cleaning.  Not exercising.  I have been sitting around in my pajamas in the morning sipping coffee and working on the art class I am taking on-line.  Then when I am good and inspired, I retreat to my studio and play catch-up on my art journal.  I was about six prompts behind.  Then I shower and have lunch with my hubby. 

It has been a wonderful couple of days.  They were desperately needed.  The school Christmas break begins this afternoon and I am ready to start wearing my daytime clothes again and get back to work.  Oh, wait... the girls will be home so I may need to postpone the work part and go straight to playtime.  Sweet!!!  Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Good Ideas, Procrastination, and Advent Cards

I blame Pinterest!  I am telling you, Pinterest has helped me fine tune my procrastination skills.  Each year the girls get one of those cute little store bought Advent Calendars.  You know the ones,  you pop open a door, pull out a piece of candy, and count down the days until Christmas.  I have a funny story!  One year we tampered with Gigi's and replaced her candy with raisins.  Good thing that kid has a sense of humor.  Gene and I rolled with laughter.  In fact, I am laughing now just remembering her face.  Back to the Advent Calendar... I couldn't find one this year that was Christian based.  I mean really!  It shouldn't be hard to find an Advent Calendar that focuses on Baby Jesus?!?!  Hello, people.
I decided to search Pinterest and make my own (this was several weeks ago).  I guess it's not fair to blame Pinterest because if I am honest I would tell you that I never even looked for one.  I always get distracted and find myself looking at other pins - especially the ones that are designed to help you stay focused and organized.  Oh, the irony.
I think at one point or another each member of my family reminded me that there was not an Advent Calendar to be found in our home.  I was also reminded that I have been forgetting to read the Nativity story out of the Bible in the evening.  The plan was to travel through story of the birth of Jesus Christ as Christmas approaches.  Hmmmm,  I'll catch up.
I read my friend's blog, It's all Good, today.  She talked about making Advent Calendar cards and sharing them.  In the blog she mentioned that there are still 12 days of Christmas left if you didn't start your calendar on the first of December.  Brilliant!  I decided to make my own advent cards for the girls.

I had a short amount of time before my oldest was due home from school so I got right to work.  I searched Pinterest for Nativity Bible verses, copied a few, and cut them into sloppy strips.  I taped them on a card and wrote a coupon on the back.  the cards and envelopes are similar to library cards.  Remember those?  If I had more time, organization, and supplies, I would have spruced up the cards.  As they are, the girls will be reminded daily of Baby Jesus, I will get at least two trips to Culvers, and we can enjoy our countdown.  I think the girls will love them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Busy Holdiays and Holiday Bazaars

This post is just a bit of thoughts - no pictures - just funny thoughts I am having over my coffee.

The past three weeks have been so very busy.  I've participated in my first craft bazaars... three to be exact.  The first one was supposed to be the big money maker.  Last year it was packed with vendors and people.  To prepare, I made inventory like crazy.  I had over 150 items.  I was sad to see the folks trickling in  - maybe a few customers walked by every 30 minutes.  A friend came by to see me and told me that there were FOUR other craft fairs that day and she was going to them all.  Hmmm, that explained a lot!!!  Needless to say, I have extra bags, wallets, and other wonderful goodies left over but I am thrilled to say that we made a enough to pay for all our Christmas purchases and maybe have a bit left over.

Gene was great.  He set up at each one and sold the daylights out of my stuff.  I love to create but I hate to market.  Gene just lights up and turns on the charm when the tired Mom, who is lugging around a few kids and baby, comes by our booth.  Gene cracks me up... he said he would much rather be manning the booth than be one of the depressed husbands being dragged to the craft fair.  ha ha

It was interesting to see what people would spend their hard earned money on.  I sold out of iPad totes but could barely sell a large tote.  It is easy to look back and see that customers did not come to the craft fairs this year to spend more than $20 on an item unless it was something specific they wanted.  Good to know for next year. 

One of the best parts was... for the first time... I made my paintings available for sale.  They were a hit and that makes me so happy happy.  It is hard to put something so personal out there for the public to critique or walk past without even a second glance.  Plus, I really enjoy painting mixed-media paintings.  I may enjoy it more than sewing but I still love the practicality of sewing and knowing that I may be helping keep the earth clean.  Let's ban plastic bags!  Who's with me?  ha ha

In conclusion, (can you tell I have been helping the girls write reports for school?)  my house is a disaster.  I have all these beautiful Christmas decorations up but we can't see past the chaos to enjoy them.  As a result, I am forbidden to enter my art studio.  I must clean, finish laundry, blah, blah.  My only question is... do I shower first.  I'll have to have another cup of coffee and watch one of my on-line art class sessions, The Art of Wild Abandonment 2.  Then I'll start cleaning.  I promise!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas - mixed media paintings

This has been a great season for my creative side.  I love painting and mixed media is easily my favorite style.  It feels like free expression and an opportunity to recycle all in one.  Perfect for me and my happy heart.
These are a few Christmas canvases I painted to sell at Holiday Bazaars.   The theme is all about Christmas songs that celebrate the birth of Jesus.  My inspirations for paintings usually come during church.  A verse will be read or the speaker will say something that holds special meaning to me at the time.  If you saw my journal that I write sermon notes in, you would notice many sketches on the left side of the notebook and notes about the sermon on the right.  For some reason, sketching and taking notes helps me retain what I hear. 
I am grateful for the gift of creativity and also grateful that the paintings are well received and finding new homes.
A Newborn King To See

Following Yonder Star

Peace On The Earth, Good Will To Men

And Heaven And Nature Sing