Running like a Chicken into 2015!
It's a new year folks and I have been playing catch up with posting all of the projects that I've been working on! I'm as busy as a bee, so this is a hodge podge post of some of my work! I'm super excited to say that I was hired by the Curt Towne Band of Jacksonville, Florida to do a backdrop for them. It was a really fun challenge and I hope they enjoy taking it on their many musical adventures. Love those guys, check them out on facebook https://www.facebook.com/curttowneband and get yourself to one of their shows!
Chickens! Chickens! Chickens! If you haven't discovered by now, I'm obsessed with my chickens...and as a symptom, I'm now obsessed with all things that involve chickens. I have FOUR girls in my coop, but my favorite lady bird is Cora. I rarely paint things for myself so I painted Cora for fun. She's a 16"x20" acrylic on Canvas. Beside her is a chicken costume I made for my daughter because she won the role of chicken in the Christmas play this year! It is padded with quilt batting and very warm!
These are a pair of feather pillows I embellished this Christmas. I painted fabric with acrylic paint and then stitched it to some pillow forms. The paintings are probably ten inches across and make excellent gifts! Please be sure to contact me with your artistic requests, and keep checking in and checking out my website for the latest unveiling of new work!
Greetings to you blog readers! I've been quite busy with several projects this Summer, and today I'm sharing Skippy the King Charles Cavalier! Skippy is a very special dog, and he had an incredible story. He was rescued from a horrible life in a puppy mill, where he spent his whole life in a cage. His feet had never touched grass until he was rescued by his owner, my brave and beloved Aunt Susan. He is also, unfortunately, totally blind. He now lives in St. Louis with his new mom and dad and his three Cavalier "brothers," Titus, Atticus, and Oliver. He looks like the cutest plush toy you've ever seen, and while his eyes can't see, they are incredibly bright and they are my favorite part of him. I painted Skippy on a 16"x20" canvas, with oil paint.
I have many things in the works so I'll have many new projects to show you real soon! Y'all come back, now, y'hear?
Personalized Desk With BOOTS!
Another day of amazing challenges as this little project popped in my door early this morning! A blank canvas, the instructions were "Charlotte." (Who doesn't LOVE that name?)
I also had a little help getting inspired by the cookie cutter bin after creating my own stencil wasn't time efficient. And Voila! The cowboy boot stencil was perfect! My only suggestion for painting this project would be to go easy on the paint! Light application on paint will prevent any seeping out the corners of your cookie cutter. Correct any mistakes with a damp paper towel while it's wet. We are planning to pour polyurethane over it to seal and have a smooth surface for writing. (I'm having that lesson tomorrow. Yay for learning how to do New things!) Hope you enjoy this easy do it yourself project!
It took about three coats of white paint to get the best coverage. Acrylic paint and we'll have to seal it and it will last a very long time! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Be sure to try and see something that is ugly in a new light today, you'll walk a little lighter, I promise. Em Out!
FBA Class Quilt For Stephen
Hello all! This is a post about the quilt that I put together (along with some of the students and First Baptist Acadamy staff) for a little boy in my daughter's kindergarten class. His name is Stephen and he has received a very serious diagnosis from his doctors at such a tender age. My daughter also went to pre-k with Stephen so I know him and his mother well. So, while they were away from school getting his treatments we decided to make him a quilt with all of his friends hand prints so that he would feel like we were with him. I constructed this quilt fairly quickly because I wanted him to have it as soon as he could, so we decided not to do handprint animals but instead use colorful fabrics. (And since apparently Super Mario doesn't make fabric) we got fabric with right red and blue cars and traffic signals. It was quilted with fluffy high loft quilt batting, backed with plush blanket fabric (red) and has a wide satin blanket binding all around. I've included a slideshow of the quilt along with a shot if Stephen and my daughter receiving awards at school last week for being examples of the fruits of the spirit.
Please keep Stephen in your prayers as he continues to fight and to heal. There is a Facebook page dedicated to his progress. www.facebook.com/prayersforstephen so go like it!
It is also an important time to shower him with love and letters since they are a great encouragement and source of strength for him. Please take a moment to drop a card in the mail with some stickers, or just some kind words to this guy... because he certainly deserves them:
P.O. Box 6811
Jacksonville, FL 32236
We love you Stephen!
Animal Alphabet Quilt All put together !
The finished quilt is on display and ready to be auctioned off this evening at the Bulap and BBQ fundraiser at FBA! It was a fantastic challenge that was all new to me, and this year we did something a tad differently than last year. With 26 squares, one for each letter of the alphabet, each student from the Junior Academy placed a sweet little hand or foot print on the quilt in fabric paint and the rest was left to me. The only real rule was to have the animals "Start" with the letter on their square (which posed some hilarious challenges) which also made this a bit of a learning experience for me! (I mean, just TRY to name a REAL animal that starts with the letter "U".) Some of the prints became their own independent little painting, but I linked many others together to make a bigger composition. I don't know the final headcount (although I should since I inked each name next to their print) but I'm fairly sure we were up from last year having the count be around 150 students. I cannot take credit for the sewing on this quilt, that honor goes to the mother of one of the lovely ladies that run the office at the Junior Academy. However, had I had the time, I would have and could have done it...so the whole shabang can be ordered over my website if you are interested in having one of the sweet keepsakes made for yourself, a teacher, or your school.
We are very excited to see this quilt go up for auction, and I am pleased as punch to help raise money for a very deserving, loving, and worthy Christian school. Please take a minute to browse the gallery below - Sorry the letter "L" is missing...poor Lions -and get inspired to try these activities at home with your own kids! If you want a quilt of your own, Contact ME!
Handprint Animal Alphabet Quilt
For the second year in a row, I have helped the school that my daughter attends with a quilt for their annual spring fundraiser. This year the quilt was for the Junior Academy. The quilt has a handprint or footprint for every student enrolled there, so the tally came to over 150 small paintings. We decided to do an alphabet themed quilt with animals that matched each letter of the alphabet on their respective squares. A mother of one of the lovely ladies that work in the office there embroidered the alphabet on the squares, and they were given to me with blank handprints. I took the handprints / footprints and turn them into animals. I apologize that all I have to show here are the finish squares without the process shown (and only a few of them at that). But it was such a big project I thought it would be absent minded not to post some of them for you to see. Hopefully I will have a photo of the finished project ( I don't have to be the seamstress on this quilt, so it is being pieced together by that gracious mother I mentioned earlier) and you can see the whole thing put together!
Em's Mobile Art Blog
Here's my first mobile blog entry, you sweet and patient readers! I am embracing the unknown and the intimidating in the new year. This includes learning new technology and tools, exploring new avenues and opportunities for local artists here in Jacksonville (and hopefully beyond), and meeting and network among my artist peers. I'll be adding the things I learn on this blog!
I'll be keeping this blog short (since this is a new experience for me and I'm not entirely sure it's going to work). I'm going to share a little picture of my dog, Marty McFly Ivey, who was helping me quilt during one particularly cold day! Oh Marty! How I love you!
Oh, I'll give you one more! I love this one because all his wrinkles make him look like he's melting into the carpet.
Until next time, my friends!
Acrylic Painting on Canvas- Meet Baxley!
Preserving Treasured Friends in a Painting
Happy New Year readers! I trust that each of you have stepped into the year 2014 with a renewed zest for life and a determination to be your happiest, healthiest, and most creative you! I have a steady slew of things to show you, as I had to keep several projects "under wraps" as it were for Christmas! I will begin with Baxley! Baxley (aka Baxleyman/Furface/Good Boy) was a dear pet that belonged to a very good friend of mine. Baxley lived a long life filled with love and was a treasured lifelong friend. Therefore, we immortalized him in paint to keep the warm memories alive for many years to come. This is an acrylic paint painting on stretched canvas and is 16" x 20." We decided to have a tree in the background in which to hide his many nicknames, as an added unique detail.
I am so glad to have Baxley as a part of the dog gallery! There is much more to come this year! Stay tuned - keep the music on - and those creative wheels turning folks!
Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower
Throw a Kentucky Derby Themed Bridal Shower !
If there is one thing you can take to the bank, it is that Kentuckians are always looking for a way to celebrate with a Derby Party, even when it's nowhere near Derby day! My sisters and I were all born and raised in Kentucky, so when my sister got engaged we decided that a Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower was a winning idea! Although the party wouldn't actually be on the real day of the race, we incorporated our theme in our food, decorations and games to create an authentic downhome get together. We started by sending out invitations requesting guests attend in traditional derby attire, and that means a really BIG HAT! The bigger, louder, and more ornate the hat the higher the prestige on Derby day, so don't be afraid to take it over the top! Fashion is just one of the many bright spots of this particular theme. We chose a red, purple and gold color scheme for our shower, but bright colors echo the vibrant racing silks worn by jockeys during horse races, so you can choose any color combination you'd like. We also chose the official flower of the Kentucky Derby, the red rose, as our floral statement using them in centerpieces and decor. I also was able to acquire several horses from my daughters' (incredibly extensive) horse figurine collection to use alongside photographs of the engaged couple, with the flowers for table centerpieces. We made flags cut from plastic tablecloths (dollar store) and party ribbon that read things like "Lucky in Love," "Run for the Roses", and "And They're Off!"
For our "Watering Hole" we used purple buckets (dollar store) to chill red and white wine, bottled watera and canned drinks as well as crushed Ice. One essential element to every Derby Party the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, The Mint Julep. There are several versions of this recipe but here is the one we used:
3-4 fresh mint leaves
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 tablespoons simple syrup
Ideally, Mint Juleps are served in chilled sterling silver cups, and the mint would be crushed into the glass and crushed ice added followed by the other ingredients.
Simple Syrup Recipe:
Boil two cups of water and two cups of sugar over medium high heat for three minutes until thick, chill before use. (I added mint to mine!)
Derby Party Menu
We wanted the menu to have a lot of authentic Kentucky dishes, some family favorites as well as my sisters favorite local food from here in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sliced Homegrown Tomatoes
Relish Tray- okra, beans, olives and pickles
Baked Brie in Croissant with Red and Green Apples and Grapes
Fried Chicken (Chik-Fil-A platter)
Veggie Cups with Vidalia Onion Dressing
Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar
Meat and Cheese Tray
White Mousse Cake with "Roses"
Philly's Finest (A local favorite)- Philly Cheesesteaks
(A Kentucky favorite to serve in place of these would be the traditional Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, or Benedictine Sandwiches. Either would be a delicious Derby party addition. )
Make your Own Signature Platter using Sharpie Markers!
My sister has been collecting plates for years, so I thought it would be neat to put a unique spin on the "signature picture frame" idea so that she could remember this day and all of her friends and family that would attend! Suprisingly, I had never tried this craft before but had heard a lot about it.
To create this platter I needed:
A large ceramic plate (Big Lots $10!)
Colored Sharpie Permanent Markers
(I was able to get a new set with 12 colors for $10 at Michaels' Craft store, 6$ with my 40% coupon that they will email you regularly if you sign up.) I hear there are special "ceramic" Sharpies also made just for this type of craft, but have yet to find them.
That's it! I drew my design out (on a CLEAN surface- white vinegar works great) with a pencil and then went over the pencil with the color sharpie I needed. Please NOTE: Sharpies will blend together if they touch, which is pretty cool when you want to blend orange, brown, and yellow into a golden horseshoe. It is Less cool when you get black all in your yellow flags while filling them in so do your black details last. I also "designed" Amanda and Tony their own racing silks to personalize it. They're last name is Videll- so that's what the "V" represents. There are templates for blank racing silks are all over the internet, I just traced one right off my computer screen and then cut it into a little stencil. If you make a mistake with your Sharpies, don't panic! Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip for small fixes. (A Clorox wipe will work also, if you want to clear it all off and start over!) When you are finished, place the platter in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Voila! Enjoy your personalized keepsake plate!
Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower Games and Prizes!
Keeping with our racing theme, we created a "Racing Program" for each guest with three "races" (games) inside. Each person was asked to "name" their horse on the front of their prgram and wait for each race to be announced. We played traditional shower games that I was able to printout using the link below. We played "Who knows the bride the best?," "Wedding Word scramble," and "Bridal Shower Bingo." For the winner of each race we awarded "500 Grand," which was actually a red ribbon garland decorated with silk roses, some huge fake money and five "100 Grand" candy bars. The girls thought it was funny and we got photos of all the winners with the bride! The last keepsake touch we added was a jar with slips of colored paper for people to write date ideas for the new couple along with any other advice for the Bride and Groom.
I love my sisters! I love Kentucky! I love Horses! What could be better? What a great way and reason to celebrate a wonderful couple, and some wonderful fun memories to keep forever! We are so happy to have our new Brother Tony, and a new wonderful sister to boot, Diane (picture with my sisters and I left)! Until next time! Keep those kitchens cooking and keep art on your mind!
SKATE and CREATE!
Is there anything as fun as skateboards? As our good friend Johnny Rad would say "I love skating! Isn't skating grrrreat?!" Well, that's just what I was thinking when I was approached with an opporunity to participate in a project involving painting skateboards. One of our famous local haunts here in Jacksonville, Florida is a place called Monkey's Uncle. Both my sister and I worked there for years, and are great friends with the owners to this day, which is why I was very happy to help with the fundraiser they were hosting along with the November Void magazine release party. Painted skateboards were being auctioned off to benefit First Coast No More Homeless Pets, and all the proceeds would go to this amazing group who are doing amazing things.
The Void magazine was commemorating their November issue, and there were at least a dozen skateboards submitted. Some pieces of art were several boards long! As I only has the two - generously found and donated to me by Void Magazine - I did two separate boards. Since the fundraiser was about pets...I figured I'd just stick to what I love and do the best - pups (and a cat snuck in there.) I belt sanded the boards (since they seemed to have a full and happy life) to remove the old stickers and varnish and painted them with model car paint. I like the model car varnish that comes in the little jars that you paint with a brush. It dries quickly and has a great shine to it, and is virtually impossible to get off of the surface you paint! I bought a model car paint kit at Michaels craft store that included the colors red, yellow, blue, green, black, gold, silver, white and a jar of paint thinner for cleaning your brush for about $12. I have LOTS left over for my next project and although it's a little harder to mix colors (like orange) with the varnish than with traditional paints, it leaves a great strong, polished look that was quite impressive and stood out next to some of the other pieces.
The Void fundraiser at Monkeys Uncle was quite an event. They had a photographer and a runway of sorts for people to walk in front of to strike their best celebrity pose. Naturally I was too chicken to walk infront of it since my husband had a gig and I was flying solo, and my fashionista stance is a little rusty. The art at the show included many different skateboards - and I'm sorry that I didn't take a photo of them all displayed together- with lots of styles and subject matter represented so there was something there for every artistic taste. I know we raised over $500 that night for the organization just from the art, possibly much more. The last information I recieved was that one of my boards got a bid of $130.00 and the other had a bid of $50, though which one brought what price is a mystery to me! I was very happy and met lots of wonderful people from Void magazine and we helped ANIMALS! Yay!! Until next time animal lovers!
I am always looking for new and unique projects to entertain myself (and my two children) as well as expand and diversify my portfolio and skills! Here is where I share what I have been doing and all of my "Pet Projects!" Thanks for stopping by!