Saturday, May 31, 2014

Little Purple Houses Touched With Yellow Gold

There is a children's song we used to sing in Primary when I was little:

Little purple pansies, touched with yellow gold,
Growing in one corner of the garden old;
We are very tiny but must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
Whether cold or warm the wind may ever blow,
Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

Words: Anon.
Music: Joseph Ballantyne, 1868-1944. Arr. (c) 1989 IRI 

That's the song that kept going through my mind when I painted these little purple houses touched with yellow gold. When I first got married I, all of a sudden, LOVED the color RED. It's been nearly nine years now and I found that my original love of purple is returning. And it feels so good to get back to the me I'd known before...

Now, instead of little red houses, I'm branching out into little purple ones. Maybe some blue ones, too.

And remember, never take pictures while wearing a pink shirt - you'll get rosy glows on the pictures!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Like Visiting Teaching

Visiting teaching is one of the callings in my church that I enjoy the most. I have a list of women in my ward (congregation) that I have been asked to contact each month by way of mail. The purpose of visiting teaching is to minister to each person. By "ministering" I mean pray for, get to know, be there to help in case of emergency and inspire spiritually. I like to think of it as helping each of us be aware of everyone in our ward so that no one is forgotten...

Regular visiting teachers get to know their sisters by actually seeing them. I'm not so lucky that way. No one ever writes me back. :(  Sometimes it is hard to keep up the enthusiasm for the assignment, but knowing how important it is in the Big Picture spurs me onward each month.

This month I decided to do little watercolors for the cards. I wish the message I wrote on the other side was as pretty as the heart painting, but I suppose we give what we can, right?

Everybody Puts Books in the Corner!

When I realized that I'd covered all of my flat wall surfaces with books, all that was left was to try the corner. Hey! Guess what! They look GREAT! The words are so much easier to read. These three books are in the corner of my stepdaughter's room. By stapling them to the wall in the middle of the covers where the folds are, the books look like they are floating.

In watercolor news, I've learned something. Never take pictures of your work while wearing a bright pink shirt. Can you see the rosy cast on the bottom of the picture? Sheesh... Now I have to take the pictures all over again! Still, I like the new colors I've been trying - purple houses! green roofs!

Here's hoping your day is wonderful and good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Books on Display

For anyone who happens to be in the Delano area, I have a display in the Delano Library. I think the library staff did a great job displaying my books (except for the two that are upside down - oops!).

If anyone happens to pop in and see it, let me know how it looks. :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Peace and Quiet (at my in-law's house)

I HAVE NO EMPTY TABLE SPACE IN MY HOUSE. And no peace and quiet.

So, this morning I called my father in law, Ken, and requested the use of his table for a couple of hours. (It helps that I l♥ve his lady friend and she was there, too.) I went to the FasTrip, got a soda, drove to his house (1 mile away) and plopped myself down at his (blessedly clear) table. I spent a lovely couple of hours figuring out how to fold butterfly patterns. It was quiet. And all too short of a visit. (If you can call ignoring the other people in the house a "visit")

Here's the first "draft". It will be followed by many other drafts until I get it just right. This part of designing is a little tedious because there's nothing for the process but to fold the whole pattern again and again until it looks just right. You can see that I missed a couple folds in the right antennae of the butterfly. That means either that I left out some steps or forgot a fold when folding it (now that's not a redundant statement). See? Even experienced folders make mistakes!

FYI: This is the first of a total of ten butterflies in the works...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Catching Up

On the desk tonight - further work on my little houses. I'm branching out into new and excited color combos. Red became my favorite color when I got married, but lately my previous love for purple is coming back. Who knows what psychological meaning that has! (Please note the tall glass of ice water - still not really drinking much real Diet Pepsi)

Kenneth continues with his great imaginings. The other day my father-in-law unearthed these weird little glasses over at his house. I think they came from doll-making stuff. They fit Kiff pretty well. He asked me to draw a scar on him so he could wear the ensemble to school. Unfortunately, his teacher didn't let him keep it. :(

Here are my every-other-weekend kidlets - Alex and Kenzie - dressed in their finest for their First Ever Church Dance!!! I heard that Alex even gave in and danced a little at the end. (Please don't make me go again, Dad! After you learn social skills, son, I won't make you go anymore.)

The Friends of the Library are having a Children's Book Sale for one day only next Saturday the 31st. I was asked by one of the volunteers to make a bouquet of flowers to decorate the money-taking table. It turned out quite well, I think. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Swirly Skies

I decided to get in a few brushstrokes before going to work. (It's still wet on the top edge.) I think this one's done. Any more and I will ruin it.

The swirls in the sky are really refreshing as is the curvy rooftop. Hmm...

Anyway, I need to fold some books. Ta ta!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

First of the Lot

It's been a lovely weekend. I made sure to give myself a few minutes during the day (mostly at the ends) to do a bit of watercoloring. Oscar, a friend of mine from work, commented that he liked the swirls in my yellow sky watercolor so I continued with the experiment today. I have to say that it turned out well.

(I had to take the picture of this in the sunset light, so it's a bit more orange than in real life.)

In book folding news - a person commented on my Facebook page that she really wished that I had more picture patterns available. After talking back and forth with her, I decided the time had come to get back to creating patterns for my shop. First up:

It's been a while, so I hope I haven't lost my touch. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

By the Dawn's Early Light (on my desk)

 It's that time of the year again, when the light in the evening entices me to paint.

I now have so many watercolors that I need two palettes. This top one holds my new and exciting quinacridones...

I'm giving myself permission to have more fun with these images. These are works in progress...

Tonight I am grading finals so no painting for me... Perhaps tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hello Little Guy!

Woke up to find this little guy (girl?) on my avocado plant in the kitchen.

Came home to find that it had gone.

I hope it isn't in the cupboards...

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

There is a danger to one's children when one is an artist.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago I was sitting at the piano in the children's Sunday School when I overhear my child (the piano blocks my view of the kids - my ears are attuned for any Kiff-trocities in the making) saying "I'm folding a book."

While that may be music to my ears on some occasions, I knew the only book he had a church was his Book of Mormon. I sat up and looked over the piano to a little boy sitting in his class row, beaming at me as he proceeded to fold his little book of scripture. His teacher, a 20-something young man was horrified, but paralyzed with indecision. Immediately I made frantic flapping motions for Kiff to come to me.

He came over and eagerly showed me his creation. I made a classic mom-mistake and squashed his enthusiasm with panic over his actions - YOU CAN'T DO THAT AT CHURCH - IN FACT, YOU CAN'T DO THAT ANYWHWERE- PEOPLE WILL THINK I'VE TAUGHT YOU TO DESECRATE HOLY WRIT!!!! Kenneth is not a child with thin skin. He tried to explain what he was doing and how wonderful it was. I agreed that his artistic zealotry was a good thing, but ill-timed. And I sent him back to his seat, having extracted a pouty promise to undo the slightly-blasphemous damage.

His teacher was grinning.

That afternoon, I'm sitting on the couch watching Dr. Who because I like to think that if Jesus came over to my house on a Sunday, maybe He'd like to watch Dr. Who, too. We'd both laugh at the same things and shake our heads at the obvious wrong-headed-ness of other things.

Imagine my amazement when a little boy taps me on the elbow and says, "Look at what I'm doing." 

He'd found one of my (many) Reader's Digest books and had been sitting in the next room folding for most of an hour. (I thought he'd been drawing - bad mommy.)

 He needed help holding the pages away so he could continue folding. All the while he folded, he explained to me what pattern he was making and a hundred other things that I can't remember because all I could think was my little boy loves me enough to copy me ♥♥♥

When he finished (yes, he FINISHED it), I made him stand still with it long enough for me to take a picture.

The little Book of Mormon is mortally wounded from its experience being folded and I'm sure there is a lesson for me in that somewhere. For now, I'm just excited at having my footsteps followed by a little boy I love more than life itself.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Apple a Day...

I find that if I take just a little bit of time every day to do something creative - baking, folding a book, dabbing a bit of paint on paper - that I feel better. Just a few minutes does it.

It's like yoga for my heart, I suppose.

Tomorrow is Apple Day at my son's school. The students are supposed to bring their teacher an apple so she has healthy fruit to eat. To be honest, it feels kinda weird to ask students to bring their teachers food, but there you are.

In my rebellion or show-offiness, I made Kenneth's teacher a book apple. I simply carved one of my Reader's Digest books into an apple shape (thank you to the apple which gave its last gasp to be a template pattern and its stem) and painted it with three different inks. I teased the book around to hold a nicer shape and hot glued it open. I popped the stem into the top with a length of ribbon to act as a leaf and - voila! An apple that never spoils.