I’m just sitting here knitting…

We had a school cancelation due to ice, so my Monday plans for derailed. It’s all good though – I’ve enjoyed watching movies and backing bread with my son.

No pics, but I have made good progress on my sweater. The only bummer is that I dropped a stitch, so I need to look up how to fix that before I knit anymore. But, I’m almost at the yoke of the sweater! Let me tell you, sport weight yarn is a lot slower than aran/ worsted weight yarn. I hope I finish this sweater with enough cool weather to wear it this year!

Still resting but check out my art haul

You may recall I went to Jerry’s warehouse in Greensboro a few days ago. Well, I’m happy to share with you the goodies that I bought.

I purchased a couple of the portfolio folders, 5×7 inch and 14×17 inch. I needed somewhere to put my soft pastel paintings that are 12×16 inches. I do have an 11×14 inch portfolio (which is too small) but I can’t seem to find it. I need to clean up a couple corners in my art space to see if I can find it. I also will probably pick up a 9×12 inch one the next time I go because I have a lot of 8×12 inch paper.

I also have been following Sandi Hester lately and she has inspired me to go big with sketches. I already knew I didn’t like small sketchbooks given how many are sitting around with only a few pages used. So, I picked up a couple of 11×14 inch sketchbooks. I have an even larger one I bought from Blicks and I plan on sketching with paint in all three of them. I want at least 3 so I can move on to another ones while paint is drying in the first one.

The last item in this pic is Art Graf. I have the carbon black Art Graf block but decided to pick up the primary set because I’ve think it might be fun to use in my new sketchbooks.

Oil sticks

I can’t remember if I shared that I am starting to learn about oil painting but I knew that I would want some way to make chunky marks on the top later so I got the 24 count set of mini oil sticks from Sennelier. I have only peeled of the coating on a couple sticks but I love the feel of them already. I can’t wait to dive in to oils and really get my hands dirty playing with them.

I hope to get feeling better tomorrow so that I can actually make art again. Until then, hope you have a great day!

Recovery day…

I don’t have a lot to say today. I got chemo and my bone builder yesterday and it always makes me extremely fatigued, borderline sick for a few days. I spend most of the next couple days sleeping and resting in bed.

That being said, I did get my shipment from Ikea. I ordered picture ledges that I plan on mounting to the upper part of my bedroom walls, and maybe more, so that I have more space for finished paintings that have yet to find a home. I have a message out to my handyman, so hopefully he can install them next week!

Unexciting pic of picture ledges in the Ikea box

Practice makes progress

It’s that time of year when I start to think about painting my self-portrait again. This year I’m thinking of painting it in soft pastels and I had sketched it out on some inexpensive unsanded pastel paper.

This morning I started my practice piece. It turned out ok, but I realized that I neglected to include the part of my face that was in the deep shadows. I didn’t notice it until I went in with pastel pencils to add some details. It’s ok. I’ve learned a lot and will be doing this again on a bigger sheet of paper so I can get ask the details using the pastel sticks instead of needing pencils.

Top: my finished practice piece, Botton: my portrait sets of soft pastels

My plans are to sketch on the grid again for the bigger piece but try and remember to erase the grid lines once the sketch is in place. They blended into the background in a bunch of places but not on the face itself.

Casting on a new project… and f/u on the funeral cake

I won’t keep you waiting about the cake. I’ll be honest, I didn’t care for it to much yesterday. It had a funky taste which was probably due to the fact that I made it with gluten- free flour. But, I just had a nibble about 10 min ago and it was pretty tasty. So much better than when it was fresh baked. I’ll probably wrap it up and freeze it in pieces so I don’t feel like I need to eat an entire cake in a few days. It could be done, but I really don’t want to do that.

Now, about the new project. I’ve realized I have a plethora of really lovely yarn and I’d like to start using it up. So, when Meg @postmodern.meg on Instagram shared her pic of this beautiful sweater it looked like the perfect project for me.

The pic from the creator’s website

I’ll be using some sport weight baby alpaca from Knit Picks to make mine. It looks similar to a children’s sweater that I made for my son so I think I can handle the “advanced beginner ” techniques. Honestly, once I get past the short rows I think it will be a breeze.

Why a new project? Well, I seem to have more energy lately and have been staying up later at night. If like to have a simple project I can work on while watching TV with the hubs.

Anyone else getting back into knitting? What other hobbies are you working on?

Funeral cake?

Have you seen the Facebook post with the recipe for an easy cake recipe. Apparently it was something easy to make to take to a funeral ceremony.

I started feeling noshy earlier this morning and decided to make this recipe because I had all the ingredients. It’s egg free and dairy free, similar to the depression chocolate cake recipe except for a bigger cake pan. My son is severely allergic to egg and nuts and I am trying to avoid dairy and gluten, as it seems I am sensitive to them. I substitute King Arthur Cup- for- cup gluten free flour. I tasted the batter and it was delicious; o haven’t tried the cooked cake yet because I just took it out of the oven

I have also started to take steps in my self-portrait that I will be entering into the Jerry’s Arterama self-portrait competition this year.

I decided to attempt my self-portrait in soft pastels. I don’t use them often but I just love them so much. If I had a way to store them in a way to see them too I’d be so happy! Right now, they are in wooden trays that get pushed under a shelf when not in use.

First step… make it green!

I’ve read the using a green underpainting for portraits makes the skin look more natural so observe – the paper is green. The lighter color is for where my face will be and the darker area is for the dark area in the reference photo. Stay tuned as I make next steps.

Up next, set up an A4 page of lined paper in photoshop. Should be pretty easy now that I’ve done it successfully yesterday!

I achieved my goal for the day!

As part of my creative outlet, I’ve decided to start creating stationary as a digital download. I am looking forward to creating small paintings to use as the design for multiple sets of stationery that people would download from Etsy and use as we try to revive snail mail – let’s rebrand it as happy mail 🙂

documented proof of lined paper!

The first step I needed to achieve was how to create lined paper in Photoshop. After watching a video (about 20 times) and reading suggestions on the Adobe forum I have finally done it. I’ve made lined paper. (It doesn’t sound so impressive as I say it out loud, but this occupied about an hour of my day yesterday and about 20 min today. But, I persevered and finally figured it out.

My idea for creating the stationary is to have lined and unlined versions of it. It will come in 8.5 x 11 size and A4 size that can be printed for the full sheet or the end-user can print 2 pages per sheet. I will also create a template for a coordinating envelope that can be printed, cut out, and then glued/taped – then everything will coordinate.

What do you think? Do you think snail mail is dead or can we revive it with easy to obtain creative stationary?

Getting back into the swing of things…

I’ve just learned of the #100daysproject and think it’s just the thing for me to get back into blogging regularly.

My goal is to create a short blog post daily for 100 days related to art. There are no limits to the relevance to art. I may write about art I’m creating, art books I’m reading, ideas I have for future projects, etc.

I’m trying to start this project a little early, so this weekend I got back into my art space and painted some cute notebooks for a local shop. Rainbow and hearts – I’ll never stop loving that theme!

new Online shop!!

I have used the time I have been spending in bed (long story short, my back is broken because of a tumor on my spine – I’m in treatment and healing, but it still stinks) to move my online shop from Etsy to Square and it is now complete, woohoo!!

So, my new shop web address is https://brandimadeitdesigns.square.site/

Go ahead and check it out if you’d like. I have some newer paintings and some older ones. I need to take high resolution scans of some of my earlier paintings so I can offer greeting cards and other goodies.

If you decide to check it out, I have a discount code for the opening week which is — OW20OFF it stands for opening week 20% off. The code is on the site as well and it’s probably best to copy and paste the discount code so you don’t have any mix ups between the letter O and the number 0.

Thanks for tuning in and I hope to share more of my in process art – I’m in the early stages of a self portrait that I hope to have completed in time to submit to the self portrait competition at Jerry’s Arterama.