Sunday, May 31, 2009

green succulents and an owl on a branch

Here's a picture of my succulent painting which measures about 8x8 inches. It kind of looks like an artichoke, in real life and painted. When I played around with the image for a possible fabric print, it looked like a lotus flower. Both succulent paintings I finished make pretty cool fabric designs. Now I have just one more to do and I'll say adios to plants for awhile.
My art students are all working hard on their paintings as well. I'll take some pictures for you next week when they get a little further along.
Also, I finished my first cashmere owl patch on the quilt I am making. I have to admit, I wasn't big on owls when they first started appearing, but they've really grown on me. Well, at least cute cartoony owls, realistic ones I'm still not very fond of.

Friday, May 29, 2009

One down and two to go

Here's a picture of one of my succulent paintings. My second one is almost done and I'm saving the third one for class tomorrow. I'm thinking this one might make a good fabric design?

Well, the weather here has been pretty gloomy the last few day and I feel so unmotivated. I decided to lock myself in my studio and force myself to paint all day. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it, right? Have a great weekend, Karin

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paint Chip Project

Veronica Diago's blog has been having fun with paint chips lately. I think most of us have a drawer in our house with plenty of these. Since I'm the queen of remodeling, painting rooms over and over, I've acquired quite a few. We were encouraged to take these and create something, be it art or whatever. What a great way to recycle them, giving them a second life rather than throwing them out. (technically, I'd be throwing them in the recycling bin, I should just say I'm giving them a new life.) I decided to make party decorations with them. A flower garland, cocktail umbrellas and stirrers. I'm thinking they're pretty darn cute. So there you go Veronica, sorry I took so long. Last but not least, right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lanterns and Cherry Blossoms

Here's a picture of my most recent painting. If the color seems a little off, it's because I forgot to photograph this while it was still light out. It measures approximately 24x36 inches. There's just nothing better to me than colorful lanterns, cherry blossoms and some cute birdies!
More to come soon. I'm working on a set of three succulent paintings now. They will be much smaller than this, so hopefully won't take as long. Karin

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look at these!

Today, I spent the whole day painting in my studio. I have about 7 paintings started that I hope to complete for my July show. Some have only background colors on the canvas, others have sketches on them, and I'm just about done with one pretty large piece. Since they aren't ready to show here yet, I thought I'd post a couple pictures of these fabulous wall hangings that my Gramme gave me. I think these are the coolest 60's art kits. Made of colored gravel, glass tiles, mirrors, crushed glass and gold cord. I hung Retro Kitty in my office and I thought it would be fitting to put the Siam meditation one in my genie inspired front room. If you click on the picture you can see them close up. Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Three Day Weekends

Don't you wish every week had three day weekends? When I cram all my weekend activities into just two days, I'm exhausted. I need the third day to help spread it out. I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Art and I spent most of Sunday tackling the ugly spots in the yard. It's so rewarding to view the aftermath of a few good hours getting our hands dirty. Move the compost, raking, planting, mowing and watering. I'm feeling kind of sore, but there's still plenty more to do. What's the hurry you say?.......... Well, Art and I have decided to host my friends wedding here in early October. It'll probably take that long for us to get everything ready. Then the fun part will be decorating.

Saturday and Monday, I taught art classes. My younger students are starting their succulent paintings with water drops added for a cool effect. Carol, Francesca and I are almost done with the elephant mural. I think by next week it should be done. Just needs some more highlights and the polaroid border painted on. Here's a shot I took of them working on it.

I was able to bottle up all the honey with chunks of honeycomb harvested the other day. Just enough to pass out to my neighbors. Can't wait till the real harvesting begins.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Personal Projects

Remember when I posted about wanting to sew all my vintage fabric scraps together and make something? Well, for the last week I've been doing just that. I was shooting for a vintage quilt look that had been patched over and over through the years. The best way to achieve this is to keep messing up and patching over it to hide my mistakes. For those of you who know how to sew, please look away now. If I'm not following a pattern, I tend to make things up as I go.
So after I finished sewing everything it was a little boring to look at, so I started brainstorming. I went to the thrift store and bought some cashmere sweaters in two shades of green, a chocolate and a pink. I plan on washing them in hot water and drying them to felt them so that I can cut them into shapes and stitch them onto the quilt with colorful embroidery thread. I'm thinking birds and flowers. My friend Erica gave me some great buttons for their eyes. We'll see how long this takes.

Project number two is to make some pillow covers for my sister Anica. We found this fabulous vintage mu-mu (sp?) dress with plumerias and hibiscus. It looks like it was never worn and is in perfect condition. I'll start deconstructing it tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fresh Honey and a Lucky Winner

I was the lucky earth day winner over at Cloud Nine Designs and got this great custom silkscreened hoodie. I should have taken a picture of the packaging but I was too excited and lacked patience. It was so thoughtfully wrapped. You know, paying attention to details like that don't go unnoticed with me. I was expecting it to be plainly tossed in a mailer, but instead she wrapped it like a pretty present with tissue, ribbon, cute little cards and a pin. To enter the contest on her blog, you had to plant a tree for earth day and send her a picture (sorry my picture was late, had to make sure they survived the transplant first). I planted four trees, and sadly, one didn't make it. Here's me trying to get a close-up of the print on my shirt. Took several shots, all of them ended up right boob shots. My arms are just not long enough to take the picture so I hung it on a hanger instead. Pretty cool, huh? Thanks Amber, I love it!

On another note, our beekeeper guy who we refer to as "the bee charmer", came by today to add another box for our little orphaned bees to expand into and start making some honey. For those of you who don't know the story behind our recently acquired bees, here's how it happened.
We had a swarm make their home under my neighbors water meter last fall. My husband and I called a beekeeper who came and put the swarm in a hive and in our backyard. The amazing part was watching him do it. He did it all without the special suit and bare handed. I just stood there in awe as he did his bee chanting hum thing which he said he was totally unaware of till I asked him about it. He had his big sunglasses resting on his ball cap and if you stared at him too long, he kind of looked like a bee himself. The bees were so mellow and friendly, so I just stood right next to him while he worked. My family had bee hives growing up, but I've never seen anything like this. Since it was close to winter and the hive had zero food to sustain themselves, I had to feed them once a week till late spring. Picture a large sippy cup of watered down honey upside down so they could suck the honey out from the bottom.
So anyway, today was are first lesson has hobbyist beekeepers. We even got to harvest a little bit because the hive was so full. I have a big mixing bowl full in the kitchen and saved some spears of honey comb to add to my jars when I fill them. All that from just one shelf in the hive. I was told that in the summer, they will make up to 100lbs of honey every two weeks. I need more jars!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Class Project Update

If the pencil drawings are a little hard to make out you can try clicking on the image for a closer look. I'm teaching my little students how to draw water drops on leaves and succulents. Can you believe they are between the ages of 8 and 14? Amazing! I'm so proud of them. Next week they will start a 5x5 inch painting of their drawings.

Here are some shots of our elephant painting group project so far. It's fun to watch the progression of these guys each week. My big daddy has about 5 or six different colors layered and is just waiting for about two shades of highlights to be totally complete. Carol and Francesca are on their second layer so far. Can you see my cat Max's head down in the corner? He looks like he's at a drive-in movie.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival

I am so glad I was able to participate in this show. It was an hour away, but so worth it. This was the first show I've been to where the people who came were just as interesting as the venders. It's so nice to be surrounded by hundreds of friendly and supportive artists. I wish I had more time to browse, but the fair was just too busy to take a break for too long. I could go on and on about the people I met, but the one that made the biggest impression was a guy with tattoos and large studded earrings who looked like Jesse James (Sandra Bullocks Husband). He was standing in front of my tent, eyeing my paintings for awhile. When I said hello, he replied all cool and confident, " Hey........ I just wanted to tell you....... your art doesn't suck". That was so classic and has since become my new favorite line.

I shared a booth with my friend Erica who was selling these cute little pincushions like hot cakes. Here's a picture of my favorite one. It was a great day, and we're looking forward to the one next fall.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I got nothing

I've been repacking and organizing everything I need for sundays Patchwork show. Wish I had more to share with you today, but it just wasn't that exciting. How about a picture of some of my most coveted collections? Will that tied you over till monday?

I've been collecting art pottery for years. I had so much at one point that I decided to sell off a ton of it only holding on to my favorites. I have to credit the feng shui book "Move your stuff, Change your life" for getting me on tract when it comes to collecting things. It's such a fun book to read and it really helped me from becoming overwhelmed by my stuff. I have since learned to "keep the best, get rid of the rest". The best part is that it's so much easier to clean my house. For the past few years I've slowly been purging and organizing everything in my house right down to the tupperware drawer. Sure I still buy things that I love, but I'm trying hard to be a much more conscience consumer these days. I'll never live in a total minimalistic house, but I've noticed that having less clutter makes it so much easier to keep things organized. Those who know me well know that I love to play musical furniture in my house. It's a great way to experiment with what you have and fall in love with your stuff all over again.
You know those inspiration walls that you pin all your ideas on? Do you ever get bogged down, energy zapped when they get too full with pictures and bits of stuff? I have to clean mine off every six months or so to keep the juices flowing. Enough rambling for now, I hope everyone has great weekend. Karin

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Robot Party

I've been working on some art work for my little nephews party invitations. He wants to have a robot party. I wonder if we're supposed to come in costume? Do you like it Anica? I think it would be cute on a turquoise card stock background.

The rest of my day was spent weeding and breaking open the poppy seed pods for next years spring display. It's so sad when all the poppies dye back, but they were beautiful for several months. Here's a picture of them when they were at their best. Karin

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New wood Blocks

I bought some birch wood blocks recently from Plywerks to paint on and I'm really happy with the results. They are super smooth and have a keyhole in the back for mounting flat against the wall. Jena from Modish turned me on to these and I'm so glad I finally tried them out. I'm thinking this could be a nice product to incorporate in my classes as well. Not sure if I should varnish them or leave them be.

Here's a picture of the elephant mural project in stage 2. This guy only has a base coat and a little detail. Next week I'll add many more layers and highlights. Carol and Francesca have only applied one coat to theirs but will be working on their elephants next week. I have to stay a few steps ahead of them so I can help them with theirs during class.


Monday, May 11, 2009

A Fabulous Weekend

I want to thank all of you who stopped by my little art show this weekend at the Pannikin. It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again in August for the Leucadia Art Walk. Here are a couple pictures I took of my set up and one of the cutest little boy "Fin" who came to visit. The red umbrellas belong to the owner of the Cafe. Aren't they fabulous? I wish they were for sale.

It was so nice to be able to sleep in this morning, drink coffee till noon and finally do some laundry. I also pulled out my sewing machine. It's time to use up some of my fabric stash I've been hoarding for so long. I sorted everything by color, cut up all my scraps and now need some inspiration. We'll see what happens.

A big Thank you to Jerusalem, owner of StoriaHome and new blog friend of mine. She just sent me a note letting me know that she featured me on her blog. if you haven't checked out her Etsy shop yet, you're missing out. She makes really beautiful party banners and other decorations that will blow you away. I have my eye on one of her glittered Eiffel Towers. My friend bought one for her "Paris" party and I've been wanting one ever since.

Next Sunday I'll be at the Patchwork show in Santa Ana. I've heard so many great things about this show and can't wait to be apart of it. I think I'll just leave every packed and ready to load in my car till then. Take care, Karin

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Random Paintings #3

Here are a few paintings I thought i'd share with you before I pack them for a show. I spent the day making candles and gathering all my goodies and props for this weekends festivities. My studio is completely trashed right now. I was about to take a picture of it but it's too embarrassing. I'm the type of girl that has to vacuum and tidy things up before a friend comes over. My sisters are probably reading this right now saying" yeah right" because I don't clean up for them.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco de Mayo!

I hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo yesterday. I took the train up to L.A. and had a great lunch with my Gramme, sister Catharine and her knuckle head husband Zuri. We ate at Elements Kitchen which is my new favorite place in south Pasadena. It was a little noisy this time due to the ice cream maker they had churning, but the food was worth it. Look at this adorable picture of my Gramme Jo! She must be drinking some special fountain of youth potion, but she'll never tell. If only we could all look this fabulous at 95.

The rest of the evening was spent drinking margaritas with Zuri, Cat and friend Jen from Zuri's personal Tiki bar. Here's a shot of them posing for me. I wish the picture was better, but it was indoors at night.

The train ride was very relaxing, and I worked on some new sketches for a painting I hope to start soon. Karin

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busy, Busy,Busy!

This has been one of those weeks where every second of everyday seems to be full of work and responsibilities. Art's been at a Solar Living Seminar for the past three days leaving me as single mom to our 3 dogs and 3 cats. At the same time I've been pet sitting for my neighbors 7 chickens, a parrot, a lizard and a super sweet dog named Tanner. Technically I don't have to feed the lizard but I've been keeping an eye on him anyway. I just can't feed a live cricket to another animal. Kind of freaks me out. I've had painting workshops, kids art classes, a show to hang and I'm trying to finish up some more fabric designs for the shop.

Tomorrow I'm off to Los Angeles to have lunch with my Gramme who's turning 95 this year and I'll be staying at my sisters for a little cinco de mayo celebration. Then it's back to San diego to get ready for a two day show on Mother's Day weekend and the Patchwork show on the 17th. Whew! I'm tired but looking forward to sitting still on the train with my sketch book.

Here are a couple pictures of my new animal friends. I love the one where it looks like Tanner's laughing at the camera. Isn't this the coolest pot of strawberries? I had to snap a picture of it too. I'd love to have some of these in my garden. Take care everyone, Karin