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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Betrayal of Home on: October 14, 2015 05:35:16 PM
Thanks everyone!  I picked up the painting from the show on Monday and as soon as I can get another painting completed I'll get working on the changes so I can share them here.

Kit Williams? Never heard of him.  I'll have to look him up.
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Betrayal of Home on: October 03, 2015 02:49:12 PM
It all started with an old photo I found of a little girl standing in the snow in front of a farm house.  She looked happy, but it made me think about hidden lives..or rather the secrets we sometimes carry and eventually that morphed into an idea for a painting about betrayal.

The final painting is about from within the childhood home.  This betrayal could be from family or by anyone trusted with the care of a child.  Traumatic childhood events caused by the betrayal of security, innocence or trust can crush a child beyond repair, and yet so many recover and thrive.  This painting is actually a celebration of those who have been able to grow from or move past traumas suffered in childhood as well as a reminder that not all are so fortunate to put such events behind them. 

A heavy subject, sure..but as a survivor, it is one that is close to my heart.

The painting isn't REALLY done, but this was "done enough by the deadline to show".  I'll post updates when I get it back and make the final adjustments.  To start I need to solidify the snow, put in some shadows, change the color (and lighten) the building in the foreground so the owl doesn't get so lost, brighten some areas, push back the farthest building, and repaint the owl's face (it looks a little cartoonish) etc.

It's oil and is 36" wide by 48" tall.  The halo is metal leaf and has a bit of relief to it (I wanted more relief, but didn't have the time for it).

and a detail:

some of the symbology:
*Swallow - Nest on human dwellings and the death of this bird represents home

*Owl - Wisdom and in some cultures "danger" a predator who feeds on unwary prey

*Burning House - Fire represents cleansing in some cultures (think of a risen phoenix).  Not all of the house burns because it only sometimes takes a small event to affect a child

*Octagonal Nimbus - used in religious painting and thought to represent a living saint or innocent.

*Bound Feet - The difficulty a child might encounter in leaving a threatening situation.

*Floating - Transcendence beyond restricting circumstances.moving beyond abuse

*Murky water - Hidden secrets (you can't see beyond the surface).

*Queen Anne's Lace - Safety, security
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Spring Fever - Painting from vintage photos on: May 14, 2015 10:02:02 AM
Thanks everyone!  I've been swamped with prep for a fundraiser (I'll be creating a painting live at the event for silent auction) and trying to get a few other items finished up for upcoming shows.  I'm so far behind!! I'll post the work as I finish it if I can.

Thanks kittykill for the notice!
4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Spring Fever - Painting from vintage photos on: May 06, 2015 08:12:46 AM
FINALLY! Some time for painting!  We're moved into the new house.  Although I don't really have an area that's appropriate for painting and there are TONS of things that need to get done around here (the house is "done", but not DONE) I still figured out a way to get some painting done.  I should have some more projects to post soon as well.

The idea for this one came from some of the vintage vacation photographs I collect.  I was SO ready for spring and liked the idea of some vintage ladies in big winter coats on a late winter day and their "bikini-clad" friend who is ready for warmer weather.

The painting is 8" x 10" and is oil on cradled hardbord.

I call it:  "Spring Fever"

and detail:
5  COOKING / Dessert / Lemon Blueberry Cake w/Buttercream Frosting - my first cake! on: March 22, 2015 09:24:55 AM
This will be my first post in this area of the forum because I am truly a hopeless cooking failure.  I've been "banned" from cooking for many years.  HOWEVER, I have always wanted to make pretty cakes and have discovered that baking might go alright for me since there is a little less "artistry" in the combining of ingredients.  If I follow the directions exactly as written it usually seems to work out alright.

I saw a recipe that looked absolutely fantastic and so I decided to attempt to bake and decorate a cake for the first time in my 45 years on this planet.  It was surprisingly good!  The frosting was a bit thin to really do any sort of decorating, but I attempted it anyway.it just meant that what I could do was limited.  The cake itself was so moist! I thought that I might have over mixed it because it wasn't quite as fluffy as some cakes, but it sounds like that may be typical for this recipe.  It wasn't extremely dense, but a little denser than expected.  I made a second one to be sure the density wasn't from my mistake and that one turned out right about the same.

My husband HATES cake, but he ate more than his share of this one!  The second cake went with him to work and they loved it.

The first attempt using the full recipe produced a 9" 3-layer cake:

I didn't know you should use a serrated knife to cut a cake so the slice looks a little "gnawed", but this is the only slice photo I have:

My second attempt I cut the recipe in half and made a 6" 3-layer cake:

The recipe can be found here.  I'd make this recipe again in a second!!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: "Bugs" on: November 17, 2014 01:47:56 PM
Oh my!  The spider is..stunning!  What a fantastic swap!

Of course, as soon as I saw the thumbnail I just knew it was going to be yours.
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Yokai costume on: October 23, 2014 01:37:56 PM
Holy amazingness!!
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Floral Hoop on: October 03, 2014 06:30:53 AM
Beautifully done!
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: The GIANT project on: September 11, 2014 07:00:51 PM
Thanks guys!  I've been working hard on this house since December.........it seems like forever ago!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / The GIANT project on: September 10, 2014 06:42:27 PM
SO MUCH STUFF DONE! (and so much still left to do)

All four of these rooms kind of wound up being one entire project.  Because the new floor was the same floor in all four rooms they kind of had to all be done at once so..this is my GIANT project.  It's so nice to not have nearly the entire first floor ripped apart right now!

First, is the super-tiny "office". I don't have any before photos except for this one that we took before we moved into the place:

Added a light in the ceiling and a switch (the only light available before was a plug-in lamp, new trim, new floor & repaired wiring. This is also one of the rooms that was affected by the ice dam. So there is a new ceiling and the entire wall on the left was replaced. We moved all the stuff that was in there to storage, so right now it's being used as a "cat room" to house the litter box & cat food. I have a throw rug on the floor to protect the new floor until we move:

Next is the living room and again, I don't have any photos of it except the pre-move in photo. What we HAD done to this room previously was paint it in a muted orange, remove the carpet (it was glued down) and sand down the floors. However, the floors are white pine and don't wear well so this time we decided to just replace them. Before:

And after replacing the front door, putting in a new beam (the old beam was only 3 2" x 6" boards nailed together that were sagging because they'd removed a load-bearing wall.we had to put in a new LVL beam), new floor, new trim, new light and new paint. This room was also damaged by the ice dam so the ceiling and wall closest to the door was replaced. The stairwell got new paint, new stair rail and new stair treads.  The angled "ledge" that runs up the stairwell used to be a flat ledge, but we had to cut it out because we couldn't fit a queen-size bed up the stairs with that ledge there.  Again, our stuff was put in storage to be moved to the new house so there isn't much in here now. I figure I'll let the buyer get drapes. After:

The dining room had nothing done to it until now. This is a pre-move-in photo so it pretty much looked like this, but without that furniture:

Removed the wallpaper border, new paint, new trim, new floor, new exterior door, widened the door to the kitchen (we can open the fridge ALL the way now), new light and some new wiring. Sadly, the yellow looks kind of lemony in the photos, but it's a real pale buttery yellow (looks almost cream in most lighting). The table is just a temporary thing we used to have at the cabin (it folds down to almost nothing and the chairs store inside of it) so it's not exactly stylish, but it's at least something:

This is the main floor bedroom before we moved in:

This is what it looked like for a short while when I had my studio in there.  We'd removed the wallpaper border, painted the room and painted the floor in a pattern because we couldn't afford to replace the floor and it was in bad visual shape):

And this is what it looks like now after new floor, new paint, new trim & new shades. The closet needed a LOT of work because it was made from some kind of thin board that was falling apart. It had to be gutted and drywalled:

There is only one more area to do on the main floor now, but I need to get some things done upstairs first. There isn't a whole lot I'll be doing up there except in the "walk-in closet", but there's plenty to do in that closet.
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