Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Making a New Wallet and Coin Purse

I've been wanting a new colorful wallet for a long time.  Brown leather is just not me.  :)  I looked and looked for one to buy but they were all either really big or really boring or really expensive. So I told myself, "Self, there are so many cool tutorials on the internet, you should be able to find one for a wallet you could sew out of fun fabric!"
After way too many a few hours of searching, I found this great tutorial from Modest Maven that looked like it would be almost exactly what I wanted.  The only problem was that it only had 6 slots for cards.  Well...I have a lot more cards than that.  For heaven's sake, I have two library cards!  So I decided that I would do a slight modification to the wallet to give me more card slots.  This is what I came up with.
Hah!  Nothing boring about these colors, huh?

I added a center section with more card slots.

Here's a better view of the inside.  There are 6 card slots on this side of the wallet and six more on the other side.  There's a pocket for bills along the top edge too.

Of course, once I finished sewing it, I started to move everything from my old wallet to my new one and hmmm...I still had too many cards for all the slots.  Everyone wants you to have their store loyalty card and since I'm cheap I like to save money, sometimes I don't say no.  :)
After many hours of pondering and looking online, I came up with an idea of an accordian pocket that I could sew right in the center of the wallet to store some of the extra cards I didn't have room for.  Out came the seam ripper so I could take the center section out and remake it with the pocket.  A little cutting, a little sewing, a little straining of brain matter, and after an hour or so here's what I had.

The only thing I didn't do was put in a little zippered pocket for change.  I decided it might be better to have a separate coin purse so the wallet didn't burst its seams.  :)

Later the same night, I decided to make said coin purse but got distracted when I did a search for coin purse tutorials.  I found this tutorial on CraftPassion for a really, really cool coin purse made with a zipper and ribbon.  Of course, I had to make it!  After all, we needed something to hold coins in the car too.  :)  What do you think?


Zipped!  Isn't it cute?

I love projects like these!  They're quick and lots of fun to make.  My only problem is that I want to make a lot more--there are SO many cool tutorials online now!  I'm constantly amazed at the brilliance and creativity of people's brains.  :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back Yard Photo Safari

I was talking to my oldest boyo a few weeks ago and was whining about not having taken any pictures at all in the last 6 months or so and he encouraged me to just get my camera out and get shooting.  I didn't feel up to going anywhere that day, but I decided I could just walk out to my back yard and see what I could find.  Luckily, the sun was shining and so I got some fun stuff.  :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Watercolors...

I have a couple of new watercolors to share.  These were both painted last week.   I have some new paintings from last night's class I want to post too but I'm having problems with my camera's focus and want to try to fix it before I take any more photos.  We'll see how successful I am.  :) 

This was painted from a photo I took a few years ago.  I like that I was able to capture the strong light and shadows and the reflections that appealed to me in the photo.

This is the second in a series of daisy "portraits" I'm doing (I forgot to photograph the first one and it's hanging in a show right now so I can't take a photo until I get it back).  I'm experimenting with a few new techniques and trying for very loose, almost abstract images.  I think I got closer to the effect I want with this one.  Now to try even more experiments!

In more painting related news, I entered 3 watercolors in a juried show at the local gallery here in town.  It's the first time anything I've painted has been hung in a gallery so it was a step forward for me in that regard.  I got honorable mentions for two out of the three paintings so that made me happy too.  :)  The show goes through the end of October so if any of you are in the mood, head down to the Sidney Art Gallery and check out all the paintings the South Kitsap Artists have done.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Making a Plein Air Easel with a Camera Tripod Base

Last summer my mom, my sister and I went to Bend, Oregon for a watercolor workshop.  We spent most of our time doing plein air painting and one of the painters brought a really neat easel made to use a camera tripod as a base.  I really liked it and was able to remember enough to have my sweetie shamelessly copy it and make one for a birthday present for my mom.

 Here is the easel all set up.

 This is the piece of wood that holds the tripod shoe.  Al put an insert with a 1/4-20 thread (the same thread that the tripod shoe uses) in the piece of wood and screwed in the tripod shoe.
The board hooked into the tripod base.

On the other side of the board is industrial strength velcro.  We also put it on the back of a hard watercolor board.  That way you can attach the watercolor board to the piece of wood and your painting won't fly away in the wind. 

Here is the board for your palette and water.  The slots on the right side are designed so that they rest against two of the tripod legs and that holds the board in place and keeps everything level.
 Here it is all set up on the tripod. 

And finally, here is the bag that I made to hold the easel.  Mom's really excited to go out somewhere and use it.  Now I just have to get one made for me.  :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

At Long Last...New Paintings

It's been way too long since I posted anything here.  I've had some major health issues the last 6 months and that coupled with the current state of my memory (lamentably bad)  has put blogging right out of my mind.  Hopefully, the long dry spell is over.  :)

Here are some of the latest paintings I've done...I didn't put all of them in this time.  Just the ones I am happy with.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's Really Good to Be Painting Again...

The weekly watercolor class I was taking last fall with my mom started up again a few weeks ago so even though this time of year is pretty busy for me, I decided I should start going to force myself to pick up my paintbrushes again and get painting.  I'm really glad I did because I'm really enjoying it.  :)  I have to laugh at myself sometimes.  I find it way too easy to let myself put the stuff I don't like doing high on my priority list while the stuff that I love and that brings me such joy gets put at the bottom of the list.  Maybe this year I'll actually be able to change that for good.  :)  Hope springs eternal...

Anyway, here is the painting I did from the first week of class.  I was pretty sure that after 3 months of not painting, I was gonna have something that I didn't like but I surprised myself.  I like this a lot and I think I'm gonna even frame it and find a place in the house to hang it.  :)

These next paintings are from last week's class.  They are all on one sheet of paper that I divided into different size frames.  They are quick studies taken from the same photo.  The goal was to get us to see the range of possibilities for paintings in one photo or one plein air location.  The paintings aren't really great, but it was a really good exercise to do and  I'm excited to pull out some of my old photos and explore this a bit more.

I've also been doing a little work with my acrylics.  I wanted to make some paintings for my guest bathroom so I bought some canvases and painted these apples. 

I have quite a few projects on my mental list that I want to start so (cross my fingers) hopefully I will be a little more regular in writing blog posts.  No guarantees though.  :)  Time has been slipping  by so fast lately that I can't even keep up with the necessities.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Finally...New Post, New Curtains, New Lights

Well, it's about time, huh?  It's been way too long since I last posted.  The days are flying by and what seemed like a month and a half has really been 3 months.  Yikes!

I've been in a "nesting" mood since the beginning of the year.  We've lived in this house for over 3 1/2 years and I decided it was time to finally get to some projects that had been put off and put off.  So, we rearranged the living room and I decided to make some new curtains to replace the ones I made from sheets when we first moved here.  It was sometimes fun, sometimes very frustrating, and sometimes just funny (as in I can't believe how brainless hormones have made me) but they got finished and hung and I like them.

Kitchen curtains made from Crate and Barrel dish towels.

Living room curtains made from white Ikea curtains with an added border of fun fabrics.
The dining room slider has a curtain just like these.

Hubs decided to do some projects too and made me my mason jar lights I've been wanting to put in the kitchen.  He had a brainstorm about what hardware to use to mount them--industrial surface mount conduit and electrical boxes--and I think they turned out spectacularly!!

 LIght over sink.

 Lights over the peninsula.

 All lit up.  Sorry it's not a better picture--it was hard to get it to turn out at all.

There's still a lot of accessorizing I 'd like to get finished so that the living room looks put together.  A rug, pillows, pictures for the walls, pretty things on the shelves...I'm kind of in a lull right now but I've set a deadline so hopefully that will spur me on to fffffinish.