Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Christmas On Hickory Hill Folk Art Painting

I've slowly but surely been working on this painting and finally got it finished today.  I decided to cool things down by having it snow in this little scene.  Guess what?  It worked!  It cooled down and we had perfect weather in the 60's today!  You can find this painting in my Etsy Store and at the top of my blog by clicking on the "Original Paintings" link.

In the cozy cottage at the top of Hickory Hill, Christmas is being celebrated.  Children gather around the piano as grandma plays Christmas carols and tiny voices sing merrily along to the melody.  Grandpa reads to the children about Wise Men following a star and bringing gifts as the children listen quietly.  Tired from a long day outside building snowmen, the children snuggle up warming themselves by the fire.  
Sleepy heads nod as little ones are carried up to beds and tucked in under warm quilts as they dream of a little baby in a manger born in a stable. 

Are you Christmas shopping yet?  I saw Christmas decorations on the shelves at Walmart this week.  I haven't even started my fall decorating yet!   I guess I'm just as bad as the retailers, but it takes a while to do a painting and I would love to have more than one new Christmas painting this year.  I do apologize and hope you can forgive me for having so much fun with these little scenes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunflower Lane Folk Art Painting

Some of you who have taken classes from me over the years or purchased my instruction books will recognize that several different paintings over the years are combined into this one painting, 

I don't enjoy repeating paintings, but it was fun to take some of my favorite parts from the past and combining them into this one colorful summer design.

Sunflower Lane comes to life every summer with it's beautiful blooms rising high above the white fence reaching for the sun.   Bright colored aprons swing in the breeze on the clothesline as a kitten sleeps in the basket below.  Dogs and cats live happily together in this little neighborhood where children run and play outside.  Clara who makes and sells confections directly from her farmhouse kitchen, loves to make extras for the paperboy who delivers her news right to her front step.

Summer is quickly coming to an end as the beautiful shades of autumn start to arrive.  I'll miss those flip flop days, green grass, and fragrant flowers.  What's you favorite part of summer?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pirate's Cove Halloween Painting

As promised, here is my new Halloween painting:
"Pirate's Cove Halloween"

In Pirate's Cove as soon as the moon rises high in the sky,  tiny goblins run from house to house giggling and gathering treats of caramel apples, popcorn balls, candy corn and various sweets and surprises.  Adults and scared pets warm themselves by an inviting fire as they supervise their surroundings.  Pirates anchor their ship in the cove curiously spying on these shenanigans as a ghost slips over the bridge chasing a very tiny witch and her suspicious black cat.  This scary evening includes tiny tots and their bewildered dog dressed in strange uncomfortable attire being pulling by the wagon load through a small cemetery.  Bugs and various creepy crawlers, pirates, mummies, and a superhero swarm the streets. A sweet princess being escorted by a mouse standing on two feet is about to magically fill her treat bag when she taps on the door, demurely smiles, and chants "trick or treat!"

This painting was so much fun to paint!  Like I've mentioned before, it's hard to know when to stop painting.  I have this painting for sale on my blog and in my Etsy shop.  To locate it on my blog, click on the tab at the top for "Original Painting".

Monday, September 14, 2015

Annual Autumn Barn Dance & Hayride Folk Art Painting

This painting, Annual Autumn Barn Dance & Hayride, is one of my most looked at prints on FineArt America.  I do, however, need a better image of this particular piece so that I can sell larger prints.  Back in the day when I first started selling my artwork on eBay, I never stopped to think about reproducing them for prints before the paintings were sold.  

I may just have to paint this one again.  I will probably make a few changes here and there to make it new and fresh though.  

I also have a new Halloween painting to share that I finished last year and have been hanging onto it.  

Have you started decorating for fall?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Please Remember.....

My heart will forever go out to the families who lost loved ones on this day.  Rick's mom went home to Jesus on this very same morning after her battle with cancer.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Halloween Folk Art

I am ready for those little signs of fall to begin.   Pumpkins, brightly colored leaves, mums, sweater weather, and hot cider are a few of my favorite things.

Autumn has always been my favorite season and it's here and gone before you know it.  I want to take the time to fully embrace it this year.  

What is your favorite thing about fall?  Do you take the time to count your blessings or rush through the season?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

These Shoes Could Do Some Talking

I'm sure you must think this story is about how many miles and the wonderful places theses shoes have taken me, but you would be mistaken.  These shoes were purchased just a few days ago while in the little town of Salida, CO while we were on vacation.  I had searched for just the exact pair of hiking shoes that would suit my feet because comfort is all I care about at this age.

Rick even snuck in a couple pair of $20 socks that he knew I'd never pay that kind of money for, but I have to admit that I love the stripes.  But, that's not the story either.

After leaving Murdoch's, a great store by the way,  I quickly put my new shoes on in the car before we got to Walmart in search of the butter we forgot to buy.  I kept hearing this clicking noise behind me with every step and looked down to see a the price tag hooked to the back of one shoe.  Rick saved me by the flick of his knife, slashing through the string of the tag.  Once we arrived back at the car I realized that everyone in the Salida, CO Walmart now knows my shoe size because the stickers stating my size (which I'm keeping to myself now) were still stuck on the toes of my new Keen hiking shoes.  As a young chick, I woul have been mortified and red faced.  At this age, it's good for a laugh!  In my defense I'm not used to buying shoes without boxes that are sitting on a shelf with tags stuck on the toes and the price attached to the loop on the back of one shoe.  

It appears that poor Rick is in for lots of good old belly laughs in our future!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rainbow Lake Resort Vacation

Good Morning!

We've been gone on a wonderful relaxing trip to Colorado for several days.  This sweet little guy came up to our car on the street in Cripple Creek to greet us.  Such a friendly place!

We stayed at Rainbow Lake Resort in Buena Vista and this was our little oasis for the week.  See that beautiful lake beyond our cabin?  We could see the lake from the window behind our dining table.  I would open the curtains each morning and sit there with my coffee.  Occasionally I'd see an early riser with his fishing pole walking by my window and they would wave to me. 

I was busy fishing while Rick was cooking hamburgers and he snapped this image from our deck.  What a beautiful view to wake up to each day!

I love this place!  Life was going on around us and we were tucked away here with no phones, tv, or internet.

Who needs constant entertainment when you can have this?

We took a walk around the lake, watching out for the yellow, black bear that had been making an appearance at the resort.  I didn't know there was such a thing as a yellow, black bear.  We never saw him, but this is what the resort looks like from the other side of the lake.  Our cabin, Little Bear, was to the left of that red cabin and up the hill a little.

Sunset on the lake was amazing too!  This is the little cabin we reserved for next year.  It's a little bigger, much older and has actual logs.  It sits tucked in behind some birch trees and has a little pond with a creek running into it and the lake is in front of this pond.  Can't wait to return!  How was your week?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Retro Sunroom Makeover and Reveal

My daughter decided that since her husband was going to be out of town for a week that she and I should get together to remodel their sunroom as a surprise for him.  She gets that from her mother!  I've been known to move a waterbed by myself when my husband was out of town, rip out carpet, or redo an entire room because Rick really doesn't like the idea of change until he sees it finished and he's always been happy with the results.

First things first, she removed the blinds before I arrived.  We headed for Ikea to purchase curtains and a few other things.

Amber was so excited to try out her skills with power tools!

We also went to the hardware store to purchase 1/2" electrical conduit and some other items to make the rods and curtain brackets.  She had so many windows that we had to keep it within her budget and this was the best and least expensive method.  We she cut the conduit with a hack saw to length.  My girl is a beach body coach and has the muscles for such activities.

At Ikea we found sheers for $4 a pair and each panel is 103" wide.  Yes, I said $4 a pair!  If Amber's cat who looks like a complete angel in this photo, tears up the shears, she can afford to replace them at that price.  They were 98" long and we had to cut off several inches.  We put up several pairs to cover the entire area.  The curtains in the corner were on sale for $15.95 and she bought 3 pairs.  

This old metal table belonged to my mom and dad when we were kids, but the chairs didn't survive, so she purchased two clear lucite chairs to put on each end, also from Ikea.  They are hardly noticeable.

The comforter and pillows for the daybed were purchased at Target.  The comforter was on sale for around $16.  The black and white polka dot rug came from Ikea for $20.  That black desk chair was replaced by an aqua chair shown in the prior image from Target. We couldn't use another lucite chair because it wouldn't have slid in all the way and it's a narrow room.

The pictures are a little dark because we were in a hurry to get everything finished before Scott returned home and had to use Amber's cell phone to take pictures.  I love the soft glow from lamp light!

We kitty proofed these two curtains because her cat, Birdie, loves to sit on the little stove and kept going behind the sheers to get to the glass table.  

It was a pretty productive weekend and her husband was very happy with the results!  I love helping out my kids!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Final Salute to a Veteran

I've been away from blogging for a while because we spent a few weeks at the Veteran's Home where my father in law, Jim, was struggling with kidney failure.  The family was at his side continually sharing our love and goodbyes with him.  He entered his heavenly home on July 31st a few days after his birthday, July 24th.  

This picture of my husband, Rick, holding his father's hand during those difficult days reminds me that our parents take our hands when we are children to guide us through life and we then grasp their hand as they leave our lives.  

Jim had a stroke 5 years ago and went to live at the Veteran's Home in Cameron, MO where he was surrounded by the most loving family of care givers I have ever met.  We hear so many horror stories about Veteran's hospitals and the wait time, but I'm happy to report that this beautiful Veteran's Home is a haven to our military veterans.  They are treated with dignity and respect from the cooks to the nurses.  

One of our favorite memories was when a veteran motorcycle group came to visit at the VA home.  Rick decided to ride his Dad's Harley knowing the group would be visiting with their motorcycles that day.  He wheeled his dad's wheelchair out to see all the cycles and Jim immediately began tapping his chest and pointing at his bike which meant he knew it was his.  Rick asked his dad if he'd like to go for a ride and one of the guys loaned him his helmet.  

Rick forgot to sign his father out, but the nurses were standing there cheering them on when he returned.

The VA home would take the guys fishing at a local lake.  Jim lived his retirement years in Rockaway Beach, MO and was an avid fisherman.

A couple times Jim signed up to go to the Royal's game and the veteran's were treated like royalty.  They were given a suite, a tour, and tons of food.  

Jim wanted to sit outside the suite.

At the Cameron Missouri Veteran's Home when a veteran passes a bell rings with the announcement and then the staff and saluting veterans line the halls as the deceased, draped with a flag, is wheeled out of the building while taps is being played.  I'll never foget that final salute to my father in law.  

We will return to the Veteran's Home to visit with the guys because we love the staff and our wonderful veterans.  Rick spent four years traveling 40 minutes to Cameron and back each night after work and most weekends.  He was very dedicated to his dad and made a lot of friends there.  I couldn't be more proud of him.  

We love you Jim and will be with you again someday.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Maybe I Can .....

Do you ever dream of being multi-talented?  I know I do!  Once I get on Pinterest my mind runs wildly through all the wonderful decorating and craft ideas.  I pin this and that knowing full well that I don't have time or the talent to make everything I would love to try.  Then, yesterday I came across Marian's post on her blog Sweetopia and thought for one moment, maybe I could.  Maybe I could make these beautiful cookies shaped like a paint palette.  Wouldn't that be perfect since I so adore painting!  Maybe I could do these gluten-free since I don't eat wheat based products.  I may give it a try at some point, but for now I'll just share the visual beauty of these little cookie palettes.  Stop in and check out Sweetopia's wonderful cookie creations by the oh, so talented Marian.  

She has so many beautifully decorated cookie ideas on her blog that you will be totally captivated, especially if you are like me and think "just maybe I could do that."  She has the tutorial and recipe so you can give it a try.  

I can paint desserts, but can I actually decorate real cookies that look like art?

Stop in and tell Marian I sent you. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dreaming of Cooler Weather

 I'm thinking of painting a nice cold winter scene to help with the oppressive heat this week similar to the bottom image, but of course, change it up.

First I have to get outside and trim my lilac bush that has taken over my sidewalk area, cut back my iris, and weed.  Before this week we had experienced several flash floods and rain every day.  This made it impossible to get outside and do any long overdue yard work.  My yard went from looking waterlogged to dry and dusty in a matter of a couple days.
As I've probably mentioned before, my favorite seasons to paint are autumn and winter.  Christmas scenes though are my all time favorite

What are you doing to keep cool or dry?  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Folk Art Bookmark For You

My blog has address has changed to:

So, if you have been using the old blogspot address you may have noticed that you are being redirected to my new address.  As a gentle reminder I'm giving my blog readers a free bookmark with my new address on it.  Enjoy!

Oh, and yes it's raining again today!  My husband and I sat through the rain at the Royals game last night, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Love For Color

As one can tell from the title of my at home business, "Pigment of Your Imagination", I have a love for color.  Whether it is painting or my new love, quilting, color plays a big part in the design.  Neutral or white backgrounds with pops of color make my heart sing.  The only color I'm not in love with is that pink countertop beneath all that wonderful color in the image below.  You can read about those countertops at my blog post "Living With Pink Kitchen Countertops".

In that post I was amazed at the people who loved my pink countertops as you can see from the comments.    I've learned to deal  love them and simply tie them in with other colors.  One thing I've learned over the years is don't be afraid of color.  Color is generally easy to fix and inexpensive to change (except when it comes to countertops with a built-in hutch sitting on top of them).

These pinwheels are so fun and easy to make using precut charm packs.  Simply sew a solid color and a printed five inch square with right sides together around all four sides.  Then using a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat, cut them on the diagonal both ways (like a big "X"). Press the seams to the dark side.  Arrange the four sections into a pinwheel and sew together.  I plan to sew all these pinwheels into another lap quilt and will share as I go along.  

On another thought, we survived another horrible storm yesterday with tornado sirens blasting their warning.  I'm thinking fall looks pretty good right now.  I don't want to sound like a whiner so I will thank the good Lord for seeing us through this wild ride this summer.  What are you thankful for today?  Oh, and I'm also thankful for all this beautiful color in my life!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Make a Friendship Braid Quilt

Normally this time of year I would be sharing pictures of my garden and flowers shining in all their glory, but this year I felt like I should be standing side by side with Noah and his family building an ark.  Needless to say we have lost several plants as well as new grass due to several flash floods in our area this spring and summer.  We sit high on a hill, but the ground can only take so much water in such a short amount of time.  I will stop complaining right here because so many people have had it so much worse.

Therefore, since there is no point in trying to garden, I have spent more time painting and sewing.  I'll share my paintings soon, but today since the sun was shining for a few hours, I decided to photograph my "Friendship Braid" quilt that I just got back from our local quilt shop.  I had them machine quilt it for me and I put the binding on myself.  

I love the name of this quilt as well as the design.  I think of great friendships woven together when I look at this design and the title seems so fitting.  

I love bright colors combined with crisp white and have decided to use this lap quilt at the foot of my bed ready to grab for a quick power nap.

I've added the video instructions to this post in case you want to give this quilt a try.  

It's sink or swim here and I decided to get my act together and get some things done despite the weather!  What do you do when the weather keeps you inside?  Keep your chin up and your nose above water!