Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Junk Jive and a New Little Painting

Our family room is what we call our "lodge room", because it makes me feel like I'm in the north woods. We found this Farm Bureau sign with my husband's grandpa's name on it. I'm sure grandma thought it was destined for the "holler". It has a lot of meaning to us and works great in this rustic room on the barn siding walls.

This little beauty is a set of antlers converted to a hat rack. In the top right corner of this picture you can see a portion of our junky green oars that hang above the windows.
Below is an old tree with the branches chopped off that I put in a basket to use as another hat rack. My hubby has lots and lots of hats! A bow back saw placed beside the stone fireplace is another junk find from the farm.
This is my second in a series of four season "friendship" paintings and is available right now on eBay. The winter print and card is available on my Etsy shop .
More painting tips coming soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Great Escape

When the weather warms up my dog, Annie, like the rest of us, wants to stay outside. The problem is that during the winter she developes some bad habits that are hard to break once spring arrives. In the winter when the plants are gone she walks through the flower beds and once spring arrives, before the flowers have gotten to their full heighth, she still wants to walk through the flower beds. So, if I'm not outside and she won't come in, I put her in her kennel so she can enjoy the sunshine. Believe it or not, she loves her kennel. She goes inside it the minute I say "kennel up". Yesterday when I put her in the kennel, a few moments later she was at the back door. I looked at the kennel and the gate was shut. I put her back in the kennel 6 times and then decided to get my camera and go upstair for a better view where she couldn't see me.

Here's what I saw. The fencing had come loose at the bottom and here she has her head and front legs out.
Now she's half way out. Needless to say, her escape days are over.

This weekend I got this lovely new item:

I've been wanting a new printer for a while now. This beauty prints using Vivera Inks that are fade resistant for 82+ years, water resistant, and has lovely vivid color. I've been wanting to make my own prints to sell on my Etsy store and the picture below is one of the two prints I now have for sale. I will be adding more soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crocks and a New Painting

The above painting, "Spring Hill Haven", is now listed on my eBay auctions.
Lester Gene and Lavetta discussed over a breakfast of tea and scones the possibility of joining the village garden club. This was their first year in their new home. They recently retired, downsized, and decided to start gardening once they settled into their new little cottage. Their favorite color is red, but they think they need a little help with coordinating other colors into their plan.
In the past few posts I've been discussing what some people consider "junk", when these crocks came to mind. Grandma Chickie called us one day and asked up if we would clean out her shed. This is the shed where all the butchering went on each year and while cleaning it out we came across several old crocks full of lard. Most of them were Red Wing and a few don't have names on them, but do have the numbers. Now, since they had been outside for years, most of them did have cracks , but I really didn't mind. I was just amazed that these beauties were still there. My husband and I had to want them pretty bad to clean that old stinky, rank, years old lard out of them! But, to Grandma, these were just old junk and she wanted that shed cleaned out. I'm glad she called us! We found about 8 or 10 of these wonderful pieces of junk! I have them everywere and they are very functional. The crock in the above photo is used for an end table with a glass top on it.
The crock with the fairy on it, I'm sure you've seen many times in my previous posts.
I'm not sure what brand this crock is, but it doesn't have any cracks. This holds the cat's toys which they really don't want.
And this crock is used to hold dog toys that seem to get scattered all over the house. This cabinet which can be seen here , was also considered junk and came from the same shed. I have one in my paint studio to hold rolls of floorcloth, rolls of paper, mailing tubes, etc. There are two by the fireplace in the lodge room that hold wood and newspaper. I also have one in my living room that hold afghans for those cold winter evenings while watching t.v. There is also one in the kitchen that sometimes we use to hide wet shoes when we come it from outside.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Notecard Sets and Another Junk Idea

I spent the day with my beautiful daughter, Amber, yesterday helping her hang pictures in her apartment and arrange her crafting area. Since I took the day off from painting, I don't have anything new to share except these new cards that I've listed on eBay .

I got the idea for this nightlight from the Junk Market book. I just wired a little nightlight to the back curved side of this grater. I was making it for the kitchen, but when you live in an old house outlets aren't always where you'd like them to be. Mine are too close to the bottom of my cabinets and the handle on this grater wouldn't fit under the cabinet. So, I have a cheese grater in my bathroom! This picture doesn't do it justice. The light really shines neatly through the holes in the grater.

This isn't really a junk idea, but remember, anything can become a chalkboard. This is the door (in my kitchen) leading to my scary basement. All you need is some chalkboard paint and a brush.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two New Folk Art Paintings and a Special Award

I added two new paintings to my eBay listings. The first one is inspired by Kim from Daisy Cottage . I've always loved her yellow and red color scheme and decided to paint this little cottage. Guess what I named it? That's right Daisy Cottage! If you look closely, you'll see the little daisies below the house.

Daisy Cottage is home to the Johnson family. Jolene, mother/wife/caretaker, is a soft spoken gentle woman. Her friends are as numerous as the stars in the sky because of her gracious spirit. Her family loves the twinkle in her eyes and her generous hugs. She tends to her flowers with the same loving grace and reads outside in the shade of the big tree.

This little painting is titled Willowick.

Maddie owns the local coffee shop in the Village of Willowick. A very patriot person, Maddie always displays the American flag on her house. She is also president of the chamber of commerce, teaches Sunday school, and volunteers at the local children's home. Unbeknownst to Maddie, her dear friends (partners in crime, next door neighbors, local busy bodies, etc.), Hazel and Camille, are planning a surprize birthday party for her at the coffee shop on her 50th birthday. They've been plotting and planning for weeks and this could be the biggest "shebang" in the whole county!

Penny from Lavender Hill awarded me with the Arte Y Pico Award . Thanks Penny! The rules for this award are:
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.

4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico’ blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5.To show these rules.

I would like to pass this award on to:

Kari and Kijsa two of the most delightfully charming and talented Diet Pepsi loving sisters! What can I say that hasn't already been said about these great gals!

Kim from
Daisy Cottage is a decorating genius! I just love all her ideas! She was the inspiration for one of the above paintings.

For some "Glammed Up Country" there is no one quite like Junk 2 Jewels ! I just love her decorated and jeweled bottles!

I just found Karen Eileen today. Check her out for "a little bit of this and that". Great looking blog! She's also close to my neck of the woods.

And one of my all time favorites: Tracey from A Cottage Industry does everything from beautiful cookies, cupcakes, and tons of decorating ideas. This gal has it all!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Annie's Cottage

Hannah, from Cultivating Home, shared this verse this week on her lovely blog and I decided it was a wonderful verse for one of my little paintings. I listed this painting on eBay this week.

Annie loves her husband, her children, family, friends, and yes, her kitties. She works hard taking care of them and their little cottage and knows she is doing the most important job on earth.

The wise woman builds her house... Proverbs 14:1 is painted on the border.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

and More Junk Jive

We have a winner! Paula, Miss Anonymous, said the item was used to weigh eggs and she is correct. It is an egg scale. I've decided to add another winner just because of pure creativity. Here is what Miss Sandy from Quill Cottage had to say:
Paula is probably right but I want to guess too! I think it is part of a contraption used in a flea circus act. The acrobat stands on the flat end while the other end is suddenly pushed down and the tiny acrobat goes flying and flipping through the air to land in your dogs hair!
How creative is that!
Well here is a little more junk to share with you. The bowls above my cabinet came from? Yes, that's right, grandma chickie's farm. Once again she thought they were trash. They have several chips on them and one is cracked, but from high on top of the cabinets, who can tell.
This isn't the best photo in the world because it shows the lovely condition of my old cabinets, but I just had to share my hubby's ingenious idea. When we moved into this old house I remembered that a previous owner had her husband put this section into the cabinets to store her cookie sheets. I have a large dog and two cats and didn't think this would be a very sanitary place to store mine. I would end up having to wash them before using them each time I'm sure. It just so happened that he, my hubby, had these drainage tiles that fit in this area perfectly to store wine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ophelia's Cottage on Hilltop Lane

Just another new addition to my eBay auctions . I love doing these tiny little 4" x 4" paintings. But, I have always loved a challenge and kitties!
Ophelia loves her little cottage at the top of Hilltop Lane. Each day she rises with the sun, feeds her kitties, and sits down to write a new chapter in her children's book, "The Nine Lives of Leisl, the Family Cat." By 7:00am she's fixing breakfast for her family and by 10:00am she's back at work, with the children outside playing. She counts her blessings daily.
Whoever follows me never walks in darkness....John 8:12

More Junk Jive

I love hunting for junk! Here are a couple more items that we found at grandma chickie's farm when she had us clean out her shed a couple of years ago. I use this little scale to hang my tea towel on by the sink.
This large scale was quite a chore to clean up but well worth it. The glass was very dirty and when I took it apart to clean the inside of the glass, there were muddobber nests between the two plates holding the glass. It was next to impossible to get them all out. I can't figure out how they even got in there. I wiped the dial and realized the writing on it wasn't water proof so I quickly stopped. Part of it did smear though. It's great for displaying fruit, but I had already eaten the oranges and grapes when this photo was taken. They don't last long around here! If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you'll notice the Ninja Turtle magnets on my frig. One of the Ninjas is my son, Eric, when he was little. He loved the Ninjas! I know that having photos on your frig is looked down upon in the decorating world, but it's my home and I love looking at my families faces each day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Heather Glen Folk Art Cottage Painting

Today the sun is shining and I'm yearning to go outside. I'm really trying hard to stick to my schedule and get some painting done.
This little 6 inch x 6 inch painting was added to my eBay auctions last night.
Betty and Francine have been neighbors and best friends for years. They've shared many things between their families in the past as well as their love for gardening. Looks like Francine's corgi, Jack, likes flowers too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Junk Jive Giveaway

I thought it would be fun to share some of my junk ideas. These are items that a lot of people pass on, but for some reason appeal to me. A dear friend of mind had been saving these large jars that came from Wal-Mart with dill pickles in them (very cheap). She gave me three and I went and bought one jar of pickles myself. All I can say, is that it would have taken my husband and I a loooooooong time to eat that many pickles. So, I'm very thankful to my friend. They work great as canisters and I plan to paint the lids black and get some black and white check ribbon to glue on the edges of the lids. Recently I made hang tags to tie around the necks of all the jars. The jar of marshmallows are treats for my dog that she gets when I put eye drops in her one remaining eye. She's a big marshmallow herself! Click on the photos for a closer view.
The first person who leaves a comment, correctly telling me what the metal item in the middle of the shelf is (in front of the jars), gets a free notecard from my etsy shop. I will notify the winner. Aren't these red skates fantastic! I fell in love with them when my sister, daughter, and neighbor went to the Worlds Longest Yard Sale two years ago. They were in the first yard sale that I went into and were my first purchase. They make great bookends for my cookbooks.
This old scale was considered "junk" by grandma chickie and now belongs to me. A candle sits on top.
Then, a couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to several flea markets and he found this old 50's KitchenAid mixer. It works and was only $25.00!! Sure beats several hundred for a new one. I've never had one and just love it. It's hard to find one with a bowl. Most of the bowls got broken over the years. My daughter was so jealous, but I'm really looking for one for her. I'm hoping to find her a pink or green one. She lucked out though. We bought her a vintage sewing basket that was filled with lots of vintage thread, lace, and various sewing notions. That was her Easter basket.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stitches - for - tea

The assignment this week for Gracious Hospitality's blog was "Stitches-for-tea". My dear friend Chrissy gave me this adorable crocheted and beaded tea cup cozy. It sits along side a tea set and tray that I painted many moons ago. The tea cup is sitting on my favorite antique linen that says "Hot Biscuits". To see a closer view, click on the photos.

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Cat Lovers Card Collection

I've just listed some new cat cards on my Etsy Store . I don't think I've ever posted any of my cat paintings on my blog before. A while back I needed a break from painting my usual folk art and had a great time with these. You can click on the photos for a closer view.
You never know what might happen when cats take a spring break at the beach!
Felix delights in making snowcat angels much to the embarrassment of his son Elliot.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mossy Creek Folk Art Painting

As I sit here sipping my coffee and clearing the fog from my mind, I can hear the gentle rain outside my window. Spring has definitely arrived and I couldn't be more ready. Soon I'll be able to take my coffee outside and sit on the deck before starting to paint each morning. Just sitting and watching the birds while taking in the nature that surrounds us really inspires me with new ideas.
This new painting, "Mossy Creek", was inspired by Penny from Lavender Hill . I will be sending Penny a card with a digital image of this painting on it as a "thank you" for her title. This painting is now listed on eBay .

In the village of Mossy Creek families attend the local country church and they all know each other. They never pass a stranger on the street and children ride bikes or walk to school and their friend's homes. Boys and girls play baseball, jacks, jump rope, and in general, run and play outside. Miss Carolina who lives in the rose covered, victorian cottage, opens her windows to let in the gentle breeze and the gleeful laughter of children.

Our son, Eric, returned home a couple of weeks ago from a trip to Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary. Below is a photo from his trip (he's in the middle). He had a wonderful time and I'll try to share a few of his photos once I get a little more information from him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Playing Catch Up

This week I've been playing catch up and, therefore, haven't had much time to post or to paint. I'm catching up on cleaning my gardens, laundry, taxes (got those done this morning), spring cleaning, you name it. I, wine, wine...... Truly, I'm trying not to wine. I need to give my creative side a work out in the next few weeks and will be sharing as I go along.
Below is a commissioned painting that I did a while back for a dear customer, Fuji, from Japan who owns a little shop called Tole Paradise. Thanks to all my customers from around the world!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dirty Little Secret

Here's my dirty little secret. Well, it's really not dirty. It's actually washed pretty regularly, which is probably leading to it's demise. I bought this shirt back when my daughter was in middle school (she's now 30 something). It came from the Limited and has been my favorite denim shirt for years. They just don't make them like they used to! When it became too bad to wear outside the house, it became my paint shirt. I wear it in the winter because my apron doesn't cover long sleeves and I have a tendency to drag my cuff through the paint.
The last time I washed it, I realized it was coming to the end of it's long lived life. The holes became much larger and before long it won't be much protection from paint. (Note the cuff coming off from the sleeve.) Vanity is not a major issue with me, so once it goes on for the day I generally forget to remove it. This poor thing has been worn to the post office, store, etc... When you're my age, memory becomes a problem and you don't realize what you have on until you get there and notice people staring at you. My mind has a way of making me feel better in these predicaments: They'll know this is my uniform and that I paint, walls (ha), for a living. I've seen construction workers (my husband was a brick mason) in their filthy work clothes stopping by the store on the way home from work to pick up milk for the wifey and I somehow see myself this way when I'm caught wearing this lovely item out of the home.
I also feel bad for the mailman (lady) who comes to my door about once a week and is alsaulted with the view of my daily attire. My husband once told me I looked like a bag lady when he came home from work and I had on my apron with this work shirt over the top. I had on new jeans and needed the double protection of the apron!

Note the lovely lacey details along the neckline. I have many more shirts that could be worn for this activity, but none feel the same as this well worn and very soft denim shirt. This beloved friend will soon be laid to rest and I'll be searching for the next fashion statement.

My faithful shirt and I painted this little canvas for eBay yesterday:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Buttercup Manor Folk Art Painting

This little 6 inch x 6 inch painting, Buttercup Manor was listed on eBay this evening. Rose from Classic Charm was one of my 2nd place winners in my name that painting giveaway and will be getting a card of this design. I also used her name in the following little story about the painting.

Rose and her lovely family live in Buttercup Manor just around the bend past town. Buttercups are Rose's favorite flower and she plants then in abundance. These sweet little yellow flowers present a problem for their dog Bandit. He can never remember where he's buried his bone and is always digging and searching causing much havoc in Rose's beautiful flower beds.

I've also listed these new blank cards on eBay this evening. Many new cards have been added to my Esty store as well.

I've mentioned before that these cards would be great framed, but today while I was working on the above 6" x 6" painting, I realized that these cards fit perfectly on my little canvas. You could paint the canvas black or leave them white. Use a little tape from a tape runner or glue to the canvas. If you can't afford an original, this is a more afordable version.

Please excuse my disgustingly dirty paint table.