Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Folk Art Painting Progression

Here is a peek at the autumn painting that I'm currently working on.  You can see the progression if you check out this previous post.  The details in this house are pretty time consuming.  Working with acrylics involves waiting for layers to dry and for those of us who are impatient (and don't like watching paint dry), a lot of drying with a blow dryer. 

For those of you who are impatient like me, I have a lot of autumn prints in my Etsy store like the one below.  Make sure to use the 15% discount code (BLOGREADER11). 

Catherine Holman

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Make a Pendant Light From an Old Rusty Egg Basket

Last night Rick decided to make our light fixture for over the kitchen sink.  We wanted to use one of grandma's rusty old wire egg baskets.  While walking around Lowe's a couple weeks ago for what seemed like hours we finally came up with what we would need to make our basket into a light. 
Items needed:
Mini Pendant Light Kit (only used the shortest rod in the pkg.)
White coated wire (because this is not going to be wired direct)
White Lamp Cord Switch
White Plug
 Vintage 60 Watt Light Bulb
 We took a few things back that we didn't need too....

I couldn't wait until morning to take a picture because I was so excited!  I think Rick was shocked that it was so easy and everything went smoothly.

Our cabinets do not go all the way to the ceiling so drilling a hole through the wood above the sink, rewiring the pendant light with the white wire, threading this wire through the hole above the sink and running it across the top of the cabinets over to another hole drilled through a cabinet and down to the outlet that hides behind that large scale on the counter, was all that was needed to get this thing of beauty up and turned on...wheww!  The egg basket is just hanging on the pendant and nothing is holding it in place. Amazingly the hole in the bottom of the basket was just the right size for the pendant light to fit through.

I'm rather curious to see how long that almost $10.00 bulb will last.  I've been wanting to try one but never had a lamp suitable for one.

See that little rectangular label on the front?  It's perfect for blocking the light from the huge bulb directly into my eyes while washing the dishes.  I had thought about painting that with chalk board paint and writing "eggs" on it.  Anyone got a better idea or should I just leave it's old rusy patina alone?

Lots of autumn artwork is available in prints through my Etsy store.  All blog readers get a 15% discount when you use the code BLOGREADER11 at checkout. 

Catherine Holman

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn Folk Art Notecard Party

Here are my picks for Vee's Notecard Party for September.
These are some fairly old paintings that I thought you might enjoy.

Join us here for all the fun:

A Haven for Vee

Catherine Holman

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dieting on Cheetos

Have you ever had one of those days? 

Deciding to start my diet this week I leave 3/4 of a pan of "Pumpkin Pie Squares" from Saturday to Thursday.  Lifting the foil of said cake, the smell of mold wafts up my nostrils.  I realize the Lord is beside me reminding me of my diet.  I then turn seeing the bright orange and turquoise Cheetos bag sitting on the counter that we bought to take to Grandma Chickie (101 years old) who is in a nursing home.  As I munch on her treat (three Cheetos, four, five, six....) guilt sets in and I roll down the top of the bag, clip it shut, and wonder how I'll explain this to Rick.

Pumpkin Pie Squares
1 - 13 oz. can evaporated milk
2 teasp. pumpkin pie spice
1 C. sugar
3 beaten eggs
1/2 teasp. salt
1 - 1lb. 13 oz. can pumpkin
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 to 1 C. chopped nuts
3/4 C. margarine
Combine evaporated milk, eggs, spice, salt, sugar, & pumpkin. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top. Thinly slice margarine. Place margarine squares over top of cake mix. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 50 min. @ 350 degrees. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 1-15.

I can't even sign my name to this post.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Cottage Kitchen Light Fixtures

I wanted to share the new ceiling light fixtures that Rick put up this week.  I apologize for the photo because the weather is very cloudy, but I just couldn't wait to share these with you. 

We bought these pendant light fixtures at Lowes this past weekend.  We Rick shortened them because our ceilings are not that high.  They aren't producing the amount of light that we are used to, but hopefully the new light that will be installed over the sink will help.  We may have to add some lighting over the cabinets so the top half of the kitchen doesn't look so dark.

I'm going to be sharing some of my older autumn folk art prints in my next posts to get you in the mood for that cooler fall weather.

The scent of autumn rises into the air along with billows of smoke drifting from the chimney tops in the little village of Hawthorne. Leaves gently fall from trees forming a kaleidoscope of color on the rolling hills. Families dine in the local cafĂ© after church and walk home in the cool evening air. Tillie, a local business owner has been dating Mr. Hankins, the Farmer’s Bank president, who was won over by her warm smile and kind heart. They plan to be wed at the village church and the reception is scheduled for the Hawthorne Inn, owned by LuAnn, Tillie’s best friend. The entire village is invited so Mr. Hankins might have to dig deep into his pockets for this event!
Catherine Holman

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Living With Pink Kitchen Countertops

We inherited pink counter tops when we bought this house 12 years ago.  Upon moving in we painted the kitchen brown thinking it would make the counters look beige instead of pink.  It didn't work.  I painted the walls yellow recently and then everything in the kitchen looked so pastel it sort of made me a little ill.  Then the big decision came to paint the cabinets white.  I'm now tickled pink and will learn to live with these counter tops for a while longer. 

The problem is that the upper hutch area sits directly on top of the counter tops and even has a shelf built over the back splash.  I love the hutch area and don't want to replace my cabinets or tear them up trying to replace the counters.  I may in the future have someone resurface them for us.  They simple apply a finish over the top of the previous counters. 

Last week I made a curtain from pink, yellow, and red fabric to try to tie all these colors together and to create more storage below.  I need to make some curtains for the two windows in the kitchen too.

This little cubby was originally intended to store cookie sheets.  But, with a cat and two dogs roaming around and I'm not particularly fond of seeing my old cooking sheets exposed, they have now become wine storage. 

This is my favorite part of our kitchen.  These old stools, as explained to me by the previous owner of the house, were from an old ice cream parlor. 
I just love how the wood base between each stool has worn down where customers passed through to have a seat.  Look how those old seats (especially the one on the right) have worn thinner on one side where people have slid off the seats for so many years. 

I love to think of little children spinning on these stools while licking their dripping ice cream from their cones.  Who knows who might have sat here. 
Before I painted the cabinets white, these didn't show up as nicely because they blended in with the knotty pine. 
Hopefully this week Rick will be installing the new light fixtures including one he is making from one of Grandma Chickie's old egg baskets.
Stay tuned.....

Catherine Holman

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Paint a House

Bet you thought I was still painting cabinets.   This painting was started in July and then the weather went crazy and I spent a lot of time outside trying to keep my gardens and yard from frying.  Then I started painting my kitchen cabinets and that went on for four weeks.  Now, I'm happy to say, I'm back to my autumn folk art scene.  I love painting autumn scenes.  This is by far my favorite time of year. 

A few years ago I used to travel around the country teaching seminars on my style of painting and for me painting a house is like putting a puzzle together.  Old houses have a lot of different sections.  I take lots of photos and really study them before I start my drawing.  I wanted the light source to be hitting the house from the front, leaving the side of the house and the area under the porch in the shadows.  That is why some areas are white and others are gray.  I basecoat using thin coats of paint and a flat brush that fits the area that I'm painting.  Smooth coats of paint will make it easier when I start adding all the details.  I'll keep you posted on how the painting progresses and when it will be listed for sale.

Catherine Holman

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Difference Between Good and Evil

Yesterday I made a bad choice.  Not the kind of choice that you could call a "sin", but a bad choice all the same. 
I made these...


the day before I have to take these...


Now, I'm sure you can probably figure out what I'm having done tomorrow.  Today is a liquid diet of 8 oz. of water every hour until bedtime, plus the above evil items.  I really do not like Gatorade at all.  No offense to Gatorade or those of you who love it.  I have to gag it down.  The last time I went in for this procedure, they couldn't do it because my heart beat was causing a problem on the monitor.  I was then sent to an appointment with a heart doctor who made a change in my blood pressure medicine and all is good.  I did the prep and didn't get the colonoscopy.  This time I'm not leaving that table until the procedure is over because I'm not doing this prep again this year. 

I'm trying to stay out of the kitchen today, because I'm not sure with my memory that I can remember to stay out of the chocolate chip cookies.
Now, Rick, just remember there had better be some cookies left in that jar when I get home tomorrow because that would be considered evil and so would whatever I might do.
Wish me luck!

Catherine Holman