Bridal Party Painting 2 of 4

I will be the first to admit that I have almost no experience in doing landscapes.  My friend Chris requested Mt. Hood with a Japanese style sun in the background, however, and I attempted to tackle a landscape despite my reservations.  I was totally behind the idea and love how it incorporates Chris’s love for his homeplace (Portland) and where he wants to end up (Japan).

I finished just in time to hand it to him at his going away party.  Landscapes have definitely not taken away my love of portraits, but it was good practice, and, most importantly, Chris liked it.  It makes me happy to know it’s small enough that when my friend travels the world, he’ll be able to take a piece of home with him.  I hope that he’ll hang it up when he gets a place in Japan (which I know he will), and thinks of me.

Chris, when the time is right, I know you will conquer the world and find your place in it.

Bridal Party Painting 1 of 4 and Sketch

I decided I was going to be crazy and do paintings for my bridal party.  So what if they won’t be getting them until months after the wedding?  I still have a couple deadlines though, because my friends refuse to stay in one place.  My bridesman Chris is moving to Japan in about two weeks, and Jamie is leaving in about two months.  This painting is for Jamie.  Hers was probably the easiest concept because I already knew I wanted to do something Batman related for her.  I should have done Chris’s first, since he’s going to be gone sooner, but I have no idea what to do for him yet.

10×10 acrylic on canvas

I have some silly placed pride on the way the edges turned out.

And just because I’m sharing some artwork, here’s something from my sketchbook that I liked.  Done with marker, pen, and pencil.

Vintage Digs and a Skirt Refashion

vintage skirt refashion

Hola!

I finally got to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long while!  I hit up a bunch of vintage second hand stores in my area for some super fun shopping.  My accomplices and I (as pictured above), spent hours digging through clothing finding some super cool stuff.  It was pretty hot and exhausting, so we took a well deserved frozen yogurt break.

Ready to see my fabulous finds?  Okay!  Here we go:

These pants make me feel super sassy.  I love how I’m doing sexy-face and Tawnya is in the background shredding some cheese.  I had to have these pants after trying them on and seeing that waist.  High-waisted things, how I love thee.

Another high-waisted item?  Why yes, yes it is. I went back and forth a million times on whether I should get the skirt or not.  I loved loved loved the waist… but the length?  Promising myself I would sew it up to my satisfaction, I got it.  (Hat-not vintage but from the same shopping trip, shoes-Target, Shirt-Nordstrom)

Step 1: Try skirt on and give it a really close look.  What do you not like about it?

Well for one thing, it does this weird puffy thing in front giving me a cute pot belly, and my short-legs need a shorter length.

Step 2:  Turn inside out, put back on, and start pinning.  (Roll up the lining to deal with later).

No more pooch please.

Shorten the length.

Step 3: Turn the skirt right-side out again, and see how it look with the pins.  Looks decent, let’s sew!

I step away from the mirror for one minute and my cat goes diva on me.  “Oh Lex, you are so pretty yes I am.”  He did get a new collar, so maybe that’s what he was checking out.

Oh hey, the sewing is all done!

Much better, no?  I think so anyway.  🙂

Ready to hit the town

Also, I found these super cool vintage frames!  Right now they don’t have any lenses, but who knows what the future will hold for them.

Wedding

semi-DIY wedding

I have now been married for a month a day!  As you know, I had been spending a lot of time working on things for the wedding.  I wanted to share a post showing how all the work came together.

The flowers (with some minor size variations) from my previous tutorial were used a LOT.  I ended up spray painting all of the flowers I made to match the colors for the wedding.

The bouquets turned out great, which was a huge relief.  I was super worried about them because the first time I tried to put them together I was really unhappy with them.  I had one of those crazy panicky moments where I felt like I was a huge failure and I was super stupid for trying to create them myself.

I ended up using styrofoam balls, and then cutting off the top 1/3 or so as the base.  I stabbed the flowers, along with some feathers and yarn pom poms (de ja vu?) that I had attached wire to into the styrofoam ball.  The “stem” part I created by hot gluing a wooden dowel to the bottom of the styrofoam.  I hot glued sticks all along the outside to hide the dowel, then wrapped it with some pretty lace.  The bottom of the white white styromfoam was showing through and was blaringly obvious to my eyes (even though you could only see it if you were under 3.5 ft), so I painted the bottom the same color blue as the big flowers for camouflage.

I used some of the smaller flowers to create the boutonnieres along with some more feathers.  Then I wrapped them in fabric that matched my dress, and created a two-tiered bow with blue ribbon.  Here’s my beautiful wife and brothers showing them off.

I don’t really have any good pictures of the centerpieces.  The reception space was pretty dark, but you can get the idea.  I attached my flowers to some pussy willow branches, stuck them in a vase and dumped in some dollar store rocks.  Then classed it up with some lace ribbon.  By this point I’m sure the only thing the guests care about as far as their tables is whether or not they have food and booze on them!

Now for the dresses!  I ALTERED MY WEDDING DRESS.  I was shaking, literally.  I had it in my lap and had the scissors in my hands and I was just praying that I’d be able to put it back together and make it look decent.  Here is a before shot, before the dress met my scissors:

The top picture is me trying on the dress and the bottom is from the David’s Bridal’s website.  It’s actually a bridesmaids dress.  I was getting really frustrated by the whole shopping for a dress thing.  It was honestly stressing me out a lot.  I felt like I was just playing dress up.  I look terrible in white, don’t really like pouf, or beading… I was a difficult client.  The lovely woman at David’s Bridal recommended checking out some of their bridesmaids dresses instead.  The combination of not actually being a wedding dress, and also not being hundreds of dollars, made me so much more comfortable.  I know, I was a head case.  Anyway, I digress.  I chopped up the neckline, and took away the sleeves.  I created a sweetheart neckline, and added some lace ribbon for straps.

For the bridesmaids, I was emphatic that they not have to spend a lot of money.  I ended up going with some jersey dresses from Old Navy that were just over $20 and just added little embellishments.  Apparently they don’t carry the same blue anymore, but this picture will give  you a good idea of how they looked before:

I created sashes out of fabric that matched the fabric of my dress, and inserted some lace on top of fabric for the deep v.

I was really excited to finally wear my shoes out too!

Aww, look at that cute couple.

It is such a huge relief to have it all done with, and I am so happy and thankful for how everything turned out.  So many friends and family members helped out and I cannot be grateful enough to them.

Sugar Skull Girl

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, you don’t get enough credit for what you do!

Totally unrelated, I finished another painting.  Tawnya and I asked a friend of ours to be the photographer at the wedding for us, and she graciously accepted.  At first we were just going to pay her in beer, but after seeing a painting I had posted on here, she requested a painting as payment instead.  She hasn’t seen it yet, and I really hope she likes it.

I sketched out in pencil a picture of a girl first, then used pen to cross-hatch all the shadows.  The “Makeup” is just paint applied directly on top of the pen sketch.  I may use spray fixative next time on the ink drawing before putting paint on.  The ink got a little smeary, which was fine, just required more work being careful.  I’m a little sad the cross hatching under the paint smudged to just regular shading.

Close-up

It’s pretty small, only 8 x 8, and I’m kind of considering doing paintings for my wedding party as their presents.  But then I think that it’s a totally insane idea with the wedding just barely over 2 weeks away… I don’t know how insane I am yet.

Picture of the picture and the picture

A picture of the painting and picture of a picture of the painting!  Was trying to match up the colors in Picasa.

Liebster Award

liebsterawrd

Hey, so this pretty cool thing happened!  A fellow blogger nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is a neat way for not-that-well-known-blogs to get more traffic.  My nomination came from The Grange Range.  Go check out her blog!  She has amazing detailed tutorials for different crochet things with tons of pictures (which I desperately need!)  The yarn colors she uses are absolutely sumptuous and she comes up with surprising color combinations that you want to try to recreate right away.  She definitely deserves this award, and I am so thankful that she passed it along to me.

The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a look and try to help spread the word. The Nominee role (me in this case) is to list 11 random facts about themselves, and answer the 11 questions set by the person who sponsored them to give an insight into the personality behind the blog pages. 

Then I nominate 11 fellow bloggers, who should bask in the Liebster glow – which means doing the same as I am doing here! ie, my nominee’s post a blog linking back here to I create stuff sometimes with answers to my 11 questions and nominate 11 new bloggers (and think of 11 questions to ask them – can be anything!). Off we go then…

It’s taken me a really long time to be able get this post going because, to be honest, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have 11 people that I follow with less than 200 followers.  So for now, I’ll nominate the few I follow that qualify and vow to start doing more exploring and find other small blogs and give them shout outs as much as possible.  Let’s face it, one of the coolest things about blogging is the sense of community and support that you can get from it.  I’ve attempted to link to other blogs I absolutely love, but I haven’t really been going out of my way to find new ones, and because of this, I’ve kind of failed on upholding my part of the bargain.  NO MORE!

My nominations:

  • Dollar Dress Friday  So this crazy lady (who I personally know and greatly admire) decided that she was going to make a dress a week for A YEAR.  She totally succeeded, with a few bumps along the way, which is so incredibly impressive.  And if that challenge to herself wasn’t absolutely insane enough, she also limited herself to only spending one dollar per dress.  Great blog to look through for sewing inspiration, and she has a super cute style.
  • Simple Life Mom  A couple of weeks ago, I happily stumbled upon this blog.  I love her focus on trying to cut out toxicity in life by making her own beauty and cleaning products.  She even has tips on how to make your own makeup!
  • Crochet Missy  Like The Grange Range, this is another crochet-focused blog.  There a lot of cute small crochet projects to be found there and some great crochet stitch experiments.
  • Ideal Housewife  I’m not going to lie.  I would love to say I follow this blog for the sewing or the crafting, but it’s totally for the food.  Although the recipes aren’t all vegetarian, I find enough things that are, or that I can easily tweak, that this blog is totally worth following for me.  I’m getting super hungry just thinking back on some of these recipes (Indian Cauliflower anyone?)

And for my awesome nominations, my questions to you:

  1. What do you do when you’re feeling blocked (writer’s block, crafter’s block, blogger’s block, etc)?
  2. Describe your perfect dream job, and what a typical day in that job would consist of.
  3. What made you want to start a blog?
  4. You’ve spent all day running around doing chores and you finally have everything done and the house to yourself.  What do you do?
  5. Favorite ice cream flavor?  Or if you don’t like/eat ice cream, favorite dessert?
  6. If you could only have and read one book for the rest of your life, what book would it be and why?
  7. What is your favorite quote?
  8. Favorite TV show?
  9. You’ve been offered a free class at the local university, what class would you take?
  10. You favorite thing about yourself?
  11. Most inspirational person in your life?

My nominees questions to me:

  1. Name the title of the last book you have read.  The last book I finished was Angelfall, which was a re-read. It’s a YA title set in a post-apocalyptic future where angels have taken over Earth.  It wasn’t so well known when I found it originally, and I was able to download it from the Kindle Store for 99 cents.  Looks like it’s gaining some recognition and is a little bit more now (still cheap at $3.51).  Although there are plenty of cliches and the writing gets a B- from me, the story line is fantastic and feels like a totally new ride.  It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Hunger Games, and I think fans of that series will really enjoy Angelfall.
  2. What was the first thing you ever crocheted, knitted, or crafted?  Does anyone actually make something the first time they try a new craft?  I usually just sit there practicing stitches forever before I make something. As far as crafting goes, I’ve always really liked making things.  I do remember getting a present from one of my half-sisters one year though, that was a whole bunch of different little crafts to do each month.  I vaguely remember the snowmen and turkeys, and it was one of the coolest presents ever.  All the craft pieces were in their own bags with the instructions.  Needless to say, it did not last 12 months.  I made the crap out of that stuff!
  3. What is your favorite type of food?  This one is easy!  Thai Pinapple Curry.  I could BATHE in it. 
  4. Who is your favorite band/singer?  I really like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they’re something like a phenomenon .
  5. Tell of your fondest memory?  I love all of the mundane moments that become incredibly intimate and special with the important people in your life.  Taking walks with friends or family and having in depth conversations about mostly meaningless topics, but just feeling that closeness and appreciation for each other. 
  6. What makes you laugh?  Most things.  I especially love things a bit quirky and unexpected. 
  7. What makes you sad?  Being unable to help people, the inability of some people realize they are being cruel. 
  8. If you could go back in time and talk to anyone from the history books, who would you choose and why?  That’s a toughy.  I honestly don’t have an answer.  I want to hear from the women that don’t get mentioned, but played huge parts in the background.
  9. What is your favorite colour?  Depends on my mood.  Teal blue usually. 
  10. If you could live in another country which would you choose and why?  Norway?  Apparently it is the happiest country.
  11. Do you prefer beach or snow holidays.  Beach.  I like being lazy and just laying in the sun (with tons of sunscreen) and drinking beer.  If you’re going on a snow holiday, you have to actually do stuff.

Soft Crochet Rug

soft crochet rug

One big reason I craft things is because I like to save money.  I see stuff on the interwebbz or at a store, and think, “I could make that for so much cheaper!”  This wasn’t really one of those times.  Now I’m sure you could totally do this on the cheap (use strips made out of burlap, old sheets, or t-shirts?), but I wasn’t really planning this and it just sort of happened.  I saw some really beautiful yarn that was on sale and so soft and decided to buy it, and I wanted a rug for the kitchen… so it sort of made sense?  But then I needed more yarn… Anyway, I needed the crochet practice 🙂

All I did was rows of double crochet stitches.

I added some grippy shelf liner on the bottom so that you wouldn’t slide all around.  It was attached with 9 little stitches at the corners and middles.  Shelf liner always reminds me of being a kid in the motor home with my family, where it was EVERYWHERE.

My cats really like to lay on it because of how soft it is.  Here’s Tawnya, being a cat.  See?