Cindy's Country Mix

do it yourself projects, watercolor


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Pine Cone Swag

My neighbor has two pine trees in her yard.  Lucky me.  I gathered about 30 that looked nice and carried them home.  She loves me and doesn’t mind if I take some of her pine cones.  It’s just like me to forget to take a before picture, but you all know what pine cones look like, right?  They’re brown.

Pine cones in the Yard.

Pine cones in the Yard.

In my studio, I dug out my paints and a brush.  I put newspaper down to save the desk top and painted them all pretty like.  I saw this idea, originally, on Pinterest and they were spray painted shiny red and green.  Since that’s not really my style, I chose white with a hint of yellow ochre in it.

Titanium White and Yellow Ochre

Titanium White and Yellow Ochre

They dried overnight.  Finding some white braid trim in my sewing stash, I measured the amount that I wanted to make the swag drape twice.

Painted and ready to string.

Painted and ready to string.

Using my hot glue gun, I attached them to the braid.  Watch out for those burned fingers.  😛  I spaced the cones about four inches apart along the braid.  When I got to the end, I had four pine cones left over.  With three of them, I made a group hanging for the center of the swag.  I kept one to just place on the mantel by itself.

Completed Pine Cone Swag.

Completed Pine Cone Swag.

I like how it looks.  Since I don’t do a lot of decorating for each different holiday, I made this to enjoy for Fall through Winter.

My newly decorated fireplace.

My newly decorated fireplace.

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.

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No Excuses

Hello there!  Yes, it’s true.  I haven’t blogged in two months!  What is up with that?  I think being retired has affected my productivity.  My husband’s retirement that is.  I have always been ‘retired’ so to speak.  He doesn’t stop me from blogging, that’s not what I’m implying.  But, having him home all day, I can find a lot of other things to do than blog.

My married son, who lives 90 miles away, tries to keep me focused on painting.  Painting is one of my favorite things to do.  He sends me texts periodically asking how my painting is coming along.  On that note, let me share about a painting that I completed last month.

I take photos of flowers whenever I am out and about traveling.  Since we have moved to Arizona, I find less flowers to my liking.  All of my paintings are done from my own photographs.

This is a white Rose of Sharon that I found someplace.  I begin by drawing onto the paper.  And I painted in the white flower first.

Beginnings of a watercolor painting.

After I had the flower basically painted in, I began to add in the darker areas.

Progress of a watercolor painting.

I don’t paint in any particular way.  If I get bored of an area, I move on to another spot, then go back later.  This particular painting I did without taping it to the board.

Progress of a watercolor painting.

I add washes of color as I go.  If an area is too light or dark, I make adjustments, painting what pleases my eye at the moment.

Progress of a watercolor painting.

One of the small corrections that I made, that is most visible to you, is the dark blemish on the bottom flower petal.  It is actually on the petal in the photo.  Painting true to the photo is not required, but I like the little spots and blemishes on flowers.  They add character to the painting.  However, in this case, I decided that it was too distracting.  I lightened it up and it looks better that way.  This is how it looks as a finished painting.

Painting of a white flower.

I do try paint everyday.  Being easily distracted, it’s not easy sitting next to a window with a beautiful view.  This particular day was gorgeous outside.  I had the window opened and a nice breeze was wafting in.  How can one control the imagination on a day made for dreaming?  I love my view.

View from a window.

Currently, I am working on a beautiful pink and yellow rose painting.  Hopefully, it will show up here soon!

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.


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My New Daybed Redo

Our office daybed was purchased about eight years ago at a local used furniture store called Finicky Furniture.  The metal frame was dark brown which looked okay in the office because our desks were very old and still the original, natural walnut finish.  My husband and I have very large desks.  One we bought at a thrift store and one we found at the curb on trash day.  They are both in great shape other than their age.  Our chairs are black and were purchased new at Costco.

A few years ago, we bought two hutches at a thrift store and my husband modified them and mounted them on the wall above each of our desks.  Our office was getting more and more eclectic with one of the hutches being maple!  I started thinking that the office was beginning to look like a dump.  I asked my husband what he thought about painting the wood furniture black because the chairs were a black pattern.  He thought it was a good idea and we headed to Lowe’s for paint.

The color that we chose is called Lincoln Cottage Black in Eggshell finish.  We painted all the wood furniture in the office with this color, the desks, hutches, and bookshelf.  We also bought black spray paint and painted the bed frame.  What a major improvement this made to the office.  This was all done in 2007!  That is a long time ago.

Desks painted black

Painted Desks

The cover on the daybed has been an old burgundy quilt, that was pretty ugly.  For years, I have been looking for just the right cover for it, never finding anything that I liked.

Deciding to make the cover myself, I went shopping for fabric last month.  Home Fabrics and Rugs in Phoenix, Arizona has some fun fabrics for lower prices.  Purchasing three different patterns in black and white prints and two bolster pillow forms, I left with plenty of fabric to cover the daybed mattress, the trundle mattress, and pillows as well.

I have been sewing since I was eleven.  I don’t really enjoy sewing very much, but I truly enjoy the finished product and that is what motivates me to sew.  I sew on ‘the fly’ if you know what I mean.  I don’t really follow patterns too closely.  I measured the mattresses and pillows and then began cutting up the fabric.  With a number of breaks from sewing, heh, I managed to complete the project in about a week.

Custom cover for Daybed

Daybed

Aqua is my favorite color and I think it looks good with black, so that is what I chose for my pillows.  Two of the covers I bought at Hobby Lobby, one with sequins and the other with scrolls.  I bought fabric to make two so I would have some variety.  Here is a closer look.

homemade pillow with fringe

Pillow with Fringe.

I used velcro to close the covers, so that I can remove and wash them should there be a need.

Aqua pillow with buttons

Aqua pillow with buttons

I made new black and white valances after these pictures were taken.  They look nice, too.

The next mission for this room, should I decide to accept it, is to recover a swivel rocker that is MAUVE!  Ack.  There are other projects on my list that will come before I ever attempt the chair.  I feel good right now just having the daybed complete!

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.


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Glitter

I do like glitter and lots of it!  If it sparkles, it makes me happy.  So, today I made the time to paint my tennies with some holographic paint.

Yesterday, I bought some Extreme Glitter Acrylic Paint by FolkArt.  With no idea of what I would use it for, I bought it because it looked pretty.  Then, today, I was staring at my shoes and the paint came to mind.

It was easy peasy.  The paint is acrylic so it cleans up with soap and water.  I got a brush and set the shoes on a newspaper here at my desk.  I had one shoe done, before I remembered to snap a before photo.

Tennis shoe.This is how it looked before I began painting.  Last night, I sewed battenburg lace doilies onto the tongues.  Doesn’t it look cute?  This is a girlie thing, for any guys who are reading.

I opened the paint bottle and began painting just the saddle portion of the shoes.  I just painted one coat.  The instructions say to paint multiple coats until the desired effect is reached.  The paint cures in 24 hours.  There is no mention of whether or not it is waterproof, but it does say to clean it up with soap and water BEFORE it dries.

Tennis shoes painted with hologram glitter paint.

This is how they look in the sunshine.  The glitter has an aqua look to it.  I guess that’s good because aqua is my favorite color.  After studying them for a while, I am thinking that I may paint all of the canvas.  I’m going to wear them like this for a while to see how I like them.

Like I said above, I like anything that sparkles.  I have an aurora borealis crystal necklace.  I found it years ago at an antique store.  It is BEAUTIFUL.  When worn over a white blouse it is amazingly sparkly (if that’s a word).  I often wore it to church on Sundays and taught three year old Sunday school.  I told my little people that it reminded me of heaven when I looked at it.

Heaven is a beautiful place and each one of us, as a believer in Christ, has our own personal mansion.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV  I am confident that all of heaven is brilliantly sparkly with Christ’s light. “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:21 NKJV And I can only imagine how wonderful it will be.

Do you like to personalize your clothing and belongings?  I enjoy seeing other people’s creations.  Please post a comment, so I can stop by your blog!

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.


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Zebra

I spent the morning painting on my notebook.  And I finished it!   Zebras are a beautiful creation and I am glad I made that choice.

notebookFinishedBack

When I painted the under coat for the larger zebra stripes, I gradated the color to make it more interesting.  What do you think?  Do you like the subject and color choices?

notebookFinishedFront

Yup the new looks much greater than the old!

before

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.


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Progress

Today, I spent a few hours working on the design for my notebook project.  I thought awhile about what to paint on it.  Deciding on a zebra profile, I got out my Sharpie marker and sketched in a basic design.  I applied two coats of blue for the background allowing it to dry in between coats.  I am using Daler Rowney Titanium White, and Winsor & Newton Ultramarine Blue, with Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium added. The medium keeps the paint flexible on fabric  after it dries.

zebra sketch

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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About the ads that follow: They are not placed by me  and are not associated with this post.  They are placed by WordPress on blogs that are free.  Thank you for your understanding.


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Nail Art with Pens

I am at my daughter’s visiting and today we put up the Christmas tree!  After all of that fun, we decided to do our nails.  My daughter has very fun colors.  I picked an NYC metallic green for the base nail color, then added some fun french tips and Christmas tree designs with Migi Nail Art Pens!  Here is what my nails look like finished and dry.

nails

For the details we used this set of Magi Nail Pens.  They are a lot of fun and come in quite a variety of colors.  The pens are pretty easy to use and the set comes with a booklet with ideas and tips for painting your nails.  Each color has a brush so that you can use it like nail polish as a base coat and, also, a fine tip for doing small detail painting.

basicpens

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.


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Friends and Frappuccinos

Last Saturday, three of my friends came over for the day.  They had asked me if I would teach them how to paint with watercolors.  They arrived at 10 am. I made some frappuccinos to enjoy while we painted.

First, we taped our paper to a board then mixed up a soft glaze of their choice of color.  We painted a light wash on our papers, then applied plastic wrap to the paper.  This creates a mottled design as a base.  We set those aside to dry.

Our next step was to learn a little about hard and soft edges while we painted some roses.  That was fun.  When we finished with that painting, we took a break for a lunch of potato soup and home baked bread.

After lunch, we removed the plastic wrap from our boards.  I passed out identical pictures to each lady and they spent a little time drawing the magnolia onto their paper.  Then I showed them techniques to use painting the flower.  Some expressed that watercolor was harder than they had anticipated.  We had a great day and are looking forward to getting together again in the future.

I have painted six times from the same photograph.  I never tire of it.  I think magnolias are beautiful.  Each time I paint this flower’s photo, the result is different.


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Busyness

It seems that for several years, seven at least, I have been keeping myself too busy to do what I love best.  Paint.  How do we do that?  WHY do we do that?  Or am I the only one?

About 10 years ago, I painted this painting for a friend of her beloved horse, Dreamy.  It is done with watercolor and measures 17 x 19 inches.  Just last week, she called me and asked if I would paint portraits of two more horses.  “Of course”, said I. Prince and Tomahawk are now in the line-up now.  Also last week, a friend found out that I used to teach art classes to children and asked if I would teach ten students for the month of June.  “Of course”, said I again.  I am hoping these adventures will help me to eliminate all the ‘other’ busyness from my life as I focus in on what I enjoy most, art in all forms.


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Irish Countryside

I am not home yet, but I downloaded the pictures from my camera.  The color was not right for some reason.  I played with one and got it looking like the original painting.  The countryside in Ireland must be just breathtaking!  This particular painting called “A Walk in the Country” is an ACEO, Artist Cards, Editions and Originals.  The size format for ACEO is 3.5″ x 2.5″.  People collect them and store them in baseball card albums.