A Little Feat

“If you’ll be my dixie chicken, I’ll be your Tennessee lamb, and we can walk together down in dixieland.” Originally written by Little Feat, and rediscovered through Dave Matthews and his sneaky live recordings.

Bored one night and falling deeper in love with this Spring inspired quote I decided to try my hand at a little illustration/calligraphy work. For the most part I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

 

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Paris Day Dreaming

What does a 27 year old do without power for 8 days? Oh that’s right, she pretends she’s 90 (or living in the Colonial era) and makes embroideries. Lots of embroideries.

This little beauty surprisingly took up most of my week. I blame the intricacies of all that steel work. I’ve had Paris on the brain ever since visiting the beautiful city last month. (More on that 3 country whirl wind trip soon, promise!)

I decided to hang her over the sink; a happy day dream to escape my dish pan hand hell. (Damn you apartment sans dishwasher!)

I found the frame at Joann’s Fabrics. $3.99. I painted the once black frame robin’s egg blue to make it cheery and kitchen matchy. My favorite part of the frame is the subtle details  which reflect the details in the tower itself.

Probably one of the best things to come from 8 days without power or heat. You have to agree Paris really is always a good idea. (Even when your travel buddy has a horrible cold and Belgium goes on strike. More trip details to come!)

The Mitten Tree

While trying to fill some space on my autumn gallery wall(I promise I will post how to hang a gallery wall super super super soon) I happened upon this print on Etsy by O’Reilly Ink. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the piece but wasn’t crazy about the colors. Plus I didn’t feel passionately about any of the tree species featured.

I decided to create a knock off print based on the design concept but featuring colors and subjects I was more into.

I selected the Sassafras tree as my study subject. If you are not aware of the amazingness of this tree it’s also lovingly called the Mitten Tree. Scientifically it’s the only deciduous tree that produces 3 different shaped leaves (at least the only one in the North East/North America).

There is also a fairy tale version “How the Sassafras Tree (or Mitten Tree) Got its Leaves” (as best remembered by yours truly)

Once upon a time there was a little old lady who had a cabin in the woods. Winter was coming so she decided to make some mittens. She finished her first mitten and realized she forgot the thumbs.

So she threw that pair out her window. The following day she tried again to make a pair of mittens this time she knitted too many thumb holes so out the window that pair went.

Finally the following day she knitted the perfect pair of mittens. Thumb holes in the right places, plenty of room for fingers.

She went to bed that night proud of her work. She woke up the next morning to find a mouse scurrying out of the cabin with her perfect mittens. Luckily she remembered how to make the proper pair and didn’t think much of the mouse, hoping the mittens would keep him warm. Winter came and went and the little old lady had warm hands all winter long. Then it was time for Spring which brought on the usual chirping birds, blooming flowers, and a remarkable new tree outside of the old lady’s cabin. A tree which was growing right outside the window she threw all her failed mittens out of. Now, what made this tree remarkable was it’s leaves reflected all the mittens she made over the last winter.

And that my friends is the story of the Mitten Tree.

So, anyway, this is a story I grew up with and a tree I always look for when out and about. This tree I decided shall be my muse. Creating the artwork is pretty easy, anyone with mild artistic talent and computer skills should be able to pull it off.

First dust off your pencils and sketch the leaf (leaves) of your choice. You could probably trace the leaf if that makes you more comfortable. Once you’re happy with your sketch grab a thin tipped Sharpie or other black inked pen. Outline the leaves and add a few veins for good measure.

Once the sketching is done and outlining is complete scan it into your computer. I used Photoshop however even Paint would do the trick. Open the scan up and use the paint bucket tool to fill in the fields with whatever color you desire. Finally find a fun free hand font and add the genus, species, and common name to the graphic. Print that sucker up slap it in a frame and admire your amazing artistic skills.

Yay cheap and easy diy artwork!

Thank You.

A simple post from an overwhelmed and absolutely touched blogger.

Thank you all so very much for all the love and support you have shown me over the last 4 days. Never in a million years did I think I would be Freshly Pressed, let alone receive an overwhelming amount of positive and supportive comments from the blogging community. Your kind words truly mean the world to me. I shall try my best to not let you all down and keep cranking out more simple projects to make all your lives a little more pretty.

The biggest of thanks and virtual hugs to you all. It’s been a truly surreal and fabulous weekend. Thank you.

(Images above are a thank you card I made for my Godfather, who never ever forgets my birthday and still sends birthday treats which makes this 27 year old excited that birthdays still rock. Thanks Uncle Kenny!)

Kissing Gnomes for the Happy Couple

A little follow up to the classy Southern wedding I posted last week. As previously stated the Newlyweds have a soft spot in their hearts for gnomes. I took a fair amount of pictures at the wedding (I can’t help myself wedding’s are my favorites) and wanted to send the happy couple a disc of images for their use.

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I quickly whipped up a little note card to mail out to them featuring love struck kissing gnomes. Quick, simple, cute and I believe enjoyed by the new Mr. and Mrs.

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I also fancied up the envelope a little. I openly confess to ripping off my sister’s “calligraphy”. It’s so simple and really spiffs up regular text. I’ll admit now that I also ripped off her style of drawing roses when we were kids. I’m sorry Erin, sometimes you’re just too cool and way better than me.

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This Post is Brought to You by the Letter “F”

Bored one afternoon, and tired of the “will you change your last name” debate I decided to embrace my potential future name and make a family monogram for our still in process gallery wall. Especially since a “F” has no curves it was surprisingly easy and took roughly an hour (minus glue dry time).

I started with 2 pieces of cardboard. Sketched out an “F” on both pieces and cut with a straight edge and an exact-o knife.

Once I had 2 identical pieces, I cut the “spacer” pieces to give the letter some girth and “3-D” qualities. The spacers are simply strips of cardboard roughly 3/4″ thick cut to the length of each line of the letter.

Then all I  did was glue each spacer piece to the bottom or back “F” piece. I used wood glue because it was handy and gets tackier quicker.

Once all the spacers are glued (and dry-ish) run a bead of glue around the top of the now outlined letter and attach the top face of the monogram. I used rubber bands to hold the entire letter together until it was fully dried.

I let the monogram dry over night and then removed the rubber bands and hung that glorious future initial on our wall. I’m thinking after looking at it for another 2 years I may actually be excited to be EAF.

Birthdays are The Best Sorts of Days

A slightly belated present from Brendan arrived a few days ago. I had sent him a bunch of links to Etsy prints I wouldn’t mind receiving. He said he only liked only one. Frankly I didn’t even remember which one’s I sent. So I patiently waited and half forgot that a little Etsy gift was on its way.

Packaged arrived and I would have to say that The Fiance chose a fabulous one. It’s amazing how art can bring back memories and make you feel so fabulous. I’ve vacationed in Maine for every summer since birth. I’ve also vacationed with Brendan there a time or two. In addition, I love lobster. Other than these personal ties to this print Brendan and I as an “us” have some happy “lobstah” memories. One day we discovered hidden emoticons on Gchat. Our favorite? The lobster  V.v.V  (and yes, when entered on Gchat it actually pinches) What better way to remember our weird traditions and my fabulous memories than a print from Maine by a fabulous artist. She calls it “Lobster Love” and I couldn’t agree more.

Within moments of opening the package the print was framed and hanging on the wall, added to my Summer Gallery. (more on that soon it’s almost done!) I’ve gotten so many complements on this print already. I also find myself stopping in the hallway, admiring it, and smiling.

Summer summer summer time

Quick little post to share in my excitement. I’m in the process of creating a seasonal rotating gallery wall to include family pictures as well as images that reflect the season. (more on that soon) Found this beauty here on Etsy for a whopping $8 including shipping. It arrived a few days ago. I couldn’t stop smiling when I looked at it. And really you can’t go wrong supporting artists AND bringing pure joy all for less than an Alexander Hamilton.

Ahh summer time and childhood memories. The white part was always my fav. mmmm. Who doesn’t love a bomb pop on a hot summer day? Seriously.

For Writing Sweet Nothings

One of Brendan and my little relationship secrets are love notes. That’s right. We write little obnoxiously cute notes to each other. The tradition started thanks to his crazy schedule. I would visit him, he would leave before I woke up, so I would leave a note for him upon his return to the house. Living together allows us to see each other more often, but still waking up to a sweet note and a waiting bagel when he’s been gone all night and already asleep before I get out of the shower is quite fun and always brings smiles.

We always talked about making a note book decided to our little sweet nothings but never got around to it. Finally this Christmas all that changed.

This is one of the quickest and easiest craft projects I have every dreamed up. I snagged the already fun notebooks from Target (3 pack so triple score for me). The other materials included a black Sharpie, and pre sticky craft paper which I already had on hand (scrap book section of your local craft store).

I mimicked the patter on the cover for my “title plate”. Used a circle template and a straight edge, cut it out, added a title and flair around the sides, stuck it to the cover and I was done.

Brendan was BEYOND excited to open them Christmas morning. I even think there was a mini “aww” out of him. Now I get even more excited to find a note since they are now hidden in a beautiful book.